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APPLICATION STRATEGY 2018: Idaho Sheep, Moose, Goat

2018 Idaho sheep moose goat application strategy article

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

Jump to: New for 2018 State Information Draw System Rocky Sheep Breakdown California Sheep Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown

Idaho is home to some incredible hunting opportunities and offers hunters the chance at drawing coveted tags for moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, California bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Idaho uses a straightforward lottery system for drawing tags and does not employ any sort of bonus or preference points. In addition, applicants in Idaho are only allowed to apply for one species per year for controlled hunts; this includes deer, elk, and bear as well. This drives the number of applicants per species down and raises the draw odds up considerably compared to other states. The down side? Idaho has some of the highest up front fees and application fees of any western state. Additionally, the application fees are nonrefundable and permits must be paid up front. This alone can chase many hopeful applicants off and leave them searching for greener, or cheaper, pastures. The expenses can be high, but the payouts can lead to the hunt of a lifetime.

Note: The deadline to apply for Idaho moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat is April 30, 2018 by midnight MST. Applications can be filled out online here.



Why Idaho for bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goat in 2018

Draw odds

Due to Idaho’s unusual draw system and high fees, many hunters will look into other states. Because of this, the draw odds in Idaho are generally higher than most of the other states.

Public land

Idaho is home to millions of acres of public land and hunters will find little trouble in nearly every unit when it comes to access.

No bonus or preference points

Because Idaho does not use bonus or preference points everyone has the same odds of drawing any given tag, regardless of how long they have been trying.

Group applications

Another strange quirk to Idaho is that two hunters can apply as a party for any of the moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat hunts.



New for 2018

For 2018, Idaho saw very few changes to moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat units.

California bighorn sheep

Eliminated bighorn sheep hunt 7007 in Unit 46-2, which would have offered two tags, and extended hunt 7006 in Hunt Area 46-1 to close Oct. 8 instead of Sept. 14. Biologists are concerned that a disease event may have reduced the number of harvestable rams, resulting in an adjustment in available tags.

Mountain goat

Eliminated the two tags in mountain goat controlled hunt 6005 in Unit 10-3 because the mountain goats appear to have moved out of the hunt area.

New for goHUNT

For 2018, goHUNT has added Draw Odds for all female species. 

Cow moose draw odds

Find your resident cow moose draw odds here

Find your nonresident cow moose draw odds here



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 Moose Profile Mountain Goat Profile Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • Applications for Idaho moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat are accepted beginning April 1, 2018.
  • You can apply online here.
  • Before applying all applicants must possess a current valid hunting license.
  • First controlled hunt application period: April 1 to 30, 2018.
  • Successful applicants in the first controlled period will be notified by no later than June 10, 2018.
  • Second controlled hunt application period: June 15 to 25, 2018
  • Successful applicants in the second controlled period will be notified by no later than June 30, 2018.
  • Leftover tags go on sale July 10, 2018.

Current weather/snowpack

Idaho snow water equivalent of normal April 2018

2018 Idaho snow water equivalent update as of April 12, 2018. Source: National Resources Conservation Service

After last year’s hard winter, hunters have been keeping a close eye on Idaho’s current winter. Snowfall is still fairly high in the panhandle region but is nothing totally alarming. Herds are doing fairly well across the West and wintering well. If the above average precipitations continue through the spring we should see great feed available and have some healthy animals to chase this fall.



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 bighorn sheep tag that can be used in any open unit in the state with the exception of Unit 11 for 2018.

  • 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 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, 2018.
  • The entry deadline for the second drawing is Aug. 10, 2018.
  • Apply here.


Idaho's 2018 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown

When it comes to bighorn sheep it’s easy for states like Idaho to get overshadowed by some of the other more prolific sheep states.  While Idaho doesn’t generally offer opportunities at 190”+ sheep it does offer great drawing odds and a decent shot at rams above the 170” B&C mark. Hunters will find a multitude of terrain types to chase sheep in from the timber sheep in the Frank Church of No Return Wilderness to the impossibly large hells canyon country.

SIX YEAR IDAHO ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP QUOTAS - Updated 2018

Current Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep herd condition

The bighorn sheep of Idaho are doing great and the herd health continues to grow thanks to sound conservation efforts. 

SEVEN YEAR TRENDS FOR BIGHORN SHEEP HARVESTS IN IDAHO - Updated 2018



How to uncover hidden gem Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep areas

As with other western states the simple fact of the matter is that with a high profile species such as bighorn sheep you will rarely, if ever, find any units that are uncovered or sleepers. However, Idaho does have one advantage, which lies in the draw odds. In many cases, hunters simply wishing to hunt sheep regardless of size can find very respectable draw odds in Idaho, regardless of residency.

