Idaho Deer News
... We tested for both direct and indirect (through body mass) effects of spring and autumn phenology on winter survival of 2315 mule deer fawns across a wide range of environmental conditions in Idaho, USA... A path analysis showed that early winter precipitation and direct and indirect effects of spring and autumn NDVI functional components accounted for 45% of observed variation in overwinter survival. The effect size of autumn phenology on body mass was about twice that of spring phenology, while direct effects of phenology on survival were similar between spring and autumn...

...  State wildlife officials in northern Idaho say poachers are killing far more game animals than wolves...

Graying moose: proof that ticks suck April 16, 2014 Idaho, The Bulletin 
...  “When a moose contacts the brushy vegetation covered by interlocked tick larvae, strings of thousands of tick larvae cling onto the hair of the moose and crawl toward the skin ... These tick larvae can also cling to deer; however, deer appear to be able to scratch them off.” ... “The cause of mortality can be loss of blood, hypothermia due to loss of hair, or starvation ...

Volunteering for habitat April 14, 2014 Idaho Fish and Game
... Idahoans care about their wildlife. It's always uplifting to me to see a group of volunteers taking time to show it and volunteer at events such as sagebrush and bitterbrush planting to restore wildlife habitat.  Volunteers recently planted over the Minidoka complex fire at Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area. The story and photo gallery are now online.  Interested in volunteering? You can also learn more about the history of volunteers in Idaho Fish and Game's 75th celebration page.

Will that Seedling Survive to Shelter Birds and Feed Deer? April 10, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... slopes of the Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area, on the rolling edges of the South Hills, were burned in a fire so hot that sagebrush and bitterbrush won’t come back without help... You have two more chances to join the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s planting days this spring... Sign up: David Harper, 208-324-4359 or david.harper@idfg.idaho.gov.

... The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will distribute nearly $1.1 billion in hunting and fishing excise tax revenues to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects....  Washington has been allocated $14.4 million in P-R funds this year, up from $10.1 million last year.  
Idaho has been allocated $14.6 million...

... Studies in several states, including Minnesota and Montana, are looking into tick infestations as one of several possibilities for general declines in moose populations... The ticks are called “moose ticks” or “winter ticks.” They are not attracted to humans...

Animal detection system makes wild U.S. 95 safer March 30, 2014, Idaho, The Spokesman-Review ·
... A wildlife detection system developed by Sloan’s company – Sloan Security Technologies of Boise – could make the road safer for both people and animals. It uses Doppler radar to spot animals approaching the roadway. The detection sets off flashing lights on a warning sign, alerting drivers to slow down. ...

A Book Newly Available to Read Online (1986)

Economic Value of Deer Hunting in Idaho



Idaho Approves Year-Round Wolf Hunting March 28, 2014 griffinsguide.com
... Last week the Idaho Fish and Game Commission made a rule change allowing year-round wolf hunting on private property in the state’s northern Clearwater Region, which was quickly followed by the passage of a bill that would set aside $400,000 in funds to control gray wolf populations...  the Idaho Fish and Game Department estimated that the state’s elk population had fallen 15 percent since wolves were reintroduced...

Deer make themselves at home in Driggs March 28, 2014 Idaho, Teton Valley News
... “They keep my apple trees trimmed,” ... Fish and Game will move some wildlife —moose for example ... But, deer aren’t on the list...

Commission Sets Big Game, Spring Chinook 2014 Seasons March 27, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... Major changes for deer:  Net increase of 1,076 controlled hunt deer tags.   Increase general season antlerless season in Units 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5 and 6 by opening antlerless hunt on Oct. 10...  Increase extra antlerless tags in Unit 1 from 300 to 350, and in Unit 3 from 50 to 100...

Unleashed dogs pose threat to winter-weary wildlife March 27, 2014 Idaho, The Spokesman-Review 
... Deer and elk will need another few months to regain their strength from the rigors of surviving the winter, and they don't need any setbacks from loose-running dogs...

...  In Unit 70 south of Pocatello near Mink Creek and Arbon Valley, the commission voted to eliminate the general archery hunt and replace it with an unlimited control hunt for mule deer...

... The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is trying to protect big game in wildlife management areas by reminding people to keep their dogs on a leash...

