The Pacific Flyway Council has allocated Idaho a harvest of 120 cranes for the 2014 season. This is the second consecutive year Idaho's allocation has been reduced. It is the lowest since 1996. This is due to a decline in the most recent three-year average of cranes counted during the annual September survey.
Idaho Fish and Game will be soliciting public comments from June 23-July 4 on a proposed season that would run September 1 - 15 with a daily and season bag limit of two birds.
A summary of public comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the July 10 meeting in Salmon, when the commission will consider the proposed 2014 season.
To meet the allocation, Fish and Game proposes to reduce the number of tags available, eliminate the Bonneville County hunt (where there were only five tags available in 2013) and reduce the season limit to two birds. The daily bag limit would also be two birds.
Since 2009, when sandhill crane tags were made available on a first-come first-served basis, the harvest per tag purchased has averaged 48 percent. To stay at or below the Pacific Flyway harvest allocation of 120 cranes, Fish and Game proposes to reduce tags to a maximum of 240.
Anyone interested in commenting can do so by clicking: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/webform/comment-2014-sandhill-cran...
A season and rules brochure will be available by the end of July. For additional information contact Jeff Knetter at 208-334-2920.