Upland Game and Turkey proposals for season setting 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public comment on the 2014-2015 Upland Game and Turkey season proposals until January 3rd, 2014.

Final proposals will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the January 2014 meeting.

In which Idaho Fish and Game Region do you live?

Clearwater Region

Fall Turkey General Hunt:

The General Fall Turkey Season in Units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 18 runs November 21 – December 31 and is open on PRIVATE LAND ONLY. This hunt was established to focus harvest primarily on private lands where turkey depredations were occurring in agricultural areas.  Idaho Fish and Game proposes to clarify that corporate timber lands are NOT considered private lands for the purposes of this hunt. This change will ensure hunters are pursuing the turkeys where the depredation and nuisance problems are occurring.

Southwest Region

Spring Turkey Controlled Hunts:

Currently, there are two controlled spring turkey hunts (9003 & 9004) in Unit 38.  Turkey populations in this unit are thriving, and interest in these two hunts continues to grow (i.e., hunt applications have nearly doubled over the last four years).  As the turkey population has increased, some depredation/ nuisance complaint issues on cattle feedlot operations have arisen.  Idaho Fish and Game is considering splitting each controlled spring turkey hunt in Unit 38 (9003 & 9004) into two separate hunts, and providing an additional 90 permits to the existing 135 permits.  Since many turkeys utilize private land in this unit, access availability will still remain limited but will not result in a net increase of hunters in the field in April or in May.

Magic Valley Region

WMA Upland Game Bird Permit: 

Currently, the shooting hours for stocked pheasants on the Niagara Springs WMA begin at one half hour before sunrise.  To ensure the safety of Department employees and volunteers who release pheasants, Idaho Fish & Game proposes to add Niagara Springs WMA to the list of WMAs where shooting hours begin at 10 AM.  This effort may help further distribute stocked pheasants and reduce conflict between waterfowl hunters and pheasant hunters using the same property.

 

Spring Turkey Controlled Hunts:

In 2012, a wildfire greatly reduced habitat availability for turkeys in Unit 54.  As a result, turkey numbers have declined.  Furthermore, the Department has received numerous reports from hunters about the lack of turkeys available for harvest.  Idaho Fish & Game is considering reductions in permits for each of the controlled spring turkey hunts in Unit 54 (Hunts 9008, 9009, & 9010).

 

Fall Turkey Controlled Hunt:

A controlled fall turkey hunt was implemented in recent years to help reduce turkey depredation complaints in Unit 54.  In 2012, a wildfire greatly reduced habitat availability for turkeys in Unit 54.  As a result, turkey numbers have declined and the depredation problem was resolved.  Idaho Fish & Game proposes eliminating the fall controlled turkey hunt in Unit 54 (Hunt 9020).

Southeast Region

WMA Upland Game Bird Permit:

Currently, the shooting hours for stocked pheasants on the Sterling WMA begin at one half hour before sunrise.  To ensure the safety of Department employees and volunteers who release pheasants, Idaho Fish & Game proposes to add Sterling WMA to the list of WMAs where shooting hours begin at 10 AM.  This effort may help further distribute stocked pheasants and reduce conflict between waterfowl hunters and pheasant hunters using the same property.

 

Spring Turkey Controlled Hunts:

Currently the youth-only spring controlled turkey hunt (9014) has only included Unit 71.  In recent years, turkey populations have expanded into Unit 70.  As a result, depredation/ nuisance complaint issues have arisen.  Opportunities are available to address some of the concerns in Unit 70 through mentored youth hunts.  Idaho Fish & Game proposes to expand the youth-only spring controlled turkey hunt in Unit 71 to include both units 70 and 71.

 

In recent years, turkey populations have increased in Unit 71.  As a result, depredation/nuisance complaint issues have arisen.  Increased harvest opportunities are expected to reduce depredations and address landowner concerns.  Idaho Fish & Game is considering increases in permits for each of the controlled spring turkey hunts in Unit 71 (Hunts 9015 & 9016).

 

Fall Turkey Controlled Hunts:

In recent years, turkey populations have increased in Unit 71.  As a result, depredation/nuisance complaint issues have arisen.  Increased harvest opportunities are expected to reduce depredations and address landowner concerns.  Idaho Fish & Game is considering increases in permits for each of the controlled fall turkey hunts in Unit 71 (Hunts 9021 & 9022).