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 201 - 225 of 3548 questions

Q: if an elk is dying caught in a fence..can that animal be salvaged without a tag.

we came across an elk chocking to death in a fence. he was minutes from dying.we had a tag and choose to put out of misery and take it and tag it..what if we did not have a tag, could we still salvage it. we had no phone reception in the area so we could not call fish and game..


I totally sympathize with the frustration of finding an elk caught in a fence.  I have removed some over the years while on patrol and had to put some out of their misery as well.  It would be lawful to take the elk only if you have a valid tag for the area, the elk season is open.  There could also be a need for permission if it is on private land.  I know that does not address the fact the animal was suffering.  It is an unfortunate reality that these circumstances arise and I can't advise you to do something that could get you in trouble.  The best advise I can give is to travel to the next available cell service and call the local Sheriff's Office.  They can contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game and work through solving the problem with the hope that someone is close by to respond and put the elk down as soon as possible.

answered 12/13/2015

Q: Wolf Limit

If I buy both a wolf hunting and a wolf trapping license, I can buy 15 tags and bag 15 wolves. Correct?


As a hunter you can purchase 5 wolf tags per calendar year (January 1 through December 31).  As long as you have taken the required wolf trapping class and have a trapping license, you can purchase 5 wolf trapping tags per trapping year (July 1 through June 30).  This could result in the purchase of 15 wolf tags in a calendar year, but, that would not work each year. 

answered 12/12/2015

Q: Motorized hunting

I'm confused. In areas where there are no motorized hunting restrictions (the majority of areas), I can pursue with an ATV and shoot from an ATV -- is that correct?


Idaho code 36-1101(b)1 states: It is unlawful to hunt any of the game animals or game birds of this state from or by the use of any motorized vehicle except as provided by commission rule;  There is an exception for holders of a valid Hadicapped Person's Motor Vehicle Hunting Permit who may shoot from a motorized vehicle as long as the vehicle is not in motion and not on a public roadway.  Hunters may not violate motorized travel plans, these can be found online or at your local Forest Service or BLM office.   

answered 12/12/2015

Q: Hiking with dogs in Ada & Canyon Counties

Where can I hike with my dogs in Ada and Canyon Counties without encountering traps and snares?


Traps and snares can be legally set on federal, state, and private land.  Many of the IDFG Wildlife Mangement Areas do not allow trapping during the pheasant season but allow hunting and there are many dogs and hunters on these properties during the fall and early winter.  Public land is open to all legal hunting and trapping through much of the winter and there are no real set aside locations except for some possible city, state, or county parks and properties.  You would have to check those individually.  In order to reduce the chances of your dogs getting caught in a trap, we advise that you check out the videos on our website on how to recognize and avoid trap sets, and how to release your dog from a trap at:

answered 12/12/2015

Q: Trout limit and possesion limits

Many fisherman in our region have tried to get the trout limit in our region reduced because of poor numbers of fish being caught. this has fallen on deaf ears (yours!) Then we are told that you can"t plant the #'s of fish as in the past (understandable!) . Now I hear the possession limit is being raised to 3 times the dailley limit!! That is 18 fish legally in possesion!! Ask fishermen about their sucess @ Blackfoot Resevoir! Was there any public input requested? If so I missed it. Why


