Ask Fish & Game

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A: Good Question, Some of the criteria for areas where spotlight permits are not authorized are: in areas where livestock or big game are present during any general or controlled hunt within 1 mile of any residence, or camp Other permit restrictions are: lights may not be attached to or operated from ...
A: On page 98 of the Big Game Seasons and Rules it expains archery rules. You cannot have anything electronic attached to a bow, arrow, or bolt.
A: In addition to a license and elk tag, you must purchase an archery permit for an archery only season.  In order to purchase an archery permit, you would need to complete an Idaho Bowhunter Affidavit form.  On this form you can ...
A: You can use archery equipment in an any weapon hunt without obtaining an archery permit.   An archery permit is only required for an archery only period.
A: You can use a bow in a "short-range weapon" hunt without an archery permit validation. The archery permit validation is required for archery-only hunts. However, you are required to follow the archery equipment restrictions listed on page 98 of the 2015 - 2016 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure.
A: Muzzleloader permits were initially set up to count the number of muzzleloader hunters in order to design hunts for them.  They are now included in sportsmen packs but other license purchasers who are muzzloader hunters cannot be counted or contacted/surveyed without the permits at this point.  ...
A: Your controlled hunt tag is only valid for the dates and hunt area listed in the current years big game rule booklet. Once the hunt to the tag you hold starts, you may not exchange it for another tag (see page 110 in the 2015 big game rule booklet). To hunt in the general season at this time, you ...
A: You cannot hunt a general season period with a controlled hunt tag.   The controlled hunt tag only allows you to hunt the species and sex in the area with the weapon for the period stated in the Seasons & Rules for the particular controlled hunt.   Controlled Hunt 2136 is only good for either ...
A: Our deer tags are not sold for a particular weapon usage.  You can hunt the early Archery Season, and, if you don't harvest, you can hunt the Any Weapon Season.  To hunt the Archery Only, you are required to purchase the Archery Permit.  If you were to harvest in the Archery Season and wish to ...
A: We have recieved many comments from hunters and landowners who wish to see unit 63A changed to archery only.  They usually cite property damage and human safety as the main reasons.  This issue is discussed nearly every year during the season-setting process.  Shotgun hunters would like the season ...
A: You may hunt the appropriate seasons for the tag you possess as listed in the current years big game rule booklets. For example if you purchase an Elk City B elk tag and an archery permit in 2015, you may participate in the early archery season and if you don't harvest in that season, you may ...
A: Idaho is blessed with many backcountry elk hunting spots and many big game units with few roads or motorized traffic allowed.  Wilderness hunts provide hunters the opportunity to get away from road hunters.  Archery hunters like to hunt during archery only seasons typically so the largest ...
A: You can purchase your elk tag at any Idaho Fish and Game office or license vendor in the state, regardless of location.
A: Thank you for sharing your observations and your idea for consideration.   There has been an increase in the number of white-tailed deer seen along the middlefork and southfork of the Payette.  Currently, white-tailed deer can be harvested by anyone who has a valid general any weapon, regular deer ...
A: No as long as you are not hunting any live animal, you do not need a hunting license.
A: Thank you for your comments.  Muzzleloader restrictions have gone through multiple revisions over the years at the request of several muzzleloader hunting groups in the state.  Idaho Fish and Game continues to be concerned with advancement in hunting equipment technology and the difference between ...
A: Yes.  During archery season your regular deer tag is valid during the season for either antlerless or antlered in the units outlined on page 12 of our big game brochure.  Be sure that the archery season is open under the antlerless column in the unit you wish to hunt on p. 12 at: http:// ...
A: “It is illegal to fish in any waters of Idaho with more than one handline or pole with a line attached; …..or by archery, spearfishing, snagging, hands and netting except as permitted. “ If you observe a violation I would encourage you to report it to your local Conservation Officer, Sherriff’s ...
A: You can purchase a second elk tag, but, it will be at the nonresident price.
A: Yes, you can archery hunt in the Birds of Prey area. Confirm with BLM, but my brochure only talks about restrictions on firearm use.
