TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho fish and game gathered K9 units from multiple cities for their annual training event from June 14-16.
The training featured multiple scenarios of tracking, wildlife detection and evidence searching. Items searched for were deer, elk, shell casings, fire arms and people.
Many of the handlers expressed the importance of training in new environments so the dogs can get a sense of new terrain.
“It is good for the dogs to experience different places just because odors and smells change depending on location, so it is good that we get them all together and train them in different environments because we never know where we’re going to be asked to go work in the state,” said handler and senior conservation officer Jim Stirling.
These sessions also test the abilities of the handlers in leading their dog and identifying signals coming from them.
“We have to watch for behavior change. We have to watch for tail movement. we have to watch for that closed mouth sniffing, so we really have to watch the dog and be on top of it,” said handler and senior conservation officer Craig Mickelson.
Mickelson is excited to see the K9 unit continue to grow and knows the value these dogs bring.
“These dogs are really valuable to Idaho fish and game and I think we are on the horizon of maybe expanding the program a little bit and you know there are times where we have needed support and the Idaho fish and wildlife foundation has been very supportive of us to help us out,” he said.
For more information on Idaho Fish and Game's K9 unit, click here.