North Idaho and Sandpoint Hunting Guide
While most of the country and much of Idaho
call our region “the Panhandle,” we typically think of ourselves as simply
North Idaho. As you can tell from our Lakes and Rivers page, we have almost
140 lakes, plus over 2,000 miles of rivers and streams. The largest lake,
Pend Oreille, has 111 miles of coastline and over 86,000 acres, and many other
lakes – Hayden, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Lakes, Priest Lake, and Lake Cocolalla –
are very large. We also have dozens of much smaller lakes – 1-2 acres – and
everything in between. Many people associate Minnesota as the land of lakes
for the U. S., but our Idaho Panhandle has the greatest concentration of lakes
in all the western states, giving us the water sports and fishing haven we all
While the state of Idaho has more wilderness acreage than any other state, the
Idaho Panhandle has more game, and better hunting than any other region of
Idaho. With so many acres in the wild, no other state in the lower 48 has as
much big game hunting variety and quality as Idaho. Idaho is sparsely
populated with huge areas of forests, canyons, and mountain wildernesses.
Idaho seasons generally run from 20-65 days. Hunter congestion remains rare.
An amazing amount of land remains in the hands of the federal and state
governments: 21,621,000 acres of the state’s total acreage remains forested.
The Federal Government holds 65.2% of all land, with estimates of 78 percent
of all of Idaho belonging either to state or federal forests, etc.
Idaho’s elk herds are renowned. An Idaho elk hunt
offers the opportunity to experience real nature and wilderness, spend time
with family or friends, and harvest a nice animal. Idaho's percentage of older
bulls presents a unique trophy hunting opportunity in the West.
Idaho’s whitetail deer populations in Idaho have
also have grown. Their distribution, concentrated in forested areas of
northern Idaho, has grown substantially in recent years. Idaho's mule deer
populations are rebounding from years of drought and the severe winters of
1992 and 1996. Mountain lion populations are extremely strong. Record sized
cougars have been taken recently. Moose hunting is on the rise. Bighorn sheep,
mountain goat, and antelope hunts are in high demand. Idaho continues to offer
outstanding black bear hunting in fall and spring.
Idaho’s non-wilderness areas are reached by
hinterland roads, at times accessible only with 4x4s, and wilderness areas are
accessed by horseback or on foot. Idaho outfitters offer archery, rifle and
muzzleloader hunts. Customized services range from drop camps to fully guided
trips. Accommodations are provided in comfortable camps or lodges.
So, it is small wonder that Idaho’s big game
reputation is stellar, with a large population of elk, moose, woodland
caribou, mule and white-tailed deer, cougar, black and grizzly bear, and
bighorn sheep. While our elk, moose and deer hunting reputation is
world-class, opportunities abound to hunt waterfowl and upland birds. Because
of the large ownership of land by the state, hunting in and around Sandpoint
and North Idaho is typically on state or national forest lands. Because big
game hunting here focuses typically on remote mountains (some 2.7 million
acres in North Idaho are within national forests), backcountry camping is
often the key to hunting success.
But big game is not all North Idaho offers
hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Bird hunting in North Idaho finds ruffed
grouse (referred to locally as "forest" grouse), blue grouse and wild turkeys.
Ruffed grouse are commonly found in dense coniferous stands of fir and pine,
but hunting success rate is highest in abandoned field acreage containing
stands of quaking aspen. Blue grouse are typically hunted at higher
elevations, and hunting pressure on this species throughout the season is
light due in great part to strenuous mountain terrain. Idaho’s Fish and Game
Department has been successful in establishing harvestable flocks of
Merriam-strained wild turkeys throughout much of the state.
An advantage to our area for bird hunters and
watchers is that the Pacific Flyway runs directly through North Idaho, so
waterfowl hunting is outstanding. Since our numerous bodies of water make
great landing sites, duck populations are plentiful, and include both puddle
ducks and divers, and quality goose hunting is available everywhere,
particularly 30 miles north of Sandpoint on the Kootenai National Wildlife
Refuge which is a major stopover for migrating ducks and geese.
The diversity of habitat in North Idaho supports
a wide variety of fish. Yellow perch, crappie, pumpkinseed, bullheads, and
largemouth bass abound. Northern pike and mountain whitefish can also be
found. Rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout reside in some of the same
waters -- and in less accessible mountain lakes and streams. Priest Lake, with
its seventy miles of shoreline bordered in ferns, evergreens spruce, hemlock,
and with 7,000-foot peaks, is famous for its huge mackinaw, trophy cutthroat
and rainbow trout. Kokanee salmon are abundant in this region, providing not
only fishing pleasure but also nourishment for the larger trophy species.
Gerrard rainbow (kamloops), bull trout (inland Dolly Varden), and chinook
salmon have been known to tip the scales at 30 pounds. Although The Panhandle
comprises only ten percent of Idaho, one third of the state's record fish are
So, we know we have great fishing because of our
great diversity with lakes, streams, and rivers. And most of the world thinks
of our area as great timber country. Those two elements provide the perfect
habitat for game and wildlife.
