Idaho hunters...info?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Snubbie, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    I have a couple of questions perhaps someone would be willing to answer. Not sure there is a definitive answer but here goes:

    If a fella wanted to find deer in the southern mtns of Idaho, say in the area between Boise and Ketchum, and maybe into the Sawtooth Wilderness, and the hunt time would be around the October 10 opener,
    where/what would be the likeliest place or terrain type to find a buck?

    Higher up in Mtn Basins
    Creek canyons leading up to higher basins
    Wide flat river bottoms

    Wouldn't mind giving a shot at trying a short muley hunt next Fall. Could be my only chance. Maybe pack in a few miles and camp. I'd just hate to waste a lot of time scouting terrain that would likely be devoid of bucks.

    Looking for some "local knowledge" about terrain type that could be productive, I'm not asking for specific areas. Any info would be much appreciated.
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Narrowing the focus question.

    Do you want to shoot a mule deer or,

    Do you what to hunt a specific area?

    It makes a difference.

    Also, I figure you are looking at a DIY hunt.
     

  3. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Yes, it would be a DIY hunt for mule deer. I'm looking at area 43 but will apply for controlled hunts 44-1 and maybe 39-1. I realize there is slim chance of being drawn, only 22 nons drawn for 44.
    My thought was to leave from FS roads and follow a pack trail several miles in and hunt high in the basins. I'll carry a lightweight camp and set up if I find game, and hunt that area. I hope that going in 4-5 miles will hopefully allow some hunting without a lot of "company". As of right now I'm solo.

    I realize this will be a low probability hunt, and I'm willing to hunt hard and accept the outcome. Being well into middle age, I want to do this while I still can.
    I would just hate to go to the expense and effort and waste time hunting an area devoid of deer.
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    The ID F&G web seems to be on the fritz at the moment.

    What if you were to purchase a non-res deer tag and hunt where you wish?

    If ya don't mind where ya at in western NC?
     
  5. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    I would looks elsewhere in the state. 44-1 would be good if you can get drawn but the deer numbers are really low in 39 and 43 and I wouldn't expect miracles over the winter. That doesn't mean that you can't find a decent buck if you do some hiking but with limited time and guessing at where to go you'll have a pretty low chance of success on a good buck. The wolf numbers are through the roof in those units also and despite what some might think they eat plenty of deer along with the elk. I generally put in for the early 39 hunt and I have hunted this area of the state for 20+ years but after the last few years I'll probably put in for a hunt in eastern Idaho or up around Riggins for next year.
     
  6. IdahoJoe

    IdahoJoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    How picky are you about the size of the buck your shooting.

    How long or you planning on hunting.

    I know people do well near Anderson Ranch resivor.

    I was not successful this year but I would say very high 9000 ft plus is where the deer are on public land. I saw most of the deer in river bottoms which tend to be private or very high. This December when I was elk hunting I finally saw deer that had moved down to 8500 ft. Next year I will hunt near Challis (unit 36A, 36B, and 37) I plan to do more hunting/scouting next year. So you can send a PM at the end of the summer for more information.

    Do you ride horses?
     
  7. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Royal, I'm in Hendersonville, about 25 miles south of Asheville. As far as buying a non-resident tag and hunting where I want. Not sure I understand. I'm thought(?) the tag had to be bought for a particular hunt unit.

    IdahoJoe and CTD. If I'm unable to draw a tag for 44, and units 39 and 43 are "lacking" , then what would be a better area? Would it make sense to do the controlled hunt in 36-A? That is a sure-draw hunt(which I don't totally understand) but it still seems to me to be in the same area.

    My choice of the southern mtns is that it isn't too far from SLC (1/2 day drive at the most) SLC offers lots of flights in and is less expensive to fly into, relatively speaking.

    I will have one week. If the season comes in on the 10th(a Wednesday) I could scout 2-3 days then have about 3 days hunt time.

    As I stated, I am willing to hike in 4-5 miles and spike camp. I'm not a trophy hunter. I'm not looking for a 190-200 inch buck though I wouldn't pass one up! Most any buck would make me happy. If I hunted an area and saw game but just couldn't connect I'd consider the trip a success. I just don't want to end up seeing nothing because I'm hunting the wrong terrain.

    As far as wolves, assuming they are offered next year I intend to get a tag. Having a wolf rug wouldn't make me unhappy! We don't get a lot of chances at wolves here in NC! I'm thankful for that, the coyotes cause us enough trouble with their yearly whitetail fawn kill.

    edit: IdahoJoe, I have ridden horses but typically on the "tourist trails, cowboy cookouts and dude ranches" we've visited in Montana and Colorado. Don't have any "real" riding experience.
     
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    I've lived in Idaho a ton of years and still have difficulty with their rules.

