Questions & Answers: Hunting

Displaying 1 - 106 of 106 questions

Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.

  • Not all questions are answered.
  • Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered-on" date.

Question Askedsort ascending
A: You can purchase a second elk tag, but, it will be at the nonresident price.
A: Fish and Game has no hunting restictions on coyotes in the area described.  There is no hunting within the Boise city limits and posted private property should be honored.
A: The short answer to your question is no.  Legal hunting hours in Idaho are limited to daylight only.  This is defined as one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset for most species.   It is legal to hunt some predators including coyotes and jackrabbits after dark with the aid of ...
A: You are correct that a 9mm and .40cal can be used during a short range weapon hunt for big game animals.  Straight walled cartridges like the 45-70 are not lawful for use during a short range weapon hunt.
A: Coyotes are classified as predatory wildlife.  Fish and Game does not prohibit the use of bait for hunting predatory wildlife (coyotes).  Using the edible portion of harvested game animals as described in Idaho Code 36-1202 is not allowed.  Consult with the land management agency as well to ...
A: Although very unconventional to use ferrets to flush or take wildlife, it would be legal with a valid hunting license for small game and predators.  
A: No, it is unlawful to take deer with a .22 caliber rimfire weapon.  Centerfire weapons are lawful; example .22-250 and .223.
A: You are fine to carry your firearm to your blind.  Its your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  Duck hunter almost always access their hunting blinds in the dark.
A: Public land around Black's Creek Reservoir, outside of any administrative areas such as parks, boat ramps, etc., are open for access.  There has been issues with vandalism around the outlet area in the past and road access is restricted. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has not closed any bird ...
A: Various tribes set their own rules and seasons for hunting on their land.  We recommend that you contact them directly for correct information. 
A: The full definition of “hunting” that addresses this question is in Idaho Fish and Game laws, Idaho Code Section 36-202: "Hunting" means chasing, driving, flushing, attracting, pursuing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, shooting at, stalking, or lying in wait for, any wildlife whether ...
A: Good question.  Older does are less likely to produce young and therefore provide less reproductive value to the herd.  However, it is difficult to determine age of a standing deer. You already mentioned the doe without a fawn method, but that too is difficult and not fool proof as a doe may have ...
A: For 30 years, Idaho has had a quota for nonresident hunters.  13 years ago, the Commission decided to make any unsold nonresident tags available for purchase to residents at full price.  The Commission adopted the 2nd tag discount for residents and nonresidents because it wanted to encourage more ...
A: Yes you will need a hunting license to purchase a wolf tag. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at over the telephone at 800-554-8685, any license vendor, or through the mail to any Idaho ...
A: A deer cannot be taken with an elk tag in Idaho. Only an elk (or bear, wolf or mountain lion if the seasons overlap) can be taken with an elk tag.
A: No, except a person may purchase a left-over nonresident general season elk tag, or put in for an "extra" elk tag (controlled hunts designated by an "X"). During the process of developing the 2014 Elk Pplan there was discussion and interest in developing some hunts that would allow a tag holder to ...
A: There are no rules to prevent you from hunting coyotes with a .22 rimfire rifle, but if you are serious about humanely taking the animal, we would suggest using a larger caliber firearm.   F08
A: Planting a food plot is legal in Idaho, just like gardening or farming.  You may want to consider your objectives and what is possible to grow there before deciding what to plant. It would be okay to hunt over if it left alone and completely unharvested, or if it has been completely harvested ...
A: Your friend can go with you even if he is not hunting.
A: TURKEY SEASON DATES 2013 General Spring Hunt season dates April 15, 2013 through May 25, 2013 Panhandle units 1, 2 (Except Farragut State Park and Farragut WMA) & Units 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6 And  the same dates in the rest of the state in units 8, 8A, 10, 10A, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18 ...
A: If he is hunting, he must have an Idaho hunting license.  If he is fishing, he must have an Idaho fishing license.  If he is trapping, he must have an Idaho trapping license. He should check with the region office in the area for information about contacting the land management agency (for example ...
A: Idaho Department of Fish and Game has an official policy regarding hunting and fishing activities. All Department personnel are encouraged to participate in hunting and fishing activities and become familiar with the fish and wildlife resources and the areas of the State that support these ...
A: The only bounty program that Fish and Game is involved in is the Angler Incentive Program in the Panhandle (Lake Pend Oreille).  The information about it is online at  An Idaho fishing license is required.
A: Please contact the Tribal Authorities for hunting information on the Reservation.  They are in charge of that area.
A: The following list lays out the types of animals that cannot be hunted or kept: Protected Nongame Wildlife, Species of Special Concern, Threatened or Endangered Species, Protected Birds Special classifications for some animals extend extra protection to those species. These animals cannot be ...
A: You only need the WMA pheasant to hunt pheasants.  Permits for waterfowl hunting statewide are a migratory bird validation and the federal duck stamp.    
A: If they are children they can accompany you but at this time they cannot hunt without taking hunter education and possessing a license and tag.  Ten and eleven year olds with hunter education can buy a hunting license and hunt for small game, birds and varmints.  Twelve year olds with hunter ...
A: Early in the year some tags are made available for outfitters to purchase for their clients.  They are held out for the outfitters until specific dates.  At that time, any tags not going to outfitters go back into the general nonresident quota, which changes the numbers.
A: Thanks for letting us know!  Up until today we have only been showing active closures for the Mustang Complex, Halstead and Trinity Ridge fires.  To the best of our knowledge there is no statewide or nationwide fire closure layer, so we have been manually updating these layers as new closures ...
A: Mule deer in Unit 39 typically follow the major drainages starting at the head of the South Fork, Middle Fork and North Fork Boise Rivers.  Deer found in Graham/Atlanta during summer will follow the drainages down to Boise River WMA by December/January.  Some deer following the South Fork drainage ...
A: Yes, you can carry both weapons while you are hunting.
A: Most sporting goods stores and archery shops should have grain scales, used for either weighing bullets/powder or arrows.  When measuring arrow weight, make sure to include insert, shaft, broadhead, nock, and fletching.  Minimum arrow weight for hunting big game in Idaho is 300 grains, but many ...
A: The list is online at  They go on sale at all vendors on August 25 at 10:00 a.m. mountain time.
A: yes. Liquid scent may be used for deer and elk.
A: Contact the Salmon Region office at 208-756-2271 for information.
A: No; you would have to purchase a regular  nonresident leftover tag to use as a second tag.  The cost would be $301.75.
A: Yes. 
A: You clearly care deeply about having healthy wildlife populations in Idaho, about the costs of managing wildlife, how license dollars and spent, and about wildlife management in Idaho.  The Idaho Fish and Game department isn't broke today, but as Commission Chairman Randy Budge stated June 5, "... ...
A: To Whom It May Concern: As the rule is written it is unlawful to archery hunt: With any electronic or tritium-powered device attached to, or incorporated into, an arrow, bolt, crossbow, or bow (except nonmagnifying scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles may be used by ...
A: The latest information that we have is that they will be posted in time for the beginning of the Big Game controlled hunt application period (May 1-June 5).
A: In any hunt, including any-weapon seasons, it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:   • By any means other than approved firearms, muzzleloaders and archery methods. • With any electronic device attached to, or incorporated on, the firearm or scope; Except scopes containing battery ...
A: There are no weapon restrictions for coyotes because they are not classified as a big game animal in Idaho.  Coyotes are classified as predatory wildlife like a raccoon, skunk or jackrabbit.  Be aware that if you are contacted by an officer they may have questions about what game you are pursuing ...
A: You can only hunt unprotected species with a blowgun. You must have a hunting license. Please double check with the city or county authorities in your area to see if they have any ordinances that prohibit the use of blowguns.      
A: He does not need a license to carry or for target practice, but he does need a license to hunt in Idaho.  Please find more information about hunting rules and hunter education in our Big Game Rules at  
A: The Big Game Season Proposals are available online at For specific details of your regional meeting beyond the scope of this document feel free to contact the Idaho Falls Office at (208) 525-7290.
A: Expandable broadheads are not legal for taking big game animals in Idaho.  Elk are classified as big game animals.
A: The nonresident small game and nonresident three-day small game hunting licenses were established to offer nonresident sportsmen, who do not wish to hunt big game, an opportunity to come to Idaho and hunt small game only for a lower cost.   The lower cost could result in a large influx of ...
