Press Release

October 2012

Fall Steelhead Harvest Season Opens on Clearwater

The fall steelhead harvest season opens in the Clearwater River drainage on Monday, October 15.

The seasons opens on the main stem of the Clearwater River above the Memorial Bridge, the South Fork Clearwater River, the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, and the Middle Fork Clearwater River below Clear Creek.

The steelhead harvest season on the lower Clearwater River opened August 1, on a two-mile stretch of the lower Clearwater River from its mouth to the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge near Lewiston.

The limits on these waters are two per day and six in possession.

The harvest season already is open on the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers. The limits on these waters are three per day and nine in possession.

Anglers may keep 20 steelhead for the fall season, which ends December 31.

Only steelhead with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar, may be kept. Any steelhead that has an unclipped adipose fin must be released unharmed.

New rules that took effect last year allow anglers to transport anadromous salmon and steelhead without the head and tail attached - but only under a number of conditions:

Chat Live with F&G About 2012 Waterfowl Season

Waterfowl hunters are invited to join an online chat with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about Idaho waterfowl seasons from noon to 2 p.m. mountain time on Friday, October 12.

Fish and Game's enforcement chief Jon Heggen and waterfowl biologist Jeff Knetter will answer questions about Idaho's hunting rules, waterfowl biology and management, and other related topics during the live, two-hour chat.

"We want to provide customer service in a new and interactive way," Knetter said. "We hope waterfowlers bring their burning questions, and we'll do our very best to provide answers."

Participants may also respond to polls, take quizzes on their waterfowl knowledge and see the results in real time. They will also be able to see how their answers compare with others.

Visit Fish and Game's home page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and look for the waterfowl chat link.

Ask Fish and Game: Hunting Private Land

Q. A friend invited me to hunt deer and elk on his property. Do I need a hunting license and tag to hunt on private property?

A. Yes. You must have a valid Idaho hunting license and tag for the species you want to hunt, and you must stay within the season rules that Fish and Game has set up for the unit. Hunting any wildlife, even on private property, must adhere to state fish and game laws

Pheasant Season Opens Saturday in Northern Idaho

The regular pheasant season opens Saturday, October 13, in northern Idaho, Area 1, and runs through December 31.

In the rest of the state the season opens October 20. It runs through November 30 in eastern Idaho, Area 2, and through December 31, in southwest Idaho, Area 3.

Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset; except on the Fort Boise, C.J. Strike, Montour and Payette River wildlife management areas, where shooting hours are from 10 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset.

The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is nine, except on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked, where the daily limit is two cocks and six in possession.

Hunters 17 and older need a wildlife management area upland game bird permit - $23.75 for resident hunters and $51.75 for nonresidents - to hunt on the nine Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management areas where pheasants are released, including the Fort Boise, C.J. Strike, Payette River, Montour, Sterling, Market Lake, Mud Lake, Cartier Slough and Niagara Springs wildlife management areas.

All pheasant and upland game bird hunters are required to wear a minimum of 36 square inches of hunter orange above the waist during the pheasant season while hunting on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement.

All hunters must have a valid 2012 Idaho hunting license. For more information, go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/pheasant.

More Waterfowl Seasons Open Saturday October 13

The waterfowl season opens Saturday, October 13, in Area 2, and runs through January 25.

Area 2 includes all of the state not included in Area 1, which opened October 6.

Area 1 includes all of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, including private in-holdings; Bannock County; Bingham County, except that portion within the Blackfoot Reservoir drainage; Caribou County within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation; and Power County east of State Highway 37 and State Highway 39.

The daily bag limit is seven ducks; but no more than two female mallards, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback. The possession limit is twice the daily limit. The bag limit for Wilson's snipe is 8, and 16 after the first day of the season; the limit for coots is 25.

The season for dark geese - Canada and white-fronted - is the same as the duck season. The daily bag limit is four dark geese, and 10 light geese - blue, snow and Ross's. Possession limits after the first day of the season are eight dark geese and 20 light geese. (See map on Page 10 in rules brochure, http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=66.)

Seasons for light - blue, snow and Ross's - geese:

Deer Season Opens in October in Most of Idaho

The regular deer season opens October 10 in many parts of Idaho.

