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Questions regarding regulations and legal issues will not be answered here.

Questions regarding legal issues should be directed to Fish and Wildlife at:
Information Centre ........ 780-944-0313
Toll Free ..................... 1-877-944-0313
E-mail .............. esrd.info-centre@gov.ab.ca

Fish and Wildlife

Head Office Mailing Address
Fish and Wildlife
Great West Life Building
9920 - 108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2M4

Go here for Question Form
Question:
I have 80 acres and I like to target shoot. The nieghbour shoots but doesn't like where I shoot, so he said that he is going to build a playhouse at the edge of his property so we can shoot. At what distance can you shoot from an occupied building?

- Tracy, Leduc County
Click here for answer

Hi Tracy,

The Wildlife Act states that it’s illegal to “discharge a weapon within 183 m (200 yards) or cause a projectile from a weapon to pass within 183 m (200 yards) of any occupied building. Owners, occupants, or persons authorized by the owner or occupant are excepted, subject to local bylaws.”

I’m unaware of what the local bylaws are in Leduc County so you should check on that plus I suspect Federal laws may also be applied if it could be shown the firearm was not being used in a safe manner. I’m definitely not in a position to offer legal advice so I suggest you contact the county and the RCMP to see what your rights are.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am in my fourth year of hunting , in northern Alberta now. I have found several good fields to hunt north of Grande Prairie and I am getting good trail cam pics of elk all over the map. Am I allowed to put out a salt block of some kind to attract different big game besides elk on a private land I have permission on to hunt?

- Doug, Cochet
Click here for answer

Hi Doug,

Baiting of ungulates for the purpose of hunting is forbidden in Alberta.

TJ
Question:
I am trying to find hare/jack rabbit, are they here? Is the population healthy? Where can I start looking? Any hot spots to recommend? Tips or advice? I feel like I'm running in circles.

- TJ, Rocky Mountain House
Click here for answer

Rabbits and hares are tough to find at this time of year. My best advice would be to get out after a fresh snow and their tracks are a good indicator of where they call home and how population numbers are looking. Stands of old growth forest are always good, as are large willow areas.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Do you know any places in Alberta or perhaps near Calgary that I could go for Carp fishing.
Thanks again for all of your help to all fisherman out there.

- Mdde, Calgary
Click here for answer

Alberta doesn’t have any carp fishing opportunities that I am aware of. Grass carp have been placed in some of the irrigation canals but I’m unaware of a fishery for them. Goldfish and Prussian carp are starting to show up in the Bow River and are basically taking over Rosebud Creek, likely as a result of aquarium fish being flushed down the toilet. I am unaware of any common or European carp in Alberta, however. Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan is likely one the closest and best carp fisheries.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I found what appears to be a very old axe. Viking axes look almost the same. Where can I go to have someone knowledgeable look at it?

I am looking for an over and under shot/deer rifle. Can't seem to find one anywhere.

- Ron, Pommerehnke
Click here for answer

Hi Ron,

You may want to try Brian at http://www.whatsitworthbrian.com for a value on the axe.

Baikal makes a few shotgun/rifle combination firearms that may work for you. http://www.baikalcanada.com/rifles_combos.htm If your tax refund was really good you could check out Krieghoff as they make a beautiful combo http://www.krieghoff.de/en/hunting-guns/krieghoff-ultra/ou-rifleshotgun-combination/CZ and Remington also used to both offer them but they are now discontinued but you see the odd used one at a gun show or online.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am a bow hunter and would like some clarification on whether I need to apply for a draw or not. I hunt mostly in WMU 236. I originally assumed I needed to get a draw but when re-reading the regulations, am I correct in saying I can buy a tag for elk and mule deer for WMU 236 as long as it is hunted in the archery season without getting a draw? Some clarification would be great, thanks

- Mark Akerman
Click here for answer

Hi Mark,

I am certainly in no position to offer legal opinion or interpret the regulations and all of the information you seek is in the Hunting Draw booklet http://mywildalberta.com/Hunting/HuntingDraws/documents/
2015AlbertaHuntingDrawsBooklet-May2015a.pdf
and in the Hunting Regulations. But, it looks to me like you could hunt the archery season for both species with a general mule deer and general elk licence but I do suggest you clarify that with Fish and Wildlife.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for a hog hunt in Alberta. We are fundraising to build a seniors home in Fort Nelson, BC and I think our hunters here would love this experience. Who does this type of hunt for non-residents?

- Carol, BC
Click here for answer

Hi Carol,

You could try Hog Wild Specialties. www.hogwild.ab.ca/hunting.html

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Does anyone happen to know of any drift boatable rivers north of Edmonton?

- Greg, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Greg,

I’ve drifted both the Smokey and Peace Rivers in the past.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for a place for marmot hunting in Alberta. But it seems like it's impossible. Their habitats are in protected areas. Is there any place for groundhog or woodchuck, similar to marmot in Alberta?

Thanks

- Tom, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Tom,

I suggest you check out Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Act before heading afield. http://www.qp.alberta.ca/1266.cfm?page=1997_143.cfm&leg_type=Regs&display=html Marmota flaviventris (Yellow-bellied Marmot) Marmota caligata (Hoary Marmot) are protected in Alberta while Marmota mona woodchucks are listed as non-licence species. I have never hunted woodchuck in Alberta but I do know of people that see them in the Peace River region.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi,

It's my sons birthday on May 19th and I have purchased him his first rifle. I am looking for crown land to take him target shooting on his bday. I have called ACA, AFGA and DUC. They all tell me that I can hunt but cannot target shoot.

I am wondering if anyone can help me out with a location. This would make a 10 year old boy's birthday a blast. FYI, I have paid a membership fee for Genesee range but will not have any of my passes before the 19th.

Thank you

- Vic, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Vic,

There is no public land designated for target shooting near Edmonton that I am aware of so I’m not certain that I can help you out. The legalities of target shooting on crown land may vary from county to county so your best bet is likely to go for a drive and see if you can find a suitable location. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Good luck to you and your son.

TJ
Question:
It is unclear to me if there are any regs on hunting wolves in Alberta, ,more specifically:

- Is there a season?
- How does one determine regs for different zones?
- Would tags be required?

Thanks so much.

- Dave, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Dave,

It’s all pretty clear in the hunting regulations:

“Timber Wolf
A Resident may, without a licence, hunt (but not trap) timber wolf from the opening of any big game season in a particular WMU to May 31, 2015, or until June 15, 2015 in WMUs where black bear seasons are open until June 15, 2015.

A Non-resident or Non-resident Alien who holds a Non-resident/Non-resident Alien Wolf/Coyote Licence may hunt (but not trap) timber wolf from the opening of any big game season in a particular WMU to May 31, 2015, or until June 15, 2015 in WMUs where black bear seasons are open until June 15, 2015.”

http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/gameregs.html

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I've recently moved to Medicine hat from Vancouver Island, and would like to hunt some rabbit or hare in my area. Are they plentiful in the prairie WMU's despite having little to no forest like the foothills region?

- Chris, Medicine Hat
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

While not common, the white-tailed jack rabbit (actually a hare) is found in the Medicine Hat region and often seeks refuge in the cover of coulees or in taller sage on the flats. You can find some information about them here: http://esrd.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/wild-species/mammals/rabbits-rodents/whitetailed-jack-rabbit.aspx

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I recently came across an old set of 6x7 elk antlers that had a tag on them marked "Alberta Game" with a 6-digit code. Is there anywhere I can find out the history of these?

- Mike, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Mike,

At one time, Alberta had metal tags like you describe and animals were typically tagged around the antlers. I doubt Fish and Wildlife will be able to provide any info, however, as actual harvest information is not permitted to be given out. It sounds like a cool find.

TJ
Question:
Could someone please tell me where/how our Community Lake Association can purchase brook trout and brown trout for stocking in our lake for recreational fishing?

- Randy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Randy,

I’m not sure the government will licence you for brown and brook trout but give Lorne Louden at Ackenberry Trout Farm a call and he will help you out. http://www.ackenberrytroutfarms.com

TJ
Question:
Am I able to varmint hunt (squirrels, gophers, coyotes, ect) on crown land or Alberta Conservation Association land?

- Chad, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Chad,

I’d highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations as even small game may have seasons and in the case of red squirrels, they may only be hunted on private property, not public land. The regulations can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/
If all of your questions aren’t answered there, you should contact ESRD directly regarding any legal questions.

Information Centre:
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I hunted for the last couple of years and I never had a successful hunt (never got my limit) around Edmonton for ducks and Canada geese because of the bad locations I went to. I've been searching for a fly zone around Edmonton, so I would be thankful if someone could share a good spot.

- Abdul, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Abdul,

Hot spots for waterfowl change every year depending on the crops and the timing of harvest and the only real solution to your problem is to get out and scout lots. The area east of Edmonton holds lots of birds and by putting some miles on and finding out where the bird are feeding is the most certain way to find yourself a limit shoot.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm going to begin scouting in Willmore beginning at Rock Lake on foot. I'm curious if there is a specific WMU it would be best that I concentrate on? I was thinking of the 83E05 map area. Thoughts? I am expecting 5-7 day scouts and a few weeks trip for a hunt.

- Mark, St. Albert
Click here for answer

Hi Mark,

The best advice I can offer a hunter on foot would be to concentrate on the areas that the horse guys can’t access. The Willmore is crisscrossed by horse trails and they do see a fair bit of activity but if you can hike into an area that is a day or so away from the horse trails, then you will have a huge advantage. The Willmore has a high density of sheep although if I were going out of Rock Lake I’d likely concentrate on the areas that butt up against Jasper.

Good luck and be safe out there.

TJ
Question:
Can spring Snow Geese be hunt around Alberta?
Recommendation of a good hunting area?

- JC, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hey JC,

Most of the snow goose hunting in the province is on the east side of Alberta. The area east of Camrose would definitely be one to check out.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,

I am a new hunter and have watched many videos on youtube about field dressing deer and I feel ok with that process. What I am unclear about is after the field dressing is done...

- What do we do with the tag?
- How quickly do we have to take the meat to a butcher?
- Does the meat need to be skinned first?

If you can just walk me through the process after the field dressing is done, that would be great.

Also wondering if there is any literature / books about field dressing that you could recommend? I'm interested in learning about all types of animals.

- Justin, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Justin,

The following is from the Alberta Hunting Regulations:

TAGGING

NOTE: Antlered moose, elk and deer must NOT be tagged around the antler base. Please review the following instructions.

Immediately after killing a big game animal, the appropriate tag(s) must be affixed and securely locked to the animal as follows:
trophy sheep, goat - one tag through the nostril and, as soon as the skin is removed from the skull, one tag around the lower bone of the eye socket leaving the horns and eye intact.
moose, elk, deer, antelope, bison and non-trophy sheep - through the space between the bone and the tendon of a hind leg directly above the hock and around either the bone or the tendon.
bear and cougar - to the skin.

Tags must remain affixed until, in the case of trophy sheep, goat - the animal is registered (click here or scroll down to view Compulsory Registration) and the skin is processed.
moose, elk, deer, antelope, bison or non-trophy sheep - the carcass is delivered to:
– a premises in respect of which there is a Food Establishment Permit issued under the Public Health Act or Licence for the Operation of an Abattoir issued under the Meat Inspection Act,
– the usual residence of the person who killed the animal, or
– the usual residence (a residence that is neither a business premises nor attached to such a premises) of a resident of Alberta and that resident is in attendance, and the carcass is cut up and packaged for consumption.
bear and cougar - the skin is processed.

To tag your kill using the adhesive tag that comes with your licence, attach the wire loop to the animal as described above for various species and classes. Close and secure the loop by affixing the adhesive tag over the free ends of the wire.

WILD GAME PROCESSING

Hunters are reminded that when big game (including boned meat) or game birds are taken to a business for butchering or other related processing services, there are requirements for the business to keep a record of the wildlife that has been submitted. This includes recording the date, the name and address of the person who delivered the wildlife, the name and address of the person who killed the wildlife and their wildlife certificate number or wildlife identification number (WIN), the number of the licence under whose purported authority the wildlife was killed, and (if applicable) the tag number, and a description of the wildlife that in the case of a big game animal includes its sex.”

Most butchers will require that the animal be skinned before bringing it to them. Some of your best references regarding field dressing are likely found on YouTube or the best bet is to have an experienced hunter help you a time or two.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Where would be the best place to shoot a deer in a reasonable distance from Calgary? I'm not a trophy hunter, I just want to harvest some meat.

- Jamie, Ontario
Click here for answer

Hi Jamie,

There are deer all around Calgary. Your best bet would be to get out and knock on some doors to get permission and you should have no issues getting a deer for your freezer. Whitetails are available on a general tag in most areas while many mule deer hunting opportunities are through limited-entry draw only.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I want to do a safety presentation at work this spring about the hawks that live in our office yard. They are most likely either Swainson or Red Tailed Hawks, and they tend to get aggressive in the spring. I'm assuming because that's when they lay their eggs. All I want is some decent information on how to protect yourself from getting attacked by them during this time, as well as some background info on the birds themselves. I have had no luck on Google. All I find are contradicting opinions on how to protect animals from them. Thanks so much for your help. (I work in the Foothills Industrial Area in Calgary, just off Barlow Trail SE if that helps with the hawk breed)

- Chanelle, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chanelle,

Nesting hawks can pose a serious threat to human safety and your concern is definitely warranted. My suggestion would be to contact the Calgary Fish and Wildlife office and speak to one of their experts there. They should be able to help you out. They can be reached at 403-297-6423.

Good Luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm considering purchasing a quality spotting scope but friends of mine say it's not worth the expense. They think a good pair of binos are just as good and that way I don't need to shell out $500+. What are your thoughts? Will a decent spotting scope make the difference? Does it mostly depend on the landscape you're hunting?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

I would say your need for a spotting scope depends on a number of variables including terrain hunted, species hunted and need to evaluate legality/trophy quality. For mountain hunters, they are an absolute must, especially when determining legality on bighorn sheep but they can also save you a lot of walking by offering a much better view of distance animals and suspicious looking objects. They are also ideal for searching distant mountainsides for animals. I also use mine extensively on prairie mule deer and antelope hunts in order to spot and evaluate animals. In the end it all comes down to your style of hunting but I couldn’t imagine being without mine.

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for a hunting trip to South Africa, and can't really find any good websites or info on agents. Can you maybe help me here?

- Morten Lundsgaard
Click here for answer

Hi Morten,

Contact my friends Mark and Cindy Zimmermann at Select World Wide Hunting Safaris and they will be able to help you out.
http://www.selecttaxidermy.com/select-worldwide-hunting-safaris

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Does anybody know where a beginner hunter can take the hunting course in Alberta?

- Sam, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Sam,

Your best bet would be to contact the Alberta Hunter Education Instructor’s Association (AHEIA). You can find them at www.aheia.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

Access to WMU 410 is by foot only. Is access by horseback also permitted? I can't seem to find anything in the regs on this.

- Mike, Cochrane
Click here for answer

Hi Mike,

Some areas are open to horseback access and some aren’t. This link should help you out http://www.albertaparks.ca/kananaskis-country/information-facilities/trails.aspx

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
If my friends and I go hunting for small game and they bring their guns, can I also bring my bow to hunt?

- Bowman, Alberta
Click here for answer

ESRD is your best source of information regarding legal matters but I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t take your bow along providing you are hunting within legal seasons and have the appropriate licences. For questions regarding hunting a fishing regulations, I suggest you direct your questions to:

Information Centre:
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is there anywhere close to south Calgary where my kids and I can go use bows for target shooting? Ideally somewhere free to use...

- Chris, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

There are a couple indoor facilities in Calgary:

Calgary Archery Centre http://www.calgaryarcherycentreab.ca
Jim-Bows http://www.jimbowsarchery.ca
And the Calgary Archers have an outdoor facility http://www.calgaryarchers.org

You can also practice on private property outside city limits, with permission of course.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Are there any archery only units for black bear and what guides hunt those areas?

- Maury, Louisiana
Click here for answer

There are some archery-only wildlife management units in Alberta but black bears are not overly abundant in them and I’m unaware of anyone offering guided hunts for bears in them. There are a large number of outfitters offering bear hunts in general areas where the archery success is very high. You can get more information at apos.ab.ca.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have my Hunters Education Card... do I also need to do a course to get a PAL?

- Marsha, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Marsha,

If you want to hunt with a rifle you either need to get a PAL or be directly supervised by a PAL holder.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello TJ, just a quick question from a beginner bow hunter. What do you recommend for how to select places to hunt deer from a tree stand here in Alberta, more specifically in and around Edmonton?

- Emerson, St. Albert
Click here for answer

Hi Emerson,

Getting permission is the first step if you are hunting close to Edmonton. Look for properties with a good mix of cover and agricultural fields and you have found whitetail heaven. I like my stands set about 100 yards or so back from main feeding fields right on major trails that lead to the feeding area. If the deer get heavily pressured, you may have to move your stand even further back into their bedding areas. Winter is a great time to get out and scout as the snow makes their travel and bedding areas so much more obvious.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm in the season of trying to find new private property to hunt. I'm finding it very difficult to track down the individual landowners in order to ask permission to hunt on their lands. Is there an updated collection of contact information that I could use in order to get a hold of farmers?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

I typically rely on 411.ca. The Alberta specific page can be found at:
http://411.ca/whitepages/Alberta/p1

It’s the handiest resource I’ve found.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is a hunter legally required to 'turf' his tag if coyotes consume the entire kill before it can be recovered? ie. animal is left overnight for next day pack out? There isn't a definitive answer in the rules and regs on this, and the answers I've heard vary depending on the hunter.

- Andrew, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

I suspect your question would be best answered by those that enforce the law. Mine would just be another opinion that would carry no weight in a court of law. Personally, I would cancel the tag but that’s just my personal ethics and not a legal opinion. You should be able to get the information you require at:

Information Centre:
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good Luck,

TJ
Question:
Do you recommend any Alberta outfitters for a 2015 spring snow goose hunt?

- Al, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Al,

I haven’t seen anyone advertising spring hunts yet and I know a few of the outfitters I spoke with are taking a bit of a wait and see attitude for this first year, so unfortunately I don’t know of anyone yet.

TJ
Question:
Where in or near Edmonton can I get a Bausch & Lomb scope repaired? It fogged up this hunting season. I can dry it out and it will be nice and clear but as soon as I go outside with it and cold air hits it, it fogs back up.

