In order to help keep the citizens of Idaho informed regarding the physical condition of their wildlife, the Upper Snake Regional Office will be issuing reports throughout the winter. Reports reflect information gathered from IDFG field staff and contacts in local communities. Reports will be issued as conditions change, especially if a major winter weather situation develops.
Duston Cureton is the Landowner Sportsman Coordinator for the Upper Snake Region and the person responsible for compilation of the following information.
Big Game Physical Condition
Animals were in excellent condition entering winter. Record setting rains in August resulted in an abundance of fall forage for big game. Mid-December saw above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. With the moderate amount of snowfall received over the past two weeks coupled with colder temperatures, animals, primarily elk, have been observed in large groups on winter ranges. Current warming temperatures in some areas should provide more accessible forage for animals.
Sand Creek, Hamer
Snow depth is 8-10 inches with minimal crusting. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.
Snow depth is 8-10 inches on the valley floor with minimal crusting. South facing slopes are at 6-8 inches. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.
Valley floor has 14-16 inches of snow with minimal crusting. South facing slopes are at 12-14 inches. Many animals have moved down onto the valley floor.
Big Desert, INL
Snow depth is 5-7 inches on valley floor with minimal crusting observed. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.
Snow depth is 6-8 inches on the valley floor. South facing slopes are at 4-6 inches with minimal crusting. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.
Big and Little Lost Rivers
Snow depth is 5-7 inches on the valley floor with minimal crusting. South facing slopes are at 3-5 inches. Animals are moving freely on winter ranges.
Snow depth is 8-10 inches with 6-8 inches on the south facing slopes. Minimal crusting observed.
Big game depredations and winter feeding update
Recent winter storms and colder temperatures resulted in an increase in haystack depredations throughout the region during the last week of December and into January. Depredations are moderate throughout the region. Most ungulates are finding forage on winter ranges and higher elevations. Elk remain the highest concern for future depredations with deer, antelope, and moose staying at a minimum with current conditions. No winter feeding has been implemented to date.