Idaho deer hunting is a little different from other parts of the country, and with that in mind, here are 10 tips for Idaho deer hunting. The basics of deer hunting are the same anywhere, but Idaho has more kinds of deer than some places, and it does not have as many overall. Because of relative low numbers, there are more restrictions that you need to be aware of when hunting in Idaho.
- Scout in the offseason. Regardless of where you are hunting, you need to do your homework, and that means learning where the deer are. Start scouting as soon as you can for the next year once the season ends. Make it your goal to study the deer as much as you can.
- Apply for your license early. Idaho uses a lottery system and licenses are awarded by lottery for different areas. You may apply in more than one area, but you need to make sure to keep up with area boundaries.
- Look for unused permits. As the season nears, some people are unable to use their licenses they won in the lottery, and turn them back in. As the season starts those licenses are sold by state officials. You have to be paying attention and fast, but you can get some licenses late in the process as well.
- Talk with other hunters. Especially in the offseason, you need to learn as much as you can about deer hunting. Talk with experienced hunters and listen to them as much as you can and learn from them for the following season.
- Wear hunter's orange. This seems obvious and hunters know this, yet there are often people in the woods who should have orange on and do not. Make sure you have yours on, and look out for those that do not.
- Make safety a priority. Always be absolutely sure that you are aiming at a deer and not a lost hunter or hiker. Take that extra second to be sure of your target.
- Consider your options. There are public lands for hunting, which is the most affordable option. Another option is private ranches. Ranchers lease their land for hunting during the season and you may take a guided on non-guided hunt. This can be an expensive option, but this is usually where the biggest deer are shot.
- Types of deer. Southern Idaho has a reputation for large mule deer, and they are plentiful here. Whitetail deer are more in the northern and north-central part of the state.
- Practice makes perfect. Practice shooting with the weapon you will be using throughout the year. Practice as much as possible. You will likely get only one shot at the deer you have tracked for months, so you need to be able to make it count.
- Consider different times of day. Most hunters hunt very early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Deer may be able to figure this out. Not as many people hunt in the middle of the day, and often this is when the biggest deer are shot. Deer know when there are fewer hunters around, and they think that is a safe time to move.
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