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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2017: Idaho Sheep, Moose, Goat

 

Large bull moose in sagebrush
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Idaho's bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat application overview

Jump to: New for 2017 State Information Draw System Rocky Sheep Breakdown California Sheep Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown

The Gem State offers great hunting opportunities for Shiras moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, California bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat. Idaho does not utilize any form of bonus or preference points.  Instead, the state implements a simple lottery system for tag distribution. While this may be a downfall for long time applicants, it’s a blessing for hunters new to the game as this puts everyone in a level playing field. Idaho restricts applicants to the choice of only applying for one species per year, which can greatly increase the odds of drawing your coveted tag. The downfall? Idaho has some of the highest up front fees, and some of the highest application fees, which the application fees are nonrefundable and will, in turn, force many hopefuls to look to surrounding states. The gamble can be high, but so can the payout.

Note: The application deadline for Idaho moose, sheep and goat is April 30, 2017 by midnight Mountain Time. Apply online here.



Why Idaho for bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat

  • Idaho forces applicants to only apply for one species per year and the odds of successfully drawing a tag are generally higher than most of the other Western states.
  • Idaho houses an incredible amount of public land, which makes it a very friendly state for hunters.
  • Idaho does not use preference or bonus points so everyone has the same odds regardless of the amount of time they have been applying.
  • Idaho features some very generous season dates and allows the use of any legal weapon in most of the units and hunts.
  • Successful tag holders may opt to transfer their successful permit to children or grandchildren.
  • Idaho allows up to two hunters to apply together on a group application for moose, sheep and goat. If the group is drawn then both hunters receive a tag.


Why do many people not apply in Idaho?

High cost of applying

Idaho has very high nonrefundable fees associated with applying each year. The nonrefundable application fees and license will cost $241.14 in addition to the $2,101.75 tag fee when applying. Tag fees are refunded if unsuccessful, but the $154.75 license, $14.75 application fee, $3.50 online application convenience fee, and an application processing fee of 3% of the total cost is nonrefundable and is required each year you apply. This makes Idaho easily the highest priced state out of those that do not reward applicants with a bonus/preference point for each unsuccessful year.



New for 2017

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep/California bighorn sheep

  • There will be 99 bighorn sheep tags available each year during the 2017-18 season, which is a statewide net increase of six Rocky Mountain bighorn ram tags and a net increase of two California bighorn ram tags from 2015-16.
  • Units 13 and 18 were added to Unit 11.
  • Unit 27-4 was expanded and one tag was added.  
  • Hunt area boundaries were adjusted in Unit 28-1 (one tag added) and Unit 28-2 and a new Unit 28-3 was created with two additional tags.
  • Unit 37 increased from six to eight tags and the hunt is split into early and late seasons (Aug. 30 to Sept. 20 and Sept.  21 to Oct. 13) with four tags in each.
  • There is a decrease of one California bighorn tag in the early hunt in Unit 42-1 (Aug. 30 to Sept. 14) and one in the late hunt for Unit 42-2 (Sept. 22 to Oct. 8).
  • There is a new ram hunt in Unit 54 with three tags: one tag in early hunt and two tags in late hunt.
  • There is an increase of one ram tag (two total) on Jim Sage Mountain Unit 55 and no ewe hunts.

Shiras moose

  • There will be 805 moose tags available each year in 2017-18, which is a statewide net reduction of 45 antlered moose tags and 23 antlerless moose tags from 2015-16.
  • There is a reduction of 45 antlered moose tags among six different hunts in Unit 1, including closure of Unit 1-4 in response to consistently low or declining hunter success rates, suggesting moose population there is in decline.
  • There is an increase of one antlered tag in Unit 36A (up from one tag to two).
  • There is a reduction of three antlered tags in Unit 76-3 (down to seven tags from 10).
  • There is a reduction of 20 antlerless tags in Unit 2. The previous tag level of 40 tags was intended to reduce the moose population and improve public safety (vehicle collisions) and homeowner complaints. The reduction was accomplished so tags were decreased.
  • There is an increase of two antlered and two antlerless archery-only tags in Unit 68A to address increasing moose population and human/traffic conflicts with moose in American Falls and Blackfoot as well as public safety issues on Interstates 15 and 86.
  • Unit 75 (five tags) eliminated the antlerless hunt in response to low and declining harvest success and field observations suggesting a population decline.