A: After completing the online bowhunter course, your certification card will pop on the screen to print and then use to purchase an archery permit. If you did not print your card, log back in using the Email you used to take the course. Go here to log in If you ...
A: Can you use a non-resident elk tag to tag a deer if both seasons are open?  The answer is No.  Non-resident deer and elk tags may be used to take a black bear, mountain lion or grey wolf when both seasons are open, but elk tags may not be used on deer.  Page 110 in the Big game regulations ...
A: Hunts opening Saturday in the Owyhees unlikely to change With controlled deer and pronghorns hunts opening in Unit 40 in portions of Owyhee County Saturday, Aug. 15, Idaho Fish and Game is monitoring the Soda Fire, but not closing or altering hunts at this time, nor expecting to in the immediate ...
A: Yes. Any person hunting in an archery only hunt must have an archery permit in possession. The same rule applies for muzzleloader hunts too. Any person hunting in a muzzleloader only hunt must have a muzzleloader permit in possession.
A: Yes. You can use a bow in a general hunt without the archery validation.  However, any archery-only hunt requires the validation.
A: Congratulations on your controlled hunt draw success.  Your assumption about the dates for your hunt are mostly correct.  Your tag has nothing to do with the A/B tag system.  There is one item to take note of however.  The actual seasons for your tag are Sept. 6 thru 30 for archery, and October 10 ...
A: If it's a permanent injury, then yes, it’s called a Disabled Persons Archery Hunting Permit Application and it’s available at any Fish and Game office or online here: The criteria for application are:Each application shall be ...
A: Great question.  The answer is it depends, so stick with me a moment and I will try and clear it up.  During an archery only season crossbows are illegal. (Except, disabled hunters possessing a permit available at IDFG offices may use a crosbow) Crossbows are legal during short-range and any ...
A:     To buy an archery permit in Idaho, 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, or complete an affidavit to that effect ...
A: Many years ago, the bow hunters association made a request that IDFG create an archery stamp and require those who participate in archery only hunts to purchase the archery stamp. The Idaho stamp program was canceled in 1998 after all IDFG licenses, tags and permits became electronic. Those items ...
A: Yes, lighted nocks are still illegal to hunt big game with in Idaho.  The Fish and Game Commission recently reviewed the issue of archery equipment restrictions and chose to make no changes to existing rules.
A: Unclaimed pronghorn controlled hunts go back into the second drawing. Hunters can apply for those hunts August 5 through August 15. The IDFG Director may make some early hunts available through a first-come, first-served leftover sale on August 6 at 10:00 am mountain time. A list of hunts to be ...
A: Idaho no longer restricts felons' possession of archery equipment. In general, there are fewer restrictions for weapons that do not involve explosive action. PLEASE NOTE: Individuals convicted of felonies are responsible for doing their own research to see if the law allows them to ...
A: The reason for the regulation is to avoid thin broadhead blades from collapsing causing the broadhead to be rendered ineffective in the event it hits hard objects like bone.  Today most broadhead manufacturers produce blades in excess of the 0.015 inch minimum, but it is still possible to purchase ...
A: To purchase 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, or complete an affidavit to that effect. To buy ...
A: Yes.  Depending on your method of hunting, an appropriate hunting license, tags with appropriate validations (archery or muzzleloader) are  required to hunt deer and elk.  For more information, review the "Licenses, Tags and Permits" section of any of our Seasons and Rules booklets.  A quick call ...
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission support equipment regulations for archery and muzzleloader equipment that are consistent with the primitive nature of the weapons.
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting in Pocatello in July.  The public hearing is planned for the evening of July 8 followed by the meeting the following day.  Members of the public are encouraged to testify before the Commission on all matters relating to fish and ...
A: The simple answer to your questions is yes. General season deer tags can be used in any open general season hunt (archery, any weapon or muzzleloader) as long as the hunter has the appropriate permits. Hunters need to verify seasons in the big game proclamation booklets.
A: No, It is unlawful to hunt or pursue big game animals using arrows or expanding broadheads in any archery hunt, short range weapon hunt  or any general season hunts.