Idaho's best draw odds on Rocky bighorn sheep

Resident Nonresident
Unit Draw
odds
Unit Draw
odds
27-2 19% 17L 4.2%
27-1 17% 20 3.9%
26 11% 36 3.6%
27-3 10% 19A 3.4%
20A 10% 26 3.1%
36 9.2% 27-2 3.1%
27-4 9.1% 27L 2.5%
19A 8.6% 30 2.2%
17L 8.3% 20A 2.0%

The big thing to remember with Idaho is that drawing a bighorn sheep tag is a once-in-a-lifetime shot unless your tag goes unfilled in which case you’ll have a seven-year wait before being able to reapply. Because of this fact, it will be extremely important to first establish what you want of your hunt. Adventure? Horn size? Both? Idaho has a little of everything to offer any sheep hunter. Be sure to use Filtering 2.0 to customize your search criteria and find your dream tag.

Hit list units for trophy Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in 2018

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

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued in 2017
Rams
harvested
Success
rate
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
Public land
%
11 180"+ 1 (1)* 2 100% 40.62" 15.12" 76.5%
37A* 180"+ 2 2 100% 37.12" 14.12" 93.9%
36A 175"+ 2 0 0% NA NA 96%
37 175"+ 4 (1)** 4 100% 35.75" 14.46" 89.3%
19 170"+ 4 2 50% 33.88" 14.88" 98.7%
26 170"+ 4 3 75% 33.71" 14.25" 99.7%
26L 170"+ 2 2 100% 29.75" 14.56" 99.7%
28-2 170"+ 2 2 100% 31.5" 13.56" 93.9
36B 170"+ 4 3 75% 24.62" 12.71" 94.3%

*The statewide auction tag holder for 2017 harvested their ram in Unit 11.
**The 2017 Idaho Super Hunt bighorn sheep tag was used in Unit 37.


 

B&C entry trends for Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

When studying B&C for Idaho sheep it is important to note that for the sake of the record books Rocky Mountain and California bighorn sheep are not recognized as a separate species.


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. Data provided below courtesy of Boone and Crockett Club.

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

County No. of
entries
Units found within county
Nez Perce 6 11
Valley 2 26, 27-1
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
Owyhee* 1 40, 41-1, 41-2, 42-1, 42-2, 46-1

*California bighorn ram

Map of Idaho's bighorn sheep B&C all time entries 2018

TOP 10 B&C ROCKY BIGHORN SHEEP LOCATIONS SINCE 2010 - Idaho 2018



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 and, thus, a higher opportunity of locating trophy quality rams. 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 this article.

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 is well documented among those who regularly apply out West that Idaho has some of the best draw odds for bighorn sheep. While many hunters will skip out on the high fees those who are willing to pay Idaho’s prices have higher odds of enjoying the experience of bighorn sheep hunting long before others. Because Idaho uses a straight lottery system hunters who are just starting their application game will have the same shot as a veteran applicant who has already been applying for a lifetime.

Consider our list of units with the best draw odds as a great place to start. Most of the units at the top of the list will be found in and around the famed Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, which is an area that will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not mentally and physically prepared. To some, this may be incredibly daunting and to others this can lend itself to the absolute hunt of a lifetime.

Find your resident rocky bighorn sheep draw odds here

Find your nonresident rocky bighorn sheep draw odds here



Idaho's 2018 California bighorn sheep breakdown

Along with Idaho’s Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep opportunities hunters also the option to chase a similar sub-species: the California bighorn sheep. For the sake of once-in-a-lifetime tag sanctions, Idaho considers both bighorn sheep as a separate species and allows hunters the ability to hunt both animals in their lifetime. The smaller population of California bighorn sheep are found along the southern border of Idaho with nine different hunting opportunities across seven units. Because of the small population and low hunt options, hunters will be faced with tougher draw odds than their Rocky Mountain counterparts. These rams, while nearly identical in physical appearance, will generally have smaller horns though the current state record taken in 2010 scores an impressive 185 4/8”!

SIX YEAR IDAHO CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP QUOTAS - Updated 2018

Current bighorn sheep herd condition

Idaho’s small population of California bighorn sheep has been doing excellent as can be seen in the small bump of available permits since last season. The bighorn sheep in this area generally experience a low predatory threat and mild winters. Pneumonia has not been an issue in most of this region but the reintroduced herds found in Units 54 and 55 have had some recent breakouts and the disease likely led to the closure of hunts in Unit 46-2 for the 2018 season.