- Alan, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Alan,

It sounds like your scope has lost its nitrogen seal if it’s fogging up inside. You will likely have to contact Bushnell Canada at:

Bushnell Outdoor Products Canada
Attention: Repair Department
140 Great Gulf Drive
Unit #B
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
L4K 5W1
1-800-361-5702

I’d suggest giving them a call first to see if it is repairable.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Are the number of residents who can host hunt a non-resident Canadian on quota (ie first come first served) the same as in Yukon? Can a host take a non-resident Canadian or a Canadian citizen living abroad?

- Bob, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Bob,

I know ESRD does limit the number of limited-entry draws awarded to non-residents but I’m unaware of any limit to the number of Hunter Host permits given out. As for specific questions about the hunter host program that aren’t answered in the regulations, your best source of info can be found at:

Information Centre:
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good Luck,

TJ
Question:
Would you have emails for any self guided/guided hog hunts? I thought there was a place along the Red Deer River at one time.

**************
Due to so called endangered status, have we said goodbye forever to resident grizzly draws?

- Bob, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Bob,

Hog Wild Specialties up by Mayerthorpe offers hog hunts in Alberta. http://www.hogwild.ab.ca/hunting.html

Your guess is as good as mine as to if and when we will see the return of the grizzly hunt here in Alberta.

TJ
Question:
Can I go ice fishing on a man made lake in Morinville, Alberta?

- Jeff, Spruce Grove
Click here for answer

Hi Jeff,

I’m not familiar with that pond but your best bet would be to consult the Alberta Fishing Regulations at http://albertaregulations.ca/fishingregs and then check with the Morinville town office.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I recently moved to Red Deer and I'm looking for a place to go coyote hunting. I don't know any land owners so that is out. Can I hunt coyote on any crown land?

- John, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi John,

Absolutely you can hunt coyotes on crown land but there are specified seasons so I suggest you familiarize yourself with the Alberta Hunting regulations before heading out. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I just got a bow, I've been a rifle hunter for a few years and I am now going to spend the next many months tuning up my archery skills for next year. My question is, do I need any additional courses or qualifications to bow hunt in Alberta? Or do I just need to pay for the bow hunting licence?

- Steve, Peace River
Click here for answer

Hi Steve,

No, there are no special qualifications to bow hunt in Alberta.

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
I'm going into my third year of bow hunting and I'm looking for an area that has big bucks and lots to choose from. I was thinking the Whitecourt area or somewhere about 2 hours away from south edmonton. I would really appreciate some helpful hints.

- Justin, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Justin,

The winter of 2010 was a tough one across the province and some areas got hit hard again in subsequent years so finding any area with lots of big bucks is going to be challenging but if I were strictly bow hunting, I’d concentrate on the Edmonton bow zone. It continues to pump out some of the best archery bucks in the province.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I just bought a new comp. bow and I am looking forward to hunting season. I am unclear in regards to what I can and can't hunt and under what licences. I have looked at the regulations but find it rather confusing. Can I just buy licences for elk, moose, whitetail and mule deer or do most require applying for a draw?

- Damien, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Damien,

The regulations are pretty clear on this so I’d suggest you take one more look at them. You will need to search by each individual WMU you intend on hunting as some do have general archery opportunities for all species you outlined and others don’t. When you look at the season dates for a specific WMU, if there is a black box beside the dates, then a draw tag is required. You can also find some good information in the draw booklet although ESRD is considering some pretty major changes to the draws for 2015 so you may have to wait until May to get all of the details on that. The regulations can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs and the draw booklet can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/hunting-draws-2014.html

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What do the letters stand for on a gun? When I run in Savage 308 model 99 they come up model 99e 99c 99f and I don't know what the letters stand for, confused.

- Dale, Stony Plain
Click here for answer

Hey Dale,

The letter just denotes the model. There were dozens of different models of the 99 during its long history; each with its own unique features. The “C” for example denotes it has a clip (removable magazine). The “F” stood for featherlight. There are a couple good reads hear on the history of the Savage 99.

http://www.cgca.com/Documents/2013February.pdf and
http://www.cgca.com/Documents/2013March.pdf


I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I hunt around Delburne where rifle season just ended and I never filled my general tag. Is there anywhere in Alberta that I can hunt general whitetail late season?

- Kolby, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Kolby,

There are still a few seasons open that you can reference in the Hunting regulations at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

A couple examples from the regulations are:
  • Foothills Deer Licence. Holders of this licence may kill 2 antlerless deer, either white-tailed deer or mule deer, with a bow and arrow, cross-bow, shotgun, or muzzle loader in WMU 212 on the following dates: D1 - D20 (Monday to Friday only). When hunting, they must carry written permission from the landowner involved.
  • Strathcona White-tailed Deer Licence. Holders of this licence may kill three white-tailed deer, only 1 of which may be antlered, with a bow and arrow, cross-bow, muzzle loader or shotgun in that portion of WMU 248 within the Counties of Strathcona and Leduc between the following dates: O25 - D7. Information about this hunt is available from the Fish and Wildlife office in Edmonton and from Strathcona County Hall, 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park.

Good luck with the rest of your season.

TJ

Question:
I know one can trap lynx in Alberta but can you shoot one?

- Chill, Alberta
Click here for answer

The Canada lynx is considered a furbearer and is under a quota system in Alberta. Only trappers holding Registered Fur Management Areas (RFMA) in Alberta are allowed to harvest Canada lynx, and only the number permitted for their particular RFMA.
Question:
I'm planning a sheep hunt next year in the Wilmore. I've never been there and I don't have access to horses. My question: Where should a guy start? Is there a few areas I could research and hike into preseason? Thank you in advance! I really appreciate your expertise and experience. Best regards.

- Shawn Rennick
Click here for answer

Hi Shawn,

For hunters on foot, the easiest access is through Rock Lake as there are no major river to cross.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I just moved to Cochrane weeks ago and I am wondering where a fella could find some whitetail action in the area? Thanks!

- Rob, Cochrane
Click here for answer

Hi Rob,

Most of the area immediately around Cochrane has good whitetail populations but it is also primarily private property so you’d have to get out and do some door knocking. There is also some good whitetail hunting in WMU412 near the Ghost River area.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I just moved to Sherwood Park from New Brunswick, I just bought my whitetail and mule deer tags and I am wondering where a decent spot around here is to hunt deer. I can use a bow or rifle so anywhere is good.

- Nick, Sherwood Park
Click here for answer

Hi Nick,

Much of the property in the area is private so you’ll have to go knock on some doors or you can check out some of the great conservation properties at http://www.albertadiscoverguide.com/search.cfm

Good luck with your deer hunt.

TJ
Question:
What brand and model of decoys would you recommend for duck and goose hunting in southern Alberta?

- A Levy
Click here for answer

Hello,

The selection of durable and very realistic decoys is as good as it’s ever been with numerous manufacturers offering high quality products. I’ve got a good selection of Final Approach full-body field goose decoys and a couple dozen floating mallards. I’d say about 4-dozen goose decoys is a minimum but you can easily get away with a dozen floating duck decoys on small water bodies.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
My father is giving me my great grandfather's Take Down 25 Stevens rimfire rifle and I want to find some ammo for it but I am having trouble finding some. Do you know of anyone that might be able to point me in the right direction?

- Doug, Grande Priarie
Click here for answer

Hi Doug,

I don’t know of anyone that stocks it or has regular access to it. You best bet would likely be hitting a few of the larger gun shows.

Good luck with your search.

TJ
Question:
Where and why can't I find a cow elk? This is my first year for a draw for a cow elk tag, very first one, third year hunter. I have hunted out by Spring Lake, Elmsworth, Saddle Hills and all I have found are tracks. I know they are there as friends have seen them. I am lost at what to do. My tag is only good for Sept. 17 - Oct. 31.

- Doug, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Doug,

During warm falls like this one, elk can be very nocturnal and pretty well the only way to hunt them is to figure out where they are feeding and then hunt the cover adjacent to it. Elk may travel several miles to feed so bedding cover isn’t always close by.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Where can I target shoot a bow near Calgary?

- Sean, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Sean,

There are a couple indoor facilities in Calgary:

Calgary Archery Centre http://www.calgaryarcherycentreab.ca
Jim-Bows http://www.jimbowsarchery.ca
And the Calgary Archers have an outdoor facility http://www.calgaryarchers.org

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Realistically, as a new hunter interested in archery, what sort of price should I be willing to spend for a good beginner bow? I've been looking at the Bear Outlook that sells for just over $400. Should I be spending more then that or will that price be a good start?

Thanks

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

There are some great bows in that price range. What I would recommend is that you go to a good archery shop and discuss your needs and budget with one of the experts there and then try out several bows in that price range. What may be a good bow for me, may not be a good fit for you at all. Handling and actually shooting a few bows will definitely ensure you get the best bow for you. The staff at Jim-bows Archery in Calgary have always been good to me.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
"So basically, unless you have held a hunting licence in Alberta or elsewhere or completed a hunter education course in Alberta or elsewhere, yes you must complete a hunter education course"... this quoted from one of your answers. My question is, I took the Hunter Ed course in Ontario, god only knows how many years ago ( at least 20). I have no proof that I took it and have tried to get proof or documentation and can't. Do I need to take the course here so I am eligible to hunt?

- Teigan Milne
Click here for answer

Hi Teigan,

That would definitely be a question you would have to ask Fish and Wildlife. They can be contacted at:

Information Centre
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca
Question:
I need to find a place to target shoot my guns. Shooting ranges are too expensive to test fire guns. Open areas to test fire will be good for me and the public. No noise no problems.

- Brock, Sylvan Lake
Click here for answer

Hi Brock,

While shooting on some private property and some crown land is legal, I would highly suggest you join a range. While the range is not only a great place to properly and safely sight your rifle in, it’s also a great place to keep your skills honed throughout the season and to meet other shooters. If you do decide not to use a range, you’d need to check the legality of discharging firearms where you go and obviously do it in a safe manner

TJ
Question:
I have often seen fresh moose rubs on fir, juniper or even spruce trees late into the moose hunting season after the rut is over (early December and later). I often wondered if bull moose continue to rub trees this late into the year as an aid in antler shedding for the winter. Would it be possible the antlers may start to itch this time of the year and the moose naturally rub to ease the itch as part of natures way to loosen the antlers for shedding? Just curiosity.

- Ansteyhunter, NL
Click here for answer

Hi Ansteyhunter,

I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. There’s no doubt that they rub them earlier in the year to help dislodge velvet and then during the rut to help establish their dominance but I’ve never read anything about them rubbing after the rut. When they rub trees like fir or juniper, I think often it just feels good with the long needles scratching their itchy spots and perhaps as you say, it is behavior to aid in shedding antlers. I must admit you have me stumped on that one.

TJ
Question:
There is only a few days left to hunt and I am looking to talk to someone who may have seen elk in wmu 406. I've climbed a few mountains and walked a lot of miles but haven't seen anything.

- Wayne, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Wayne,

I wish I could point you right to some elk but 406 is a tough WMU to hunt elk in. A lot have moved down into the ranch country but there are undoubtedly still some in the foothill fringes and on the wind-blown mountain sides. With all the snow we have, the best advice is to get out and cover some miles and look for tracks. Once you find tracks this time of year, the elk likely aren’t too far away.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

What happens if I buy a general whitetail tag and I dont get one by the end of the season? And why does it say on the tag at the top 2013/2014.

Thanks for your help with this.

- Jim, Camrose
Click here for answer

Hey Jim,

If you don’t tag out by the end of the season, you can use your tag as a nifty Christmas tree ornament but other than that there’s not much you can do with it.

Some seasons in Alberta run into 2014 so that’s why your tag says that but there must be a valid season to use it in. If you are unsure about any of the seasons, as always, your best bet is to consult the hunting regulations. They can found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

You’ve still got a couple weeks left to fill your whitetail tag... good luck!

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

As an aspiring young writer and avid lover of all things outdoors, what tips would you have for me about trying to get my feet wet in the world of outdoors writing and journalism?

Thanks!

- Andrew, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

A great idea would be to join the Outdoor Writers of Canada and get involved with their mentor program. This would pair you with an experienced outdoor writer that could not only help with your writing but also with the business aspects. Check them out online at www.outdoorwritersofcanada.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello Mr Schwanky,

I have read your stories on your bufflehead quests and they completely fascinate me. I was wondering if you could assist me in finding a huntable population in Alberta. Are these a late season bird that could be hunted now?
Thank you

- Ivan, Hobbema
Click here for answer

Hi Ivan,

I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and yes, buffleheads are a fascinating little duck for sure and yes, they can provide some late-season opportunities in the southern part of the province but now that most of the water bodies and irrigation canals are frozen, opportunities would be pretty limited. One of my favourite places to hunt them is on the irrigation canals in southern Alberta in September and October. You might find some now on the larger rivers that are still flowing and if you do, they would have some very impressive plumage if you are looking for one for the wall.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi there! We are looking for a cabin or cabins on a lake with good ice fishing, as close to us as possible that will house our large group for New Year's Eve. There will be upwards of 20 people, between 4 families, plus our dogs. When I was a kid we used to go to a place that was close to home and that had great ice fishing. Unfortunately, that was in the Interior of BC and today, we're in Morinville, AB lol. Any suggestions? We're looking for whatever is available, but that's not gonna cost us an arm and a leg.
Thank you :)

- Raechel, Morinville
Click here for answer

Hi Raechel,

Lesser Slave Lake would be a great bet. There are cabins for rent along the lake but you can also rent ice fishing shacks right on the lake that have all of the amenities for staying overnight. You can find some information here: http://www.lesserslavelake.ca/icefishing.php

Have fun,

TJ
Question:
I have a 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch semi-automatic Franchi shot gun for sale. It's in like new condition. It was my Dad's and has only fired 2 to 3 boxes of shells at the most. He purchsed it new around 1974 or 1975. I want to sell it and am wondering what I should ask for it. Thanks kindly.

- Mel, Saskatchewan
Click here for answer

Hi Mel,

Depending on model, I would suspect you could get somewhere in the $300-$500 range for the shotgun.

TJ
Question:
Are you able to shoot a whitetail doe on a whitetail buck tag?

- Ryan, Camrose
Click here for answer

Hi Ryan,

There is no such thing as a whitetail buck tag in Alberta. There are a couple WMUs where you can draw an antlered whitetail tag and in those zones you may only shoot an antlered whitetail with that licence. I suspect you are asking about the general whitetail licence and then in that case, yes you can shoot an antlerless whitetail in some WMUs. I’d highly suggest your familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations as they list what types of deer may be taken in each WMU with a particular licence. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

Good reading,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am new to hunting big game, and have always wanted to do that. I made my FAC, and Hunter's course. I have a general elk (bull) tag, and whitetail. I get so much advise where to hunt elk, and have not even seen one in the south west part of Alberta. I really want to fill my tags. Where should I go to see elk? I am not afraid of wearing Boots and driving north if that is what it takes.

- Henry, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Henry,

Elk hunting success on a general tag is pretty low in Alberta and often, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. While much of the best late-season elk hunting is found on private property in the foothills, there is some good hunting in the forestry in WMUs 400 and 402. With all the snow we have on the ground right now, it a great time to go out and look for tracks and once you find them, the elk are likely to be fairly close by. Look for wind-blown slopes this time of year where the elk can feed easily.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have completed both hunting and firearms courses, received my licenses and have been practicing shooting at shooting ranges. I am new in town so do not know a lot of people yet. I want to start hunting but do not know how to start and was wishing to join a hunter with experience, can you help?

- Karim, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Karim,

I’d highly suggest joining a local Fish and Game club. You will meet loads of like-minded hunters there. The Sarcee Club in Calgary is very active and hosts monthly meeting with guest speakers. The Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard also has a thread on it about finding new hunting partners and might be a good place to throw up a post. It can be found at http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=38944

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi I am a first time hunter. I was wondering where, besides ranges, am I allowed to sight in my rifle and where around Lethbridge can I go hunting ? What type of tags can I get that are not on draw seeing as I missed the draw deadlines.

- Justin, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Justin,

While shooting on some private property and some crown land is legal, I would highly suggest you join a range. While the range is not only a great place to properly and safely sight your rifle in, it’s also a great place to keep your skills honed throughout the season and to meet other shooters. Lethbridge has a first-class range, so you are really lucky living there. If you do decide not to use a range, you’d need to check the legality of discharging firearms where you go and obviously do it in a safe manner. As for where you can hunt, pretty well anywhere that a season is open for which you have a tag. There is a large amount of crown land to the west of Lethbridge and in some of the zones you can buy a general whitetail and elk tag. I’d highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations as they detail all of the hunting opportunities. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
A friend and I are hoping to knock on a few doors during the off-season to build good faith with a few farmers. What are a few proper etiquette tips to keep in mind when asking farmers whether it's alright to hunt on their land. Besides deer, we're also hoping they'd be okay with us hunting coyotes during the winter.

Thanks

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

It sounds like you are well on your way to securing some access to private land. I always find a smile and a firm handshake when you introduce yourself goes a long ways and a great idea is to have all of your information, including name, contact information and vehicle description printed on a card and offer it to the landowner just in case there are any issues. Hunting private land is a real privilege and if you show the landowner some respect and courtesy, most will grant you access. Of course, some won’t and that’s their right and in that case, a courteous thank you still goes a long ways.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking at hunting pheasant and maybe grouse for the first time. What is the best option for finding the right area and land access?

- Ned, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Ned,

A complete list of the pheasant release sites can be found at: http://mywildalberta.com/Hunting/GameSpecies/PheasantReleaseSites.aspx

These sites offer an excellent opportunity for pheasant hunters throughout southern and central Alberta. There is some excellent pheasant and grouse hunting on private property as well and in that case, it’s a matter of getting out and knocking on some doors. Typically, if you can find some good cover adjacent to agricultural fields, you have found heaven for uplands birds. Most private landowners are quite receptive to responsible bird hunters on their property.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I am considering a Winchester Model 70 Alaskan in .375 H&H. What scope, mount, and rings would you use or recommend for this rifle? I have a Leupold VX3 3.5-10X40 on my .300 WM, but I think the space between the bells might be too tight on a .375 H&H.

