The Idaho big game hunting seasons and rules brochures for 2010 seasons are back from the printer.
The printed rules brochure is being shipped out and will be available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices statewide. It is also available on the Fish and Game Website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/.
The primary changes this year include some new caps on general season elk tags in three elk management zones to reduce harvest and provide better quality hunting. Caps are being placed on Lolo "A" tags, Smoky Mountain "A" tags and Salmon "B" tags. Caps are being reduced on Lolo "B" tags and Sawtooth "A" and "B" tags.
Resident youth elk hunters who purchase a general season elk zone tag while they are between ages 12 and 17, inclusive, may participate in any A or B tag elk season within the specified zone, regardless of whether they purchased an A tag or B tag. All other season, weapon restrictions, and commission rules apply. Controlled hunts are excluded.
Changes in the black bear and mountain lion rules for the coming fall seasons allow bear and lion hunters to use electronic calls in the Lolo and Selway elk management zones, extend the mountain lion season to June 30, 2011, in the Lolo and Selway zones, and increase the bag limit to two lions in the Lolo Zone.
In 2010 mandatory hunter reporting for deer, elk, and pronghorn is moving towards a paperless system. All successful hunters are required to report by Internet or phone within 10 days of harvest. Hunters who do not harvest, or did not hunt on their tag, are required to report within 10 days of the close of the hunting season.
Congress in 2009 designated 517,000 acres of public lands in Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho as wilderness. Hunters should be aware of the new wilderness boundaries and regulations. For information see: www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/owyhee_initiative.html.
Hunters will notice no other sweeping changes in the big game seasons for this year, but adjustments have been made in all regions of Idaho, so attention to the rules for specific areas is important. The brochure explains general and controlled hunts.
The big game controlled hunt application period runs from May 1 through June 5.