Frequently Asked Questions  
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Introduction

Welcome to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Hunting and Fishing Licensing site! Using the IDFG Licensing site, you can purchase various types of hunting and fishing products: Licenses, Tags, Permits, Controlled Hunt Applications, Leftover Hunts and Super Hunt applications. Please note that the IDFG Licensing system is always set to Mountain Time; therefore, products are available for purchase based on Mountain Time.

If you are an existing IDFG License holder, you can duplicate Licenses or Controlled Hunt Permits. If you need to duplicate a product other than a License or Controlled Hunt Permit, contact IDFG at (208) 334-3700.

About the IDFG Licensing site

This site is owned by IDFG; however, it is outsourced to Outdoor Central for maintenance and support. If you have questions related to the IDFG Licensing site (usability issues, general purchase questions, etc.), please email idfglicensing@outdoorcentral.net. For questions related to the specific rules and regulations of purchasing Hunting or Fishing Licenses, Tags or Permits, etc., please contact IDFG at (208) 334-3700. If you prefer to purchase your License, Tags, Permits or Controlled Hunt Applications via the telephone, please call (800) 554-8685 or (800) 824-3729.

Steps for Purchasing Products on the IDFG Licensing Web Site:
See Frequently Asked Questions

Updating/Creating your Profile

If you have previously purchased a License from IDFG, you can search for your record in the database.

  1. Depending on what you would like to do, click on one of the following areas:
    • Purchase License, Tags & Permits
    • Duplicate
    • Apply for Controlled Hunt
    • Purchase Leftover Hunt
    The Sportsperson Search Profile page appears.
  2. Enter your IDFG Fish and Game License Number or your Sportsman's ID number, or your Driver's License number, or your Social Security Number and the spelling of your First and Last Name as it appears on your IDFG License.

    If you do not own an IDFG License, you need to enter one of the search criteria, your first and last name and your date of birth. Entering the correct license number and the correct spelling of your first and last name as it matches your IDFG License ensures the correct profile record is returned.

    If you are an Outfitter, purchasing on behalf of a Sportsperson, include the Sportsperson's name, IDFG License number, state of residency and your Outfitter Name and Outfitter Number. You must enter the spelling your Outfitter Name and Outfitter Number exactly as it matches your IDFG license.

  3. Outfitters: If you are an Outfitter purchasing on behalf of a Sportsperson, you need to enter the Sportsperson's IDFG License number, his/her first and last name as it appears on the license and date of birth. You also need to check the box for Outfitter and enter your Outfitter name and your Outfitter Number.

  4. Click "Continue"

    If your record is not found, a 'Search Result Returns No Record' message displays and you can search again using different criteria, or create a new profile. If you have an existing IDFG License, you should not create a new profile. Please go back and try the search again. If you are unable to find your record and you own an IDFG license, please contact IDFG at (208) 334-3700 to resolve this issue.

    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. You need to complete all required fields before continuing to the next page.

    The Sportsperson Edit Profile page appears.

  5. Update the Profile fields if a record already exists in the system. If you are creating a new profile record, complete all the required fields and any additional information you would like to provide.

    • Enter a valid Idaho driver's license number if you are an Idaho resident. If the system does not find your Idaho driver's license number, or if the number comes back invalid, you must re-enter your number. If the system cannot find your Idaho driver's license number, you must contact IDFG at (208) 334-3700. You will not be able to purchase resident products if the system cannot reconcile your driver's license number.
    • Enter a Hunter Education number if you were born after January 1, 1975.
    • Enter an Archery Education Number if you would like to purchase an archery permit.
    • Enter a Lived in Idaho Since (date) if you are an Idaho resident. This is the starting date of your Idaho residency. You must be an Idaho Resident in order to be able to purchase a Resident License.

    Click "Save and Continue" to save the profile and continue to the next transaction page.

    Selecting Your Products

    If you have hunted, but you have not completed and filed your Mandatory Harvest Report (MHR) with IDFG, a page appears after saving your profile, indicating that you are MHR non-compliant. A message indicates the charge for each MHR and the number of outstanding MHRs. You need to complete all MHR data before you are able to make a purchase.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Mandatory Harvest Reporting

  6. Skip this step if you don't need to fill out a Mandatory Harvest Report

    After saving your profile information, the MHR Non-compliant page displays if you are found to be MHR non-compliant.

