Press Release

November 2017

Public comment sought on Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer Seasons

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the 2018 and 2019 upland game, turkey and furbearer seasons.

Proposed changes to seasons include:

  • Increasing the daily bag limit from 1 to 2 turkeys per day statewide.
  • Moving the opening day for the fall general season from September 15 to September 1 in units 1, 2 (except Farragut State Park and Farragut WMA), 3, 4, 4A and 6 of the Panhandle Region; and units 8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19, and 20 of the Clearwater Region.
  • Eliminating the split in fall seasons in units (8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18), and removing limitation to hunt only on private lands. Currently there is a split in seasons between October 10 and November 20.
  • Increasing spring and fall turkey controlled hunting opportunities in the Southwest and Salmon regions.
  • Adding a new late fall general season turkey hunting opportunity on private lands only in units 73, 74, 75, 77, and 78.
  • Extending the closing date for cottontail rabbits from February 28 to March 31.
  • Allowing hunting and trapping of foxes on all land ownerships within Valley and Adams counties.
  • Changes to controlled beaver trapping units, and allowing beaver trapping in Miner and Cedar creeks of Bingham County in the Southeast Region. 

Season proposals are available for review and comment on the Fish and Game website at http://idfg.idaho.gov/comment.

Interested individuals may also provide their comments by attending one of several open house meetings where they can view the proposals and speak directly with local biologists. Open house meetings currently scheduled include:

Attract wintering birds, support outdoor education

Stock up on winter bird seed and find that special holiday gift for the outdoor person on your list at the Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen (MK) Nature Center’s Holiday Bird Seed Sale December 1 and 2.

Backyard bird lovers can purchase locally-preferred bird seed, as well as feeding supplies, books, apparel, jewelry, children’s gifts and nature-themed holiday gifts. Nature center staff will be available to help with seed selection and for education.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Family-friendly activities are planned for Saturday, December 2 including kid’s take home crafts from 11 to 2 p.m. and live bird presentations at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

The nature center is located behind Fish and Game headquarters at 600 S. Walnut in Boise.

Proceeds will help fund the nature center’s educational programs. The sale is presented by MK Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited.

For questions, contact Sue Dudley at 208-287-2900 or email sue.dudley@idfg.idaho.gov.

Rainbow Trout Stocking Schedule

Personnel from Fish and Game's Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 9,300 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during December.

LOCATION          WEEK STOCKED          NUMBER OF TROUT

Boise River - above Glenwood Bridge December 4      1,440

Boise River - below Glenwood Bridge December 4      720

Eagle Island Park Pond December 4      450

Esthers Pond (Boise) December 4      1,300

Williams Pond (Boise) December 4      450

Marsing Pond November 27      450

Parkcenter Pond (Boise) December 4      750

Riverside Pond (Boise) December 4      720

Rotary Pond (Caldwell) December 4      500

Sawyers Pond (Emmett) December 4      450

Wilson Springs (Nampa) November 27, December 18      250/250

Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa) November 27, December 4, 11, 18      400/400/400/400

The number of trout actually released may be altered by weather, water conditions, equipment problems or schedule changes. If delays occur, trout will be stocked when conditions become favorable.

- IDFG -

Holiday bird seed sale set for December 1 & 2

Stock up on winter bird seed for your feathered friends and find that special gift for the outdoor person on your list.

The eleventh annual Holiday Bird Seed Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., December 1 and 2 at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Morrison Knudsen (MK) Nature Center in Boise.

Assorted types of locally-preferred bird seed will be available for purchase, as well as feeding supplies, books, apparel, jewelry, children’s gifts and nature-themed holiday gifts. MK Nature Center staff will be available to help with seed selection and for education.

“Feeding birds is a great way to brighten a cold winter day for the whole family,” said Sue Dudley, Nature Center Gift Shop Manager. “It's also a never-ending source of entertainment and enjoyment.”

Family-friendly activities are planned for Saturday, December 2 including kid’s take home crafts from 11 to 2 p.m. and live bird presentations at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

Proceeds will help fund the nature center’s educational programs. The sale is presented by MK Nature Center and Wild Birds Unlimited. The nature center is located behind Fish and Game headquarters at 600 South Walnut.

For questions, contact Sue Dudley at 208-287-2900 or email sue.dudley@idfg.idaho.gov.

Biologists think they've found answers to low survival of sockeye salmon

Biologists think they’ve answered a nagging question about its relatively new sockeye hatchery in Springfield. The hatchery succeeded in raising lots of young sockeye, but the fish have survived poorly after being released to migrate to the Pacific. 

Didn’t hunt or fish this year? There’s still time to take advantage of Fish and Game’s Price Lock

By Virgil Moore, director of Idaho Department of Fish and Game

If you hunted or fished this year, I hope you brought something back for the frying pan or the freezer to go along with your memories afield. Life these days is pretty hectic, and many Idaho residents haven’t purchased a license because of time constraints or other factors. If this is you, I still encourage you to buy a 2017 hunting license, even if you don’t have a chance to use it this year.

You’re probably thinking my suggestion doesn’t make sense considering 2018 licenses go on sale in less than a month, but here’s why I think it does. A 2017 resident hunting license costs $12.75 – the cheapest annual resident license that Fish and Game sells. By buying one, you are automatically “locked-in” at 2017 prices through Fishing and Game’s Price Lock program.

That means your license, tag and permit fees won’t increase when the 2018 prices take effect December 1. Resident hunting and fishing fees are going up about 20-percent next year, so that $12.75 resident hunting license will cost $15.75 next year (including the vendor fee) for those who aren’t locked in. Deer and elk tags will increase $5 and $6.75, respectively, so you can see the Price Lock savings will quickly add up.

Price Lock will be in effect for at least five years, maybe even longer, if the legislature and Fish and Game Commission decide the program is worth continuing.

If you stay in Price Lock by purchasing your annual hunting license every year (or any annual license every year – you don’t have to buy the same license each time) and save 20-percent annually, it’s like getting your fifth one for free.

The Price Lock theory goes like this: by offering an incentive for more people to buy licenses every year. Fish and Game will have the funding needed to continue to effectively manage fish and wildlife for the people of Idaho.

Don't improperly dump your big game carcasses

When you're done butchering a big-game animal, there's usually bones, hide and other inedible parts that should be double-bagged, securely tied, and put out with your household waste for garbage collection.

Hunters are required to remove and care for all of the edible meat from hindquarters as far down as the hock, the shoulders as far down as the knee, and meat along the backbone. There is also a lot of meat in the neck and covering the ribs that make good ground or stew meat.

When you take your harvested animal to a professional meat processor, you can deliver the clean carcass and your work is done.  Perhaps the best part of paying a professional meat processor is the shop disposes of the bones for you.

When hunters do the processing themselves, there is a pile of bones, hide, and a head that need to be disposed of. If you're quartering the animal in the field and in a remote area, these will be cleaned up by scavengers in short order. 

If you bring an animal out whole and need to dispose of the inedible remains, a transfer station will accept animal carcasses for no charge from residents who live within that county who pay the solid waste disposal fee.

When disposing of game animals, hunters should consider the consequences of their actions. It only takes one improperly dumped and highly visible carcass to generate strong negative reactions from the public. 

Unwanted big game carcasses that end up on the side of the road or other visible areas become eyesores and public health issues. They can even be hazardous because they attract dogs and scavengers, which become dangers to drivers who swerve to avoid hitting them.