By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has reduced the number of available controlled hunt tags for pronghorn and deer in some eastern areas of the state due to a drop in populations after a long, cold winter. In some areas, the commission canceled planned hunts entirely.
The reductions and cancellations affect a small number of controlled hunt areas in the southeast corner of the state, as well as just northwest of Rexburg. In two areas, the commission changed deer hunts to buck only for the 2023 season; Near Rexburg, the commission closed both pronghorn and deer hunts altogether.
The commission also canceled returned and unclaimed tags from non-residents in a handful of other areas instead of making them available for others.
Roger Phillips, public information officer for Idaho Fish and Game, said adjustments to available tags for controlled hunts aren’t uncommon. In recent years, Fish and Game has had to adjust plans for hunts in the Clearwater region after Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, infected deer populations.
Severe weather adjustments happen a few times a decade, he said.
Here’s the full list of affected hunts.
Changes to 2023 Big Game Controlled Hunts
Deer hunts changed to buck only for the 2023 hunting season:
- Controlled Hunt No. 1099 (Area 73A, 20 tags)
- Controlled Hunt No. 1100 (Area 74, 20 tags)
Deer hunts changed to closed for the 2023 hunting season:
- Controlled Hunt No. 1064 (Area 60-1, 100 tags, antlerless only)
Pronghorn hunts changed to closed for the 2023 hunting season:
- Controlled Hunt No. 4022 (Area 60A-1, 15 tags, either sex)
- Controlled Hunt No. 4025 (Area 76-1, 5 tags, either sex)
- Controlled Hunt No. 4043 (Area 60A-1, 40 tags, either sex)
- Controlled Hunt No. 4052 (Area 61-1, 25 tags, either sex)
The Fish and Game Commission also eliminated additional 2023 nonresident returned or unsold tags in 14 units, due to severe winter conditions. Those units include:
- 62, 64, 65, 66, 66A, 67, 69, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78