New rules help young and disabled hunters
July 26, 2012
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recently
adopted rules that allow a companion to assist a
disabled hunter without having a tag or permit,
and that allow a person to transfer a controlled
hunt tag to their child or grandchild.
Legislation during the 2012 session directed the
commission to develop these rules.
The disabled hunter must have a valid disabled
combination license, a disabled archery permit,
or a disabled hunt-from-a-motor-vehicle permit
and a valid tag.
The companion must have a valid hunting license
and applicable special weapon permit but does
not need a tag while helping the disabled hunter
dispatch, tag and retrieve wounded big game,
wild turkey or sandhill crane.
The companion must accompany the disabled hunter
while hunting. They are required to be within
normal conversation or hearing range without
shouting or the aid of electronic devices. But
the companion does not need to be accompanied by
the disabled hunter to dispatch, tag and
retrieve a downed animal wounded by the disabled
Animals dispatched, tagged, or retrieved by a
designated companion do not count against the
companion's possession limit. All other
applicable rules governing the taking of game
The companion must be designated as such in a
statement signed by the disabled hunter. The
statement must include the disabled hunter's
name, address, hunting license number, big game
tag number and the dates of designation as a
A proxy statement is required if a companion
transports a game animal for a disabled hunter.
The rules for the companion to a disabled hunter
went into effect July 12.
The commission also adopted rules that allow a
parent or grandparent to transfer a controlled
hunt tag to their child or grandchild under the
age of 18 who is otherwise qualified to
participate in the hunt. A form provided by Fish
and Game must be used to designate the tag,
which can only be done at a Fish and Game
office, in person or by mail.
The child or grandchild may be designated only
one controlled hunt tag per species per calendar
year. The transfer must be made before the
opening date of the hunt. This rule goes into
effect August 1.
In addition, the commission adopted rules that
become effective January 1, 2013, that will
allow a person 8 and older to participate in a
mentored hunting program without being required
to hold a hunter education certificate.
A Hunting Passport is a special authorization
that allows the person to take wildlife only
when they are accompanied by a mentor and
participating in the Mentored Hunting Program.
They may participate in the program only for one
year, and the Hunting Passport expires December
31 of the year it was issued.
A person with a Hunting Passport at least 8
years old may hunt small game and most upland
game birds, but a person must be at least 10 to
hunt turkey or sandhill crane and at least 12 to
hunt big game.
The mentor must be at least 18 and must possess
a valid Idaho hunting license, and he or she may
mentor no more than two others at a time.
All of these rules are subject of legislative