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December 13, 2012

Waterfowl seasons are open through the holidays

By Niels Nokkentved, IDFG

   It's not too late to bag that Christmas goose. Idaho waterfowl seasons are open through the holiday season and into January, and light goose seasons also are open in February in parts of southern Idaho.

   Waterfowl hunters must have a valid Idaho hunting license - a 2012 license through the end of December and a 2013 license on Jan. 1 and thereafter.

   But the federal duck stamps are good through the end of June.

   Seasons for duck and dark geese in:

  Area 1 continue through Jan. 18, 2013. Area 1 includes the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, including private in-holdings; Bannock County; Bingham County, except that portion within the Blackfoot Reservoir drainage; Caribou County within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation; and Power County east of State Highway 37 and State Highway 39.

  Area 2 continue through Jan. 25, 2013. Area 2 includes all of the state not included in Area 1.

   Seasons for light - blue, snow and Ross's - geese in:

  Area 1 continue through Jan. 18. Area 1 includes the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and private in-holdings; Bannock County; Bingham County east of the west bank of the Snake River and the American Falls Reservoir bluff, except that portion within the Blackfoot Reservoir drainage; Caribou County within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation; and Power County east of State Highway 37 and State Highway 39.

  Area 2 continue through Jan.18 and open again from Feb. 16 through March 10, 2013. Area 2 includes Bingham County west of the west bank of the Snake River and the American Falls Reservoir bluff; Power County north of Interstate 86 and west of the west bank of the Snake River and the American Falls Reservoir bluff.

  Area 3 continue through Jan. 25 and open again from Feb. 16 through March 10, 2013. Area 3 includes Ada, Boise, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, and Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls and Washington counties. Except, Fort Boise and Payette River wildlife management areas, the Roswell Marsh Wildlife Habitat Area south of State Highway 18, and the Snake River Islands Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge will be closed during the spring light goose season from Feb. 16, 2013 - March 10, 2013.

  Area 4 continue through Jan. 25. Area 4 includes all parts of the state not included in Areas 1, 2 and 3. Except Fremont and Teton counties are closed.

   The daily bag limit is seven ducks; but no more than two female mallards, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback.

   The possession limit is twice the daily limit. The bag limit for Wilson's snipe is 8, and 16 after the first day of the season; the limit for coots is 25.

   The daily bag limit is four dark geese, and 10 light geese - blue, snow and Ross's. Possession limits after the first day of the season are eight dark geese and 20 light geese. The current waterfowl seasons and rules omitted the closures in Fremont and Teton counties are closed in seasons for light - blue, snow and Ross's - geese.

   Hunters must have a valid Idaho hunting license, and any person 16 or older who hunts migratory game birds, such as ducks or geese, must have in their possession a federal migratory bird stamp, which costs $15 and is valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

   All waterfowl hunters also need a federal migratory game bird harvest information program validation, which is $1.75 for residents, or $4.75 for nonresidents, and is valid from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of each year.

   Only approved nontoxic shot may be used to hunt waterfowl. For a list go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/nontoxic.htm, or at the local Fish and Game office.

   Hunters are encouraged to check the 2012 rules brochure available online at www. fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=66, and at license vendors and Fish and Game offices.