An open house will be held at the Magic Valley Fish and Game Office, Jerome, to take public input and comments regarding the upland bird and furbearer regulations for the years 2000 - 2001. This open house will be on Thursday, April 27, from 8 am to 5 pm, at 868 East Main, Jerome.
For all practical purposes, there will be absolutely no changes in upland bird rules for the next two years in this region. Season lengths, bag and possession limits, and areas open to hunting will be the same for pheasants, forest grouse, gray and chukar partridge, quail, sage and sharp-tailed grouse. In other areas of Idaho, it has been proposed to lengthen the sharp-tailed grouse season by two weeks to coincide with the 30-day season in the remainder of the state. It is also recommended that the Southeast, Upper Snake and Salmon Regions standardize their partridge seasons to align with the rest of the state, mid- September through mid- January.
A proposed furbearer harvest rule change would eliminate the yearly bobcat jaw turn-in requirement. Jaws would be required for two years in a row, then not required for four years. Jaws would not be required in 2000; turn-in would resume in 2005.
There is a proposal to open the raccoon harvest season on a year-round basis statewide, and to authorize the use of dogs to take raccoons year-round, including during the rifle season for deer and elk. In the Magic Valley Region, we are recommending removal of the exceptions to the fox season in Blaine and Camas Counties. Under this proposed rule, there would be a July 1 through June 30 fox season throughout the region.
Trappers sometimes catch otters inadvertently while pursuing beavers. There has not been an otter harvest season in Idaho since 1971. A proposal is being made to allow trappers to keep one otter caught accidentally during the beaver season. Trappers would have to notify Fish and Game within 72 hours after an incidental catch if they planned to keep the animal.
Public comment may be called in to the Magic Valley Regional Office anytime between now and 5 p.m. on April 27. A biologist will be on hand all day on the 27th to take comments from the public and explain proposed changes and their intended purpose. The phone number for the office is 324-4359.