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Formerly Popular Idaho Hunting Spot Closed Just Before Opener

Idaho hunting elk
BLMIdaho/Flickr/CC-BY

Hundreds of Idaho hunting tags invalidated at last minute by new land owners.

A formerly popular area for Idaho hunting has been closed to hunting at the last minute, forcing hundreds of hunters to cancel their hunt. The area in question, formerly timber company land in southern Idaho, was recently purchased and the new owners closed access to hunting and other recreation.

Idaho Elk Hunting Tags Invalidated at Last Minute

In Valley County, Idaho, almost 300 hunters are being forced to either forfeit their season or trade in their Idaho elk hunting permits for a different unit, as the controlled hunt unit that they had drawn for is now off limits to recreation.

A parcel of roughly 170,000 acres of former timber company land, according to Boise’s ABC affiliate KTVB, was purchased by DF Development, a development company from West Texas, and those huntersnot all of whom are Idaho residentswere informed that their hunt will no longer be taking place there. The area in question is just outside of McCall, Idaho, which is less than 100 miles north of Boise.

Hunters were notified close to the end of September and were given the option of trading in their controlled hunt tags for a general season Idaho hunting license for elk if they so desired. There were two hunts scheduled for the parcel – one beginning Oct. 1 and a second on Oct. 15.

The hunting area is a controlled hunt, and tags are awarded via lottery, according to the Idaho Statesman.

This is Not the Only Area Closed For Hunting Idaho Has Experienced

Regarding land for hunting, Idaho is a relatively accessible state compared to much of the rest of the United States. Western states have large tracts of public land and are home to many national forests, making hunting access easier than in much of the rest of the country. Additionally, many timber companies are friendly to hunting and other forms of recreation, leaving tracts not actively being logged open to hunting, hiking and other forms of recreation.

The same area recently closed for hunting is also a popular snow-mobiling area during winter, though the impact is not necessarily known at this time. Many snowmobiling trails in the area are public roads.

The land near McCall formerly belonged to Potlatch and Boise Cascade, two timber companies that had made it available for hunting. The new owner, DF Development, bought a large tract of land in Idaho County last year, according to the Idaho State Journal, closing off a 38,000-acre tract in that area as well.

Plenty of Idaho Hunting Units Remain Public Land

Hunters forced out of the Idaho hunting units they have previously drawn for aren’t completely out of options, as they can trade in their controlled hunt tags for regular season tags. A good deal of land in Idaho is public, though that may make success in elk season more tenuous.

Public lands are known for higher hunting pressures, noisome car hunters and harder hunting being requisite to successfully capture game. The appeal of controlled unit tags is a higher chance of success overall as well as quality game.

Idaho is also home to a number of wolves: see this Idaho huntress being stalked by wolves during her elk hunt!

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Formerly Popular Idaho Hunting Spot Closed Just Before Opener