Sitka Mountain Gear
St. Joe vs McCall
Contributors to this thread:
SWOHTR 09-Mar-16
shark 25-Apr-16
SWOHTR 28-Apr-16
chukarchump 29-Apr-16
SWOHTR 29-Apr-16
Caddisflinger 22-Jun-16
SWOHTR 23-Jun-16
Caddisflinger 24-Jun-16
Hello, just joined after months of lurking and reading.

I moved to Moscow area last year and was able to get into the St. Joe a bit for my first ever time elk hunting and archery hunting. After ambling through the thickest forest I've ever been in and seeing five cows, no bulls, all season, I'm thinking of changing it up this year. McCall is on my list; I picked it because the terrain looks more conducive to hosting elk populations however the IDFG success stats do not back that up (unit 6 actually had/has better success rates it looks like).

Are there any recommendations for St. Joe vs. the McCall area? My goal, in my three years in Idaho, is to kill a bull elk with my bow. I can afford to take a week off in September but not much else (I teach NROTC classes at the University) and I am here for two more seasons before the Navy sends me back to a coast. I'd prefer to DIY, however am open to reputable outfitters.

All of my previous hunting experience is gun whitetail in Wisconsin, and archery elk is the challenge I have been looking forward to for the last few years. I have a climbing stand and rifle out here but it's not my preferred hunt method. No horse experience, but I do have an ATV.

Thanks much,


Ive hunted both in the past. Mccall is WAY less brushy, which in turn makes it easier to navigate. Im not sure there are any more elk to hunt in the Mccall Zone, but it's sure easier to hunt.

From: shark
Hey man thanks for your service. How could you ever leave that country up there. Stick it out there are plenty of elk up there.

Thanks for the input. I have to get down to the McCall region first; I've yet to step foot into the Payette National Forest. Been in the Joe quite a few times though...

And you're welcome!


From: chukarchump

Keep in mind you are looking to go to the closest area to the largest population base in Idaho if you choose mccall. You might find easier terrain but that also will contribute to a higher population of hunters to compete with. There are some awesome places up in the northern part of the state for elk hunting. It would be easier to hunt on weekends (or single and 2 day off times). I would focus on the right spot up there.

Just my .02

Good to know. After looking at GE, I may try to go more east in the Joe (out past Clarkia/Avery). My plan is to take a week off in September (pref 18-24). Just need someone to go with; the fiance is in law school and her getting time off isn't practical, unless she comes out for just a few days.


Hey joe,

You are overlooking some great hunting in your back yard....not that the joe isn't a steep brushy SOB, but there are a lot of elk in 8 and 8A. The area between Bovill and Elk River deserves some scouting.

PM me if you want more specifics.

PM sent!

I'm not sure how to check my PM box on here...I'm used to vBulletin style forums.


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