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2008 Elk Forecast for Idaho's Salmon Zone

October 22, 2008.

From Idaho Fish and Game:

Idaho Fish and Game wildlife managers expect this year's elk harvest in the Salmon Zone to be similar to last year.

Elk hunters over the past three years have had success rates ranging from 16 percent in Unit 21 to 25 percent in Unit 21A and the highest rates in the wilderness, with a 28 percent success rate in Unit 27.

The "B Tag" general antlered elk hunt is open from October 15 to November 8 throughout the Salmon Zone as well as Unit 36 in the Sawtooth Zone. Unit 27 in the Middle Fork Zone is open for brow-tined bulls only from November 1 through November 18.

Unit 36 in the Sawtooth Zone has had an 8 percent success rate over the last three years, lower that the rest of the region, and is expected to remain about the same.

Harvest numbers from the past three years show that 16 percent of the bulls in units 21A and 36B were six points or more. In unit 21, 25 percent of the bulls were at least six points, while 31 percent of bulls harvested in units 28 and 36 were six points or larger.

Last winter's elk counts showed that bull ratios are stable throughout most of the Salmon Region and are at or slightly below their target numbers. Fewer cow permits were issued this year because their numbers have dropped within target range. The number of cow tags increased when the populations were too large; tag numbers have been reduced to stabilize the population.

Recent cooler weather could help hunters throughout the region. Warm days and plenty of food in September and early October meant that elk were scattered and less active. Lower temperatures may make the animals more active during the day.

Hunters with questions should go to the Hunt Planner page at or call the Salmon Regional Office at 208-756-2271.


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