Re: Idaho Area 44 deer hunt.........
I too hope that I'm not hijacking this thread.....Sorry Kirk!
I started hunting in 1988, I was 13 yrs Old (I'm just a youngster). I remember when we could hunt until mid November. My father speaks of it fondly. I remember seeing lots of big bucks and we used to have snow on the ground by the last week of October. Things really got exciting in November, and if you were lucky there would be snow that last week of October and you'd see some good bucks then.
That being said, the winter of 1992 Was really bad and prolonged. There was a severe winter kill that killed over half of the deer in unit 76. This combined with the zealous efforts of the Fish and Game (they had a extra doe tags both Fall of 1991 and 92) helped reduce the numbers of deer to really low levels. Even genitic traits that we saw prior to 1992 are no longer found in the area.
Unit 76 has some of the best access of all of the South East Idaho Areas. I'd say even too much. Fish and Game has finally gotten smart and put some heavy regulations on ATV use in Unti 76 and I hope that helps. There is entirely too much pressure in Unit 76.
The Good news is that I'm seeing more and more Mature bucks each year. The problem is that because there is so much pressure that The bucks go into hiding almost on opening day. The Season only runs from Oct 10th -Oct 24th, so no chance of rutting or pre-rutting bucks. And chance of Snow is pretty slim.
I have found that there is a certain way I can hunt this area, It involves patience and being able to make a 700yd shot. LOL....
Unit 76 is definately hard to hunt now... I have taken a few mature bucks, I have seen some true monsters, but I've only had the opportunity to take that 700yd shot once, 2 yrs ago. I missed. I didn't know enough about Long range hunting back then. Now I do. I'm ready for redemption!
Stump Creek still holds some really big deerr. Problem is that it's just north of the Smokey Canyon Mine. There are a lot of people who hunt stump creek after work. these guys live in Bear Lake County. I know a few of them.
I still hunt 76 so I guess that I'm being optimistic. It's tough going though.