The application period for fall 2021 deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts begins May 1 and runs through June 5.
Hunters with a valid 2021 Idaho hunting license may apply for controlled hunts at any license vendor, Fish and Game office, or with a credit card online at license.gooutdoorsidaho.com or by calling 1-800-554-8685. There is an additional fee for online and phone orders.
Successful controlled hunt applicants will be notified by July 10.
Controlled hunts are an opportunity to try for a chance at some of Idaho’s best hunts. While it takes some research to determine which controlled hunt is right for you, and you’re limited to that hunt in most cases, controlled hunts traditionally have higher success rates than general hunts, fewer hunters in the field, and many hunters feel they have a better chance of harvesting a mature bull or buck during a controlled hunt.
There’s a five day wait to buy capped elk zone tags. Residents who apply for a controlled elk hunt cannot buy a capped elk zone tag until five days after they go on sale, regardless of whether they draw a controlled hunt elk tag. Some controlled hunts are exempt from the waiting period, including extra elk hunts, depredation hunts, Landowner Appreciation Program hunts, or Super Hunts. See Page 2 of the Idaho Big Game 2021 Seasons and Rules brochure, and read more about the change, which was implemented prior to the 2020 hunting season, here.
Nonresidents can still apply for deer, elk controlled hunts. Although over-the-counter deer and elk tags sold out, nonresidents are still eligible to apply for controlled hunts. Nonresidents are allowed no more than 10 percent of the tags available in any individual controlled hunt.
Hunters should check out the Idaho Big Game 2021 Big Game Seasons and Rules Brochure for more detailed information. Controlled hunt numbers (which are used for the application process) can change from year to year. The big game brochure is available online and in print at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.