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Bear Hunting In Idaho

Hunting Methods  Baiting - Hounding

Since the early settlers, bear hunting has been popular in Idaho. Unfortunately for Grizzly Bears in the State, they were killed far more than the Black Bears, and to this day, they require recovery to reinstate the population.

When Did Bear Hunting Start In Idaho?

The first regulated Bear Hunt is dated back to 1921.


Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

Idaho is broken down into 100 Game Management Units (GMUs).

The 77 units open to Bear hunting are; 1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8A, 9, 10, 11, 11A, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 18, 19, 19A,  20, 20A, 21, 21A, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 30A, 31, 32, 32A, 33, 34, 35, 36, 36A, 37, 37A, 39, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 58, 59, 59A, 60, 60A, 61, 62, 62A, 63, 63A, 64, 65, 66, 66A, 67, 69, 75, 76, 77, and 78. 


When Is Bear Hunting Season?

There are five different Hunting Seasons in Idaho:

  1. Controlled Hunt

  2. Fall Hunt

  3. Hunting with dogs

  4. Hunting while training dogs

  5. Spring

Specific dates for all 77 GMUs during each season can be found here -


What Weapons Are Permitted?

Archery: Bows with a draw weight no less than 40 pounds; Crossbows with a draw weight no less than 150 pounds; Arrows or bolts having broadheads no smaller than 7/8 inch; Expanding broadheads prohibited. 

Firearms: Any firearm that weighs no more than 16 pounds after attachments; Shotguns may not use bucks smaller than #00

Muzzleloaders: Muzzleloading Rifles or Muskets no less than .50 caliber equipped a with single or double-barrel, and only taking loose black or synthetic powder. 

Note: Fully Automatic weapons, rimfire rifles, rimfire handguns, or muzzle-loading
handguns are all illegal to harvest bears.

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

No. Killing of cubs or mothers with cubs is prohibited.


Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

Yes. Baiting bears is legal.

Is Dog Hunting Permitted In Idaho?

Yes. Hunting with dogs is allowed.


What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately after killing a bear, all hunters must remove the appropriate triangles on their license, signifying the month and day of the kill. Within ten days, hunters must report and mandatory check the carcass. The skull and hide must be presented with an official state export tag, and the sex organs must remain intact. 


What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Recreational opportunity for sportsmen and women


What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

  1. Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)

  2. Idaho Wildlife Federation


When Does The Idaho Department of Fish and Game Hold Their Meetings?

The IDFG has 14 scheduled meetings for the year. Dates are posted here - 


Are The Meeting Open To The Public?

The Commission usually holds public meetings in conjunction with the regular meetings.


Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and Idaho’s elected General Assembly Members have the authority to introduce and vote on proposed law changes. 


Derick Attebury- Chairman of the IDFG Commission.


Groups And Organizations That Oppose Bear Hunting.

WildEarth Guardians - 

Western Watersheds Project -


Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

Landowners Hunting Club -
Idaho Department Of Fish And Game -

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