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 136 questions

Q: Turkey tags?

I drew a unit 38 turkey tag April 15-30 was the dates I believe, I harvested a bird on the 16th. Am I able to buy another turkey tag and go hunt in a general unit for another bird?


Yes, you can purchase one extra turkey tag for the spring general season hunt. You may purchase a second extra turkey tag for a fall general season hunt as well.

answered 4/23/2016

Q: Spring turkey draw

When is the draw time for spring turkey for controlled hunts?


The drawing was done several weeks ago. Look up your results at the link below. Thanks
Spring Turkey Drawing Results

answered 4/20/2016

Q: Wild turkey range

I thought I saw a wild turkey on the the river between Garden City and Eagle along the Greenbelt by Eagle Island. It was near the heron nesting area. Is that possible?


Yes, it is possible. There is a fairly healthy population of wild turkeys along the Boise River corridor from Eagle to where the Boise River joins the Snake River. It is fairly common for Fish and Game to receive sightings from the Eagle area. Occasionally, Fish and Game even receives observations from Boise.

answered 4/11/2016


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

Q: Turkey Hunting.

Are there any Turkey's on Idaho WMA's ?


Yes, several WMAs have turkeys.  Two of the better known WMAs include Craig Mt. WMA and Cecil Andrus, but they also occur on Fort Boise, Boise River, and in eastern Idaho.  Depending on where you live you may be able to find turkeys on WMAs.  You can call the local regional office to get more specific information or  go to our website in the turkey section of the rules to locate distribution of turkeys in Idaho.

answered 2/7/2016

Q: Whistle pigs/ground squirrels

Is it legal to hunt whistle pigs in Southwest Idaho/Kuna area?? Am aware of the Birds of Prey restrictions. If this info can be found in the hunting regs., please reference the page number. Thanks!!


Ground squirrels (sometimes called "whistle pigs") in southern Ada County are predominately the type called "Piute ground squirrel."  This species is considered to be Unprotected Wildlife in Idaho Administrative Code (IDAPA 13.01.06).  IDAPA 13.01.06, Section 300.03 states: "Those species of wildlife classified as Unprotected Wildlife and Predatory Wildlife may be taken in any amount, at any time, and in any manner not prohibited by state or federal law, by holders of the appropriate valid Idaho hunting, trapping, or combination hunting and fishing licenses, provided such taking is not in violation of state, county, or city laws, ordinances, or regulations."  Additional information can be found on page 39 of the 2016-2017 Upland Game, Furbearer, and Turkey regulations brochure, as well as the IDFG website at: .  Shooting regulations for the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area can be found on the Idaho BLM website.  Currently, these regulations can be found at this web address:

answered 2/4/2016

Q: Shed Hunting: can I use an antler trap?

I was wondering if there are any restrictions using baited antler traps in the Boise foothills? This is a simple antler trap using a salt lick or any other bait, that is surrounded with stretched out bungee cords to drop the antlers that might still be on any deer trying to get at the bait. I've seen them before but wanted to know if they were legal in the state.


Antler traps are legal as long as the animal is not harmed by the "trap".
If placing an antler trap on public ground, check with the land management agency, they may have restrictions on placing items that are left unattended.
One word of caution, if using bait to attract animals to the antler trap, it is unlawful to use bait to attract wildlife (turkey, deer, elk etc.) and then hunt them.

answered 1/29/2016

Q: can you use a muzzleloader as a shotgun for upland game birds like grouse and quail

So I was wondering if you could use a muzzleloader with small shot (size 8-6 lead shot) for hunting grouse and quail during the end of the hunting season for them?


In Idaho, upland game birds (except forest grouse) may be taken with a firearm as long as the firearm is classified as a shotgun.  This can be found on page 18 of the 2014-2015 Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey regulations. 
18 USC 921 states:
The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
This means that only smooth bore shoulder fired firearms are legal for the taking of upland game birds (except forest grouse).  If a firearms contains a rifled barrel, this firearm is not classified as a shotgun and would be illegal for the taking of upland game birds (except forest grouse) regardless of the projectile(s) fired.
A smooth bore muzzleloader would be legal in this instance.
The same is also true of handguns chambered in calibers such as .45 long colt.  Although this firearm is capable of firing .410 shot shells, the barrel is rifled.  Federal law requires all barrels under 18 inches in length to contain rifled bores.  This firearm would not be classified as a shotgun and would be illegal for taking upland game birds (except forest grouse).

answered 1/6/2016

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

Q: Why the different ages for the different youth hunts?

Why do we have different ages for youth hunts? Turkey youth hunt is age 10 to 15.. Age for pheasant and waterfowl youth hunts is age 10 to15. Big game hunts are age 10 to 17. Why don't we put all youth hunts at ages 10 to 17?


Thank you for the question.
The Department put together a team last winter to look at these types of rules and will be making a recommendation to simplify and make youth hunting opportunities more consistent. These rules will need to be approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and be approved through the legislative process before they are enacted. Thank you.

answered 10/8/2015

Q: Bow hunting licenses

Since I am of the age of 65, I can purchase a combination at a reduce price. Why is it not available for a bow license, not a tag. If the state offers a
a lower price for a senior license, why can't they offer it to a bow hunter for the age of 65 and older?


