Idaho isn’t always the first place that hunters think of when it comes to their next big hunting trip, but it should be. Hunters here get to enjoy miles of unspoiled land with natural beauty everywhere as well as hunting for some of the biggest prizes in the state.

As with big game hunting elsewhere, big game hunting in Idaho always begins with proper planning. There are a few key things that you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that you are able to get the trophy you’re after this year. Here’s a rundown of some of the basic info on the most popular types of hunts in Idaho.


Idaho is one of the few states where you may hunt wolves, and hunters may harvest up to five wolves per year. Once killed, you must report the kill to the Fish and Game Department and present the hide and skull.


Idaho has more than 107,000 elk within its borders, and there are over the counter tags available. The state has 28 different elk zones with two tags – one for muzzleloader and archery hunters and one for rifle hunts. Hunters can select one zone and choose the tag they prefer.


Deer hunting in Idaho is some of the best in the nation, and mule deer, as well as white tailed deer, are found throughout the state. Hunters are allowed to harvest a buck each year. Additionally, trophy-controlled hunts offer an opportunity for hunters to bag a larger mature buck.

Black Bear

Idaho’s bears are hunted with hounds and bait stations. Deer and elk tags for nonresident hunters can also be used to harvest a black bear.

Mountain Lion

Six out of the country’s top 20 record mountain lions were taken in Idaho, making it a great place for those looking to finally bag a big cat. Hunts can occur throughout the year, with 10 months of the year falling within the season. Hounds and electronic calls are commonly used to bag these cats.

In addition to the open, general seasons listed above, hunters can also apply for a controlled hunt tag. These controlled hunts help sustain populations, and if you fail to be chosen in the draw you will receive a refund. Controlled hunts are available for:

• Moose

• Mountain goat

• Grizzly bear

• Pronghorn

• Bighorn sheep

No matter the type of hunting that you will be doing, Idaho offers an adventure and an experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.