Idaho Afield

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What’s New in 2013 Big Game Rules
by Sharon Watson

Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved some changes to the 2013 Big Gloperulesame Regulations. They include the following. Get ready for hunting seasons!

IDAHO DEER CONTROLLED HUNTS: New Archery controlled hunt for deer in Unit 45. Hunt #1089 for 10 permits, antlered only. Hunt runs from August 15 through September 15. See page 29 of Big Game Regulations.

Increase in either-sex controlled hunts for deer in Upper Snake Region. This year’s Hunt #1069 in Unit 60-2 (which is defined as: ALL of Units 60, 61, and 62A) now has 200 permits to apply for. The season runs from October 5 through November 8. Unit 62 is now Hunt #1070 and now has 100 permits to apply for. Season: Oct. 5 through Nov. 8. Unit 63A is the same as last year, except different CH #=1071. Check Regulations for specifics on this hunt. New hunt for Unit 66, Hunt #1072, has 25 permits. Oct. 5 through Nov 8. Unit 67 has increased its permits to 75. Hunt #1073. Oct. 5 through Nov 8.

New Buck Only Controlled Hunts from October 5 through November 30 in Units 21, 28, 30, 36A, and 36B. Check Regulations on page 26.

IDAHO ELK HUNTS: Added More than 2,000 tags for Elk Controlled Hunts due to increase in elk populations. Check your Regulations on pages 53-60. However, there are 20% fewer tags in the general season elk tags in Bear River Zone.

There is a new general season elk muzzleloader tag available this year in the Pioneer Zone in Units 36A and 50. Antlerless only, from Nov. 1 — Nov. 14. See your Regulations on page 47 for other rules that apply.

IDAHO ANTELOPE CONTROLLED HUNTS: (NOTE: ALL Antelope/Pronghorn hunts in Idaho are controlled hunts.) New Youth-Only hunts available this year in Unit 39 and 54. See page 67 of your Big Game Regulations for details.

Archery-Only Antelope Hunt in Unit 68 has been split into two hunts. August 1530 is Hunt #4031 with 40 permits to apply for. Then, from Sept. 10-Sept. 24, the controlled hunt is “Unlimited.” “Unlimited” means whoever applies for this hunt (#4032) during the first application period of May 1 through June 5 will draw, unless they have done something in error on the application. Drawing an unlimited controlled tag means you are not hunting any general hunt in the same year for this species. Wait until you receive notice of drawing (by July 10), or check online, before trying to purchase your tag. You must still purchase the tag by August 1.

IDAHO BLACK BEAR: Last year there was a General Season black bear hunt for Archery-Only in Unit #1. This year, it has been changed to an Any-Weapon hunt from Aug. 30—Oct.31. The new Regulations say it also opens two weeks earlier, but I can’t see that. The regs say it still opens on Aug. 30. Remember: Bait and dogs are prohibited, and you may encounter Grizzly Bears, so be on alert. Check Regulations for the spring 2014 season. See Bear Identification program at:Bear Identification

IDAHO MOUNTAIN LION: Longer seasons in the Panhandle Region. See page 76. See also page 75 for Special Tags and other Mountain Lion Rules. A Non-resident deer or elk tag, for instance, may be used to take a black bear, mountain lion, or wolf, but then you cannot shoot a deer or an elk. This special rule is not applicable for non-resident Junior Mentored deer and elk tags.

IDAHO GRAY WOLF: Longer season in the Panhandle on private land. Longer season in Middle Fork, Beaverhead, Island Park and in Unit #16 in the upper section of Selway Zone (north of Selway River). New Trapping Seasons in parts of Units 2, 3, 13, 18, and 22. Also, in Salmon and Island Park Zones. Important: Read the specifics on pages 80—81. Remember: Return radio collars when checking in your wolf to Fish and Game. Wolf harvests must be reported within 72 hours. Call: 1-855-648-5558. This number will also tell you if a zone has reached its quota and has closed. Wolf skull and hide must be presented to Fish and Game regional offices within 10 days.