I want to thank you for taking the time to write about the tag and permit fees paid by those holding senior licenses. 
The Department of Fish and Game does not receive any financial support from the state’s general fund. Therefore, the funding for Idaho’s fish and wildlife programs comes solely from you and other anglers and hunters through your purchase of fishing and hunting licenses, tags and permits. The fees collected through the sale of licenses, tags, and permits goes to pay for habitat improvement, population management, Wildlife Management Areas, hundreds of fishing and boating access sites, millions of fish stocked into some of your favorite fishing spots, conservation enforcement and much more.
In 1998, the Idaho State Code was changed to reduce the age requirements for the senior combination license from age 70 to age 65 as long as the individual had domiciled in Idaho for the prior 5 years. Along with this change, the Idaho Code was also changed to reference the items that holders of a Junior, Senior or Disabled American Veteran licenses could purchase at a discount. These items were deer, elk, bear and turkey tags. Below is the Statute.
36-409.  Game tags -- Permits -- Fees -- Penalty. (a) Resident Game Tags. A resident who has obtained authorization to hunt, as provided in section 36-401, Idaho Code, or has purchased or obtained a license to hunt, as provided in section 36-406, Idaho Code, upon payment of the fees provided herein shall be eligible to receive a resident game tag to hunt and kill a moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, deer, antelope, mountain lion, bear, wolf, sandhill crane or turkey in accordance with the laws of this state and rules promulgated by the commission; provided further, that any person who holds a senior resident combination license or any person who holds a junior combination or hunting license or any disabled American veteran who holds a disabled combination license, may be issued a bear, deer, elk, or turkey tag for a fee as specified in section 36-416, Idaho Code; provided further, that resident game tags may be issued only to those persons who meet residency requirements of subsection (s) of section 36-202, Idaho Code. In the event an emergency is declared to open a season to protect private property as provided in section 36-106(e)6.(B), Idaho Code, the affected landowner or his designee shall be eligible to receive a resident deer, elk or antelope tag without charge; provided further, that resident game tags may be issued only to persons who qualify as residents pursuant to section 36-202, Idaho Code.
In the last legislative session, the residency requirements to obtain a senior license was lowered from 5 years to 6 months.
The Department appreciates your support and commitment to help us ensure that Idaho's wildlife will be there for our kids and grandkids to enjoy tomorrow. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions.

answered 9/16/2015

Q: Lost permits. Do I have to have them in possession during hunt?

I did not print out my permit for sharp tailed grouse or the controlled turkey when I bought them. Do I have to have them in possession if asked for it in the field? I do have a copy of the permit numbers that I can show.


Yes, you must have your license and tags on your person while in the field. Sage Grouse and Sharptail validations print on your license. Tags cannot be printed via the internet, and must be mailed, or picked up in person at a vendor. If you have lost your license or tag, you may purchase a duplicate at a Regional Office.

answered 9/5/2015

Q: Giving Away A Tag

Is there anything against the Idaho Fish & Game regulations that would prevent me from giving my Elk tag to a Minor (17yrs or younger), Since I will not have the opportunity to hunt this year but have already drew for and purchased the tag.


The holder of a controlled hunt tag for big game or permit for turkey may transfer that tag/permit to his or her minor child or grandchild under the age of 18 who is otherwise qualified to participate in the hunt. The form at the link below must be used to transfer the tag/permit. Visit any Fish and Game office, or send by mail. The tag must accompany the form.
The child or grandchild may receive only one controlled hunt tag/permit per species, per calendar year. The transfer must be made before the opening date of the hunt. For more information, please contact your local Fish and Game office or call our licensing section in Boise at 208-334-2592. .
The form is available here: Designation/Transfer Of Control Hunt Tag Or Control Hunt Permit Form

answered 9/5/2015

Q: Removing river bank

New neighbor wants to remove 400 feet of trees along a river bank and slope to have a beach. Can they do that? We have turkey and pheasants that live in this area. Geese and ducks here all the time. If not you who do we need to report it to? Thanks, Allen


In most instances, the removal or alteration of stream bank substrate is regulated by the Idaho Department of Water Resources (stream channel alteration) and the US Corps of Engineers, requiring a joint permit. Water quality certification of the activity by Idaho's DEQ is likely to be required also. Idaho Department of Fish and Game may be asked to comment on the proposed activity for potential affects on fish and wildlife.

answered 8/14/2015


Notifications for the Spring Turkey hunt will be posted on our website by March 20. Our goal is to complete the drawing prior to that date. However, hunters can submit applications that are postmarked on the last day of the application period so we have to wait to receive and enter all mailed in applications prior to loading the data to the draw system. Once the data is loaded into the draw system we run several edit checks to verify the eligibility of all applicants. For example we have to make sure that only those youth who will be 15 years of age or younger at the start of a youth only controlled hunts are eligible to draw youth only hunts. Thanks.

answered 3/10/2015


The proclamation booklets state results will be posted no later than March 20. Our goal is to complete the drawing as quickly as we can after all of the mailed in applications have been entered. We do have some edit checks to complete to verify all applicants are eligible in the draw based on several different rules and therefore it takes some additional time to complete the drawing. Thank you for your question.

answered 3/5/2015

Q: Controlled Hunt tags

If I were to draw for a big game hunt such as a Moose, can I still hunt General Deer for that year? Also if i draw for an Elk can i still hunt general Deer?


