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 1 - 25 of 53 questions

Q: waterfoul hunting the clearwater river in Lewiston

I've seen quite a few fishing access signs on 95 heading south out of Lewiston along the clear water river. Can you duck hunt at these access points or is it fishing only?


The access sites along the Clearwater River east of Lewiston are mainly to provide boating and fishing access.  Be aware that all hunting is closed in the Lewiston Preserve, from Lewiston east to the railroad bridge at Spaulding. The Nez Perce National Historical Park in Nez Perce County is also closed to hunting of all game birds. Please contact the Clearwater Fish and Game office in Lewiston at 208-799-5010 for more details.   

answered 1/27/2016

Q: Duck hunting

If I want to hunt the banks of the snake river along map rock (not in front of the airport of course) but along the water below the highway and trench Through the Russian olive trees; can I game to shoot as long as my shot is towards the water?
Also, I went and took my step son out to teach him do's and don'ts about hunting. Our location was the Roswell Marsh Wma off pin and marker rd. Can we hunt the ponds across hwy 18 to the east?


That area is a little tough to hunt because in many places it is a very narrow strip of land between the road and river.  You can hunt on private land along the river with permission from the landowner or along any public land that is open. We emphasize safety and respect for property.  Also, it is very important to have the ability to retrieve ducks (boat or retriever, or both), and remember it is illegal for you to have your dog retrieve down birds on private property that you do not have permission to access.  You can access the water along that stretch of road by public boat launches.
Not sure we are following your question about the Roswell March WMA. The road runs east and west.  The ponds on the south side of Hwy 18 are public and managed by IDFG (with hunt days of Thurs/Fri/Sat only) and upland portion of Roswell can be hunted 7 days/week.  The ponds north of Hwy 18 are private.  Here is a link to a map of the area.

answered 12/20/2015

Q: floating duck blind

what are the regulations if any concerning a floating duck blind on the Pend Oreille river? can I anchor a blind in a bay for the season?


Many landowners along the Pend Oreille River own property well below the ordinary high water mark.  Anchoring anything on private property would require permission from the landowner.  IDFG also owns several parcels along the river, as part of the Pend Oreille Wildlife Management Area.  Leaving a constructed blind on IDFG managed lands in not allowed.  Any blind placed on public property would be available to any hunter on a first-come-first-serve basis.

answered 12/28/2014

Q: Duck hunting the Boise S.F.

Are you allowed to duck hunt the Boise south fork river between Lucky Peak and Anderson Reservoir?



answered 12/9/2014

Q: Does my 18 year old son need a duck stamp to hunt geese with a passport

Provide as many specifics as you can to help better answer your question. Please omit personal information in this area.


Yes he does, A Federal Migratory Bird Stamp is required for any waterfowl hunter 16 years or older.

answered 11/26/2014

Q: Non-Resident Hunter Education Certification?

Are Hunter Education Certification Cards accepted from the State of Texas. I plan to buy a non-resident Small Game Hunting License for a duck hunt in Idaho in December. I am 23 years old and completed the Texas Hunter Ed. Certification Class 6 years ago and have my Certification card as well as a current Texas Hunting license that indicates I am HIP certified. Thank you


Idaho accepts Hunter Education certification from any State.

answered 11/5/2014

Q: Guided goose hunts

I understand Idaho is a non guide waterfowl state. How can four advertise guided goose and duck hunts on private land. Guiding is guiding from my perspective.


You are correct.  There is a moratorium on outfitted waterfowl hunts for licensed outfitters and only those outfitters grandfathered can continue doing so.  However, in 2013 Idaho law was changed to allow private land outfitting/guiding without a license.  Here is the specific language from Idaho Code 36-2103 (2): A person who obtains permission to outfit or guide on private property from the property owner is required to be licensed as an outfitter or guide unless the terms of a written agreement with the property owner do not require licensure.  So, on private property it is for the landowner to determine licensure requirements for his/her property.

answered 11/4/2014

Q: Duck Hunting from a Drift Boat

Is it legal to hunt duck from a moving drift boat that does not have a motor?


Yes it is legal to hunt out of a boat under natural drift.

answered 11/3/2014

Q: duck stamp mailed to wrong address

The cashier who processed my duck stamp request typed a faulty address onto my duck stamp receipt. How can I have this sent to the correct address so that I am not forced to buy another stamp when this receipt is no longer valid?


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has contracted with a company to mail out the physical Federal Duck stamp. You will need to contact the Amplex corporation at 1-800-889-8871 or to provide them with the correct address to send your duck stampe. For Idaho Fish and Game you may contact our license section at 208-334-2592 to have your address information updated or you can update the address information the next time you purchase a license.

answered 10/23/2014

Q: Duck Hunting on lake shores

I was wondering if I can hunt ducks off the shore on Hauser Lake and Cougar Bay? I know I can hunt ducks in these locations but can I shoot from the shore even if the road is very close?


