Mule Deer Hunting Review – Idaho Wilderness

Mule deer hunting in Idaho

While I did not harvest a mule deer I consider this one of my most successful hunts and I’m going back next year for sure.

mule deer hunting in idahoHaving been an avid Sheep hunter turned upland bird hunter for the past decade it has been a long time since I have visited the wilderness for big game. The longing for the mountains and the wilderness has been nonetheless building over the years. I have long had a fascination with mule deer, big mule deer, and decided it was time to get going.

As I was out of the big game hunting loop for quite some time I began my research on the Internet and discovered Outdoors International. Marc Warnke was personable and clearly well informed and connected. After discussing a wealth of possibilities, at his recommendation I chose a late season Idaho mule deer hunt in the Frank Church Wilderness. The outfitter and his wife were so helpful and accurate in their description of their hunting opportunity, and once I decided to book my hunt for the last week in October they prepared me for the trip with advice and an excellent packing list.

Flying into the back country air strip

Flying in from Challis, ID to the back country airstrip

Enjoying the flight

Unloading the plane

Everything went smoothly and the flights in and out of the remote airstrip in the Frank Church Wilderness were perfectly coordinated. The camp was wilderness luxury with top notch tents, wood stoves, cots with 2″ foamy mattresses, and gourmet meals. My guide Adam was a delight to be with. He was extremely knowledgeable of the area and did a fantastic job of taking this in shape “flatlander” through Idaho’s high country.

Camp

Unit 26 is absolutely breathtaking and the game was plentiful. We saw no less than 10 bucks per day and often more than twice that. My personal choice was a 190 or better deer. I had the opportunity to take a number of 170 class deer and passed. I did get one chance at a SLAMMER but was unable to take the shot in time (my fault but it was doable). We watched another solid 190 class mule deer buck whose rack was well past his ears, high and with great mass but were unable to get close enough for a shot. That is what hunting is all about.

Glassing from the ridge

Packing in with the horses

While I did not harvest a mule deer I consider this one of my most successful hunts and I’m going back next year for sure. I am in the process of arranging for one of my hunting buddies to come with me as this is too good of an experience to not have someone to share it with. I cannot recommend Marc Warnke of Outdoors International highly enough and thank him for steering me in the perfect direction. Also, my great thanks to the outfitter for a fantastic wilderness hunt for trophy mule deer.

Louis DiGiovani
Hudson, New York

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