Press Release

April 2015

Greater Idaho Falls International Migratory Bird Day May 15 and 16

Bird enthusiasts living in southeastern Idaho have the chance to have double the fun this year because while the traditional date for International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is the second Saturday of May, this year's avian related festivities in the Idaho Falls area will take place two days, May 15 and 16th.

Because spring often takes its time getting to Idaho Falls, birding enthusiasts have always pushed the date for IMBD back a week in order to give more birds a chance to move through.

This year's theme is "Restore Habitat Restore Birds." Activities will not only focus on birds, but the various habitats they require to live.

On May 15, there will be birding tours of either The Nature Conservancy Flat Ranch in Island Park or the Gold Ranch on the Henrys Fork. Because numbers are limited, reservations are required. Contact Rob Cavallaro at 208-525-7290.

On May 16, there will be tours to Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Mud Lake WMA, Camas National Wildlife Refuge, and the Snake River. Space is limited and reservations are required. Because of the aquatic nature of some tours, canoes are required. Contact Brian Wehausen at 208-241-5410 to register.

Also on May 16, biologists will be available to answer questions about bird related topics, as well as live bird demonstrations and learning activities for kids at the Ducks Unlimited Market Lake Ranch near Roberts, ID. Begins at 9 a.m.

- Beginning Birding Classes begin at 9:30. Reservation required by calling 208-525-7290.

- Birding learning activities for kids begin at 10:00.

- Free Lunch from 11a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

- Live Bird Demonstration from Teton Raptor Center, 1:10pm.

For more information or directions, call 208-525-7290. All activities are free, but donations will be accepted by the various sponsoring groups.

Remaining Egin-Hamer Closure Opens at Sunrise May 1

As of sunrise on May 1, 2015 the remaining northern part of the Egin-Hamer Area Closure will open, but public land managers want to remind users that certain rules still remain in effect on BLM lands.

Even though the entire area will be officially open, it is still a concern to agency staff that users remain on designated routes to protect the habitat and that everything possible is done to reduce the spread of noxious weeds.

The portion of the Egin-Hamer Closure Area outh of the Egin-Hamer Road opened on schedule at sunrise on April 1st.

More information about the St. Anthony Dunes can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/StADunes

New Video Shows How Bigger Hatchery Fish Mean Better Angler Success

A video posted on the Idaho Fish and Game website highlights a new approach by Fish and Game fisheries managers that will lead to better success for Idaho anglers. A good share of the hatchery rainbow trout stocked in Idaho's largest still-water fisheries this spring will be twelve inches instead of the standard of ten inches.

Here's a link to the video posted on the Fish and Game website Fisheries Page: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/bigger-fish

Fish and Game's rainbow trout hatchery program exists for one sole purpose: putting fish in Idaho waters for anglers to catch. But during the last ten years, the cost of raising fish has skyrocketed. While the cost of fish food has increased by more than 150 percent, funding for the hatchery program has remained stagnant. In 2011, managers reduced fish production of put-and-take rainbow trout by 18 percent to keep the program within budget. At the same time they started tracking fish that anglers caught as part of a program called "Tag-You're-It".

Fisheries researchers tagged thousands of fish over a four year period, and tracked the tags with the help from anglers.

"We tagged a bunch of fish and put those fish out there, and essentially let the anglers do the work in returning that information to us through our hotline and our website," said Senior Fisheries Research Biologist John Cassinelli. "So that has given us this large database."

That database showed that twelve inch rainbow trout are more likely to be caught than ten inch trout. This knowledge has allowed researchers to reorganize the hatchery rainbow trout program in a way that puts larger trout in the creels of Idaho anglers without increasing the cost of the hatchery program.

Moose, Sheep and Goat Hunt Applications Due April 30

The deadline for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat controlled hunt applications is fast approaching. Hunters have through Thursday, April 30 to apply for these hunts.

Hunters can apply at any Fish and Game office, license vendor, or use a credit card by telephone or over the Internet. Telephone applications may be made at 1-800-554-8685. Internet users may apply through Fish and Game's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/.

Each applicant must possess a valid 2015 Idaho hunting or combination license to apply for a controlled hunt. Application and tag fee must be included for moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat applications. All but the application fee ($6.25 for residents, $14.75 for nonresidents) will be refunded to those who do not draw. Unsuccessful resident applicants will receive a refund of $166.75, while unsuccessful nonresident applicants will receive a refund of $2,101.75.

Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

Hunters who apply for moose, goat or sheep may not apply for other controlled hunts in the same year. However, they may apply for a controlled depredation hunt, a controlled black bear hunt, leftover controlled hunts, unlimited controlled hunts, or extra controlled hunts. Those who draw a moose, goat or sheep permit may not apply to hunt the same species for two years, even if they don't harvest an animal.

Any person who has killed an antlered moose in Idaho may apply only for an antlerless moose permit. Any person who has killed an antlerless moose in Idaho may apply only for an antlered moose permit. Any person who has killed a mountain goat in Idaho since 1977 may not apply for a mountain goat permit. Anyone who has killed a California bighorn or a Rocky Mountain bighorn may not apply again for the same species of sheep, but they may apply for the other subspecies.

Don't Wait - Take Hunter Education Now

If your sights are set on hunting this fall and you still need to complete Idaho's hunter education requirement, the Idaho Fish and Game advises that now is the perfect time to sign up for a course.

Spring is a great time to get into a course as more are generally offered and space is often available.

"Courses are taught by volunteer instructors who, just like their students, want to put down the books and pick up a firearm in the fall," says Brenda Beckley, Hunter Education and Recruitment Manager. "Although there may be courses available in the fall, the best time to take a course is January through August."

Plenty of opportunities are available now in both the instructor-led classes and in the field days required to complete certification. "Waiting until fall is not a good idea because courses fill very quickly and not as many are offered," says Beckley.

Three course options are available. An instructor-led course is considered the best option for youth ages 9 to 14, and for individuals having minimal hunting experience. Other options for hunter education include an online and a workbook course. Both of these courses are designed for older students with excellent reading comprehension. While convenient and allowing much of the course to be taken at home, both courses require students to register for and attend a field day, where a field exercise and written exam are given.

For more information or to register for a course or field day, visit the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov and click on Education.

Still Time to Enter First Super Hunt Drawing

It's not too late to enter this year's first Super Hunt drawing; the deadline is May 31.

With every entry in Fish and Game's Super Hunt drawings, hunters get a chance at winning the hunt of a lifetime, and their entry fee helps support hunter and angler access to and across private lands.

The first drawing in June will pick 26 lucky hunters, each of whom will win one of 25 tags - eight elk, eight deer, and eight pronghorn hunts as well as one moose hunt. One "Super Hunt Combo" entry also will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, pronghorn and moose.

The second drawing will be in August when another "Super Hunt Combo" and entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts along with one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing is June 1 through August 10.

Winners can participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn or moose, including general hunts and controlled hunts, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold.

Hunters who win any Super Hunt tag may still enter controlled hunts, except where other restrictions apply. All other rules of individual hunts apply.

Super Hunt entries are $6 each. Super Hunt Combo entries are $20 each. No license is needed to enter a Super Hunt drawing. There is no limit to the number of entries.

Entries are available at Fish and Game offices, license vendors, by phone at 800-554-8685, on the Fish and Game website or by mail at IDFG License Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. Money from the sale of entries supports the Access Yes! program, which compensates landowners who provide access to, or across private land.

For more information on Idaho's Super Hunts, go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/superhunt.

Ask Fish and Game: Printing Licenses

Q: If I purchase a fishing license online, do I have to wait for it to arrive in the mail before I can go fishing?

A: No, you will print your license from the confirmation page at the end of the transaction on your home printer. Please note that you will not be able to print your license once you navigate away from the confirmation page. If purchasing your license online, please make sure your printer is on and working properly before completing the transaction. When you purchase a hunting or fishing license online and provide a valid e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail notification of your purchase which will include a confirmation number that can be used to hunt or fish as long as the hunting and/or fishing activity does not require a tag or permit to be notched, validated or attached to a harvested animal. If you are purchasing a permit that requires notching or validating (such as a big game tag or salmon/steelhead tag), you cannot use this method, and must wait for your tag to arrive in the mail, which generally takes seven to ten days.

Landowner Bids Accepted Through May 15 For Access YES!

Idaho Fish and Game will be accepting bids from April 15th to May 15th from landowners interested in enrolling their property into the Access YES! program in the Clearwater Region.

The Access YES! program is designed to improve hunting and angling access on or through private land by compensating willing landowners.

Fish and Game will compensate landowners with a onetime payment on an agreed upon dollar amount per acre for the properties. These agreements made between Fish and Game and the landowner will run for one full year, starting July 1st of 2015.

For more information or to submit a bid for this program, please contact the Access YES! Coordinator, Andrew Mackey at 208-750-4262 or by email at andrew.mackey@idfg.idaho.gov.

