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mconway951
01-25-2012, 05:38 PM
Hey guys im new here so ill give a lil intro.

Im Mike Im 29 from Minnesota have hunted everything here in MN and hunted antelope and mule deer in WY and SD. this coming fall i would like to try my hand at elk I am going with some friends in CO in november but would also like to try elk in the Selway Bitterroot wilderness area. I have heard mixed reviews of this area. I am not looking for your secert spot i am simply looking for a review of the area. I have been told it is super steep and brushy and practically un huntable. Now i am looking to back pack it and get in a ways to hunt. Is it a doable hunt or am i just dreaming? I am not looking for a trophy just a respectable bull.

hvfd21walker
01-25-2012, 06:10 PM
Theres plenty of hunting to be had in the Selway. Nothing is ever to steep or brushy. Thats where the elk live. But they are having a problem with wolves. The elk population had declined dramatically the last few years. Some good bulls come out of there every year also.

mconway951
01-25-2012, 06:19 PM
Theres plenty of hunting to be had in the Selway. Nothing is ever to steep or brushy. Thats where the elk live. But they are having a problem with wolves. The elk population had declined dramatically the last few years. Some good bulls come out of there every year also.

Thanks i had heard about the wolves but i had also heard since the wolves moved in and elk numbers dropped that the hunting preasure droped as well hope that is true.
I am thinking of going on a spring bear hunt in there this may as a lil bit of a scouting trip and of course hunting trip to find a bear. is there many bears in there?

Bitterroot Bulls
01-25-2012, 07:43 PM
Hunting pressure hasn't dropped too much. There are much fewer elk in the Selway than ... say ... ten years ago.

Even so, the Selway is B ... I ... G. The outfitters cover a lot of country, but much doesn't see a boot. If you can get away from the major portal trailheads, river, and landing strips, you can still find some critters. Buy some wolf tags.

The Selway still has excellent bear hunting, however.

mconway951
01-25-2012, 08:43 PM
Hunting pressure hasn't dropped too much. There are much fewer elk in the Selway than ... say ... ten years ago.

Even so, the Selway is B ... I ... G. The outfitters cover a lot of country, but much doesn't see a boot. If you can get away from the major portal trailheads, river, and landing strips, you can still find some critters. Buy some wolf tags.

The Selway still has excellent bear hunting, however.

Thats good to hear i dont mind getting our away from crowds...i just ordered the maps from national forest service is there a place i can look and see where the landing strips are so i dont hike right into one.

A wolf would be a great trophy as well. How is the mule deer hunting in there?

A3dhunter
01-25-2012, 09:32 PM
Thats good to hear i dont mind getting our away from crowds...i just ordered the maps from national forest service is there a place i can look and see where the landing strips are so i dont hike right into one.

A wolf would be a great trophy as well. How is the mule deer hunting in there?

I would think google earth would show the landing strips pretty good, there shouldn't be too many places where there are long green strips.

Bitterroot Bulls
01-25-2012, 09:37 PM
Thats good to hear i dont mind getting our away from crowds...i just ordered the maps from national forest service is there a place i can look and see where the landing strips are so i dont hike right into one.

A wolf would be a great trophy as well. How is the mule deer hunting in there?

Buy the Selway Wilderness Maps from the Forest Service Maps Website. The landing strips are clearly marked. A Hiking guide would be a good investment. Some good mule deer have come out of there, but I haven't seen many. the whitetail hunting is very good.

Good luck.

mconway951
01-25-2012, 10:42 PM
Buy the Selway Wilderness Maps from the Forest Service Maps Website. The landing strips are clearly marked. A Hiking guide would be a good investment. Some good mule deer have come out of there, but I haven't seen many. the whitetail hunting is very good.

Good luck.

Thanks for the great info i know its gonna be tough hunt but i just wanted confirmation that it is a doable hunt.

Thanks again.

