Press Release

September 2013

Deer Season Opens in October in Most of Idaho

The regular deer season opens October 10 in most regions 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 a hunter to take only a white-tail.

Many areas across the state also offer antlerless youth hunt opportunities, but check the 2013 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 2013 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 hot-line 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 Idaho 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:

And for help planning their hunt, hunters can use the hunt planner on the website at:

Remember to ask first before hunting on private land.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Season Opens This Week

The sharp-tailed grouse season opens Tuesday, October 1, and runs through October 31, with a daily bag limit of two birds and a possession limit of six.

The season is open only in eastern Idaho in these areas: Bingham and Clark counties east of Interstate 15, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson County east of Interstate 15, Madison, and Teton counties, Bonneville County east of Interstate 15, Bannock County east of Interstate 15 and south of Interstate 86, Bear Lake, Caribou, Cassia County east of Interstate 84 and that portion west of Interstate 84 south of the Malta-Sublett Road and east of the Malta-Strevell Road, Franklin, Oneida, and Power County south of Interstate 86.

The rest of the state is closed.

Columbian sharp-tailed grouse were once distributed in grassland-mountain brush habitats throughout southern and western Idaho north to the Palouse Prairie.

Habitat changes due to agricultural development, improper livestock grazing, and human development, among other factors, have reduced this grouse's range to areas mostly in southeastern Idaho.

Agricultural lands enrolled in the USDA's Conservation Reserve Program currently provide important habitat for this species and have led to increased populations since 1986. Good populations still exist from Fremont County south to Utah in grasslands associated with chokecherry, sagebrush, hawthorn, serviceberry, bitterbrush and other brushy cover.

Sharp-tailed grouse have been introduced into historical range in southern Twin Falls County and southeastern Owyhee County. Twin Falls County, Owyhee County and most of Cassia County are closed to the hunting of sharp-tailed grouse.

Sharp-tailed grouse also occur around Split Butte area in Minidoka County. Hunting of sharp-tailed grouse is closed in Minidoka County.

Some Waterfowl Seasons Open Saturday

The waterfowl season opens Saturday, October 5, in the area around the American Falls Reservoir.

It opens in the rest of the state on October 12.

The daily bag limit will be seven ducks - but no more than two female mallards, two redheads, three scaup, two pintails and two canvasbacks - and four Canada geese, six white-fronted geese.

In the southwest area, white-fronted geese will open November 11.

The season for light geese - snow and Ross's geese - will be open from November 26 to March 10 in the southwest area.

The daily bag limit is 20 light geese.

But during the time the white-fronted goose and light-goose seasons occur at the same time, the use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is not allowed.

A split season for light geese opens in part of the American Falls Reservoir area on February 15.

For season details please consult the 2013-2014 waterfowl seasons and rules brochure available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at:

F&G Commission to Discuss Elk Hunt Area Change

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet via telephone conference call at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 3.

Commissioners will discuss a boundary expansion of elk controlled Hunt Area 48-3 in response to this summer's wildfire in the Wood River Valley.

The call is an open public meeting and will originate from Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut St., Boise.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Director's office at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game directly at 208 334 5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 800 377 2529 (TDD).

Public Vehicle, Equipment Auction Set

A public auction of vehicles and other equipment used by Idaho Fish and Game is set for Wednesday, October 23, at Dealers Auto Auction, 3323 Port Street in Nampa.

The auction will start at 1 p.m. This year's sale includes vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles and more.

To contact Dealers Auto Auction call 208-463-8250, or visit the Internet at

Help Stop a Game Thief, Make the Call

Idaho's spectacular fall and early winter period for outdoor enthusiasts is here.

Hunters and anglers, hikers, bikers, leaf color watchers, photographers and others are heading outdoors to enjoy our beautiful state. Citizen's Against Poaching reminds all Idaho outdoor users that poachers may use these activities for their opportunity to steal your wildlife. CAP encourages outdoor users to be watchful during their times out and to report unusual and obvious activities that could be a violation of Idaho Fish and Game hunting and fishing rules.

To report violations call the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week telephone number at 1-800-632-5999, or report online at Every report is held in confidence. A monetary reward is available to those whose report results in charges filed by Fish and Game conservation officers.

Citizens Against Poaching is an Idaho sportsman initiative founded in 1981 as a nonprofit corporation administered by volunteer board members from throughout the state. Its mission is to protect and preserve the wildlife resources of Idaho by increased detection and apprehension of wildlife thieves.

The CAP program includes the violation reporting telephone system, a fund for payment of rewards and public education and information to reduce wildlife violations.

"Poachers steal wildlife from all Idahoans, not just hunters. They paint ethical hunters in a bad light," said Dexter Pitman, chairman of CAP. "We encourage all people using Idaho's outdoors for their recreation to be aware and report wildlife law violators. The best arrests of flagrant poachers come when responsible members of the public come forward with information."

Ask Fish and Game: Hunting Private Land

Q. Do I need a hunting license and tag to hunt on a friend's private land?

A. Yes. You must have an 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. All wildlife belongs to the residents of Idaho, even when it is found on private property.

Dutch Oven Breakfast Set for October 1

The Clearwater Region of Idaho Fish and Game will provide a Dutch Oven breakfast at a sportsperson meeting on Tuesday, October 1, at 3316 16th St. Lewiston.

