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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going out west, Idaho (OCT) to be exact. I'm just wondering what should I expect and what are some things I should bring. We will be horse back riding in to the camp which are walled tents. Any tips or helpful hints would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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For some good advice you should provide some more specifics. You could be hunting deer, bear .elk, moose or even antelope. Are you using bow or rifle? Some more info would help others advise you.
 

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Get into shape well ahead of time. Those horses are going to get you there but there's going to be a lot of shoe leather express on those mountains. Also know your rifle and what your maximum range is. I've only gone DIY so I guess you're going to have to rely on your guide. Take lots of pics and enjoy the hunt whether or not you get shooting. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We will be hunting mainly Elk and Whitetail/Mule Deer. IT will be a rifle hunt. I need to practice shooting at longer ranges as I never really shoot over a 100-120 yds. It's 4 of us and it will be 1 guide per 2 hunters. We aren't going until 2016 but I do want to start getting in shape now.
 

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Work on your cardio and ankles. You must put a pack on your back and work out. Seriously work out. If you don't and just think your going to be okay then you will not have a good time. If you smoke, stop now. Don't buy expensive camo and make sure your boots are well broken in. Your feet need to be harden. Elk don't live in easy to get to areas. I assume your hunt is going to be in Oct. be prepared for rain, snow, heat, or just nice weather. You don't need expensive gadgets and you shouldn't be expected to use the elk calls so don't waste money on that either. Bring a couple of sports bottles or Gatorade bottles for water. I can't express enough about under estimating the altitude and the steep terrian. Blow downs are everywhere and you will walk up a mountain just to walk down it just to walk back up it and then sideways across the mountain just to avoid the wind. A good guide will hunt the wind and will push you hard and fast to get you on elk. Rifle season is a little easier than archery but that doesn't mean it's easy. Keep in mind tha success rate is probably only 25% and thats because it's hard, very hard. I'm in the army and consider myself to be in above average shape. I could have been better. Remember, feet, ankles, back, cardio and inner thighs. Also mentally be prepared for a dawn to dusk hunt with little breaks in between. I recommend a 308 or 7mm or similar. Your scope is what should be your best piece of equipment. A fancy gun is going to get scratched so be prepared for that. A light synthetic stock and a synthetic sling is best. Bring a shooting stick too. You may only get one shot, make it count
 

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Frazz said:
We will be hunting mainly Elk and Whitetail/Mule Deer. IT will be a rifle hunt. I need to practice shooting at longer ranges as I never really shoot over a 100-120 yds. It's 4 of us and it will be 1 guide per 2 hunters. We aren't going until 2016 but I do want to start getting in shape now.
You have the right mind set! My 2 cents. Find a place where you can shoot up and down with some distance. Such as a stripin. Also a very good broke in boot. My choice is Meindl . Best of luck. You"ll be on your way before you know it.
 

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Frazz said:
I'm going out west, Idaho (OCT) to be exact. I'm just wondering what should I expect and what are some things I should bring. We will be horse back riding in to the camp which are walled tents. Any tips or helpful hints would be appreciated. Thanks
Buy Merino Wool Base and Mid Layers. Expensive, but worth every penny. I bought First Lite, it is really good stuff. Also get the headnet type head cover. It is indispensable.

If you don't have a lightweight rifle, get one. A tikka t3 lite in .300 short mag would be perfect.

Stony point II shooting sticks are good. A bipod will probably not fit in your scabbard.

I bought Danner Leather boots, the expensive ones made in the US. I used them on 3 trips out west, and they have been great. You can call them and they will try and size you over the phone, but offer free shipping on returns.

It is tough, I have been out twice for elk and struck out twice. I will back in 2016 though.

If you can, go out early and hike at altitude for a few days. It makes a difference no matter how good of shape you are in.

Take good raingear that can double as a shell. I have been using Cabelas MTO stuff for years and it worked great out there. My guide had the same stuff as me.

Take good sunglasses, if your vision needs correction, get a pair of prescription sunglasses made for you.

Don't carry stuff in your backpack the guide has.

That is about it for now, oh, make a list of everything you take and save it for the future, that really came in handy for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm taking my .300 wm. With a nikon Pro-Staff scope. Is bullet a big concern? For deer I shoot 180 grain cor lock. What about Binos?

Thanks everyone for the good info.
 

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Frazz
Congrats on your first western hunt. I went out for Elk the first time 2006, and i been out every year since, went guided twice, no we go DIY in CO.
What unit in Idaho will you be hunting?
I did a horseback elk hunt in 2007 in unit 17. It was the early rifle (Sept) in the Selway Wilderness.
It was one of the best hunting experiences i ever had. I think everyone should experience this type of hunt at least once in your life.

