In the 1930’s, hunting and fishing in Idaho was in bad shape due to overharvest and wanton habitat destruction. To curtail the decline of sporting opportunities the Idaho Wildlife Federation introduced state legislation to establish a commission to scientifically manage fish and game. Politicians killed the bill and IWF’s response was clear- “Once again the people of the state of Idaho have had their interest in fish and game crucified upon the alter of political patronage,” and sportsmen “will give their answer in unmistakable terms.” The next year, in 1938, IWF campaigned across the state and passed a citizen’s initiative establishing and independent Department of Fish and Game and Commission.
IWF supports the role of the Department and its Commission. In 1935 big game harvest was abysmal- 7,659 deer, 1,821 elk, and 144 pronghorn. In 2014, harvest numbers have increased 10 times while the state’s population has only tripled.
IWF will continue to support the IDFG in its mission, communicate sportsmen input, and advise wildlife management when necessary.