Idaho provides non-resident hunters plenty of elk hunting opportunities across the state. In most of the state, the elk herd is doing well and is currently estimated to be around 120,000 animals statewide. The total 2021 elk harvest was below the 10-year average and 10% under the 2020 harvest. The 2021 harvest was 20,396, which makes it the eighth straight year that Idaho hunters have harvested more than 20,000 animals. Most of Idaho’s elk hunting is managed to maximize opportunity for hunters, and Idaho should generally be viewed as an opportunity state when it comes to its elk hunting.
Idaho manages a handful of units for trophy bulls, and if you are looking for a 350" bull, you should stick with our top picks. If you are looking for an opportunity at a 300" type bull with better odds of drawing a tag, there are plenty of hunts listed in our tables to choose from. There are a number of rifle hunts that are conducted in early October during the backend of the rut and a few migratory hunts in late November that see a fair number of elk drifting in from neighbouring states, increasing the likelihood of turning up a mature bull. Without winter weather, it will be tougher to turn up a top end bull on these hunts, which has been the case over the past few seasons.
Idaho sets the best elk tag in the state aside for muzzleloader hunters. Some better drawing odds can be found in the November muzzleloader hunts. These hunts are good for someone who wants to hunt hard for wintering bulls.
For specific hunt dates, consult the Idaho Big Game Regulations.
For archery hunters, Idaho provides some great opportunity and long season dates to get it done. If you are planning a general hunt, getting a turnback tag, or looking ahead to 2023, we recommend looking to units within the Salmon, Lemhi, Beaverhead, Pioneer, Brownlee, South Hills, and Diamond Creek zones.
Idaho offers every type of hunt an elk hunter could want. Any hunter can find an elk hunt that would suit their own personal style of hunting. Remember, if you were able to purchase an over-the-counter elk tag for the 2022 season, you may exchange your tag for a controlled hunt if you are lucky enough to be drawn. At only $18 to apply, it makes sense to get your name in the hat for a controlled hunt. Give us a call if you’d like help finding the hunt that is right for you.
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 elk in Idaho, including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations, and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!
Search our database for Idaho Elk opportunites.
The Idaho Elk application deadline is June 5, 2022. Successful applicants must purchase their tags by August 1, 2022.
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!
|Annual Hunting License and Access Fee||$195|
|Junior Mentored Hunting License and Access Fee||$95.75|
|Application Fee per Species||$18|
|Post Draw Fees (if successful)|
|Junior Mentored Elk Tag (10-17 years old)||$299.75|
*An additional online processing fee of approximately 3% is not included in the prices above.