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Mild winter benefits strong deer, elk herds

After a banner year for Idaho hunters, deer and elk populations continue to benefit from mild winter conditions. Preliminary harvest surveys suggest high harvest and high success rates in 2014.

IDFG sold more than 157,000 deer tags and more than 93,000 elk tags last year, exceeding numbers sold in any of the six previous years. Deer hunters went into Idaho’s backcountry in high numbers, in part because of some of the highest winter survival rates this century. Biologists documented the highest rate of fawn survival since monitoring began 15 years ago. Adult doe survival was extremely high during the last two winters at 95 percent and 97 percent, respectively.

While high country snow is above normal in many parts of Idaho, a lack of snow cover at lower elevations is making this winter another mild one for deer and elk and managers expect good over-winter survival and recruitment among both species in Idaho.

Hunters who have not yet completed harvest reports for 2014 are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. They provide critical information used to set future seasons. To file online, go to:


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