Does anyone have experience with unit 48? I have hunted an area a little bit for the last few years with no success. However next year I'm going in with a plan.
I'm working out 7 days a week doing interval training, long-distance running, hiking with a 75 lbs pack, and shooting my bow everyday. I will have all the gear needed for a week long backpack hunt. I will backpack into the area and setup a spike camp near the top on the opposite side the ridge where I plan on hunting. From there I will spend the days glassing the numerous avalanche shoots and basins in sight. Does this sound like an effective plan?
The area I plan on hunting is extremely big, steep, and rugged country. There are some great looking food sources, incredible cover, and plenty of water. However, the winter grounds are questionable. I don't know if they winter in unit 45 or simply drop down to the Sun Valley area and winter on the vast range of private land.
It seems to me that the area has phenomenal potential for trophy mule deer, but I have never seen anyone tackle this challenging country. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for wanting to attempt this plan. What are your thoughts and advise?
Saw one of the biggest muledeer i've ever seen cross the main hyway in unit 48.I would start out west of the Wood river. Larry
Born and raised in 48....You will be in for a tough hunt. The mule deer used to be much better than it currently is. The country is there, but the deer numbers and "trophy" potential is not what it used to be. There are still some good bucks but it will be a hard hunt. 48 is a huge area that covers vast types of country, most of which is rugged. The deer do not winter in Sun Valley, they all drop down to the desert. Helped a friend on the Late 48 hunt last year, and it was just sad to see the lack of animals. My friends father has had that tag multiple times in his life and remembers when he would go out and see hundreds of deer a day migrating south. Last year we saw only a handful in a week. We ended up finding a nice 180 buck, but that deer was not coming out of 48, we just got lucky that he crossed the bottom corner of it on his way to the desert. If you put in the time you will have a fun hunt, but dont expect to see a lot of deer in the early season.
Mntnguide pretty much summed it up. The numbers are down. Some of the biggest deer I saw this year came off the desert. Seems like more deer are staying low all year and not returning to the mountains for the summer. That combined with a few years of excess hunting followed up by higher predation and a high winter mortality and it makes for a lot of "back in the day" memories and not much else. A week in the high country is worth it though even if you don't find the monster from your dreams.