Photo Credit: Mike Eastman
I feel like I have typed or told people more times than I can count about Idaho pronghorn being low in trophy quality but high fun factor. There are only so many ways to say it, but ultimately if you are looking for a 75” buck or bigger, then Idaho is probably not for you. Yes, there are big bucks harvested each year and a lucky few bring home a true monster buck. However, that is not statistically realistic even in some of the best states in the West, let alone Idaho which sits near or at the bottom for trophy quality. That being said, it’s another hunt opportunity, and with very high public land the Gem state allows for a DIY adventure that won’t break the bank. And as I mention each year, Idaho offers unlimited archery hunts for these prairie speedsters! This is simply awesome! Hot endless desert/foothill country and North America’s fastest four legged critter equipped with 8x magnified eyeballs! One of the toughest spot and stalk hunts you can do with a bow rig. Throw in a blind for the midday heat over some water, and maybe a decoy for some fun during the later portion of the season. Hard to go wrong with any of these choices! Send me some pics!
Top Archery Units
Unit 40-1 Great choice for the bowhunter. Harvest odds are solid for a hunt with bow and arrow, public land opportunities are strong, trophy quality is status quo and as to be expected; hunting these animals is no joke. If you choose to hunt, spot and stalk you will likely find yourself on an adventure that will leave you both exhilarated and frustrated all within very short windows of time. What often feels like an exercise in futility one moment will turn into sweet success moments later! There are few hunts that sharpen your stalking skills better and for that reason plus the fact these critters are wonderful on the dinner plate.
Unit 54 and 51- these units are described in more detail in the any-weapon section. However, both units are excellent choices. 55-1 has unbelievable harvest stats for a bow hunt, and the trophy quality for both areas can be very good.
Top Muzzleloader Units
Unit 36A-1 is technically a “short-range weapon hunt”, which is muzzleloader friendly. Moderate terrain, excellent public land access, high harvest odds and solid trophy potential. Draw odds are a bit steep, but still very attainable.
Unit 41-2 is another area that holds a steady beat for the muzzleloader. Harvest odds are not as high as 36A-1 but they are decent for a short range weapon. Draw odds are good for limited entry, public land percentage is high and trophy quality is reasonable as well.
Top Any-weapon Units
Unit 37-1, Lots of public land and mild tempered terrain! Solid trophy potential, shooting a 70” goat is not out of the question.
Unit 38-1, South of Boise, a quick look at onX Hunt shows a large island of BLM and state land, the terrain is open and easy to traverse. Trophy quality is as good as Idaho has to offer. Bucks in the mid-70s are achievable and the possibility of a book buck is here.
Unit 39, this area is just across the road from 38-1. The lowlands are a great place to look and access is decent, however, the foothill country beckons the spot and stalk hunter. Varied terrain leaves something for everyone. Definitely a solid choice worth a closer look.
Unit 52A-1, a very large unit located northeast of Twin Falls, ID. Very accessible, bucks are solid, terrain is varied. You can even hunt the Craters of the Moon National Preserve! Draw odds are tough as to be expected, but a worthwhile choice for those willing to wait.
Unit 54, WAY down on the southern border kissing the Nevada line, this hunt choice is another chart topper. Harvest is steady, averaging 78% for the past three years. Trophy quality is solid for Idaho 2019 harvest data shows an average horn length of 14.3” in this unit! Terrain here is broken and treed in the foothills, lowlands are the go to place. But these foothills are solid producers and offer excellent stalking. Don’t be afraid to look high for these guys. It’s not uncommon to find them on the ridge tops chasing does.
Unit 55-1, We see excellent harvest stats in this area, holding at 100% success for the past two seasons. Trophy quality is good, definitely a place to find 13” bucks, possibly better. Draw odds are tough, nonresidents will likely see 1 permit for rifle and 1 for archery. Definitely a worthy unit for those willing to wait the odds out.
Unit 68, Laying southwest of Idaho Falls, this unit has always been a consistent producer of solid bucks and great harvest odds. A small chunk of the Craters of the Moon National Preserve lay within its boundaries, and 70% of the unit is public. Terrain is pretty open, great rifle hunt.
Unit 76-1, Sitting all alone in the southeast corner of the state, this tiny unit is a big hitter. The small permit allocation makes this hunt a no-go for nonresidents, but for the local guy this could be a fun hunt. Public land percentage is low, so access might be tough, definitely something to look at prior to applying.
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