IDFG is asking you to fill out your hunter report after hunt ends. Here’s why.


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Mule deer | File photo,

The following is a news release from Idaho Fish and Game.

IDAHO FALLS – General season big game hunts and controlled hunts are in full swing and it’s time to remind hunters to fill out their mandatory hunter reports after their hunts end. It will only take a few minutes of your time, and it will provide critical information so Fish and Game can continue to preserve, protect and perpetuate Idaho’s wildlife.

You can submit your hunter reports online or by calling (877) 268-9365. The phone option is available 24 hours per day and seven days per week. Please have your hunting tag number when calling.

Here’s a video to help you submit your hunter report online.

If you’re curious why it’s important, as well as required, here are more details.

Why should I submit my hunter report? Fish and Game strives to get the best data on hunter effort and harvest possible, and the best data is from you reporting directly to us where you hunted, whether you harvested, what animal you harvested, how long you hunted, etc. If you don’t report, we may try to contact you, but that is time consuming and expensive. If you don’t report and we can’t contact you, we have to make an educated guess through statistical estimates, but we would rather hear first-hand from you to ensure accuracy.

Why does it matter? Hunter data isn’t the only information we use to set hunting seasons, but it’s a very important part. When Fish and Game biologists don’t have reliable information on harvest and hunter success, they need to manage game more conservatively, which can mean more restrictions on hunting, such as shorter seasons or fewer tags. We prefer to allow generous hunting opportunity when it’s sustainable, but we have to know it’s sustainable through accurate data.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will set the 2019 and 2020 hunting seasons and tag numbers in March, so it’s important that we have accurate harvest statistics as soon as possible.

What if I plan to hunt late seasons? We know some deer and elk hunts extend into December. We’re not asking you to report before you’re done hunting, but the sooner after you’re done for the year, the better.

The rules say I have 10 days after my hunt ended, what if I miss that deadline? The rule is intended to ensure timely compliance with hunter report requirements so we have your information in time to use for developing next year’s hunting season, but your report is still important even if your hunt ended more than 10 days ago.

Are you going to give away my favorite hunting spot? No. All we ask is what unit (or units) you hunted and where you harvested an animal.