Found! A Wilderness Hunt In The Lower 48


Published: April - 2004

Jason Clinkenbeard operates World Class Outfitting Adventures in a 300-square-mile chunk of roadless wilderness in the Idaho Selway Bitterroot Area. Because Idaho gives outfitters exclusive operating rights to their areas, Clinkenbeard is the only one guiding hunters in this huge swath of territory. And, since the nearest paved road is 65 miles from his camp, Clinkenbeard has never had any freelance hunters wander into his hunting areas. About 95 percent of his hunts require packing in on mules and horses to reach far-away drainages tucked into the Bitterroot Mountains. The experience is as remote as it gets.

Clinkenbeard offers hunts for various animals, but let's start with his spring black bear hunts in May and June. If that seems a little late in the game to you, just consider that the elevations here are such that the bears den up longer and are less likely to have rub marks on their hides during these months. The terrain is rather steep country with heavily timbered mountains and lush green canyons. That said, Clinkenbeard says that hunters of any age and shape can do this hunt because they use horses to get around.

World Class Outfitting hunts two different areas for bears. The May hunts are based out of Clinkenbeard's Paradise Camp located at the end of a dirt road, 65 miles from the nearest paved highway. Accommodations here are in tent cabins - framed cabins with canvas walls. In June, hunting is from Cooper's Flat Camp, a three-hour pack ride from Paradise. This camp is made up of wall tents. Temperatures in these areas at this time of year are typically quite comfortable and can range from about 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clinkenbeard hunts over baits and uses tree stands and ground blinds. He starts baiting and scouting the bears in April, setting out more than a dozen baits in different areas. Because the area is so remote, the bears here are unpressured and unaccustomed to seeing humans. Although these bears are not huge corn-fed bruins, hunters consistently take mature boars averaging six feet. Skull........(continued)

 
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