Hunters who purchased tags for the Panhandle, Clearwater and McCall areas have until September 11, to decide if they want to keep their tags or exchange them for a different elk tag, or turn in the tag for a receipt that can be redeemed at no cost for another tag later this year. Idaho Fish and Game will not refund tags and exchanges can only take place at regional offices. Hunters choosing the receipt option can redeem it for a tag at any Fish and Game license vendor.
Eligible Elk tags are:
Panhandle Zone A & B tags
Lolo Zone A tags
Dworshak Zone A & B tags
Elk City Zone A & B tags
McCall Zone A tags
Elk hunters with tags for these areas who wish to receive a receipt for a later hunt can mail their tags, postmarked by Sept. 11, to any regional Fish and Game office.
Early hunts in some of these areas will have already started by Sept. 11, and Fish and Game officials wanted to give those elk hunters as much time as possible to make an informed decision regarding their hunt.
Idaho Fish and Game’s standard policy is not to change hunts or rules due to fire closures as entire hunting areas are rarely closed and fire restrictions usually do not last through the entire hunting season. Since this has been an unusual fire season, particularly in the Panhandle and Clearwater areas, Fish and Game officials opted to offer the exchange to ensure hunters are treated fairly.
Hunters should keep in mind that fire conditions can change quickly and with favorable weather forests can reopen. Fire season tends to taper off by mid-September and is usually over by mid-October when most any-weapons hunts begin.
Hunters can get current fire information at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/fire