Weird Laws in Idaho

Bull and Cow Moose

No state is without its quirks and Idaho is no exception. Over the years, Idaho has had its fair share of oddities that have made its way into legislation. Many weird laws that Idaho has had will cause a giggle and perhaps a laugh in disbelief.


Fishing is a famous sport and activity in Idaho. With thousands of square miles of rivers and lakes it’s no surprise that hundreds of Idaho residents have a fishing license. Because of its popularity, there have been a few laws past over the years to make sure that it has been done right. For example, it is illegal to introduce foreign fish into the state's waters, or fish with a net, electrical current, or dynamite. However, there are a few odder laws on the books for local fishers. 

All across the state, it is illegal to fish off the back of a camel, and in Boise it is against the law to fish from off of a giraffe. There is no word of if pandas will be the next creature omitted from the list, but it does make you wonder who inspired these laws - and why?!


Another popular sport in Idaho is hunting. Like fishing, hundreds of Idaho residents have hunting license and take advantage of the wildernesses in Idaho. In order for the sport to be more “fair” for wildlife, there have been a few laws to prevent certain types of hunting.

For example, you cannot hunt with a remote control over the internet. The law, however, doesn't mention anything about hunting with a remote control NOT over the internet. Another interesting law, that probably hasn't inconvenienced most hunters, is that it is illegal to hunt from a helicopter, even if it isn't flying.


Idaho is stereotypically known for its produce of potatoes and rightly so, due to the fact that it produces more than 127,360,000 ctw (100-120 lbs) of potatoes annually. Sometime in history, the Idaho potato was taken very seriously. For example, selling an “Idaho Deluxe” potato with rot, cracking, or sunburn can earn you six months in jail.

In addition to being known for its potatoes, many people outside of Idaho simply see it as an ice block. Though this state is not, there still enough snow in some parts of Idaho to make it illegal to throw snowballs in Rexburg. Though this law isn't enforced, some Rexburg residents make “snow squares” to throw them instead.

Some people see Idaho as a wilderness. With over 800,000 people in the Boise Metropolitan alone, this stereotype is not true. But, there are enough wildernesses to make camping a favorite for Idahoans. Most Idahoans will take advantage of nearby camp sites. However, some residents in Idaho must have been too lazy at some point to travel to the mountains for camping, as it is against the law to camp on a sidewalk in the city.


There are other unusual laws in Idaho that are not enforced. For example, in Pocatello it’s against the law to be seen in person without a smile on your face. 

There are two laws in Idaho that were probably written for a better ballot on election day. In Idaho, it’s considered a misdemeanor to bet on the outcome of an election and also illegal to sell hard liquor on an election. It would be interesting to learn how many people have unknowingly broken those laws.

Be careful in the food business; technically, if you sell flour that hasn't been enriched with vitamins you could face 30 days in the county jail. Also, if you sell eggs from a different state, you have to warn the customer first.

Another strange law in Idaho, which probably has not broken many times, is that a man cannot give a women a box of candy weighing more than fifty pounds.

These laws are not the only peculiar laws that have been passed through Idaho’s legislature. Over the years, many laws have been added that can make you laugh. Reading about the laws can give you a sense of some of the people that lived in Idaho to initiate such laws. However, Idaho isn't the only state with weird laws. Every state has laws on record that are funny and even some that are completely absurd. Learning about the laws will give you something to laugh at during your day.

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