Ask Fish & Game

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Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.

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

Question Asked
A: The central portion of Fort Boise WMA is closed from February 1 – July 31 for waterfowl nesting. Remaining areas of the WMA are still open to public access, but the hunting of white-fronted and light geese (Blue, Ross’s, and Snow) on any portion of the WMA is not allowed after January 31st. On ...
2/3/16
A: If the landowner controlled hunt tag you get is for a limited controlled hunt, you cannot have a general season tag for the same species. However, you would be able to purchase what we call a RES-NONRES general season tag as a second tag at the nonresident price. The RES-NONRES general season tags ...
2/1/16
A: We have no laws prohibiting feeding of wildlife though we recommend against it.  Attracting wildlife to one's house usually causes problems.  Deer will begin feeding on shrubbery, defecating on lawns, chasing pets, and attracting predators and spreading diseases and parasites (like ticks and worms ...
1/16/16
A: An adult nonresident elk tag may be used to harvest an elk, bear, mountain lion or gray wolf if  a season is open for that species where and when the elk tag is valid. It cannot be used to harvest a deer. Hunters can purchase an adult nonresident general season elk tag as a second tag as long as ...
1/8/16
A: Idaho has nonresident over-the-counter tags available for deer and elk. The over-the-counter tag is called our "general" tag and is good for mule deer or white-tailed deer. We also have controlled hunt tags for deer and elk. If a nonresident purchased a general tag prior to drawing a controlled ...
12/26/15
A: Yes, Native Americans have a tribal hunting season that is longer than the season established by the State of Idaho. It commonly goes from August through the end of December. They are allowed to hunt on unoccupied federal public lands outside the of the reservation boundaries which does take in at ...
12/24/15
A: Railroad rights of way are private property.  One should always ask permission to hunt on private property. Even though the railroad right of way may not be posted ‘no trespassing’ a hunter could be held civilly and criminally liable for damages that may occur on any private property. 
11/22/15
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.
11/15/15
A: Common Carp can be found in several places around Caldwell. Your best bet will be Lake Lowell from April through October, but spring is usually better. Try the shoreline access points along the northern shore such as Gotts Point and the the Deer Flat National Refuge headquarters. The Snake River ...
11/15/15
A: You cannot exchange a tag that you have hunted on for another tag.   In fact, you can only exchange your tag if the season on your tag has not yet started.   
11/12/15
A: If you have access to a boat, try fishing flats east of Gotts Point in 10-20 feet of water. The north shore east of Gotts Point can be good in spring from April-June as catfish move to shallow waters to spawn. The west basin is also a good area. Check the flats along the south shore of the west ...
11/12/15
A: Yes, this controlled deer hunt is an "any weapon" hunt. You may use your firearm for the entire length of the hunt.
11/10/15
A: The Idaho Fish & Game Commission evaluated nonresident deer and elk tag sales at their July 2015 meeting.  At that time, nonresident tag sales were higher compared to the previous 2 years and projected to remain strong; reflecting improved hunting expectations and a recovering economy.  After ...
11/3/15
A: Yes, so long as supplies last. Nonresidents can purchase an over-the-counter license and tag in Idaho beginning December 1st for the upcoming year. There is a cap to the number of elk and deer tags avialable to nonresidents. Many elk zones sell out quickly in popular areas so you'll want to be ...
11/3/15
A: The 2015 season for the general deer tag in unit 11A runs October 10 through November 3. To hunt white-tailed deer in unit 11A through December 1, you would need the White-tail deer tag. Tag exchanges from one type to another had to be done prior to the season opening for the tag you currently ...
11/2/15
A: If you are referencing the General Regular Deer Short Range Weapon Season in GMU 38, you can harvest a doe on a General Regular Season Deer as long as you have not harvested yet.  The last day for harvest would be November 24, 2016.
11/1/15
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 ...