Big game rules will be decided this week March 18, 2014 Idaho, Bellingham Herald
... The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will set big game seasons and rules for 2014-15 during a meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Boise. A public hearing will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 at the Washington Group Plaza at 720 East Park Blvd...

Bad Policy and Chronic Wasting Disease March 16, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... Idaho’s chronic wasting disease preventions are now the lowest of neighboring states and provinces. Elected officials have wagered wild deer and elk pursued by more than 200,000 hunters to save 60-plus elk ranchers about $20,000 annual costs... Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recognized H431 played Russian roulette with public wildlife ...

...  The newly formed Southeast Idaho Chapter will be hosting its first banquet on Saturday, March 8, at Bish’s RV Super Center in Pocatello....

Volunteers needed to plant seedlings March 1, 2014 Idaho, IdahoPress.com
... Volunteer planting projects begin today. Subsequent planting efforts will be conducted March 8, 15, 22 and 29... Besides providing essential food sources for deer, elk and other wildlife, bitterbrush and sagebrush provide cover from the elements and from predators ... Volunteer information is also available at fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/volunteer.

Idaho seeks middle ground on wolf control March 1, 2014 Idaho Statesman 
 ...  lawmakers and other state leaders call for cutting the wolf population— now estimated at a minimum of 650 — to about 300...  the testimony of new Fish and Game Commissioner Brad Corkill. At his Jan. 15 confirmation hearing, he said: “If every wolf in Idaho disappeared, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.” ... Since August, Idaho hunters and trappers have killed 251 wolves...

Idaho Fish and Game kills 23 wolves in Lolo Pass area March 1, 2014 Idaho, Missoulian 
... USDA Wildlife Service agents ...  have killed 23 wolves in northern Idaho in an effort to boost the number of elk in the region... It's the sixth time the agency has taken action to kill wolves in the Lolo zone in the past four years, bringing the total number of wolves killed there to 48... Idaho lawmakers in the House voted last week to direct $2 million to help kill problem wolves ...

Idaho sets meetings on rules for hunting, salmon fishing February 25, 2014 Idaho, The Spokesman-Review
... The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will consider proposed big game seasons for 2014 during a meeting March 19 and 20 in Boise.  Routine agenda items include a legislative update; season setting for deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, mountain lion and wolves; briefing on rules for game animals; and season setting for Chinook salmon.  A complete agenda will be available on the Fish and Game website by Wednesday, March 5....

Southwest Proposals for 2014 Big Game Seasons February 22, 2014 Idaho,  Idaho Fish and Game, idaho.gov
     White-tailed Deer:  No changes proposed.
     Mule Deer:  Close a portion Unit 39 from the general archery only season; area closed would be east of Blacks Creek Road and south of the South Fork of Boise River. Closing this area during the general archery season will allow a new controlled deer hunt for youth (39-3) and elk hunt 39-6 to be put into place to better address depredation and landowner concerns in the Mayfield area....
     Elk:  Eliminate Landowner Permission Extra Antlerless Controlled Hunt in January.  Add new Extra Antlerless Controlled Hunt in area 39-6 to address depredation concerns...     
    Comments for these and other proposals can be submitted at the link above where there is additional information

Clearwater Proposals for 2014 Big Game Seasons February 22, 2014 Idaho Fish and Game, Idaho.gov
     White-tailed Deer: No changes proposed.
     Mule Deer: Unit 18 Controlled Deer Hunt – Antlered Deer (Mule deer only):  Shift controlled hunt 1 week later to Oct 17 – Nov 10.  Justification: Address crowding issues resulting from 2009 and 2013 elk season adjustments (tag increases and implementation of new hunts) by shifting opener away from busy Oct 10 timeframe...
     Comments for these and other proposals can be submitted at the link above where there is additional information

Southeast Proposals for 2014 Big Game Seasons February 22, 2014 Idaho Fish and Game, idaho.gov
     White-tailed Deer:  No changes proposed.
     Mule Deer: ... Address concerns associated with an increasing resident deer population in the Bear River corridor near Preston that is resulting in increasing landowner and public safety concerns.  We propose adding a controlled hunt offering extra antlerless tags in a restricted area of the Bear River corridor from just north of Preston Idaho downstream to the Utah border.
     Elk: No changes proposed.
     Comments for these and other proposals can be submitted at the link above where there is additional information

