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)