Press Release

February 2017

Fish and Game officer named National Wild Turkey Federation Officer of the Year

Idaho Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Rob Brazie recently earned national recognition from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) for his dedication in creating the next generation of hunters and sportsmen, as well as his accomplishments in upholding the state’s game laws.

The NWTF named Brazie as Wildlife Officer of the Year award at the 41st annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville February 18.

"I'm very honored to be the wildlife officer of the year, chosen out of all of the officers that were here," Officer Brazie said. "The NWTF holds God, family and country in high regard, and I really appreciate their support of law enforcement officers across the country."

The NWTF determined this year’s award winner based on how their work strengthens the organization’s Save the Habitat - Save the Hunt Initiative, which is aimed at perpetuating wildlife conservation, the hunting heritage and our cherished outdoor lifestyle. Brazie embodies the traits that make an outstanding conservation officer.

Brazie, of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, has been at the forefront of the wild turkey management in Idaho during his 26-year-career, helping to create the first turkey management plan in the state. He worked with the NWTF and other partners to increase hunting opportunities along the Boise River for wild turkeys as well as introducing a split season to allow more people to hunt the growing turkey population without overloading landowners with too many hunters at one time.

Brazie also works hard to recruit and mentor young hunters each year by providing fun and hands-on hunting opportunities.

“Each spring a few lucky kids and their parents get one-on-one mentored turkey hunts with Rob,” said Fish and Game Enforcement Chief, Greg Wooten. “When these kids are old, and have forgotten Rob’s name, they will always remember that the game warden took them hunting.”

Avian cholera outbreak deaths climb to 4,200 birds

Idaho Fish and Game personnel continue to find and collect dead waterfowl from an avian cholera outbreak in the Parma area, and officials now estimate more than 4,200 birds have died since the outbreak started in early February. 

The outbreak has occurred on private land, and the disease has killed mostly ducks, but also some geese and other birds. Fish and Game crews and volunteers are collecting the dead birds and burying them at nearby Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area to prevent, or reduce, further spread of the disease. 

“We’re trying to minimize the impact,” said Tyler Archibald, Fish and Game habitat biologist at Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area.   

Avian cholera is the result of infection with the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. The bacterium kills swiftly – sometimes within 6 to 12 hours – and is released into the environment by dead or dying birds, or by birds carrying the disease. 

Avian cholera is not considered a high-risk disease for humans, according to the National Wildlife Health Center. It is fairly common in Idaho, but this is a larger-than-usual outbreak.

"Outbreaks of avian cholera have occurred annually in the area over the past decade," Archibald said. 

Tight waterfowl concentrations can enhance disease transmission among healthy birds. Archibald said when more ponds, reservoirs and lakes thaw and waterfowl disperse, cholera outbreaks tend to diminish and eventually end. 

If people see numerous dead birds, they are asked to call and report the location to Fish and Game’s Nampa Regional Office at (208) 465-8465.

 

Anglers can help shape the 2017 Chinook salmon season by going online

If you missed your chance to provide comments on this year’s salmon season, you still have time.

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comments on five management strategies that involve the Rapid River, Hells Canyon and Clearwater Basin Chinook salmon runs.

Through Saturday, March 4th, anglers can review the proposals and provide their comments online using the salmon season web survey available on the Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/comment.

“Input from anglers is important to help insure the Chinook salmon run is managed in a manner that is most satisfying to all who participate in this amazing fishery,” said Joe DuPont, Clearwater region fisheries manager.

Commission to meet via conference call February 28

Idaho Fish and Game Commission will meet by conference call Tuesday, February 28 to discuss legislative proposals related to license fees, depredation compensation, and use of license funds.

The call will begin at 3 p.m. (MST) at Fish and Game Headquarters, 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

There will be no public testimony taken during the call, but the public is welcome to attend. Those living outside of Boise can listen to the call by traveling to their nearest Fish and Game regional office.

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

Female mountain lion harvest season closed in Unit 39 near Idaho City

Mountain lion hunters should note that the harvest season for female mountain lion has closed in game management unit 39, as the harvest quota of ten females was reached February 23, 2017.

Hunters will be allowed to keep female mountain lions taken prior to this closure but must report them within five days of harvest. The harvest season in this unit remains open for males only until the season ends March 31, 2017.

For more information on female lion quotas and whether the season has been closed in a particular management unit, call 1-800-323-4334 or visit Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/mountain-lion/quota.

Additional details on seasons and rules for mountain lion hunting can be found in the 2015 & 2016 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure available at all Fish and Game license vendors and online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/rules/big-game.

Conservation Officers Seeking Help In Finding Poachers Responsible For Killing 28 Pronghorns Near Monteview

Conservation Officers Seeking Help In Finding Poachers Responsible For Killing 28 Pronghorns Near Monteview

IDAHO FALLS - Conservation Officers with the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) are seeking assistance from the public in apprehending the person or persons responsible for the killing of at least 28 pronghorns in the Monteview area during the last week of January and beginning of February, 2017.

According to Regional Conservation Officer Doug Petersen, “This is the most offensive case of poaching I have seen in my entire career!”  Because of the flagrant nature of the incident, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) Board has raised the level of reward available to $2,000.   Anyone who has information pertaining to this incident can remain anonymous and will be eligible for the reward if the case is prosecuted.

Calls with information can be made at any time of the day or night to 1-800-632-5999.  CAP calls are now being handled by the Idaho State Police (ISP) and are routed to the proper IDFG conservation officer.

Upper Snake Region  Winter Conditions Report -  February 24, 2017

Upper Snake Region  Winter Conditions Report -  February 24, 2017

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BIG GAME WINTERING CONDITIONS:

Animals were in good to excellent condition entering winter.  The last two weeks saw above normal temperatures with most areas receiving rain.   Elk, deer, and antelope have been observed in large groups but recent reductions in snowpack due to warmer temperatures has caused some larger groups to break into smaller groups.

Sand Creek, Hamer

Snow depth is 1-4 inches with moderate to severe crusting.  Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Swan Valley

Snow depth is 1-3 inches on the valley floor with moderate to severe crusting.  South facing slopes are at 2-8 inches.  Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission to Create a New Fee Proposal to Manage Big Game Depredation Impacts and Improve Hunting and Fishing Access

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission today directed Fish and Game staff to develop a proposed bill for consideration by the Idaho Legislature that would create a new $5 charge to purchase an Adult Resident annual hunting, fishing or trapping license. 

IFWF solicits applications for 2017 grants

The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation is accepting applications for its 2017 grants cycle. The grants program provides funding on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and tax-exempt organizations.

The Foundation is especially interested in projects that align with the Foundation's mission. Grants of as much as $10,000 per project are available.

To qualify for grant support, projects generally address one or more of the following areas:

Habitat Conservation: Projects that aid in the protection, restoration or improvement of habitats.
Fish and Wildlife Management: Projects that apply management principles to protect or enhance fish and wildlife.
Conservation Education: Projects that help educate Idahoans of all ages about the state's wildlife resources.

The deadline to apply is May 1, 2017. Recipients who qualify for funding will be notified and announced by August 31, 2017 for projects to be completed by December 31, 2018.

Application forms are available on the Foundation's website at www.IFWF.org, click on "About Us," and then "Apply for Funding." For more information, please contact IFWF at 208-334-2648 or email ifwf@idfg.idaho.gov.