Idaho’s natural wonders are an everyday occurrence for us locals. We sometimes take for granted the beauty and wildlife in our own backyard.
These wonders and wildlife attract people from all over the world, including tourists and sportsmen.
The latter was the focus of the Idaho Fish and Game’s Hunt Planner project.
“Our Internet and technology gurus in Boise built an application that uses data we have always collected as a department and connects it for hunters in Idaho,” said Gregg Losinski, a 20-plus-year veteran with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, where he has served as the regional conservation educator for 21 years.
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“This application uses data from species’ population statistics, geographical data, odds of drawing on controlled hunts and more to build a searchable index with mapping to create the ability to really plan your hunts in a way that required days of legwork before and now can be done in hours from your computer,” Losinski said.
The Idaho Hunt planner is available at fishandgame.idaho.gov/ ifwis/huntplanner and is accessible from the Idaho Fish and Game website at the bottom of the homepage.
After clicking through it a bit, it is amazing how simple it is to find and use the data that the department has been collecting for years.
A prospective hunter can use the planner to select species and hunt methods and then filter those points using population, geographical and likelihood of an actual kill to maximize the likelihood of a successful hunting trip.
“Beyond the specific details on Idaho’s animal population and our draw statistics, you can see other data points that are often not considered. While you can sometimes find populations that are likely to result in success, access may be a problem,’’ Losinski said.
“The map overlay can show access points, including private property access points where the department has paid for the ability of a sportsman to hunt on private lands.
“The benefit of the planner is obvious for out-of-state sportsmen who may not be familiar with Idaho, but even locals can use the planner to speed up their own planning processes. It’s a free tool we developed to help the hunters in and outside of Idaho.’’