Press Release

August 2016

Discount for second general season elk tag ends Wednesday

August 31 is the last day for hunters to purchase a second general season elk tag at a discounted price.

Through August only, resident and nonresident hunters can buy remaining nonresident general season elk tags to be used as second tags for the discounted price of $299 (plus $1.75 vendor fee). Starting September 1, nonresident elk tags will be available as second tags at the regular price of $416. 

Second deer tags are also available but will not be discounted due to high demand.  The price for a second deer tag is $300.00 (plus $1.75 vendor fee) while supplies last.

Second tags are sold on a first come, first served basis and are available until the nonresident tag quotas are reached. 

Fish and Game has temporarily discontinued online tag sales because of the potential breach of the online computer license sales system.  Tags can be purchased at over 400 license vendors statewide and at Fish and Game offices.  Any mailed applications for second tag purchases must be postmarked by August 31.     

More information about second tags can be found at: https://idfg.idaho.gov/buy/second-tag.

Respect and courtesy are essential when hunting private land

With many of Idaho's hunting seasons set to begin soon, Idaho Fish and Game urges hunters to be conscious of their actions and act responsibly when hunting private land.  

"We are fortunate that the majority of hunters are respectful and considerate to landowners,” said Sal Palazzolo, private lands coordinator for Idaho Fish and Game. “But each year, we deal with problems related to irresponsible behavior of a few.”

no hunting sign
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IDFG

Access to private land can be a challenge for Idaho hunters.  Yet each year, landowners restrict access to their property because of conflicts with hunters.  Trespassing, property damage, and discharging firearms close to livestock or buildings being three main reasons.  Unfortunately, the careless actions of a few are causing access to quality hunting to disappear for the rest.      

Prepare for fall hunting with summer shooting

With Idaho’s general rifle season fast approaching, many hunters are probably realizing that the last time they touched their rifle was during last year’s hunting season.  Since then, their guns have been tucked away gathering dust.

“Unfortunately, some find it strange how a rifle in gun cabinet no longer shoots as straight as it did last year,” said Bill Seybold, Fish and Game volunteer/hunter education coordinator based in Lewiston.

rifle shooting range
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Mike Demick, IDFG

Before the hunting seasons begin, Idaho Fish and Game encourages hunters to visit their local rifle range.  Not only is practice shooting important for future success, it’s also important for the ethics of the sport.

“By taking the time to prepare and become a better shot, you show great respect for the animals you pursue,” said Seybold.  “And the better shot you become, the better your chances for success.”  

Mourning dove, sandhill crane, and early goose seasons open Sept. 1

The 2016 mourning dove, sandhill crane, and early Canada goose seasons open Thursday, September 1.

mourning dove
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IDFG

The mourning dove season runs through October 30, with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

Eurasian collared-doves are an introduced species that have expanded their range into Idaho. Eurasian collared-doves harvested while dove hunting, should be left unplucked so they can be distinguished from mourning doves. They will not count as part of the aggregate bag limit of mourning doves as long as they are identifiable. There is no daily bag or possession limit for Eurasian collared-doves.

Sandhill crane season runs through September 15 in all five hunt areas, with seasons extending to September 30 in three hunt areas.  The daily limit is two birds for all hunts, and the season limit is two birds for each hunter.

Fall Chinook, steelhead seasons open Sept. 1 for ocean-fresh fish

Fall chinook and steelhead seasons open Sept. 1, and the forecast is for an above-average chinook run and an average steelhead run. It’s early in the run for both fish, and the numbers can change quickly as these migratory fish leave the ocean and swim upstream to Idaho.

Fall chinook on the fishing Snake River near Lewiston
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Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

 

Harvest season for steelhead opens Sept. 1 in the Snake, Salmon and Lower Clearwater rivers, and for fall Chinook season opens in the Snake, Clearwater, and a short section of the Lower Salmon. 

The Chinook forecast is for 38,200 hatchery and naturally spawned fish to return to Idaho, which should provide excellent late-summer and fall fishing. 

Idaho Fish and Game Customer Information Potentially Compromised

Idaho Fish and Game today learned that personal information for license buyers who began purchasing hunting and fishing licenses and tags prior to 2008 was potentially accessed by a breach of the online computer license sales system owned and operated by Active Network, a Texas-based company.

During a Friday afternoon conference call, Active Network executives told Fish and Game that it cannot confirm whether any personal information was actually taken but that it is possible.

The data breach apparently occurred sometime over the summer.  Personal information potentially includes name, age, address, and Social Security Number.  Idaho Fish and Game is required by state law to obtain this information to issue a license. 

