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Location: NE Pa.
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 13
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

I'm trying to put together a DIY hunt for whitetail in Northern Idaho. I have somewhat narrowed down my hunt areas to units 8a and 10a, Clearwater region, more specifically the area surrounding the Dworshak Reservoir and in unit 6, the St. Joes National forest and the St. Joes River corridor and its drainages, Shoshone Co. I am also looking at Potlatch timber holdings as a possibility in these areas. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated, such as what to expect to see for deer numbers as well as size(B&C). When is best to go, what to expect for weather, what access there is to the areas and what, if any, impact the wolves have had on Whitetail in these areas. I'm not looking for someone to give me GPS cooridinates to their secret "honeyhole", just some sound advice on Whitetail deer hunting in these areas so i can narrow down my hunt planning. I would also like to find a few individuals that I could join or they could join me on a hunt in these areas, with very special consideration for anyone into long range hunting. Also, If anyone has any private property available, I'd be more than willing to pay a tresspass fee to access. I have a newer 4wd crewcab truck, camping equipment, trailer and an ATV. Thank you, in advance, for any help you can provide.

Offline
Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

... what do you mean by `long range hunting'?

There are nice bucks here (N. Idaho) ... the hunters who are serious about big WT bucks don't even think about hunting before Nov. 1 and concentrate on the third week in Nov. - the rut. This is when deer that are only visible for a short period of time in the summer reappear in pursuit of hot does.

You will need the so-called `Whitetail' tag.

Where to hunt? ... I say this in fun - but there is a lot of truth to it ... anywhere.

I hunt for meat so I don't hold out for the big deer - but they are there. Last evening looking for elk I saw 3 marvelous bucks, the last of which was probalby 6 x 6, though probably not BC. Deer like this generally disappear until mid Nov.

Here is my buddy's buck from last year:

Seems my friends who wait until Nov routinely take deer of this size or larger.

http://serioushunter.blogspot.com/2008/10/seans-buck.html

We will probably hunt unit 8.

Jeff

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Location: NE Pa.
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 13
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

By B&C I didn't mean I was looking for a 180" deer. Just wondered what I could expect. I'd be happy with anything over 140". And by long range, I mean anything from 300 to 1500+ yards. Now dont think I go out and just start flinging bullets at animals. Under ideal conditions, I have first round hits on 12" gongs at 1500 yards, consistently. I've been shooting this way for 5 years and do it practically every weekend through out the year. My last rifle I had built is currently my best. A blueprinted Remington 700 action, 32" Mcgowan barrel tapered to .8" with a Defensive Edge brake. The stock is a Bell and Carlson Medalist, black web. Its chambered in .338 Edge loaded with 300 SMK's at 2880 fps. Will be going to 300 gr. Berger VLD's when available. I'm a big fan of their bullets. Its topped with a Nightforce 40 moa base, Warne bases and a Leupold LR8.5-25. This rifle will put 5 rounds in one hole at 100 yards, 1/2". Do you or your friends shoot long distances? Checked out your buddies buck, great deer! I'd love to shoot something like that. Where are you from?

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

Some day I would like to get into long range shooting. Probably most the WT stuff is much closer range, around here. I'll have to check, but I don't think 180" is all that uncommon for a rut deer.

Landowners - they'll either let you hunt, or not. Or public land or one of the timber companies.

I'm here in Moscow.

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Location: NE Pa.
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 13
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

180" not uncommon?!!!!!!!!! I might move out there!! Just kidding. Dying to get out for a hunt, though. Actually, long range hunting is alot of fun and a great way to harvest game undetected. My strategy is to get to a high vantage point on one ridge and glass the adjacent ridge/ridges for game. As long your in range and the wind is calm or at least steady, the shot can be taken from your original position. So you can, basically, cover a whole ridge from one vantage point. With snow on the ground, there cant be too much cover to see game. I hunt this way all the time here in Northeast Pa. To find places to shoot/hunt long range, your in the mountains and deep forests. Not many open meadows or treeless areas, so I have to deal with spotting game in timber. Any other words of advice? How much hunting pressure should I expect? Are atv's legal for transportation off established roads? Just wondering if I spend 3 hours hiking at 3 am, will I be passed by quads at the top of the mountain at 6 am? You didnt mention wolves, not a problem in these areas with WT's?

