Idaho’s natural beauty and abundant game make it a target for hunters in-state and beyond
It’s called the “gem state,” yet Idaho could easily be known as the “game state” with its natural beauty and diverse hunting opportunities.
Idaho Fish and Game, which manages hunting in Idaho, provides access to 370,000 acres of huntable land, including specialized wildlife management areas. They also work with companies like Potlatch to open up 567,000 acres of private land. In addition, 2.3 million acres of public land is available to hunters, including national forest lands that cover more than 40 percent of the state.
Idaho has seven hunting regions including the Panhandle, which features a diverse range of habitats from rivers, lakes and small waterways to open prairie to forested lands that climb up into elevations ensuring the biggest of big game hunting. In fact, of Idaho’s 11 big game animals — white-tailed deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bear, mountain lion and wolves — nine of them can be found in the Panhandle. Even better, Idaho Fish and Game forecasts indicate a good season for mule deer and slightly better than good for elk and white-tail deer. Across the country, Idaho consistently ranks in the top 10 for ungulates like elk.
Hunters flock to Idaho (pardon the pun) for its bird hunting, from waterfowl, like mallards and wigeons, to upland game birds, like turkey and grouse; bag limits are generous. Besides geography — numerous lowland lakes and rivers — Idaho’s location in between high-traffic migration areas mean more Canada geese and mallards especially.
Idaho is one of the few Western states left where you can still pursue multiple game species during the same time frame, providing you have both the necessary license and tags, including for nonresidents. Deer and elk tags, for example, may also be used to harvest a black bear or mountain lion.
Idaho also offers numerous packages for those with multisport and multiseason interests. The Sportsman’s Package lets residents hunt and fish for one low price $145 (with a $20 discount for early season purchases). In addition to a combined hunting and fishing license, package purchasers get tags for deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, wolf and turkey, as well as salmon and steelhead fishing.
Second-chance opportunities to hunters who have purchased a license and initial tag is the same price for residents and nonresidents. By purchasing a “second tag,” you can even switch between deer species and eligible hunting zones.
Idaho’s “hunting passport” encourages young first-time hunters to learn about hunting under the supervision of a qualified adult mentor prior to taking the $10 required hunter education class. It is open to both residents and nonresidents, ages 8 and older for a mere $1.75 plus necessary permits and tags.
Live Well Retreat
Schedule some zen before the holiday madness sets in. The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Yoga and Spa Retreat features overnight accommodations, a spa service, sunrise yoga, a mindfulness workshop and more.
Small Artworks Invitational
NOVEMBER 14-JANUARY 4
The Art Spirit unveils its 21st annual holiday exhibition featuring small artworks by over 50 local and regional artists. This unique show is opening earlier this year, to allow more time for holiday shopping. Wednesdays-Sundays 11 am-6 pm; Art Spirit Gallery.
Dueling Pianos: Dinner and a Show
Get a taste of a New York City piano bar without leaving the Inland Northwest. Song requests are taken all night long with talented artists playing and singing all night long. A full dinner menu is served until 10 pm. NYC Piano Bar; 8-11:30 pm.