Ask Fish & Game

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Ask Fish and Game is for general questions.

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  • Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office.

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

Question Asked
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 ...
9/22/14
A: Hunters must make a reasonable effort to retrieve and reduce a wounded animal to possession.  It is unlawful to enter private property that is posted, cultivated or in irrigated pasture without landowner permission to retrieve game.  If permission is requested and denied, the hunter has made a ...
9/21/14
A: If you missed filing your 2013 hunter-harvest report, for deer, elk, or pronghorn, it is too late. Sorry! (ends June 2013) You won’t be in trouble, but please file your 2014 report sooner.   If you are talking about filing a 2014 hunter-harvest report, you're in luck. (opens January 2014, closes ...
9/21/14
A: Yes. That is the Snake River Zone.  The A tag is available for sale.  There are no B tags in that zone...
9/18/14
A: Our research shows that one reason many nonresidents left the state over the last 5-6 years was due to the down economy. Tourism was down everywhere.  There has not been a resident license fee increase since 2005 though our expenses continue to increase annually. In order to continue to provide ...
9/16/14
A: Yes, absolutely.   Just keep the weapons straight for appropriate method of take.
9/16/14
A: Yes, as long as you personally do not attempt to take an elk.  You do not need a hunting license or tag to accompany and learn from your friend while on their hunt.  For those new to the sport of elk hunting, there's really no better way to learn the safe, ethical and responsible aspects of ...
9/13/14
A: The elk tag can only be used to harvest an elk, bear, lion or wolf as long as there is a season for elk and the species harvested such as bear. An elk tag cannot be used to harvest a deer. In addition, once the tag has been used to harvest an animal it cannot be used again. You can purchase a ...
9/11/14
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.  ...
9/8/14
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 ...
9/7/14
A: That might be a limitation of the software or app, as well as the majority of our seasons and rules pages are designed to read horizontally, but some pages are vertical (Elk Zones for example). You can print the rules from your home or hardcopies of the current seasons and rules brochures are ...
9/7/14
A: Yes, you can purchase a nonresident hunting/3day fishing license and your bear tag at any vendor location http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/lookupVendors.cfm, on-line at https://id.outdoorcentral.us/ or via telephone at 1-800-554-8685. We also have general season deer and elk tags that ...
8/28/14
A: Based on your question we are going to make the assumption that the antlerless hunt your drew was not an extra hunt. Based on that information if you purchased your 2014 antlerless controlled hunt tag, the system would have prevented you from submitting an application for an antlered hunt in the ...
8/25/14
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.  
8/24/14
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 ...
8/23/14
A: If a person has a depredation tag, then yes you can also purchase a general season tag. A depredation tag is similar to having an extra controlled hunt tag. If you have a landowner permission controlled hunt, then the answer would be no. However, you can purchase the nonresident general season ...
8/18/14
A: As found on page 98 of the Big Game 2014 Seasons and Rules brochure:  It us unlawful to: Hunt any game animal by means of baiting with the exception of applicable rules for black bear baiting permit (See pages 69 and 70).  Bait is defined as any substance placed to attract game animals, except ...
8/17/14
A: Idaho Statesman Outdoor Editor Roger Phillips recently published an interesting article relevant to your questions.  Here's the article: Outdoors Q&A: A long-winded answer to what were Idaho's 'native' wolves By Roger Phillips August 14, 2014 Q: I recently read an article about the native ...
8/16/14
A: Yes. The waiting period does not apply to the second drawing or the leftover tag sales.
8/14/14
A: Yes you can purchase one of the discounted nonresident Brownlee A elk tags as a second tag.
8/13/14
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 https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content ...
8/13/14
A: Thanks again for your question regarding baiting.     The answer to your question is that bait can be placed for all big game on private property with permission from the landowner if the purpose is for wildlife photography and viewing only.   In contrast, baiting for photography and viewing on ...
