Dworshak area hunters should be aware that the Idaho Fish and Game commission shortened the deer hunting season in Unit 10A for 2018. Whitetail hunting will end on Nov. 20 this year instead of the traditional date of Dec. 1. Commissioners also disallowed the use second, non-resident deer tags in unit 10A in an effort to reduce harvest.
The changes were made by commissioners at the request of some whitetail hunters who said they are seeing fewer mature whitetail bucks in Unit 10A than in the past. Those hunters contend ending the season in the middle of the rut, when bucks are most vulnerable to hunters, will allow better survival. Fish and Game harvest data has not shown a decrease in mature bucks from Unit 10A in recent years.
Big game regulations are typically set on a two-year cycle, however, the commission can change rules annually at its discretion. Fish and Game biologists have the opportunity to recommend season changes to the commission based on biological data, preferences from hunters and other factors.
Wildlife biologists are currently working on new whitetail and mule deer management plans that are expected to be released next year. Surveys on the desires of whitetail and mule deer hunters in the state were conducted in 2017 to help formulate the updated management plans.
The results of those surveys are expected to be released during fall. For more information contact the regional office at (208) 799-5010.