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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — February 6, 2004


IDFG hosts meeting
on next season’s
hunting proposals

"We need to hear what hunters have on their minds and would like to share with them some ideas we have."

RANDY SMITH Fish and Game wildlife manager,

Express Staff Writer

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will host a meeting Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Hailey to discuss big game hunting seasons for the coming year.

The open house meeting will feature plans to expand motorized regulations, decrease cow elk harvest allowances and improve buck-to-doe ratios in hunting units throughout Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Region. The meeting will be at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"We are going to have a number of department people there for the public to talk to," said Randy Smith, Fish and Game regional wildlife manager. "We need to hear what hunters have on their minds and would like to share with them some ideas we have."

The meetings are designed to inform the public about the information biologists have gathered over the past year and allow them to comment on issues and proposals for big game seasons for the coming year. The Hailey meeting is one of three that Fish and Game will host throughout the region.

"The more information we can glean from the sportsmen gives us an idea on how to meet our management goals," Smith said.

One of the subjects to be discussed is how to maintain the quality of mature bucks in hunting Unit 45, which is located north of Bliss.

"Hunter numbers and buck harvest in the Unit 45 muzzleloader hunt have increased to a level that is affecting the quality of mature bucks in the resident deer population," Smith said. "Hunter numbers have grown in recent years, and hunter success has increased to over 50 percent. To insure the future quality of the hunt, our goal is to reduce harvest from 130 bucks a year to 65."

Other issues of importance include:

  • Hunter thoughts of the new and more restrictive motorized vehicle rules for selected Magic Valley Region units.

  • Poor reproduction among mule deer in Unit 56, which has resulted in lower deer numbers and low buck-to-doe ratios.

  • A proposed archery pronghorn hunt in units 44, 48 and 52.

  • A proposal to shorten the general spike season in the Bennett Hills, south of Fairfield, by one week.



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