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Jarbidge Hunting Area 071-079

Allenchrisx1

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Hello fellow hunters, I’m new to the Jarbidge area and I drew a tag for 2023 and I, super excited. But… I know nothing about the area. I just wanted to see if anyone can point me in the right direction or give me some advice on where to start. I’ve heard that the roads up there aren’t that great but we do have a 27 foot travel trailer that we plan on taking. Any help or advice would greatly appreciated. Have a great day everyone!
 
I just went up there about a week ago for the first time for a brief scouting trip.

I tried driving up the dirt road from the south which is what google maps recommended when I started from Elko, NV, but the road was closed just after it entered the wilderness area going up from the south

so the next day I went from the north from Idaho, road had recently been graded from where the pavement ends all the way to the tiny town of Jarbidge.

the road had a creek flowing over it and was closed just south of Jarbidge.

a pickup truck can make it from the north in good weather no problem, there was a small hotel advertising an RV park in Jarbidge so it would appear to be possible to get an RV down there.

I don’t think you should bother trying to bring a trailer up from the south, just take the road from Idaho.

the vegetation is thick And the mountain slopes steep, I got pretty winded doing a trek up to the top of a ridge near the town, and I’m an avid hiker.

I didn’t see any game animals during the brief time I was there, but I saw a lot of what I believe to be elk tracks and droppings
 

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It's been quite a few years (2012 maybe?), but we came in from the east with a 25' fifth wheel. The road is rocky, and we did have a blow out, but no issue getting it in. Quite a few good camp spots were available the day before season opened.
 
I have hunted there over Halloween about 7 years ago so I guess is the late rifle deer tag that goes into the first few days of November. I used horses each time and covered up to 14 miles some days. Never saw a massive set of antlers during the rifle hunt and got a mule deer around 150", 4 x 3, weak fronts. Missed on first shot and a weak spring under the remaining rounds failed to push forward the next round in the first ejection cycle so heard the loudest click ever. I had to cycle the bolt again and nudge the next round into the chamber. Whack. I only loaded one round at a time at the range and was a rifle new to me. Doh. I worked on the gun that night and after a stretching of the spring all has worked fine.

Saw 50 different bucks on that hunt and many of them multiple days and saw bucks mostly in the wilderness but some were outside. Never bumped another hunter, perhaps as we went in deep into the wilderness. Glassing was easy at first light and last light as the shadows of the deer stretched out yards. Saw 80% of the deer in first and last 30 minutes of light. Evenings were usually better. During the day would turn up a few bedded bucks but not many and was eye-numbing and neck-aching work.

I also hunted there with the early muzzleloader elk tag about 3 years ago. This hunt was earlier in the autumn, I only bumped a couple of average bucks and they were up high.

If packing in by foot to camp, figure out how to obtain water because where I was the creeks are low while the deer are usually up 1500' higher. That is a lot of up and down elevation, often at 20 degree or steeper slopes, if trying to refill water daily.

Ruby buck 2012 cropped.JPG
 
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If you come in from the south from Charleston or Wildhorse there are lots of places to camp with a trailer before you get to the spot with the 15% grade which is right above the town of Jarbridge.
If you come in from the north via Murphy's hot springs the road is usually pretty good as far as bringing in a trailer.
It is a long way to drag a trailer over a dusty and often washboard road but there is also a lot of good hunting to be had in the lower stuff before you get to the wilderness area.
It's been about 15 years since we've hunted there so I don't know if you can get fuel in Jarbridge.
 
If you come in from the south from Charleston or Wildhorse there are lots of places to camp with a trailer before you get to the spot with the 15% grade which is right above the town of Jarbridge.
If you come in from the north via Murphy's hot springs the road is usually pretty good as far as bringing in a trailer.
It is a long way to drag a trailer over a dusty and often washboard road but there is also a lot of good hunting to be had in the lower stuff before you get to the wilderness area.
It's been about 15 years since we've hunted there so I don't know if you can get fuel in Jarbridge.
There is a place to get fuel in Jarbidge (at least there was a place last year), but make sure you let your CC company know that you might be in the area. I have had my card locked due to "fraud" when trying to get fuel there. At least with my debit card, since it is not a normal gas station. CC was a little easier. It's not cheap fuel, but when the other option is a long drive over those washboard dirt roads you mentioned, it's worth it to grab a few gallons. Don't forget to stop in the local watering hole/restaurant and grab something to drink and chat up the locals. They have given me some great little tid bits of information over the years.
 
