Hunts would help landowners resolve problems caused by turkeys damaging private property.

Idaho Fish and Game officials would like people to read and comment on a proposal that would allow for “Landowner Permission Hunts” for turkeys in an effort to resolve ongoing depredation problems.

In recent years, localized turkey populations have expanded and created problems on private lands. In addition, landowners who provide valuable turkey habitat in controlled hunt areas have expressed frustration at being unable to hunt turkeys on their own property because of low controlled hunt drawing odds.

As a result, Fish and Game staff has initiated legislative rulemaking to provide the commission authority to establish Landowner Permission Hunts. People can learn more about the specific hunts proposed and comment online.

Establishment of rules to allow LPH hunts for turkeys would provide additional tools and latitude to Fish and Game wildlife managers and landowners to help alleviate turkey depredation issues and increase social tolerance for turkey populations on private lands.

Wildlife managers could direct hunters to areas experiencing problems, and landowners would distribute permission slips to hunters. This would also provide increased hunting opportunity for landowners who provide valuable turkey habitat in controlled hunt areas.

Fish and Game officials provided an online comment period from June 6–27, 2018 and 137 individuals responded. In general, respondents were in favor (68%) of establishing a framework for Landowner Permission Hunt seasons for turkeys, but were not in favor (49%) of a minimum acreage of 40 acres for a landowner to receive LPH permission slips.Those who did not favor the 40-acre minimum offered a wide range of alternatives that ranged from just a few acres to over 160 acres.

After internal review of comments, Fish and Game staff proposed adopting turkey Landowner Permission Hunt rules on properties of more than 79 acres. These areas are large enough to provide excellent habitat for turkeys.

Where problems exist on smaller acreages, depredation hunts or kill permits could be implemented.

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