Home / General / 10 Most Common Big Game Violations Part 9 (Final) – Not Having Tag/License in Possession

10 Most Common Big Game Violations Part 9 (Final) – Not Having Tag/License in Possession

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  • Misdemeanor: Up to $1,000 fine, 0-6 months in jail, 0-3 years license revocation
    • Mandatory 1 year license revocation
  • Idaho Code 36-1201(c) states: “License to be Carried and Exhibited on Request. Have the proper required license, temporary license, authorization number or other information required by rule, on his person at all times when hunting, fishing or trapping and produce the same for inspection upon request of a conservation officer or any other person authorized to enforce fish and game laws.” 
  • Idaho Code 36-401 states in part “No person shall hunt, trap, or fish for or take any wild animal, bird or fish of this state, without first having procured a license”

Idaho Code 36-1201(c) covers both your hunting license and tag. The part that covers the tag is the “other information required by rule”.  With this code, you are required to carry it “on your person” as opposed to “in your possession”.  This is specific for a reason. I can think of a bunch of scenarios where someone could get in hot water because of this code.  

I know a lot of people who carry their tag in their backpack and that has caused some problems for them. One situation I know of happened to a friend of mine. He used to keep his tags in his backpack lid.  Over the course of the season, he damaged his backpack and had to use his back up pack.  

When he swapped out his packs, he forgot to transfer over the license and tags. Long story short, he ended up killing a bull elk about five miles from the trailhead. He went to tag the bull and realized he did not have his license or tag with him. He did the right thing and called the Game Warden and told him what he did. This ownership of the error kept him from a citation.  

A more common situation I could see happening is still with people keeping their tags in their packs.  People often drop their packs on the mountain, when making the final stalk on an animal. If you forgot to grab your tag and license from your pack, you’d be in violation. Now let’s say that your stalk was successful, and you shoot a nice 165-inch muley. Well, under Idaho law, you could be charged with felony unlawful possession of a “trophy” mule deer because of the score and the misdemeanor violation of not having your license on your person. It’s a slippery slope when it comes to the application of some of these laws and you might not be charged that way, but you could.  

To stay out of these situations, I always keep my license and tags in my bino harness. That bino harness goes on whenever I am hunting, and it only comes off when I am done hunting, this way my tags and my license are always on my person.  

This is the final blog on the Big Game Hunting Violations.  If you have any questions or have a scenario you would like me to dive into, comment below or reach out to Eastmans’ (https://www.eastmans.com/contact-us).  

About Rodger Holscher

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