Daily recap of last week’s Idaho wolf hunting trip
Day one of Idaho wolf hunting turned out to be rainy in the morning but the afternoon provided for some good weather and allowed some good wolf hunting. Glassed two wolves running the ridge we were actually on late afternoon. Made a game plan and went after them. Got to the focal point for an opportunity and for calling but didn’t quite work as they seemed to have cut through a drainage to the adjacent ridge. At that point, time was against us as it was getting dark and had to head back down.
Day two, we headed back to hunt the two wolves we located the night prior. But as it would have it we were socked in with weather, primarily fog, sleet and snow. Couldn’t really count on having a productive day with any glassing or calling. So made a decision to move on and look for some kills to hunt off of. About 11 am, located a kill, we went ahead and hiked up to determine the cause, be it a wolf or a cat kill (it was a cat kill about a week old). At that point we had a small break in the weather and spotted a pack of six wolves just leaving a attempted stalk on a herd of elk. Things were looking quite good as the wolves were about 800 to 1000 yards away and part of the pack bedded down. So we made our plan and started to move in. Upon getting closer the weather started coming back in. To make the story short, the wolves had gotten up and were re-positioning and were then hidden by the thick fog, and with that scenario, we waited for the weather to open up a viewing again, so we could plan our route now that they were re positioning but weather never really allowed.
Day three, weather was good, we decided to split up. Two up us went back to relocate and hunt the pack of six as we hoped they might try to make a kill during the night, and the other two went after a different group that we had cut fresh tracks on the same day we spotted the six. We hunted hard but to no avail. We did determine the pack of six ended up moving around the mountain into area that was unreasonable to get to with out spiking.
Day four, socked in with weather again all day, snowed 8 to ten inches. Decided to go check on two kills that a different pack had killed week prior and had the hopes of finding a new one. The kills had been washed away by the rise of the river, so started working drainage’s by foot and snow mobile. We located some day old (HUGE) tracks so I knew that pack was more than likely still there and we kept on working that area. As the day progressed and as we were moving to another area we had a stroke of luck as we bumped two wolves that were running the road. We literally caused them to slide to a stop and run up the mountain. We went after them with the hopes of calling or getting a view and shot but to no avail.
Day five and last day, turned out to be nice day. With the new snow, we decided to go to another pack, in doing so we ran snow machines to cut fresh tracks and go from there. We did cut some within a hour or so, they seemed to be a large male and female that were moving or running with the intent of possibly finding a den site. These were probably not established pack but were ones that were going to start one. In any regard the tracks were probably only an hour or so old, so we followed them hoping to catch them at a resting area. We followed them for about 10 miles, ultimately they kept climbing higher and higher and where they ended up was a basin with about 8 feet of snow. This was not a area we could not maneuver around in so we had to give it up. For the last part of the day we glassed an area that a pack was in the week prior but no luck. Thus the end of the hunt.
In conclusion: All in all it was good hunt but not successful. As we had three close calls, lots of activity, saw over 3,500 elk, and hundreds of deer, and a few coyotes, but just needed a bit more time considering the weather hindering. I did offer for the guys to stay longer if they would like, but one hunter couldn’t because of time crunch and the other almost did but ultimately decided to go. Both hunters were awesome and had great motivation. They do want to come back to go again.
Challenges of the hunt beyond weather, on day one, I forgot to put the spare in after I loaded the snow machine in the truck and wouldn’t you have it, we got a flat. Luckily it was at one of the prime hunting spots and with the help of a couple friends got the spare up there with out much impact on the hunt day. Had issues with snow machines on the last day. One broke down so we had to piggy back. Other than that it went smooth.
For any future wolf hunts, I am considering upping it to a six or seven day hunt.
by the Outfitter
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