11/1/15
A: Yes, as long as supplies last and the season is still current where you're hunting. Learn how many tags are available and other facts about second tags at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/second-tag
10/30/15
A: The muzzle-loader only hunt for elk in the Panhandle is only for Unit 4 because other units (1, 2, 3, 4A, 5, 6) have an any-weapon general deer season during that time.  When this hunt was set up it was the desire of the muzzloader hunters to have a season where there was no competition with ...
10/28/15
A: This issue is addressed by state law in Idaho Code 36-1101 http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title36/T36CH11SECT36-1101.htm.   Idaho Code 36-1101(3) addresses communication of information to persons on the ground, making it unlawful to make use aircraft in any manner to spot or locate game ...
10/28/15
A: Yes.  It is legal to hunt deer in Idaho with a shotgun equipped with a scope during any-weapon and short-range weapon hunts.  Also, there may be no electronic devices attached to, or incorporated on, the firearm or scope; except scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles are ...
10/20/15
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 ...
10/18/15
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 ...
10/16/15
A: Good Question.  Page 100 in the Big Game Regulations states:  The validated tag must remain attached to the carcass until the meat is processed and reaches the place of final storage and consumption.  So if you have the animal processed... keep the validated tag with the meat until you reach your ...
10/15/15
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 ...
10/15/15
A: A resident may use an elk or deer tag on a wolf, bear or mountain lion only if it is a RES-NONRES TAG.  This would be a general season nonresident tag purchased as a second tag on or after August 1st.   Both elk or dear and other species must both be in season.
10/12/15
A: If there are season dates listed in the 'Antlerless' column under the General Season or it states youth only with those dates, a youth can harvest a doe.
10/10/15
A: If you have a Regular Deer Tag, you can hunt mule or white-tail deer unless indicated otherwises in the Big Game Seasons & Rules.  You must hunt per the General Regular Deer Season and NOT per the White-tail Regular Season. 
10/8/15
A: We're assuming you mean getting a tag replaced because it may be lost. If that's the case: Any local vendor or Fish and Game office can issue a duplicate license. However, lost tags, including deer and elk tags, can be replaced only at a Fish and Game office. Each duplicate item costs $7.25 for ...
10/7/15
A: To be sure and safe, please check page 12 of the Big Game Seasons and Rules brochure. There are specific dates for hunting each species (mule deer / white-tailed) of deer. Thanks!
10/7/15
A: If you have a Regular Deer Tag, you can hunt mule or white-tail deer unless indicated otherwises in the Big Game Seasons & Rules.  You must hunt per the General Regular Deer Season and NOT per the White-tail Regular Season.  As for what sex is legal to hunt, please consult the Big Game Seasons ...
10/7/15
A: For this year, we recommend you keep your current license and elk tag. Those who have met the residency requirements after purchasing a nonresident license may purchase resident tags for the species they have not purchased. This type of a purchase can only be made at IDFG offices. For example, if ...
10/6/15
A: To purchase the Jr. Mentored/DAV tags, a person must possess a Jr. Mentored hunting license, a Jr. Hunting Passport or a Disabled American Veteran hunting license. If you do not have one of these license types, the system will only offer the full priced tags.
9/30/15
A: Your Colorado Hunter Education Certificate will work just fine.  As long as you took the course through the Colorado Fish and Game dept.   Bring the certificates with you to Idaho and you shouldnt have any worries !!!   Have a great hunting trip !!!  
9/26/15
A: Antlerless deer are: Deer without antlers or with antlers shorter than 3 inches may be taken in a season open for antlerless deer or either sex. Please consult the current Big Game Seasons and Rules for seasons and specifics on hunting in each unit. Thanks.
9/21/15
A: I want to thank you for taking the time to write about the tag and permit fees paid by those holding senior licenses.  The Department of Fish and Game does not receive any financial support from the state’s general fund. Therefore, the funding for Idaho’s fish and wildlife programs comes solely ...
9/16/15
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 ...
9/10/15
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:// ...
9/4/15
A: Eye guards are not counted as points for the purpose of reporting mule deer.  A 4x4 may also have eye guards in addition to the 4 main points on each side.  A Forked horn or 2 point is a 2 point even with an eye guard (see page 8 in the big game rules brochure).
