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Idaho Fish and Game

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New laws taking effect July 1 pertain to trespassing, animal salvage, and trapper education


Hunters, anglers and trappers should familiarize themselves with new laws

Many new Idaho laws that passed in the last legislative session take effect July 1, including laws that affect outdoor recreationists, including hunters, anglers and trappers. 

New trespass law

Idaho’s trespass law changes July 1 and people are now required to have written permission or other lawful permissions to enter private property. 

The law also specifies: 

  • No person shall enter or remain on private land to shoot any weapon or hunt, fish, trap or retrieve game without written permission or other lawful permission. A person also commits trespass if they fail to depart immediately from private property after being asked by the owner or their agent to leave.
  • New standards define private property.  A person should know land is private, and they are not allowed access to it without permission if: 
  • The property is associated with a residence or business
  • or it is cultivated
  • or fenced or enclosed in a way that a reasonable person would know delineates the private property. However, if the property adjoins or is contained within public lands, the fence line adjacent to the public land should be posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange/fluorescent paint at all corners of the fence adjoining public land and at all navigable streams, roads, gates and right of way entering the private land from the public land and posted in a way people can see the posting.  
  • or unfenced and uncultivated but is posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange/fluorescent paint at all property corners and boundaries where the property intersects a navigable streams, roads, gates, rights of way entering the private land and posted in a way people can see the posting. 

Sportsmen and women are also reminded that a first conviction of trespassing on private land carries a mandatory one-year revocation of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in addition to misdemeanor fines and seizure of animals taken on private property. Repeat offenses also carry stiffer penalties under the new law. 

New salvage law includes dispatching injured wildlife struck by a vehicle

The existing law that allows people to salvage any big game, upland game, upland game bird, furbearer, predatory wildlife or unprotected wildlife when unintentionally struck on a roadway with a vehicle will include a provision to dispatch an injured animal. The new law taking effect July 1 allows for any person who hits an animal classified as those previously mentioned to dispatch it in a safe and humane manner when the collision severely injures the animal.  

Anyone who wants to either salvage or humanely dispatch and salvage a struck animal must report it to the Fish and Game within 24 hours and obtain a salvage permit from the department within 72 hours.

Fish and Game issues the salvage permit, called a CE-51, through its website and also allows telephone reporting as an option. Additional mandatory reporting requirements are included for moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, black bear, wolf, bobcat and river otter pursuant to Fish and Game rules.  

Provisions of the new law do not apply to several other classes of wildlife, including protected nongame wildlife, threatened or endangered species, migratory birds and any other wildlife species not lawfully hunted or trapped.

A person considering dispatching a struck animal must follow all other laws, such as not discharging a firearm from or across a public highway, respecting trespass laws, and other general firearms statutes, transportation laws, or other provisions such as a city ordinance prohibiting discharge within city limits.

Trapper education now mandatory for new trappers

Every trapper who purchased their first trapping license after June 30, 2011 will be required to attend and pass a mandatory trapper education course before they can purchase an Idaho trapping license starting in 2018.

Trappers who have successfully passed and are certified through the Idaho voluntary trapper education course are exempt, but new trappers will be required to take the course. People who have taken only a wolf trapping education course are not exempt and must take the Idaho trapper education course. Information about trapper education courses can be found on hunter/bowhunter/trapper education webpage.