Outdoors blog

Idaho seasons about to open for turkeys and other birds

HUNTING -- Fall wild turkey hunting seasons open Thursday (Sept. 15) in Idaho and Sept. 24 in select Eastern Washington units.

Other hunts will follow soon.

Read on for the long list of details for Idaho hunts, including the youth waterfowl season (Sept. 24-25) and the youth pheasant hunt, wich starts Oct. 1.

Fall turkey hunters typically find less competition in the field because of other hunting seasons that open in the fall, and they are more likely to bag a bird, Idaho Fish and Game officials say.  Check out their webpage.

Idaho's turkey season is open:

  • September 15 through December 15: General fall hunt in game management units 1, 2 (except Farragut State Park and Farragut Wildlife Management Area) 3, 4, 4A, 5 and 6.
  • September 15 through October 31: General fall hunt in game management units 73, 74, 75, 77 and 78.
  • September 15 through October 9: General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19 , 20, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32 (except that portion in Payette County), and 32A. Units 33 and 39 are closed to fall hunting.
  • November 21 through December 31: General fall hunt in game management units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18. This hunt is open on private lands only.

The daily bag limit is one turkey of either sex per day in the fall. No more than three turkeys may be taken per year, except in Units 1, 2, 3 and 5, where up to five turkeys may be taken in a single day during the fall season. Turkey hunters will need a general or an extra tag. General tags not used in the spring general or controlled hunts are valid for the fall hunt. Special unit tags are valid only for the fall season in Units 1, 2, 3 or 5.

Turkey tags are available at all license vendors for $19.75. An extra turkey tag costs $12.25, and the special unit tag costs $5.

For more information see the turkey rules book or the Fish and Game Web site at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.


Youth Waterfowl Seasons Open Soon

The Idaho waterfowl youth hunt opens September 24 and 25, and the regular 107-day season opens October 1 in northern and eastern Idaho, and October 15 in southwestern Idaho.

Daily duck bag limits are seven birds in the aggregate – no more than two female mallards, two redheads, three scaup, two pintails, one canvasback – with a possession limit of 14 birds after the first day and no more than four female mallards, four redheads, four pintails, six scaup and two canvasbacks.

Daily limits for Wilson’s snipe are eight; with a possession limit of 16 after the first day; and the daily limit for coots are 25 with a possession limit of 25 after the first day.

Daily bag limits for dark geese – Canada, greater white-front – are four per day. Daily limits for light geese – snow, blue, Ross’s – are 10 per day.

Seasons are:

  • Area 1: All of the state not included in Area 2.
  • For ducks and dark geese from October 1 to January 13, with a shorter scaup season from October 22 to January 13.
  • For snow and Ross’s geese from October 1 to January 13, 2012.
  • Area 2: All or parts of Ada, Boise, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls and Washington counties.
  • For ducks and dark geese from October 15 to January 27, 2012, with a shorter scaup season from November 5 to January 27, 2012.
  • For snow and Ross’s geese from November 6 to January 27, 2012; and reopen from February 18 to March 10, 2012.
  • Area 3: For light geese only – includes that portion of the Upper Snake Region within Bingham County in Game Management Unit 63 south of Highway 20 and west of the west bank of the Snake River, and that portion of the Southeast Region within Bingham and Power counties in units 68 and 68A west of the west bank of the Snake River and American Falls Reservoir bluff.
  • For snow and Ross’s geese from October 23 to January 13, 2012; and reopens from February 18 to March 10, 2012.

Parts of Area 2 closed during the spring light goose season areFort Boise and Payette River WMAs and that portion of the Roswell Marsh Wildlife Habitat Area south of state Highway 18, and the Snake River Islands Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in the Southwest Region.

In Area 1, Fremont and Teton counties are closed to light goose hunting.

Additional details will be available in a printed brochure and on the Fish and Game website within about a week.

Hunters must have a valid Idaho hunting license, a federal migratory game bird harvest information program validation and a federal migratory bird (duck) stamp, except youths 15 and under do not need the duck stamp.

Nontoxic shot is required for all waterfowl hunting in Idaho. For details see the 2011-2012 Waterfowl seasons online at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=66; the printed brochure will be available within abouta week at license vendors and Fish and Game offices.


Youth Pheasant Hunt Opens October 1

A youth pheasant season opens statewide Saturday, October 1, and runs through October 7 for all licensed hunters 15 years old or younger.

The week-long hunt opens a half hour before sunrise in Area 1, 2 and 3, except on the C.J. Strike, Fort Boise, Montour and Payette River wildlife management areas, where shooting hours begin at 10 a.m. Shooting hours continue statewide through a half hour after sunset.

The regular season opens October 8 in Area 1 and October 15 in Areas 2 and 3.

Youth hunters must be accompanied by a licensed hunter 18 years or older – one adult may accompany more than one youth.

The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is six after the first day, except on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked, in which case the daily limit is two cocks and four in possession.

Hunters 17 and older need a WMA pheasant permit to hunt on Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. Pheasants will be stocked on the Payette, Montour, Fort Boise, Niagara and Market Lake wildlife management areas before the youth hunt weekend.

All upland game hunters are required to wear hunter orange during the pheasant season when hunting on wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. And all hunters must have a valid 2011 Idaho hunting license.

Details are available in the current Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey rules brochure, available at license vendors and online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=67.


Sage-Grouse Season Opens October 1

The Idaho restricted seven-day; one-bird per day season for 2011 opens Saturday, October 1.

Sage-grouse season:

  • Seven day season, one-bird daily limit, and two in possession after opening day, statewide in sage-grouse range within Area 2.
  • Area 2 includes:
  • Butte, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Fremont, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Power and Teton counties.
  • Bannock County west of Interstate 15.
  • Bingham County west of Interstate 15.
  • Blaine County, except within the Salmon River drainage.
  • Bonneville County west of Interstate 15 and north of U.S. Highway 26.
  • Custer County, exceptwithin the Salmon River drainage upstream from and including Valley Creek.
  • Elmore County south and east of U.S. Highway 20 and north of Interstate 84.
  • Oneida County west of Interstate 15.
  • Owyhee County west of the Bruneau River.
  • Twin Falls County east of U.S. Highway 93.
  • Closed:
  • All areas not included in Area 2.

Details are available in a brochure available in print at license vendors and on the Fish and Game website: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/uplandSage.pdf.

Any person hunting sage- or sharp-tailed grouse must have in their possession a valid hunting license with a sage- sharp-tailed grouse permit validation at $4.75.

The sharp-tail grouse season also opens October 1 and runs through October 31. Check the Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure for 2011-2012 for season and limit details.

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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column.



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