Wildlife and Big Game


The area has a growing population of bald eagles and an abundant population of osprey. Numerous osprey nests are visible in high tree snags around the shorelines of the both Priest and Upper Priest Lakes and on some of the islands. Depending upon the time of the year, the wetland areas off the south end of the Lake and in the Bear Creek area are excellent areas to view less common duck species such as the wood duck and redhead. Also, don't be surprised if you observe a great blue heron stalking its meal in a wetland area or a flock of wild turkeys along the roadside.

Numerous other bird species also reside at Priest Lake. Ravens are ubiquitous, as are numerous varieties of woodpeckers and jays. Pine martins, goshawks, grouse and blue birds are but a few of the other species native to the area. In summer, large numbers of hummingbirds congregate throughout the area.

Wild Life & Big Game

Larger game species that make the Priest Lake area their home include black and grizzly bears, whitetail and mule deer, moose, elk, wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, mountain sheep and a few mountain goats. The grizzly bear and mountain caribou have been designated as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act and their habitats are protected by selective mountain road closures, restrictive bear hunting methods, etc.

A wide variety of smaller animals also make the Priest Lake Basin their home. Included are raccoons, skunks, snowshoe hares, beaver, otters, squirrels, an abundant supply of grouse, turkeys and waterfowl. You may encounter a few snakes in the area but all are the harmless variety. No poisonous snakes make the Priest Lake area home.

Idaho residents who are fortunate enough to be drawn for a once-in-a-lifetime moose permit are virtually guaranteed success in bagging a bull moose when hunting in the Priest Lake area. These majestic animals are widespread and frequently encountered at all elevations.

Idaho Fish & Game regulates the seasons and rules regarding hunting for all game species. It is wise to check the regulations in advance of your hunting trip.

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