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  Idaho Deer Hunting

State DNR Office   - Hunting Regs -  Federal Information

Date: May 1, 2006
Contact: Gregg Losinski
(208) 525-7290

tough conditions cause wildlife managers to reconsider options for deer harvest in unit 67

HEISE - Ever since fawn survivability monitoring began back in 1998, the fawns in Unit 67 near Heise have generally gone into the winter heavier than most of the other fawns measured in the state. Even with this head start, some died each winter, but this year the numbers were the worst ever recorded and have caused wildlife managers to reconsider some deer harvest changes that had already been printed in the new 2006 big game regulations.

According to Regional Wildlife Manager Daryl Meints, "It's important to take note how numbers vary from area to area. The deer at Heise had an especially tough winter; this has caused us to recommend changing some deer hunting opportunity that we had previously hoped to expand." The expansion Meints was referring to centers around two controlled hunts and will not impact previously published regulations for general deer harvest in Unit 67.   The Idaho Fish & Game Commission will consider approving a request to reduce the number of permits originally set for Hunt 1058 from 200 back to 50 permits. Hunt 1061 will be reduced from 200 to 100 permits.

Prior to this winter, the Heise area was carrying more deer than had been counted since 1995. According to Meints, "The fawns came into the winter lighter than previous years. This was due to diminished summer and fall habitat conditions."

Of the 25 fawns' radio collared as part of the survivability study, 21 have so far ended up dying;   12 died of malnutrition, 4 from coyote predation, 1 from mountain lion and 4 more from unknown causes. Unintentional human disturbance, along with poaching, was determined to be having a negative impact on the wintering deer; so earlier this winter when it appeared that the deer were heading into trouble, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) worked with IDFG to establish an area closure to try and provide the remaining deer as much protection as possible.

These controlled hunts being adjusted reflect how wildlife managers attempt to use all the information available to them to manage wildlife populations and provide hunting opportunity to sportsmen. Population swings such as seen here only serve to drive home the point that wildlife cannot be stockpiled, surpluses need to be utilized when they are available because of the variety of factors that could cause a downward swing at any time in the future.

For more information about these changes or information related to the fawn survivability study, contact IDFG in Idaho Falls at 208-525-7290.

 

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