Doing it the hard way comes with myriad frustrations that only make success all the sweeter. Last year’s Idaho whitetail season might best be characterized by the old axiom: “Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Repeatedly.
With generous deer hunting opportunity, including 32 days of archery-only season (only the first week of which I actually take advantage while seeking velvet antlers, concentrating on elk the remainder of September) and another 52 days of general season (Idaho does love its rifle hunters) it would seem tagging a white-tailed buck in the Gem State is a given. It might if I were hunting meat instead of meat and antlers (mature bucks eat just fine) and if I ditched the bow with the arrival of rifle season (which most hunters do locally, even self-professed bowhunters), and especially if I wasn’t talking about the challenging mountainous big woods of northern Idaho. Toss mountain lions and wolves into the mix, and all that rifle hunting, which keeps our deer tightly wound, bowhunting is obviously problematic.
Please don’t misread my intensions. I’m setting the scene, not knocking rifles in any way. I’m about as passionate about shooting small varmints and predators with rifles as it’s possible to be. I even wrote a book on the subject (The Predator and Varmint Hunter’s Handbook, Krause Publications, 2018). I simply enjoy the extra effort, intimacy with the game and t