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Author Topic: Frank Church  (Read 3476 times)

Offline 10thmountainarcher

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Frank Church
« on: July 26, 2021, 04:18:31 PM »
A couple buddies and I are wanting to plan a combo elk/mule deer hunt in the Frank Church. We plan on using an outfitter, so I’m wondering if anyone has one they recommend. We aren’t slouches when it comes to physical fitness and are looking for a good hard back country hunt. Thanks in advance.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2021, 04:38:47 PM »
We did a drop camp with wild Idaho outfitters a few years back and killed one bull and one buck. The buck in my avatar was killed there
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Offline bugs n bones

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2021, 08:22:19 PM »
Travis bullock mile high outfitters

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2021, 08:31:57 PM »
Ugh. If you’re paying for a hunt, the Church and Selway Bitteroot is the last place you should consider, seriously.
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Offline 10thmountainarcher

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2021, 08:43:22 PM »
If anyone has a better suggestion on where to go for a solid combo hunt, I am all ears. We are just starting to plan, the only requirement is it be a back country hunt.

Offline lewy

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2021, 10:53:30 PM »
Ugh. If you’re paying for a hunt, the Church and Selway Bitteroot is the last place you should consider, seriously.

 :yeah:

Beautiful rugged country but elk numbers are low now days, we seen more wolves than elk on a recent trip into the frank
Go hawks

Offline 10thmountainarcher

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2021, 11:31:27 PM »
What about the Bob?

Offline X-Force

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2021, 07:16:43 AM »
Don’t get disheartened by low elk numbers. Good guides will still get you into bulls. Do the dream hunt and enjoy the country!
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Offline buckfvr

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2021, 07:59:03 AM »
Ive heard it referred to  as "the big empty".

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2021, 08:25:53 AM »
Well someone is killing 205 bulls last year. If it’s a area you wanna hunt for the experience of hunting the frank church then do the research on outfitters and do it. Those harvest stats are skewed to the outfitters as they are far more successful versus than diy guys and lotta guys hunt those units cause it’s the “ church” and get in way over their head. Some of those harvest stats are better than WA! Some make it out to be completely void of elk. Hell I’d rather be there than hunting some BS spike unit in WA or any general unit in WA.

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2021, 08:32:34 AM »
I was in there last year and I couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a bull. By no means were they everywhere but pretty much every big drainage had a bull or two bugling in the bottom of it towards dark. Any reputable outfitter is gonna be able to plop some hard chargers on some bulls. I'd be more concerned with the lack of quality bulls than I would be of filling a tag on a legal bull. Im so desperate for tags this year I picked up a returned B tag so I'll be back in there this September again but for stupid elk and no deer tag  :'(
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Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2021, 09:25:34 AM »
I've self guided in the church a bunch...

It's not lacking animals...but the only thing I would pay for in there is a plane ride... outfitters I've crossed paths with where less than welcoming. So I have no recommendations on guides...

Tags are harder to come by now with the reduced deer permits. Try for a couple deer tags ..get an elk tag, maybe two...not everyone needs one..give it a whirl self guided..

If I was paying for a hunt I would lean towards Wyoming.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2021, 11:55:52 AM »
Some interesting history.

Frank Church was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. After high school, he entered Stanford law school, but he soon enlisted in the service. After his military service during World War II, he returned to Stanford. He married Bethine Clark in 1947 and that fall he started law school at Harvard, but he transferred back to Stanford where he received his law degree in 1950 despite his bout with cancer. The Churches returned to Boise where Frank started a private law practice, and he became active politically. He successfully ran for the senate in 1956. During his career as a Senator (1957-1980), Frank Church served on the Foreign Relations Committee, the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, and the Special Committee on Premier Wilderness Champion Aging.

Frank Church had a record as a strong liberal and favored legislation in areas of environmental protection. As floor manager, he played a major role in passage of legislation creating the National Wilderness System in 1964, and in the creation of the River of No Return Wilderness in 1980. 

“Through knowing it (River of No Return Wilderness Bill) jeopardized his re-election (in 1980) Church never wavered in his support for protecting the area” according to Representative John Seiberling (D-Ohio) who at the time chaired the Interior subcommittee on public lands. Seiberling also called Church one of the “premier wilderness champions.” 

In introducing the legislation naming the largest wilderness in the contiguous United States after Frank Church, Senator James McClure (R-Idaho) said, “I recognize that Frank Church performed with sincerity and skill the very difficult task of getting the River of No Return Wilderness, as well as other wilderness legislation passed through Congress.” 

