Where are you hunting? It appears (website) that he outfits in the Missouri River Breaks and near the MT - ID border. In a way . . . too different worlds (geographically speaking ... Mtns vs. Prairie).
1st night arrived to camp 9:30, got settled in and fire went out. Froze my butt off, with no matches.
1st day: Another hunter never made it and paid in full. Bud said 15% of hunters never show up. Had biscuits sausage gravy, coffee, and orange juice. Walked to some clearings another hunter was with us and he had a hard time keeping up often falling behind as much as 300 yards. I stayed within a foot of my guide but it was exhausting. I was short of breath going up and down steep grades. I saw old droppings and a fresh scrap. Old Access roads are everywhere. Went to a wallow, saw an old notch in a tree for a Martin trap. Glassed a few mountains. Driving along, another hunter thought he spotted a wolf so we backed up and the guide and I ran to the patch of woods it went into. He yelled its going to the right, I ran through a creek bed (standing in the river) to get a shot. Safety off scope up and a doe runs through. Went back to camp around 12:00 rested and then glassed mountains following Bud Martin in his suburban with 5 dogs in it. Dogs puked and crapped, he stops several times to clean out his truck. He then Stops and shoots at a grouse in the road with a .22 from the truck and misses (he had 6 Miller beers that I know of). Went back to camp. Another grouse comes out and he goes after it and it flies away. Had a turkey dinner with stuffing green beans and orange juice. Bud had a glass of whiskey.
Raggedy mountain man Dan comes up to camp to help. He is socially off claiming he doesn't really like people. He seemed to be a nice guy and was a good cook.
Turned into bed at 7:00, time of writing 12:54. Had to open my door because of a gas leak (gas glass lamp), before that I was sweating and turned my fire off. Fire is going now.
Guides: Rick Martin (mine) Scott (unknown) Bud Martin
Rick says his father always sees the elk even when the hunters don't. His Dad complained that the last group of hunters didn't kill anything because they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Rick said they made 800 yard shots and had to hold 72in high and he said its almost impossible for the average hunter they get to make that shot.
I feel mislead as I was told to sight my gun in for 2in high at 100 yards. This left me very unprepared for the mountains.
4:21 am- just got warmed up, I was freezing so I started the stove and it had a reverse draft and filled my cabin with smoke. 2nd time this has happened had to open the door for 20 mins to let all the smoke out.
Today I'll be walking with Rick up an entire mountain through hollows and clear cuts. The other two hunters will be hunting on horse back where Bud claims he saw the elk yesterday.
The territory here has suffered some areas of massive wildfires. 1st night we were here someone tried to light the forest on fire by setting fires every quarter mile along the main access road. Failed attempt, the guides speculated on the park rangers setting the fires due to the government shutdown.
I traveled along a creek bottom with Rick and traversed along the edge of the mountain. I lost my $500 glasses. We got to an amazing wallow but no fresh tracks. Rick found a moose shed and kept it. We stopped for lunch and had leftover turkey sandwiches with bones in them with butter. The sandwiches were really dry. We glassed a few fields but all in all it seemed like a waste of time. We then walked 1.5 miles across rock slides with no openings.
We came back to camp. Ken, another hunter, left to make a Phone call and Bud said "Leave him if he's not back in time for the afternoon hunt". Rick and I decided to go to another camp site and spend the night there 8 miles away and traverse down the mountain in the morning. We glassed a few fields from an abandon fire tower and saw nothing. We Went back to the new camp and had can beans and chopped up hotdogs.
Woke up at 5:30 freezing, the fire went out. First day I had to go #2 and used an outhouse were the floors had holes in it and you can see everything. I was afraid I would fall into the deposits. For breakfast we had sausage patties that sucked and hash browns with no condiments.
We went back to the fire tower and glassed for a short time around 7:30am. Snow is on this mountain, we waked and saw old elk tracks and old mountain lion tracks. We walked 2-3 miles before coming to Moore Lake. We set up on a cliff edge and bugled. Nothing so we went down a cliff slipping and sliding the whole way. We walked in and out of trees not able to see 50 yrds. We then got to a few clearings that were harvested and burned. I slip and fall on one of the trees that were a laying together that encompassed the entire field. We finally get to an access road around 11:00. We walked to the top of a mountain and I am dead tired. Rick keeps walking leaving me 500 yards behind all while passing small clearings that might hold elk but he would scare them all without me ever getting a chance to see them. I lose sight of Rick and the road forks I take the high end and walk 50 yards looking for his tracks. I couldn't find them so I walked down to the other road and take that 100 yds later I see the other hunters horses. I keep walking and then see everyone looking through binoculars saying they see elk. Two bulls, one spike, and another 3x3 with at least one doe. We devise a plan,after eating a ham sandwich, to get closer as we were 937 yards. We walk another 200 yrds slowly taking the horses with us. We stop once and Rick tells us to be quite. 10 mins later a squirrel jumps out and he tells his dog to go get it. This angers Preston, myself, and Ken. We decide to get closer. Preston tells me to walk slow through the openings while he holds my backpack. He says it fools the elk into thinking we are animals. (It makes him really mad that the others aren't doing the same). We get to a spot and Rick starts cutting a tree to provide a shooting rest for a hunter. 737 yards... I end up taking Ricks gun and he tells me what opening to look for. He says he can see cows, I can't find them in the scope at all. Frantically looking I say I can't find the opening and he says I don't know what to tell you, they are right there. Meanwhile the sun is blasting into the scope creating a blind spot dancing around the scope. He said the spike just walked through. He gets me off the gun and Ken tries to find the opening, a 3x3 bull comes out and he can't find it.
