BOISE – Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission adopted shorter seasons for elk hunting in the Panhandle this fall, to allow herds to recover from recent harsh winters.
Biologists are concerned about the low numbers of elk calves spotted during aerial surveys. The goal is to reduce cow elk harvest by 50 percent, and bull elk harvest by 15 percent in the Panhandle.
The commission, which met Tuesday, also reduced elk harvest opportunities in other parts of the state.
“We had a perfect storm of drought in some areas, too much winter in other areas and wolves, too,” said Ed Mitchell, a spokesman for the Idaho Fish and Game Department.
The commission also voted to reduce harvests of white tail deer in the Panhandle units, which also had high mortality from winterkill.