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DIY Idaho Elk Hunt 2010

Old 02-08-2010, 11:33 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Posts: 8
Default DIY Idaho Elk Hunt 2010

I recently moved to the state (from ND where I bowhunted whitetails) and I'm trying to get a DIY archery elk hunt planned for this fall. I've never hunted elk before and I'm pretty fired up. I'm hoping some of you with experience in Idaho, or elk in general, can lend a hand.

Location:
I think I've narrowed down to a couple areas. I'm hoping to do a backpack hunt in order to get away from most hunters, but travel distance is also a consideration. I'm trying to decide between middle Idaho (Frank Church wilderness) or Island Park Zone in the east. Harvest percentages look good, as well as percentage of bulls over 6points (any elk would do me just fine, though) but what the statistics can't tell me is what it's actually like to hunt there. I plan on calling the regional biologists but does anyone have experience they can share?

As an aside, am I reading the regs wrong or is there no archery only hunt in the Frank Church?

Methods:
I'm reading/watching as much as I can about archery elk hunting. Practicing my calls and whatnot. My question is: Are these methods still valid in Idaho? I've heard people saying that because of wolf populations that elk are staying quiet. Is my dream of calling in a bull unlikely of coming true or are people looking for excuses?

Thanks for your help.

IFH
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:02 PM
  #2  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I have family and friends in idaho. they along with lots of other folks have said that the Frank Church area is riddled with wolves..
i could e wrong, but im pretty confident of my sources.
maybe someone else has a better idea on it though.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:05 PM
  #3  
Spike
 
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I shared my experience with you but you chose to ignore it. Good luck finding a wolf-free spot with no hunters in Island Park.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:17 PM
  #4  
Spike
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Originally Posted by bullelk1 View Post
I shared my experience with you but you chose to ignore it. Good luck finding a wolf-free spot with no hunters in Island Park.
I'm certainly not ignoring your advice, I thank you for your input but I'm looking for as much information as I can get. I apologize if I somehow made you feel slighted...

So, sounds like Idaho hunts are going to be tough due to wolf populations? Is it so bad that I should look into another state? Seems a shame to leave when my backyard holds so much potential.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:44 AM
  #5  
Spike
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I don't feel slighted. I just rarely throw out much information on these forums. You seemed like you sincerely wanted to learn so I was merely trying to help.

Wolves are a problem, and it is getting worse. I still hunt Idaho because I am a resident and have learned enough country that I can generally find some game if I put in the work and time. I suggest you get out this spring and cover as many places as you can. Where you find elk in June may not be where they are in September, but you can at least see what the country has to offer before making up your mind. Plus, hiking in the summer will get you in shape for fall.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:09 AM
  #6  
Spike
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Thanks for the help. I'm limited to Idaho because I'm a resident and don't have the $$ for an out of state hunt. I'll take your advice and get some scouting trips in mid&late summer to see if I can't find any.

Here are the stats from 2008 (2009 aren't out yet):
Code:
Year	Hunt Dates	Weapon		Unit	Hunters*	Harvest	Success	Days	Antlered	Antlerless	%Spike	%6+Pts
2008	9/15-9/30	Any Weapon	17	726		118	16.00%	5356		118		0	1	48
2008	9/15-9/30	Any Weapon	27	1133		163	14.00%	7158		135		28	0	27
2008	9/15-9/30	Any Weapon	20A	534		126	24.00%	3078		116		10	9	58
2008	9/15-9/30	Any Weapon	26	358		43	12.00%	2061		39		4	5	49
											
2008	8/30-9/30	Archery		67	89		6	7.00%	616		6		0	17	50
2008	8/30-9/30	Archery		60	248		50	20.00%	2311		31		19	3	46
2008	8/30-9/30	Archery		60A	145		33	23.00%	1044		26		7	4	81
2008	8/30-9/30	Archery		61	551		60	11.00%	4514		45		13	11	49
2008	8/30-9/30	Archery		62A	125		8	6.00%	1032		4		4	0	0
There didn't appear to be an archery only season for the zones listed above as "any weapon" (unless I'm reading the regs wrong). I'm a young-ish guy and hoping to backpack in to get away from the bulk of hunters. But it sounds like I'll have trouble getting away from folks in Island park zones (61 is the main one I'm looking at). So perhaps 27 in the frank church is better suited for getting into less pressured elk that will respond to calls?

I'll have to call the regional biologists a couple times throughout the year and see if they have information on herd strength and wolf problems. I'm not expecting to completely avoid wolf areas, obviously difficult in Idaho, but I'm just wondering if the wolves make elk hunting strategy different than I'm reading most people advocate currently. I.e. does it make calling ineffective and you're resorted to glassing & spot/stalk exclusively?
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:17 AM
  #7  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I hunted unit 10 (archery) in 2007 and was into elk everyday. There are wolves up there but you'll find elk if you work hard enough.

The bitterroots are a brutal mountain range so be prepared physically if you go.

Good luck. Elk are fun to hunt...until you get one on the ground and have to pack it out alone!!
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:30 AM
  #8  
Spike
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Originally Posted by RaghornHS View Post
I hunted unit 10 (archery) in 2007 and was into elk everyday. There are wolves up there but you'll find elk if you work hard enough.

The bitterroots are a brutal mountain range so be prepared physically if you go.

Good luck. Elk are fun to hunt...until you get one on the ground and have to pack it out alone!!
Ha! My brother is talking about coming out so at least we'll be miserable packing out meat together. A very welcomed misery it would be though.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:39 AM
  #9  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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One other thought...I hunted deer in the pioneer zone in 2008 and saw a bunch of elk there too. There is an either sex archery season for that unit.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:41 AM
  #10  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I have hunted for quite some time in northern idaho panhandle. The elk are still very stimulated to calls. Cow calls have always been the best for me. Occasional bugle will fire up a bull. I would suggest keep practicing calling. I have not hunted down in the area your looking, so no real help there. Good luck.
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