- Richard, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Richard,

I run a Zeiss 1.2-5x36 Duralyt with an illuminated reticle on my .375H&H. I used steel Talley rings and high mounts. It really depends on the type of hunting you plan on doing as to what scope you want. Mine is set up as a dangerous game rifle where very close shots requiring rapid target acquisition may be needed so that’s why the low power and illuminated reticle. I’m comfortable shooting to around 250 yards with this set up and Vanessa took a lion at eight yards with it earlier this year. If you are looking for something with a bit more magnification, perhaps a Conquest HD5 2-10x42 would be ideal. No matter what scope you choose, high quality mounts and rings like the steel Talley are a must. I needed the high mounts to gain clearance on the bolt with the Duralyt but I suspect with a regular Conquest you could easily get away with mediums and perhaps lows.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have a 45-90 reloading tool and a tool for molding the lead bullet. I was wondering are these tools collectable or valuable as antiques.

- Steven, Conception Bay South NL
Click here for answer

Hi Steven,

A lot would depend on their age and condition but they seem to vary anywhere from about $100-$500 for the pair.

TJ
Question:
I am coming Nov 22 to hunt with a hunter host (Alberta resident). We are limited to only certain units. My friend suggests driving the trunk road? Any suggestions? We can only hunt some 300, 400 and 500 series areas.

Thanks

- Steve
Click here for answer

Hi Steve,

Without knowing where you are hunting it’s a bit tough to say what you best plan of attack is but hopefully your hunter host is familiar with the region being hunted. You should be catching the mule deer toward the end of their rut so the bucks will be moving a lot in search of the last receptive does. During this period, I like to cover lots of miles either on foot or by vehicle and keep an eye on the does. You can pretty well guarantee that if you stay in close proximity to the does, the bucks won’t be far away. If you can’t find concentrations of does, watch for tracks and other indicators that they are in the area. Truthfully, this last week of the season is one of my favourites for mule deer because they are constantly on the move and you typically end up seeing lots of bucks and some bucks that you have not seen all year.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I've read plenty of comments about the maximum range of different calibres but not much about what calibre is best depending on the landscapes. If I'm using a firearm in a wooded area for white tail, do I still need a higher calibre (.300) or will a smaller calibre (30-30) work best in that environment?

Also, is 40 yards really the maximum range for hunting with a crossbow?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

A 30-30 is certainly an adequate 150-200 yard cartridge and if you are hunting an area where longer shots are not likely to present themselves, it is a good choice. There certainly would be no disadvantage, however, to using a higher velocity cartridge and then you would have the option of shooting longer ranges if the opportunity presented itself. It really comes down to personal preference and what rifle you feel comfortable carrying and what self-imposed range limits you are willing to live with.

As for crossbows, the weight of the arrow is really the limiting factor. While they produce some impressive velocities at the bow, that velocity is quickly shed due to the lightweight projectile. I personally consider 40-50 yards to be my maximum effective range when shooting at game with my crossbow.

TJ
Question:
I'm a new hunter interested in getting into archery, specifically crossbows.

The Alberta government regulations state that crossbows cannot be used in hunting Big Game. Is that only during the archery season or does that count all across the board?

Also, is starting hunting with a crossbow or compound as simple as purchasing your weapon and getting your hunting licence?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

I’m not certain where you read that crossbows could not be used for hunting big game. The following excerpt is from the 2013 hunting regulations:

HUNTING WITH CROSS-BOWS

Since the fall season of 2002, cross-bows are no longer "prohibited" for hunting wildlife in Alberta, although there may be federal licensing requirements.

Cross-bows may not be used to hunt big game during archery-only seasons. The only exception is for an eligible handicapped hunter who has obtained a cross-bow licence.

A Bowhunting Permit, as required by bowhunters using conventional archery equipment, is not required by persons who are hunting with cross-bows.

In accordance with federal regulations, cross-bows may not be used for waterfowl hunting.

Persons hunting big game with a cross-bow must use an authorized cross-bow and arrow (bolt). An authorized cross-bow is one that requires 100 pounds or more of pull to draw the string or cable to its cocked position. There is no restriction on arrow length however it must have a tip as described under the heading "Bowhunting" above.

For all first-time hunters in Alberta, you must have passed a hunter’s safety course or meet the other licensing requirements outlined in the hunting regulations. They can be found on-line at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs
There are no additional requirements for bow or crossbow hunters other than bow hunters must purchase a bowhunting permit.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for public land to hunt in the prairie WMU's, any suggestions?

- Leeland, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Leeland,

There are a large number of grazing leases in southern Alberta that offer excellent hunting opportunities. This land is public but does have some specials term of access. Check out this website for a list of grazing leases and rules of access. http://srd.alberta.ca/RecreationPublicUse/
RecreationOnAgriculturalPublicLand/Default.aspx


Good Hunting,

TJ

Question:
I was just wondering what the rules are for moose hunting in Alberta. It's a draw system in NS with a very limited number of tags. I've never been drawn here. I'm moving to Edmonton in February and would love to go on a moose hunt next fall. What are my chances going to be? Is there a general season or is it a draw?

- Jody, Nova Scotia
Click here for answer

Hi Jody,

All rifle hunting opportunities for moose in Alberta require you to draw a special licence. There are general opportunities for bow hunters and there are unsubscribed licences left over in some Wildlife Management Units (WMU) after the draw has taken place. Your odds of drawing a tag really depend on the area you wish to hunt. Alberta has a priority draw system and some WMUs require several years to draw and others have relatively short wait periods.

A few resources that will help you greatly are:

The Alberta Hunting Regulations http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

The Hunting Draws Booklet http://albertaregulations.ca/hunting-draws-2013.html

The 2013 Draw Summary Report http://mywildalberta.com/Hunting/HuntingDraws/
HuntingDrawsReports/DrawsSummaryReport/Default.aspx


My Wild Alberta http://mywildalberta.com

Alberta Relm https://www.albertarelm.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I was having a conversation with another fellow and he told me that you can just buy a tag and hunt elk if it's a three pointer. Is this true? I've done some research and can't find anything.

- Justin, Lacombe
Click here for answer

Hi Justin,

I’m not sure what research you’ve done but the answer to your question, like all questions regarding hunting regulations in Alberta, lies in the Alberta Hunting regulations. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

Elk may be hunted in many WMUs on a general licence and some do have three-point restrictions. Look up the WMU you want to hunt in the hunting regulations and you will find all of the information there.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Rob Miskosky wrote an article on travelling safely with the Koenders trappers sled in tow. I am contemplating purchasing the same sled and was looking for some advice regarding the durability of the sled. As well it looks like he has the wider version. Is it anymore difficult to tow through deep snow than the 24" version? Has the musher option stood up during use and would he recommend it? Does the lid keep snow out of the sled and is it easy to deal with when trying to access the sled? How long has he had it and how often does he use the sled?

Thanks for your advice.

- Terry, Peterborough ON
Click here for answer

Hi Terry,

The Koenders sled has proven to be a very good sled and it is very durable. I pulled the sled for 1671 kilometres last trapping season and for the better part of those 1671 kilometres, my 17 year old son was riding behind me on the musher. If you are traveling mostly on trails with good snow, then you have no worries about durability. If you have roads with poor snow that you need to travel on, then I would recommend you purchase the sled runners and install them for added protection to the bottom. I do not currently have the runners but I am considering purchasing them.

I pull the sled with a Tundra 550 and have had no issues. With a load of gear and my son on the musher (he weighs about 140-pounds), I'm probably pulling about 200+ pounds and the sled glides behind nicely. When I pulled the sled with my dad on it, the weight went up considerably but again, I didn't have any problems. I'm in some very mountainous country and the sled pulls up the steep hills with ease.

The top keeps out all snow and is easy to open and close when you're on the trail. I would, however, install some type of shield over the tow bar, as snow tends to fly up into the face of the rider on the musher. The shield eliminates that problem.

The sled is large and backing up with it isn't an easy task, as the musher tends to dig into the snow. However, the sled is light enough that one man can throw it around easily. All in all, I would recommend this sled for the serious trapper and note that it would probably work really well for hauling gear out onto the lake for some ice fishing as well.

Rob
Question:
Hi there,

I am just trying to get in to trophy sheep hunting and I'm having a difficult time locating information on it. I have checked the regs, located a wmu that works for me and there is a general tag and I spoke to fish and wildlife for some information on that area. I am now looking for a 4/5 curl ram. How do u judge a ram and how do I know what ram is legal In my wmu? I understand that all meat has to be packed out and I believe a ram has to be legally judge by an officer is that true? Is there any leeway on the full curl line or is it spot on past the eye? Any info would help thanks.

- Dustin, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Dustin,

Just to be clear, 4/5 and full curl are two different designations. Most Wildlife Management Units have a 4/5 requirement but a handful do have a full curl requirement so it is critical to know which ones are which. The drawings in the hunting regulations are pretty clear as to what is required to be legal for both designations. For both full and 4/5 curl, it is important to look at the ram from the side and at the same elevation if possible. Looking from an angle or from a different elevation may not give a true picture as whether the ram is legal. I’d suggest getting out to Jasper and looking at a bunch of rams just to become familiar with judging them and it’s also a great idea to visit a few taxidermy shops and actually see what it takes for a ram to be legal. There is no room for error when judging sheep. They are either legal or they aren’t. As a novice sheep hunter, you are much better to err on the side of caution and ensure the ram is well legal. As specified in the regulations, all rams must be registered with Fish and Wildlife. At this time they will determine legality and put a metal identification plug in the ram. I’d suggest you take another quick look at the hunting regulations as it’s all pretty clearly spelled out in there.

Good luck with your sheep hunting...

TJ
Question:
Hello,

I just purchased a Remington 700 tac, .338 Lapua and I was wondering if this was a bad choice for a new long range hunter going after whitetail and mule deer? And if so, what would you recommend instead hunting at 500 to 600 yards out.

Thank you

- Nathaniel, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Nathaniel,

That wouldn’t be my first choice for a deer rifle as it is fairly heavy and the recoil quite substantial but at the end of the day, only you can decide if it’s too much rifle or not. If you shoot it well and aren’t bothered by the recoil then it may just be ideal. Personally, for a 500-600 yard deer rifle I’d look at something like the 260AI, 6.5x284, 7mm Rem Mag, 270WSM or other similar cartridges. I much prefer a low recoil option for a long-range hunting rifle.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Where would be a good spot to go deer hunting in Fox Creek?

- Ryan, Fort Saskatchewan
Click here for answer

Hi Ryan,

Deer love a good mix of agricultural and mixed wood forests. If you can find some areas of second growth alfalfa or another favourite is where green is starting to show up in a harvested canola field combined with some nearby cover, you have found deer heaven.

Good luck this fall,

TJ
Question:
I am wondering if I can take two general whitetail in one wmu.Then go up to another (509) and take two more general whitetail?

- Joe, Camrose
Click here for answer

Hi Joe,

I suggest that you consult the hunting regulations for the list of available licences. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/
The short answer to your question is that only one white-tail deer may be taken on a general licence although some additional opportunities do exist through the supplemental whitetail licence and some other WMU specific licences. You will find all of this information in the hunting regulations.

Good luck this fall,

TJ
Question:
Can I use a compound bow in the city at all? There is a big field behind my house and I was wondering if I can go out there and practice.

- T, Canada
Click here for answer

Your best bet would be to contact the city bylaw department for the answer to your question.

TJ
Question:
I'm new to hunting, I just got my hunting number and would like to start hunting. Honestly, I'm planning to spend around $500 to $600 for buying guns. I would like to buy a shotgun and rifle and I'm thinking about buying a Maverick Model 88 Security shotgun, and buying one rifle for hunting all big game animals. I will go with on of the following:
1. Axis XP Synthetic Package
2. Axis XP DM Stainless Package
3. Model 11/111 Hunter XP
All of these above come with a scope, is it a good scope?
which one would you advise me to go with since I want to buy one time only as a beginner and which calibre is better since my friends advised me to buy a 308 or 30-06?

- Memo, BC
Click here for answer

Hi Memo,

It really depends on the intended use of the shotgun but if it is to be used for hunting both upland birds and waterfowl, I would go with a shotgun with a longer barrel and one that comes with interchangeable chokes. Short barreled shotguns typically don’t swing that well and tracking flying birds is very difficult. I think you are correct in looking at a pump shotgun but the one you’ve identified would be a poor choice for hunting birds on the wing.

Savage does offer up some great value in their rifles and of the three listed, my choice would be the MODEL 11/111 HUNTER XP. I personally would avoid the package scope and save a few more dollars and buy a better quality scope. I think your friend gave you good advice regarding chambering as both the 30-06 and 308 are very versatile cartridges.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
This is my time hunting for rabbits. I plan on using a snare. My question is, when is the best time of season for hunting rabbits? And do rabbits mate in the winter?

- pretty lady hunter, Elk Point
Click here for answer

Most of the rabbit hunting done in Alberta is actually for hares and not rabbits. The snowshoe hare is common across the province and provides good opportunity and meals for hunters. Personally, I prefer getting out when there is snow on the ground as it makes it much simpler to see where the activity is by their tracks. Find good concentrations of tracks and you likely have a good hunting location. Their breeding season is typically March and April but it may continue into the summer months as well. You may, however, want to check with ESRD on the legality of snaring hares without a trapping licence as it is my understanding that they may be hunted but not trapped without a licence.

Good luck,

TJ
Hello,

The season just opened and I've been trying my hand at hunting grouse for the first time around Calgary. I've been around the Waiprous area and around Millar Ville but have not seen one bird. I've been walking old atv roads (gravel, dirt, completely over run), power lines, dense bush, thin bush, different types of trees, ridgetops and valleys and still have seen zero. Do you have any suggestions as to the type of terrain I should be looking for grouse in or any other suggestions?

- Glen, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Glen,

I've had good luck with ruffed grouse and spruce grouse early in the mornings along trails and more open ridges. Sometimes finding birds can be challenging but once you do, that location will remain productive for years.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What are the public areas in WMU 410? If there are any, the map is very congested and difficult to define.

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

WMU410 is comprised primarily of public land. Give the Canmore Fish and Wildlife office a call. They have a very comprehensive map of the area that they offer for sale.

TJ
Question:
I have my hunters safety course, but I don't have my PAL yet to buy one myself. So my question is, can my friend legally buy me a rifle as long as I am hunting with him and he as a PAL?

- Ryan, Airdrie
Click here for answer

Hi Ryan,

Legal questions of this nature are best asked of the proper authorities... in this case the RCMP but the short answer is no he can't buy a firearm for you but you could use one of his firearms as long as he was in direct control of you at all times. This typically means arm's length. There are some other age restrictions that apply.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,

I am new to hunting and I have missed the draw for whitetail deer. I was wondering If I can pick up a tag when the season opens up?

- Cam, Medicine Hat
Click here for answer

Hi Cam,

Most WMUs in the province offer a general whitetail season and you can find all of this information in the hunting regulations. They can be found on-line at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

You can also pick up a printed copy at any licence vendor. As a new hunter, I suggest you become intimately familiar with the regulations as they are the basis for hunting in Alberta.

While general season hunting opportunities are limited for many species, there are loads of opportunities for whitetail deer in the province.

Good luck this season

TJ
Question:
I'm new to big game hunting and decided to try my hand at it this season. I have picked up my whitetail deer and moose tags for the upcoming season. My question is with regards to the definitions for these tags. Can I hunt an antlered and an antlerless whitetail and moose with these tags? There is a Whitetail Deer Special Licence listed (which I am assuming is available on draw only). Does this mean I can only hunt antlerless whitetail with my tag? There is also a Antlerless Moose Special Licence and a Antlered Moose Special Licence available... My assumption is that these are for non-residents. The regulation definitions are clear as mud regarding this.

Thanks for your help.

- Jesse Metcalfe
Click here for answer

Hi Jesse,

It sounds like you need to read the regulations in a bit more detail because it is all spelled out quite clearly in them but to give you a bit of help, your whitetail licence is good for both antlered and antlerless in many WMUs but not all. You basically need to look at each WMU individually. If the season has a black box beside it, it indicates that a special or draw licence is required to hunt it. If it doesn’t, your tag is good for that season. As for moose, unless you are planning on hunting the archery season, all moose seasons are on draw as indicated by the black box and require a special draw.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I am considering moving up to a medium bore for Alaska, and wanted to ask you your impressions of these two calibres. I am comfortable with my .300 WM, so how would you describe shooting these two heavier calibres in a 9 lb. rifle like a Winchester Model 70 Alaskan?

- Richard, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Richard,

Describing recoil is quite literally impossible as everyone perceives it differently. While pounds of recoil can be measured, everyone’s recoil tolerance is different and rifle fit plays the largest role in felt recoil. A rifle that feels very manageable to me may feel like it kicks the heck out of you and vice versa. Weight of bullet and velocity also play a significant role in recoil. I personally own both a .338WM and a .375 H&H and I find the recoil quite tolerable. The .338 is in a very light 6 ¾ pound rifle but the stock was custom fit for me. The .375 is in a 9 pound rifle and even Vanessa finds it quite comfortable to shoot from a standing position. The best advice I could offer you is to try and shoot a couple rifles in these chambering and see what you personally think and try to find a rifle that fits you very well. Sorry I couldn’t be more specific but felt recoil really is impossible to quantify.

TJ
Question:
Hey there, I just moved here from Ontario and new to hunting birds in the Calgary Area. I was wondering if you could give a few tips or general areas for good duck hunting?

Also, any good Turkey areas?

- Chris, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

There are some great field shoots to be had directly east of Calgary in the fall. Your best bet is just to go for a drive and see where the birds are feeding and then start knocking on some doors to obtain permission. If you are looking for water shoots, Frank Lake is a fairly popular destination and of course you can hunt a large number of the conservation sites that are listed in the Discover Guide at www.albertadiscoverguide.com

Turkey hunting opportunities are very limited in Alberta and licences are only available through limited entry draw. You are looking at more than a decade to draw a tag if you are starting from scratch. The birds are pretty well confined to the southeast corner of the province and in the Porcupine Hills. The good news is that plans are underway to introduce turkeys in the parklands region of the province so hopefully that will increase opportunity in Alberta. Nearby British Columbia does offer some excellent turkey hunting, however.

Welcome to Alberta,

TJ
Question:
First, thanks for taking the time to respond to so many varied questions - it's much appreciated.

I'm new to Calgary from coastal BC and have received a draw for an antlered mule deer in 406. I cannot seem to locate any more specific mapping information on the area other than the frustratingly vague map and text description from the gov. website. Might you have a hint as to where to find this important information?

Would also love to hear your opinion on a starting point for scouting the region. As a newbie to the area (with a young family), it is tough to know where to start.

Thanks very much.

