Rafting to remote elk area??

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by lazylabs, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    870
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    I would like to do a DIY elk hunt to some remote area on a river. There must be a few areas that rafting in gets you access that is not available via truck or atv. Does anyone have suggestions of areas that I should look at? I would obviously prefer areas that don't take 10 years to draw.

    Thanks
     
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Here in Idaho there are two or more rivers that would be open to that type of hunting. The Salmon including the Middle Fork and the Snake below the Hells Canyon Dam come to mind. The problem with floating is your on the bottom and the elk and deer are on the top that time of the year 5000 feet above you.

    What works pretty good at least in my experience for bucks in the Hells Canyon Wilderness is to either back pack or horse back in above the river and spend a couple days hunting down hill working the breaks and have a boat pick you up at a pre arranged place on the bottom. Of course if horses are used one fella has to take them back down.

    Such hunts takes a lot of planning and the areas should be hiked during the summer so as to make sure the ridge that you pick to get you to the river does not turn into a 400 foot cliff at the bottom which is typical in the Hell's Canyon Wilderness.

    Good luck. It's a good way to hunt.
     

  3. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    When my kid was 12 he took a 5x5 bull in the M fork of the flathead. This was a park bull that wandered out to the border with some cows. I knew the area well, and thought, float him down river, rather then hike up out of canyon. The bull was one of the biggest bodied I put my knife in. I halved him with my ax, and in the 40 yr. old Avon redshank, he went. This river has class 4 and 5 rapids, but it was fall and running low. When we came to first fall, and I SAW whitewater,I realized we where overloaded. I told my son, if we sink,latch arms around my shoulders and we will head for shore. We hit a big wave and took on alot of water, but made it, that was the worst spot. My son thought it was so cool floating this bull down the canyons. Well we started to hit water that was not deep enough, and I SPENT part of a couple hours flailing around in frigid water. Hardest pack out I have done, was almost hypothermic.I have some good video of the first part of trip:rolleyes:
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,812
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    I know of a few guys hitting the Missouri breaks in MT with rafts or kayaks, I think if you bow hunt you can get a tag easy but rifle I think is hard to get but I don't put in for it so I'm not super sure about it. The one group of guys were in 350 plus bulls regular and saw one they all though went in the 400 range, these guys know elk they are really good at judging bulls and looking at some of the "small" bulls they've taken it is some good elk hunting!
     
  5. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    870
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    I grew up not far from the Missouri breaks in MT. I think in the end it's easier to hunt that from the top. I will have to do some more checking on the middle fork and when it's permitted and what it runs in the fall. I have seen lots of pictures of mid summer runs my friends have been on and it's BIG at high water. I am sort of hoping to find a place to float into and spend a week or ten days.
     
  6. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    The Middle Fork, refered to as the Wild river, in the upper stretches, starts in the BOB, and goes threw the Great Bear. I flew into Shaffer when I was a young buck and spring, whitewater out . We spent 3 days if I remember, it is great looking country. I think water is to low in fall for rafting.THE main part from Bear creek down would be ok, but has a highway next to it for miles.
     
  7. Magnum61

    Magnum61 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    As a newbie to Idaho 7 years ago all I can say to that is Amen. Idaho will make you realize "you aren't a man" and "you don't know what you're doing" before you even get out of the truck. Even with horses you have to be in exceptionally good shape to "hunt" Hells Canyon.
     
  8. elkthumper

    elkthumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    84
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    The upper Middle Fork of the Flathead that flows through the Great Bear is too low for rafts by the end of July. Lots of guys float it early summer in personal pontoons. I flaoted it the first week in June last season and we found some great sheds. Serious white water up there, lots of class 4's and some 5's. High ratings mostly due to the remotness of the area.
     
  9. regularjoe

    regularjoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    I would look at the Middle Fork of the Salmon... Fabulous river, awesome fly fishing and historically great elk hunting... Mulies too.