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HUNTING BIG GAME IN ALBERTA

Author: Travis Grant

An avid outdoorsman, Travis is in constant search of wilderness adventure. His passions include fishing, canoeing, hiking, camping, and touring trails less travelled. He does his best writing at the family cabin, next to the wood-burning stove.

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Alberta’s outfitters and guides will lead you high into the forested foothills and Canadian Rockies, where big horn sheep stand on rocky outcroppings and big cougars are tracked through fresh snow. They’ll show you sweeping prairies, where rutting white tail deer and mule deer search for mates in coulees and fields – the world record non-typical mule deer hails from Alberta, scoring a staggering 355 2/8 Boone & Crockett inches. And they’ll bring you north, where parkland and boreal forest are home to huge elk herds, moose, black bear, wolves and coyotes.

Father and Son

Each year, my son and I hunt in northern Alberta. We move along the shore of the Athabasca River, deep into quiet valleys where moose nip willows and elk herds led by giant bulls move silently through the woods. Our time in these parts is a treasured father-and-son experience. We are silent visitors camouflaged by birch, poplar and pine, overcome by awe and respect in the humbling presence of these majestic animals.

Carefully managed harvest limits and habitat conservation protect the health and size of Alberta’s big game populations, while ensuring future generations like my son can continue using the experience of a hunt to forge his relationship with the land and wildlife.

In the autumn, we hunt from tree stands, blinds, on foot and with the help of off-highway vehicles. November’s weather is sometimes balmy. But late season hunts are often cold and snowy. You should be prepared for any weather because, as I often tell my son, it is better to have too much gear than not enough.

Outfitters and Guides

Your hunt will benefit from the knowledge and skill of local outfitters and guides. The guides who shaped me into a hunter as a boy showed me big game signs like scrapes and beds. They explained the impact of snow and temperature on wildlife behaviour. Their knowledge will make your hunt an inspiring experience.

If you’re visiting Alberta from other provinces or outside of Canada, you must hunt with a hunter host or contract with a licensed outfitter or guide. All licensed, registered guides in the province are members of the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APOS).

Before your Hunt

Before your hunt, contact your outfitter or guide. They will provide crucial information on hunting regulations, licences and firearms permits. Regulations regarding each of these are strictly enforced, so it is good to research and know the rules beforehand.

Information on hunting regulations and licensing can be found at My Wild Alberta, and information on requirements for firearms users visiting Canada is available from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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