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 526 - 550 of 3527 questions

Q: rocky mounting bighorn vs. california bighorn

Does Idaho consider Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep the same as California Bighorn sheep in the drawing process? So if I harvested a Rocky Mountain Bighorn could I also then put in for a California Bighorn Sheep the following year(s)?

A: 

Here is some information from our trophy proclamation booklets: Any person who has killed a California bighorn ram or Rocky Mountain bighorn ram, on any controlled hunt in Idaho may not apply for a tag for the same species, except any person who has killed a California bighorn ram south of Interstate Highway 84 since 1974 and is otherwise eligible, may apply for a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram tag for any hunt north of Interstate Highway 84. Any person, who has killed a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram north of Interstate Highway 84 since 1974 and is otherwise eligible, may apply for a California bighorn ram tag for any hunt south of Interstate highway 84. No person applying for a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep controlled hunt as a first choice shall apply for a California bighorn sheep controlled hunt as a second choice. No person shall apply for both a Rocky Mountain and a California bighorn hunt the same year. Please contact our wildlife bureau if you have additional questions about bighorn sheep eligibility rules.
answered 3/2/2015

Q: When will the new regulations be out for controlled hunts for elk for 2015?

When will the new regulations be out for controlled hunts for elk for 2015?

A: 

Big Game seasons are still in proposal phase. You can review the proposed changes here: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/article/2015-big-game-season-state... (Look for the regions that your areas are in). The rules will not be completed until after March 31, 2015.
answered 2/28/2015

Q: Shooting legal ground squirrels and rock chuck.

What license is required to shoot legal ground squirrels and rock chucks?

A: 

I'm glad you mention LEGAL ground squirrels and rock chucks.  Idaho does have ground squirrels that cannot be hunted, see page 48 of our 2014 and 2015 Upland Bame, Furbearer & Turkey Seasons and Rules.  You need a hunting license to hunt any of the wildlife in the Idaho.  If you are a nonresident ther is a Nongame Hunting license availabel at a reduced price that can be used to hunt ground squirrels and marmots.   It is unlawful to take any wildlife without a valid hunting license, or without required tags or permit in possession. No tag or permit is required to hunt ground squirrels or marmots.  Please pay attention to where you are hunting and make sure you have permission to hunt on private land. 
answered 2/28/2015

Q: hunting license/ field day

I'm 17 almost 18 and i completed the online hunting course, and passed do i have to take the field day? if so how do i join? I'm in southeast idaho.

A: 

A field day is required after completing the Hunter Education course. The field day includes a minimum of 2 hours of classroom instruction on Idaho laws followed by a written examination and field exercise to demonstrate safe firearm handling. Sign up for a field day on our hunter education web page. click on 'sign up for classes'. A field day is no longer required for Bowhunter Education online courses. At the completion of the online bowhunter course you will receive an electronic bowhunter certification card to print. The bowhunter online course is available for ages 10 to adult only.
answered 2/27/2015

Q: Out of state Mentored license vs. Passport

I am planning to bring my 17 yr old son to Idaho for his first hunt this fall. He has completed his Hunter Safety Course, but has not ever obtained a hunting license. We will be staying with ,but not necessarily hunting with, his uncle. Would it be best to get a Passport, or does the fact that he has completed the hunters safety course require that he get a Mentor Hunting License? Additionally, when do the current year season dates come out for Idaho?

A: 

If your son has completed all the necessary requirements and is certified in hunter education, but he has never purchased a hunting license in any state before, Idaho's Hunting Passport is a great option.  If he has purchased a license before in any state, he is ineligible to purchase a Hunting Passport and would need to purchase a Junior Mentored Hunting license.      The 2015 seasons and rules brochure for moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep brochure is currently available. The big game brochure, with deer, elk, pronghorn, mountain lion, wolf and black bear seasons, is scheduled to ship the week of April 15. Upland game, furbearers and turkey was printed last year and is good through 2015. The fishing brochure is also good through 2015, so hang on to your copy. Waterfowl rules are due to ship the week of September 15. While these are scheduled shipping dates, they may vary slightly. All seasons and rules brochures will be available on Fish and Game's website at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov the week before arriving at Fish and Game offices and license vendors. Good luck this fall.   
answered 2/27/2015

Q: What to do with roadkill salvage form once printed?

I salvaged and reported a deer hit by a car and it generated a form with all my information on it and a place for a signature, but it did not say what to do with the form. Do I turn it in somewhere locally? Do I mail it in?

