Idaho Deer News

... the area with the highest mule deer population is Unit 73, which begins in the Arbon Valley region and extends past Malad toward the Utah border. Last winter, Fish and Game counted 7,907 antlered and antlerless deer in the unit, which boasts one of the highest hunter success rates ... The percentage of four-point-plus bucks harvested in the unit is also one of the highest in the region...

Idaho Fish and Game's deer and elk outlook August 27, 2015 CDA Press
... Hunters bagged 20,700 elk in 2014, which was 4,200 elk ... more than in 2013, and the largest harvest since 2005 ...  sold 93,100 elk tags last year, which is 4,400 more than in 2013 and the most since 2008... sold more than 90,000 elk tags annually between 1995 and 2008, then participation in elk hunting gradually declined. In 2009, tag sales dropped below 90,000 for the first time in 13 years and bottomed out at 82,950 in 2012...

... The 280,000 acres burned by the fire are currently the BLM's highest rehabilitation priority ... a lot of life depends on it...  wildlife like pronghorn, mule deer, elk, golden eagles, and possibly soon-to-be-listed sage grouse...

Trail cameras provide deeper insight into wildlife habits August 26, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Press-Tribune
... “We’ve been studying deer for decades, but only recently have we identified a major whitetail deer migration route — and it’s within a half a mile or less from a paved state highway,” ... cameras out in rocky wilderness mountain passes that caught photos of (woodland) caribou last year ...

Fish and Game forecasts good hunting season August 26, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Mountain Express
... Four consecutive mild winters have helped deer and elk herds grow ... Fish and Game sold 157,400 deer tags last year, which was the most since 1993, and the statewide success rate was about 40 percent for those who went deer hunting ... Biologists also said more than 95 percent of mule deer does that were radio-collared in the past two years survived each winter ...

... reports of dead or ill deer showing the symptoms associated with epizootic hemorrhagic disease, also known as EHD, are filtering in from parts of the Clearwater basin... Deer with EHD may aspirate blood, but show few other signs...

Idaho's 2015 Deer and Elk Hunting Outlook August 21, 2015 Idaho Fish and Game
... Hunters harvested 61,200 deer in 2014, which is 12,100 more than in 2013, and the most since 1992... Fish and Game sold 157,400 deer tags last year, which was the most since 1993, and statewide success rate was about 40 percent for those who went deer hunting... Hunters took 28,200 whitetails in 2014, which is 5,100 more than in 2013...

Collaborative conservation easements are win-win for Idaho August 20, 2015  The Idaho Statesman
... The Tyler conservation easement ... protects winter range for elk, mule deer and other animals that move across public and private lands looking for food and cover...  helps ranchers keep their working lands working, ensuring a legacy for future generations...

Lemhi River conservation easement protects Idaho's hunting and fishing legacy August 18, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
... permanently protect nearly 5,000 acres of habitat along the Lemhi River and its tributaries ... protects winter range for elk, mule deer and other animals that move across public and private lands to find the food and cover they need to survive the West’s harsh winters ...

Dalton Gardens, Downside to deer trapping in Dalton August 15, 2015 Idaho,  CDA Press
...  the City Council is seriously considering continuing the "trial" trap and transfer program again this year... Last year's program trapped eight does and two bucks. One doe miscarried as a result of the process and "her blood loss, extreme exhaustion and stress made it evident to me (the trapper) her survival was unlikely." ...

The Idaho Statesman
...  the deer didn't shed his antlers every year like most bucks do. Some fans called him Brillo, as in Brillo Pad, because his scraggly antlers  ...  lacked testicles and never went into rut ...

Idaho discounting big-game hunting tags in August August 3, 2015 The Spokesman Review
... Resident and nonresident hunters can buy remaining nonresident big-game tags as second tags for discounted prices of $199 for deer and $350 for elk ... The discount is being offered only during August...

Fish and Game offers discounted big game tags July 31, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Press-Tribune
... the prices of nonresident tags as second tags will increase to $300 for deer and $415 for elk ...

