Nonresident Idaho deer tags already sold out; earliest in recent history

A successful hunter poses with a mule deer from the 2020 season.

Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

Nonresident regular deer tags for the coming hunting season have already sold out, the earliest in recent history, Idaho Fish and Game announced Friday.

Fish and Game expects that nonresident whitetail only tags will sell out soon.

“Fish and Game has sold out of nonresident deer and elk tags for the past five years, and sell out dates have consistently gotten earlier,” the department said in a news release. “Nonresident tags go on sale on Dec. 1 for the following year."

Brower said caps for nonresidents was between 10% and 15% per game management unit. The overall number of nonresident deer tags remained the same.

“What did change was the number that could hunt in any particular unit," Brower said. “That likely added to the urgency for nonresidents to get the spot that they wanted. Some of those units were sold out within a very quick period of time.”

About 2,900 nonresident elk tags are still available out of a total of 15,716.

Last year, nonresident tags for elk sold out June 17, deer tags sold out June 26 and whitetail only tags July 26. Previous to that, nonresident tags sold out in August or later during the fall.

Idaho resident deer and elk tags are not limited by quotas.

Fish and Game said there are still ways for nonresidents to obtain a tag. They can:

• Apply for a controlled hunt, and if selected, a nonresident can buy the controlled hunt tag. (Nonresidents are limited to 10 percent of all controlled hunt tags.)

• Buy a returned nonresident tag, which if available, will go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 22 on a first-come, first-served basis. Tags available will be published online at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday preceding the sale. Afterward, returned tags will be sold (including elk tags) on these dates: May 20, June 24, July 22, Aug. 5, Sept. 2 and 16, Oct. 7 and 21 and Nov. 4.

• Hire an outfitter if the outfitter has nonresident tags available. Fish and Game sets aside 1,985 tags for outfitters.

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