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Location: Kuna, Idaho.
Joined: 08/20/2006
Posts: 26
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

Congrats on your successfull trip! That is a very hefty looking Mule Deer. And I thank you and Serious hunter for the pics. As I have just recently moved to the Boise area I have not been to that part of Idaho yet but it looks absolutely awesome. I can't wait to get out and explore this beautiful state more in the spring and summer next year. Tonight I am headed over to a freinds house for dinner. His neighbor just gave him some meat from a Doe that he bagged a few weeks ago. So I'll get to eat my first Idaho wild game, I can't wait to try Elk.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 10/26/2006
Posts: 357
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

Congrats, thats a beaut!!!! Thumbs up

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Joined: 10/18/2006
Posts: 7
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

let me answer some of your questions.....
There are bear in the area but they were all in hibernation when I was hunting. Don't know how many they have in the area....guides did not talk about them much.
I was hunting the upper Loon Creek area.....Trail Creek and Loon Creek ran thru the Diamond D Ranch who was my outfitter.
In answer to your question on recommending them, it really depends on what you are looking for. They shoot some nice deer/elk every year but for some strange reason neither the owner or guides talk about Boone & Crocket scoring on their animals, which was fine with me.
I do know they harvested some 26"+ deer this year and 250+ elk, but don't seem to talk about it much....they just really want the hunter to experience everything without getting hung up on size of rack.
If you have been hunting for years and have some nice wall hangers already this may not be the place to go.
I do know that this guide has rights to appros. 275+ square miles of the Frank Church and only hunt about 25% of his alloted area due to the terrain, lack of horse/mule trails, etc.....I think the owner would prefer it that way to keep some of the area true wilderness.
I do not believe this part of Idaho has trophy elk, which in my eyes is 325+, or very few of them.
If you are looking for a great experience with very qualified guides who know the area and will work their tail off 18+ hours a day, then you wont be disappointed.
The food is phenominal, staff is fantastic and prices are very reasonable compared to the same type outfitter around other parts of the Frank Church.
You have to understand since Jan. 1, 2006 I researched approx. 500 outfitters in 6 western states...and I chose this one.
My reasons besides the ones I listed above is the owner is honest, won't pitch you a line about guaranteed kill and treats you like part of the family. The ranch and outfitting business have been in his family for decades, so he is not just after the $$ if you know what I mean.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

Thank you ...

The Frank Church is incredible country. Not all outfitters are equal (I am finding out). Good job doing your research - you evidently chose well. It sounds like you had a good hunt. And you came back with some respectable game.

Serious H.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 611
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

what i want to know is how did you like the loon creek hotsprings? They have got to be some of the best backcountry hotsprings anywhere?

tim

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Joined: 10/18/2006
Posts: 7
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

I didn't know they even existed ??

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 611
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

down at the confluence of loon creek and the middle fork of the salmon is the simplot ranch i believe. about 2 miles up loon creek from the confluence is the hot springs. very nice. you can sit in a camp chair and still be under water. if you get to hot jump in loon creek. That part of the state has alot of hot springs.

tim

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Joined: 08/09/2007
Posts: 3
Requesting info hunting Idaho -Frank Church Wilderness Area

I agree. The Frank is incredibly beautiful and very remote at times. I took a little "time to myself" trip from the family in 2006. I spent April, May and June living if you will, in the Frank. It was the most intense (at times), pleasurable, healing thing I've ever done. It was also one of the things on my "to do before I die list". I've even thought about going back again, granted the wife doesn't mind too much.

As far as the Frank, so much history there. You really need to see the place. Go down to the Taylor ranch along Big Creek and talk with Jim and Holly Akenson, they have some great stories. Go visit Soldier Bar and say hi to Private Eagan. Granted it's not on the bar of the river now so you will have to traverse a bit. Go see Buckskins Bills cabin along the Salmon. There is sooooo much to see and do. Tons of lakes and a lot of them have fish. Which was ONE of my main food items. Man I ate a bunch of fish...among other things. Not to mention the many streams and rivers have fish as well.

Depending on the time of year you go, it can get darn cold at night if your up high, even in June. One thing you should absolutely consider is having a PLB (Personal Locater Beacon) with you. When you are that far back from anywhere, expect anything, and I mean anything can go wrong. This way should you experience a problem, the PLB can be activated and you probably would have help within a day or two depending on how remote you are and whether or not a helicopter can get in where you're at.

Along with the typical items one would take out camping, pack an axe, an ax is a must regardless of the weight. Gerber makes a nice packable one that does a great job. Oh, and several cans of bug spray. I didn't bring a handgun to have an edge over bears/wolves should they decide I'm dinner. But I did bring a shotgun. First two shells are birdshot, last four are slugs. (For those that are going "whoa, that's six shots" I had a Benelli M1 with a tube extender). I felt if this didn't work if needed, it was my time anyhow. Plus I'm way more accurate with a shotgun than I am with a handgun, especially at a good distance.

I did make it out fine at the end. Yep, saw bears, yep, yeard and saw wolves. Did they bother me, nope. Just make sure your camp is bear safe at all times.You want to know what scared me? A wildfire. One that could start at night close to my camp and spread my way through the night leaving me no way to escape. That's why every night I camped next to a lake or good size stream. I felt if things went ugly at night, all I have to do is get in the water and wait for it to pass. Or if it was a good flowing river, head down stream until out of danger. Thankfully that didn't happen.

If you would like to know more, PM me and we can talk.

Take care,

Robert

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