Ask Zimo: Hunting close to cities is a question of ethics, not legality

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comJuly 18, 2013 

Q: As a Harris Ranch resident, I am worried about hunters shooting near the residential area while hunting in Unit 39.

I believe this type of shooting led to the killing of Ernie the Elk.

I realize shooting from within Boise city limits is illegal.

Do you know if there is a process for a city or citizens to petition the state to restrict hunting within a safe distance from high-density housing?


A: The whole thing about Ernie the Elk still has people talking.

The elk was a fixture in pastures along the Boise Greenbelt near Harris Ranch years ago.

He brought a lot of pleasure to residents as well as visitors to the area. It was fascinating that a bull elk would hang out practically in town.

Well, as the story goes, Ernie ventured from his safe haven in the pastures along the Boise River into the Boise Foothills around Harris Ranch and was shot.

If you feel the boundaries of Idaho Fish and Game's hunting Unit 39 are too close to residential areas, you have the right to go before the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and explain a need for a no-shooting buffer between the Boise River Wildlife Management Area and the area subdivisions.

The Boise River WMA boundaries come close to the residential area, and the WMA is open to hunting.

The WMA is specifically managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for wildlife habitat and hunting.

Now another issue. Is it ethical for hunters to hunt so close to the city limits with high-powered rifles? Well, that's another debate.

You might check out the next time the Fish and Game Commission is meeting in Boise and have you and other homeowners in the area sign up to speak at the public hearing that is usually scheduled before the commission's meeting.

It's a sign of the times as development meets head-on with wildlife habitat.


Q: One of the photos in Idaho Outdoors Camping Guide (May 24) shows a campground with two widely spaced RVs.

The spacious layout is attractive to me, but there was no identification on the photo. Could you please let me know what it is and how I can get there?


A: That photo was taken at Three Island Crossing State Park.

It's cool that Idaho state parks have double camping sites. They call them companion sites.

Prices depend on the level of service like water and electrical hookups. A premier full-hookup site at Ridgeview Campground at Lake Cascade State Park costs $42.40 a night with a state parks passport.

In comparison, a companion site at West Mountain Campground at Lake Cascade costs $29.68 with no hookups.

Companion sites are handy for a couple of families who want to camp together. Look for companion sites when you make reservations at Idaho state parks.


Awhile back (June 13) I had a recipe for camp kabobs cooked over the grill, and I mentioned covering the kabobs with aluminum foil.

Some readers wondered why I use the foil.

A lot of time when you are cooking outdoors on a grill and you want to increase the heat for cooking the meal or to speed things up, you simply cover the meat with foil. It's like "bake-grilling."

It also helps when you are grilling in cold weather or windy conditions.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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