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Big game

'Marquis Benson, then 17, of Twin Falls was absolutely ecstatic when he found out he drew a bull tag in the Pioneer zone,' Jevon Benson writes in 2014. 'He had his mind set on a 6-point bull, and the first day of the hunt at 238 yards he got what he wanted, his first elk.'

PICABO — Big game hunters, especially those hunting for cow elk in the Pioneer and Smoky Bennett zones, need to be aware of the motorized hunting rule before heading out into the field in pursuit of cow elk.

Big game hunters, especially those in pursuit of antlerless elk in the Pioneer and Smoky Bennett zones need to be aware of the motorized hunting rule when using motorized vehicles as an aid to hunting elk. The rule is specific to 30 game management units, primarily in central and southern Idaho, and includes many of the units in the Pioneer and Smoky Bennett zones. The motorized hunting rule applies when someone is actively hunting big game using a motorized vehicle, and it is in effect from August 30 through December 31. During this time, hunters may only use motorized vehicles on established roadways open to motorized traffic or travel, and may not go cross-country.

The rule does not apply, however, when hunting upland game birds or animals.

What is an established roadway?

The definition of an established roadway as it relates to this rule is that the road is established, built, maintained, approved or designated by a government entity. And, the road is passable by a full-sized vehicle.

Can hunters use a motorized vehicle on Forest Service or BLM designated trails?

If motorized travel is allowed by the Forest Service or BLM, hunters may use those vehicles on trails to retrieve downed game or pack in or out your camping gear as long as you follow the restrictions in place by the landowner. However, you may not hunt while packing camping gear.

When in doubt, stay on the road!

It is the responsibility of the hunter to know and understand the rules and regulations of the area where they hunt. For vehicle travel, it’s especially important to know and follow the vehicle use restrictions for chosen hunting areas. Travel maps are available from each of the federal land management agencies.

Visit the Stay on Trails website at www.stayontrails.com for travel tips.

For additional information, contact Fish and Game at the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359, the Sawtooth National Forest at 208-737-3200 or the Shoshone BLM office at 208-732-7200.

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