8/31/15
A: You can use a rifle chambered in .45 Long Colt to hunt deer in an Any Weapon season.   Weapon restrictions for deer hunting with a rilfe in an Any Weapon hunt are: must weight under 16lbs, can not be fully automatic, can not be a rimfire.  These and other weapon restrictions can be found on page ...
8/30/15
A: There are no changes to hunting seasons as of 8/28/2015. There are several access restrictions in place, however. Review this news release for more information and visit our fire page to keep up with closures and resources for real-time information.  
8/28/15
A: Browse here for the prices for our nonresident licenses and tags. Through the month of August this 2015 year, we have a discount for a second nonresident elk or deer tag, as well. A license is required for the purchase of an elk tag.
8/27/15
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.
8/26/15
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 ...
8/19/15
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 ...
8/14/15
A: Good question and good catch! The langauge in the big game regulations and seasons booklet and the moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat booklet dont' match--and they should.   The Idaho Administrative Procedures Act contains regulations (e.g., IDAPA 13.01.08.410.5.b ) that prohibit the use of ...
8/11/15
A: Those who apply for a trophy hunt (moose, sheep or goat) can submit an application for deer, elk or pronghorn in the second application period. That person may also participate in the leftover first-come, first-served tag sales as long as they meet all of the other requirements and criteria.
8/11/15
A: Yes. You can use a bow in a general hunt without the archery validation.  However, any archery-only hunt requires the validation.
8/9/15
A: Yes you can, as long as it complies with the other restrictions in code and rule, (copied below). There is no restriction in idaho on the number of rounds a firearm can carrry, or restrictions against use of semi-automatics. 410.UNLAWFUL METHODS OF TAKE. No person shall take big game animals as ...
8/6/15
A: There are hundreds of deer throughout Boise and surrounding areas that have become urbanized.  We do not have any translocation programs for deer.  Fortunately, most deer have figured out how to safely cross roads and when and where to feed to avoid most traffic.  The greenbelt and surrounding ...
8/4/15
A: If a person draws a super hunt tag, IDFG will issue the tag and mail it to the hunter. The hunter is responsible for purchasing the appropriate hunting or combination hunting and fishing license before we can issue the appropriate tag.
7/28/15
A: Big game tags and permits that must be notched, validated or attached to a carcass cannot be printed if purchased via the Internet. Those items will be printed and mailed to customers.
7/27/15
A: The regular deer tag is valid for mule deer and white-tailed deer. 
7/23/15
A: Mule deer and whitetail "tumors" can be benign or malignant depending on the growth.  The most commonly encountered tumor is the benign fibroma caused by the papilloma virus and are quite common in deer.  Maybe not surprisingly, they can be more regularly seen around salt licks as the virus is ...
7/23/15
A: The Super Hunt program is about generating money, specifically for the Access Yes! Program, which compensates landowners across the state to open up their private property to hunting, fish and wildlife dependent recreation. The Super Hunt is a raffle and is open to anyone wishing to participate.  ...
5/7/15
A: I took this directly from the Mule Deer Foundation website.  Because the eyes of mule deer are located on the sides of their heads, they can see a 310 degree view around themselves. They have better nighttime vision than humans, but less accurate daytime and color vision. Mule deer can detect ...
4/29/15
A: Looks to me like this is most likely a Largescale Sucker – one of Idaho’s native species of Catostomidae (sucker family!). The small white bumps on this fish are breeding tubercules, which are common on suckers (and many minnow species) during the spawning season. According to Dr. Peter Moyle’s ...
4/22/15
A: Your frustration is certainly understandable, especially when you seem to never draw a tag and someone else always draws their tag.  Changing drawing odds is something we hear from hunters fairly frequently.  Unfortunately, what may seem simple is actually more complicated.  Please check out the ...
3/12/15
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 ...
3/2/15
A: The rule that requires hunters to either pick applying for a trophy species (moose, mountain goat, or bighorn sheep) or deer, elk, and pronghorn was implemented to improve drawing odds for moose, mountain goat, and bighorn sheep.  By reducing the number of people that apply for any one species, ...
