Press Release

November 2009

Fish and Game Seeks Answers in Two Wildlife Cases

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is looking for information to help solve two wildlife violations involving a mule deer buck and an elk in southeast Idaho.

A mule deer buck was discovered in sagebrush-covered private property west of the Twin Lakes north dam. It is likely that the deer was shot sometime during the first couple of weeks of November. Not only was the deer shot after the general deer season, the head was cut off and the animal was left to waste.

During the first couple of weeks in September, an elk carcass was found dumped near 2200 South and 900 East in Fairview, Idaho, just south of Preston. Though some meat was taken from the animal, much of the usable meat was left to waste.

If anyone has any information regarding either of these incidents, please contact Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Korey Owens at 251-1923, or contact the Franklin County Sheriff's Department at 852-1234. Anyone who would like to provide information anonymously may contact the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

Rewards are available for information leading to arrests in wildlife violation cases. Set reward amounts are $100 for birds, fish, and general violations; $250 for most big game animals and wild turkeys; and $500 for trophy species, such as sheep, goat, moose and caribou.

With approval from the CAP board, these amounts can be increased in special circumstances, and donations can be made to CAP for specific cases.

Fish and Game Seeks Help Solving Elk Poaching

Idaho Fish and Game is asking for help in determining who shot and left a bull elk discovered November 23 in the Dent Acres area northeast of Orofino.

Officers say the four-point bull elk was shot from the Elk River - Backcountry Byway road on or about November 23. The entire elk carcass was left to rot.

"What a disgusting violation of the sportsman's code of ethics and the law," said Senior Conservation Officer Chris Shea of Orofino. "We need the citizen's help in solving this crime."

Anyone observing suspicious activity in this area or with information about this crime is encouraged to contact the Fish and Game office in Lewiston at 208-799-5010, the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999, or Sr. Conservation Officers Chris Shea 208-827-0573 or John McLain 208-827-1488.

Callers may remain anonymous and will be eligible for a $250 reward.

More Steelhead Coming to the Boise River

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Idaho Fish and Game plans to stock 300 or more steelhead in the Boise River from Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park Tuesday afternoon November 24.

Anglers hoping to tangle with one of the 4- to 10-pound hatchery steelhead need a 2009 fishing license and a $12.75 steelhead permit, good for 40 fish. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling.

All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin - the small fin normally found immediately behind the dorsal fin. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water.

Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession, and 40 for the fall season.

The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning Idaho Power Co.'s Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River. Many of the returning steelhead will become part of the ongoing steelhead hatchery program at Oxbow Hatchery as part of Idaho Power's mitigation.

"We are happy to collaborate with Idaho Fish and Game this year to bring steelhead to Treasure Valley anglers," said Paul Abbott, Idaho Power biologist. "The best thing about this program is that it eliminates the need for folks to travel to the Snake or Salmon rivers to catch steelhead. Boise anglers will have the opportunity to test their skills right in their own backyard."

For information about the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game in Nampa at 208-465-8465 or check the Web site at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Commission Changes Election Date

Idaho Fish and Game Commission members meeting in Coeur d'Alene November 19 voted to move the date for electing officers to the end of the current fiscal year.

The vote leaves Chairman Dr. Wayne Wright, Twin Falls, and Vice Chairman Gary Power, Salmon, in office under their current terms until the end of May 2010. The commission has traditionally elected their leadership at the November meeting for one-year terms beginning January 1.

Commissioners decided it is more reasonable to make leadership terms coincide with the date appointments of members take effect. Appointments by Idaho's governor are made for four-year terms.

The commission agreed that Tony McDermott, Sagle, should remain its representative to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Nonresident Tag Sales Start December 1

The 2010 licenses, tags and permits go on sale at 12:01 a.m. MST, Tuesday, December 1, except for the nonresident Selway B elk tags which go on sale at 10 a.m. MST.

The sale of these popular tags is being delayed because many license vendors and Idaho Department of Fish and Game offices will not be open at midnight. By delaying the sale timing, hunters will have an equal opportunity to buy the tags.