    • On the left side of the form, specify whether or not you have hunted.
    • Sometimes you may need to complete multiple Mandatory Harvest Reports, if you have hunted/harvested multiple species. The name of the report (e.g. Harvest Report: 2002 Elk 222-03-98765) indicates the species for which you need to complete an MHR report.
    • If you have hunted, complete the following steps (3 - 11) If not, skip to step 12.
    • For each of the weapons used Centerfire (any weapon), Archery and Muzzleloader, enter the Number of Days spent hunting.
    • Enter the Unit of each hunt.
    • On the right side of the form, specify whether or not you harvested the hunt.
    • If you have harvested the hunt, complete the following steps (7-12). If not, skip to step 12.
    • Enter the Date Harvested.
    • Enter the Unit of Harvest.
    • Select the Harvest Gender (Male or Female)
    • Enter the Antler points per Left and Right side (if applicable)

      Report information varies slightly between the different species (Deer, Elk, or Antelope). The example above shows the steps for completing Elk MHR Report Information.

    • Select the weapons used to harvest.
    • Click 'Save and Continue' to go to the Licenses page and continue the transaction.
  7. The Licenses page displays the available products for purchase including Combination, Hunting, Fishing and other Licenses. You can also see all active products that you own in the right side of the page.

    You may cancel the transaction at any time by clicking 'Cancel Transaction' from any transaction page.

    Select the desired licenses you would like to purchase. Click "Checkout" if the product selection is complete.

    At this point, if you would like to purchase other items, click on the appropriate menu (Tags & Permits, Raffles or Controlled Hunt Applications) to continue or click "Checkout" to complete your purchase.

    Checking Out

    The Purchase Summary page displays the selected products and the price breakdown.

    You may click 'Cancel Transaction' to end the purchase at any time without processing the purchase information.

  8. Review your selected products. To make changes to the selected purchases, click 'Edit Selection'.

  9. Check the boxes next to the proclamation booklets you would like to order. There is no fee for ordering these items, and each selected item is shipped to you as soon as the booklets are available.

  10. Complete credit card information: select Credit Card Type, enter Card Number, Card ID and select the MM/YY Expiration Date.

    For more information on the Credit Card ID, click the link 'What's a Card ID'?

  11. Verify your Shipping Address information. The default shipping address information matches the information on your profile record.

  12. Verify your Billing Address information. If the Shipping Address is the same as the Billing Address, click the Same as Billing Address checkbox. If the Shipping Address is different from the Billing Address, enter the new Billing Address information.

    A printing request is sent to Acton, the printing company, to print all purchased products. Printing requests are processed and mailed out within 24 hours. Proclamation booklets are mailed out as they become available.

  13. Click 'Confirm Order' to process the application.

    The Purchase Confirmation page displays.

  14. Record your Confirmation Number. If you enter your e-mail address, we will send you a confirmation of your purchase. This e-mail confirmation will not contain your license or tag but is just a confirmation of the transaction.

    The charge will appear on your credit card bill appears as Outdoor Central - IDFG Licenses. Your purchase order is complete!

Web Site Questions

Q1. Does the IDFG Licensing site offer Resident and Nonresident Fishing/Hunting Licenses'

A1. Yes, both residents and nonresidents of the state of Idaho can use this site to purchase IDFG Licenses, Tags, Permits and Controlled Hunt Applications.

If you are a resident purchasing a Hunting or Fishing License, you must have a valid Idaho driver's license to purchase a Resident License from the IDFG Licensing site.

If you own an Idaho Hunting or Fishing License and you are an Idaho resident, you need to enter the spelling of your name as it is listed on your Idaho driver's license. If you are nonresident, you need to enter the spelling of your name as it is listed on your Idaho Hunting or Fishing License.

If you have not purchased an Idaho Hunting or Fishing License since 1998, you need to create a new record. Depending upon the information you enter about yourself, different Licenses are available to you e.g. if you are an Idaho resident, you are able to purchase a Resident License.

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Q2. Is there a fee involved for completing purchases online?

A2.Yes, the fee for completing a purchase via the IDFG Licensing site is 3% of the subtotal of all purchased products, plus $3.50 (donation fees are added on to the total and are not included in the 3%). If you prefer to purchase your License, Tags, Permits or Controlled Hunt Applications via the telephone, please call (800) 554-8685 or (800) 824-3729. The fee for completing a purchase over the telephone is 3% of the subtotal of all purchased products, plus $5.50 (donation fees are added onto the total and are not included in the 3%).

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Q3. Do I need a printer to purchase an IDFG product?

