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Author Topic: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)  (Read 3785 times)

Offline jrebel

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Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:07:32 PM »
If you had your choice and it was going to be a once in a lifetime hunt for a quality bull (hopefully), which would it be?  A decent deer would be nice as well as I would have a deer tag, but elk would be first on the menu. 

These are huge areas so obviously I am not asking for a honey hole.....just looking for people with experience in one or both of the units that could pass on generalized information. 

Thanks

Jrebel

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 01:27:26 PM »
Time of year??. Selway has a lot of wolves, more big timber, and a mix of whitetail/mulies. Salmon has more roads, more open country and mostly mule deer. As for elk I think the Selway may have bigger bulls but I cant comment on the numbers these days. I've spent some time in both. Look back at harvest reports for the last 5 years and see what unit looks promising.

If I had to pick a lifetime bull hunt I think there are better units in the state.

Offline Brushbuster

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2017, 03:07:26 PM »
I think I'd pick Salmon. I've hunted different parts of it over the years & had good luck. I haven't hunted elk for quite awhile but my guess without looking is that harvest numbers are better in the Salmon. There are some big deer also.

As long as you are going to buy a ID hunting license, you should put in for elk & deer permit draws & maybe draw a true hunt of a life time. If you want to spend $2,100 for a moose tag, there are units with fairly good drawing odds.

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 03:55:06 PM »
Are you looking for a OIL hunt? OR OIL bull? Or both?

If looking for OIL hunt either area will do, I would probably give an edge to selway simply for sheer expanse of rugged country and raw adventure. Also truly big bulls exist that could fill the OIL bull as well. BUT they wont be easy to find. I have limited experience there, cuz i like seeing elk  :chuckle: all kidding aside Some of the best elk hunters I know have entered there with great stock and returned beaten and mentally frustrated.

The salmon is not quite as formidable at least in my experience. But not a true OIL bull area IMO.  I hunt the Salmon area myself and have a blast, but do it every year. I have seen some real good bulls but nothing that will compete well in the books and lotsa time invested figuring out areas.

I guess in a nut shell if a OIL adventure was priority number one Selway is where I would go knowing odds are very slim, but there is a possibility for a whopper bull.

If goin on an elk hunt, Salmon would be good. But nothing about it stands out, so to speak.

If having good odds of killing a above average bull is a priorty, I would look at other areas likley in a different state.

Offline jrebel

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 06:52:43 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I guess when I say once in a lifetime....I mean probably won't have the opportunity that has been granted me this year.  I have been invited on a back country horse hunt with an experienced horse hunter.  We will be riding all summer to get my butt in horse shape...LOL  I don't expect this to be a continued offer, though maybe I will be surprised.  Neither of us has hunted these units before.  My partner has hunted others but with marginal success on large bulls.  He is very accomplished but seems most of where he has hunted a 290-320 class bulls.  I personally have never shot a branched antler bull.....so a 300 class sounds just about amazing (maybe once in a lifetime)!!  He was hopeful to find 350 class bulls in one of these areas.  Maybe we should be looking elsewhere so we can meet his goals as well.  We will be putting in for draw units but expect we will be hunting the general season. 

Thanks

jrebel

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 07:06:18 PM »
Ive hunted the Selway since 1989 and never even seen a 350 bull. Just saying.   There are bulls there but if you see a spike shoot it!

Offline meatwhack

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 05:52:55 AM »
I'd say a legitimate 350" class bull is going to be a fairly tall order even in most of the draw areas in Idaho. I'm not saying it's impossible just very few bulls of that caliber.

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 11:24:06 AM »
Selway bulls have short thirds.

Offline theleo

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 11:50:02 AM »
I'd recommend you not put a number goal out there for hunting OTC tags in Idaho when you don't know the country. There's always a chance a giant gives you an opportunity but 300" is a big number for an OTC backcountry bull. If a 5 x 5 or 6 x 6 gives you a broadside shot I'd recommend you take it.

Riding horses all summer is good to gain trust in an animal but don't neglect the other aspects of conditioning. You have to get off of the horse to do the actual hunting part of the trip.

Offline WA hunter14

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2017, 10:08:20 PM »
Both those units are absolutely full of wolves, they are some of the more remote places where wolves have strongholds. Both units have been bent over by wolves. If you see elk period you are doing better then most guys. If you honestly want to see a big bull you would be much better off just about anywhere else. I spend a ton of time in the selway every year, my family has hunted there since the 50's. I have also spent my fair share  of time in salmon country and neither places are hunted successfully by many people. The few people that have hunted there for decades still can kill bulls but they just about kill themselves in the steep nasty country and they do not kill anything near 300 inch bulls. I wish I could recommend a good back country location for your elk hunt but the back country is wolf country .

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2017, 05:34:14 AM »
Finding a 350+ bull even in the best draw units in ID is a tall order!  Having horses may make it easier to pack out your elk , but doesn't mean you will be getting away in ID.. I've hunted units where I counted 27 horse trailers along the fs road and parking lot where i hunted and not 1 single person camped by the road or hunting on foot. It was a ghost town 0-5 mi in...5+ it was a zoo of camps and traffic

Offline jrebel

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2017, 09:58:22 AM »
This is all great information and to be quite honest, I would be happy with a 100" 3x3....it would be my biggest bull.  My hunting partner is pretty accomplished and is looking for the bigger bulls.  We will have a blast regardless....I hope to update this thread with pics come the end of hunting season.   :tup:


Offline CavemantheHunter

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2017, 08:54:07 AM »
jrebel, did you end up hunting the Selway? I had the B Tag but only hunted in November. Saw tons of good mulie bucks and lots of elk, though no good bulls. Ended up taking a 5x4 whitetail and missing a spike elk.

Offline Mr Mykiss

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 05:31:33 PM »
This is all great information and to be quite honest, I would be happy with a 100" 3x3....it would be my biggest bull.  My hunting partner is pretty accomplished and is looking for the bigger bulls.  We will have a blast regardless....I hope to update this thread with pics come the end of hunting season.   :tup:
In that case go to the salmon and shoot a 260, you'll be beside yourself!!
Have you called your district biologist to voice your concerns?
Have you attended a public meeting on season setting?
You are getting exactly what you deserve from WDFW

Offline RB

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Re: Selway or Salmon for ELK (Idaho)
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2017, 06:22:41 PM »
I think I'd pick Salmon. I've hunted different parts of it over the years & had good luck. I haven't hunted elk for quite awhile but my guess without looking is that harvest numbers are better in the Salmon. There are some big deer also.

As long as you are going to buy a ID hunting license, you should put in for elk & deer permit draws & maybe draw a true hunt of a life time. If you want to spend $2,100 for a moose tag, there are units with fairly good drawing odds.

Sorry to thread jack, but Moose is what I am looking at putting in for this year (specifically the Panhandle) is there a better place? a PM will do if not wanting to broadcast. I picked the panhandle due to proximity and know there are Moose there.
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