After 15mins of me and Ken trying to find elk the other hunter, Preston comes up tries. Guides Rick and Scott then start saying there's a 300in plus bull racking a tree. Preston finds the shaking tree in his scope but never sees the bull. Rick said shot him but the sun was blocking his view. 5 mins later we here a bugle.
We leave to go back to the horses and one of them is gone. Rick goes to try and find it as we hear it yell 100 yrds away. But it then runs further and they say " (explicit) that horse" and leave it.
We walked back to camp and no hunters saw elk. The missing hunter shows up (Paul) and said he was on a hunt in British Colombia and shot a moose but was disappointed with the lack of animals and said he was mislead. He says he was late because his whole camp got sick (thinking food poisoning). He then tells me he thinks Bud is more interested in running his hounds then anything else. (At the time of writing it is 8:09pm and I hear all the dogs barking like I do every night, about 10 dogs).
He said he glassed with Bud and didn't see anything. During Dinner Bud had another Story "Paul shows up and within 45 seconds he sees his first elk!"
I'm exhausted and angered. This hunt sucks, these dogs keep barking, I haven't showered in days, I'm either too hot or too cold. We had roast beef with mash potatoes and greens beans. I imagine that will be the same for lunch because its the cheapest way to give hunters food (leftovers). Time to try and catch some sleep. It's 8:14pm Friday night.
I awoke today at 4:30am from a generator going and then the sound of dogs barking everywhere. We had pancakes and ham. For lunch I was dead on with the leftover roast beef. Preston tells the guys this was a (explicit) hunt and leaves after breakfast. He then hears a bugle on the mountain to the right of camp. We head in the general direction on a horse trail. We gave a few cow calls and nothing. We walk farther up the mountain, I'm following the two guides then Ricks dog while Ken and Paul follow behind me. Ricks dog farted the whole way up the mountain and I almost puked.
We then split up when we hit the logging road on the mountain. I go with Scott and Ken follows. Paul went with Rick to glass a small patch.
We glass the best opening the entire hunt. But no elk are to be seen. After two hours and eating lunch we left. Walking back down the horse trail we spot a fresh elk track over our tracks. Scott says angrily: " they make fools out of us every time!" (Swearing and Farting Openly without caring is a staple to this elk camp).
We head back for the afternoon and Paul and Ken leave the camp for good a day early, disgusted. I'm the only hunter left at camp.
For the evening hunt Rick takes me around the top of the mountain where the elk were by truck. The road is a dead end road that weaves in and out for 11 miles. We spot a few openings (total hunt time 10 mins). We go off roading about 22 through brush that has over taken the road. We then can't make it any farther and turn around. Wasting the whole time.
Rick then tells me that his Dad and him got into an argument last week while guiding hunters. Rick said his dad gave him the worst horse to ride and he always does that. He said it wasted the hunters time as he was trying to get the horse to walk up the mountain and Bud said to Rick "maybe you shouldn't be a guide".
We arrive back at camp and have a good meal of steak onions corn and potatoes. I watch Rick feed his dog a piece of steak with his fork and then continues to use his fork. (I've seen Bud do this many times.)
Time of writing 9:06pm. I'm tired and my legs and knees are sore from slipping and falling through snow down rocks over fallen trees. I haven't shaved in forever and more importantly showered. I want to feel human again. I'll stick it out this last day coming up (hoping God takes pity on me and gives me a shot at an elk). I'm also worried that I won't be able to fit everything back into my backpack an duffle bag.
My hunt was cut short. They wanted to get ready for the next group of hunters. We hunted a few clearings and heard a bugle (assuming it was another hunter).
Total hunt time for my last day was 2hrs.
Rick seems like a decent guide had he known the area. He just didn't know the area and came to help his dad with his business. His son appears to be an honest guy and I tipped him for his efforts.
Very displeased with the quality of the hunt, the drinking and driving, the lack of professionalism around camp, the dogs barking all over, the wondering around trying to "learn" the area. I hired this guide service to get their expertise on the hiking the mountain. I could've done this hunt myself and stayed at a cabin with a shower and electric heat for a 1/4 of the price.
Redbone Outfitting is very unprofessional for their Idaho elk hunts.
