Press Release

November 2019

Bonneville County approves annual road closures in Tex Creek

Bonneville County Commissioners approved annual road closures in and around the Tex Creek area to limit disturbance to wildlife. The closures will begin December 1 and remain in effect until April 15. County Commissioners began instituting these closures in 1996.

Tex Creek Winter Closure Map
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James Brower Idaho Fish and Game

Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area was created to protect big game winter range and provide year-round habitat for game birds. One of the biggest stressors for wintering animals is excessive amounts of disturbance that increase animal movements and force them to burn critical fat reserves.   

The goal of these closures is to limit motorized travel on the Wildlife Management Area during winter when animals are most vulnerable. Non-motorized access is still permitted.

MK Nature Center hosting 13th annual bird seed sale

The MK Nature Center will host its 13th annual bird seed sale on December 6 and 7. Come and stock up on food for your favorite backyard birds, and help support the Nature Center in the process.

High quality bird seed, including black-oil sunflower, dove and quail mix, nyger thistle, and other varieties are provided through partnership with Wild Birds Unlimited of Boise. Wild Birds Unlimited is a long-time supporter of this event, helping make sure that the bird seed sale is one of the nature center’s most successful and popular fundraisers. Proceeds from this event benefit educational programs at the MK Nature Center.

Family-friendly activities will be held on Saturday, December 7th and include live bird presentations at 11:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm. In addition, a take-home craft booth for youngsters will be available from 11 to 2pm.   
The MK Nature Center Gift Shop will have many nature-themed holiday items for purchase. Come check out these items for the nature lover on your holiday gift list.  

For more information, please contact Sue Dudley at sue.dudley@idfg.idaho.gov or call 208-287-2900.

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 2020 and 2021 upland game, turkey and furbearer seasons.

Season proposals are available for review and comment on the Fish and Game website at http://idfg.idaho.gov/comment. Furbearer and upland game proposals are split, with upland game proposals listed by region.

Proposed changes to seasons include:

Upland game and turkey

  • Add units 7 and 9 to list of units open to general turkey hunting seasons – spring and fall. 

  • Expand special unit turkey tag use to all units in the Panhandle Region

  • Extend fall turkey general hunt season end date from December 31 to January 31 in the Panhandle Region.

  • Create archery-only upland game animal/bird seasons in Farragut State Park/Wildlife Management Area concurrent with archery white-tailed deer season (November 1 – December 1).

  • Create an archery-only spring turkey hunt in Farragut State Park/WMA (April 1–30), and an archery-only fall turkey hunt concurrent with archery white-tailed deer season (Nov. 1–Dec. 1)

  • Convert turkey controlled hunt 9021 to a fall general hunt in GMUs 22 and 31, August 30 – October 9; OR convert hunts 9021 and 9023 to a fall general hunt in units 22, 31, 32, and 32A outside the national forest system boundary, August 30 – October 9.

  • Extend end date of fall turkey controlled hunt in units 22, 31, and 32 outside the National Forest System Boundary 9022 to December 31 (currently ends November 30).

2020 nonresident deer and elk tags go on sale Dec. 1

Nonresident hunters can buy 2020 hunting license and deer and elk tags starting Dec. 1, except Sawtooth Zone elk tags, which go on sale May 11. 

Pioneer Zone elk B tags and Big Desert Zone elk B tags will also be available to nonresident hunters on Dec. 1, which were not available at that time last year.  

Nonresident deer and elk tags have sold out in recent years and were gone by mid September in 2019, and if trends continue, they will likely sell out in 2020. Nonresidents are encouraged to buy licenses and tags early to ensure they have the opportunity to hunt in Idaho. 

Adult nonresident hunters are limited to 15,500 deer tags and 12,815 elk tags annually.

Also, nonresident hunters planning to buy an elk tag in highly sought-after capped zones are encouraged to set up a user name and password in advance of the sale so they are already in the system and able to buy immediately after tags go on sale. 

Fish and Game updated the procedure for returned nonresident quota and capped tags to to proceed with fair and equitable distribution of these first-come, first-served tags. When returning a tag, a nonresident hunter may designate a spot in the nonresident quota to an another nonresident, but the specific tag type can not be designated. 

 

There is still time to bag a wild turkey for the holidays

While hunting wild turkeys in the fall often takes a back seat to big game, waterfowl and upland bird hunting, pursuing the elusive birds in the fall has its advantages.

“Hunting turkeys in the fall can be just as exciting as in the spring,” said Jeff Knetter, Fish and Game upland game and migratory game bird program manager.  

Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area WMA turkey medium shot
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IDFG

For hunters looking to put a wild bird on their Thanksgiving or Christmas table, Idaho’s Panhandle and Clearwater regions both offer general fall hunting seasons and hold the majority of the state’s birds.       

Idaho's newest game species, red squirrel, is a great gateway for new hunters

With a Hunting Passport in his pocket, a .410 shotgun in the crook of his arm (last year’s Christmas gift), and mom and dad by his side, 8-year-old Wyatt Creson stalked through the woods this fall and scoured tree branches in search of one of Idaho’s more diminutive game animals: the American red squirrel.

Red Squirrel Hunt.jpg
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Jaime Creson/IDFG

For the Creson family, this relatively new opportunity was the perfect way to introduce Wyatt to hunting. 

“We were really looking for opportunities that were available for a kid that young, where he might have a little success,” said Jaime Creson, Wyatt’s mom. “We learned that red squirrels recently became a game animal, and decided that might be a good place to start.”

White-tailed buck shot with only head removed along South Fork Clearwater River

A large bodied white-tailed buck was shot, with only its head removed near mile post 14 on the South Fork of the Clearwater River on or near November 15. The waste of this deer is causing concern from both the hunting and non hunting public alike. Anyone that saw persons wading the river in this area, or a vehicle parked for a prolonged period is asked to pass on any tips as to suspects in the shooting of the deer. Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) has posted a reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual, or individuals responsible for this crime. Tips can be called into the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999, any regional IDFG office or your local Sheriff’s Dept.

New wild turkey hunts slated to begin in Southwest Idaho

Four new wild turkey Landowner Permission hunts (LPH) are now on the books and slated to begin December 1 in areas with chronic turkey depredations. The hunts will give landowners, hunters and Fish and Game staff another tool to deal more effectively with private property damage caused by wild turkeys.

Approved by the Fish and Game Commission in August, these four new hunts are designed to alleviate depredation issues and increase social tolerance for wild turkey populations on private land.

Landowners owning more than 79 acres of property within a hunt boundary are eligible to enroll in the program. A form(s) issued by Fish and Game will allow the landowner to designate the person receiving the hunt opportunity. That person must then bring the completed form to a Fish and Game office and exchange it for the appropriate controlled hunt permit.

The Four Hunts

Two new private-land-only fall hunts for hens only have been created in game management units 22, 31 and 32. Up to 50 permits may be issued for each hunt. The first hunt season runs from December 1 through December 31, while the second runs from January 1 through February 14.

Two additional private-land-only fall hunts for hens only have been created in game management unit 38. Up to 50 permits may be issued for each hunt. The first hunt season runs from September 1 through December 31, while the second runs from January 1 through March 30.

Learn more about the boundaries for these four hunts by visiting the Fish and Game Hunt Planner at: https://idfg.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/mapcenter/.

- IDFG -