View Full Version : Idaho Fish AND MONEY, I mean GAME

03-14-2011, 06:38 PM
Any of you other Idaho boys, think Idaho fish and game is doing a horrible job lately?

03-14-2011, 09:54 PM
I'm not from Idaho, so maybe I'm missing something.. but, that seems like a pretty broad question. Horrible job at what?

03-15-2011, 08:19 AM
I'm not sure I like the Governor tag idea that is headed through the legislature. I have never been a proponent of someone being able to "buy" a trophy. Other than that I don't have many issues. We have a wolf problem but there isn't a lot they can do about it until the feds get out of the picture. I suppose they could cut down some of the tag numbers to increase trophy quality but the money lost to fewer tags would most certainly equate to higher tag and license fees. If you look around and see what other states are doing I think Idaho is fairing well. Our legislature isn't trying to rewrite the book like I read about in Montana this year, I have yet to see a commercial about all the elk like Colorado is pushing, the jury is still out on what the changes in Utah will do and they haven't made it nearly impossible for a non resident to hunt like New Mexico seems to be trying. I figure I would give them about a B but if I graded on the curve it would have to go up.

03-15-2011, 10:19 AM
Overall I think the IDFG has done a decent job of managing idaho wildlife, they take pride in providing hunting oppurtunity, but then trophy quality does suffer. What I meant by doing an unsatisfactory job lately in my opinion is do to the season changes here in the northern part of the state. Two winters ago we had a devastating winter up here and it took its toll on the big game herds. Especially the Elk calves and deer. The IDFG responded accordingly and cut seasons and antlerless hunting. Now only two years down the road they are reinstating the old seasons. In the meetings on the proposed changes, residents were expressing their worries and FG personel made it sound like they needed more revenues. The wolf predation in the Lolo elk zone has made non resident tag sales fall off the map. It now seems they are going to put the burden on the last decent elk herds in the state. Wolves are just now takeing a strong hold here in the panhandle and the fish and game is going to sqeeze the last of the tag sales before wolf predation ruins the elk hunting. Wolves and over hunting ruined the elk herd on the clearwater and now we are seeing the effects of wolves on the St Joe. The FG knows this too, they cut all antlerless hunting in the units just north of the clearwater due to the low numbers in calves in their aerial surveys. I say keep the antlerless hunting to a minimum until we can manage wolf populations. F and G doesn't see it that way, they increase the season length in order to attract more non residents. More non residents into in already unbelievable crowded area. Maybe I'm just venting but it sure seems IDFG is all about the money and maintaining their budgets, rather than the good management practices of our big game herds.

03-15-2011, 10:49 AM
Dont worry. Wolves are being managed every year in greater numbers than the biologists say even exist up here.

03-15-2011, 10:53 AM
I haven't payed much attention to whats going on in the north but in the regions near where I hunt they are dropping tag numbers. I suppose they will make it up somewhere. I know they are adding several tags on the southern border but I don't know how many and how much that will cover lost tags in the areas where the wolves have done so much damage.

03-15-2011, 10:56 AM
Dont worry. Wolves are being managed every year in greater numbers than the biologists say even exist up here.

At this point I'm not sure conventional hunting will control wolf populations. I'm not for poaching but I think it will take government supported aerial gunning and possibly poisoning to get the wolf population under control.

03-15-2011, 11:26 AM
At this point I'm not sure conventional hunting will control wolf populations. I'm not for poaching but I think it will take government supported aerial gunning and possibly poisoning to get the wolf population under control.

No mention of poached eggs here, just plain ol management. Ask a few ranchers, guides, and the numbers just dont add up from their work to the biology reports.

03-15-2011, 11:37 AM
Agreed. The whole "Numbers are in the eyes of the biologist" puts a new spin on the whole beauty beholder theory.