A: 

Thanks for the great question! The printed form is for your records. By filling out and being presented that form, we have a digital copy of the form for Idaho Fish and Game's records. You can print it or maintain a PDF of this form for quick referral on a computer or phone. We recommend you keep the salvage form as long as you have the salvaged remnants. If you are salvaging many animals, you might consider creating an account and staying so that you can log in and access your salvaged reports. 
answered 2/25/2015

Q: Menan butte slough

Does the menan butte slough have fish in it? If so what kind?

A: 

Thanks for your interest in fishing around Menan.  The Butte Slough is not a waterbody we have sampeld before, so we have no information on what's in there.  I would guess that some fish are present, though.  My best guess would be that there are some chubs and minnnows in there, but possibly bullhead catfish or even perch.  If you decide to fish it, let me know what you find.   Dan Garren Regional Fisheries Manager 208-525-7290
answered 2/23/2015

Q: fishing for invasive species

i was wondering if there was any specific tags or requirements I would need to fish for invasive species?

A: 

Before we can effectively answer this question, we need more specific information.  Are we talking about a specific species of fish or an invasive crayfish?  We also need to know what body of water you would be fishing and what the final disposition of the fish/wildlife.  For instance, if we are talking about invasive crayfish, you can take as many as you want.  They just can't be alive when they leave the water where they are caught. Clean, drain and dry all your gear to prevent the spread of invasive species.
answered 2/23/2015

Q: Arctic Grayling

What is the catch limit on Arctic Grayling in Horseshoe Lake in Fremont County

A: 

You can catch all you want - but you can only keep 6 Grayling from Horseshoe Lake.
answered 2/23/2015

Q: mortality rate on catch-and -release fishing

I was just wondering what is the current accepted mortality rate on catch and release fishing for trout? Steelhead?

A: 

Your question is very broad and there are well over 100 papers out there on trout to draw on so generalizing is difficult.    Under most conditions,  Catch-and-release mortality or “hooking mortality” of trout is thought to be relatively low in most instances.   There are a number of summary papers out there but one of the most frequently cited suggests hooking mortality rates are around 4-6 % for flies and lures , respectively, to  somewhere around 25% for bait-caught resident trout.    However, some of the better studies that have not relied on caged trout have resulted in considerably lower loss rates than these averages.   For example on Yellowstone cutthroat in Yellowstone National Park, an “un-caged” estimate of hooking mortality was about 0.3% and in the case of wild, uncaged rainbow trout caught with bait and released, the estimate was 16%.   The estimate for bait fishing  in a steelhead or chinook stream are considered much lower (e.g.  5% or less for Steelhead).     
answered 2/23/2015

Q: Nusiance birds

I was wondering if the law has changed on shooting black birds. I am overrun with them and they are eating everything in sight. I am unable to keep suet feeders, for my woodpeckers, or seed feeders, for the other birds. Even the smallest feeders, they simply rock it, until the seed falls out. I may have close to 60 in my yard at one time. The noise and mess is unbearable. With the huge number of black birds, I am hoping that they are now legal to shoot. What are the farmers supposed to do with hundreds of black birds damaging some of their crops?

A: 

No it is illegal to shoot the black birds in your back yard, it sounds like you need to get a different type bird feeder, try a finch feeder or a tube feeder, those feeder types have smaller holes where as the bigger birds cannot get at the food source as easily.
answered 2/22/2015

Q: Feral Cats

How are feral cats classified in Idaho?

A: 

Feral cats are not classified by Idaho Fish and Game as wildlife, they are feral pet animals
answered 2/22/2015

Q: Use of handheld gps radios

I read that the use of radio telemetry is unlawful means to take game except with use of hounds or dogs. What does that specifically mean? Does it mean you cannot track radio collared animals? Or does it mean you cannot use handheld radios to aid another hunter from the ground? Could another hunter guide another to a downed or wounded animal with the help of a handheld radio or gps? Thank you.

A: 

It means you cannot track collared big game animals for the purposes of hunting. There are not limitations on ground to ground communication with other hunters via handheld radio or GPS.
answered 2/21/2015

Q: feral pigs

I have heard that there are a lot of feral pigs in sw Idaho near our border. if this is true , do we need a tag and where would be a good place to hunt them.