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

So, yeah, I went down to the local sporting goods store. Each year they have a `big buck' contest, photos on the wall, etc. I count 8 bucks 180 plus, with a couple over 200. (Seems like each year the biggest is taken by a girl or woman - which doesn't suprise me - my teenage daughter has outshot me in the mule deer and whitetail deer categories - in just a few years - while I have hunted all my life.) But, anyway, 180 in. whitetail deer are not uncommon. That doesn't mean it's common to come back with one. You just won't be famous or anything if you do.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
couldn't resist

shooter, I found it ... a video I took a while back of some local deer. The scene opens with a big buck nearly invisible in the background. A tiny one steps out, looks at the big buck, and the proceeds into the open, also looking back a a four point to follow. The four point steps out. The big boy stays nearly invisible the whole time. My daughter later got the 4 point - I think it scored 99.

http://serioushunter.blogspot.com/2009/08/some-local-deer.html

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Location: NE Pa.
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 13
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

So, where is this exactly? Just kidding. Wow, great deer! That 8 point your daughter later shot would be a real monster here in Pa. That larger deer in the backround would be a shooter, no-doubt!!! Hell the one your daughter shot, I'd be happy to go home with at the end of the hunt. What sporting goods store is that? I'm currently looking at prices for travel, vehicle, accomodations, etc. I'm trying to see where I can scrape together $1200 to make this trip a reality. Probably staying in Orifino. Know of any place good? I really really want to be out there this fall. Ever hunt Potlatch properties? Just wondered how far I could get with a rented Jeep Cherokee. I know they have alot of gates. What about Cleatwater NF? What are the roads like in the mountains? I wont have a quad and just would like know what to expect. You know, you look at all these maps and see all these roads and still have no idea how passible they are, especially in November.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.

... shooter, send me a PM.

wapiti whacker's picture
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Location: Couer d'alene Idaho
Joined: 08/15/2009
Posts: 96
Re: Help with a N. Idaho whitetail hunt.
shooter981 wrote:
I'm trying to put together a DIY hunt for whitetail in Northern Idaho. I have somewhat narrowed down my hunt areas to units 8a and 10a, Clearwater region, more specifically the area surrounding the Dworshak Reservoir and in unit 6, the St. Joes National forest and the St. Joes River corridor and its drainages, Shoshone Co. I am also looking at Potlatch timber holdings as a possibility in these areas. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated, such as what to expect to see for deer numbers as well as size(B&C). When is best to go, what to expect for weather, what access there is to the areas and what, if any, impact the wolves have had on Whitetail in these areas. I'm not looking for someone to give me GPS cooridinates to their secret "honeyhole", just some sound advice on Whitetail deer hunting in these areas so i can narrow down my hunt planning. I would also like to find a few individuals that I could join or they could join me on a hunt in these areas, with very special consideration for anyone into long range hunting. Also, If anyone has any private property available, I'd be more than willing to pay a tresspass fee to access. I have a newer 4wd crewcab truck, camping equipment, trailer and an ATV. Thank you, in advance, for any help you can provide.

you may want to try the drainages around windy bay on couer de lane lake. i have taken 2 very nice bucks the last 2 years that i have hunted it. the bucks usualy bed down during the day near the tops of the drainages in the thick brush. however it is mostly open for long range shots. in december there are elk that migrate from mica peak on the washington/idaho border.

Offline
Location: NE Pa.
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 13
Wow, thank you. Thats some

Wow, thank you. Thats some great information. Do you chase Whitetails much? 

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