Ask Fish & Game

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.

Previously answered questions are posted here.

Displaying 1 - 100 of 269 questions
Question Askedsort descending
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.
10/2/11
A: We cannot make predictions into the future, but we currently have a muzzleloader cow season in Unit 39, cow hunts that allow one to use any weapon, and 9 days of an any weapon bull season.  We use the late season archery to assist us in a depredation issue.  Our bull:cow ratio is adequate only ...
2/9/12
A: Yes. Expandable broadheads are NOT legal for taking big game in Idaho. Wolves are classified as big game animals.
2/10/12
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 ...
2/10/12
A: The minimum age is 10 years old.  It is best to take hunter education first, then take the archery class. 
2/14/12
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.
2/14/12
A: To hunt with a crossbow during an archery-only season you must apply for the permit to do so.  The form is online at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/disArchery.pdf.  Your doctor has to sign it.  
2/16/12
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.
2/18/12
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 ...
2/26/12
A: Sterling WMA is part of unit 68A so only short-ranged weapons are allowed for big game (archery and shotgun).  Trapping coyotes, however, is allowed (although I don't know of anyone that has done it).  We ask that you check in with our office in Pocatello if you choose to trap on Sterling.  FYI, ...
2/28/12
A: Expandable broadheads are not legal for taking big game animals in Idaho.  Elk are classified as big game animals.
3/2/12
A: Proposals for Fish & Game regulation changes can be submitted in a variety of ways.  Proposals are often submitted at public meetings and open houses hosted by Regional Offices and the Fish and Game Commission.  Additionally, letters, e-mails, and discussions with Department staff are also ...
3/2/12
A: Yes, for hunting upland game birds expandable broadheads are consider a lawful means of take.  For your convenience on page 48 of the Upland Game, Furbearer & Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure there is a section outlining unlawful methods of take for upland game birds.  I have copied and ...
3/22/12
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 ...
4/2/12
A: McArthur Wildlife Management Area is open to deer hunting during the November white-tailed rifle deer season.  Due to safety considerations, Farragut State Park and Farragut Wildlife Management Area are closed to hunting with a rifle.  Farragut State Park and Farragut Wildlife Management Area are ...
4/9/12
A: If you don't provide an archery education number or can't fill out an archery affidavit stating that you have hunted in an archery hunt previously, the Sportsman's pack will print without an archery validation on it.  After you have taken the course you can go to any vendor and they will put your ...
4/18/12
A: You must have a hunting license when you apply.  You can wait to get the archery permit when you find out that you have drawn.  Please check online frequently for field days in the Idaho Falls area.  The link to the class list is https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/hed/public/default.aspx.  
5/10/12
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 ...
5/17/12
A: Expandable broadheads were first made illegal for big game hunting in Idaho during the early 1990s.  At that time there was broad public opposition to their use and concern about the "failure rate" of some of the early models.  In 2006, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission evaluated all archery and ...
5/17/12
A: No, it isn't.  Mechanical/expandable broadheads and lumenok arrows are still not legal for use in hunting in Idaho.
5/29/12
A: To Whom It May Concern:   I have copied and pasted a section from 76 of the Idaho Big Game Seasons & Rules 2012 that explains what  arechery equipment is unlawful to use.  There are two aspects of the RAMCAT that make it an unlawful device.  Expandable broadhead and the ferrule angle is ...
6/11/12
A: Broadhead blades can be removable, they just cannot be expandable, in otherwords the blades can not have a pivoting point that allows the blades to pivot upon entering the animal. Also the following rules apply to broadheads when archery hunting:  With arrows or bolts having broadheads measuring ...
6/12/12
A: Since you were born before January 1, 1975, you don't have to take a hunter education course to hunt in Idaho. Archery hunting requirements are not tied to your birthdate or age.  Every hunter who wishes to hunt in an archery-only season in Idaho  must purchase an archery validation and to do so ...
