Press Release

April 2012

Conservation Officers to Host Youth Conservation Camp

Summer in Idaho means camps for youths.

Youths 10 to 12 years old who want to learn outdoor skills, become certified in hunter education, and experience a wide variety of other fun, outdoor activities, should consider attending the Youth Conservation Camp, August 13-17, at Trinity Pines Camp and Conference Center in Cascade.

Idaho's Youth Conservation Camp is unique because it is sponsored and directed by the conservation officer association and Idaho Fish and Game - the same people who manage Idaho's fish and wildlife. Conservation officers and biologists direct the camp and lead the classroom and field learning activities.

Campers participate in hands-on learning in firearm safety and shooting, wildlife conservation and identification, orienteering and challenge courses, fishing techniques, archery fundamentals, introduction to trapping, float the Payette River, and more in an attractive outdoor setting.

The goal is to help young people learn about and cultivate a respect for Idaho's natural resources and the people who work to protect, preserve and perpetuate those resources.

Registration is first-come, first-served to the first 30 youths. Cost per camper is $245, including food, lodging and equipment for the week.

To learn more or to register, visit the Idaho Conservation Officer Association website at, or contact your nearest Idaho Fish and Game office.

Nature Center Celebrates Migratory Bird Life

The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center in Boise will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12.

The theme this year is "Connecting People to Bird Conservation."

Enjoy a full day of bird observation and educational activities for bird enthusiasts of all ages. Families can participate in bird watching, live bird presentations, owl pellet investigation, wood carving demonstrations, Flying Wild games, face painting, nature arts, bird art exhibits and other children's activities.

Children will be entered for raffle prizes. The Anser Charter School Kindergarten students will once again be selling their hand-made bird cards, as well as showcasing student bird projects. A variety of native plants will be available for sale.

Admission is $3 per person ages 3 and over. Tickets are available at or at the MK Nature Center education building. No free admission to the MK Nature Center will be available during this education event between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12.


  • 9 a.m. to noon - Live Bird Banding, Idaho Bird Observatory biologists.
  • 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. - Live bird presentations.
  • 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. - Guided bird walks with Golden Eagle Audubon Society volunteers along the Boise Greenbelt.
  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Games and Activity stations.

Volunteers for this event are still needed. Sign up, shift and volunteer descriptions are available at

While ongoing threats continue to endanger many of the nearly 350 species of birds that migrate annually between summer and winter habitats, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and individuals have shown that they can make a real difference.

Ask Fish and Game: Depredation Hunt Sign-up

Q. Is it too late to apply for depredation hunts this year?

A. Not at all. The sign-up period to participate in depredation hunts runs 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 only one region for a given species. For more information and an application form check pages 85 and 86 in the 2012 big game rule book, or go to

Remaining Egin-Hamer Closure Opens May 1

As of sunrise on May 1, the remaining northern part of the Egin-Hamer Closure will reopen.

Public land managers remind users that certain rules still remain in effect on Bureau of Land Management lands.

Though the winter was relatively mild, the unified efforts of county, state and federal agencies to protect wintering big game herds outside of St. Anthony have once again paid off.

Fifteen years ago, the arrangement for the closure was agreed upon when county commissioners approached the BLM with the idea of the area closure in return for the re-opening of the Egin-Hamer Road for winter travel. Individual landowners going to or coming from their private lands have always been exempt from the closure.

The portion of the closure area south of the Egin-Hamer Road opened on schedule at sunrise on April 1. To ensure that recreational users understand what things they need to keep in mind, a special flier was created and is available online from the BLM and Idaho Fish and Game.

Of key concern to agency staff is that users remain on designated routes to protect the habitat and that everything possible is done to reduce the spread of noxious weeds.

The St. Anthony Sand Dunes flier can be viewed at:

Fish and Game Thanks Volunteers

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game thanks volunteers who helped plant native shrub seedlings at the site of last summer's Blair Fire near King Hill.

Volunteers for Habitat Restoration, a cooperative program involving the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management and local residents, improve upland and riparian wildlife habitat in southern Idaho.

The following groups participated: Northside Wranglers, Clever Clover and Lucky Charms 4-H Clubs; BSA Troop/Pack 77; GSA Troops 166 and 347; Buhl, Filer, Wendell, Twin Falls, Gooding, Burley, Cassia Alternative, Shoshone and Glenn's Ferry High Schools; CSI Horticulture Club, Mountain Home AFB and LDS Glenn's Ferry Ward.

The following volunteers also pitched in: Zach Aslett, Greg Betts and family, Del Carraway, Maureen and Jerry Heimerdinger, Chris Jackson, The Kumaus Family, Anne Martin, John and Vicki McCafferty, Kim Razee, Carol Roseberry, Erica Ross, Jack Ruffing and family, and John and Cathy Sawyer.

A special thanks goes to Ridley's Family Market in Jerome for storing seedlings.

This spring, 488 volunteers planted 32,800 sagebrush and bitterbrush at this important site. Their efforts will help restore wildlife habitat to an area that provided habitat for about 5,000 mule deer each winter.

Bear Managers Put Down Conditioned Grizzly Bear

Trappers from U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services with help from Idaho Fish and Game, on April 22, euthanized a three-year old female grizzly that had come out of hibernation and started getting into garbage cans in a subdivision near the Idaho-Wyoming border outside Driggs.

The bear had been relocated last year after becoming habituated to apple orchards on the North Fork of the Shoshone River in Wyoming. Compounding the problem of the bear's addiction to human related foods, local residents had not been complying with a bear sanitation ordinance that went into effect for Teton County last year. The bear had lost all fear of people, and out of concern for human safety the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized removal of the bear.