A: NO: (see exception below); as long as the youth has a valid license and tag. Care must be taken by the adult not to enter into the act of “hunting.” They can even have a weapon in possession as the constitution allows. Once they begin pursuing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, ...
A: No, they cannot harvest a bear, lion or wolf with a resident deer tag.  They must have the tag for the specific animal they want to harvest.  
A: Yes; there is no limit on the number of youths a licensed adult can mentor. The mentored youths must be within normal sight and hearing distance from the mentor.
A: Unfortunately, the Clearwater Region is not well known for its waterfowl hunting.  Access is limited due to private property but some field hunting and jump shooting of regional streams/ponds is available during migration with landowner permission.  Scouting is the key for success for both birds ...
A: In general it is NOT legal to use a crossbow during the archery only season, however it is legal to use one during the any weapon season..  An individual with a disabled archery permit is allowed to use  a crossbow during the archery only season. Here is the information from the Big Game ...
A: There is already a season on white-fronted geese or ‘specks’ in southwest Idaho.  White-fronted geese are dark geese and have the same season framework as Canada geese (another dark goose).  Pacific Flyway states like Idaho have a season framework that includes 107 days for dark goose hunting.  In ...
A: Check the Fish and Game website at  New classes are posted there whenever an instructor plans one.  
A: Yes, there are pheasant hunting opportunities in Nez Perce County.  Pheasants occur in the agricultural portions of the county.  Please note that almost all of the pheasant habitat in the county occurs on private property and, therefore, requires landowner permission.  Additionally, there are some ...
A: Currently, no.  Electronic calls can be used during the Conservation Order seasons in the mid-continent portion of North America.  The Conservation Order seasons were a result of extensive habitat damage caused by overabundant snow geese, and were only allowed through an act of Congress.   ...
A: It is valid even if you move out of state.  Each year you will get your lifetime license at no charge but you must get tags, licenses and permits at nonresident prices. Thank you.
A: A resident of Idaho can purchase two wolf tags per calendar year. A resident cannot purchase non-resident wolf tags. A non-resident deer and/or elk tag that may be used for wolf, mountain lion, or bear so long as the season for both species is currently open in that area.
A: It is legal to hunt in Idaho with a suppressor. Keep in mind that there is a federal permit required to possess a suppressor in Idaho and the weight of your weapon must stay under 16 lbs.
A: Generally the answer is no, however there are exceptions. These exceptions are explained in the 2011 Big Game Regulations: A person who has applied for a bighorn sheep, mountain goat or moose controlled hunt may not apply for any other controlled hunt in the same year, except unlimited controlled ...
A: Both static PDF maps suitable for printing and interactive online maps of hunt area boundaries are available on the Hunt Area Map Index.  Sportsmen can also use the MapCenter to view Game Management Units, Elk Zones and current Controlled Hunts.  For offline viewing in Google Earth and GIS ...
A: Lighted knocks are not currently legal in Idaho.  There was a proposal made in 2011, but it was not approved by the Commission.  At this time there is no lighted knock proposal for consideration as a non-biological rule for 2012.
A: The minimum age is 10 years old.  It is best to take hunter education first, then take the archery class. 
A: This is difficult to answer, as size is relative--huge to one person is typical to another.  That said, typical male wolves average around 100-110 pounds, whereas females average 80-90 pounds.  The truly exceptionally large male wolf can approach 120-130 (sometimes heavier, depending on how much ...
A: The Game Regulations are made available online shortly after they are approved by the Fish and Game Commission.  Big Game Seasons are set by the Commission every March (View the Commision Schedule).  For 2012, the meeting is scheduled for March 21-23rd. Printed Regulations will be available a ...
A: The 2010 Idaho State Legislature amended Idaho Code 36-411 to allow IDFG to accept hunter and bowhunter education course certifications from foreign countries provided their course is equivalent to or exceeds our Idaho course.   A course certificate or card must be presented when purchasing a ...
A: You don't need a license, and the only restrictions are on access and travel on the land. Antler hunters, like other outdoor recreationists, must secure permission to cross or look for antlers on private land, and they must abide by transportation restrictions on federal and state public lands. ...
