Beginning Jan. 31 through Feb. 9 biologists with the Idaho Fish and Game will be counting mule deer in game management units 66, 66A, 69, 71, 72 and 76. Biologists will utilize low flying helicopters to systematically spot and count the animals.
The Mountain Goat Management Plan is a proposed document that guides the department in managing populations and habitat statewide, and establishes specific strategies for each of Idaho’s 19 distinct populations of mountain goats.
During their annual meeting on Jan. 24, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted new rules for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat for the 2019-2020 hunting seasons. Statewide, the new rules included a reduction in the number of moose tags available to hunters, an increase of two big horn sheep tags, and decrease of four mountain goat tags.
The new rules booklets will be out in mid March and online prior to that. The application period for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat controlled hunts runs from April 1-30. The earliest controlled moose hunt seasons begin at the end of August, as do the majority of those for bighorn sheep and all of those for mountain goat.
Applicants are reminded Fish and Game will not be accepting mail-in applications for the controlled hunts. Hunters may apply at any hunting and fishing license vendor or Fish and Game office; with a credit card by calling (800) 554-8685; or online. A 2019 Idaho hunting license is required to apply. New fees for application are $16.75 for residents and $41.75 for nonresidents.
Here are the 2019-20 changes at a glance:
All three species
New rule for 2019 excludes moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat controlled hunt tags from designation by any parent or grandparent to their minor child or grandchild. The change is an attempt to maintain similar drawing odds for these once-in-a-lifetime species rather than drawing odds being lower due to multiple parents and grandparents applying for these species with intent to designate the tag to their child or grandchild.
Statewide, there will be 634 moose tags – of which 560 are antlered tags – available each year in 2019-20. Statewide changes total a reduction of 109 antlered tags and 62 antlerless tags from 2017-18.
Idaho Fish and Game officials on Saturday, Jan. 26 dispatched a mountain lion that was spotted in a Ketchum subdivision after killing a dog. The six to seven-year-old, non-lactating female cat was tracked to a nearby area and dispatched for public safety.
“We euthanized the lion safely, quickly and humanely, in accordance with our protocol for lions that show habituation to humans or pets in residential areas,” Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region Supervisor Craig White said.
A Fish and Game conservation officer in the Wood River Valley initially received a report from a Ketchum woman that a mountain lion was in her backyard. At around the same time, the woman’s neighbor notified her that his dog was missing.
The neighbor then saw the dog lying dead under a tree with the mountain lion next to it, and the woman called Fish and Game again and reported the mountain lion had killed her neighbor’s dog.
Fish and Game requested assistance from the Ketchum Police Department, who were first to respond to the scene. A Fish and Game officer arrived shortly after and evaluated the incident site, determining that the mountain lion had killed and consumed part of the dog.
With the assistance of the Ketchum Police Department, the conservation officer tracked the mountain lion to the yard next door, within 200 feet of the incident, where they were able to safely dispatch the cat.
Fish and Game officials recently received multiple reports of mountain lion activity in the same area that the lion was killed near where Warm Springs Creek meets the Big Wood River. It is unknown whether it was the same cat.
The incident comes in the midst of increased mountain lion sightings across Blaine County and the Big Wood Valley, from the Ketchum/Warm Springs Creek area to Bellevue.
Fawn survival is key to maintaining mule deer populations. Fawns fitted with radio collars help determine if a herd is growing or decreasing, so they are a critical component in the formula biologists use to determine the health and population of mule deer herds across Idaho.
The Shoshone County Sportsmen will host Fish and Game on Feb. 2 at the Osburn Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall from 7:30-10 a.m. Breakfast will be followed by a presentation from wildlife staff on big game season proposals.
Fish and Game staff will discuss deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, and wolf season proposals for 2019-20. Proposals will be available to review and comments will be collected at the breakfast. Hunters can also attend one of Fish and Game’s open houses or comment online. Proposals will be available online before the first open house in February.
The Osburn VFW Hall is located at 318 E Mullan Ave. Cost for breakfast is $5.50 for adults and $5 for seniors. Non-members are welcome to attend.
If you have questions please contact Regional Communications Manager Kiira Siitari at (208) 769-1414.
The 28th Annual Kids’ Ice Fishing Derby will be held Saturday, February 2 from 8:00 am till noon at Hyde Creek Pond near Salmon.
The free event is for youth age 16 years and under. There will be big fish prizes for four age categories and tagged fish worth $25 if caught during the derby. Prizes will be handed out to all youth who register, but anglers must be present to collect prizes at noon.
Volunteers will be on hand to help drill holes and teach children how to fish, if needed. While some fishing gear and tackle will be available for loan, anglers with their own equipment are encouraged to bring it.
Hyde Creek Pond is located south of Salmon on the road to Sunset Heights. For more information, please call Jordan Messner at Idaho Fish and Game 756-2271.
Fish and Game staff will hold a series of open houses around the state to talk to hunters about their preferences for rules and seasons for the upcoming big game hunts.
The department will also provide a list of proposed rule changes for the 2019-20 big game hunting seasons before the first meetings, and people will be able to see those proposals and comment online.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will review public comments, and are scheduled to set seasons and rules during its March 12-13 meeting in Boise.
Trappers can check in bobcat in Grangeville to meet the mandatory bobcat tagging requirement on Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This will be in conjunction with the big game open house meeting.
All carcasses and pelts must be thawed out prior to tagging. A fee of $2 will be charged for each pelt, and an additional $1.75 vendor fee will be charged to each license holder.
The 2019 big game hunting season in Idaho’s southwest region is the focus of a series of open house meetings where hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts will have a chance to review and discuss big game season proposals with Fish and Game staff.
A complete list of statewide deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and wolf hunt proposals will be available on the Fish and Game website (https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/big-game/19-20-proposals) in late January and at both the McCall and Nampa regional offices.
Four public open house meetings are scheduled for February. Plan now to attend the open house in your area.
Nampa – Tuesday, February 5th from 4pm to 8pm
Fish and Game Office
3101 S. Powerline Road
Garden Valley – Thursday, February 7th from 6pm to 8pm
Garden Valley High School
1053 Banks-Lowman Road
Council – Tuesday, February 12th from 6:30 to 8:30pm
Council Legion Hall
2046 Highway 95
Weiser – Wednesday, February 13th from 7:00 to 8:30pm
Vendome Event Center
309 State Street
In addition to the open house lineup, Fish and Game staff will be attending the 2019 Sportsman Show in Boise from February 28th through March 3rd. Big game proposals for the 2019 fall season will be available at the show, and the public is welcome to review and provide proposal comments.
Southwest Region 2019 big game season proposals include:
- Potential hunting opportunity in some controlled bear hunt units to address chronic depredation or nuisance issues.
- A potential change in the number of A and B tags for the Sawtooth elk zone.
- Possible changes to Brownlee and Weiser elk hunts. Any changes will be considered following the completion of an ongoing aerial survey of these zones.
Clearwater Region welcomes statewide director for evening dinner presentation
Sportsmen and women are invited to attend one of four big game open house meetings at different locations in the Clearwater Region.
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