Press Release

See proposed changes for the 2020-21 Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer seasons and rules

F&G Commission is schedule to set seasons and rules on Jan. 23 in Boise

Fish and Game Commissioners are scheduled to set the 2020-21 Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer seasons and rules Jan. 23 during the commission's regular meeting in Boise. Hunters and other interested parties can also address the commission about these proposals, along with any other matters pertaining to Fish and Game, at the public hearing on at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Main Auditorium at St. Luke's Plaza, 720 East Park Blvd. in Boise. 

Here is a list of the proposed changes: 

Turkeys

  • No changes proposed for Clearwater, Magic Valley and Upper Snake regions

Panhandle Region 

  • Add units 7 and 9 to list of units open to general turkey hunting seasons – spring and fall. 

Justification: Turkeys are wide-spread throughout the Panhandle.  This would simplify regulations for the public.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 51 respondents: 96% support; 4 no opinion.

  • Extend fall general hunt season end date from December 31 to January 31.

Justification:  This would provide more flexibility to landowners who experience turkey depredation problems outside of existing fall seasons. Turkeys typically congregate in cattle feeding operations when significant snowfall pushes them to agricultural land. This season would be consistent with current forest grouse season dates.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 57 respondents: 88% support.

  • Expand Special unit tag use to all units in the Panhandle Region.

Justification: Turkeys are wide-spread throughout the Panhandle.  This would simplify regulations for the public and provide flexibility to address problems anywhere in the Panhandle.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 53 responses: 96% support; 2 no opinion.

  • Create an archery-only spring turkey hunt from April 1 – April 30 and an archery-only fall turkey hunt to be consistent with current archery white-tailed deer season (November 1 – December 1) on Farragut State Park/Wildlife Management Area.

Justification: Turkeys are very common throughout Farragut SP/WMA. This recommendation provides additional hunter opportunity to hunt turkeys during spring and fall with archery equipment, and would allow for turkey harvest during the existing white-tailed deer hunt.

Recommendation: Withdraw spring hunt proposal, but recommend archery-only fall turkey hunt concurrent with the archery white-tailed deer season in Farragut State Park/Wildlife Management Area. Idaho Parks and Recreation expressed a desire to discuss with its board prior to expansion of seasons outside of the currently allowed hunting framework.

Public comment: 50 respondents: 92% support; no opinion on original proposal.

Southwest Region 

  • Convert hunt 9021 to a fall general hunt in GMUs 22 and 31, August 30 – October 9; or convert hunts 9021 and 9023 to a fall general hunt in units 22, 31, 32, and 32A outside the national forest system boundary, August 30 – October 9.

Justification: Observations by staff, hunter harvest statistics, and increasing landowner complaints indicate a growing turkey population in these units. The severe winter of 2016/17 did not appear to hamper this growth. Additionally, turkey depredation complaints have continued to increase over the last few years, particularly complaints in the winter on winter wheat and livestock feeding operations.

Recommendation: Option 2; convert controlled hunts to a fall general hunt.

Public comment: 39 respondents: 64% support; 10 no opinion.

  • Extend end date of fall controlled hunt in units 22, 31, and 32 outside the National Forest System Boundary (9022) to December 31 (currently ends November 30).

Justification: Observations by staff, hunter harvest statistics, and increasing landowner complaints indicate a growing turkey population in these units. The severe winter of 2016/17 did not appear to hamper this growth. Additionally, turkey depredation complaints have continued to increase over the last few years, particularly complaints in the winter on winter wheat and livestock feeding operations.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 43 respondents: 78% support; 4 no opinion.

  • Convert spring controlled hunts to general season opportunity in Unit 38 and that portion of Unit 32 in Payette County, or add an additional 50 permits each to hunts 9003 and 9004.  Implement spring turkey LPH in GMU 38 – 50 tags, either-sex, April 15 – May 25, private land only within the following boundary: within one mile on either side of the Boise River and Snake River, beginning at the intersection of the north channel Boise River and Eagle Road, following the north channel Boise River and mainstem Boise River west to the confluence with the Snake River, then following the Snake River north to the border of Unit 32.

Justification: Observations by staff, hunter harvest statistics, and increasing landowner complaints indicate a growing turkey population in the western portion of GMU 38. This proposal will help provide additional spring hunting opportunity.

