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Idaho Return Tags 2023

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Update: As of the May 18th 2023 sale, Idaho Fish and Game is now posting available tag quotas on the individual species pages for elk, deer, and whitetail

Idaho Return Tags – Sale Overview

Each year many previously purchased tags become available again to new hunters, through the Idaho Return Tags Sale. These tags become available for a few reasons:

  • Hunters who have purchased OTC tags during the Idaho Nonresident Elk and Deer tag sale may not be able to hunt their tags, either due to injury or lack of time.
  • Tags can become available again after the Idaho Controlled Hunt Draw, when hunters swap their OTC tag for a controlled tag.
  • Tags allocated to outfitters go unsold.

All of these tags are sold in monthly “Return Tag Sales”, where nonresidents (usually) are able to purchase returned elk tags and returned deer tags. You can read about these tags more on the Idaho Fish and Game return tag sale page. The July and August sales can include more tags than prior sales, when the tags exchanged for controlled hunt tags and outfitter pools are made available for general sale. However, the August sale allows both resident and nonresidents to purchase second tags, so has increased competition.

Sale Dates

Returned tags go on sale once a month, on Thursdays at 10am MT. Below is a table of key dates for the 2023 Idaho returned tag sales. You can add applications to your calendar and track them through the OnPoint mobile app.

2023 Sale DateTimeElk TagsDeer TagsWhitetail Tags
April 2010am MST304371147
May 1810am MST8132123
June 2210am MST
July 2010am MST
August 310am MST
September 710am MST
September 2110am MST
October 510am MST
October 1910am MST

How to buy Idaho Return Tags

Returned tags are available for purchase through the Idaho Fish and Game licensing portal. Sales for these tags works in the same method as the standard OTC sale process which is described in further detail here. You can learn more about hunting opportunities in Idaho in our overview summary.

About the Author: Danny

Danny is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He got into western big game hunting in 2016 and has been hooked ever since. He began hunting as a child in the bluff country of Western Wisconsin.

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