Elk NetworkApplications Available for Idaho Elk, Deer and Other Species

General | May 7, 2021

Below is a news release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The application period for fall 2021 deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts begins May 1 and runs through June 5.

Hunters with a valid 2021 Idaho hunting license may apply for controlled hunts at any license vendor, Fish and Game office, or with a credit card online at license.gooutdoorsidaho.com or by calling 1-800-554-8685. There is an additional fee for online and phone orders.

Successful controlled hunt applicants will be notified by July 10.

Controlled hunts are an excellent opportunity to try for a chance at some of Idaho’s best hunts. While it takes some research to determine which controlled hunt is right for you, and you’re limited to that hunt in most cases, controlled hunts traditionally have higher success rates than general hunts, fewer hunters in the field, and many hunters feel they have a better chance of harvesting a mature bull or buck during a controlled hunt.

Here are some things that hunters should keep in mind for the upcoming controlled hunt application period:

Five day wait to buy capped elk zone tags: Residents who apply for a controlled elk hunt cannot buy a capped elk zone tag until five days after they go on sale, regardless of whether they draw a controlled hunt elk tag. Some controlled hunts are exempt from the waiting period, including extra elk hunts, depredation hunts, Landowner Appreciation Program hunts, or Super Hunts. See Page 2 of the Idaho Big Game 2021 Seasons and Rules brochure, and read more about the change, which was implemented prior to the 2020 hunting season, here.

Pronghorn hunters: In a major statewide change for pronghorn hunters, the Commission on March 18 approved changing unlimited archery controlled hunts for pronghorn into first-choice only hunts. Wildlife managers proposed the change in response to steadily increasing numbers of archery pronghorn hunters over the past 10 years and an effort to reduce hunter numbers in these controlled hunts. Going hand-in-hand with that change, the Commission also approved the reorganization of pronghorn units into 10 hunt areas for first-choice only controlled archery hunts.

One year wait for successful pronghorn applicants: Beginning July 1, any person drawn for a controlled pronghorn hunt (including either sex or doe and fawn) is ineligible to apply the following year for any controlled pronghorn hunt. (See Page 108 of the big game rules booklet for exceptions.)

Nonresidents can still apply for deer, elk controlled hunts: Although over-the-counter deer and elk tags sold out, nonresidents are still eligible to apply for controlled hunts. Nonresidents are allowed no more than 10 percent of the tags available in any individual controlled hunt.

Other changes: Hunters should check out the Idaho Big Game 2021 Big Game Seasons and Rules Brochure for more detailed information and be sure to check for any changes to seasons for the areas in which they plan to hunt. Keep in mind that controlled hunt numbers (which are used for the application process) can change from year to year. The big game brochure is available online and in print at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.

Go here to see the 2021 big game outlook preview.

(Photo source:  Idaho Department of Fish and Game)