Part of Cougar Bay shoreline is owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and may be hunted.  Remaining portions are private property and would require permission from a landowner for access and hunting.  The southeast portion of Hauser Lake is incorporated within the city limits of the City of Hauser and is subject to any city ordinances regarding shooting.  The remaining shores of Hauser Lake are largely privately owned and access for hunting would be by permission of a landowner.  Excluding highway right-of-way property, proximity to roads is not addressed in Idaho Code.  It must be stated, however, that though it may be legal, it may be unwise to hunt or shoot in very close proximity to a public roadway.  Hunters should always keep in mind how their activities may appear to the non-hunting public.

answered 10/13/2014

Q: Is it hunting if your weapon is still in its case?

I understand that you can't hunt before shooting hours, but would it still be legal to wait in a blind for deer before shooting hours if my weapon wasn't in any way loaded or perhaps even out of its case yet?


You are fine to carry your firearm to your blind.  Its your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  Duck hunter almost always access their hunting blinds in the dark.

answered 10/11/2014

Q: Wood duck

Where in eastern Idaho is a good spot to find wood duck? When's the best time to find them?


Wood ducks can be found in wooded streams, marshes, small lakes and beaver ponds and may be seen year-round. A few choice spots in eastern Idaho where they can be encountered is at Deer Parks Wildlife Mitigation Unit about 10 miles west of Rexburg, along the Snake River from Firth to American Falls Reservoir, and the lower South Fork of the Snake- below Heise, 

answered 10/4/2014

Q: Cartier Slough is bone dry!

I went out over the weekend to Cartier Slough to scout out some blind sites for the opeing of duck season. That place is bone dry! Where is all the water is the back channels?


Sorry to get back to you so late. I just had a chance to check out Cartier Slough WMA this morning.
I found more water in the big channels than there has been in the last few years.
We do not have control of the water on the WMA. We do not have any water rights from the river to fill channels. I still don't know why it comes and goes like it does. When the river is higher, it subs up and fills some of the channels. It will be there one week and gone the next.
I can't promise that the water there now will be there when waterfowl opens. Depends on the river level.
Below are a couple pictures I took on the NE side this morning. Most of the larger outer channels have this much water.
I took pictures of water in most of the channels, but the file would be too large to send.
If you went in from Beaver Dick Park, you may have hit some of the inner channels that don't get much water.
If you want to find some these channels, please contact me and I can show you around.
Thanks, Paul Faulkner 390-0617

answered 9/22/2014

Q: Youth duck hunter [Using passport]

If my 8 year old gets the hunter passport this year could he hunt ducks? If so does that mean that he couldn't next year because he would only be 9?


That is correct.  The Hunting Passport can introduce your child to the hunt as early as age 8 before investing in taking hunter education; but they have to take hunter education to obtain a junior hunting license at age 10.

answered 9/7/2014

Q: Electronic Federal Duck Stamp

What are your laws about federal duck stamps? And what about the electronic duck stamp? Do you see Issues with temporary vs actual stamp and passing it along to others? Do you require a Signature? and can you Affixing the duck stamp to the waterfowl license?


Please refer to Idaho Waterfowl and Seasons and Rules book.  You may affix the stamp to your license, however, please remember that stamp is good into the new year so remember to keep your old license with stamp attached until the end of the season.
Stamps and Validations:• Federal Migratory Bird Stamp signed in ink by the holder, is required for any waterfowl hunter 16 or older. They areavailable at U.S. post offices for $15 and valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Hunters may also buy areceipt for the stamp at any Fish and Game office or license vendor for $17.75. The receipt is valid 45 days from the dateof issue, sufficient time for the actual stamp to arrive in the mail.• Federal Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program validation (federal HIP), costs $1.75 for residents,or $4.75 for nonresidents, effective from January 1 through December 31 of each year. Required for all waterfowlhunters.Both are available online at: and at any license vendor.

answered 7/3/2014

Q: Volunteering for goose and duck banding

I'm 13 years old I would like to help banding ducks and geese in eastern idaho region. If so when and were. My names kinnen shaw, thank you very much.


