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 1114 questions


It is unlawful to hunt any big game animals, upland game animals or fur bearing animals with the aid of any artificial light. Some species of animals may be hunted by obtaining a permit.

A Permit to Hunt with Artificial Light is required to hunt predators (only Coyote, Jackrabbit and Skunk) and unprotected animals (animals not classified as game or protected animals).

Permits may be obtained at the Regional Fish and Game office you intend to hunt. Regions consider the potential to injure other people, disturb or kill big game, disturb or damage private property such as buildings, livestock, irrigation systems etc. and trigger complaints of unlawful activity. Permits are very restrictive and require notification to the County Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Game Regional Office for each trip. The permit restricts caliber, light application, distance from residences and campgrounds, season, private property, areas with livestock and cannot be uses during any general or controlled big game season.

Landowners can authorize hunting at night with a spotlight on their privately owned property y by issuing written permission. A hunting license is required. When hunting on private property with written permission a permit from Fish and Game is not required.

answered 1/9/2019


Price Lock is a win-win for you and Idaho Fish and Game. You are keeping your costs to fish, hunt and trap among the lowest in the West, and you are providing consistent funding for wildlife conservation, management and enforcement. In short, with Price Lock you are investing in Idaho’s fish and wildlife – making sure it is there next time you go hunting and fishing.

answered 6/23/2017


The Access/Depredation Fee is separate. This fee was enacted by the State Legislature to increase funds available to reimburse landowners for damage caused by wildlife to their crops and property.  The access portion of the fee will go to improve hunting and fishing access.  Learn more about this fee on the Access/Depredation page

answered 6/22/2017


Idaho hunter education and bowhunter education are offered in all parts of the state, but availability varies by region. To find out when classes are offered, check the Idaho Fish and Game Website.

On the home page, click on the "Hunter Education" link in the education menu or the "Hunter Education" button in the right hand column. On the Hunter Education page, click on the link labeled "View or Sign Up for Courses Here." On the next page, scroll down and pick the course you are interested in and then click "View Upcoming Events" to find the nearest town from the list provided. "View Event" and "Register Now" when you find the class or field day you need.

Don't put it off until the last minute, later in the year, as hunting seasons get closer, classes fill up fast!

answered 7/21/2016

Q: What do you mean by center-fire rifle? Is there such a thing as off-center?

If so, where might I find one and what would I use it for?


Rimfire rifles strike the rim of the casing to ignite the primer rather than the center of the cartride. For this to work the cartridge walls need to be thin enough to be crushed by the firing pin and ignite the primer.  These thin brass walls limit the amount of gunpowder that may be used and consequently their use is limited to small calibers.  The 22LR (Long Rifle) is the most common round using a rimfire setup.

Rimfire rifles may not be used big game hunting in Idaho. More information about rimfire ammunition may be found on wikipedia.

answered 6/29/2016

Q: I'm getting the wrong number dialing in to buy an Idaho hunting or fishing license

I tried to dial 1-800-824-3729 like my favorite blog recommended, but that didn't connect to buy a license.


1-800-824-3729 has been retired for a while as a place to buy licenses from us.

Idaho Fish and Game does have an 800-number for purchasing licenses, but the number above has been retired for this purpose.


If you'd like to call-in to buy your hunting or fishing licenses, applications, tags, or permits, then dial: 1-800-554-8685

Most all of the places you'll find this number are in older press releases or in well-meaning blogs or articles that are a little bit out-of-date. 

answered 5/16/2016

Q: Is it legal to feed small herd of white tail deer in Winchester Idaho on are property.

