Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Deer season opens Friday

Hunters will be headed to the woods throughout most of Idaho

Express Staff Writer

Throughout Idaho, the first weeks of October mark the return of crisp autumn air and the beginning of the annual deer season.

The state's 2008 regular deer season is set to open Oct. 10 in most of Idaho. That includes Blaine County, where hunters will head to the hills in pursuit of mule deer.

Within the Wood River Valley and surrounding areas—including Idaho Department of Fish and Game big-game hunting units 43, 48, 49 and 50—this year's general deer season will run from Oct. 10-31. To the north in the Sawtooth Valley and in the surrounding Sawtooth, White Cloud and Salmon River mountain ranges in units 36, 36A and 36B, the general deer season will run from Oct. 10-24.

Idaho deer hunters must choose between a regular deer tag—which allows hunters to take either a mule deer or whitetail deer in many areas throughout the state—or a whitetail deer tag, which allows hunter to take only a whitetail deer.

Many areas across the state offer antlerless hunting opportunities for youth. Check Fish and Game's 2008 big game rules brochure to see where youth hunts are available.

To hunt deer in Idaho during the general deer season, resident hunters must have a valid 2008 hunting license and a resident deer tag.

Fish and Game law enforcement officials are asking hunters to report any suspicious activities—including poaching—that they encounter while out hunting. Most convictions in poaching cases begin with the help of ordinary residents, hunters or others who report these crimes, Fish and Game reports.

Hunters with information about wildlife crimes may call the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at (800) 632-5999, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. Hunters can also call the nearest Fish and Game or local law enforcement office to report wildlife crimes.

Hunters are encouraged to pick up a free copy of Fish and Game's backcountry game meat care guide. The guide has helpful tips to ensure proper handling of game to avoid wasting the meat. The guide is available at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.

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