Throughout the deer and elk seasons, Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be running check stations to collect data on hunter and angler success. Idaho law requires that “all sportsmen, with or without game, must stop at … check stations.” Anyone hunting or fishing that day, or returning from an overnight hunting or fishing outing, is required to stop.
At a check station, hunters and anglers are asked about their experience, what animals were harvested, and they must produce all fish or game in possession for inspection.
It takes just a few minutes and check stations often provide free coffee.
Every year, some sportsmen who haven’t harvested anything think they aren’t required to stop at checks stations. Lack of success, however, is relevant information. Biologists also collect data about a trip where nothing was harvested. The data is recorded and compared with data from prior seasons. The check stations serve as a helpful immediate measurement of seasonal success.
Final season success and harvest figures are derived from hunter harvest reports, check station data and telephone surveys. Successful hunters can turn in harvest reports at the check station.
If hunters arrive at a check station with a species for which a mandatory check is required (such as bear, lion, moose, sheep, wolf, goat), harvested animals will be checked and the necessary data will be recorded, saving hunters a trip to check the animal at a later date.
Information provided at check stations is important to successful management of the wildlife resource in Idaho. In addition, hunters and anglers can use the opportunity to interact with game managers to get information about how the seasons are progressing. Check station data is only accurate and meaningful when all hunters and anglers comply with the requirement to stop.
For more information contact Fish and Game at 208-769-1414.