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Recent Articles: Southwest

Are any hunting units being closed this year due to wildfires?

September 17, 2012 - 1:11pm -- idfg-bthomas

Fires burning in Idaho's backcountry have raised concerns about public safety and hunter access, and some roads and trails have been closed.  In order to view the impact of fires with hunt areas, IDFG has made fire activity and closures available in two mapping applications, the Idaho Huntplanner MapCenter and the IDFG Fire Map.  For your GPS Unit the fire closure layer and the hunt areas are available as KMZ downloads.

Idaho Fish and Game does not recommend closing hunts or altering season dates in response to fire restrictions. Most fires are not large enough to affect an entire hunt unit. Hunters affected by a fire closure can adjust their schedule to hunt later in the season or exchange general tags to hunt in a different area. But tags must be exchanged before the season begins.

Hunters with controlled hunt tags may exchange them for general season tags before the controlled hunt begins. But controlled hunt fees would not be refunded. Fish and Game will consider requests for rain checks or refunds in the event that access to a hunting unit is blocked by fire. Hunters requesting a rain check will be required to submit their tags and permits with a letter describing the conditions of their request. Rain checks would be evaluated case-by-case at the end of the hunting season. Rain checks will be valid in 2013 and offered only for the same species and hunt area as the hunter held in 2012. Written requests should be sent to the license section at Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707 when the season is over.

Hunters and anglers, and anyone else heading into the backcountry, are advised to check with Forest Service ranger district offices or county sheriffs' offices before heading out.

Photo Credit: Group Torching on McGuire Complex by Shawn Pearson

 

Do fire closures leave you hunting for a spot to hunt?

September 17, 2012 - 11:07am -- idfg-bthomas

This summer's fires continue to burn and as the hunting season gets underway there are still fifteen active fire area closures in Idaho. This leaves substantial portions of our State... areas bigger than some US States... closed to access.

In order to assist sportsmen, we are compiling the latest fire activity and closures from InciWeb and making them available as real-time maps and downloads on our website.

Watchable Wildlife to grant nature backpacks to daycares

June 6, 2012 - 2:47pm -- idfg-daygen

BOISE, ID-

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Watchable Wildlife Program is accepting applications for the Idaho Nature Backpack Grant, which awards a nature backpack to preschools and child care facilities in Ada and Canyon Counties.

The backpacks will contain a variety of items to encourage daily outdoor exploration and physical activity, such as insect nets, binoculars, leaf printing kits, magnifying glasses, bug boxes, activity idea books, field guides, and more.

Each backpack kit is valued at approximately $250 and contains numerous items that can be used in any location.

Studies show children who play outside are healthier, have higher self-esteem, are good problem-solvers, have good self-discipline and do better in school.

Fifty grants will be awarded to qualified applicants in Ada and Canyon Counties during the pilot year of this program. Applicants must be a licensed year-round child care facility, a year-round home child care provider, or a preschool facility in Idaho.

Grants will be awarded to those who demonstrate a need and the commitment to use the items frequently.

More information and an application can be found online or by email (deniz.aygen@idfg.idaho.gov). Applications are due July 15, 2012. Backpacks will be awarded in the fall.

Peregrine chicks hatch in Downtown Boise

June 6, 2012 - 2:25pm -- idfg-daygen

Three peregrine falcon chicks hatched over the weekend in the nest box on the 14th floor of One Capital Center in downtown Boise.

The chicks weighed about 1½ ounces (40 grams) when they emerged from their shells. They will be full-grown when they leave the nest and by the time they fledge in July, the little fluff balls will be 18 inches tall and have a wingspan of more than 3 feet.

The adults will brood the chicks for about 10 days, depending on the weather. The young birds are not yet capable of regulating their own body temperatures, so they need the adults for warmth. The young ones also can huddle together to keep warm.

Full article on Idaho Statesman.

Boise's peregrine falcon webcam up for 4th season!

April 6, 2012 - 10:41am -- idfg-daygen

BOISE, Idaho –The daily life of a wild Peregrine Falcon family in downtown Boise is once again on view via a web camera.

This is the fourth year that the webcam has followed the daily activities at a nest box on the 14th floor of One Capital Center, 10th and Main streets. The webcam may be seen at: peregrinefund.org/falconcam/

The nest box has been used each spring since 2003. Last year, four chicks successfully fledged from the nest, though one died about a month later from injuries suffered in a collision.

The ledge where the nest box is located simulates the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. The falcons, which strictly eat other birds, prey on a plentiful supply of pigeons, mourning doves, starlings and other birds downtown.

The web camera is sponsored by The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and Fiberpipe. The nest also can be viewed on monitors in the lobby of One Capital Center, courtesy of Oppenheimer Development Corporation and J.R. Simplot Company.

“The birds are currently in the midst of courtship,” said Connie Stanger, Curator of Birds at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey. “Webcam followers can expect loud vocalizations as the male brings food to the female. Watch for the birds bowing to each other and scraping out a depression in the gravel at the bottom of the box where the eggs will be laid.”

