Press Release

May 2012

Lost Wolf Pup Finds Temporary Home

Out of town campers on Friday, May 25, picked up what they thought was a lost domestic puppy outside Ketchum.

They took it to a vet clinic in town. A technician at the clinic thought the lost male puppy looked like it might be a wolf and contacted a Defenders of Wildlife representative, who also thought it looked like a wolf.

They contacted Idaho Fish and Game, and officials spent parts of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday looking for a wolf pack near where the pup was found, hoping to return the lost pup. But they could find no fresh sign of a pack in the area.

A blood sample was drawn for a DNA test. Officials are awaiting test results to determine whether it is a wolf, a wolf-hybrid or something else.

Zoo Boise has agreed to take the pup temporarily and to help Fish and Game find it a permanent home.

The pup appears starved and needs veterinary care.

People are reminded that it is best to leave young animals in the wild alone. In the case of the pup, it is possible that the pack was moving with the pups - perhaps from a den to a rendezvous site - and may have been disturbed by traffic on the road.

Leave Baby Animals Alone

The end of May and the beginning of June is the peak fawning and calving season for Idaho's deer, elk and antelope.

With campers and other outdoors enthusiasts heading out to the woods, well-meaning folks often find baby birds and other animals that seem to be abandoned. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking people to leave them alone.

Despite the best of intentions, it is not the best thing for the animals.

Mother animals often leave their young as they forage. If they return to their young to find people milling around, they will often leave the area and come back when the people are gone. If people have taken the baby animal, the mother will return to find its baby gone.

During early summer, many baby animals are simply too young to survive on their own. The best option is for the young animal to stay in the wild in the first place.

In addition, it is illegal for people to possess wild animals. People found with a wild animal without a permit can be issued a citation, and the animal will be removed from their control. Animals raised in confinement are often destroyed because of the possibility of disease and lack of ability to survive on their own.

Smaller animals, like rabbits and birds, should also be left alone. In nature, mother knows best.

For more information, call the nearest Fish and Game office.

Survey Covers Elk Hunting Experiences in Idaho

Idaho Fish and Game is participating in a survey about elk hunting in Idaho, and what elk hunters like and don't like.

The survey is being conducted by the University of Idaho.

Participants are being asked about their experiences hunting elk, and how they feel about Fish and Game restrictions on elk hunting.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is in the process of revising its five-year elk management plan, and would like public input on this topic.

Some future strategies are being considered for improved elk management.

The questionnaire has been mailed to a random sample of 6,200 people who purchased elk general hunting tags in Idaho in 2011. But any interested persons can take the survey online at http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/IDFG/.

The closing date is Friday, June 22.

Ask Fish and Game: Revocation Means No Free Fishing

Q. If I don't need a fishing license on Free Fishing Day, does that mean I can fish if my license has been revoked?

A. No. When the court revokes someone's hunting, fishing or trapping privileges for a period of time, it means just that, the privileges are revoked, whether they need a license or not. It is illegal for anyone to hunt, fish, or trap or purchase a license to do so during the time the privilege is revoked.

Youth Bluegill Fishing Clinic Planned

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game is looking for young anglers ages 5 to 16 who are interested in learning how to catch bluegills.

Two special bluegill fishing clinics have been scheduled for Hauser Lake on Saturday, June 16. Hauser Lake is south of Rathdrum in Kootenai County near the Washington state line.

Lucky participants will have the opportunity to spend a morning or afternoon on a tournament fishing boat learning how to catch bluegills. Mentors will be experienced anglers affiliated with the Panhandle Bass Anglers Club. They are volunteering their boats, time, and expertise to the event. One parent or guardian must accompany young anglers on the lake.

Fishing equipment and bait will be available for use during the clinic, but those who own fishing tackle are encouraged to bring it. Mentors will be able to give participants tips on how to properly use the tackle they bring.

Fish and Game will be issuing First Fish Certificates to recognize young anglers catching their first fish. The objective is to teach young folks a lifelong hobby, instill an appreciation of aquatic resources and provide an inexpensive and fun family outing.

Participants will be treated to a fish fry and a hamburger, hot dog and soda barbeque.

Advance reservations are required and space is limited. Anyone interested in reserving a spot at one of the two clinic sessions should call the Fish and Game Panhandle Region office, 208-769-1414. Anyone needing special accommodations because of a disability should request accommodations when registering.

This will be a fun, free event with prizes for every participant. No fishing license is needed.

Hayden Lake Sportsman's Access Closed June 1 - August 1

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants anglers and boaters to be aware of a temporary closure of the Hayden Lake Sportsman's Access boat launch and parking area.

The site will be closed from June 1 through August 1. The closure is needed while the facility is being significantly improved. The Parkway will remain open to access.

The current site is inadequate to meet current demands for boat launching and for parking vehicles with trailers. While the temporary closure will cause some inconvenience, the planned improvements will greatly enhance the facility for future sporting activities.

The work dates were scheduled to allow access during the Memorial Day weekend, a peak period for use of the current facility.

Anyone with questions about the project can call the Fish and Game Panhandle Region office, 208-769-1414 for information. Fish and Game apologizes for the inconvenience.

