Mule deer account for most of the deer in the area, but about 40 percent of the deer in Unit 23 are whitetails, and whitetail herds remain stable in that unit. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho … The Palouse, Dworshak and Hells Canyon elk zones continue to produce good elk hunting in the region, and the Elk City Zone is seeing increased harvest in unit 14, but decreases in units 15 and 16, which is attracting more hunters into Unit 14. Hunters should keep an eye out for head barrels or lymph node collection sites, where biologists are asking hunters to leave a head, or — if they feel comfortable — to leave us a lymph node sample. Elk zones east of U.S. 93 (Beaverhead, Lemhi, and Pioneer) are above objectives outlined in the elk management plan for both cow and bull elk. “I think all indications are that this should be another very good elk season,” Ward said. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. Overall deer numbers have been increasing in Unit 39 for the last several years. Hunters should also note Potlatch Deltic requires special permits for camping and ATV use on its lands. That may impact the upcoming bucks in those hunting units, but the region’s holding pretty strong. Despite general hunts that include antlerless elk with any weapon, the zone is still over its objectives for elk. So while the elk are there, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to hunt. White-tailed deer: There’s no reason to believe the whitetails are in a bad place, and whitetail hunting should be about normal, or average to what it has been over the last number of years. There’s a pretty good age class of bucks incoming, but still missing some of those 3- to 4-year-old bucks from the 2016-17 winter, but for the most part, bucks are going to be pretty widely distributed across various age classes this fall. Elk: By and large, the elk forecast is really good. There’s a bit of irony when it comes to Idaho’s whitetail hunting. With several mild-to-moderate winters in the Clearwater in recent years, hunters should see a fair-to-good number of mature bucks. Biologists saw excellent fawn survival last winter, which will boost the number of young bucks available for hunters, but overall deer populations are still down. Harvest statistics based on mandatory harvest reports, big game mortality reports and check station records. However, biologists are trying to learn more about Idaho’s whitetail populations and what drives them, as well as what might limit them. Elk: Hunters should expect good elk hunting this fall. What hunters should be aware of for the fall: Hunters in the Clearwater are reminded that 567,000 acres of Potlatch Deltic timberlands are open to the public due to Fish and Game’s Large Tracts access program, which pays private landowners to provide public access for hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation. Doing some scouting of potential hunting areas may give hunters an idea of animal distribution and behavior. Biologists surveyed the Diamond Creek Zone in 2018 and the population estimate was dramatically higher than the previous survey in 2013, and the bull:cow:calf ratio indicates that it is still a stable to increasing population. They’ve started a multi-year study so they can learn more about whitetail populations and become better at managing them to ensure healthy populations and meet hunters’ expectations. In recent years, mule deer hunting has been on a bit of downswing, but 2020 could shape up to be a momentum changer. Hunters took 21,540 whitetails in 2019 and had a 38 percent success rate. That would be good for the health of the herd. Elk: Lots of elk in the Weiser River Zone continues to be a good problem to have, but still a problem. What hunters should be aware of for the fall: The one tip that is pretty good in this part of the state is to get away from roads. Mule Deer: Deer numbers are starting to bounce back from the 2016-17 winter, and wildlife managers are expecting to see a good general season this year. Fish and Game’s generous allocation of over-the-counter, general hunt tags, and a broad range of antlered hunting opportunity, particularly for archery hunters, is appealing to resident and nonresident hunters. Box 7249, Boise, ID, 83707. Because deer numbers remain down, antlerless hunting opportunities are limited to youth hunters, and only during the first week of the general any-weapon season. Things are also looking good in the Sawtooth Zone after a mild winter. As word has gotten out about the resurgence of elk hunting in Idaho, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of hunters, which have exceeded 100,000 annually over the last six years. 1068), and hunters should not hesitate to harvest a doe. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. Elk: Elk numbers in the Panhandle also remain strong with Units 1 and 4 being among the top elk units in the state, ranking fourth and third in 2019, and Panhandle units accounted for half of the top 10 elk units in the state with the Units 3, 6 and 5 joining Units 1 and 4. With a little help from the weather and plenty of hunters in the woods, there’s no reason the 2020 whitetails harvest can’t bounce right back to around the 10-year average of 24,568 white-tailed deer. Mule deer hunting in the eastern part of the region is probably going to be a little down, whereas the western part of the region, west of Interstate 15, should be decent. There are no upcoming events at this time. What hunters should be aware of for the fall: Hunters in the Panhandle are reminded that more than 336,000 acres of private timberland is open to hunting due to Fish and Game’s Large Tracts access program, which pays private landowners to provide public access for hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation. Hunters should expect very similar hunting experiences in terms of numbers of deer and age classes of bucks that were observed last year — a result of average over-winter fawn survival this past winter. While there should be more young bucks this year, there will still be limited numbers of older bucks because the harsh winter of 2016-17 essentially wiped out the 2016 fawn crop, which would now be mature bucks had they survived. While 2019 whitetail harvest was down 14 percent from 2018 and the lowest since 2011, biologists said that’s likely a normal variation in annual harvests, not a sign of declining whitetail populations. Based on that, hunters can expect to find plenty of white-tailed deer in the Clearwater Region and hunting very similar to recent years. While 2019-20 wasn’t a great year for fawn survival statewide, the region probably dodged a bullet last year, followed by about average fawn survival over the most recent winter. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. Idaho agriculture is diverse, abundant and rooted in our history. Join today and receive a free $10 Bass Pro Shops & Cabelas Gift Card, Taken during general hunts: 17,697 (25 percent success rate), Taken during controlled hunts: 5,893 (49 percent success rate), Taken during general hunts: 13,799 (18 percent success rate), Taken during controlled hunts: 6,733 (38 percent success rate), Taken during general hunts: 19,485 (37 percent success rate), Taken during controlled hunts: 2,055 (45 percent success rate). Deer survival was good with no sign of excessive winter kill and no signs of fatal disease outbreaks, such as EHD or blue tongue, occurring so far during summer. Deer: Whitetail hunters should be see the usual healthy herds of whitetails in Panhandle. About 63 percent of radio collared fawns survived last winter, which is the highest number in four years and above the 20-year average of 57 percent. (Photo source: Garett Gabriel/Idaho Department of Fish and Game), Elk are not light creatures. “One of the challenges we face in managing elk populations is getting enough hunters to hunt hard for and harvest antlerless elk in areas where we are working to bring elk herds back to the population objectives in the statewide elk plan,” Ward said. But there will need to be a string of a few winters with above-average fawn survival to really start pushing us back to those upper levels of mule deer harvest that occurred prior to 2017. Whitetail hunters in the Panhandle have a long hunting season, generous either-sex hunting opportunities and a good chance to encounter mature bucks. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. The good news for Idaho mule deer hunters is that the statewide fawn survival data from last winter paints a brighter picture for 2020. “Harsh winters tend to have more of an effect on mule deer than they do on elk. The leading cause of mortality for elk calves was mountain lions, and for cow elk it was a tie between hunter harvest and mountain lions. They’re trying to figure out what’s happening with the herds and what’s driving, or limiting, the elk populations. What hunters should be aware of for the fall: An overarching theme for the Magic Valley Region is that late summer conditions were extremely dry, and one of the things that hunters should note is that places that they’re used to hunting that maybe had some water, or were wet, might not be this year. It’s the fourth-straight year that has occurred, and it’s happened earlier each year. Deer: The Weiser/McCall area has had two hard winters in the last 5 years, which set back mule deer herds. Whitetail harvest was still below mule deer (23,679), but whitetail hunters’ success rates were nine points higher than mule deer hunters. Winter fawn survival over the past winter was about 61 percent, which indicates a stable, not increasing population. Be the first to hear about our latest news and events. In the grand scheme of 2020 hunting season, that could be significant, because yearling, or two-point bucks (which were born last year), typically make up a significant portion of the buck harvest. It’s likely the dip in success rates was a factor of the weather conditions last year. The three-year stretch of winters spanning from 2016-2019 was tough on many of Idaho’s mule deer herds, largely due to poor-to-average fawn survival — including the second-lowest on record in 2016-17 — and harvest numbers have reflected that trend. The Salmon Region offers a little bit of everything for general season elk hunting, ranging from areas with ample over-the-counter antlerless or either-sex