THEBUGLER
01-25-2012, 11:31 PM
I live very near the Selway, and to be VERY honest, I would not travel half way across the country to hunt there. Contact IDFG and ask for their aerial elk survey info from the last 5-10 years and that should explain it all. The elk numbers are very low in a VAST landscape. The vegetation is very thick compared many places, which makes for slow going and its hard to spot game from a distance. Calling is the preferred method during the rut. You will have a hard time finding a more beautiful place to hunt, but the elk encounters will be few.

mconway951
01-26-2012, 08:51 AM
I live very near the Selway, and to be VERY honest, I would not travel half way across the country to hunt there. Contact IDFG and ask for their aerial elk survey info from the last 5-10 years and that should explain it all. The elk numbers are very low in a VAST landscape. The vegetation is very thick compared many places, which makes for slow going and its hard to spot game from a distance. Calling is the preferred method during the rut. You will have a hard time finding a more beautiful place to hunt, but the elk encounters will be few.

Thats not great news the reason i was looking to go here is the timing of the season as it fits with my other antelope and elk hunts for next fall. Do you know of anyother area in the state i should consider as a better option even if i had to move the dates around a little bit. Thanks for your help it is greatly appreciated

IdahoHombre
01-26-2012, 11:24 AM
I agree with Dirk that the elk encounters will probably be few. But don't discount the adventure it will be no matter what. Yes, elk numbers are down. But the latest numbers showed that over 75% of the bulls were mature ones. I would take into consideration how much time you have to hunt. If you have two weeks to hike in and hunt, that would be ideal. You will need time to locate the elk. Also, yes, wolves have been a major problem for the elk in this zone, so make sure to buy your wolf tag. But habitat, in my opinion, has been even a bigger issue. When people tell you it is thick, believe them. But with a little research, I think you can find some more open parts of the zone that hold elk. And you need to look where fires have been in recent years, where good habitat is now springing up.

So there are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about hunting the Selway. I myself am thinking about heading in there this year. After you spend hours of quality time scouring this forum for its wealth of info, go to the website shown in my signature. You will find an overview of elk hunting in the Selway (among other zones in Idaho) that you might find helpful. Those posts are just to give folks a flavor of what they might be getting into.

mconway951
01-26-2012, 01:09 PM
I agree with Dirk that the elk encounters will probably be few. But don't discount the adventure it will be no matter what. Yes, elk numbers are down. But the latest numbers showed that over 75% of the bulls were mature ones. I would take into consideration how much time you have to hunt. If you have two weeks to hike in and hunt, that would be ideal. You will need time to locate the elk. Also, yes, wolves have been a major problem for the elk in this zone, so make sure to buy your wolf tag. But habitat, in my opinion, has been even a bigger issue. When people tell you it is thick, believe them. But with a little research, I think you can find some more open parts of the zone that hold elk. And you need to look where fires have been in recent years, where good habitat is now springing up.

So there are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about hunting the Selway. I myself am thinking about heading in there this year. After you spend hours of quality time scouring this forum for its wealth of info, go to the website shown in my signature. You will find an overview of elk hunting in the Selway (among other zones in Idaho) that you might find helpful. Those posts are just to give folks a flavor of what they might be getting into.

thanks for the info i was going to call the local co and see if i could get any info on burned areas. I am really looking for the experience more then anything and if i can get a chance at an animale weather its a deer elk wolf bear what ever that may be that would just be icing on the cake.
I have looked at that webiste before are you on the Hunt Talk forum by any chance?

IdahoHombre
01-26-2012, 01:52 PM
Yep, you've probably seen me over there too.

Good luck with your planning, and have fun with it ~

mconway951
01-29-2012, 08:51 PM
Yep, you've probably seen me over there too.

Good luck with your planning, and have fun with it ~

Question for you where can one look to find fire activity over the past few years i have googled it and either im an idiot or its hard to find and the goofle earth pics are from 1996 so that isnt helping me either. If you are willing to share info that would be great and if you dont wanna share with entire board feel free to pm me.
Thanks again.

IdahoHombre
01-30-2012, 04:46 PM
There's no easy answer to that question. If you have Google Earth, there are some files created by the USFS that will give you exact locations of fires. Here is the link to those files; I think they cover 2009-2011:

http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/data/kml/conus_lg_incidents_hist/

BUT, the file names don't tell you anything about location, though they do have dates on them. So click on the ones (and you have to do one by one) that are between July and September. As you click on them, they should open up with Google Earth, and you can see where fires were anywhere in the Continental U.S. It's time consuming, but it's accurate, I think.

Here is the USFS's main page for fire mapping, where you can possibly find more info:

http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/index.php

Finally, here's a good interactive map:

http://www.geomac.gov/index.shtml

Good luck exploring ~