Salmon Proposals for 2014 Big Game Seasons February 22, 2014  Idaho Fish and Game, idaho.gov
     White-tailed Deer:   Increase effectiveness of the 36AX hunt and reduce landowner depredation complaints and vehicle/deer collisions.
     Mule Deer:  Increase effectiveness of 36AX hunt and reduce landowner depredation complaints and vehicle/deer collisions.
     Elk: Manage 36A (Pioneer Zone) population toward objective; address growing depredation problems more aggressively in Units 29, 30, 30A, 36B, 37 and 37A.
     Comments for these and other proposals can be submitted at the link above where there is additional information

... The addition of a controlled hunt offering extra antlerless tags in a restricted area of the Bear River corridor from just north of Preston downstream to the Utah border. This proposal is to address concerns associated with the increasing resident deer population in the Bear River corridor near Preston ...

Idaho's first elk preserve created in 1909 February 19, 2014 The Spokesman Review 
... About 107,000 elk roam in Idaho today, a stark contrast to a century ago when elk numbers were so low officials had to declare a moratorium on elk hunting in parts of the state...

Keep elk testing at 100 percent February 18, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... scaling back from 100 to 10 percent of testing for CWD on farms ...  a gamble nobody can afford. ...Eighteen states, including Utah and Wyoming, now report CWD incidence since it was first discovered in northeastern Colorado in the late 1960s... 

Bill to lower Idaho's hunting age passes House committee February 14, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... Idaho children as young as 10 years old would be able to shoot wolves, bears and elk under a proposed bill headed to the state House floor....

Open house set for big game seasons discussion February 13, 2014 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... A complete list of statewide deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear and mountain lion proposals will soon be available on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website. Comments on the proposals will be accepted both on the website and at open houses planned around the state...

F&G slates open houses and online chat for big game rules February 10, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... On Wednesday, February 26, from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m. people can log on to the Fish and Game website and chat live with wildlife biologists. Proposed changes to 2014 big game seasons will be discussed ...

Lack Of Snow Impacts Big Game Surveys February 10, 2014 Idaho, kmvt
... Mild conditions have made it nearly impossible to conduct aerial surveys in the South Hills and the Bannock region... Normally the snowpack level in the South Hills is more than 80%. Currently it's at 17% ...  "we're moving toward models for all of our mule deer population estimates where the fawn doe ratio is really important as is winter survival....

IDFG seeks to lower age for big game hunting February 8, 2014 Idaho, Idaho Press-Tribune
... Idaho Fish and Game wants to give kids as young as 10 years old a shot at bringing down big game ... If Idaho lawmakers agree with the proposal, Idaho’s age requirements will mirror those in Arizona, Maine and Nebraska, all of which allow children 10 and up to hunt. Some states, including Nevada, do not have a set minimum age to hunt...

2014 Natural wonders January 30, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... Deer and elk typically shed their antlers by March and April, although deer usually shed antlers earlier than elk, starting around the end of January ...

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Ends Wolf Hunt  January 28, 2014 Outdoor Life
... The DFG did not say why it halted the hunt early... DFG reports from 2012 estimated about 680 wolves inhabited the state... Elk cows and calves in the area have suffered from increased predation, and the Middle Fork herd has declined 43 percent since 2002...

Idaho Wants To Lower Age For Big Game Hunting To 10 Years Old January 22, 2014 seattle.cbslocal.com 
... The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to give kids as young as 10 years old a shot at bringing down big game, saying it should be up to their parents if youngsters are allowed to hunt ...

As Elk Move South, Problems Grow January 19, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... With the rise of Idaho’s wolf population and the onslaught of wildfires, elk patterns have drastically changed over the past 15 years, leaving the agricultural community victim to the movements of thousand-head herds that trample crops and consume expensive livestock feed.  Throughout southern Idaho, elk populations are up by 20 percent to 50 percent, said Toby Boudreau, a wildlife program coordinator with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game...

