77, Day 5
Information on Duck Hunting on the Snake River
NOTE: Outdoorsman Thayne Barrie of Boise, Idaho, loves to hunt ducks
on the Snake River near Grand View, Idaho. He and the employees who work
at his store in Boise, Sunset Sports Centers, can help hunters obtain
information on Idaho duck hunting. Recently I went on one of the best
duck hunts with Barrie.
QUESTION: Thayne, is duck hunting not that popular
in Idaho? We haven't seen that many hunters nor as much pressure on the
ducks as we have in the East.
ANSWER: Per capita, a lot of people hunt. You have to remember
that our population base in Idaho is small. We only have a million people
in our entire state. We've got a big state, so there's a lot of public
ground for a few people to spread out on.
QUESTION: How far does the Snake River run?
ANSWER: All the way from the upper reaches starting in Montana,
coming down through Idaho and Washington, where it drops into the Columbia
So the whole length of the Snake River in Idaho is excellent for duck
ANSWER: Yes, it is. The eastern side of the state is on the western
side because the elevations are quite a bit higher, but it's good hunting
all the way around.
QUESTION: The Snake River Valley is much warmer
than the rest of the state, isn't it?
ANSWER: Yes, it has the lowest elevations. The eastern part of
the state has higher elevations, but once you get down to the Magic Valley,
which is the Burley-Rupert-Twin Falls area, and into the Treasure Valley,
which is the Boise area, you're down around 2,200- to 2,700-foot elevations.
So it stays quite a bit warmer.
QUESTION: How mild are your winters here?
ANSWER: Typically, our average lows are in the upper teens to low
20s and our highs range from 35 to 45 degrees in the winter.
It's just not that much trouble to come out here to Idaho and shoot a
mess of ducks, is it?
ANSWER: No. The thing you have to do is put a little research in
and watch and see whether the birds are working. You may have to spend
an extra day just to see what the birds are doing so that you're set up
for the next few days you're going to hunt.
QUESTION: Do you think a fellow can come to Idaho
from anywhere in the East, drop by your store and talk to some of your
people behind the counter, go out and within the next three days have
three good days of duck hunting?
ANSWER: Yes. You may shoot just a few birds that first day, but
you'll learn enough to be able to really knock them dead the next two
days. The guys who work with me will give you no more than half a dozen-different
spots you can try.
QUESTION: Is there a road system along the entire
edge of the Snake River?
ANSWER: No, it's kind of start and stop. Along certain parts of
the river, sections of the road are 20, 25 miles long. Then you'll have
to come off the road, but the accessibility is pretty good. It's a straight
jet boat river, but it will tear props up pretty good.
What about floating the Snake and hunting ducks?
ANSWER: It's really good. We've used our duck boat and just drifted,
heading it into offshoot channels and those kinds of places. It's basically
jump shooting, but you're just drifting in your boat, which is fun.
QUESTION: Are boats available for rent so you
can float the Snake River and junk-shoot ducks?
ANSWER: Yes, there are guys who rent drift boats and smaller aluminum
boats in Boise. I'm not sure what the rates are, but they're not bad.
They rent a lot of boats.
QUESTION: So your store is the information center
for anybody who wants to come out here and hunt ducks. They can find out
where to get a boat, where to put in, where to take out, how to float
the Snake, how to set up and how to hunt?
ANSWER: Sure. All the guys at my store love to hunt ducks, so they
know what to tell hunters. The Snake River is all public property. You
just need to make sure that if you're on private land, you get permission
to cross it to hunt. To get information on duck hunting in Idaho, call
Sunset Sports Centers in Boise, Idaho, at (208) 376-1100.