- Chad, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chad,

Gem Trek produces by far the best maps of the area. Although they do not have the WMUs marked on them, they do show all of the parks... of which there are many. They are available at most outdoor stores in the Calgary area. Friends of Kananaskis Country also did a very good map of 408 and parts of 406 and 410 that you can pick up at the Canmore ESRD office. Mule deer are pretty pocketed in 406 but it seems they really like the larger grass basins above treeline early in the season. The area just to the west of the Sheep River Sanctuary is also worth a look. Good luck.

TJ
Question:
I am trying to find contacts for the counties in Alberta requiring wild boar eradication as I have an eradication program proposal I would like to make to the appropriate organization. I can't seem to find a specific phone number, email address or person to speak with. Any help would be appreciated.

- Dawn, Black Diamond
Click here for answer

Hi Dawn,

You may want to contact the Lac Ste Anne County office. They might be able to steer you in the right direction.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Just wondering if I can use a 30-30 or a 30-06 for long range hunting of coyotes.

Thanks in advance.

- Chris Hewlett
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

The 30-30 would definitely not be considered a long range cartridge. You would be limited to shots of about 200 yards with it. The 30-06 on the other hand is a very capable 500-600 yard cartridge, with a scope equipped with ballistic reticle or turrets. Both cartridges would definitely be effective on coyotes but you may run in to some extensive fur damage.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I have not shot a gun in years but have received a collection of guns from my father. There is a 22 in there that I used to kill gophers on our acreage. What is required to purchase shells?

- Don Cooper
Click here for answer

Hi Don,

You are required to have a Possession Acquisition Licence (PAL) or a Possession Only Licence (POL) to purchase ammunition in Canada.

TJ
Question:
Where can I go to camp for free. I have camped at this one by Standard, AB called Severn Dam or Pioneer Park and I know of another spot by Indian Graves Camp but they are closed I think because of the flood? I have kids and we are trying to replan our vacation bacause of the flood. Help!

- Mark, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Mark,

You may want to head up to the Ghost and Waiporous areas and have a look there. Random camping is permitted in parts of the area and from what I’ve heard, the area was not as badly affected by the flooding as areas further south.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

I know September is still on its way here and I've got lots of time left to scout, but I've spent the last few months acquiring dozens of silo socks and snow shells. Also, I've been training a Chessie for waterfowling. I plan to target snow geese as I've never hunted them before. Can you shed some light on this topic for me? I'm planning on trying out east near Wainwright and/or Viking, thanks!

- Kevin, Edmonton
Click here for answer

It sounds like you are doing everything right. From my experience, snow geese are a game of lots and lots of decoys. I’ve been on some shoots where we have had in excess of 1500 socks out. Just like with any geese, scouting is the key. Once you find an active feeding field, you should be set for the following morning.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am currently a priority 3 for antlered moose draws. I have hunted WMU 339 a couple times previous with friends, but I am realizing only 18 tags were given in early season last year. Does this mean the moose population is not great? I have heard wolves/bears are a problem perhaps. I am considering entering the draw for WMU 346 (Whitecourt) where 79 tags were issued last year in early season. What would you do, 339 or 346?

Thanks!

- Kent Seib
Click here for answer

Hi Kent,

Area biologists set the quota for moose in their management areas. It never hurts to talk to these people, as they can be very helpful and explain the reasoning behind the number of tags issued per WMU. Just phone the Fish and Wildlife office nearest the WMU you wish to hunt and ask to speak with the area biologist.

The early calling season for both WMU 339 and 346 appear to require a priority 5 before any hope of being drawn can be realized. However, a priority 3 in both WMUs should get you drawn for the November 1 - November 30 late season. You can find out more information by looking at the 2012 Draws Summary Report to plan your draw application strategy. You can view that information here:
http://mywildalberta.com/Hunting/HuntingDraws/HuntingDrawsReports/
DrawsSummaryReport/Default.aspx
Question:
Hi TJ,

Do you think a .300 Win Mag with 180 or 200 grain premium bullets is enough gun for a hunt for Grizzly in BC or the north, or is it advisable to go up to a .338 WM or a .375 H&H? I am comfortable with my .300, but have no experience with the others.

- Richard, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Richard,

With a well constructed bullet and a well placed shot the .300WM is more than up to the task of taking an interior grizzly. In fact, that was my choice of cartridge when I took my Yukon bear several years ago. One of my outfitter friends in the Yukon advises his clients that being comfortable with the rifle you are shooting is far more critical for grizzly than the size of the calibre. I’d have to agree with him.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi I just moved up to Alberta and was wondering if it's manditory to take the hunter's education course to buy hunting tags and enter draws or do I just need a WIN number? I've been told both yes and no.

- Bryce, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Bryce,

You will find the Alberta hunting regulation on-line and they have all of the answers to questions like that. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/ As for your question, this is directly from the hunting regulations:

What is required to be eligible to hunt in Alberta?
Hunters in Alberta should be aware of federal regulations pertaining to possession and use of firearms (click here to view Federal Firearms Legislation), and provincial regulations pertaining to licensing of hunters. There are regulations that pertain to first-time hunters, youths, residents, non-residents and non-resident aliens.

All hunters must have a Wildlife Identification Number (WIN) as a prerequisite to applying for, or purchasing any hunting licence, but some additional requirements must be met for the WIN-holder to be eligible to purchase hunting licences.

A person must possess a valid Wildlife Certificate and the applicable hunting licence in order to hunt big game or game birds. The hunter must carry the licence and applicable tag(s) on his or her person while hunting. A person applying for a draw is not required to possess a Wildlife Certificate but must purchase one before purchasing any hunting licence.

Licensing requirements for first-time hunters
A first-time hunter is a hunter who 1) has not previously held a hunting licence in Alberta or elsewhere, or 2) has not prior to April 1, 2010, met Alberta first-time hunter criteria, or 3) has not successfully completed a hunter education course in Alberta or elsewhere.

Notice: As of 2010, the Alberta Hunter Competency Exam is no longer offered. Subject to any exceptions noted in this guide, first-time hunters (adult and youth) must successfully complete the Alberta Conservation and Hunter Education course.

Non-resident and non-resident alien hunters (12 years of age or older) are exempt from the first-time hunter eligibility requirement if they are accompanied by a Hunter Host or a Designated Guide while hunting in Alberta.

Youth first-time hunters must be at least 12 years old to hunt under the authority of any hunting licence in Alberta. All hunters under the age of 16 years must have written permission from a parent or guardian to purchase hunting licences. Hunters who are 11 years old may apply in the draws for licences if they meet the above criteria, but they must be 12 years old anytime before or during the open season for that draw. They may not hunt until they are 12 years old. Note: As of 2007, hunters who are 12 or 13 years of age are no longer restricted to hunting big game with only a bow and arrow. To hunt with a firearm, hunters under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, a legal guardian or by a person 18 years of age or older who has the written permission of the parent or legal guardian. If a youth turns 18 during the hunting season, they can continue to hunt using their valid licence.

If you are interested in taking the Alberta Conservation and Hunter Education course, call the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association toll-free in Alberta at 1-866-852-4342, Edmonton
780-466-6682, or Calgary 403-252-8474.

So basically, unless you have held a hunting licence in Alberta or elsewhere or completed a hunter education course in Alberta or elsewhere, yes you must complete a hunter education course.

TJ
Question:
Can we feed the deer during the winter month in Alberta. I read that when Ontario stopped people from feeding the deer they lost more than 20% of the deer population.

- JA Wencel
Click here for answer

While to the best of my knowledge supplemental winter feeding is not illegal, it is not always beneficial to deer and in many cases can cause more harm than good. Feeding grain for example, can lead to a condition called grain overload and cause immediate death. Feeding hay that is contaminated with cattle feces can lead to bacterial infections which too may be deadly and the practice of concentrating deer on any food source does increase the chance of transmission of diseases like CWD. Most wildlife experts discourage the practice of supplemental winter feeding of deer.

TJ
Question:
Where is a good place for fall bears in Alberta? And what should I fill my bait buckets with?

- Scott, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Alberta has a pretty healthy population of bears right across the province so I’m not sure you could go wrong anywhere in the north or west country. As you are from Edmonton, you might want to head northwest toward Whitecourt. Be aware that not all zones are open to baiting so be sure to check the regulations carefully. Fall baiting is definitely tougher than spring because bears have access to so much feed but I’ve heard of people doing well with molasses covered oats or even meat scraps. Once again, be certain to read the regulations carefully as there are specific regulations regarding what can be used for bait and how bait sites must be marked.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I want to purchase a Remington rolling block rifle in 12.7x44 for hunting in Alberta. Any restrictions regarding the calibre?

- C, Edmonton
Click here for answer

That is definitely a unique and rare chambering in a Remington rolling block for sure. I’ve never had anything to do with one so I’ve never checked into the legalities but it would seem at first glance to meet all of the requirements for hunting in Alberta and other than requiring a PAL to purchase one, I can’t see why there would be additional restrictions.

Good luck with your new rifle.

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

What do u prefer, fixed or mechanical broad heads for deer? And where in central Alberta is your favourite to hunt mule deer?

Thanks for your time.

- Shaye, Big Valley
Click here for answer

Hey Shaye,

I’m still kind of old school and prefer fixed broadheads but both work just fine it seems.

I haven’t hunted mule deer in central Alberta for quite a number of years but last time I did it was in the Three Hills area.

- TJ
Question:
I recently purchased a near mint condition 1950 Russian SKS. As I believe the cartridge is a 7.62x39, what would you recommend for hunting? Will it take down a deer, moose, bear, etc? I just want to know what it will have trouble with, so I don't get myself killed.

Thanks

- James, Edmonton
Click here for answer

The 7.62x39 has a very similar ballistic profile to a 30-30 so for shorter range hunting applications it definitely is effective. One thing to consider is the type of bullet you are shooting. Much of the 7.62x39 ammo available was designed for military use and is not suitable or in many cases legal for big game hunting but if you can find some ammo with a hunting-designed bullet, you should be fine for any of the aforementioned species at ranges under 150 yards... providing of course that the rifle is suitably accurate.

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
Hello, I'm new to Alberta and I am looking for a general public area to hunt mule deer. I tried the area southwest of Longveiw with no luck.
Thanks

- Chris, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

Personally, I love hunting mule deer in the mountains and virtually all of the 400 WMUs offer some great opportunities. Mule deer can be spotty in the mountains and the key is to get out in the summer and do lots of scouting. Look for timbered valleys with open grass slopes and typically you have mule deer heaven. Once you locate a good area, it will likely remain productive for years to come. Good luck on the draws this spring!

TJ
Question:
Is there any bobcat species in Alberta? If so what is the difference between a lynx and a bobcat, in terms of price also?

- Kyle, N.W.T.
Click here for answer

Hi Kyle,

Yes, Alberta does have bobcat in the southern portions of the province. In the north, we have the Canada lynx. The Canada lynx is bigger than the bobcat but in terms of price, the bobcat (called lynx cat at fur auction) yields a far better price because of its colouration. You can view an image of both on the slideshow of the home page of the Alberta Trappers' Association website at www.albertatrappers.com.

- The AO Team
Question:
Is it legal to hunt small game with something classified as a pistol? I'm thinking specifically of a Henry Mares Leg 22.

Thank you

- Cody, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Cody,

No it is not legal to hunt with a modern pistol/handgun in Canada but if I’m not mistaken a Henry’s Mare’s Leg is classified as long gun in Canada, thus making it legal. I suggest you contact the RCMP to confirm the classification of the gun before heading afield with it.

Good luck,

T.J. Schwanky
Question:
I have a FAC from the past and I was wondering if I can transfer to the current PAL requirement without spending more time and money?

- Iain, Edmonton
Click here for answer

If you have never taken the federal firearm course, you will be required to take the federal firearm course or challenge it before applying for your PAL. There is also a fee for obtaining your PAL. You can find all of the information you require at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/information/lic-per-eng.htm

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What kind of edible animal can I hunt in the summer near Edmonton?

- Austin, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Austin,

Most animals are edible but a few that you may want to consider during the summer months are red squirrel, rabbit, pigeon and porcupine. Red squirrel may only be hunted on private property and be sure to check the hunting regulations before heading out hunting.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
It's looking like I should get my cow moose this year. A friend of mine says I can't shoot a cow moose that has a calf, I have searched the Alberta regulations and can't find the answer. I'm not sure if my friend was yanking my chain.

- Warren, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Warren,

As far as I know there is no law against shooting a cow accompanied by a calf but as with all questions regarding hunting laws in the province, your best source of information is ESRD.
They can be contacted at:

Information Centre
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What can I go hunting for this time of year?

- Jake Ryan
Click here for answer

Hi Jake,

I suggest that you familiarize with the Alberta hunting regulations as all of the hunting opportunities and seasons are detailed in there. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

There are currently no big game seasons open but some species like ground squirrels (gophers) and rabbits are typically open throughout the year and there may be opportunities for other species like coyotes and wolves depending on where you are hunting. Take a look through the regulations and you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Please, could you by any chance supply me with an professional stock maker. I have a 1957 Winchester 308 lever action that is in need of a new stock. It is cracked after the years of use. I have been searching for a while but cannot find a gun stock maker. Where are they hiding.

Thank you in advance,

- Neville, Cochrane
Click here for answer

Hi Neville,

You may want to contact Don Thompson in Holden.

Don Thompson
ph. 780-688-3425

e-mail... holdenprecision@gmail.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,

I am looking for some real advice/information on certain tags that may be issued for hunting trophy sheep. I heard from a friend that there is a WMU where I can use rifles (not just archery) for sheep ...where I can also just purchase a tag without having to be put into a draw. Is this true?

If this is true, what WMUs am I able to just buy one of these tags for, and which WMUs allow rifle hunting?

Also, what is the difference between:
- General Trophy Sheep Licence,
- WMU Specific Trophy Sheep Licence,
- WMU Specific Trophy Sheep Special Licence

If there is a tag that I can just purchase without a draw, then which type of licence listed above (^) do I need to get?

I can't seem to get things clarified no matter where I look. I am just hoping to be able to hunt trophy sheep with a rifle if I am able to purchase a tag directly, no matter how hard the hike will be.

I am relatively new to Alberta, been a resident for 1 year now, and am still not quite clear on all the systems/regulations involving tags, locations and restrictions.

Thanks,

- Dan, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Dan,

All of the answers to your questions are in the hunting regulations and I suggest you familiarize yourself with them at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/ but the short answer to your question is that the majority of bighorn sheep opportunities in Alberta are available through over-the-counter tags. A general trophy sheep licence allows you to hunt trophy sheep in any area where there is a general/non-draw season. This covers the bulk of Alberta. A special trophy sheep licence is only available through the special draws held in June and is only valid for one specific WMU or in cases part of a WMU. If you draw one of these tags you cannot purchase a general tag.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I've been reading about Wild Boars in Alberta and was wondering what the current situation is around Sundre and Cremona. Are there many sitings / numbers? Do folk hunt them and where would be a good place to go looking for them?

- Mike, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Mike,

I haven’t heard of many feral pigs in the Sundre area....the bulk I hear about are northwest of Edmonton but it seems they are not plentiful anywhere and more an animal of chance than something that people actually target on a regular basis.

TJ
Question:
Hey Tj,

I am planning a bivy style elk hunt somewhere west of Calgary. The closer I go the easier I can scout, the problem is knowing where to start scouting. I'm bow hunting and ok with taking a cow, so there are a lot of options. Could you point me in the general direction to start looking.

Thanks

- Tyson, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Tyson,

Kananaskis country has a decent population of elk, especially in WMU404. That’s not too far from Calgary and there is loads of country to explore there.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,
Can I use beagles to hunt rabbits here in Alberta?

- Jim Higgins
Click here for answer

Hi Jim,

As far as I know you can but as with all questions regarding hunting laws in the province, your best source of information is ESRD.
They can be contacted at:

Information Centre
Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi there,

I just recently aquired my pal and would like to start hunting coyotes. Is there an open bounty on them? I heard in Bonnyville it's ok to shoot them because their numbers are high. Thanks for your help!

- Paul Morton
Click here for answer

Hi Paul,

Coyotes are subject to different regulations depending on where you want to hunt them. They can typically be hunted year round on private property to which you have been granted the right of access but on public land, specified seasons are in place. I'd suggest you familiarize yourself with the Alberta Hunting Regulations first and then go enjoy this great sport. The regulations can be found at: albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I just bought a Rem 700 heavy barrel in 204R, comes w/ 26" bbl. I was wondering if reducing the barrel to 22 - 23", if the velocities would still be in 3600fps+ (it would be nice to reduce muzzle weight but I don't want to sacrifice too much velocity).Thanks for any input you can give me.

- Ron, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hey Ron,

There is no accurate way to predict how much velocity a rifle will lose by shortening its barrel but you can pretty well be assured you will lose some. I use a loss of 25fps per inch of barrel as a rough guideline but each barrel is unique. I hope that helps.

TJ
Question:
I am from the US. A friend in Alberta can be my hunter host. Are there moose units in Alberta where I can rifle hunt or will I have to use a bow only? As a non resident alien I know I can't participate in any draw units.

Thanks

- Craig, US
Click here for answer

Hi Craig,

There are no general moose units in Alberta so you would be restricted to hunting a general archery season as a hosted hunter.

TJ
Question:
Hi there, I'm interested in bow hunting and was wondering where to go to get certified close to Camrose, Alberta?

- Jim Higgins
Click here for answer

Hi Jim,

Alberta has no bow hunting certification requirements. All you would need is to have passed a recognized hunter safety course or meet any of the other licencing requirements here in Alberta.

TJ
Question:
Hello, I am a guy from Norway who is going to Hanna Alberta to work from January 2 to April 15. Is there any way I can go hunting with some people while I am there? Such as deer or just anything if it's possible? That would make my stay there the best.

- Adrian, Norway
Click here for answer

Hi Adrian,

Unfortunately, all of our deer seasons are closed during that period of time. Additionally, as a non-resident alien you are required to use the services of a licenced outfitter or hunt with a hunter host. Most of our deer seasons are during the months of September, October and November. We do have spring bear hunting but April 15 is likely a bit early in most areas.

Sorry I couldn't be more help,

TJ
Question:
Thank you for your reply in regards to decocking firearms. The method described for a bolt action rifle is understood and a good pointer indeed, however, I would also like some pointers on dealing with a rimfire or also a pump action shotgun, both of which I have read can be damaged by dry firing. Also in the case of a semi auto center fire rifle, is dry firing a safe method of decocking in terms of damaging the action. Your attention to this matter is appreciated.

