Guests of Mackay Bar Ranch consistently send thank you emails that strongly reflect a huge glowing sense of reward, strengthened family and friendship ties, and definite plans to return to this little patch of Idaho backcountry paradise.

What are the highlights and “feel good” elements that touch guest after guest with such powerful and positive heartfelt remarks?

Exquisite Landscapes and Scenery at Salmon River Backcountry Ranch

Certainly the stunning landscapes viewed at every turn is a big part of the Mackay Bar Ranch experience.

The Salmon River flowing strong and majestic through this vast wilderness is an awesome sight to behold.  And certainly the jet boat adventures, the tales of history gone by, the delicious home cooked meals, the beautifully manicured grounds and rustic upscale accommodations all combine to impart a supernova adventure.

But is there more than meets the eye?  What creates the “spell” that swells in the smiles and in the hearts of those who have lived the Mackay Bar experience, even if for just a couple of days, with a vested pledge to return for a longer visit?

From all accounts, it seems the human footprint left on the heart and souls of those who have ventured into the world of Mackay Bar  is largely contributed by the warmth and hospitality, hard work and sincere effort of its hosts and owners of Mackay Bar Ranch.   Meet Buck and Joni Dewey,  hard working entrepreneurs who are 110% committed to their guests and the total experience they create for all guests of this magical landscape.

Buck and Joni Dewey, along with their son Dax, purchased Mackay Bar Ranch in January of 2013.  Their story is one of courage and bravery, and a true passion for sharing the gifts of this remote backcountry slice of paradise.   Whether guests are visiting as hunters and fishermen, or have chosen Mackay Bar Ranch as a wedding venue, or a place to enjoy family gatherings as a summertime destination,  the resulting customer remarks are consistent and are conveyed with overwhelming thanks, appreciation and fondness for their hosts and the entire experience.


Owning an outfitting business was always a dream of Bucks. When the opportunity presented itself with Mackay Bar Ranch., Buck and Joni made the commitment to take on the adventure with short and long term goals they could fulfill and that would be a rewarding adventure for their family.

Hammock on the Salmon RiverOriginally from the McCall area, Buck Dewey grew up on the Salmon River. His parents, Dave and Chris Dewey – managers at Pistol Creek Ranch on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River – purchased property at Copenhaver along the South Fork of the Salmon River – 1 mile from Mackay Bar – when Buck was young. They built a family cabin there and Buck grew up hunting, fishing, hiking the Salmon River Mountains as well as running the river and also built the foundation of his passion for guiding. Right out of high school, Buck went to work as a guide for Mackay Bar Ranch as well as for MiddleFork Outfitters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Tim Hull at Hettinger Ranch on the South Fork of the Salmon , and also Heavens Gate Outfitters out of Riggins Idaho. Bucks experience as a hunting guide is extensive and well established with an intimate knowledge of the rivers and the backcountry all over Central Idaho.

The hunting and fishing opportunities are some of the most exceptional you will ever experience”, Buck states excitedly. “Our Frank Church Wilderness permit area provides remote terrain where lots of big bears, elk, deer, big horn sheep and predators roam and many have never laid eyes on a human. Thats how special this place is!” Buck added.

Joni and Dax, Flying into Mackay Bar RanchMEET JONI DEWEY

Joni, originally from Grangeville, also owns and operates a CPA business there.  Growing up, Joni enjoyed hunting with her brother and dad. After spending a lot of time on the Snake River, Joni has come to value and enjoy the solitude, remoteness, history and beauty of the Salmon River and her new business venture with Buck.
Buck and Joni met in 2008 through a mutual friend while mountain lion hunting up Allison Creek on the Salmon River.   Seven months later they were married!


Dax, born in 2010, has cut his teeth on Idaho’s backcDax Deweyountry. He loves the river, boats, planes, hunting, horses, his uns, and most of all . . socialize with any little kids who stop at Mackay Bar.

For any who visit Mackay Bar Ranch., Dax will be there to tell you all about it!

Buck and Joni have a home in Grangeville, where their other business is located, but spend the majority of their time at Mackay Bar Ranch, hosting their guests and managing staff and the extensive responsibilities that comes with owning and operating a remote backcountry ranch.


Summertime at Mackay Bar Ranch is a favorite season for guests when Buck and Joni cater to group events such as weddings, family reunions and corporate retreats where backcountry activities can be planned, menus prepared and guests enjoy an exclusive, private ranch setting on the shores of the Main Salmon River that is unmatched.


Fall, winter and spring seasons bring hunting and fishing groups that enjoy the extreme terrain for elk, deer, predator, cougar and mountain lion hunting as well as the thrill of steelhead fishing on the Salmon River.  Make plans to reserve your exclusive adventure at this magical paradise nestled on the shores of the Salmon River in the Frank Church “River of No Return” Wilderness.

Buck, Joni and Dax would love to make your stay at Mackay Bar Outfitters and Guest Ranch one of the most incredible experiences of your lifetime.


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