BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Gov. Brad Little signed legislation that significantly increases what it will cost nonresidents to hunt deer and elk in Idaho.

The Republican governor signed the measure Tuesday that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said resident hunters asked for so there will be less overcrowding in the field.

Fish and Game is doing that by capping how many nonresidents can hunt deer and elk. But that will result in reducing Fish and Game revenue with fewer nonresident hunters. Estimates put the loss at $5.4 million and $9 million a year.

To make up for that, Fish and Game is increasing hunting and fishing costs for nonresidents.

Most notably, the costs for elk and deer hunting are going up dramatically, which are the two most profitable areas for Idaho Fish and Game. An elk tag for a nonresident hunter would cost $650. A fishing license would cost about $106. The increases will go into effect on Dec. 1.

Fish and Game officials say the increases are the first in 10 years for nonresidents and put the state more in line with what neighboring states charge nonresidents for hunting and fishing.

About 39,000 nonresidents bought elk and deer tags in 2019.

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