These opportunities are not available to sign up for online currently.
To find volunteer opportunities such as you describe, please contact your local regional office:

answered 5/17/2014

Q: Duck hunting [Minidoka or Cassia counties]

Where can I find some good spots to hunt in the Minidoka...or cassia regions


Please contact the Magic Valley Region office at 1-208-324-8137.

answered 5/7/2014

Q: Waterfowl

At fuller park in meridian a mallard duck had laid her eggs underneath a slide in the playground.Today a greens keeper removed the eggs and tried to relocate the hen mallard and her eggs,but with no luck the hen didn't follow and the eggs are gone now. My question is, is it unlawful to remove waterfowl eggs? And if so how do you relocate waterfowl eggs legally?


Mallard ducks are classified as waterfowl and are a protected migratory bird.  But wild mallards would not nest under a playground slide.  Without seeing the bird , I would guess the mallard was a domestic release or a crossbreed.
Typical duck behavior would be to build a nest away from people in a grassy area where the nest is hidden from predators (people included).  Under normal situations (wild bird) the nest would be protected from distrubance, and it would be unlawful to move the nest.

answered 5/1/2014

Q: Please re-clairfy where it is legal to waterfowl hunt on Blacks Creek Res during the normal hunting season. [There are new signs now]

Previous Question: Is it legal to duck hunt out at Blacks Creek Reservoir?
IDF&G Answer: Yes, waterfowl hunting is allowed at Black's Creek reservoir Please honor any Safety Zone postings to provide public safety to other users.
New Question: Please re -clarify where it is legal to waterfowl hunt on Blacks Creek Reservoir during the normal waterfowl season so no rules are broken.
I drove down to Blacks Creek Reservior to bird watch, I noticed the entire Black Creek Reservior is fenced off with barbed wire and plastic tags to indicate a fence for birds so they don't fly into it. Next to the Bird Reserve signs on the East side there are additions signs that say No shooting, No dumping, No vehicle off road. Please explain the boundries that can be leagly accessed down to the reservoir and which areas on the reservoir can be hunted during the normal waterfowl season. Can a hunter park on the Eastside of the parking area next to the Bird Reserve signs grab their decoys and walk all the way down to the reservior to hunt which side of the reservoir North South East or West that would not infringe on any Saftey Zone? There needs to be better clarification to explain that hunting is premitted on the reservoir, it only has bird vewing signs also where are the safety zone that need to be pointed out. Please clairfy thank you for your time.


This is being answered in April, 2014.  It may be that the signage you see now applies now and may change when waterfowl season comes around in early fall.  Please check with the Southwest Region office for up-to-date information next fall.  Their number is 208-465-8465.

answered 3/31/2014

Q: What are the rules regarding set up and removal of non-electronic duck or goose decoys on private land?

Are the rules stating decoys must be set up and taken down within two hours of the start/stop of the daily hunting hours applicable to private land hunting? Or can you leave the decoys up for days at a time if hunting on private land?


Sorry for the delay in responding.  The rule is specific to Idaho Fish and Game lands only.  There is no such rule for other public or private lands.

answered 1/5/2014


There are waterfowl hunting opportunities on the Sterling Wildlife Management Area (WMA), at the American Falls Reservoir, McTucker Ponds area, as well as the Portneuf River near Pocatello.  Be aware that the Fort Hall Indian Reservation land is close by and that it cannot be hunted without a special permit from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe.

answered 1/4/2014


There are several ponds on Sterling WMA that provide good duck hunting.  However many of them freeze up pretty early most years.  Call the Southeast Regional office (232-4703) and ask for Dean Rose, the WMA manager.  He can give you up-to-date information on the conditions and give you advice on where to hunt.

answered 1/4/2014

Q: Transfer duck stamp between licenses?

I bought a duck stamp, attached it to my 2013 Sportsman's Package license, and signed the face of it (as per the instructions that come with the stamp). Now that I have my 2014 license, I am wondering if I have to buy a new duck stamp (even though the old one is still valid). Can I just keep the old license (with current duck stamp attached) in my possession?


Federal duck stamps are valid July 1 of one year through June 30 of the next.  You can carry it with you during the spring/winter waterfowl seasons.  The stamp isn't associated with a particular license number, but with the hunter who has signed it.  You can carry it with you for the time it is valid as long as it is signed.

answered 1/1/2014

Q: My 16th birthday was in December so do I need to get a duck stamp to finish the rest of the waterfowl season?

I was 15 when the season started so I didn't need a duck stamp but after my birthday do I need one. Also when it is January do I need to get on or can I wait until the season is over?


The Federal Duck stamp is required for hunters 16 and older.  You must have one now that you are 16 if you want to hunt this winter.

answered 12/30/2013


Idaho offers lots of duck hunting opportunity throughout our state.  Fish and Game's Wildlife Management Areas are good place to start.  There are 32 WMA's throughout our state.  You can learn more about the one closest to you by clicking on the following link:
Good luck!

answered 12/29/2013