Rocky Mountain goat

  • There will be 50 mountain goat tags available each year in 2017-18. No changes from 2015-16 rules and hunts.


State information

View important information and an overview of Idaho’s rules/regulations, the draw system, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map on our State Profile. You can also view the Idaho species profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you locate trophy areas.

Idaho State Profile Rocky Bighorn Profile California Bighorn Profile Mountain Goat Profile Mountain Goat Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • Applications for Idaho moose, sheep and goat are accepted beginning April 1, 2017.
  • You can apply here.
  • Before applying all applicants must posses a current valid hunting license.
  • First controlled hunt application period: April 1 to 30, 2017.
  • Successful applicants in the first controlled period will be notified by no later than June 10, 2017.
  • Second controlled hunt application period: June 15 to 25, 2017 (there were no second tag applications available in 2016).
  • Successful applicants in the second controlled period will be notified by no later than June 30, 2017.
  • Leftover tags go on sale July 10, 2017.

The cost of applying for moose, bighorn sheep and goat in Idaho

Residency Hunting
license
App
fee
Nonrefundable
portion of app
Total cost
to apply (if not
successful)
Resident $33.50 $173.00 $6.25 $39.75
Nonresident $240.00 $2,1116.50 $14.75 $245.75


Wolves in Idaho

Wolves continue to be a large concern in in the central and northern parts of Idaho. While interactions between wolves with bighorn sheep and goats are generally uncommon, the moose population has taken a sizeable hit. With the winter of 2016/2017 continuing to grind on it is unknown what the extent of predation and winter kill may have on the moose population. Early predictions are indicating that it may be more severe than prior years.



The Idaho draw system

Understanding the draw

Idaho is one of the few unique states that does not use a formal system of preference or bonus points for distribution of controlled hunt permits. A simple lottery system is used, which puts every applicant—regardless of time spent applying—on a level playing field. In Idaho, nonresidents are granted up to 10% of a unit’s allotted quota (bighorn sheep raffle and super hunt tags do not affect this 10% allotment) though this number is not guaranteed if the quota is met by residents. This quota percentage for nonresidents is fairly common in the West, but, with a combination of high application fees and the lottery system, the draw odds are generally much higher.

Idaho is a once-in-a-lifetime state, meaning that if a tag holder fills his or her tag the hunter may not apply again for that species in Idaho. The only special exclusion to this rule is that hunters are allowed to take both a cow and bull moose with separate permits during separate years. Tag holders who are not successful in filling their tag may apply for the same species again but must wait for two years before applying again. In lieu of the two year waiting period, hunters can also attempt to draw a tag during the second controlled application period though the potential of any tags making it to this point are nearly impossible at best. While not recognized as separate species by Boone & Crockett (B&C), California bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep permits are issued separately in idaho and both subspecies can be taken by the same hunter.

Bighorn sheep raffle

In collaboration with the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation the state of Idaho also offers hunters a unique opportunity in the Bighorn Sheep Raffle. Through the raffle, hunters can purchase an unlimited amount of lottery tickets in the hopes of drawing a sheep tag that can be used in any open unit in the state with the exception of Unit 11 for 2017.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Tag is useable in any open unit in the state with the exception of Unit 11.
  • Tag is not transferable.
  • The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. on the last Wednesday in July at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) headquarters.
  • The once-in-a-lifetime rule is waived for this tag.
  • Mail in applications only with this form.

