Hunters took fewer mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk in 2019 compared to 2018.
The 2019 statewide elk harvest and deer harvests were down about 8 percent and 13 percent from the prior year. The number of deer hunters in Idaho was also down by 5.5 percent from the prior year, while the number of elk hunters remained fairly consistent (down by about 1.5 percent). Success rates dropped slightly for hunters pursuing each species.
Contributing to the drop in harvest, there were about 4,200 fewer mule deer hunters and 3,500 fewer whitetail hunters statewide in 2019 compared with 2018.
“Hunting isn’t unlike fishing — when it’s good, everyone goes,” Fish and Game's Deer and Elk Program Coordinator Daryl Meints said. “When things get tougher, you see the participation drop.”
The white-tailed deer harvest and mule deer harvest were both below their respective 10-year averages, while elk harvest was slightly above.