Idaho – Draw and Application Info

Idaho Fish and Game:

General Information

Idaho is one of the unique states in the west because there is no point system. All tags are given out in a random draw process, so first time applicants are just as likely to draw a hunt as someone who has been applying for 30 years. Idaho has both general and limited entry hunts. Limited entry hunts are referred to as “Controlled Hunts” in Idaho.  This could change in the near future and if it does, would be the best time to start building points in Idaho.

It is required in Idaho to have a valid hunting license when applying for tags. The cost for these licenses is listed below in the tag and permit fees section of this page. Idaho does not require you to pay the tag fee upfront. These are purchased after the draw along with a controlled permit fee of $7.75. (If hunting a controlled hunt unit) Idaho also offers combination hunting and fishing licenses which will satisfy this regulation.

Idaho refers to hunting licenses as tags, but often required permits in addition to validate tags for hunts. Examples of this are archery permits, muzzleloader permits, bear baiting permits, etc. One should be familiar with these permits and have them on hand if required for your hunting unit. Hunters are required to have archery or muzzleloader permits if hunting with that weapon, even on controlled hunts where that is the only weapon option.

Idaho has two drawings for deer, elk and pronghorn. All permits and tags not picked up by the first of August are entered into this second controlled hunt drawing.

Applications can be done over the phone, by mail, or on the internet. Application fees are $6.25 plus $1 per additional species, $14.75 for nonresidents per species applied for. If the application occurs online there is a 3% transaction fee plus $3.50 in addition to the application fee. Applicants who successfully draw a controlled hunt tag for deer, elk, fall black bear, or pronghorn have to purchase a controlled hunt permit and get their tag by August 1st. The permit cost is $7.75.
Idaho has a mandatory report system for deer, elk and pronghorn hunters. The easiest way to report is online at

Applicants should be familair with and understand all the regulations and laws regarding the application process as well as the hunts being applied for. This information is available in the booklets provided by the Idaho Fish and Game. These booklets are available at license vendors and online at:

Available Licenses and Permits

Over the Counter and Controlled Hunts: Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, Rocky Mountain Elk, Black Bear, Mountain Lion

Once in a Lifetime: Rocky Mountain Bighorns, California Bighorns, Shiras Moose, Mountain Goat

Idaho splits most of the hunts into an A and B hunt. The A hunts are typically reserved for short range weapons (archery, muzzleloader, shotgun). The B hunts are typically reserved and better suited for rifle hunting. Usually hunters have to pick one or the other.

It is not legal to apply for both Rocky Mountain and California Bighorns in the same year. Mountain goat hunters who do not harvest, can apply again, but must wait 2 years before doing so. Idaho does have a few “Unlimited Hunts” These are controlled hunts which everyone who applies during the application period gets a permit. These permits cannot be purchased over the counter.

There are also raffles/drawing for an Idaho Super tag. This is more of a raffle than a drawing and applicants can purchase chances to draw these hunts. The odds are pretty long, but these are exceptional hunts. Super tags for OIL species can be obtained by anyone, even applicants who have already harvested that OIL species. Other raffles are also available.

There are restrictions during moose, goat and sheep hunts that applicants should understand before applying. Such as antler restrictions, harvest reports etc. Controlled Moose hunts leftover after the initial drawing will be available in a second drawing. Those who have hunted moose in Idaho before and are not eligible to apply in the first drawing, can apply for these leftover tags.


Group sizes vary according to species. Groups of two are allowed to apply for turkey, spring and fall bear, moose, sheep, and goat. Up to four hunters can apply on the same application for deer, elk and pronghorn.


Idaho has some great opportunities for non-residents. There are many hunts that can be purchased by non-residents over the counter. These permits do have quotas so it is a good idea to get on them as early as you can. If you are hunting with an outfitter the outfitter should buy your tags for you.

One in ten tags should be reserved for non-residents, if there are unit with fewer than ten total tags, there may not be non-resident tags available.


The minimum age for hunting big game in Idaho is 12. A youth may apply for/purchase a license when 11, but must be 12 by the time he/she hunts.

License Fees

Hunting License $12.75 $154.75
Hunting and Fishing Combination $33.50 $240
Sportsman’s Package* $117.25
Senior Combo Hunting and Fishing (65+) $11.75
Military Furlough Combination $17.50
Junior Hunting (12-17 years) $7.25 $31.75***
Junior Combination Hunting and Fishing $17.50
Disabled Persons Combination Hunting/Fishing License $5.00
Deer $19.75 $301.75
Junior/Senior/DAV Deer Tag $10.75 $23.75***
Elk $30.75 $416.75
Junior/Senior/DAV Elk Tag $16.50 $39.75
Pronghorn $31.25 $311.75
Bear $11.50 $186
Second Bear $11.50


Junior/Senior/DAV Bear Tag $6.75 $23.75
Mountain Lion $11.50 $186
Second Mountain Lion $11.50 $31.75
* The sportsman’s package includes deer, elk, turkey, bear and mountain lion tags, and archery, muzzleloader, salmon, and steelhead permits.
**Controlled hunt only, includes permit, tag, and application fees
***Non-resident Youth Mentored Hunting License – Anyone hunting with this license must be accompanied in the field by an adult license holder close enough to be within normal conversation or hearing range without shouting or the aid of electronic devices. In controlled hunt, Youth Mentored Hunters must be accompanied by an adult who has tags for the same species, valid in the same area(s)