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Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear Blog

Here you will find information about our Idaho Elk, Mule Deer and Black Bear hunts. We will also blog about our area, as special offers, issues that affect us or are important to us.


Camden Powell
Camden Powell

My journey to become a part of Castle Creek started back in high school when I started shoeing horses with Caleb Bergeleen all over Texas. By the time Caleb and I started shoeing together, he and George had already been working together for almost 10 years, so it was only a matter of time until I met George.

When I first met George he offered me a job as camp jack in the Bookcliff mountains in Utah- I couldn't say yes fast enough and I’ve been hooked ever since. I woke up to that first mountain sunrise with a full day of wilderness to explore. Back then, I had no experience and absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I had to go.

There's just something about the pull of the mountains that I could feel all the way from Texas... If you're reading this, I'm guessing that's a feeling you understand as well.

That was how it all started for me; I was still in my senior year of high school, and the only thing that I knew was that I was jumping into the unknown. I was expecting excitement, I was expecting to be the rush of living in the wilderness, and I may have been expecting a few stories to rival those of Teddy Roosevelt himself

CCO-Bear-Hunter-and-Guide

Castle Creek Outfitters' First Spring Black Bear Hunt of 2018

This last week (May 13 - 18) was quite a milestone for us here at Castle Creek Outfitters. It was our first hunt since George, Caleb, and myself bought the business! So naturally we decided to send our undisputed best, most capable, freakishly talented, and unbelievably humble guide in to handle this grand first step. I was honored. 

The week started like all others: at The Bent Rod. It's where we grab all of our last second gear and meet the hunters we will be spending the week with. From there it's a short 2-hour drive to the trail head. Then we hop in the 5-ton truck to make it across the river and head into camp. For the next 5 days, it's all bear bait, horses, and beautiful Idaho mountains.

As some of you know, bear hunting over a bait can often involve a lot of sitting around and not a lot of getting bear opportunities, so it takes a level of discipline and patience to make a hunt fun and successful. The hunter had that in abundance. After sitting on bear baits for 4 days without so much as an oversized opossum to get our hearts racing, I never even heard a negative word from him. That's what a truly experienced hunter looks like. It was a wonderful attitude that lent itself to success when finally, on the 4th day, we had a hit on the game camera. It was a massive, beautiful, color phase black bear. And boy was he a looker; a big jug-headed, 6-foot boar! Now we had something to be excited about! But with only one day left, a lot rode on this last hunt. We decided to head out at 1 p.m. with nothing to lose, but a deep-seated, somewhat unjustified, belief that this was going to come together. 

First thing we did, when we made it to the bait, was to do our best to throw some scent around like confetti. We figured a few pounds of chocolate coffee creamer, 3 scent sticks, and a great deal of cherry sugar would do the trick. Well sure enough our sent stick sacrifice paid off. Just before 6 p.m. a brown blob started sliding across the sage. The hunter knew what to do. With a perfect shot, he took out both the lungs and sure enough, we found the bear less than 80 yards from the bait. Bear down! I couldn't have planned it better if I was the one making the rules.

The only thing better than getting a big bear is getting to earn him. There's no handouts in this country, and things don't always come together, but when they do it's a thing of beauty. I don’t know if there really is such a thing as a perfect hunt, not in my mind at least. But maybe that's part of what makes it so beautiful. You are always getting better and even when everything is done right, it still may not come together. But I believe success without the possibility of failure is a hollow victory. And it's in those moments of doubt that the best hunters stand out, by mindset alone, and cause a subtle change that often dominoes into a very different end-result. It's how some hunters seem to just “get luckier.” If there was a theme for this last week, I think that would be it. The hunt is what you make it, and I can say with great pride, this hunt was a huge success.

“I'm a DIY hunter for the last 25 years and booked my first guided hunt with Castle Creek.  They did a great job having the hunt match what I was looking for and provided access to places I could never reach on my own.  Great horses/mules, scenery was amazing, warm tents and food was great, this hunt was just what I needed and look forward to hunting with them again.”

 

CCO's First ClientMay 2018

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