BOISE -- The month of October is prime time for hunting in Idaho.
Statewide, hunters will take to the field in pursuit of both mule and whitetail deer on Thursday, October 10. Duck and goose hunting begins on Saturday, October 12 for most of the Treasure Valley.
Locally, firearms elk season starts next week. Get the full details on the hunt times and zones here.
However, this year, hunters will have to have to work around the government shutdown. That's because a few of their favorite places may be off limits, including a special zone near Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.
HOW HUNTERS ARE AFFECTED
Mike Demick is the information supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He says the majority of hunters won't see issues on Idaho lands due to the shutdown.
However, some have already had hunts canceled.
"For the majority of the people out there -- that are going hunting for example -- undeveloped lands are still open and so they shouldn't run into any problem," said Demick.
The undeveloped federal lands he's referencing include state and national forests and federal BLM lands without controlled access points. However, Demick says established campgrounds in these areas are closed because there is no one to staff them.
Other federal closures include national parks and national wildlife refuges, their visitor centers, federal fish hatcheries, and federal boat ramps. For more information see the federal website.
DEER FLAT HUNT CANCELED
Notably, the closures include Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Nampa. Thursday's scheduled Deer Hunt here isn't happening, and upland game hunting is off too. Similarly, Saturday's celebration in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week has been canceled.
Acting refuge manager Stan Culling says the state had to refund or move a combination of 15 permits for bucks and does in this special hunting zone due to the closure.
Other planned activities here are closed too.
"Because of the shutdown, we can't even allow volunteer services on the property," Culling told KTVB. "So at this time, some of the activities that were already planned months in advance -- we're having to terminate that until the shutdown lifts."
Culling says he apologizes for the shutdown, but it's not his decision.