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goHUNT update on COVID-19 plus state by state updates

goHUNT update on COVID-19

Photo credit: Brady Miller

While we are all doing our best to navigate these uncertain times caused by the spread of COVID-19, we want to provide an update for our INSIDERs and Gear Shop customers. Also below is a state-by-state look at COVID-19's impact on hunting in each state.

Most of our team is working remotely and we are still actively working on INSIDER related content and other new features. The good news is that we will all be chasing velvet bucks and screaming bulls before we know it. 

Our Gear Shop will remain open for online orders and our dedicated warehouse team will continue to ship out your items. The Shop staff is able to take your calls and answer any questions you might have — plus, we’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, stay safe, respect the quarantine and let’s all get through this together.

— goHUNT Team


State by state update on COVID-19’s impact on hunting

Jump to: Alaska Arizona California Colorado Idaho Kansas Montana Nevada New Mexico Oregon Utah Washington Wyoming Other States

We have been getting a lot of questions from INSIDERs asking how COVID-19 is impacting their hunting season.

Below is a look at each state we cover on INSIDER and if that state has any current restrictions in place.


Alaska

Updated April 21, 2020

Recently Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) held an online meeting on April 14 to discuss proposals that would impact spring bear seasons in 2021. Now those proposals are set up for a public comment period. The ADFG board introduced two proposals dealing with spring bear hunts for 2021, particularly, the allowance of 2020 draw permits to be used in 2021 in some units for both black bear and brown/grizzly bears. They are accepting comments until 5/27 and will be voting on it 6/3. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Updated April 8, 2020

Alaska calls board meeting to possibly allow the transfer of 2020 bear permits to the next year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Updated April 2, 2020

Effective 11:59 p.m. April 2, 2020 restrictions have been lifted for Alaska resident black bear and brown/grizzly bear hunters. Nonresident hunters are still not permitted to hunt black bears or brown/grizzly bears in units 1-26. This restriction is in effect until 11:59 p.m. May 31, 2020 unless superseded by additional emergency orders. Check out the full details here.

Updated April 1, 2020

Effective April 1 through May 31, Alaska has closed all black bear and brown bear hunts statewide for both resident and nonresident hunters. Read the full article on goHUNT here.


Arizona

Currently all hunts are happening as scheduled. 

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Arizona can be found here.

California

All upcoming seasons in California will open as planned.

Updated May 20, 2020

California will temporarily allow the completion of hunter education to take place completely online in response to COVID-19. Read the full article here


Colorado

Updated April 6, 2020

Colorado has delayed the opening of the turkey hunting season in Yuma County until May 2. Learn more here.

Updated April 1, 2020

Several claims on Facebook were saying hunting and fishing seasons are closed in Colorado. Those were unfortunately April Fools’ Day jokes made in bad taste.

No hunting seasons are closed in Colorado.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Colorado can be found here.

Idaho

Updated May 14, 2020

Idaho Fish and Game Commission finally approved the sale of nonresident licenses, tags, and permits which are available for sale at 10 a.m. MST on May 16. For more info, click here

Updated April 9, 2020

Idaho changes previous COVID-19 rule - now allows a nonresident a chance to pick up a tag if they meet certain conditions. Note: It does not open the door for all nonresidents. See the full article here.

Updated April 4, 2020

Idaho suspends the sale of nonresident hunting licenses and permits due to COVID-19. This will directly impact nonresidents who want to spring bear hunt, turkey hunt and fish.

Nonresident hunters who purchased spring bear and turkey licenses prior to April 4 are allowed to hunt, but the purchase of new licenses is not allowed. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Updated March 23, 2020

Idaho no longer requires users to complete a hunter education course field day to get their hunter education card to hunt. See the goHUNT article here for more information.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Idaho can be found here.

Kansas

Updated April 10, 2020

Kansas has suspended the sale of nonresident turkey permits for 2020 due to COVID-19 effective immediately. Nonresident hunters who made their spring turkey purchase prior to the order’s effective date may still participate in Kansas’ spring turkey season. 

