You need a new hunting and fishing license before your first outing of 2021. You might procrastinate, and then run around looking for an open store to buy a hunting or fishing license because you’re leaving early for your first trip, or buy it right away and have peace of mind, as well as a full year of hunting and fishing.
If you buy immediately, you can also take advantage of some great hunting and fishing opportunities on Jan. 1, such as:
Ice fishing is fun, and a great way to get out of the house and catch some fish during winter. Here’s more information about Idaho’s ice fishing.
Steelhead fishing continues
Idaho’s “spring” season opens Jan. 1, and you can catch this prized fish throughout winter and well into spring. See the current steelhead fishing rules.
You can still catch trout in rivers and streams
Winter stream fishing is often an overlooked opportunity, but trout fishing can be good, especially in “tailwater” fisheries where rivers are fed by dam releases, or in parts of the state with mild climates, such as along the Snake River.
One of the best times to catch whitefish
Another winter fishery that fly anglers enjoy, and many other anglers. These fish feed in riffles and aren’t fazed by the cold water, and they’re often schooled up during winter.
Hunt game animals that you may have overlooked
The hunting season for cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hares and red squirrels last through March 31, so if you want to keep hunting, you have those options, and you probably won’t have a lot of competition.
Late season upland bird hunting continues
Hunting season remains open for chukar, Hungarian partridge, California quail, and forest grouse during January in most areas, and late-season hunting can be good for those birds. See the upland game bird rules booklet for season dates.
It’s only midway through the waterfowl season
Most duck and Canada geese seasons are open during at least part of January, into February for white-fronted geese, and as late as March (light geese) in parts of the state. See the migratory bird hunting rules booklet seasons because closure dates vary depending on species and location.
You can still bag a turkey in Northern Idaho
For 2021, the general fall turkey season in Fish and Game's Panhandle Region runs through the end of January. If you didn't get your fill of turkey over the last couple months of 2020, you still have a chance to put a wild one on the dinner table before the spring seasons kick off again in April. Keep in mind that 2020 turkey tags also expire on Dec. 31, so you'll also need to purchase 2021 turkey tags for the new year. See the upland game bird rules booklet for more information.
Hunt for large predators
Mountain lion and wolf hunting seasons are open during winter depending on location. See big game hunting rules for specific seasons.