Reward Offered in Grizzly Bear Shootings in Northern Idaho

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement agents and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are investigating the fatal shooting of a federally protected grizzly bear and her nursing cub in northern Idaho.

A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

The dead adult grizzly was discovered on the morning of May 18 by a hiker from Bonners Ferry. It was found in a clear-cut in Boundary County on Hall Mountain. Hall Mountain is east of the Kootenai River valley and northwest of US Highway 95.

The large female bear was lactating, an indication she was nursing a cub or cubs produced during her recent winter hibernation. A subsequent search of the surrounding area by an Idaho Fish and Game biologist turned up a dead cub that had also been shot. Both bears appeared to have been dead a few days when found on May 18.

Both carcasses are being flown to the US Fish and Wildlife Service lab in Ashland, Oregon, for necropsy and further retrieval of evidence.

A black bear season is currently open in Idaho, but hunters may not shoot grizzly bears and may not shoot black bears with cubs. A bear identification program to train hunters to differentiate the species was posted last year and is available on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/education/bearIdentification/.

Grizzly bears are classified as a threatened species in the lower 48 states and are protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Killing a threatened species protected by the ESA carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

June 9 is Free Fishing Day in Idaho

Saturday, June 9 is Free Fishing Day in Idaho, and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, to celebrate the day by fishing anywhere in Idaho without a license.

Though fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules, such as limits or tackle restrictions, remain in effect. Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop it into a life-long pursuit. Parents are encouraged to bring their children out for a day of fun fishing excitement.

Lack of fishing experience is no excuse. At special locations around the state, equipment will be available for use, and fishing experts will be on hand to help novice anglers learn the ins and outs of fishing. In addition, all these locations will be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout prior to the special day. Look for the nearest event listed below, and "Take a Kid Fishing."

Events will be announced as they are set.

Southwest Region: For more information call 208-634-8137 in McCall or 208-465-8465 in Nampa.

Survey Covers Off-Highway Vehicle Use While Hunting

Idaho Fish and Game is participating in a survey about hunting and the use of off-highway vehicles and all-terrain vehicles.

The survey is being conducted by the University of Idaho.

Participants are being asked about their experiences using OHVs while hunting and how they feel about Fish and Game restrictions in some areas on the use of OHVs while hunting.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is in the process of revising its rules for use of motorized vehicles while hunting and would like public input on this topic.

The questionnaire has been mailed to a random sample of 4,000 people who are either hunters or OHV owners in Idaho. But any interested persons can take the survey online at http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/access/index.htm. The closing date is Friday, June 22.

Additional information about rules for hunting using motorized vehicles and the Fish and Game brochure on "Vehicle Rules For Hunters" can be found at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=152.

Vehicle, Equipment Auction Set

A public auction of vehicles and other equipment used by Idaho Fish and Game is set for Saturday, June 16, at Dealers Auto Auction, 3323 Port Street in Nampa.

The auction will start at 10:30 a.m. This year's sale includes pickups, ATVs, travel trailers, boats and more.

To contact Dealers Auto Auction call 208-463-8250, or visit the Internet at https://www.daaofidaho.com.

Habitat is Key for Game Birds

By Matt Pieron - Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho is lucky to have an assortment of upland game birds, including sage-grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, chukar, gray partridge, pheasant, California quail and three forest grouse.

It is common for game bird populations to undergo dramatic changes in size, most often from annual variations in weather and habitat conditions. In healthy populations, even though numbers fluctuate wildly on an annual basis, the average size of the population remains remarkably stable over the long term. But when populations remain consistently low, managers are tasked with figuring out how to get back to desirable numbers.

Managing game birds, or any wildlife population for that matter, necessitates figuring out which "vital rates" limit population growth and which ones we can improve. Vital rate is scientific jargon for events in the life cycle of a species that affect the population. So for game birds that means things like nest survival, hen survival and brood survival.

Undoubtedly, predators have a major impact on these vital rates. Most nesting failures are caused by mammals, such as raccoons, fox, and skunks; adult hens are commonly killed by birds of prey; and chicks are consumed by mammals and predatory birds.

With this in mind, it's no surprise that reducing predator numbers is often offered as the "quick fix" to improve game bird populations. Seems like a no brainer, right? Well, maybe. Lucky for us, millions of dollars have been spent around the globe trying to figure out whether predator management actually works. The consensus answer is: "Sometimes, but not usually."

Ask Fish and Game: Depredation Hunts

Q. When is the deadline to sign up for depredation hunts this year?

A. The sign-up period to participate in depredation hunts this year runs through June 30. Any Idaho resident with a valid hunting license may participate. Hunters may apply for deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear - but only once for each species. They may apply for a different species in different regions. For more information and an application form check pages 85 and 86 in the big game rule book. Fill out the form and mail it to the regional office in the areas hunters are willing to hunt. All applications received before June 30 will be placed in random order. All applications received after June 30 will be placed at the end of the list in the order received. The list will be valid from July 1 to the following June 30. If a controlled antlerless or doe-fawn hunt is open or about to open in the depredation area, holders of permits in that area will be given the first option to participate in the depredation hunt. After antlerless or doe-fawn controlled hunts have ended, participants will be selected in order from the depredation hunt list. Generally, applications received after June 30 have little chance of being selected.