Fish and Game authorizes more winter feeding sites in Southeast Idaho

February 2, 2017 GMT

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) with input from the Southeast Idaho Winter Feeding Advisory Committee (WFAC) has selected additional sites for baiting/feeding efforts in multiple counties in southeast Idaho. The total number of feed sites is 62 (53 for deer, 7 for elk, and 2 for pronghorn). Approximately 50 teams of volunteers are lending assistance to date.

In addition, IDFG has delivered approximately 20,000 feet of panels to landowners to protect haystacks from elk and deer and assisted with the installation of the barriers.

Number of elk and deer at each Emergency Winter Feeding site in the Southeast Region

Seven active elk feeding sites feeding between 1500 and 2200 animals

Bear Lake County

Banks Valley - 800 elkJoe’s Gap (aka Ranch Hand) – 300 elkGeneva - 50 elkBennington – 40 elk

Caribou County

Swan Lakes – 80-250 elkBurton Canyon – 150-400 elkBanida 400 elk (note: These elk appear to have dispersed. Feeding has been suspended by staff is monitoring closely)53 deer feeding sites feeding 5,000 – 8,700 deer

Bear Lake County

Georgetown Canyon (two feed sites)– 300+ deerMontpelier WMA – 200 deerSkinner Canyon – 50-200 deerLefthand Georgetown – 50-200 deerParis Canyon – 50-200 deerBloomington Canyon – 50-200 deerBloomington Dry Canyon – 50-200 deerWorm Creek – 50-200 deerBagley Hollow – 50-200 deerM Hill – 100-200 deer3-Mile Ranch (Smith) 100-300 deerMontpelier Golf Course – 50-200 deerGeorgetown Narrows – 50-200 deerIndian Creek (two feed sites) – 50-200 deerChokecherry – 50-200 deerRanger Dip – 50-200 deerFish Haven – 50-200 deerSt. Charles Dry – 50-200 deer

Caribou County

90% Canyon – 200-400 deerSwenson Canyon – 50 deerMcPherson Canyon – 50-200 deer

Franklin County

Twin Lakes (two feed sites) – 200 deerRattlesnake Hill – 50-200 deerMichael Creek – 50-200 deerGiraffe Road – 40 deer8th S at Bear River – 100 deerClifton – 40 deerWeston Canyon (two feed sites) – 50-400 deerMouth of the Cub River – 65 deerLittle Mountain – 150 deerRiverdale (two feed sites) – 100-150 deerWeston – 30 deer

Bannock County

Downata – 500 deerOld Oregon Trail – 200 deerCherry Creek – 150 deerMouth of Rapid Creek – 50-200 deerWest Portneuf – 50-200 deerInkom-Reef – 100 deerSorelle Canyon – 50-200 deerBingham CountySpringfield (three feed sites) – 400 deerTilden – 100 deerSterling – 50 deer

Oneida County

Elkhorns (two feed sites) – 200 deerStone – 500 deerTwo pronghorn feeding sites feeding 400 pronghorn.

Bingham County

Tilden – 100 pronghorn

Power County

American Falls/Seagull Bay – 300 pronghorn

Herd numbers indicated for each feed site are rough estimates and may more accurately represent the expected number of animals rather than actual counts. IDFG has prioritized getting feed to areas of greatest need first, and will obtain more accurate counts at the sites after animals have settled in.

Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Fish and Game Department is feeding elk at two sites and has been in communication with IDFG.

PLEASE DO NOT VISIT FEEDING SITES. Wintering wildlife need to be disturbed as little as possible so that they can maintain as much of their fat/energy reserves as possible. Outdoor activities such as snowmobiling, antler hunting, cross country skiing, snow showing, sightseeing, and target practice with firearms will move wildlife, even driving them from feed sites. Furthermore, most feed sites are located on private property.

Additional areas being evaluated: Numerous additional sites are being monitored closely, and additional feeding will be initiated if needed.

Sites being monitored at this time include:

Bear Lake County: Pegram (deer), Rocky Point (deer), Bear Lake Plateau (deer)

Caribou County: 10-Mile Pass (elk and deer), Fish Creek (elk), Grace (elk and deer)

Franklin County: Clifton and additional Westside locations (deer), Banida (elk)

Bannock County: Virginia (deer)

Bingham County: Sterling (pronghorn), Springfield (pronghorn)

Overall Weather Conditions: The region has received record snowfall amounts this winter, and most areas exceed snowpack criteria to justify winter feeding. Most of the region received an additional 12-20” in the valleys during the week of January 23. Mountain snowpacks are approaching or have already exceeded average peak depths — depths which are usually not reached until late February or March. Snowpacks are 151% (Portneuf/Willow Basin) and 172% (Bear River Basin) of normal. Temperatures this week generally ranged in the teens (nighttime) and 20s (daytime). There is a layer of ice under much of the snow in the southeast region

WMA Emergency Closures: The Portneuf, Georgetown Summit, and Montpelier Wildlife Management Areas are CLOSED to all recreational entry to protect wintering wildlife until April

The Southeast Region has significant history of winter feeding and has an active Winter Feeding Advisory Committee.

Members of the WFAC include:

Eric Hancock, Pocatello, 208-242-9365David Priestley, Preston, 339-0227Dennis Caywood, Montpelier, 847-1386 or 847-2119Sid Cellan, Soda Springs, 390-7057

Who Do You Call About Feeding Deer and Elk? Unauthorized winter feeding is not advised due to the problems it can create for animals, people, and habitat (see https://idfg.idaho.gov/region/southeast for articles and information about the emergency winter feeding program in Idaho’s southeast region). In fact, unauthorized feeding of elk in counties that border Wyoming is unlawful per Idaho Department of Agriculture rules due to concerns with transmission of Brucellosis to livestock. If you have concern for wintering wildlife in your area, please contact your local representative of the Winter Feeding Advisory Committee or the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Please refer to Idaho Fish and Game’s webpage for the southeast region for current winter feeding information, including pictures and video at https://idfg.idaho.gov/southeast.