8/13/14
A: It must remain attached to the largeste portion of edible meat.   TAG VALIDATION AND ATTACHMENT AND PROXY STATEMENT.Immediately after any deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lion, black bear, or gray wolf is killed, the appropriate big game animal tag must be ...
8/13/14
A: That might be a pretty good strategy.  The upper end of those drainages have some nicer open forage areas and the elk are likely hitting those early and late.  The north-facing heavier covered areas on the unit boundaries will provide good areas for the elk to bed down.  Catching them traveling ...
8/12/14
A: The answer depends on the elk tag you currently posses. Any exchanges must be completed prior to any open seasons for the elk tag you currently possess. If the elk tag you currently possess does not have an open season until after the drawing, you can exchange your general seasons tag to the ...
8/12/14
A: Page 112 of the 2014 big game proclamations explains the Departments tag exchange rules. Hunters may exchange general season elk tags for use in another zone or controlled hunt at any Fish and Game office. However, The exchange must be completed before the first hunt opening date of the tag you ...
8/11/14
A: There are no shortages of general areas where you might find a cow elk in the Unit 39-1 area.  It really depends on what scenary you want to see while hunting and how far you want to travel.  The further you travel away from highway 21 the fewer people you are likely to see.  We don't have any elk ...
8/10/14
A: I'll try to help you out.  I think it helps if you know why we have this controlled hunt.  The intent was to harvest antlerless elk where we are having some problems with too many elk on private agricultural land.  That is why the hunt is restricted to "on and within one mile of private land ...
8/10/14
A: With the sportsman's package you have an elk receipt. We consider this your first elk tag. You can purchase the discounted nonresident elk tag prior to redeeming your elk receipt.
8/9/14
A: Right now there are no planned changes to seasons in Unit 11.  The Dept. will proceed as usual with the mule deer and elk seasons.  However due to the fire, game may be more concentrated in unburned areas providing a better opportunity to bag your buck.  Good luck!
8/8/14
A: No, unless the hunt you apply for is specifically listed as an extra hunt. Otherwise, you must choose one or the other. Please be aware of the Departments tag exchange rules which can be found on page 112 in the 2014 big game proclamation book. Exchanging Deer or Elk Tags: Hunters may exchange ...
8/5/14
A: Consider the following 3 options: Most of the elk reside in the southern portion of the Unit, from Grouse Peak to the southern boundary of the unit.  This area is mostly public land, topographically diverse and high elevation.  You are likely to find elk in any drainage, particularly those with ...
8/4/14
A: We have recieved calls such as this in the past and we have had our officers follow up on them. We have never documented employees of this ranch chasing elk onto the property. We have discovered that many poeple hunting elk around this property have been confused with ranch employees and their ...
8/4/14
A: From page 112 in the 2014 big game proclamations: 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 ...
8/3/14
A: In response to your question about the Mallard Larkin elk hunting. As far as I know it does not get much, if any pressure from the north (GMU 9). There are a couple access points from Region 1. It depends if you are using stock or backpacking ect. In my personal experience, I have seen some very ...
7/31/14
A: Yes, the second general season nonresident deer or elk tag can be used to harvest the species the tag is for one of the species you list as long as there is a season for both the species of the tag and the species you harvest such as bear.
7/27/14
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 ...
7/25/14
A: There are some backcountry areas where IDFG may use employees/contractors to remove wolves this winter.  There are four backcountry areas where IDFG has management plans for reducing predation from wolves, bears, and mountain lions, because predation is having significant negative impacts on ...
7/23/14
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 ...
7/22/14
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.   
7/21/14
A: No.  Nonresident disabled American veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more by Veterans Affairs are eligible for nonresident DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license, $31.75, allows the nonresident disabled veteran to purchase ...
7/21/14
A: We can issue you a Nonresident DAV license in place of your lifetime license so you can receive reduced tag fees.  However, you will need to send us a reminder each year so we know which license to issue to you.  If you have more questions, please contact our licensing section at 208-334-2592.   