In some areas, a regular deer tag allows hunters to take either mule deer or white-tailed deer. A white-tailed deer tag allows hunters to take only a white-tail.

Many areas across the state also offer antlerless youth hunt opportunities, but check the 2012 big game rules brochure carefully for the areas where youth hunts are open.

To hunt deer in Idaho during the regular season, a hunter must have valid 2012 Idaho hunting license and a deer tag.

Fish and Game law enforcement officials ask that hunters report any poaching or suspicious activities they encounter or hear about while hunting. Most serious poaching cases are cracked and won only with the help of ordinary Idaho residents, hunters or others who report crimes.

Hunters with information about a wildlife crime may call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. Or they may call the nearest Fish and Game office or local law enforcement.

Hunters also are encouraged to pick up a free copy of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's backcountry game meat care guide. The guide has helpful tips to ensure proper handling of game to avoid wasting the meat. The guide is available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.

A link to the guide can be found on the Fish and Game website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=63 and http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getPage=61

And for help planning their hunt, hunters can use the hunt planner on the website at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner.

Remember to ask first before hunting on private land.

Youth Pheasant Season Opens Saturday

A youth pheasant season opens statewide Saturday, October 6, and runs through October 12 for all licensed hunters 15 years old or younger.

The week-long hunt opens a half hour before sunrise statewide and continues through a half hour after sunset.

The regular season opens October 13 in Area 1 and October 20 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 upland game bird 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 2012 Idaho hunting license.

Please consult the 2012 upland seasons and rules brochure for details - available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.

Cold Water Dangers to Hunters, Anglers

Water does not have to be near freezing to kill, it only has to be colder than a person to cause potentially fatal hypothermia.

Waters are cold now with waterfowl hunters gearing up for a new season, and many anglers are still fishing. Overloaded boats and failure to wear life jackets are leading reasons Idaho typically loses a couple of waterfowl hunters every year.

In 2011, 70 percent of all fatal boating accidents victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Eight of every 10 boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet long.

Cold water wicks body heat 25 times faster than air at that same temperature. Anyone who falls in has only a few minutes before the cold renders them numb and unable to swim.

Most boats float even when capsized or swamped, so get in or on the boat to get as far out of the water as possible. Wearing a life vest is a must. It will help preserve body heat and keeps even an unconscious person afloat. Get to shelter, change into dry clothing and warm up slowly.

Here are some tips to remember when using open boats during cold weather:

Chat Live with F&G About 2012 Waterfowl Season

Waterfowl hunters are invited to join an online chat with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and ask questions, give feedback, and learn more about Idaho waterfowl seasons from noon to 2 p.m. mountain time on Friday, October 12.

Participants may ask questions, respond to polls, take quizzes on their waterfowl knowledge and see the results in real time. They will also be able to see how their answers compare with others.

Fish and Game's enforcement chief Jon Heggen and waterfowl biologist Jeff Knetter will answer questions about Idaho's hunting rules, waterfowl biology and management, and other related topics during the live, two-hour chat.

"We want to provide customer service in a new and interactive way," Knetter said. "We hope waterfowlers bring their burning questions, and we'll do our very best to provide answers."

Visit Fish and Game's home page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov, and look for the waterfowl chat link.

Ask Fish and Game: Fire Closures

Q. What can I do if I think my hunting access is blocked by a backcountry fire?

A. Hunters and anyone else heading into the backcountry are advised to check with Forest Service ranger district offices or county sheriffs' offices in their hunt area before heading out. Fire updates can be found online at: http://www.inciweb.org/state/13/. Additional fire information is available on the Fish and Game Hunt Planner at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntPlanner/. Fish and Game generally doesn't close hunts or change seasons in response to fire restrictions. Most fires are not large enough to affect an entire hunt unit. Hunters can hunt later in the season or exchange general tags to hunt in a different area. But tags must be exchanged before the season begins. Hunters with controlled hunt tags may exchange them for general season tags before the controlled hunt begins. But controlled hunt fees would not be refunded. Fish and Game will consider requests for rain checks or refunds in the event that all access to a hunting unit is blocked by fire. Hunters requesting a rain check must submit their tags and permits with a letter describing their request to the license section at Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707 when the season is over.