Thanks for your question about the upcoming changes to the trout possession limit. When the new fishing rules take effect in 2016, anglers will be able to have 3 daily bag limits in possession, whereas before it was just one. This usually meant fisherman traveling for the weekend or on vacation were only able to bring home one limit of trout (usually 6). IDFG received lots of public comment from anglers that were unhappy with the one-day possession limit rule, since they could only bring back 6 trout, despite being away fishing for several days. This does not change the daily bag limit, which is still 6. So anglers are still limited to harvesting only one limit per day. There was also interest to make trout possession limits consistent with the salmon/steelhead fishing rules to reduce confusion.
During June - August 2015, IDFG asked for public input on this change with several options. Several statewide and local press releases were issued announcing the online fishing rule survey at the IDFG website. Public open house meetings were held at the Pocatello Southeast Region office (and all other offices). Also, since this change required amending the IDAPA code, proposed changes were also published in the administrative bulletin. I understand that you must feel frustrated that you didn't get a chance to comment. Despite advertising the open houses and the online survey that was available for several weeks, we don't always reach everyone.
We recognize that reduced stocking at Blackfoot Reservoir has resulted in a decreases in catch rates. Restoring stocking numbers at Blackfoot Reservoir is a high priority. However, if we are unable to get back to stocking 80,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout in Blackfoot Reservoir, a reduction in the daily bag will be considered.
We would be happy to talk to you more about this change or Blackfoot Reservoir specifically, so please feel free to contact us. Here's our information:
Dave Teuscher - Southeast Regional Fish Manager
Martin Koenig - Sportfishing Program Coordinator

answered 12/10/2015

Q: Is plague transmittable to Rabbits?

Have there been any cases of cottontail or jack rabbits contracting plague? I am trying to get my wife interested in rabbit hunting and one of her concerns is plague affecting the rabbit population and us if we eat wild rabbit.


In Idaho, plague is largely a disease of rodents and is usually a summer time occurrence.  Rabbits are unlikely to contract plaque and since colonial rodents like ground squirrels are underground at this time of the year, the plaque bacteria is unlikely to circulate in species that do not have contact with hibernating or estivating ground squirrels. 

answered 12/9/2015

Q: Can you use game roadkill for trapping bait?

Can you use big game road kill as a bait during trapping season?


Road killed big game animals may only be used as bait for wolf trapping.  No other animals may be baited with road killed big game.

answered 12/8/2015

Q: When can I purchase my license for residents 65 and older?

I turn 65 in February. Do I have to wait until after my birthday to purchase a resident fishing and hunting license at the reduced senior amount, or can I purchase the license in January?


The senior license rates do not take effect until the day you actually turn age 65.

answered 12/7/2015

Q: As a nonresident what are the requirements to purchase a archery tag?

I am a resident of Washington state, I archery hunt here in Washington and was wondering what classes or certificates do I need to complete to purchase an archery elk tag to hunt in Idaho?


In addition to a license and elk tag, you must purchase an archery permit for an archery only season.  In order to purchase an archery permit, you would need to complete an Idaho Bowhunter Affidavit form.  On this form you can provide either an archery education certification number or archery experience information.

answered 12/6/2015

Q: I am physically disabled and can I hunt turkeys on my own property with a crossbow?

I am physically disabled and am wondering if I could hunt turkeys on my own property (just under 2000 acres) with a crossbow. This property is located in area 22-1 north of highway 71 and around 10 miles west of Cambridge.


Good question.  Page 18 of the upland bird regulations lists unlawful methods of take for Upland game birds-- and a crossbow is an unlawful method of take, so it would not be legal.  Shotguns are legal during turkey hunts and would give you some options for hunting on your property.  Good Luck hunting

answered 12/5/2015


June 1948 was the first printing.

answered 12/2/2015

Q: Super hunt order form; when can I start to apply?

As the year comes to an end, when can I start to enter my super hunt entry form? I've read the regs and don't see anything on that saying start and or end.


Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo entries can be purchased all throughout the year.   Entries purchased August 11 through May 31 will be in for the June drawing.   Entries purchased June 1 though August 10 will be in the August drawing.  

answered 11/28/2015

Q: Population of woves in Idaho

How does the IFG count the wolf population? Do they use estimates based on mortality rates or actual visual counts?


