Idaho Clearwater Whitetail help??

1_pointer

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My dad and I will be heading to hunt the Clearwater Region in ID for whitetails the week of Oct 18-22. I'm not looking for anyone's honey hole, but some general pointers (pun intended) on areas to narrow down on maps would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

PS- We're both pretty excited about this trip as this will be only the 2nd time that we've deer hunted together outside of our traditional area!

PPS- Any nearby hotel recommendations would be greatly appreciated as well.
 

Wally Dog

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1,
If it were me I'd stay at either the Lewis and Clark in Kamiah 208-935-2556 or the White Pine in Orofino 208-476-7093.
The deer numbers are fine as long as you get up the hill from the main river corridor.
Knocking on doors should work.
Pre- rut time, bring your rattling antlers!
WD
 

JoseCuervo

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If you don't want to stay at the Motels Wally suggested, you are more than welcome to swing by and tow my Tent Trailer up..... as long as you have a 2-inch ball...
 

1_pointer

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Thanks for the help guys! I'll get with dad and see about the tent trailer vs. hotel. Again thanks for the help.

'Gunner- Don't tell my wife I have a 2" ball, I've got her convinced it's a 6"er!
 

TheTone

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Ithica, would you mind sharing any knowledge with a guy who's local to the area but has a hard, make that near impossible, time finding any good places to hunt along the Clearwater?
 

JoseCuervo

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The Tone,
You might not want to concentrate along the Clearwater this year. Or at least not toward the prarie, as the that THG (or as MTMiller calls it, Blue Tonunge) whacked all the Whitetails.

Head farther away from the Prarie, into the timber.

I personally think the biggest bucks that will ever be shot are not going to be in the grain fields or along the river, but they will be deeper in the back country.

Depending on which way you want to go, I think you can figure it out. I once swiped a copy of a grad student's 3 year research paper on migrations of whiteys in the Clearwater. And his conclusion was the driving catalyst for migration was the presence of 4 cm of snow on the ground.

Where I hunt up there, if you start getting snow up high and a bit down low, you can drive a North/South road, and it will be covered with deer tracks crossing from East to West.
 

TheTone

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Ithica, I've been in Lewiston for 23 years, my whole life. Most of the whitetail hunting I do is in the Deary area. I did a little near Peck last fall, the area is great country, but didn't produce for us. They had some die off in the area we were hunting last summer.

Elk gunner, I know all about EHD that we had in the area last year. I'm working for ID Fish and Game this summer on research on EHD. In all the driving I've been doing all along the clearwater I've been seeing very few deer compared to years past. I've seen two bucks that I'd consider shooters, one was in the Kamiah city limits and the other was near Peck. The deer definitely start moving with the snow fall. One of the areas I hunt has been a bust the past couple years due to some early snow. They've been pulling out and heading into a canyon I don't have access to.
 

Ithaca 37

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Tone, I hunt around Peck, Cavindish and Headquarters. I'd say the EHD got 50% of the deer around Peck. We saw plenty of bucks last season and the two boys we had with us got two. Their dad and I didn't shoot anything. The farm areas have the ponds the EHD spreads from. I suspect the gnats are around the river, too. Get away from the ponds and river and you'll find as many deer as usual. To get away from the ponds move up around Deary, Cavindish, Elk River, Pierce etc. I found as many deer there as ever last year. Little tougher hunting them than in farm country. I like the Deary area and can't believe you'd need anything better. Maybe you just need more time scouting. Find out where the does hang around and hunt there during the rut. Nov. 14----20 is prime time. Closer to the 20th the better. If you can hunt your unit from 11/20----11/26 that's great, too.

We got a good idea how many deer there were in most areas in Region 2 while we were turkey hunting last Spring. There's still plenty, although if your frame of reference is only the last 8 years it might seem like there aren't many now. Just remember what you've seen around Region 2 in the last 8 years was an incredible deer population explosion that couldn't be sustained. It was obvious in the last couple of years that Mother Nature would soon figure out a way to decrease the deer population. I was predicting it and so were a few other guys I knew.
 

TheTone

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Scouting time has definitely been really limited to me the past five years with college and work. This year I haven't had a day off since the 4th of July so scouting hasn't been going so good either. The area I hunt near Deary has tons of potential, but its over hunted and lots of bucks don't reach maturity. There was a 170 class deer killed there in the mid 90's by a friend of mine and there are still some whoppers, but they get pounded hard. I elk hunt 10A and have managed to take one deer while elk hunting, an average 5 point but that was about 6 years ago. There was definitely some serious over population issues. Do you hunt private ground or public? Thats one of the problems I've had is access. I actully just remembered an area near Cavendish where I was working last summer that seemed good. I found a 140-150 class set of sheds there and saw a buck that would have been in the 120's. I may have to check that area out this fall. Have you ever spent any time hunting 15, around the South Fork above Kooskia? I've been spending time in the area working this summer and it looks like good country, isn't too heavily roaded and theres lots of public land.
 

Ithaca 37

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Tone, Around Peck we're on private ground. Cavindish and Headqtrs. we're on Forest Service, usually within 5 miles of beautiful downtown Cavindish. Yes, I've been all over Unit 15. Sent a friend to Hungry Ridge last year and he got a real nice 5 point about a mile from the Hungry Ridge road, about three miles East of the road that goes from Grangeville to Florence.

I also like to go about 6-8 miles from Cavindish on Three Bear Road and hike back into the thick timber. Soon as I get a quarter mile from the rd. I never see another hunter. It's great back there when there's snow on the ground and the rut's on.

Biggest secret is to get a half mile from any road as fast as you can, and then slow down and start hunting-----real slow.

I'd spend some time scouting around where you found those 140-150 sheds.
 

TheTone

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Thanks Ithica I really appreciate it. I'll see if I can take your advice and bring home a monster this fall. I'm scouting for elk this weekend, hopefully I can find a big one to tie to a tree.
 
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