When you think of the great outdoors, what images come mind? What kind of scenery, smells and sounds? If you’re like us, the iconic Rocky Mountains check all the boxes. Unbelievable views of untouched landscapes as far as your eyes can see. Fresh air you cannot get anywhere near a city or suburban town. Wildlife that have probably never laid eyes on a human being before.
Welcome to Ridgerunner Outfitters. We are the exclusive hunting outfitter for 130 square miles of Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forest in northern Idaho. The terrain is steep, the views are beautiful, and the bountiful game animals are big. In our designated zone in Idaho, elevations range between 2000 to 7000 feet above sea level.
This land was once known for one of the largest elk herds in the country. Our zone is also home to healthy herds of mule deer, whitetail deer, mountain goats and even Shiras Moose. We also have black bear, cougars and gray wolves in the area.
It’s 130 square miles of nature unleashed. And aside from some logging roads and our small basecamp, this massive land is virtually untouched by mankind.
Yes, we’re blessed.
What we offer
Exploring, Hiking, and Horseback Riding
When you have this much land to roam around, the opportunities to see wildlife and explore are virtually limitless. We host people who love the outdoors and want to connect with nature. Our clients come to us because they crave the freedom that comes with escaping to the backcountry, and unplugging from society for a few days.
In the summertime, we offer hiking and horseback tours of the mountains. We have about a dozen mules and horses who are trained in these mountains to do the heavy lifting for you. Virtually nowhere is off limits for an off-the-grid camping excursion. We are far removed from cell phone service (and that’s a beautiful thing!) and maintain communication with long-range radios and satellite phones if necessary.
Most of our area is only accessible on foot or horseback. Because of this, we have very little outside hunting pressure in the rugged backcountry. This gives our clients ideal circumstances for harvesting wild game.
Watching hunting TV shows and Youtube videos is no replacement for the real thing. Our clients come to us hoping for the hunt of lifetime; whether its for:
– Mule deer
– Whitetail deer
– Shiras Moose
– Mountain goat
– Black bear
– Gray wolf
– Forest grouse.
Or maybe you are just hunting for an unforgettable experience with family or friends. Whatever your reasons for hunting with us, at Ridgerunner Outfitters, we do everything we can to deliver.
Let’s not pretend backcountry mountain hunting is easy. It’s not. You need to be physically prepared for the steep, rugged terrain and long hiking distances. But our guides will walk you through it (literally). As difficult as these hunts can be, we’re here to give you the best odds we can, in spite of factors beyond our control–like the weather.
And when you harvest your animal, we’ll help you pack it out–with horses and mules if necessary. We do everything in our control to maximize your probability of success during your hunt. As a result, we have high success rates for all our hunts. Especially elk, mule deer, and black bear.
We offer hunts and tours from both backcountry camp sites and our base camp. The backcountry camp sites are only accessible via horseback and are a several-hour ride from our basecamp. Everything you use must be packed in and packed out when you leave. Our guides will lead the way.
Base camp offers luxuries rarely found this deep in the backcountry. Our wood-framed tents with wooden floors keep you and your gear off the ground, warm and dry. Each tent also has a wood stove to heat the tent when temperatures drop. We have plenty of split firewood provided.
Base camp has a private, covered latrine that we keep clean and tidy. We also have a dedicated hot shower tent with propane-heated spring water. Bring your scent-removal soap and shampoo…scent control is critical when hunting elk, deer, moose and bear.
The main tent at base camp has a gas range and kitchen where our staff will cook all your meals and prepare your packed lunches for each day. Our clients tell us the hot cooked breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening is one of the nicest perks of our experience. You don’t have to worry about food at all, we’ve got you covered. Let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Packing out the harvest (what to expect)
When you harvest an animal, that’s when the real work begins. Our guides are trained experts in tracking, cleaning and recovering game meat. We strongly encourage hunters to be physically prepared to help the guide carry your meat (in game bags) out of the woods. Pack mules and horses are available if necessary, and we will get them as close as possible to your animal. It’s between you and the guide to pack out the meat as necessary to get it back to our freezers at base camp.
Bring game bags, a backpack that can carry meat, and a positive attitude. Some pack-outs take a few hours, and others can be two days. It depends on where you harvest your animal and how steep and difficult the terrain is.
How to book
Ready to book your dream mountain hunt? Contact us and fill out the form. Spots usually fill up over a year in advance, so be prepared to fill out paperwork early on to get your Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) license and put in for tags. As a licensed outfitter, we have a certain allocation of tags and can guide you through the process. The earlier you can plan your hunt, the easier it is.
Rule of thumb: give yourself a year of advanced planning for your hunt. It’s best to lock in your tags and licenses the year prior, and the deadline for that is November 30. This means you will need to have the following items done prior to November 30 for us to guarantee allocated tags (especially for elk and deer):
– Hunter’s safety course in your state of residence (archery hunters need an additional Idaho archery safety course and signed bowhunter affadavit)
– Deposit to pay for IDFG hunting license and tags up front (prices are determined by IDFG each year)
– Deposit for 15% of our outfitting fee to reserve your spot(s)
If all of these things are submitted by November 30 the year prior, leave the rest to us. But please don’t wait until the last minute to get your paperwork in. Plan ahead and be proactive!
We look forward to meeting you and giving you the hunt of a lifetime!