While many things have changed in recent months as a result of COVID-19, one thing that has remained relatively unchanged is Idaho Fish and Game continues to stock fish throughout the state. Spring and early summer are typically when stocking peaks, and despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents, this year is no exception.
Commission is taking public comments through May 6 on petitions to allow lighted nocks for archery and requiring signs to be posted near traps. Individual emails have been set up to take comments related to each petition.
Spring is here, and so is the peak of baby wildlife season. People are bound to see young wildlife when they venture outdoors during the spring and early summer, and there is a pretty good chance that they will see a baby animal that appears to be alone. Fish and Game officials have a simple suggestion to people who discover baby animals that appear to be abandoned: Just leave them be.
How many wolves are on the landscape across Idaho? That’s an often-asked question that Idaho Fish and Game is aiming to answer using game cameras to assist with a statewide population monitoring program.
In 2019, Fish and Game staff deployed nearly 600 game cameras statewide, many within the Magic Valley Region, in a scientifically designed, high-density grid. These cameras took about 11 million pictures over several months, of not only wolves, but opportunistically, they captured images of the amazing diversity of wildlife found throughout Idaho.
Using game cam images collected across the Magic Valley Region in 2019, a short video has been produced to provide a sampling of the wildlife that can be found throughout the region.
Applications for controlled deer, elk, pronghorn and fall bear hunts run May 1 through June 5. Elk hunters are reminded that new for 2020, there is a five-day waiting period to buy capped elk zone tags for any resident who applies for a controlled elk hunt regardless of whether the person draws the controlled hunt tag.
The Clark Fork River and the adjacent portion of Lake Pend Oreille have become increasingly popular with anglers and hunters in recent years. A tremendous fishery exists for a diversity of species in both the river and the lake. In addition, the area offers excellent waterfowl hunting opportunity and wildlife viewing. In response to the increased user demand in the area, Fish and Game staff have completed several projects aimed at improving access.
To allow continued public involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in lieu of a public hearing, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission will take public comments via email for a seven-day period from April 29 through May 6 prior their teleconference meeting May 13-14.
Fish and Game Conservation Officers received a report early Friday morning, April 24, of a mountain lion on a homeowner’s porch east of Kimberly. This was the second report of a mountain lion in the Kimberly area in two days. Before the officers’ arrival, the homeowner made repeated unsuccessful attempts to haze the mountain lion away from the house. The homeowner reported that the lion showed no fear despite him yelling repeatedly at the lion, and at one point the lion hissed and took an aggressive posture towards the homeowner.
Once on scene, the two Conservation Officers observed the male lion exhibiting no fear of humans. The lion stood its ground, and did not make any attempt to flee the area, which is not typical mountain lion behavior.
“We arrived on scene with the expectation of hazing the lion since it was in a rural area, and very near mountain lion habitat in the South Hills, south of Kimberly,” according to Regional Conservation Officer Josh Royse, “but what we found was a lion that was not exhibiting normal lion behavior, by not attempting to run away when approached. This behavior is very concerning because it has the potential of bringing people and lions into close proximity to each other, and causes concern for human safety. In the interest of public safety for local residents, the decision was made to euthanize the lion.”
While it cannot be verified, it is thought that this is the same lion that was seen in Kimberly the previous day, on the morning of April 23. That lion sighting happened about 6:45 a.m. in the heart of Kimberly, when the lion was observed on the porch of a home. Fish and Game officers, in cooperation with the Kimberly Police Department searched the community throughout the morning but could not find the lion.
Fresh grizzly bear tracks were confirmed by a Fish and Game conservation officer in the Fish Creek Meadows winter recreation area about 7 miles south of Grangeville on April 18, 2020. It is uncertain if the grizzly is still be in the area or has moved on.
VIDEO: Recreating in Bear Country with Jeremy Nicholson
Every year hunters return over-the-counter elk tags, including the highly sought after capped zone tags. Fish and Game staff have created a transparent process to provide these returned tags on a first come, first serve basis. Returned tags are sold the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. MDT, starting April 23 for nonresidents and July 21 for residents.
Hunters can view available tags the Tuesday prior to each sale date by going to the nonresident and resident tag quota pages.
To purchase a returned tag online, you will need to log in to your account on the Fish and Game purchase site at idfg.huntfishidaho.net. If you do not have an elk tag already, you can purchase a returned tag through the normal process by using the “Purchase a License, Tag, or Permit.”
If you already have an elk tag, and would like to exchange it for a returned tag, you will need to use the “Limited Tag Exchange” tab.
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