Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

ID: Ask the conservation officer (co): Bow fishing

Question: “I recently saw an outdoor program about bow fishing
for carp? What are the rules for shooting fish with a bow and

Answer: Bow fishing is a great summer-time diversion from target
shooting and 3D shoots. It also keeps archery muscles in shape and
your eye for judging distance sharp and ready for the fall hunting

Idaho Fish and Game Commission rules prohibit archery as a
method of take for all game fish but nongame fish species such as
carp, suckers, and the northern pike minnow (formerly squawfish)
are legal quarry for bow fishing with no limits.

A valid fishing license is required when bow fishing, however
the archery validation, required for big game hunting, is not
needed. The bow-fishing season is closed if the season for taking
game fish with hook and line is closed.

Nongame fish are not required to be salvaged so “waste” is not
an issue when discarded. However, all nongame fish taken should be
disposed of in a lawful and ethical manner. Large numbers of carp
left to rot along beaches and in areas frequented by the public
would be prosecuted for littering.

Carp, the most commonly bowfished species in Idaho also provide
some good eating. At this year’s sportsmen’s fish fry at the Fish
and Game office about 40 pounds of deep-fried carp fillets were
scarfed down. Dr. Dick Wallace, one of my well-respected professors
at the University of Idaho also used to can a mean pickled carp
with onions and spice.

Reference IDAPA 13.01.11201.01


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