Scouting Around
Idaho — Question & Answer


I heard the "Supertag" is coming back. Is it true?"


You heard right. Every hunter who files the required report (this year it is required of both successful and unsuccessful hunters for deer, elk and antelope) within 10 days of harvest or 10 days of the end of the season for which their tag was valid, will be entered into a drawing for one of 10 supertags. If you win, you still have to buy your tag, but it will be valid for any open deer, elk or antelope (you pick which) hunt in the state. You can go from hunt to hunt until you take an animal. You need to pick which species you want to hunt by May 1, so that you can go ahead and apply in the controlled hunt drawings for the others if you like. The original idea for the supertags was to make them free, but state law prohibits Fish and Game from giving away free licenses or tags.

Wyoming — More Shrub For Your Buck

Citizens can be introduced to the importance and condition of Wyoming's shrublands by reading a brochure just published by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

"More Shrub For Your Buck" was produced by the G&F's Mule Deer Working Group to increase public awareness and support for management strategies for shrub-dependent wildlife species.

"The brochure was also designed to encourage greater state, federal and landowner partnerships with projects aimed at improving wildlife habitats," said Lucy Diggins, committee member and brochure author.

The brochure is available at G&F offices or by calling (800) 842-1934.

Utah — Wolves

The Wildlife Division has committed to working with a group of citizens from a diverse background to develop a recommendation to the Utah Wildlife Board on whether there is a place in Utah for wolves.

While no wild wolves are known to exist in Utah at the present time, they are as close to Utah as southwestern Wyoming. Under current rules, any wolves entering Utah would receive full protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Arizona — Coyotes Stop Antelope Collaring

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is halting its efforts to radio-collar pronghorn in the Willow Lake area near Prescott following apparent coyote predation on three collared animals.

Witnesses on Monday reported two separate incidents of collared pronghorn in the Willow Lake area being chased by coyotes shortly before Department biologists found the two animals dead. A third pronghorn, a collared buck, was found dead on Tuesday after being fed on by coyotes. Game and Fish biologists could not positively determine the actual cause of death, but predation by coyotes is suspected. Efforts to determine all of the contributing factors leading to the deaths of these animals are being pursued.

Jim DeVos, the Department's Research Branch chief, said, "The Willow Lake situation is unusual because the pronghorn are confined to a relatively small area with limited space to escape predators. This, along with the high
density of humans, human activities, dogs and coyotes in the area, is placing a great deal of stress on these pronghorn. Pronghorn are open-space animals that rely on speed and their keen eyesight to evade predators and other threats to their existence."

Game and Fish biologists will continue to monitor the movements and survival of the remaining pronghorn in the Willow Lake herd.

Idaho — Early Bear Baiting in Study Area

Bear hunters will be allowed to place baits before the opening of the hunting season this spring in one area of north Idaho.

Meeting in Coeur d'Alene April 4-5, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to allow bear baits to be placed before the season opener in that portion of Unit 12, described in the big game rules booklet, where bear and mountain lion predation on elk is under study. In all other areas, bear baits cannot be placed before the opening of the hunting season.

The Commission has previously considered other methods of increasing the take of bear and lion in the study area. The ratio of elk calves to adults has been shown to be low in Unit 12 and some surrounding units.

Idaho — Electronic Calls for Lions Approved

Electronic calls will be allowed for the taking of mountain lion in three areas of Idaho.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission decided to let hunters try the electronic calls in Unit 41 and Unit 42 in the Owyhees and in that portion of Unit 12, described in the big game rules booklet, where predator reduction is under study. The new rule allowing electronic calls for the first time for mountain lion hunting was placed into effect immediately.

Hunting lions in Unit 41 and Unit 42 in the customary way with hounds is not deemed effective because of the treeless, rocky terrain. Lions may be the reason for a decline in bighorn sheep numbers in parts of the Owyhees, according to some hunters. Lions and bears have been targeted for reduction in the study area of Unit 12 in an attempt to determine if predation is the major reason for low elk calf numbers.

In discussion with the Commission, Deputy Director Al Van Vooren noted that Utah specifically allows electronic calls in the west, though some counties prohibit them. Mountain lion hunting in any form is outlawed in California while electronic calls are permitted for lion hunting in Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington because they are not specifically prohibited. Electronic calls are prohibited in Colorado, Montana and New Mexico where lions are classed, as in Idaho, as big game animals.

The Commission voted unanimously to go ahead with electronic calls in the three units but agreed to take the issue to the public statewide based on the results of the coming seasons.

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