For hunters in Idaho, the L.O.N.G. wait is finally over…hunting season is officially open in the Payette National Forest. From now through mid-November, camo is the color of choice! For hunters and non-hunters alike, we wanted to take a moment and share a few tips to keep everyone safe and enjoying the beautiful outdoors this fall.


Hiking in the McCall area is stunning in the fall. Crisp weather, no crowds, and changing foliage make this the perfect time to get out and trek. To make sure you are visible to hunters that may be in the area, follow these general tips:


  • Wear bright clothing. Make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like red, orange or green, and avoid blacks, browns, earth-toned greens and animal-colored clothing.
  • Make noise. Whistle, sing or carry on a conversation as you walk to alert hunters to your presence. Sound carries well across mountain basins, and hunters should be listening for any sounds of animal movement.
  • Make yourself known. If you do hear shooting, raise your voice and let hunters know that you are in the vicinity.
  • Know your own comfort level. If hunting makes you uneasy, choose a hike in a location where hunting is not allowed, such as in Ponderosa State Park or designated trails at areas like Jug Mountain Ranch, Tamarack Resort, and Brundage Mountain Resort.

Off-Road Riding

Be respectful and stay on the roads! Use of all OHVs (ATV/four-wheelers, UTVs/side-by-sides, and off-road motorcycles) is restricted to areas shown on the Payette National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Map. This map is also available for free at Payette National Forest offices. Some roads will be closed for the fall season to help protect vulnerable road surfaces, provide non-motorized hunting opportunities and prevent excessive motorized hunting pressure.


We know many of you who would camp out for the entire hunting season if you could. Just keep in mind that campsites on undeveloped parts of the forest may only be occupied (including by unoccupied RVs or camping equipment) for up to 18 consecutive days. After this period, camps must be relocated at least five miles away from the original site.  Please note that stay limits on undeveloped areas of many national forest units and lands managed by other agencies are commonly only 14 days—please check with the responsible agency in advance. Fee campgrounds on Payette National Forest may only be occupied for 14 consecutive days.

Hunting Blinds

Stay limit rules associated with campsites also apply to hunting blinds; they must be removed after 18 consecutive days.  Also, construction of permanent or semi-permanent hunting blinds is not allowed.  Failure to remove man-made components of hunting blinds is treated in the same manner as garbage left behind by visitors and is illegal.


Always pay careful attention to fire restrictions. The Payette National Forest is not currently in fire restrictions, but this can change with whether and vegetation conditions and many other areas do have current fire restrictions in effect. Before you head out into the woods, be sure to check here.


Need more information?

District Offices:

  • Weiser Ranger District – 208.549.4200
  • Council Ranger District – 208.253.0100
  • New Meadows Ranger District – 208.347.0300
  • McCall Ranger District – 208.634.0400
  • Krassel Ranger District – 208.634.0600

Hunting Rules & Regs: Idaho Fish and Game