Southwest

2015 Youth Turkey Hunt

Another youth turkey hunt for a brother and sister that just became licensed hunters earlier this year. Their younger brother tagged along as well, I have never seen a three year sit still or be so quiet as this one did the entire hunt.

Bigger Fish and Better Angler Success

As Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout this spring, they are doing something different that will lead to better success for Idaho anglers. A good share of the hatchery rainbow trout stocked in Idaho’s largest still-water fisheries this spring will be twelve inches instead of the standard of ten inches. Watch this video to learn why this is happening.

Fish and Game’s rainbow trout hatchery program exists for one sole purpose: putting fish in Idaho waters for anglers to catch. But during the last ten years, the cost of raising fish has skyrocketed. While the cost of fish food has increased by more than 150 percent, funding for the hatchery program has remained stagnant. In 2011, managers reduced fish production of put-and-take rainbow trout by 18 percent to keep the program within budget. At the same time they started tracking fish that anglers caught as part of a program called “Tag-You’re-It”.

Fisheries researchers tagged thousands of fish over a four year period, and tracked the tags with the help from anglers.

“We tagged a bunch of fish and put those fish out there, and essentially let the anglers do the work in returning that information to us through our hotline and our website,” said Senior Fisheries Research Biologist John Cassinelli. “So that has given us this large database.”

That database showed that twelve inch rainbow trout are more likely to be caught than ten inch trout. This knowledge has allowed researchers to reorganize the hatchery rainbow trout program in a way that puts larger trout in the creels of Idaho anglers without increasing the cost of the hatchery program.

The science and math show that for every limit of six rainbow trout anglers catch, Fish and Game must stock roughly 18 ten inch trout.  When 12 inch trout are stocked in the same waters, only 11 fish are needed for each six fish limit, on average.

Regardless of how many trout managers stock, the true measure of success for the hatchery program is how many trout anglers catch. As the program expands over the next 16 months, managers will be putting more twelve inch rainbows into most of Idaho’s large still-water fisheries. 

Check out the fish stocking page for monthly updates on fish stocking region by region.

 

 

2014 Hunt Harvest and Drawing Odds

Deer

Hunt Number Hunt Area Tags Available 1st Choice Applications 1st Choice Success Percent Drawing Tags Issued Number Hunters Harvested Harvest Success (%)
1001 1* 60 595 60 10.1 63 62 31 50
1002 11 74 627 74 11.8 75 75 57 76
1003 11 35 477 35 7.3 35 34 25 75
1004 11A 63 419 63 15 62 61 45 74
1005 13 200

6 Point Elk Bull

On opening morning for the rifle hunts (Elk); from camp, we followed a game trail out a ways to a clear elevated position (southwest of Sage Hen Reservoir looking out towards Ola). While scouting the area, from a distance I noticed what I thought to be just branches moving. But a good second look through my scope made me realize it was a big rack of a Bull Elk that started bugling as soon as he cleared the brush. Once fully in my field of view, from about 300yrds I sent three shots of 30-06 hitting him hard twice.

Catfishing in April on the Snake River

James R. writes: Fishing in the Snake River and look over and see my pole going crazy. I jerked-up and the catfish gave me a heck of a battle.

Dp - April and May is prime-time for catfish fishing in the Snake River in the Weiser/Brownlee area. Use worms or cut bait and fish on the river bottom. Who knows how big the fish may be on the end of the line.

Youth Turkey Hunt

This was on a youth pheasant hunt put on by two hunter education instructors. I was fortunate enough to teach this youth hunter as well as take him on his first hunt. This is an experience that anyone involved will never forget.