Nonresident hunters can buy their licenses and tags at Fish and Game offices, any license vendor, or by credit card by calling 1-800-554-8685. They can also buy them online at the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.

Big game hunters can find more information on the sale and purchase of tags for residents and nonresidents on pages 94 - 96 of the Idaho 2009 Big Game Seasons rules booklet.

Residents also can buy 2010 hunting licenses starting Tuesday, and they can buy a receipt for deer and elk tags, which don't go on sale until after deer, elk and pronghorn controlled hunt drawings later in 2010. Hunters can redeem the receipt for a deer or elk tag after the controlled hunt drawings in July so those whose names were drawn don't have to exchange their general season tags for controlled hunt tags at a Fish and Game office. Instead the controlled winners are simply issued a controlled hunt tag at any license vendor. The rest are issued general season tags.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Want to find your outdoor enthusiast a gift that's always in style, never the wrong size or color, and useable every day of the year?

Go to any Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional office around the state and buy them a gift certificate for a 2010 hunting and fishing license. They make good stocking stuffers.

A gift certificate is the best way to get them their hunting and fishing license for Christmas. Adult residents age 18 and over have to buy their own license because they need to show proof of residency.

Idaho Fish and Game gift certificates can be redeemed only at Fish and Game regional offices.

Several options and price ranges are available. Lifetime licenses cost from $276.75 to $1,113.00, depending on the license and age of the recipient. Seasonal licenses sell from $7.25 for junior hunting to $117.25 for the Sportsman's Package. A hunting license costs $12.75, a fishing license costs $25.75, and a combination hunting and fishing license costs $33.50.

The Sportsman's Package includes hunting and fishing licenses, tags for deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, turkey, salmon and steelhead as well as archery and muzzleloader permits. That is a savings of nearly $70 over buying the items separately.

If playing a game of chance is more your style, the Idaho Fish and Game also offers tickets for Super Hunt drawings for individual deer, elk, antelope or moose hunts, and Super Hunt Combos for deer, elk, antelope and moose. The money raised from the purchase of these tickets goes to the Access Yes! program. The tickets can be purchased at any license vendor.

Super Hunt entries cost $6 for the first one, and $4 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction. Super Hunt Combo tickets cost $20 for the first one, and $16 for each additional entry purchased during the same transaction.

The drawings for the all Super Hunts will be held in 2010.

Nature Center Plans Holiday Bird Seed Sale

The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center will host its third annual Holiday Bird Seed Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 5.

Stock up on winter bird seed and find that special gift for the outdoor person on your list. Assorted types of locally-preferred bird seed will be available in small to large bags.

Bird and related gift items, books and pocket bird guides also will be available in festive holiday packaging. Nature Center staff will be available to help with seed selection and for education. In keeping with the Idaho Department of Agriculture's efforts to stop the spread of noxious weeds, this year's sale features safe, noxious weed-free seed. All of the products sold at this year's sale have been carefully selected to minimize the potential for spreading unwanted weeds.

Proceeds from the event will help fund educational programs at the MK Nature Center. For more information contact Cass Meissner at 208-334-2225.

Ask Fish and Game: Archery for Felons?

Q. Can a felon hunt with a bow in Idaho?

A. It depends on the felony. Under Idaho law, anyone convicted of any of 36 felonies may not own, use or carry a firearm, which the law defines as "any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable." That would include a bow. The right can under some circumstances be restored, unless the crime was murder in the first or second degree, or if conviction included the use of a firearm in the commission of any the listed felonies. (For a list of felonies see Idaho Code Title 18, Chapter 3, section 18-310.)

