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Clarification on Idaho Fish & Game Nonresident License/Tag Suspension

Glassing for elk on an Idaho Elk Hunt There’s been some confusion about the temporary suspension of some nonresident licenses, permits, and tags sales by the Idaho Fish & Game Commission, due to COVID-19. So, let me clarify as far as big-game licenses and tags are concerned. At this time nonresidents may not purchase game tags for black bear, cougar, and gray wolf. However, nonresidents who had a written agreement with a licensed outfitter prior to April 4 are allowed to buy bear, lion, and wolf licenses, tags, permits for the outfitted trip. Nonresidents can also purchase general hunting licenses, as well as nonresident deer and elk tags (for this fall); and nonresidents who purchase a 2020 hunting license can still apply for controlled hunts that will occur this fall.

To sum it up:

  • Nonresidents who booked a hunt with an outfitter before April 4, 2020 are good to go this May and June for bear, cougar, and wolf, whether they bought their tags before April 4th or not.
  • Licenses and tags for bear, cougar, and wolf purchased before April 4, 2020 by nonresidents who are not hunting with a licensed outfitter are still valid for existing hunting, and trapping seasons, which remain in effect.
  • Nonresidents who did not have an agreement with and outfitter before April or who did not purchase tags before April 4, cannot buy tags for bear, cougar, or wolf for the time being.
  • Nonresident may still purchase general hunting licenses and currently available OTC nonresident deer and elk tags (for fall 2020).
  • Nonresidents who have a 2020 general hunting license may still apply for controlled big-game hunts which remain in effect this fall. (Elk, deer, pronghorn application period runs from May 1 – June 5.) (Moose, sheep, goat application period runs April 1 – April 30.)

The purpose of these new rules is to limit interstate travel to Idaho during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more details, including fishing licenses, see:


Hang in there, we’ll soon be hunting.

Joe Cavanaugh

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