Press Release

October 2016

How to contact Fish and Game officers after hours

With Idaho’s hunting seasons in progress, the Idaho Fish and Game reminds people who spend time outdoors that there are several ways to contact a Fish and Game officer on weekends or after hours. 

Outside of regular business hours, contact the local sheriff's department, the state police, or any law enforcement authority. They will route pertinent information quickly and efficiently to officers in the field by radio. 

If you witness a violation in progress, quickly call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999, which is staffed around the clock. Operators will contact the appropriate officer, officer's supervisor, or adjacent officer until they reach someone.

“The more detailed information you provide and the quicker you report it, the more likely a poacher will get caught,” said Assistant Enforcement Bureau Chief Chris Wright.

The process is quick and simple, and callers can remain anonymous. Callers are encouraged to leave a call back number so officers can obtain additional information if needed. Rewards are paid if the information supplied is sufficient for a citation to be issued.

“License plate numbers are extremely useful as well as specific information such as exact location and time,” said Wright.

The CAP number is printed on the back of all licenses and tags, as well as all the season and rule brochures. Some enter the CAP hotline into their cell phone so they don't have to look for the phone number.

If your call concerns a critical wildlife emergency, it is acceptable to call 911 just as you would when you need other law enforcement assistance.

Hunters: Please use toll-free number for hunter reports

Fish and Game's online hunter reports have unfortunately been a casualty of the data breach of our online vendor's database, but hunters can still file their reports by calling the toll-free number at (877) 268-9365.

Reporting is quick and easy, and when you file your report, you give critical hunt and harvest information, which directly affects decisions about next year’s hunting seasons. Every person who purchased a license and big game tag this year is asked to file a report, even if they did not go hunting.  

Fish and Game discontinued online sales on August 24 after being informed by Active Network, the Texas-based company that its database was breached. Fish and Game officials said online sales will not resume until a third-party cybersecurity firm completes an investigation and certifies that the system is secure.  When that happens, online hunter reports will also resume.

Commission to meet in Lewiston in November

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet Wednesday and Thursday, November 16 and 17 at Fish and Game’s Clearwater Regional office, 3316 16th Street in Lewiston. 

A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 16. Persons wanting to address the commission on any topic having to do with Fish and Game business may do so at the public hearing.  All testimony will be taken into consideration when the commission makes decisions on agenda items at the meeting.

A complete agenda will be posted on the Fish and Game website when it becomes available.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game director's office at 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).

Seats available in wolf trapping certification courses in McCall and Nampa

Trappers interested in learning more about the specifics of trapping wolves are reminded that Idaho rules require trappers to successfully complete a Wolf Trapper Certification course before they can purchase wolf trapping tags.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will sponsor three certification courses the next two months. 

  • McCall:  Saturday, November 5, 9 am to 5 pm, IDFG Office, 555 Deinhard Lane.
  • Nampa - two seperate courses:  Saturday, November 12 and Saturday, December 3, 9 am to 4 pm, IDFG Office, 3101 South Powerline Road.

These courses will likely be the last courses offered in these areas this season.  Pre-registration is required.  Register at https://idfg.idaho.gov/education/wolf-trapper-education-course or contact the respective Fish and Game office.

The registration fee is $8 per student. Those registering online by credit card will be charged an added convenience fee of $1.75.  Registrants must be at least nine years of age to take the course.

Any additional courses scheduled throughout the state over the next few months will be posted on Fish and Game’s webpage.

The courses cover a wide variety of topics including wolf biology, wolf behavior and management, wolf trapping techniques, proper care of a hide for maximum value and harvest reporting requirements.  On-site demonstrations in the field include making trap sets free of human scent, rigging snares, placing diverters to avoid non-target catches, and trap site selection.

All instructors and assisting Fish and Game staff have expertise in furbearer management, trapping laws and ethics, responsible trapping, proper equipment and trapping techniques.

Pheasant season opens October 15 in much of Idaho

The 2016 pheasant hunting season gets underway Saturday, October 15 in much of Idaho, with the season in northern Idaho already open.

The season runs through November 30 in eastern Idaho and through December 31 in southern and northern Idaho.  

