DFG Seeking Sportsmen Input About the Future Plans for White-tail Management

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While IDFG has begun its Eastern Idaho Mule Deer Initiative to address concerns over mule deer populations, the Department has not forgotten about the State's expanding white-tailed deer herds. To make help make more informed decisions, the Department has begun a white-tailed deer program.

IDFG has been looking at how data is collected, how well the herds are doing, and asking hunters how well the Department is managing whitetails. "All our programs get a periodic review," notes Jim Hayden, Chairman of the White-tailed Deer Planning Committee. "It's important to always be striving for a better program. There's always room for improvement."

White-tailed deer management appears to be on a pretty good track right now. Surveys over the past year have revealed whitetail herds are healthy, and hunters are quite satisfied with whitetail hunting opportunities. Still, there are several issues the Department would like to address in their update of the state's White-tailed Deer Plan.

Improvements that have been suggested for whitetail management include more focus on white-tailed deer habitat needs, profiling habitat management guidelines, improvements in data collection methods, providing fewer restrictions on white-tailed deer hunters, maintaining our high-quality whitetail herds, and addressing management of whitetails along the river corridors of southern Idaho.

A hunter opinion survey indicated that the Clearwater Deer Tag was working well in addressing trespass issues, but hunters have also stated a strong desire to hunt in more than one part of the state.

For the remainder of the summer, regional members of the Whitetail Planning Committee will be meeting with sportsmen and working on developing a draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan. The first draft, to be completed by September 1, will be reviewed with the public and modified before being sent to the Fish and Game Commission in late September.

In the Upper Snake Region, the first meeting with the public to discuss future plans for white-tailed deer management will take place on July 22nd at 7:00pm in the Centennial Room of the IDFG Regional Office located at 4279 Commerce Circle in the St. Leon Business Park in Idaho Falls, just off of Highway 20.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Jeff Short at the Idaho Department of Fish & Game at 525-7290 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-3529(TDD).