I hunted this last year with my dad. He had the tag and it was an ass kicker. The roads in that country are pretty awful but I did draw a small ATV trailer into a few spots. I'm not sure how it will go with a travel trailer though. The country is beautiful and we seen a pile of elk, but mule deer with any size were tough to find. Spend a lot of time on the glass and you should turn something up. We only seen two bucks that were decent and one of them was a solid shooter for sure. My old man was battling some heart trouble and I couldn't get him on the buck fast enough. I had hunted this on the early archery hunt in 2015 and that hunt was much better. Have fun and good luck.
 
The big one is going to be dead and in a freezer by the time your hunt starts.
Don’t listen to these types of comments. There will be big bucks killed on the late season rifle and archery hunts after your hunt is over. I knew two guys with the late rifle hunt last year that hunted the same country as we did on the early hunt…both killed big bucks. One of them was a 5x7 over 190. Plenty of big deer will be alive during the early rifle hunt.
 
Don’t listen to these types of comments. There will be big bucks killed on the late season rifle and archery hunts after your hunt is over. I knew two guys with the late rifle hunt last year that hunted the same country as we did on the early hunt…both killed big bucks. One of them was a 5x7 over 190. Plenty of big deer will be alive during the early rifle hunt.

I said that because I got an archery tag for the same unit. It was said in jest.
 

Allenchrisx1

You know there is also a lot of good hunting to be had on the eastern side of the range on the O'Neil basin side.
Some of the ones he have hunted, Camp creek, Sun creek, Cottonwood creek, Canyon creek, Wildcat creek. All of these reach into the wilderness area if you care to hike in.
You also have Mary's river that comes in from the south that goes into the heart of the wilderness area as well.
You might have less competition away from the wilderness area near the main road up on top because so many people focus only on the wilderness area.
The Snake range north of Wells also has some big bucks as well.
 
If you are curious the road is still impassible due to snow. I was heading from Montana to Elko for a work trip and google said that road would only add an hour to my drive. Added a lot more than that backtracking almost all the way to Rogerson.
 
If you are curious the road is still impassible due to snow. I was heading from Montana to Elko for a work trip and google said that road would only add an hour to my drive. Added a lot more than that backtracking almost all the way to Rogerson.
Snowpack maps show snow only at the higher elevations.
 

Allenchrisx1

You know there is also a lot of good hunting to be had on the eastern side of the range on the O'Neil basin side.
Some of the ones he have hunted, Camp creek, Sun creek, Cottonwood creek, Canyon creek, Wildcat creek. All of these reach into the wilderness area if you care to hike in.
You also have Mary's river that comes in from the south that goes into the heart of the wilderness area as well.
You might have less competition away from the wilderness area near the main road up on top because so many people focus only on the wilderness area.
The Snake range north of Wells also has some big bucks as well.
That's good advice. Also across the basin on Elk Mt.
 
If you come in from the south from Charleston or Wildhorse there are lots of places to camp with a trailer before you get to the spot with the 15% grade which is right above the town of Jarbridge.
If you come in from the north via Murphy's hot springs the road is usually pretty good as far as bringing in a trailer.
It is a long way to drag a trailer over a dusty and often washboard road but there is also a lot of good hunting to be had in the lower stuff before you get to the wilderness area.
It's been about 15 years since we've hunted there so I don't know if you can get fuel in Jarbridge.
I also have the late Jarbidge Elk hunt, Nov-6. Im getting older so I plan to come in from murphy's hot spring's and try some of the lower country due to health issues. Ive been told I should be able to find some sort of decent bull with some heavy winter weather. I had 14 points but decided I better use them on something I could draw rather than continue putting in for the tougher to draw areas. I've never been in that country so I'm looking forward to it regardless. Any advice or pointer's would sure be appreciated.
 
It's been quite a few years (2012 maybe?), but we came in from the east with a 25' fifth wheel. The road is rocky, and we did have a blow out, but no issue getting it in. Quite a few good camp spots were available the day before season opened.
So did you go in from the Jackpot area?
 
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