Idaho Elk Thoughts...High and Sparse or Transition Zone


Active member
Sep 8, 2023
Good evening. This is my second post. So grateful for the guidance I received on my first post. I have another thought I have been wrestling with in my head...maybe others are having similar thoughts so I thought I would put it out here and see what the HuntTalk folk think. This is not a request for a specific spot.

I have read a ton about the big wilderness area wolves and predator effect on the Elk counts in so many of the wilderness units in Idaho. The Units I have an Elk tag for have some Wilderness Areas that border some lower elk count units that are almost 100% Wilderness area. So, my question is:

I feel like I read so much about the wolves in the wilderness area but then folk say go to the deepest darkest canyon where nobody else will go and you will find Elk. Well, I am willing to go to the deepest darkest canyon many miles from the nearest road, however, those are generally in wilderness areas and I am trying to figure out if then I am moving away from the elk because the elk have been subject to predation too much. Are the elk really in the wilderness areas far from road but in the predator areas or are they more in the transition areas...away from roads but between the wilderness areas and the private lands as they transition to the private lands?

I am admittedly new to the forum so if this question is too specific to a hunting spot please forgive me and I will be happy to take it down, however, the general change in where the elk are seems to be a legitimate topic as they transition there natural habitat from the deep wilderness to other ares due to the predation. So, any input would be fantastic.

Thanks so much in advance.


Well-known member
Feb 17, 2019
As the saying goes elk at where they are
When in heading into the back country I have a specific game plan in mind like going in X miles to X spot for the 1st day or evening but as soon as Im away from truck im hunting checking for sign or taking time looking and glassing as I go
If someone was in the week before me they could have pushed elk closer or farther from where I started going in, my rule of thumb is try to not walk pass elk to go find elk