Idaho's Super Hunts

Like the Bighorn Sheep Raffle, Idaho also offers hunters the chance to draw a one of 34 Super Hunt tags. With the super tag, hunters can hunt in any open unit found in the state and may purchase as many chances at the Super Hunt as they wish.

  • Tags are available for deer, elk, antelope and moose.
  • A hunting license is not required to apply for Super Hunts.
  • The entry deadline for the first drawing is May 31, 2017.
  • The entry deadline for the second drawing is Aug. 10, 2017.
  • Apply here.


Idaho's 2017 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown
 

Grif Cochran 2016 Idaho Rocky bighorn sheep
Grif Cochran and his 2016 Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn

While Idaho may not be known for producing the biggest sheep in the West, it does offer some of the best odds around for both residents and nonresidents and opportunities for some great sheep in the 140”-180” B&C range. In 2016, there was a total of 68 tags issued with five of these going to nonresidents. Because this is a lottery state, there is always a chance to pull a tag so risking the high fees can be a gamble worth taking.

FIVE YEAR IDAHO ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP QUOTAS

Current Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep herd condition

Overall, the bighorn sheep found in Idaho are doing very well and continue to grow in numbers thanks to sound management plans. While epizootic pneumonia has been a growing concern in neighboring states, Idaho has passed through relatively unscathed.

FIVE YEAR TRENDS FOR BIGHORN SHEEP HARVESTS IN IDAHO


How to uncover hidden gem Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep areas

With Idaho limiting hunters to their choice of only applying for one species per year it can increase the odds of drawing a tag and place even more importance on unit selection. Copious amounts of terrain can be found in the Gem State, which means that some hunts may be much more physically challenging than others. These areas will typically carry better draw odds but trophy potential may not always be as high as surrounding units.

Top units for draw odds on bighorn sheep in Idaho

Resident Nonresident
Unit Draw
odds
Unit Draw
odds
27-2 22.2% 27-2 8.5%
27-1 20.0% 27-3 6.9%
27-3 15.4% 17L 5.2%
17L 9.1% 20 4.4%
20 7.7% 28-1 3.2%
28-1 6.5% 19A 2.8%

As with other species, it will be important to first decide what you are looking for out of your once-in-a-lifetime tag and apply accordingly. Idaho offers tags for hunters looking to simply harvest any legal bighorn while others are managed for bigger, more mature rams. Using Filtering 2.0 and adjusting the parameters to meet exactly what you're looking for in a hunt can drastically narrow down your choices and lead you to the hunt of a lifetime.

Hit list units for trophy Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in 2017

Top hit list units to consider for 170" or better Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep 2016 data
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued
Harvest Success
rate
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
11 180"+ 1 1 100% 43.38" 14.5"
37A* 180"+ 3 3 100% 33.25" 14.25"
36A 175"+ 2 1 50% 31.00" 15.12"
37 175"+ 6 6 100% 35.38" 14.71"
19 170"+ 4 2 50% 35.00" 14.02"
26 170"+ 4 2 50% 35.44" 14.00"
26L 170"+ 2 2 100% 35.12" 14.88"
28-2 170"+ 2 1 50% 33.00" 14.00"
36B 170"+ 4 4 100% 33.38" 14.88"
* 37A is a very physically demanding hunt in extremely tough country along the Salmon River. Some great rams are taken here but success rates can sometimes be low. In previous years, this unit has experienced 100% success rates. Two tags were allocated in the state draw, plus one auction tag.
 

