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John's Journal... Entry 77, Day 5

Information on Duck Hunting on the Snake River

click to enlargeEDITOR'S 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 River.

click to enlargeQUESTION: So the whole length of the Snake River in Idaho is excellent for duck hunting, right?
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.

click to enlargeQUESTION: 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.

click to enlargeQUESTION: 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.




Check back each day this week for more about Thayne Barrie On Ducks ...

Day 1 -Duck Hunting on Idaho's Snake River
Day 2 -Setting Up for a Duck Hunt on the Snake River
Day 3 -What Kind of Ducks Winter on the Snake River
Day 4 -What You Need to Know to Hunt Ducks in Idaho
Day 5 -Information on Duck Hunting on the Snake River

John's Journal