Big game rules available online, at vendors soon

The Idaho big game hunting brochure for 2017 and 2018 seasons is available now on the Fish and Game web site at https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/big-game.

The brochure, which contains seasons and rules for deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf, is in the printing process and will be available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices by Monday.

Hunters are encouraged to review the seasons and rules brochure as adjustments to seasons have been made in all regions of Idaho.

Hunters will notice that Sawtooth Zone elk tags will be distributed separately from other elk tags due to high demand. Resident Sawtooth Zone A and B tags will go on sale July 12 (two days after other resident tags), with half of the tags sold at license vendors only starting at 10 a.m.. The remaining half of the tags will go on sale at 1 p.m. online only. Nonresident Sawtooth tags will go on sale at 10 a.m. May 10.

Hunters, anglers and trappers will also see new prices starting May 1 with the addition of a $5 Access/Depredation fee for resident adults and $10 for nonresident adults when they buy their first annual license. This new fee will pay for land access for sportsmen and women, and depredation prevention and payments to farmers and ranchers if big game damages their operations.

The fee will also be applied to other annual licenses with a $2 fee charged for junior, senior, Disabled American Veteran and military furlough licenses. A $4 fee will be charged to nonresident junior and Disabled American Veteran licenses. Those who buy a 3-year license will only be charged for two years of the fee. Hunters who buy their hunting license or hunt/fish combo before May 1 will not have to pay that fee in 2017.

The new fee is in addition to “Price Lock,” which takes effect when 2018 licenses go on sale in December. Under Price Lock, anyone who buys any resident annual license (hunting, fishing, trapping, combination, Sportsman’s package, etc.) is exempt from the 20-percent fee increase for 2018 licenses and permits. However, all license buyers must still pay the Access/Depredation fee annually.

For at least 5 years, resident hunters, anglers and trappers will pay 2017 prices for licenses and tags as long as they buy any annual license each year, which locks them in at 2017 prices for all other licenses and tags.