Idaho Wildlife Refuges
North Idaho Licensed Outfitters
CLARK FORK OUTFITTERS
Outfitter's Name: MARK C BERRY
F :252 633-4759
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outfitter's Name: CLINT GRAY
HC1 BOX 426A
NAPLES , ID 83847
Secondary Phone/FAX: :208 267-3885
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
WAYNE HILL OUTFITTING
F :406 847-8777
C :406 531-3738
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
SELKIRK GUIDING &
OTIS ORCHARDS,WA 99027
F :509 893-3416
Outfitter's Name: ANDRE K MOLSEE
ELK RIVER, ID 83827
F :208 826-2030
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
NORTH IDAHO MOUNTAIN
PO BOX 432
NORDMAN, ID 83848
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
RED HORSE MOUNTAIN
BLUE LAKE ROAD
HARRISON , ID 83833
F :208 689-9686
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
MOSCOW , ID 83843-1645
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 HEART OUTFITTERS
Outfitter's Last Name: GARY STUEVE
HCR 61 BOX 140 ZD
BONNERS FERRY , ID 83805
C :208 597-0161
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
CDA RIVER BIG GAME
Outfitter's Last Name: GARY SYLTE
11508 E NUNN RD
ATHOL , ID 83801
F :208 683-2154
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
TOM LODER'S PANHANDLE
VALLEYFORD , WA 99036
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Other Area Outfitters
B bar C Outfitters - http://www.bbarcoutfitters.com
Outfitter for Elk, Mountain Lion and Bear fully guided pack-in and
lodge hunts in north central Idaho, on the Clearwater National Forest.
Bighorn Outfitters - http://www.huntidaho.com
Elk, deer, and bear hunting and fishing resort located in Carmen,
Birch Creek Outfitters - http://birchcreekoutfitters.com/
Offers big game hunts in the Nez Perce national forest of Idaho.
Boulder Creek Outfitters - http://www.bouldercreekoutfitters.com
Elk, deer, bear, and lion big game hunts. Also offers horseback and
rafting trips. Located in Peck, Idaho
Bungalow Outfitters, LLC - http://www.bungalowoutfittersllc.com/
Guided cougar, bear, and elk hunting. Includes hunt descriptions and
photo gallery. Located in the Clearwater National Forest.
Clearwater Outfitters - http://clearwateroutfitters.net
Offering elk hunting and summer fly fishing adventures. Includes
details, photos and directions. Located in Orofino.
Duncan Outfitters - http://www.duncanoutfitters.com
Offers rifle, handgun, black powder and bow hunts for bear, deer, elk
and mountain lion in Clearwater National Forest, and on private lands.
Includes contact information. Located in Orofino.
Elk Country Trophy Bulls - http://www.elkcountry.com/
Elk hunting in Idaho. Feastures location and prices.
Flying V Outfitters - http://www.flyingvoutfitters.com
Specializes in guided hunting trips for mountain lion and black bear
in the McCall and New Meadows areas. Includes details, dates, rates
and contact information. Located in New Meadows.
Hamilton Outfitters - http://www.hamiltonoutfitter.net
Offering guided hunting trips in the Caribou Targhee National Forest
for elk, moose, mountain lion, bear and mule deer. Includes pricing,
terms and conditions, application and photos. Located in Rupert.
Heaven Gate Outfitters - http://www.heavensgateoutfitters.com/
Elk, deer, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and black bear
hunting. Guided and drop camps. Features hunts, rates, and photographs
Idaho Bison Company - http://www.idahobisoncompany.homestead.com/BuffaloHunts.html
Offering hunts for bison and elk and a variety of meat products.
Includes order form and contact information. Located in Juliaetta.
Idaho Sportsman's Club - http://www.idahohuntingclub.com/
Upland game and waterfowl hunting. Includes hunts available, member
area, and newsletter.
Idaho Whitetail Adventures - http://www.idahowhitetailadventure.com/
Offering hunts for whitetail deer and ranch elk. Includes details of
packages, photos, pricing, booking requirements and license
information. Located in Orofino.
Ken Smith's Hunting Idaho - http://www.huntingidaho.com/
Idaho outfitter referral service for fishing as well as elk, deer,
bear, and mountain lion hunting.
LocKey U Outfitters - http://www.lockeyu.com/
Providing guided big game hunting on the Gilmore Ranch, based in
Middle Fork Hunting Outfitters - http://www.middleforkoutfitters.com/
Guided hunts for elk, mule deer, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, cougar,
mountain goat and black bear in the Frank Church - River of No Return
Wilderness in Idaho.
Quarter Circle "A" Outfitters - http://www.salmoninternet.com/hussey
Hunt in the Selway Wilderness Area (Unit 17), home of the largest Elk
herd in the U.S.A. out side of Yellowstone National Park.
Russell Pond Outfitters - http://www.russellpond.com/
Big game hunts for elk, color phase bear, lion and deer. Based in
Wilderness Outfitters - http://www.idahowilderness.com/
Offers elk, deer, bear, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat hunts on the
Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho