Winter Wildlife Conditions
Friday, February 2, 2001 - 12:00 AM MST
In order to help keep the citizens of Idaho informed regarding the physical condition of their wildlife the Upper Snake Regional Office will be issuing reports throughout the winter. Reports reflect information gathered from IDFG field staff and contacts in local communities. Reports will be issued as conditions change, especially if a major winter weather situation develops. Requests for further info should be directed to Gregg Losinski at 390-0635. Throughout the Upper Snake Region snow accumulation is below normal. Much of the snow cover consists of light, fluffy powder with minimal water content. In general, our big game herds look healthy and are doing well. Although winter conditions have been mild, we have had some elk depredation problems in the Teton Basin and Little Lost River Valley as well as white-tailed deer depredations along the Snake River corridor. Sand Creek Approximately 18 inches of snow cover. Deer and elk are in good physical condition with much forage available on wind swept ridges and south-facing slopes. Swan Valley Approximately 12 inches of snow on the valley floor, with accumulations of 24 inches at higher elevation. Nighttime temperatures in the valley have been dipping below 0 o F for the past several weeks. However, daytime temperatures are warmer due to available sunshine. Elk appear to be in good condition and are utilizing CRP fields at lower elevations. On January 31, IDFG began baiting approximately 50 elk at Rainey Creek. As part of a joint effort with the Idaho Department of Agriculture, IDFG will begin trapping and testing elk for the presence of brucellosis sometime during the month of February. Infected animals will be quarantined at the Wildlife Lab in Caldwell, Idaho. Teton Basin, Conant Creek now accumulation of 12 inches on the valley floor and up to 24 inches in the mountains. Most deer and elk are at lower elevations utilizing CRP fields, river bottoms and south-facing slopes. On January 31, IDFG in conjunction with a private landowner began baiting 8 cow elk. During the month of February, IDFG will begin trapping and testing elk for the presence of Brucellosis. Big Desert/INEEL/Medicine Lodge Snow accumulations of 6-10 inches. Most forage is still available due to minimal snow depths. Within the Medicine Lodge area deer and elk are utilizing wind swept ridges and south-facing slopes. Big and Little Lost Rivers, Birch Creek, Medicine Lodge Snow accumulations of 6 to 8 inches within the valleys and up to18 inches in mountains. Many south-facing slopes are open and most deer and elk are scattered between winter range and transitional range. During the last week of January, 16 fawns were trapped in the Birch Creek drainage and radio-collared as part of the ongoing statewide fawn survivability study. Tex Creek Snow accumulations are 6 to 12 inches with scattered drifting. South-facing aspects have 0 to 4 inches of snow. Therefore, much of the native forage is readily available to big game. Overall, deer and elk are in good physical condition.