Idaho Outdoor Hunting Safari's


Fall and Winter 2014-2015

Just wanted to take a moment and fill everyone in on our adventures from last fall and winter 2014-2015.

Last fall we started out a little shorthanded. Darrel hurt his arm shoeing horses for the upcoming Elk hunt. It is the time of year that we need him most.  Thanks to our Swan Valley Outfitters family, friends, and everyone who came together and worked hard, our season went off without a hitch.


Sam a long time customer harvested a really nice bull.

There were other successful hunters last fall. However, this was the biggest bull taken the 2014 “Ten Day War”.

After the general season with the help of family and friends. We were able to get both camps out without any problems. It was a good feeling to get things squared away for winter.

November is an exciting time for Swan Valley Outfitters. After months of hard work and guiding, its our turn at our chance to fill our freezers. The Cow Elk hunt was a successful one for us. Connor and Garrett with the help of Darrel and Jeremy hunted hard and harvested for our families.

Nothing better than the younger generations carrying on the family traditions. cow wee ones

Ski pic

Swan Valley Outfitters Ski Djouring Team

We started the New Year out with some fun. A friend, (Chad) asked me if I would compete with him in a ski-djouring competition in Driggs. After 2 months of being out of the saddle I accepted. I had never pulled a skier before so we had to practice for a couple weeks. We entered to novice division and ended up 2nd place. Pretty good for our first time. It was lots of fun and I am hooked. Cant wait until next years competition.

Every February we get to ‘Give Back,” to SIBS (So important brothers and sisters) camp. Where siblings of  Camp Magical Moments come and participate in activities similar to the Summers, Camp Magical Moments. This is a special camp, hosted by Anne Walsh at Hansen’s Guest Ranch here in Swan Valley. In the summer kids diagnosed with cancer come to Swan Valley and spend a week doing various activities that they would not normally be able to due to their conditions. It is our 10th year at camp with the horse program. The kids love the horses and it is a favorite activity among many campers. Special Thanks to 4B ranch and Stables for letting us use your amazing facility.sibs4

Thanks for following us. We are looking forward to Spring and Summer. Please check out our new website There is a link to our Facebook and Blog. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy Trails- Brandy

“Seven Day War”

The rifle elk season or as I like to call it the seven day war was incredible this year.  Spending 10 days in the backcountry is quite the experience.  I look forward to it and dread it at the same time.

I had the oppurtunity to spend a lot of time in the saddle this fall.  Usually I get to stay in camp and cook, take care of horses and read my book, but this year “Pilgrim” and I were the official pack & haul crew.  I couldn’t have done it this year without him!  He was my lifesavor!!

This is Danny aka “Pilgrim” with Lenny

Wayne has been hunting with us for the last 10 years.  He has waited a long time to get a nice one like this and to make it better he was able to hunt with my dad.

I love this one of Wayne and I.

Mike Foster with his 7×7.

Mike & Brian

We can work together!

Brian Foster’s “herd spike” with Wayne & Connor

This 6×6 was tagged by Sam .  I really wish I had a picture of Sam & Dave with this elk.  He was taken in a NASTY spot and didn’t even get to see the elk until the next day!

Colby with Sam’s 6×6

Lenny loaded and ready to go HOME!

Scott & Allen

Scott got this very nice 3×3 mule deer.

Harold and Darrel

Harold shot with moose with his bow @ 15 yards!  Harold after getting this moose came back to camp asked me that since he didn’t shot a moose bigger than mine does that mean he still gets to eat dinner?  I told him he was lucky.  🙂

What a year! Looking forward to next year!

2012 Elk Antler Shed

Well the boys just returned from their annual horn hunting trip. They has a successful trip if you count good times with good friends and family oh ya and finding a couple dozen nice elk horns and nice sheep skull.

I don’t know much about what goes on during this trip because the “girls” are not allowed to come, unless it is to bring more provisions, ie beer. For this hunt they plan for months! I wish they would plan like this for other things. This “shed hunt” takes place on May 1st the day the forest opens to human activity, but the boys go a day early to get in line and wait for the gate to open then race with a hundred other grown men for as Wayne calls it big boys Easter Egg hunt.

Exciting News!

This is a neat little article about Natural Retreats in Swan Valley and yes when they are talking about the Idaho Hunting Safari they are referring to us! It is really exciting to be partnered up with Natural Retreats!

Published March 05, 2012

The River Wild
A Classic African Safari… in Idaho

The British have some ideas for your next long weekend.

They involve floating chefs, tents with hardwood floors and bow hunting on horseback.

You guessed it: Idaho safari.

