September (specific dates TBS)
Black Bear, Color Phase Bears
This black bear hunt in central Idaho offers both spot-and-stalk and hound hunting opportunities. The terrain range from moderate to challenging, so be in shape, especially if desiring to hunt behind a pack of hounds.
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 timer looking to score, this is a great hunt.
This hunt is usually by way of spot-and-stalk, but if food source production is down in dry years, hounds are brought in to help find bears. The last time we went on this hound hunt, our party went 3 for 3 in three days, and one of those bears qualified for the Boone & Crockett Record Book.
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 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 make 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.
If desiring a spot-and-stalk hunt, that takes place in the late afternoon and evening, when bears venture across open hillsides to feed in wild plumb thickets. Here the plan is to hike to high points in the steep mountains and glass for bears as they move out of the timber 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 filling a tag. 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.
Hunts with hounds start at daylight, while moisture is still on the ground, and run through late morning. It can be very hot in the day, in which case the dogs won’t be run. Most bears move into the wooded draws to feed at nighttime, then tracks are cut in early morning. Evening hunts are spot-and-stalk. Lunches are usually had at the cabin, midday, where you can also take a quick nap before the afternoon hunt.
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 usually 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 hide, skull and any meat, which is your responsibility to transport home.