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The Game Trail

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Online filing for hunter reports

Well it’s that time of year for all of us to slow down and enjoy some family time this Holiday season. Yes, that includes your Wardens as well. We’re wrapping up cases from the fall, winterizing equipment, and getting reacquainted with our families. Don’t get your hopes up though; we’re still out and about looking for people who abuse our resources. 

Deer hunting has been pretty great so far, there’s only six days left in the season as I write this article. The weather is extremely cold but it makes for a great opportunity to harvest a big whitetail buck. I’ve seen some dandy mule deer this year as well, from both the Cabinets and Selkirk ranges. Deer numbers are rebounding in those areas that took a pounding from winters past; it’s good to see.

Early hunter check station data is in and it’s telling a different story than last year. The check station at Priest River reported 269 hunters through this year compared to 327 in 2009. However, hunters this year brought 32 bucks through the check station compared to 24 last year. So the trip success rate this year is 11.9 percent compared to 7.3 percent last year. Of course, this is just a snap shot of what is happening out there and does not tell the whole story. 

It’s extremely important, and a sportsman’s duty, to accurately report your harvest data. Many general deer seasons have ended, and hunters are urged to file mandatory hunter reports as early. Mandatory hunter reports are web-based this year; most hunters did not get paper copies to send back. Web-based digital reporting is cheaper, more accurate, and results are available sooner All deer, elk and pronghorn hunters must file a report for each tag issued within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the close of the season for which their tag was valid. If you’re the type that doesn’t like or own a computer you can now also file hunter reports with a live phone operator toll-free 1-877-268-9365, 24 hours a day. 

Need a little motivation to complete your hunter harvest report? Hunters who supply a valid e-mail get verification they complied with reporting requirements and will be in the drawing for 10 super tags. Nice!

Hunters will need their hunting license or tag number. To submit the harvest report online go to: http://tinyurl.com/2dl8a6n. Or go to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov and click on the orange Hunter Report logo below the photo. 

You will be asked to enter the number of days hunted in each game management unit and hunting season; the date of any harvest and the unit it was taken in; the sex, and number of points on each side of antlers or length of pronghorn horns in inches; and the type of weapon used. 

Hunters who file online can see the data as it will go into the database to ensure it is correct. 

Summaries of last year’s big game hunts are available online at http://tinyurl.com/2dyuy6u. 

This time of year I also get numerous calls regarding landowners grossed out by the fact that someone has dumped game parts in their field, or worse yet, driveway. Folks, let’s try to be more considerate about how and where we dump our animals parts after we have processed the animal. What really makes my blood boil are the folks that have garbage bags and tarps wrapped around their deer carcass when they pitch it alongside of the road. Not only is it littering but it makes all of us responsible sportsmen look bad. Take the carcass up into the hills where no one can see it, or take it to the dump. 

It’s time to put away the hunting equipment and reflect on another season’s experiences and memories in the field. For those that didn’t get enough there’s always some good late season waterfowl hunts, and archery hunts. Hopefully there will be some weather to get some decent ice going, so dust of those rods and augers! For me…I’m off to take the bow for a walk and see if I can’t find an elk.

On behalf of the Sandpoint District Wardens we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that you and yours will have a warm house filled with laughter.

Don’t forget to get those 2011 hunting and fishing license before the New Year, they went on sale Dec 1. What a great Christmas present for that sportsman in the family!

Leave no Child Outside. . . it’s cold out there!!

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Author info

Matt Haag Matt Haag is an Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer.

Tagged as:

deer, elk, hunting, harvest reports, big game hunting

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