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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Idaho discounts nonresident big-game tags

Following a mild winter, deer hunters throughout Idaho can expect to see more small bucks this season. (Associated Press)
Following a mild winter, deer hunters throughout Idaho can expect to see more small bucks this season. (Associated Press)

HUNTING -- The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has reduced the price of unsold nonresident deer and elk tags to be sold as second tags.

The following discounts will be available to resident and non-resident hunters purchasing second tags in 2014.

  • Second elk tags will be discounted from $415 to $299
  • Second deer tags will be discounted from $300 to $199

The price does not include the $1.75 vendor fees.

Since 2000, the Commission has offered any unsold tags remaining to resident and nonresident hunters as a second tag at the full nonresident price. In 2013, the release date for second tags was moved forward one month from September 1 to August 1.

"The commission feels discounting those tags will give hunters additional field opportunity by making a second tag more affordable," Idaho Fish and Game says in a media release.

Fish and Game Wildlife Chief Jeff Gould reminds hunters that second tags have been factored into big game season settings since these tags became available for purchase as a second tag 15 years ago.

“We restrict the number of tags available in elk zones that are performing below desired population levels,” Gould said. “Hunting opportunity is based on biological as well as social considerations. The decision to discount the second tag price is biologically sustainable and will make it more affordable for hunters to increase their hunting options this fall.”

Second tags will mainly be used in general hunts where there are currently no restrictions on the number of deer or elk tags sold to Idaho residents in any given year. Second tags cannot be used in areas where deer or elk harvest is managed with controlled hunts and the use of second tags must fall under currently established nonresident elk zone tag limits.

For 30 years, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission has maintained a statewide annual quota of 12,815 nonresident elk tags and 15,500 nonresident deer tags.  Idaho hunters purchase about 143,000 deer and 86,000 elk tags annually. Hunters purchased 964 second deer tags and 430 second elk tags in 2013. That left 5,773 deer and 4,960 nonresident elk tags unsold at the end of the year.

The discounted second tags will be available to resident and nonresident hunters August 1. The actual number of second tags available won’t be known until August 1, when unclaimed and returned nonresident tags are added to the second tag pool.  Second tags will be sold on a first come first served basis at all Fish and Game license vendors. 

The Commission stresses this will be a trial program, and will closely analyze the 2014 season to determine how hunters respond to the discounts before deciding whether to apply discounts in future seasons.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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