17 August Looking Forward to Idaho Units 27 & 28 Fall 2016 Hunts August 17, 2016By Monica Oliver Announcements, Drop Camps, Elk In Rut, Fall Bear Season, General Information, Guided Hunts, Mule Deer, Wolf, Youth #WIOFallHunts, #WIOHunts, Drop Camps, Elk Hunts, Frank Church, River of No Return 0 It seems like just yesterday we were pulling out of spring bear camp and here it is now the middle of August. We are only days away from setting baits, 2 weeks away from fall bear season and one month away from all our fall combo hunts. If you are hunting with us this fall, thank you! If you have any last minute questions please take the time to call and visit with us. Also, if you are hunting elk or deer with us and have not started some sort of exercise program, you still have plenty of time. Even walking a little more than you usually do is really a good idea. The “Frank” is a place that can be very humbling. Keep in mind that our fall camp is at 8,300 feet so altitude can be a factor and building lung capacity by exercising is your best defense. Again, if you have any questions as you prepare for your hunt with Wild Idaho, please do not hesitate to contact us. The picture on the left is a great view of the Twin Peaks and the skyline that create the southeast boundary of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. It is behind those peaks that all the magic happens this fall with Wild Idaho. We are glad you are joining us. We hope your adventure here in Idaho is a truly memorable one. If you are not hunting with us, but are hunting somewhere in the west, good for you for getting out and enjoying your public lands and fishing and hunting opportunities funded entirely by you the sportsman! It is true that sportsmen and -women are the conservationists and as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation espouses, Hunting is Conservation. Related Posts The 2016 Idaho fall hunting seasons are almost here We are just a few short days away from the 2016 fall hunting season here in Idaho. August 30 is the opener of most fall bear hunting units along with statewide general archery season for elk and deer. Here in Central Idaho’s wilderness backcountry units, we are fortunate to enjoy a two-month long rifle season, so our first opener is bear season and we are getting ready. Our first baits have now been set, camps are getting readied, and firewood is being cut and stacked and come next Tuesday we will welcome our first fall 2016 hunters here at Wild Idaho Outfitters. We certainly hope that many of you will be taking to the woods this fall to enjoy the many wonders that this great state and country have to offer as far as outdoor fall activities. Hunting, fishing, berry picking and simply sightseeing all seem a little more enjoyable as the summer crowds return to the cities and the mountains seem to just welcome those who come to visit. The weather around here has been amazing and as the autumn approaches and the mornings get a little more brisk, we find ourselves longing for the high country, those amazing wilderness sunsets and the camaraderie that can only be found in hunting camp. Now that farm chores have finally gotten done thanks to the best brother-in-law money can buy, we can turn all our focus to meeting new friends and welcoming back old ones to our hunting camp back deep in the Central Idaho Wilderness. This year we are very blessed to have so many return hunters that we are simply grateful and humbled. We find some of our best and most successful hunts are with our return hunters as they have seen the country and our operation and know what to expect and how to prepare for a successful Idaho wilderness hunt. So, as the days get shorter, the mornings a little cooler and the mountains a bit more colorful, we do hope you will head out to the mountains, rivers and lakes and enjoy your public lands. Remember too, as you head to the woods, take a kid along. If you don’t have any, borrow a few…I hear they come cheap this time of year. See you in the woods! Photo: Heading in to set our first bear bait of the 2016 season with my A team of Wyley and Kelly (Tia opted to stay home and play in the neighbors tree house). An Idaho Elk Hunt to Remember This is a “short” story about a hunter/client/friend of ours who is part of a group of guys we affectionately call the “Cali boys”. His name is Bill Bunch and someone in his group has hunted with us consistently for 11 straight seasons. He is one of those guys that in my opinion is a true sportsman. Let me explain. He doesn’t eat, sleep and breath hunting, but he truly looks forward to his elk hunt each year regardless where it is. He is one of those guys who loves seeing the scenery and wildlife even if it is not the quarry he is after and best of all is always up for a new adventure and that is where this story begins. I know that the “Cali boys” are coming this year because their default ring leader, Tory S., has kept in touch and since they have hunted many, if not all of the hunts we offer except this late season elk hunt, they decided this would be the hunt they will hunt this year. I talk to Tory and explain that I have discovered a new area within my licensed area in Idaho that I would like to explore and asked him if he has has bought his elk tags yet as Idaho elk tags are zone specific. Tory says he has and has purchased an area 27 bull only elk tag. I says no problem. About a week goes by and I get a voicemail from Bill that says he hasn’t purchased his elk tag yet and heard there might be a new area to try and would I call him. I call him back and explain that I would love it if he would buy this tag and explained that if we hunted this area that we would be hunting in an area I had never been before at which comes a good belly laugh on the other end of the line with a comment to the affect “so what is new?”