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Elk, Mule Deer, Bear & Wolf Hunting Blog

Here you will find information about our hunts, our area as well as special offers and issues that affect us or are important to us.

NO MORE WILDERNESS!

Idaho-Wilderness

Wilderness is beautiful, we can all agree on that, but not being able to access that beauty is one of the problems with creating MORE wilderness. The current wilderness in Idaho is not being managed properly to allow access so how do they think they can create more and keep up with its management?

If you are reading this, I can only assume you either hunt and/or fish or at least condone those acts and if you do participate, you probably use public lands. The Salmon-Challis National Forest is in the midst of a forest plan revision.

They are at the part in the process where they are doing inventory study on “potential wilderness areas”.

Folks, this is a crock. As much as I love our public lands system, and I do, we do NOT need more wilderness!

During a recent local public meeting about this issue, over one hundred people showed up from a town of only 1000. Ten percent of our town’s folks showed up and the resounding consensus in the room was, “NO MORE WILDERNESS!”

We were told that although we locals would be affected most directly, they were correct in stating that it is “the public’s” land and that they are getting comments from all over.

We all know that means that the green groups are lobbying for more wilderness. The problem is, these groups lobby for wilderness in areas that they probably have never visited or never will!

We are asking you to take a minute and submit your comments. Obviously, we hope you comment to ‘not create more wilderness’, but even if you disagree with us, please take the time to submit your comments. This is OUR land and it is and should be managed the way the owners think it should. The Forest Service, God Bless them, are NOT the owners. They are simply the managers managing property for “We the People” as we direct them too.

Let’s direct them to manage these lands responsibly…for multiple use for the benefit of the most “land owners” and to not just default to wilderness because it sounds good to some folks who have never stepped foot out of a city. If you hunt, fish, hike, ride horses or recreate at all on public ground, make your thoughts known. This is YOUR land! Tell them how to manage it!

Comments are “best by February 28” (their words), so please click this link to submit your comments: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=49464

Merry Christmas from the gang here at Wild Idaho Outfitters

Merry-Christmas-2018 From the gang here at Wild Idaho Outfitters, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and safe Holiday season!

As I write this on Christmas eve morning, it has just begun to snow the type of snow fall and in the surroundings that I live in, that makes it look just like something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. It makes me feel extra grateful for where I live. Not just the lovely area, but literally the country that we live in.

It is a country that, although not perfect, has so many wonderful characteristics that people seem to be willing to risk their lives to get here.

As I look around during this Hallmark moment, I see people I love dearly and think fondly of the many people who have crossed my path throughout each season of my life and as the years go by, I find myself even more grateful than ever for all who have crossed my path. Each person has left a mark on my existence.

It is our sincerest hope that during this Holiday season, you, too, can look around and see the love and joy that surrounds you in the form of family, friends and precious moments of your life.

If you read the news you would come to believe that there is no good in this world, but if you look around, you find so many wonderful things and people who make your life complete.

The wonderful people are for to you to determine who they are, but my idea of some of the wonderful “things” that make our life in this country more blessed include our public lands system, our military that keeps us safe, and our freedom of religion that allows us the ability to worship freely and openly in the manner that we believe is appropriate.

I, for one, am very grateful that our Lord, Jesus Christ, was willing to die on a cross that we might experience the greatest gift of all!

As you spend time this holiday season with friends and family, we hope you take the time to thank our military for protecting our freedoms, God for your blessings and really take the time to shut down your technology to enjoy the people who make your life wonderful!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving 2018 from Wild Idaho Outfitters

Happy-Thanksgiving-2018 As the sun just set on the final day of our 2018 Idaho elk and deer hunting season, it turns out we drop right back into another “season”: The Holiday Season! With the first, of course, being Thanksgiving. I personally am glad that Thanksgiving falls when it does this year as it leaves no time for PHD (post hunting depression) to set in.

Instead, it is a time to reflect on this past year and all the many incredible blessings we have in our lives.

I have said it before and it bears repeating, the best part of our job is the people we get to meet. We always look forward to old friends coming back to join us in hunting camp and the opportunity to make new friends. This year was no different. People make this job wonderful!

I have said it before and it bears repeating, the best part of our job is the people we get to meet. We always look forward to old friends coming back to join us in hunting camp and the opportunity to make new friends. This year was no different. People make this job wonderful!

We are already pouring over maps and brainstorming ideas on where to put new bear baits, what time and size of trail crew to hire along with searching for potential sites for new drop camps.

We hope, for those of you who read this, that you are sharing this day with family and friends and reflecting on the amazing blessings we share in this country. We hope your past hunting and/or outdoor recreation season was just incredible and that you have many adventures in your future. It is the heritage of public land ownership that makes many of these adventures a possibility that creates the reality.

