Skip to main content

Idaho Fish and Game

Chukar and shotgun, cc-by Roger Phillips

Many upland game bird seasons open soon


September is here which means many Idaho upland game bird hunting seasons are about to begin. Here’s a brief summary of the upcoming seasons.


Forest Grouse

Wednesday, August 30 marked the start of the forest grouse season, which includes ruffed, spruce and dusky grouse. The season in northern Idaho runs through January 31 and through December 31 in the rest of the state. The daily limit is four, whether all of one or mixed species, and 12 in possession.

Fall Turkey

The general fall turkey season opens September 15 in portions of the Panhandle, Clearwater, and Southeast regions. Turkey hunters need a valid hunting license and appropriate turkey tag. For more details, see pages 16-25 of the 2016-17 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure.

Chukar & Partridge

Chukar and gray partridge seasons run from September 16 through January 31.  The daily bag limit is eight chukar and eight gray partridge, and the possession limit is 24 chukar and 24 gray partridge.

California Quail

Bobwhite and California quail seasons also run from September 16 through January 31, 2018. The daily bag limit is 10 total, and the possession limit is 30 total. Area 2 in eastern Idaho is closed. Hunters are reminded that there are no seasons for Gambel’s or Mountain Quail.

Hunters need only a valid hunting license to hunt quail, chukar, gray partridge and forest grouse.

Sage & Sharp-tailed Grouse

The seven-day sage-grouse season runs from September 16 through September 22 in some areas, with a one-bird daily limit and a two-bird possession limit. A season information brochure, including a map of areas open to sage-grouse hunting, is available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices and online at

Sharp-tailed grouse season opens from October 1 through 31, with a two-bird daily limit and six-bird possession limit. Hunters are reminded that because both sharptails and sage-grouse can occur in the same areas in south-central and eastern Idaho, identification of species is important, as sharptails cannot be taken during the sage-grouse season. A separate permit that costs $4.75 is required for hunting sage- and sharp-tailed grouse.


Young hunters get an early shot at pheasants, with October 7-13 marking the youth pheasant season. Properly licensed youth 17 years old and younger may participate. At least one adult 18 years old or older having a valid hunting license, must accompany each youth hunting party into the field at all times.

Pheasant season in northern Idaho runs from October 14 through December 31. The season begins October 21 in the remainder of the state, with seasons running through November 30 in eastern Idaho and through December 31 in western Idaho.

The daily bag limit is three cocks, and the possession limit is nine, except on nine WMA’s in southern Idaho where pheasants are stocked.  On these WMA's, the daily limit is two cocks and six in possession.  Hunters 18 years old or older must have a valid WMA Upland Game Bird permit while hunting peasants on the WMA's where pheasants are stocked.  

More info?

For more details, hunters should consult the 2016 & 2017 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Seasons and Rules brochure available at all Fish and Game license vendors or online at