A: Yes, IDAPA requires the presentation of antlers from antlered moose to be presented to a conservation officer or regional office so department personnel can collect biological data.  Since it is not required to present any parts of cow moose the information can simply be phoned in.
A: The regulations for Spring Goose Hunts are available online.  The Spring Goose Hunts are primarily a private land hunting opportunity because geese are typically found feeding in agricultural fields. For more information please contact the Southeast Region at (208) 232-4703.
A: Idaho's first game laws were established by the Idaho Territorial Legislature in 1864.  These laws for closed seasons on big game animals from Februrary to July, but did not provide for enforcement. These laws predate both the State of Idaho (admitted to the Union in 1890) and the creation of the ...
A: Yes, you are required to have an Idaho hunting license to hunt coyotes. Nonresident licenses are listed here.
A: No, you only need a hunting license if you are hunting.
A: The bag limit is the total number you can take in one day. But the total may not include more than three scaup, two pintails, two redheads, two female mallards or one canvasback.
A: Beginning last year, the use of handguns using straight-walled center-fire cartridges not originally developed for rifles was approved for use in big game short-range weapon hunts.
A: Get as much information as possible, such as a description of the person or persons, a description and license number of any vehicles, and note the location. Then "Make the Call" to the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or fill out a report on ...
A: Hunter orange is required only when hunting the nine Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management areas where pheasants are stocked. The areas are Fort Boise, C.J. Strike, Payette River, Montour, Sterling, Market Lake, Mud Lake, Cartier Slough and Niagara Springs. The minimum requirement is 36 square ...
A: No. Once the season for which your elk tag is valid has opened, your tag can no longer be exchanged. But you are allowed to buy a left-over nonresident tag for a different zone.
A: Lead shot is illegal for all waterfowl hunting, including ducks, mergansers, geese and coots. Hunters may not hunt waterfowl while in possession of shot other than nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The shot must be 0.2 inches - T size - or smaller. Only steel shot or ...
A: Only if you're a youth hunter. The 2011 Big Game Seasons and Rules explains: Resident youth hunters ages 12 through 17 who purchase a general season elk zone tag, may participate in any A or B tag elk season within the specified zone, regardless of whether they purchased an A tag or B tag. This ...
A: It depends. In addition to a valid 2011 Idaho hunting license, hunters need a permit to hunt sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse. Any person hunting sage- or sharp-tailed grouse must have in possession their license with a sage/sharp-tailed grouse permit validation, available from license vendors ...
A: That depends on where you live. If no classes are scheduled in your area, anyone 10 or older may take the independent study course on the Internet, with a required supervised field day. But in some regions field days may not be available because of the hunting season. Before taking the internet ...
A: This archer correctly answered his own question. The Trijicon AccuPin bow sight uses tritium, and the rules are clear: In any hunt, including general any-weapon seasons and short-range hunts, it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals: ... With any electronic or tritium-powered device ...
A: Yes. But it not legal to use it to kill any animal for which the archery-only hunt is open.
A: Monday, August 15, was the deadline to apply. Winners will be notified by mail and results also will be posted on the Fish and Game website at after the drawing. There's no deadline to pick up tags from the second drawing. Any tags not drawn will be available for over- ...
A: If you have drawn and purchased a deer controlled hunt tag that is not an extra hunt, the only type of deer hunt you can apply for in the second application period is an extra hunt.
A: Duck stamps - officially Federal Migratory Bird Stamp - are no longer available directly from Fish and Game. They are available for $15 at U.S. post offices, and they can be ordered by buying a receipt good for 45 days for $17.75 at Fish and Game offices, license vendors or on the Internet at: ...
A: Idaho hunter education and bowhunter education are offered in all parts of the state, but availability varies by region. To find out when classes are offered, check the Idaho Fish and Game Website, click on "Hunter/Bowhunter Education Program" link from the home page. Then click on the orange bar ...
A: Most resident general season deer and elk tags can be picked up after the controlled hunt drawings are over. Tags for elk zones subject to a quota went on sale Sunday, July 10. Resident quota elk tags available are:ELK ZONE--TAG TYPE--NO. AVAILABLEDworshak--B--2118Lolo--A--128Lolo--B--630Elk City-- ...