We have several Apple trees on are property and deer have bin eating them for long time we like to watch them and take pics and stuff . My ? Is can I put feeders out there and help keep them heathy wen trees arnt making apples and Cherry's and plums. Thanks Shawn w hammond


The deer do not need supplemental feed to survive.  Typically when deer are fed they concentrate in the area of feeding denuding the vegetation close by and passing disease through contact at the feeders.  Also, deer when being fed tend to keep the youngest from the feeders and frequently cause them to starve or become injured.  Supplemental feeding no matter the time of year is not something we recommend.  Is it legal?  So long as you aren't hunting off them yes.  Is it a good thing to do?  No.

answered 4/26/2016

Q: Can I buy a resident controlled mule-deer-ONLY tag (e.g. Unit 18) AND a resident over-the-counter whitetail tag since these are different species?

I am considering putting in for a resident controlled deer hunt in Unit 18 this year, which is a Mule Deer Only controlled hunt.
Would I still be able to purchase a resident over-the-counter Whitetail tag this year, since these are different species?
The Idaho F&G Controlled Hunt regs say:
Any person whose name is drawn in a controlled hunt for
deer or elk is prohibited from hunting in any other hunt
for the same species (archery, muzzleloader or general),
except when the hunter has drawn an extra controlled
hunt tag or depredation hunt, or has purchased a leftover
nonresident general season tag for that species at the
nonresident price.
Since Whitetail and Mule Deer are separate species, would I be able to get both tags (one controlled, one over-the-counter) at resident prices? Or are you lumping Mule Deer and Whitetail deer together and treating them as a single “species”?
Thank you for your help!


You cannot purchase a resident limited deer controlled hunt tag and a resident general season deer tag in the same season. However, if you draw the limited deer controlled hunt tag in unit 18 and purchase the resident deer controlled hunt tag, the only other general season deer tag you may purchase would the Res-Nonres general season deer tag, at the nonresident price provided the quota has not been sold out. The Res-Nonres general season deer tag could be the regular deer tag or the white-tail deer tag.

answered 4/21/2016

Q: Unit 38

My question is unit 38 is short range weapons only and Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Lake Lowell, Unit 38-1b, 38-1xb is all that is closed in unit 38 because it is controlled hunt only?


For general deer season in Unit 38 you can hunt the short-range weapon season and/or the archery only season.  Both the Regular Deer Tag and the White-tailed Deer Tag are available to be used in Unit 38; but make sure your tag matches the season and method, and species your are hunting.  The Regular Deer Tag can be used to harvest a mule deer or white-tailed deer in Unit 38 in the season for that tag. The White-tailed deer tag is only valid for a white-tailed deer during the season for that tag.  There is no any weapon (rifle) season for Unit 38.
You are correct that the Lake Lowell section of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is closed during the Unit 38 general deer hunts.  You can only hunt on the Lake Lowell section of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge if you draw the antlered or antlerless controlled hunt(s) that are available for that area.  There are other portions of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge that are not contiguous with the Lake Lowell section that are not part of the controlled hunt but would be part of the regular season hunt.
In addition you should be aware that any State Park in Idaho is closed with a few exceptions.  To see these exceptions you can look them up on page 96 (left hand column) of the 2015-2016 Big Game Regulations.   
Also remember that most cities/towns have a regulation against discharging a firearm within city/town limits and this usually includes bow/arrows.

answered 4/18/2016

Q: What are the rules about raising deer for meat?

I looked around the website as much as I could and I could not find any information about raising deer or elk on a farm for meat. What are the rules, what permits would I need? Would I need to post no trespassing and no hunting? How likely is it that they would be bothered more than cows in pasture land?


Domestic wildlife (deer and elk) are considered livestock and are therefore managed by Idaho Department of Agriculture.  You would have to contact them for rules and regulations regarding game farming.

answered 4/8/2016

Q: Can I complete Oregon's hunter education if I'm an Idaho resident?

Can I complete the Oregon hunter's education course, if I'm an Idaho resident, and have never taken it?


A hunter education certification from another state would qualify for purchasing a hunting license in Idaho. This includes online and instructor-led courses. States vary whether they accept non-residents into hunter education courses. To find out contact the hunter education program in the state where you plan on taking hunter education.

answered 4/5/2016

Q: Moose hunting non-resident allocation.