President Reagan signed the legislation in March 1984. In a statement released shortly after, Frank Church said, “In signing the act adding my name to the River of No Return Wilderness, President Reagan does me and my family a great honor. Honored, as I am, the real meaning for me today is to reaffirm our magnificent heritage in preserving some 2.2 million acres of Idaho wilderness for ourselves, and our children, and our children’s children. For this I am eternally grateful…. For the countless thousands who will enter and enjoy the River of No Return Wilderness, it will open their eyes like an Idaho sunrise on a summer morning.”

Frank Church died of cancer April 7, 1984, a few weeks after congress officially changed the name of the Wilderness.
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Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2021, 03:17:01 PM »
Don’t get disheartened by low elk numbers. Good guides will still get you into bulls. Do the dream hunt and enjoy the country!
Yes- go hunting.  The Frank Church is HARD, but there are elk there and a good guide will know how to hunt them.  I have hunted it three times since 2014 and killed a bull each time.  Find a guide with good stock and prepare for a physically demanding hunt. 

Offline Brushbuster

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2021, 04:10:36 PM »
I would check out the Shepp Ranch. It is located on the Salmon in the Gospel Hump. (Next to Frank Church). They take you upstream by jet boat to base camp. Then by horseback up the hills into spike camps, they hunt out of. I would go in November to catch the elk/deer migrating out of the hills to winter on the slopes along the Salmon. My guess is they are spendy but have great accommodations. I have hunted in the general area in the past & done very well. Good luck with whatever you decide.

https://www.sheppranch.com/rates/

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2021, 07:15:37 PM »
You fellas are in denial. This area is one of the two ground zero spots in Idaho for Canadian Wolf introduction. I talked to an old salt in Elk City that was there when the idiots released the first few breeding pairs. He said the hippies (his words, not mine), we’re howling and cheering like they had did something good. Again, yes there are still elk there but a minuscule amount to what they were. The folks in elk city can tell you in graphic detail how the wolves come in, close to town and other calving areas, to kill the calves and recovering cows. It’s no joke. I know my buddy and I saw more wolf sign than elk on our hunt. And yes, we covered some area. Hunt there if you wish, good luck. Beautiful country, some of the best.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 07:23:36 PM by WapitiTalk1 »
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Offline lewy

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2021, 07:38:24 PM »
Exactly. If your gunna pay the money for a guided back country elk hunt do it somewhere with good numbers.
Go hawks

Offline actionshooter

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2021, 08:14:10 PM »
Well someone is killing 205 bulls last year.

I'm not going to try encourage or discourage anyone, but that is 1 bull taken for every 11,750 acres over the course of 2+ months.  I have hunted FC 10 years between 8 and 16 days every trip and love it, and do see bulls but I would go somewhere else if paying a guide. Myself would probably lean toward Bob Marshall but more because I have never been there.
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Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2021, 09:40:55 PM »
You don't go to "Church" to kill a big bull...you go there to attend Church. It is an amazing place, deer numbers are good (not necessarily big bucks), elk numbers are enough to make it worth while but it is the experience that draws me to the Frank...been there 15 times in the last 30 years and can't wait to go back.

Here is a movie made in there last year, a deer hunt, but it gives you an idea of the area and the hunt for a DIY style...


https://www.westernhuntingjournal.com/fng-in-the-frank-church/

Grade
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2021, 06:58:38 AM »
Rory mentioned the wolves... ive been hunting idaho for 20 years, in a lot of different units and though I hear them every few years, ive yet to actually lay my eyes on one, though not for a lack of effort when I hear them.  So last year due to a wyoming elk hunt messing up my general season idaho trip, I opted to hit the church early for deer. Like I said previously I couldn't swing a dead cat around that place without hitting a bull. I saw 15 different bulls in 8 days of hunting. Anyways, deer was a different story. I was 6 days into my hunt and I'd only seen maybe 4 or 5 dinker bucks and a couple doe's. Evening of day 6 I finally got glass on a shooter and he was big big big. Day 7 I couldn't turn him up. Morning of day 8 found me glassing from a different angle and sure enough there he was. I probably could have killed him from where I was but i needed to cover about 600 yards to put me in a slam dunk solid shooting position. So i drop out of sight and beat feet to a small knoll I was gonna kill him from. Get to the knoll, drop pack, catch my breath, deploy the bipod, and slither up to the edge. As im scooting the gun into its final position a doe damn near runs me over. Then another. There's deer scattering in all directions. Then out ahead of me I see a massive set of antlers screaming across the hillside heading for a big deep canyon and he has two wolves hot on his tail! They were out of sight in a flash. I wanted to cry!