A: Thank you for your interest in hunting in Idaho. It sounds like you've found several opportunities and that you have a good understanding of the restrictions.   Here are some things to consider for second tags: There are no guarantees for a second tag (as you mentioned) Second tags are made ...
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has not established a firm schedule for reviewing hunting equipment restrictions.  However, they have expressed interest in reviewing equipment technology in the next few months.  Commission agendas are made available on the IDFG website in advance of meetings. ...
A: Most elk management zones offer a choice of either an A tag or a B tag. The A and B tags have different season dates and may differ in the opportunity to use different weapon types or the type of elk that may be harvested. Although not the case in all zones that offer A tags and B tags, in most ...
A: This is a question that comes up now and then and it has been answered in the past at this web site.  You are correct in that you cannot use a crossbow to take upland game birds. The disabled archery permit is specifically for crossbow use in an archery only season specifically for big game. There ...
A: Questions about equipment technology are periodically asked.  Please refer to the most recent answer on expandable broadheads here. We've notified those monitoring these rules changes of your question concern. 
A: Unit 68 is part of the Big Desert zone for elk.  There are three elk hunts in that unit.  The first is the A tag that is for archery only and runs from August 30- September 30.  The second is a controlled cow hunt that runs from October 10 - November 30.  The only other hunt in this area is a ...
A: Idaho Code says: 05. Gaff Hook. It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. (3-29-12) ...
A: Residents of Idaho are eligible to purchase the sportsman's package license. The price of the sportsman's package license is set in Idaho Law and is $124.25 for all residents. To hunt with a crossbow in archery only hunts an individual must have a current year's archery permit (which is included ...
A: The late season portion of the archery season on the white-tailed deer tag is designed to provide archery opportunity for hunters during and after the rut.  It currently runs from Nov 1 through Dec 19th and is longer than most other archery hunts.  Several years ago a proposal was put forth to ...
A: You are correct in that you cannot use a crossbow to take upland game birds.  The disabled archery permit is specifically for crossbow use in an archery only season specifially for big game.  There are no archery only seasons for upland game birds.  The disabled archery provisions speak directly ...
A: Yes, you must make a reasonable effort to retrieve any animal you wound.  It is strongly recommended you contact the local Conservation Officer or Idaho Department of Fish & Game Regional Officer and inform them of the circumstances as soon as possible.  Officers and regional offices have ...
A: IDAPA rule 13.01.11 says, 05. Gaff Hook.   It is unlawful to land fish of any species with a gaff hook except through a hole cut or broken in the ice in waters which have no length restrictions or harvest closures for that species or when landing nongame fish species taken with archery equipment. ...
A: The was to approach such a request or recommendation is to work directly with the wildlife staff at your regional fish and office, well in advance of the next year's season setting process. Now would be an excellent time to initiation those dicussions.
A: As a matter of public safety, Idaho Code Section 36-1508 prohibits discharging a firearm from or across a public highway (any government maintained road and right-of-way).  This prohibition covers archery equipment, shotguns, rifles, pistols, muzzleloaders, airguns, and other hunting weapons.
A: Unprotected and Predatory wildlife would be legal to pursue with the weapon described.    
A: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission periodically reviews equipment rules to ensure they are still reasonable, easy to abide by, necessary to meet species management objectives, and consistent with current technology.  From 2006 to 2009, the Commission conducted a thorough review of archery ...
A: Yes, a crossbow is legal in a short range weapon hunt as long as the peak draw weight is not less than 150 pounds.  All other archery equipment restrictions apply (ie expandable broadheads are illegal, etc).
A: Idaho Department of Fish and Game Big Game Seasons and Rules describes weapon restrictions.  For 2014 you can find these on page 100.  The second column describes Archery Equipment in any hunt, including general any-weapon seasons and short-range hunts.  It is unlawful to pursue or kill big game ...
A: The entire park can be hunted with the exception of posted areas around buildings, so long as there is not a restriction stating the park is closed.  For example, the Park and Farragut WMA are closed from Aug 30-Sept 30 during the archery season in Unit 2 (see page 18-19 of 2014 Big Game seasons ...