opportunities, to areas allowing the harvest of brow-tined bulls only. Second, Fish and Game offers long seasons, generous either-sex hunting opportunities, and unlimited general season tags for residents. Anyone else wondering why it's May 2nd, and the info from 2011 still hasn't been posted? Fish and Game is currently meeting or exceeding its population goals for bull elk in 17 of 22 elk zones, and 16 out of 22 for cow elk, Ward said. First, Idaho’s whitetails are abundant and resilient, which means there’s a steady population of animals available to hunt. If we get some weather, we’re probably going to have pretty good harvest rates on cow elk; if not, it will be pretty similar to last year, which was a little bit frustrating. From fries to cheese to wine, Idaho is producing quality products to feed the world and fuel our state. “But it is a positive sign for our mule deer herds and for hunters.”. In 2000 hunter numbers were not collected. Wildlife managers would like to see more antlerless harvest in Unit 39 and Unit 43. Below is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Unit 39 has been a very productive mule deer unit, and has been for a long time, but biologists are starting to see fawn production go down, and the herd composition in December and fawn weights in the winter are starting to decline — all of which is used to measure the carrying capacity of our deer and elk herds. Agriculture remains a fundamentally important part of Idaho’s economy, communities and way of life. Elk hunters should have plenty of elk to chase, and one of things that is going to dictate the success of elk hunters is the weather. “The distribution of elk has definitely changed since the 80s and 90s, when there was that first pulse of high elk numbers and the Lolo Zone was leading the way. Unit 40 in the Owyhees is the next highest in terms of annual harvest, but general season opportunity is limited to two-points only. Together, agriculture and food processing generate 28% of Idaho’s total economic output in sales and 13% of GDP. Wildlife managers recognize that the Palisades Elk Zone is one that performs on the lower end of our objectives compared with others, and part of that is by design, and biologists will probably be evaluating that come season setting proposals later in the fall. Elk harvest is largely going to be dictated by weather, especially the cow harvest. The state has nearly 25,000 farms and ranches which produce more than 185 different commodities. The Boise River Zone is composed of just a single hunting unit (Unit 39), which has been the top unit for elk harvest for two straight years and routinely competes with Unit 1 in Northern Idaho for the top spot. Too many elk? Fish and Game offers 1,500 either sex deer tags for Units 39 and 43 (Controlled Hunt No. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. The statewide elk harvest has exceeded 20,000 annually for the last six years, which has not happened since the all-time high harvests between 1988-96. “We are in the second Golden Age of Idaho elk hunting,” Ward said. That’s particularly true the eastern portion of the region, which is basically missing an entire age class of animals because of extremely low survival in the 2016-17 winter, and had a couple years of below-average survival since then. While many of the mule deer herds around the state are in better shape this year than they were in 2019, Ward pointed out that hunter congestion could prove to be more prevalent this year, particularly in areas that are more popular with mule deer hunters. The Idaho Hunt Planner provides all information the hunter needs for a successful Idaho hunt: regulations, seasons, drawing odds, harvest statistics, and hunt boundaries in one location. The next closest was neighboring Unit 43, where hunters harvested 1,179 mule deer. When you look back since 2004 when Idaho’s deer harvest statistics were segregated between whitetails and mule deer, whitetails were a smaller portion of the statewide deer harvest with mule deer being the majority of deer taken by hunters. Ward said that elk tend to be hardier than mule deer and capable of withstanding harsh winters. When you look back since 2004 when Idaho’s deer harvest statistics were segregated between whitetails and mule deer, whitetails were a smaller portion of the statewide deer harvest with mule deer being the majority of deer taken by hunters. The elk harvest in the Boise River Zone has also remained largely stable over that time period (averaging about 956 animals), as has the hunter success rate. […], Below is a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Units 2, 3, 5 and 6 were also in the top 10 for whitetails thanks to habitat and weather conditions that have been favorable for growing whitetails. The allotment of nonresident elk tags sold out by June 17 this year. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that state agencies should manage wolves just […]. Despite lots of elk, they can often find refuge on private lands, or on steep, rugged public land that is difficult to access. Winter weather was normal and there were no signs of excessive winter die off. 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