Help Sought in Waste of Canada Geese near Lolo Creek

WEIPPE, Idaho - On the morning of April 15, 2015 a call was made to the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline, reporting that two Canada geese had been shot and left near the mouth of Nevada Creek on Forest Service Road 100 along Lolo Creek.

An Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer responded and found two mature nesting Canada geese shot multiple times with a .223 rifle. 16 empty .223 casings were found in and along the edge of the roadway along with a few .22 casings. No attempt was made to retrieve the geese.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Fish and Game Officer Dave Beaver at 208-791-5118 or the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers may be eligible for a reward and can remain completely anonymous.

Applications Sought for Commission Positions

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is accepting applications to fill two positions on the seven-member Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

One would replace Commissioner Fred Trevey of the Clearwater Region, and the other would replace Kenny Anderson of the Upper Snake Region. To be appointed, a successful candidate must be a resident of the Department of Fish and Game's Clearwater or the Upper Snake regions, and must be well informed and interested in wildlife conservation and restoration.

Anyone interested may contact Ann Beebe in the Governor's office at 208-334-2100 or by email at ann.beebe@gov.idaho.gov. Applications via email must be received by the Governor's office by May 22, or postmarked by May 22 if sent by regular mail.

Fish and Game commissioners are appointed by the Governor for staggered four year terms. No more than four commissioners may be from the same political party. Each commissioner must be confirmed by the Idaho State Senate. Each of the seven Fish and Game commissioners represents a different region of the state. The commission is responsible for administering the Fish and Game policies of Idaho.

Commissioners meet in January, March, May, July and November of each year. In recent years the complexity of wildlife and fisheries management has made special sessions necessary in addition to the quarterly meetings.

Major duties and responsibilities of the commission are to supervise the director of the Department of Fish and Game; establish rules and other needed controls on fishing, hunting, trapping and wildlife management in line with the state's wildlife policy; approve department budgets for submission to the Legislature; conduct public hearings and make decisions on managing the state's wildlife.

Caught in the Act of Doing Good

The Idaho Fish and Game's Magic Valley Region created the "Caught in the Act of Doing Good" program to recognize sportsmen who were "caught" conducting themselves in a commendable manner or displaying good sportsmanship.

This recognition is provided in the form of a special coin, which has been imprinted with a drawing entitled the "Cowboy and the Baby Bird". This image reveals a rough and tough cowboy holding a baby bird in the palm of his hand while feeding it an insect. This image was captured on paper in 1975 by Conservation Office Bill Pogue, who was shot and killed while protecting Idaho's wildlife by Claude Dallas in 1981.

Every Year, while in the field, Fish and Game's Magic Valley regional staff provides sportsmen with these coins when they are observed displaying random acts of good sportsman ethics.

The 2014 recipients of Caught in the Acts of Doing Good are:

Ivak Cooper

Ivak volunteered his time to help and made a very generous artistic donation to the IDFG Youth Hunting Clinic. He brought metal artwork to give to every youth hunter that participated and brought a very detailed and beautiful piece of metal art to provide to the landowner who owned the property where the youth hunt took place.

Jeff Woodman

Mr. Woodman was driving when he saw a red cup bobbing through the brush. He stopped and found that a rock chuck had a cup stuck on his head. Mr. Woodman was able to get the cup off the rock chucks head allowing him to live another day.

Tom Billington

Tom is the definition of the "Best of the Best" especially when it involves the youth of Idaho. He has been a part of the Access Yes! program for years and has made his property available for the youth pheasant hunting clinic, and furthermore, assists IDFG in increasing many youths knowledge of safe and ethical hunting practices.

Karen Frank, Rod Runyon and Ron Klimes

Big Game Rules Available Soon

The 2015 and 2016 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochures arrived from the printer and should be available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices this week. They are available now online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=63.

Hunters will notice the brochure contains seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion, and gray wolves for the next two years. Based on statewide public comments, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the two-year print cycle to provide greater stability in seasons and provide hunters more time to better plan their hunts.

Several new youth hunting opportunities are being offered including youth-only hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear.

Two unlimited controlled hunts for antlered deer in Units 27 and 73 have been designated as first choice only. Hunters may only apply for these hunts as their first choice.

Black bear hunters should note an error on Page 68. The lower left corner includes an incorrect unit listed for black bear. Unit 45 should be included with Units 43, 44, 48, and 49, not Unit 55.

Hunters are encouraged to review the seasons and rules brochure as adjustments to seasons have been made in all regions of Idaho. Applications for elk, deer, pronghorn, fall turkey and fall black bear controlled hunts are accepted from May 1 through June 5.