A: If you have taken the bowhunter course, passed and printed the certificate you can sign up to take an Idaho Field Day. You will receive an Idaho bowhunter certification card.
A: As long as you have fulfilled the bow hunter education requirements, you are able to purchase an archery permit at any time during a license year. Based on the hunt information in the 2014 big game regulations, your regular deer tag can be used to participate in an archery only hunt for white- ...
A: Based on the rules listed on page 18 of the 2014 big game regulation booklet, a regular deer tag can be used to hunt in an archery only season in unit 28 from December 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. You will need to make sure you also have the required archery permit to participate in the ...
A: Please review this answer:  
A: A regular deer tag can be used to harvest a mule deer or white-tailed deer. You will need to look in the big game regulation booklets to see what hunts are open for a late archery hunt and what species of deer can be harvested in those hunts. Please contact us at 208-334-3700 if you have ...
A: No.  The only time you need an archery permit is when you are hunting with a bow in an "Archery Only" hunt.  However, please be aware of the archery equipment restrictions, which can be found on page 100 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure. 
A: This is a great question and unfortunately, especially with young hunters, it occasionally happens that they have either lost their license, washed it or just simply cannot find it. Although the license number is on the tag, Idaho Code 36-1201(c) requires that your "License must be .......on his ( ...
A: We do not restrict firearms in our archery only seasons.  Please contact the relative National Forest in regards to the postings you describe. 
A: An arrow wound is not natural.  This animal would not have died if not hit by the arrow.  No parts of this animal can be legally salvaged.
A: Idaho's 10 year (2014-2024) elk management plan was developed with the help of hunters, landowners, elected officials, land managers and other interested Idahoans. The elk plan establishes specific management goals that Fish and Game -- working with elk hunters and other elk enthusiasts -- will ...
A: No you do not need an archery permit to hunt coyotes with a bow, and you may use mechanical broadheads. An archery permit is only required in archery only hunts.  Weapons restrictions such as mechanical broadheads only apply in archery only hunts.  
A: You may harvest a doe with a second tag only where doe harvest is allowed.  For instance, whitetail hunting is either sex in many units as is archery hunting mule deer, but any weapon general seson mule deer is primarily youth hunting.  The second tag only allows you to shoot a second deer that is ...
A: No, you can not use archery gear, spears or any other methods, other than hooks and line, to catch game fish - with a couple of odd-ball exceptions.  First, you can use up to 5 traps to catch crayfish and you can use a spear to take bullfrogs.  Yes, both crayfish and bullfrogs are considered "game ...
A: Yes, you may hunt migratory birds with your archery equipment in Idaho.  Federal regulations state the following: It is against the law to take migratory game birds: with a trap, net, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than a 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, ...
A: It is possible to recover this animal if you contact Idaho Fish and Game and get with the local Conservation Officer.  You did the right thing by not shooting the bull when you located it several days later; since you validated your tag.  If the animal is wondering, recovery is highly unlikely.  ...
A: Exchanging Deer or Elk Tags: Hunters may exchange general season elk tags for use in another zone at any Fish and Game office. Deer hunters may exchange a regular season deer tag for a white-tailed deer tag or a white-tailed deer tag for a regular season deer tag at any Fish and Game office. The ...
A: Yes. You can use a bow in "any weapon" season without an archery validation. The archery validation is required for archery-only hunts.  However, you are required to follow the archery equipment restrictions listed on page 100 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure.
A: Not based on the information you have provided. Here is the state law regarding archery permits: Idaho Code 36-411 (b) Archery education. On and after January 1, 1994, no person shall be issued an archery permit unless that person presents to the department a certificate of completion in archery ...
A: Yes, you can fish using a rod, reel and lure/bait while under water.  I'm not sure what the advantage would be - but it is legal. We often receive questions about the use of spearguns while diving, to harvest fish.  Only nongame fish can be harvested using archery equipment, spears or mechanisms ...
