Big Game Hunting
Idaho is the ideal place for big game hunters looking for a quality experience in the rugged Northern Rocky Mountains. No other state in the lower 48 can match the solitude provided by millions of acres of wilderness in Idaho, where hunters can pursue elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lion, black bear and even wolves. In several wilderness hunting units in Idaho, rifle hunting is allowed during the elk rutting season, a key advantage. Idaho hunting seasons generally run from 20-65 days. Hunter congestion is rare, and you won't see or hear any ATVs in the wilderness.
An Idaho elk hunt offers the opportunity to experience real nature and wilderness, spend time with family or friends, and harvest a fine animal. Idaho's percentage of older bulls presents a unique trophy hunting opportunity in the West.
Idaho's whitetail deer populations in Idaho are growing rapidly in the forested areas of North Idaho. Idaho's mule deer populations are on the rebound and buck counts are looking strong. Mountain lion populations are doing well. Big record-book cats are available for the trophy hunter. Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and antelope hunts are in high demand as well. Idaho continues to offer outstanding black bear hunting in fall and spring. Wolf seasons run for seven months from early fall to late spring. Forty-thousand tags were issued in the fall of 2011. Hunters can buy as many as two wolf tags per year.
Idaho's non-wilderness areas are accessed by backcountry roads, while wilderness areas are accessed by airplane, horseback or foot to hunting camp. Idaho outfitters offer archery, rifle and muzzleloader hunts. Customized services range from drop camps to fully guided trips. Accommodations are provided in comfortable tent camps or hunting lodges.
Deer and Elk Tags
Hunters who book through an Idaho outfitter will find that it's easy to obtain deer and elk tags. Each year the Fish and Game Commission sets aside and allocates elk and deer tags for non-resident hunters who book with licensed outfitters. This system ensures that Idaho outfitters have tags available long after surrounding states, such as Montana and Wyoming, have sold out. See the Hunting Fees & Regulations section for more information.
Deer and elk tags can be used to also harvest a cougar, black bear or a wolf.
Idaho's big game fees for non-resident hunters are competitive, and fees for youths aged 12-17 are less than $75 for a license and a tag. Book a hunt and bring your kids to pass on the hunting ethic to the next generation of your family.
Idaho river outfitters often combine chukar hunting with steelhead, sturgeon, catfish and trout fishing on Idaho "cast and blast" trips. Idaho's chukar season opener was recently reinstated to the third Saturday in September, when the weather is typically warm and prime for bird hunting and fishing. Boats used for fishing provide access to the remote rocky canyons of the Salmon and Snake Rivers. Forest Grouse hunting can be an option while hunting big game as well.