Deer Flat NWR
Controlled mule deer hunt proposed for Lake Lowell Unit
The proposed 2012-13 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations were published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2012 and were open to public comment until August 10. If approved, the regulations would: expand hunting opportunities at 16 national wildlife refuges in 14 states, including Deer Flat NWR; open Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Michigan to hunting for the first time; and close two refuges to a previously allowed hunting activity. The proposed regulations can be found at this link.
In 2010, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service embarked upon a comprehensive planning process for the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Upon completion, this Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (CCP/EIS) will provide guidance for the management of Refuge habitats and wildlife and the administration of public uses on refuge lands and waters for 15 years.
Initially in the CCP planning process and during public scoping mule deer management, deer hunting opportunities, and agricultural depredation were identified as important issues to both the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and community members. While CCPs generally address these types of topics, the significance of these issues has prompted the Service to examine the topics of mule deer management and deer hunting in a different and more expeditious format.
The draft Hunt Plan for a Controlled Mule Deer Hunt on the Lake Lowell Sector of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, a draft Environmental Assessment and a draft Compatibility Determination have been prepared for opening portions of the Lowell Lake Unit of the Deer Flat NWR to both controlled mule deer hunt and depredation hunt seasons utilizing short range weapons. These draft documents are available for public comment and review. The 30-day comment period ended on January 5, 2012.
During the comment period, the Refuge received comments on the hunt plan, EA and compatibility determination and those documents were revised in response to the comments. Revised documents, as well as responses to comments, are provided below. Once refuge-specific regulations for the deer hunt have been established, the Refuge is anticipated to be open for a deer hunt in the fall of 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions (April 2012)
Final documents: (January 2012)
Draft Hunt Plan, Environmental Assessment, & Compatibility Determination (December 2011) (PDF file larger than 500 kb)
News release (12/6/11)