As always too, I hope you take time the thank a soldier for your freedoms and God for your blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Legacy makers (builders)

Trail-clearing- season-beginsToday was the beginning of a new legacy. Bold words you say? Let me explain. It seems like an outfitter’s life is ruled by seasons. Now you would recognize the easy ones like spring bear, spring turkey, fall bear, elk, deer, etc. The seasons that most people don’t recognize are all of the “behind the scene” seasons.

There is hay season, where we are putting up hay for all the livestock we get to feed all winter, so we have good livestock come hunting season.

There is a short but painful “shoeing season” where we need to shoe all those cayuses we fed all winter, which ends with shoe pulling and trimming for winter season of course.

There is “booking season”. You know the one. Where outfitters are slaves to their phones, emails and Facebook looking for those daring hunters willing to say, “I think I believe all your B.S. and I am going to send you some of my hard-earned cash to prove it”.

There is bear baiting season, where we ride literally hundreds of miles setting bear baits out throughout the wilderness so that we can (hopefully) entice some hungry bear into a lucky bear hunter’s sight.

And today… today began “trail clearing season”. That is where a good outfitter invests money into the public lands system so that ALL people can access these public lands. Now I can hear it already, “It is in the outfitters best interest to clear the trails he/she uses”…well, DUH! But, here are the facts that follow a statement like that. These are PUBLIC lands. Meaning they are owned by all. If (we/our trail crew) clears a trail and someone (ANYONE) from the public walks in behind us on this newly cleared trail, do you know what they owe or even invested in their public land experience? NOTHING. They are the beneficiary of others’ hard work and they are better able to enjoy their back-country experience because someone DID take the time to clear the trail they chose before they arrived.

Now if you think I am patting outfitters on the head, you are missing the point of this message. What I am saying is that ANYONE who invests time, money and effort in clearing “OUR” public lands access points, be it a fallen tree on the road to a trail head or the back-country efforts going on right now in “The Frank”, that person is creating and leaving a legacy for others to enjoy.

My speech every year at the beginning and the end of these young folks’ time with us is this, “You guys should be proud! You are leaving a legacy. You are creating access to an area that has not been accessible in years. When someone back home asks you, “How did you spend your summer?” you just raise your head, look them in the eye and say, “I was creating better access to America’s public lands and by default creating a legacy that will last for years. What did you do?”

I am incredibly proud of the work these young folks do each year. Some of the faces change, but the enthusiasm for spending time in one of America’s “Crown Jewels” and “giving back” to society, willingly and with a smile, does not!

Thank you trail crew and good luck with the rest of the “season”!

And-they-are-off

If after reading this, you find yourself wanting to “give back to society” by helping to clear trails, contact us. We are biting off some major projects that are going to take some super human effort to accomplish and we are looking for volunteers to help in this effort. So, if you have a few days to spare and want to work hard, get fed well, see country that not many actually get to see because of it’s remoteness and ruggedness and KNOW that you are leaving a legacy for others to enjoy, get hold of us. Our trail crew will be here until mid-August and about week three, we will really be looking for more help.

We cannot pay volunteers, but we will provide a comfortable camp and more food than you can possibly eat in one sitting. What are you waiting for?

Rediscover Idaho

Idaho-Combo-Hunts-Good-Ole-Days

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!

Fall Bear Hunting Season is just around the corner

Idaho-Fall-Black-Bear-HuntsIt seems like just yesterday that we were riding in to set spring bear baits and yet we are already talking about what baits to set for this fall, preparing camp and laying in more bear bait for this year’s fall bear hunt.

Our trail crew arrives this weekend and we begin a 4-week hitch clearing our backcountry trails in preparation for fall hunts beginning August 30 with fall bear season. Every fall seems to produce some amazing color phase bears that are just fat and getting fatter preparing for the long winter ahead. Hides have historically been in pristine condition as well.

So, if you have yet to make concrete plans for your fall 2018 hunting season or you have plans but they are later in the season, maybe a quick trip to Central Idaho’s pristine Salmon River Mountain Range is in order, whereas we still have a few openings for our fall bear season.

Contact us today for your 2018 Fall Idaho bear hunt!

Late Season Mule Deer Hunts during the rut!

Idaho-Mule-Deer-Hunts

2018 was a year of changes in Idaho, but then again, what year isn’t. One of the changes that took place was that the fish and game commission changed the late season mule deer hunt from an unlimited controlled hunt to a controlled hunt for nonresidents citing backcountry airstrip crowding as the reason for needing to do it. The good news is that there will be fewer people in the backcountry during that mule deer rut hunt. The bad news is that if you failed to put in for that hunt back in May, or even if you did, your chances of drawing were very slim.

Well, there is more good news. The commission created an outfitter pool of tags and allocated tags to outfitters in those areas based on their prior use. We were the recipient of several guaranteed mule deer rut hunt tags, so if you have not got your 2018 hunt plans set in stone yet and want to chase large mule deer bucks in the rut, give us a call at (208) 252-1053 and book your late season mule deer hunt while tags last.