The answers to both of your questions are yes.  Please review a copy of our Big Game or Moose, Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goat Seasons and Rules booklets for more information.  A quick call to one of our 9 offices could also help you with your questions.      
While any person applying for any moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat hunt is prohibited from applying for any big game controlled hunt in the same year, there are exceptions.  They may apply for a controlled depredation hunt for deer, elk or pronghorn; a controlled black bear hunt; leftover deer, elk or pronghorn controlled hunt tag; an nulimited controlled hunt; or extra deer, elk, pronghorn or turkey hunt. 

answered 3/2/2015

Q: Shooting legal ground squirrels and rock chuck.

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


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: 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?


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 the week before arriving at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.
Good luck this fall.   

answered 2/27/2015

Q: Turkey caliber?

A friend and I are in a argument. I say no, but he says it doesn't say you can't in the regs. Can you hunt turkey with a .22 LR?


You are correct.  Turkey can not lawfully be hunted with a .22 LR.  On page 18 of the Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey Regulation Brochure it lists  some of the rules that apply to the hunting of upland game birds.  Turkeys are classified as an upland game bird.  The only firearm that is allowed for use in the taking of turkey is a shotgun using shells not exceeding 3 1/2 inches maximum length. 

answered 1/28/2015

Q: Upland game permit for turkey hunting?

I am considering a spring turkey hunt am I required to purchase an upland game permit to hunt turkeys.


Idaho Fish and Game does not have an upland game permit at this time.
To hunt turkeys you will need the appropriate hunting license and the appropriate turkey tag and if drawn in a controlled hunt the controlled turkey permit.

answered 1/18/2015

Q: Nonresident waterfowl [licenses, permits, tags needed]

I'm a nonresident. What is needed for waterfowl hunting?


As a nonresident you have a choice of several license types depending on how many days and times you will be hunting in Idaho. Here is breakdown of three different options you can choose to purchase to hunt waterfowl in Idaho.
Nonresident 3 day small game license. Valid for 3 consecutive days selected by hunter ($35.50 each).
Migratory Bird Permit
Federal Waterfowl Stamp
Nonresident Season small game license ($97.75 valid from January 1 or purchase date through December 31. Also valid to hunt turkey with appropriate tags).
Migratory Bird Permit
Federal Waterfowl Stamp
Nonresident Hunting license/3 day fishing license ($154.75 valid from January 1 or purchase date through December 31. Also valid to hunt big game with appropriate big game tags).
Migratory Bird Permit
Federal Waterfowl Stamp
Please contact our license section at 208-334-2592 if you have additional questions about hunting in Idaho.

answered 1/9/2015

Q: Wild Turkey Feeding

Is it lawful to feed wild turkeys from a broadcast feeder on private property in Idaho?


There is nothing in Idaho Fish and Game code or rule that prohibits the feeding of games birds.  However, it is prohibited by rule to hunt upland game birds by use of bait, which is defined as "any substance placed to attract upland game birds".  Also, keep in mind that overcrowding issues can develop by feeding wild animals, which can cause unintentional problems.
We do not encourage feeding wild animals.

answered 12/5/2014

Q: Can a Canadian buy tickets for the Idaho Super Hunt?

Wondering if a non-resident would include a Canadian or is it referring to residents of other states in the U.S. only?
Would also like to know details on if I could purchase and use a turkey tag?


Anyone can buy tickets for Idaho's Super Hunts. Most of the people who enter are from the US, but every year a handful of entries come from another country.  A hunter from Australia won a moose tag in the 2009 Super Hunt drawing.  Also, since you don't need an Idaho hunting license to enter the Super Hunt drawing, you can purchase entries for friends and family, too.
If you are asking if a Canadian, like yourself, can purchase a turkey a turkey tag, the answer is yes. You would be considered a nonresident and would need both an Idaho nonresident hunting license and a turkey tag. Idaho has both controlled hunt tags and general season tags for turkey hunts.  For more information on turkey tags, go here.

answered 11/8/2014

Q: Trapping Coyotes

To trap coyote can I bait the traps? What are the regulations for trapping coyote?


You can use bait for trapping coyotes, however you cannot use any part of a domestic or wild origin game bird, big game, upland game, game fish, or protected nongame wildlife for bait in trapping furbearing animals, unprotected wildlife, or predatory wildlife. In addition bait for trapping is defined as any animal parts; except bleached bones or liquid scent is not considered bait. See page 45 of the upland game, furbearer, and turkey rules. Refer to page 44-47 for answers on trapping rules, methods, and defenitions.

answered 11/3/2014