Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions. We post here answers to questions we're being asked frequently. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us. Urgent questions should be directed to your nearest office. Some answers change over time; please take note of the "answered" date.

Displaying 101 - 125 of 3555 questions

Q: Is it legal to take a photo of fishing license to show proof of purchase?

With todays age of personnel electronics. Would it be legal to use a photo on my phone to show proof of purchase for a hunting or fishing license? Since we can print our license at home if we purchase online. And is IFG looking into having an app. that will show proof?

A: 

Thank you for your question.
Yes, you may take a picture of your license and store it on your mobile device as proof of having a license.
We do not have any plans to build an app for licensing. However, we do have a mobile optimized website and those who purchase their license via a mobile device now download their license to their mobile device rather than receiving a printed license.
Please contact us again if you have additional questions.
 

answered 3/15/2016

Q: Ground Squirrel/Whistle Pig

Can you shoot Whistle Pigs without a hunting licence?

A: 

A hunting license IS required to hunt or take any wildlife in Idaho, including unprotected and predatory wildlife.
Most ground squirrels are classified as unprotected wildlife and can be hunted by persons holding a valid hunting license.  Be aware, there are several species of ground squirrel that are protected.
We recommend you call the regional office near the area you wish to hunt prior to hunting.
See the maps and descriptions at the following link for locations of huntable ground squirrels: https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/ground-squirrel

answered 3/15/2016

Q: Permit question

What is the difference between three day License and permit for $37.50 opposed to the steelhead permit for $25.75? If they both have a three day license then what is the benefit for the more expensive permit?

A: 

There is a difference between the Steelhead Permit and the 3-day Salmon/Steelhead.   The 3-day Salmon/Steelhead is a 3-day Fishing License with a Salmon Permit and a Steelhead Permit.   The Steelhead Permit cannot be purchased unless you have a Nonresident Fishing LIcense.  As of the date this question is being answered (3/16/16) the total cost for a Nonresident Fishing License and the Steelhead Permit would be $124.00.  These items would be good for the calendar year instead of just 3 days.

answered 3/15/2016

A: 

IDFG sometimes implements a Controlled Hunt with an Unlimited number of tags as an intermediate step between a general season hunt and a controlled hunt with a limited number of tags when there is a concern about total hunter numbers and harvest  in the hunt area.
If hunting pressure is too high in a general season hunt, we may propose implementing an "Unlimited Controlled Hunt" in that hunt area. The benefit of this approach is that all hunters who really want to hunt in that area and commit to it by applying for that hunt during the controlled hunt application period, WILL draw the tag. This approach is intended to reduce the total number of hunters in the hunt area compared to the number who would hunt there under a general season hunt--after the controlled hunt drawing, hunters are unable to decide to purchase a tag for the area later in the season as they could do for a general season hunt. Holding an "Unlimited Controlled Hunt" also avoids implementation the other limitations that come along with a controlled hunt, such as, a 1 year waiting period after drawing a tag for an antlered deer, and a limitation of a maximum of 10% of the tags issued to nonresidents.
If the unlimited controlled hunt is still too popular (more hunters/harvest than the population can sustain and remain within objectives), we would need to consider limiting the number of tags issued for that controlled hunt to some reduced number.

answered 3/1/2016

Q: Suppresors for big game

Can you use suppressors to hunt big game in Idaho?

A: 

There are no rules regulating suppressors, sometimes referred to as “silencers”, and big game hunting in Idaho   As long as the owner has complied with all federal regulations regarding the possession of suppressors and as long as the firearm does not violate any of the other big game weapon restrictions, it would be legal for the taking of big game.

answered 2/29/2016

Q: Who do I contact for detailed information about the existence of Bull Trout in a South Fork of the Clearwater River tributary?

