Idaho Big Game Prospects
Idaho's big game hunters should find animals as numerous as they were last year, perhaps a little more plentiful.

Although autumn hunting seasons seem a long way off, resident big game hunters will be able to buy tags for the most popular species beginning at 10 a.m. Mountain Time August 1 at private vendors as well as Fish and Game offices. Residents can purchase tags for non-quota areas July 25 so they can be in the field for August 1 openers, nonresidents will already have them.

Wildlife Chief Jim Unsworth said another good year of deer and elk hunting is likely in almost every area of Idaho. Herds went into last winter in generally good condition and suffered minimal winter kill in most areas.

The unhappy exception in that bright prospect comes in portions of southeast Idaho where unusual winter weather in 2000-2001 was hard on mule deer herds. Unsworth predicted that hunters would see few two-point bucks, by far the largest segment of the buck harvest in most hunts.

As usual, weather conditions during hunts will play a major role in success. Dry conditions reduce heavy vegetation that can make game hard to see and will concentrate animals in wetter areas, but those conditions also make a quiet approach to animals in forest areas difficult.

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