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  1. Default Idaho unit 27 Elk A tag

    Hi everyone, my name's Joe, I live in Ohio and I'm brand new to this forum. 3 of my buddies and I are planning a diy backpack hunt for elk with unit 27 A tags. We're planning on hunting the first 3 weeks of October. Just looking for an adventure and maybe a legal bull. We plan on having deer and wolf tags too. I am fully aware that this is a very rugged unit but we're young and willing to hike. I've been to Alaska once and out west 3 times. Any information ya'll would be kind enough to share I'd be grateful for. It's a big unit and I'm not sure where to start. Thank you!

  2. #2

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    First thing, I'd advise not choosing 27 unless you're already getting tired of other areas.

    Here's why;

    1.) Very limited access. VERY limited. It's wilderness like you cannot believe. 1,500 square miles of virtually roadless backcountry, much of which could have snow by October. Airplane or jet-boat is better than packing in, but on foot would be seriously difficult. Fun and an adventure for sure, however.
    2.) The Elk populations are more sparse than you would think, given the size of the unit.
    3.) There's an OTC rifle hunt in Sept during the rut. One of the only places in the west where you can hunt the Elk rut with a rifle OTC. So why then choose October?
    4.) It's browtined Bull only, so limits your opportunity for success even further.
    5.) It's a capped tag, so must be purchased July 10th to have a sure shot at it.

    If an October adventure is really your game-plan, with a rifle, consider some other areas at least before committing to 27. BUT if you do it, be sure to come back and give us all a pictorial report of your adventure!

    - Joseph

  3. Default

    Thanks for the insight! I am actually having second thoughts on 27 as there seems to have a lot of people with the same thoughts on it as you. Do you have any knowledge about the Elk City zones, specifically unit 16? Also looking at unit 6.

  4. #4

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    One thing to consider is in Idaho we have Elk "Zones". So most units will also include sever other units within that zone on the same tag. For instance, the "Panhandle" includes units 1-9 I believe, which is an amazing amount of country. (Mostly JUNGLE!). Elk City has three units I believe. Elk City is a good area, and far enough away from the bigger towns to keep the hunter populous down a little, compared to the Panhandle, McCall, or Boise River zones.

    Regardless, there's Elk all across Idaho, and the majority of it is OTC hunting. Several zones offer Bull Elk during October, so do your research, and come out with a plan.

    One thing about the Panhandle, is there's a few opportunities for a Cow Elk on the same tag as well, within 1 mile of private property. (Which is easy to find with many large Logging companies owning property that is free access to hunters.). So you could potentially fall-back to shooting a cow if the Bull's are phantoms. 4-5-6-7 are some of the best Elk units in the state, but be prepared to get off the beaten path, and also be prepared for VERY THICK forest and underbrush.

    Good-luck!
    - Joseph

  5. Default

    Thanks! It's between unit 16 and 27 right now, probably gonna wait and research before deciding.

  6. #6

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    I’ve hunted 27 quite a bit. I’d suggest you hunt another unit.

  7. Default

    Is there a specific reason why?

  8. #8
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    If you are just looking for an adventure I'd say go for it. If you are looking to fill a tag and coming home without something is abject failure, then look elsewhere.

    I can't emphasize it enough, don't understimate the country and your fitness level. I live here, am in decent shape and the mountains still kick my butt.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt1994 View Post
    Is there a specific reason why?
    All the above? There are better, easier units to hunt elk in Idaho. You’re picking one of the worst time slots to hunt elk. (Hint: watch Randy’s elk hunting videos). You’re from Ohio and are probably not prepared for a hardcore wilderness hunt like the Frank (from a ex-pat Ohioan).

    Don’t take this the wrong way, I want you to come to Idaho and spend money. If you do come, I’d like you to have a chance at success. First, I’d research draw units and apply as a group. Consider a cow hunt if you haven’t hunted elk. Two, research units using IDFG’s Hunt Planner. National success rate on bulls is around 18% for reference.

  10. Default

    Thanks for the advice guys. Don't worry, I'm not easily offended, to be honest the terrain kinda worried me but intrigued me at the same time�� The 23% success rate did too. I think I've spent about 20 hours on gohunt and different forums now, I'm considering unit 16 instead but can't find much information about it anywhere. Does anyone have any insight into that unit?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt1994 View Post
    I'm considering unit 16 instead but can't find much information about it anywhere. Does anyone have any insight into that unit?
    To answer that question, you are better off starting a new thread. Or, much better, searching the forums for that unit and doing a braoder google search for the same. There will be info from btoh sources that you will be able to piece together and begin to form a strategy.