2015 data
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued
Harvest Success
rate
Ram:ewe
ratio
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
11 180"+ 1 1 100% 38:100 40.88" 15.50"
37A* 180"+ 2 0 0% 86:100 N/A N/A
36A 175"+ 2 2 100% 97:100 34.31" 14.38"
37 175"+ 6 5 83% 65:100 33.55" 14.52"
19 170"+ 4 4 100% 38:100 31.12" 14.50"
26 170"+ 4 3 75% 42:100 37.21" 16.12"
26L 170"+ 2 1 50% 42:100 31.50" 14.50"
28-2 170"+ 2 2 100% 39:100 20.25" 10.12"
36B 170"+ 4 4 100% 39:100 30.62" 14.41"
* 37A is a very physically demanding hunt in extremely tough country along the Salmon River. Some great rams are taken here but success rates can sometimes be low. In previous years, this unit has experienced 100% success rates.

 

B&C entry trends for Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

Along with Filtering 2.0 hunters can also find hidden gem units by carefully examining the B&C record entries for Idaho. While some of the top tier units may consistently produce the state's biggest rams they will also hold the lowest draws odds. By closely examining the top record book ram producing counties, hunters may be able to identify adjacent units with higher odds of successfully pulling a tag.

B&C lists Rocky Mountain bighorns and California bighorns under the same classification. Units below may include Rocky Mountain bighorns or California bighorns.


Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Idaho's top B&C producing
counties since 2010 for bighorn sheep

County No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Nez Perce 6 11
Idaho 1 17L, 19, 19A, 20, 20A, 21, 26, 26L, 27L, 27-2, 28-1, 28-2 
Lemhi 1 20, 20A, 21, 26, 27-1, 27-2, 27-3, 27-5, 28-1, 28-2, 28-3
Valley 1 26, 27-1


Analyzing ram:ewe ratios

While researching for your application you will notice that we provide data on ram to ewe ratios for each hunt area in Idaho. Male to female ratios are a critical measuring data tool for wildlife managers and indicate the current status of the herd. A higher ram to ewe ratio may indicate that an area could have a higher availability of mature rams compared to an area with a lower ram to ewe ratio. This doesn’t always mean that the rams will be the highest scoring rams, but more available rams generally leads to a higher population of mature animals. When selecting an area, or comparing several areas, take this into consideration to help your decision. For a complete understanding of male to female ratios, please refer to a recent article covering this in-depth.

Top Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep units for ram:ewe ratios

Unit Ram:ewe
ratio
Trophy
potential
36A 97:100 175"+
37A 86:100 180"+
37 65:100 175"+
19A 55:100 165"+
20A 42:100 165"+
26 42:100 170"+
26L 42:100 170"+
27-1 42:100 165"+
27-2 42:100 165"+
27-3 42:100 165"+
27-4 42:100 165"+
27L 42:100 165"+
36 42:100 155"+


Managing expectations

It’s well documented that Idaho has some of the best odds in the West when it comes to bighorn sheep, but that doesn’t mean that you're guaranteed a tag in your lifetime. That being said, you’ll never draw if you don’t apply. Carefully consider your choice when submitting your application and pay special attention to success rates and terrain features in your chosen unit. Some heavy backpacking experience is needed for some of the hunts as well as the mental fortitude that must be practiced to successfully fulfill the hunt of your dreams.

It may be a good year to focus efforts on a new hunt in Unit 28-3. This unit will likely go unnoticed by the majority of applicants and getting the opportunity to be one of the first hunters in this previously closed unit could lead to the hunt of a lifetime.

Find your draw odds here



Idaho's 2017 California bighorn sheep breakdown
 

Jay Weaver 2016 Idaho California bighorn sheep
Jay Weaver and his 2016 Idaho California bighorn sheep

Along with Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunters can also choose to pursue the subspecies California bighorn sheep. While California Bighorns generally sport smaller horns than their Rocky Mountain counterpart there have been some incredible rams taken above 170”. Idaho recognizes the California bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep as separate species and hunters are allowed to take one of each in the state. For 2016, there were 21 permits issued for eight units.