….Ok, so I Laughed a bit too and hung up with the anticipation of exploring a whole new area. Fast forward to the elk hunt and the boys arrive and I have to explain to Bill that because he bought a different area tag than his partners had, he would be hunting with a camera the first day. In typical Bill fashion he just smiles and says “no problem, just glad to be here” and off we go. No good in that area so we move over to our lower camp and begin to “explore” what is out there. He rides some trails with each of 2 of my other guides who, by the way, have never been there either and come back with the report that one trail is almost impassable and the other is so steep that we couldn’t hunt it 2 days in a row with the same horses…not that great of Intel if I do say so myself. Well day 4 finds Bill and I on another 2 hour commute by horseback to his area allowed by the tag I talked him into. Too much coffee causing another pit stop and not one wanting to waste an opportunity to glass new country, I spot some elk right away and we see a bull in the herd so after a short discussion on how best to approach (in country we have never been) we set off on horseback until the country gets so steep we tie off and take off on foot. We find ourselves right in the area we last saw the elk and low and behold no elk….2 hours later…go figure. Knowing Bill as I do and seeing that the “top of the mountain” is within reach, I turn to him and ask “I wonder what is on the other side?” to which he responds in typical Bill fashion “I guess we won’t know if we don’t look now will we?” So off we go. The view is amazing at which point Bill begins to take some pics. Again a true sportsman in my opinion who just enjoys the opportunities our public land system here in America affords all peoples to enjoy. After a few pics and a short discussion about what we found, we sit down, pour over the map and eat a couple of “saddle bag sandwiches” and ponder about how to spend the rest of the day. After a short lunch we decide to follow an elk trail to “see where it goes” and as we are walking towards the trail, an elk bugles. We look at each other amazed as it is November 5 and this bull is bugling like it is mid September! We are in a wide open sage brush ridge so we sit down to start glassing where the elk are and we start seeing elk appear one at a time, but no bull ever shows, until finally he runs through the back of the clearing we are watching with no chance of a shot. So we sit there and discuss our options and we decide to go after the heard. We cow call and bugle off an on and the bull answers periodically and lets us know where he is. He is so close the last time he bugles, I swear we can smell his breath, but it was one of those circumstances that we just could NOT see him. We got a glimpse of a cow or calf once in a while but no bull. After about 45 minutes to an hour of chasing these elk, they finally give us the complete slip with that final bugle that says “I’m outta here”. We walk back to the horse and ride back to camp in the dark completely excited about the events of the day. Now most hunters would be discouraged. Not Bill. He enjoyed the day as much as I did. Well with the warmer weather…and a new tracked Polaris Ranger… we decided to try the upper country again which…well…left Bill to hunt with camera again. To which he was completely amenable! While we were on top, I mentioned to Bill, “why don’t we try a bivy camp right in the heart of all the sign you saw the other day?” Guess what he said? You guessed it he said “ sounds great!”. The morning we were going to head in I talk to one of my guides and verbalize, “I wander if this is such a great idea” to which they reply. “ Bill is so excited to do this, you can’t back out!” so off we go. We load a mule with the bare necessities of camp…you know coffee and freeze dried food and off we go on mine and Bill’s first bivy camp adventure into new country that he had seen for an afternoon and I had never seen except through binocs. As we are riding in we spot a nice branch antlered bull lying in a clearing and we pull up and decide that since, 1. we were not sure where we were at, and 2. we had no idea where we were going to camp, and 3. that we only had about 2 hours of daylight left to decide the answer to the 2 problems above, we had better pass on this bull. We rode on a bit further, decided on a camp spot, found the spring for water we were looking for and Bill took off for the last rays of daylight to “scout” while I took care of the stock and set up our Spartan camp which consisted of horse blankets for pads, manty tarps and our sleeping bags. For November, the weather was simply amazing. We slept warm and morning found us without even a frost on the grass. So after a couple of coffee singles and a hot bowl of oatmeal, we are off for the morning hunt. It doesn’t take us long and we are in the elk! We spot a spike and as Bill would put it “he is kind of old, but I suppose I could shoot it”. You see Bill is a meat hunter and enjoys the taste of elk and he figures the younger the elk the tastier the meat. So when the spike presents the shot Bill takes him and then the work begins. We prepare and load the elk and then go load camp and begin the long walk back to camp leading our horses loaded with camp and elk meat. We arrive at camp thoroughly tired from the long walk out and also thoroughly satisfied in having enjoyed a couple of days on public land in the backcountry. What a great hunt and memory. Hunting with guys like Bill is the reason we stay in this business…that and the big bucks…pun intended! 10 Reasons Why Idaho is THE Best Place to Hunt in the West in 2014 1. Tags…Idaho has tags 2. Game…Idaho has always, and is doing even more so now, producing good QUALITY elk, deer and bear, and now we can even hunt wolves. 3. Opportunity…Some of Idaho’s backcountry hunts run for over 2 months giving you more than just that 1 week window in October to hunt and maybe even having to choose between hunts because you were fortunate enough to draw that “coveted tag” after “only” 15 years of trying in another state. 