Basically, we use radio-collared individuals, DNA surveys, and direct observations to document as many wolf packs as we can.  Then, during mid-winter, we fly the radio-collared packs and directly observe the number of wovles in those packs.  Multiplying the number of packs documented times the average number of wolves per pack gives us the number of wolves in documented packs.  From prior research, we also know that there is an additional 10-15% of wovles that are not associated with a pack, so an additional 12.5% is added to give us the number of wolves in documented packs (only). 
An important fact - this is not the same as an estimate of the number of wolves in Idaho (as is widely reported), because it does not include any methodology to account for packs that exist, but were not documented.  Thus, it is useful for telling us if we are near or well-above the minimum recovery standard (150 wolves), but it is biased lower than the true population.  Further, changes from year to year don't necessarily reflect changes to the wolf popualtion because the number is affected by how much effort is available to document the number of occupied packs.

answered 11/27/2015

Q: can a friend or family member store game meat?

If a person legally harvests a game animal in Idaho, can they store the meat at a friend or family member's house after it has been processed?


As long as the stored meat is accompanied by a properly filled out proxy statement (see page100 of the 2015-2016 Big Game Rules) it may be stored with a friend or family member.

answered 11/24/2015

Q: What is the difference between bait and an attractor?

Is bait (as defined in Idaho's “Furbearer – Methods of Take/Rules”) and an attractor synonymous? In other words, can the non edible part(s), such as a hide, fur, or feather, of a non game animal be used an a attractor for trapping Coyote? And, lastly, is there any case law dealing with the difference between the two?


‘Bait’ for trapping purposes is defined as any animal parts; except bleached bones or liquid scent.
You also cannot use for bait or scent, any part of a domestic or wild origin game bird, big game animal, upland
game animal, game fish, or protected nongame wildlife;  Although there isn't a definition for attractor or attractant in the rules, it is commonly considered a scent such as pheromones for attracting animals.  However, some trappers frequently use shiney or reflective and mobile objects or feathers to attract bobcats.  These may be considered attractants even though they are not scents.  You therefore can use parts of domestic farm animals such as hair, fur, or feather as bait or attractant but they have to meet the placement rule of not being visible from above and or 30 feet from a trap.

answered 11/23/2015

Q: What are the restrictions/rules for hunting on or near railroad tracks?

I always see deer near the railroad tracks but I can't find anything in the regs about it. I understand it would be considered private property because it is an active track. However, there are no "no trespassing" signs or any orange markers of any type. Is it legal to hunt near the tracks?


Railroad rights of way are private property. 
One should always ask permission to hunt on private property.
Even though the railroad right of way may not be posted ‘no trespassing’ a hunter could be held civilly and criminally liable for damages that may occur on any private property. 

answered 11/22/2015

Q: I am 15. Am i allowed to hunt upland birds ie: pheasants, doves, ducks and geese, without an adult or gaurdian of at least 18 years of age?

I am 15. Am i allowed to hunt upland birds ie: pheasants, doves, ducks and geese, without an adult or gaurdian of at least 18 years of age?


Yes you are.

answered 11/21/2015

Q: What are trap identification numbers?

Do trap identification numbers change every few years for the same trapper or is it a lifetime number? also are these public information if I found a trap with an i.d. Number on it can I find out who it belongs to or a list of licensed trappers in the area or state?


Trapping ID is issued to each trapper for life and is unique to that trapper.  Although we have the trapper's name associated with the tag number, we are not allowed by law to give that name and contact information out to the public. If you found a legal trap it is unlawful to remove the trap or interfere with the lawful trap set.  However, you may contact IDFG at your regional office and ask them to contact the trapper and the trapper may then contact you if you have a concern.  The trapper is not obligated to contact you.  If you found a trap that was set illegally, you should contact IDFG and let us make the contact with the trapper.  Trapping rules and regulations along with videos on how to avoid traps and release your pet from a trap can be found on our website at: .   If you have any further questions please contact your closest fish and game office.

answered 11/20/2015

Q: Transplanted Steelhead Homing Instinct

I was wondering what the typical behavior is of salmon and steelhead that are transplanted into other rivers, like the Boise River? What happens to their homing instinct, and do they typically continue to move upstream or do they go downstream or stay in the same location confused?


