Idaho Fish and Game needs help from all big game hunters to fill out their hunter reports whether or not they harvested. With many archery seasons winding down, hunters who are done can fill out their reports online or by calling 877-268-9365. The phone option is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Have your hunting tag number ready when calling.

If you plan to keep hunting, good luck, but remember everyone who bought big game tags needs to report so wildlife managers can get accurate and vital information for managing big game herds.

It will only take a few minutes of your time to fill out your hunter report, and your information is key to maintaining hunter opportunity and managing Idaho’s big game populations.

The more accurate information Fish and Game has, the better job it can do setting seasons. If hunter information is lacking, biologists have to err on the side of caution, which typically means shorter and more restrictive hunting seasons.

If you don’t report in a timely manner, staff will mail postcard reminders and do follow up phone calls, which are labor-intensive and expensive. By reporting your results promptly, your license and tag dollars can be better spent for on-the-ground wildlife management activities.

If you’re curious why hunter reports are so important, here are more details.

Why should I submit my hunter report? Fish and Game strives to get the best data on hunter effort and harvest possible, and the best data is from you reporting directly to us where you hunted, whether you harvested, what animal you harvested, how long you hunted, etc.

If you don’t report, we may try to contact you, but that is time consuming and expensive. If you don’t report and we can’t contact you, we have to make an educated guess through statistical estimates, but we would rather hear first-hand from you to ensure accuracy.

Why does it matter? Hunter data isn’t the only information we use to set hunting seasons, but it’s a very important component. When Fish and Game biologists don’t have reliable information on harvest and hunter success, they need to manage game more conservatively, which can mean more restrictive hunting, such as shorter seasons or fewer tags. We prefer to allow generous hunting opportunity when it’s sustainable, but we have to know it’s sustainable through accurate data.

What if I plan to hunt late seasons? We know some deer and elk hunts extend into December. We’re not asking you to report before you’re done hunting, but the sooner after you’re done for the year, the better.

The rules say I have 10 days after my hunt ended, what if I miss that deadline? The rule is intended to ensure timely compliance with hunter report requirements so we have your information in time to use for developing next year’s hunting season, but your report is still needed even if your hunt ended more than 10 days ago.

Are you going to give away my favorite hunting spot? No. All we ask is what unit (or units) you hunted, and if you got an animal, in which unit you harvested it.