FIVE YEAR IDAHO CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP QUOTAS

Current bighorn sheep herd condition

Overall, the California bighorn sheep in Idaho are doing incredibly well thanks to sound management practices and a lower amount of predators as compared to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

FIVE YEAR TRENDS FOR CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP HARVEST IN IDAHO


How to uncover hidden gem California bighorn sheep units

The biggest struggle applicants will run into when researching for possible units for California bighorn sheep is the simple fact that options are so sparse. With only eight possible units to choose from the odds of finding a somewhat overlooked unit just isn’t there. Still, identifying units that may have higher odds of drawing with the penalty of a few inches for the total score may be an attractive incentive.

Top units for draw odds on California bighorn sheep in Idaho

Unit Resident
draw odds
Nonresident
draw odds
40 3.4% 1.7%
41-1 3.4% 1.1%
41-2 7.0% 1.0%
42-1 & 42-2
(early hunt)
7.5% 2.2%
42-1 & 42-2
(late hunt)
5.8% 1.6%
55 2.4% 1.5%
46-1 & 46-2
(early hunt)
4.1% 0.89%
46-1 & 46-2
(late hunt)
4.8% 1.2%

The odds for resident hunters are still better than most in the West, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Nonresident odds are incredibly steep and the high application fees will turn many hopefuls away.



Hit list units for trophy Idaho California bighorn sheep in 2017

Top hit list units to consider for 155" or better California bighorn sheep
2016 data
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued
Harvest Success
rate
Ram:ewe
ratio
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
40 160"+ 1 1 100% 24:100 30.50" 13.75"
41-1 165"+ 2 2 100% 65:100 32.88" 14.62"
41-2 160"+ 4 2 50% 65:100 30.06" 14.5"
42-1 165"+ 4 4 100% 50:100 31.62" 14.31"
42-2 165"+ 4 2 50% 50:100 31.75" 14.06"
55 155"+ 1 1 100% 3:100 28.5" 14.00"
46-1 170"+ 3 2 67% 112:100 30.25" 14.12"
46-2 170"+ 2 1 50% 112:100 30.5" 15.00"

 

2015 data
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued
Harvest Success
rate
Ram:ewe
ratio
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
40 160"+ 1 1 100% 24:100 33.50" 14.00"
41-1 165"+ 2 2 100% 65:100 31.5" 14.81"
41-2 160"+ 4 2 50% 65:100 31.5" 14.81"
42-1 & 42-2
(early)
165"+ 4 0 0% 50:100 N/A N/A
42-1 & 42-2
(late)
165"+ 4 2 50% 50:100 30.00" 14.62"
55 155"+ 3 3 100% 3:100 31.25" 14.50"
46-1 & 46-2
(early)
170"+ 2 0 0% 112:100 N/A N/A
46-1 & 46-2
(late)
170"+ 1 1 100% 112:100 31.50" 13.75"


B&C entry trends for Idaho California bighorn sheep

Because B&C does not officially recognize the California bighorn as a separate subspecies as that of the Rocky Mountain bighorn it takes an exceptional ram to make the books. There has only been one ram entered into the books from Idaho, which was taken in 2010 and scored 185 4/8” B&C.



Hidden gem information

First, do your homework. We provide lots of valuable information here and in the State Profile and Unit Breakdowns of each species. Beyond that you should contact biologists, study maps, and talk to previous hunters about their success and experiences. Remember that nothing replaces hard work and scouting when looking for that once-in-a-lifetime trophy. There are several units that have the potential to produce an above average ram, but finding them will take work and dedication.

Top Idaho California bighorn sheep units for ram:ewe ratios

Unit Ram:ewe
ratio
Trophy
potential
46-1 & 46-2 112:100 170"+
41-1 65:100 165"+
41-2 65:100 160"+
42-1 & 42-2 50:100 165"+
40 24:100 160"+
55 3:100 155"+


Managing expectations

While the odds of drawing a coveted tag for California bighorn is steep, the fact is you’ll never draw if you don’t apply. For hunters who have yet to draw any sheep tag in Idaho it may be better to first focus your efforts—and money—on applying for Rocky Mountain bighorn.