    As a general rule, just posting a shotgun answer without having done research yet, will net you minimal response.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  12. #12

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    I think the B tag for "Elk City" unit 14-15-16 would be a great choice. It gives you two weeks in October of Rifle, and there's lot's of remote hunting. It's close enough to places like Elk City, or Grangeville or even Riggins if you needed a break for a day. Good compromise between hunting pressure, and elk population. The Wolves have done a lot of damage, but I believe things are picking back up for Elk in that area within the last 3-5 years, considering successful Wolf hunts which have taken place. I see Elk every time i'm up that way.

    Remember to buy your tag as soon as it go's on sale! July 10th... It's a capped tag and can often sell out first few hours.

    - Joseph

  13. Unhappy

    Thanks fellas, I don't wanna come off as not trying to do my own research, but I can't find much about unit 16 online but I'll take your advice and start a new thread. Great advice everyone, I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I was in Colorado last year in September and had a nice 5◊5 at 10 yards but didn't draw soon enough. But that experience hooked me! We'd like to go in September but can't due to 2 of my friends deciding to both get married in the middle of September

  14. #14
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    Few people truly understand the remote and ruggedness of the Idaho Middle Fork country until they have put boots on the ground. I would not elk hunt there without horses. If I did have horses, there are a number of saner places to take them to than this.

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    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  15. #15
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    ^^^That is spot on^^^

    If I were forced to only hunt elk in that country the rest of my life...I wouldn't.
    "...the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered, was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana." -Norman Maclean

    "They were still so young they hadn't learned to count the odds and to sense they might owe the universe a tragedy"
    -Norman Maclean

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzH View Post
    If I were forced to only hunt elk in that country the rest of my life...I wouldn't.
    Says the guy who packed a mature 6 point out of a hell hole this past fall...by himself. I guess I'd be looking elsewhere.

  17. #17

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    I’ve killed elk in 27 and may do it again. I just wouldn’t hunt stupid areas for packing elk.

  18. Default

    Wow, that's some wrinkly country in that picture!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brymoore View Post
    Iíve killed elk in 27 and may do it again. I just wouldnít hunt stupid areas for packing elk.
    I would like to go back in there to do a poor man's sheep hunt some time, but I'll leave the elk to those with a strong back and weak mind.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHornRam View Post
    I would like to go back in there to do a poor man's sheep hunt some time, but I'll leave the elk to those with a strong back and weak mind.
    I’ve been on a few of those too.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by brymoore View Post
    Iíve been on a few of those too.
    Any pictures? Maybe I should think about putting in for goat in there before I get too old to do it. Been on any goat hunts in there yet?
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHornRam View Post
    Any pictures? Maybe I should think about putting in for goat in there before I get too old to do it. Been on any goat hunts in there yet?
    I’ve been on three sheep hunts in the Frank but no sheep kills. I passed on a few young rams and lost a good ram to darkness one day. It’s a great place to hunt native Idaho sheep.

    I only seen a few goats but they’re there.

  23. #23
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    Sounds like there is some confusion here. A poor man's sheep hunt is for mountain mule deer. I drew a sheep tag for 27 in 2001 and had a hunt of a lifetime. I saw some goats on that hunt as well. Several guys on this site have posted successful goat hunts in 27 over the years, tough hunts in some cool country. Having a lifetime Idaho hunting license makes drawing a OIL Idaho goat tag very doable for me. This thread has got me seriously thinking about putting in for goats in this area. I can hunt for elk every year in Montana. Chances to hunt mountain goat are much more rare. Plus they are a little easier to pack out of a hell hole like the Middle Fork than elk.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHornRam View Post
    Sounds like there is some confusion here. A poor man's sheep hunt is for mountain mule deer. I drew a sheep tag for 27 in 2001 and had a hunt of a lifetime. I saw some goats on that hunt as well. Several guys on this site have posted successful goat hunts in 27 over the years, tough hunts in some cool country. Having a lifetime Idaho hunting license makes drawing a OIL Idaho goat tag very doable for me. This thread has got me seriously thinking about putting in for goats in this area. I can hunt for elk every year in Montana. Chances to hunt mountain goat are much more rare. Plus they are a little easier to pack out of a hell hole like the Middle Fork than elk.
    Oh, I’ve killed deer there. The score potential isn’t as high as other areas of Idaho but it’s a fun hunt. I shot this buck 5 miles from the airstrip on the last day of season. My hike went from 5 miles to 15 to get camp and the deer back. I want to take my sons in there for a late season deer hunt sometime.

    *

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by brymoore View Post
    Oh, I’ve killed deer there. The score potential isn’t as high as other areas of Idaho but it’s a fun hunt. I shot this buck 5 miles from the airstrip on the last day of season. My hike went from 5 miles to 15 to get camp and the deer back. I want to take my sons in there for a late season deer hunt sometime.

    *
    Nice! Who really cares about score potential anyway when you can have a fun wilderness hunt like that. Thanks for the picture and response.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

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