Caribou Gear

Idaho Area 27


Oct 24, 2003
I am thinking about deer hunting in this unit for the controlled hunt no.1015. This hunt is Oct. 23-Nov. 18 (in 2003). I am planning on hiring a back country fly in service to get there. I was planning on landing at the Soldier Bar strip and hunting from there. I would also purchase the general season elk tag, just in case. This would be a first fly in hunt for me. Does anyone have better suggestions on areas? Should I buy the elk tag or is it a waste? Any comments on things to watch for when booking a flight or who to book with? Would you recommend another air strip? We would likely set a base camp near the strip and a spike camp a few miles away. Any and all suggestions/comments are much appreciated.
Where is Soldier Bar?? I have been into Thomas Creek and Indian Creek. I see Little Soldier Mountain right there, but I dont see a Soldier Bar landing strip.

Anyway, we flew out of a place in Challis, I wish I could remember the name, but cant right now. I think there's only one or two in Challis, so shouldn't be hard to narrow down. You can probably fly in from over in McCall, much close drive for you.

I was in there in....early October I think it was, sheep hunting. May have been late September. We were on the west side of the river between Indian Creek and Thomas, hunted up Marble Creek alot.

All I know is the country is huge and there really isnt a TON of game, so you do have to cover some ground. The elk will definitely be several thousand feet above the river, so you have to consider hiking up and spiking out to hunt them. We commonly saw mulies down at the river, so thats not as big a deal. If you go late when they are rutting, I'll bet you get some action.

I just located Big SOldier mountain, Soldier Creek, and Soldier lakes on the map. that must be in the vicinity of where you are going, way upstream from where we were. It almost looks like you could hike in from the road and hunt that country?

Anyhow, not much info for ya, but I wouldn't blow 338 on an elk tag "just in case" unless you flat had the money to blow. I think a guy would be doing real good to kill a bull in there if he was strictly hunting for elk, especially on foot. However, if you dont buy a tag and a 375 bull walks out broadside and laughs at you.....dont come looking for me!

Honestly, I was in there for about 6 days, hi and low, glassing all day for sheep. NEVER saw an elk. Did find a nice shed though.

Good Luck, sounds like you've got a little adventure planned! I too am hunting Idaho this year!
I hunted unit 27 this year. found elk bulls after climbing 3500 feet and going back 6 plus miles from Salmon River. did not shoot, because the biggest we saw was only a 5X5. saw lots of spikers and a coupla raghorns.

Only saw one buck, saw dozen does. More than in the last several times there. but this is a harder winter looks like, so well have to see about winter kill. Only saw ONE good track of a good buck, in 44 miles of trail and Xcountry hiking. we were there in mid october.

Not to discourage you , but the late season is lower deer, and MAYBE lower elk, but that depends on snow or lack of snow.

We plan on a base camp at the strip, with survival rations and extra bedding, etc. then ALWAYS head uphill away from airstrip adn away from horse access. As another poster stated: This is not a high density game area, and the five year drought has knocked down some herds. but there are always some good heads about, if you are willing to go several miles and several thousand feet UP. Tough part is camping near water, unless you can melt snow, which allows a dry camp anywhere.
I have hunted the late deer season at lower elevations. Just glass and stalk. not too hard but there are a hundred hunters at each accessible air strip, so we go earlier or go into true backcountry. regards an elk tag: you will pay an extra flyin and flyout if you get an elk, due to weight. that is about 400 500 dollars for the elk. I would no spend for a tag thinking a sure knock cow would be worth it, and that late season has some special bull limits, if I recall. Anyway, if you want to do elk, best to use the first half of your season tag and go in the end of sept for elk, and to learn the ara, then go back for late deer. That is my plan for next time. email me if you want to talk, I can send phone number.

Hoofs Up,

I flew in to Soldiers Bar several years ago in late October to hunt sheep. Never saw a deer or elk while hunting. Rams were tough to find as well but did end up with an 8 year old on the second to last day of the season. Did run in to a fellow packing a small bull back to Soldier Bar. From the pictures I've seen as well as successful hunters at the Challis airport, elk tend to have small racks in this country. If you are looking for a great wilderness hunting experience, this would be a good place to go, but if you are looking for a big rack, there are better places. Deer hunting would probably be more productive in November. Finding water up high can be difficult. The country is straight up and down, but is the makings for a memorable hunt.

I flew with Middle Fork Aviation out of Challis and had no complaints.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 01-21-2004 20:05: Message edited by: BHR ]</font>
I hunted the lower end of 27 for 3 weeks in 2003 for sheep. Saw lots of elk. Half a dozen 280-300 class 6x6's. Nothing huge. It'd be easy to kill a bull. Gettin it out is a different story.

The elk were 17 miles from the the Crags campground. Didn't see a single muley the whole time. I'd think it to be very silly to kill an elk back there.
We started out at the crags last year ,but ended up at Middle fork peak. Theres elk there just isn't alot of them. We ended up just 3 miles from the campground when we ran into a herd. Luckly we shot one bull and that was all the packing out elk we wanted from that place. Really rough country.
T-BONE... "I'd think it to be very silly to kill an elk back there."

Uhhh that being said, YOU want to try this year
I'm game !!!