Idaho: 2023 Hunting Application Details

Nicknamed “the Gem State” since its days as a territory, Idaho is known in hunting circles for its diversity of terrain, wide swaths of public land, and hunting opportunities. Big game hunters can expect to target elk, deer, pronghorn, black bears, mountain lions, wolves, moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.

For elk and deer, Idaho offers General tags that can be purchased in December, but the total number of nonresident tags given out are capped by specific zones. The best zones sell out quickly so be prepared going in. Click here for more information. Idaho has no point system for hunters; all tags are issued in a random drawing, and therefore all applications have an equal change. 

TopRut draw odds

Note: As of February 10, 2023, the new 2023 Idaho regulations, season dates, and hunt codes have not yet been published (Big Game Seasons and Rules). The big game application period for moose, sheep, and mountain goat begins around April 1, 2023, ends April 30, 2023, (tentative) with draw results available by the middle of May. The application period for elk, deer, and antelope controlled hunts is in May with a deadline of the first week of June, and results posted in late June.

Big game proposals for 2023 have been published and can be reviewed here.

Hunters may apply for tags with Idaho Fish and Game here.

Huntin’ Fool’s Idaho page is an excellent, updated resource for ongoing Idaho draw changes.

Idaho hunting application season species

Idaho Draw Process FAQs

Application Dates and Deadlines: Huntin’ Fool lines out Idaho dates and deadlines.

Free for onX Elite members, Hunt Reminder’s Idaho page is also an excellent resource for timely application season reminders.

2023 Idaho Application Deadlines

Hunting license and species costs for tags usually include:

  • Application Fee
  • Hunting License Fee to apply (usually need a qualifying license before you can apply)
  • Species Fee (This is what you pay for the animal you want to hunt. Some you pay upfront at application, some you pay for once you get the tag.)
  • Points-Only fee (fees for people just buying points and not actually applying for a hunt)
Idaho hunting tag point system

Point System

  • Idaho does not have a point system. All tags are issued via random drawing, and all applicants have an equal chance.

Tag Allocation

  • Up to 10% of the total tag quota for controlled hunt permits can be issued to nonresidents per species.
  • If a controlled hunt has 10 or fewer permits, only one tag may be given to nonresidents.
  • You may only apply for one of the following: moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goat.
  • If you apply for moose, sheep, or goat you cannot apply for limited-entry controlled hunts for deer, elk, or antelope unless there are unlimited permits available for the hunt.

onX Elite benefits

To help increase your success, we’re adding new benefits to your Elite subscription—including access to Toprut.

Useful Links:

  • Access the onX Complete Package for Western Application Research
  • Log Into Toprut Today to Start Your 2023 Application Season
  • View Idaho Hunting Regulations Here
  • Apply Here for Your Idaho Hunting Tags
  • Read Idaho Hunting News and Updates Here
idaho draw odds for rifle elk

Toprut’s Top Three State Application Tips

  • If you are a nonresident interested in moose, you should be applying in Idaho—lthough drawing a tag is never easy, Idaho does have the best moose draw odds in the Lower 48.
  • The 10% total species cap has a meaningful impact for nonresidents applying for moose, sheep, and mountain goat hunts. That’s why you see hunts for these species that have nonresident applicants, but no tags drawn. If there are 50 total sheep permits available, that means a maximum of five tags can be given to nonresidents across all sheep hunt codes. So don’t assume that because a particular hunt didn’t give a nonresident tag last year, that you shouldn’t apply for that hunt this year.
  • If you plan to hunt big game in Idaho, consider picking up a wolf permit for $31.75. Unlimited tags are available and can be purchased at participating retailers.
Elk Hunting in Idaho

The Complete Service for Your Western Application Needs

To maximize your time spent researching and applying—and to help you build your strategy to successfully draw in 2023 and beyond—we’re providing onX Hunt Elite Members with FREE services in one comprehensive package:

Toprut: In-Depth Draw Odds and Application Tools

Huntin’ Fool: Boots-on-the-Ground Research and Insight

HuntReminder: Worry-Free Text and Email Reminder Service

onX Hunt: Map Your Hunt With Application Research Layers


Jess McGlothlin

Before taking the role of onX Communications Writer, Jess McGlothlin worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor and fly-fishing industries. While on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries and eat all manner of unidentifiable food.