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Nonresident deer and elk tags go on sale Dec. 1

by ROGER PHILLIPS / Contributing Writer
| November 22, 2023 1:00 AM

Nonresident deer and elk tags for the 2024 hunting season go on sale at 10 a.m. MST on Dec. 1. Licenses and tags can be bought online at GoOutdoorsIdaho.com, through the Idaho Fish and Game mobile apps for IOS and Android, or by phone at (800) 554-8685. They can also be bought in person at license vendor locations, or Fish and Game regional offices during normal business hours.

Expect long waits and popular tags to sell out fast

Demand for tags is expected to be extremely high. Hunters should expect long waits to buy tags and possible system slowness. We ask that hunters be patient and don’t panic if there is a slow-down in the sales system. Fish and Game staff will monitor the sale and work as quickly as possible to resolve any issues that may arise. 

If updates regarding the sale are necessary, staff will post information on our social media channels, including Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and Threads, or through our nonresident email distribution list. Be sure to follow Fish and Game on social media and sign up for nonresident emails before the sale.   

How to prepare before the sale

To prepare for the 2024 license and tag sale, we suggest all nonresident hunters: 

• Review the Big Game regulations on Fish and Game’s website. Hunters should know the deer Game Management Unit and/or Elk Management Zone for the tags they want to buy.

• Review the number of tags available for the unit/zone wanted, and have back-up options if the first choice is sold out.

• Deer hunters must select whether they want a regular deer tag or a white-tailed deer tag, which affects the season length in some units. See “Deer General Seasons” in the 2024 Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.

• Hunters buying online must create and/or log into their account to purchase a deer and/or elk tag. We encourage hunters to create and review accounts prior to Dec. 1 to ensure all information on the account, such as Hunter Education and mailing address, is up to date.

Hunters born after 1974 must have proof of hunter education certification on file prior to purchasing a hunting license and tags. Archery hunters must also prove their archery certification. 

• Do not buy hunting licenses in advance of the sale, and instead, plan to purchase your license when you buy tags. Remember that hunting licenses are nonrefundable.

What you need to know for Dec. 1

If purchasing a deer or elk tag on Dec. 1 online, or through the mobile app, a virtual waiting room will open before 10 a.m. The virtual waiting room uses browser cookies to keep your place in line. We strongly encourage all hunters to enable cookies on their browser settings and do not use privacy mode so you won’t lose your place in line. (For more details about cookies and browser settings, see the bottom of the page.)

Hunters are also encouraged to only log into the virtual waiting room through one device and plan to stay on that device throughout their transaction. Logging in through multiple devices can lead to system slow downs and does not create any advantage since only one place is line can be used to purchase tags. 

At 10 a.m. MST, each person logged into the virtual waiting room will be randomly assigned a place in line to buy a license and a deer and/or elk tag. Hunters should plan to stay on their device while waiting for their place in line, and avoid using multiple devices or leaving the waiting room. 

After the hunter reaches the front of the line, they need to log into their GoOutdoorsIdaho.com account within 15 minutes by entering the required information on the login screen. Once logged into their account, the hunter should click “Buy a License, Permit, or Tag” in the upper left of the customer account home page to be directed to the list of items to purchase. A hunting license can be added to the cart when you’re buying the tag.

For those looking to purchase for multiple people, each person needs to log in on a separate device.  

After a tag is selected and added to the shopping cart, the buyer has 30 minutes to complete the transaction. If the transaction is not completed within 30 minutes, that tag may be removed from the shopping cart and made available to other hunters. 

Due to high sales volumes, customers may not get a purchase confirmation email for 12 to 24 hours. Tags will be mailed within 15 business days.

Expect tag quantities to change rapidly during the sale

There will be no real-time tally of how many tags remain available for each deer hunting unit and elk zone. Fish and Game staff will post when zones and units are completely sold out on the virtual waiting room page, but as tags are added and removed from shopping carts across all sales locations, available quantities of tags will quickly change. Quantities displayed to hunters when selecting a tag during the checkout process are the most up-to-date numbers. Fish and Game’s website will have limited information available during the sale. 

Don’t panic buy

Buyers are reminded to make sure they know what hunting unit/elk zone they’re buying as well as the species, season dates, and weapon type for which the tag is valid. Tags may be refunded at a discount, or exchanged if other tags are available during future sales, but the license and other fees are nonrefundable.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) nonresident deer and elk tags

There will be 500 nonresident DAV deer tags and 300 nonresident DAV elk tags available at discounted prices at 10 a.m. MST on Dec. 1. These tags will sell fast, and after these discounted tags are gone, nonresident DAV hunters can still buy available tags, but at full nonresident prices.

Disabled American Veterans must be at least 40 percent service-connected disability to buy discounted tags, and they must submit the required DAV certification documents to Fish and Game before Dec. 1 so that there is time for the buyer’s profile to be reviewed and updated with DAV status. Any DAV certification documentation submitted to Fish and Game after Nov. 27 may not be reviewed in time for the Dec. 1 sale.

Idaho lifetime license holders must wait to buy tags

Nonresidents with Idaho lifetime hunting licenses cannot buy deer and elk tags during this sale. They can buy tags during the 2024 resident tag sales period, and are not subject to the nonresident tag limits.

Junior mentored hunters

Nonresident junior mentored hunters planning to hunt in a capped elk zone should try to buy capped zone tags on Dec. 1 because they will likely sell out fast. Reminder that all junior mentored hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18-years or older who holds a license and tag that is valid for the same species as the youth hunter. 

Cookies and browsers

Your browser cookie settings should be set to "allow" and you should avoid using Privacy Mode (i.e., Incognito or Privacy Browsing) or system settings/software that automatically deletes your search and/or cookie history. Not allowing cookies or using Privacy Mode could result in losing your place online, and Fish and Game cannot adjust your spot as a result. For app users, verify you have the latest Go Outdoors Idaho app version downloaded on your smartphone. If you are unsure, open your preferred app store, and at the top right, tap the profile icon. Apps with an update available are labeled "Update available."

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