Idaho Dust Up Over Fly-In Hunting

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Several states have laws that prohibit a pilot or passengers from hunting in an area they just flew into on the same day. The idea is to prevent using airborne scouting to quickly zero in on game. Idaho has no such law on its books and recently Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle proposed creating a pilot-hunting law in his state. However critics of the bill are zeroing in on Mr. Moyle's possible cronyism. The Republic has a report on the bill and the critics.

But at a hearing Wednesday, Idaho residents who fly to their hunts told the House Resources and Conservation Committee they suspect Moyle really aims to discourage them from touching down on a dry lake bed below Washington County's 4,026-foot Sugarloaf Summit. "This isn't about protection of animals, it's not about ethical hunting," said Toby Ashley, a Boise resident who hunts out of his single-engine Husky plane. "It's about access to public ground."

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Ca_Vermonster's picture

Whatever the reasoning, I

Whatever the reasoning, I think in the end, it's a great bill.

There are alot of critters up there that are easily spotted from the air.  All it would take is a few flights around the hunting area, especially for bigger game like elk or moose, to see where the animals are congregated.

Then, you hop in your truck, drive to the neareast road access, and go at it. 

I don't like the thought of that, so I have no problem with the bill.

WishIWasHunting's picture

Smells fishy

It does sound rather shady.  If nothing else, the friend of the legislator is definitely upset that additional hunters are gaining access to public ground that he views as his own personal hunting area.  I think a possible solution would be to pass a law that prevents hunters from harvesting game the same day they fly in to an area, and simultaneously, reaching an agreement that provides a public right-of-way across the private land to the public land.  This would still upset the friend of the legislator, but it would help disspell some of the accusations of cronyism.  It would never happen, but I think it is logical. 

jaybe's picture

Well - this seems like a

Well - this seems like a pretty complicated situation from where I sit, but it's probably fairly cut-and-dried for those involved in the argument.

It does sound like the bill is designed to make it as difficult as possible for fly-in hunters. Think about the difference between (A) getting out of a plane, walking in and killing an animal five hours later, then getting picked up and flown out before dark the same day, or (B) getting out of a plane, walking in, spending the whole day and night there before beginning your hunt the following day. That's a huge difference! Add to that the possiblility of having to spend three days in the field, as the original language of the bill stated, the number of hunters willing or able to do that would most definitely be reduced dramatically.

I don't know about cronyism, but it certainly sounds like trying to do your friends a favor!  :>)