03-16-2011, 09:58 PM
Ive hunted ID for years and the last two was guided. Dam shame that such awesome Elk and Deer country and cant find anything worth shooting. 3 years ago there were Deer by the hundreds and plenty of Elk as well not to mention the moose but last year nothing compared to past years. Didnt see a single Elk and only a hand full of Deer and Moose. We hunt in the Cashe Wilderness area and Tex Creek zone. The country is so awesome it has held lots of animals in the past but not so much any more. Has anyone heard of wolves in these areas? Maybe just on the downward side of being over hunted wich is my opinion for both areas. ID could be a great state for trophy Elk and Deer if they would manage for quality not revenue.

03-16-2011, 10:10 PM
I was born and raised in northern idaho, it used to be just amazing hunting in the good ol days, now wolves and people seem to be more plentiful than the big game. The good ol days werent that long ago, im only 24.

03-16-2011, 10:51 PM
Big game management in Idaho lacks luster. I think they have a long way to go before they can claim to be good game managers. Just look at their track record. Cut the state in half, and the deer and elk numbers in the top half has had steady declines in the last two decades, yet you can buy up to 3 elk tags and 3 deer tags in many North Idaho units. Hardly sound game management, looks like money management to me.:mad:

03-17-2011, 09:27 AM
Not sure on the 3 elk tags deal but I haven't looked into the regs for up there. The way I understand it you only get one elk tag unless you can get a leftover or landowner depredation tag as well but around here that is fairly rare. I know the IDF&G has fallen flat in some aspects and there is no doubt they were all about the numbers and somewhat still are but I think they have realized that and are starting to turn the corner. They have a long way to go but hopefully the new department head can steer them in the right direction.

03-17-2011, 09:29 PM
Not sure on the 3 elk tags deal but I haven't looked into the regs for up there.

#1 You can buy your regular over the counter elk tag. #2 You can buy a "left over" non-resident elk tag. And #3 you can draw an extra elk tag (antler-less) for areas which elk are a problem to farmers (in units that are surrounded by low elk density's). Looks like they could transplant those problem elk to the back country. Maybe they dont want to feed the wolves.

03-29-2011, 08:27 PM
I think they are doing an okay job but could be doing better-Idaho is all about opportunity and that is what they are providing...in a way.

04-05-2011, 10:08 AM
I think Idaho is between a rock and a hard spot. The fish and game is going broke because the wolves are eating us out of house and home. So even if the want to manage populations better they can't afford too. I feel sorry for them in away. On the other hand I was at a fish and game meeting and the biologist would not admit that the wolves are a problem. That to me is the big problem with the picture.

04-29-2011, 02:55 PM
As the next wave of lawsuits and private interest group appeals runs its course, Idaho is ready to take over at a moments notice with a wolf management plan in place, flawed or no. One interesting idea that may use some public backing (especially by sportsman) is the implementation of a take season for fur trappers, which would be a more efficient method of population control by sportsman, not to mention a new source of revenue for a stretched state run department of fish and game. An "all hands on deck" stance needs taken by sportsman in general, regardless of view on the wolf issue; because it is a varying issue state to state, and to take the control out of the hands of the state government seems plain wrong. This discussion is volatile at best, and may be better suited for the wolf forum, I apologize in advance, but it does affect all Idaho sportsman.

04-29-2011, 08:19 PM
Well keep in mind, the wolves were delisted, and as of just two days ago, discussions are still on going with the IDFG and Gov Otter on what direction to take. In all truth there is to be a hunt this fall, and thats not a variable, but a fact. The discussions are about numbers, short term goals and 5 and 10 year goals. IDFG likes to take 5 to 10 years to study stuff, then make changes. The problem with that is 10 years later the numbers are BUNK.
Otter wants to put us in a wolf disaster mode, which would allow an IMMEDIATE reduction of our wolf numbers. We are still waiting out the 60 days congress has to put the delisting on the official document, and until then its still a no go on anything legally speaking.
Defenders of wildlife and other organizations set out with a recovery goal and management plan that they got Idaho to buy into. When the original plans numbers were reached, they fought the management plan and up until today they played red. I am so glad congress stepped up to the plate and put an end to the legal BS we have been fighting.

IDFG hires biologists to help them plan numbers and hunts etc, but to be honest, proper management needs faster results, adjustments, and such than 5 to 10 year study grants they run off of can produce.