Why Idaho is the Place for Hunters

With vast public land and terrain that ranges from rugged mountains to wide open plains, it is not surprising that hunters have found a welcome home in Idaho. The state’s size allows for broad diversity in both climate and topography, so naturally the scope of Idaho hunting covers everything from big game animals to small game birds. Idaho has something for everyone in this sport, from those that enjoy bowhunting to purveyors of muzzle loaded weapons to shotgun enthusiasts, all types of gamesmen will find something to enjoy when it comes to Idaho hunting.

When Idaho was first settled by fur traders and trappers, it set into motion the future indelibility of hunting into the hearts of many of the people that live here. The importance of Idaho hunting culture has become well established since its earliest inhabitants settled here, and can now easily be seen in the recent passing of HJR2, which was on the most recent Idaho ballot, with 74% of the vote. This measure added an amendment to the Idaho Constitution preserving the collective right of residents to hunt, fish and trap in Idaho’s wilderness areas. This means, that from this day forward, Idaho has joined thirteen other states that have recognized the importance of hunting, fishing and trapping to its residents.

The mountainous land of central and north Idaho, and the brush filled plains to the south lend well to big game hunting. Special controlled hunts exist throughout the state for everything from bear to moose and elk. The state is split up into thirty-two Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game closely monitoring and maintaining each area. Fish and Game keeps close tabs on fluctuations in animal populations. The number of hunting tags released in these controlled areas varies based on population. The importance that Idaho places on preserving the right of residents to hunt on public land while maintaining these populations allows hunters and conservationists to coexist nicely within the same state.

Although there are many controlled hunts throughout the state, there are also general hunts in specified areas for certain big game animals that maintain consistent, high populations. Those not wishing to enter the lottery for the controlled hunts, can buy hunting tags from Fish and Game for these general hunts. This, again, shows the importance that local government places on Idaho hunting.

Idaho hunting is not just limited to big game. There is also land suitable for the hunting of both game birds and waterfowl. Generous limits along with the fact that Idaho is not known for its waterfowl hunting means that there are plenty of birds to hunt in an area that is not overly crowded with other hunters. Game birds are plentiful in Idaho, and those wishing to pursue hunting them have a few options. There are certain WMAs that allow for the hunting of the birds, but there are also private ranches that have been created with the specific purpose of allowing hunters to come onto their land to shoot. Many of these ranches have lodging available as well as guides that are licenses to help those new to the sport.

With the high value that Idaho places on wildlife populations, along with the varied types of land, and the plethora of huntable species, this state is the perfect place for those wishing to reside where they can also hunt.

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