Idaho Mule Deer Hunters Enjoy Success

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General season mule deer hunters pursuing bucks in Units 43, 48, and 49 enjoyed an overall 21.3 percent harvest success for the opening weekend of season according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game check station data.

Department employees checked 377 hunters that took 89 bucks from Unit 43, for 23.6 percent success; 159 hunters harvested 51 bucks in Unit 48, for 32.1 percent success; and 262 hunters harvested 30 bucks in Unit 49, for 11.5 percent success.

"Overall I felt the opening weekend of the general deer season was a success," said Randy Smith, Magic Valley Region Wildlife Manager. "Hunter success has been inching upward over the last five years reflecting the growth in our deer herds. Most hunters saw deer and success was up by more than two percent over last year's opening weekend."

In controlled antlered-only hunts in the Magic Valley Region, hunters enjoyed much higher success. Hunters checked in Units 44, 45, 52, 54, and 55, had a 28.7 percent success rate.

Hunters with controlled antlerless tags in hunting Units 43, 48, and 49, were 39.5 percent successful, and either-sex youth hunters enjoyed a 31 percent success rate.

"During the past several years fawn production and survival have been good, and deer numbers across most of the Magic Valley are in balance with the available habitat," said Smith. "With the good hunting conditions we're having this year; we expect these higher hunter success rates to continue for the remainder of the season."