This was a great hunting adventure for me and for my sons, a trip of a lifetime for us!
I'm a pretty traditional guy when it comes to hunting.When booking a hunt, I'm looking for a "real" hunt, not a fancy lodge to stay in each night or a UTV to take me to my hunt each day.
I want a good chance to see game and to harvest a decent one. But if it's a sure thing, it's not hunting. If I don't work for it, it's not a trophy.
With all these things in mind, I, along with two of my sons, booked a mule deer hunt with Steve Zettel in November, 2015. We hunted the absolutely beautiful Frank Church "River of No Return" Wilderness Area. This is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states. It is so large that access to its interior is by taxi flight to one of several small, dirt airstrips located throughout the wilderness area.
From the landing strip, it was over the mountain and down to base camp by horse and mule pack string. Steve's outfit hunts from the foot of the mountains to the top and can match each hunt to the physical capability of the hunter. This was a great adventure for me and for my sons, a trip of a lifetime for us. We saw plenty of game each day and, by the end of the week, each hunter had found and shot a good mule deer. Our camp had five hunters. The best head taken by our group green scored at 180" B&C.
Camp accommodations were wall tents with cots and wood stoves. All meals were prepared on a wood cook stove and each meal was excellent. There were no hungry people on this hunt! Fellowship during the evening meal was nearly as much fun as the hunting.
On my hunt, Steve Z. was there along with a two guides and a third person to help with livestock, packing, cooking and retrieving game. Guides were great. They were excited about hunting, patient, worked very hard to find good deer for us and were just fun people to be with.
During the planning phase of the trip, Steve's office staff made sure we had all the information we needed on a timely basis. We did not have any travel problems on this trip.
If you have to travel to Idaho by commercial air travel, getting venison and capes back to your home will be a challenge. My group flew to Idaho from the east coast and so we had this problem. Steve was a big help but Challis is a small town and local options are few. Be sure to work these details out with Steve before your trip.
In summary, this hunting trip was the real deal. I felt like I was on a hunt that the great Jack O'Connor wrote about in his articles that I read as a youth. To me, a trophy is defined more by the experience than by the size of antlers. The good deer we took combined with our hunting experience with Steve made each animal a trophy that will last our lifetime.
I would be happy to talk with anyone considering booking a trip with Steve Zettel. Get my phone number from Steve and give me a call.
Ray Thomas, Valley Grande, Alabama
Idaho Wilderness Company Big Game Hunting Trips
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