Press Release

Public input sought on youth hunt eligibility and proposals for mandatory trapper education

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to hear from the public about proposed changes to eligibility requirements for youth hunts and also proposals for mandatory trapper education. 

To review the proposals and submit comments, go online to the public involvement page on Fish and Game's website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/public-involvement. 

Youth Hunting

Fish and Game continues to propose steps to simplify youth licensing and hunting, to make it easier for families and youth to understand youth hunting opportunities and eligibility requirements. Commission-approved seasons include youth general and controlled hunts for pheasants, turkeys, and waterfowl.  Currently, age and mentoring eligibility requirements are inconsistent with resident Junior Hunting License and nonresident Junior Mentored Hunting License requirements and are inconsistent across species.

In order to make it easier to understand requirements needed to participate in designated youth hunts, Fish and Game proposes the following four changes:

  • Modify requirements for youth participating in youth pheasant and turkey hunts to be consistent with their License or Passport requirements.  Federal regulations require all youth participating in the Youth Waterfowl Hunt must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 or older.
  • Standardize the age structure for participation in the Youth Pheasant Season to include licensed hunters ten (10) years of age to seventeen (17) years of age, and hunting passport holders eight (8) years of age to seventeen (17) of age.
  • Add general hunts to the list of youth-only turkey hunts the Commission may establish.  In addition, standardize the age structure for participation in youth-only general and controlled turkey hunts to include licensed hunters ten (10) years of age to seventeen (17) years of age.  Passport holders 10 years of age to 17 years of age can participate in the youth-only general turkey hunts.
  • Standardize the age structure for participation in the Youth Waterfowl Hunt to include licensed hunters ten (10) years of age to seventeen (17) years of age, and hunting passport holders eight (8) years of age to seventeen (17) of age.

Mandatory Trapper Education

House Bill 378, passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2016 and signed by the Governor, created mandatory trapping education to be administered by the Fish and Game Commission. The Commission previously scoped trapping education rules and has requested additional review prior to adoption. The trapping education program will focus on teaching trappers effective techniques to reduce the likelihood of non-target catch of dogs and other animals.

The Fish and Game Commission will be deciding on one of the following two options to adopt for trapper education.

  • Require all persons who purchased their first Idaho trapping license on or after July 1, 2011 to take mandatory trapper education. This option is designed to provide training to all the newer trappers that recently took up trapping when the fur prices peaked.
  • Require all persons who purchased their first Idaho trapping license on or after July 1, 2017 to take mandatory trapper education. This option is designed to only train first time trappers who have never purchased a trapping license and "grandfather-in" all persons who have previously purchased a license in Idaho or other states.

Comments will be collected through June 27.  All comments will be summarized and presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for their consideration.