Good timing. Headed there in May. Great info. We are headed to Island Park. Grizzly country.A hunt residents should be happy to help with. Come have a great time and kill a bear. Montana and Wyoming also have good spring bear hunting. Spot and stalk is lots of fun and totally doable for hunting. On multiple trips I've spotted bears on day one.
Nonresidents wondering where to go have lots of options. The units with the most bears killed, say top three, are well known. They're good and have a lot of bears killed to some extent because of their popularity. Not crazy busy in those units from my experience but also kind of nice to get off the beaten track a bit more.
Salmon, McCall, Sawtooth, Beaverhead, Lemhi all have at least decent bear numbers. The Middle Fork and Selway Zones are not very accessible due to high country access points until Mid June or later when the bear hunting starts to drop off or get closed. You could target a mid June backcountry hunt in there and make it work but access will be a challenge and the bear hunting won’t be easy that late and in huge country. You could also do a fly-in hunt earlier in the season when the greenup is closer to the river and animals are closer to winter range. That would likely be a better hunt. You could have a wolf, lion, bear combo hunt and just an amazing time in deep backcountry. The other main access point to the Selway and Salmon Zones is along the river roads. Steep hiking but a good number of bears if you hike away from access points.
In general, for the average guy not messing with the lower priced tags which are more difficult to access and rugged to get around will make for a more successful hunt. Buy full price and go for it.
Throughout the state, you'll want to do your research to see if the road you're planning on taking will be open. Anything above 5,000 feet is a red flag. Call the forest service office and post on here if you want about the roads. Look at Snotel and information available online about snowpack. Many will be closed or impassable. You might be good for a while and then hit a snowbank. A common good approach is to find a lower elevation road and hike up from there. 4 wheelers are very helpful for getting around when access might be hit or miss.
Northern Idaho has more bears generally speaking than south and central Idaho. Panhandle, Clearwater, and Lolo areas can be productive. You will have to plan for how you hunt with all the dense timber but there are bears around and more wolves up there too.
Pioneer and more desert units south of I-84 don't have a lot of bears.
Normally the later part of April through early June the hunting can be good. May is a nice middle ground. You might want to hunt a little lower or higher depending on the timing.
Feel free to PM. Depending on volume and where you're looking, I might be able to help. I don't know that much about the areas north of the Salmon River Breaks. Anything south of that I've probably ventured through and hunted at least a little for some critter.
They will be out in the river corridor. Probably a good idea to keep an eye out for them down there.I’m going to believe the trip I have planned over memorial weekend will not have to be canceled. On another note, how are the rattle snakes usually during that time in units 19 and 19a? Considering bringing my .22 mag Taurus with snake shot.
It snowed in the Frank last night. I live not far from the Frank and it snowed at my house. Not sure how much the higher elevations got but it was snowing at my house at 5500ft, with chances of snow several days this week ahead.I'm still planning on flying into the Frank this season, barring anything weird happening with my job (Airline Industry...)
I'll try to get an updated snow report from some of my commercial backcountry pilot friends soon.
Here is a really cool webcam site that has a lot of the FC airstrips on it.It snowed in the Frank last night. I live not far from the Frank and it snowed at my house. Not sure how much the higher elevations got but it was snowing at my house at 5500ft, with chances of snow several days this week ahead.
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I think people are overestimating how many people will be out.
There are some of us still working who won’t be able to make it(vacation cancellations and whatnot). The people that are gonna be a big question are the people out of work in nonessential fields. It would seem the extra time they have would put them in the field - and if hunting season was currently going on they’d likely be out - but how is their savings account going to look after not working for a couple of weeks? You’re gonna have a lot of guys dropping out because they can’t justify spending the money to get out outside of the weekends.
All depends on elevation. There are going to be a majority of roads still closed by snow at the end of April. Who needs gates when mother nature shuts them down? Lolim not familiar with road systems in Idaho but plan on coming over end of April for a bear hunt. Here in Oregon the timber companies shut the gates to the public “ social distancing” protocol. . So much for easy access to shed, mushroom, spring bear hunting plus shooting practice. How is access in Idaho?
Any ideas on approximate snow level end of April? It’s been really nice here last several weeks. I plan on having several plans at each different elevations. I’m guessing end of April most snow left should be above 4000’? My initial thoughts are to have digital scouting plans For >5000 ft and one >7000ft? Does that seem right? Thanks for any help or info Idaho guysAll depends on elevation. There are going to be a majority of roads still closed by snow at the end of April. Who needs gates when mother nature shuts them down? Lol
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