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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 name Units
Panhandle 1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 9
Palouse 8, 8A, 11A
Hells Canyon 11, 13, 18
Lolo 10, 12
Dworshak 10A
Elk City 14, 15, 16
Selway 16A, 17, 19, 20
Middle Fork 20A, 26, 27
Salmon 21, 21A, 28, 36B
Weiser River 22, 32, 32A
McCall 19A, 23, 24, 25
Lemhi 29, 37, 37A, 51
Beaverhead 30, 30A, 58, 59, 59A
Brownlee 31
Sawtooth 33, 34, 35, 36
Pioneer 36A, 49, 50
Owyhee 38, 40, 41, 42
Boise River 39
Smoky Bennett 43, 44, 45, 48, 52
South Hills 46, 47, 54, 55, 56, 57
Big Desert 52A, 68
Snake River 53, 63, 63A, 68A
Island Park 60, 60A, 61, 62, 62A
Palisades 64, 65, 67
Tex Creek 66, 69
Bannock 70, 71, 72, 73, 73A, 74
Bear River 75, 77, 78
Diamond Creek 66A, 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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