Few minutes go by and out of the bottom come the howls.  So I howl back. Then they howl back. I respond again, then silence again. Ive hunted enough canines to know I should be somewhat ready though I'm thinking no way they are coming up here. Well all be damned if they didn't.  Unfortunately the timber below was thick and the thermals screwed me and away they went. I got a crack at them as they blew out across the open on the other side but it was a hail Mary at best.

Ive always wanted to see a wolf and even more so want to kill one but not at the expense of a buck of that caliber :'( I tracked them into the drainage as best as I could to see if I could either find that buck dead or maybe find him in there resting but no dice. I day drream that he got away sigh
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 10:29:15 AM by Karl Blanchard »
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Offline fbennett12

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2021, 09:48:38 AM »
Bear hunted the church in 19'... My buddy was calling and she came in on a rope at a full sprint.... we hunted for 10 days and saw lots of elk a few bears and this one lone wolf. Double D Ranch has a nice set up and does spike hunts if that is your thing. We packed in and were DIY... great to never see another sole for miles in god's country!

Offline Bob33

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2021, 12:06:08 PM »
You don't go to "Church" to kill a big bull...you go there to attend Church. It is an amazing place, deer numbers are good (not necessarily big bucks), elk numbers are enough to make it worth while but it is the experience that draws me to the Frank...been there 15 times in the last 30 years and can't wait to go back.

Here is a movie made in there last year, a deer hunt, but it gives you an idea of the area and the hunt for a DIY style...


https://www.westernhuntingjournal.com/fng-in-the-frank-church/

Grade
I watched the entire video; it was awesome. Thanks for sharing that.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline jstone

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2021, 01:49:38 PM »
Great Video

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2021, 04:15:23 PM »
I'm trying to figure out why Karl is packing dead cats into that country...I can barley get my camp in under weight.


Also pro tip of the day ..if you fly in make sure your life insurance is current...for some reason that's the only place that's tried to kill me on multiple occasions flying in ...weird, I know.  :chuckle:

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2021, 05:49:34 PM »
Cool video 👍 I will be in there this year

Offline grade-creek-rd

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2021, 09:32:09 PM »
The best part of that video is the last 30 seconds...the very last 30 seconds...after the credits. A short blooper reel, and it's a good laugh if you have ever tried to film a hunt!

I am missing out on the Frank this year, heading to a whitetail unit for my deer tag and a cow tag for a high desert area, plus tagging along for a backcountry elk hunt (just packing for a buddy...but taking a 6.5 Needmoor for wolf), then off to Montana and some Washington hunts...ironically, with all of those hunts planned, I would trade them all for a late season NR draw deer tag and an elk tag for the Frank. I will be back next year!

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PS. sorry to hijack the thread, but I think the consensus is to go hunt it, a bull is a bonus.
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2021, 09:44:44 PM »
You fellas are in denial. This area is one of the two ground zero spots in Idaho for Canadian Wolf introduction. I talked to an old salt in Elk City that was there when the idiots released the first few breeding pairs. He said the hippies (his words, not mine), we’re howling and cheering like they had did something good. Again, yes there are still elk there but a minuscule amount to what they were. The folks in elk city can tell you in graphic detail how the wolves come in, close to town and other calving areas, to kill the calves and recovering cows. It’s no joke. I know my buddy and I saw more wolf sign than elk on our hunt. And yes, we covered some area. Hunt there if you wish, good luck. Beautiful country, some of the best.
 

 :yeah: I haven’t been in there for a while but we took our own horses into 17 and the rancher down in the bottom showed us cages where they kept the wolves before release. It was truly ground zero and there was very few elk. I’m going this year but more deer hunt we will probably have 1 elk tag out of 3 hunters. It’s so huge I’m sure there is some good elk areas in there. I would agree that to pay a guide I would do Wyoming wilderness hunt. It’s awesome place though

Offline highcountry_hunter

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Re: Frank Church
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2021, 05:30:35 PM »
Dude, if you’ve got your mind made up on the Frank then I would absolutely go for it. You truly won’t find another experience like it. Before me and my buddy went in 2019 we heard all the stories about his the elk and deer numbers are dwindling but we still went and there’s still game in there. Probably not as plentiful as it was in 1995 but you can find them.

We took our own ponies in but met a few outfitters in town and in the wilderness. From our experience I would recommend Mile high and elk springs. They both seemed very knowledgeable, experienced, and had the drive the put their clients on animals.

 


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