The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, October 3, approved a change in a controlled elk hunt in the Wood River Valley in response to wildfire closures.
Commissioners changed controlled hunt No. 2107 to include the parts of game management units 43 and 44 west of the Pine-Featherville Road (Forest Service Road 61) and Rocky Bar Road (Forest Service Road 156). The change affects 90 tag holders for controlled hunt area 48-3.
The Elk Complex, Pony Complex and Beaver Creek fires together affected nearly 400,000 acres of private and public shrub-steppe uplands and forest habitat in portions of the Magic Valley and Southwest regions during August and September.
Because of the affected habitat and fire-related closures, many hunters have requesting rain checks for next year or are seeking to exchange their tags for other hunts.
Controlled hunt 2107 in Hunt Area 48-3 - with 90 tags for antlerless elk only from October 15 through November 9 -- has been significantly affected by fire, and access to much of the area is still restricted.
Access is closed to about half of Area 48-3, which is the part of game unit 48 south of the Ketchum-Warm Springs Creek-Dollarhide Summit Road.
Expanding the hunt area for the 2013 season offers hunters with tags the flexibility to hunt in parts of adjacent units 43 and 44. The change also may provide the benefit of harvesting elk that would otherwise migrate to winter range, including agricultural land, that was affected the Elk Complex Fires near Mayfield in Unit 39.
For location see Fish and Game's Hunt Planner: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntPlanner/.