IDAHO FALLS (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho Fish and Game is adding three proposals for the 2019-20 big game hunting season for Eastern Idaho deer hunts and elk hunts in the Weiser and Brownlee zones.
Wildlife managers are simultaneously proposing the changes while also doing winter surveys and gauging big game populations and herd compositions.
People who already commented on the 2019-20 big game season proposals will be notified of the changes and invited to comment again.
If you would like to comment on big game season proposals, you can do so through February 24th and can leave your comment here.
In the Weiser zone, the goal has been to increase cow harvest and decrease the heard to align with elk management plan objectives.
Two years ago, general cow hunts were added to Weiser Zone A and B tags, and later anterless controlled hunts were added to target elk causing problems on private agriculture land.
Fish and Game surveys and reports from local residents indicate that overall elk numbers, and particularly bull numbers, are above objective in the Brownlee Zone.
With high calf/cow ratios, additional harvest is needed to move the population back toward objectives.
Winter surveys are also showing that mule deer populations in 66 and 69 are 38 percent lower in 2019 than they were when last surveyed in 2013.
As a result as well as concerns raised by hunters about low numbers of deer and decreased harvest over the last couple years, wildlife managers are recommending elimination of either-sex hunts in units 66 and 69.
For more information on these hunts click here.