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Author Topic: Idaho elk season  (Read 2610 times)

Offline huntnnw

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Idaho elk season
« on: October 18, 2020, 11:51:13 PM »
 The wife and I bought some general Idaho elk tags this year and headed into the area she got a bull last year with very high expectations and quite abit more scouting and preparation this past summer and fall. Not being able to access area till mid to late July makes for a short scouting time. Hanging cams this summer was productive with the 2 areas as we got thousands of pics of elk and the dreadful wolf showed up way more than I liked. I had wolves showing up almost daily with 7 puppies and almost all daylight photos. What surprised me was you hear how if wolves move in the elk leave and vacate area, this was not true at least in this spot. I had daily elk and wolves at same cam hours apart for 3 months. Last trip in was Sept 26th to get our spike camp ready and check a cam. While I was preparing our spot I heard what sounded like dogs barking, it was that pack of wolves across the way! I moved down and set up and waited 3 hours and heard or seen nothing. I wasn't staying in there and needed to get out as rain was coming and I was already wet. I packed up and headed over ridge and heard a wolf howl and I knew immediately where it was and I could shoot across. I pull up binos and spot a big white wolf at 481 yards, but couldn't shoot from where I was standing. There was some rocks 10 yards in front of me and I could shoot from there. I get rifle out and look for wolf and its no where to be found! It howled again and I could never turn it up I was bummed I was so close to getting a wolf, but also was excited that we were probably going to have an opportunity come elk season with the frequency they were there.

 Fast forward to Oct 8 its the day we head to camp with 9 days to spend in the mountains. This season we have 2 pack goats that can pack some weight, so they are going with on their first hunt. Day 1 has us loading gear and double checking we have everything. Adding goats has added a whole list of other things to pack. We hit the road mid day with sunny 80 deg weather and the plan is to get basecamp set up then next morning take our time packing and hit the trail and get to our spike camp and glass some.

 Day 2 is here and its beautiful outside as I make breakfast and sit around the campfire going thru my mind what all we need and double checking gear. We hit the trail at 11am and made it to camp at 2pm. While on the hike in I noticed we had only saw 1 elk track for miles and never saw a rub or smelled elk I was getting a little worried, but knew that the elk didn't frequent much of the area on the trail we were on. Once we left the trail and went over the ridge to camp I started seeing elk tracks and they were headed to where we were going to camp! I get to our camp and the area I dug up for our tent was turned into a spot for elk to wallow :chuckle: . I was now super excited to check the trail cam below, so after setting up the tent I headed down and checked the cam and get water pumped. After getting water I looked at pics and was surprised that 5 different bulls had been there in last 2 weeks and 0 wolves which was good for elk hunting. We knew that Saturday weather was in for a big change as I sat there sweating in a T shirt . We got our tarps up for the goats and one for our tent as we knew it would be wet. That evening we glassed a hill by camp and turned up 15 muleys, 6 were bucks and no elk. Headed back to camp and had some Peak refuel meals and hit the sack with anticipation and worry of what might be the morning if it was going to be fogged in and raining.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 12:10:03 AM by huntnnw »

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 01:15:18 AM »
 Day 3 is here and I slept terribly and was waiting for the rain that was suppose to come, but its opening day. I climb out of tent to see the hint of light in sky and notice the sun is going to come out and its way warmer then I was expecting. We get packs ready and make a plan for what we are going to do this morning. The plan was to call from camp and see if we get a response. I bugle twice and there is silence, wait around for 10 min and nothing. We decide we will walk the 350 yards from camp over a small ridge and glass the other side as the elk seem to like this one particular hill side. With goats in tow as we crest the timbered ridge and walk thru timber to tree line I pop out around a tree to see what looks like elk just standing out in the open feeding...no way is this elk just standing here 20 min into the season. Bring up the binos and its the 6x6 from my camera and 2 cows and all looking the other way. I range them at 263 yards, but no way to rest rifle, So I crawled 10 yards to a rock and put the crosshairs on him and squeeze the trigger and all I see is hoofs in the air and out of sight! We sit there for 30 min to give him time and make sure hes down all the while the cows never once looked our way then went back to feeding and fed over hill. We make our way over there and he had dropped and slid into some trees which stopped him from tumbling 200-300 yards. We took photos and admired the old bull and began to quarter and debone the bull. Im now in a tshirt wondering  if this rain and cold is coming, so I get out the Inreach and I message (Bullblaster) if he could look at radar and see whats going on, he messages back saying theres a wall of rain headed towards us. About a hour after that message we felt our first rain drop and could feel the cold wind. We hiked back to our spike camp and dumped off what we didnt need and got the goats panniers and headed back to meat to get a load out. Arriving at meat its a sheer down pour and cold now with temps near 38-40 deg. In full rain gear we haul out first load to truck and arrive at 5:30 pm soaked and exhausted. All I could think about was the tent and wood stove. Get stuff put away and get in tent and notice the seams had leaked and water ran in getting our sleeping pad wet! I had the wood stove cranked for the next 4 hours trying to dry stuff out and be ready for another day of hauling meat.

