With the most square miles of wilderness (21,621,000 acres of forested land) in the lower 48 states, Idaho offers the best and most varied hunting in the west. In North Idaho, 2.7 million acres are National Forest land. The state is two-thirds public land and a new Fish and Game program called Access Yes! is opening up more private land every year.
The state’s big game population includes elk, moose, woodland caribou, mule and white-tailed deer, mountain lion, black and grizzly bear, and bighorn sheep. Grouse, quail, chukar and pheasant are a few of the upland game birds available, while Canada geese and ducks are the most common waterfowl.
The Coeur d’Alene Mountains are considered to be among the best for trophy bull elks because of the good cover and terrain. Bonner County (Sandpoint) offers excellent waterfowl hunting. Duck populations include both puddle ducks and divers, and quality goose hunting is abundant. The Kootenai Wildlife Refuge in Boundary County allows hunting of geese, ducks, mergansers, coots, blue, spruce, ruffed grouse, deer, elk, moose, black bear and mountain lion.
In the Silver Valley, hunting possibilities are endless. Many elk, deer, bear and upland game birds are taken during bow, rifle and muzzle loader seasons.
Priest Lake is home to numerous species of game animals. Whitetail and mule deer share the forests with an increasing herd of elk, moose and a large population of black bear. This vast area has one of the most abundant whitetail deer herds in Idaho. Mule deer abide in the more remote upper elevation regions.
IDAHO HUNT PLANNER
The Idaho Hunt Planner is an interactive search and mapping engine for our Hunting Regulations, but not the official printed rules available in pdf format online and and at local stores and license vendors.
The Hunting Passport allows any first-time hunter, age 8 or older, to try hunting for one year with an adult mentor without having to complete a hunter education course.
Super Hunt tags allow hunters to participate in any open hunt in the state for deer, elk, pronghorn and/or moose. To win a tag hunters need to purchase entries for the Super Hunt drawings which raise money for the Access Yes! program.
This Fish and Game program provides hunting and fishing access to private land or through private land to public land. View the list of properties enrolled in the Access Yes! program and what they provide.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS
Thirty-two Wildlife Management Areas protect wildlife habitat and are available for big game, waterfowl and upland game hunting, fishing and other public enjoyment of wildlife.