Press Release

New F&G process for hunters to exchange or buy returned elk tags starts April 23

Each year, hunters return a limited number of tags that can be redistributed

Every year, a few hunters return and exchange their general season elk tag. Often the returned tags are highly sought-after tags, so Fish and Game has identified a more consistent and transparent way of handling them:

1) The exchange of over-the-counter elk tags for returned tags from sold-out capped zones. 

2) The sale of the returned elk tags after capped elk zone tags sell out, or after statewide nonresident quotas for deer and elk tags are met. Nonresident tags from twelve of the over-the-counter capped elk zones have already sold out, so Fish and Game is starting the sales process for the nonresident tags returned from these zones. 

Resident elk tag sales have not begun, but as resident capped elk zones, or the overall nonresident quota of elk and deer tags sell out, Fish and Game will continue to use a similar exchange and sales process.

How to Exchange an Over-The-Counter Nonresident Elk Tag 

A nonresident with an over-the-counter elk tag may exchange it for a tag from a sold-out capped zone if one has been returned and is now available. Tags may be purchased on a first-come first-served basis on the second and fourth Thursday of each month starting at 10 a.m. Mountain time. Tags will be available through online sales and telephone sales only. 

The first opportunity for nonresidents to exchange for a sold out tag begins April 23, 2020. Returned tag counts will be posted on the nonresident tag quota webpage at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on the Tuesday prior to each Thursday sale beginning April 21, 2020.  Posted counts of returned tags will be removed at the beginning of each Thursday sale so available tags will not be displayed “in real time” once the sale begins. To complete the exchange, a small fee applies.

Exchanges can only be done online at idfg.huntfishidaho.net or via telephone sales at (800) 554-8685. License vendors will not be able to exchange tags.  It is important to note that any hunter who wishes to exchange their tag must return the original tag to Fish and Game before the new tag will be issued.  

When a hunter successfully exchanges a tag online or through telesales, they must return the tag to IDFG Licenses, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707 before the new tag will be mailed out. 

How to Buy a Returned Nonresident Elk Tag from a Sold-Out Capped Elk Zone

The first sale of nonresident elk tags returned from sold-out capped elk zones begins April 23, 2020. 

Tags may be purchased using the same first-come first-served process described for exchanging an over-the-counter tag. Returned nonresident tags can be purchased at idfg.huntfishidaho.net, or via telephone sales at (800) 554-8685.