Idaho Wilderness Areas GMU 36A

rn.jones053

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May 16, 2015
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15
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Oregon
Hi All,

First thank you all for any assistance you all may provide. I have been on and off Rokslide for several years, and am finally going on my first hunt. It will be Archery, Elk, in Idaho, OTC. I am interested in designated wilderness areas and 36A seems to encompass two of these areas, Hemingway-Boulders and White Cloud Wilderness areas.

1) Are predators an issue? Grizzly presence?
2) Any general areas to avoid? (waste of time)
3) Access and/or trail head issues?
4) Other OTC units which I might want to look into?
5) Perhaps stupid question, but are there areas within where hunting is not allowed and where can I find this info out?

I decided on Wilderness areas to avoid other people, motor vehicles, and experience and witness some nature less affected by humans. I realize that this type of experience may be possible in non-wilderness areas but figured this would be a safe bet. I am definitely open to PM, e-mail or Phone so please do not hesitate to contact me!

I have spent a lot of time over the last several years researching, reading, watching... all of it! But as I still haven't actually been Elk hunting (or hunting at all) I am still open to any and all advice!
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
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you're better off staying in Oregon. good luck on your internet scouting.
and to answer your question grizzlies, wolves, and mtn lions ohhh my!!
 
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rn.jones053

Junior Member
Joined
May 16, 2015
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
you're better off staying in Oregon. good luck on your internet scouting.
and to answer your question grizzlies, wolves, and mtn lions ohhh my!!
thanks for your reply. I would love to stay in Oregon but my father and I are able to hunt Idaho cheaper as he is a resident of WA. Idaho offers non-res disabled veteran rates which we both qualify for and Orgeon does so only for res. The internet scouting has proven invaluable using IDFW, google earth, hunt chip and the onXHUNT membership have all greatly assisted me as a new hunter and boots on the ground this summer will hopefully be more efficient because of it. Just trying everything I can to get into some elk and good luck to you this upcoming season!

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paleraider

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Jun 7, 2016
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412
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Idaho
Welcome to the forums. I would simply say yes there will be predators, keep a clean camp, hang your food, blah blah blah.

Wilderness areas will not necessarily mean fewer people. The Pioneer Elk Management Unit, which 36A is a part of is a good area.

If you haven't been elk hunting or hunting before I would not recommend trying the full on back country wilderness spectacular as your first hunt. I would look at doing some camping but not be too far from your car this way you can come of the mountains, get a beer, resupply etc.
 

JustHunt

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Dec 24, 2015
Messages
77
Haven't ventured in there, but it doesn't really get too much more rough than 36A, well I guess you could have picked 36. Ide have to agree with the above post that I wouldn't recommend hunting such rough/wilderness type units as a first ever hunt. Even more so Elk. One has to experience packing an Elk on their back in even moderate terrain before they start getting ideas of trying to do it again but in a wilderness, without horses, and during September when its still hot out.

But other than that, why not go for it? Seems like most guys always posts the negatives of each unit and never the positives. If you put in the required effort, I'm sure you will see some game, and see some amazing country. Just got to put your time in and explore. If it doesn't work out after a few seasons, try somewhere else.

But don't take lightly of what it takes to hunt backcountry wilderness. Also, Google Earth makes a lot of places look easy, then you get there and see it for real.
 

Calbuck

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Apr 6, 2013
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360
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Shasta County, Norcal
If you've never hunted before, take a moment to do a "reality check" on what you are setting out to do. Aside from just getting out there, if you are successful in putting an animal down you'll run into some unfamiliar territory as far as field dressing/quartering and getting that meat out of there unspoiled. Just be aware of the realities you may face and you'll have a good time
 
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rn.jones053

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May 16, 2015
Messages
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Oregon
palerider- thank you for the welcome!
JustHunt- I do hope to return to the same unit for at least several years in a row to gain experience hunting, thanks for the advice and for being optimistic.
Calbuck- Thanks for the reminder on break down, meat care, packing out.

I appreciate all of your comments. I am new to hunting however I do have experience backpacking, camping, hiking etc... so I am pretty confident in those aspects of the hunt and I'm in pretty good physical shape. I've simply never attempted to harvest an animal and have no experience in Idaho. I do know the feeling of underestimating based on Google Maps and will not make that mistake again! I'm mostly concerned with the altitude which I have not experienced in quite sometime. Some of you expressed aspects unique to hunting such as breaking down an animal, packing it out, etc.. I am worried about this as well (if I'm successful) but have done all I can save for actually doing it (watched videos, read books, studied the steps, etc..) In summary it's just the hunting specific aspects of the trip I'm concerned with.
 
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rn.jones053

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Oregon
Most definitely, I'll post a recap after it's all said and done. Hopefully it goes well, but I've read others on the forums postings on their hunts and I always find them informative and entertaining regardless if an animal was harvested or not.
 
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to get into one of the wilderness boundaries you mentioned is quite a hike. once you get in there you'll see a huge outfitter tent and a whole lot of horses. :)

having hunted this unit for the last six years and many others in Idaho id say that the only thing nastier is the church!

come on idahohillboy
 
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thanks for your reply. I would love to stay in Oregon but my father and I are able to hunt Idaho cheaper as he is a resident of WA. Idaho offers non-res disabled veteran rates which we both qualify for and Orgeon does so only for res. The internet scouting has proven invaluable using IDFW, google earth, hunt chip and the onXHUNT membership have all greatly assisted me as a new hunter and boots on the ground this summer will hopefully be more efficient because of it. Just trying everything I can to get into some elk and good luck to you this upcoming season!

