Outdoors

Idaho allows first-timers to bypass hunter ed

Since 1988, Idaho sportsmen have opposed proposals to allow guides to book hunters for waterfowling and wild turkey hunts. (Jesse Tinsley)
Since 1988, Idaho sportsmen have opposed proposals to allow guides to book hunters for waterfowling and wild turkey hunts. (Jesse Tinsley)

HUNTING — To encourage potential new hunters to take to the field, Idaho Fish and Game’s new Hunting Passport offers novice hunters the opportunity to hunt for one year before completing a hunter education course.

A Hunting Passport is a special authorization that allows anyone who has never held a hunting license in any state, resident and nonresident, age 8 and older, to take wildlife only when they are accompanied by a mentor and participating in the Mentored Hunting Program.

The minimum age to hold a Hunting Passport is 8. There is no maximum age. Passport holders must be 12 years old to hunt big game, 10 to hunt turkey and sandhill crane and 8 to hunt most other game birds and small game.

Passport holders must purchase general season tags, appropriate permits and validations.  All hunting rules, seasons and weapon restrictions also apply.

The Hunting Passport expires December 31 of the year it was issued, and only one can be purchased in a lifetime. To continue hunting after the passport expires, the hunter must complete a hunter education course and buy a license.

Anyone 18 or older who holds a valid Idaho hunting license can serve as a mentor. No certification is required, but people may not mentor more than two people at the same time.

Hunting Passports cost $1.75 and are available at license vendors and Fish and Game regional offices.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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