I am trying to find details on the study of Bull Trout in the North and South forks of Dump Creek. This creek is a tributary of the South Fork of the Clear Water River. The head waters in in the Cove area South west of the river and empty into the river about 1/4 mile down stream of the McCallister picnic area. I would like to know when a study was done on this particular stream and what the findings were in regards to Bull Trout inhabiting the stream.
Thank You
Howard Thompson

A: 

Joe Dupont is our Regional Fisheries Manager in Lewiston and is the person who can answer questions about the Clearwater River Basin.  He can be reached at 208-799-5010.
What may be faster is to access our study archives located on our Department webpage.  Go to fishandgame.idaho.gov; click on the "Science" tab; click on "Fisheries."  There are several filters you can use to narrow the area of your search.
Typically, we don't conduct surveys for a single species of fish - rather, we look at a measured stream distance and document the entire fish community and collect fish density and size information.  All this information will be captured in the technical fisheries reports at the above listed website.

answered 2/29/2016

Q: Do you want to be notified of dead elk finds?

I understand that I can keep the bones and antlers of any elk I find that presumably died of natural causes with no reporting requirements . However, does the Fish & Game have any interest in wanting to know about it? On Saturday I found a dead 6x bull that had probably died 2-3 weeks ago.

A: 

You can only keep antlers from found animals that have died naturally. 
If you have any suspicion that the animal died by something other than natural causes, we especially would like to hear about it. 
You can keep animals that died from injury incurred by vehicle by filling out a roadkill permit on our website by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the page.
We would be interested in knowing about dying elk and what caused the death as well, be it starvation, predation, or other cause so letting us know where the animal is would be helpful too. Also, by letting us know you would clear yourself of any suspicion surrounding the cause of death and your possession of the animal. 
Thank you for your concern and assistance.
Online report forms:
Online report sighting of any wildlife in Idaho (dead or alive)
Report roadkill or salvage
Submit report (or call) about suspicious activity

answered 2/29/2016

Q: Nonresident gun carry

Do i have to obtain some sort of licence to hunt rabbits, etc., on public ground?

A: 

Yes you need to have  a current hunting license to hunt rabbits in Idaho.

answered 2/28/2016

Q: coyote hunting with a crossbow

Is it legal to use a crossbow to hunt coyote's?

A: 

Yes, coyotes are classified as predatory wildlife in the state of Idaho and may be taken in any numbers, year round, and with crossbows, by the holders of the appropriate hunting license. The weapons restrictions that exist for big game do not apply to predatory or unprotected wildlife.
 
Josh Royse

answered 2/27/2016

A: 

To the best of our knowledge, this will be a better year for fish in Little Camas.  With that said, we will procede with stocking as requested unless/until water managers indicate conditions are likely to deteriorate. Conditions in irrigation reservoirs are often very unpredictable and are often influenced by seasonal precipitation and water demand.  We suggest you contact the Regional Office (Doug Megargle 208-324-4359) as the stock date nears to confirm stocking is going as planned.
Current Stocking Schedule:
May 3,000 catchables (12 inch) - a reduction in numbers, but an increase in fish size
May 90,000 fingerlings (4-5 inch)
September 30,000 fingerlings (4-5 inch)
 
Thanks for your question.

answered 2/27/2016

Q: Are coyotes a threat to my children?

We hear coyotes (we are assuming) at night and are wondering if we should worry about them during the day with our children playing outside. Would it be likely they would come around and try to harm our children? Children are 3 and younger. We are in Parma. Thanks.

A: 

Coyotes are primarily rodent hunters but occassionally take bigger game (fawns, rabbits, etc.).  They have learned to live near humans because they can live on garbage, cat food left out, cats and other items associated with humans.  Attacks on humans are extremely rare.  They are heavily hunted and trapped here.  Hearing coyotes at night is quite common in Idaho near homes on the outskirts of cities and we haven't had any issues with them.  However, if you begin seeing coyotes near your home or see them acting overly familiar, curious, or habituated to your home and humans, you might be more careful with your small children.  Coyotes are considered predators and are unprotected in Idaho.  Should they get too close and become a nuiscance, you can contact a local trapper or predator control person or you can shoot the coyote if there are no ordinances that restrict shooting in your area.

answered 2/26/2016

Q: Main area for fishing

Hello
I want to know how to find the main areas for fishing?
Is there a map or site

A: 

Unfortunately our Fishing Planner, which houses, our map center is temporarily unavailable. In the interim, please see the "Fishing" tab on our website. From this page you can find our Family Fishing Waters section, our Angler Guide section, fish stocking and much more. Some of the secions contain maps/locations for fishing in Idaho.

answered 2/24/2016

Q: How can I tell what is private land and what is public?