NEW HUNTING “PASSPORT”: A component of Idaho’s Mentored Hunting Program, the Hunting Passport allows first–time hunters (in ANY state), whether resident or non-resident, age 8 and older to hunt for one year with an adult mentor — without having to take an Idaho Hunter Education Course, or even if an education course has been taken in another state. Mentors can be residents or nonresidents, and must be 18 years or older and have a valid Idaho Hunting License. All Idaho Hunting Licenses are valid from January — December. (If any season extends over in to the following year, a new license is required, and will not apply to this program if youth has already hunted on a one–year Mentors license.) There is a cost for Hunting Passports: $1.75. Mentor must have a tag for the same species as the youth.

FREE NONRESIDENT SHORT-TERM FISHING LICENSE with purchase of Hunting License. The free fishing license will be good for 3 days only. You will have to specify those 3 days at the time of purchase.

Reminders: Hunt numbers are not necessarily the same number as last year. Check the 2013 regulations when applying for controlled hunts!

First application period for controlled hunts is May 1 through June 5 for Residents and NonResidents.

If you draw for a controlled hunt, you have until August 1 to purchase that tag, or it will go into the second drawing. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know whether he/she has drawn a hunt, even though postcards are sent out (except for Spring bear) by July 10. Spring bear applicants will be notified by mail no later than March 10. Still, mail is not 100 percent reliable, so check online, call Fish and Game, check with a local vendor after July 10 to see if a tag is waiting for you for purchase.

Second application period is: August 5 — 15. Whatever hunts weren’t fully applied for, or whatever tags were drawn but not purchased by Aug. 1, go into the second application period. Those drawn will be notified by August 25. There is no deadline to purchase. And all tags not applied for after second application, go on sale on Aug. 25 also, over-the-counter, but controlled hunt application fees will still be charged.

If you do not draw any of the controlled hunts you applied for, you may purchase general season tags that might still be available.

Idaho Licenses are valid for calendar year. If a season extends into the next year, it is essentially a new season, and new licenses must be purchased. Read: New Rules that take effect July 1, 2013 for Three-Year Licenses. This is the first time this has been offered. Saves you time in getting a license every year, but you will have to pay attention to when your 3 years are up! You will save vendor fees for 2 of those years, but that is a minor expense. Lifetime License Holders will still probably have to go through the hoops of filling out residency validation and waiting for their yearly license to be issued and sent.

Helicopter Surveys: Hunters may encounter biologists doing survey counts on game late in the year and through March. They try not to disturb any hunting they observe.

Mandatory Hunt Report: All deer, elk and antelope hunters are required to fill out a Hunter Report for each tag within 10 days of harvest by phone or internet. Hunters who did not harvest are required to make a report within 10 days of close of season. The best way to report, and get confirmation of your report, is to go online at: To submit by phone, 24 hours, 7 days a week, call toll free: 1-877-268-9365 or 1-800-824-3729. If you need help, call Fish and Game Headquarters at: 208-334-3700.

To Report Wildlife Violators Call: 1-800-632-5999 Don’t let them steal your wildlife!

This information has been gleaned from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game 2013 Seasons and Rules booklet. Idaho Fish ‘n’ Hunt is not responsible for any misinformation. (Idaho Fish ‘n’ Hunt is not affiliated with Idaho Department of Fish and Game.) It is always the hunter’s responsibility to check for draws, new information, sudden hunt closures, etc. Check your Rules Book, call Headquarters (208-334-3700) or your Regional Office. Regions: Panhandle: 208-769-1414 Clearwater: 208-799-5010 Southwest: 208-465-8465 McCall Subregion: 208-634-8137 Magic Valley: 208-324-4359 Southeast: 208-232-4703 Upper Snake: 208-525-7290 Salmon: 208-756-2271

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