It may be a good year to focus efforts on the new hunts in Unit 54. This will likely go unnoticed by the majority of applicants and getting the opportunity to be one of the first hunters in this previously closed unit could be lead to the hunt of a lifetime.

Find your draw odds here



Idaho's 2017 Shiras moose breakdown
 

Massive Idaho bull moose taken with Deadline Outfitters
Giant Idaho bull moose taken with Deadline Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

The Shiras moose is probably one of the most overlooked aspects in the trophy species applications in Idaho. With Idaho forcing hunters to choose one species for their yearly applications it’s no surprise that most hunters opt for sheep or goats. Moose can be hunted nearly statewide with great bulls being present in nearly every unit. Wolves have made a noticeable impact on population levels in the central and northern parts of the state yet good hunting can still be found. While occasional bulls over the 50” mark will be taken each year hunters will have solid chances at bulls at or over 35” in almost every unit. In 2016, there were a total of 882 bull and cow permits issued and nonresidents accounted for 57 of these. Another unique aspect of Idaho is the fact that the state allows the taking of cow moose in addition to bull moose. This is the only species in the state where more than one animal can be taken in a lifetime.

FIVE YEAR IDAHO SHIRAS MOOSE QUOTAS

Current Shiras moose herd condition

Overall, Idaho’s moose population is doing fairly well. Predation continues to be a problem in the central and panhandle portion of the state as wolves continue to prey on populations. Yet, even in these affected areas, hunters are still experiencing good hunting though its has been on a downtrend for several years. The moose should weather the current winter fine thanks to their obvious size advantage and browsing natures though some areas will likely experience some winter kill.

Trends for Shiras moose in Idaho

Year Bulls
harvested
Cows
harvested
Total Avg. antler
spread
2011 569 116 685 34.76"
2012 554 120 674 36.04"
2013 556 122 678 36.96"
2014 539 123 662 35.19"
2015 553 114 667 34.95"
2016 529 111 640 37.14"

 



How to uncover hidden gem Shiras moose areas

With Idaho limiting hunters to their choice of only applying for one species per year it can increase the odds of drawing a tag and place even more importance on unit selection. Copious amounts of terrain can be found in the Gem State, which means that some hunts may be much more physically challenging than others. These areas will typically carry better draw odds but trophy potential may not always be as high as surrounding units. Idaho also offers a few two week seasons in the panhandle. While these carry incredibly high draw odds they come with the added pressure of a short season. The gamble can be worth it but the hunt will certainly require a lot of focus and effort.

Top units for draw odds on Shiras moose in Idaho
(full season tags)

Resident Nonresident
Unit Draw
odds
Unit Draw
odds
10-4 100% 10-4 8.1%
12-4 100% 12-1 50%
12-1 50% 10-1 43%
12-3 50% 69-3 28%
10-1 43% 10A-1 23%
10A-2 38% 60A 20%

It is important to note in the above table that the draw odds are out of this world. One thing to keep in mind is that these units feature very low populations of moose and are covered in incredibly thick vegetation. While the hunting can be tough there have been some incredible bulls taken out of here, including one bull over 45” in 2015. It is also important to note that there are almost a dozen more units with odds over 20% for residents and over 10% for nonresidents.

Top units for draw odds on Shiras moose in Idaho
(two week season tags)

Resident Nonresident
Unit Draw
odds
Unit Draw
odds
1-1
(Oct. 1 to 14)
37% 3
(Nov. 1 to 14)
25%
3
(Nov. 1 to 14)
30% 1-2
(Oct. 1 to 14)
21%
5
(Oct. 1 to 14)
28% 5
(Nov. 1 to 14)
21%
1-2
(Oct. 1 to 14)
27% 2
(Nov. 1 to 14)
18%
1-1
(Nov. 1 to 14)
23% 3
(Oct. 1 to 14)
17%

After analyzing draw odds for each unit another helpful tactic can be carefully examining Idaho’s published average widths. By looking through these, hunters can begin to find trends in units that may commonly produce great bulls while maintaining high draw odds.

