Idaho wolf trapping rules require trappers complete a wolf trapper class before they can buy a wolf trapping tag. Classes will be available in six Fish and Game regions. To register and for exact location of the classes, please contact the nearest Fish and Game region. Classes are first-come, first-served and limited to 25 individuals. The $8 fee covers the cost of materials. All class times, unless noted, are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break; lunch will not be provided. Classes may be canceled if fewer than five individuals sign up; participants will be notified of any changes. For details please consult the Wolf Trapping page on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=266. Information and a list of classes also are available from regional Fish and Game offices.
Q. Do I need a permit to hunt grouse? A. It depends. In addition to a valid 2011 Idaho hunting license, hunters need a permit to hunt sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse. Any person hunting sage- or sharp-tailed grouse must have in possession their license with a sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation, available from license vendors at $4.75. No permit other than a current hunting license is required to hunt forest grouse, including dusky (blue), ruffed and spruce. Check the current rule brochure for seasons and bag limits.
Hunters looking to bag an Idaho wild turkey can begin hunting on Thursday, September 15. The general fall turkey season will open in the Panhandle Region, the Clearwater Region, a good portion of the Southwest Region, and several units in the Southeast Region. For specific hunts check the turkey rules brochure, available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67. Fall turkey hunters typically find less competition in the field because of other hunting seasons that open in the fall, and they are more likely to bag a bird. Turkey season is open:
- September 15 through December 15: General fall hunt in game management units 1, 2 (except Farragut State Park and Farragut Wildlife Management Area) 3, 4, 4A, 5 and 6.
- September 15 through October 31: General fall hunt in game management units 73, 74, 75, 77 and 78.
- September 15 through October 9: General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19 , 20, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32 (except that portion in Payette County), and 32A. Units 33 and 39 are closed to fall hunting.
- November 21 through December 31: General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18. This hunt is open on private lands only.
The Idaho waterfowl youth hunt opens September 24 and 25, and the regular 107-day season opens October 1 in northern and eastern Idaho, and October 15 in southwestern Idaho. Daily duck bag limits are seven birds in the aggregate - no more than two female mallards, two redheads, three scaup, two pintails, one canvasback - with a possession limit of 14 birds after the first day and no more than four female mallards, four redheads, four pintails, six scaup and two canvasbacks. Daily limits for Wilson's snipe are eight; with a possession limit of 16 after the first day; and the daily limit for coots are 25 with a possession limit of 25 after the first day. Daily bag limits for dark geese - Canada, greater white-front - are four per day. Daily limits for light geese - snow, blue, Ross's - are 10 per day. Seasons are: Area 1: All of the state not included in Area 2.
- For ducks and dark geese from October 1 to January 13, with a shorter scaup season from October 22 to January 13.
- For snow and Ross's geese from October 1 to January 13, 2012.
- For ducks and dark geese from October 15 to January 27, 2012, with a shorter scaup season from November 5 to January 27, 2012.
- For snow and Ross's geese from November 6 to January 27, 2012; and reopen from February 18 to March 10, 2012.
A youth pheasant season opens statewide Saturday, October 1, and runs through October 7 for all licensed hunters 15 years old or younger. The week-long hunt opens a half hour before sunrise in Area 1, 2 and 3, except on the C.J. Strike, Fort Boise, Montour and Payette River wildlife management areas, where shooting hours begin at 10 a.m. Shooting hours continue statewide through a half hour after sunset. The regular season opens October 8 in Area 1 and October 15 in Areas 2 and 3. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a licensed hunter 18 years or older - one adult may accompany more than one youth. The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is six after the first day, except on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked, in which case the daily limit is two cocks and four in possession. Hunters 17 and older need a WMA pheasant permit to hunt on Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. Pheasants will be stocked on the Payette, Montour, Fort Boise, Niagara and Market Lake wildlife management areas before the youth hunt weekend. All upland game hunters are required to wear hunter orange during the pheasant season when hunting on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. And all hunters must have a valid 2011 Idaho hunting license. Details are available in the current Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey rules brochure, available at license vendors and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.
Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter along the Clearwater River near Kooskia and Orofino on Saturday, September 10. Volunteers, especially those with river boats or rafts, are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at either the Pink House Recreation Site near Orofino or the Kamiah boat ramp across from the City Park at the base of the Kamiah Bridge. Cold drinks and snacks will be provided, as well as garbage bags and ties. The goal is to pick up litter along the river from Kooskia downstream to Long Camp and from the Pink House site downstream to Cherry Lane Bridge. Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Department of Transportation will pick up the litter bags volunteers leave along the highway. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be sponsored by the Clearwater Management Council. For more information, please contact Judy Culver at the Bureau of Land Management, 208-962-3796, or Don Beck at Fish and Game, 208-799-5010.
