Planning your Hunt
Licenses & Tags
Idaho Hunting News
Hunting in Idaho
Idaho offers outstanding opportunities to hunt world-class big game, upland birds and waterfowl across the entire state during the same season.
- General season over-the-counter deer and elk tags offer hunters the flexibility to buy a tag and go hunting the same day.
- A wide variety of wildlife allows sportsmen to pursue big game, upland birds, waterfowl and salmon and steelhead on the same trip.
- 70% of Idaho is public land providing ample access to hunting opportunities.
Follow the lead of avid sportsman who enthusiastically declare "I hunt Idaho!"
How easy is it to hunt in Idaho?
It's as easy as buying a tag and hunting the same day.
Idaho is one of a handful of western states a hunter can still buy a general season tag for deer and elk. A general season over-the-counter tag is flexible and provides access to most areas of the state for deer, elk, wolf, bear, mountain lion and turkey. This is increasingly rare as controlled hunt drawings become the new norm in other states.
Hunting for deer and elk begins with early general deer archery seasons opening on August 30th in several hunting units. General deer rifle hunts start opening on October 10th. Idaho also has controlled or trophy hunts for deer and elk that have limited numbers of tags and hunt boundaries.
Elk hunting is managed in 29 elk zones. In addition, Fish and Game has established a 2-tag system to offer elk hunters the most general season choices. Hunters may select one zone and choose either an 'A tag' or a 'B tag' in most elk zones. In general, 'A tags' provide more opportunity for muzzleloader and archery hunters and 'B tags' provide more opportunity for centerfire rifle hunters.
Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer Hunting
Hunters can pursue both mule deer and white-tailed deer in Idaho. Mule deer are largely in central and southern Idaho, while white-tailed deer populate central and northern Idaho. A regular deer license allows hunters to pursue both, but Idaho also has a white-tailed only hunts.
Gray Wolf Hunting
The 2012 hunting season ushers in Idaho's second annual wolf hunt. Idaho has more than 1000 wolves. Fish and Game manages wolves like other big game species such as bears and mountain lions. This provides for a general hunting season along with harvest limits in certain areas. In 2012 sportsmen can harvest up to two wolves in a single season. Hunters of bears, lions and wolves are all required to report harvests.
Black Bear Hunting
Idaho has a healthy population of black bears. Even though they are called black bears, the coloring of Idaho's bears are also cinnamon, brown and some have blazes. Hunters can pursue bears with hounds or use bait stations. Nonresident deer and elk tags may also be used to harvest a black bear or mountain lion.
Mountain Lion Hunting
Hunters may pursue mountain lions ten months of the year in Idaho and can buy multiple tags in a single year. Electronic calls can be used in a limited number of hunting units. Nonresident deer and elk tags may also be used to harvest a black bear or mountain lion.
Wild Turkey Hunting
Idaho has Fall and Spring turkey hunts. Hunters can harvest up to three turkeys in one year. North Idaho populations are very strong and hunters can harvest up to five turkeys in some areas.
Planning your Hunt
Do you want to explore all the hunting possibilities in Idaho? The Hunt Planner is an interactive search and mapping engine of Idaho's hunts by species, location, weapon and more.
Search For Your Next Hunt
- Hunt Planner
Answer what, where, when and how to display matching hunts. Use advanced options to refine your results using harvest statistics and drawing odds.
- Trip Planner
Your tool to search for multiple game animals and weapons.
- Search Drawing Odds*
Find current hunts that have historically had the drawing odds you desire.
- Search Harvest
Current regulations tied to past harvest statistics.
Browse Harvest Statistics
View tables of harvest statistics by Species, Weapon, Season and Year
* Note that Hunt Planner will also search Drawing Odds and Harvest Statistics while limiting your results for a specific area and time period.
Interactive Mapping and Cartographic Resources
- Map Center
Make your own maps. Pan, zoom and overlay layers including hunt boundaries, topography, aerial photos and land management.
- 2012 Hunt Area
Find the hunt boundary you are looking for and jump directly to maps and information.
- Download Shapefiles
or Google Earth Layers
Game Management Units, Elk Zones, Controlled Hunt Areas, Access Yes Properties and other layers from the Map Center.
Explore Idaho's Fish & Game Regions
Licenses and Tags
Idaho licenses and tags create a number of special opportunities for sportsmen.
- Hunters can now buy a second deer and second elk general season tag by purchasing a nonresident tag at a nonresident price.
- The price of a nonresident wolf tag has been reduced to $31.75
- Nonresident deer and elk tags can be used to harvest deer and elk OR a black bear, mountain lion or wolf.
- Nonresident hunting license now includes a 3-day fishing license.
- Hunters can buy up to 2 lion, 2 bear and 5 wolf tags in a single season.
- An Idaho license automatically allows sportsmen to hunt upland game.
- A resident Sportsman's Pack includes everything a sportsman needs to hunt and fish in Idaho- licenses, tags and permits. Only a wolf tag and two-pole permit need to be purchased separately.
- Young nonresident hunters between 12-17 years of age can buy licenses and tags at significantly reduced prices.
- The price of licenses and tags for nonresident youth (12-17) are extremely affordable.
Military and Disabled Veterans
Idaho offers military personnel and disabled veterans affordable hunting opportunities through its licenses and tags.
- Military personnel stationed in Idaho for more than 30 days may purchase licenses and tags at resident prices.
- Resident American Disabled Veterans pay discounted prices on licenses and tags.
- Nonresident American Disabled Veterans can hunt in Idaho at resident prices when sponsored by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This opportunity was passed by the Idaho legislature in 2012 as House Bill 143.