Idaho OTC Rifle Arrival Date/Scouting

Behlftball

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
22
I'm looking for feedback on a scouting plan for Idaho OTC Rifle season. I'll be in the Salmon zone and it opens Oct 15th for elk and Oct 10th for deer. I'm looking at arriving at about noon on the 12th and scouting for elk/deer hunting for 2 1/2 days before the elk opener. Is this enough time ahead of time to scout for elk? Should I allocate more time for hunting? I have 8 total days to be in the state. My main focus is elk, but if I was able to get a decent 4x4 muley only I'd come home happy as can be.

I'm looking to get away from the road hunters (sounds like it will be a zoo)
 

mike.adams.467

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
159
You will be going into a vast area. Walk a mile or 2 from the road and you’ll avoid 90% of the people. You need to be willing to hike because elk can be disbursed up there. Good luck.


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TravisB_VT

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
13
@Behlftball I have a similar timeframe and tags in my pocket for the area for 2021 too. I hunted the area in 2019 for 8 days and barely scratched the surface. We did not have backpacking gear, so we parked and hunted everyday from the truck, headlamps in and out. We were able to scout from some roads and locate elk prior to the elk season. This did allow us to cover a lot of ground, but we were also looking at elk that the other hunters were seeing. Our novice (western) group of 5 hunters never saw a bull once the season opened. We did receive some snowy weather that helped us locate some fresh sign towards the end of our trip. It also limited our access as our rental truck had all-season tires. A small nimble vehicle (ATV where allowed) or chains would be helpful. We did have an ATV that we hauled from VT that really helped (1 or 2 hunters, not whole group), but for 2021 our schedules do not allow for us to add on the 6 extra days to drive out and back. As a first time elk hunter I wasted too much time hunting old sign and glassing "classic" cover. I found cow elk as mike.adams.467 described. Leave the road and hike a mile plus past where an ATV or truck could go and look for fresh sign. We did not run into a hunter that admitted to seeing an elk in 8 days of hunting. We did see some young mule deer bucks taken by other hunters, and our group ended up shooting a young buck on the last day. One "nice" buck was shot at and missed by our party. We saw 20-30 does/fawns per day as a group, so game numbers were actually better than I expected, but maybe I am just comparing it to eastern north woods hunting where I may see 10 deer all season. The country is stunning and I am going back this year mostly for the experience and adventure. I will not hold out for a mature animal. After all that blabbing, pick a few spots on the map to walk into and scout. If you see boot tracks and no fresh elk sign, move on.
 

WinterT

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
17
Get away from the roads/areas that are easily accessible. Most people won't go a mile or so in generally speaking.
 

Fullfan

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
570
Location
Nw/Pa
Was informed yesterday by several fire officials the closure in the North part of the state will remain until that part receives a snow fall of 6” or more. Hope you are not planning on hunting near there.
 
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