I was fortunate enough to draw a controlled mule deer tag for Unit 11 this year. Unfortunately, the Big Cougar fire is actively burning from Captain John Creek south to the confluence of the Snake & Salmon rivers east into Eagle Creek. As of now, it is only 20% contained. The areas currently burning are where I've hunted in the past and where I was planning on hunting again.
Anyone have any insight as to how much hunting will possibly be affected in this general area? With 2 months to go to the start of the season, I would imagine animals could move back in if enough cover is left in tact. However, if it's torched to the ground that would be a different story. I have not heard much news on the intensity of the fire at this point, nor do I have any experience in hunting burn areas other than knowing that subsequent years would generally probably be better once 'green up' starts.
Would IDFG potentially offer 'rain checks' for this hunt if enough public land goes up in smoke in this unit?