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Old June 28, 2021, 06:23 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 2,140
Go to Colorado.

I am presuming you are doing it yourself, not with an outfitter. I lived and hunted in both Idaho and Colorado for some years, but this is strictly anecdotal.

Both have a lot of public land, but in general it is easier to drive to a good camping and hunting spot in and around one of the "parks" in CO. We went several times to an area past the Sunlight Ski area near Glenwood Springs. You need 4WD mostly for the weather possibilities. (One year is was 4 wheel chains for the whole week!) It was then an over-the-counter tag area. We saw elk, but didn't kill any. Our success was in an area surprisingly close to Denver, a draw area just past Bailey. Filled 5 bull tags there one year. My brother and a buddy came out another year, and we did a "drop camp" with an outfitter above Redstone. Something to consider. One of those 5 Bailey bulls went back to camp on my back. Horses are nice.

Idaho is more rugged, but somewhat lower. Every elk hunt in Colorado was at or near 10,000 ft. The highest peak in Idaho is just over 11,000. But there are fewer parks, and they tend to be private farms and ranches. Areas we hunted included a surprisingly wild area east of Idaho Falls and south of Palisades Lake. The biologists track wolverines in there. Didn't have a tag, but I "counted coupe" on the biggest moose I ever saw in the lower 48 in that country. Another area is the Bitterroot ridge on the Montana border. Grizzly country, if that bothers you. Don't know the current tag situation there, but think all nonresident tags are limited.

Now, elk vs. mule deer. It's true that you usually pick a spot for one or the other. The only muley I killed was on an odd mountain the stuck up alone in the southeast area of the state. Shaped like a volcano, but I don't think it was. Surrounded by farms and ranches, there were lots of deer. That said, when my father and I went with a guide in western Idaho, Dad saw the biggest buck of his life (no tag). When we did the drop camp, I encountered two enormous bucks together. Again, no tag. But the outfitter told me I should have applied. That was during the recession, and tags were going begging. And when we were back in camp in the park behind Sunlight, a muley buck came out at dusk and just danced around about half a mile away across the park. So they do inhabit the same terrain sometimes.

If (when) I go back out, I want to go horseback or bush plane into the central Idaho wilderness area. Wild place. Folks say Sasquatch lives there. That's my western dream hunt. Good luck!
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