People shopping in Idaho for Christmas gifts on “Black Friday” likely have a relative or friend who is an angler or hunter. There is absolutely no end to the products that are available in the retail stores for someone on your list who hunts, fishes, camps or boats.
Hunters and anglers are probably the easiest people on your list to buy Christmas gifts for. There are items that would be appreciated that cost only a few dollars…all the way up to items that cost hundreds or more.
Some items are actually needed (hats, gloves, socks etc.). Other items we just want because we think they will make us more likely to bring home meat for the freezer or get that once in a lifetime trophy. We hunters can easily convince ourselves that new binoculars or a rangefinder will make us more successful at finding the buck of a lifetime. The one color of spinner, spoon or fly we don’t currently have may be exactly what would attract a new state record fish.
Most of us who love the outdoor experience won’t mind if we already have one of whatever you give us. We can almost always use another one…whatever it is.
One item that is essential for hunters and anglers to get near the end of the year is a new license. Idaho hunting and fishing licenses are issued on a calendar year basis, and they expire December 31.
New hunting and fishing licenses first become available for purchase on December 1. However, they don’t become valid until January 1. Most hunters and anglers don’t think to buy one until their first outing of the new calendar year, so the timing makes hunting or fishing licenses great Christmas gifts.
Licenses are available at many vendors statewide including most sporting goods stores, hardware stores and now even the major national retail chains carry them. Previously available online in Idaho, internet security issues have temporarily halted online license sales in several states including Idaho.
Because of the need to confirm residency, a person can only buy a resident license for a spouse, a minor child, or for themselves. You can purchase a non-resident license for a friend or relative who is a resident of another state.
Gift certificates for hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased at any Idaho Fish and Game office in any dollar amount. Most people buy them for the exact amount of an annual hunting license, fishing license, or sportsman’s package. These gift certificates can only be redeemed for licenses at a fish and game regional or headquarters office.
Many of the license vendors sell store gift certificates that they will accept for license purchases. Many will also accept Visa gift cards for license purchases, so that is an additional convenient option for giving a license as a Christmas gift. One suggestion would be to go to the license sales counter and ask how much each license costs (including vendor fee) and purchase a gift certificate in that exact amount. Nobody wants to carry around gift cards with just a dollar or two left over.
Another great Christmas gift for a hunter is a Super Hunt drawing entry. Every year, 32 lucky hunters walk into the field with a special Super Hunt tag that allows them to pursue an elk, deer, pronghorn or moose in any open hunt in Idaho. Two Super Hunt Combo drawing winners are able to hunt all four species in any open hunt. Any tags that are won in any super hunt drawing are in addition to any general or controlled hunt tags a purchaser may already hold.
A Super Hunt entry for a specific species costs $6. A Super Hunt Combo Hunt entry costs $20. No license is needed and hunters can enter as many times as they like.
Super Hunt drawings are conducted twice a year. The first drawing is in June, and entries for this must be purchased by May 31. The second drawing is in August, entries must be received by August 10. Entries make great stocking stuffers. To learn more about the Super Hunt drawings go to idfg.idaho.gov/superhunt. Entries cannot currently be purchased online, but they can be purchased at license vendors, fish and game offices, by mail or by phone.
Funds from the sale of Super Hunt entries are used to expand access opportunities for hunting and fishing on private lands in Idaho through the AccessYes Program.
Funds generated through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and tags are used to manage fish and wildlife resources right here in Idaho.