Mack Prioleau: Where To Hunt Elk in Idaho


Mack Prioleau: Elk Hunting in Idaho

New hunters are crazy to even think they can hunt elk on their very first trip, but for Mack Prioleau, it doesn’t matter whether you start with small or big game right away. This is because the entire debate rests on getting a game tag, which is to say if you’re lucky enough to get one, you should absolutely go for it. If you ask him where he’d go and get a game tag given the chance, he’d still pick an elk tag and at Idaho no less. No other state in the country can top the exhilarating experience of hunting free-range elk in the remote wilderness.

Where To Go

While some believe Idaho doesn’t compare with the public elk hunting experience in Arizona, Idaho still offers hunters good value for their money. A non-resident elk tag comes to about more or less $500-$600, but you’re almost guaranteed to have a close encounter with a mature elk because of their large population. Mack Prioleau has these locations in mind for elk hunting in Idaho:

First, Sawtooth National Forest, which spans some 756,000 acres at the heart of Idaho. Exploring the terrain is an experience on its own, with thick pine forests and glacially carved valleys. Aside from elk, the Sawtooth Mountains are also home to mule deer, moose, wild turkeys, bobcats, and cougars. Mack hopes for a trip to Sawtooth in the fall. He’ll set up camp and hunt for a week.

The second location is Caribou-Targhee National Forest, which is much bigger than Sawtooth National Forest. This forest is great for DIY elk hunting especially if you’re with a group of experienced hunters. He imagines this is how it’ll go: you’ll set up camp, then explore the geography, track some elk patterns, and wait. Waiting is always the hardest part of the game. This is why, at least for Mack Prioleau, hunting at national forests is worth the risk; the spectacular scenery helps take away some of the frustration.

Aside from national forests, Mack Prioleau has heard favorable reviews hunting in the parts of Unit 23. The Hells Canyon Wilderness is a third of Hells Canyon National Recreation, which runs between Idaho and Oregon. Hunters claim that elk here are relatively easier to spot, but the rugged terrain demands that you get into shape before setting foot here. If you’re up for the challenge like Mack Prioleau is, you can experience hunting elk on horseback here at Hells Canyon. Plenty of hunters have done so, and they commonly describe the experience as unforgettable.

Last but not the least, Mack Prioleau picks Beaverhead Zone, which covers Units 30, 30A, 58, 59, and 59A. Among them, 30A is the most popular with a number of elk spotted up in the mountains. Like Hells Canyon, this is more of an advanced hunting trip, due to the erratic climate in the area. It’s windy and you can get a beating from the elements. However, the elk bulls are as big as they get, and the chances are high for a trophy hunt.

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