September 4-8, 10-14, 16-20 (2017)
Black Bear, Color Phase Bears
This black bear hunt in central Idaho offers both spot-and-stalk and hound hunting opportunities. The terrain ranges from moderate to challenging, so be in shape, especially if desiring to hunt behind a pack of hounds. The better condition you’re in, the greater the chance of filling a tag on this black bear hunt.
Idaho Fall Black Bear
This is one of our favorite fall bear hunts and we’ve been on it multiple times. Whether you’re a veteran bear hunter or a first time black bear hunter looking to score, this is a great hunt. The bear meat from this area, this time of year, is very good eating!
This black bear hunt is usually done by way of spot-and-stalk, but if natural food source production is down, hounds are brought in to help find bears. On one of our recent hound hunts here, our party went 3 for 3 in three days, and one of those bears qualified for the Boone & Crockett Record Book. The next fall, we also went 3 for 3, and one of those bears was a beautiful chocolate phase black bear.
The outfitter has some exceptional houndsmen, and their dogs are top-notch. Success has been 100% in the past few years, with bow, rifle and pistol. Once the pack of hounds smells a bear, they’re turned loose to track it down. Sometimes the bears tree quickly, sometimes they bay-up on the ground, making for exciting action. A series of logging roads on this private land hunt makes getting into position much easier than on a wilderness hunt. Be prepared, however, as if a bear turns and heads into the rugged backcountry, hikes can be long, rugged and steep. Hound hunting usually takes place in the early morning hours, when the temperatures are cool and the ground moist.
If desiring a spot-and-stalk hunt, that normally takes place in the late afternoon and evening, when bears venture across open hillsides to feed in the many wild plumb thickets. Here the hunting approach is to hike to high points in the steep mountains and glass for bears as they move out of the timber and into plumb thickets to feed in the draws below. Shots can be long, over 500 yards, and hunters will want to be in good shape. If you’re a fan of long-range shooting, this hunt’s for you, as it greatly increases the odds of success. Since hounds aren’t run in the evening, for fear of losing them overnight, spot-and-stalk is the primary approach at this time, meaning hunters can experience both thrilling tactics.
Accommodations are basic lodge-style, with full showers, baths and beds available. There’s one main building with a few cabins on the grounds. A camp cook will make sure you’re well fed. Lunches are usually had at the cabin, midday, where you can also take a quick nap before the afternoon hunt. There is cell reception at the camp.
Tag, License & Tax Costs
-$154.75 for nonresident hunting license.
-$186 for regular season nonresident bear tag.
-6% Idaho sales tax on cost of the guided hunt.
If choosing to drive, accessing the camp is easy, even by car. If flying, the closest airport is in Lewiston, Idaho. From there, rent a car and head south two hours, to bear camp, based near the tiny, historic town of White Bird. If wanting to spend time around Boise, the drive north to camp takes about four hours. The closest “big” little town is Grangeville.
Once tagged out, it’s your responsibility to get the bear hide sealed, a tooth pulled and your kill, registered, which is done in Grangeville, about 45 minutes from camp. Take a cooler to transport the bear hide, skull and any meat, which is your responsibility to get home.