Idaho Deer News

Changes to the Unit 70 deer hunt August 15, 2014 Idaho, Xtreme Idaho
...  Fish and Game has changed the structure of the Unit 70 [Laying mostly to the south of Pocatello]  deer hunt by making the archery opportunity an unlimited controlled hunt... A good portion of Unit 70 contains what is called “urban interface”  ... Contributing to Unit 70’s popularity is a robust population of mule deer, rumors of giant mule deer close to town, harvest success rates far exceeding 50 percent ...

Aspen trees disappearing from West August 10, 2014 Idaho, The Spokesman-Review
... Eastern Idaho’s aspen community, once estimated to cover 40 percent of eastern Idaho’s forested areas, has declined by an estimated 60 percent in the past 100 years, while Arizona has seen a 90 percent decline during that time ... a number of species benefit from aspen, especially elk and deer ... fawn and calves in those areas (with dense aspen groves) are healthier ...

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



Wildlife officials predict good year for deer hunt August 2, 2014 Idaho, newsbf.com 
... Three consecutive mild winters across most of Idaho are resulting in unusually high numbers of mule deer and whitetail deer... 

Idaho Mule Deer Recover in 2014 July 31, 3014 IdahoPress.com
...  Several years of mild winters and plentiful summer forage have provided good conditions for rebuilding Idaho’s mule deer populations. Idaho Fish and Game managers are forecasting some of the highest population estimates in a decade going into the 2014 hunting season.  Ten years ago was a different story. A series of hard winters plus shrinking mule deer habitat resulted in declining deer populations.  ...

Prepping for deer season at Portneuf Wildlife Management Area July 23, 2014 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... Fish and Game purchased the area in 1970 as a habitat for mule deer. The now 3,100-acre area is home to a large number of animal species as well, including elk, moose, coyotes and a variety of birds...

Board discounts second tag prices July 23, 2014 Idaho, Idaho County Free Press
... For 30 years, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission has maintained a statewide annual quota of 12,815 nonresident elk tags and 15,500 nonresident deer tags. Idaho hunters purchase about 143,000 deer and 86,000 elk tags annually ...

Fish and Game Discounts Second Tags for Deer, Elk July 17, 2014 Idaho, MagicValley.com
... When Fish and Game raised tag prices for elk by 12 percent and deer by 17 percent in 2009, tag sales dipped by 18 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Sales have continued to decline since ... “The key is to find that (price) that socially it does not appear we are devaluing the tag and the animal in the interest of generating revenue,” ...

Dalton Gardens plans fall deer count July 16, 2014 Idaho, CDA Press
...  Deputy Mayor Steve Roberge said before city officials make any decisions, they want to know the population density within the city's 2.4 square miles.  "We're going to have deer; it's just a matter of how many," ... 

Animal rights group offering big rewards for poachers July 14, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... The Humane Society of the United States recently offered a $5,000 reward ... you shouldn't need a fat reward to do the right thing. Killing a doe with fawns is despicable, and anyone with information about who is responsible should step forward and bring the poacher to justice.

Reward Offered For Poached Lake Creek Deer July 10, 2014 Idaho, KMVT News
...  the second week in June, when a doe mule deer and the remains of two fawns were found three quarters of a mile north of Lake Creek Lake in a popular camping area... contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 ... a $5,000 reward ...

Controlled Hunt Drawing Odds Available June 26, 2014

Big game belongs to all of us June 22, 2014 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... the Landowner Appreciation Program, or LAP ... some big changes ... One is that qualifying landowners would be guaranteed big-game tags... If ranchers and other large landowners are given the ability to secure big-game tags and put them up for sale on eBay for big dollars, none of that money would go into the coffers for Idaho Fish and Game programs...

Poached Deer Found off Lake Creek Road June 18, 2014 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... The deer was found shot about three-fourths of a mile north of Lake Creek Lake ... a reward through Citizens Against Poaching, and callers can remain anonymous. Call CAP at 1-800-632-5999, 24 hours a day ...

Time for newborn fawns approaches June 12, 2014 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... While fawns are occasionally injured or orphaned, they are never abandoned. An adult doe has extremely strong parenting instincts and will not abandon a fawn... A person standing watch over a deer fawn or elk calf will cause the parent to remain in hiding...

Seen, heard, and felt-the-breath of this moose June 10, 2014 Idaho, Idaho Fish and Game
     Here in Boise today, a moose wandered into town and caused a Twitter sensation and a flurry of phone calls. This moose made it's way onto the Boise greenbelt, on the east side of town. It crossed the river twice before it was successfully darted and removed. The moose was transported north on Highway 21 and released in a remote area. Idaho Fish and Game, Boise Police Department, Boise Fire Department, and Ada County Dive Team all participated in the successful relocation of the yearling cow which weighed about 400-pounds...

... “Wildfire decimated huge swaths of Idaho’s landscape over the past year. This funding includes more than $67,000 that will directly help rehabilitate and restore crucial forest habitat for elk and other wildlife,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO ...

F&G should keep landowner tags as they are May 22, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
...  a proposal that would guarantee some landowners big game tags and allow those prized tags to be sold for a profit... Landowner tags could potentially sell for tens of thousands of dollars - or more - based on big game tags auctioned by neighboring states... The citizens of Idaho own the wildlife...

Still Another Idaho Poaching Incident May 20, 2014 Boise Weekly
....  on Long Gulch Road, just north of Prairie. That's where IDFG reports a calf elk had been shot and left to waste... Citizens Against Poaching: a 24/7 hot line at 1-800-632-5999.

F&G could allow sale of landowner big game tags May 13, 2014 Idaho, The Idaho Statesman
... Under a new proposal, landowners in Idaho’s Landowner Appreciation Program (LAP) could sell deer, elk and pronghorn tags given to them for participating in the program... Comments can be submitted online from May 19 to June 6 at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/about/?getPage=33

... The elk populations we sampled could be part of a geographically larger patchy metapopulation potentially stretching from Yellowstone National Park through Idaho into western Canada... Subtle differences in the distribution of genetic variation were observed in 2 of the 9 elk management zones within 2 different regions of the state. Our findings indicate management of Idaho elk populations and dispersal are maintaining sufficient gene flow....

... the Big Cottonwood WMA that's a wintering area for mule deer and elk ...  burned in a fire so hot that sagebrush and bitterbrush won't come back without help... Concentrate on north- or east-facing slopes where the seedlings won't have to face 100-degree sunlight ...

MA Hurley, M Hebblewhite, JM Gaillard, S Dray… Transactions of the Royal Society B, 2014
... 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....

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

Idaho data: Three years of relatively mild winters have allowed mule deer populations to recover in 2014 to 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. IDFG estimates there are 280,000 to 290,000 mule deer in 2014 in the area the south of the Salmon River Drainage.  In 2005, the number was about 200,000. Mule deer populations over their entire range have suffered declining populations over the past two decades. 
     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.
    An estimated 107,000 elk in 2014, down from a peak of about 125,000 in the 1990's  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) 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