Idaho Fish and Game is proposing 2013-2014 waterfowl seasons of 105 days and a two-day youth hunt, along with some changes in goose seasons and limits.
Idaho sets waterfowl seasons by zones. The state has three duck and dark goose zones and four light goose zones. The proposal would separate Canada geese and white-fronted geese seasons.
Idaho's waterfowl seasons must fit within guidelines set annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for all states in the Pacific Flyway. As it has since 1997, Fish and Wildlife has allowed a 107-day season.
This year, for ducks and Canada geese, those 107 days may occur only between September 21 and January 26. For white-fronted geese and light geese - snow and Ross's geese - those 107 days may occur only between September 21 and March 10, 2014.
The proposed waterfowl season would open with a two-day youth hunt on September 28 and 29 for licensed youths aged 10 to 15.
Duck and Canada goose seasons in the area around the American Falls Reservoir would run from October 5 to January 17, with scaup seasons from October 25 to January 17. In the rest of the state it would run from October 12 to January 24, with scaup seasons from November 2 to January 24.
The daily bag limit would be seven ducks - but no more than two female mallards, two redheads, three scaup, two pintails and two canvasbacks - and four Canada geese.
In 2013, the framework for white-fronted geese was separated from Canada geese.
For the first time, Idaho can now select a 107-day white-fronted goose season between September 21, 2013 and March 10, 2014. Fish and Game is considering two options to accommodate white-fronted goose hunting opportunities for the 2013-2014 season in the southwest part of the state.
One option would separate the white-fronted and light goose seasons, with white-fronted geese open from November 2 to February 14, and light geese from November 5 to January 24 and February 15 to March 10. Under a second option, both white fronted geese and light geese would be open from November 26 through March 10.
However, if the white-fronted goose and light-goose seasons would occur at the same time, the use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns would not be allowed.
Elsewhere, the white-fronted goose season around the American Falls Reservoir would run from October 5 through January 17, and in the rest of the state it would run from October 12 through January 24. The daily bag limit would be six white fronted geese.
For light geese - snow and Ross's geese - there are four zones.
The season for:
- Zone 1 would run from October 5 to January 17.
- Zone 2 would run from October 29 to January 17 and from February 15 through March 10.
- Zone 3 would run from November 5 to January 24 and from February 15 through March 10; or from November 26 through March 10.
- Zone 4 would run from October 12 to January 24.
The daily bag limit would be 20 light geese, increased from 10 last year.
For light geese, zones 1 and 2 are in the area around American Falls Reservoir, including the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Bannock County and parts of Bingham, Caribou and Power counties; zone 3 is the Southwest and part of the Magic Valley; and zone 4 is the rest of the state.
Open house meetings are planned across the state to take public comments on the proposed seasons. Comments may be submitted on website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/webform/2013-waterfowl-season-prop....
Written comments may also be mailed to: 2013-14 Waterfowl Seasons, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707. The deadline for public comment is August 16.
A summary of public comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the meeting August 19 in Idaho Falls.