A: 

The SW Region is unaware of "a lot" of feral pigs being in SW Idaho by a border.  Some time back (`3-5 years) someone had released feral pigs in the CJ Strike area and efforts were made to remove these feral pigs.  The Department continues to be interested in removing any feral pigs released onto Department land, or in cooperation with county, state, and federal agencies any pigs on any other public land.  A tag is not required but pick up your hunting license. The Department would be interested in any sightings of feral pigs in the CJ Strike area or elsehwere on public land. Thank you. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, SW Region  
answered 2/21/2015

Q: Spring Snow Goose Season

As a new Snow Goose hunter, I find the short spring season length hard to understand. Often times, large groups of Snow Geese do not arrive in Delta, Utah until late February, causing their arrival in Idaho to often not occur until early March, giving dedicated Snow Goose hunters only one good week of hunting until we watch the season close down right as large numbers are pouring through the state. Through my research, every seems to be crying out for a cut-down on these bird's population, as they are causing massive damage in the Tundra. Other states give hunters opportunities to hunt Snow's all the way through April, giving everyone a great opportunity to pursue some great hunting. My question is, why does Idaho offer such a limited Spring Snow Goose opportunity and what could a sportsman such as myself do to voice my desire for a change that would benefit all of our waterfowl hunters and the breeding grounds of many other species. Thank you.

A: 

Because snow geese are migratory game birds, the federal governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, are ultimately responsible for their protection and conservation in North America. In the United States, this responsibility has largely been delegated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Pacific Flyway Council cooperates with the USFWS to develop regulations for migratory birds in the United States west of the Continental Divide. Both organizations consider the welfare of migratory bird populations first, and then public demands for recreation and subsistence harvest, and other uses. The USFWS sets migratory game bird hunting regulations by establishing the frameworks, or outside limits, for season lengths, bag limits, and areas for migratory game bird hunting. The total length of the light (Snow and Ross’s) goose season cannot exceed 107 days. The existing framework established by the USFWS currently allows for light goose hunting until 10 March in the Pacific Flyway; therefore, the March 10 closure is the latest date allowed as per the Federal Framework.  Furthermore, the most recent (2013) Pacific Flyway Management Plan for Western Arctic Population Lesser Snow Geese states the following: “Seek an overabundant designation for WAP lesser snow geese and implementation of Conservation Order seasons in Canada and the United States, or implementation of direct control on the primary breeding colony on Banks Island if the 2013 photo inventory indicates population growth.” The 2013 Banks Island photo inventory did NOT indicate population growth. As a result, an “overabundant” designation has not been sought in the Pacific Flyway to date. However, a banding program was initiated on Banks Island during July 2015 and has been funded through 2019. Results from this work will help to better inform light goose management in the Pacific Flyway in the future.  It is important to note that snow goose seasons in the Pacific Flyway are not similar to the “Conservation" seasons in the Midwest. Snow geese in the Central and Mississippi flyways are from the Mid-continent breeding population, and have been designated as “overabundant” due to extensive damage to their arctic tundra breeding grounds. In an effort to provide hunting opportunity for snow geese in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will continue to recommend a light goose season that closes as late as possible under the Federal Framework.  
answered 2/20/2015

Q: Hunting Licenses

Do I need a hunting license to shoot ground squirrels with my bow?

A: 

Great Question and sometimes difficult to understand when the answer might vary depending on what state you are hunting in.  In Idaho the answer is provided by statute found in Idaho Code 36-401 which states “No person shall hunt trap or fish for or take any wild animal, bird, or fish of this state, without first having procured a license as hereinafter provided.”   So, no matter what weapon you are using you will need a hunting license to hunt for and shoot ground squirrels with all weapons including a bow. 
answered 2/20/2015

Q: fishing on border waters or near-border waters

Have there been any proposals to have special purchase for Idaho residents to be able to pay $20 more for a seasonal fishing license for Owyhee Res.? Or other bodies of water that are very close to Idaho's border? Have there been any proposals to look at and change the rules that prevent us from fishing on the Oregon or Washington banks of the Snake River?

A: 

Idaho is considered a progressive and influential state when it comes to fish and wildlife management but unfortunately, we only have authority to authorize and manage fishing and hunting privileges within the boundaries of Idaho.  Owyhee Reservoir is well inside the State of Oregon and they require Idaho residents to buy nonresident fishing licenses to help pay for management costs.  There is no incentive for them to give-up that revenue.  The same with Idaho residents fishing from Washington and Oregon terra firma.  There is no incentive for them to forgo the money generated from the sale of nonresident fishing licenses purchased by Idaho anglers. We do have reciprocal agreements with Washington, Utah and Oregon to share border waters.  I think that's the best we can do for the present time. Short answer to your question - no, we won't be selling fishing licenses to fish in Oregon or Washington.  
answered 2/18/2015

Q: When is the next northern Idaho (region 1 or 2) trapping class for youths?

