Press Release

March 2012

Muzzleloader Workshop Planned

Want to expand your season while learning about an old style of hunting and hunting equipment?

If so, signup for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game muzzleloader workshop April 20, 21, at the Magic Valley Regional office at 324 South 417 East, Highway 93 Business Park, two miles north of the Flying J truck stop.

The class is divided up into two sections. The classroom portion from 6 to 9 p.m., April 20, covers the hunting laws, equipment, accessories and safety concerns. The next morning from 9 to noon April 21, students will meet at the Jerome Gun Range.

The workshop is free, but students are asked to register by calling 324-4350. The class is limited to 25 students. Students are asked to bring their own muzzleloaders, but guns are available for students that do not own one.

Ask Fish and Game: Depredation Hunts

Q. When can I apply for depredation hunts this year?

A. The sign-up period to participate in depredation hunts this year runs from May 1 through June 30. Applications that come in after June 30 are added to the list but have little chance of being selected. Applicants must have a valid Idaho hunting or combination license. Depredation hunts, if needed, are usually held on short notice, in small areas and involve only a few hunters. Hunters may apply in different regions, but only once each year for deer, once for elk and once for pronghorn. For more information and an application form, check the 2012 Big Game Rule Book, which will be available about mid-April.

F&G Commission Sets 2012 Big Game Seasons

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission during a meeting Thursday, March 22, set big game seasons for 2012.

The commissioners adopted Fish and Game staff recommendations for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, gray wolf and mountain lion hunts, and added a few changes of their own.

Changes from the 2011-2012 seasons include:

Elk

  • Eliminate general season antlerless elk hunts in the Panhandle. Create separate controlled either-sex hunts in Units 1, 2, 3 and 5.
  • Reduce antlerless controlled hunt tags in McCall zone.
  • Increase antlerless elk tags in Owyhee controlled hunt Area 40.
  • Restructure Landowner Permission Hunts and antlerless hunts in units 45, 49, 52A, 56 and 68 to address depredation concerns; convert Landowner Permission Hunts to extra tag hunts.
  • Shorten A-tag season in Teton zone.
  • Create three new controlled hunts with 20 permits each to address depredation concerns in Unit 36B.

Deer

  • Expand muzzleloader opportunity in Panhandle 10 days.
  • Shorten the season for extra antlerless controlled hunts in Clearwater Region.
  • Extend antlerless portion of Unit 23 white-tailed deer season for youth only.
  • Add new deer hunt to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge to address depredations on neighboring private land and convert antlerless youth hunt in Units 40 and 41 to youth extra antlerless controlled hunt.
  • Restructure antlerless hunts in Units 44, 45 and 52, restructure youth hunts in Units 47, 54, 55 and 57, and move rotating muzzleloader hunt from Units 47, 54 and 55 to eastern portion of unit 45.
  • Reduce antlerless hunts in units 43, 44 and 45 in response to hunter concerns.
  • Keep Unit 36A as an unlimited controlled buck hunt; add Unit 29 to controlled hunt Area 37 muzzleloader hunt.

Pronghorn

F&G Commission Adopts Chinook Season

Idaho anglers will be able to start fishing for Chinook salmon on Sunday, April 22.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, March 22, adopted Chinook seasons as proposed by Fish and Game managers. Chinook will open in the Clearwater River, Snake River, Little Salmon and lower Salmon River.

Closing dates will be announced by Fish and Game.

The season is based on forecasts that an estimated 83,600 adult hatchery origin fish will cross Lower Granite Dam.

In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit is be four Chinook, only two may be adults (24 or more inches long), but only one adult may be from the North Fork Clearwater. The possession limit is 12, only six may be adults.

In the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four Chinook, only two may be adults. The possession limit is 12, only six may be adults.

The statewide annual limit is 20 adult Chinook in the 2012 seasons occurring before September 1, 2012.

Daylight fishing hours will be 1 in the season brochure.

Waters that open April 22 are:

Clearwater River, main stem:

  • Lower - from the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at Lewiston upstream to the Cherrylane Bridge.
  • Middle - from the Cherrylane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge, excluding the perimeter of Dworshak National Fish Hatchery at Ahsahka, and excluding the ladder to the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery as marked by posted boundaries about 100 yards upstream and downstream of the ladder and extending into the river about 50 yards.
  • Upper - from the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River.

