Idaho Deer Season 2024: Latest Laws & Dates!

2024 promises exciting opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts across the state of Idaho. With plentiful populations spread over a variety of terrain, Idaho provides world-class deer and elk hunting. This thorough guide includes information on important dates, rules and license costs.

Idaho Deer Hunting Season Dates

Regular seasons, restricted hunts, and elk seasons are all governed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) from August through December 2024. These dates are crucial to remember:

ArcheryAugust 30 – December 31
Short Range WeaponsAugust 30 – November 24
General Any WeaponSeptember 15 – November 20
Muzzleloader OnlyNovember 10 – December 1
Controlled Hunt
Any WeaponAugust 15 – December 20
Archery OnlyAugust 15 – December 19
Youth OnlyAugust 30 – December 31
Muzzleloader OnlyOctober 1 – December 9
General Any WeaponSeptember 15 – December 9
Archery OnlyAugust 30 – December 31
Muzzleloader OnlyNovember 10 – December 9
Short Range WeaponOctober 10 – December 31

Elk General Seasons

General15-Sep – 9-Nov
Archery30-Aug – 19-Dec
Muzzleloader30-Aug – 1-Dec
Regular1-Aug – 31-Dec
Controlled Hunts25-Sep – 31-Dec

Examine the IDFG rules for zone-specific dates and information. Planning beforehand will prevent you from missing your window.

License, Tags, and Permits: What You Need

Base Requirements

Everyone who hunts must have a passport and license. From $10.75 for residents to $43.75 for non-residents, passports cost. From $13.75 to $154.75, licenses are available.


Appropriate tag is required. Resident and non-resident general deer tags cost $19.75 and $301.75, respectively. Elk tags cost $31.75 for residents and $416.75 for non-residents to purchase.

Controlled Hunts 

A controlled hunt permit costing $6.25 for deer or $31.75 for elk is necessary to apply for a controlled hunt. announcement of the draw results in June.

General Hunts

Starting in July, you may purchase extra tags at the counter for a variety of general hunts.


  • Limits on Possession: One white-tailed or one mule deer buck may be legally owned in 2024. Verify regulated hunts, youth hunts, and antlerless tags.
  • Antler Rules: Mule deer bucks are required to have at least four points on each antler. White-tailed and elk antler limitations apply in certain areas.
  • Hunter Orange: All kids under the age of 18 who hunt with a weapon are required to wear 36 square inches or more of hunter orange above the waist. During the archery season, hunters are required to wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange. During the shotgun and muzzleloader seasons, hunters must cover at least 100 square inches of their bodies with hunter orange.
  • Shooting hours: Game is permitted between 30 minutes before dawn and 30 minutes after dusk.
  • Baiting: Baiting is not allowed within 100 yards of a blind or stand for deer. Within half a mile of a water source, baiting is not allowed.
  • Dogs: Dogs may be used to hunt deer, but they must always be under the hunter’s direct supervision.
  • Reporting: You have ten days to verify and report them. A misdemeanor is the outcome of failing to report.
  • Antler point restrictions: No buck tags may be used to kill a deer that has less than three points on one side of its antlers. In Unit 1, no bucks with less than four points on one side may be harvested using buck tags.
  • Harvest reporting: Hunters are required to report within 24 hours to the Idaho Fish and Game Department.
  • Antlerless permits: All hunters must have antlerless deer licenses, with the exception of those who hunt in Unit 7. There are few antlerless licenses available, and they could be chosen by lottery.
  • Youth hunting: Youths may shoot without a license or permission if under the age of 16. A licensed adult hunter must accompany any youth hunters.
  • Disabled hunter permits: A mentor is permitted for apprentice hunters between the ages of 16 and 18. A current Idaho hunting license and apprentice permit are required for apprentice hunters.
  • Mentor hunters must possess a current deer tag and license from Idaho.
  • Habitat preservation: Hunters are urged to contribute to the preservation of deer habitat by upholding ethical hunting practices and refraining from actions that harm the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the general Idaho deer hunting season?

Mid-August through December marks Idaho’s general season, with separate periods for archery, muzzleloaders, short-range firearms, and any other permitted weapon.

What licenses and tags do I need to deer hunt in Idaho?

You need a season-appropriate deer tag and a current Idaho license or hunting passport. General tags must be acquired in advance, while some are still available for purchase later in the season.

Are there restrictions on mule deer antler size in Idaho?

Yes, in the majority of zones, mule deer bucks must have at least four points on each antler in order to be legally harvested during regular seasons. Additional antler limitations apply in certain places.

When is the Idaho elk hunting season?

It typically last from August through December. The kind of hunt (archery, muzzleloader, or any weapon) and zone determine the season dates.

How many elk can I harvest in Idaho each year?

Limits on elk tags vary by zone. One bull elk may be taken each year during ordinary elk hunts, however antlerless licenses could also be available. Verify laws every year.

Do I need hunter orange for archery elk hunting in Idaho?

Only while using a firearm during the general elk and deer seasons is hunter orange necessary. Hunts using an arrow do not need it.

James Ellis

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