Note: Hunters traveling from states listed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s “Travel Quarantine List” must self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days prior to hunting and/or checking into a state park cabin. Read the full article here.

Updated March 23, 2020

All upcoming seasons in Kansas will open as planned.

Turkey season: 

All 2020 spring seasons will continue as planned, including the spring turkey season. Hunters traveling from states listed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s “Travel Quarantine List,” referenced here, must self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days prior to hunting and/or checking into a state park cabin. Refunds will be available for those no longer able to travel.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Kansas can be found here.

Montana

Updated May 19, 2020

On June 1, Montana will lift the 14-day quarantine that was imposed on visitors who traveled to Montana for non-work related reasons. Read more here.

Updated May 12, 2020

Montana is allowing free hunter education courses to Montana residents who are at least 12 years old because of the closure of courses due to COVID-19. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Updated April 24, 2020

Montana nonresident spring turkey and spring black bear hunts are open again effective April 25. Note: Out-of-state travelers must still follow the governor’s 14-day quarantine directive. Learn more here. Note: Visitors from out-of-state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter. Individuals coming to the state for work-related travel are exempt from this requirement. Exclusions to this directive include public safety, public health, healthcare workers, travelers passing through on their way to another destination, and travelers visiting for work purposes.

Updated April 10, 2020

Montana has changed the black bear reporting requirements. For the spring black bear season, which starts April 15, all successful bear hunters are required to report their harvest through the FWP Harvest Reporting Line 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453) within 48 hours of harvest. Unlike in years past, FWP will not require or conduct a carcass inspection, hide seal or tooth collection. Learn more and check out a few other items impacted by COVID-19 here.

Updated April 9, 2020

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks just shut down the nonresident turkey and black bear seasons until at least April 24 due to COVID-19. Spring turkey season, which begins April 11, and spring black bear season, which begins April 15, will still be open to residents. Read the full article on goHUNT here to learn more.

Updated March 31, 2020

Information from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website:

At this time, regularly scheduled hunting seasons are not canceled. According to Montana, this includes spring turkey season, which starts April 11, and spring bear season, which starts April 15. However, hunters should practice social distancing and all COVID-19 response directives from the governor, including limiting group gatherings and keeping six feet away from people.

Hunters should also keep this in mind when planning for their hunts. If hunting on private land, landowner permission is required, but should be sought by email or phone, not in person.

Montana does have a 14-day quarantine order through April 10. The Directive applies both to Montana residents and nonresidents entering the state for non-work-related purposes. It requires a self-quarantine for 14-days, or the duration of a non-work trip to Montana—whichever is shorter. More information can be found here

Past March 17 Information

Montana has also suspended all field day hunter education courses. This is important because the suspension of hunter education and bowhunter education classes in Montana has the potential to impact new hunters who want to apply for special permits in upcoming Montana draws. Learn more here.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Montana can be found here.

Nevada

Updated April 1, 2020

Yesterday several claims on Facebook were saying hunting and fishing seasons are closed in Nevada. Those were, unfortunately, April Fools’ Day jokes made in bad taste. Because of this bad joke, NDOW personnel were swamped with phone calls all day and had to waste their time dealing with false information.

Updated March 31, 2020

If you are going to leave the state of Nevada for a spring hunt, you should know that Governor Steve Sisolak has issued a travel advisory for the State of Nevada. This advisory is for people coming into the state and even Nevada residents who leave the state and return, to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving or returning to Nevada. Learn more here.

Update for March 23, 2020

Earlier in March, Nevada made it easier to apply for the big game draw for new hunters who haven’t taken a hunter education class before. The minimum age to complete online hunter education is 11 years old. There is no longer a field course required. Check out the goHUNT article here for more information.

NDOW staff is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help you through the application process. Call (855) 542-6396 with questions or click the orange “Support” button at ndowlicensing.com.

There are no cancellation of 2020 hunts in Nevada.


New Mexico

Update March 27, 2020

The following is a press release New Mexico Department of Game and Fish released on March 27:

Despite false rumors floating around on social media, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish reassures New Mexico hunters the results of the 2020-2021 big-game draw will be released by April 29, 2020, if not earlier.