SEVEN YEAR TRENDS FOR CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP HARVEST IN IDAHO - Updated 2018



How to uncover hidden gem California bighorn sheep units

Due to the simple fact that there are only ten hunt choices it’s no secret that draw odds for California bighorn sheep are steep though they are still better than most of the other western states for any bighorn sheep species. Still, for hunters looking to pursue this species or for those lucky enough to have drawn and filled an Idaho Rocky Mountain bighorn tag this is another great opportunity.

Idaho's best draw odds on California bighorn sheep

Resident Nonresident
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
42-2 7005 7.1% 42-2 7005 2.2%
54-2 7009 4.2% 40 7001 1.6%
46-1 7006 4.0% 54-2 7009 1.2%
41-2 7003 4.0% 42-1 7004 1.2%
42-1 7004 3.9% 55 7010 1.1%
40 7001 2.9% 46-1 7006 0.98%
55 7010 2.7% 41-2 7003 0.95%
41-1 7002 2.6% 41-1 7002 0.94%
54-1 7008 1.5% 54-1 7008 0.80%

When researching units to apply for California bighorn sheep keep in mind that with so few units there really isn’t a clear-cut winner when it comes to large bighorn sheep. In total, there have been 39 California bighorn sheep entered into the records books from Idaho—all of which have come from Owhyee County (40, 41-1, 41-2, 42-1 & 42-1, and 46-1). Of the 39 rams, only two have met the 175” B&C requirement for the B&C record books.



Hit list units for trophy Idaho California bighorn sheep in 2018

Top hit list breakdown for California bighorn sheep
(not in order of quality)

Unit Trophy
potential
Tags
issued in 2017
Rams
harvested
Success
rate
Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
circum.
Public land
%
46-1 170"+ 3 2 67% 32.81" 14.56" 89.9%
41-1 165"+ 2 2 100% 33.31" 14" 76.1%
42-1 165"+ 3 3 100% 31" 14" 95.7%
40 160"+ 1 1 100% 34.5" 14.25" 75.8%
41-2 160"+ 4 4 100% 30.94" 13.88" 78.1%
54-1 155"+ 1 1 100% 40.25" 14.88" 59.2%
54-2 155"+ 2 2 100% 31.94" 13.94" 13.9%
55 155"+ 2 1 50% 27.5" 13.88" 52.6%


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 and, thus, a higher opportunity of locating trophy quality rams. 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 this article.

Idaho's top California bighorn sheep units based on ram:ewe ratios

Unit Ram:ewe
ratio
Trophy
potential
46-1 112:100 170"+
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"+
54 NA 155"+


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.



Managing expectations

Again, due to the lack of hunt options, there really isn’t a clear-cut strategy for success. Studying the numbers and deciding what hunts fits your needs and desires the best is about the best course of action. If you are a beginner in terms of applying for bighorn sheep and have not yet drawn a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag in Idaho, then your efforts—and money—will likely be better spent in that arena. For anyone who has already drawn and filled or is waiting the seven-year waiting period after not filling a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep tag, the California bighorn sheep can be a very appealing avenue to explore.

Find your resident California bighorn sheep draw odds here

Find your nonresident California bighorn sheep draw odds here



Idaho's 2018 Shiras moose breakdown

2017 Idaho bull moose taken with Deadline Outfitters

2017 Idaho bull moose taken with Deadline Outfitters — A goHUNT Business Member

Because Idaho only allows hopeful applicants to apply for one species per year many hunters will devote their time and efforts into the high profile species such as bighorn sheep and mountain goats. However, when breaking down the numbers it becomes widely apparent that the most options and best draw odds land with moose. Idaho is home to some fabulous hunting for moose and has produced more B&C book bulls than any other state with the exception of Montana.  Along with all of the general season permits, Idaho also offers two week seasons and, while the risk may be high, the rewards can be bigger. Another quirk with Idaho’s moose hunts is that the state makes one exception to the “once-in-a-lifetime” rules and allows hunters to harvest one bull and one cow moose in their lifetime.

SIX YEAR IDAHO SHIRAS MOOSE QUOTAS - Updated 2018

Current Shiras moose herd condition

Overall, Idaho’s moose population is doing fair. Like most of the other western states and some in the midwest, Idaho’s moose population has been on a decline as indicated by the drop in available tags for the 2018 season. While the decline is purely speculative at this point, many attribute it to predation by wolves and the spread of diseases through ticks. The hunting is still great in Idaho, but the condition of moose could drastically alter draw odds in coming years.