3/2/15
A: The answers to both of your questions are yes.  Please review a copy of our Big Game or Moose, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat Seasons and Rules booklets for more information.  A quick call to one of our 9 offices could also help you with your questions.       While any person applying for any ...
3/2/15
A: If your son has completed all the necessary requirements and is certified in hunter education, but he has never purchased a hunting license in any state before, Idaho's Hunting Passport is a great option.  If he has purchased a license before in any state, he is ineligible to purchase a Hunting ...
2/27/15
A: Thanks for the great question! The printed form is for your records. By filling out and being presented that form, we have a digital copy of the form for Idaho Fish and Game's records. You can print it or maintain a PDF of this form for quick referral on a computer or phone. We recommend you keep ...
2/25/15
A: Thanks for your question!  For calendar year 2014, the department sold 3,386 second nonresident deer tags, and 1,078 second nonresident elk tags.
2/17/15
A: Short answer is you will have to pay for the new tag. Per the Idaho Fish and Game Commission rules. Fees for resident and nonresident adult control hunt tags that are subsequently designated to their minor child or grandchild are not refundable. When you purchase the controlled hunt tag and then ...
1/29/15
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.
1/26/15
A: A hunter can only draw one super tag per species per year. If you purchase 8 applications for one species such as deer and draw a tag, our draw system sets your additional applications for that species apart so you cannot draw a second tag for that species.
1/17/15
A: All of Idaho Fish and Game’s wildlife harvest statistics are estimated from surveys of hunters. We get the most questions about deer or elk. I think this is what you are asking about. For deer, elk, and pronghorn, each hunter is required to fill out a Hunter Report form, either online or by phone ...
1/13/15
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 ...
1/11/15
A: It can be a tricky situation while packing out an untagged portion of an animal and we appreciate your responsibility in asking for clarification. Here's a quote from a similar question on legally moving a tagged animal: "If you are contacted by an Officer while packing meat off the mountain you ...
1/4/15
A: The price of the second nonresident general season tag is a set price for everyone. 
1/1/15
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 ...
12/29/14
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 ...
12/18/14
A: Yes, unless the regulation book specifies otherwise you can harvest either a mule deer or white-tailed deer during a regular deer season.  For the 2014 Regular Deer Tag, General Deer Short Range Weapon Season in Unit 38 you could harvest either a mule deer or white-tailed deer.
12/13/14
A: If a a private individual were to kill a dog at large it could carry criminal or civil liability.  The Fish and Game director or any peace officer, or persons authorized to enforce fish and game laws are authorized to destroy the dog at large when chasing big game.  Here is the section from Idaho ...
12/7/14
A: It is not legal to sell wild game meat in Idaho. You can anonymously report this to the Citizen's Against Poaching hotline or anonymous web form.
12/4/14
A: Idaho Fish and Game strives to provide hunting seasons that meet a wide variety of hunter’s desires, whether it be for food, trophy animals, or recreational opportunity with friends and family.  Each year, staff review population information and solicit public input (e.g. public meetings, web site ...
12/3/14
A: The parasites are fairly common, and they are a particular species of nematode that lives in joint areas of deer. The parasite is likely either in  the genus Onchocerca (several species) or the genus Wehrdikmansia (species cervipedis).  These parasite are transmitted by various biting insects ...
11/30/14
A: No this is not true.  The story is from a website that does parody news stories.  We do not have an officer by this name. We do not have any reports nor are encouraging folks to stay away from this area because of a tiger.
11/30/14
A: There are quite a few opportunities around this area.  One place to start would be to look at Idaho Fish and Game's wildlife management areas in the Panhandle Region.  Another more direct way might be to call the Panhandle regional office and ask to talk to someone in wildlife and we can help you ...
11/25/14
A: This is a very good question! If a wounded animal is located while hunting and it is still alive nothing would prohibit you from taking the animal and tagging it as your own, as long as you have a valid license, tag and or permit for the same animal and area where you are hunting. The hunter who ...
