THIS AREA OF IDAHO SUFFERED A SIGNIFICANT DEER DIE OFF DUE TO EHD/BLUE TONGUE IN 2021. MANY MATURE BUCKS WERE LOST. HOWEVER, THE HERD REBOUNDED QUICKLY. THIS OUTFITTER HAD A TOTAL OF 16 HUNTERS IN 2022 AND 2023, AND ONLY ONE HUNTER WENT HOME WITHOUT A BUCK, SO MANY OF THESE HUNTERS ARE RETURNING FOR 2024. THEY ARE ONCE AGAIN SEEING LOTS OF DECENT BUCKS ON THE RANCH, AND THE OUTFITTER WILL BE HOSTING 10-12 HUNTERS IN 2024.
You will hunt whitetails in a beautiful area in northwest Idaho, near Kooskia in the Clearwater River area. You will be hunting 1,200 acres of prime Idaho deer habitat and also on several thousand acres of adjacent BLM land. As an aside, the Clearwater River is one of Hunt Nation founder Butch Manasse’s secret steelhead (migratory rainbow trout) spots, with fish averaging 8 to 18 pounds. Fall is a good time to catch them as King salmon are also in the river. Ask us if you have interest in adding on some giant trout/salmon fishing, as we have an excellent fishing guide.
This outfitter has been around many years, operating both in Idaho for hunting and in Alaska for guided charter fishing trips. He owns a nice ranch. Our clients have been re-booking this hunt regularly and have indicated a high level of satisfaction with the deer hunting, the lodge and the overall experience. This area is much more open than most whitetail hunters are used to – almost like mule deer country, making it a really different experience. It means you have time to scope your deer out, and deer are very visible. Shots are from 50 yards to 300 yards. And 7 days to pick out “the one”! Clients will sometimes go back for a second and third time. This is a fun, high-success (normally 100%) whitetail hunt, but it should not be seen as a true “trophy buck” hunt. Deer taken will be nice 8- and 10-point bucks that will top out at approx. 130”. If you want to be pampered a bit, not work too hard, take a nice buck, see gorgeous country, and maybe sneak in a trip for giant steelhead, then this place is top notch. Oh yeah – you can add a turkey too, when the season is open.
A plus here is licensing. He has an allocation of 21 tags for his Area 11A —the deer tag cost is $351.21 in 2023. Your checks are to be made out to Idaho Fish and Game. You get your own Idaho hunting license on line — and you send your tag check to the outfitter who then holds the tag check until Fish and Game actually puts the tags out for sale which they say should be by April, 2023. Another plus is your hunting license can also be used for EITHER lion or bear, should one jump in front of you, but then your deer hunt is over. Hunting licenses are approx. $154. Deer tags are approx. $351.21 and do sell out.
Since opening the private ranch for deer hunts in 1998, this outfitter has had near 100% take on good bucks each year! The hunts are on terrain with elevations averaging from 1,500 to 3,000 feet. He has been outfitting big game hunters since 1971 and his success speaks for itself. The ranch is managed only for wildlife (no cattle), and is open to a very limited number of hunters (around 12 per season). Normally this means a total of 4-5 hunts, with 4 hunters at a time – very low pressure. The ranch has both ground and tower stands, and those will be in place long before the season so the deer have become comfortable with them prior to your arrival. Hunting is relatively low-effort so long as you stick to the stands. The scenery is gorgeous, and you may see mule deer, elk or black bear. Bowhunters are welcome, too, with some blinds well-suited to archery.
HUNTS ARE A FULL 7 DAYS! In Idaho, you can choose to use your tag on a black bear or a mountain lion if one shows.
The deer shown above and elsewhere in this write-up, all came off this hunt. Most are nice 8 and 10 point bucks. He is also doing some habitat improvements that may attract even more deer. This is a fun, high success hunt, with great food and lodging- plus a hunt that gives you a full 7 days! If you want to relax, shoot a buck, shoot the breeze, eat too much and too well, see some great country, take some horns and meat home, then this is your hunt. If you want giant trophy deer, please talk to us about our suggestions for other locations.
The fact that they limit the lodge to 4 people at one time means that a group of 4 owns the whole place for their hunt! We think that is another big plus. On-going work with habitat and upgrades thereof, are really paying off for this gem of a place. And by putting everyone into stands, game moves very freely.
The lodge is truly unique- far beyond what most whitetail hunters expect! The 4500 sq. ft. lodge is located high up in the pines and is very secluded, making for a spectacular setting. You will enjoy family style meals prepared by their chef and beverages for your enjoyment are available. Even a TV, VCR and a pool table are there for your off hours. Private rooms, log furniture and nice showers.
SPRING TURKEY HUNTING
This outfitter also offers a real bargain in terms of a quality turkey hunt! You will hunt the ranch’s 1,200 private acres, and also have access to thousands of acres of adjacent BLM land. This hunt is self-guided (you will do your own calling), but the outfitter will point out the hot spots. Birds are mostly Merriam’s. Hunts are 3 days and include meals and lodging. Hunts are mainly over weekends, and the season runs approx. April 29-May 31. Limit of 2 birds per person. If you book a group, you will have the entire place to yourselves!
2024 PRICES (subject to change without notice until deposit received)
WHITETAILS: $3495 per person. Full 7-day hunt with guiding, meals and lodging included. 6% Idaho sales tax is extra. Non-hunters $1,000 per person
Hunting license is approx. $185. Deer tag is approx. $300 (can also be used for either lion or bear, but then it has been used)
DEER SEASON: Late October to early December.
• .270 cal. minimum. No single shot weapons
• He does not want guests who are trying to be snipers; he just wants those who want a good, clean kill
• Hunts are for one buck. For extra animals, including a doe, coyote, mountain lion, bear, bobcat or turkey, an additional $500 per species will be added to the price. Hunter must have the legal tags, etc., for any additional legal species taken
• Shoot all the coyotes you see as long as it does not interfere with your deer hunt
• The hunting license includes a 3-day fish license and he has some great bluegills and bass in a small lake and he needs some of the small guys caught. They release all the big boys. They have the rods, reels, lures, etc.
SPRING TURKEYS: $1,350 per person. 3-day hunt, self-guided, meals and lodging included. Add $750 for a 2nd bird (2-bird limit). 6% Idaho sales tax is extra.
LOCATION: Northwest Idaho near Clearwater River. Fly to either Lewiston or Spokane. The outfitter is located 75 miles east of Lewiston, up Highway 12. They will meet you in Kooskia, which is right off Highway 12.
Report from one of our clients:
“Very happy with trip. Outfitter and his wife were great. Saw lots of deer. He took outstanding care of the animal I harvested. I took the deer I wanted.” – Vernon S.