Last year, the female laid the first of four eggs on April 7. Hatching began on May 16 and the first flight from the nest occurred on June 24. The young birds stayed in the downtown area for several weeks to hone their flying and hunting skills under the watchful eyes of their parents, and Boise residents. “There is only one other building in Idaho that is home to a nesting pair of peregrine falcons,” said Colleen Moulton, Avian Ecologist at the Idaho Department of Fish Game. “Boise is very lucky to have front row seats to the amazing process of raising young falcons.”

Background

Once an endangered species, the Peregrine Falcon was restored through the release of captive-bred young by The Peregrine Fund. The population had been decimated by DDT, a pesticide that thinned the eggshells of many types of raptors, including the Bald Eagle. The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999 but population numbers continue to be monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states.

The Peregrine Falcon was removed from Idaho’s list of endangered species in 2009 on the 10th anniversary of the federal delisting. Like all birds of prey, the falcons remain fully protected by state and federal law.

Volunteers needed for the food truck rally Friday, April 13

April 4, 2012 - 9:52am -- idfg-smcbride

Friday April 13,  5 – 9pm

What is the food truck rally?  The Boise Weekly summed it up best!

Food trucks have become an integral part of American food culture, providing cheap, tasty eats. They're also a source of creativity, offering new takes on classics. Now that the trend has finally parked itself in Idaho, the Food Truck Rally has become a monthly celebration of the street food scene in the Treasure Valley.

Because they're mobile, sometimes it can be hard to find the food truck you're looking for, but the Food Truck Rally has changed that, allowing the navigationally challenged to enjoy Boise's street food without having to decipher a map or consult a smartphone. If you haven't tried some of these mobile meal merchants, the Rally is your best bet.

Although these vendors are often genre-bending and category-defying, they all provide comfort food that will stick to your ribs and warm you up as the weather gets colder. You can also warm your soul since this month's rally is located at—and benefits—the MK Nature Center.

Volunteers are needed! Come help out and have some fun.

Sign up here for a shift and have time to enjoy the rally too!    http://tinyurl.com/c846c5r

Follow updates on facebook here  http://www.facebook.com/FoodTruckRally

 

 

Snowy Owls Invade Idaho

December 20, 2011 - 3:21pm -- idfg-vrunnoe

If you think you saw Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig, recently, you are not far off.  Snowy owls are moving into the northern part of the U.S. this winter.  Here in Idaho, these large, mostly white owls are being seen in numerous locations.  A large population of lemmings in the Arctic has contributed to high nesting success in these tundra-dwelling owls.  Now that winter has arrived, young owls moving to wintering areas are not able to compete for food with adult owls.  As a result, these young birds are heading south across Canada, into the United States in search of prey.  Observations across the country indicate that many of the snowy owls that are being seen are, in fact, young birds.

The wide-spread movements of birds in the winter is known as an irruption.  It is typically seen in species such as pine siskins, common redpolls, and red-breasted nuthatches.  These seasonal movements are often related to food, with birds leaving their normal range in years when the seeds they feed upon are not abundant.   Lack-of-food also causes irruptions of several species of owl, although this does not appear to be the case with the irruption of snowy owls this winter.   

Snowy owls are on the wish list of many birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.  These birds prefer open fields and marshes in the winter where they catch rodents and birds.  They can often be seen during the day, sitting on the ground or perched on fence posts or other open perches.   Wildlife watchers observing these owls need to make sure to keep their distance.  In addition to their long flight, these young birds are still learning the finer points of hunting.  Many are able to catch only enough prey to barely survive.  Disturbing these birds will cause them to use precious energy that is needed for hunting and staying warm.  Using binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses to observe or photograph the owls will lessen the chance of getting too close and disturbing the owl.  Enjoy these magnificent visitors from the far north!

 

Comments Sought on Upland Game, Furbearer Seasons

December 19, 2011 - 1:38pm -- idfg-jknetter

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 upland game and furbearer seasons. 

Interested hunters are encouraged to attend one of the regional open house meetings. So far three meetings have been set. Others will be announced as they are arranged.

  • Clearwater Region: 208-799-5010
    • Wednesday, December 21 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Clearwater Region office, 3316 16th Street in Lewiston. 
  • Southwest Region: Nampa – 208-465-8465
    • Wednesday, January 4 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Southwest Region office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa.
  • Upper Snake Region: 208-525-7290
    • Wednesday, January 4 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Upper Snake Region office, 4279 Commerce Circle, Idaho Falls.

 

Some ideas that will be considered include:

  • Moving upland game bird seasons to the third Saturday in September.
  • Increasing the chukar/gray partridge bag limit back up to 8 each.
  • Increasing possession limits to three times the daily bag limit.
  • Reductions in fall turkey hunting in the Southeast and Southwest regions.
  • Increasing otter quotas in the Panhandle, Clearwater and Southeast regions.
  • A few changes to areas open or closed to beaver trapping in the Clearwater and Magic Valley Regions.

Anyone unable to attend the open house may submit comments online, by mail to Upland Game Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707, or by contacting regional wildlife managers.

To comment on upland game proposals go to: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/portal/form/uplandsurvey.

To comment on furbearer proposals go to: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/portal/form/furbearersurvey.

The deadline for submitting comments is January 6.

All written comments will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for consideration before seasons are set.

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