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New Mule Deer Plan in Effect for Idaho

April 1, 2008.

From Idaho Fish and Game:

Hunters will see new controlled hunts in Southeast Region and dozens of new opportunities for hunters across the state for this year's big game seasons.

"This year we began implementing Idaho's new mule deer plan that provides direction to balance hunting opportunities with the desires of hunters," said Randy Smith, Magic Valley regional wildlife manger. "A couple of the changes weren't without controversy, but we think we've made a good start at improving mule deer hunting in southern Idaho. The new plan is about much more than hunting, and I encourage Idaho hunters to take a look at it and get involved in mule deer management issues."

General Season Mule Deer Hunt Changes
Hunters will see a few changes in general season hunting: Unit 22 will be changed to a two-point only season for the general any weapon and archery only hunts.

Unit 56 no longer has a two-point only restriction. Hunters will now be able to harvest any antlered deer from October 10 - 31.

Hunters will be able to enjoy a new short-range weapon hunt in Unit 63. For adults it will be antlered only with youth able to hunt either sex from October 10 - 31.

New Controlled Hunts
Hunters will see some big changes to controlled hunts this season. This should result in more opportunities for mature bucks.

  • Unit 6 boasts a new 20 permit antlered hunt from August 30 - December 1.
  • A new hunt in Unit 30A will offer 30 antlered tags from October 10 - 31.
  • Unit 36A offers an unlimited controlled hunt from October 25 - 31.
  • Two new controlled hunts were added in the Southeast Region. Units 70 and 78 will no longer be general hunts. Unit 70 will have 175 permits from October 10 - 31 and Unit 78 will have 200 permits, also October 10 - 31.

Hunters will need to check the regulations closely this year because many of the season dates in the controlled hunts have been modified to accommodate other changes.

Some of the biggest changes to take place have been in the antlerless hunt opportunities. A new doe hunt is being offered for Hunt Area 28-1 with 30 permits from September 15 - October 31.

In the Magic Valley, hunters will see decease in antlerless permits in Units 43, 44-1 and 45 because of concerns about fawn survival and use of a new population monitoring protocol. Biologists reduced the permits in Unit 43 from 700 permits to 250; in Hunt Area 44-1 from 450 permits to 250, and in Unit 45 from 700 permits to 250. Unit 52 also was reduced from 200 permits to 100.

Either Sex Mule Deer Hunts
Hunters will also see a decrease of 200 either-sex permits in Hunt Area 60-2. The length of this hunt was also shortened to October 5 - November 17.

A new 50 permit either sex hunt was placed in unit 63A for short-range weapons only. This hunt will go from October 8 - November 5.

Unit 22 has a new archery only deer hunt with 25 permits from August 30 to September 30.

Youth Hunts
Two new youth hunts were added to Units 11A and 28-1. In Unit 11A, 25 either sex permits are offered for an October 10 - December 31 hunt. In Unit 28-1, 10 antlerless permits are offered for a September 15 - October 31 hunt.

A few changes were made to the Unit 66A youth permit in the Southeast. The 500-permit hunt will include units 66A, 71, 72, 73A, 74, 75, 76, and 77. It will be antlerless only for youths hunting 70 and 78. Hunters in Unit 73 will continue to be restricted to four-point regulations.

Muzzleloader Only Hunts
In the Magic Valley, a 12-permit muzzleloader hunt will rotate to Hunt Area 47-3 and run from November 1 through 14. This hunt will include units 47, 54, 55, and 57. An anterless A-Tag elk hunt opportunity in Unit 45 is scheduled to run from September 15 through 30.

To see a copy of the 2008 Big Game Seasons rules go to after April 1. Hard copies of the rules should be out by mid-April.

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