Idaho Return Tags 2024

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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 later 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, these sales may allow both resident and nonresidents to purchase second tags, increasing competition for tags.

Changes for the 2024 Return tag sales

Return tag sales historically occurred monthly, but in 2024 the number of sales is consolidated. In addition, the White-tailed deer only tag sale, which historically occurred in January, has been consolidated into the first return tag sale window. This sale occurs on March 21st, and will include 1,500 white-tailed deer only tags, in addition to an elk, deer, and white-tail deer tags that are returned prior to that sale.

Sale Dates

Returned tags go on sale at varying frequency through the 2024 calendar year, always on Thursdays at 10am MT.

Below is a table of the scheduled dates for the 2024 returned tag sales. You can add applications to your calendar and track them through the OnPoint mobile app.

2024 Sale DateTimeElk TagsDeer TagsWhitetail Tags
March 2110am MSTReturn +1,500 New
June 2710am MST
August 810am MST
September 510am MST
September 2610am MST

How to buy Idaho Return Tags

Returned tags are available for purchase through the Idaho Fish and Game licensing portal. Available tags amounts for each species and unit are posted on the Tuesday preceding each sale and are usually listed on the individual species pages for elk, deer, and whitetail. 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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