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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.

Fine-Tuning Last Year’s Gear List

I imagine most people who prepare for outdoor adventures make a list of gear and clothing to take before they pack, that way they don’t forget any critical items like toilet paper. I make my lists in spiral notebooks, the younger generation probably makes their lists on smartphones. Years ago, I started saving my gear lists to make trip-prep more efficient the next time around.
Cavanaugh hunting in Idaho 2019

Castle Creek Outfitters Welcomes Joe Cavanaugh: Our New Blog Writer

If you hadn’t already noticed, Joe’s been writing our blogs since the January 31st post. Cavanaugh comes to us with a wide range of experience in the outdoors, and he’s also a graduate of Boise State University, with a BA in English/writing. He worked professionally as a copywriter for Bass Pro Shops before joining us, and his book The Jungle Hunter was published by Safari Press in 2000 (now out of print). Cavanaugh started guiding big game hunts in Idaho in 2013, and he will be guiding for Castle Creek Outfitters and Wild Idaho Outfitters this year, full time.

Trail Conditioning: Physical Prep for Big Game Hunting

Spring is here, and it’s time to step out of the gym and walk trails that match real-world hunting conditions. Or better yet, walk off-trail. Exercising on a treadmill or elliptical offers an effective method of strengthening leg muscles and enhancing cardio endurance, though these machines will never replicate the walking conditions you’ll encounter in the wilderness.
Image of IDFG Drawing Odds on IDFG.Idaho.gov

Analyzing Controlled-Hunt Statistics: Priorities First

We’re well into controlled-hunt application season throughout most of the West. If you’re not already analyzing harvest statistics, draw odds, and overall scores and ratings on specific game units and seasons, you still have time to start. Facets that figure into the equation of best-choice-in-tags to apply for include: potential trophy quality; past success rates; hunting pressure; difficulty of terrain; accessibility of accommodations; and of course—draw odds.

Phase 2 in Planning Your 2020 Hunts

Dates to keep in mind this month while planning your 2020 hunts are March 5th, the controlled-hunt application deadline for all species in Utah; and April 1st, the controlled-hunt application deadline for elk and deer tags in Montana. Utah offers some outstanding tags as far as trophy and overall quality are concerned.

Snowshoes for Late Winter Adventures

For those of you who are itching to get outside and do some predator hunting or general, backcountry reconnaissance—late winter is an advantageous time of year to do so, and snowshoes are the optimum means of travel. By March, deep snow has covered much of the downed timber and brush, and warm afternoons followed by cold nights have formed a hard crust on the snow. That crust is key for traveling in country burdened with deep snow as it can easily support a man on snowshoes, and a loaded toboggan in tow.
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Winter Book Review: Elmer Keith’s Big Game Hunting

Over much of the country we’re in the dead of winter now, with cold winds, deep snow, and bitter people to deal with. Next hunting season feels so far away. I can think of no better approach to stay focused on hunting and cope with nasty winter weather than to find a warm, quiet place and get absorbed in some good hunting literature; and, no other hunting book is more fitting to the Northern Rocky Mountain region than Elmer Keith’s Big Game Hunting.