"While the Yellowstone Ecosystem is a big place, there is no where you can put a problem bear without the chance of it getting back into trouble," Regional Wildlife Manager Daryl Meints said.

Because the bear had become habituated to human related foods meant it was likely to run into problems no matter where it might have been released, but the residents' failure to follow the guidelines of the bear sanitation order regarding the storage of garbage cans accelerated the bear's downfall.

The Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan requires that bears be relocated within the state in which they were captured when causing problems. This bear had been released in Wyoming near Squirrel Meadows, but had spent the fall and denned for the winter in Idaho. Earlier in the week, Fish and Game had been working with Wyoming Game and Fish to try to capture the bear after it would retreat into the foothills of Wyoming after several nights of raiding in Idaho, where it also seemed to develop a taste for foam rubber products like hot tub covers and cars seats.

Application Period for Controlled Hunts Opens May 1

The application period for this fall's deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts starts Tuesday, May 1, and runs through June 5.

Hunters may apply for controlled hunts at any hunting and fishing license vendor, Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling 1-800-55HUNT5; or online at An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet applications. Hunters must have a 2012 Idaho hunting license to apply.

The 2011 harvest statistics and drawing odds for controlled hunts will be posted on the Idaho Fish and Game Website at, and in the Idaho Hunt Planner

Hunters can use harvest statistics and drawing odds from the past 10 years to search for similar controlled hunts for this year.

Ask Fish and Game: Family Fishing Waters

Q. Where's a good place to take the grandkids fishing?

A. Family Fishing Waters are great places to take the family fishing. They are easy to get to and have plenty of fish to catch. Each of Idaho Fish and Game's seven regions across the state can answer your questions and get you and your family started on the road to fishing. Or find local Family Fishing Waters in the current fishing rules brochure or online at:

Chinook Season Opens Sunday

Though the fishing season for Chinook salmon opens on Sunday, April 22, in the Clearwater River, Snake River, Little Salmon and lower Salmon rivers, this year's run is appears to be one of the latest on record.

No fish had crossed Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River as of April 15.

Season closing dates will be announced by Fish and Game.

In the Clearwater River drainage the daily limit is 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.

Daylight fishing hours are 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.

South Fork Clearwater: From its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers.

Fishing in Idaho: It's Better than Ever

The fishing is great in Idaho, and people are catching on; more people are fishing now than most years in the past decade.

In 2011, Idaho Fish and Game sold about 450,000 fishing licenses, down about 5 percent from the recent high in 2009. More good news, though, most license and permit sales through March 2012 are above what they were at the same time in 2011.

Resident fishing license sales are up about 9 percent; resident junior licenses are up 14 percent; resident disabled licenses are up 16 percent; two-pole permit sales are up 6 percent; nonresident licenses are up 10 percent; salmon permits are up about 6 percent; and steelhead permits are up about 2 percent.

The increase in fishing license sales is not just an indication of good fishing; it is also proof that fishing represents affordable and popular recreation in spite of the economy.

To fish in Idaho, anglers need a fishing rod and a valid fishing license, unless they're under 14. Licenses and fishing rules are available from any Fish and Game office and from a long list of vendors statewide. Anglers are on their own for the rod, reel and lures.

It's easy to get started, and Idaho Fish and Game can help. Check out the Fishing section of the Fish and Game Web site - - and click on the section called Learn to Fish. It includes basic information on getting started, how to identify fish and several opportunities for beginning anglers.

In addition Fish and Game's Fishing Planner at, can help anglers find fishing spots all over the state, how to get there and what kind of fish they'll find when they do. Simply type in the name of a lake or stream or click on the "recommended fishing waters."

Fish and Game Commission to Meet in Riggins in May

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet May 9 and 10 at the Best Western Salmon Rapids Lodge in Riggins.

A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Salmon Rapids Lodge.

Routine agenda items include setting seasons for Chinook salmon fishing in the South Fork Salmon and the upper Salmon rivers; fiscal year 2014 budget direction; election of commission chairman and vice-chairman; and a briefing on auction and lottery tags.

A complete agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Aggressive Mule Deer Dispatched by Fish and Game

On Saturday, April 7, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game dispatched a mule deer buck near the community of Whitney.

The deer was suspected of being the buck that attacked Sue Panter of Whitney, last September when she was out walking near her home.

Fish and Game received a report April 7 from David Priestley of Franklin, who was hunting marmots with his 9-year-old son, Tate, and his 9-year-old nephew, Mason Priestley, about a half mile from the location of last fall's mule deer attack.

At one point during their hike, David Priestley said he walked ahead of the boys a short distance when a mule deer buck jumped up about 30 yards away and started to run toward him. The deer circled to the man's right but still kept running toward him.

Priestley threw a rock at the deer when it got within 10 yards, hitting it on the side. The deer hopped about 15 yards away, where it stopped to rake its head on some sagebrush. Then the buck turned back toward Priestley, getting within six to eight feet before it stopped. The buck stomped once, and then began raking its head in the brush again.

"At that point, I used my cell phone to call Officer Korey Owens," David Priestley said. "When he asked me where the deer was, I told him Ôstanding eight feet in front of me.'"

Owens is a senior conservation officer with Idaho Fish and Game.

Priestley said that while they waited for Owens to arrive, the deer began circling Priestley and the boys at a 15-yard radius.

"The deer would circle one way, stop to rub its head, and circle around us in the other direction," Priestley said. "Then it finally lay down under a bush 10 yards from us."