North Fork Clearwater: From the mouth to the Dworshak Dam, excluding the perimeter of the Dworshak National Hatchery at Ahsahka.

Commission to Meet in Boise This Week

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will be setting big game and Chinook salmon seasons during a meeting Wednesday and Thursday, March 21 and 22, in Boise.

The commission will meet in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters 600 S. Walnut St., Boise. A public comment session will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. Thursday. The commission will set seasons for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, gray wolf and mountain lion hunts and a spring season on Chinook salmon in the Clearwater, Snake, lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.

Recommendations for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf 2012-2013 seasons include:

Deer

  • Expand muzzleloader opportunity in Panhandle 10 days.
  • Shorten the season for extra antlerless controlled hunts in Clearwater Region.
  • Adjust antlerless hunt tag numbers in northern portion of Southwest Region, extend antlerless portion of Unit 23 white-tailed deer season for youth only.
  • Add new deer hunt to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge to address depredations on neighboring private land and convert antlerless youth hunt in Units 40 and 41 to youth extra antlerless controlled hunt.
  • Restructure antlerless hunts in Units 44, 45 and 52, restructure youth hunts in Units 47, 54, 55 and 57, and move rotating muzzleloader hunt from Units 47, 54 and 55 to eastern portion of unit 45.
  • Convert Unit 36A unlimited controlled buck hunt to 120 tags; add Unit 29 to controlled hunt Area 37 muzzleloader hunt.

Elk

Time to Enter Super Hunt Drawing

The deadline to enter the first Super Hunt drawing is May 31.

With every entry in Fish and Game's Super Hunt drawings, hunters get a chance at winning the hunt of a lifetime, and their entry fee helps support hunter and angler access to and across private lands.

The first drawing in June will pick 26 lucky hunters, each of whom will win one of 25 tags - eight elk, eight deer, and eight pronghorn hunts as well as one moose hunt; and one "Super Hunt Combo" entry also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, pronghorn and moose.

A second drawing will be in August when another "Super Hunt Combo" and entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing is June 2 through August 11.

Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general hunts and controlled hunts, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold.

Hunters who win any Super Hunt tag may still enter controlled hunts, except where other restrictions apply. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

The first Super Hunt entry will cost $6. Each additional entry purchased at the same time will cost $4 each. The Super Hunt Combo entries work the same way. The first one costs $20, and each additional entry purchased at the same time will cost $16.

Entries are available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, or they can be ordered on the Internet at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/superhunt/, and on the phone at 800-554-8685.

There is no limit to the number of entries. Fill out the entry order forms and mail them to: Idaho Fish and Game License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.

Check the Tax Checkoff for Wildlife

Anyone working on this year's tax forms might consider checking the box to donate to Idaho's wildlife.

Taxpayers may check the square on their Idaho tax forms to donate any amount of their refund to the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund administered by Idaho Fish and Game. Other Fish and Game programs aimed at game animals and fish are funded through the sale of licenses and tags to hunters and anglers.

No general tax revenues go to either game or nongame programs.

Two ways to support animals that are not hunted, fished or trapped is by donating on your Idaho income tax form or buying an Idaho wildlife license plate.

Nongame programs include education, conservation and recreation. Examples of nongame wildlife projects include producing popular educational publications and research on nongame wildlife species. Better information about those species aids wildlife management efforts and could help keep some from becoming rare or endangered.

The number of Idaho residents participating in wildlife related activities, such as bird and wildlife watching, wildlife photography, bird feeding and conservation education, continues to rise. While this constituency continues to grow, the problem of how to fund the nongame program and meet ever-increasing demands continues.

About 98 percent of Idaho's wild creatures - 523 species including songbirds, water birds, raptors, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and threatened and endangered wildlife - are classified as "nongame wildlife."

Nongame wildlife is not normally hunted, fished or trapped, but is found in every corner of Idaho.

Besides the checkoff, the major source of funding for nongame programs is through the sale of the distinctive bluebird, cutthroat trout and elk license plates.

Fish and Game's Annual Fur Auction Set for March 31

Idaho Fish and Game will auction furs, hides, antlers, traps and miscellaneous hunting and fishing equipment on Saturday, March 31, at the Southwest Region office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa.