Wolf-killing plan complicates balancing act January 14, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... Elk populations have dropped in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River drainage as hunters and six packs of wolves have killed enough elk to keep the population from responding to the growth of new food sources after 20 years of fire...  some legislators are skeptical about spending $2 million to kill wolves. With a total population of about 700 wolves, that’s $2,800 for every wolf in Idaho ...

South Hills Seasonal Road Closure Starts Soon January 12, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
 ... “The South Hills area serves as a vitally important mule deer winter range,” said Jeremy Bisson, BLM wildlife biologist. “Any excessive disturbance is perceived as a threat by the deer, causing them to deplete their fat reserves and move away from their crucial foraging areas...

Slow down and avoid hitting a deer on Idaho's highways January 9, 2014 Idaho, Bellingham Herald
... Idaho 21 slices right through prime mule deer winter range and the best thing for motorists commuting from Idaho City to Boise is to slow down and keep an eye out for deer...

Fish and Game: Hunter Reports January 9, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... All deer, elk and pronghorn hunters must complete and submit a report for each tag issued within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the close of the season for which their tag was valid.  Hunter reports can be submitted online 

F&G proposes fee hike and freeze for regulars January 2, 2014 Idaho, Idaho Statesman
... Idaho resident license fees haven’t raised since 2005... Nonresident licenses and tags bring in more revenue than resident licenses. A resident deer tag costs $19.75, and an elk tag $30.75.  But Fish and Game has seen a steady decline in nonresident tags sales ...

... Pete Espil, a local hunter, adds, “we introduced a predator into Idaho then protected it and it had no other predators. It really hurt our deer and elk populations and it hurt our ranchers and families that raise livestock ... 

Environmentalists want Idaho wolf, coyote hunt stopped December 23, 2013 Idaho, MtStandard.com
... Alder contends the wolf derby is meant to publicize potential human health risks from Echinococcus granulosis, a tapeworm whose hosts include elk, wolves and domesticated dogs... Idaho health officials, however, told the Associated Press last week that they haven’t discovered any evidence of wolf-human transmission ...

     With deer and elk wintering along many of Idaho’s roads, Idaho Fish and Game encourages motorists to slow down and be on the lookout, especially during the dawn and dusk hours when wildlife is most active.

Survey flights will count deer and elk populations December 19, 2013 Idaho, Teton Valley News
... Starting in mid-December, IDFG personnel will be conducting population survey flights for deer and elk across the Upper Snake Region....

Deer struggle to cross thin ice at Lucky Peak December 16, 2013 Idaho, KTVB
     About a dozen deer have gotten stuck while trying to cross the water near Arrowrock Dam.  Unfortunately, Idaho Fish and Game employees say there's not much they can do when the ice is so thin. It's too dangerous to try and rescue the deer that are trapped...

Updated Idaho Wildlife Management Area App and Maps December 12, 2013, Idaho Fish and Game
     Looking for a great place to fish, hunt, or watch wildlife? Check out one of Idaho's 32 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). Each WMA has been set aside to protect wildlife habitat and provide the public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. Maps specific to each WMA have been revised and are available on the IDFG WMA webpage http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/wma/. Here you will also find information on how to get to the WMA and what kind of wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing and other activities are unique to each WMA.
     Also, check out the new WMA viewer app http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/maps/wma/. This map application allows you to interactively discover WMAs near you and explore the land within each WMA. It also provides all of the same information as the IDFG WMA webpage, just click on one of the WMAs on the map and an information box will appear.

Idaho elk hunting proves more challenging December 8, 2013 www.kirotv.com
... Eighty-thousand hunters try to bag an elk in Idaho each year, spending more than $70 million ...  Several harsh winters thinned elk numbers, and predation from black bears, cougars and wolves have kept populations from recovering...  Idaho's elk population peaked at 125,000. Today, the state's elk population is stable at about 107,000 animals ...

DFG asks hunters to promptly report individual hunting results December 5, 2013 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... Reporting by phone at (877) 268-9365 or online is required either 10 days after a deer, elk or pronghorn is harvested; or, 10 days following the end of the last season for which a tag is valid.  The report is called a "Mandatory Hunter Report" because hunters cannot purchase a tag for 2014 until they complete a report for tags that were valid in 2013... 

