When to buy an over-the-counter tag
Residents of Idaho – Hunters can purchase over the counter bear, mountain lion, turkey, wolf tags for the coming year starting on December 1. Residents may also purchase deer and elk receipts that can be redeemed for the general season or controlled hunt tags after the controlled hunt drawings have been released. Capped zone elk tags go on sale on a different date and time (see big game proclamations for information on capped elk zones).
Nonresidents – Hunters can purchase over-the-counter tags any time after December 1 for the coming year. No drawings. No waiting. Just buy your license and tags and go hunting during the hunting season.
Please note: Deer and elk tags sold out in 2018. Elk tags are sold out for 2019.
More things to know
If you want to hunt deer and elk in Idaho, think about buying your tags early.
- Resident and nonresident tags are available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
- Some units have quotas and sell out early.
- Over-the-counter tags involve most hunting units and zones, but not all.
- Opportunities vary depending on the type of weapon being used.
- For nonresidents, there are a limited number of general season (over-the-counter) deer and elk tags available.
- After August 1, unsold nonresident over-the-counter tags go on sale as second tags to both residents and nonresidents.
These maps generally show where over-the-counter (also know as general season) tags are available. Check the Big Game Seasons and Rules book for specifics on each unit and zone.