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Idaho Bighorn Sheep Hunting


Idaho Bighorn Sheep Hunting 2023

Available Idaho Bighorn Sheep Hunts --- Search HF Aventures

Idaho gives hunters the opportunity to apply for Rocky Mountain bighorn or California bighorn sheep. Between both subspecies, there will be 96 draw permits available throughout the state in the 2023 draw. Of the 96 permits, 83 are for Rocky bighorns and 13 are for California bighorns. IDFG allows for up to one non-resident permit for each hunt code to be drawn with an overall species statewide cap of 10%. This cap applies to the Rocky Mountain and California permit total collectively. This means that nine permits can be drawn this year by non-residents. Last year, 1,966 non-residents applied for sheep. The draw odds contained in our sheep hunt tables are realistic odds taking into account the nonresident cap, and you will see almost all units in Idaho have about the same non-resident drawing odds of one half of a percent. The top three units have two times worse odds because of the high applicant pressure. This is important to keep in mind so that you make sure to select a sheep hunt you’d be happy with and not just chase the worse harvest success units for a chance at putting a tag in your pocket. If your lucky number does come up in the non-resident draw, it might as well be a decent tag!

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Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunting in Idaho is arguably some of the toughest sheep hunting in the West today. The terrain in which they live is some of the most steep, timbered, remote wilderness country found anywhere in the United States. While the average ram coming from Idaho is typically in the low to mid-160s, there are a handful of 170" class rams and a few 180"+ taken each year. The past couple years have been exciting in that exceptionally large rams have come out of the most remote, authentic Rocky sheep units in the central part of the state. If you are just looking for a good, mature rocky ram, there are plenty of units to choose from. If you are looking for a 190"+ class ram, the only unit in Idaho that could potentially offer a ram of that caliber is going to be Hells Canyon, unit 11. This unit provides the habitat and genetics for producing trophy class rams and has finally increased to two tags this year.

The California bighorn variety occupy Southern Idaho’s Great Basin canyons and rangelands south of Interstate 84. The California sheep population continues to struggle, but hunters have been finding success after spending many days in the field. For the most part, all of Idaho’s California sheep hunts offer similar sized flaring rams, with the exception being area 40. The rams harvested on this unit tend to have slightly heavier bases than the other three units. It is recommended that you apply for California sheep if you have a Rocky Mountain bighorn already and just want a chance at a California. You may harvest one ram of each subspecies in your lifetime.


If you need a Rocky or California bighorn and can stomach the high non-refundable costs, don’t miss applying for Idaho. With no point system, it doesn’t matter if you’ve applied for years of if you want to add Idaho this year. There is a sheep hunt available for every style of sheep hunt or for the physical fitness you find yourself in. Don’t forget, it is worth throwing an additional $20 entry into the ID Wild Sheep Foundation annual raffle, which has a deadline of July 24th to participate this year.

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Idaho Bighorn Sheep Season Dates

Please review the state regulations for specific units and dates.

Self-Guided, DIY Bighorn Sheep Hunts in Idaho

Over the last 20+ years, we've collected hunting research and data, so join Huntin' Fool today and access the best research tools for hunting bighorn sheep in Idaho, including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations, and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

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Private Land, Semi-Guided, and Guided Bighorn Sheep Hunts in Idaho

Search our database for Idaho Bighorn Sheep opportunities.


Application Deadline for Idaho Sheep

The Idaho sheep application deadline is April 30, 2023.

Our magazine, which is available in print and online, has everything in one location - application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning, and much more. If you would like access to all of our research, join today!

Adult Up-Front Fees
Annual Hunting License and Access Fee $195 Non-refundable
Trophy Species Application Fee $45.75 Non-refundable
Online and Phone Application Processing Fee $90.03 Non-refundable
Bighorn Sheep Permit $2,626.75 Refunded if unsuccessful
Adult Application Subtotal $2,957.53 $330.78 total non-refundable
Youth Up-Front Fees
Annual Hunting License and Access Fee $95.75 Non-refundable
Trophy Species Application Fee $45.75 Non-refundable
Online and Phone Application Processing Fee $87.05 Non-refundable
Bighorn Sheep Permit $2,626.75 Refunded if unsuccessful
Youth Applicant Subtotal $2,855.30 $228.55 total non-refundable


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