View Full Version : Hunting Elk in the Sawtooth Zone

03-02-2011, 06:04 PM
The title pretty much sums it up. Since there's not much Idaho discussion going on I figured I'd give this a whirl.

I've got a buddy that suggested me picking up a General B tag to chase bulls around in the Sawtooth Zone. I think he sticks to Units 33 and 34. Anyone know anything about these units or this zone?

03-04-2011, 06:18 PM
in 2009 the B tags for the Sawtooth zone were the second to last in success rate throughout the state. That being said, on a personal note, 33&34 especially get hit by the Boise crowds as the country is pretty roaded and the elk get chased around quite a bit. The area around Lohman has one of the highest densities of wolves in the lower 48. I know of an outfitter who has stopped taking clients during elk season because there are few to chase. He sticks to bear and lion. Unfortunately the Sawtooth zone is a thriving place for the wolves and it showed, when we had our season, it had the highest single zone quota at 55, which i believe 48+- were killed. If your buddy has been hunting that area for a while and has a good idea of what hes doing in there, then i believe you could have a fun hunt, but it is hit and miss with most the Sawtooth area anymore.

03-06-2011, 07:54 PM
I'd like to add something significant but mntguide summed it up. I used to hunt 34 and 35 and like he said the Wolves have taken over. I started hunting Pioneer zone now and although wolves are still problem there also they don't seem to be as dense and in my opinion it's just better elk country. I think a guy could still find some elk in 34 as part of it is wilderness area (frank church) and you can get away from crowds because 33 and 35 are very crowded with lots of 4 wheelers or motor bikes. If I was going to hunt sawtooth again I would stick to wilderness in 34 and maybe try some spots in 36 but I admit I haven't been in that country much

03-06-2011, 10:09 PM
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the info. When they were in season, I remembered the quota for wolves in the Sawtooth Zone was higher than the rest and that made me nervous about hunting elk there. He says seeing raghorns is common with the occasional 6 point. Now, I'm just trying to decide what my standards are before going after that tag; and if it's even worth it.

03-10-2011, 10:47 AM
There are other OTC tags in better areas nearby.

03-10-2011, 12:10 PM
I had a really nice post to put up and some reason it logged me out and I dont want to retype it.
Sawtooth region has lost its hunting options. The reduced tag counts are the biggest hint. Biologist will tell you there are tons of elk in there. However if that was true, they would not put up quotas that have reduced in number two years in a row and now possibly the third.
Not many elk at all, and big bulls in there? Well...better off hunting a little bit further north.
Mntnguide summed it up pretty well. Roaded up in there.

03-11-2011, 06:03 PM
I'm new to this, and glad to share stories about Idaho hunting. I have been hunting the Sawtooth zone for the past 11 years. The elk are there but difficult to pattern I switched to the McCall zone a few years ago, and had little success. Both zones are very populated with "city folk" and wolves, but in my opinion still ok hunting. I went back to my " honey hole" at Deadwood, because they seem to be more vocal there. Although I've only harvested 2 raghorn bulls, and several cows. I go back year after year for the sounds of the rut. The area I hunt is hard to get to, but can be done in half a days hike, or by Mt bike. I recently found the Idaho Hunt Planner on IFG, web site, and have been studying it for a few weeks now. If anyone has info on units in North Idaho for Archery. I'm looking AGAIN!

01-22-2014, 04:21 PM
elkoholic307 I think everyone is right on about the sawtooth zone. I use to hunt 35 hard every year for deer and elk and had a lot of success that was back in the mid 90s. I since have moved to the McCall zone but year after year there seems to be more people moving in on me in that zone so I am looking to move again. I have been back to my honey hole in 35 last couple of years looking for deer and haven't seen much for deer or elk and seem to see people where I never seen them before and there were a lot of four wheelers running around. With all that said my brother in law and my nephew still hunt 35 and do very well. I know this is coming to you late but I just joined this forum a coupe months ago and thought I would give some input.

01-23-2014, 08:52 AM
Yeah, I have not been back in there for three seasons now. I spent my first several years huntig in the deadwood area. It was good year 1 for me,mthen it went down from there.

I switched to the McCall zone,mand three for three baby, I have been on elk every year there,mevery year I have had good bulls( to me they are good) every year. First year in was with some guys from Ohio, and it took us a few days to really find them, but we were on them I guess day 1 and didnt really know it till day 5. One of the guys tagged a nice 5x5 bull. Both myself and the other guy got to chase some big bulls but were not able to connect that year.

Last two I have been solo and connected. This last year I took my son, I got a nice 5x5, that made mention in EBJ 81. My boys pic is there smiles from ear to ear hunting with dad holding the head!

I dont think I will be switching up areas anytime soon now that I found a good hole.