6/14/12
A: Panhandle Zone Elk Seasons (2012) A Tags: Archery Only--Antlered only--Sept. 6-30 Any Weapon--Antlered only--Oct. 25-29 Muzzleloader Only--Antlered only--Nov. 20-Dec. 1 (open in unit 4 only) Archery only--Antlered only--Dec. 10-16 B Tags: Archery Only--Antlered only--Sept 6-12 Any Weapon--Antlered ...
6/20/12
A: Idaho Fish and Game does not have a specific definition of a compound bow.  However, on page 76 of the Idaho Big Game Seasons & Rules brochure for 2012 explains what archery equipment would be unlawful to pursue or kill big game with.  I have copied and pasted this section below.   Archery ...
6/25/12
A: If the hunter was born January 1, 1975 or later they must take hunter education or show proof they have held a valid hunting license in another state.  Everyone  who wants to hunt in an archery-only season in Idaho must take an archery education class or provide proof that they have taken one in ...
7/11/12
A: Update notice: Idaho statute changes effective July 1, 2015 changes the weapon definitions for some felons. Please review this updated answer for clarification on this change.The following answer remains intact for historical purposes. Consider consulting your lawyer for further clarification on ...
7/11/12
A: Lighted nocks are not legal in Idaho.
7/12/12
A: Starrflight FOBS, otherwise known as plastic discs used to replace standard fletching on arrows, are legal for use in Idaho archery seasons.    
7/13/12
A: Yes, you can purchase your controlled hunt tag now and add the archery permit after you take the archery education class.
7/15/12
A: Every hunter (resident or nonresident) who hunts in an archery-only hunt is required to get an archery permit.  We accept archery education certifications from other states as well as proof that the hunter has participated in an archery-only hunt in another state.  If you don't have the proof ...
7/18/12
A: The requirement in Idaho is that you have taken an archery-only education class or that you have hunted in an archery-only season somewhere.  If you haven't done these, you must take an Idaho bowhunter education course.     
7/23/12
A: Lighted arrow nocks are not legal for use in Idaho.
7/29/12
A: Lighted nocks are illegal because it is illegal to use a weapon with any electronic device attached to, or incorporated on, the firearm or scope; except scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles are allowed.   The commission has considered changing the rule in the past, but ...
7/30/12
A: There is not a specific IDFG law stating when you can set up a tree stand. However, land managers/owners may have such restrictions. IDFG WMA rules do not allow permanent tree stands. Idaho Code states:  To construct blinds, pits, platforms, or tree stands where the soil is disturbed, trees are ...
7/31/12
A: It's easier if I first list the game fish.  They are all the trout species, all the salmon species, grayling, whitefish, cisco, crappie, perch, bass, all catfish/bullheads, sunfish, sturgeon, northern pike, tiger muskie, walleye, sauger, burbot, bullfrogs, and crayfish.  That essentially leaves ...
8/2/12
A: If you were born on January 1, 1975 or later you must take a hunter education class to be able to hunt in Idaho.  The archery class does not exempt you from that.
8/6/12
A: The requirement to have an archery validation when participating in archery-only big game hunts has been around for over 20 years.  The original proposal to require an archery validation was based on 2 factors: 1) requested by organized bowhunters as a way to document the number of bowhunters in ...
8/9/12
A: Current Outfitting and Guide rules do not require a guide license to rent the use of horses. Nor would you need a guide license to help without compensation. Horses coming into Idaho from out of state must have a current health certificate from their DVM. Please check the with Idaho Outfitter and ...
8/16/12
A: A few years ago, the Department developed a proposal that would have allowed the use of lighted nocks while bowhunting for big game.  Public input received was split between supporting and not supporting the proposal.  Additionally, the majority of public testimony received by the Idaho Fish and ...