Credit card information is not kept in the Active Network licensing system and Fish and Game is confident it was not accessed.

“This is a serious matter and we encourage all license holders who may potentially be affected to take proactive steps to protect themselves,” Fish and Game Deputy Director Ed Schriever said.  “We apologize to our license buyers and will continue to work with Active Network to get to the bottom of this.”

Active Network notified Idaho Fish and Game of the online breach on August 23.  Fish and Game shut down the online portion of the system the next day.  Fish and Game requested Active Network hire an independent cybersecurity firm to conduct a review and the company agreed to the request.

The information learned today from Active Network is specific to Idaho.

Who is potentially affected?
Idaho residents and nonresidents who started buying hunting and fishing licenses and tags before 2008.  Those who made their first license purchase after 2008 are not at risk.

Was my information stolen?
We won’t know.  Active Networks can only confirm that it is possible.

Upper Snake Region Fire Update - 8/26

IDAHO FALLS – With some of the worst wildfires in recent years still burning across the Upper Snake Region the situation is creating more questions than answers for wildlife managers and hunters. Ongoing firefighting efforts on the Henry’s Creek fire east of Idaho Falls, as well as fires burning around the Teton Basin have made it difficult for biologists to do on the ground assessments of damage to wildlife habitat by the fires, but aerial images indicate severe impacts in many locations. Once fires have been extinguished, biologists will be better able to assess implications for wildlife.

Preliminary estimates suggest that as much as 2/3 of the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area (TCWMA) has been impacted.  Hunters from across Region 6 have expressed concerns about hunting opportunities being impacted by the fires. While many areas have been burned and will pose management questions in regards to wintering wildlife, the situation for where big game are located during most of the hunting seasons looks more promising. Unless conditions change substantially the Department does not anticipate the need to close hunts or refund tags. Elk hunters who are concerned about their hunt are reminded that they can exchange their tag for a different zone up until the season opens.  Hunters wishing to exchange elk zone tags must do so at an IDFG Regional Office on or before August 30th (Tuesday), when many elk seasons open.  

Yellowstone River disease outbreak is not affecting Idaho fish

The disease that killed thousands of fish in the Yellowstone River in Montana is present in Idaho rivers, but Idaho Fish and Game officials have seen no large outbreaks or die offs of fish in Idaho rivers this summer. 

The Yellowstone fish die-off is attributed to proliferative kidney disease, which appears to affect mostly mountain whitefish and to a lesser degree trout. 

Mountain whitefish is a game fish native to Idaho streams.
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Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

Jim Fredericks, fisheries bureau chief with Idaho Fish and Game, said the parasite that causes the disease was identified in Idaho in 1980 and has periodically caused fish die offs, typically whitefish during summer months when fish are stressed by warm water conditions. 

“We’ve seen incidences of it, but nothing that has impacted wild trout populations,” he said. 

Fish and Game Temporarily Halts Online License and Tag Sales

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday announced it has temporarily suspended the sale of licenses and tags online after being notified that its online license vendor’s computer system was breached.  The State of Idaho online licensing system will be down indefinitely until state officials can ensure the public’s information will be secure.

In the meantime, the public can still buy licenses and tags at any Fish and Game office or business that sells licenses and tags through a separate system that was not part of the breach. Fish and Game officials regret the inconvenience to hunters and anglers, but are taking these steps out of abundance of caution.

Whether any of Idaho Fish and Game’s license buyers’ information was obtained has not yet been determined.   Fish and Game is working with the online vendor to investigate the matter and determine whether and to what extent Idaho data was accessed.

Other Western states are investigating similar reported breaches and have also taken precautions. 

Idaho officials are confident people can safely buy licenses and tags in person at Fish and Game offices and businesses that sell licenses and tags.

Fish and Game will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Volunteers repair vandalism at Wilson Ponds

A frustrated Facebook post about racially-based graffiti at Wilson Ponds led a concerned local man and his son to volunteer to repair the walking path at the popular fishing and birding area south of Nampa.

Volunteers Ron and Ross Carrico with AMU Inc. cover graffiti at Wilson Ponds in Nampa.
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Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

 

Ron and Ross Carrico, owners of AMU Inc., a Nampa-based commercial ground maintenance business, were at Wilson Ponds early Wednesday morning applying asphalt sealer to several sections of the damaged paved walking path.

"I grew up out here, so it’s hard to see this kind of thing,” Carrico said. “I’d take Ross fishing here when he was younger, so giving back like this is simple. It just makes you feel good.”