Idaho Mule Deer Drop Hunt Report

Kenny Miller with an Idaho mule deer

I would like to tell everyone about our wonderful experience with the self guided mule deer drop hunt in Idaho.

As non-residents from Virginia, we put in for the Idaho early season unit 39 controlled mule deer hunt. In the two previous years, we were DIY (DO-IT-YOURSELF) hunters in western Wyoming. We put in extensive Internet research and talked with several of the Idaho game biologists to come up with this draw hunt. In talking with the biologists, they suggested using an outfitter to get far in the backcountry of the Sawtooth Wilderness as possible.

This is when we contacted Outdoors International and boy are we glad of that initial phone call. We knew from the very first conversation that these were our guys. We wanted this to be a self guided hunt and the Outfitter they set us up with accommodated our every need.

Our self guided mule deer hunt began with a long horseback ride into the Sawtooth Wilderness (about 10 hours).

The outfitter put us in a drop camp that had been previously hunted and scouted earlier in the year. He willingly went over Topo maps with us and made us feel right at home. Brian Sullivan took a 21 inch muley on the first day and Denny Clatterbuck got a 25 inch heavy horned muley on the second day. Needless to say we were in mule deer heaven and only two days had passed.

Based on what had been taken and had been seen in those first few days, I had to pass on several decent mulies. Being a whitetail hunter from the East made it extremely difficult to pass up on deer over 20 inches wide. With 10 days still to hunt, I had high hopes of getting a nice one. A couple snow storms later in the week didn’t allow for hunting on two days due to visibility, but it was great hunting after the snow. I eventually had the opportunity to put on two stalks on two different exceptional deer. Both deer were in the 25-28 inch range. But as hunting goes, no shots were fired on either deer. The last stalk was in some steep and rugged terrain and I ran out of daylight. Even though I never fired a shot, the hunt was truly successful and unforgettable.

Based on our wonderful hunting experience, we decided to book a fully guided mule deer and elk hunting combo with the same Outfitter in the fall of 2007. I can’t wait to get there.

by Kenny Miller, Winchester, Virginia

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