8/18/12
A: On page 76 of the 2012 Idaho Big Game Seasons & Rules brochure there is a detail list of archery equipment that is unlawful for use to pursue or kill big game animals.  I have copied and pasted the section below here.  However, specifically to the broadhead in question, the NAP Blood Runner is ...
8/20/12
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 ...
8/23/12
A: Yes, you can carry both weapons while you are hunting.
8/23/12
A: The permit is only required in an archery-only hunt, not a short-range or any-weapon hunt.
8/29/12
A: No, the archery class and validation (permit) are only required for big game hunting.
8/29/12
A: Check the rules book for the unit you are in.  If you have a regular tag and the rules don't limit you to harvesting mule deer only, you can use the regular (what you are referring to as "general") tag to harvest a mule deer or a whitetailed deer. Most archery hunts are open to the harvest of ...
8/30/12
A: The Commission Rule states that hunters may not take big game with archery equipment "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 ...
8/30/12
A: It is not required for hunting small game. (If you hunt big game in an archery-only season you are required to get an archery validation and take the archery education class).
9/1/12
A: Yes, you can carry a handgun for protection during an archery-only hunt.
9/8/12
A: Yes, you can have both weapons with you while hunting.
9/10/12
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has reviewed and considered changes to existing equipment restrictions, including the prohibition against using a lighted retical while archery hunting.  Maintaining the current lighted retical rule is in part due to division among bowhunters of whether to change ...
9/14/12
A: You can exchange any tag as long the season has not opened for the tag you have.  The Salmon B tag season hasn't opened yet so it can be exchanged.  You can make the exchange at any Fish and Game office (listed online in the "About  Us" section of the website).
9/18/12
A: There isn't a maximum number of bullets allowed as long as the following rules are followed: Rifle and Shotgun 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 ...
9/23/12
A: Update notice: Idaho statute changes effective July 1, 2015 changes the weapon definitions for some felons. Please review this updated answer for clarification on this change.The following answer remains intact for historical purposes.It depends on the felony. Under Idaho law, anyone convicted of ...
10/9/12
A: No.  It is illegal to fish in any waters of Idaho by archery, spearfishing, snagging, hands, and netting except as permitted. Archery and spearfishing is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish and only in those waters during the season set for the taking of game ...
10/9/12
A: It depends on whether you have the Weiser River Zone A tag or B tag.  The elk seasons for those tags are listed below: Elk Seasons General A Tag Weiser River 8/1/12-11/30/12 Antlerless Elk Any Weapon Unit 32*²³ 8/15/12-9/30/12 Antlerless Elk Any Weapon Portion of Units 22 and 31²³ 8/30/12-9/30 ...
10/14/12
A: We don't require proof of muzzleloader education or previous use for a muzzleloader validation like we do for archery.  Go into your local vendor--they can issue the muzzleloader validation on the spot.  
10/15/12
A: Muzzleloader rules are posted in the Big Game Rules Book on page 76 (along with weapon rules for any-weapon and archery rules). Seasons for deer and elk muzzleloader-only hunts are listed in the Big Game Rules Book also.
10/22/12
A: Yes.  That will allow you to purchase an Idaho archery validation so you can hunt in an archery-only season.
10/26/12
A: The vendor that you purchase your archery validation from will have an archery affidavit that you can fill out and sign indicating that you have experience hunting with archery equipment.
10/28/12
A: All of the elk hunts in unit 44 are "any weapon" hunts.  You can use archery equipment to hunt in an any weapon hunt.
11/2/12
A:  It is illegal to use any magnifying lens during an archery-only​ season for big game in Idaho.  However, it is legal to use a magnifying lens while archery hunting during an any-weapon season for big game in Idaho. 
11/22/12
A: There are a number of things you would want to consider before making a decision on the purchase of an elk tag. Elk tags are specific in the location where you can hunt but each tag has different criteria in regard to what weapon you can use and when you can use that weapon. Some tags will offer ...
11/22/12
A: Yes, archery permits are still available.
