Changes to elk and mule deer under consideration in Idaho

Idaho Mule Deer

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Based upon information on Idaho’s big game populations and herd compositions gathered during the winter surveys, Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) has decided to add three new proposals that will be considered for the 2019-2020 big game season. According to the agency, these proposals affect mule deer and elk hunts in the Weiser and Brownlee zones and public comments will be gathered until Feb. 24. If you have already commented on the 2019-2020 hunting season proposals, you can still comment on these new proposals, too.

Here’s the recommended changes proposed by IDFG:

Weiser Elk Zone

  • Increased cow harvest over the past two years has helped the agency get closer to its elk management plan objective for this area. Based upon current survey data, IDFG recommends decreasing the Weiser River Zone antlerless elk tag allotment by 400 tags and removing one week from the A-tag cow hunt.

Brownlee Elk Zone

  • Current survey data shows that elk numbers—and specifically bull numbers—are over objective, which means that more elk (more bulls) need to be harvested in the Brownlee Elk Zone. Right now, about 100 bulls and roughly 170 cows are harvested each year, but, according to IDFG, to keep the population from increasing, another 100 bulls and another 30 cows should be taken each year. This proposal includes increased hunting opportunity to move this population back into the objective range.

Unit 66/69 mule deer hunts

  • Either-sex hunts will be eliminated in Units 66 and 69 due to a 38% decrease in the mule deer population since 2013 (when the units were last surveyed).

To comment on the new proposals, click here.

To comment on the other proposals, click here.

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