Shooting hours start one-half hour before sunrise, except on nine wildlife management areas (WMA’s) in southern Idaho where pheasants are stocked, where shooting hours start at 10 a.m. during the pheasant season.  These areas include the C.J. Strike, Cartier Slough, Fort Boise, Market Lake, Montour, Mud Lake, Niagara Springs, Payette River, and Sterling WMA’s.   

The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is nine, except on WMA’s where pheasants are stocked, in which case the daily limit is two cocks and six in possession.

All hunters must have a valid 2016 Idaho hunting license on their possession while hunting.  Hunters should note that on July 1, 2016, the age requirement for a WMA pheasant permit changed to 18. Those under 18 can hunt pheasants on a Fish and Game WMA without a permit. 

The permit must be signed in ink by the holder, validated by entering the harvest date and location, and removing a notch from the permit for each pheasant taken.  Each permit allows hunters to take two pheasants per day and up to six pheasants per permit.  Multiple permits may be purchased.

All upland game hunters are required to wear a minimum of 36 square inches of visible hunter orange above the waist during the pheasant season when hunting on WMA’s where pheasants are stocked. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement.

For details, hunters should consult the current upland seasons and rules brochure available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/rules/upland-furbearer-turkey

Fish Eradication Effort Closes Redwood Park Pond

Treatment to remove an illegally-stocked invasive fish species will close Boise’s Redwood Park Pond beginning October 12. Fish and Game staff will treat the pond with a fish toxicant to eradicate rosy red shiner – a minnow species from the Midwestern US and a popular aquarium trade fish.

During the half-day treatment and for 14 days after, Redwood Pond will be closed to public use.

Rosy red shiner are not known to occur anywhere else in Idaho and Fish and Game staff would like to keep it that way. “We’ve seen firsthand the negative impacts illegally-introduced fish species can have on our native and sportfish species,” Fish and Game fisheries manager Joe Kozfkay noted. “We don’t want to take the risk of this species getting into other Idaho waters.”

Redwood Pond will be treated with rotenone, a naturally-occurring substance that inhibits oxygen flow in fish. All dead fish will be collected and landfilled. Any remaining rotenone should dissipate quickly as sunlight degrades rotenone in a matter of days to a few weeks. Fish and Game staff will restock Redwood Pond next spring with bluegill and largemouth bass.

The project is both expensive and time consuming and serves as a reminder to aquarium fish owners to be responsible and never dispose of aquarium fish in local waters. Unwanted aquarium fish should be returned to a pet store, given to a responsible aquarium owner, or as a last resort, euthanized in a humane manner.

- IDFG -

Valve Repairs Nearly Complete at Tripod Reservoir

Emergency repairs on the outlet valve at Tripod Reservoir, near Smiths Ferry, should be completed by the end of Tuesday, October 11. Crews hoped to have the repairs done last week, but once the faulty valve was examined, it became apparent that an easy fix was not in the cards.

“Like a lot of simple plumbing projects, this one rapidly deteriorated into a much more cumbersome effort,” Fish and Game Boating and fishing access coordinator Dennis Hardy noted. “In the process, reservoir levels had to be reduced further than anticipated to make the necessary repairs.”

What this all means for Tripod anglers has yet to be determined. Fish and Game biologists will be assessing current water levels to determine if fall and winter fish survival is an issue. “Either way, Tripod will be stocked with rainbow trout next spring as the reservoir refills,” Fish and Game fisheries manager Dale Allen said. “We’ll have it ready for the 2017 fishing season.”

 

- IDFG -

Tags for special antlerless hunts go on sale Oct. 13

In response to a wildfire that burned about 75 percent of the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area near Idaho Falls, Idaho Fish and Game is offering special controlled hunts with 500 antlerless deer tags and 500 antlerless elk tags to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) on Oct. 13.

The special deer season (hunt number 1180) in controlled hunt area 69-1X will run Nov. 10 through Nov. 30.  The special elk season (hunt number 2230) in controlled hunt area 66-1X will run Nov. 17 through Nov. 30.

Tags for these hunts are considered “extra” tags so hunters who have already bought a tag can purchase one. There will be no tags sold online. Tags will be available at Fish and Game offices, businesses that sell licenses and tags, and by phone (with a credit or debit card) at (800) 554-8685.

