Thursday, October 9, 2014

Big game rifle seasons open in SW Idaho on Friday; a few tips on where to avoid hunters

Deer season opens Friday in many parts of Idaho. 
Hi all,

Head's up to hikers, trail-runners, mountain bikers and campers ... General deer season opens Friday, Oct. 10 in many parts of Idaho, and will remain open through the end of the month. Then, elk season will be following Nov. 1-9, and there are a multiplicity of hunting seasons that will be running through the fall, including upland bird hunting, duck hunting next to the rivers, and more.

If you're planning to go for an outing in the woods, be sure to wear bright colors -- hunter orange is pretty darn bright and effective! -- and put a hunter orange vest on your dog.

If you'd like to check out the hunting regulations to know the exact dates for the various hunting seasons, check out the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's web site for more information.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions on where you might avoid hunters:
  • Ridge to Rivers trails in the Boise Foothills. The lower foothills trails would be best. There will be road hunters on the Boise Ridge Road, Rocky Canyon Road, Bogus Basin area, and in the Boise River Wildlife Management  Area, north of Harris Ranch. BTW, sheep were seen on the upper Three Bears trail yesterday; they are moving west for the next couple of weeks in the mid-foothills. 
  • October is a great month for visiting the Idaho Bird Observatory on top of Lucky Peak. I noticed that the public is invited to help the bird observatory crew work with owls on the 10th and 11th of October this weekend. See this web site for more information. Here's a video about the operation up there. Great chance to see birds of prey as they move from the Boise Foothills to points south. 
  • Trails in the Owyhee Front would be a good place to go without seeing very many hunters. Check out my book, The Owyhee Canyonlands - An Adventure Guide for specific ideas. I would recommend Succor Creek State Park, Leslie Gulch, Sage Creek, Browns Creek, Toy Pass and Between the Creeks as great places to explore this time of year.
  • Trails in the Hailey, Ketchum Sun Valley area such as Greenhorn Gulch, Hyndman Creek, Adams Gulch, and Galena Lodge area. 
  • Trails close to McCall such as Ponderosa State Park or Jug Mountain Ranch.    
  • Tamarack Resort Trails close to the resort. There are a bunch of short singletracks that are fun for hiking and biking like Pelican, Kestrel and Wild Turkey.  
  •  Anywhere you go in the Boise, Sawtooth or Payette national forest, you are likely to see hunters, so be aware of that. 
As I have done for a number of years, I am going to take a break with my outdoor tips during the fall hunting season, and start them up again after the snow flies. Have fun out there!
- SS    

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