11/25/14
A: If you are talking about filing a 2014 hunter-harvest report, you're in luck. (opens January 2014, closes June 2015). You will still be able to hunt in Fall 2015. (Question submitted 11/25/2014) Just to repeat the regulations -- Each hunter is required to file their report, within 10 days after ...
11/25/14
A: Yes. Deer and elk tags are available over-the-counter in Idaho. However, there are a limited amount. As of this answer, there are fewer than 2,000 of a total of 12,500 deer tags available to nonresidents for 2014. You can find the total remaining tags available online. You'll need your nonresident ...
11/18/14
A: Thanks for the question. I'm glad you guys are having these types of discussions. The answer to your question is the same as so many questons regarding these types of laws:....... It depends. You have pretty much nailed it in the descriprion of your discussion. Idaho Code section 36-1508(a) sets ...
11/15/14
A: Yes, he will need to pay the nonresident tag fees as he does not qualify for resident items.
11/14/14
A: You and your son can purchase a hunter's passport at a vendor or through the Idaho Fish and Game Department. The passport exempts you from taking hunter education this year in order to hunt. The passport expires at the end of the calendar year. That means that the next time you come to Idaho to ...
11/4/14
A: Non-toxic shot is required for all hunting (including quail and upland game) while on the USFWS Deer Flat Refuge islands (posted with National Wildlife Refuge signs) in the Snake River.  No shot restriction exist on state or private islands, except those in place for waterfowl hunting.
11/3/14
A: The regular deer tag can only be used during the seasons listed in the big game regulation booklets for the regular deer. It cannot be used in seasons listed for the white-tailed deer tag. Please give us a call at 208-334-3700 if you have additional questions.
11/3/14
A: If you were designated the tag, there is not a waiting period. The waiting period is for those who draw an antlered only hunt during the first deer and elk drawing. Please contact us at 208-334-3700 if you have additional questions.
11/2/14
A: Yes, there is not a rule restricting the use of a scope on your shotgun in a short range season.
11/2/14
A: Yes, your regular deer tag is valid in a short range hunt.  Short range hunts are general hunts with a weapon restriction, just be sure to follow the weapon restriction listed on page 100 of the 2014 Big Game Season and Rules brochure.
11/1/14
A: Yes a semiautomatic 9mm carbine rifle could be used to hunt deer during the general season. Fully automatic weapons are of course illegal. This weapon would not be legal during any short range weapon hunt. I would suggest instead using a bolt action rifle however, of a larger caliber for the ...
10/31/14
A: Negative; in Idaho it is unlawful to use someone elses tag or for someone to place their tag on an animal they did not harvest.  
10/30/14
A: Thank you for your question. A variety of harvest statistics for big game and trophy animals can be found on our webpage here: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/stats.aspx Requests for additional information can be made through idfginfo@idfg.idaho.gov.  
10/30/14
A: First of all, thanks for the taking the time to ask the question.  Putting your tag on an animal you did not harvest yourself is called a tag transfer and is illegal.  The person to whom the tag is issued is the only person who may attempt to harvest that animal.  It is legal however for someone  ...
10/27/14
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- ...
10/26/14
A:   Once you have killed  any species of willdife that requires a tag to hunt (all big game species and turkey) the hunter must immediatley validate  their tag and attach it either to the carcass for most big game species or to the animal's hide for bear, lion and wolf.   The term immediatley  is ...
10/25/14
A: Yes!  To make a correction to your hunter report for deer, elk or pronghorn you can call toll free 1-877-268-9365 (7 days/week) or contact the Wildlife Bureau at 208-334-2920 during normal business hours.
10/24/14
A: AR-15 type weapons are available in least 9 different calibers, all of which are legal for big game hunting in Idaho.  Idaho rules state that a firearm may not weigh more than 16 pounds, be fully automatic, fire buckshot smaller than #00, or be rimfire (except for lions and trapped wolves).  Idaho ...
10/24/14
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 ...
10/23/14