7/17/14
A: Great question the quick answer is Yes; if the purpose is for wildlife viewing only.  However you have "spoiled" the area for deer and elk hunting activities.Deer and elk harvested over this "salted" area would be taken unlawfully.   The area where the salt has been placed would be considered " ...
7/14/14
A: In 2010, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission considered adopting a Bonus Points system, but ultimately decided against the proposal.  The Commission cited several reasons, including a lack of consensus among sportsmen.  Here's a link to more information about the history of Bonus Points proposals ...
7/13/14
A: Yes.
7/11/14
A: On page 110 of the 2014 big game proclamations, we have the following statement. Leftover Controlled HuntsSecond drawing: To ensure everyone has equal opportunity at leftover and unclaimed controlled hunt tags, there will be two drawings for deer, elk, pronghorn and fall black bear hunts. all ...
7/10/14
A: Yes.
7/7/14
A: Those who have drawn a 2014 super hunt tag in the first drawing held in June have been notified. Thank you.
7/7/14
A: This year the resident general season elk tags went on sale June 25th. We make most of the resident general season tags available when the controlled hunt results are posted to the license system. That means the date can change every year depending on when the controlled hunt drawing is completed ...
7/2/14
A: Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore has decided to let the tags drawn by youth stand because of apparenty confusion about eligibility requirements for the first controlled hunt drawing.  A new law took effect July 1, 2014 allowing 10 year olds to hunt big game.  The first drawing occured before ...
6/27/14
A: Hello, Our most recent survey was in 2013.  That survey indicated that the elk population in the Weiser River Zone (which 32A is part of) has increased.  In 2007, we estimated 7855 elk in the Weiser River Zone.  In 2013, we estimated 10471, a 33% increase in the 6 years between the surveys. If you ...
6/26/14
A: IDFG does not have any plans to restrict elk and deer hunting opportunity in Unit 39 this fall as a result of last years Pony and Elk fires.  However, travel restrictions may and will likely be in place in areas affected by the fire.  Ultimately travel restrictions are a call by the US Forest ...
6/26/14
A: Department biologists spend many hours during the months of January, February and early March studying the health of deer and elk populations in the state through aerial surveys, hunter reports and other methods. During this same time frame the biologists also hold public meetings with hunters ...
6/25/14
A: The controlled hunt deer, elk, pronghorn, bear, and turkey drawing will be completed and winners notified by July 10th. We're hoping to beat that date, but several things need to fall into place first. Once the results are available, there will be a news release and a note stating the draw results ...
6/12/14
A: Elk:                               6 – Idaho                               1 – Texas                               1 – California
6/6/14
A: Resident general season deer and elk tags will be available after the controlled hunt drawing for deer, elk and pronghorn has been completed. This is usually around the first of July. Resident elk tags for capped zones such as Sawtooth B go on sale at midnight July 10.
6/5/14
A: Resident general season deer and elk tags will be available after the controlled hunt drawing for deer, elk and pronghorn has been completed. This is usually around the first of July. Resident elk tags for capped zones such as Sawtooth B go on sale at midnight July 10.
6/5/14
A: Yes. You will need to read the big game season proclamations for season dates. Some elk zones have limited numbers of tags available and hunters can purchase tags until the quotas are sold out. Hunters can purchase deer, elk, bear, mtn lion, wolf, and turkey tags over the counter.
5/30/14
A: If you draw and purchase a controlled hunt deer tag, you may also purchase one nonresident general season deer tag at the nonresident price as a second tag. Hunters can purchase unsold nonresident general season deer and elk tags at the nonresident price as a second tag.
5/30/14
A: Yes. The one year waiting period is for those who have drawn an antlered hunt and must wait one year to submit an application for an antlered hunt. You can submit an application for an either sex or antlerless hunt. Just make sure you do not submit an application with an antlered only hunt even as ...
5/22/14
A: Yes, the IDFG Regional Office is the one that issues the tags.