Presenting Natural Retreats, a wild-game-seeking expedition down the mighty Snake River on the Idaho/Wyoming border, accepting reservations now.

The be-khakied British explorers who launched this share a simple, admirable dream: to create the great American safari.

Your journey begins in Yellowstone, at a palatial wooden fishing lodge formerly owned by a Rockefeller (in this case: Mark, son of Nelson). You’ll get up around dawn to watch the sunrise over the river through 30-foot glass windows. And if time permits, squeeze in a game of snooker in your private guesthouse (safari warm-up) before boarding your drift boat.

On the Snake, things pick up quickly. One minute, you’re watching cottonwood trees go by, taking in your guide’s knowledge about the local bald eagle population. The next: going on land to bow hunt elk on horseback, 12,000 feet in the mountains. Mostly, you’ll be tracking big game (cougar, wolf, black bear) or fly-fishing for rainbow trout, depending on the season.

Before dinner, you’ll have some time to unwind in your white canvas tent. When you see a guy in a chef’s hat paddling toward you, don’t be alarmed.

Just make sure you’re in the mood for elk burgers.

Read more:

It’s about time…

I guess that since I am doing the “blog” and website for dad, I don’t see why I can’t show off my trophy.  Brandy likes to say that I am bragging but did you not see the size of this guy he is worth bragging about.  This was for me, mentally a really tough hunt.  I was super excited the day I checked online and found out that I had drawn and then again was like OH CRAP, now I actually have to hunt.  I am not an avid hunter believe it or not,  growing up with my dad an avid hunter, professional guide (he loved it so much he bought the business hence the blog).  Any who back on track, he had all three of us girls hunting as soon as we were old enough (12 in the state of Idaho) not that we were not hunting with him before that but legal to shoot our own.  I drew my first cow tag in the fall after I turned 12, I don’t remember much about it just that we rode around and around and around and then finally we came upon the elk and of course we got our elk but the whole experience was just not for me.  I didn’t hunt again until well 2010!  

 I have always wanted a moose though, I think they are an amazing animal!  Every year in April George aka dad would call me and remind me that it was time to put in for a moose tag and every April I would put in.  I tried the beginning of April, the middle of April and even the last day in April for 15 yes 15 years!  In May I would start checking for draw results and usually I would see the same response “sorry this license number has not drawn”  So I would make the call to dad not again this year.  I would check stats of how many people put in and etc.  there was on year only 29 put in for 15 tags, I didn’t draw that year!  I had a 50/50 chance and still nada!   I was beginning to think either the Fish and Game had it out for me or I wasn’t meant to get a moose, but as the picture shows I did finally get my tag! 

I can honestly say I didn’t hunt really hard for this guy, one of the advantages to being a outfitters daughter tell all the clients what you are looking for and they will all be scouting for you!  I hunted a whole 4 days  one of those with one of my dad’s best clients in the world!!  Wayne and I sat on Chewy’s Rock all day, he even let me take a nap!  We didn’t see anything but other clients and a few clouds in the sky!  The kill day as I will call it started out like any other day in a hunting camp for me, wake up really early start coffee and breakfast wait for everyone to get out of bed, feed them, make their lunch for the day, and send them out but today I was going with them and I was ready!  Well not really it was cold and just barely daylight but I pulled through we rode around the ridge to go sit at sheep camp and glass and wait and wait and wait somemore on a side note they built me a fire to sit by so I wouldn’t freeze.  Finally we think we spotted something George thinks it is a log, Jared isn’t convinced we glass and wait some more,  It is a big log!   George goes to get more firewood Jared and I watch the “log”  what the log moved!  I yell at George tell him come look the log moved!  He looks and by golly if that is a moose it is a big moose.  We decide lets go ride across the canyon and see if we can get a better look at him.  It is a 45 minute ride and on a nasty trail but we get over there and criss cross the mountain until we come upon him and two cows my dad is telling me get off your horse grab your gun.  I do exactly what he says and start walking towards him and I am shaking and turn around and my dad gives me a thumbs up like he’s a shooter.  This is when it gets a fuzzy and I can’t concentrate on anything next thing I know we are trying to get me a rest for my gun so I can try and get a shot on him I get two shots nothing he heads down the hill with one cow still with him he stops again I try again.  I can’t see anything through the scope I am shaking can’t get shells into the rifle lets face it I am a mess!  I get a couple more shots.  I am sure I didn’t hit him but I look and he is down, I turn to my dad and am in shock!  I start walking over to the moose and then I see him turn the other way.  Jared and my dad go gather the horses, I sit down and cry.  

My hunting career is over but I will never forget this day!  My moose made the book he scored 163-6/8.  He will live forever in my living room! 

A few photos…