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10 Most Common Big Game Violations Part 3 (Permits)

Hunting without an appropriate permit (i.e., Archery/Muzzleloader Permit) 

(Idaho Code 36-409 (e)/(f) (Infraction $136)

Idaho requires you to purchase and carry an Archery or Muzzleloader permit while hunting with those methods of take, in certain seasons.  Below is a breakdown of situations when you would need those permits and how to obtain them in Idaho.  Review your own state’s requirements because they all handle them differently.  For instance, Montana requires an Archery License, but Utah, California, Colorado and many others do not.  Alaska takes it a step further and requires the online class, Field Day class, and shooting proficiency test to be able to hunt with Archery equipment.   

In Idaho, Archers wanting to hunt in “Archery Only” designated seasons you will need to have an Archery Permit in your possession.  You are required to have an Archery permit for any “Archery Only” Controlled Tag.  Also, if you are hunting with a General Tag but during the “Archery Only” season, you will need an “Archery Permit”.  For instance, if you were archery deer hunting in Unit 59A in September during the “Archery Only” season, you will need an Archery Permit.  However, if you are archery deer hunting (with the same tag as before) in Unit 59A in October during the “Any Weapon” season, you would not need the Archery Permit.  

The Muzzleloader Permit follows the same type of requirements as the Archery Permit.  For “Muzzleloader Only” seasons, including Muzzleloader Only Controlled Hunts, you need to have in your possession a valid Muzzleloader permit.  If you want to muzzleloader hunt Unit 59A in August for Cow Elk during the “Any Weapon Season”, you will not need the muzzleloader permit.  However, if you come back to Unit 59A to muzzleloader hunt in October during the Cow Elk “Muzzleloader Only” season, you will need the muzzleloader permit.  

This topic confuses a lot of people, and because of that confusion, many just end up buying the permits whether they need to or not.  That is the easiest thing to do but not necessary if you just do a little research.  If you are a resident, the permits only cost $19.50.  Residents that purchase the “Sportsman’s Package”, the Archery and Muzzleloader Permits are included in the purchase of that package. For a Non-Resident, those permits cost $81.75 a piece.  Just remember if the season specifies “ONLY” behind Archery of Muzzleloader, then you need that permit.  

The way to go about getting those two permits are very different.  For the Muzzleloader permit, you just need to pay the fee.  For the Archery Permit, Idaho requires you jump through a couple hoops to qualify for the permit plus pay the fee.  Both permits are required to be in your possession while you are hunting in the seasons that require that permit.  

To qualify for your Archery Permit, you can attend a Bowhunter Education In-Person Course or complete the in-person course in combination with your Hunters Education Course.  You also have the option of completing an online Bowhunter Education Course (Link Below).  You can show proof that you have been licensed to hunt “Archery Only” hunts in Idaho or another state or you can fill out the Idaho Bowhunter Affidavit.  

The Affidavit is for people that don’t have the proof of completion for the classes or the proof of having hunted Archery Only tags in another state.  In the Affidavit, you are either affirming one of two things.  First, that you have completed a Bowhunter Education Course in Idaho or another state.   Or second, that you have previously held an archery permit in Idaho or have been authorized to archery hunt in another state or country.  Knowingly providing false statements on that form may result in you being prosecuted for a felony under Idaho Code 18-3203. 

Online Bowhunter Course – (https://www.bowhunter-ed.com/idaho/)

Idaho Bowhunter Affidavit – (https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/bowhunter-affidavit-permit-information.pdf)

About Rodger Holscher

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