A: Hunters who drew deer, elk or pronghorn can pick up their tags through August 1. After that, Fish and Game can release a list of leftover controlled hunt tags. The application period for the second drawing is August 5 through 15.
A: The application deadline is June 30. Applications that come in after June 30 are added to the list but have little chance of being selected. Applicants must have a valid Idaho hunting or combination license. Depredation hunts, if needed, are usually held on short notice, in small areas and involve ...
A: The second controlled hunt application period for 12 leftover moose hunt permits runs from June 15 through June 25 - one bull in Hunt 3044, Unit 12-3; three bulls in Hunt 3053, Unit 16A; four bulls in Hunt 3054, Unit 17; and four bulls in Hunt 3056, Unit 20. There are no leftover sheep or goat ...
A: No. When the court revokes someone's hunting, fishing or trapping privileges for a period of time, it means just that, the privileges are revoked, whether they need a license or not. It is illegal for anyone to hunt, fish, or trap or purchase a license to do so during the time the privilege is ...
A: A resident may apply for a controlled hunt with a nonresident, but your chance of drawing will be the same as the nonresident. Nonresidents may draw no more than 10 percent of the permits in any controlled hunt. Once the quota has been met, no more nonresident applications would be drawn.
A: Not at all. The sign-up period to participate in depredation hunts this year runs through June 30. Applications that come in after June 30 are added to the list but have little chance of being selected. Applicants must have a valid Idaho hunting or combination license. Depredation hunts, if needed ...
A: The sign-up period to participate in depredation hunts this year runs from May 1 through June 30. Applications that come in after June 30 are added to the list but have little chance of being selected. Applicants must have a valid Idaho hunting or combination license. Depredation hunts, if needed, ...
A: The 2011 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure has gone to the printer. When the print proofs come back, the seasons and rules will be posted on the Fish and Game website - - by early next week. The printed books are expected about mid-April.
A: You don't need a license, and the only restrictions are on access and travel on the land. Horn hunters, like other outdoor recreationists, must secure permission to cross or look for antlers on private land, and they must abide by transportation restrictions on federal and state public lands. Horn ...
A: Glad you asked. Here is a simplified version of how the controlled hunt drawing system works: The procedure has been computerized since 1973 and was certified random by Boise State University professors in 1977. Every applicant has the same chance of drawing. Officials verify that applicants meet ...
A: Glad you asked. The best help other than talking to experienced hunters is at Idaho Fish and Game's Hunt Planner online at The site offers detailed information on every big game management unit in the state, including maps, drawing odds, harvest ...
A: Yes, you can. They have been available since January 1, 2003. Because no rules prohibited such plates, the Transportation Department decided it was allowed to issue some special interest plates for such towed vehicles. Wildlife license plates, including the bluebird, elk and cutthroat trout, ...
A: It depends. In most of the state, there are no restrictions on the number of holes, but an ice angler can fish with up to five poles or lines at a time, and up to five hooks per line. A two-pole validation does not allow more than five lines while ice fishing. All lines must be attended by the ...
A: Hunters can sign up to participate in depredation hunts - special controlled hunts used to relieve big game damage problems on agricultural crops - for deer, elk and pronghorn in areas they are willing to hunt in 2011 when the Big Game Seasons and Rules books come out in April. They may apply only ...
A: No. Ice fishing rules are slightly different than general fishing for public safety and general crowding. Fishing is allowed only through a hole up to 10 inches in diameter. This reduces the risk of someone falling through holes. (The only exception is on Bear Lake in Southeast Idaho where anglers ...
A: This license allows 10- and 11-year-olds to hunt upland game birds, migratory waterfowl, cottontail rabbits, and unprotected and predatory birds and animals, as well as turkeys and sandhill cranes - with the appropriate tags. They must have a hunter education certification, and the holder of an ...
A: It is simple and easy to make this kind of gift, and it works for lifetime licenses as well as annual licenses. Every Idaho Fish and Game office will sell you a gift certificate, which can be redeemed by the giftee at Fish and Game offices only, anytime within one year. Fish and Game cannot accept ...
A: A gift certificate to cover a new hunting/fishing license is one idea. Also, Fish and Game offers annual license and lifetime license certificates. These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder and are available to all residents of Idaho. If a lifetime certificate holder moves out ...