Deer season will begin October 10 for most of Idaho
Idaho (KMVT / KSVT) – If you’re a rifle hunter, your deer season begins October 10 in most areas of the state. General deer hunts of all weapons include most units, but not all. You can find out which units are available in the Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.
Hunters can expect a fair to good deer hunting season, but with a few caveats. Parts of the Clearwater area and other localized areas are in the midst of an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease that will likely continue until the areas receive a hard frost, which will kill the midges carrying the disease. You can get updates on the EHD outbreak on the Clearwater area webpage.
While it is difficult to assess the effect the outbreak will have on white-tailed deer hunting, these are relatively limited – albeit important – geographic areas in terms of the overall units available for hunting. white-tailed deer.
Biologists have also experienced EHD outbreaks in the past and have not seen a significant drop in the overall white deer harvest because of it. That said, hunters will want to pay special attention to areas that may be affected, as shown in this map produced in late September.
Fish and Game advises hunters to avoid shooting deer that appear sick with EHD or other illnesses.
Mule deer hunters will likely see hunting conditions and the number of animals available very similar to last year, and perhaps better in some areas due to a relatively mild winter, but still declining compared to previous years. years of prosperity before 2017.
The harsh winter of 2016-2017 “reset the clock” for mule deer, according to Rick Ward, Deer / Elk coordinator of Fish and Game. Mule deer herds in most parts of the state are heading in the right direction, but still haven’t fully bounced back.
“The survival of the fawns over the past two winters has been above average, which should translate into more deer,” he said.
However, mule deer are also found in a variety of habitats and elevations statewide, so not all herds are bouncing at the same rate, and some may be declining.
Consecutive normal winters mean a few important points for hunters: the production of young males and the survival of older males.
While fawn survival usually attracts attention because young males make up the bulk of the harvest, mild winters also allow males that survive their first winter and the hunting season to grow into mature animals, it therefore, it is likely that hunters will also have a better chance of finding more trophy-sized males.
To learn more about deer and elk hunting for 2021, including detailed regional outlook, head over to Big Game Outlook.
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