Idaho DFG Seeking Public Comment on Mule Deer

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The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is soliciting public comment on the draft Idaho Mule Deer Management Plan.

Fish and Game biologists will be available at the Pocatello office to answer questions and take comments on the plan from noon to 7 p.m. on December 18.

Public comments will be incorporated into a final proposed plan to be presented to the Commission for adoption in January 2008. Comments should be received by the Fish and Game by December 31 to be included.

When adopted by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, the plan will guide mule deer management for the next 10 years. The plan will not set hunting seasons, but it will provide goals and strategies for mule deer management. The Mule Deer Initiative is an integral component of the draft plan, focusing specialized management efforts in areas of Idaho where mule deer need extra attention.

The draft plan identifies 12 management goals, developed from a series of public involvement efforts over the past 10 months. Last winter the University of Idaho and the Department conducted a survey of more than 4,500 mule deer hunters. Public meetings were held throughout Idaho during September and October. A Mule Deer Workshop in Pocatello in August drew more than 100 participants. Results from all of these public involvement efforts were used to draft the management goals in the plan.

Mule deer hunting season recommendations for 2008 will be based on the new plan direction. The public will have additional opportunities during January and February to participate in development of the 2008 hunting season proposals.

The proposed plan is available at Written comments may be submitted by December 31 online; by mail to Idaho Fish and Game, Mule Deer Plan Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707; or by fax at 208-334-2148 or 208-334-2114, attention Mule Deer Plan Comments.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-232-4703 or 208-334-5159 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529 (TDD).