Idaho Fish and Game has scheduled three mentored waterfowl hunting opportunities for youth aged 15 and under. The hunts are planned for September 24, the opening day of the annual youth-only waterfowl season which is open only to hunters aged 15 and under. The mentored hunting clinics will be at Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area, Heyburn State Park and the Clark Fork River delta. Participation will be by advance reservation, and space is limited. Anyone interested should call to reserve a spot at one of the three clinics and to obtain additional details. For the Boundary Creek and Heyburn hunts, contact Dave Leptich at 769-1414. For the Clark Fork hunt contact Ray Millard at 264-5252. Young hunters will need to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult and bring a shotgun and ammunition. Young hunters will also need to secure a youth or small game license ($7.25) with a federal migratory bird permit ($1.75) before the event. Youth participants and a guardian will have the opportunity to spend a morning hunting with an experienced waterfowl hunter. Following a morning hunt, all will be treated to a free barbeque and waterfowl hunting skills clinic. The idea is to expose youth to a quality hunting experience and provide their guardian with enough training to repeat the experience independently. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is also soliciting experienced waterfowl hunters willing to assist with the clinics. Anyone who wants to help pass on the tradition of waterfowl hunting, may call either of the numbers listed above.
The early fall general turkey season begins Thursday, September 15, and seasons for sage-grouse, quail and partridge begin October 1. Forest grouse seasons opened August 30. A separate permit is required for hunting sage- and sharp-tailed grouse. Turkey:
- September 15 through December 15. General fall hunt in game management units 1, 2 (except Farragut State Park and Farragut Wildlife Management Area) 3, 4, 4A, 5 and 6.
- September 15 through October 31. General fall hunt in game management units 73, 74, 75, 77 and 78.
- September 15 through October 9. General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19 , 20, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32 (except that portion in Payette County), and 32A. Units 33 and 39 are closed to fall turkey hunting.
- November 21 through December 31. General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15 and 16. This hunt is open on private lands only.
- Daily bag limit - six chukar and six gray partridge.
- Possession limit after first day - 12 chukar and 12 gray partridge.
- Daily bag limit - 10 total.
- Possession limit after first day - 20 total.
- Area 1 in eastern Idaho is closed.
A wildfire northeast of Lowman and several trail closures may affect hunters in Unit 35. The Castro Fire covers about 1,500 acres on the Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest, about 18 miles northeast of Lowman. No structures are threatened. State Highway 21 and Bull Trout Lake Campground are open. The U.S. Forest Service has closed several trails in the fire area that may affect access to parts of Unit 35. For fire updates and the latest trail closure information contact the Lowman Ranger District at 208-259-3361 or go online to www.inciweb.org.
August 22, Idaho Fish and Game completed the sale of 80 acres on the South Fork Salmon River to the U.S. Forest Service. The parcel, known as the Withers property, was purchased by Fish and Game in 1948 to protect big game winter range. This is the first surplus Fish and Game property sold to the Forest Service, which will manage it to maintain its existing undeveloped habitats consistent with forest plans. The sale brought $410,000, which will be used to protect priority fish and wildlife habitats and provide public access. The Forest Service has options on two additional Fish and Game properties on the South Fork with a combined appraised price of $1,170,000. Fish and Game has identified additional surplus backcountry properties for sale to the Forest Service. Proceeds from such sales would help increase Fish and Game's ability to protect wildlife habitat and public access in other areas. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore are working to establish a Land Legacy Trust, with funds from the sale of surplus Fish and Game property and from a potential settlement with Bonneville Power Administration for impacts to wildlife habitats from federal dams in Idaho. "Sustainable growth through proactive stewardship is my goal for Idaho's public lands - ensuring that Idaho remains a place where farmers, ranchers and loggers can earn a living and where hunters, anglers and all Idahoans have access to our lands and our wildlife," Otter said. The Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Game view the Land Legacy Trust, which is modeled after similar programs in other states, as a good business tool because it makes better use of existing department assets to meet wildlife challenges of today and the future, and that will benefit all Idaho residents who appreciate wildlife.
The September issue of Idaho Fish and Game News is now available. This issue covers the 15th anniversary of Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days celebrated at Fish and Game's MK Nature Center. The issue also includes information about a new online marketing effort by Fish and Game. Fish and Game News is free and available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices statewide and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/media/?getPage=246.
Q. Is it too late to sign up for hunter education? A. That depends on where you live. If no classes are scheduled in your area, anyone 10 or older may take the independent study course on the Internet, with a required supervised field day. But in some regions field days may not be available because of the hunting season. Before taking the internet course, please check with the nearest Fish and Game regional office for field day availability. Regional office contact information is at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/about/offices/. For those wishing to go the traditional route, some courses are already full, and others are filling up quickly. For more information go the Fish and Game Website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov./cms/education/hunter_ed/.
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