What to Expect

The Middle Fork Lodge is a unique private ranch nestled alongside the famous Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the River of No Return Wilderness. The Lodge is surrounded by 2.4 million acres of remote wild lands designated by Congress as “Wilderness”. Four hundred square miles of the wilderness is designated by Idaho law as the Lodge’s “area of operation”; licensed exclusively to us as the only outfitter within the area. The outstanding lodge and ranch facilities are the hub of the operation; the home base for the crew and horses that service the outlying camps during the fall hunting seasons. Our horses, not unlike our crew, are experienced veterans in the way of the wilderness with your safety as top priority. We strive to make our camps a haven of comfort and serviceability while maintaining the wilderness character of their surroundings. Our equipment is first class, sparing nothing to produce the ultimate in quality hunts and experiences. We limit our services to a few fortunate clients each year in order to insure high success rates and superior hunts.

No outfit is any better than the crew that serves it, the most important ingredient for a safe, fun filled experience. We are totally dedicated to ensure that your hunt with the “Middle Fork Lodge” is the best that it can be. Our contingent of additional guides, packers and cooks round out a staff that is unequaled in the profession. 

Your hunt begins with a bush flight over the back-country of Idaho, an experience shared only with the great American Eagles. You will touch down at the Thomas Creek airstrip to be greeted by an eager crew and transported the mile to the Lodge via a land locked vehicle that was previously transported by helicopter to serve in this capacity. Soon your gear will be “mantied” and “sling hitched” on one of our reliable mules. You will be introduced to your best friend for the week (your horse) and fitted to your saddle. Your rifle will be nestled in an appropriate saddle scabbard provided by us and you will be headed up the trail to a hunting experience second to none. The country will offer as much challenge as you care to accept while providing all the therapy necessary to prepare you for the coming year. Our guides are professionals and are adept at tailoring the hunt to your desire and comfort level. The harvest success is somewhat dependent on each hunter’s perspective regarding a trophy. Our overall success ratio over the years averages between 50% and 60% with a 90% percent opportunity for 5 point bulls or better. Our elk opportunity is very consistent throughout the season. If you wish to place a high priority on a good muley buck it is best you consider the mid October to mid November hunts. We are now offering 5-day deer only hunts from Nov. 1st to Nov. 18th. These hunts will be conducted from the comfort of the lodge, riding the lower elevations where the deer are concentrated on historical rutting grounds. Deer are plentiful; several bucks a day will be seen with a realistic opportunity for 150 to 180 B&C scores.

We have the luxury of offering excellent rifle bugle hunts Sept. 15 to Mid October; one of the few remaining areas in the U.S. that offers a General Hunt with no lottery. Mid October thru Nov. 18th we offer one of the few combined opportunities for late season Deer and Elk hunting.



Jay Hagenbauch

"This was quite a trip. It was a rugged and physically challenging experience, in country that was even more beautiful than normal as the leaves had begun to change. I've done a fair amount of hunting and, therefore, have a yardstick by which to measure the organization and professionalism associated with any particular hunt. You should know that the crew represents you incredibly well. They are organized and hardworking, yet retain a great sense of humor and are very enjoyable to be around. Their knowledge of the area and its wildlife is really impressive. More importantly, the ethical standards that they employ in their guiding and their sense of strong stewardship for the land on which we camped and hunted are first rate. Even if our results had not been so good (which they absolutely were!), I could not be more complimentary of their efforts and the credit that they bring to The Middle Fork Lodge."