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Commission closes gap in Clearwater Region turkey season

Turkey hunters will get an increased daily bag limit for turkeys in the spring to two bearded turkeys, and for fall hunts, the daily bag limit will align with the number of tags a hunter possesses.

Previously, bag limits were one per day in the spring and one per day in the fall, except in some units in the Panhandle.

The application for spring controlled hunts for turkeys is Feb. 1 through March 1, and information about 2018 controlled hunts will be online by Feb. 1, and that information will also be available at regional offices for those who don't have Internet access. New rules booklets are expected to be out in mid-to-late February.

In the Clearwater Region, the rule change eliminates the break in the fall turkey season (Units 8, 8A, 10A, 11, 11A, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18), removes the limitation to hunt only on private lands, and moves the season opener to Aug. 30 from Sept. 15. In the past there has been a split during which hunting was closed Oct. 10 through Nov. 20.

The changes also increase the length of the fall turkey season in Units 10, 12, 16A, 17, 19, and 20 by 16 days and move the season opener to Aug. 30.

IDFG also announced this week that Sawtooth Elk Zone hunting will continue as general hunts for 2018, but may change to controlled hunts in 2019.

“Sawtooth Zone tags are capped, and they have sold out extremely fast in recent years because demand has far exceeded availability of 566 A-tags and 1,526 B-tags,” the agency noted. “In 2017, those tags were sold separate from other capped elk zones, and they sold in minutes with many people waiting in line who did not receive a tag.”

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission also recently accepted a 795-acre parcel of “important wildlife habitat” in the Hailey area donated by longtime Wood River Valley resident and developer Harry Rinker.

Rinker said his goal is to protect it for wildlife, the people of the Wood River Valley, and all Idahoans to enjoy.

“I’m a strong advocate for wildlife,” Rinker said. “It’s such a beautiful wildlife area and so scenic. We want to preserve it for people to hike through and enjoy as we did.”


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