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Idaho Update: Returned General Season Tags Available As 2nd Tags For Residents & Nonresidents Next Week

Information on Idaho second tag process for 2021

Photo credit: Dreamstime

August 4 update: List of available tags has been added to this article.

For those looking for a tag in Idaho for the 2021 season, remember that next week there could be another opportunity to pick up a returned tag, and also, starting in August, now these tags can be picked up as a second tag to both residents and nonresidents. So with this addition, there will be more competition for these returned tags.

The next tag availability date will be at 10 a.m. MDT on August. 5. Tags can be purchased on a first-come, first served basis at Idaho Fish and Game offices during normal business hours, at license vendors, online, or by calling (800) 554-8685. 

NOTE: If any tags are available, the list of available tags will be displayed at 10 a.m. MDT on August 3 on Idaho's nonresident license and tag webpage. Also, if tags become available I'll be updating this article on August 3.

Pick up an available tag here once available

Tips for picking up a tag

Idaho tag virtual waiting room queue

The above screenshot I added to this article while I was checking out the process of the "waiting room."

If you log into the Idaho Fish & Game licensing website early, you will be placed in the pre-sale waiting room. Keep your screen open and I'd suggest not refreshing the screen.

Waiting room virtual queue for Idaho tags

Then at 10:00 a.m., you will then be placed in the virtual queue. Then you will have to wait for your turn before you can jump in to purchase a license. Again, stay on this screen.

Upcoming Idaho returned sold-out tag availability dates

Sale date
(10:00 a.m. MT)
Date to
view available tags
(10:00 a.m. MT)
August 5* August 3
September 2 August 31
September 16 September 14
October 7 October 5
October 21 October 19
November 4 November 2

* Tags will be available as first or second tags starting August 5 for both residents (residents can purchase from the nonresident quota as their second tag) and nonresidents.

Nonresident sales

If a nonresident does not have a deer or elk tag, then the nonresident may be able to purchase a first tag and possibly a second tag during this sale. The current nonresident limits for uncapped elk zones and all deer units still apply to returned tags purchased by nonresidents.

Nonresident fees

  • $351.75 for deer tags
  • $651.75 for elk tags

Resident sales as second tags

Residents can purchase a tag from the nonresident quota as a second tag. Nonresident limits for uncapped elk zones and deer units do not apply to nonresident tags purchased by residents, so available deer tags can be used statewide and available elk tags can be purchased for any uncapped elk zone. Residents eligible for the Price Lock discount pay $301.75 for a deer tag, or $416.75 for an elk tag. Residents not eligible for the Price Lock discount pay the same deer and elk tag fees as nonresidents.

Capped Elk Zone Tags: A resident or nonresident can purchase nonresident tags returned from a capped elk zone as long as the cap is not sold out. Only residents can purchase a returned resident capped elk zone tag.

Elk Zones not Eligible for any Second Tags: Elk City.

Deer Units not Eligible for any Second Tags: 10, 10A, 12, 16A, 17, 19 and 20.

Tags available

August 5 2021 Idaho nonresident regular deer tags available

August 5 2021 Idaho whitetail deer tags available

August 5 2021 Idaho resident elk tags available

August 5 2021 Idaho nonresident limited elk tags available

August 5 2021 Idaho nonresident capped elk tags available


Idaho 2021 second controlled big game drawing

It's also worth mentioning that the application period for Idaho’s second big game controlled hunt and swan tag drawing is August 5-15.

Tags available in the second drawing include those for deer, elk, antelope, and black bear that were not applied for in the first drawing, as well those that were drawn by hunters but not purchased by the August 1 deadline.

A list of controlled hunt tags will be available after Aug. 1 and posted to Fish and Game’s Controlled Hunt Information webpage. Draw results will be posted by August 25, and any leftover tags will be sold first-come, first-served on that date at 10 a.m. Mountain Time.

Tag list

2021 2nd Controlled Hunt Draw Elk Tags Available

2021 2nd Controlled Hunt Draw Deer Tags Available

2021 2nd Controlled Hunt Draw Antelope Tags Available

2021 2nd Controlled Hunt Draw Black Bear Tags Available

Hunters with a valid 2021 Idaho hunting license may apply for controlled hunts at any license vendor, Fish and Game office, or with a credit card online or by calling 1-800-554-8685. There is an additional fee for online and phone orders.

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