Wildlife Summit Video Online
A new, short video about Idaho Fish and Game’s upcoming Wildlife Summit is now available online.
Watch the video, “Fish and Game by the Numbers,” on the Fish and Game Wildlife Summit webpage at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/summit/.
The Wildlife Summit, August 24 – 26, seeks to engage all Idahoans in a conversation about the current status and direction of wildlife management in Idaho in order to keep it responsive to changing needs and interests.
The video provides facts and figures about Fish and Game and what the agency does for Idaho’s wildlife and its residents.
Annual Wolf Report Available Online
The 2011 annual summary of wolf monitoring in Idaho is now available, and it shows wolf numbers are down for the second consecutive year.
The 2011 Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress Report includes the current status of the wolf population in Idaho.
Biologists documented 101 Idaho wolf packs at the end of 2011. The population at the end of 2011 was estimated at 746 wolves, down from a high of 856 at the end of 2009. At the end of 2010, the population estimate was 777 wolves. The 2010 annual report was compiled by the Nez Perce Tribe.
“Thanks to Idaho’s hunters and trappers, we’ve made good progress in getting the wolf population under control and into better balance with prey species, such as elk, but we’ve still got a ways to go,” said Jim Unsworth, Idaho Fish and Game deputy director.
In addition, 24 documented border packs were counted for Montana, Wyoming and Washington that established territories overlapping the Idaho state boundary and spent some time in Idaho.
Of the 63 packs known to have reproduced, 40 packs qualified as breeding pairs by the end of the year.
In Idaho, wolf packs ranged from the Canadian border south to Interstate 84, and from the Washington and Oregon borders east to the Montana and Wyoming borders. Dispersing wolves were occasionally reported in previously unoccupied areas.
Ten previously unknown packs were documented during 2011, but the overall net increase was only six packs in the state, with four other packs removed during the year.
“We’ll continue to work in conjunction with the Nez Perce Tribe to monitor wolves to ensure Idaho’s wolf population stays above recovery levels,” said Jeff Gould, Fish and Game wildlife bureau chief. “Meeting federal obligations for documenting wolf abundance and distribution during the five-year post-delisting period is expensive and labor intensive. It is critically important the state continue to receive adequate federal funding for meeting Endangered Species Act requirements during the post-delisting period.”
Biologists confirmed the deaths of 296 wolves in Idaho during 2011. Of known wolf mortalities, hunter and trapper harvest accounted for 200 deaths, and agency control and legal landowner take in response to wolf-livestock depredation accounted for 63 deaths.
Eighteen wolf deaths were attributed to other human causes, including illegal take. The cause of 12 wolf mortalities could not be determined and were listed as unknown, and three wolves died of natural causes.
Also in 2011, 71 cattle, 121 sheep, three horses, six dogs and two domestic bison were confirmed as wolf kills. Nineteen cattle, 26 sheep, one horse and one dog were considered probable wolf kills.
The Idaho progress report is available online at:http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/wildlife/wolves/.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northern Rocky Mountain progress report, which includes reports from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, is available at:http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/, in the left-hand column.
In addition, since the beginning of this year, 145 wolves were taken by hunters and trappers, 14 were taken in a Lolo Zone aerial control action, nine were taken in other Wildlife Service control actions around the state and one died of parvovirus. That makes an additional 169 dead so far in 2012.
Commission to Meet in Boise This Month
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will be setting big game, gray wolf and Chinook salmon seasons during a meeting March 21 - 22 in Boise.
The commission will meet March 21 and 22 in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters, 600 S. Walnut St., Boise. A public comment session will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.
The meeting starts at 8 a.m. Thursday. The commission will set seasons for this fall’s deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, gray wolf and mountain lion hunts and a spring season on Chinook salmon in the Clearwater, Snake, lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers.
Preliminary proposals include increasing gray wolf bag limits to five per calendar year in some zones, increase harvest limit in one zone and extend the season in another.
In addition to big game seasons, routine agenda items include a legislative updates, the results of the 2011 angler opinion survey, land acquisitions and a report on gas leases on the Payette River.
Times on the agenda are approximate and subject to change. A complete agenda will be posted on the website when it becomes available.
F&G Wildlife Educator Recognized
Idaho Fish and Game wildlife educator Adare Evans received the Non-Formal Environmental Educator-of-the-Year award at the recent Idaho Environmental Education Association’s annual conference.
Evans is responsible for Fish and Game’s Project Nose-to-Nose, a wildlife education program that travels to classrooms around southwest Idaho. In 2011, she provided 184 programs to 8,480 students.
She also works closely with teachers as a Project WILD facilitator.
Teachers love Evans’ programs because they help support the state standards in a variety of subject areas. For example, her “Wildlife in Idaho History” programs help students understand the importance of wildlife to pioneers and native peoples.
Students love Evans because her programs are interactive and hands-on. In addition to programs, she is lead writer forWildlife Express.
The award she received recognizes excellence in environmental (conservation) education by people in Idaho who are not classroom teachers but are instead experienced in effectively bringing their field into the classroom to support topics being studied.
As many teachers say, “We love to hear from the experts.”
The Idaho Environmental Education Association is Idaho’s affiliate to the North American Association for Environmental Education, the nation’s largest professional association of environmental educators. This is the second time an Idaho Fish and Game employee has received this award. Gregg Losinski of the Upper Snake Region was a recipient in 2009.
Fish and Game’s Annual Fur Auction Set for March 31
Idaho Fish and Game will auction furs, hides, antlers, traps and miscellaneous hunting and fishing equipment on Saturday, March 31, at the Southwest Region office, 3101 S. Powerline Road, Nampa.
Anyone interested may view the items beginning at 8 a.m., with the auction beginning promptly at 10 a.m.
Auction items include furs, whole carcasses, antlers, and skulls of elk, moose, deer, black bear, mountain lion, otter, beaver, bobcat and fox. All items were either seized as evidence or salvaged. All carcasses are considered unfit for human consumption and are sold for use of the non-edible portions only.
Elk, deer and moose antlers may be sold as small bundles by weight or as single sets attached to skull plates.
A taxidermist-furbuyer license is required in advance to bid on bear parts, mountain lion parts or any furbearer for anyone in the business of buying and selling hides or animal mounts. Resident licenses are $40 for one year, and nonresident licenses are $170. The licenses can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office.
Buyers for personal use are not required to have a taxidermist-furbuyer license.
Fish and Game will accept only cash or personal check. No credit card service will be available.
Nonresident purchasers should be aware that their state may not allow import of the hides or parts of bear, mountain lion, bobcat or otter. Be sure to check state regulations before purchasing these items.
A person who has killed an animal illegally and that animal has been confiscated and put up for sale at the auction, may not buy that animal or any part of it at the auction. Nor may another person buy the animal or any part of it on their behalf. A violation would be considered an illegal purchase of wildlife.
For more information contact the Southwest Region Fish and Game office at 208-465-8465.
Ask Fish and Game: Turkey Tag Tango
Q. I drew on a controlled hunt for the 2012 spring turkey hunt in Unit 54, but it doesn't open till after May 1. I also want to hunt turkey in Unit 8A before the controlled hunt opens. Is it possible to get my controlled hunt tag, a general tag, and also an extra tag for the spring hunt?
A. Yes, sort of. A hunter may buy two turkey tags, one general and one extra tag, for the spring turkey season before May 26. A hunter who is drawn in a controlled hunt may use the general tag for the controlled hunt if he or she also buys a controlled hunt permit. The hunter cannot use the extra tag with a controlled hunt permit. But you could use the extra tag for the general season hunt in Unit 8A, and use the general season tag for the controlled hunt in Unit 54.