The waterfowl season opens with a two-day youth hunt on September 29 and 30, and a seven-bird limit on ducks and four dark geese and 10 light geese. The season structure is the same as last year.
The season proposal adopted by the commission was based on a recent survey of waterfowl hunters that suggests they prefer a continuous season that starts and ends later.
Idaho sets waterfowl seasons by zones, with three duck and dark goose - Canada and white-fronted - zones. This year, waterfowl seasons for Zone 1 run from October 6 to January 18; and for zones 2 and 3 they run from October 13 to January 25.
There are four light goose - snow and Ross's - zones. The season for:
Zone 1 is from October 6 to January 18.
- Zone 2 is from October 30 to January 18 and from February 16 to March 10.
- Zone 3 is from November 5 to January 25 and from February 16 to March 10.
- Zone 4 is from October 13 to January 25.
In addition to waterfowl, the Fish and Game Commission also adopted a sage-grouse season that will open September 15 and run through September 21, with a one-bird daily bag limit and a two-bird possession limit.
The season will be open in Area 2, which includes:
- Butte, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Fremont, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Power and Teton counties.
- Bannock County west of Interstate 15.
- Bingham County west of Interstate 15.
- Blaine County, except within the Salmon River drainage.
- Bonneville County west of Interstate 15 and north of U.S. Highway 26.
- Custer County, except within the Salmon River drainage upstream from and including Valley Creek.
- Oneida County west of Interstate 15.
- Owyhee County west of the Bruneau River.
- Twin Falls County east of U.S. Highway 93.
The commission also moved the opening day to the third Saturday in September - it had been October 1 in 2011 - to correspond with the opening of chukar, gray partridge and quail seasons previously set by the commission. The change in the opening date would apply to the 2012 season and future seasons.
The commission also closed the remainder of Elmore County because of the lack of sufficient data and recent wildfires.
Anyone hunting sage-grouse or sharp-tailed grouse must have in their possession a valid Idaho hunting license with a sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation at $4.75.