The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, March 20, adopted the 2014 seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf, as well as seasons and limits for Spring Chinook Salmon as proposed by Fish and Game biologists.
The new seasons include an increase in elk controlled hunt and pronghorn tags and expanded wolf hunting and trapping seasons. A summary of major changes include:
Major changes for deer:
- Net increase of 1,076 controlled hunt deer tags.
- Increase general season antlerless season in Units 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5 and 6 by opening antlerless hunt on October 10. This makes the entire season from October 10 through December 1 either-sex.
- Increase extra antlerless tags in Unit 1 from 300 to 350, and in Unit 3 from 50 to 100.
- Shift controlled mule deer buck hunt in Unit 18 one week later.
- Reduce antlerless tags in hunt area 39-1 from 800 to 700.
- Create a new youth extra antlerless hunt in unit 39, east of Blacks Creek Road, and south of the South Fork Boise River.
- Increase controlled archery hunt tags for bucks in Unit 40 from 25 to 50.
- Rotate controlled muzzleloader buck hunt from east side of unit 52 to Units 55, 56 and 57.
- Convert Unit 54 general season archery hunt to unlimited controlled hunt.
- Convert general archery season in Unit 70 to unlimited controlled hunt (either sex August 30-September 30; antlerless October 1-9.)
- Create new muzzleloader only either-sex controlled hunt with 30 tags in Unit 74. Rotate hunt annually among Units 74, 68 and 73A.
- Create a new archery extra antlerless hunt for 35 extra antlerless tags in a portion of Unit 73.
- Increase antlerless and either-sex tags in Units 60, 60A, 61, 62, 66 and 69 from 200 to 500.
- Increase extra antlerless short-range weapon hunt tags from 105 to 200 in hunt area 36AX.
- Add 2 new high quality muzzleloader buck hunts in Units 21A and 30A with 5 tags each November 1-November 30.
Major changes for elk:
- Total increase of 296 controlled hunt tags.
- Increase either-sex and antlerless elk controlled hunt tags in Panhandle Units 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Add 5 days to A-tag muzzleloader spike/antlerless hunt in Unit 8A.
- Move antlerless and extra-antlerless controlled hunts in Unit 18 to nine days earlier.
- Eliminate January extra antlerless landowner permission hunt in Unit 39.
- Add new antlerless controlled hunt in Unit 41 with 50 tags, and a new archery antlered elk controlled hunt in Units 40 and 42 with 10 tags.
- Expand area in Unit 22A tag hunt outside of USFS boundary to address depredations and extend season by 31 days in Unit 32.
- Increase antlerless elk tags in Units 39, 43, 44, 45 and 48.
- Add new hunt with 10 antlered only tags in hunt are 50-1.
- Add Units 37 and 37A to existing greenfield hunts in Units 29 and 51, and increase season by 15 days to close September 30.
- Add two new antlerless hunts in Unit 30A-1 with 50 tags each.
- Move antlerless controlled hunts from Unit 36B to Salmon Zone A-tag general season.
- Reconfigure elk management zones:
- Split Owyhee-South Hills into 2 zones.
- Unit 56 from Bannock to South Hills.
- Units 45 and 52 from Bennett to Smoky-Bennett Zone.
- Dissolve Teton Zone 62 to Island Park, and 65 to Palisades.
Major changes for pronghorn:
- Increase of 50 controlled hunt tags.
- Increase doe/fawn tags in hunt area 44-1 from 50 to 75, and add December hunt.
- New doe/fawn hunt with 25 tags in northern section of Unit 54.
- Increase either-sex tags from 10 to 20 and expand hunt area 36A to include Unit 36.
- Convert muzzleloader only hunt to short-range weapon hunt.
Major change for black bears:
- Allow use of electronic calls in Units 4A, 20A, 26, and 27.
- Change season end date in Unit 1 to June 15.
- Increase limit to 2 bears in Unit 4A.
- Extend closing date from May 15 to May 31 in Units 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 11A and 13.
- Extend closing date from May 31 to June 20 in Units 4 and 4A.
- Extend closing date for Fall season to November 30 in Units 4, 4A, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 16A, 17, 19, 20, 20A, 26 and 27.
- Open controlled hunt area 22 and 32 August 15-31 on private land (excluding corporate timberland.)
- Provide new dog training opportunity July 1-31 in Units 75, 77 and 78 where there is no take season.
Major change for mountain lions:
- Allow use of electronic calls in Units 6, 20A, 26 and 27.
- Extend season closing date from February 16 to March 31 in Units 2, 3, 4, 4A and 5.
- Increase bag limit to 2 mountain lions and allow use of electronic calls in Unit 6.
- Implement female quotas in Units 36A and 36B (2 each.) Season will remain open to take of males-only after quotas are reached.
Major change for gray wolves:
- Change hunting bag limit to 5 wolves per calendar year in all zones.
- Allow year-round wolf hunting season on private land in the Clearwater Region (8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19, and 20).
- Extend hunting season in the portions of Units 21 and 28 within designated wilderness to close June 30 instead of March 31.
- Change trapping bag limit to 5 wolves per trapping season in those areas open to trapping wolves.
- Implement new wolf trapping seasons in 9 Units in portions of the Sawtooth and Southern Mountain Zones, including Units 29, (a portion of 36,) 36A, 37, 37A, 43, 44, 50 and 51.
- Change opening of trapping season for Wolves in that portion of Unit 6 in the North Fork of Saint Joe River and all of Units 7, 9, 10, 12, 16A, 17, 19 and 20 to October 10.
- Allow trapping season for wolves on private land only in Unit 45.
- Allow the use of legally salvaged wildlife parts for trapping wolves Statewide.
Details of the 2014 big game hunting seasons will be posted on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov and the new printed brochure will be available at all license vendors in late April.
- Seasons will begin on April 26 on the Clearwater,Middle Fork Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Lochsa, Lower Salmon and Little Salmon and on the Snake River in Hells Canyon from Dug Bar upstream to Hells Canyon Dam. Closing dates will be determined and ordered by the Commission based on harvest quotas.
- Daily limits will be 4 fish per day. Only 2 of the daily limit of 4 fish may be adult salmon (24 inches or larger) on the Lower Salmon, Little Salmon, Snake River and South Fork Clearwater rivers. Only 1 of the daily bag limit of 4 fish may be an adult salmon on the Main stem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa rivers.
- A special restriction will be placed on a short stretch of the Clearwater River known as Big Eddy. That stretch will be closed to fishing from watercraft. Anglers fishing from the bank will be allowed to fish that section. Boundaries will be clearly posted.
Details of the 2014 Spring Chinook salmon season will be posted on the Fish and Game website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov and the new printed brochure will be available at license vendors soon.