Panhandle waterfowl wonderland for hunters

Tank, a Labrador retriever, launches off a boat blind to a retrieve for his handler, Kent Contreras.  (Rich Landers)
Tank, a Labrador retriever, launches off a boat blind to a retrieve for his handler, Kent Contreras. (Rich Landers)

These numbers don’t lie

While the Panhandle has stood out as Idaho’s hot spot for goose hunting, other waterfowl trends are similarly encouraging, said Jim Hayden, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional wildlife manager.

“Hunters took about twice as many ducks and geese last year compared to 2008,” he said. “In 2009, the Panhandle had about 1,800 duck hunters who took 20,413 ducks for an average of 1.8 ducks per hunter per day. That was the second-best duck hunting in the state.”

The Salmon Region, with only a couple hundred duck hunters, was the only region of the state with higher duck-hunting success rates.

October was the best month for harvesting a duck in the Panhandle, with an average of 2.3 ducks per hunter per day.

December was the lowest month, with 1.4 ducks per hunter per day.

About 1,200 hunters pursued geese on the Panhandle last year. They took 8,114 geese for an average of 1.1 geese per hunter per day, Hayden said, noting the rate made the Panhandle “the best goose hunting in the state.”

The best month to bag a goose was January, with 1.9 geese per hunter per day, and the lowest was October, with 0.6 geese per hunter per day.

Statewide, the number of ducks in and coming in to Idaho should be about the same as last year’s good season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mallards, widgeon, gadwall and teal are at or above long-term averages and Canada geese populations are doing very well.

Idaho will have another late-winter snow goose hunt in February and March.

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: Huckleberry season has pickers bursting with excitement

The 2000 Idaho Legislature declared huckleberries the state fruit. But like potatoes, Washington has its share of the delicious purple berries prized for pies, pancakes, muffins, ice cream, jam, wine and just about anything else that needs a touch of tart sweetness. The huckleberry season …

Recent blog posts

Great Blue Heron stalks dining diversity

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Here's a great glimpse into the versatility in hunting and feeding skills of a great blue heron, known to eat a lot of fish and amphibians geared ...

Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »

Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801