Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Deer season opens in Wood River Valley

Herds look good, wildlife official says


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

The regular deer season opens today in many parts of Idaho, including Blaine County.

Though the general archery season has been open since late August, all other hunters will be able to take a crack at getting their deer between today, Oct. 10, and Wednesday, Oct. 31, in game units 48 and 49 surrounding Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue.

Deer hunters can choose from a regular deer tag, which includes mule deer and white-tailed deer, or a specific white-tailed tag. The tags are valid from Oct. 10-31. Antlerless deer are only permitted for hunting by youth hunters.

Regan Berkley, wildlife biologist with the Magic Valley Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said on those planning to hunt in game units 48 and 49 will likely want to purchase the regular deer tag.

“Down here, we are looking at mule deer,” she said, adding that white-tailed deer are mostly near the Snake River and in eastern Idaho, as well as much farther north.

Berkley said deer herds this year are “looking good,” and that the region has been experiencing upward deer population trends in general. She added that the mild winter helped.

“We should have pretty good overwinter survival of fawns,” she said.

Fawns last winter would be yearlings this winter, an age that Berkley said makes up the bulk of harvested deer each year.

Berkley said local hunters’ successes and the deer population would be helped by the fact that there were no major wildfires in the Wood River Valley this summer, meaning less wildlife mortality and more winter forage.

Hunters must have a deer tag and a 2012 Idaho hunting license.

Fish and Game law enforcement officials also ask that hunters report any poaching they encounter or hear about while hunting. Hunters with information about a wildlife crime can call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 800-632-5999. Callers may remain anonymous.  

Fish and Game provides many publications for hunters, including hunt planners and meat-care guides that help hunters avoid wasting meat. Hunters can visit http://fishandgame.idaho.gov for more information.

Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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