A3. No, your Idaho order is mailed to the shipping address you supply during your purchase checkout. You order is mailed within 24 hours after you complete your Internet purchase. (e.g. if you complete your purchase on Monday, your order will be mailed on Tuesday or Wednesday; if you complete your order on Friday, your order will be mailed on Monday). Proclamation booklets are mailed out as soon as they are available.

If you are purchasing a controlled hunt application you may print the application at your home printer.

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Q4. Is the IDFG Licensing site secure for credit card purchases?

A4. Yes, when a user purchases a License over the Internet, the browser and the server enter a secure connection through SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Throughout the entire process, all entered data, not only the credit card information, but also all the personal information, as well as all License items selected for purchasing are encrypted (40 or 128 bits, depending on the browser).

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Q5. What type of payment does the IDFG Licensing site accept?

A5. The IDFG Licensing site accepts credit card payment only: Visa, MasterCard or Discover. The charge on your credit card bill appears as Outdoor Central - IDFG Licenses.

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Q6. What are the optimal computer settings for viewing the IDFG Licensing site?

A6. The following computer settings are optimal for viewing the IDFG Licensing site: Set screen resolution to 800x600 or higher Printer/Technical Recommendations To operate this site effectively, we recommend using Internet Explorer 6, Fire Fox 1.0.7 or Netscape 8.0 or newer versions of these browsers.

  • Set monitor to 16-bit color or higher
  • Enable JavaScript and Cookies
  • If you need assistance in setting up your browser with these settings, please email idfglicensing@outdoorcentral.net

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Q7. How do I begin my Internet purchase?

A7. The Internet Main Menu allows you to purchase new products (IDFG Licenses, Tags & Permits, Leftover Hunts and Controlled Hunt applications) or duplicate previously purchased items.

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Q8. Can I cancel my Internet purchase at any time?

A8. You may not cancel your purchase after you have completed the purchase transaction. If you have questions about a completed transaction, please call Idaho Fish and Game at 208-334-3700.

You may cancel (exit) your Internet purchase at any time as long as you haven't clicked Purchase on the checkout screen. To cancel (exit) your purchase, click the 'Cancel Transaction' button.

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Q9. How do I purchase a License via the IDFG Licensing site?

A9. Follow these steps

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Social Security Number Questions

Q10. Why does the IDFG Licensing site prompt me for my Social Security Number?

A10. The collection of the Social Security Number is a requirement mandated by the Federal Government for the purpose of child support collection enforcement under Federal Statute 42 U.S.C.A. 666 and Idaho Code Section 73-122.

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Q11. Why are Hunters and Anglers required by law to provide a Social Security Number in order to purchase IDFG products?

A11. The law applies to all professional, occupational and recreational licenses. An Outfitter has to provide his/her Social Security Number in order to receive an IDFG License to practice.

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Q12. What if I refuse to provide my Social Security Number?

A12. IDFG cannot force you to provide your social security number; however, if you do not provide your social security number, IDFG cannot issue you an IDFG License.

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Q13. Do I have to provide my child's Social Security Number in order to purchase his/her IDFG License?

A13. Yes, you must provide your child's social security number in order to make a purchase on his/her behalf.

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Q14. What if I do not have a Social Security Number?

A14. In the rare instance that a U.S. Resident does not have a Social Security Number, he/she is required, under Idaho Code Section 73-122 to provide documentation from the Social Security Administration that no Social Security Number has been assigned and show a birth certificate or other documentation to establish that he/she is not illegally in the United States. Please call Idaho Fish and Game at 208-334-3700 or visit a License Vendor in Idaho to purchase your license.

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Q15. I am very unhappy with the Federal Statute 42 U.S.C.A. 666 and Idaho Code Section 73-122 law and its effect on me. Who can I talk to about this?

A15. IDFG staff is willing to listen to your concerns; however, IDFG is not in a position to effect any change. If you would like to contact someone about your concerns, contact your U.S. Senator or Representative and communicate your concerns.

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Mandatory Harvest Reporting

Q16. What is a Mandatory Harvest Report (MHR)?

A16. All Deer, Elk and Antelope Hunters are given a Harvest Report Card with each tag. All hunters must complete and submit a report (by mail, fax, phone or Internet) for each tag issued within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the close of the season for which their tag was valid. Hunters who do not complete the MHR are not able to purchase an IDFG License the following year until the report is filed. Your participation and success in Idaho's big game seasons provide critical information on game harvest and hunting success rate. The harvest reports are the way for you to provide data on your deer, elk, or antelope hunt to the Department.

