IDAHO ELIMINATING ANTLERLESS HUNTS – This past winter has been brutal on the deer and elk herds. Ehuntr has posted several articles discussing the impact this harsh winter has had on the herds. Due to the impact and winter kill, many states are having to react. Idaho is no different.
Eliminating Antlerless Hunts
Prior to this winter, the Idaho Fish & Game were gearing up to increase the number of antlerless tags in the state. However, not many people could have predicted the amount of snow and cold weather the winter would bring.
“Before this winter hit, we’d been seeing steady growth in mule deer herds in southeast Idaho,” said Toby Boudreau, Fish and Game’s Deer and Elk Coordinator. “So much so that we were ready to propose additional antlerless hunt opportunities for the 2023 fall season.”
Boudreau went on to say the following:
“I’ve heard from a lot of hunters who didn’t like the idea of opening up an antlerless season after we’ve had such a big winter,” he said. “Since 2017, we’ve been trying hard to increase herd sizes and bring back quality hunting opportunities to the southeast.”
Sadly, the winter was a lot tougher than planned, and due to that severe winter, the Idaho Fish & Game have decided to eliminate many proposed antlerless hunt opportunities prior to 2023-2024 big game season setting.
“We recognized the sensitivity of antlerless mule deer hunts, and ultimately didn’t feel comfortable offering antlerless opportunities in the eastern part of the state,” Boudreau said.
The Idaho Fish & Game are also deploying other measures to help aide the wildlife during winter conditions. First, they are performing wildlife feedings in areas where there is little feed for the animals. This is obviously costly, but it is a small price to pay to help these animals survive. The department has also received authority to declare a shed hunting season as needed to reduce human and wildlife interactions.