    Their web site appears to be still down......

    I purchase an antlered deer tag and hunt anywhere in the state.

    These are "open hunt" tags.

    Controlled hunts require a tag specific to that hunt.

    Hell, if you want to kill a buck, any of us Idahoans can point you to a mountain or area and say go for it and you'll more than likely get a shot.

    My back yard has mule deer, white tails and an infrequent woof.

    If you want an outdoor hunting experience with really big mountains, not long hikes, a mile from a road is plenty good most times.

    Coming out here as a newbie a bit risky, in several ways, its a ton different than your area.

    The reason I asked your location is that I have an interest in Morganton.
     
  9. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,506
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Well if your not after a trophy then you can probably get a chance at a buck in 39 and 43 but don't be surprised if you don't see very many deer per day. You'd have less hunting pressure in places harder to get at like where you have to cross a river or reservoir. If you brought waders crossing a river is generally fairly easy that time of year. Or a place with no roads or trails and high elevation.

    I don't know 36A but I have friends that have hunted there. It's a controlled hunt to make people hunt just that unit. Sometimes we get weather and it pushes the deer and elk down early and makes them easy to get to. Other times its tough hunting. With a general tag we can hunt all over the state and if was a general tag area the people tend to flock to those areas when the weather makes it easier to take game. Making it a unlimited controlled hunt takes possibilities away from hunters going elsewhere so they typically get less people hunting that area.


    There are also some good areas in SE Idaho for deer and some good drawings. It's closer to SLC also. Most of the mountains aren't as steep and the elevation change from the valley floor to the highest mountains isn't as much.

    Basically fish and game wants your money but doesn't want you to kill anything unless they are getting complaints from farmers. It their way of covering their ass for poor deer management the last 20 years and now that wolves are here, and doing what way too many wolves do, they cant keep lying about it when hunter success rates reflect the truth. They did make it rather hard to find that info on their new website now though.
     
  10. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Just checked the site again. The non-resident application just has deer tag. It does not specify an area. For some reason I was under the impression the tags were hunt unit specific. I know that to be the case for controlled hunts. I'll continue to verify this.

    What do you mean by bold sentence above? What risks specifically? I want all the info I can get.

    I've spent a lot of time in Morganton. I have some friends over there. It's about 1 1/2 hr drive.
     
  11. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    I grew up in western PA hunting white tails until 1964. It took me a lot of years to get over white tailitus. That is looking here when I should have been looking way over there.

    Also I was used to the buck sticking close to does. Missed plenty of shot chances by becoming locked on to watching does when the buck was over on the adjacent side hill.

    As to risk. Its very easy within a few 100 yards to make a decision that will end one up in a completely different drainage. You'll miss a ridge and come down to where you think you want to be but be miles from your intended spot.

    Also more than a couple of miles from where you started, have an accident that impedes your ability to navigate, you could be in big trouble.

    Then for the hunting part. You can shoot a buck just about any where if you can cover enough ground fast enough to increase the odds of crossing paths with one.

    A lot of time can be unproductively spent doing with some would call scouting. The secret to scouting is to know where to start scouting.

    Let's switch to email or PM and swap some locations on Google Earth. I'll show you some places that may trip your trigger.

    All ya need is a decent heads up.
     
  12. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks for taking the time. I'll send you a PM with an area of interest I've looked at.
     
  13. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    345
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Not all areas of the state have general hunts also, some are LE only, but a General tag is good in all the areas that have general hunts. Elk are area specific.

    I would generalize that working hard for a week, you should expect 100% chance on 3pt buck, 50% chance on small 4pt up to 140", and less than 5% chance on 160" or bigger. This may be high for your first year, but the nice thing is you can hunt here every year. That is the beauty of our system.

    You will want to hunt the last week of the general season instead of the opening week if you are not scouting over the summer. Hope for weather to move them. Many areas have concurrent elk hunts, or when deer closes then elk opens.

    I have hunted general in units 10a, 23, 24, 32, 32a, 39, 43, and 73 since moving here in 04. They all have their pluses and minuses but the one constant. They all have opportunity but your odd's increase with knowledge of the area over time and effort. I have been on LE hunts in units 32, 40, 44, and 45 for deer and 40, 44, and 51 for elk. They all increase opportunity, but still require a lot of work to increase your odd's. Use the fish and game website and to a bunch of research on draw odd's for LE units. Don't focus on the number of NR tags issued, but on the % of successful NR's. You won't find that the 10% max limit lowers your odd's very much. Look for what is important to you, opportunity or trophy. You will very much find here that they have an inverse relationship. There is a reason units 45 and 54L have such low draw odd's. Units with draw odd's above the mid teens are either not very good trophy quality or limited by access.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Snubbie

    Snubbie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    BTW royal, I sent you a PM.