We would like to go to Sinker Creek Lake but some sites say that it is on private land. How will we know what is private and what is public?

A: 

Please check out the interactive map center on the IDFG website for a detailed map.  After you open the map center, zoom to the area you are interested in.  On the upper left hand side, select turn layers on/off. Scroll down throught the selections and turn on land management status.  This will display property ownership in different colors. This reservoir's shoreline is about 99% private and 1% public (BLM).  Technically, you could legally access the 1% that is public if you had a good GPS unit and a map and if the reservoir was near full pool. However, I would not recommend that anyone try this as the margin for error is small and the fishing is not likely worth it due to recent drought conditions.    

answered 2/23/2016

Q: Magic Valley Fishing

I would like to know if there are any trout in Clover Creek and/or King Hill Creek? Also if there are trout in Salmon Creek Falls below the reservoir but upstream of Lily Grade? Thanks.

A: 

Dear Mr. Arnett,
Yes, there are trout in Upper Clover Creek, King Hill Creek, and Salmon Falls Creek upstream from Lily Grade.  These trout are native Redband Trout. They are relatively small and typically look slightly different than your standard hatchery Rainbow Trout. They typically have more red along their side (see link at the bottom of this email).
We do not stock any of those waters, so you should not expect to see hatchery Rainbow Trout or other Trout Species.  There's a chance you might encounter a Brook Trout in the upper-most headwaters of Clover Creek, but it would be unlikely.
If you have further, or more specific questions, feel free to contact the fisheries staff in the Magic Valley Region at 208-324-4359.
Thanks for your question.
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=18...

answered 2/23/2016

Q: Can I fish for catfish with artificial lights?

Can I use artificial lights to catch catfish?

A: 

Yes, it is legal to use artificial lights for the purposes of fishing in Idaho.

answered 2/22/2016

Q: Is hunting exotic animals on a private ranch and using a drone to film legal?

I am going to be traveling to idaho for a European boar hunt on a private exotic ranch. I know that the use of drones while hunting is prohibited in the state. But was curious to know if this law applies to game not managed by the state and on private property? Or if this law applies to all types of hunting/animals/locations?

A: 

You are correct in that Idaho law does not allow the use of drones for tracking, harassing, communicating or filming big game animals of the state of Idaho for the purpose of hunting.
 
Hunting exotics is another story and a great question.  As long as you have complied with all federal regulations, the use of drones on private property strictly for the purpose of hunting exotic animals not classified as wildlife or big game in the state of Idaho would be legal.   Please consult with the Federal Aviation Administration to determine if there are other steps you may need to take in order to comply with all regulations.  

answered 2/20/2016

Q: Game fish hatcheries in Idaho.

We are starting a rather large aquaponics project with the intention of feeding homeless and food shelters. We would like to stock some of our 950 gallon tanks with game fish such as Bass, Perch and Bluegills. We were wondering if you have a list of any game fish hatcheries here in Idaho?

A: 

There are several commercially licensed aquaculture facilities in Idaho that sell the game fish listed in your e-mail.  In Idaho, this business is regulated by the Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture and they could provide you a list of providers in your area.  To prevent transmission of diseases around the state, we would prefer you use a local source of fish.
You will need to obtain a Private Pond permit from our agency to possess game fish.  There is an application on our website under the "Fisheries" tab and "Forms."  The permit is free and good for 5-years.

answered 2/16/2016

Q: Out of state open carry in idaho.

Can a adult from out of state while hunting open carry a side arm?

A: 

Yes

answered 2/15/2016

Q: What is a safe float for a beginner drift boater? I'm looking for steelhead.

