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Idaho sets 2013 big-game hunting seasons, rules

HUNTING — A general cow elk season will not return in North Idaho, but controlled permits for antlerless elk hunting will be increased statewide under the 2013 hunting seasons for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf adopted today in Boise by the Fish and Game Commission.

The new seasons also include an increase in pronghorn tags and expanded wolf hunting and trapping seasons. 

Wolf hunting on private lands in the Idaho Panhandle will be allowed year round.

  • Details of the 2013 big game hunting seasons will be posted on the Fish and Game website. The 2013 Hunting Seasons printed brochure will be available at license vendors in late April.

Read on for highlights of rule changes provided by the Idaho Fish and Game Department.

Minor changes offered for North Idaho big-game hunting rules

HUNTING — The general season cow elk hunt is not proposed to return in the Idaho Panhandle this fall as Idaho Fish and Game managers stay fairly conservative with their recommendations for 2013 big game seasons.

Increases in controlled hunts for antlerless elk and deer are proposed, but for the most part seasons will stay the same as last year for mule deer, whitetails and elk.

Biologists will be on hand to explain the season proposals and gather public comment during an open-house meeting 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on March 7 at the Best Western Plus on the corner of Highway 95 and Appleway in Coeur d’Alene

Proposals for Idaho's 2013 big-game hunting seasons and an online comment form have been posted on the Fish and Game Department's Website.

Jim Hayden, IFG regional wildlife manager, said the elk seasons would resemble last year's hunts in North Idaho with minor tweeks to the controlled huntfor antlerless elk:

“The net result for next year's antlerless elk hunting would be no cow harvest in Units 4, 4A, 6, 7, and 9, lower than average harvest in Unit 1, and near average in Units 2, 3, and 5, where depredations are becoming a bit of a concern.”

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will set final big game hunting season rules at the quarterly meeting in Boise on March 18. 

Speak up, get on the list

As the old saying goes, the world is ruled by those who show up.

Two years ago, IDFG mailed out a questionnaire on hunting seasons in Unit 1 to a random selection of Unit 1 elk hunters.  The process provided a statistically valid cross-section of hunters’ opinions, and proved to be a tool IDFG jused in decision-making.  That effort is being expanded this year, and 1,000 hunters who purchased hunting licenses in the Panhandle Region will receive a survey in the mail.  Their comments will help make decisions for the 2013 seasons.