Idaho Mule Deer Elk Combo Hunt Report
Opening day of Idaho hunting season, October 10th 2009 outside Grangeville, Idaho was a memorable one.
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 hunting 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 hunt was cold, and the weather got colder as the week went on. Every morning we woke at 3:45 am and were out by 5:00 am commencing to wear out some boot leather in search of elk. 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 mule 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.
by Chris Burget