Hunt season closure social media posts are a hoax. Over the past week, there have been prank posts on social media stating that the 2020-2021 hunting season in New Mexico has been canceled. This is false, and the Department recommends not clicking on the links provided in this or any other hoax. Director Michael Sloane stated “the Department is working diligently to audit the draw and provide results as soon as possible for New Mexico’s hunters.”

All upcoming seasons in New Mexico will open as planned.


Oregon

Updated May 1, 2020

Oregon to open back up the doors for nonresident hunting and fishing beginning May 5. Check out the goHUNT article here for more information.

Updated April 9, 2020

Oregon completely closes off recreational hunting and fishing to nonresidents, regulation takes effect tomorrow night. ODFW urges residents who do choose to hunt, fish, crab or clam be careful and follow proper social distancing protocols. The restriction will be set in place until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to travel into Oregon. Check out the goHUNT article here for more information.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Oregon can be found here.

Utah

All upcoming seasons in Utah will open as planned.

Updated April 10, 2020

In order to follow social distancing guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is now offering a temporary online field day for hunter education courses. The DWR is also changing the sign-up process for hunter education and other courses, now providing easier online registration. Learn more here.

Updated April 8, 2020

Starting on April 10, Utah now requires a travel declaration form to be filled out if you are traveling to Utah through an airport or driving. That form will ask if you have been tested for COVID-19 and if you've recently experienced symptoms. If you are driving into Utah, all of the road entry points have been geofenced, so anyone traveling into the state will now receive a text message from the federal wireless emergency alert system. That text message will then instruct you on how to fill out the form. Read more here.

Updated April 3, 2020

Utah is going above and beyond and is putting out the option to allow those who drew a spring bear permit or a limited-entry turkey hunt, a chance to turn their tag in for a refund and gain all points back, plus one for this year. Emails were sent out to tag holders. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

The hunt has not been canceled.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Utah can be found here.

Washington

Updated April 27, 2020

Washing will open some recreational fishing and hunting starting Tuesday, May 5 in a phased approach following the state’s efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus. Local hunting for turkey and spring bear will open on May 5, and the spring bear season will be extended until June 30. Learn more here.

Updated April 6, 2020

Spring turkey hunts and bear hunts and have been postponed in Washington. If the department is able to open spring bear and turkey seasons on May 4, spring bear hunters would still have until May 31 or June 15, depending on the location, to use their permits before the intended season closure dates for those hunts. Likewise, spring turkey hunters would have 28 days of hunting during the spring season. Read the full article here.

Updated March 31, 2020

Washington has canceled their spring youth turkey hunt and general bear season. Six game management units that were scheduled to open on April 1 for spring bear hunting will now be closed pending further evaluation. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Those who have youth turkey tags may still be able to use their tags during the regular spring or fall turkey seasons, “pending further impacts,” according to WDFW. The agency plans to reassess opening the impacted hunting areas on April 6. Hunts with limited participation do not have the same public health concerns and remain open.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Washington can be found here.

Wyoming

Update May 13, 2020

Wyoming has extended the 2020 spring turkey hunting season until May 31. This extension is allowed by an emergency rule, signed by Wyoming Gov. Gordon. The extension applies to hunt areas 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and for all license types. The 11-day extension is to allow more opportunity for hunters whose spring turkey season was impacted by public health orders and directives due to COVID-19. Read more here.

Updated April 15, 2020

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is suspending the sale of nonresident daily and five-day fishing licenses, effective immediately. According to WGFD, this suspension is due to the need to ensure individuals coming into Wyoming for a non-work related purpose comply with Governor Gordon’s April 3, 2020 Directive requiring a 14-day quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals are responsible for complying with all state and local orders. This emergency regulation remains in place for 120 days. Wyoming may reverse this license sale suspension if guidelines, orders, or directives are changed. Read more here.

