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New 5-day waiting period for Idaho residents to purchase capped elk zone tag in 2020

New 5 day wait period for capped elk hunts in Idaho for residents

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The following is a recent press release from Idaho Fish and Game that came out this afternoon.


Attention elk hunters: If you apply for a controlled elk hunt in 2020, you will be ineligible to buy a capped elk zone tag until five days after they go on sale

The waiting period is intended to more fairly distribute capped elk zone tags.

At its March 20 meeting, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission established a five-day waiting period to purchase capped elk zone tags for any resident who applies for a controlled elk hunt regardless of whether the person draws the controlled hunt tag. Capped elk zone tags go on sale in July.

Some controlled hunts will be exempt from the waiting period, including Super Hunts, extra elk hunts, depredation hunts or Landowner Appreciation Program hunts.

Establishing a waiting period for elk controlled hunt applicants is designed to reduce the initial demand for first-come, first-served capped zone elk tags when they go on sale. Sales history shows many elk hunters who bought capped elk zone tags had previously applied for controlled hunts. 

Fish and Game staff and the Commission have grappled with how to fairly distribute capped elk zone tags where demand far exceeds supply. The most notable example is the Sawtooth Elk Zone tags, which sell out within minutes and leave many hunters without those coveted tags. 

While the Sawtooth Elk Zone has the highest demand, four other capped elk zones also sold out within five days in 2019. 

The waiting period does not apply to nonresidents in 2020 because most nonresident elk tags have been on sale since December 1, 2019.

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1 Comment

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Austin W. - posted 1 week ago on 03-20-2020 10:54:43 pm
Chubbuck, Idaho
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As an Idaho resident, I understand what they are trying to accomplish. I hunt a capped zone (archery) that sales out within the five days and I also apply for the controlled hunt in the same zone every year. Now I'll have to decide what means more, hunting my favorite area yearly or apply for a rifle tag and maybe only hunting it every ten years. I have some mixed emotions about this......