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Q17. How is MHR information used?

A17. The information on buck/bull harvest, doe/cow harvest, and antler size in each unit provides a measure of the biologic status and impact of sport harvest on each herd. The Department uses data on the size and composition of the herd in the field and the management goals for each area in combination with the harvest figures to help set seasons for the coming year.

Where and how long you hunted are the measure of the popularity of each unit for hunting, the days spent hunting, and the success rate of hunters. These are used to evaluate the need to modify season dates, length, and the number of hunters in a unit. The summaries of past seasons results "web reference to harvest results"

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Q18. What happens if I hunt a Deer, Elk or Antelope, and I do not complete an MHR report?

A18. Hunters who do not complete the MHR report are not able to purchase an IDFG License the following year until the report is filed. If you attempt to purchase a product online or via the phone and you haven't completed a MHR report, you are prompted to provide MHR reporting information.

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General IDFG Questions

Q19. When will I receive my IDFG License after I complete my purchase online?

A19. The IDFG Licenses, Tags, Permits or Controlled Hunt Applications you purchase online are mailed to you. A sales receipt is automatically sent to you if you provide your email address. Additionally, you receive a confirmation number at the end of your purchase. You may want to jot the confirmation down to keep as a record of your purchase. You may also use your confirmation number to participate in hunting and fishing activities that do not require a permit to be notched (such as Salmon or Steelhead permits) or a big game tag to be attached to a harvested animal (such as Deer or Elk tags).

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Q20. What is a Controlled Hunt?

A20. A controlled hunt is a hunt where a limited number of hunters can hunt in specified area. The number of hunters is limited because an open hunt would result in excessive harvest or overcrowding of hunters. Since hunter numbers can be limited, special opportunities can be offered for quality trophy hunts or antlerless hunts can be scheduled to achieve harvest goals.

You apply for Deer, Elk or Antelope hunts May 1 through June 5th and are notified if you successfully drew a permit by July 10. The details of the application process can be found at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/ch/. Any permits not purchased by August 1 will be issued in a second drawing.

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Q21.Where can I find the hunting rules related Controlled Hunts?

A21. Rules for Controlled Hunts can be found online at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/rules/. Also, if you purchase a product via the IDFG Licensing site or via the phone, the Big Game season hunting proclamation booklet can be mailed to you at no charge if you request a copy of the book during the checkout process.

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Q22. Is my IDFG License amount refunded if I do not draw?

A22. It is your responsibility to find out if you were successful in drawing a Controlled Hunt Permit. You can read our Refund Policy here. Results will be available March 5 for spring bear hunts; May 21 for moose, sheep and goat hunts; June 29 for deer, elk, antelope and fall bear hunts on the IDFG Licensing site at http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame.

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Q23. What is IDFGs' policy for refunds?

A23. You can read our Refund Policy here.

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Q24. When can I apply for a Controlled Hunt?

A24. For moose, sheep or goat, you apply during the month of April. For all other big game Controlled Hunts, you apply May 1 through June 5. Exceptions to this rule are: you can apply for spring Controlled Hunts for bear and turkey from January 15 through February 15. You cannot apply for a controlled hunt application and purchase a controlled hunt in the same Internet purchase transaction.

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Q25. Do I have to enter a second choice on my Controlled Hunt Application?

A25. No, entering a second choice is optional. Be sure you enter your first choice hunt number correctly. Do not use past year regulations.

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Q26. I have lost my Hunter's Education card. How do I prove I have taken the course?

A26. If you took hunters education in Idaho you can call the Idaho Fish and Game Office at (208) 334-3700. The current law in Idaho requires anyone born in the year of 1975 or later to take a hunter education course in order to hunt.

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Q27.What if I realize I have made a mistake after I have already completed my purchase?

A27.email idfginfo@idfg.idaho.gov and include the following information in the body of your message:

  Your name
  Your IDFG License number
  Your state of residency
  In the subject include these words - Attention: IDFG Licensing Purchase Mistake.

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Q28.When do General Season IDFG Licenses and Tags go on sale?

A28.Tags go on sale December 1 of the previous year for both residents and non-residents. For example, 2007 licenses and tags go on sale December 1 of 2006. Residents purchasing Deer, Elk, or Turkey Tags will receive receipts in lieu of the actual tag. The receipts can then be redeemed for the appropriate tag at a later date.

