13 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
SNOW!

So, this morning Bogus Basin ski resort, just above Boise, reported 7" of snow. If memory serves, Bogus is around 7000 feet. Opening day of rifle deer season is Saturday (Oct 10) in the unit I'm hunting, directly East of the above mentioned resort. I would assume since my base camp is at 6800ft, I could expect a similar amount of snow. The highest peak where I will be going is 7515 ft.

Anyway, do you think this snow is enough to get the mule deer moving around toward a bit lower elevation? I wonder about setting up camp lower (say 6000 feet) and hunt up toward the snow. It is supposed to warm up a little bit here in the valleys later in the week, so I would imagine the snow line will recede some.

When I was up there last week doing a last bit of scouting, there was snow in the shadows and standing water was frozen... now this new snow is on top of that.

So, what do you folks think - is this snow, a week before the opener, enough to start pushing the animals lower??? When I was up there last week doing a last bit of scouting, there was snow in the shadows and standing water was frozen... now this new snow is on top of that.

Advice?

Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
SNOW!

47 people have read this thread and no one has experience with mulies in the snow??

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4062
SNOW!

The big problem is that they react differently in different areas. Where I hunt in Utah the first cold rain will put them down close to their winter grounds, where as here in Colorado a lot of them will stay high and play around in the snow. They are where you find them.
If I was you I would camp low and then hunt up to the snow line.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/29/2009
Posts: 27
SNOW!

It takes less energy for a muley to stay warm than it does for them to cool down in the heat.
I have seen them here in Colorado in over a foot of snow.
They will usually only move when food is too tough to get to and they have to expend more energy to dig to get to the food than it would provide.

But... each animal is different too...so it truly depends on your area, the deer, and the food/cover in the area.

HTH
M

Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
SNOW!

Thanks, guys, for the insight. It's not supposed to snow or rain between now and the opener - so I expect we'll get some melt. I like the idea of camping low and hunting to the snow line. I guess when we get up there, we'll make the decision. That's another reason to go early and take our time getting set up.

Offline
Joined: 09/10/2009
Posts: 55
SNOW!

Mark,

I hunt NorthEast Idaho and just took a drive up there today, around 6500-8000ft and there is about 7 inches that has accumulated. It's sloppy and wet. Ive been scouting all summer and was up there during the archery season with friends. We've been seeing deer in their usual spots, anywhere from 8000 to 4500ft. Today I saw about a dozen deer and 3 elk today. It was snowing the entire time I was up there and some were down near creek beds (6000ft) and I saw a few on ridges (8000ft).
a
Accoring to the various weather services... it is going to be rainy/ snow the rest of the week where I'm headed. It's going to be hit or miss I think...

Last year we got hit with a nasty winter storm the morning of opening deer season and we didnt see a thing. We packed up camp and went up the next weekend and even with 8 inches of snow on the ground we saw deer everywhere.

I would do like the others suggested... hunt low and work your way up. Mornings prob your best (IMHO). If the weather is crap, then I'd do alot of hiking and see if you cant russle something up from being bed down. Game usually bed down during storms and only come out to feed/water.

good luck.

Offline
Joined: 01/22/2007
Posts: 120
SNOW!

A good heavy snow will usually cause the deer to bed down for a day until the storm blows over. But in my experience it's takes more than 6-7" to start them moving down hill.

I see deer at 4400 foot hiding out in the corn fields all summer and I see them sneeking around the mountain passes at 11,000 foot My point being is that they can often be found at all elevations in the warmer weather. I've spent many a late October day in 2 foot of snow and found the deer stil hanging out where they spent the summer. Until it becomes hard to get food and water, hard to move around, or the temps drop low enough they want to migrate to lower elevations for warmer temps.

Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
SNOW!

Thankyou Horse and ML. I'll be hunting Idaho unit 39 - been scouting a particular area near Idaho City since the end of July and I think I've got the critters hangouts figured out.

The weather has cleared and I expect a little bit of melting to occur. It'll be cold at night and probably in the mid to upper 40's during the "heat" of the day. The peak is at 7500. The primitive campground that I'd hoped to set up camp at hit is around 6800. The campground overlooks a series of ridges where I've been told the deer like to hang out - I've seen lots of sign there as well as a couple of the ellusive buggers. I really want my son to get his first deer! If I got one, that would be icing on the cake. We are going up three days early to sit and glass those ridges and hopefully will figure out their patterns for opening morning.

Wish us luck - and thanks again for your help.

Offline
Location: Boise
Joined: 10/17/2008
Posts: 16
SNOW!

Well, my son and I just got back from our hunt camp and we were absolutely skunked. The snow was early and sudden and I think it freaked out the animals. There was about 18" on the top and 4" where we set up camp. We found recent sign, but they were constantly on the move... down in elevation. We heard a few shots, all below us. We moved down, the shots moved down, lol. Brick Wall,) So, this next weekend we'll try checking out their winter ranges. Oh well, at least we got out of town and I got to spend time with my son just the two of us.

Offline
Joined: 09/10/2009
Posts: 55
SNOW!

Sounds like you got a suprise like we did. there was no snow at our base camp... we headed up to our honey spot and couldnt make it. About 18" of snow. Ended up getting the truck stuck, the wheelers couldnt even make it.

We havent seen weather like that for years, so we were stumped. We ended up taking a small 4pt and a 2pt late last night.

Also, it seems like the entire SE Idaho population was up there. There were hunters everywhere.

I spoke to the local game warden out there and he said numbers are way down due to wolves...

I will be hunting other locals the rest of the season... I'm not going backup there.

Offline
Joined: 06/09/2009
Posts: 29
SNOW!

hey i am from boise too there you up in the cotton wood area? i was going to head up there thursday for the day but idk i was up on west mountian this past weekend and the same thing i hinted high and all the sign i seen was headed down and thats where the shots where to wwe did get on deer my little sis go her deer on the youth hunt but no bucks

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Turkeys in the snow?Ca_Vermonster603/04/2011 23:20 pm
Let it snow let it snow let it snow - but thaw toogroovy mike412/30/2010 19:57 pm
Elk and Early SnowFishnHunt311209/27/2006 21:49 pm
How much snow is too muchSSGJB910/13/2011 00:50 am
Lucky for usTndeerhunter312/13/2010 10:19 am