Applicants will pay tag fees and controlled hunt fees of $6.25 for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents. 

The fire burned about 53,000 acres in Eastern Idaho, including approximately 75 percent of the 34,000-acre wildlife management area. The fire burned most of the crucial range for about 3,500 elk, 5,000 mule deer and 100 moose that winter on the WMA, so it can sustain fewer animals this winter.

“There was public support for a multifaceted approach, including increasing the harvest of deer and elk before winter,” Fish and Game’s Upper Snake Region Supervisor Jim White said.

Fish and Game commissioners encourage parents and grandparents to get young hunters involved in these controlled hunts, which are a temporary and unexpected opportunity for antlerless hunts.

Fish and Game is also prepared to start emergency winter feeding following the hunting seasons. F&G officials decided a combination of emergency winter feeding and additional harvest is the best way to reduce over-winter mortality, allow winter range vegetation to recover, and reduce damage to nearby private land.

Eastern Idaho fire prompts commission to offer special hunts

In response to a wildfire that burned about 75 percent of the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area near Idaho Falls, Idaho Fish and Game is offering special controlled hunts with 500 antlerless deer tags and 500 antlerless elk tags to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) on Oct. 13. 

The special deer season (hunt number 1180) will run Nov. 10 through Nov. 30. The elk season (hunt number 2230) will run Nov. 17 through Nov. 30 in units 69-1X and 66-1X (See maps below). Tags for these hunts are considered “extra” tags so hunters who have already bought a tag can purchase one. There will be no tags sold online. Tags will be available at Fish and Game offices, businesses that sell licenses and tags, and by phone (with a credit or debit card) at (800) 554-8685.

Fish and Game commissioners encourage parents and grandparents to get young hunters involved in these controlled hunts, which are a temporary and unexpected opportunity for antlerless hunts. 

The fire burned about 53,000 acres in Eastern Idaho, including approximately 75 percent of the 34,000-acre wildlife management area. The fire burned most of the crucial range for about 3,500 elk, 5,000 mule deer and 100 moose that winter on the WMA, so it can sustain fewer animals this winter. 

Fish and Game is also prepared to start emergency winter feeding following the hunting seasons. F&G officials decided a combination of emergency winter feeding and additional harvest is the best way to reduce over-winter mortality, allow winter range vegetation to recover, and reduce damage to nearby private land.

“There was public support for a multifaceted approach, including increasing the harvest of deer and elk before winter,” Fish and Game’s Upper Snake Region Supervisor Jim White said.

The hunts will partly overlap the last 20 days of an existing high-quality controlled buck hunt (Hunt No. 1052) that runs Oct. 10 through Nov. 30). 

Oregon man pleads guilty to animal poisoning and unlawful take of big game

Contacts:

Valley County Prosecutor Carol Brockman (208) 382-7120

Mike Keckler, chief, Bureau of Communications, Idaho Fish and Game (208) 287-2870

Tim Clemens, an Oregon resident, entered a guilty plea Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 to one count of poisoning animals and one count of unlawful take of big game. 

Fourth District Magistrate Lamont Berecz ordered Clemens to serve 10 days of jail time, 200 hours of community service in lieu of an additional 20 days of jail time, and four years’ probation, during which time he cannot hunt. The court also ordered Clemens to pay $675 in fines, court costs and community service insurance, $400 in civil damages for the big game animal killed, and $10,000 in restitution to Idaho Fish and Game for investigative costs.

“This was a complex investigative effort by Fish and Game officers,” Valley County Prosecutor Carol Brockmann said.  “Their investigation included packing into the remote area to locate the field-dressed carcass, obtaining DNA samples from the deceased animals, multiple interviews in two states and close cooperation with the prosecution effort.  It was through these efforts this case was seen to a successful conclusion.”

The charges are the result of an investigation launched in January 2016, when Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers received a citizen report that two dogs had been poisoned in the Middle Fork Salmon River area during the fall hunting season. A veterinarian confirmed that one dog had died from poisoning, and a second dog had survived after treatment for poison symptoms. 

Interviews of the dogs’ owner and others tied the incident to a field-dressed deer carcass. After winter snows receded, Fish and Game officers were able to access the remote area to gather evidence.