A: You can find specifications for archery equipment in the 2014 Big Game seasons and rules book (page 100). Under Archery equipment it reads: "it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:  with a bolt (crossbow) less than 12 inches from broadhead to nock inclusive." The answer to your question ...
A: You are restricted to the Snake River Zone with the tag you currently have. Elk zone tags are only valid for the zone they are purchased for.  The exceptions are for depredation hunts, extra antlerless elk hunts, or buying a discounted nonresident elk tag as a second tag, if available.  
A:        IDFG offers a wide variety of hunting seasons in the fall, including several that run the entire throughout the month of September. For example the archery season for both deer and elk opens Aug 30 and runs through the end of Septmeber. For the most part, archers will be wildly dispersedand ...
A: Yes you can purchase one of the discounted nonresident Brownlee A elk tags as a second tag.
A: If you are a resident, you can purchase the tag through the last day of the hunt. If you are a nonresident, you can do the same as long as the nonresident tag quota has not been sold out. For quota information please visit this page for nonresident inforamtion ...
A: During a Muzzleloader Only season no person shall take big game animils with any firearm, muzzleloading pistol or other implement other than a muzzleloading rifle or musket in accordance with weapon restrictions listed in the Big Game Seasons and Rules; for 2014 seasons listed on page 100.
A: You can harvest members of the Cyprinidae family (chubs, carp, northern pikeminnow, and  tench) and Cataostomidae family (suckers).  All other unprotected nongame fish species are probably too small to harvest with archery equipment.
A: Provided you don't have a provision in any felony conviction that prevents you from owning or possessing a firearm; you've purchase a valid hunting license and tags; and have taken an archery education class or qualify for an archery validation - then you can use your archery equipment ...
A: If you purchase a 2014 A Tag for the Weiser zone, you can only hunt during the dates, in the units and with weapon restrictions shown in the 2014 big game booklets for the Weiser A Tag (see page 44 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure). If you wish to hunt in the October 25 to November ...
A: Hunters have been required to purchase an archery permit/validation to participate in hunts designated as "archery only" seasons for more than 35 years. Although some hunters may choose to hunt only in an archery-only hunts and don't participate in any other hunts, many hunters who participate in ...
A: Yes.  If you have controlled hunt tags for both deer and elk, in order for you to bowhunt during the general archery season, you would need to purchase a reduced price nonresident deer and a reduced price nonresidet elk tag.   
A: Thank you for your question on additions to legal archery equipment.  The short answer is no there have been no changes in the archery regulations regarding the technology you mention.  Each year the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners have the option to add or restrict the equipment that hunters ...
A: No.  Unlimited hunts are controlled hunts in which only those who apply during the first controlled hunt application period can obtain a tag.  For more information on controlled hunts, see page 108-112 of the 2014 Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.
A: Thank you for your question on additions to legal archery equipment.  Each year the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners have the option to add or restrict the equipment that hunters may legally use to pursue game.  The restriction on expandable broadheads as you know dates back decades.  It would be ...
A: Yes.
A: Hunt #1114 is archery only from August 30 to September 30, and any weapon from October 10 to December 24. Please note the other limiting criteria of this hunt...that it includes that portion of unit 1 within one mile of private land, and that it is for white-tailed does only.
A: Yes it is. The reason would be the application submitted was made ineligible due to a rule violation such as submitting for an antlered hunt as the first choice when the individual drew an antlered hunt the prior year.
A: Director Moore has decided to allow controlled hunt tags drawn by youth stand.  Therefore, your grandson will be able to hunt once the tag is purchased.
A: Only the 3 year licenses are valid for multiple years. All other permits, validations and tags are annual items and expire no later than December 31 of the year they were valid in.
A: No. If you purchase the controlled hunt tag, you are restricted to the hunt area and dates of the controlled hunt for the tag you possess. Any person who has purchased a controlled hunt tag is prohibited from hunting in any other hunt for the same species (archery, muzzleloader or general) except ...
A: No. An archery validation is required only for those hunts that are restricted to archery equipment only. An archery validation is not required to hunt with a bow during an Any-weapon season.
A: No, it is not legal to use mechanical or expanding broadheads for the taking of big game.