21 November Sun Sets on 2015 Wild Idaho Hunting Seasons November 21, 2015By George McQuiston General Information Black Bear Hunts, Elk Hunts , Mule Deer Hunts 0 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! 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). Wild Idaho Outfitters expands size of hunting area. The past two seasons the guides at Wild Idaho Outfitters had to instruct there hunters to only look out the left side of the vehicle when traveling to hunting areas…but no more. As of October 2006 Wild Idaho Outfitters purchased the hunting rights to “the other side of the road”. Our hunting area now encompasses over 150 square miles of area 27 in Idaho with Sleeping Deer Road pretty much dividing our area in half. Area 27 is rugged backcountry hunting and because of that it is one of the few areas in the state that allows rifle hunting for elk in the rut, an extended deer season and the ability to hunt 2 bears at a reduced price. Book now and experience the thrill of hunting wilderness Bull Elk during the rut! 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! 2010 Idaho Hunting Season Comes to a Close Hunting season in Idaho’s backcountry unit 27 comes to an official close on November 18 and this year the snow began to roll in about then. So after 2 days of packing out camp it was time to chain up and haul livestock over the pass to winter quarters and begin the drying out of tents, tack and equipment. Riding in to pack camp after the last hunter leaves is always sort of a bitter sweet journey. First you think “whew” we made it through and then you think “hell this is a lot of work” and then finally it sets in…the dreaded PHD; street name Post hunting depression. A common malady with most hunting/outdoor enthusiasts that find themselves suddenly thrown from the great outdoors into the great indoors due to a monster snowstorm and no open season…but wait now may be the time to take up mountain lion hunting, predator hunting or even cross country skiing. My cure for PHD thankfully came fast and came in the form of a to-do list that can’t possibly be finished by spring bear season, so there is no time to waste pining away that hunting season is over. Time to get to work planning for next hunting season:) This years season was pretty amazing. From some trophy deer to an amazing drop camp bull, to a 100% success rate on spike only elk hunt in Utah making new friends and getting to hunt again with some old friends. It was a pretty amazing year. We really appreciate each and every hunter we hunted with this year. I hope your Holidays are perfect! New Idaho Youth Deer Hunting Opportunity Because of some recent changes in antlerless deer tags allowed in our area and recent Idaho laws changed involving private lands, Idaho and specifically Wild Idaho Outfitters is able to offer a new and unique youth deer hunting opportunity. I have often wondered how we could “share the wealth” of an undersubscribed private lands antlerless deer hunting opportunity in literally our own back yard, knowing nonresident der tags are 302 dollars and thinking who on earth would pay 302 dollars for an antlerless tag? Then it hit me! Idaho has one of the best youth hunting opportunities in the form of reduced youth hunting tag fees in the country (in my opinion of course). So why not offer special youth antlerless hunts on the private land that we have access to? So this year we are offering youth antlerless deer, short range weapon hunts through December for a very low and special price…yet to be determined We are working on logistics, but want it to be a comfortable lodge type hunt or motel hunt and short 3 days or so and make it affordable enough for an adult to want to bring their youth hunter to Idaho. We will be working out the details over the next couple of weeks while back in bear camp, but if a short range youth deer hunting opportunity on private land holds an interest to you, please contact us so we can get you the details as soon as available. Also know the draw is on right now for this tag and is due by June 5th. Idaho Spring Bear Hunting Season Officially Opens Today is the day we have waited all winter for! It is officially Idaho spring bear hunting season. If you are not hunting with us (which we obviously hope you are) then hope you are hunting with another Idaho bear hunting outfitter. And at the very least heading out to the woods to give a try yourself in a DIY type hunt. Which ever route you choose we wish you the best of luck and great times in the Idaho backcountry! Comment (0) Comments are closed.