Western Wilderness Elk and Deer Hunting
Western wilderness elk and deer hunting is often regarded as adventure hunting and the west is full of wilderness areas. Vast public lands hold elk, deer (both whitetail and muleys), bear, cougar, and wolf. An adventure hunter can find amazing hunts in the wilderness horseback areas of Idaho, Montana and Colorado. One of the most memorable hunts you can go on is a backcountry hunt into the deep wilderness. You will ride horses and stay in wall tents. I have seen many folk come back from trips literally “changed people”. Idaho wilderness elk and deer hunting is unique. The elk and deer tags are guaranteed through an outfitter so you have the ability to hunt 5 species which is super cool. Rifle rut elk hunts in September and early October are the norm; however, there are hunts available after those months with guaranteed tags.
Wilderness hunting is usually quite misunderstood. I will prepare you for what you are getting yourself into. I can help you anticipate some of the “discomforts” before you book your hunt so you will not have any surprises. Many hunting areas in Idaho and Montana have substantially less elk than prior years because of the wolves. The elk are coming back though and we are not only seeing more elk, but we are seeing bigger elk. You need to be prepared to cover some country to find your elk. They are still there and my outfitters know where they live and are good at finding them.
Elk and Deer Hunting on Horseback
Hunting elk and deer on horseback can be very physical. You need to be prepared to sit in a saddle and ride some pretty “technical” rides. The stock you will be on will most likely be a very experienced back country horse familiar with the trails. You need to be in condition to be in the saddle for long periods of time. Riding a horse for any amount of time can make a non-rider sore. I suggest you get some riding lessons in your area. It is good to have some saddle time before you arrive. Your butt and knees will thank you.
Western Wilderness Elk and Deer Hunting – Physical Demands
You will be more successful and have more fun hunting if you are in great shape to hike around in the mountains. Your mind should be focused on training for a backcountry hunt. It’ll be a nice carrot to get you in the shape you want to be in anyway. Wilderness elk and deer hunting is filled with steep country and you don’t want to be reliant on hunting only from the saddle. You will not be as successful. Here is an article I wrote on an eating and exercise plan for longer hunting trips.
Book Your Guaranteed Elk or Mule Deer Tag and Get Ready!
Adventure hunting out west for elk and deer can be rewarding; however, be prepared before you book the hunt. You need to get in shape, get some saddle time and have a mature hunter mindset. These three goals will help you find animals and have fun. Make sure to speak with someone like me who has years in the backcountry. I know all the good wilderness outfitters and can help you find the right fit. Not all wilderness hunting is good and not all wilderness outfitters are good. I can help you sift through all the options and get you in the right place.