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Hunting

Idaho: Hunters can take survey about controlled hunts and auction tags

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Fish and Game is getting opinions from hunters about possibly changing controlled hunt drawing odds and increasing the number of big game tags offered through auction. For many years, some hunters have expressed interest in changing Idaho’s controlled hunt drawing system to favor those who were unsuccessful in previous drawings. Others have suggested auctioning big game tags as a way to increase revenue for conservation and hunter access programs. Both issues have generated interest in the Idaho Legislature. In early October, the department mailed 4,400 paper questionnaires to a random sample of hunters. About 1,050 have been returned, and are being entered into a database. On Oct. 17, an email request was sent to a random sample of 27,000 hunters…

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Weather affects Utah Deer Hunt

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The weather played a major role in the success hunters found during the first weekend of Utah’s general rifle buck deer hunt. Utah’s most popular hunt opened Oct. 17. In some areas, heavy rain kept hunters in camp. Those who did venture out found muddy roads and deer that were bedded down and hard to find. In areas that received less rain—or no rain—hunters found much better success. One example is south-central and southwestern Utah. In some areas, rain poured down. But, in many areas in Utah’s Dixie, rainfall was spotty. Hunters in these areas found bucks—and not just small bucks either. Teresa Griffin, wildlife manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources in south-central and southwestern Utah, worked over the…

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MT Fish & Wildlife Commission approves elk Shoulder-season guidelines

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Montana’s Fish & Wildlife Commission has approved new guidelines to allow elk hunting with firearms before and after the general rifle season to increase harvest and improve management in specific places. The new “shoulder season” guidelines are in response to Governor Steve Bullock, lawmakers, hunters, landowners and others concerned that many of Montana’s 138 elk management areas exceed population objectives. In all, 80 areas are over objective, 39 are within objective, and19 are below objective. The commission also approved for public comment a number of elk hunting shoulder season pilot projects, which would begin in late November. “Many of our elk populations are over objective to some degree,” said Jeff Hagener, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Helena….

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Idaho confirms outbreak of bluetongue disease in Whitetails

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Based on continuing reports of dead deer, Fish and Game officials estimate up to 1,000 whitetails have died from an outbreak of bluetongue, a virus transmitted by gnats that is similar to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). It is difficult to get the exact number of diseased or dead animals, but the outbreak is not expected to significantly reduce whitetail populations, or affect hunting season that opens October 10. Bluetongue is transmitted the same way as EHD and is a similar disease. Neither poses a threat to humans. Gnats transport the virus from animal to animal. Outbreaks become more severe during hot, dry summers when animals congregate around water sources with muddy shorelines that are prime breeding ground for gnats. The…

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Idaho fire restrictions and closures lifting, but hunters should stay informed

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Idaho Fire Restrictions and Closures Lifting, But Hunters Should Stay Informed Cooler weather and precipitation, including snowstorms in the Central Idaho mountains, have slowed fire activity and allowed land agencies to lift some restrictions, and the Forest Service expects to lift more by the weekend. But all lands have not reopened and hunters should check before heading to their hunting spots. Hunters should also note that there are two basic actions taking place by land management agencies. First, fire restrictions are being lifted, which apply to campfires, barbecues, gas engines and other flame-producing devices. Cooler weather has allowed land management agencies to lift most fire restrictions, but hunters should double check if they are camping and want a campfire. The…

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Fires limiting access to some areas, but Idaho hunting seasons will go on

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Hunters heading into the field need to beware of fire situations and possible area closures in their favorite hunting spots. They can get fire information and links to other websites at a designated fire page on Idaho Fish and Game’s website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/fire. Typically, fire season is waning when fall hunts begin, which could happen in parts of the state, but weather patterns in the Panhandle and Clearwater Basin are showing no relief from fires. Access to some areas, including federal, state and private timberlands, is closed, and hunters can expect some access restrictions in those regions. “I think the message to folks is this is not a typical fire year,” said Jason Kirchner, public affairs officer for the Panhandle National…

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Colorado P&W to present long term plans in Alamosa Sept. 3

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Colorado P&W to Present Long Term Plans in Alamosa Sept. 3 MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife has released a draft of its long-term strategic plan and the public is invited to learn more about the project and discuss aspects of the plan at an open-house, 6-8 p.m., Sept. 3, at the Rodeway Inn, 333 Sante Fe Ave. (U.S. Highway 160) in Alamosa. CPW operates 42 states parks that receive more than 12 million visitors annually. The agency also keeps tabs on the state’s wildlife species and sells about 850,000 hunting and fishing licenses every year. The draft plan was developed using input provided by stakeholders, public, staff, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. The goals, objectives,…

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Arizona Game and Fish hosting annual elk viewing workshop at Mormon Lake

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FLAGSTAFF — Ever wonder what it be like to see hundreds of elk in one place at one time? That opportunity is possible during the annul elk viewing workshop hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Mormon Lake Lodge. Workshop presentations are scheduled for the morning on Saturday, Aug. 15. The workshop includes a presentation and a field trip to watch elk in their natural habitat near Mormon Lake, which is one of only two natural lakes found in Arizona. During the early fall, hundreds of elk can be observed at the site and along Lake Mary Road. “The department provides several wildlife watching events throughout the state year round,” said Arizona Game and Fish Department Public Information…

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Plague hasn’t spread to pets or people, Idaho health officials say

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Spokesman Mike Demick said his agency got a few reports the first week after the news broke, but that lately the page has been sparsely visited. Dr. Elizabeth Cienava with WestVet, the 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic in Garden City, said her office has had two people bring in dogs to be tested. People are concerned and asking questions, she said. The plague, a bacterial disease, can be spread by the bites of fleas or by direct contact with infected animals.

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