Elk hunters can double their hunting opportunity at a discount in August by buying a second tag to extend their season and have a chance to harvest two elk, according to Idaho Fish and Game officials.
Starting Aug. 1, Fish and Game is offering nonresident elk tags for $299 (plus $1.75 vendor fee), which is discounted from the regular price of $416. It will return to the regular price on Sept. 1.
Second deer tags will not be discounted this year due to high demand, but will still be available as second tags for $301.75 while supplies last.
“The second-tag program has been popular with hunters,” said Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Roger Phillips. “For many years, portions of the non-resident quota of 12,815 elk tags and 15,500 deer tags went unsold. Since 2000, they have been available as second tags for residents and nonresidents alike, although the majority of second tags (about 70 percent) are sold to residents.”
“Starting 2014, Fish and Game discounted the second tags but, due to popularity and growing demand, only elk tags will be discounted this year, and only during August,” Phillips said.
Second elk and deer tags can be bought at any Fish and Game office that sells licenses, at any license and tag vendor, online at https://idfg.idaho.gov/, and by phone with a credit card at (800) 554-8685.
Here are some frequently asked questions about nonresident tags as second tags, as provided by Fish and Game.
Q. Can I buy a second elk tag?
A. Yes. Second elk tags will be discounted to $299* this year during the month of August. Starting September, any remaining tags will return to the regular nonresident price of $415*.
Q. How many tags are there?
A. Supplies are limited to the available nonresident tag quota [LINK], which is 12,815 for elk and 15,500 for deer.
Q. Where can I use my second deer tag?
A. Deer tags can be used in any general hunt in the state for the selected species within their seasons.
Q. Where can I use my second elk tag?
A. When hunting elk in Idaho, you must hunt within the zone and season for which each tag is designated.
Q. Can I use a second elk tag in a different elk zone than my first tag?
Q. Can I use a second tag in a capped elk zone?
A. Yes, as long as there are still nonresident tags available for that zone at the time you purchase a second tag. You must designate the zone for the hunt where the second tag will be used.
Q. If my first deer tag is a regular tag, can my second tag be a white-tailed tag?
A. Yes, and vice versa. Or they can both be the same type of deer tag.
Q. Can my second tag be a controlled hunt?
A. No. Second tags are available as “over-the counter” general hunt tags.
Q. How will this affect game populations?
A: There will likely be no effects, or minor ones. In 2015, second deer tags accounted for about 3.5 percent of the statewide deer harvest, and second elk tags accounted for about 1.4 percent of the statewide elk harvest.
There were over 168,000 deer and 101,000 elk tags sold in Idaho in 2015.
Because second tags are tags are already allocated for nonresident hunters, harvest is already accounted for, and there is not expected to be any negative impacts from harvest by second tag holders. In areas where populations or harvest rates fall below Fish and Game’s objectives, hunting rules are adjusted by limiting hunting opportunity, shortening seasons, converting to controlled hunts, or limiting tags available in some areas. These restrictions would also apply to hunters using second tags.