Skip to main content

Idaho Fish and Game

Loving Dogs Often Harmful To Wildlife

While this spring has been favorable for young wildlife, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds dog owners that their loving pet can be harmful to area wildlife, especially upland game birds and deer. "We receive reports almost daily about dogs harassing both young birds and adults still sitting on nests," said Dave Cadwallader, regional conservation officer based in Lewiston. Dogs don't have to kill birds to be considered a problem. Often just separating the young from their parents for a short time can lead to death. Adults scared off of nests may stay away too long or not even return at all. In addition to dogs harassing birds, IDFG has also received several deer fawns injured by dogs. Because the secretive nature of White-tailed deer allows it to live in close proximity to humans and their pets, each spring numerous conflicts arise when the nearby woods hold a bounty of deer fawns. "Most dog-caused fawn injuries occur during June," said Cadwallader. "However, the best solution is to never let dogs roam free and to always keep a close eye on them when in the field," he said. If you witness dogs harassing wildlife or encounter wildlife that seems to be injured or stranded, contact IDFG at 208-799-5010, or the local law enforcement agency.