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Gospel Hump Wilderness

I am looking into hunting the high country of the Gospel Hump next fall. Was wondering when the access roads to the North and Northwest typically get too much snow for vehicles. I notice the trailheads are fairly high up and the season is late enough there may very well be some snow. Wouldn't want to plan on access and find out its snowed in come hunting season. I do plan on finding some low elevation back ups. Getting the Archery/Muzzleloader tag rather than the Any Weapon tag might be a better choice. Is there winter range in unit 14? The late muzzleloader sounds interesting. My preference is high country wilderness where I can get away from the roads and some other people. Is there a way to find out how much outfitter activity there is?

Answer

Hunting access into the higher elevations of the Gospel Hump Wilderness in the fall is dictated by the timing of early snowstorms.  As you might expect, it is difficult to predict with certainty when snow depths will be sufficient to make entry or departure difficult, but typically some snowfall has accumulated by mid- to late October.  As a result, just to be safe, most hunters in the higher eleveations make ready for a quick exit as the end of the month approaches.  The roads into the Gospel from the northeast from Orogrande Summit south to Hump Lake is rugged at best (traveled mostly by ATV users), as is the southeastern access from the Grangeville-Salmon River Road to Square Mountain. By November,  hunters often focus efforts at lower elevations.

Licensed outfitters operate throughout the area.  For details on specifics, I would suggest you visit the websites for the Idaho Outfitter and Guides Licensing Board http://oglb.idaho.gov/  and the Idaho Outfitter and Guides Association  http://ioga.org/  for Game Management Units 14, 19, and 15.