Since I didn't get lucky with a draw tag. I am looking to see where I will be hunting this year. I have been hearing rumors that all of the Elk and Pony fire areas will be off limits this year. I have not read this anywhere. Is there any truth to these rumors?
IDFG does not have any plans to restrict elk and deer hunting opportunity in Unit 39 this fall as a result of last years Pony and Elk fires. However, travel restrictions may and will likely be in place in areas affected by the fire. Ultimately travel restrictions are a call by the US Forest Service and BLM on land administered by them. For example, last year there were restrictions on all access to parts of the burned area but IDFG was able to work with the Forest Service to allow foot travel while the Forest Service maintained motorized restrictions to protect the resource. We anticipate a similar approach this year but for further information on potential restrictions this fall you can visit the Forest Service and BLM offices or visit their websites:
BLM - http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/advisories-closures.html
Forest Service - http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices
In addition, after December the BLM had an all-closure restriction on areas burned to protect wintering deer and elk from additional stress. The Southwest Region supported that closure and will again evaluate that need with the BLM this coming winter.