Elk Hunt Opens Aug. 1 On Idaho’s Palouse

Headline on our brand-new August issue’s cover: Hunting Season Is Here!

While we mainly mean bear season in Washington in Oregon, over in Idaho, August 1 also marks the start of the “green fields” antlerless elk hunt.

Meant to help landowners reduce crop damage by elk, these early hunts are open to everyone in six elk management zones – Palouse, Salmon, Lemhi, Beaverhead and Pioneer – but only outside the National Forest boundary and within one mile of cultivated fields.

As you can imagine, not only is summer heat a factor to consider, but knowing where you are as well. According to note 2 in IDFG’s general big-game regulations, the forest boundary isn’t just any old boundary in the federal woods (inholdings, etc.), but a “legislatively set” line. The agency advises hunters to consult official USFS maps for where that is.

Idaho’s Hunt Planner and Access Yes programs may then help you figure out accessible public land nearby, or ask farmers for permission to hunt their cultivated ground.

You must also have a valid 2009 Idaho hunting license and tag in your possession for this hunt.

On the Washington side of the Palouse, a planned elk hunt at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge fell through this year. The huge reserve southwest of Cheney attracts large numbers of elk before and during hunting season. They damage surrounding crops as well as aspen communities in the refuge.

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