Friday, March 7, 2014
Idaho’s Hunting Passport is a component of our mentored hunting program. The Hunting Passport is a special authorization that allows residents and nonresidents, 8 years or older, who have not yet received hunter education certification, to hunt while being accompanied by a licensed adult mentor.
The Hunting Passport allows the beginning hunter to experience hunting before committing to the coursework and effort required to complete hunter education.
Hunting Passports are available only to first time hunters planning to hunt in Idaho. Those that have previously held a hunting license in any state are not eligible.
The minimum age to hold a Hunting Passport is eight years of age. There is no maximum age.
Holders of a Hunting Passport must be 12 years of age to hunt big game; 10 years of age to hunt turkey and sandhill crane; and 8 years of age to hunt most other game birds, upland game animals, furbearers, predatory and unprotected species.
Holders of a Hunting Passport must purchase general season tags, appropriate permits and validations to participate in hunting. All hunting rules, seasons and weapon restrictions also apply to the holder of a Hunting Passport.
Being a mentor can be very satisfying and a great experience, but it carries with it important responsibilities. Mentors should be prepared to provide a safe and memorable first-time hunting experience by conducting themselves in a safe, legal, ethical and responsible manner at all times. The mentor is responsible for making sure his or her mentored hunter understands all the appropriate hunting regulations, safe hunting practices and ethical considerations during any mentored hunting experience.To participate as a hunting mentor, they must:
In addition, mentors are not restricted from hunting while serving as a mentor if they possess the appropriate license, tags and permits.
Mentors are also not restricted to the type of hunting for which the mentored hunter has tags. For example, the holder of a Hunting Passport and general elk tag could be mentored by an adult possessing a nonresident small game license.
However, any resident or nonresident mentor accompanying the holder of a nonresident Junior Mentored Tag must have a tag for the same species, valid in the same area.
No. Hunter Education is not required to obtain a Hunting Passport. However, if an individual has completed a Hunter Education course but has never purchased a license, they are eligible to participate.
The Hunting Passport is a calendar year item just like a hunting license and expires on December 31 of the year in which it was obtained.
No. Only one Hunting Passport can be purchased in a lifetime. To continue hunting after the Passport expires, completion of a hunter education course and license purchase is required.
Hunting Passports are available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices. Cost is $1.75 issuance fee.
No. They are not eligible to apply for a controlled hunt, but may be designated a Landowner Appreciation Program (LAP) controlled hunt tag if they are qualified to participate in the hunt.
Research demonstrates that early exposure is critical to people taking up hunting or other forms of outdoor recreation. But children and adults are busy today and have many more recreational choices. Some studies show that the hunter education coursework may be a barrier that can discourage some youth and adults from participating in a first-time hunting experience. In Idaho, some communities have more demand for hunting education classes than their volunteer instructors can provide.
The new Mentored Hunting Program provides another avenue to build excitement and spark interest in hunting as a life-long activity. This one-on-one mentoring opportunity gives first-time hunters a chance to try hunting and enables veteran hunters to pass on their passion for the outdoors. Ultimately, more people will enter the sport - helping support and keep Idaho’s hunting strong and safe.
The time shared between a novice hunter and a mentor is invaluable. There is simply no better way to introduce a new hunter to the safe, ethical and responsible aspects of hunting than with the close supervision of an adult mentor that the Mentored Hunting Program provides.
No. Information from the International Hunter Education Association indicates that mentored hunters are as safe as other hunters, and hunting continues to get safer in Idaho - thanks primarily to 35 years of hunter education programs taught by dedicated volunteer instructors. Rather than undermining the hunter education program, the Hunter Passport will spark more interest in hunting. Hunting Passport holders will still be required to complete Idaho’s hunter education course to continue hunting.
The Hunting Passport does not waive Idaho’s requirement for license purchase, it simply allows people a chance to test the waters for one year and see if hunting is something they will enjoy.