Press Release

September 2014

Ask Fish & Game: Hunting on 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.

Shorter Days Reduce Shooting Hours at Farragut

The Farragut Shooting Range has been a popular facility over the last several weeks, as hunters prepare for the fall hunting seasons. However, fewer hours of sunlight and seasonal staffing changes will lead to a reduction in hours of operation.

Starting October 3, the range will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The range will close for the season at the end of shooting hours on Saturday, November 1 to coincide with the return to Standard Time.

When the range is open, it is staffed by trained volunteers or IDFG employees. There is a $5 per shooter daily use fee.

The range includes all-weather shooting sheds, bench rests, safety baffles, safe backstops, side containment berms, and target frames.

Rimfire and centerfire rifles of less than .50 caliber; and shoulder-fired muzzle-loaded rifles may be sighted in. Work on the 50-yard handgun range is in progress, so it is not yet open.

Eye and ear protection are required. Shooters can bring their own, or purchase earplugs and safety glasses at the range. Anyone under 18 years of age is required to be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

To get to the range, head east on Hwy 54 from Athol toward Farragut State Park. Before you reach the park, turn left on Perimeter Rd and watch for the range sign on your right. You no longer need to enter Farragut State Park to get to the range.

The Farragut range was originally part of the Farragut Naval Training Station built in 1942. After the WWII, the range was turned over to the state and opened for use as a public shooting range.

For more information about the range, contact IDFG Wildlife Biologist Barb Moore @ 769-1414.

Main Rose Lake Access Site Remains Closed

Anglers are reminded that the primary Rose Lake access site temporarily closed September 25. It will remain closed for public safety until around November 25 while site improvements are being completed.

Rose Lake can still be accessed from the Watson Rd access and dock, however, the ramp is gravel and the underlying lake bed is soft. The gravel slope is gentle so the water depth is quite shallow. It would be very difficult if not impossible to launch a trailered boat. The Watson site was never designed for launching trailered boats. However, it can accommodate small hand-carried canoes, portable boats, rafts, and float tubes. Parking space is in very limited supply.

Anglers who like to fish from float tubes may find Rose Lake to be a good choice this fall. With power boats off the lake, tubers will have the lake to themselves but finding parking space could be a challenge. Rose Lake becomes thermally stratified in the summer making it difficult to find the right depth to locate fish. When temperatures cool in the fall, the water mixes and the fish become more active again as they feed heavily before the winter sets in.

The boat launch will be one of the first improvements completed at the primary Rose lake access so it can be used in an emergency should one arise before the entire project is completed.

75th Celebration: 1980- Make the Call

It all started in 1980 when Idaho Fish and Game's director, Jerry Conley, contacted a few active sportsmen about something he'd seen in another state - a citizen's group organized to combat the poaching of wildlife. The concept was simple. Create a toll free number for concerned citizens to report fish and wildlife crimes. This information would be directed to conservation officers to investigate. The call could be anonymous and callers might receive a reward if a citation was issued. The sportsmen took this idea and created what is now known as Citizens Against Poaching.

Citizen's Against Poaching's toll free phone line receives approximately 650 violation calls per year, which have led to approximately 175 citations being issued and $20,000 in rewards paid annually. These numbers add up over time. Since CAP was established nearly 21,500 violation calls have come in, 5800 citations have been served and $660,000 in rewards paid out. Citizen's Against Poaching is a small organization that is making a difference. You can help, so please Make the Call!! 1-800-632-5999

To learn more about Citizens Against Poaching and other 75th Celebration stories, go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/75th

Steelhead Counts Pick Up

The number of steelhead coming into Idaho is increasing, as counts over Lower Granite Dam have been in the thousands for more than a week. During the four day period ending on Sunday September 28, the average count at Lower Granite was right around 5,000 fish per day.

The B-run steelhead run is projected to come in at 126 percent of original predictions. B-run steelhead generally arrive later, and are much larger than A-run steelhead. This is especially good news for anglers who fish the Clearwater, as that fishery is predominately comprised of B-run steelhead.

This year's total is just slightly less than the ten year average for the end of September, but is well ahead of last year's count. For more information on steelhead fishing in Idaho, including useful instructional videos, go to https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=38

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 2014 big game rules brochure carefully for the areas where youth hunts are open.

To hunt deer in Idaho during the regular season, you must have a valid 2014 Idaho hunting license and a deer tag. There is still a good number of second deer tags available at a discounted price for 2014. For more information click: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/tagdiscount

Fish and Game Conservation Officers ask that hunters report any poaching or suspicious activities they encounter or hear about while hunting. Most serious poaching cases are solved only with the help of ordinary Idaho residents, hunters or others who report crimes. If you have information about a wildlife crime, call the Citizens Against Poaching hot-line at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

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

For help planning your hunt, check out the hunt planner, at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Season Opens This Week

The sharp-tailed grouse season opens Wednesday, 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.

