INSIDER Update: Idaho elk zones added

New Idaho enhancement

Providing new features to our INSIDER members is a top priority here at goHUNT and it’s nice to get some of these features crossed off the “to do” list during this busy time of the year. One new enhancement I am extremely excited about is the addition of Idaho elk zones! This is a feature that has been widely requested by you, our INSIDERs, and I’m stoked to see this one take flight.

What is an Idaho elk zone?

All of Idaho's elk units are divided up into 28 individual elk zones. Zones vary in size and can include anywhere from one to nine units! The zones typically follow the state’s breakdown of elk management areas, which, in turn, makes for better management tools to be used by biologists. Better management typically equals more opportunity and better age class, which makes this a good thing.

What is the importance of Idaho elk zones?

Idaho has long been an over-the-counter (OTC) destination for hunters and the elk zones play a huge role in tag selection. When purchasing an OTC elk license in Idaho, hunters will need to choose a zone they wish to hunt. Once holding a tag, the hunter can then hunt any applicable season for every unit in that zone, depending on their choice of an A or B tag. Hunters may not hunt any units outside of their specified zone.

Units within a specific zone can and will have different regulations so hunters will want to pay close attention to these.

Breakdown of Idaho’s elk zones

Zone nameUnits
Panhandle1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 9
Palouse8, 8A, 11A
Hells Canyon11, 13, 18
Lolo10, 12
Elk City14, 15, 16
Selway16A, 17, 19, 20
Middle Fork20A, 26, 27
Salmon21, 21A, 28, 36B
Weiser River22, 32, 32A
McCall19A, 23, 24, 25
Lemhi29, 37, 37A, 51
Beaverhead30, 30A, 58, 59, 59A
Sawtooth33, 34, 35, 36
Pioneer36A, 49, 50
Owyhee38, 40, 41, 42
Boise River39
Smoky Bennett43, 44, 45, 48, 52
South Hills46, 47, 54, 55, 56, 57
Big Desert52A, 68
Snake River53, 63, 63A, 68A
Island Park60, 60A, 61, 62, 62A
Palisades64, 65, 67
Tex Creek66, 69
Bannock70, 71, 72, 73, 73A, 74
Bear River75, 77, 78
Diamond Creek66A, 76

Tag sales and statewide quotas

For the most part, zones are split into two categories. Some are regulated under a statewide quota and some are regulated under a zone-wide quota. The number of tags sold for an individual zone under the statewide quota can be unlimited as long as the statewide quota has not yet been met; whereas, those under the zone-wide quota mandate only have a limited number of tags available.

Most of the zones will begin selling tags on Dec. 1 for nonresidents which will be good for the following year (e.g. Dec. 1, 2020, is the sale date for 2021 tags). Resident elk tags are usually made available for purchase after the controlled tag drawing is done. Tags for the Sawtooth Zone, however, go on sale this year for nonresidents on May 11 at 10 a.m MST. A complete and updated list of the current quota status can be found here for residents and here for nonresidents. Some of the more prolific zones will sell out quickly — within minutes — and hunters need to be ready for the exact second that tags go on sale to stand any chance of securing an opportunity. 

How do I locate the elk zones on the INSIDER platform?

To locate the new elk zones simply log into your INSIDER account and navigate to Idaho > Elk under Filtering 2.0 or click here. Next click on the “Show” button at the top right of the season screen. This is the "Zone Profile" section.

INSIDER Enhancements - Idaho elk

Before clicking on an individual elk zone title you will notice that hovering your cursor over a name title will generate the zone boundary on the Filtering 2.0 map.

INSIDER Enhancements - Idaho elk

Once you locate your desired zone, you can click in the zone title and enter the zone profile where you will find a breakdown of that specific zone and its applicable units as well as its terrain and vegetation features.

INSIDER Enhancements - Idaho elk

We are excited to release this new feature to INSIDER. Our continued goal is to provide the tools and research to help you have the best hunting season!



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