- Kent, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Kent,

There really is no one answer to this. On some semi autos for example, pulling the bolt slightly reward and pulling the trigger will decock it.....on others it won't. Your best bet would be to do a Google search for the particular firearm you are interested in. With most firearms, dry firing is not an issue but with rimfires, it can be as the firing pin may contact the facing edge of the chamber. Another option is to buy a snap cap for your particular gun and place it in the chamber and then pull the trigger on it. This way the firing pin contacts the snap cap and no damage is done.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
Hi,
I am in the market for a new pike rod, it's been about 15 years since I have had to buy one. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the Fenwick HMG. I have a Shimano spinning reel that I love. I tried two ugly stiks in the summer and had nothing but problems with both. So I would like to get something better and spend the bit of extra money. I mostly fish for pike but also a bit of walleye and perch.

Also I am a bit confused with the whole action/power deal. If you could suggest an action/power for me that would help me out a lot.

Thank you very much, there is so much merchandise out there, it can be a bit confusing.

- Reid Otto
Click here for answer

Hi Otto,

I don't have any first-hand experience with that Fenwick rod so I can't really comment but for the application you have stated, I'd look for a rod in the 6'6" range with a medium/heavy action.

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
What is the best way to de-cock a firearm that does not have an exposed hammer? I know dry firing is not recommended for certain types of action but also that it is not good to store a firearm with an armed action. Some pointers would be apreciated.

- Kent, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Kent,

What I do with all of my bolt action rifles is depress the trigger with an open action and while holding the trigger depressed, close the action. Obviously you need to ensure the chamber is not loaded.

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I'm thinking about making an ice fishing trip to Cold Lake but I have never fished the lake. I would like to try for lake trout. Do you have any tips? The best time of the season to go, location, bait and or lure, and time of the day? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

- David McKinley
Click here for answer

Hi David,

My experience on Cold Lake is pretty limited. I'd highly suggest that you join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum and ask your questions there. There are several very knowledgeable Cold Lake anglers on the board that would be pleased to help you out.
www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey, I'm from B.C., I'm 19 and I have my hunting licence. I was wondering what I would have to do in order to come to Alberta and hunt some feral hogs, how much it might cost, and where I might have the best luck?

Thanks, and happy hunting.

- Colton Ryan
Click here for answer

Hi Colton,

As hogs are not considered wildlife in Alberta no licence is required to hunt them but wild boars are not overly plentiful in Alberta and are typically just a target of opportunity when hunting other big game. Your chances of success on just a hog hunt would be pretty slim I think.

TJ
Question:
Hello there, my question is about maps. Where can I find Topo maps with Alberta WMU overlays? The SRD site has descriptions and maps but I need hardcopy. Please point me in the right direction.

- Ted Teertstra
Click here for answer

Hi Ted,

While not true Topo maps, Backroads maps do include WMUs on their GPS software.

TJ
Question:
I am wondering where can I use my air rifle for small game near Calgary?

- Jay, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Jay,

Discharging air rifles in Calgary is illegal but any private property that you have permission on outside of the city should be fine and most crown land that does not have a park designation is typically okay as well. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations before heading out as different types of small game have different regulations
albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I've been looking at buying a new rangefinder. I was wondering if you would happen to have experience with both the Bushnell Legend 1200 and the Bushnell G-Force 1300 and, if so, if you could tell me what the primary differences between the two are.
I was also considering the Vortex 1000, but the only information I can find concerning its accuracy says that it's accurate within three metres at long range. Nothing is said about how it performs at closer range for bow hunting.

Thank you in advance for your input.

- ffair, Edson
Click here for answer

Essentially the Legend 1200 was replaced by the G-Force 1300 which was launched this year.

Legend – 1200 reflective, 475 deer, black display

G-Force – 1300 reflective, 600 deer, more compact, has new Extreme Speed Precision (ESP) processor (faster, ½ yard accuracy to 100 yards), red vivid display technology (VDT)

Both have RainGuard, ARC (angle compensation), bow & rifle modes, VSI (variable sight in – set rifle zero, will display in MOA or inches), brush mode, scan mode, bulls eye mode.

I don't have any experience with the Vortex.

TJ
Question:
I have an old Jenning Devastator crossbow, and I wish to put a scope on it but I need a scope rail to mount to my crossbow. Ican't seem to find one. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

- Jim, Ontario
Click here for answer

Hi Jim,

I think it originally came with a one-piece Weaver rail that spaned from the trigger assembly to the riser but I'm not sure where you'd find one these days. It would be fairly easy to fabricate a mount, however. I would suggest using a piece of 1/4x2 inch aluminum flat stock to span from the trigger assembly to the riser and then mounting a weaver base on to that. It should be fairly simple and do the trick.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello, my husband and I live in Edmonton, and I was wondering where he can hunt wild boars, like at farms and country out in the wild. Do you know any?

Thank you

- Krystal, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Krystal,

Wild hog hunting in Alberta is definitely hit and miss and those with proven spots keep them pretty well guarded. I might suggest that you join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum as you can likely get some up-to-date advice there from people that live in areas where wild hogs are found.
www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am new to hunting and I am looking to find land near Edmonton where I can hunt whitetail.

- Sam, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Sam,

Alberta's conservation groups own a sizeable amount of land throughout Alberta and most of it is open to hunting. This link should help you find some good hunting opportunities close to you.
www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide/search

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am living in Lethbridge while going to school and was wondering if there is any lease land that is open to hunting near the city.

- Tyler, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Tyler,

This website should help you out. It details the location of leases throughout the province and the conditions of access.

srd.alberta.ca/RecreationPublicUse/RecreationOnAgriculturalPublicLand/Default.aspx

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I was wondering where a person would go to get an official scoring done on a non-typical mule deer, I have done a score I think is close and I scored 183 3/8 but I am not positive I have hit the right points seeing he is so busy on his g 2 to 4s being a 17 point. Would you be able to help me?

Thanks

- Travis Saunders
Click here for answer

Hi Travis,

The Alberta Fish and Game Association is the official keeper of big game records for Alberta so your best bet would to contact them to get the name of some scorers in your area.
www.afga.org


Most of the Fish and Game clubs also have scoring nights early in the new year where you can take heads to have scored and they are also a great place to check out the year's trophies. Congrats on what sounds like a heck of a buck.

TJ
Question:
Hi, I'm looking for the best country around Calgary for whitetail. Everywhere I look it's no trespassing, do not enter, etc.

- Fred, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Fred,

WMU 412 is not too far from Calgary and is a decent zone for both whitetails and mule deer.

TJ
Question:
I am totally new to hunting, and have been searching around the Internet for information on hunting rabbits and other small edible game. I have probably another 3-4 months of waiting before I can get my PAL (on waiting list for course and then the 45-90 day wait for possessing), then the wait period to purchase. I saw in another post you answered a question by saying to be careful of hunting rabbits with an air rifle with too slow of a muzzle velocity and I was wondering what you would say is the minimum. I plan to buy a high quality .22 when I get my licence but for now I have a .22 pellet gun with a nitris piston it says up to 495 fps. I am eager to get out there with my son but I don't want to simply mame the animals.

Thanks

- Big John, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi John,

Personally I would not hunt rabbits with a pellet gun capable of less than about 800-1,000 fps. If you got extremely close and could ensure a solid head shot your rifle would likely do the job but it definitely wouldn't be my choice. Perhaps you might want to get out and hunt some red squirrels, however. A head shot from your pellet gun would definitely do the job. Just be certain to check the hunting regulation before heading out as there are special regulations for hunting squirrels. Most notably, it may only be done on private properyty.

Good luck with the PAL course.

TJ
Question:
Hi, I'm new to hunting in Alberta. I was wondering if I can buy a tag and hunt in any zone, or do I need to get tags for that one zone? I also was wondering if I can buy an elk tag for zone 322, or do I need a draw?

- Rob, Medicine Hat
Click here for answer

Hi Rob,

Many of Alberta's WMUs offer general season opportunities and others require you to draw a tag. Your best bet would be to familiarize yourself with the Alberta hunting regulations. They give a detailed breakdown of what opportunities exist in each WMU and what licences are required. You can find them online here albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Good luck and welcome to Alberta,

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

What's your all-time best of the best, never let you down, joy to shoot calibre?

- Greg, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Wow, that is a tough one. One of my greatest pleasures is shooting several different cartridges but if I had to pick one, it would likely be the 7mm Remington Magnum. It's only recently that I've come to embrace this cartridge but it a great all-round choice.

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for some advice for this hunting season! I want to purchase an entry-level rifle. I'm a new hunter, I own a 30-30 which I plan to use as a deer rifle, but Im looking for some advice for a moose/elk rifle. What would you recommend?

- Derek Docherty
Click here for answer

Hi Derek,

I'm a big fan of the .30-06 for an all-round chambering here in Alberta. As for entry-level rifles, my advice would be to go to a gun shop and handle several to see what fits you best. Savage, Ruger, Thompson Center and Tikka all make some good/affordable rifles. It kind of all comes down to what feels most comfortable.

Good luck,
TJ
Question:
If you were successful in getting drawn for a bull moose tag in one zone for November rifle, can you use that tag for general archery hunting in a different zone?

- Jared, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Jared,

No, the tag you were drawn for is specific to that WMU only. However, using WMU 244 as an example; if you were drawn for an antlered moose during the WMU 244 General Season, you can use your tag to hunt during the WMU 244 Archery Season using archery tackle. However, you can still only kill one antlered moose and it must be from the WMU in which your licence / tag is issued to.

Rob Miskosky
Question:
So this is my third year hunting, I have a beautiful small creek with high cliffs just north of my place. But what I'm finding is how to determine where it is ok to hunt. What sort of things make it ok, 30 metres from the water level? Or, can I actually not hunt in the ravine? And how the heck do I determine where properties go, and where public land is, and who to contact to find out if I can have permission?

Thanks

- James, Carbondale
Click here for answer

Hey James,

Your best bet is to get a landowner's map from the county office and it will show all of the landowners and public land in that county.

TJ
Question:
I'm traveling 6 hours to the foothills area around Slave Lake in November hunting whitetail. I don't think I'll be able to set up tree stands and cameras, or scout properly in advance, though I do have a few tree stands and cameras I could bring. I was wondering if you could give me some advice to follow for hunting whitetail in an area with limited planning. I've been to the area before but I'm not an experienced whitetail hunter so any and all advice would be appreciated. What terrain should I look for? What strategies/gear should I use?

Thanks

- Danny, Lac La Biche
Click here for answer

I'm not sure when you are planning on heading there Danny but I'd suggest getting out and cruising some cutlines and trails and watching for tracks. If you can find an area with lots of tracks, there should be a good number of deer in the area.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
How do I buy a tag online? I have a win number and a draw for a antlered moose. Does the meat have to be processed to take back into BC?

- Bob Holt
Click here for answer

Hi Bob,

You need to sign in to Alberta Relm to purchase on-line licences. You can do this at www.albertarelm.com

As for taking meat back to BC, your best bet is to check with the authorities in both provinces.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am new to Edmonton and to Canada, I am from the states and just moved here for work. I have been hunting deer for about 10 years now and have completed all the proper regulations in Alberta to hunt. I live in the city and I was wondering where there is crown land around here or where to look so I can get out into the woods with my bow and do some whitetail/mule deer hunting.

- Dillon, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Dillon,

Without getting a landowner map for each county, it's pretty hard to point out crown land and there really isn't a lot of it close to Edmonton but if you head toward Whitecourt, there is a lot in that area that offers some good hunting. There are also a number of conservation lands around Edmonton that can be accessed for hunting. They can be found at www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide/guide

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,

Just wondering how I should go about breaking in the barrel of my new 270 win. Thanks :)

- Andrew, Sherwood Park
Click here for answer

Hey Andrew,

All barrels, regardless of how careful and precise the machining, require a period of break-in. Even in the most carefully machined barrels, there are two machined surfaces, the throat and the actual barrel rifling, and the bullet must pass from one to the other when it is fired. It is during the first 20-100 shots, that the bullet, passing over these two surfaces at extremely high speeds, actually acts like a fine hone, eventually matching the surfaces. Unfortunately, it’s also during these first shots that serious amounts of copper can be deposited on any of the microscopic rough spots that exist. For this reason, extra diligence in cleaning will aid in this process and prevent copper from building up to the point where damage can actually occur.

Here’s what I do with a new barrel. First off, I like to shoot very heavy grain bullets for the first 20-100 rounds or so. So, if I was breaking in a .30-60 barrel for example, I’d likely shoot 180 grain bullets. Don’t worry too much about developing loads or anything else for these first shots as the accuracy of your barrel may well improve as you break it in. These shots are just to smooth out that transition from throat to the lands on the rifling and the actual lands themselves. How many shots this takes varies from barrel to barrel but I can tell that with some of the cheaper, mass produced barrels, it can take up to 100 rounds. I let the amount of copper on my cleaning patches be my guide.

During this initial break-in, I’ll do a complete barrel cleaning with copper solvent every five rounds for at least the first 20 rounds. If copper build up seems minimal, then I’ll start working up a load for that rifle but if the patches still come out with a lot of green and blue on them, I’ll stick to the five shot regime until I feel the barrel is broken in. Once a barrel has been broken in, it only needs to be cleaned every 20 rounds.

Cleaning, while a fairly simple process, does require a fair amount of time to do it properly but it is time well invested as it will ensure a long life for your barrel. The first step in barrel cleaning is to get the powder residue out. For this, I like a product like Shooter’s Choice MC#7. Bolt-action and single shot rifles should be cleaned from the breech and in the case of a bolt action, get yourself a rod guide. This plastic guide simply slides into the action once the bolt is removed to ensure the rod enters the barrel without damaging it. Also ensure you are using a quality one-piece coated cleaning rod to avoid doing any damage to the throat or rifling.

I will not put a bronze or brass brush in my barrel but instead use nylon brushes exclusively. I like to get a nylon brush that is several calibres smaller than the barrel and wrap a cotton patch soaked in the shooter’s Choice around it. Say for example I’m cleaning a .30-06, I’ll use a .25 calibre nylon brush with a .30 calibre patch wrapped around it. Run the first wet patch completely through the bore and remove the patch. Pull the rod out and attach another patch to the brush and soak it again with Shooter’s Choice. Now insert this patch into the barrel and work it slowly back and forth for the entire length of the barrel five or six times and then remove the rod from the barrel and discard the patch. Now run two more soaked patches once through the barrel followed by two dry patches to get all the cleaner out.

The next step is to use a copper cleaner and for this, I prefer Sweet’s 7.62 Solvent. Using the same nylon brush wrapped with a patch soaked with the Sweet’s, run it directly through the barrel once and allow the solvent to sit no more than 10 minutes. Allowing it to sit in the barrel longer can actually damage your rifling. Once 10 minutes has elapsed, run a couple dry patches through the barrel. If they show a lot of copper build up, use the Sweet’s one more time. After 10 minutes, run a couple more dry patches through the bore. Now the rifle is ready to be shot or if you are going to store it for a period of time, run a patch with a small amount of oil on it through the barrel. For this, I use G96 Complete Gun Treatment. It’s always a good idea to run one dry patch through the barrel before shooting a rifle if it’s been stored with oil in it.

Certainly, the schools of thought on barrel break-in vary wildly and some feel it is a complete waste of time but on all but the most precisely machined barrels, I’d have to disagree with that and even on the high-end barrels, a 20 shot break-in is still time well invested in my opinion. What there is agreement on, however, is the necessity of a regular cleaning regime. On barrels that haven’t been cleaned for years, it’s truly amazing the amount of copper that builds up in them. I’ve seen it take 10 or more applications of copper cleaner to get it all out but the result is invariably a more accurate rifle. It’s never too late to start a cleaning regime on an old rifle and it’s definitely something you need to do with a new one. I know it was one of those things that I used to put off and never seemed to get around to but now after seeing the results of cleaning a few of my older rifles and the accuracy I gained, it’s something I now do after every 20 rounds.
Question:
Hey TJ,

What kind of calls would be good in my area for coyote in early fall to late fall one hour west of Edmonton?

- Cory Benson
Click here for answer

Hey Cory,

Coyote howls and a cottontail in distress would be my two choices for long-range calling and then I'd have a low volume squeeker for those hesitant to come in at the end. You can go with mouth-blown or electronic calls, although I'd suggest something handheld for the squeeker.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

I'm just wondering what your course of action would be to go after big bucks in thick brushy terrain? I'm gonna try and take a big buck out of the Ministik Game Bird Sanctuary but I am wondering how I should hunt its brushy thick terrain? Treestands? Travel corridors?

- Andrew, Sherwood Park
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

I start now and get a bunch of trail cameras out and see when and where the deer are moving. Concentrate on junctions where two or three trails intersect. Once you've located the buck you want, then set up a treestand or ground blind. Have a couple alternate locations that you can hunt depending on wind direction.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
How old do I have to be to bow hunt on my own?

- Jake, Sylvan Lake
Click here for answer

Hi Jake,

For all questions regarding legal matters for hunting and fishing, your best source is always the folks that actually make and enforce the laws. I suggest you contact the information centre and I'm sure they will address your question.

Information Centre
Sustainable Resource Development

Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton AB Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944 0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427 4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is there a list that exists that gives locations of meat lockers/coolers within the various areas of Alberta where we can hang game in the warmer months of Sept/Oct for free? Is there a contact list available from butchers that supply just a cool/hang service?

- Bruce Stobbe
Click here for answer

Hi Bruce,

I'm not aware of any such list.

TJ
Question:
Do I need a licence of any kind to buy a crossbow?

- Adam Eckstein
Click here for answer

Hi Adam,

No, no special licence is required to purchase a crossbow.

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I am new to hunting in Alberta and my question is this: Can the tags found in the draw applications booklet be used to purchase a general licence online? Or are they specifically used for hunters applying for a draw? I am currently at work up north and wish to purchase my general licence for whitetail, mule deer, and elk online. The website (albertarelm.com) says I must first pick up tags from Fish and Wildlife and enter the 10 digit code on the tag in order to make a purchase. I won't be home for a couple weeks and I am nowhere near a F&W office. I do have a copy of the draw booklet though, with 4 yellow tags in it. They have 10 digit numbers as well but I am not sure if they can be used to buy a general licence or if I have to wait until I get home to pick up tags in person? Unfortunately I was too late to apply for any of the draws this year.

- Dave, Lamont
Click here for answer

Hi Dave,

The yellow tags found in the draw booklet are good for draw or general licences.