Hunt #3043 for Moose, 2015, shows that there were 2 tags available, but 1 was awarded to a non-resident.
Since there were more than 2 resident applicants, how can this be?


Idaho Fish and Game Commission rules for controlled hunts state: In controlled hunts with ten (10) or fewer tags, not more than one (1) nonresident tag will be issued. In controlled hunts, EXCEPT unlimited controlled hunts, with more than ten (10) tags, not more than ten percent (10%) of the tags will be issued to nonresidents. This rule shall be applied to each uniquely numbered controlled hunt and to the controlled hunts for each species.
Based on the rule stated above, the hunt with two tags could potentially have one tag drawn by a nonresident. It does not guarantee one tag will go to a nonresident but there is a chance one could in the random draw process.

answered 4/1/2016

Q: Can you hunt Waterfowl/ Migratory birds in Idaho with a shotgun suppressor/silencer?

Can you hunt Waterfowl/ Migratory birds in Idaho with a shotgun suppressor/silencer?


There is no state code preventing the use of suppressors for the purposes of hunting. other Applicable federal laws may come into play.

answered 3/27/2016

Q: Felon archery hunting

I would just like clarification on the rule change. Can any felon archery hunt? The wording is just a little confusing and don't want to come to your state and do something illegal when it can be prevented. The wording explosive action and fewer restrictions are getting me. Contacted state police and they told me to contact you guys.


The answer provided below is a reprint from a similar question asked by another individual.
Idaho no longer restricts felons' possession of archery equipment. In general, there are fewer restrictions for weapons that do not involve explosive action.
PLEASE NOTE: Individuals convicted of felonies are responsible for doing their own research to see if the law allows them to possess firearms. Laws vary among states and the federal government as to the restriction and restoration of rights for convicted felons.
Also note that, in Idaho, one does need a bowhunter certification to hunt in an archery only hunt.
This past legislative season, the rules defining a firearm restriction were indeed changed. As of July 1, 2015, there are now fewer restrictions on what firearms that certain felons may possess.
Idaho Code Section 18-3302 defines “firearm” as “any weapon that will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”
This includes all guns using explosive force, including:
muzzleloaders and similar guns.
Before July 1, 2015 there was a different and broader definition of firearm that no longer applies.
Here are links to the basic Idaho laws on this subject:

answered 3/27/2016


Yes they are legal for turkeys but not for big game.  So you must be careful if there is a big game season occuring while you are hunting turkeys because you could be in violation if you are also hunting big game.

answered 3/27/2016


No birds may be shot without a license. Unprotected non-native species, such as European Starlings and Eurasian Collared-doves, may be taken year-round by those possessing a valid hunting license.

answered 3/22/2016

Q: Motorized hunting rule

My question is similar in nature to the question found here:
Except I'd like to ask about meat removal. Is it acceptable to shuttle meat on an open trail in a hunting motorized restricted area? Similar to the guy above I understand that I can ride in and then begin my hunt. Just curious if once I'm way back in there if the meat has to be carried out or if I can ride out. Not sure if it would classify as an aid to hunting or not? Thank you


There are several exceptions to the Motorized Hunting Rule (page 102 of the 2015-2016 Big Game Seasons and Rules).  One of these state: Hunters may use a motorized vehicle to retrieve downed game if such travel is allowed by the land owner or manager.  This would apply to both public and private land.  In the case of public land, the road or trail used to retrieve downed game must be open for motorized travel.  Exceptions to the MHR do not allow travel prohibited by land owners or managers.  Also, riders of the motorized vehicle could not be engaged in the activity of hunting as defined in Idaho Code Section 36-202(j) during the retrieval of downed game.   

answered 3/21/2016

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?


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 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:

answered 3/15/2016


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?


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: Nonresident gun carry

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


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?


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

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?


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: Out of state open carry in idaho.

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



answered 2/15/2016