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.

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. Where you floundered in deep powder in early winter, you can now skip along the crust, a full 3 feet above obstacles that would slow you down in the fall. Once deep snow has crusted-up it’s go-time for productive winter adventures.

Late-winter conditions also make it advantageous for hunting predators, such as wolf, for by now food sources have dwindled and hunger has set in. Predators are forced to search far and wide for game, and take risks they would otherwise hesitate to do, like running to a game call in broad daylight. Or, on the other extreme, deep snow has confined game herds, offering predators an easy meal, though they too are concentrated to a relatively small area now, so look no farther.

Scouting new country for future hunts is phenomenal in late winter, as you can travel with ease over the crusted snow and clearly see the lay-of-the-land. Deciduous trees and shrubs have dropped their leaves, and snow has covered brush and smoothed out irregularities in the terrain, which collectively enhance the earth’s contours. You’ll find that in many places it is now easier to define how the land lies than at any other time of year, or at least the blanketed, barren landscape offers you a unique perspective of it. For more on predator hunting see Castle Creek Outfitters' Jan. 31 blog post or Wild Idaho Outfitters’ Feb. 10 blog post. For complete wolf hunting regulations see the Idaho Big Game Seasons & Rules brochure on gray wolf hunting and trapping.

Days are getting longer now—get outside and enjoy!

Joe Cavanaugh

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