 Day 4 and another night of terrible sleep interrupted by the non stop rain then I heard what sounded like ice hitting tent off and on. As its getting light out I see some weird shadows on tent and I press on them its heavy and cold! its snow! I open door and theres 4" of snow and still snowing! ugh! I now have serious concern about how much snow is coming and getting truck and goat trailer out of there. Message Bullblaster and he said theres a potential for 4-8" that night! We get geared up and hike back up to meat and come out with last load arriving at truck at 6pm, my pack weighed 122 lbs probably the worst pack out I have ever had in wet melting snow, slipping and falling with that amount of weight was painful.We decided we need to get the trailer out of there, so we loaded up goats and hit the road. Chained up all 4 tires and drove 30 miles with them on. We arrived at home at 1:30 am completely spent.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 01:23:30 AM by huntnnw »

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 01:40:09 AM »
Day 5 and 6 were spent at home due to the weather knowing we would only be sitting at base-camp. One of the days there was a high-wind watch forecasted and I knew I did not want to be in that area during that. With time at home I started cutting up elk and getting it in the freezer and I took head to taxidermist to have a euro done. I had noticed in the field that the bulls teeth were extremely worn.The taxi was removing the ivories and said in all the years hes removed ivories he had never seen any wore down like this.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2020, 02:17:32 AM »
 Day 7 and we are up early and headed back to elk camp minus the trailer and goats and try and get my wife a bull. The last 20 miles is a rough 1 lane road, we are about 5 miles up this road and theres a down tree and 0 tire tracks on road I looked wife and said this isn't good sign. I chained up truck at first tree and proceeded up the road. I cut 17 trees out of the road and we weren't even halfway back to camp! Snow was getting deeper and I knew the bad section road may not be doable as we approached it I made it up first switchback then the second and truck started losing traction and hoping. We called it here and decided that risking our lives or losing truck wasn't worth it. We turned around and drove home after 14 hours in the truck we arrived at home at 10:00 pm.

 Day 6 was trying to get caught up on sleep and formulating a plan to get our basecamp and our spike camp out of the mountains. I called my brother and borrowed one of his quads.

 Day 8 and 9 We left the house at 4 am hoping some snow had melted and that someone else had drove road and cleared some trees. We made it to the bad section in road and the plan was to unload the quad here and ride the hour to base camp. Went pretty smooth for 5 miles until we got to our first of 7 down trees and nobody had been on this section of road. We finally made it to camp at 11am and the tent was down, but fortunately nothing broke. Next was to now hike 7 miles round trip in 12" of snow to our spike camp and get all our gear. Arrived at that camp at 3:00 pm to see 1 of 2 poles standing. Once again nothing broke. Got all loaded up and made our way down mountain in another rain dumping and arriving back at basecamp at 6:00 pm. Loaded the racks on quad with gear and we had a sled on back to put stuff in to get out. We got to the truck at 8:15 pm soaked,cold and hungry and still had to drive 2 more hours on ATV to make another trip. Started truck to warm up and cooked up some dehydrated meals. I got bundled up and left wife in truck and hauled the rest of camp back getting back at 11:30 pm. Then it was the drive home and got home at 6:00 am.

 Friday we leave again for 8 days to try and get wife a bull, will be hunting all new area now due to snow.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 02:25:08 AM by huntnnw »

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 03:29:28 AM »
Epic adventure. Congrats on a dandy bull!! Glad you were able to retrieve all your gear intact.

Online elkboy

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020, 07:06:10 AM »
Epic adventure. Congrats on a dandy bull!! Glad you were able to retrieve all your gear intact.

Totally agree.  What an incredible hunt!  Congratulations, and thank you for sharing the writeup and photos!

Offline SeatoSummit88

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 10:28:42 AM »
RAD! Way to get it done! Best of luck to filling your wife's tag!
If I'm not selling, I should be hunting, If I'm not hunting, I should quit!

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2020, 10:47:28 AM »
Very nice!

Every time you post pics, I can't help but think about Duff Goldman. You guys could be brothers!

https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/shows/2016/10/duff-goldman-on-becoming-a-baker
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline JakeLand

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2020, 04:41:11 AM »
Great adventure!! Itís funny how some of the most miserable moments in a adventure are the ones you remember the clearest and longest ! Thanks for taking the time to take us through the whole hunt
Congrats

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2020, 05:00:30 AM »
Very nice!

Every time you post pics, I can't help but think about Duff Goldman. You guys could be brothers!

https://www.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/shows/2016/10/duff-goldman-on-becoming-a-baker

haha!

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2020, 05:02:55 AM »
Great adventure!! Itís funny how some of the most miserable moments in a adventure are the ones you remember the clearest and longest ! Thanks for taking the time to take us through the whole hunt
Congrats

wont ever forget that hell. Hunt was so short, that the rest of week overshadowed it all and took away from what was going to be a great week. I was fully confident my wife was shooting a bull as soon as we got it out.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2020, 07:24:47 AM »
Great bull Shane! 
It is foolish and wrong to mourn these men.  Rather, we should thank god that such men lived.  -General George S. Patton

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Online birddogdad

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2020, 07:30:40 AM »
awesome season story!
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Offline HikerHunter

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2020, 08:28:27 AM »
Great bull and wild story, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Idaho elk season
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2020, 08:55:10 AM »
WOW - both your hunt and your adventures post-hunt are incredible.  Good job man

 


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