2 September Old Glory is flying in the Frank September 2, 2016By Monica Oliver Announcements, Drop Camps, Elk In Rut, Fall Bear Season, General Information, Guided Hunts, Mule Deer, Youth #WIOFallHunts, #WIOHunts, Black Bear Hunts, Frank Church, Idaho Hunts, Wilderness Area 0 If Old Glory is flying in the Frank, it can only mean one thing: the 2016 Idaho fall hunting seasons are open and underway for all to enjoy. We have begun with our fall bear hunting season here in the backcountry units. Most of the Front Range Units’ archery season opened on August 30. For all those who are headed out to the hills to enjoy some fall hunting, be safe, have some fun, enjoy your public lands and please never pass up an opportunity to be cordial to or help a fellow hunter while in the backcountry. Take the time to watch a sunrise and/or sunset and enjoy the entire experience our public lands system affords all that are willing to escape the confines of our cities’ concrete jungles. Happy hunting from the gang here at Wild Idaho Outfitters! Related Posts 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! The Results are In People we know that put in for Utah draw hunts are beginning to see their credit cards hit for the respective amounts that would indicate success in drawing either a limited entry tag or one of many general season tags that require a draw now in the state of Utah. Gone are the good old days of over the counter or OTC tags in Utah. Everything is done by drawing these days. The good news is, if you do draw one of the limited entry tags, you do have a pretty good chance of harvested a “better than average” animal like this 375 inch bull taken last year in the Roadless area of the Book cliffs with Flying J Outfitters. If you are fortunate enough to draw a limited entry in the Roadless Book cliffs or Wasatch mountains limited entry area for elk or deer, you may want to contact them for success in your hunt. They also guide general season archery and rifle elk hunts in the High Uinta's wilderness area in Northeastern Utah as well as Rocky Mountain goat hunts in the Uinta's. If you are one who put in for Utah or any other state for that matter and were one of the many who did NOT draw a tag, please keep in mind that Idaho has plenty of elk and deer tags still available. It is my fervent belief that we will look back in a few years and realize that the period of time we are currently in will be called the “good old days” of mule deer hunting in Idaho. We and I imagine other outfitters as well as the general public, are harvesting exceptional mule deer bucks with OTC tags. Contact us for more info if you have not cemented your hunting plans for this fall and beyond. Sun Sets on 2015 Wild Idaho Hunting Seasons 2015 will go down as one of Wild Idaho Outfitters most successful hunting seasons of our career. Beginning with spring Bear hunting where we enjoyed a full 75% opportunity rate to our fall hunting seasons where we went just under 100% opportunity rate on an animal. And most importantly, almost everyone who hunted with us this year lived. Those few exceptions were probably a little ill anyway. Yes folks that is one of my corny outfitter jokes. Honestly we had an amazing season with many returning hunters and also many new hunters that we now consider friends. I have said it before and I will say again, the best part of my job is the people I meet. Everyone who hunts with us here at Wild Idaho Outfitters leaves an impression on me, my guides and our families. We truly appreciate all those that hunt with us and hope our paths will cross again some day. I have inserted and you can watch the video of Kelly bringing out the horses from our high camp through the 9000 foot plus peaks pass and then dropping over 3000 feet to our winter pasture ground on our ranch in Challis. I hope you can see and feel the pressure fade away knowing we got the livestock out again another year. It is always a bittersweet moment when we hit the ranch. We are always happy (and especially this year) that the livestock and all the people got out safely, but are also a little saddened by the thought that we won’t be in camp next week. A lot of people ask, “So do you take the winters off?”. Man I wish it were that simple. We have over 40 head of outfitting livestock to keep fed, camps to dry out and put away, machinery to service or more likely to repair, tack to dry out and treat, and then there is the show/booking season when we hang on every email and phone call hoping it is some hunters wanting to book a 2 month Idaho elk hunting combo but begin their journey with a spring bear hunt and wanting to bring along 24 or 25 of their closest friends We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and have time to reflect on the many blessings we Americans have including the privilege of being to able to enjoy the use of public ground to hunt and fish when seasons are open. When given the chance be sure to thank God and a Veteran for many of those blessings. Please check out our gallery of pictures from this year’s adventures and if you hunted with us and don’t see your favorite picture on here, please contact us, because I may not have it in my possession to post. A lot of different cameras take a lot of different pictures and I don’t always end up with them all. God bless America and thank Idaho Fish and Game that spring bear season is on 5 short months away! Happy Thanksgiving 2017 It is always a bittersweet moment when it comes time to take down Old Glory. It means everything else is cargoed, loaded and we are about to head off the mountain at the end of another hunting season here at Wild Idaho Outfitters. 2017 was a very memorable one, as I suppose they all are, but with Mother Nature’s help, this one was particularly memorable. From raging rivers experienced during the “hundred year” snow melt, to early, deep and continuous snow in the fall, this year was indeed unique. In spite of all of Mother Nature’s challenges, we enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people from all walks of life and particularly enjoyed seeing old friends we had met during prior seasons that enjoyed their experience enough to join us for another season here in Idaho. At this time of year, we become even more acutely aware of the many blessings we have had bestowed upon us, not the least of which is meeting so many wonderful people who share a true love of the outdoors; people who love it so much they are willing to spend their hard earned money, their vacation time and time away from family, all to experience what central Idaho’s magnificent Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area has to offer. We here at Wild Idaho Outfitters understand and do not take lightly the investment in time, money and effort it takes to arrive here in our little slice of heaven and especially at this time of year we truly want to offer a sincere THANK YOU to all who have ever made the journey. We are truly grateful you chose to spend time with us. We hope as you spend time this holiday weekend reflecting on the things you are grateful for, that your journey to Idaho might pop into your mind as one of those things. We know we feel very blessed to do the job we do, in the country we love and especially with the people who have crossed our paths! Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours!!! Investing in Trail Work Wild Idaho Outfitters invested some serious time, money and effort into trail work this summer. We hired a crew of four young men who worked long hours and cleared over 30 miles of trail in the “Frank” by cutting or moving 1,985 logs from the trails over a 4-week period. All this work was done with hand tools. No motorized equipment (i.e. chainsaws) is allowed in wilderness areas so this is very physically demanding work. Our plans are to continue this type of investment in trail clearing going forward, so if this kind of work may be of interest to you, please contact us. We also, teamed up with the Forest Service on a couple of the trails and were very grateful for their continued dedication to public access of your public lands. This trail work is not just “something for the outfitter”. This trail work benefits all public land users. These trails are open for all who take the time to visit our public lands and visitors will be able to enjoy easier access to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area backcountry because of the labor of these four young men and the Forest Service trail crew. Be sure to visit our gallery to see some of the before and after pictures of the work these young men performed. No Horse Rides this Summer at Snowbird Normally about this time each summer, we are announcing that the horses are coming to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, but this year is different. Snowbird began a large scale construction project that will consume all of this summer and next so we won’t be offering rides again at Snowbird until summer 2017. Due to this fact, we will be selling many of our Snowbird quality horses and mules so they don’t just laze around and get fat on summer pasture and winter hay. If you ever enjoyed riding horses like Black Powder, Bruce and Remington or mules like Marshall Dillon and Sally, contact us to arrange a test drive. These are all horses and mules we have used for years in our outfitting business that almost anyone can ride and they will all keep you safe on the trail. In the mean time if a summer horseback ride is on your bucket list, we would like to suggest contacting Flying J Outfitters for a horseback ride at either Moon Lake or Defa’s Dude Ranch in Northeastern Utah. We will be offering horse rides and backcountry adventures from our home base here in Challis, Idaho. Come join us! Comment (0) Comments are closed.