Idaho's top ten Shiras moose units based on average widths in 2016

Unit Avg.
width
Permits
issued
Bulls
harvested
Harvest
success
Draw odds
resident
Draw odds
nonresidents
54 48.00" 1 1 100% 2.8% 2.8%
68A 46.50" 2 2 100% 15% 11%
9 45.90" 5 2 40% 11% 12%
5 36.7" 15 14 93% 15% 5%
50 44.40" 5 5 100% 4.4% 4.4%
1-4A 44.00" 5 1 20% 40% 32%
62A 42.70" 5 4 80% 18% 17%
4 42.00" 20 17 85% 20% 7.6%
10A-4 41.90" 8 8 100% 9.1% 100%
10-3 41.80" 10 6 60% 35% 21%


B&C entry trends for Idaho Shiras moose

When it comes to record book Shiras moose Idaho has that covered. In fact, 47 bulls have been entered into the book since 2010 and 239 bulls have been entered in total. Along with Filtering 2.0, hunters can also find hidden gem units by carefully examining the B&C record entries for Idaho. While some of the top tier units may consistently produce the state's biggest bulls they will also hold the lowest draw odds. By closely examining the top record book moose producing counties, hunters may be able to identify adjacent units with higher odds of successfully pulling a tag.



Hidden gem information
 

Awesome Idaho bull moose taken with Bearpaw Outfitters
Awesome Idaho bull moose taken with Bearpaw Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

The key to finding hidden gem mountain goat units is to study the Draw Odds page and also pay close attention to the number of resident and nonresident applications per unit in Filtering 2.0 or Draw Odds.


Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are considered if any part of the unit is found within any part of the county.

Idaho's top B&C producing counties since 2010 for Shiras moose

County* No. of
entries
Units found
within county
Shoshone 7 4, 6, 7, 9, 10A-2, 10A-3, 10A-4, 10-3, 10-6
Clearwater 5 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10A-1, 10A-2,
10A-4, 10A-5
Bonneville 4 63, 63A, 66A, 66-1, 66-2, 67-1, 67-2, 69-1, 69-2
Fremont 4 60, 60A, 61-2, 61-3, 62, 62A, 63, 63A, 64, 65
Idaho 4 12-1, 12-2, 12-3, 12-4, 12-51416

* 6 more counties with 2 entries and 9 more counties with 1 entry each.


Managing expectations

As with bighorn sheep and goat, the best tactic is to simply pick your preferred unit and apply each year. With moose, pay special attention to draw odds, terrain features, and historical harvest success. Many of the state’s units with the highest draw odds will house some of the hardest hunting around but the payoff could land your name in the record books.

Find your draw odds here



Idaho's 2017 mountain goat breakdown
 

Troy Smouse 2016 Idaho Mountain goat
Troy Smouse and his 2016 Idaho Rocky Mountain goat

Along with bighorn sheep, Idaho also offers hunters looking for an extreme hunt the opportunity to hunt Rocky Mountain goats. The goats are typically found in some of Idaho’s roughest terrains and are sure to challenge every hunter. Mountain goats tend to winter much hardier than other species and generally vacate the high country long after winter storms have moved in. While Idaho maintains a nearly 100% successful harvest rate in each unit, there are some years that quotas will go unfilled by hunters who wait too long and simply can’t access the animals.

FIVE YEAR IDAHO MOUNTAIN GOAT QUOTAS

Current mountain goat herd condition

Idaho’s mountain goats are doing very well and the state has been steadily increasing available tags in recent years. With this year's winter continuing to break records, it is unsure how the goats will fare come spring; however, winter kill is generally a small concern for biologists and should have little to any impact on tag allocations.

