Resident elk hunters wanting a coveted Sawtooth Zone elk tag will have to wait until July 12 to get one. Due to the dramatic increase in demand for these tags over the past few years, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission decided to set special times for hunters to buy those tags.
Traditionally, resident capped elk zone tags go on sale on July 10, which will be the case for all elk zones except the Sawtooth Zone, which will be sold Wednesday, July 12.
Half of the resident Sawtooth Zone A and B tags will be sold at license vendors only starting at 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on July 12. The remaining half of the tags will go on sale at 1 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) online only.
For the Sawtooth Zone, Fish and Game will offer 566 A tags, and 1,526 B tags, which are the same numbers available in 2015 and 2016. In recent years, the Sawtooth tags have sold out quickly and the rush to buy them overloaded computer servers and bogged down sales. That meant unhappy hunters who didn’t get a Sawtooth elk tag.
Fish and Game administration bureau chief Michael Pearson said the change is an attempt to give equal access for in-person sales at vendors and those who prefer to buy tags online. However, the Sawtooth tags are still expected to go extremely fast, and there will likely be higher demand than tags available.
Pearson advises resident hunters to buy their hunting license and newly required $5 endorsement (which takes effect May 1*) before the Sawtooth tags go on sale. He also reminds license and tag buyers who purchase online that Fish and Game has added security measures, which require the buyer to establish a unique account with a user name and password.
People who are planning to vie for a Sawtooth Zone elk tag online should be sure to set up their account in advance and remember their password, Pearson said.
*Hunters who buy their hunting license or hunt/fish combo before May 1 will not have to pay that fee until 2018.