Idaho Public Land Pheasant Hunting
Montana gets more credit for being a great pheasant state but Idaho also offers excellent ringneck hunting and the same spectacular views synonymous with Big Sky Country. There are plenty of public land pheasants to pursue but much of the best hunting is on private land. The good news is a lot of the best private land is open to anyone for hunting through Idaho’s Access Yes! Program. Check out the Access Yes! Program online and find the properties in your target areas. Pheasants are present throughout the state but there are a few areas that are much better than others.
In Southwest Idaho, the Boise area is one of the prime spots for pheasants. Look for agricultural activity near good cover and you will find pheasants. Creek bottom areas feeding into the Boise River are also great places to get started. Boise is the largest city and the state capital. The further you get away from the city, the better the hunting is in general. There is a lot of Access Yes! Properties just east of Mountain Home. This spot is a great starting point. Be sure to check the rules for each individual property. Some require advanced notice before hunting.
In the northern part of the state, the Lewiston area is superb. Access has been difficult in the past but is getting a little easier since the economy has gone down. The area is mostly rolling hills dotted with farms, creek bottoms, and steep draws with native grasses. This is perfect for pheasant production and winter survival. Across the state from Lewiston is the Lemhi Valley. Public lands in this area are pretty good for pheasant hunting. Look for thick cover along the many irrigation ditches feeding off the river.
In the southeast, there is a lot of CRP land near the Curlew National Grassland and the Bear River Valley. Thanks to all of that habitat, birds are plentiful. Much of the CRP land is also enrolled in the Access Yes! Program so getting on prime hunting property is doable for anyone.
Idaho supplements it’s natural reproducing pheasant population with a prolific stocking program. Over 16,000 birds are released on nine different Wildlife Management Areas(WMAs). These birds are released throughout the season on a weekly basis. For just over twenty dollars you can buy a permit to hunt pheasants on these WMAs. The permit allows you to shoot two birds per day, six in total. Check regulations before hunting, but in 2011 these are the Idaho properties stocked with birds.
- Fort Boise WMA
- Payette River WMA
- Montour WMA
- C.J. Strike WMA
Magic Valley Region
- Minidoka County Wildlife Tracts
- Niagara Springs WMA
Upper Snake Region
- Market Lake WMA
- Mud Lake WMA
- Cartier Slough WMA