October 17, 2019, 12:00:06 PM

Author Topic: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??  (Read 908 times)

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Offline Badger5

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Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« on: April 15, 2019, 08:55:53 AM »
Minnesotan here, and I recently have been bitten by the Elk bug. I have decided to go last 10 days in September on a DIY archery elk hunt. I have done a ton of research on Colorado and Idaho. I understand no matter where I go I will have a great experience (if I am in shape) and a chance at an elk. We plan to be prepared to truck camp, or backpack in and camp if we find elk deeper in the woods. We hope to have a fun wilderness experience, and have a chance at harvesting a legal elk.

Choosing the zone is such a tough decision. Right now I plan to hunt the Panhandle zone in Idaho, specifically unit 6. I know somebody who harvested a bull here 5 years ago, and they gave me a few spots to check out. I understand the panhandle is a jungle, but its nice having information on spots to check out, and the elevation isnt too bad. I do worry the unit could have different elk numbers now than 5 years ago.

Does anybody have any general advice they would like to share on this unit? Not looking for any trailheads or spots, just general advice or thoughts on my unit choice. If you think its a poor unit choice fee free to let me know, I have also looked at the Lemhi Zone, and Units 36b, 67,66 30a, and 50.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 08:06:36 AM by Badger5 »

Offline jstephens61

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 09:04:41 AM »
The Idaho Panhandle is heaven on earth if youre visiting, hell on earth if youre hunting it.
What doesn't kill you, hurts like hell.

Offline Bowhunter1

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 11:43:08 AM »
The Idaho Panhandle is heaven on earth if youre visiting, hell on earth if youre hunting it.

Well put...

Number one thing get in shape! Number 2 now that you think you are in shape Get in shape!

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - but the size of the fight in the dog. "

Offline ribo451

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 11:59:47 AM »
And remember to buy a wolf tag. Or five.

Offline Badger5

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 08:04:12 AM »
I was hoping for some encouragement, but I appreciate the honesty! If any of you have hunting experience in the area would you mind giving some specific advice or thoughts on terrain, scouting tactics or general info about what type of terrain in this area may hold elk?

Definitely not asking for spots, trailheads, drainages. Feel free to jump in if you feel I may have a better experience in a different area Im looking at.


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Offline MedicineMan15

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 08:36:51 AM »
I was in your same boat last year.  Hunted 10 days in unit 4. Steep and jungle. I was drawn to the burns but didn't see much fresh sign in them for some reason.  We did get into some elk on the north west slopes,  dark timber. My uncle missed a 5pt twice in such a place.

My best opportunity (only opportunity) came in the early morning in the bottom near a river,  200 yards from camp,  50 yards from the road. I smelled them before I saw them.

I know it can vary from unit to unit (even drainage to drainage), but it seemed like they were relatively call shy.  I did get a few responses to location bugles and lip bawl bugles from a distance.

My recommendation for this area (based on very little relative experience) is to be prepared to cover a ton of ground trying to find fresh sign,  then still hunt very slowly through dark timber with fresh sign.

I recommend buying the elk nut app and studying his information,  as well as elk101. But also,  the elk ARE where you FIND them,  which might not be the "logical place".

Put your boots and pack on with some heavy weight, hike up and down and side hills now until season and you'll be ready.

Good luck, PM me for more questions/info.

Ben



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Offline rfra

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 03:13:17 PM »
I've lived and hunted in the panhandle for 10 years.  I typically hunt units 3,4,6.  It's steep, heavy timber and/or thick brush with very limited glassing.  There are elk but they are in small herds.  There are plenty of wolves and plenty of hunter pressure, so elk are not very vocal a lot of the time.  Plan to cover a lot of very difficult miles trying to find elk.  Traveling on foot off trail can be very difficult and slow going.  Expect that you probably wont get eyes on many elk though you should hear some if you spend enough time looking.  If you see them they will probably be close to bow range.


If you're watching hunting shows, the semi-open elk hunts you commonly see (which make great filming) will not be anything like what you'll encounter here.  It's more like the Oregon coast hunts where guys are crawling through brush and shooting elk at 7 yards through a hole.


Honestly, if I were traveling from out of state spending vacation time and a lot of money to experience elk... I'd look for somewhere a bit more open further south in the state so you can at least see them.


Offline lang

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 07:35:40 AM »
And remember to buy a wolf tag. Or five.
NR can use a deer tag on any predator in Idaho.

Offline MedicineMan15

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 10:52:33 AM »
And remember to buy a wolf tag. Or five.
NR can use a deer tag on any predator in Idaho.
That's true,  but wolf tags are so cheap for non-residents, I'd probably just buy the extra tag...

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Offline botwulf

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Re: Idaho Archery DIY - Panhandle??
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 01:21:51 PM »
I am doing the same hunt.  Very excited.  My first elk hunt, and I'm expecting a monster. I wish I knew the area better, but I am studying maps and will bushwack for days to find one.
Good luck.  I also would appreciate any advice!  But not people telling me not to go!  Too late for that!

 

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