SEVEN YEAR HARVEST TRENDS FOR SHIRAS MOOSE IN IDAHO - UPDATED 2018

SEVEN YEAR AVERAGE ANTLER WIDTH TRENDS FOR SHIRAS MOOSE IN IDAHO - UPDATED 2018



How to uncover hidden gem Shiras moose areas

Normally, when it comes to high profile species, the odds of finding undiscovered units is virtually zero. I’m not saying there are units full of 50” bulls that nobody puts in for, but, with the sheer amount of units available, it's very believable that anyone has a legitimate shot at drawing an Idaho moose tag long before any other state. Now, what's the catch? The highest draw odds land in some of the most difficult units. These hunts will provide unique challenges ranging from impossible terrain to short season dates to low animal densities. Still, the opportunity is always there when you have a moose tag in your pocket.

Idaho's best draw odds on Shiras moose
(full season tags)

Resident Nonresident
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
12-5 3046 100% 10A-5 3014 27%
10-6 3036 67% 10A-2 3038 26%
12-3 3044 67% 12-4 3045 25%
10-2 3032 50% 61-3 3062 24%
10-3 3033 47% 1-3 3007 24%
76-3 3085 46% 10A-1 3037 23%
10-1 3031 42% 51 3054 22%
12-2 3034 40% 62 3063 22%
1-3 3007 34% 27 3049 20%
10-5 3035 33% 63 3065 20%
10A-3 3039 33% 69-3 3076 16%
16 3048 33% 10-1 3031 14%

By examining the above table it’s extremely clear that the draw odds in Idaho are out of this world. When examining a statewide map of units, it’s plain to see that a large portion of these units will be found in the Clearwater National Forest. This area is extremely steep and heavily vegetated. Hunting in this country can be ruthless and, sometimes, hunters do watch the sunset on the last day of season without ever seeing a moose.

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

Resident Nonresident
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
1-3 3008 100% 1-2 3006 39%
3 3014 100% 7 3026 39%
1-1 3003 53% 3 3013 38%
1-2 3006 53% 1-1 3002 29%
7 3026 53% 2 3011 28%
1-1 3002 51% 1-2 3005 25%
3 3013 38% 2 3010 20%

After analyzing the above tables you can cross reference areas with good odds against the average antler widths for each unit and really start finding some great units to consider.

Top units to consider for Idaho Shiras moose based on antler width

Unit Avg.
width
Permits
issued
Bulls
harvested
Harvest
success
54 56" 1 1 100%
10A-4 44.4" 8 5 63%
4 42.5" 5 2 40%
10-1 42.5" 6 2 33%
68A 42" 4 2 50%
12-4 42" 2 1 50%
10A-5 41" 4 1 25%
6 40.8" 5 3 60%
44 40.2" 3 2 67%
1-2 40.1" 20 9 45%


B&C entry trends for Idaho Shiras moose

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. Data provided below courtesy of Boone and Crockett Club.

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
Bonneville 7 63, 63A, 66A, 66-1, 66-2, 67-1, 67-2, 69-1, 69-2
Clearwater 6 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10A-1, 10A-2,
10A-4, 10A-5
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

Map of Idaho's moose B&C all time entries 2018

TOP B&C SHIRAS MOOSE LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Idaho



Managing expectations

Idaho moose is one species where hunters can really benefit by carefully doing their research and expecting fairly realistic chances in drawing a tag in the near future. Sure, there are certainly tags that can take a lifetime—or more—to draw, but, for someone not afraid to put in the work, there is some serious opportunity. Carefully study our hit lists, Draw Odds, and Filtering 2.0 to find your next dream hunt!

Find your resident bull moose draw odds here

Find your nonresident bull moose draw odds here



Idaho's 2018 mountain goat breakdown

Another awesome opportunity offered by Idaho is the ability for hunters to pursue mountain goat. These cliff-dwelling animals will be found in some of the most rugged country in the state and are sure to test anyone of any background. Idaho boasts an impressive success rate on mountain goats every year with hunter success trending above 85%.

SIX YEAR IDAHO MOUNTAIN GOAT QUOTAS - Updated 2018

Current mountain goat herd condition

Overall, the mountain goats of Idaho are doing decent. They aren’t necessarily thriving, but the population hasn’t taken any major drops like those in some of the surrounding states. Any applicants lucky enough to draw a tag in 2018 should be in for a great hunt!

