HUNTING -- An increase in Idaho Panhandle moose hunting opportunity and other proposals for next year's trophy big-game seasons will be presented at an open house meeting, 3 p.m.-6 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Panhandle Region Office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.
Meetings are being held on statewide proposals affecting hunting for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. However, no changes are proposed for mountain goat or bighorn sheep hunting in the Panhandle.
The open house format allows visitors to attend at any time during the session to visit with Fish and Game personnel about the proposals.
The Panhandle Region proposal includes the addition of 20 bull moose tags:
Unit 4 would have a long season (Sept. 15-Dec. 1) with an increase from 15 tags to 20 tags. "Harvest success rates have been high in Unit 4 and the average number of days of hunting to harvest a moose in the unit is decreasing," said Phil Cooper, department spokesman. "There has not been a decrease in antler spread of harvested bulls, and this proposal would increase hunter opportunity."
Two new short season hunts are proposed for Unit 5 with five permits in each hunt. One hunt would run Oct. 1-14 and the other Nov. 1-14. The current long season in Unit 5 would not change. The moose population size and bull and calf ratios indicate Unit 5 can withstand increased hunting, he said.
Unit 6 currently has three moose hunts, including one long hunt from Sept. 15-Dec. 1. Each of the hunts has had 15 tags. The proposed season would increase the number of tags in the long hunt to 20. The two shorter seasons would not change in dates or permit levels under the current proposal.
"The change is proposed because harvest rates are high, the average number of days hunted to take a moose is decreasing, and there has not been a decrease in the antler spread of harvested bulls from Unit 6," Cooper said.
All comments will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission prior to setting the seasons at their meeting on Jan. 22.