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Second chance to draw Idaho for 2021?

Although thousands of applicants already partake in Idaho’s second controlled drawing for deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear, it is a process that few know about or consider for their hunt plans. By the time this deadline hits, fall is fast approaching and most hunters are already lined up and preparing for whatever hunt they already drew or purchased OTC. But not to be overlooked, the Gem State’s second draw offers more tags than one might guess. 

With this in mind, and if you are open for a last minute chance on a solid hunt choice, hang tight, IDFG will release their list of leftover and returned limited entry permits in mid-July. Pulling up the 2019 and 2020 draw stats on the IDFG website, you will find that drawing odds are nothing to write home about and in many cases the odds are as tough as the first drawing. However, a chance is a chance! In today’s world any opportunity at a limited big game permit is better than none even if odds aren’t favorable. 

In 2020 there were over 900 leftover deer tags and nearly 1200 elk tags available to second drawing applicants. Additionally, there were a good chunk of pronghorn and black bear tags. Youth opportunities seem to be quite generous in this drawing and a healthy portion of the tags are made up of antlerless elk and deer permits. Something to keep in mind for those wanting to keep that freezer full of elk meat and aren’t worried about hanging a rack on the wall, better odds for drawing and high harvest success can be found with many of the antlerless hunt choices. 

How does this work? Glad you asked, the answer is simple…The second drawing is essentially a duplicate of the first drawing in regards to process. The primary difference being the shorter list of permits to choose from and the application dates are in the fall vs. early June. For 2021 the second drawing period is August 5th through August 15th and at some point shortly after first draw results are out (roughly mid-July) IDFG will release their list of leftover and returned controlled hunt permits. At that time applicants must either have in their possession or purchase a valid Idaho hunting license which can be purchased online in order to be eligible to apply in the drawing. (A resident hunting license is $15.75 and nonresident is $185.00) From this point it’s pretty straight forward. Applicants can study the MRS and or TagHub tables to determine which of the available units they feel fits their hunting style, select the hunt by inputing the 4 digit hunt number (not the hunt area name) then pay for the permits along with a nonrefundable fee of *$6.25 for resident applicants or *$18.00 for nonresidents per species. Results will post within a couple of weeks with a tentative posting date of August 25th. If there are any leftover permits after the second drawing those permits will become available on a first come-first served basis sometime shortly after the second drawing results are posted. 

*Application fees shown are for deer, elk and pronghorn only. 

Things To Consider


  • Hunters that have already obtained an OTC permit are not eligible to apply for that species in the second drawing.
  • Applicants may apply in a party of up to 4 people if there are enough tags available to support the group.
  • Youth permits tend to have higher leftover/returned numbers than many other categories.
  • Applications sent by mail will NOT be processed! Online applications only.
  • The 10% nonresident tag cap does NOT apply to second drawings



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