Coalition acts to save critical easement July 31, 2015 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... The agreement signed last week protects some eight square miles of ranchland, which includes about 10 miles of the meandering Lemhi River and several tributaries... the property on the valley bottom is also a key area for elk, moose, deer and other wildlife...

Celebrity mule deer in Twin Falls killed July 24, 2015 Idaho, Local News 8
... city prosecutors have charged 33-year-old Jacob Pool for killing a large, friendly mule deer locals called Rock Creek Monster...
     Idaho town outraged over killing of popular mule deer July 22, 2015 Los Angeles Times 
... For years, the big trophy buck was a celebrity around Twin Falls, Idaho... the so-called Rock Creek Monster... City prosecutors have charged a local hunter with stalking the animal, harvesting only a portion of its meat before cutting off its head and throwing the antlers into the Snake River...

Elk group grants $211,400 to Idaho July 19, 2015 Idaho, The Spokesman-Review
... The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $211,400 in grants that will fund more than a dozen habitat enhancement, research and hunting heritage projects in Idaho ...

Idaho Fish and Game News July 3, 2015 Teton Valley News
... A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 29. Anyone who wants to address the commission on any topic having to do with Fish and Game business may do so at the public hearing... Routine agenda items include rules for all game animals; nonresident deer and elk tag quotas; nonresident deer and elk tag outfitter set-aside ...


'Big bad wolf' image doesn't match behavior June 4, 2015 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... wolves were completely eradicated from the West by the 1930s. Hundreds of thousands of wolves were poisoned, shot and trapped... wolves are an important native species that help cull unhealthy elk and deer and keep herds moving, which in turn reduces overgrazing damage to native plants and trees...

Controlled Hunt Process May 31, 2015 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News 
... The procedure has been computerized since 1973 and was certified random by Boise State University in 1977 ... Each application is assigned a randomly generated number, which is scrambled and coded before being drawn by the computer system...

Wildlife groups take aim at lethal control of predators May 30, 2015 Idaho, San Francisco Gate 
... five conservation groups sued the Department of Agriculture for the “wanton killing” of wildlife in Idaho. They want the agency to promote nonlethal methods of control, including guardian dogs, fencing, hazing techniques, night corrals and lambing sheds.  Idaho is notorious for using aerial gunning, neck snares, foothold traps and poison to kill coyotes, wolves, mountain lions ...

Albino buck spotted in the Boise Foothills May 29, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Statesman
... Victoria Greener couldn’t believe it when an albino deer walked into her backyard Thursday night...


... Over the past 35 years, Bowyer, working with his students and colleagues, has studied and published scores of articles on black-tailed deer and mule deer, throughout much of the range of these species, from Southeast Alaska to Southern California, including important studies in Idaho...

Population boom forces Dalton Gardens to relocate deer May 18, 2015 Idaho, KREM
... City leaders hired a trapper to begin catching and relocating the deer. He moved ten deer, but blames the population boom on a "chronic" rate of people feeding the animals...

Hailey, Developer seeks input on Quigley Canyon May 8, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
... Two scenarios for annexing portions of the 1,100 acres of private land in Quigley Canyon ... plans met with resistance from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game ... The canyon has been deemed a crucial wintering range for mule deer and elk, and home to other species of wildlife...

Killing the messenger April 24, 2015 Idaho, Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
... When two members of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission reported the overwhelming public sentiment opposed to allowing private landowners to profit from the sale of big-game tags to hunters, Republican leaders retaliated by killing license fee increases ...

2015 and 2016 Big Game Seasons and Rules April, 2015 Idaho Fiish and Game

Idaho lawmakers approve rule lifting elk import restriction April 22, 2015 Idaho, Capital press
... The rule lifts the state’s ban on domestic elk from states where the meningeal worm is endemic. The parasite can cause fatal neurological problems in elk, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas...commercial elk breeders say will help their industry be more competitive but opponents argue will endanger wild elk and other animals in Idaho...

Deer removed from Dalton Gardens April 22, 2015 Idaho, CDA Press
... The city of Dalton Gardens had 10 deer safely removed from the city in its first trapping and relocation season...  the deer were all released alive...