Trends for Rocky Mountain goat harvest in Idaho

Year Billies Nannies Total Avg. horn
length
Avg. base
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"
2017 20 14 34 8.24" 4.61"

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.

How to uncover hidden gem units

When it comes to giant mountain goat Idaho will fall on very few hunter’s personal lists. In fact, since 2010, Idaho has only produced one mountain goat eligible for the B&C record books. However, Idaho does offer some of the best draw odds for mountain goat and does produce respectable mountain goats in the 9” to 9.5” range every year. Good representatives of the species can be found in nearly every unit. To find your dream hunt it will be best to first start by studying our Draw Odds and Unit Profiles. Next, decide on the type of hunt you want and then find respective units that fit the bill.

Idaho's best draw odds on mountain goats

Resident Nonresident
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
Unit Hunt
no.
Draw
odds
27-5 6010 20% 27-2 6008 6.2%
27-2 6008 15% 27-5 6010 5.0%
36A-3 6014 10% 27-4 6009 3.8%
36-1 6011 9.2% 36A-2 6013 3.8%
36A-4 6015 8.6% 36A-3 6014 3.7%
27-4 6009 8.3% 36A-4 6015 3.6%
36A-2 6013 8.1% 50 6020 3.6%
36A-1 6012 7.0% 43 6019 3.3%
10-2 6004 6.9% 10-2 6004 3.2%
18 6006 6.8% 36B 6016 3.2%

Beyond analyzing draw odds hunters can also uncover trends by studying the published data for average horn length and base circumference of every unit. By looking at the historical average of one unit versus another any hopeful applicant will begin to uncover trends in goat maturity and size.

Averages for horn length for mountain goats in Idaho

Unit 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 6 year
avg.
1 NA* N/A* N/A** 8.62" 9.62" 9.25" 9.88" 9.34"
7 9.12" 9.25" 9.62" 9.88" 10.50" 10.00" 9.12" 9.64"
10-1 5" 9.12" 9.44" 10.38" 9.50" 10.62" 9.12" 9.03"
10-2 NA* 8.88" 9.38" N/A* 10.19" 9.5" N/A* 9.49"
10-3 NA* 9.38" 9.35" N/A*** N/A*** N/A*** N/A*** 9.37"
18 9.34" 9.09" 8.62" 9.62" 8.44" 8.50" 9.79" 9.06"
22 9.71" 9.09" 8.94" 8.69" 9.25" 8.69" 8.69" 9.01"
27-2 9.75" 8.88" 8.50" 8.88" 8.88" N/A* 7.50" 8.73"
27-4 9.25" 9.00" 8.25" 8.75" 8.44" 9.12" 8.00" 8.69"
27-5 8.5" 7.94" 8.88" 8.69" 8.75" 9.38" 7.44" 8.51"
36-1 5.25" 7.38" 7.47" 8.16" 8.41" 7.50" 5.91" 7.15"
36A-1 8" 8.28" 7.50" 7.81" 8.44" 6.47" 8.03" 7.79"
36A-2 3.75" 9.62" 10.00" 8.25" 9.88" 8.00" 7.50" 8.14"
36A-3 6.62" 7.83" 9.62" 7.25" 8.42" 8.04" 7.29" 7.87"
36A-4 9.38" 8.31" 8.06" 8.38" 8.19" 8.31" 8.44" 8.44"
36B 9.69 8.75" 9.06" 9.06" 9.13" 7.50" 9.00" 8.88"
37A 9" 8.75" N/A* 9.75" 9.50" N/A* 9.75" 9.35"
39 8.94" 7.81" 8.25" 8.83" 7.75" N/A* 8.56" 8.36"
43 8.88" 7.92" 7.75" 8.29" 9.75" 8.21" 8.08 8.41"
50 NA* 6.94" 7.56" 8.53" 7.38" 8.25" 7.75" 7.74"
67 9.83" 9.38" 9.25" 8.91" 9.28" 7.67" 8.85" 9.02"

* Indicates years where no goats were harvested
** Horn length data not collected this year
*** Hunt did not exist during these years

 

 

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.

Map of Idaho's mountain goat B&C all time entries 2018

TOP B&C MOUNTAIN GOAT LOCATION ENTRIES SINCE 2010 - 2018 Idaho



Managing expectations

With Idaho utilizing a lottery system it is important to keep in mind that you have the same odds as everyone else when applying for tags regardless of how seasoned you are in applying. The simple fact is that for nonresidents especially, Idaho boasts some of the highest draw odds for mountain goats out of all of the western states.

Find your resident mountain goat draw odds here

Find your nonresident mountain goat draw odds here

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