Wildlife Damage Prevention & Compensation Program
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission and department appreciate all that landowners do for wildlife and for hunting, fishing and trapping in Idaho.
Hunters prefer that the Fish and Game Commission manage for abundant big game herds of deer, elk and pronghorn antelope to provide for hunting opportunity. The commission also recognizes its responsibility to address impacts Idaho’s publicly owned wildlife can cause to privately owned farms and ranches.
Hunters, anglers and trappers provide the funding used for the prevention and compensation program for crop and livestock loss due to wildlife. The funding is generated by the Access/Depredation fee, ($5 for residents, $10 for nonresidents) and $3.50 of the price of each deer, elk, and pronghorn tag.
Fish and Game’s first priority is to work with the landowner to prevent or minimize damage caused by big game animals. To be successful, it is essential that landowners and Fish and Game communicate, cooperate and work together to reduce damage. Landowners are obliged to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent or reduce damage to their property before they can be considered eligible for depredation compensation.
How Landowners Can Get Help
If you are experiencing or anticipating big game damage problems, contact your local Fish and Game regional office and ask to speak to the Landowner/Sportsman Coordinator or your local Conservation Officer. A Fish and Game representative will assist you and will try to find a solution that works for your operation.
How Fish and Game Can Help
- Provide materials to reduce or prevent wildlife impacts
- For example: fencing, gates, panels
- Provide advice and assistance for hazing animals away from green or stored crops
- Fish and Game can also authorize special hunts or issue permits to harvest a certain number of animals
- Work with landowners on crop agreements, such as paying landowners to allow wildlife use of their crops
- In some cases where prevention was ineffective, Fish and Game will compensate eligible landowners for damages caused by big game wildlife
Compensation for Damage
If Fish and Game, in cooperation with the landowner, is unable to prevent or minimize damage caused by deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, black bear, mountain lion or grizzly bears (eastern Idaho population); eligible landowners can file a claim and be compensated for the damage. Any compensation from Fish and Game cannot be in addition to any commodity insurance received for the same loss. Local Landowner/Sportsman Coordinators will assist landowners through the damage claims process.
To be eligible for compensation for damage, landowners must:
- Notify Fish and Game within 72 hours of discovering damage is occurring
- Provide written notification, which may be electronic, with 20 days of discovering the damage
- Have allowed reasonable access for hunters
- Have suffered loss of at least $750
How to File a Depredation Claim
Idaho Fish and Game has assembled a series of checklists, simple forms and examples of fencing techniques to assist landowners in filing a claim.
- Landowner’s Guide To Preventing Big Game Damage and Filing Damage Claims [pdf: 10 MB]
- W-9 Form [Links to IRS website]
- Big Game Observation Form
- Honey Hive Form
If you have any questions about Idaho Fish and Game’s Wildlife Depredation Program, you can contact your regional Idaho Fish and Game office: https://idfg.idaho.gov/offices.