Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Idaho [Yes]

Spread the love

Pigeons like to live in developed areas. A pigeon building a nest in your home might not seem like a problem until it is filled with a bunch of babies and house mites. So, it is essential to remove them. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in Idaho? 

Yes. It is illegal to kill pigeons in Idaho without any valid reason. You can take down Feral pigeons and Eurasian-collared doves at any time. But migratory pigeon species are protected. So, you cannot hunt them until small games.  

Hunting of protected pigeons is limited to a few days with a daily bag count. Continue reading to learn more about pigeon hunting in Idaho. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Idaho?

It is legal to hunt all pigeon species living in Idaho. The only exception is the Mourning doves which you cannot take down all year except during Small games. Mourning doves are small-headed, slender tailed plump birds.

They are tan or greyish brown with black spots on their wings. The size of a Mourning dove is 9-13 inches long, which can expand to 15-18 inches with a wing span. 

The pigeon species you can hunt all year in the state without limits are Feral pigeons, Band-tailed pigeons, and Eurasian-collared doves. Band-tailed pigeons are large with long tails and small heads. They have a white crescent on the neck and light scalloping on the back.  

The Eurasian collared doves are mostly sandy brown birds with long square-tipped tails. They are small-headed and plump. Collared doves are more slender than Mourning doves but bigger than Feral pigeons. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Idaho?

It is not legal to take down Mourning doves off-season as they are migratory birds. The birds that travel long distances in search of food and better ecological conditions are migratory. In 1918, the USA presented an act called MBTA or Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  

According to this act, it is not legal to harm, kill, trade, sell or transport migratory birds without a permit. So, hunting such birds is only legal when the state authorities allow it. You can hunt Mourning doves only for a month with limits in Idaho.  

The dove hunting season in Idaho begins on the 1st of September and ends on the 30th. During this time, hunters can shoot Mourning doves with a daily bag limit. The daily bag count for the doves is 15. Hunters can eat their harvest from the small game. But many recommend avoiding eating pigeon meat especially feral pigeon meat.  

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Idaho State 

Shooting pigeons is legal, but it requires some skills. The hunting laws are to ensure safety. Many of these hunting laws are the same in the country. But has slight modifications according to each state. Following are the laws governing pigeon shooting in Idaho.  

Hunting Education   

Every hunter born on or after January 1st, 1975, must complete a hunting education course before applying for a license. So, it is not legal to issue a hunting license to anyone until they have completed their hunter’s education.  

Young people can also take hunting education classes. But they will not be certified until they are nine. The online session of the course teaches law and ethics. It also guides wildlife identification and the use of weapons.  

Hunting License   

Any resident or non-resident applying for a hunting or combination license in Idaho must show a hunter education course certificate from any state or Canadian province. An Idaho resident hunting license is available to people living in the state for at least six months. College students living in Idaho are not eligible for the resident hunting license.  

The junior hunting license is for people between the ages of 10 to 16. It is also an essential requirement for junior hunters to complete the hunter education. Also, underage people must be under the supervision of an adult licensed hunter. 

Daily Limits 

The daily bag limit of Mourning doves is ten. But, the possession limit is two times the daily bag limit. So, you can possess 20 Mourning doves each day of the hunting season. The field possession limit must be equal to the daily bag limit. 

Private Property   

No person can hunt, pursue, take, or kill any wild bird in the state without having first a license. The landowner or tenant’s spouse and children can hunt without a permit. But they must have a hunting license. To hunt pigeons on someone else land, you will need a hunting license and a permit. Without these documents, it will be considered trespassing.  

Shooting Timings     

The hunting hours begin thirty minutes before sunrise in Idaho. So, it ends thirty minutes after the sun sets. The federal authorities do not permit hunting on Sundays. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Idaho State?


Pigeon hunting is legal. But it is easy if you know the law. So, you must know all the rules and procedures before going on a hunt. Given below are some pointers to help you.   

  • You must have a certificate to purchase the hunting license.   
  • The hunting license is available online, or you can also buy it via an agent.   
  • Carry your hunting license and permit on the field. The hunting license can be in print or on an e-device.    
  • Hunters must register their weapons and bring their firearm licenses along with them.  
  • You can use only shotguns, bows, and arrows to take down Mourning doves.  
  • To take down doves, you will have to wait for small games. Dove hunting season is in September. You must have a permit to participate in it.   
  • The authorities prohibit baits, decoys, traps, and electronic callings to hunt migratory birds.   
  • Any area after the removal of baits is considered baited for the next ten days.  
  • Avoid shooting pigeons on public roads, streets, highways, leave, or any railroad. It is also illegal to hunt birds from a motorized vehicle or boat.    
  • Wear at least 500 meters of blaze pink or orange clothing on the hunting field.   
  • Tag all the harvests and Collect them in separate bags according to their species.    
  • Inform the bag count and possession limit of the wildlife authorities.    

Summing Up

In Idaho, you can kill, shoot and hunt pigeons or doves because there is a rapid increase in their population. Shooting pigeons is the easiest way to decrease their number and prevent damage. Pigeons cause several problems ranging from property damage to transmitting disease.  

But it is not legal to take down Mourning doves off-season. The state protects these doves as per the MBTA. So, you cannot hunt these doves until the small games. Dove hunting or small games are in September. The dates can vary according to the breeding season. There is also a bag count and possession limit on the doves.