Idaho hunters will see big reduction in antlerless moose tags

Fish and Game Commission on Jan. 28 set moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons for 2021-22 during its meeting in Nampa. Changes include reductions in tags available for all three species, including substantial decreases in moose tags, particularly antlerless tags, and minor adjustments to tags for bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

The new seasons will be posted on Fish and Game’s website in early-to-mid March and available in printed rules booklets at Fish and Game offices and license vendors in mid-to-late March. The controlled hunt application period for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats is April 1- 30.

Here’s a summary of changes for 2021-22:

Overall reduction of 18 bull tags from 560 to 542 tags and reduction of 71 antlerless moose tags from 74 to three total tags. Reduction in moose tags is in the Southeast and Upper Snake Regions in response to information indicating declining populations, low calf survival, low recruitment and declining harvest metrics.

Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever said the department is trying to identify why some of these populations are declining and reverse it.

“We do not take this lightly, and we have a lot of work going on statewide,” Schriever said.

Here’s information about what the department is doing to study moose populations.

Moose season details include:

Decreased antlerless tags in the Southeast and Upper Snake Regions.
Added new antlered hunt in the Southeast Region.
Added new antlerless hunt in the Magic Valley.
Expanded Hunt Area 44 in the Magic Valley.

Bighorn Sheep

Statewide changes include a decrease in Rocky Mountain bighorn ram tags from 80 to 78 and a decrease in California bighorn ram tags from 17 to 16.

Details include:

Decreased Rocky Mountain ram tags in the Salmon Region.
Reduction of California ram tags in the Magic Valley Region.
Changes in Hunt Area boundaries in Hunt Areas 21 and 28-2.

Mountain Goat

Statewide changes include adding and decreasing tags with an overall decrease of three mountain goat tags from 44 to 41.

Details include:

Reduction of tags in the Clearwater, Southwest and Upper Snake Regions.
Increase of tags in the Magic Valley Region.
Changes of Hunt Area boundaries in Hunt Areas 7 and 36-1.