Steelhead, Salmon Smolt Monitoring to Highlight Morning Meeting

Area wildlife enthusiasts are invited to a Sportsmen's Meeting at 6:30 a.m. December 1, at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Office, 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

A presentation on Fish and Game's smolt monitoring program will highlight the meeting. This program provides information on the migrating characteristics of steelhead and salmon within the Snake River basin. Since 1984, the program has operated large fish traps on the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers. At these traps, ocean-bound juvenile salmon and steelhead trout, or smolts, are captured, examined, enumerated, and released back into the river daily from early March through May.

Fish and Game will also present information on the results of the hunting seasons, local enforcement activities, and progress of the steelhead seasons.

The meeting is designed to stimulate informal discussions about local wildlife issues. Sportsmen's group representatives are also welcome to provide reports of their group's activities.

The breakfast meeting will run until 8:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts provided.

Anti-Vehicle Device found on Craig Mountain

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently discovered an anti-vehicle device on Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area south of Lewiston.

The homemade device, a truck tire filled with concrete and rebar spikes, was concealed in an area commonly used for illegal off-roading and was likely placed to discourage this activity. Motorized travel on Fish and Game lands is allowed only on open, established roads.

"We understand the public's frustration with those who don't follow the motorized rules, but this is taking it too far by putting public safety at risk," said Justin Barrett, Fish and Game habitat biologist who manages the area.

Mud-bogging, the ritual of driving vehicles through wet areas has caused significant long-term damage in the area. Mountain meadows and streams are especially appealing to mudboggers because of the availability of water and moist soils, yet these areas are very important for wildlife.

Anyone with information regarding this device or who witnesses illegal off-roading on Craig Mountain are encouraged to contact the Fish and Game office at 208-799-5010.

Much of Craig Mountain was purchased as mitigation for the loss of habitat from the inundation of Dworshak Reservoir. Cooperative agreements among conservation groups and several state and federal land management agencies ensure that public lands on Craig Mountain are managed to benefit wildlife and natural habitats while providing diverse recreational opportunities.

Unfortunately, mud-bogging is not conducive to maintaining habitats suitable for wildlife in this area. In fact, the long-term damage caused by off roaders is one of the main reasons some areas have been closed to motorized vehicle use.

Boat Ramp Closure at Chesterfield Reservoir

Starting next week, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will begin its final phase of boat ramp renovations at Chesterfield Reservoir.

The 200-foot long boat ramp will be out of service until the second or third week of December while a dilapidated section is replaced. While renovations take place, an old boat ramp located about 300 yards to the south of the current ramp can be used for launching small watercraft.

For more information about the ramp closure at Chesterfield Reservoir, including updates to the renovation schedule, please contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-232-4703.

Commission Extends Wolf Seasons in Most Zones

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Thursday, November 19, extended wolf hunting seasons in all Idaho wolf zones not already closed to March 31.

Harvest limits and other restrictions were not changed.

The seasons would be extended to March 31 in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Selway, Middle Fork, Salmon, Southern, and South Idaho zones, which had been set to close December 31. The seasons already were set to close March 31 in the Lolo and Sawtooth zones.

Hunters will need a 2010 wolf tag, in addition to a 2010 hunting license for hunts after December 31.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game set wolf harvest limits by 12 zones. The season closes in each zone when the limit for that zone is reached, or when the statewide limit of 220 wolves is reached.

As of Thursday, November 19, the statewide harvest was 110.

Wolf seasons already have closed in the Dworshak-Elk City wolf zone in north Idaho, the McCall-Weiser zone in west central Idaho, and the Upper Snake zone in eastern Idaho.

Three zones are nearing the harvest limit. The Palouse-Hells Canyon zone is two short of the limit of five; the Southern Mountains, where the limit is 10, is three short; and the Middle Fork zone, with a limit of 17, is four short.

Wolf hunters are reminded to check the harvest limit in the wolf hunting zones they intend to hunt. To find out whether a zone is open, call 877-872-3190. The Fish and Game wolf harvest Web page is updated less frequently, but provides a zone map and other useful information: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm.

Hunters are required by state law to report within 24 hours of harvesting a wolf, and they must present the hide and skull to a Fish and Game conservation officer or regional office within five days.