TJ
Question:
Hi,
Have you heard of any wild pigs around the Calgary area.
Regards

- Rick Martin
Click here for answer

Hi Rick,

Sorry but no I haven't heard of any feral pigs south of Edmonton.

TJ
Question:
Do you have any information on what the ESRD changes will mean to the Alberta Conservation Officer organization?

- Richard McCarty
Click here for answer

Now that Fish and Wildlife enforcement falls under the Solicitor General's office I doubt it will change much. Pick up a copy of the August issue of Alberta Outdoorsmen once it is on newsstands and read Don Meredith's column. There may be some useful information there.

TJ
Question:
Hi, my name is Chris and I am new to Alberta. I live in Edmonton and was wondering where I would have to travel to hunt deer or moose with a rifle. And how would I transfer my BC hunters licence to an Alberta one.

- Chris, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the Alberta hunting regulations as they will answer most of your questions. You can find them online at: albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

There is some excellent deer and moose hunting very close to Edmonton but much of the land is private so you will need to obtain permission. This is best done well in advance of the hunting season. If you head up to the Whitecourt area, you will find lots of crown land where you do not require permission. Most of the moose hunting in Alberta is on limited entry draw so it may take you a few years to get a tag. Info on draws can be found at albertaregulations.ca/hunting-draws.html.

Unfortunately, you've already missed this years draws.

You can't transfer a licence from one province to the other but if you are now a resident of Alberta, you'll just need to get your WIN card and then you can buy the appropriate licences.

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
Are you able to provide fishing information on Charles Lake north in Alberta?
ie. techniques, lures and locations?
Thanks

- George, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi George,

I can only speak for North Charles as I have never fished from the south camp. Charles Lake is an exceptional lake for both pike and lake trout. But before jumping into a boat and taking off, be warned; the lake has considerable depth changes that can be hazardous. Do not leave without sonar of some type. You can be in 90-feet of water and in an instant find yourself bottoming out on a large rock that is barely under the water, it is that drastic, so be careful, you don't want to get stranded. As well, the lake has many islands and inlets so it is easy to get confused, do not leave without a GPS. If you are fishing North Charles, your cabin is on an island so mark it with your GPS.

When I fished North Charles it was mostly with a fly rod for pike. However, any spoon or crankbait trolled near shore in and around any structure will produce a tremendous amount of fish. If you are fishing in July, the pike will be a little deeper so I would suggest getting your gear down to the 12-15 foot range and then probing either shallower or deeper from there until you find the range the fish are at. From there it should be just a matter of hanging on.

While there are lake trout anywhere there is depth, the best luck we had was straight out from the cabin towards the far shore. We managed a lake trout that pushed 25-pounds trolling a large five-of-diamonds in about 40-feet of water. If you have portable downriggers, make sure you bring them or you will have to put on some weight to get down. Fishing with downriggers is much more fun than pulling a large weight behind you, so if you don't have downriggers, look at investing in a set. For the lake trout, any large spoon will work fine. As well, jigging large artificial baits like a Bondy Bait has proven to work well on many water bodies, so I would assume the same holds true for Charles.

Hope this helps and good luck!

- Rob Miskosky
Question:
I am planning a sheep hunt in the fall of 2013. I am using this time to dream, prepare, and of course, get into shape. I know you did an article in AO about a list of necessaries for such a trip. Do you think you could help me with which article that was. We are thinking about packing in, sans horses.
Thanks for your help.

- Zane, Thorsby
Click here for answer

Hi Zane,

The article appeared in the August 2010 Alberta Outdoorsmen in my Spike Camp Musings column

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am looking at buying my first hunting rifle and getting my firearms licence. Can you give me advice on what kind of hunting rifle would be a good starter rifle. I have a bunch of buddies that tell me you can't go wrong with a .30-06 rifle . I have been doing my research for the last 2 weeks and I have picked out a few rifles including Savage Arms, Browning and Remington. Any suggestions?

- Doug, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

The .30-06 is sure a great all-round choice. Another favourite of mine for first-time buyers is the 7mm08. Most rifles made today are of pretty high quality. Go to a good gun shop and handle several and see which one fits you best.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
We are looking for a medium to higher-end fishing lodge in southern or central Alberta. Can you recommend any?

- Jason, Las Vegas
Click here for answer

Hi Jason,

It really depends on what type of fishing you are after but Alberta doesn't have a lot of lodges in the southern part of the province. There are a few nice operations that provide excellent fly fishing. You may want to check out:
North Bow Lodge www.northbowlodge.com/Lodge.html
Eckardt's Tecumseh Mountain Resort www.mountainguestranch.com
Bow Crow Fishing Adventures bowcrow.tripod.com/flyfishing/id26.html
Fortress Lake Retreat www.flyfishalberta.com/fortresslake

I hope you enjoy our great province,

TJ
Question:
I'm new to Lethbridge alberta and I was wondering how you enter the lethbridge fish and game Big trophy awards ?

- James, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi James,

Your best bet would be to contact the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association. www.lfga.org

Good luck,

T.J. Schwanky
Question:
Hey,

Looking to do a spring bear hunt with a partner come this May. I am just wanting know when to go in May and were should I go? I am interested in a spot and stalk hunt. Thanks for your time!

- Andrew, Sherwood Park
Click here for answer

I've always been a fan of May long weekend but with the early spring this year, going a week or two earlier may be the ticket. There are numerous areas to hunt bears, just make sure you follow baiting restrictions if using bait.

Good luck,
TJ
Question:
A friend and I are planning on going boar hunting for the first time. What do you recommend for first timers?

- Andrew, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

Wild boars are definitely the proverbial needle in the haystack in Alberta so the best advice I could offer is get out and put some miles on while there's still some snow on the ground. Look for tracks and knock on lots of doors and talk with the local landowners. Once you find out where they are feeding, I'd set up a blind and wait. Good luck.

TJ
Question:
I am trying to get my guide licence (fishing). Could you give me some advice on how to get a local guide licence, amateur or pro. I already have a good location, lake, boat, motor and I have over 20 years experience on this lake specifically. I am Métis with lots of trapline/bush/hunting experience and have guided lots of my friends on this lake with my boat.

- John Gladu
Click here for answer

Hi John,

It's my understanding that you don't require a guide licence to guide anglers in Alberta but I suggest that you contact your local Fish and Wildlife office to confirm that. They are the best source for legal matters like this.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,
I am planning a move to Edmonton this fall from BC, I have hunted deer, waterfowl and upland in BC and would like to continue doing it in AB. I was hoping that you could point me in the right direction as to where would be a good place to start looking for deer. I prefer hunting with my rifle.
Thanks,

- Ali A.
Click here for answer

Hi Ali,

Edmonton sits right in the middle of some of Alberta's best whitetail hunting but as most of the surrounding land is private, permission must be obtained to hunt it. There are some great conservation lands in the area, however, that may be hunted without permission. Here is a link to a guide that lists all of those properties.
www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide
This would be a great place to begin your search.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I was going to buy a black bear tag this year, have any tips about hunting them?

Thanks

- Caleb Munday
Click here for answer

Hi Caleb,

If you are looking at doing a spot and stalk hunt then look for the first areas to green up in the spring. Pipelines, cutlines, powerlines and south facing slopes are all great places to begin your search. Bears are active all day but mid morning and mid afternoon have always been great times for me.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I never hunt big horn sheep. I want to do it. How should I go about it? What to read on it? Or what do you think?

Thank you

- Paul Lavoie
Click here for answer

Hi Paul,

Man, entire books are written on sheep hunting so I'm not sure I can cover everything here but I'd highly suggest reading Val Geist's book, MountainSheep to gain a better understanding of these unique animals. Nowicki's Home of the Bighorn has some great info on Alberta sheep and sheep hunting too.

The best advice that I can offer is to pick an area that you are interested in hunting and start hiking it hard this summer. The more time you spend in sheep country, the more you will learn about them. Obviously good gear is a must as well. If you can get away from the crowds and spend some time in the mountains, you are well on your way to finding a ram.

Good luck out there,

TJ

Question:
I know I need to buy a wild certificate, a bow hunting licence and tags for species before I go out on a bow hunt but am I forgetting anything that I need? I Just dont want to break any laws not having everything.

- Kyle, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Kyle,

It sounds like you have it covered. Obviously some species require a draw to get a permit for but for general tags, it sounds like you are good to go. It never hurts to give the regulations a quick read over though; albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

TJ
Question:
Hi, I have never hunted before, but am very interested in getting started on ducks. I have no idea where or when I am legally aloud to hunt, where are good places near Calgary or what type of gear is recommended, basically where do i start?

- Shaun McClements
Click here for answer

Hi Shaun,

There are loads of on-line resources that should answer all your questions.

For information on what areas you can hunt, seasons and licence requirement, the Alberta Hunting Regulations will answer all your questions albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

As for where to hunt, that will take some footwork. Pick up a landowner map from the county in the areas you are interested in hunting and start doing some scouting. Prermission is required to hunt private land. There are also a number of properties owned by non-profit groups that allow hunting. They can be found at
www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide

Field hunting for ducks typically requires more decoys, blinds, etc than water shooting them. Some great shoots can be enjoyed on small ponds with a dozen decoys and a shotgun.

The Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard is a great resource as well. There's loads of helpful hunters there. outdoorsmenforum.ca

You may also want to look at joining a Fish and Game Club, it's a great place to meet hunters. www.sfga.ca

I'm not sure if you've taken your hunter safety and firearm traing yet either but if not, you'll need to contact AHEIA. www.aheia.com

I hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
How many arms producers manufacture in Canada? Which ones are Canadian owned producers?

- Andre Mikhail
Click here for answer

Hi Andre,

Off the top of my head Prairie Gun Works, Alberta Tactical Rifle, Armtech Canada (Gaulin), Savage (rimfire only), Dlask Arms and I think Para Ordnance moved south of the border. There are many other custom gun builders but those are the ones that come to mind that I would consider manufacturers.

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
What is going to happen now that the long gun registry is supposed to be out of the way? What does that mean for hunters? Are we still going to need a PAL when buying rifles or ammo? Will the RCMP still know who owns long guns? How is that going to work?

- Sam, Stettler
Click here for answer

Hi Sam,

Unfortunately the long gun registry is not gone yet. It must still go through three readings in the senate and then receive royal assent from the Goverrnor General and then a start date must be declared by the Government. Only at that point will registration be gone. Nothing is going to change in regards to the need for a PAL or POL and you will still need them to buy ammunition. Yes, the RCMP will still know who the licenced firearm owners are but they will not know what firearms you own.

TJ
Question:
TJ, In the latest Alberta Outdoorsmen magazine I noticed a picture of you with an ibex on the back page. How did you enjoy the hunt? Were there many unforeseen challenges travelling in that part of the world? Where were you, what outfitter did you use, would you recommend the hunt, and overall what did the hunt cost including flights, hunt, trophy fees, etc? Any and all help is greatly appreciated as my Brother and I have been dreaming of an ibex hunt for years and it would be nice to be pointed in the right direction! Thank you for your time!

- Jamie Arnett
Click here for answer

Hi Jamie,

The hunt was truly incredible. In addition to the ibex, I also took a great Marco Polo ram. I booked through Asian Mountain Outfitters and hunted in Kyrgyzstan. Hunts like this do require some patience as plans change often but the hunt went without a hitch and everything happened as promised. Flights to Bishkeck were around $3,000 and I spent around $1,000 on hotels, meals, etc above the hunt price. Hunts for ibex only range from $5,000-$8,000 and combined with Marco Polo they are in the $25,000-$30,000 range. Getting the trophies home was super easy as we brought them with us in our luggage and getting guns in and out of Kyrgyzstan was easy as well. Our outfitter in Kyrgyzstan took care of all of the paperwork for us.

TJ
Question:
Going on my first sheep hunt this fall, and wondering what calibre of rifle to pack? And what power you would recommend for a scope?

- Chad Olansky
Click here for answer

Hi Chad,

Personally I'd recommend a cartridge that shoots around 3,000 fps and can deliver at least a 120-grain bullet at that velocity. There are literally hundreds of options but cartridges like the 270WSM and 7mmRM are constant favourites. I run a 4-5-14x scope on my sheep rifles. Good luck out there this year!

TJ
Question:
Where can I get info on coyote furs? Where can I take my harvested coyotes in the Edmonton/Westlock/Barrhead area?

- KN, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hey KN,

I'd suggest that you contact the Alberta Trappers Association.
www.albertatrappers.com


Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Thanks for your answer on the .300 Win Mag. Do you think that a 3-9 or 3.5-10 scope would be good for this rifle, and especially, give a wide enough field of view at short range when set to the lowest power?

- Richard McCarty
Click here for answer

Hi Richard,

Yes, I think that would be an excellent choice for your rifle. The 3-9x is a pretty versatile scope for big game hunting.

TJ
Question:
Is there a limit on the caliber or grain size that can be used to hunt coyotes in Alberta year round? I have a wby 7mm and would like to hunt with it using a 160 gr. rather than buying a 22-250 or similar calibre.

- Murray, Mirror AB
Click here for answer

Other than causing some major hide damage, your 7mm would be just fine for coyotes.

TJ
Question:
For a Dec 20 - Jan 20 Cow Elk Draw, I have heard that many farmers in the GP area like to give hunters access in order to keep down the cow elk population which can wreak havoc on farmers fields, hay, etc...
Is there any way to obtain a list of willing farmers / names? The Zone is WMU 527, North of Peace River.

- Mike, Stony Plain
Click here for answer

Hi Mike,

A call to the local Fish and Wildlife office would be your best bet. If anyone will know about landowners having problems with elk, it's them.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello, I'm looking for a gun for deer and coyotes. I'm on the fence on which one to go with. I'm leaning more towards the 25-06 but then I've heard nothing but good about the 243. It seems to be the 243 is more popular and easy to find. Is the 25-06 the better choice and how easy is it to find ammo and repacement clips?

- Ren, Wetaskiwin
Click here for answer

Both are very capable cartridges for what you describe but the 243 does seem to offer up a better selection of lightweight varmint bullets so if the rifle will see a lot of use on coyotes, I'd lean that way but in the end, both would work well. If the rifle was to be used primarily for big game, expecially at longer ranges, then I'd likely go with the 25-06.

TJ
Question:
What do you think of the .300 Win Mag as an all-around calibre in Alberta, especislly in the event of self-defence against a charging grizzly? I normally use Remington Safari 200-grain Swift A-frames at a published ME of about 3570 ft-lb.

- Richard McCarty
Click here for answer

Hi Richard,

If you shoot it well, I personally feel the .300 Win Mag is one of the most versatile catridges there is for hunting in Alberta. As for a charging grizzly, shot placement trumps foot pounds of energy any day so I'd be way more worried about shooting the rifle well than anything else.

T.J. Schwanky
Question:
Can you please tell me the rules for hunting coyote in central Alberta, and what is the rules for the carcasses and hides?

- Tammy, Alberta
Click here for answer

Your best source of information regarding legal matters like this are the hunting regulations. They can be found on-line at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Are there any good whitetail hunting opportunities in the foothills (WMU 304) or are there more mule deer?

- Henk, Picture Butte
Click here for answer

Hi Henk,

While mule deer are the predominant species in the foothills, it seems each year more and more whitetails are starting to show up. I'd say there are some great whitetail hunting opportunities throughout Alberta's foothills. Whitetails love cover, so creek and river bottom are prime. The best advice I can offer is to hunt areas with heavy aspen growth and you'll find whitetails.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
When you have shot a deer, and you are following the blood trail, do you cross over property lines? The shot occured in the morning, is there an appropriate time, as to not spook other fellow hunters, to begin your search?

- Greg McDonald
Click here for answer

Hi Greg,

When following wounded game a good rule of thumb is to always seek permission before crossing any property lines. As for an appropriate amount of time to follow up a wounded animal, it depends a lot on the conditions of the shot but at least 30 minutes is recommended. I hope that helps.

TJ
Question:
Hi there,

I scouted and hunted for moose in 406 this year (archery), but the rut didn't seem to be on yet. It was pretty hot for mid-September. It looks like 410 is my only spot left, but I don't know the area. Now, I don't expect you'd want to tell me where your favourite spot is, but would anyone mind telling me a parking lot to start from? I'd just like try the area out, stay legal, and be in a place where it is at least somewhat likely to see a moose. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

- Adam, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Adam,

Moose are pretty scarce in WMU410 but some of the area around Dead Man's Flats does harbour the occasional bull.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,
I'm planning on doing some field hunting for geese and ducks. I'm just wondering what is a safe buffer zone to set up my decoys around roadways and houses? Also I'm just wondering how far downrange does steel shot travel?

- Derek, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Derek,

There are a lot of variables to consider and typically common sense is your best guide. If it looks too close then it likely is but don't forget that by law you must be at least 200 metres away from buildings. How far steel shot can travel would be highly dependant on shot size but it would be several hundred yards for sure.

TJ.
Question:
I Saw an article a few years ago about fishing for walleye at Grassy Lake Forks. I Don't recall the time of year that was recommended, or the type of presentation best used.
I think it was in the fall, but I would appreciate your advice.

- Gerald Price
Click here for answer

Hey Gerald,

Yes, fall is primetime at the Forks, especially for big trophy walleye. Jigging is definitely one of the favoured methods of catching walleye at The Forks as are crankbaits.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello,

I'm hunting in the Slave Lake area this year (2011) and I heard this past winter was particularly harsh. Can you tell me if whitetail deer kill off in this area is higher than normal? Should I lower my expectations due to a high kill off?

Thanks,

- Tim Smith
Click here for answer

Hi Tim,

While I haven't seen any information from the area biologists, from some of the area hunters I've spoken with, there was definitely some winter kill. It doesn't sound as severe as areas further west but I'd say you could expect to see less deer than normal.

TJ
Question:
I am interested in taking my PAL. Where in Fort McMurray can I do this?

- Randy Bourque
Click here for answer

Hey Randy,

I'd suggest that you contact your local Fish and Game Club or AHEIA. This link should help you out (click here).

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Where can I find a listing of "trophy " mule deer taken in Alberta? B&C 190's or better. Thank you.

- CJ
Click here for answer

Hi CJ,

The Alberta Fish and Game Association is the official keeper of big game records in the province. I know they are currently updating their record book so that is one source. Boone and Crockett would definitely be another.

