Friday, August 27, 2010

Rack ’em up

Archery seasons for antlered deer open Monday


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Hunters report a mule deer at a checkpoint in southern Blaine County. Archery season on deer starts Aug. 30, but other hunters will have to focus on much smaller or much larger game, such as black bear and field grouse, until October. Express file photo

Archers will get their first shot at this season's antlered game starting on Monday, along with permitted hunters willing to take on bears or mountain lions.

Open hunts for archers with deer tags start Monday, Aug. 30, in most regions. Archers with the required archery permit may take down any deer, antlered or antlerless, until Sept. 30.

Archers hunting for elk and who have the required "A tag" can begin shooting elk Aug. 30 in the Sawtooth, Pioneer and Smoky Mountain regions.

Those wishing to shoot in archery-only seasons must have a valid archery permit and any required tags, and must limit their weapon use to longbows, compound bows or recurve bows without magnifying sights.

Hunters with all weapons who are feeling particularly brave can start hunting black bears in most regions on Aug. 30. Females with young are always protected.

Mountain lion season opens Aug. 30 as well in most regions. Again, no females with young may be taken, and the quota on bagged female mountain lions may be reached before the season is closed.

Hunters wishing to use dogs during their mountain lion or bear hunts should consult the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's rules brochure for information on required permits, training dates and the dates when dogs are prohibited.

Shotgun hunters wishing to test their skills on smaller game can start shooting forest grouse as early as Aug. 30. Hunters of these birds only need a valid Idaho hunting license.

Other bird seasons open Sept. 1, including mourning dove and sandhill crane. Though the sandhill crane had been previously listed under a controlled hunt, this year hunters can purchase tags over the counter. The tags cost $15.

Controlled pronghorn hunts are already under way for archers in a few zones, though hunters using other weapons and who have the required permits must wait until Sept. 25.

Those lucky few with permits for the controlled antlered moose hunt can begin Aug. 30 and continue until Nov. 23.

Any-weapon seasons on mule and white-tailed deer do not begin until Oct. 10 at the earliest.

The anticipated gray wolf hunt will not occur this year. Wolf season opened on Sept. 1 last year, but a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy relisted wolves under the Endangered Species Act and effectively canceled this year's hunt.

Hunters who have already bought wolf tags for 2010 may be eligible for a refund, however. Wolf tags purchased after March 31 are automatically eligible for a refund.

Those wishing to receive a refund must submit a request and the original tag to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game by Oct. 1.

All hunters are urged to check the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's website, fishandgame.idaho.gov, for region-specific rules and regulations.

Katherine Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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