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January 10, 2013

Idaho's new hunting passport now available

By Niels Nokkentved, IDFG

   To encourage potential new hunters to take to the field, Idaho Fish and Game's new Hunting Passport offers novice hunters the opportunity to hunt for one year before completing a hunter education course.

   A Hunting Passport is a special authorization that allows anyone who has never held a hunting license in any state, resident and nonresident, age eight and older, to take wildlife only when they are accompanied by a mentor and participating in the Mentored Hunting Program.

   The minimum age to hold a Hunting Passport is eight. There is no maximum age.

   Passport holders must be 12 years old to hunt big game, 10 to hunt turkey and sandhill crane and eight to hunt most other game birds and small game.

   Passport holders must purchase general season tags, appropriate permits and validations. All hunting rules, seasons and weapon restrictions also apply.

   The Hunting Passport expires Dec. 31 of the year it was issued, and only one can be purchased in a lifetime. To continue hunting after the passport expires, the hunter must complete a hunter education course and buy a license.

   Anyone 18 or older who holds a valid Idaho hunting license can serve as a mentor. No certification is required, but people may not mentor more than two people at the same time.

   Hunting Passports cost $1.75 and are available at license vendors and Fish and Game regional offices.

   For more information on the Hunting Passport, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit Fish and Game's website at www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/licenses/?getPage=332, or contact the nearest regional Fish and Game office.