11/27/12
A: Short-Range Weapons   In big game seasons restricted to short-range weapons, it is unlawful for hunters to use any weapon other than a muzzleloader, archery equipment, crossbow, a shotgun using slugs or shot of size #00 buck or larger, or a pistol using straight-walled cartridges not originally ...
11/30/12
A: When you purchase your Idaho archery permit you can fill out an archery affidavit stating that you have hunted in Nevada in an archery hunt.  These are available at vendors and a copy is also online.
12/5/12
A: There isn't a magazine size restriction for hunting big game.  The restrictions we do have are listed below:   IDAHO WEAPON RESTRICTIONS   Rifle and Shotgun   In any hunt, including any-weapon seasons, it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:   • By any means other than approved firearms ...
12/6/12
A: Short-Range Weapons   In big game seasons restricted to short-range weapons, it is unlawful for hunters to use any weapon other than a muzzleloader, archery equipment, crossbow, a shotgun using slugs or shot of size #00 buck or larger, or a pistol using straight-walled cartridges not originally ...
12/8/12
A: It depends on the season--during an archery-only season you cannot use a crossbow unless you have a "disabled archery permit" (applications available from any Fish and Game office). During an any-weapon season you can use a crossbow to hunt.
12/10/12
A: You can hunt with a crossbow during an any-weapon season but not during an archery-only season unless you qualify for and have a handicapped archery permit.  That permit is posted on our website in the "Licenses" section under forms.  
12/14/12
A: Yes, you can. 
12/16/12
A: We encourage hunters in both Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education to take ethical shots within their effective range, regardless of type of weapon they use.  Hopefully, hunters also encourage ethical behavior among themselves and discourage their friends and family members from taking risky ...
12/19/12
A: It is unclear which Clean Shot broadheads you are referring to.  However, if it is the series of broadheads that have a laser built into them, they are illegal for big game hunting in Idaho.  They could be used to hunt predatory wildlife, unprotected wildlife, upland game, and small game that take ...
12/19/12
A: Expandable broadheads were first made illegal for big game hunting in Idaho during the early 1990s. At that time there was broad public opposition to their use and concern about the "failure rate" of some of the early models. In 2006, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission evaluated all archery and ...
1/9/13
A: No, they cannot be used in Idaho. A few years ago, the Department developed a proposal that would have allowed the use of lighted nocks while bowhunting for big game. Public input received was split between supporting and not supporting the proposal. Additionally, the majority of public testimony ...
1/26/13
A: You can get a handicapped archery permit that will allow you to use a crossbow during the archery-only season.  You need to use the IDFG form to apply for it; your doctor can sign it.  Call 208-334-3700 (Fish and Game Headquarters); they will mail the application form to you.
1/31/13
A: Hunting access into the higher elevations of the Gospel Hump Wilderness in the fall is dictated by the timing of early snowstorms.  As you might expect, it is difficult to predict with certainty when snow depths will be sufficient to make entry or departure difficult, but typically some snowfall ...
2/4/13
A: Yes, it is legal to hunt with expandable broadheads and lumenoks for predatory and unprotected wildlife.
2/7/13
A: Catfish are game fish so you can not use a bow to harvest them.  IDAPA 13.01.11.004. Gamefish:  Brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake, rainbow (including steelhead), splake and Sunapee trout; trout hybrids; Chinook, coho, Atlantic, and kokanee (blueback) salmon; grayling; whitefish; cisco; ...
2/21/13
A: The nonresident Dworshak zone elk tags have been available for sale since Dec. 1 of last year (12-01-12).  They are available until the elk tag quota sells out; in other words, there isn't a specific date.     
3/4/13
A: IDAHO WEAPON RESTRICTIONS   Rifle and Shotgun   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 ...