6 big changes coming for deer hunters in East Idaho April 16, 2015 Idaho, Xtreme Idaho
... Six proposed changes were approved by the commission. But four proposals, including one to extend general deer hunting season to Oct. 31, were declined because of lackluster public support.  Before the Fish and Game’s southeast region submitted its proposals to the commission, sportsmen across the region were allowed to submit their input ...

F&G seeks information on deer poached near Lucky Peak April 18, 2015 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... east of Boise.  The deer was discovered in Lydle Gulch south of Lucky Peak dam, and was thought to have been shot on Wednesday, April 8. The doe was likely pregnant, and the entire carcass was left to waste ...  Contact CAP at (800) 632-5999

Idaho woman accused of violating hunting laws April 9, 2015 Coeur d'Alene Press
... A Bonner County woman who garnered national acclaim after winning a televised hunting competition is charged with violating hunting laws in North Dakota...

Big Game Seasons and Rules Set For Two Years April 3, 2015 Idaho, Teton Valley News
...Deer hunters will enjoy the biggest increase in opportunity in 2015, as populations continue to thrive. Managers are now using GPS radio collars to supplement monitoring in seven elk monitoring zones....



Warm Winter Results in Tick Infestation, “Ghost Moose” in Idaho April 2, 2015 OutdoorHub
... “ghost moose” ... term is used by biologists to refer to moose infested with ticks ... A mild winter in 2013-2014 meant that tick populations have boomed, and to make matters worse, 2014-2015’s winter was even warmer. Wildlife officials are now bracing for a higher number of moose to die from tick infestation...

New big game rules will last until 2017 March 31, 2015 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... Deer hunters will see an increase in opportunity in 2015, as deer populations continue to thrive...

Cascading effects of habitat on maternal condition and life-history characteristics of neonatal mule deer, Idaho. JRT Shallow, MA Hurley, KL Monteith, RT Bowyer - Journal of Mammalogy, 2015
... We monitored survival of neonatal mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) inhabiting 2 contrasting ecotypes in Idaho: aspen woodlands (Populus tremuloides) in southeast Idaho (Caribou Mountains) and mixed-conifer grasslands (lodge-pole pine, Pinus contorta; Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii) in central Idaho (Salmon River Mountains) ...  Female deer from the Salmon River Mountains exhibited poor maternal condition and small litter sizes compared with females from the Caribou Mountains. Young from the Salmon River Mountains exhibited lower rates of growth, occupied bedding sites with less concealment cover, and subsequently experienced lower survival from birth to 5 months of age, compared with neonates from the Caribou Mountains. Cause of deaths for young mule deer on both study sites was mostly from predation...

Idaho deer alliance offers reward in deer poaching case March 30, 2015 Idaho Fish and Game - News Release - Idaho.gov
... poachers who killed a mature buck mule deer near the Deer Flat National Refuge in Caldwell, Idaho...  on March 9 or 10 across from a busy Caldwell park adjacent to the refuge... a $250 dollar reward in addition to funds already available ...  call the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999 ...

All of the meat was left to waste after the poachers took only the head and antlers.
Let's help stop the worst among us March 24, 2015 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... on March 10 in Bingham County when a sportsman stumbled across the remains of a pregnant mule deer that had clearly been poached.      Alongside the deer’s remains were two nearly fully developed fawns — ripped from her womb by whoever killed her...

Idaho Senate Signs Off on $400K for Wolf Board March 20, 2015 Twin Falls Times-News 
... Idaho's Senate has approved giving another $400,000 to the Wolf Depredation Control Board in 2015-2016... Fish and Game’s latest numbers show ... 550 to 750 wolves in documented packs last year. But the actual number is estimated at 1,000 ...

Burley, Oakley, and Murtaugh ag students help rehab habitat in Big Ceder in the South Hills near Oakley. - March 19, 2015, Idaho


F&G seeks info on pregnant doe poaching March 20, 2015 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... near Wolverine Road in Bingham County on Tuesday morning, March 10. The gut pile from a pregnant mule deer doe with two partially developed fawns was discovered by Idaho Department of Fish and Game... call the Citizen's Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999

Mule deer poached near Lake Lowell March 20, 2015 Idaho, KTVB
... the deer was shot on March 9 or 10 across from a busy Caldwell park adjacent to the refuge.. call the Citizen's Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at 1-800-632-5999 [reward possible]

...  Idaho lawmakers so far are split on a proposed rule that would lift import restrictions on domestic elk from states where the meningeal worm is endemic... Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, said the testimony on the technically difficult issue was conflicting and she voted against the rule because “I just don’t feel we can take a chance of bringing that in.” ...

