With the 2019 Alberta hunting season in our sights, the BRMB team is here to show you why Alberta should be at the top of your list for hunting destinations in Canada.

 

Most notably, Alberta’s large size and diverse topography creates habitat for a wide range of big and small game. You can hunt for just about any species you can think of in Alberta, from waterfowl and deer to antelope and moose. With a landscape made up of prairie grasslands, towering mountain peaks and boreal forest, your options for hunting in Alberta are virtually unlimited.

 

Alberta not only has a huge variety of hunting species, but it consistently produces some of the world’s largest trophy animals! In fact, five of the top 10 largest bighorn sheep trophies are from Alberta, as recorded by Boone and Crockett, the oldest wildlife conservation organization in North America, founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt (17+ years before his turn at presidency) and George Bird Grinnell, an American anthropologist, historian, naturalist, and writer.

 

We’ve put together a list of some of Alberta’s hunting species that make this Western Canadian province a go-to hunting destinations in Canada, as well as some hunting and safety regulations you should be aware of before you head out.

 

Safety and Regulations

Before you go hunting in Alberta - The first thing you must do is to brush up on Alberta’s Hunting Regulations. Adhering to provincial hunting guidelines will not only help keep you out of trouble but will also help maintain healthy game populations.

 

All hunters in Alberta are required to complete an online hunter education course. If you are coming to hunt in Alberta from out of the country, make sure you check out these helpful tips for the travelling hunter - a great resource for getting into Canada smoothly with your firearms

 

Where to Hunt in Alberta

Hunting in Alberta is permitted on most public or crown land, with much of the province’s Crown land found in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and in the province’s north. Around 85% of the province’s parklands are open to hunting as well, although this does not include National Parks. Still, this leaves some excellent big game terrain for hunters to explore. In the prairies in the east of the province, private land is much more common, and hunters need to be sure to ask permission from landowners before hunting. Many farmers are happy to have hunters come and use their land, and it never hurts to ask. And for those hunters visiting from out of province, hiring a local Alberta outfitter can greatly increase your chances of a successful outing.

 

Alberta's Top Game

Antelope

Although this may not be the first species that comes to mind when someone mentions hunting in Alberta, the southeastern part of the province is the North American antelope’s northernmost range. Hunters in Alberta can explore over 100,000 km ² (40,000 mi ²) of antelope habitat, with some of the best hunting grounds found along the Montana border.

 

Antelope hunting in Alberta has never been better – the provincial record, held since 1913, has been beaten three times since 2001.

 

Bighorn Sheep

An Alberta Bighorn Sheep shot in 1911 held the world record for size until 2000, when another Alberta Bighorn took its place. The current world record sheep was not shot, but struck by a car on the highway in… you guessed it – Alberta.

 

With Alberta’s colossal park system creating an abundant habitat for this majestic beast, particularly in the Rockies and Foothills, there is no better place in the world for bighorn sheep hunting. Favourite hunting areas for bighorn sheep in Alberta include the Willmore Wilderness and the rugged, mountainous areas along the David Thompson Highway.

 

Black Bear

Bear hunting in Alberta happens in spring and fall and there is a two bear limit per each hunter, making Alberta a top bear hunting destination. The northern and western parts of Alberta are particularly productive for bear hunting, with areas like the Peace River country noted for having excellent bear habitat.

 

Alberta is also known for having a multicoloured black bear population – close to half of the black bears in Alberta are a different colour than black.

 

Elk

Elk are one of the most prized big game animals in the country, and Alberta is the best place to target these majestic beasts. In fact, the eight and twelfth place elks of all time have been harvested in the province, which is especially impressive since the elk hotspots in the US offer up such steep competition.

 

Your best bet for elk hunting in Alberta is on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, with the middle of September being the best time to hunt, since this is the peak of the rutting season. Using both a bull and a cow call can greatly increase your chances of success.

 

Moose

Alberta is considered one of North America’s top moose hunting destinations in Canada, with three Alberta moose having been placed on Boone and Crockett’s Top 10 list. Although moose can be found in most of Alberta wherever there is water and cover, the prospects for a trophy bull are better up north.

 

Many moose hunts in Alberta are multi-day expeditions into remote areas accessible only by float plane, boat or canoe, making for a true wilderness adventure.

 

Waterfowl

Low hunting pressure and generous bag limits make Alberta one of North America’s top waterfowl hunting destinations. Duck and geese are found in abundance throughout Alberta’s parklands, lakes, wetlands, prairies and foothills. In particular, the Peace country is known as one of the very best goose hunting destinations on the continent, while the Aspen Parkland is home to its highest densities of breeding mallards.

 

It can be relatively easy to find an area where waterfowl converge by the thousands, making Alberta a must-visit province for goose and duck hunters.

 

White Tail Deer

Alberta is home to some of the biggest white-tailed deer you will find anywhere – three of the top ten deer ever taken have come from hunting in Alberta, more than in any other province or state in North America.

 

White-tailed deer have successfully adapted to most types of habitat found in Alberta, so no matter where you go in the Alberta wilderness your chances of bagging a trophy buck are high. However, of particular note for whitetail hunters are the prairies and farmlands on the eastern side of the province. Since Crown and park land is scarce in eastern Alberta, be sure to ask permission before hunting in these areas.

 


 

While there is an abundance of opportunities to hunt in Alberta, preparation and planning are still crucial for a successful hunt. Our Alberta Backroad Mapbooks, Alberta GPS Maps, Backroad Navigator App and TOPO Maps can give you the smart hunter’s edge when it comes to navigating to that remote hunting hot spot. With a Backroad Mapbooks product in hand, your chances of bagging a trophy animal in Alberta this 2019 hunting season are better than ever.