Big Game Hunters Can Expect to See More Bucks

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Hunters unable to draw or buy a controlled hunt tag this year will have a great opportunity to bag a buck in one of the several general season hunts opening October 10.

"Deer populations in our general hunt units are healthy and growing and we are anticipating a good hunting season," said Randy Smith, Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Manager in the Magic Valley Region. "Over winter survival was excellent last winter which should translate into an ample supply of young bucks. Survival of adult bucks was also above average last winter and combined with excellent summer habitat conditions, should result in improved antler development and body condition."

Magic Valley hunters looking to put meat in the freezer should have good luck. Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist's aerial counts and fawn monitoring surveys show an 80 percent fawn survival across much of the region.

Youth hunters between the ages of 12-17 wanting to increase their odds of harvesting a deer this season can by tags for hunting units 43, 48 or 49. A general season any-weapon rule allows youth to harvest bucks or does in these units. Youths can also hunt bucks or does in several other units across the state.

While hunters are preparing themselves for hunting season, Idaho Fish and Game is also asking sportsmen to take along the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline number.

This year, live operators are manning the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline for more hours during hunting seasons.

Citizens who wish to report a violation of game laws can call, 1-800-632-5999. If no operator is on duty, citizens are asked to do the following:

- If violation is in progress, call the local sheriff's dispatch or ISP dispatch, which will then attempt to call a Fish and Game officer.

- Leave a detailed message on the CAP answering machine with the reporting party's name and phone number where an officer can call at the most convenient time.

- Callers can remain anonymous at their request and still receive a reward.

The caller is encouraged to give the location of the occurrence according to the nearest town, road, milepost, county, drainage or GPS point. This aids Fish and Game in sending the right officer for the area.