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Use of hunting ‘bait’ clarified | Preston Citizen

Use of hunting ‘bait’ clarified

October 5, 2013


Regional conservation educator, IDFG

With hunting season upon us, questions often come up about which species a sportsman can set bait for, or whether it is legal to harvest animals via the aid of a salt lick or artificial water source.

To help clarify the use of bait in Idaho as an aid to harvesting wildlife, I have provided a series of questions and their answers based upon phone calls our office has received, questions that are submitted online and based on the violations seen in the field by Fish and Game conservation officers.


This information is not intended to account for every scenario a sportsman may encounter or have questions about – but this should help hunters and trappers understand some of the basic rules of bait use.

Q. Can I use bait to hunt big game?

A. Bait for hunting is defined as any substance placed to attract game animals, except liquid scent for deer and elk. In Idaho, the only big-game species for which a hunter can set bait is black bear. Using salt licks as a lure to hunt mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and other big-game species is illegal. If you wish to use bait to hunt black bear, then you are required to purchase a bear-baiting permit from Fish and Game via a personal visit to a regional office or by mail.

You must follow all rules and procedures associated with that permit. For more information, visit Fish and Game’s website at http://fishandgame. idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/bgBear.pdf

This story is sponsored by Deer Cliff Inn.

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