Idaho Unit 27 Elk

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
As a graduation present for undergraduate and graduate school, my parents were able to get me an Elk Tag. This will be my first time ever Elk hunting; it has been a dream to go since I was a little kid. I will be going to Unit 27 in the middle fork region. I am not asking for any hunting spots, I just want tips, and what may give this kid from North Carolina a chance to make a dream come true. Any advice is greatly appreciated thanks again!
 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
It is an A tag, so I will be going in October! Forgot to add that!
 

hamilton1223

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
690
Location
Southern ID
Here is a couple descriptions from an insider site.... It is one of the lower success rate and most rugged areas around. Access is tough and would be the first thing I sorted out. Most guys either fly, float, or pack horses in to the unit. You skipped the minor leagues and went straight to the show.

"One of the most remote and isolated wilderness units in the West"

"The elk population is lower than wildlife officials desire and wolves are blamed for the decline"
 

bluetick78

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
765
Location
Idaho Falls,ID
Give yourself plenty of time, and be in good shape. It's steep, rugged, and very unforgiving. The hunters that burn out and leave early are usually the type of people that are easily frustrated by any little inconvenience. Take your time, enjoy the hunt, and hunt efficiently. Glass everything before hiking off to greener pastures, the animals are there. Locate some water sources and start there, and enjoy yourself dammit....it's going to be a hunt you remember forever.
 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
Here is a couple descriptions from an insider site.... It is one of the lower success rate and most rugged areas around. Access is tough and would be the first thing I sorted out. Most guys either fly, float, or pack horses in to the unit. You skipped the minor leagues and went straight to the show.

"One of the most remote and isolated wilderness units in the West"

"The elk population is lower than wildlife officials desire and wolves are blamed for the decline"
I really appreciate the information, thank you for passing it along!
 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
Give yourself plenty of time, and be in good shape. It's steep, rugged, and very unforgiving. The hunters that burn out and leave early are usually the type of people that are easily frustrated by any little inconvenience. Take your time, enjoy the hunt, and hunt efficiently. Glass everything before hiking off to greener pastures, the animals are there. Locate some water sources and start there, and enjoy yourself dammit....it's going to be a hunt you remember forever.
Man I appreciate this! I have been taking my cardio and endurance training just as serious as my strength training in preparation. Thank you again brother, just being able to go on this hunt is a dream come true for me
 

Customweld

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
1,068
Location
Idaho
There are a few threads going on the MF Elk Zones. Each one is as depressing as the other! As Hamilton alluded to, you are headed to the big time. I haven't spent a whole lot of time in 27 but have a fair amount of time in 26 and 20A. Depending on what time in October you will be in there, that will dictate some of the precautions you need to take. Weather is a big one. All of the roads in these units have substantial summits in them. Be prepared for snow with your vehicle. Google Earth is a fabulous tool, but it doesn't do the steepness or downfall justice.
Where there isn't a spring or creek, it's extremely dry. Have a plan for drinking water. If you spot elk, make a plan and get in there. The elk do not hang in the same area long, and when the decide to bug out, the country they cover can take you at least a day to catch up (that's if they stop). If there are wolves in there, there are elk close. After all they are in the business of eating. If there wasn't anything to eat, they wouldn't be there. That also goes vice versa. If there are elk there, wolves are probably close. Take your time and enjoy yourself! The Frank Church has kicked my ass since I was a youngster and I go back in there every few years. Usually just for muleys though.
 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
There are a few threads going on the MF Elk Zones. Each one is as depressing as the other! As Hamilton alluded to, you are headed to the big time. I haven't spent a whole lot of time in 27 but have a fair amount of time in 26 and 20A. Depending on what time in October you will be in there, that will dictate some of the precautions you need to take. Weather is a big one. All of the roads in these units have substantial summits in them. Be prepared for snow with your vehicle. Google Earth is a fabulous tool, but it doesn't do the steepness or downfall justice.
Where there isn't a spring or creek, it's extremely dry. Have a plan for drinking water. If you spot elk, make a plan and get in there. The elk do not hang in the same area long, and when the decide to bug out, the country they cover can take you at least a day to catch up (that's if they stop). If there are wolves in there, there are elk close. After all they are in the business of eating. If there wasn't anything to eat, they wouldn't be there. That also goes vice versa. If there are elk there, wolves are probably close. Take your time and enjoy yourself! The Frank Church has kicked my ass since I was a youngster and I go back in there every few years. Usually just for muleys though.
I really appreciate your advice brother! Thank you so much. I have 2 wolf tags in my pocket so god willing I plan on taking a couple out of the area! Best of luck to you man
 

Bachto

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
162
Location
West Richland, WA
You may know this and someone mentioned it but the entire unit is wilderness area. This means, you can't really drive into the unit, mostly just to the boundaries. I hunted it once when I was younger with my dad and we took in llamas. The only place I've seen as steep and rugged as the Frank is Hells Canyon but nothing nearly as remote. Here is an awesome video Argali did to give you an idea of what you are looking at.

 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
You may know this and someone mentioned it but the entire unit is wilderness area. This means, you can't really drive into the unit, mostly just to the boundaries. I hunted it once when I was younger with my dad and we took in llamas. The only place I've seen as steep and rugged as the Frank is Hells Canyon but nothing nearly as remote. Here is an awesome video Argali did to give you an idea of what you are looking at.

Thank you! I'll give that video a watch, really appreciate it!!
 

Customweld

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
1,068
Location
Idaho
Also be sure to leave a detailed itinerary with someone you know. If you deviate, leave a note in your rig.
 

D-How200

Newbie
Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Messages
9
I sure hope you're going with a partner and a mule deer tag. You'll be thankful you had both! Good luck.
 

Huntnnw

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
362
Location
Rockford,WA
I sure hope you're going with a partner and a mule deer tag. You'll be thankful you had both! Good luck.
no kidding! solo in there on a first elk hunt and then trying to pack one out will be a task. Id take a inreach or something similar

Get away from popular vantages to glass and put yourself lower on ridges that will let you glass country that most glass from easier spots. Elk have a way of knowing how to keep outta sight.
 
OP
Mattstokes10

Mattstokes10

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
16
Get away from popular vantages to glass and put yourself lower on ridges that will let you glass country that most glass from easier spots. Elk have a way of knowing how to keep outta sight.
Thank you for this brotha! I also have a Garmin Inreach! Gotta keep up with my folks back home, and for our safety. I’ve really been studying onx and Google earth to try and maximize my success with knowledge I’ve gained from “Elk101”
 

ndbuck09

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
507
Location
Boise, ID
I really think you should consider putting up the money to at least get a horse drop and pickup.
 

ez_willie

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 9, 2018
Messages
120
Location
MN
Haha thanks for the “present” ma! But good luck and let us know how it goes since the middlefork and salmon zones will be available as a good fall back plan for the next few years after outfitters turn in all the unsold tags they have.
 

bwidrick

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
82
Location
Columbia, PA
Like others have said, it is low success and dry, steep, rough country...but beautiful. For October, expext snow; temps could be in the teens at night. Micro-spikes are a lifesaver for hiking the steep country in snow & crossing creeks. If driving any back roads, have chains & spare tire(s).

As others have said, Elk are there. Use glass to find them, then hike to them. Most of all, soak it in and enjoy!
 
Top