Deer Hunting in Idaho

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  • A
  • 200,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 23,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $40.50

    It’s $15.75 for the license and $24.75 for a whitetail tag.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $456.50

    It’s $154.75 for the license and $301.75 for a whitetail tag.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 186 7/8"

    Taken by Ronald McLamb in Bonner County in 2001.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 52

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 267 4/8"

    Taken by Herman Lunders in Idaho County in 1955 and currently ranked No. 43.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 45

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Idaho has some big deer. Image by Tim Irwin

Season Dates (2022):

Season dates vary greatly by unit and tag. However, there are archery, muzzleloader, rifle and other seasons within certain areas. So, check regulations for specific season dates.

The Grade: A

Idaho has one of the strongest populations of whitetails in the West, and the state is about 70% public ground. It’s a very appealing option for the DIY hunter. When you consider the relatively low hunter densities chasing whitetails in northern Idaho, the state’s quality buck production per hunter rivals many more traditional whitetail destinations.

What isn’t the same is that most deer tags are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, with many units having tags available late into the year. The northern Panhandle and Clearwater regions hold the greatest number of whitetails, but most areas north of the Salmon River have solid numbers.

There is a downside. Predator populations are exploding, and deer behavior reflects it. It seems whitetails become jumpier and leerier with each season.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

For those seeking quality over quantity, more record-book bucks are taken in northern counties than anywhere else in the state. Some of the best hotbeds are Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah and Shoshone. In the past 20 years, units north of Interstate 90 seem to be the best big-buck producers.

Get your deer hunting gear at the Realtree store.

Idaho Harvests

  • Rick Wissinger

    Shoshone County, Idaho

  • Dylan May

    Kootenai County, Idaho

From the Realtree Trophy Den