I've enjoyed hunting ground squirrels around the Treasure valley since I bought my first .22 rifle. I've always tried to be careful and know what I shoot at to avoid killing protected species. I've done some research to help with identification, but several species are very nearly identical. Some protected and unprotected species are all but impossible to tell apart. I've gone through the field guide suggested in the upland game regulations handbook, but the illustrations therein weren't very helpful. After doing some research and poring through books, pictures and websites, I believe I've been hunting Belding's Ground Squirrels. However, according to the range maps found in the aforementioned field guide, only Piute Ground Squirrels habitate the areas that I hunt. I would like to know if IDFG has any information regarding which species are found around popular hunting areas. I would greatly appreciate an answer to this question.
Piute ground squirrels are found in the area you describe. Piutes in the southwestern part of the state are legal to hunt. As long as you stay south of the Payette River and north of the Snake River you will not run into any protected ground squirrels.