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Q29.Am I able to exchange my Elk Tag for a tag in another zone after the purchase is complete?

A29.Yes, you can exchange your Elk Tag for a tag in another zone after the purchase is complete. However, you need to contact IDFG via phone or mail to perform this purchase. Exchanges cannot be performed via the IDFG Licensing site or via the phone. You can exchange your Elk Tag for another zone as long as there are tags available in that zone and the season for the tag you hold has not started. The exchange costs $3.75 per tag exchanged. You need to return your tag with a check for the exchange fees and a note to inform IDFG which zone you would like to exchange your tag for.

Please mail exchange requests to:

  Idaho Fish and Game
  License Section
  P.O. Box 25
  Boise, ID 83707

Please call IDFG at (208) 334-3700 if you have any further questions about this Elk Tag exchange process.

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Q30. Who can I contact for support?

A30. For licensing purchase questions, please contact IDFG Headquarters:

  Phone: (208) 334-3700
  Email: idfginfo@idfg.idaho.gov

For Internet system access questions, please email idprojects@outdoorcentral.net.

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Q31.What is the address for IDFG?

A31.The mailing address for general correspondence is:

  Idaho Department of Fish and Game Headquarters
  600 S. Walnut, P.O. Box 25
  Boise, ID 83707
  Phone: (208) 334-3700
  Fax: (208) 334-2114 or (208) 334-2148

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Q32. What happens if I never receive my license order (e.g. perhaps it gets lost in the mail)?

A32. If you do not receive the original documents in the mail, please contact IDFG at (208) 334-3700. IDFG will ask you to sign a legal document stating that you did not receive the documents. IDFG will then duplicate the documents you purchased and mail each one to you at no additional charge. IDFG must go through this process to ensure that their system records are up to date. In addition, it is considered a felony for a Sportsperson to be in the field with two tags after he/she has signed the legal document saying he/she never received the original order, and IDFG Law Enforcement will be forced to take action.

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Q33. What is the fee for duplicating a product that I have lost?

A33. The fee for duplicating a document is $7.25. As of January 1, 2007, this fee may change without notice.

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Q34. Can I duplicate and purchase a product through the IDFG Licensing site?

A34. Yes, you can duplicate and purchase a product through the IDFG Licensing site; however, you cannot purchase and duplicate an item within the same transaction. If you would like to both duplicate and purchase items, you need to contact IDFG, or complete two Internet purchases. However, you can purchase multiple products within the same transaction.

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Q35.Can my Nonresident Mentored Youth Deer tag be used for Bear and Mountain Lion as long as the seasons for both species are open?

A35.No, the Nonresident Mentored Deer Tag cannot be used to harvest a Bear or a Mountain Lion.

Q36. Can I hunt with my grandpa, who lives in Idaho?

A36. Yes you can as long as your grandparent has a valid tag for the same species and the tag is valid in the same area as the mentored tag.

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Q37. How much Hunter Orange do I have to wear to hunt in Idaho?

A37. Hunter Orange is recommended, but you are not required to wear Hunter Orange unless you are hunting on a Wildlife Management Area.

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Q38. How far off the road do you have to be to hunt legally?

A38.You cannot shoot from a road, across a road, from the shoulders of a road or from embankments along a road.

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Q39. I have heard Idaho is restricting the use of motorized vehicles. Is this true?

A39. Please visit our website at for more information on the use of ATV's.

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Q40. Can I hunt big game with a pistol?

A40. You can hunt big game with a Centerfire pistol only during an any-weapon seasons.

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Q41. Can I carry a pistol while I am hunting in an Archery-only season?

A41. Yes, you have a 'right-to-bear-arms' as long as you are not actively using that pistol to hunt the game specified for your archery season. Pistols are not legal for short-range weapon seasons.

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Q42. If I do not get my animal during the archery season, can I hunt during the Rifle season?

A42. IDFG does not have 'rifle seasons'. The hunting seasons include the following weapons: archery hunt, muzzleloader, short-range weapons, or an any-weapon hunt. If the specific tag you have purchased has other hunts on it according to the Rules and Regulations, then you may continue to use that tag for those other hunts until you have harvested.

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Q43. Why do the Big Game Rules books come out so late?

A43. The Commission does not meet until the spring season, and during their spring meeting, the new rules and regulations are set. The Commission waits as late as possible to meet be sure they have harvest results and winter mortality information prior to setting harvest levels.

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