Opening day of Idaho mule deer elk combo season, October 10th 2009 outside Grangeville, Idaho was a memorable one. Earlier this year I was invited by a good friend of mine Dave Suder to join him and 12 of his employees and clients for some mule deer elk combo hunts.
Leaving Ketchum, Idaho on the 9th, I decided to take a shortcut through Stanley past the majestic Sawtooth Mountain range and over to Lowman, then North through McCall and into Grangeville. The drive was beautiful and fall was definitely in the air. We all met at the Grangeville airport and headed out from there in three large SUVs. The drive to camp was an experience as we traveled up a steep dirt road through some very rugged country. We arrived at camp around 4:30 in the afternoon and met the staff. The outfitter has been in business for over 25 years and has put together a first class operation with a staff that is both dedicated and experienced. His mule deer elk combo hunts take place on leases of 55,000 prime acres that is home to Elk, Mule deer, Whitetail deer, Black Bear and Mountain Lions.
Having two weeks earlier taken a nice bull elk with my bow, I was content to simply ride along and share in the camaraderie of being with the others elk hunting. I had several opportunities for a whitetail deer, but passed on two small crab claws.
The first day of the mule deer elk combo hunts was cold and the weather got colder as the week went on. Every morning we woke at 3:45am and were out by 5:00am. The food was great. Breakfast was always my favorite with eggs, bacon biscuits and gravy, French toast etc. We packed a lunch each day and often would not return to camp until after dark.
As for accommodations, they were far better than I expected. I would classify them as far superior to your typical back country camp. Hot shower, Satellite TV and heated sleeping areas with comfortable beds made for an incredible hunt that I would recommend to anyone.
Opening day we had two animals down. By the end of my trip we had eight idaho elk, seven deer, and one bear in camp with three days of combo hunting still to complete. This last week spent with both new and old friends only deepens my bonds to the life and lifestyle I love. Dave’s and Mike’s friendship and the Outfitters’ expertise and hospitality made this last week so memorable.
Because of our groups overwhelmingly positive impression of the week, I am glad to recommend this Outfitter. If anyone is thinking of booking a trip please be sure to contact Outdoors International. This was my 4th guided hunt over the last ten years and it far exceeded my expectations.