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
I'm following. family and i take advantage of the same benefits.
 
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rn.jones053

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Joined
May 16, 2015
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
to get into one of the wilderness boundaries you mentioned is quite a hike. once you get in there you'll see a huge outfitter tent and a whole lot of horses. :)

having hunted this unit for the last six years and many others in Idaho id say that the only thing nastier is the church!

come on idahohillboy
I didn't think about outfitters. That's a little disappointing to hear. Although the fact that you've hunted the unit the last 6 years seems promising! Thanks for your input
 
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I didn't think about outfitters. That's a little disappointing to hear. Although the fact that you've hunted the unit the last 6 years seems promising! Thanks for your input
ill leave you with this...put in your time(scouting/training) this summer and you will be rewarded(same as anywhere else in Idaho). if not, and you show up out of shape you will not have fun and go home empty handed. finding elk doesn't require 20 miles of boot leather.

AND id advise against sharing your experiences with anyone or you just might have 200 of your new best friends from rokslide joining you next year.

watch out for the bigfoot.
 
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rn.jones053

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Messages
15
Location
Oregon
ill leave you with this...put in your time(scouting/training) this summer and you will be rewarded. if not, and you show up out of shape you will not have fun and go home empty handed. finding elk doesn't require 20 miles of boot leather.



watch out for the bigfoot.
I'm​ definitely training and will scout most likely in July. Hopefully I'll be in shape enough but there is always room for improvement. My wife told me to look out for BigFoot too haha. Thanks for the reply!
 

theleo91386

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Apr 1, 2016
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Eastern Washington
Grizzlies aren't a problem but Black bears will raid your camp if your not careful. With this being your first hunt the biggest trap you need to be careful of is that you don't get elk down further away than you can haul it before it spoils. On foot, that's a pretty easy trap to fall into in that country.
 

ndbuck09

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Feb 16, 2015
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446
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Boise, ID
If you've gone backpacking, true backpacking in real mountains where you hike trails for 8-9 miles a day then going elk hunting in the wilderness area won't be too terribly different. But do train heavy loads for heavy loads cause it really helps to have your hip flexors used to 100# when you need to do it.

You can usually tell where outfitter camps are located too, even in the summer, because there will be a lot of saw evidence around a fairly large flat area. It takes some space for horses and larger camps. If you see this, move a couple miles away from it.
 

jlhois

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May 9, 2015
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398
Location
Boise
No grizzly but wolves are around. Actually picked ip my first wolf on game camera in 36A last year.

To piggy back on paleraiders comment.....wilderness does not mean you will be alone. The White Clouds get a lot of recreational use Outside the wilderness areas in 36 there is a ton on mountain biking/motorcycles/atv/utv. Put that alongside the guys on horseback it can get pretty busy. Access to the trailheads is good and you can easily tell the amount of pressure you will receive by the amount of horse trailers around them.

Make sure you get some heavy backpack training in and do it at elevation. Last year OTC Archery Elk tag took me to 10k feet of elevation with multiple days of snow.

It is beautiful country.

Good luck.


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rn.jones053

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May 16, 2015
Messages
15
Location
Oregon
Theleo91386- Thanks for the heads up on black bears. We will make it a point to keep a clean camp, hang food, etc.. It seems pretty common advice to avoid packing in too far on a first hunt, so I'll definitely be keeping this in mind when scouting this summer. I would hate to harvest an animal and have the meat spoil due to my inability to pack it out.

Idahohillboy- Thank you for your reply. I won't be utilizing an outfitter. I agree that it may be the best bet and possibly the best way to approach a first hunt, however I simply don't want to pay for the service as like most my funds are not so deep. I also am attracted to the romanticism of DIY bow hunting and even if this leads to a terrible first experience I'm confident I'll learn a lot and 2018 will be all the better!

ndbuck09- Very much appreciate the tip on how to locate outfitter utilized areas! I have not been on the type of trip you are describing for some years but do have past experience, mostly via the ARMY and rucking through tough terrain with fairly heavy loads. I am currently planning a variety of training hikes and trips here in Oregon at altitude and this should provide me a good gauge of my current physical capabilities. I know getting through something one off and being able to do it day after day are two completely different situations, so my ego may take a hit but as others have pointed out it is crucial to be able to preserve the meat so I'm okay with that. I will definitely take your advice on training heavy loads as well, thanks.

Elkholic30- I'm actually kind of excited at the prospect of hearing some wolves! Although I'd be okay with not hearing or seeing any as well :) Heavy load training at altitude seems to be a common tip and as expressed above I have it "on the books". I'm lucky in this regard as I live in a state that has plenty of opportunity for such training, so just up to me to go get it. Yes it does seem that the white clouds area gets a variety and multitude of people and this is somewhat disappointing but truly only because it is opposite of my initial expectations.

Thanks to all for the advice, replies and tips! I did not expect so much feedback, and am feeling much more confident heading towards my first hunt. Rokslide and particularly the forums have proven such a great resource over the last several years for me as a wannabe hunter and without it I'm not sure if I'd have ever made the jump. It truly is a great place for guys and gals like myself who are trying to get into hunting without knowing anybody, growing up doing it, etc... I'm sure I still have a ton to learn, and will always but hopefully in the future I'll be able to positively contribute to others as you all have for me.
 
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