5/20/14
A: The short answer is yes. During this first application period for deer, elk, pronghorn, fall bear and fall turkey all hunters can submit applications except those who have submitted an application for a moose, big horn sheep or mountain goat. Hunters need to read the rules of application found on ...
5/20/14
A: Here is a five year count of nonresident general season tags purchased by residents as a second tag. Year Elk Deer 2009 305 706 2010 271 617 2011 270 588 2012 293 685 2013 324 728  
5/14/14
A: Harvest estimates from 2013 Controlled Hunts for Deer, Elk, and Pronghorn were posted on the IDFG website on 5/3/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Elk were posted on 5/22/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Deer will be posted on 5/30/2014. I will check when the ...
5/13/14
A: Because this program benefits hunters and anglers by opening up private land through the Access Yes Program, the nonresident quotas are not applied to the super hunt drawings.
5/12/14
A: To provide you with an accurate answer, we will need some additional information. Please contact our license section at 208-334-2592 or our enforcement bureau at 208-334-3736.
5/10/14
A: Yes, No person shall take big game animals as outlined in this section. a.  With any firearm that, in combination with a scope, sling, and/or any other attachments, weighs more than sixteen (16) pounds. b. With any shotgun using any shot smaller than double-aught (#00) buck. c. With any rimfire ...
5/9/14
A: I am aware of at least 2 antlered cow elk that have been killed by hunters in Idaho.  It is a rare condition, but does occassionally happen
5/8/14
A: Over the counter resident deer and elk tags go on sale July 10.
5/7/14
A: Answer:  This is the most complicated part of reporting the harvest statistics. I'm pretty sure that you are asking about deer and elk general hunt harvest estimates on the IDFG web site. We have 3 kinds of general hunting seasons, for most of our hunts, but the names are confusing."Any Weapon" is ...
5/5/14
A: Yes, that is correct. Unless otherwise specified, the hunts are "any weapon" hunts. Hunt # 2044 is an any weapon antlerless elk hunt.
5/3/14
A: There are a number of locations a person could experience a comintation hunt that could include 2 or more of the groups you are looking for.  Many folks hunt the South Fork of the Boise for Mule deer and chukar, or later in the year you could hunt for elk and chukar.  Parts of Unit 32 and 32A ...
5/2/14
A: Failure to submit a Mandatory Hunter Report for deer, elk, or pronhorn hunting will not prevent you from applying for or drawing a controlled hunt tag.
5/2/14
A: Harvest estimates from 2013 Controlled Hunts for Deer, Elk, and Pronghorn were posted on the IDFG website on 5/3/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Elk were posted on 5/22/2014. Harvest estimates from 2013 General Hunts for Deer will be posted on 5/30/2014.  
4/29/14
A: During the May 1-June 5 application period you can apply for more than one species (on separate applications, of course).    
4/28/14
A: Yes, it would theoretically be possible to draw more than one super hunt tag.  One thing to remember is that applications from the first yearly drawing do not carry over to the second drawing.
4/25/14
A: Cam, Thanks for the question on the 2-zone tag for elk and what is the plan for implementation for such a option? The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the Elk Management Plan in January. The next step is to begin to implement the plan. The 2 zone tag system was one of the concepts developed ...
4/24/14
A: You are correct.  Currentl it is unlawful to use a bow 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 disabled archery permit ...
4/23/14
A: You must choose a specific zone elk tag.  You will only be able to  hunt in the zone covered by the tag you purchase.   The only way to hunt in another zone is if you purchase a second elk tag (at nonresident price) to hunt in a second, different zone.  Each elk tag is zone specific.
4/18/14
A: For   Spring Bear January 15-February 15 Spring Turkey February 1-March 1 Moose,Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat April 1-30 Deer,Elk,Pronghorn,Fall Bear, Fall Turkey May 1-June 5 Moose leftover tags (second app. period) June 15-25 Deer,Elk,Pronghorn,Fall Bear leftover tags (second app period) August 5 ...
