6 replies [Last post]
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Joined: 02/26/2006
Posts: 3
First Hunt in Idaho

My brother and I are planning a trip to central Idaho this fall. We are thinking of going for opening week of mule deer(gun). We are primarily whitetail bowhunters. I'm going to use a 30-06. My brother has a 7mm. We're going with our Uncle who lives out there. What kind of hunting tactics would you guys suggest? Is it a good time to go? Should I look into also getting an elk tag? What yardages are normal? Load size? I don't need to shoot something to have a enjoyable hunt, but would like to give us the opportunity to harvest an animal.

thanks

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
First Hunt in Idaho

I would think your Uncle would be the best source of information for the area you will be hunting in.
I would bring a good set of binoculars and be prepared to "glass 'em up". Use a pattern when glassing as opposed to just looking at spots all over the place.
I use a 165gr Nosler for Deer, and move up to a 180gr for Elk out of my 30-06.
Why don't you try and look up the Game and Fish Dept. on the web for the state and see what you need to know as far as permits etc.
Good Luck.

I almost forgot to welcome you aboard! Thumbs up

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Joined: 02/26/2006
Posts: 3
First Hunt in Idaho

thanks for the input. I did already check out the fish and game web site for permits, licenses, etc. you were also right about my uncle. he is a great source of info. i thought i would hear what youguys had to say. when it comes to hunting, i'm always willing to try and learn something new.

thanks again.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 02/28/2006
Posts: 162
First Hunt in Idaho

Hunting mulies in Idaho can be fairly difficult. Average success rate statewide is around 15-20%. It's not quite like hunting white tails from a stand. They generally inhabit much bigger areas and move more. If the unit you hunt is heavily hunted, get off the roads and get high. Big bucks will only move at night when the pressure gets heavy so you'll have to beat the brush. Look for cliffs with pockets of brush under them. They like to bed under cliffs.Take turns brushing for each other if you can't glass one in his bed. The cover here is very heavy where they bed. Shots in Idaho can get as far as you can shoot comfortably and big mulies will often run till they're out of range so count on running shots. As for elk, our hunts are divided into different hunt areas and they all have different seasons. You need to find out exactly which unit you'll be in to see if a rifle season is open at the same time. Many of our units are draw only and non-res. tags for elk are pricy. Hit the Idaho fish and game website to find seasons, they'll put them out in May. You might consider a trip out and peg a few rockchucks while you look around at your area. Have fun in Idaho. It's the most beautiful state around.
Hank in Idaho

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Joined: 02/26/2006
Posts: 3
First Hunt in Idaho

thanks hank. i appreciate the advice.

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Joined: 01/10/2003
Posts: 274
First Hunt in Idaho

What units will you be hunting? I live in southern Idaho and have had great success for them.
They are a blast to hunt.
Good luck

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
First Hunt in Idaho

Idaho Big Game regs are up now online: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/rules/bg/ though I think there may be some typos.

Mule deer are fabulous animals. In the fall they are more gray than the whitetail deer, and are distinguished by white rump patch with small black tail - visible at large distances. Use your optics. They inhabit large spaces and are confortable in open terrain. They can amazingly `vanish' in open terrain. They can also amazingly `appear' in terrain that you would swear wouldn't hold deer.

They may or may not spook if they see you (depending on hunting pressure) - but they will assuredly spook if they smell you.

A lot of Idaho is anything but flat.

Tactics: I like open terrain and get where I can watch at first light ... see where they are going and intercept or stalk for a shot. Once they stop moving - it is more difficult (if you don't know where they are) because they will rest or linger in places where you become real obvious on your approach. If you are below them they will see you ... if you are above them you will probably be making lots of noise.

The 30-06 is a good round for mule deer. On `paper' I like the 165 grain bullet - but when it comes down to killing - the 180 grain seems to do a better job. The 180 grain would be adequate for elk also.

What unit(s) are you considering?

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