Any person hunting sharp-tailed grouse must have a valid 2014 Idaho hunting license with a sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation at $4.75. The permit allows better monitoring of the harvest of this game bird. It is available at Fish and Game license vendors, regional offices or online at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/.

All hunters are encouraged to refer to the upland game rules brochures for hunt details on seasons, limits and rules, available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/uplandBird.pdf.

Website Maintenance Will Result in Weekend Disruption

Fish and Game's main website will be temporarily unavailable on September 26- 28 for hardware upgrades that will ultimately lead to a better more user-friendly site.

While some of the information and services of the website will not be available, some of the most popular information and applications will remain unaffected. All visitors to unavailable sites will be directed to a temporary page.

Unaffected programs include:

- Purchase a License

- Idaho Hunt Planner

- Idaho Fishing Planner

The shutdown will begin at 7 p.m. MDT on Friday September 26. The sheer volume of information being upgraded makes it impossible to predict exactly when the site will be functioning fully, but it is anticipated to be late in the day on Saturday September 27.

We appreciate your patience.

Info on Crow Creek Poaching Sought

Fish and Game officers are investigating a mule deer buck that was shot by a rifle and left to waste. The buck was found along the Crow Creek Road, near the Sage Creek bridge in Caribou County, Idaho. It was shot either late Thursday, September 11th or early on Friday, September 12th.

No attempt was made to harvest any part of the animal and the meat had spoiled by the time it was discovered. With the evidence that was gathered from the scene, a good tip from the public might be all that is needed to close this case.

Anyone with information related to this crime is encouraged to contact the Citizens against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999, the Caribou County Sheriff's Office at 208-547-2561 or Idaho Fish and Game Officer Cody Allen 208-251-4506. Callers will not be asked to reveal their identity and will be eligible for a reward.

Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day

No state general fund money is budgeted to manage wildlife in Idaho. Hunters and anglers fund the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) through their purchases of licenses and by paying federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.

To recognize the contributions hunters and anglers have made for the management and conservation of all wildlife species, the fourth Saturday in September is celebrated across the country as "National Hunting and Fishing Day". The designation was first made back in 1972 by a unanimous vote of Congress. That makes this Saturday, September 27, National Hunting and Fishing Day 2014.

Honorary chairs of National Hunting and Fishing Day have included George H.W. Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Wiliams Jr., Arnold Palmer, George Brett, Jeff Foxworthy, and other sports and entertainment figures who support hunting and fishing. This year the Honorary Chairman is country music star and television host Craig Morgan.

More than 3,000 hunting and fishing events are planned across the nation to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day 2014. In the Idaho Panhandle, IDFG and numerous local hunters have planned a youth mentored waterfowl hunt at four locations, to introduce young hunters to the sport of duck hunting. If you would like to get in on the fun, call us at 769-1414.

Licenses and tags sold to hunters, and an excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment are the funding foundation for state wildlife agencies. Additional money comes from the federal government to IDFG for the management of endangered species. IDFG also receives funds that mitigate for wildlife habitat lost to power generation projects. A small amount is received from a voluntary checkoff on the state income tax and the voluntary purchase of wildlife themed license plates. But the vast majority of funding comes directly from hunters and anglers.

Working to Restore Aspen

SWAN VALLEY - The natural world is always changing. The term that biologists use to describe this process is called succession. Whenever man gets involved with nature, succession is altered in some fashion. Often the impact of man's involvement is not known immediately and may take decades to become evident. In the Intermountain West, a variety of man's activities as well as natural factors have led to a situation where native aspen trees are in dramatic decline. Robust stands of aspen trees are not only important to maintaining a healthy forest, but they provide critical habitat for a wide range of wildlife, especially mule deer and elk.The United States Forest Service USFS), Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG), and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) have joined together on numerous projects to benefit aspen, a critical phase to one of these projects was executed last week just east of Swan Valley, Idaho.

The week of September 14 the Palisades Ranger District of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest was busy in preparation and execution of the North Bear Burn, located about 13 miles southwest of Swan Valley, Idaho. The purpose of the approximately 1,000 acre project was to help create a diversity of age classes and species within the existing vegetation. The USFS was responsible for the operational aspects of the burn; IDFG and RMEF provided habitat expertise and funding, altogether adding over $80,000.