Idaho Fish and GameIDFG Logo
IDFG Regions
Region 1 - PanhandleRegion 2 - ClearwaterRegion 3 - SouthwestRegion 4 - Magic ValleyRegion 5 - SoutheastRegion 6 - Upper Snake Region 7 - SalmonView list of all Regions

Handguns are considered a short range weapon, what about a handgun caliber that is in a rifle? ie. .357 Magnum rifle. Can you hunt with that rifle in a short range weapon area?

Answer

The short answer is NO.

Short range weapon seasons for big game are limited to:

  • Shotgun using a slug or #00 or larger buckshot
  • Muzzleloader that are .45 caliber for deer, pronghorn, mountain lion or wolf and at least .50 caliber for elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat or black bear
  • With any bow having a peak draw weight of not less than forty (40) pounds up to or at a draw of twenty-eight (28) inches, or any crossbow having a peak draw weight of not less than one hundred fifty (150) pounds.
  • With any handgun using straight wall centerfire cartridges not originally developed for rifles

Although the .357 Magnum was developed as a pistol cartridge, the use of a rifle violates the short range weapon law’s intent of preventing the use of rifles.