TJ
Question:
Hi, I've drawn a cow elk tag. Are there any surefire ways to put one of these animals in my lap so to speak? lol, I'll be hunting in the 526 WMU, and have never pursued elk before and just curious if they'll respond to calls?

- Kevin Calson
Click here for answer

Hi Kevin,

Nothing in hunting is surefire but if I were you I'd concentrate on the best available food sources. Calling isn't overly productive for cow elk.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello, over the last 10 years i have been a big game guide for a well known outfitter in BC, after a very long season in the mountains (Aug - Nov) I rushed back to central Ontario were I was born and raised and finish my year with a late season whitetail hunt on my folks farm. However, that has all changed recently since I've gotten married, took a "real job" and settled down with my new wife in Calgary. This brings me to my question, now that i have time to hunt for myself I would love to do some moose hunting up in northern Alberta, I'm thinking High Level area? I'd like to get away from the crowds and not step on anybodys toes, also that far north, do I need to apply for a tag or can I buy one over the counter? Any info that you could provide would begreat, Thanks.

- Roger Bolton
Click here for answer

Hi Roger,

For the most part, moose tags are on draw in Alberta. Your best source of information is the 2011 Hunting Regulations. They can be found on-line at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs or a printed version is available at your favourite outdoor store.

TJ
Question:
Do you recommend a specific base to mount a scope on my Thompson Centre Encore Pro Hunter. Currently I have a weaver base but about 1 inch or so does not contact the barrel towards the muzzle because of the barrels taper. It seems to be solid but I do not like the looks of it. All I want is a good solid platform for my Zeiss. Love the magazine, keep up the good work . I would like a reply soon as hunting season is just around the corner! Thank you.

- Harl Christianson
Click here for answer

Hi Harl,

The one-piece base is definately the way to go and it seems they all hang over the barrel taper like that. While a bit unsightly for sure, it does seem to be the only option.

TJ
Question:
I am very interested in working as a guide and outfitter at some point in my life and aside from just "getting out there and doing it!!", I would like to learn more on hunting and fishing while having having down time on the sofa. Could you direct me to two or three good books in each of these fields? I enjoy both trout and salmon fishing, this was a natural by product from being born and raised on Vancouver Island, and I prefer elk and mountain sheep hunting (any kind of mountain and foot hills hunting, so this would include deer and moose as well) over prairie hunting, although there is still fun to be found in the latter. I would greatly appreciate if you could share some of your inspirations, or inspirations you have heard of from people you respect and trust.

Thanks.

- Aaron Tombe, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hey Aaron,

One of the books at the top of my list is "People and Peaks of the Willmore Wilderness". If you are considering guiding one day, this book is a must read. While a bit dated, O'Connor's "Sheep and Sheep Hunting" is a decent read and Tony Russ' book, "Sheep Hunting in Alaska" contains some good information on gear.

As for fishing, "Blue Ribbon Bow" is a nice read.

Good luck following your dreams.

TJ
Question:
Me and my son go fishing down at Cardiff Park Pond. We always catch rainbows, but we want to target perch. What would be a good rig for perch in your opinion?

- Sam, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Sam,

I've never fished Cardiff Park Pond so I'm not sure I can be a huge help. I'd suggest joining the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard and asking for some advice in the fishing forum. There are loads of helpful anglers there.

TJ
Question:
I own a Mossberg 4x4 7mm. I got it before they came out with the muzzle break. Is there somewhere near or in calgary I could get one made or is there one I can just go buy?

- Ty, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Ty,

I'm not certain who in the Calgary area could make one for you. If you are looking to reduce recoil, I'd suggest you try a high quality recoil pad as a first option and then if you feel you still need a brake, you can explore that option further.

TJ
Question:
I used to do a lot of fishing but I have been out of the game for approx 15 yrs. I want to take up the hobbby again and would appreciate any rod and reel combos you may suggest. I will be fishing from shorelines only and mostly for trout or walleye. Oh and mostly river fishing such as the south saskatchewan.Thanks for any advise.

- Blair Genring, Medicine Hat
Click here for answer

Hi Blair,

I would highly suggest that you get a good quality 6'6" medium action spinning rod teamed up with a high quality spinning reel. I'd spool it up with a high quality 8-10 pound monofilament line and you should be good to go.

TJ
Question:
I am interested in doing a whitetail deer hunt for the first time this fall in Northern Alberta. I am new to the sport and have not been hunting at all before. My question is this: Do I have to enter a draw to hunt whitetail or can I buy general tags?

- Chris, Fort McMurray
Click here for answer

Hi Chris,

For the most part, general whitetail tags are available throughout the province. You should be able to find all of the information you need here: http://.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Good luck this fall,
TJ
Question:
Will a 270 Win take down a deer at 300yrd using 150gr bullet? and what kind of bullet? and possibly Elk?

- Dave, Canada
Click here for answer

The 270 Win is a very capable round at 300 yards on both deer and elk, with proper bullet placement of course. You need to find a bullet that shoots well out of your particular firearm but I'm a big fan of the 139 grain GMX.

TJ
Question:
Would you shoot a buffalo with a 30-06 and if so how heavy a bullet would you use? I'm looking at short distance under 100 yards.

- Billy, Edmonton
Click here for answer

I have seen bison killed with a 30-06 before. There's no reason a well placed, well constructed 180 grain bullet won't put them down.

TJ
Question:
Hi, can I hunt deer with a Ruger .223 here in Alberta?
Thanks

- Steve, Cochrane
Click here for answer

Hi Steve,

Forn matters such as this, your best bet is always the Alberta hunting regulations. They can be found on-line at albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs. But to answer your question, no you can not. It states very clearly in the hunting regulations that:

It is unlawful to
1. set out, use or employ any of the following items for the purpose of hunting big game:
ammunition of less than .23 calibre,

Thanks,
TJ
Question:
Hi there,
I am a fully licensed hunter here in Ontario and have been for a number of years now. I have been successful in havesting black bears, whitetails and I'm a huge fan of turkey hunting. I guess I will get on with my question or questions... I have a brother that lives in Alberta (Calgary Area) and he also hunts. He wants me to come out from Ontario this fall to go on a Elk hunt with him. What is required of me to do this hunt? I know he hunts in a place he calls "Behind the Ram River". I'm just wondering what the rules and requirements are for me to hunt out there?
Thanks

- Perry, Ontario
Click here for answer

Hi Perry,

Check out the Alberta hunting regulations at albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Click on Licencing and Costs and Non-resident (Canadian) Licence Availability (Big Game) and you should find all of the information that you require there.

TJ
Question:
I've gone ice fishing for pike now three times this winter. Each time I've seen at least 10 pike (on my underwater viewing system) stop by my lure and stare at the bait, but they just aren't interested in taking a bite. I've fished both at sunrise and sun down but havent brought home a fish yet. What are some of the best baits and lures to use to get them to bite? I've used minnows, shrimp and worms with no luck and it is still exciting to watch them on the screen but would be nice to catch some.

- Darryl, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hey Darryl,

You mightn want to give smelts or herring a try and suspend your bait a few inches off the bottom so it is easy for the the pike to see. A quick strike rig is a great way to fish these baits.

Good luck,

T.J. Schwanky
Question:
I want to hunt rabbits, hares, porcupines, skunks, raccoons, and woodchucks in Alberta. Can I use a BB gun or a pellet gun to hunt these small animals?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Providing it's legal to discharge a pellet gun where you intend on hunting, there are indeed pellet guns made with more than sufficient power to hunt the aforementioned animals. It would not be adviseable, however, to hunt them with a pellet gun with too little velocity. I suggest you consult the hunting regulations and any country or municipal regulations regarding firearm use before heading afield.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Can I hunt Squirrels, Doves, and Woodcocks in Alberta?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andy,

Always best to consult the hunting regulations or contact your local SRD office with specific questions regarding game laws but it's my understanding that no, you may not hunt any of those species in Alberta.

TJ
Question:
Dear Alberta Outdoorsmen,

First of all let me tell you that I absolutely love you magazine. Getting it in the mail is the highlight of the month (until hunting season -sorry!).

I am a new hunter and I do not know where to begin to find good places for waterfowl hunting. I am looking for Mallards and Canada Geese. I am thinking about using DUC locations until I get familiar with the flyways a little more. I have 3 questions:

1. Do you have any suggestions where to go within 2 hours of Calgary? There seem to be too many places to choose from.

2. Where is a good place to post to find waterfowl info and to find hunting partners as I am new to the hunting community and want to meet waterfowl hunters?

3. What is the success rates of waterfowl hunters gaining access to farmland?

Cheers!

- Jason, Calgary

Click here for answer

Hey Jason,

If you are talking about field hunts for ducks and geese, then you just need to start heading east of Calgary and knocking on doors where you see birds. Most landowners are quite receptive to hunters seeking permission. There are also numerous conservation properties you can check out including those owned by DU. A great resource for locating these conservation properties is
www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide

As for a good place to meet hunters, a local Fish and Game club is a great way to get to know other hunters. I belong to the Sarcee club in Calgary. They are a very welcoming group. www.sarceefishandgame.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I was wondering where are good grouse and pheasant hunting areas close to Calgary?

- Man, Calgary
Click here for answer

There is some good hunting in the Brooks area for upland birds. The Eastern Irrigation District owns a considerable amount of land in the area that is generally open to hunting. For more information, check out www.eid.ab.ca.

Good hunting,

TJ
Question:
I am looking for a good hunting pack that will carry a lot of weight as comfortably as possible. I have found stores around Edmonton lack knowledge when it comes to fitting packs and have a poor selection. The only good place is Mec but they don’t have any hunt specific packs. Is a person’s best bet to simply go with a mystery ranch ordered over the internet to your own dimensions and hope it works? Is there anyone local that makes custom packs perhaps? I find my waist is too small for packs like badlands. I like to bone out an animal and carry it out so I am willing to spend the money for the quality.

- Noelyn, Gibbons
Click here for answer

I'm currently using a Mystery Ranch and am very impressed. Call and talk to the guys there, they are super helpful.

TJ
Question:
I have a Lakefield MarkII 22cal long rifle. It has been ignored for a while and I would like to give it a really good cleaning, but I cannot figure out how to remove the bolt. What do I need to do?

- Art Fougere, NS
Click here for answer

Hey Art,

While I'm not 100% sure, you should just simply be able to pull the trigger, with an open bolt of course, and by keeping the trigger depressed, the bolt should slide right out.

TJ
Question:
I read an article here on this site a couple years ago about wild boar in AB. Has there been an update on these things? Can we still hunt them without a tag, and who do we talk to about finding them?

- Gerry Olsen, Wainwright
Click here for answer

There are some great discussions on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard about hunting wild boars. They would be a valuable source of information for you.

TJ
Question:
I am a priority 11 for my cow elk tag. I will not get another moose tag for two years. I am planning on taking my cow elk draw this year. My question is, If you need a high priority number to hunt a zone does that mean there is less elk? If you need only a two or three priority is there more elk and better chance to fill the freezer? Can not find a answer, please help.

- Darrell Couiyk, Fort Assiniboine
Click here for answer

Hi Darrell,

Draw numbers are set in accordance with the number of animals that SRD wants to harvest so it is likely a fair assumption that areas with low tag numbers also have lower populations of game but with that said, you will also be competing against less hunters so I would suspect that your odds of success are pretty similar across the board. A lot of it comes down to how familiar you are with an area and if you can gain access to hunt.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I would like to set out some salt licks with my trail cam looking at it to see what deer are in an area. Come hunting season, am I allowed to hunt that location? If so, should I remove what's left of the salt lick? If yes, how long prior to the beginning of the season should this be done? This is kind of a grey area and any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

- Mike, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Mike,

Personally, I would think hunting over any man made salt lick would be illegal. As salt leaches deep into the soil, I can't see how it could ever be totally removed. I think the fact that you are considering hunting over it is a good indication that you believe animals will continue to visit it but as with all matters concerning specific regulations, I'd suggest you contact SRD directly at:

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780-944-0313
Toll Free: 1-877-944-0313
Fax: 780-427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I am planning an elk hunt in B.C. next fall and I am in the market to purchase a .338 for the hunt and future moose or elk hunts. I have decided on the Browning X Bolt, now I just need to decide what kind of optics to go with. Though I am anticipating making a shot at no more than 300 yards I would like to be prepared and capable out to 500 yards. I am aware that with an increase in magnification I loose eye relief which might not be the best idea with a .338.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

- Jeff, Cold Lake
Click here for answer

Hey Jeff,

500 yards is a long poke with a .338 and a shot that definitely requires the use of a ballistic reticle or adjustable turrets. I run a 4.5-14x44 Zeiss Conquest with a Rapid Z 600 reticle on my 338. The Zeiss, unlike many scope has a constant 3.5-4" of eye relief through the zoom range and the Rapid Z reticle allows you to hold right on target from 0-600 yards.

TJ
Question:
What do you recommend as the best sheep hunting spotting scope? Do you break the bank or is mid-range fine?

- TJ, Warburg
Click here for answer

If you have the budget, you will never go wrong with high end optics. Zeiss and Swaro are definitely at the top of the list. If it's not in the budget, the Nikon Spotter XLII is a great scope for the money. I personally prefer a scope in the 15-45x65 range.

TJ
Question:
I read your article about the herd bulls leaving the cows and heading up high after the rut. I shot a small six point last weekend that was with 40-50 cows and about 6-7 smaller bulls. My question is would this have been a satellite bull, being a 6 point, or could it have been a herd bull still with the cows?

-Shane Wortman, Langdon
Click here for answer

Hi Shane,

My guess is that it was likely a satellite bull.

TJ
Question:
I have been hunting deer and moose all my life. I have recently decided to take a look into Elk hunting. I have seen them on occasion in the area that I hunt most often however I am uncertain on different patterns they may be in during the year and how to find them when I want to see one. At certain points in the year, are they in high up areas? Or do they prefer the lower valleys in the late season?

- Mie, Chipman
Click here for answer

Hi Mie,

One thing about elk is that they are not afraid to move long distances to eat. In farm country, it's not uncommon for them to travel several miles from cover to a feeding field. In the mountains, I often find that they head high later in the season to feed on the wind-blown slopes.

Hope that helps,

TJ
Question:
I am a first time hunter, I just got my licence and really want to get out there and try to fill my suplemental whitetail tags. Where can I hunt on crown land with a rifle? I also have a general whitetail tag. All my buddys seem to have dropped the ball on helping me out to look for where to start.

Thanks

- Nick Carr, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Nick,

You might want to check some of the forestry areas up around the Ghost and Waiporous. There's lots of crown land up there and some good whitetails to be found tucked away deep in the bush. You may also want to check out some of the conservation properties across Alberta where hunting is permitted. They can be found at http://www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide/

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I've hunted antelope several times and find them a fascinating creature, though no one seems to know much about them. Do they really shed their horn covers? If so when and why doesn't anyone ever find them? Can't say I've ever seen a buck without them.

- B.R. Esau, Big Valley
Click here for answer

Actually there are some great books about pronghorns with one of my favourites being Pronghorn, America's Unique Antelope. While most often called antelope their true name is pronghorn and yes they do shed their horns annually. This takes place in late October through November. The horns are actually made of hair and break down quite quickly once they shed so they are indeed a rare find. I've had the good fortune to find two over the years.

TJ
Question:
How far does a hunter have to be from the center line of a paved roadway, before he can discharge a firearm at big game?

- Orvin Glover, Buck Lake
Click here for answer

Hi Orvin,

The regulations regarding discharging a firearm near a road read, " It is unlawful to

1. discharge a firearm from or cause a projectile from a firearm to pass along or across:
a) a provincial highway,
b) a road that is paved, oiled, graded or regularly maintained, unless
- the road is held under any active disposition under the Public Lands Act or under an order under the Surface Rights Act, or
- the person is hunting game birds with a shotgun under the authority of a licence. "

There are some exceptions to this such as designated road corridors where the distance from the road is specified.All of this information can be found on-line at: http://www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

For questions regarding specific regulations, you should contact:

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944 0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am fairly new to hunting in Alberta as I was raised in BC. I have heard that hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Is this true?

I was looking to hunt whitetail deer in WMU 314. Am I prohibited from hunting here on Sundays? I tried to find an answer in the regs but with no luck.

Thank you for your help.

- James, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi James,

Sunday hunting is permitted in many seasons and areas in Alberta but you need to check for the specific WMU you'll be hunting. If you are going to be hunting a 300 zone, check the regulations for the 300 zones and if there is no notation that Sunday hunting is not permitted then you are okay to hunt. As always, when you have questions about specific laws and regulations, it's best to check with the people that enforce them. You can contact SRD at:

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am interested and slowly getting into hunting. I have taken my hunting course and own a .22 but I'm looking at getting a larger rifle. Wanting a decent rifle for a decent price, any reccomendations? I am interested in a .30/30 lever action, is this a good decision? Is it large enough for deer, or should I go to a .308 or something? Any help would be great, thanks!

- Adrian, Edmonton
Click here for answer

A .30/30 is a fine choice for deer but typically lever action rifles are best suited for short range shooting. If you are looking for something a bit more versatile, then a .308 or .30-06 would indeed be great choices. A bolt action fitted with a scope is likely the best choice for a first deer rifle.

TJ
Question:
Hey there, this is my first time hunting rabbits in 20 years and I'm just wondering where the best place for rabbits might be? (in the Hinton area?)

- Miguel, Hinton
Click here for answer

Hi Miguel,

My advice would be to get out in the aspen forest areas right after a fresh snow and check for tracks. If you find lots of tracks, there should be rabbits or hares near by. Watch along the edges of wetlands where there is good willow growth as well.

TJ
Question:
In the 2010 hunting regs on page 59 it states: A Resident may, without a licence and on land to which he or she has the right of access, hunt (but not trap) coyote at all times of the year throughout the province, except as follows:
1) on public lands in the Green Area, only from October 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011

What is the "Green Area"? Are these the northern WMU's? What is the easiest way to know if I am on on pulic lands?

Thanks!

- Brandon, Fort Saskatchewan
Click here for answer

Hi Brandon,

SRD should be able to supply you with a complete description of "green zones". They can be contacted at:

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

As for knowing if you are on public land, each county and MD publishes land owner maps that list all private and government owned lands. It can be very confusing in some areas for sure and don't forget that permission is required to access some goverment grazing leases.

TJ
Question:
Hello TJ,

I'm a new hunter and I was intrigued with your article on super tags within Alberta. As a new hunter I have low priority and will be waiting a while for a antelope, sheep or elk draw. My question is could you help me understand if there are any tags in the zones that are assigned randomly every year rather than priority?