Updated April 10, 2020

Wyoming Game and Fish Department just announced the emergency process to register new black bear bait sites for 2020. New sites will now be registered through an online application process. These changes to the registration process create a priority ranking that will be used to allocate open bait sites while minimizing contact between people. Learn more here.

Updated April 6, 2020

Wyoming is asking nonresident hunters to stay at home due to the recent 14-day quarantine directive unless you can observe the quarantine. Options exist if you can't use your tag due to your state restrictions or this quarantine order. Read the full article on goHUNT here.

Updated March 31, 2020

Wyoming bear bait registration in Wyoming has been delayed due to COVID-19. Read the full article on goHUNT here.


States not covered on goHUNT

The following states are ones that we are providing updates on as we receive information from each state.

Iowa

Updated March 31, 2020

The following is a press release from Idaho  Department of Natural Resources:

Iowa's hunting and fishing regulations are not affected by the current COVID-19 health emergency in Iowa. Despite rumors on social media channels, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has no plans to eliminate seasons, relax regulations or change license prices.

"Fishing and hunting regulations exist to protect human safety as well as wildlife populations over the long-term," said Dr. Dale Garner, Conservation and Recreation division administrator at the Iowa DNR. "We balance the long-term sustainability of Iowa's natural resources with the well-being of Iowans, and will continue to take a thoughtful, science-based approach to Iowa's hunting and fishing laws." 

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Iowa can be found here.

Nebraska

Updated March 31, 2020

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is suspending the sale of nonresident spring turkey hunting permits in a proactive effort to prevent the potential for the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is being done by the Commission in coordination with Gov. Pete Ricketts Executive Order No. 20-11 to help protect the health of Nebraskans by discouraging unnecessary travel.

Game and Parks will stop selling 2020 nonresident spring turkey permits effective immediately. Nonresidents who have purchased permits will be able to use them, but will not be able to purchase additional permits. Nonresidents with Nebraska turkey permits will be contacted by Game and Parks through email within the next week with additional information, including potential refunds.

  • More information on COVID-19 updates for Nebraska can be found here.

9 Comments

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Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 month ago on 04-20-2020 11:29:21 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Thanks for the update, Jeremy! Really appreciate it. I'm a little out of touch with the east coast so that info is perfect!

Jeremy G. - posted 1 month ago on 04-15-2020 06:33:41 pm
Sevierville, TN
goHUNT INSIDER

Tennessee is still allowing Spring Bear and Turkey hunting for all. Proper social distancing to non family members is highly suggested

Jason D. - posted 1 month ago on 04-10-2020 06:55:13 am
goHUNT INSIDER

You guys are on point! Thank you. Very happy I signed up as an insider, money very well spent. Keep it up!

Aaron D. - posted 2 months ago on 04-01-2020 06:17:02 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Y’all have been awesome. I’ve been getting stuff left and right from you guys and you’ve been super quick getting them out and to me. Keep on keeping on.

matthew a. - posted 2 months ago on 03-28-2020 04:02:08 am
Sheridan, WY
goHUNT INSIDER
Eric J. - posted 2 months ago on 03-26-2020 07:34:52 am
Draper, UT
goHUNT INSIDER

Thanks for the update! You guys do a great job, customer service is top notch, and I really appreciate the data-driven decision making which y'all empower the community. Best regards during this trying time. Be safe and stay healthy!

Jared P. - posted 2 months ago on 03-25-2020 07:54:22 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Cody and the Optics team are top-notch. The awards and hype are well deserved with the GoHunt Optics department.

John V. - posted 2 months ago on 03-24-2020 06:51:04 pm
Owensboro, Kentucky
goHUNT INSIDER

I would like to second that. Gear shop/optics took really great care of me the other day. I had a 15% off coupon that I got to use on a Swaro spotter kit and expert advice on the phone when I called! If you are buying gear somewhere else you are probably missing out. Thanks goHUNT!!!

Brian C. - posted 2 months ago on 03-24-2020 06:56:51 am
LA
goHUNT INSIDER

I’d just like to point out that the customer service team is still very responsive. I messaged them about a scope and got a response almost immediately. Customer service is top notch around here, thanks!