Press Release

December 2019

Elk calf freed from a discarded tomato cage and bucket near Hailey

On Saturday morning, December 28, Fish and Game officers received reports from Blaine County residents about an elk calf that had become entangled in a discarded tomato cage and bucket just north of Hailey. By mid-day, officers were able to locate the calf on the west side of Highway 75 in a grove of trees.

elk_with_garden_materials_around_its_neck
Creative Commons Licence
IDFG

Knowing the calf would not be able to free itself from the metal, Fish and Game staff made the decision to dart the calf and remove the metal cage.

Please watch for wildlife on highways and avoid costly collisions

Winter is already tough for deer, elk and other big game animals, and being near busy roads and highways can be deadly, so drivers are asked to keep a sharp eye out and avoid costly and potentially dangerous collisions. 

With more snow in the higher elevations, big game herds throughout the state migrate to lower elevation winter ranges and cross Idaho’s highways and roads.

fullsizeoutput_1140
Creative Commons Licence
Hilary Turner/Idaho Fish and Game

“Motorists need to be extra cautious and slow down, especially under low light conditions when visibility is limited,” said Greg Painter, Idaho Fish and Game wildlife manager based in Salmon. “Being extra careful and watchful is your best defense.”

Bird feeding is a way to see birds up close and help them get through winter

Feeding birds is enjoyable and mutually beneficial because you can watch nature from the warmth of your home, and birds get much-needed nutrients. 

Winter feeding bird on a snow covered bird house
Creative Commons Licence
IDFG

Idaho Fish and Game discourages people from feeding most wildlife because they can become habituated to hand outs, but birds are an exception. They typically don’t become dependent on feeders, but instead add them to their daily food searches and seek out other sources when feeders are empty.

Winter feeding helps our feathered friends survive a challenging season, and you will likely see local and migratory birds from as far away as Canada and Alaska. 

When feeding, remember to offer food at different levels to meet the needs of different types of birds. A ground feeder will attract quail, dove, song sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco and others. 

Safety tips when living in close proximity to mountain lions

Reports of mountain lions in the Wood River Valley continue to come in, almost daily, to Fish and Game. Most reports are about lions moving through neighborhoods or sightings of lions in yards. We also receive reports of cats recorded on security cameras. Since December 14, these reports have also included reports of five attacks on dogs, three fatal, in the Valley.

Understandably, residents and visitors are concerned.

Fish and Game managers share this concern, and are actively working to understand the current situation, and to provide safety tips and suggestions to those who live close to lions.

When living close to wildlife, no matter the species, residents and visitors need to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Elk and deer populations are healthy in the Wood River Valley. Most like to see these animals where we live and as we recreate in the area. These abundant herds bring unintended consequences since they are also the natural prey base for mountain lions.

Personal safety

Mountain lions have been living in the Wood River Valley long before human development began. Most residents, even those who have lived there for years, have never observed one. However, we are hearing from residents that they are now seeing these secretive cats as they pass through their neighborhoods. Some reports include sightings of lions during daylight hours, which is not typical behavior.

Wildlife managers agree that if a person is in close proximity to a lion, meaning they see it, they should:

- NEVER run away from a mountain lion. The lion’s instinct is to chase and ultimately catch what they perceive as a potential prey.

- NEVER turn your back on a lion. Always face them while making yourself look as large as you can. Yell loudly, but don’t scream. A high-pitched scream may mimic the sound of a wounded animal.

Magic Valley Region rainbow trout stocking schedule for January 2020

Hatchery personnel from Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region will be stocking nearly 700 10-12” catchable-sized rainbow trout in January. All stocking dates and numbers of fish are approximate and may change without notice due to water or weather conditions.

Body of Water                                         Week to be Stocked                     Number to be Stocked

Filer Kids Pond and Filer Pond                     Jan 6-10                                                 345

Filer Kids Pond and Filer Pond                    Jan 20-24                                                345