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Mapping Project Reveals Favorite Hunting Destinations

Dec 4, 2017 -
The best way to find out where hunters prefer to hunt is simple: just ask them.

That's exactly what the folks at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership are doing. Working with state wildlife officials, TRCP recently mapped its fifth state. Idaho hunters participated in a project to chronicle the most active hunting spots in the state. The project also enables land managers with habitat conservation and enhancement of public-lands access.

More than 400 hunters and anglers took part in the latest mapping project. Sportsmen were invited to 20 "mapping events" held from 2015 to 2017 in partnership with sporting clubs in eight cities around the state -- Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Salmon, Stanley, Boise, Twin Falls, Moscow, and Coeur d'Alene.

Data from the Sportsmen's Values Mapping Project sessions has been assembled into a geographic information system that can be overlaid with maps showing critical habitat, land ownership and planned development, according to TRCP. The maps reveal wintering areas, migration routes, spawning areas and other important habitats.

The maps generated from the data will provide data previously unavailable to state and federal agencies and will help wildlife officials:

  • Balance other land uses with the needs of fish, wildlife, hunters and anglers;
  • Identify areas where public access needs to be maintained or improved;
  • Identify key high-use areas warranting special conservation strategies;
  • Justify actions and funding requests aimed at conserving highly valued wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing areas.

“This map will serve as a useful tool for conservation and management as state and federal agencies evaluate areas for habitat improvements and hunting and fishing opportunities, Mark Gamblin, regional supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game in the Pocatello region, told the TRCP blog.

In announcing its findings, TRCP said the data confirmed that hunters are fiercely protective of nearby hunting and fishing opportunities and are profoundly aware of the areas with the most waterfowl, fish, upland birds, predators, and big game.

The overall project was launched in 2007. Other states mapped as part of the project are Arizona, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. More information about the data gathered in those states and about the project overall is available here.

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