The meeting begins at 6:30 a.m. and will include presentations on upland game bird route surveys, fall hunting forecast, North Fork elk research and other related activities.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in wildlife and is designed to stimulate informal discussion about local wildlife issues.

For more information, contact the Fish and Game office in Lewiston at 208-799-5010.

Fish & Game Seeks Help Regarding Wasted Mule Deer Buck

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking the public's help in locating the individual responsible for shooting and wasting a young mule deer buck found September 24 in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

Another hunter found the antlered deer lying next to the McCoy Creek Road near the York Creek drainage in Unit 66A. The deer had been shot by a rifle in the left hind quarter and once in the neck. None of the meat was salvageable.

While a controlled hunt season for moose is open in the area, there are no deer or elk rifle hunts open at this time, only archery hunts. This situation unfortunately highlights a number of ethical and legal lapses in judgment. Hunters are responsible for knowing what species are in season, along with legal methods of take.

Good hunters are careful to identify their target and place shots so that an animal dies quickly. Hunters are responsible for making every effort possible to track an animal that has been wounded. All possible meat must be taken from ungulates that have been killed, otherwise it is considered wasting.

Anyone with information about this incident may call the Fish and Game regional office at 208-525-7290 or the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Hotline 1-800-632-5999.

CAP callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for rewards.

Grizzly Bear Shooting in Island Park Just the Beginning of the Story

On September 12, an adult female grizzly bear was shot by a resident of Island Park.

Because the incident is under investigation by the enforcement branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, these are the only details able to be released at this time. Because the grizzly bear still is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, decisions regarding the handling of grizzly bears fall under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

As the result of the shooting, two young grizzly bears were orphaned.

There has been some concern from the public because it was thought the orphaned bears were cubs of the year, born last winter. When measurement of the young bears' front paw pad prints at the scene where the sow was shot were compared to hundreds of previous measurements from other cubs of the year, it is clear these bears are yearlings.

Idaho Fish and Game large carnivore biologist Bryan Aber, who is part of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team said, "7 centimeters is the standard for cubs of the year in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, measurements I made of the cub's front pad prints were 8.5 and 9 centimeters. This measurement clearly makes these bears yearlings."

The distinction between cubs of the year and yearling is of major importance.

"Orphaned cubs of the year generally stand little chance of survival if left on their own heading into winter," Aber said. "Yearlings that are in good condition stand a very good chance of surviving."

The policy of the state and federal agencies managing grizzly bears is to not capture orphaned yearlings because they have good a chance of surviving in the wild.

There has been a call by some members of the public to capture the grizzlies and place them in a rehab facility, as if they could be held in captivity, fed and released later somewhere.

Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Market Lake

Idaho Fish and Game is hosting a mentored pheasant hunt for youths on October 5 at the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area north of Roberts.

This is an opportunity for first time youth hunters ages 10 to 15 who do not have someone to take them hunting. Fish and Game will provide a mentor for the event and all equipment needed to participate.

Because of the low natural reproduction of ring-necked pheasants, a non-native in Idaho, Fish and Game will stock birds before the event.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. on the Market lake Wildlife Management Area with a clay pigeon shoot to improve accuracy and evaluate competency. Anyone who demonstrates unsafe behavior will be excused from participation.

All participants are required to purchase a junior hunting license before the hunt at a cost of $7.25, or a mentored hunt passport for $1.75. The junior hunting license purchase requires having passed a hunter education course. Participating youth must have transportation to and from Market Lake. Special accommodation can be made if necessary.

Youths chosen to participate in this event will be contacted with exact details and directions. This is a great opportunity to get youths out into the field with an experienced guide. We will have lots of fun and create lifelong memories.

Anyone interested in this event, or who knows a youth who is, please fill out an application at the Fish and Game office at 4279 Commerce Circle in Idaho Falls.

Applications must be turned in by September 28.

Space is limited and walk-ins will not be accepted. For questions contact James Brower at 208-525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529 (TDD) or by email at

Annual Youth Pheasant Clinic in Southeast Region

Pheasant season is just around the corner, and with it comes the excitement of getting out in the field, shotgun in hand, and enjoying the experiences associated with upland game bird hunting.

The first weekend in October marks the youth pheasant season opener statewide, and for many families, this event has become an annual tradition.

As part of the youth pheasant opener, the Southeast Region office of Fish and Game will be hosting its annual youth pheasant clinic on Saturday, October 5, at the Sterling Wildlife Management Area near Aberdeen.

The clinic sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon, followed by a mentored youth hunt that begins at 12:30 p.m. The clinic is limited to 20 youths, and pre-registration is required. There is no charge for the clinic. A free lunch is provided.

Interested youths must register by contacting the Southeast Region office at 208-232-4703, or visiting the office at 1345 Barton Road in Pocatello and completing a registration form.

The clinic will focus on teaching hunting ethics, land conservation, pheasant management, shotgun patterning and shooting skills. A mentored field experience to hunt pheasant will also be available to participants 10-15 years of age. Each youth will be accompanied in the field by a dog handler with dog and a certified mentor for one-on-one guidance and instruction during this special hunting experience.

Though the youth pheasant clinic skills sessions are open to youths 10 to 17 years old with valid hunting licenses, only those licensed youth 10 to 15 years old are allowed to participate in the mentored hunt portion of the clinic. This is in accordance with the age requirement for the statewide youth pheasant season, which runs from October 5 through October 11.