By RALPH BARTHOLDT
Controlled hunts have a higher success rate and Idaho offers a ton of antlerless controlled hunt opportunities for deer, elk and pronghorn.
That is the word from Idaho Fish and Game, which this week opened its application period for big game controlled hunts that runs through June 5. Hunters can apply online, at license and tag vendors, at Fish and Game offices, or by phone. Mail-in applications are no longer accepted.
Resident hunters pay $6.25 for the application fee, while nonresident applications are $14.75 each for fall controlled hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn and fall black bear.
A list of controlled hunts can be found in the IDFG rules booklet.
Controlled hunts usually have double the success rates than general hunts, according to IDFG. Last year elk hunters in controlled hunts had 42 percent success compared to 18 percent for hunters in general hunts. Mule deer hunters in controlled hunts had 55 percent success compared to 27 percent for general hunts, while 54 percent of white-tailed deer hunters in controlled hunts were successful compared to 40 percent for general season hunters.
Because fewer hunters participate in controlled hunts, there are fewer hunters in the woods. In addition, because of limited general pronghorn hunting opportunities, controlled hunts are the way to go for anyone wanting to chase pronghorns.
Hunters can also research last year’s drawing odds for controlled hunts using the “Hunt Planner” on the IDFG website. Call IDFG at 800-554-8685. Winners will be posted online by July 10.