Whitetails – Idaho

whitetailsid001Location
Idaho

Dates
2017 Nov. 4-8, 10-14, 16-20

Species
Whitetail Deer in the rut.

Cost
$2,900 for 3 days
$3,700 for 5 days

Overview
This hunt for whitetail deer during the rut in Idaho is one of the most exciting, highest success rate whitetail hunts out West. No matter what your ability level or age, this is a great hunt for everyone as deer are plentiful and shot opportunities,100%.

Idaho Whitetail Deer Hunt

This unique rifle hunt for whitetails takes place during the peak of the rut. Success on this hunt has been 98% with 100% opportunity every year, for nearly four decades. There are two places to hunt: one in the central Panhandle, near the town of Peck, Idaho; the other, a couple hours to the south, near the town of White Bird, Idaho.

whitetailsid007The last time we hunted the southern private property, five of us filled tags on mature bucks in three days. Each trip we’ve taken to the southern ranch, we’ve seen bucks over 150”. This country is rolling hills with some mid-size draws. Deer hang out in the draws and come up to the open plateaus to feed in the afternoon. This area holds what’s touted as Idaho’s most dense population of whitetails, and it’s all on private land this outfitter has exclusive rights to.

The northern property is more wooded. Though many deer live in this area, others migrate in during the rut, so they’re not as readily seen due to living in thicker cover. Seeing a few bucks a day is average, but since it’s the rut, most are shooters. Taking a 150” whitetail buck is very possible on this ranch. The more days you have on this ranch, the better the odds of success.

On the southern ranch, covering ground can be hunted in two ways. For aging hunters or those not in the best of shape, ground is covered on ATVs. You’ll stop at strategic places, walk to the edge of a draw and glass for deer. Once a good buck is located, a stalk commences. For hunters wanting to walk and glass, you and your guide will start at the top of a draw and slowly work your way downhill, where you’ll be met by another guide. In the evening, hunters walk to strategically located points where bucks have been seen and wait for deer to come out of the brushy draws to feed in the grassy fields.

The northern property can find you hunting from treestands and ground posts, whichever offers the best visual for the area being hunted. Keep glassing all day long in this big wooded habitat, as bucks can be on the move all day long.

Taking a 160” buck is possible on either ranch. We’ve seen three bucks we’d put at over 160” and two were well over 170”.

whitetailsid011Shots are typically between 150-300 yards, but long-range shots can also be taken for hunters who specialize in that. Hunters comfortable shooting out to 500 yards can greatly increase their odds of connecting on a big buck.

Because it’s the rut, you’ll want to be in the field from daylight to dark, unless unseasonably hot weather sets it, which can happen. One season, in the second week of November, we experienced daytime temperatures into the 80s, but everyone in camp tagged out. Pack a lunch each morning to take with you if planning to be afield all day. If you want to return to camp for lunch, that can also be done. Daylight hours are short this time of year, from about 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and this is the rut, so be ready for a day afield if conditions allow.

Weather can range from sunny and in the 70s to raining and heavy snow. Monitor the weather before your trip and pack, accordingly.
Accommodations at the northern camp are in a house with fully cooked meals, beds and showers. The southern camp features small cabins and a main gathering area, complete with beds and showers.

Tag, License & Tax Costs
-$154.75 for nonresident hunting license.
-$301.75 for regular season nonresident deer tag.
-6% Idaho sales tax on cost of the guided hunt.

Travel Planning
If choosing to drive, accessing both camps 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 the camp south of Grangeville, near White Bird.

The northern camp is about an hour’s drive from Lewiston, east, to the town of Peck.

Take a cooler or two to transport cape, antlers and any meat.