18 August The Best Friend is a Friend with a Boat August 18, 2016By Monica Oliver Announcements, General Information Fishing trip, Float trip, Raft, Salmon River, Selway River, Steelhead 0 The only thing better than owning a boat - is having a friend who owns a boat. I am lucky enough to have a friend who happens to own lots of boats: rafts to be more specific. His name is Ari Kotler and he is the owner of SOAR Northwest, a company that floats the main Salmon River and the Selway River here in Idaho. His job is to help people from all walks of life enjoy some of Idaho’s most popular treasures by taking folks on multi-day float and fishing trips. This year Ari is offering a new fall steelhead fishing trip through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness down the main Salmon River. The fall steelhead fishing should be fantastic, the fish big and the scenery simply breathtaking. Get more information about a fall steelhead fishing trip and then contact Ari directly to book your trip in one of America’s most spectacular places. Related Posts 2015 Idaho Spring Bear Season Begins with a Trophy Class Bear Our first official week of spring bear hunting in our backcountry unit 27 in Central Idaho began with a father son combo from Nebraska and when we went to sit a couple of baits within ear shot of each other, Cam (the son and youth hunter) and I were greeted by the sound of a rifle report just towards the end of legal light. With curiosity getting the best of us, we sprinted over to where his Dad Jeff had been sitting and he and his first year guide, Jacob Roy, were no where to be found. A quick look through bino’s showed a big black blob near the bait and two people cautiously approaching the blackness. Once I heard the victory whoop, I knew the big black blob was a bear. He looked big in the bino’s and we were not disappointed when we got there to help with the skinning chores. This thing was a true trophy bear. It was pure black with no tan or white anywhere, squared 7 feet and its skull measured 22” (with a tape measure) making it the largest bear ever harvested with us here at Wild Idaho Outfitters. Congratulations to Jacob Roy for his first guided bear credit and to Jeff F. For his first bear as well! 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! Show your support for kids with diabetes Wild Idaho Outfitters is proud to be supporting Camp Hodia, a youth camp program that supports children with type 1 diabetes. We are donating a 3 day 2 night Frank Church Wilderness experience to support their mission to provide camp sponsorships to kids with diabetes. They are having a dinner and auction this Saturday night in Boise, see more here. 100% of the proceeds of this trip will go to Camp Hodia, so if you are in Boise Saturday night and are interested in supporting a great organization and possibly get a great deal on a fun trip, register and attend this event. 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! 2012 Idaho Fall Bear Hunting begins with a “Bang” The 2012 Idaho Fall bear hunting season began with a 100% success for 2 fathers and 2 sons from Michigan. The smiles I think say it all! The Conclusion of Our 2016 Season The sun has set on our 2016 Idaho hunting season and as we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving Day, we here at Wild Idaho Outfitters want to say thanks for an amazing year! Each year I say, “Man, this is our best year ever”, and yet it seems like it does get better year after year. This was the end of our twelfth season of owning and operating Wild Idaho Outfitters and we have had 12 consecutive “best years ever”. One of the best parts of this job, unequivocally, is getting to know the people we meet and enjoy camp with. It is my sincerest belief that people arrive as hunters/clients/customers and leave as friends. We have made many friends from all over this wonderful country of ours and are grateful for you all. We hope as you sit down with family and friends this holiday weekend and as you reflect on things you are grateful for you are able to reflect on what a great country we live in where we can enjoy public lands that are here for all of us. That we can pursue outdoor interests, regardless of them being consumptive or non-consumptive, because of our public lands system. In this crazy political environment we live in, one thing we all seem to have in common is our love for outdoor pursuits and our ability to enjoy them on public land. We are truly grateful for all of you who have ever hunted with us and for those of you who have already booked for future seasons. We recognize that it is more than just the price of the hunt involved in coming hunting with us. We recognize that there is time away from work, time away from family and there is the travel time related to making it to this remote section of Idaho, so from all of us at Wild Idaho Outfitters, Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! Comment (0) Comments are closed.