This is one reason, I much prefer to just hunt by myself. It's a rarity to find a good hunting partner that you can trust and has the same level of interest, let alone a guide that looks at it as just a job.
Just to plays "devils advocate", what would this guy say about your efforts?
Rick Martin was a decent guide, there was mistakes made that bothered me like telling his dog to go after the squirrel while we where 800 yds away from elk and off roading around aimlessly into the forest with his Toyota.
I'm 25 years old and in really good shape. I started running a few months before to make sure I could handle the mountains. My gun was sighted in at exactly 2" high at 100 yrds. I brought all the things they told me to. Nothing more or less. And kept a good attitude the whole time.
This was my first experience with a guided hunt and my first time in the Rocky Mountains so I was really appreciating the views.
Things I would do differently would be to get a different backpack and a great pair of binoculars. My binoculars are good for 300 yrds not 1,000s of yards. This could've been spelled out a little better. My gun I was capable of making a 350 yrd shot but nothing farther (mislead).
My boots where broken in on a recommendation from Hunting PA forum. Which I'm glad, because at least one guy had blisters on his feet.
I felt prepared physically and mentally (knowing that an elk could appear out of nowhere) and anything under 350 yards I felt confident in my equipment.
Things I could've did differently:
My backpack, my gear would settle to the bottom and strain my neck and back as it lightly bounced around all day.
Get a better pair of Binos
Get a turret for my scope for wind compensation and bullet compensation.
I think Redbone Outfitting is better prepared for Hunting Mountain Lions than elk and I'm sure they kill on both of their hunts. But the lack of professionalism around camp really turned me off and the drinking and driving by Bud was just uncalled for.
Your average 45+ aged hunter is not going to be able to keep up or stay the entire hunt. Opportunities are very limited, especially when the actual hunting time is limited to a couple hours a day.
Things that couldn't be changed were the first impressions by drinking and driving. And Lost time by "learning" the area. This is what really made me mad, but I knew an elk could pop up anywhere and at any moment so I stayed positive. But in reality, you hire a guide because you don't know the area.
The dogs stopped barking for a few hours each night, the fire stove was my responsibility to keep warm which I finally figured out on the 4th and 5th day the right amount to keep the air going through it.
The other minor stuff was just things I wrote down at night. But there was just a bunch of little stuff that added up. I know the older folks are going to have a tough time in those mountains for a tough territory chasing few elk and are not hunting all 5 days. I'm in pretty good shape and use to doing manuel labour (working on a farm and in construction, weighing only 140 and being 5, 10) and kept up. I watched the other guys get burnt out quickly.
I did learn how and what to bring on an elk hunt, so the knowledge gained will go to a DIY hunt for next year.
All in all I didn't feel it was worth my money.
Any time one guys version sounds extreme the other guy probably has a hell of a story too.
The food in the evenings was ok. Nothing great but nothing bad. Certainly acceptable. Some days lunch consisted of 2 pieces of bread and a piece of bologna and a bag of potato chips. Kind of sparse when you're tromping around the mountains. Breakfast was usually pretty good except...
We never got started on the 4 mile walk to the prime hunting area until after there was enough light to see. Which meant we didn't get to said area until a full hour after the sun was up. We would literally sit around drinking coffee after breakfast waiting for the sun to come up. Why weren't we getting up there earlier??? Afternoons were similar in that we would hunt until about 4pm then head back to camp completely missing the prime dusk hours. I tried to voice my desire to get out earlier and stay til dark but to no avail. That was definitely frustrating though.
Rick's dog was with us at all times but she's a sweetheart and was very good about being quite and staying close.
In 7 days of hunting we (myself and 2 other hunters in camp) saw 1 elk. One of the other hunters shot it after Scott and Rick called it in. 7 days of hunting to see 1 elk between 3 hunters was a bit disappointing. However, the most frustrating part of the whole trip was the last morning. We hiked back up to where the elk quarters were hung and as we neared the area, we heard wolves howling. Rick, who was carrying a rifle, immediately started howling back to them because he wanted to shoot a wolf. I couldn't beleive he just declared my hunt over because there was a wolf howling.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the hunt. The accomodations were fine but there were VERY few elk and a lot of unprofessionalism. If it weren't for the other 2 hunters in camp (and the 9 mile hike out) I may have left early.
I scrolled back through the messages.........you were warned by "sbschindler, cattrack, and others" plus the guy that hunted with them in the past. Your hunt sounded about like his.
Next time, put in for Montana or Idaho and ask for help on here and I'm sure a couple guys would "pm" you a few spots to hike into. It sounds like you're willing to put in the time and you've paid some dues now......
I've been stomping around Colorado on DIY hunts, making those 500 yard shots, and hauling meat in my pack miles off the mountain.
Looking back at this hunt, I feel stronger than ever that Bud should've been stripped of his guiding license.
You won't see me embellishing his character as that of a true mountain man.
Thanks for the education.