1 January Saying good bye to the old and hello to the new January 1, 2017By George McQuiston Announcements, General Information Happy New Year, Hunting, Thank you, Livestock, Wild Idaho Outfitters 0 The sun has set on 2016 and has now risen on 2017. For us here at Wild Idaho Outfitters, 2016 will go down as one of our best years ever. Many positive things happened, from opening new trails, to a record harvest, to our greatest number of return hunters, to being able to get all our equipment off the mountain in one day and in good condition (this one was huge), to being able to put a new name , , to our livestock business, to most everyone who hunted with us actually living (yes folks that one is a joke, all who hunted with us lived) and to simply being able to make a living while enjoying a lifestyle where we get to meet, and get to know, so many wonderful and amazing people from all over the country and from all walks of life! As we have said before, most hunters come as customers and leave as friends and this past year seemed especially so. We have made some great friendships in the backcountry of Central Idaho that we really appreciate and we always look forward to making more. One memorable conversation with a hunter this past year happened with a Neurosurgeon from the Detroit, MI area. As we were discussing us homeschooling our kids, he said the bad thing about homeschooling is the lack of socialization in homeschooling. Then I asked this hunter, “Where else does a ten year old and a twelve year old get to meet a Neurosurgeon from Detroit?” To which he simply responded with a smile and quiet nod of agreement. One of the sad casualties of the outfitting business is watching your favorite livestock age and end up having to get relegated to the ranks of retirement stock and even more sad is to watch them pass on to the happy hunting trails in the sky…some (usually the not so good livestock), you want to help head that direction faster, but with these special few, it is especially emotional. This year we did not lose any animals to the hunting trails in the sky, but 2 of our old school regulars, Jack and Sally, moved onto the retirement pasture. They have served us and our hunters for many years and the prior outfitter as well. They are both over 30 years old now and we have discovered that the steep and rugged nature of The Frank is simply too much for them these days so they will play out the rest of their days doing pony rides and light wagon work on flat ground between long stints of simply enjoying life in the pasture. On the bright side, we had an amazing foal crop this year with Darling Creek Livestock and look forward to seeing the breeding program we have in place produce hard working registered mountain riding/ pack stock,that grow into Frank Church wilderness trail eating machines! We have a band of quality mares expected to start delivering our first 2017 babies beginning mid-March and we always look forward to seeing the new babies and watching them develop. We so look forward in the new year ahead to meeting and making new friends and to renewing old friendships here in what we affectionately call paradise aka Central Idaho! So to all those who hunted with us in 2016 and prior, and to those who have booked already for a 2017 Idaho adventure, Thank you and Happy New Year! Related Posts Good Guys Win One! It appears that finally, logic, laws and good common sense has prevailed over anti-wolf emotional sentiment for once. A federal judge has denied a lawsuit for a temporary restraining order against active IDFG participation in wolf management in the Frank Church wilderness. More info to follow, just know the wolf trapping and wolf control measures that are legally allowed will continue! Good News Short Lived Well last week we had some good news but since then the fire has continued to grow. Conditions have been optimal for the fire and we have been in Stage 5 conditions for several days. The next few days are not looking for promising either. Let’s hope something changes soon so we can get the access roads open soon! Have A Great Day! Larry & George Finally a Little Good News Well after some high winds on Tuesday that increased the fire activity tremendously and increased the acreage currently burned by these fires. Finally we get some good news. With some cooler temps and higher humidity the fires did not grow much if any just remained burning within there current perimeters. Now only if we can continue to get favorable conditions we can get in and do what we all love. HUNT! Keep your fingers crossed! Larry & George Rediscover Idaho By now all the western states’ draws are out and odds are good you didn’t draw a tag. Well, neither did most of the people who play the draw game. Maybe it is time to give Idaho an honest chance look see. Idaho is famous for over-the-counter tags, guaranteed elk tags for outfitters and OTC tags for most predators as well. It is also the only western state that I am aware of that you can hunt multiple species at the same time WITHOUT playing the draw game. Central Idaho is fast returning to the glory days of bygone years with healthy herds of elk, giant mule deer bucks and plenty of bears, wolves and mountain lions to chase around. The Salmon River mountains of Central Idaho are home to such an amazing variety of wildlife that it is hard to come here and not go home having seen some deer, elk, big horn sheep, moose or even mountain lions or wolves. By now you may have heard that 2 of my best guides/friends and I (George) got together and purchased a new area adjacent to our current operating area and yet still located in these amazing Salmon River mountains. The only difference is it’s on the edge of the wilderness versus inside the wilderness and much more conducive to horseback hunts! It is still a vast expanse of roadless real estate teaming with elk, deer, bears, wolves and many other varieties of wildlife. And although it may look like we are new to the game, we bring to the table almost 50 years of combined experience and we also have the benefit of mentorship by the outfitter we purchased from who operated in this same are for 45 years. We will do all we can to provide you with a quality hunt that we promise will create lasting memories for years to come. Since our purchase was completed late this spring, we were late getting the news out, so we still have some guaranteed elk tags and OTC deer tags available, but only up until July 31. So, if you did not draw or worse yet, finally drew that coveted Wasatch Mountains tag in Utah only to see your entire area go up in smoke, maybe now would be a good time to rediscover Idaho! Give us a call at (208) 756-2548 (before July 31st or the tags revert back to Fish and Game where they have been sold out since March) or visit our website at www.CastleCreekOutfitters.com and help us fill those pages with pictures of your own Idaho trophy! 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. 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! Comment (0) Comments are closed.