4. Opportunity…Many of Idaho’s hunts allow for multi species hunts during the same time. I personally do not know of any other western state where you can hunt elk, deer, bear and wolves all at the same time and in the same area…and have a realistic chance at harvesting multiple species. 5. Tags…Did I mention tags? Idaho is still offering OTC deer and elk tags first come, first serve. Some states have gone to “draw only” for all tags and species. Because Idaho has had such a bad rap from the wolf issue, hunters have NOT been coming here. Well, we can NOT rule out man is the ultimate hunter and with hunt tags going unsold for at least 5 years now, and wolf hunting and trapping going for the last 3 years, Idaho is seriously beginning to see an uptick in both numbers and quality of elk and deer in its backcountry units along with its front range units where wolf control has been more aggressive since the beginning. 6. Opportunity…When you buy an OTC deer tag, that tag is good all over the state, not just a specific zone. You can hunt early season mule deer in September and if not successful, you could end up hunting late season white tails in December. 7. Opportunity…In Idaho you still don’t have to “choose your weapon” as you do in several western states. You may purchase your archery stamp and hunt an entire month in most areas and again, if not successful, add up to another 2 FULL months of rifle season to your hunting season. Can you show me another state that allows this for trophy quality mule deer and elk? 8. Opportunity…Bear hunting in most western states has gone to draw only and is very restrictive. Here in Idaho you can buy OTC tags (are you sensing a pattern here?), and hunt with dogs, over bait or spot and stalk. Your tag for spring bear season, up to 3 months long, is still good in the fall for up to 2 ½ months of fall bear hunting…while you are hunting other species (again are you sensing a pattern here?). 9. No points system…Yes that is a benefit! Idaho is the last place left (that I know of) that one could really actually draw a tag for trophy species including big horn sheep, moose and mountain goats. Idaho has shorter waiting periods (2 years) and if you don’t harvest, you can try again! 10. No points “creep”…Let’s face it. Some hunts in other states could take 15-20 years just for an “opportunity” to hunt; and that’s if you started the process today! Hunt Idaho every year. Year after year! You could spend that time “waiting” by sharpening up your hunting skills for that day when you do draw that special tag instead of sitting on the sidelines hoping “next year will be the year.” Good Luck in you hunts! Idaho Spring Bear Season “Officially” Opens in Backcountry Units It is almost time for my second favorite time of year…spring bear season! It “officially” opens in many back country units like where we guide in the Middlefork zone on April 1st. I say officially as that is when it does open, but with this years late and heavy snowfalls, I am confident the bears will not be waking from their winter slumber for at least a few more weeks, at least at our elevations. The snow is still quite visible around here, and I am sure is still quite deep in the backcountry where we will be conducting our spring bear hunts, but with the warmer weather patterns and the official opener, I can hardly wait to get on the back of old Diesel and begin setting those baits. Thanks to those who are joining us this spring. We look forward to a successful hunt! Front range hunts in Idaho open April 15. Good luck to all those hunting Idaho spring bear hunts this year! If you are hunting Idaho spring bear season this year, please note that we are now in the bear baiting and bear baiting supply business. We are currently carrying stock of bulk bear baits and are working on scents to attract bears to your bear bait. We have applied what we have learned over the last nine seasons of bear hunting in Idaho and gathered that knowledge into one place. We used to have to go to 3 different places to obtain all the “ingredients” to what we consider a successful bear baiting venture and are now offering it in one location and for less money than you can find it elsewhere. If you are interested in learning more about baiting bears, either in Idaho or whatever state you are hunting (provided it is legal there) contact us and we would be happy to visit with you about it. Idaho Fall Bear Hunt is Just Around the Corner With snow on the peaks this morning and seeming as though we were just packing out spring bear camp, here it is time for fall bear hunting season in Central Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return wilderness area. We hunt area 27 which is a 2 bear area with high percentage color phase bears and reduced pricing on nonresident tags. We still have just a few spots left for this fall, so if you have not gotten all your hunting plans made, come join us. Best fall bear hunting time frame is from the opener on August 30th until September 14th before all the elk and deer hunters start hitting the woods. Idaho Fall bear hunting is just around the corner Time to put in for some Idaho Spring Controlled Hunts Most people know my passion for Idaho is the fact we have over the counter (OTC) tags, but in certain areas and with certain species controlled hunts are needed for better control of wildlife management. Now is the time to put in for Idaho spring bear controlled hunts…that is if you are not choosing to hunt a general season area. The application period is January 15-February 15. Applications are due for spring turkey controlled hunts February 1-March 1. Applications can be made at any Idaho Fish and Game license vendor or on line at IDFG website. Good luck in the draw and hope to see many of you enjoying all that Idaho has to offer! Comment (0) Comments are closed.