2018 Idaho Elk Hunting Season Is Only 8 Short Months Away

Get into shape for the 2018 season

The Holidays are finally over. And although we all enjoyed the family gatherings, excessive food and sometimes excessive adult beverages, it is now time to throttle back a little on the drink, push away from those leftover Christmas cookies and knuckle down and face the important truth that lies ahead: Hunting season is only 8 short months away and we have work to do…okay, maybe you don’t but I sure do!

I have noticed that as I age at what would appear as the same rate as the Salmon River Mountains, I notice that they do not get any flatter or softer with time. In fact they appear and (feel) like they get a little steeper each year.

I find that each year I need to start on my exercise routine a little earlier and hit it a little harder to be able to guide in this rugged mountain country that we all love so much.

It may not be pretty folks, but a diet and exercise program started more than a week before your scheduled hunt, can often times make the difference between success and almost success and even something as simple as enjoying the outing a bit more with less aches and pains. It may be time to dust off that old treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment and head for the hills…if only in your mind.

Please note. I am no exercise guru. I am simply an aging, overweight, middle aged man who has to exercise to be able to keep enjoying the backcountry. And I intend to continue to enjoy the backcountry as long as the good Lord allows me to and good folks are still willing to come visit us.

My hopes are simply that as you go through your year ahead that you will take time to get or keep yourself in shape for the really important things in life like family and hunting season!

Here is to a successful 2018 in whatever you do and wherever you decide to hunt!...and always, if you can, take a kid along!

Merry Christmas 2017

As I was searching for the proper words to articulate well wishes for a Merry Christmas, I was reading some copy on our website, which is undergoing some changes, and for whatever reason the 2015 Merry Christmas blog came up, so I read it. I must confess, even though I wrote those words then, I sincerely believe that I would be hard pressed to either improve or to even change what I wrote as it is truly how I feel today.

So to all those who do read this Christmas wish, I do hope that you enjoy what is written, recognizing and knowing that it is written from the heart. I am truly grateful to all whose paths have crossed mine and am forever grateful to God above for allowing me to meet so many wonderful people and enjoy this life we live and in the country we live it in!

May God bless you and our country this Christmas!

Merry Christmas From Wild Idaho Outfitters

From the gang here at Wild Idaho Outfitters, nestled snuggly under the peaks of the Southeastern edge of the Salmon River Mountains, one of the gateways to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area, we want to take a moment and wish all who read this a very Happy and Joyful Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous and blessed New Year!

As you go about your Holiday gatherings, we do hope you will take time to thank God and a veteran for this great country of ours which offers so many freedoms. Is it perfect? Heck no, but it appears to be the best option out there.

All of us find ourselves at the tail end of another year on this great big ball of mud we generally like to refer to as earth. It has been a terrific year here at Wild Idaho Outfitters and we genuinely hope those who read this feel as equally blessed. We met many new hunters as well as were able to enjoy the company of several repeat hunters who we actually consider friends. We work with what I would consider some of the best guides in the industry. We get to live and work in what we (Kelly and I) like to refer to as paradise! From the mountain peaks, to the backcountry trails, to the navigable rivers that begin as streams you can jump across, this country… this Idaho, has so much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. We do hope as you are looking back on this past year and looking forward to the year ahead, that if you feel as though you did not spend enough time outside enjoying God’s natural creation, you will consider giving yourself permission to take some time in the year ahead to get outside…no matter what state you are in! If you can make it to Idaho, all the better, but wherever you are, step out into the sunshine. Step out into the cold. Look up to the heavens. Look out to the horizon. Watch a sunset. Set the alarm early and experience a sunrise (outside of course). Jump in that fancy SUV and get some mud on those tires. Visit YOUR public lands.

I know I have said this before, but it certainly bears repeating and it is truly my opinion, that our system of public land ownership where you can go out and enjoy literally millions of acres as if you owned them yourself (well actually you do), is unequaled anywhere that I am aware of. Remember as you visit these public lands, that they are here for you, your family and your friends to enjoy and recreate on. Just remember to take only pictures and leave only foot prints.

Also, as you cross paths with other outdoor adventure seekers, please remember what your momma taught you about smiling and being courteous to all you meet. I personally have made some very good friends with people whose paths I simply crossed in the backcountry. Think about it, we at least have the similar interest in being where our paths crossed; seems like as good of spot to begin a friendship as any.

It’s been said that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man. I gotta believe you could remove the word horse (although why would you want to skip the horse), and the statement would be equally as true.

So as you are setting your goals for next year, be sure to include some “you time” or family time in the outdoors. And as always, if you can, take a kid along!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the “gang” at Wild Idaho Outfitters!