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Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear Blog

Here you will find information about our Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear hunts. We will also blog about our area, as special offers, issues that affect us or are important to us.

Bull Moose

Idaho Trophy Species Tags: Open for Application April 1 – April 30

The tag application period for Idaho trophy species (moose/sheep/goat) runs from April 1st to April 30th. In comparison to neighboring states, Idaho implements a rather unique tag-allocation system for these species, which offers hunters reasonable odds for drawing a tag and a quality hunting experience.

Idaho does not use a bonus/preference point system. As a result, hunters have more or less the same odds of drawing a trophy-species tag the very first year they apply as they do the 20th year. I drew a bull moose tag the first year I applied. And, since all Idaho trophy species hunts are “once in a lifetime”, I’ll never apply for a bull moose tag again, unless a bull tag goes into the second draw period (which rarely happens).

Under Idaho’s trophy-species, tag-allotment system you can only apply for 1 of the 3 trophy species per year; and if you do apply for any of the 3 trophy species you are also not permitted to apply for any controlled-hunt elk, deer, or pronghorn tags the same year. This limits applicants-per-species greatly, as the shotgun application strategy does not work here. You must focus on 1 trophy species to apply for and sacrifice applying for elk/deer/antelope controlled hunts.

Three random examples of draw odds include:

Hunt 3051, Unit 29, antlered moose tag (11 tags)—1:10 odds

Hunt 5011, Unit 27-4, bighorn sheep tag (3 tags)—1:12 odds

Hunt 6015, Unit 37A, mountain goat tag (1 tag)—1:16 odds

These draw odds are quite reasonable when compared to 1:200 draw odds or 20 years of preference points, which are common in many states these days.

This year Coronavirus adds an unprecedented risk in applying for controlled-hunt tags, as you could draw a coveted tag, and then not be able to use it if the virus persists until fall. Viewed from the other side, the current pandemic could decrease the number of applicants, which in turn would increase the odds of drawing a tag for those who are willing to take the risk. At this point all we can do is pray that the virus will have passed by hunting season.

One thing for certain—you’ll never draw if you don’t apply first.

For detailed information and statistics on hunting Idaho trophy species click on this link: https://idfg.idaho.gov/rules/moose-sheep-goat

Good hunting,

Joe Cavanaugh

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