Great question! 
We don't have great information on this, but we do have some idea about how these fish typically move. IDFG has tagged some of the steelhead and salmon that have been released into the Boise River. By keeping track of where tagged fish are released, and where they were caught by anglers, we can get some idea of the movement patterns. Most of the salmon and steelhead released tend to move upstream after a day or two of being stocked, so they tend to spread out if they were caught immediately. Some anglers claim to have found Boise River steelhead in odd places like irrigation return drains that connect to the Boise River, and even as far downstream as Star or Middleton. This suggests there are some steelhead turn around and try to "leave" the river, but most seem to stay and move upstream. In some years, anglers have reported catching steelhead as late as March, showing that some spend the entire winter before being caught. However, this is not typical and most steelhead are caught within a month of being transferred to the Boise River. 
Best of luck if you head out on the river! 

answered 11/19/2015


Another 150 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 19, 2015, the last of two planned stocking efforts prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.  In years past, as many as 900 steelhead made the road trip from Hells Canyon Dam to the Boise River, but this year's below-average steelhead return means only about 300 fish will be coming to the Boise River this fall. The fish will be stocked at four locations along the Boise River, including Glenwood Bridge, just below the Broadway Avenue Bridge behind Boise State University, at Parkcenter Bridge and at Barber Park. Anglers should note that no stocking will take place at Americana Bridge due to construction at that location. Besides a fishing license, anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit, good for 20 fish. Though required in other steelhead waters, barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead angling. All steelhead stocked in the Boise River will lack an adipose fin (the small fin normally found immediately behind the dorsal fin). Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches that lacks an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water. Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession, and 20 for the fall season. The fish are A-run hatchery steelhead, returning to the Idaho Power Company-owned and funded Oxbow Hatchery fish trap below Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River. For more information regarding the Boise River steelhead release, contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 465-8465 or check the department's web site at:  

answered 11/18/2015


Although feeding wildife is not illegal it is discouraged by IDFG.  Wild animals like foxes attracted to homes by well meaning individuals also create concerns for transferring disease and parasites to domestic animals, killing domestic animals such as cats, fowl, and small dogs, contracting disease such as parvovirus and distemper from domestic animals (that are vaccinated but still carriers) and transferring it to their offspring, and otherwise at times becoming a nuisance.   Foxes are also great mousers and help control rodent outbreaks.  If they are fed they will hunt less. 
All in all, feeding foxes or any wildlife is not a good idea.

answered 11/18/2015

Q: hunting over food plots

Is it legal for someone to plant a plot of land with intent to hunt over it?


Hunters can hunt over agricultural crops as long as the growing process follows normal agricultural guidelines that are reccommended by county extension agents.

answered 11/18/2015

Q: Opossums

There is an increasing population of opossums in the Weiser area and I can find no mention of them anywhere. Can they be hunted, killed or trapped? Yes their opossums I'm not crazy.


We learned about opposums in the valley a few years ago.  They are not protected and can be harvested as an exotic.

answered 11/17/2015

Q: Junior Hunter able to shoot either sex?

If I purchase a Junior Elk Tag for my son, is he able to shoot either sex Elk during the open season? Or, is there a particular Junior Tag that needs to be purchased to allow him to do so?


A youth (ages 10-17) can hunt both the A and B seasons of an elk zone.  However, the rules of each season must be followed specifically as stated in the Seasons and Rules as per weapon and sex. 

answered 11/16/2015

Q: If hunting in the Any Weapon Season, for elk, deer, etc. can I use a bow and arrow? What if I don't have an archery license, but just my regular hunting license?

I typically hunt in Area 32 with my family who has lived in Emmett since the 40's. I do not have an archery license, because I have never done the hunters education for it. So i was wondering if I could use a bow and arrow during the any weapon seasons. I was reading some other questions and it appeared that it was allowed, but i wanted clarification.


You can use archery equipment in an any weapon hunt without obtaining an archery permit.   An archery permit is only required for an archery only period.

answered 11/15/2015