I've done a lot of drift fishing on Washington rivers, but never gone steelhead or salmon fishing in idaho. I've rowed my new drift boat only a handful of times now so I'm looking for a beginner float that is fishy. Please help I'm dying to get one

A: 

Hi there, thanks for your question. Its great to hear that you are excited about steelhead fishing. Drift boats are a great way to chase these fantastic fish. Your options will be limited to your skills on the oars and where steelhead can currently be found. At this time of year (late winter), you best bet will be the Clearwater River near Kooskia near the confluence of the South Fork Clearwater. There are several easy floats from Kooskia down to Orofino. I suggest starting at Kooskia and floating down the Button Beach, or Kamiah. You could also float Kamiah to Long Camp. During the fall season (September - November) you should float the lower sections of the Clearwater from Cherry Lane to Lewiston. 
For more access and boat ramp information for the Clearwater River, take a look at this very helpful guidebook pamphlet:
 
You could also try some sections of the main Salmon near Riggins. There is an easy float upstream of Riggins from Shorts Bar to Long Bar, and several downstream of Riggins as well. You may want to talk to a local tackle shop before heading out to get some better sense of the rapids in this area. There are some challenging spots that you don't want row a drift boat without being experienced. 
Once you gain some more experience, check out the main Salmon around Challis and Salmon. These can be great spots and take just a little more skill, but are otherwise very drift boat friendly. 
Good luck, and be sure to bring an extra oar, life jackets and typical safety gear. 
Martin Koenig
Sportfishing Program Coordinator

answered 2/15/2016

Q: How to troll for landlocked chinook salmon?

What are some of the best ways to locate and catch Chinook salmon?
How deep do you normally fish for them and what colors do you normally use?
I have been told to use pink, but I thought it was not visible past 20ft.

A: 

Landlocked fall Chinook are placed in reservoirs like Lucky Peak, Deadwood and Anderson Ranch to control/prey upon kokanee salmon.  They are a fish management tool we use to adjust the number of kokanee to prevent over-population - which results in stunting due to lack of food.  Consequently, you should fish for Chinook at the same or slightly below where kokanee are found in the water column.  You will definitely need down-riggers or heavy gear to fish at depths of 20+ feet during the spring and summer.
We've seen people catch fall Chinook on all different colors of gear.  Keep in-mind, fall Chinook are preying on kokanee which are a silver to blue in color while in the reservoir.  I would fish lures that are similar to those colors and mimic an eradic or flashy swimming pattern.
 

answered 2/15/2016

Q: Do I need a state hunting license to shoot starlings on my farm in kuna idaho for pest control?

I have a major starling problem on my 40 ac farm in kuna idaho. I want to work on reducing them and protect my crops. I don't have a hunting license currently but I was wondering if its legal to shoot the non protected non game birds.

A: 

Starlings are classified in Idaho as a predator and can be controlled by almost any means, but a license or permit is required for the individual doing the control action.
 
However the depredation control folks at Wildlife Services (208-373-1630) can help control migratory wildlife which are depredating on crops.
 

answered 2/14/2016

A: 

You happen to find a pile of bones with a tag, we'd love to see a picture of the pile and a close up picture of the tag so that any numbers or words on the tag are visible. In exchange, we'd be happen to let you know what we know about that particular animal. Please call your local Fish and Game Office to share the information on what you found and the location. They'll let you know who to email the pictures to so we can look up the animal's history.

answered 2/14/2016

A: 

Lighted bow sights would be legal when hunting turkeys.  Prohibition of lighted sights only applies to the hunting of big game.

answered 2/14/2016

Q: Preference Point System

Does Idaho provide a preference point system for Elk?
Thanks

A: 

Idaho does not offer preference points for controlled hunts. Additional information on this topic is available on our website at:
https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/controlledHunts
 
Results of a 2015 sportsmen's survey on drawing odds are also available at:
 
https://idfg.idaho.gov/about/2015-ch-summary
 
The topic has also been addressed frequently in prior Ask Fish and Game questions.
 
 

answered 2/13/2016

Q: Is there a minimum bow draw weight required to hunt turkeys?

Is there a minimum bow draw weight required to hunt turkeys? Also, are there requirements on the type of broad head that can be used to hunt turkeys?  Thanks

A: 

There is no minimum draw weight for bows when using archery equipment to hunt turkeys.  Also, there are no restrictions on the type of broadhead that may be used.  For example, expandable broadheads are legal for the taking of turkeys. 

answered 2/13/2016