Another Look At Sun Valley Mule Deer


Published: December - 1998

Back in the March 1997 issue of this newsletter (see pages 3-6), I discussed the mule deer hunting prospects of the Sun Valley region of southcentral Idaho, which is about midway between Boise and Idaho Falls. My most recent visit to the area, which was this past October, resulted in my taking a nice mulie, about which I'll have more to say in a moment. More importantly, it served to assure me that this area remains a recommendable destination for U.S. Hunting Report subscribers. For one thing, this area is relatively easy to hunt compared to other places in Idaho. Although it is mountainous, it has more open habitat than many other regions in this state. Spot-and-stalk hunting is the name of the game, with open sagebrush covered hills and limited timber making for easy spotting of animals but often difficult approaches. A flat shooting rifle is a necessity - be prepared for 200-yard shots and some at 300 yards or more.

The potential for success in the Sun Valley actually helped precipitate the whole controlled hunt tradition, which has helped maintain a strong herd in this area. While hunter success over the past few seasons has been 20 to 30 percent, the 10-year average is 35 to 45 percent. Success declined in the mid-1990s due to the devastating winter of 1992/1993 when deer populations dropped as much as 50 percent in some areas. However, populations have recovered in some areas recently and deer numbers are increasing.

Another attractive aspect of the Sun Valley region is the amount of public land that is available to hunting, both on about 2.2 million acres of the Sawtooth National Forest, and on about 2.1 million acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Within these areas there is some scattered private land and some of it blocks access to public land.

Before you decide on where you want to hunt, you have to decide whether you want to hunt early in the season and get a general permit, or wait until later........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Sawtooth National Forest; Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) in Shosone; Idaho Department of Game and Fish; Sun Valley/ Ketchum Chamber of Commerce; War Eagle Outfitters; Super Outfitter Adventures; High Country Outfitters; Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association;

  


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