Idaho Unit 43 & Dirt Bikes

sportsnut

Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
4
Hello fellow sportsmen.

I recently purchased a non-resident archery elk licence for 2022 in Idaho Unit 43. I usually hunt the Lemhi area, but by the time my number came up to purchase the license the unit had sold out, so on to Unit 43.

In doing scouting on OnXHunt and Google Earth, I was amazed at the amount of motorcycle dirt bike trails throughout the unit. WOW.
It looks like a spiderweb in OnXHunt.

It surprises me that these trails are not shut down during elk hunting season, but it is what it is.

My question for people that have hunted Idaho Unit 43 or any other Idaho Unit that have active motorcycle dirt bike trails during elk hunting season is, how active are motorcycles during this time and how much does it affect the elk?

Any suggestions on making adjustments to allow for this?

Thank you in advance.
 
OP
S

sportsnut

Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
4
I would be the last one to say kick out a user group. I am a strong supporter of freedom. I was taken by the amount of dirt bike trails in unit 43 Locating a isolated area away from the dirt bike trails in this unit is difficult. Are the elk use to it and don’t care? Thanks your your reply.
 

mtnbiker208

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
659
Location
north idaho
one thing i have came accross with onx is they show roads and or trails that have not been used in years. ie the road was used as a skid trail for logging. It is now over grown and you can't walk it, but it shows as a road in onx.
 

Fullfan

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
744
Location
Nw/Pa
I hunt another unit and use my dirt bike on several designated trails. Just a fyi some of the marked motorcycle trails are not suitable to be ridden on. No one cuts the dead falls from the trails, outfitters know horses will step over a dead fall that is 18'-24" off the ground, and a dirt bike cannot get over or around them. Just because the trail is designated motorcycle, good chance you will not be able to ride a bike on it.
 

Baddog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
311
I’ve watched elk while hunting less than a hundred yards off a fairly well traveled road that were hidden from view not care at all when someone went driving by. I think they are very intune with their area and get use to human traffic.
 
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sportsnut

Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
4
one thing i have came accross with onx is they show roads and or trails that have not been used in years. ie the road was used as a skid trail for logging. It is now over grown and you can't walk it, but it shows as a road in onx.
Thank you everybody for your input.

I use OnXHunt and Google Earth.

I cross-reference what is on OnXHunt in Google Earth.

I use unit maps in Google Earth by requesting them from Toprut here:

You request a map for the unit to be emailed to you and they are free. They are in KML format which works in Google Earth. They contain unit boundaries, roads, Nation Forest Boundaries, BLM Boundaries, State Land Boundaries, and personal property boundaries as well as other info.

I downloaded Idaho KML files for roads and trails for cars, 4 x 4's, ATV, dirt bikes, and tails from here:

https://trails.idaho.gov/pages/kmzdownload.html. I install them in Google Earth too.

Since this comes from Idaho, I have confidence they are accurate.

On Google Earth, if you have it open on your computer and open the downloaded KML file it will install into Google Earth.
 

Pocoloco

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
161
We access our terrain on a trail that allows dirtbikes. The trail is hard enough just to walk on and only once have we seen dirtbikes on it and they were dressed for battle. That blew the elk that day but we harvested a nice bull in the same area later in the season. Like said above some of these trails are nasty and dont get much to any traffic
 

DAOutfitters208

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
460
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
The elk in areas with dirt bike trails are used to them, guys ride all spring summer and fall. Think about it like this. If they can survive with wolves present, they damn sure can survive with dirt bikes riding by.
 

ORJoe

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Southern Oregon
I'm a dirt biker who also hunts and have ridden that area a few times, usually in summer.
We accidentally picked archery opening weekend to ride one year. Campgrounds and dispersed sites between featherville and big smoky were all insanely crowded, but we didn't see anybody else on the trails. Literally zero people more than 1/4 mile from a road. On Labor Day Weekend.

There are some sheep herders that seem to live near Paradise creek and peak most summers, and supposedly elk hate being near sheep. Something to consider.
 

airish06

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
12
I hunted unit 43 back to back a couple years ago... dirt bikers were a pain in the ass where we were... I recall one day we spent several hours working towards a saddle, only to be passed up by dirt bikers about a mile OFF-TRAIL along the ridge. It's close to Boise, and receives a lot of pressure. ORJoe mentions sheep herders in the unit: we ran into several and they blew everything out of the basins we were hoping to hunt. Focus on areas that are far away, hard to get to, or overlooked and they might hold your bull. I would have tried unit 43 again this year, but was unable to draw a non-resident tag. Will be heading to Unit 15 for archery (better than no tag!), if anyone has any advice!
 

BadgerGimp

Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
4
If you haven't picked up a bike and have an elk tag for Smokey Bennett, there are a number of spots in 48 that are closed to motorized vehicles once season opens.
 

Supranatural

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
78
I plan to bring dirt bikes to hunt in the Bannock zone for archery season - for those who have knowledge of the dirt bike trails, are the main difficulty because of fallen trees and lack of maintenance or are there steep challenging sections?
 

Supranatural

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
78
Thank you everybody for your input.

I use OnXHunt and Google Earth.

I cross-reference what is on OnXHunt in Google Earth.

I use unit maps in Google Earth by requesting them from Toprut here:

You request a map for the unit to be emailed to you and they are free. They are in KML format which works in Google Earth. They contain unit boundaries, roads, Nation Forest Boundaries, BLM Boundaries, State Land Boundaries, and personal property boundaries as well as other info.

I downloaded Idaho KML files for roads and trails for cars, 4 x 4's, ATV, dirt bikes, and tails from here:

https://trails.idaho.gov/pages/kmzdownload.html. I install them in Google Earth too.

Since this comes from Idaho, I have confidence they are accurate.

On Google Earth, if you have it open on your computer and open the downloaded KML file it will install into Google Earth.
Does the Idaho trail maps show more trails than OnX or do they match up pretty good?
 

bulldoza

Newbie
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
6
Location
sweet, idaho
So it's a wide open rodeo in 43... shoot!
 

bulldoza

Newbie
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
6
Location
sweet, idaho
I have seen most of the ones where I'm focused at. Seem like a lot more than that that are mapped. What's a guy to do when folks are following the rules? Trying to fun out there w/o being a dick...
 

griff536

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Idaho
There is a lot of dead fall on these trails and some are unrideable. The elk do react to dirtbikes and will adjust accordingly. I would still look to get 2+ miles from any dirt bike trail to start glassing. Good luck and have fun!
 
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