3/13/13
A: You are correct. As long as the elk zone tag that you purchase is open for an archery season AND an any-weapon (rifle) season you can use the same tag for the two weapon types... Thanks
3/14/13
A: Yes, we start selling nonresident OTC tags on December 1 for the next fall's hunting.  You must buy a hunting license and a tag.
4/14/13
A: Any vendor can sell you the archery permit.  Be sure to take your bowhunter education card information with you when you go to the vendor.  If you order online, enter your bowhunter education number in the "Archery Education" space in your demographic information.  When that is filled in you can ...
4/19/13
A: The archery permit is only required for big game hunting, not turkey hunting.
4/25/13
A: In some elk zones you can hunt antlerless elk with a general season tag that you can buy over-the-counter.  Many archery seasons allow you to harvest either sex.  The best thing to do is to check current big game rules.  There are also controlled hunt opportunities to hunt antlerless elk.
4/27/13
A: There is a waiting period if it was an antlered-only hunt: A person whose name was drawn in an antlered-only controlled deer hunt may  not apply for any other controlled antlered-only deer hunt for one year  except for the second deer, elk and pronghorn application period and leftover controlled ...
4/29/13
A: Contact the region office for your area.  Panhandle Region2885 W. Kathleen Ave.Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815Phone: (208) 769-1414Fax: (208) 769-1418 Clearwater Region3316 16th St.Lewiston, ID 83501Phone: (208) 799-5010Fax: (208) 799-5012 Southwest Region3101 S. Powerline Rd.Nampa, ID 83686Phone: (208) ...
4/30/13
A: Qualifying for and Purchasing an Idaho Archery Permit To buy an archery permit, all bowhunters must possess a valid hunting license and show proof they have completed an approved bowhunter education course or show evidence of having been licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state ...
5/8/13
A: Yes.  The general season tag can be used in an any-weapon hunt and, with the addition of an archery validation, used in an archery-only hunt.  Here is the information you asked for for unit 39:   General Season-Any Weapon Regular Tag 10/10/13-10/31/13 Antlered Mule and White-tailed Deer ...
5/8/13
A: The archery permit is not required to hunt turkeys.  The permit and the requirement for either education or experience applies to big game hunting only.
5/9/13
A: The rule regarding using power-lighted equipment on bows for big game hunting is:  "It is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals with any electronic or tritium-powered device attached to an arrow, bolt or bow.  Except disabled archery permit holders may use a nonmagnifying sight with battery ...
5/10/13
A: Yes, we sell those tags over the counter.  The season is Deer Seasons General Archery Regular Tag Unlimited permits 8/30/13-9/30/13 Either-sex Mule and White-tailed Deer Archery    Unit 78   You must purchase an Idaho hunting license, a regular deer tag and an archery validation.
6/3/13
A: Please contact the city to find out whether you are in the city limits or not.  And you should check with the county also to see if they have any prohibitions against it.       
6/13/13
A: No; archery hunting requires a class or experience.  If a person has archery experience, they have hunted before and they don't qualify for the hunting passport.
6/15/13
A: No, it isn't legal to use mechanical or expanding broadheads for the taking of big game.
6/16/13
A: Based on a review of the website, it does appear the sight is legal for muzzleloader and archery only hunts in Idaho.  If the sight created a magnified view of the animal, or contained any electronic or tritium powered light source – there would be limitations on their use in Idaho.
6/19/13
A: There isn't a special bow-fishing license.  All that is needed is a fishing license. More information: Archery and Spear Fishing: Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding firearms. This type of fishing is permitted only in the taking of bullfrogs and ...
6/25/13
A: Yes.  You must have an Idaho fishing license and can only use this type of gear on nongame fish such as carp and suckers.  More information: Archery and Spear Fishing:  Fishing with a bow and arrow, crossbow, spear or mechanical device, excluding firearms. This type of fishing is permitted only in ...
6/25/13
A: The Idaho hunting license that you purchase to buy your elk tag also covers hunting forest grouse.  You can harvest forest grouse during your elk hunt.
6/26/13