Elk NetworkImportant Changes to Remember for Cow Elk Hunting in the Idaho Panhandle

General | September 8, 2023


Below is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish and Game prioritizes the simplification of hunting, fishing and trapping seasons and rules whenever possible. However, due to variability in the status of fish and wildlife populations across the state, special rules and exceptions must sometimes be implemented to ensure future opportunity remains for sportsmen and women.

There are some important changes to the general cow elk seasons in the Panhandle for 2023, so make sure to get familiar with them and review the 2023 Idaho Big Game Season and Rules book before you head into the mountains.

What’s new for 2023 general elk season

Unlike last season, there is no longer a general cow elk season in Unit 4 (see map below).

There is a seven-day either sex archery elk hunt on the A-tag, a three-day either sex any weapon hunt on the B-tag and a seven-day antlerless only muzzleloader hunt on both the A- and B-tags; however, none of these hunts include Unit 4.

  • A-tag: Sept. 15-21, any elk may be taken by archery within one mile of private land in units 1, 2, 3 4A, 5 and 6 only
  • B-tag: Oct. 15-17, any elk may be taken with any weapon within one mile of private land in units 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5 and 6 only
  • A- and B-tags: Dec. 2-8, antlerless elk may be taken by muzzleloader within one mile of private land in units1, 2, 3, 4A and 5 only

The private land designation does include corporate timber properties enrolled in the Large Tracts Program.

The designation of “within one mile of private land” does include and allow hunting on private land, as well as hunting on public land that is within one mile of private land.

All of units 4 and 4A are open for antlered elk harvest; however, all of Unit 4 is closed to antlerless elk harvest and only portions of Unit 4A are open for antlerless elk harvest within a mile of private land. Below is a description and map of where antlerless elk can be harvested in Unit 4A.

  • Unit 4A – That portion of unit 4A within the following boundary: starting at the mouth of the Clark Fork River, follow Johnson Creek FS Road 278, then south on FS Road 1066, then east on FS Road 332 to the Montana border and follow Montana border north back to the Clark Fork River then to the point of beginning.
  • Applies to A-tag archery and B-tag any weapon antlerless seasons
  • Applies to A- and B-tag antlerless only muzzleloader season

Below are a few commonly asked questions relative to antlerless elk seasons in the Panhandle.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)