I spoke with my outfitter a bunch and listened to his suggestions.

Get in the best shape you can.

IMO The biggest thing you need to consider is your horse experience. I would look up a local lesson barn and start taking lessons, tell them what you are doing and ask for basic horsemanship skills.
Where i hunted it was a 9 hour trip into camp, we left every morning on horseback riding at least 1/2 of the day. I have Horses and ride a lot, but the other 2 guys that were on our trip, couldn't walk right for 2 days after the trip in, mostly because they never got off the horse during the 9 hour ride.

Shoot me a PM and we can trade contact info if you want anymore info

Good Luck & Be Safe
 

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IMO The biggest thing you need to consider is your horse experience. I would look up a local lesson barn and start taking lessons, tell them what you are doing and ask for basic horsemanship skills.
Where i hunted it was a 9 hour trip into camp, we left every morning on horseback riding at least 1/2 of the day. I have Horses and ride a lot, but the other 2 guys that were on our trip, couldn't walk right for 2 days after the trip in, mostly because they never got off the horse during the 9 hour ride.

Absolutely! Awesome advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Altitude I think my father in-law said 6,000 ft but not a 100% on that. We are hunting unit 21 in Idaho. I've never rode a horse before so lessons is a great idea.
 

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You not only picked a quality bullet, you picked the best !!!! Shot lots of game with them and won't load anything else ! The trophy of a lifetime depends on the bullet !!
 

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Did my first out west trip in 09 for bear, and moved to MT in '12. Forget what you think you know about hunting clothes. Out here, it's all about layers. Merino wool is the best base layer. I use core4element that I snagged off camofire for dirt cheap. Make sure you have clothes that breathe and a good wind proof jacket. I have Sitka, but you can get quality stuff for less. The most important piece of gear will probably be your binos. Most western hunting is time spent behind binos, so a quality glass makes hours of spotting easy on the eyes. Get a good set of uninsulated boots. Lastly, I'd recommend a good pack like Kifaru or Mystery Ranch. They are expensive, but can be used back east too, especially if you lug a stand deep into public land. Oh yeah, I'd start getting into shape now. I still get exhausted hiking out here at 10,000 ft. Good luck. It's a ton of fun- I loved so much I moved!
 

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You got great advice about getting "familiar" with horses. I had an experience on a DIY trip in CO that would have been much more pleasurable had I had more riding experience and "horse sense" in general. Now 25 years later having owned horses (switched to saddle mules) I look back and can envision how that hunt could have been WAY different. Anyways, you have already been given that advice. You also may not feel as "reliant" upon your guide's services for every move if you are comfortable with your ride.
Idaho is a really awesome state. You may or may not notice the altitude (not to say I wouldn't be trying to get in shape) depending on your body and also where you are hunting. I have found I start to notice altitudde around 7-8000', but not until above 10,000 do I really notice getting winded way easier. The highest peaks in the area are just over 10,000 if I remember correctly, so the valleys and lower parts of the watersheds are not going to be too bad as far as lack of oxygen. Drinking lots and lots and lots of water on my way out has always helped me avoid the altitude headache. And drink plenty when you are there (more than normal) because of the dry climate.
There is lots of history and geology in that area of Idaho. The southern boundry of 21 is the main salmon river. The middle fork of the salmon dumps into the main salmon from the south just as it leaves the "impassible canyon". The "river road" runs along the main salmon until it dead ends towards the western edge of 21 at Corn Creek. This is the beginning of the 100 or so mile "river of no return" trip on the main salmon across the state. Heck, if you have the time to drive down "river road" to corn creek or to the north over lolo pass along the lochsa river or into the selway area via west fork road from Montana don't hesitate. Tons of good car camping in Idaho. I have been fortunate and organized private raft trips on the South and Middle Forks, along with the main salmon and selway rivers.
Here is a primer to the area: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5300616.pdf
I would try to have an idea of the general lay of the land the outfitter hunts. Idaho has a similar mapping app as we do here: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/huntplanner/mapcenter/?layerid=0&lbl=Unit+21&val=199
If your outfitter is located on the main salmon and you have an opportunity to get on a jet boat don't pass it up. Same goes for airplane. Tons of little dirt landing strips in Idaho. I've had to hire both in the past as driving to our destination was just not possible or economical.
The town of Salmon has a small "real" airport and Salmon Air used to run once daily flights from both Boise and Missoula if I remember correctly. Gives another option for those who may need to leave early or arrive late. Book those flights early if you can, I would think rifle season is a popular travel time in that area.
Have Fun!
 
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