Reporting issues to Fish and Game is critical December 5, 2013 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... It has been just over a year since a poached mule deer buck near Inkom was shot and left to waste on the Smedley property above the Inkom Cemetery. It was an incident that sparked public outrage ...  How do you report a wildlife emergency? contact the Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office in Pocatello at 208-232-4703  ... you can also call Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) at 1-800-632-599. CAP is a nonprofit group with interested hunters ...

Hunt for elk proves more challenging November 30, 2013 Idaho, The Spokesman Review
... Eighty-thousand hunters try to bag an elk in Idaho each year, spending more than $70 million on the pursuit. Few are happy to have wolves as competition... Shortly after wolves were introduced to central Idaho in the mid-1990s, Idaho’s elk population peaked at 125,000. Today, the state’s elk population is stable at about 107,000 animals ... The state spent $80,000 on marketing efforts last year ...

Idaho Fish and Game pitches revenue plan November 24, 2013 The Spokesman Review
... proposing raising resident fees for all licenses, tags and permits by 20 percent... The agency hasn’t met revenue goals since 2008 ...

IDFG says dogs and deer don't mix  November 21, 2013 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... Dogs, with their lighter weight and larger feet run on top of the crusted snow. The heavier deer with small hooves break through the snow. In this instance, a deer has little chance of escape...  In chases where the deer is not caught, just being chased by dogs uses up valuable fat reserves...

Charred Winter Range Could Threaten Magic Valley Deer, Elk November 17, 2013 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... The Pony Complex and Elk Complex fires this summer burned about 160,000 acres of winter range for about 6,000 deer and 1,000 elk ...Fish and Game hopes to get ahead of the impending “train wreck” by creating a plan to address the elk’s potential to starve ... "We have tried and tried for years to get rid of winter feeding up there, and now we’re looking at being ready to feed ... We have ordered 20 tons of alfalfa pellets.”


Search for news and information by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic.


Idaho data: IDFG doesn't conduct population surveys.  About 900 to 1,100 wolves in 2012 before the wolf hunt, more than 500 after hunt.  3,000 mountain lions; 100,000 elk, down from a peak of about 125,000 in the 1990s. Mule deer populations over their entire range have suffered declining populations over the past two decades. Idaho’s Mule Deer Initiative (MDI) was developed to begin to help mule deer populations recover, find ways to enhance mule deer habitat, increase public knowledge of mule deer biology and management and to eventually restore and maintain healthy mule deer populations in Idaho.
     Historically, deer were scarce in Idaho by 1900 from over hunting.  Concerned about the severe decline of the elk and deer populations in 1909, the legislature approved its first game preserve - 220,000 acres  in the Payette River drainage west of the Sawtooth Mountains.  The growth of the logging industry created deer friendly habitat that acted as one factor to spur population growth, including limits on doe hunting.  By the 1954, there was an effort to reduce deer populations by increased hunting pressure as evidenced in the estimated deer harvest, although there has been some skepticism about this data.  Pressure from the people of Idaho resulted in reduced hunting during the 1970's and limits on the number of does.  A large increase in the number of tags resulted in the peak harvest of 1989, estimated at 95,200.
   About 680 wolves in 2012.  An estimated 107,000 elk in 2014.  

Report Poaching:  contact the Idaho Fish and Game Department at 208-232-4703 ; or, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline, at 1-800-632-5999. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a CAP reward.


Other useful links:
- Report a Deer or Wildlife Collision in Idaho to help with Deer Management
- Idaho Deer Alliance, Committed to the Conservation of Idaho’s Deer Herds and Wildlife Habitat for Future Generations.
- WMA view map, a map application
- Earthfire Institute, deer and wildlife rescue
Objective: Title 36–103 of the Idaho Code authorizes the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to administer wildlife policy in the state and mandates that: "All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed." Title 36–202 IC defines wildlife as: "Wildlife shall mean any form of animal life, native or exotic, generally living in a state of nature." from Idaho Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Stategy, Introduction and Purpose
- Idaho Deer Alliance, Southeast Idaho Facebook page
A study on why people hunt deer in Idaho, 2007. 

Tweets about Idaho Fish & Game


Looking out my bedroom window to see why I love Idaho. - January, 2013