... Make no mistake, prime deer and elk tags are very valuable. Whether sold by F&G or private landowners, they're worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, more than the tag's face value... Legislators are considering adding language to the fee-increase bill currently before lawmakers ... Allowing the sale of landowner tags...

Visit a wildlife management area in Idaho March 12, 2015 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... The Idaho Department of Fish and Game manages 32 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) around the state.  These sites have been established to protect wildlife habitat, and to provide opportunities for hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers...

... Seven hundred forty-eight acres of forestland in Boundary County will be conserved as working forest and wildlife habitat in perpetuity ... The property provides habitat and connectivity for Idaho’s iconic wildlife such as elk, moose, white-tailed deer ...

... Bodily admitted to allowing his 8-year-old son to shoot a deer for him. Until June 2014, the minimum age to hunt deer in Idaho was 12 years old...

... hunters voiced their concerns that extending the general mule deer season to Oct. 31 would put too much pressure on Idaho’s mule deer herds... One sportsman asked Fish and Game officials for photographic or video proof of the deer counted in the aerial surveys. He also told the approximately 60 sportsmen in attendance that he runs a route from Pocatello to Logan, and that the deer populations are not as strong as they were in the past...

Idaho big-game hunting rule changes proposed March 3, 2015 Idaho, The Spokesman Review
... Biologists across the state will answer questions about the proposals during two live web chats set for Wednesday, March 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. MST, and again on the same day from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. MST.  See lists of proposals for each region in the state...

Idaho Fish and Game Need Volunteers to Plant Sagebrush March 3, 2015 News Radio 1310 KLIX
... provide food and shelter to a variety of wildlife including mule deer, elk ... will begin Saturday March 21, with a project North of King Hill and continue Saturday March 28, with a project between Richfield and Carey...

... White-tailed deer and the parasitic meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) coexist fairly well. They have fought each other to a near standstill in evolutionary conflict spanning perhaps a million years... The same can’t be said for mule deer, elk, moose, sheep, goats, alpaca, and llamas. They can die from the infestation... a risk by pushing to remove the ban on importing elk from the East...

Idaho data:  Deer populations have trended up for the past four years into 2015 given relatively mild winters. 2015 Outlook  Fawn survival  of collared mule deer was nearly 80 percent.  About 25 percent survival in hard winters. Some reports of dead whitetails in the Cearwater Basin might be a result of EHD.  Mule deer populations have reached some of their highest levels since the early 2000's when hard winters and habitat loss brought the mule deer numbers down to a level that in 2004 the state developed the Mule Deer Initiative to support populations.  In 2013 an estimated 170,000 to 200,000 mule deer and about 200,000 white tails. Mule deer populations over their entire range have suffered declining populations over the past two decades. In 2014, 157,400 hunters took 61,200 deer. Hunter success in 2013 was 38 percent; 40 percent in 2014.
     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.  The winter of 1991-92 was the last very severe winter in recent history, resulting in a large die off. 
    An estimated 107,000 elk in 2014, down from a peak of about 125,000 in the 1990's.
       In 2015 a survey count of 550 to 700 wolves, with a total estimate of about 1000.   A minimum of 770 wolves and 104 wolf packs in 2014, up from 659 in 2013.  Hunters killed 256 in 2014. About 680 wolves in 2012, down from about 900 to 1,100 before the wolf hunt.    About 3,000 
mountain lions.

Report Poaching:  contact the Idaho Fish and Game Department at 208-232-4703 ; or, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP Facebook Page) 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
- Idaho Deer Alliance, Southeast Idaho Facebook page

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Idaho Fish & Game wildlife biologist Toby Boudreau discusses the large number of mule deer and whitetails in Idaho. - August 4, 2014