Each of the 50 states has its own licensing system for hunting and fishing. Unlike Idaho, many states have hunting and fishing licenses that expire on dates other than December 31.
My '14 Non-resident Washington fishing license' is valid for fishing in the state of Washington from April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015. I hope to find an opportunity to head that way to fish Lake Roosevelt again with that license before it expires next March.
Idaho hunting and fishing licenses are sold on a calendar year basis. A new license must be purchased to hunt or fish in Idaho beginning January 1.
I once checked an angler in Idaho on the Memorial Day weekend. He had a license for the prior year. He said that he had purchased it in September and that it was valid for a yearÉlike a vehicle license plate. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
I almost forgot to purchase new licenses on January 1 for my sons a few years ago. A co-worker was taking his family ice fishing on Cocolalla Lake on January 1, and he invited us to go along. I already had purchased my sportsman's package that includes hunting and fishing licenses. They go on sale every December 1 for the following year but they are not valid until January 1.
As we approached Westmond, I asked my sons if they had remembered to bring their licenses. They said they had them in their wallets. While I was pleased that they had remembered, it was at that point that I realized the year had ended and they needed new ones . . . beginning that very day. Their licenses had expired eight hours ago.
Lucky for us, the Westmond Store, just across the road from Cocolalla Lake, is a license vendor. I was able to purchase licenses and we were able to go fishing without the need to drive all the way to Sandpoint to buy the boys' licenses.