Trends for Rocky Mountain goat harvest in Idaho

Year Billies Nannies Total Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
length
2011 36 9 45 8.27" 4.73"
2012 33 6 39 8.47" 4.81"
2013 34 10 44 8.99" 4.89"
2014 33 8 41 8.78" 4.88"
2015 36 12 48 8.28" 5.00"
2016 31 15 46 8.58" 4.57"

Draw odds, while low, are among the highest in the West. Because Idaho is a lottery state, the tags can be dawn by anyone at any time. Nearly all of the units will offer opportunities at great mountain goats and breathtaking scenery to boot.

Top units for draw odds on mountain goat in Idaho

Resident Nonresident
Unit Draw
odds
Unit Draw
odds
27-4 12% 39 5.5%
27-5 12% 27-2 5.3%
36-1 12% 10-3 4.4%
39 12% 27-4 4.4%
27-1 11% 36-1 4.3%
10-3 8.7% 36B 4.0%
36A-1 8.4% 27-5 3.8%
36B 8.4% 36A-3 3.8%
36A-3 8.3% 43 3.6%
22 7.9% 36A-4 3.1%

 

B&C entry trends for Idaho Rocky Mountain mountain goat

Idaho is not known for producing goats that meet the B&C minimums for entry though it does offer great opportunities at billies and nannies with horns in the 9” range in nearly every unit. Since 2008, there has only been one entry from the Gem State in the B&C records.

Averages for horn length for mountain goats in Idaho

Unit 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 5 year
avg.
1 N/A* N/A** 8.62" 9.62" 9.25" 9.88" 9.34"
7 9.25" 9.62" 9.88" 10.50" 10.00" 9.12" 9.82"
10-1 9.12" 9.44" 10.38" 9.50" 10.62" 9.12" 9.81"
10-2 8.88" 9.38" N/A* 10.19" 9.5" N/A* 9.69"
10-3 9.38" 9.35" N/A*** N/A*** N/A*** N/A*** 9.35"
18 9.09" 8.62" 9.62" 8.44" 8.50" 9.79" 8.99"
22 9.09" 8.94" 8.69" 9.25" 8.69" 8.69" 8.85"
27-2 8.88" 8.50" 8.88" 8.88" N/A* 7.50" 8.44"
27-4 9.00" 8.25" 8.75" 8.44" 9.12" 8.00" 8.51"
27-5 7.94" 8.88" 8.69" 8.75" 9.38" 7.44" 8.63"
36-1 7.38" 7.47" 8.16" 8.41" 7.50" 5.91" 7.50"
36A-1 8.28" 7.50" 7.81" 8.44" 6.47" 8.03" 7.70"
36A-2 9.62" 10.00" 8.25" 9.88" 8.00" 7.50" 8.73"
36A-3 7.83" 9.62" 7.25" 8.42" 8.04" 7.29" 8.12"
36A-4 8.31" 8.06" 8.38" 8.19" 8.31" 8.44" 8.28"
36B 8.75" 9.06" 9.06" 9.13" 7.50" 9.00" 8.75"
37A 8.75" N/A* 9.75" 9.50" N/A* 9.75" 9.67"
39 7.81" 8.25" 8.83" 7.75" N/A* 8.56" 8.35"
43 7.92" 7.75" 8.29" 9.75" 8.21" 8.08 8.42"
50 6.94" 7.56" 8.53" 7.38" 8.25" 7.75" 7.89"
67 9.38" 9.25" 8.91" 9.28" 7.67" 8.85" 8.79"

* indicates years where no goats were harvested
** horn length data not collected this year
*** hunt did not exist during these years
 


Managing expectations

Because Idaho utilizes a true lottery system the best tactic for planning out your goat hunt is to simply pick your desired unit and apply, apply, apply! When examining your unit choices, it will be largely important to consider the terrain that will be encountered and the experience you desire. Some units can provide easier access with lower draw odds while others will provide difficult access and better draw odds.

Find your draw odds here

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