Idaho hunt

If you're going to Tex Creek East of Idaho Falls you may be just elk hunting, spent two weeks there 2019 season and seen one 1x2 buck, my brother in-law lives there and said he has never seen it so bad, we didn't pack in but I spent several hours of every day behind my Swarovski binos and spotting scope and couldn't turn up any deer, I did see nine branched antlered bulls and 12 bull moose though, had a hard core hunting buddy of mine hunting further east over in 66a unit, he's had success there in the past but he seen less than I did, it was clear skies with a full moon when I was there so that may of had a little something to do with the lack of game we saw
As per above have a trauma first aid kit with QuikClot-type combat gauze plus other first aid supplies to stop massive bleeding in case of an accident. A SAM Splint in your kit is light weight and handy in case you need to immobilize an arm or leg.

Since your dad is coming with you make sure Dad is in shape also.
Hunted close to there (not telling where) and there are mountain lions, moose and wolves. Never seen a wolf or mtn lion while hunting, just trail cams. Lady moose are what get me on edge .... I’m not a bear spray fan after seeing survivors who used it and still got eaten up. It isn’t tough country to hike in most areas, but there are some pretty steep areas in others. Compass isn’t a bad idea since you aren’t from here, because the deep timber pockets can get you turned around. The guys are right about boots and layers. Beware the cold weather over there killing your electronics! It was single digits this year oct 10 and 11. My phone would die unless it was kept warm and the sig rf would not range over 1000, which isn’t normal.
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I'm local from that area you plan to hunt. I've hunted that unit lots. Want the inside scoop?
1) I would say don't even buy a buck tag because the herds there have been decimated the last few winters and the winter range burned up a couple of years ago, eliminating the winter feed. Fish and game offered out an additional 500 doe tags the year it burned just to thin the herds to try to prevent starvation. I think it did more harm than good. This is the honest truth...I've seen exactly one buck in the last three years hunting that unit, probably 21 total days of hunting. Having said that, I believe nonresident deer tags are also good for bear, mountain lion, and wolf. There is a chance you could see a black bear. I have personally never seen a grizzly in the area, but sometimes you hear a rumor of one being spotted (illegal to shoot if course). I've had mt lions on my trail cams, but never physically seen one. Wolves entered the area about 10 years ago, but I haven't personally seen one. But I've talked to ranchers who have killed them.
2) Plan on huge crowds. Get there at least two days early to stake out your camping spot. Even that may not be enough. Trailers start pulling in a week in advance. Most people hike out from their trucks. There is not a lot of roadless country. by the time you hike in three to five miles you are already at or near the next road. You think you found a spot on onx that will be away from people....think again. Locals in Idaho are willing to hike. Lots of horse groups. Every time I think I've found a spot where no one else will be, I've been sorely disappointed by multiple other hunters busting my hunt. Or me theirs. The city of Idaho Falls is near the unit, and the vast majority of the hunters there hunt that unit...not because it's good, but because it is close and convenient. To be honest, it's the main reason I hunt it. Don't believe me...check the hunt statistic posted online. It's one of the most hunted units in the state.
3) It is a non-motorized hunting unit, which means AtVs are not allowed for hunting. Turn anyone in that you see breaking the rule. Lots do, and it ****es me off to no end. I'll start hiking two hours in the dark to get to a ridge by sunrise, then right as the sun is starting to crest an idiot on an ATV comes blazing down the nearby trail, scattering the animals he doesn't even see. It's illegal. I've started to call the fish and game now and am proud to say they've caught some people based on my tips. Buts it's just a drop in the bucket. Fish and game wardens can't keep up with all the trails.
4) Pack lightweight rain gear. Weather is very unpredictable in Idaho, especially that time of year. You can either be drenched by inches of rain, or covered in a half foot of snow. I've hunted it being drenched and it's no fun. The water wicks into your boots and it's game over. Your boots will not dry out the rest of the trip because it's generally not warm enough. You may be able to dry them some from a fire, but not completely....especially if you are spending long hours on the mountain...see below.
4.5) addition to lightweight rain gear, you'll want a good layering system. I usually do something like a base layer, light long sleeve shirt, light fleece jacket, and a medium weight jacket that is windproof, with a hood. Sometime I'll throw in a down vest. If it's super cold, I wear it all while I'm glassing. If it's warmer, I usually where some combination of those. In a single day you might start off wearing it all when it's 0 degrees in the morning, to just a long sleeve shirt in the middle of the day when it's 50, and back to everything in evening. Wind is huge in Idaho! It's seldom never blowing. It's the one thing you can usually count on. Make sure to have a windstopper layer!
5) Be the first one on the ridge in the morning, well before shooting light, and the last one off the ridge. The animals are so pressured that those are your best chances. Plus, you need to beat the other dozen people to your spot, and be willing to stay out longer than them. (Of course, no shooting after legal hours)
6) People saying it's rough country....not really by Idaho standards. I guess by flatlander standards. Central Idaho and the hells canyon units...those will make you cry, tuck tail, and never return.
7) If you see the grass of an entire mountain top mowed down like a huge herd of deer or elk had been living there for weeks, and you think that's deer poop scattered all over the was just the local sheep herds from earlier in the year. (My fellow locals are laughing at this one) The sheep are pulled out by the hunting season, but you can definitely tell where they have been.
8) Plan to go a few days without seeing any elk. Or you could get lucky and see some every other. Either way, just realize you may not see elk for long stretches. Again that's because of the high pressure.

You may be thinking that I'm just a local who is trying to push you away. I'm not. Just giving you the dead honest truth. Anyone who knows that unit will confirm everything that I said. Have I been successful? Yes on elk. But not on deer in the last three years. For elk, you have to really know what you are doing and learn the patterns of the local elk herds. Or you just get lucky. And sometimes that's all it takes.

In the end, if you are looking just to get out in the wild, visit somewhere you've never been, have a chance to hunt elk, and can have fun whether you are successful or you eat your tag (see success rates posted online...not that good) then that is all that matters.

Just one thing....if you happen to shoot a Boomer buck....I don't even want to see it. 😅 Count your lucky stars and realize you will be one of the few.
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I dont mean any offence to ones who use bear spray I just cant wrap my head around trusting it and if I am not comfortable with it then I dont see useing it. I expected to see people on the trail hunting a WMA We do plan on doing some site seeing why we are out that way.
10mm xdm semi automatic 17 rounds will be better than pepper spray
Bear spray is a deterrent. According to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, no deterrent, including bear spray, is 100 percent effective. Whether a black bear or a grizzly, bear spray gives you and the bear a chance to survive.

Does Bear Spray really work

Vid -

Too each his/her own decision.
Not arguing it is a deterrent. I wouldn’t put my life in the hands of bear spray. Lots of friends and family from Alaska and eastern Idaho that have bear spray but carry a large pistol as the primary. Do what you want, but I will have a firearm for my primary defense
Not arguing it is a deterrent. I wouldn’t put my life in the hands of bear spray. Lots of friends and family from Alaska and eastern Idaho that have bear spray but carry a large pistol as the primary. Do what you want, but I will have a firearm for my primary defense

I also carry a firearm (handgun) (see above) but don't rely on it as my only means of defense.

To each his/her own.