Press Release


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From the Field: Hunting Private Property

Jim Lukens, with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game

The Salmon Region has a number of hunting opportunities that focus effort on or near private property.

These hunts are designed to reduce property damage and animal numbers. Our two main examples are antlerless elk "greenfield" hunts and controlled antlerless deer "X" hunts. The elk greenfield hunts include units 29, 30, 36A, and the controlled 37-1 hunt. These hunts are restricted to areas outside National Forest boundaries and within one mile of private lands in agricultural production. The controlled X deer hunts include six units in the 21X hunt and four units in the 36AX hunt. These hunts are restricted to private lands only and use of short range weapons. Hunters participating in these hunts must secure permission to hunt on private property.

Many landowners are willing to allow hunting access if asked first. If allowed to hunt on private property, it is imperative that hunters treat the property as if it were their own. This includes packing out trash, leaving gates as found, not shooting toward equipment or buildings, not driving off roads and into fields and cleaning game at an offsite location. Another important issue for hunters to consider is wounded animals that run onto private property or private property under different ownership.

This can be a problem for hunters using short range weapons. Also, this does not give the hunter the right to trespass or fail to retrieve the animal. The hunter must find the landowner, get permission to enter the property and retrieve the animal. In cases when the landowner denies permission, Fish and Game officers or county sheriff's deputies may be able to mediate the issue.

Hunters need to keep in mind that trespassing for the purpose of hunting is a serious violation and carries a mandatory one year license revocation. As always, if hunters have questions about these regulations, they should call our office or consult the rules booklet.

Jim Lukens is the regional supervisor for the Salmon Region.