Press Release

September 2017

Sharp-tailed grouse season opens October 1

The sharp-tailed grouse season opens 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-Sublette Road and east of the Malta-Strevell Road, Franklin, Oneida, and Power County south of Interstate 86.

Sharp-tailed grouse have been introduced into historical range in southern Twin Falls county and southeastern Owyhee County. Twin Falls, Owyhee, and most of Cassia counties are closed to the hunting of sharp-tailed grouse. Sharp-tailed grouse also occur around Split Butte area in Minidoka County. Hunting of sharp-tailed grouse is closed in Minidoka County.

Any person hunting sharp-tailed grouse must have in their possession a valid Idaho hunting license with a $4.74 sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation. The permit allows better monitoring of the harvest of these game birds. It is available at Fish and Game license vendors.

Because wings collected from harvested birds provide important biological information, hunters who see a wing barrel are asked to deposit one wing from each bird they harvest. Fish and Game also collects wings at check stations and through a mail-in wing survey.

Decoys to be used to nab poachers

Hunters have long used wildlife decoys in pursuit of game. Wildlife officers also use decoys to detect wildlife violations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds hunters that in areas where the department receives complaints or reports of suspicious activity, officers may use ‘artificial simulated animals’ during hunting season to detect wildlife law-breakers.

Commonly called ASAs, they are life-like taxidermy replicas of deer, elk and other game species that look like the real thing.

“Officers watch the animal and respond if someone violates the law,” said Fish and Game Chief of Enforcement Greg Wooten. “This tool is extremely important in our effort to curtail illegal activity that is otherwise undetectable.”

The simulated animals are typically used alongside roads in areas where there’s a history of spotlighting, trespassing and road hunting.

“This is similar to other law enforcement agencies watching an intersection based on reports of frequent instances of failing to stop at a stop sign, or monitoring speed compliance using radar,” Wooten said.

The penalties for shooting an artificial animal can include a mandatory hunting and fishing license revocation, fines of up to $1,000 and a possible jail sentence of up to six months. There is also a $50 minimum restitution penalty for shooting an ASA to help maintain the decoys.

Aside from the inherent danger of shooting from a vehicle or road, road hunting can be a very tempting activity for some. Deer become accustomed to protected areas such as private lands and residential areas where habitat is good and disturbance is low. In these areas, deer are visible and vulnerable. But hunters need to remember that it’s illegal to shoot deer on private land without permission, as is shooting from the road and from a motorized vehicle.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 28,500 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during October. Local ponds are the primary focus of this stocking effort due to milder weather and correspondingly cooler water temperatures.

LOCATION     WEEK STOCKED      NUMBER OF TROUT

Arrowrock Reservoir October 2     8,550

Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge    October 2, 23      1,080/1,080

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge    October 2, 23      1,080/1,080

Caldwell Pond #2      October 9      500

Duff Lane Pond (Middleton)      October 9      225

Eagle Island Park Pond      October 9      450

Eds Pond (Emmett)      October 16      200

Esthers Pond (Boise)      October 16      1,300

Heroes Park Pond (Meridian)      October 16      150

Kleiner Pond (Meridian)      October 16      900

Lowman (10-mile) Ponds      October 16      600

Mann Creek Reservoir (Midvail)      October 2      1,400

Marsing Pond      October 2      450

McDevitt Pond (Boise)      October 9, 23      450/450

Merrill Pond (Eagle)      October 23      250

Mill Pond (Horseshoe Bend)      October 16      900

Parkcenter Pond (Boise)      October 16      750

Payette Greenbelt Pond      October 16      450

Riverside Pond (Boise)      October 9, 23      360/360

Rotary Pond (Caldwell)      October 9      1,100

Sawyers Pond (Emmett)      October 16      900

Sego Prairie Pond (Kuna)      October 16      225

Settlers Park Pond (Meridian)      October 9, 23      125/125

Weiser Community Pond      October 16      500

Williams Pond (Boise)      October 16      450

Wilson Springs (Nampa)      October 2, 16      250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa)      October 2, 9, 16, 23      400/400/400/400

F&G director elected president of national fish and wildlife organization

“Virgil is a true leader in conservation and is very well equipped to maintain positive momentum for AFWA’s initiatives,” said Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and 2016-17 AFWA President. 

Youth waterfowl weekend and pheasant hunts begin soon

Young hunters will soon have an early shot at waterfowl and pheasants, with September 30-October 1 marking the youth waterfowl weekend and October 7-13 set for the youth pheasant hunt.

youthhunt_glen_oakley
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Glen Oakley for IDFG

Exposing youth to positive hunting experiences, especially at an early age, is a critical first step in connecting with the outdoors and with carrying on the hunting tradition.

“The ultimate goal of the youth hunts is to pass down tradition, knowledge, and experiences from one generation to the next, and for our youth to spend quality time outdoors with friends and family,” said Brenda Beckley, Fish and Game hunter and angler recruitment manager. “Plus they’re great opportunities to help youth develop their skills before the regular seasons begin.”

Make the call to catch poachers

With many hunting seasons in progress or about to begin, the Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public to call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline if they witness a violation of fish and game laws.

“Calls from concerned citizens are instrumental in catching poachers stealing from Idaho’s citizens,” said Chris Wright, Fish and Game assistant enforcement bureau chief.

CAP logo
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Citizens Against Poaching

Callers to CAP hotline, 1-800-632-5999, can report wildlife law violations anonymously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cash rewards are available to callers who provide information leading to the citation of suspected wildlife law violators.