Contributors to this thread:
Idaho Elk Hunt Camping Restrictions?
When Elk hunting in Idaho, do you have to camp at designated camping locations or can you simply, pull over and set up camp anywhere on FS trails/roads?
What I've always done (WY, CO) is leave the tar road, onto county road, then onto smaller Forest Service or other tributaries, pull over well out of the way, and set up camp. I'm not sure if this is legal in ID.
Within reason, anywhere you want. As long as it's public land.
Legal there, I believe there is an X-number of days limit. That can vary by the specific forest you are hunting as well as that forest's definition of "dispersed camping". Best to check the NFS site for the specific forest you plan to hunt just to be sure of the rules. Generally speaking what you are describing is legal.
14 day limit on Federal lands. May be some exceptions.
I was going to echo the 14-day. But you don't have to move far if you are hunting for longer. Best to check the NF rules for where you're going to be as there can be variations (max distance from a road you can pull off, etc.)
I turned in a bunch of camps near where I hunt this past summer for exceeding the camp limit as they basically made summer camps and brought up trailers for razors, RV's and even boats and parked them for months (would taken a month of trips to even bring all their crap in there). The ranger I spoke with was well aware of these groups, but said this rule is rather toothless because they have to basically go through the eviction process and have evidence to present in court to enforce it. He and I were equally perplexed about the process and it really only applies to people who care about rules and would follow it anyway.
It’s called ‘Dispersed Camping’ and typically identified on FS maps under the MVUM.
Idaho has it right. I've been hassled a ton in MT but ID seems to get it! I spoke with FS last year about it while bear hunting and anything off the road is good to go. 14 days is what I was told also.
Ben h....sounds like this ranger is exactly the person we DON`T want in that position...."it`s too hard, I don`t want to do it"....BS. Write the tickets and let the judge worry about the rest. It`s not their job to litigate the case....it`s to enforce the law.
Because of the homeless the Supreme Court has ruled that sleeping is a basic human right and the govt. cannot enforce trespass laws on federal land cities and counties cannot on their public property either. So camp as long as you please anywhere public.
Franklin, that's exactly what I thought. I felt like I was on crazy pills talking to him and we were talking around in circles and he sounded equally frustrated and was well aware of this particular situation because it was so egregious. They literally stayed all summer and had at least 10+ trailers, counting the haulers, boats, 5th wheel and bumper pull trailers. During the week they'd even leave a couple trucks so it looked like it was occupied. I didn't believe him so I called an adjacent ranger district and was told pretty much the same thing. The limit rule only really applies to people who care about rules. Still seems baffling to me. I'm with you, write them tickets at least and they can contest them in court or pay them until the eviction process is complete. Not saying everyplace is "enforced" like that, but that was my experience last summer.
My NF camping usually finding a level spot near a forest service road with some wind cover and shade. I try to stay away from potential deadfalls. The forest service frowns on creating a driveway to a new camp site not near their road. And with good reason as it creates erosion and destroys vegetation. When I look back at some of the rain and snow falls experienced in the mountains it is obvious why it is better to be closer to a road .
Your on it Whyte!
Put you USFS sticker on and go for it. Get caught with 4wlr off designated trail in a No vehicle area. Go to jail and they keeping your side by side. Use a motorcycle in some areas and your GTG. Makes no sense to me? I get out the fart sack and walk up in dark as early as I need to get to where the game is. Or spike out if the elk are thick in an area. Remember, last three seasons winter has come in Sept in Central and Northern ID. Go to far up or in with all your stuff can be fun getting out!
Pretty sure you do have to be at least 10 yds from the next camp minimum. Hopefully you can find a clear spot! ;)
You wont have a problem there its not CO.
Thanks everyone, appreciate the info.
Do these rules still apply to this territory? It would be cool if I could camp in any designated area without any additional permissions that would take lots of time to get.
Technically that 14 days doesn’t start until the Forest Service officially documents the camp. If they stop by and choose to do so for any reason they’ll hang a dated tag on the tent door. That’s when the clock starts ticking. The reason they would do that is if you’d already had your camp there too long.
Since you are asking, just go through the unit-specific rules for the type of public land you are wanting to camp in. Unless, of course, you've now been convinced to not care, in which case camp wherever and how long you please! ;)
I want to take my kids camping this weekend and make sure we choose a safe place, and no one disturbs us. I will take a large tent for everyone and make a campfire so we can stay warm. It’s their first time camping, so I want to ensure they get a good experience and will grow to like it as much as I do. I will also bring my the cast iron sandwich maker to make sandwiches and delicious pudgy pies with apple jam.
Within 100 yds of the road.
That’s unenforced. Just keep a clean camp and nobody will cause you a problem. The fact is most camps are 15 feet off the road.
Ohh i know it and it should be a shorter distance imo. They drag a truck and trailer through a 100 yr old sage flat and tear the shit out of it while driving in & out all week and leave damage you'll see for 30 yrs. Should be about half of that. There again jmo. Alot of people have NO clue what "no trace" means.
Being a retired Park Ranger and devout hunter, I emphasize with both arguments. Political pressure ties the hands of the officer which leaves the camping hunter screwed. Reality dictates the displaced camping hunter must find a spot as soon as they can possibly get to the unit. If someone new tries to claim a local squatters spot, then there's trouble. Most squatters will move into "their spot" early summer and park a trailer or RV until winter snow forces them to leave. The only unwritten condition is someone has to come almost daily and check on their trailer or RV filling the campsite. Its not legal, ethical, or considerate, but thats the reality of hunting public land.
I’ve hunted and camped on NF land for 40+ years. Think we have seen or talked to a ranger maybe 3 times. We had a problem with squatters once. They kept an old camper at the same place for years, built a corral and made their own rv trails through the woods. We reported them several times, but nothing was done until one of them accidentally shot himself while hunting. After that their camp was removed and they never came back.
Franklin I'm having this issue now with local LEO now. It's a joke.
Hey ben h - been answered but dispersed is fine on public land - now do join the rant - ID is going to poop in my backyard as camping squatters simply ignore the law (14 days). A few are killing the quality hunting and for me, fishing, up in the mountains nearby.... can't just take a weekend, be casual, and find the great camping you once did. Seems the slobs work the "now enforcement" loopholes and ruin public lands for the public. OK, I am done. Good luck with your hunt.