In September of 2014, My father-in-law and I made the seventeen-hundred mile drive from Little Rock, Arkansas to Challis, Idaho with the intention of enjoying a week in the stunning expanse of the Idaho wilderness – pursuing bugling bull elk during mating season was also on the menu.
Every part of this trip met or exceeded expectations. Steve had us on a gorgeous 6×6 just hours into our week-long hunt. As we began to field dress the dark-horned bull (my first bull elk), Steve chided this “rookie” for “ruining the week” by already tagging out. What I suspected, however, was that this was the perfect start to what would be an unforgettable week…I was right.
From comfortable and picturesque tent camps, we set out each morning to explore the wild around us. We glassed for and pursued mule deer; observed golden eagles up close; drank ice cold spring water directly from the source; hunted black bears along Big Creek; watched Osprey catch and eat fish; listened to the howls of a nearby wolf pack; rode horses on terrain that looked impossible to navigate; shared stories and laughs around the nightly campfire – where we ate like kings.
….. and learned some of the interesting history about this spectacular wilderness area.
Not many days pass without thinking back to our experience with Steve in Idaho. I do not know when I will make it back (hopefully soon), but I do know that I will look nowhere else than Steve Zettel and Idaho Wilderness Company when an elk hunt or river trip is on the agenda.
Little Rock, Arkansas