4/17/14
A: Basically, you only have to replace the items you need to (and want to). Before July the deer and elk tags have not been designated yet; when you decide the specific zone or type of tag you want you can go to any vendor to get a deer or elk tag.  All vendors can issue these along with salmon and ...
4/7/14
A: The IDFG Wildlife Department decided to not go ahead with that at this time (2014).
4/7/14
A: You can still apply for more than one species during the May 1-June 5 application period so yes, you can apply for deer and elk and pronghorn in the same year if you want to. Going by previous year's sales, it is most likely that there will be some nonresident deer and elk tags available for sale ...
4/2/14
A: Well, the open hunts in this case are actually ALL hunts as put together by Fish and Game...general season hunts and controlled hunts.  For example, if you are drawn for the superhunt elk tag, you can hunt in any general season elk hunt and any controlled elk hunt.  You must abide by the rules we ...
4/2/14
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.
3/31/14
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 ...
3/27/14
A: Idaho Fish and Game is managing wolves under the State of Idaho's 2002 wolf management plan adopted by the Idaho Legislature and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  That plan calls for a statewide wolf population of 150 wolves with 15 breeding pairs.  After reintroduction in 1995, the ...
3/25/14
A: General Season Elk tags in Idaho are sold by the zone and only the zone purchased may be hunted.  The zone tags will dictate the season dates, which sex may be hunted, and the weapon(s) which may be used.  Each zone has an A Tag and a B Tag.  However, some A Tags and B Tags are by Controlled Hunt ...
3/10/14
A: Nonresidents can purchase a bear tag over-the-counter without purchasing a deer or elk tag.  You do, however, have to purchase an Idaho hunting license.
3/1/14
A: Idaho does offer some youth only elk hunting opportunities for the 2014 season. These youth hunts are all Antlerless Only. We do not offer any controlled antlered youth elk hunts at this time. What Idaho does do for youth elk hunters is allow them to hunt both the A and B seasons on one tag in elk ...
2/27/14
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 ...
2/21/14
A: Each year antlers from deer, elk, moose, and the horns of pronghorn fall off, or are shed; new antlers and horns begin to grow back and are fully grown again each fall. Animal parts such as antlers,  horns, hides, bones, and teeth of deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, wolf and mountain goat from animals ...
2/16/14
A: Elk usually begin to lose their antlers towards teh end of March and thru the middle of April. Large bulls tend to lose their antlers first with the smallest bulls dropping last.
2/12/14
A: How to Apply for a Controlled Hunt--Deer, Elk, Pronghorn, fall Bear Big game rules for the current year come out each April. Check the general season information (listed by species) to see if the over-the-counter general season has a hunt you want to participate in. If there isn’t a hunt listed ...
2/12/14
A: This time of year, most of the mule deer bucks in the Twin Falls area have moved down onto winter range areas. Winter range areas near Twin Falls tend to be on the foothills where deer can find refuge from deep snow, and forage sources. The foothills of the "South Hills" area hold a tremendous ...
2/11/14
A: To better answer your question, please provide additional information. Thank you
2/9/14
A: Coyote, wolf, bobcat teeth possession and sale?  Animals are classified differently and there are different rules regarding possession and sale depending on the classification. This answer is specific to the species you describe. Coyotes are predators and can be possessed and sold at any time. ...
2/9/14
A: Yes, Idaho has depredation hunts but they are not open to nonresidents.  Idaho does have a landowner permission hunt (LPH) that is similar to a depredation hunt that is open to nonresidents.  These hunts require prior written permission on a LPH form from a landowner to qualify and then the hunter ...
2/6/14
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 ...
2/2/14
A: Yes. Information about the current program we have for nonresident disabled veterans can be found on our website under the license tab. Look for the Disabled Veterans Programs link. Nonresident Disabled VeteransNonresident disabled veterans participating in a hunt in association with a qualified ...
1/31/14