Press Release

Upper Snake Region  Winter Conditions Report -  February 24, 2017

Upper Snake Region  Winter Conditions Report -  February 24, 2017

BIG GAME WINTERING CONDITIONS:

Animals were in good to excellent condition entering winter.  The last two weeks saw above normal temperatures with most areas receiving rain.   Elk, deer, and antelope have been observed in large groups but recent reductions in snowpack due to warmer temperatures has caused some larger groups to break into smaller groups.

Sand Creek, Hamer

Snow depth is 1-4 inches with moderate to severe crusting.  Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Swan Valley

Snow depth is 1-3 inches on the valley floor with moderate to severe crusting.  South facing slopes are at 2-8 inches.  Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Teton Basin

Valley floor has 16-26 inches of snow with moderate to severe crusting.  South facing slopes are at 16-20 inches. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Big Desert, INL

Snow depth is 1-6 inches on valley floor with moderate to severe crusting observed. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Birch Creek

Snow depth is 1-8 inches on the valley floor. South facing slopes are at 1-6 inches with moderate to severe crusting. Some slopes are free of snow. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Big Lost River

Snow depth is 12-18 inches on the valley floor with moderate to severe crusting. South facing slopes are at 4-6 inches with some slopes free of snow. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Little Lost River

Snow depth is 1-2 inches on the valley floor with moderate crusting.  South facing slopes are at 1-4 inches with some slopes free of snow.  Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Tex Creek

Snow depth is 8-10 inches with 1-4 inches on the south facing slopes with most of those slopes free of snow.  Moderate to severe crusting observed. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.

Big game depredations and winter feeding update:

Depredations have decreased throughout the region.  Currently, department personnel are feeding approximately 3500-4000 big game animals on the Tex Creek WMA due to lack of suitable forage lost in the fire.  All roads into the Tex Creek WMA have been closed this year due to feeding operations and the prevention of causing added stress to the animals. Winter feeding of 600 elk in the Big Lost Valley commenced on February 8th to help alleviate concerns with haystack losses and cattle operations in the Moore area. Monitoring of snow depth and condition of animals are being closely monitored. Regional staff is in close contact with the regional winter feeding advisory committee in the event that winter feeding is warranted in other areas of the region based on regional winter criteria.