Scouting Around
Idaho — Question and Answer

I am getting ready for spring turkey hunting and would like to use my bow. Is this a legal weapon for turkey hunting? Do I need any additional permits to use it?

Yes, the use of archery equipment is legal in the taking of wild turkey. However, archers should note that crossbows are not allowed. No additional permits or validations are required to use archery equipment while wild turkey hunting. Hunters should have a valid current year Idaho hunting license and a spring wild turkey tag.

For more information on Idaho's spring turkey seasons and rules, pick up the 2000 Wild Turkey Hunting Seasons booklet. Contact the nearest Fish and Game office or visit the Department's Internet website.

Montana — Sage Grouse Public Conference

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and the Montana Wildlife Federation, a day-long conference on sage grouse conservation on Saturday, January 27 at the Elks Club in Bozeman from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference, made possible in part by a grant from the Cinnabar Foundation, is free of charge.

The conference will provide information about the status, biology and management of sage grouse in the state and is a first step in preparing a long-range conservation plan for sage grouse and sagebrush-grassland habitats. Sage grouse authorities from Idaho and Washington will describe their work with the species, and federal and state agency staff, landowners, hunters, tribal representatives and conservationists will discuss grouse and habitat conservation issues important to a long-range plan.

Petitions to list sage grouse in Colorado and Washington have been filed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Populations of fewer than 7,000 birds survive in those states, while Montana has populations estimated in the tens of thousands. Loss and fragmentation of sage grouse habitat across the West due to development, wildfire, and weed invasion are a threat to the species.

For more information contact Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Wildlife Division at (406) 444-2612.

Montana — Waterfowl Season About Over

Montana waterfowlers are hanging up their waders and packing their decoys away for another year as duck season closed on January 4, and goose hunting seasons across the state will close at sunset on Friday, January 12.

The Central Flyway generally covers the eastern half of Montana.

In the Pacific Flyway, the goose hunting season closed at sunset on Sunday, January 7, and duck hunting will end Friday, January 12. The Pacific Flyway generally covers the western half of Montana.

Idaho — Hunters Can Report by Phone

Successful deer and elk hunters can either mail their harvest report cards or, for the first time, call the information in by phone.

The toll-free number is 1-877-268-9365. The number will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The contractor providing this service has a limited number of lines, and when they are all busy callers are switched immediately to a waiting line with a radio station background. If this happens, hold on for a free line or call back later. Hunters should have their tag numbers in front of them when they make the call because the operator will not be able to look up the tag from the license number.

The toll-free call system was added for the convenience of hunters. Information they provide is important to the process of setting hunting seasons for next year. Hunters who killed elk or deer in 2000 are required to provide information on their hunt to Fish and Game. Those who were unsuccessful are not required to report. Hunters should note that the reporting system will change for next year with details to be explained in the new proclamation booklet.

Oregon — 2001 Regulations

The 2001 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations will be available in mid-January. What follows is a summary of the early year regulations:

2001 Big Game Regulations:
Cougar: Unlike previous years, cougar hunters need to purchase both a new hunting license and a new tag to go out January 1, 2001. A general season cougar tag may be purchased from December 1, 2000 to Sept. 28, 2001. The season is open from January 1 - May 31 and August 1 - December 31, 2001 in most areas of the state. An extended 12-month cougar season in four areas of southwest Oregon continues this year with new effective dates of January 1 - December 31, 2001. For the Blue Mountains Zone, hunters may obtain a second cougar tag. The 2001 Cougar Regulations are posted on the ODFW website @

Spring Bear Controlled Hunt: The deadline to apply for spring bear controlled hunts remains February 10, 2001. Information on the 16 specific hunts offered will be available at license agents in early January.

Arizona — Wolf Pack Readied for Release

Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team members placed a pack of six wolves into an acclimation pen in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona on January 4. This is the first of several releases currently planned for this year.

The Alpha male (#574) was born at the Albuquerque Biological Park in 1998. After the male's transfer to Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, it was paired with female #510. This female is one of the captive-bred offspring of the free-ranging Mule Pack adults. Four pups, two females and two males, born last spring, accompany the adults. The newly placed pack has been named Saddle Pack.

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has issued a public closure order to protect the endangered wolves from disturbance while they occupy the pen. A posted one-mile closure surrounds the acclimation pen. The order will remain in effect while the wolves occupy the pen, which is expected to be approximately 30 days.

| WH Home | Contact Western | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2000 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.