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Bear, Turkey Permits Now On Sale In Idaho

Applications for the spring black bear and wild turkey hunts in Idaho are being accepted through Feb. 15. Cost of the application is $5.

In many parts of Idaho, particularly in the northern hunting units, a general hunting season for wild turkey is offered. Some units, however, are limited to a controlled hunt.

For detailed information regarding both spring bear and turkey hunting seasons, call the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at (208) 769-1414.

Clam harvest change

Long Beach will open for razor clam harvesting for two additional days this winter, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Wednesday.

The harvest will be open Feb. 8 and March 8 from 12:01 p.m. through 11:59 p.m. Department biologists say the clam population is large enough to allow the additional days.

At the public’s request last fall, the department opened Long Beach to four one-day-per-month seasons.

Sheep won’t bite

A plan to trap Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in Canada and release them in Hells Canyon has been delayed because the sheep aren’t enticed by the bait being used in British Columbia.

Idaho Fish and Game biologists and members of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep were hoping to transplant about 100 bighorn sheep into the Hells Canyon area on Sunday.

“It’s kind of on hold,” said Frances Cassirer, Fish and Game biologist in Lewiston.

Biologists can easily trap sheep in cold, winter weather because the animals are looking for food. But when the weather warms up, as it has recently in southern British Columbia, food is more plentiful and it becomes more difficult to lure the animals into traps.

Fish and Game now hopes to transplant 50 to 100 sheep the first week of February. The transplant is part of a $10 million, 20-year commitment by the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, made up of hunters and conservationists, to restore wild sheep populations in Hells Canyon.

In late 1995, an outbreak of a respiratory disease killed dozens of bighorns.

In the last two years, the foundation has raised $100,000 for the Hells Canyon Initiative, its bighorn-restoration project.

Aerial surveillance

In the next few weeks, Idaho Fish and Game Department biologists are using a red-and-white helicopter to do elk surveys in several areas of the Panhandle, including the upper Coeur d’Alene drainage.

“Every year when we begin census flights, we receive calls from people concerned that someone is hunting from a low-flying helicopter,” said Jim Hayden, department regional wildlife manager. “We are indeed hunting elk. However, we’re armed only with a pencil and pad of paper. The information we gather is important for sound management of the elk herd.”

, DataTimes

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