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Idaho Fish and Game

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Migratory Bird Hunting

In Idaho, migratory birds include waterfowl, sandhill cranes, doves and crows.


Idaho lies between the Pacific Flyway and the Central Flyway. In northern and eastern Idaho, waterfowl hunters pull out their gear for the peak season in October and November.  Hunting in south central and southwestern Idaho is best during late November, December and early January.

To hunt waterfowl in Idaho you need:

  • Idaho hunting license
  • Migratory Bird (HIP) Permit.
  • Nontoxic shot
  • Federal Migratory Bird (Duck) Stamp for all hunters 16 or older.

Sandhill Crane, Dove, and Other

Hunting mourning doves is increasingly popular and there is an open season on the introduced Eurasian-collared dove. Sandhill crane hunting occurs in eastern Idaho to help reduce crop damage.

To hunt these migratory birds in Idaho you need:

  • Idaho hunting license
  • Migratory Bird (HIP) Permit.

Attention: Hunters need to purchase a sandhill crane and/or swan tag.


Youth Hunts

For young hunters, waterfowl hunting is a great introduction to the outdoors. Idaho holds a special youth waterfowl season before the general season begins.


Banded Waterfowl in Idaho

The first large-scale North American banding program was established in 1922 to gather information about migratory waterfowl. Biologists have banded up to 16 million geese and ducks through 2007 and an additional 350,000 birds every year since. About 85,000-90,000 bands are reported each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Report Duck And Goose Leg Bands 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or