Recommendation: Option 1, convert all spring CHs in Hunt Area 38-1 to a spring general hunt.

Public comment: 50 respondents: 60% support; 2 no opinion.

Southeast Region 

  • Add Unit 70 to the list of spring general turkey hunting seasons. 

Justification: This past year the region has dealt with numerous nuisance conflicts with turkey in GMU 70 and currently there is no hunting opportunity. Many of the birds are found on private lands, but flocks are using public land in some isolated areas. A general spring season would give hunters opportunity, and provide landowners experiencing conflicts the ability to accommodate hunters. 

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 32 respondents: 94% support; 1 no opinion.

  • Eliminate fall controlled hunts 9019 and 9026 in Unit 71, and add Unit 71 to the general fall season framework with units 73, 74, 75, 77, and 78.

Justification: GMU 71 continues to receive numerous nuisance and depredation complaints. This past year many of the controlled hunt tags went unclaimed. This proposal would simplify turkey hunting opportunity and help address turkey conflicts.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 33 respondents: 85% support.

  • Extend general fall hunt season end date from October 31 to November 30 for units 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, and 78.

Justification: The region often issues kill permits and depredation hunts in these units after the close of the general season. This proposal would provide general season hunters more opportunity and reduce the need for emergency hunts.  

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 34 respondents: 85% support.

  • Add fall turkey LPH hunts (October 1 – December 31) to the following units:
  • 68A – 25 tags
  • 69 – 50 tags
  • 70 – 50 tags 
  • 71 – 50 tags
  • 73 – 100 tags
  • 74 – 50 tags 
  • 77 – 300 tags  

Justification: This proposal would allow the region to use hunting in areas where turkey cause conflicts or depredations in the fall. These LPH tags are a form of depredation hunt and provide another tool to address turkey depredations when and where they arise. 

Recommendation: Modify dates of proposal to December 1-31 for all GMUS, except GMU 70, to avoid overlap with general seasons. Increase number of tags in GMU 70 to 75, and maintain October 1 – December 31 season.

Public comment: 32 respondents: 84% support; 2 no opinion on original proposal. Despite support, the Region determined LPHs that overlapped with general seasons could reduce opportunity for general hunters; therefore, they recommended modified dates so LPH did not overlap with general seasons.

  • Add a 50-tag controlled hunt to Unit 70 from September 15 – November 30. - Access is Limited

Justification: This limited controlled hunt along with LPH tags will provide the region more options to deal with conflict turkeys and allow for hunting opportunity on public and private lands where turkeys have become established.

Recommendation: Withdraw proposal.

Public comment: 28 respondents: 89% support; 5 no opinion on original proposal. Despite support, the Region determined adding a fall CH with a LHP was not warranted and would do little to alleviate turkey conflict in this area.

Salmon Region 

  • Add new spring controlled hunt in units 21, 21A, 29, 30, and that portion of Unit 28 downstream from the Hat Creek drainage – 10 tags.

Justification: The Salmon-area turkey population is growing from translocations in 2014-2015, which affords some spring turkey hunting opportunity.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 14 respondents: 100% support. 

  • Increase the number of tags from 5 to 15, for fall controlled hunt in units 21, 21A, 29, 30, and that portion of Unit 28 downstream from the Hat Creek drainage.

Justification: The Challis and Salmon-area turkey populations have continued to expand, which have caused some depredation/nuisance complaints. These fall hunts are proposed as an effective and proactive management tool.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 13 respondents: 85% support. 

Upland Game 

  • No changes proposed for the Clearwater, Southwest, Magic Valley, Southeast, Upper Snake, and Salmon regions

Panhandle Region

  • Create archery-only upland game animal/bird seasons to be consistent with current archery white-tailed deer season (November 1 – December 1) on Farragut State Park/Wildlife Management Area. 

Justification: Upland game are common throughout Farragut State Park/Wildlife Management Area. This propoal provides additional hunter opportunity to hunt upland game during fall with archery equipment, and would allow for upland game harvest during the existing white-tailed deer hunt.

Recommendation: Same as proposed.

Public comment: 49 responses: 84% support; no opinion.