When will region 1 or 2 have another trapping class for youths?

A: 

Thank you for your question.   Trapper education is new in Idaho and the Department of Fish and Game is recruiting volunteer instructors to begin offering classes.  Trapper education is not currently a requirement to trap in Idaho, but a few classes are being offered as a public service to promote ethical and safe trapping practices.  As more volunteer instructors are recruited into the program, the number of classes available will increase. Classes were recently completed in both Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene.  There are no additional trapping classes currently on the schedule for either the Panhandle Region or the Clearwater Region. When classes are scheduled, they are posted on the Idaho Fish and Game website, fishandgame.idaho.gov.  The see the available classes, go to the “Education” tab.  The only classes currently available are in Idaho Falls and Nampa.
answered 2/18/2015

Q: Steelhead fishing on the Southfork of The Clearwater

I have a trip planned to fish on the Southfork of The Clearwater for Steelhead on the 12th,13th,14th and 15th of March. Last year we went up and fished the last weekend of March and the Steelhead were already up the river. So my question is; will this be too late to catch the large pods of fish coming up the river?

A: 

In most years, the dates you selected would align with a peak in steelhead movement up the South Fork Clearwater River.  However, the warmer weather we are experiencing this winter has got the steelhead moving early.  In fact, based on the number of PIT tagged steelhead we are detecting moving up the South Fork Clearwater, I would say that the peak in movement is probably occurring right now.  Fishing should still be good in mid-March, but the steelhead should be distributed more throughout the drainage.  
answered 2/18/2015

Q: Large Norway Rat locations around Twin Falls

Is there a Norway Rat population located in around Twin Falls county for shooting opportunities with an air rifle? I know they would be hunted at night and what is the procedure to obtain permission to do this type of hunting?

A: 

I am not aware of any large populations of norway or brown rats in Twin Falls. Additionally, this type of rat tends to be closely tied to urban populations, and human concentrations. the City of twin Falls has ordinances preventing shooting in city limits. It is my understanding that these ordinances would include air rifles as well. Josh Royse, Regional Conservation Officer
answered 2/17/2015

Q: hunting license

Do we need a hunting to go out and target shoot on public lands?

A: 

No, a hunting license is not required to target shoot on public lands.  However, a hunting license is required when in the act of hunting, which is defined as the following: chasing, hunting, driving, flushing, attracting, pursuing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, shooting at, stalking, or lying in wait for, any wildlife whether or not such wildlife is then or subsequently captured, killed, taken, or wounded.
answered 2/17/2015

Q: 2014 non-resident second tag sales

How many 2014 non-resident second tag were sold?

A: 

Thanks for your question!  For calendar year 2014, the department sold 3,386 second nonresident deer tags, and 1,078 second nonresident elk tags.
answered 2/17/2015

Q: The Boise River?

I know this is going to sound silly, but here goes. How old is the rock in the Boise River? the round rock.? thank you, Charlotte Ferguson

A: 

This answer would be better suited for the Idaho Geological Survey. However, generally any specific rock in the bottom of any river really could be any age from the source rocks that "feed" that river. The Boise River flows through a variety of rock formations feeding the river. 
answered 2/16/2015

Q: Tritium powered devices

Why is it legal to have a tritium powered scope on a rifle but not on an archery sight on a bow? Illegal to use.. Rifle & Shotgun... "With any electronic device attached to, or incorporated on, the firearm or scope; except scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles are allowed." Archery... "With any electronic or tritium-powered device attached to an arrow, bolt or bow. Except disabled archery permit holders may use a non magnifying sight with battery powered or tritium lighted reticles.

A: 

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission support equipment regulations for archery and muzzleloader equipment that are consistent with the primitive nature of the weapons.
answered 2/16/2015

Q: Traditional hunting vs technology

Can people mount electronics to their hunting weapon such as a camera on a 22 while hunting rabbits or a shotgun while waterfowl hunting I believe this is unfair and weird.

A: 

It is legal to operate a bow or gun mounted camera while hunting rabbits or waterfowl in Idaho.  However, it is not legal to do this while hunting big game.
answered 2/9/2015