Anyone interested may view the items beginning at 8 a.m., with the auction beginning promptly at 10 a.m.

Auction items include furs, whole carcasses, antlers, and skulls of elk, moose, deer, black bear, mountain lion, otter, beaver, bobcat and fox. All items were either seized as evidence or salvaged. All carcasses are considered unfit for human consumption and are sold for use of the non-edible portions only.

Elk, deer and moose antlers may be sold as small bundles by weight or as single sets attached to skull plates.

A taxidermist-furbuyer license is required in advance to bid on bear parts, mountain lion parts or any furbearer for anyone in the business of buying and selling hides or animal mounts. Resident licenses are $40 for one year, and nonresident licenses are $170. The licenses can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office.

Buyers for personal use are not required to have a taxidermist-furbuyer license.

Fish and Game will accept only cash or personal check. No credit card service will be available.

Nonresident purchasers should be aware that their state may not allow import of the hides or parts of bear, mountain lion, bobcat or otter. Be sure to check state regulations before purchasing these items.

A person who has killed an animal illegally and that animal has been confiscated and put up for sale at the auction, may not buy that animal or any part of it at the auction. Nor may another person buy the animal or any part of it on their behalf. A violation would be considered an illegal purchase of wildlife.

Ask Fish and Game: Big Game Applications

Q. When does the application period for big game controlled hunts begin?

A. Fish and Game will take applications for moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep controlled hunts from April 1 through April 30. Applications for elk, deer, pronghorn and fall black bear controlled hunts are accepted from May 1 through June 5. It's too late for spring bear and turkey controlled hunts - the drawings for those already are over.

Snake River Cleanup Planned

A trash cleanup along one of the more popular stretches of the Snake River is planned beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 24.

Additional volunteers are needed to help with this effort, sponsored by Idaho Fish and Game and Canyon County Parks, Waterways and Recreation.

Volunteers should RSVP to Fish and Game maintenance supervisor Dennis Hardy at the Fish and Game Nampa office, 465-8465.

Personal gear should include drinking water, snacks and lunch, sturdy boots, work gloves and clothing for any kind of spring weather. Participants will meet at Fish and Game's Map Rock site, located 6.5 miles west of the intersection of Map Rock Road and State Highway 45 at 9 that morning. The project should be completed by early afternoon.

The river cleanup will be conducted from the Walter's Ferry Bridge downstream to the Marsing Bridge, with trash hauled to a central location for transport to a landfill. Because of a waterfowl nesting closure, federally-owned islands on the Snake River will not be part of the trash collection effort this year.

Past cleanup efforts along this same stretch of river have netted more than six tons of trash, including all types of furniture, appliances and even a safe, stolen from an area business.

Area landowners are encouraged to note the cleanup effort date.

"We want to inform land owners in advance of the activities planned for that day," Hardy said. "So when they see a flurry of activity along the river, they will know what's going on."

For more information regarding the Snake River cleanup, contact Hardy at the Fish and Game Nampa office 208-465-8465.

Trapper Education Course Slated

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be offering a two-day trapper education course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 31 and April 1 at the Fish and Game Regional Office in Nampa.

Register for the course at the Hunter/Bowhunter Education link on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov. Register early as space is limited to 20 persons.

A variety of topics will be covered that promote safe, responsible trapping and outline the role trapping plays in wildlife population management. One full day of the course will be devoted to field work, during which students will learn selective trapping techniques for many different species, as well as fur handling and pelt preparation methods.

The course is open to persons of all trapping skill levels, including those who would like to become trapping instructors. Recognized by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the course is accepted nationwide by states that require a trapper education course to receive a trapping license.

For more information regarding the course, please call the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465.

Wildlife Summit Video Online

A new, short video about Idaho Fish and Game's upcoming Wildlife Summit is now available online.

Watch the video, "Fish and Game by the Numbers," on the Fish and Game Wildlife Summit webpage at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/summit/.

The Wildlife Summit, August 24 - 26, seeks to engage all Idahoans in a conversation about the current status and direction of wildlife management in Idaho in order to keep it responsive to changing needs and interests.

The video provides facts and figures about Fish and Game and what the agency does for Idaho's wildlife and its residents.