Thanks

- Keith, Bonnyville
Click here for answer

Hi Keith,

The only totally random draws in Alberta are bison, mountain goat and WMU438 Trophy bighorn. This link will give you an idea of the priority required to draw various tags throughout the province.
www.mywildalberta.com/Hunting/HuntingDraws/DrawsSummaryReport.aspx

TJ
Question:
I am bowhunting this year for the first time. Because the season starts early I am wondering what kind of success to expect using calling and rattling techniques in September/October? Is there any recommended methods for early season deer hunting?

Thanks

- Craig, Sherwood Park
Click here for answer

I usually don't start rattling until late October, although my best success has been after the rut in late November and early December where seasons exist.

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for a reasonbly priced scope to shoot 1000-1500 yards with a Savage 110 BA 338 Lapua, any suggestions?

- Paul, Vulcan
Click here for answer

Reasonably priced and long range optics typically don't go together. To get that kind of MOA adjustment, you are going to need a specialized tactical scope. Most guys are shooting Night Force scopes on rigs like that but they definitely aren't reasonably priced. I think you may be asking for a little too much from a reasonably priced scope.

TJ
Question:
Where are good locations to hunt grouse? How about grey? Are the populations good this year?

- Kevin, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Ruffed grouse populations seem to be fairly stable this year from what I've seen. I've enjoyed some great sucess in the Whitecourt, Grande Prairie and Peace River regions for them. As for Hungarian partridge, the area around Brooks seems to always produce good numbers of birds.

TJ
Question:
I'm looking at going to G.P. to try for elk with my bow. What are the elk numbers around town like? Where can i get some info on elk populations for certain areas?

- Darcy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Darcy,

Your best source of information would be to talk with the local wildlife biologist. Give your local Fish and Wildlife office a call and they should be able to get you in contact with him.

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I have recently starting hunting again after many decades. My father and I used to hunt a lot in Ontario and now I'd like to start again. I have all my necessary licences, but don't know the area in which I can hunt for ducks, geese and partridge. In a previous question someone asked a similar question but the Discover Alberta website no longer exists. Where can I find more info on where to hunt?

Thanks

- Mark Kruger, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Mark,

Great to see you getting back into hunting again. Here's a link to all the conservation sites you were referencing:
www.ab-conservation.com/go/default/index.cfm/discover-guide/search/.

You can also get some very detailed information on AFGA properties at: www.afga.org/content.html?identifier=WTFproperties

Good luck this season,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

We will be hunting antelope south of Oyen this year. This is our first time hunting antelope and we're wondering when the rut starts and peaks in that area? Thanks for the advice.

- Wes Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hey Wes,

From my experience and from speaking with some very knowledgeable antelope hunters, I'd say right around September 15 is primetime.

Good luck on your hunt.

TJ
Question:
I was wondering where a good spot to search for elk 3 points or larger. I'm a big time moose and deer hunter but have never taken an elk. Where is a good area to start my pre-hunt scouting? I was thinking about wmu 355, what would you suggest?

- Will Styles, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Elk numbers are good in Alberta right now and most of the western WMUs have good populations. I'm not overly familiar with WMU 355 but I do know that most of the 300 and 400 zones from Hinton north to Peace River offer excellent opportunities. If it is an area you are familiar with, I'm sure you could find some elk with a little hard work.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I have been fishing for pike a few times but I am having trouble finding the real monsters. What I am wondering is without a fish finder what is the best way to search for huge pike?

- Alodar, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Big pike are lovers of cool water and head into the depths during the summer months. Without a depth finder, you are virtually fishing blind during the summer months. You could try trolling some deep-running bait around points but big pike can be in depths of 40 feet or more during July and August. I hope this helps,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am starting to hunt for coyotes this year and would like advice as to which wmu territory i should be looking for them in?

- Gareth Robinson , Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Gareth,

Coyotes are found virtually right across Alberta so I'd suggest seeking out some areas close to home. Most landowners are quite receptive to having coyote hunters on their place.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking for tips on catching perch – bait, hooks, ideas, etc. I go to a lake with a lot of perch on the finder but they are not biting. Are there any tricks or tips you might be able to help me with?

Thanks

- Steve Pixley, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Steve,

My absolute favourite perch set up is a tiny perch-coloured jigging spoon tipped with a meal worm. If there are perch below you, jig this very subtly in their face and they can't resist it.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,
I'm looking for a bighorn sheep near Grand Cache, wmu 444, on general season area. Do you know who I should contact for getting info of where to go? Is it possable to hunt without a giude and still get a nice trophy? Can you help me with that?

Thank you

- Frank Martens, LaCrete
Click here for answer

Hi Frank,

Gaining information on sheep hunting spots is definitely not the easiest thing. It seems most sheep hunters are fairly closed mouthed about their favourite hunts. I'd suggest picking up a copy of People and Peaks of the Wilmore Wilderness. It gives a lot of insight into this incredible area. You should also contact the Willmore Wilderness Foundation as I'm sure the folks there could offer some suggestions. www.willmorewilderness.com

Good Luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm a bowhunter and would like to know where in Edmonton I can hunt?

- Troy, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Troy,

Your best bet is to consult the hunting regulations. They are available on-line at www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs. If you are speaking about hunting within the Edmonton City limits, you should check out www.edmonton.ca/bylaws_licences/bylaws.aspx

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
Hi TJ,

I am traveling to Alberta from the U.S. the last week of the whitetail season to hunt deer. Does Alberta have a hunting requirements (such as all white or orange clothing) for clothing while hunting whitetail deer?

Thanks,

- Ed Horick, Albany NY
Click here for answer

Hi Ed,

Alberta's on-line hunting regulations can be found at:
www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/
but no, other than in a couple specific areas, Alberta has no colour requirements when big game hunting.

TJ
Question:
Where do I catch big walleye in the Red Deer River ?
Me and my uncle have been trying some spots. We would think the walleye would be like Drumheller and around there. But they are just not there. We have heard about these stories and photos of these fisherman catching monster walleye but we can't.

- Austin Hauser, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Austin,

My experience fishing the Red Deer River is somewhat limited but I know the best fishing is in the late fall. I'd suggest visiting the fishing forum on the Alberta Outdoorsmen website and asking your question there. I'm sure a few of the very knowledgeable anglers there could help you out.

www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Thanks TJ,

How did you become a outdoor writer, and what would you suggest as the first steps to getting into the field? Also, with changing media formats and the decrease in printed word sales where do you see the field going in the future?

- Cory Raymond, Calgary

Click here for answer

Hi Cory,

Quite truthfully, I just decided one day to try my hand at writing for outdoor magazines and I managed to sell a few articles right off the bat and that gave me the confidence to continue on. It was a long road to get to a point where I was actually making a living but I kept working hard at it and finally it all paid off. If it's something you are interested in, I'd highly recommend the North American School of Outdoor Writing:
http://www.nasow.com/.
You should also check out the mentor program offered by the Outdoor Writers of Canada: http://www.outdoorwritersofcanada.com/

There's no doubt that market is rapidly changing and making a living is becoming more difficult but I think there will always be a place for good writers and outdoor magazines like Alberta Outdoorsmen.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I really want to start getting into the sport of hunting but I'm not even sure where to start. I do have experience shooting a rifle as I have gone to numerous supervised shooting ranges, but I currently do not own one since I don't have a firearms licence at this moment. Any information on how to get started and where good hunting locations are around my area would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

- Cory Mah, Edmonton

Click here for answer

Hi Cory,

Your best bet would be to contact the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association (AHEIA) and sign up for a Hunter Education and a Firearm course. Once you have completed those, I'd suggest joining your local Fish and Game club.

AHEIA can be contacted through www.aheia.com

Alberta Fish and Game Assciation information can be found at www.afga.org.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I did some hunting (firearm) with my dad when I was younger but really didn’t pay much attention on how he organized everything.

So I have decided this year that I was going to give hunting (firearm) on my own a try. I have figured pretty much everything else out except finding a place to hunt. I was thinking along the lines of the public land locations listed in the Discover Alberta book were they indicate hunting is allowed. I am just wondering what the regulations are on that? Do you just show up and go hunting or do you need permission?

Second question has to do with draws. If I want to hunt this year and following years how do I go about entering draws in my area (Calgary)? Or can I just go?

If there is any other advice that would help me out as a first time hunter, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

- Peter, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Peter,

Good to see you getting back into hunting.

The properties listed in the Discover Alberta book also have the conditions of access listed so just follow the instructions there and you will be fine. Most of the properties do not require advance permission but check before you go. You can also find those properties online with more detailed info at www.ab-conservation.com or www.afga.org.

As for hunting licences, some species require you to draw for them and other are available as over-the-counter tags. As always, you best source of information is the hunting regulations. They can be found online at www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Draws can be done on-line, at a licence vendor or over the telephone and information for the 2010 draws should be available in a few weeks. Another good website to find information about the draws and general hunting information is www.mywildalberta.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi there,

I most often fish at Sylvan Lake because its so close to home. Summer 2008 I caught a 44 inch 16 lb pike on a small green jig. Do you find different hooks work better for pike as the season gets later? I found that into July and August the pike fishing REALLY slowed down. Any tips?
Thanks!

- Joel, Red Deer

Click here for answer

A lot of people don't realize it but big pike love cool water and in the summer, they head deep, often to depths of 40 feet or more. Big jigging spoons seem to work very well if you can find a point that extends out into deep water. Sylvan is definitely a sleeper for big trophy pike. I've had some good days there over the years.

Good luck this summer.

TJ
Question:
I am heading up to North Leland Lake May 31 - June 4, I would like to know if you have any tips and/or comments about the fishing and camp.
Thanx in advance.

- Ken, Sherwood Park

Click here for answer

Well first off, I really envy you. You should hit some phenominal angling for pike, walleye and lake trout. The lake trout really seem in tune with spoons and the Len Thompson Five of Diamonds and the Mepps Syclops are two of my favourites. Depending on the water temperature, the lake trout should still be fairly shallow so I'd start searching the gently sloping, boulder-strewn shorelines. The pike will likely still be close to their spawning bays. Look for large, dark-bottomed bays with new weed growth. Large crankbaits like the Swim Whiz would be my choice. The walleye can be a bit scattered on Leland but last time I was there, we found some humps that came up into three feet of water and the walleye were stacked on them. They were a few miles north of the camp, closer to the east shore. They were easy to catch on jigs cast up on top of the humps.

Have a great trip.

TJ
Question:
Hey, I've been hunting elk for the past two years with no luck. I've only seen a few cows. Do you know where in southern Alberta there is anything south of Cochrane?

- Kelly Andrews, Highriver

Click here for answer

Hi Kelly,

Elk populations are very good in southern Alberta right now and opportunities to harvest elk exist right along the east slopes. Access to private land can be challenging but with enough door knocking, you can usually find a good ranch or two to hunt. The 400 zones offer some great opportunities as well for those willing to get out there and do some exploring and they offer the added benifit of loads of public land. I'd suggest concentrating on one area and spending the time getting to know it.

TJ
Question:
Hey TJ,

What would be your choice for trophy antelope, my priority is getting up there. Same goes for mule deer, priority is great. What zone would you recommend? I also heard the priority/hunter success/quota reports aren't that reliable.

- Terry, Red Deer

Click here for answer

Yikes, that is a tough question. What I think might be the best WMU could be the worst for you. A lot of it comes down to how much public land is there. Can you get access to private land. Do you know the area. Quite honestly, I wouldn't say there is a bad area for antelope right now. I know some of the more central zones didn't produce that well last year as antelope were slow to migrate south but populations are good right across their range right now.

The same can be said of mule deer. If you are looking for a wall hanger, I'm pretty high on the mountain zones right now but populations are scattered and finding mule deer can be tough if you aren't familiar with the area. The Peace Country is still recovering from some tough winters so it's a bit hit and miss. Southern zones are lousy with mule deer but the increased number of tags in most zones has hurt trophy quality.

Ten years ago, I'd easily have picked a half dozen WMUs as being the best but that isn't the case right now. Tough winters, CWD and increased tags have all hurt populations badly. I'd pick a WMU you are familiar with and that you have good access in and hunt hard and you'll likely find a good buck.

The government stats on draw priority are bang on and I suspect their success stats are pretty reliable as well. Draw priority stats can be found at
www.mywildalberta.com/Hunting/HuntingDraws/DrawsSummaryReport.aspx

Sorry I couldn't be more specific but I'm not sure "best" exists right now.

TJ
Question:
I grew up hunting in south Texas, and i have found hunting coyotes in Alberta a bit confusing. I hear conflicting stories. My questions are is there a season on coyotes? Are we aloud to use calls, live traps, and bait?, I have read and re-read the regulations but its worded for folks who probably dont do any hunting.

- Anthony Wann, Beiseker AB
Click here for answer

Dear Anthony,

The rules regarding the hunting of coyotes are outlined fairly clearly in the 2009 Hunting Regulations. In regards to seasons, some areas are subject to closures and others are open throughout the year. The regulations state:

"Coyote
A Resident may, without a licence and on land to which he or she has the right of access, hunt (but not trap) coyote at all times of the year throughout the province, except as follows:
1) on public lands in the Green Area, only from October 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010, and
2) in Camp Wainwright (WMUs 728 and 730), only from January 4, 2010 to February 28, 2010.

Subject to the exception (*) below, a Non-resident or Non-resident Alien who holds a valid Non-resident/Non-resident Alien Wolf/Coyote Licence may hunt coyote on lands to which he or she has the right of access at all times of the year throughout the province - except on public lands in the Green Area where the season is from October 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010.

*Exception: if a big game season (other than a cougar season) is open in the area he or she is hunting, then the Non-resident or Non-resident Alien who holds a big game licence may hunt coyote only in the WMU or area where their big game licence is valid."

In regards to the use of calls, the regulations state:

"Electronic calls can now be used to hunt crows, magpie, coyote, red fox and wolf (using sounds that mimic the animals or rodents)."

As for all specific questions regarding regulations, however, your best option is to contact Fish and Wildlife directly for clarification.

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
Are food plots legal anywhere in Alberta or are they considered "Bait Stations"? I watch shows on tv and that's all these guys hunt on.

- David T, Edmonton

Click here for answer

Hi David,

There is no specific regulation in the Wildlife Act addressing food plots specifically that I'm aware of but the Act is very clear that baiting for deer is illegal. I personally would consider hunting over a food plot planted specifically to attract deer as baiting but as with all legal matters such as this, you should contact Fish and Wildlife directly.

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
I am looking at going on a deer hunt in WMU 535 this Fall. Have the winters been so bad up there that you wouldn't think I have a decent shot at getting a good buck in that area? (La Crete, High Level, Fort Vermilion)

- Sanders Wyatt, Arkansas
Click here for answer

Yes, the winters of 2006 and 2008 were tough ones on the deer populations in the north and numbers are definitely down but as with anywhere in Alberta, if you put your time in, there is always a chance of scoring on a good buck. You will have to work hard to find one though.

TJ
Question:
Hello I am an advid hunter and hunted with my father for many years. We had planned a black bear hunt for this year but my father sadly passed away. So in honour of my father I am going to get that bear. This will be my first bear and I am just wondering where is the best place that is publicly accessible to take a bear. I am a crossbow hunter doing spot and stalk.
Thanks

- Eleazor Jeffrey, Calgary

Click here for answer

I've always enjoyed spot and stalk hunting for bears in the country west of Fox Creek and Valleyview. The area is full of roads, trails, pipelines and cutlines so there are loads of places to catch a bear out eating. Good luck with your hunt.

TJ
Question:
I hear that a good way to fish for Trout in Spray Lakes AB is to use smelt and jig them off the bottom. My question is two fold:

1. I thought fish baits were illegal, do you know if this is true?

2. If it is not illegal, what is the best way to get the smelt to the bottom in a way that will look real to Trout?

Cheers

- Jason Carter, Calgary

Click here for answer

Hi Jason,

The rules regarding baitfish can be a bit confusing but the definition below from the regulations should clear up the use of smelts.

"Bait Fish means any of the following:
a. suckers (family Catostomidae)
b. sticklebacks (family Gasterosteidae)
c. trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)
d. Iowa darter (Etheostoma exile)
e. minnows (family Cyprinidae), except carp, goldfish and the western silvery minnow.
Note: Pet store fish (tropical fish) or crayfish cannot be used as bait fish.

Bait Fish may be used in waters that do not have bait bans or bait fish restrictions. Where fishing with bait fish is prohibited, other baits including smelts, herring, gammarus shrimp and dead fish eggs (e.g., preserved “salmon eggs”) may be used, provided a bait ban is not in effect for that water body.
NOTE: Smelts and herring are of the saltwater families Osmeridae and Clupeidae. Use of the freshwater species cisco (Coregonidae), also called tullibee or lake herring, is prohibited from use as bait."

Many people fish a smelt on a jig head with a stinger hook anywhere from a few inches to several feet of the bottom. Others suspend the smelt on a single or treble hook a foot or so below a weight. The lake trout are very light bighters at Spray and typically require a fast hookset. Either way of fishing a smelt works well and the key is to keep it off the bottom. I usually find it works well to jig it up and down occasionally but most bites come when it's sitting motionless.

TJ
Question:
Im going for a grouse hunt. My son Ty needs a shotgun, he is 11 and 5'1".
Any recommendations?

- Ian, Calgary

Click here for answer

Hi Ian,

Boy, that is a question with many answers. A lot would depend on how much he has shot, what your budget is and what type of grouse you'll be hunting. The biggest factor with a young hunter is a gun that fits well and that often means a shorter stock which in turn means a shorter barrel for better balance. I'd likely head to your local gun shop and try several of for size but I'd be looking at a 20 gauge in either a single shot or pump action. It may be worth looking for a good used gun as well as he will likely want to upgrade in the future so making a big investment in this shotgun may not be the wisest thing.

TJ
Question:
Where is the best WMU for moose in south-central Alberta?

- Mike, Calgary

Click here for answer

Dear Mike,

I haven't hunted moose very much in south-central Alberta and certainly the word "best" is a subjective term. Some WMUs have high populations of moose and others have lower populations but higher quality trophy potential. Other things to consider are how easy access is to obtain. It really depends what you are looking for in your hunt. If forced to choose one, I'd say WMU 728 as it offers some great opportunity and trophy potential and obtaining permission isn't an issue.

TJ
Question:
What kind of trail cams do you reccomend for use during winter? I would like to get a good one that I can use all the time and take a lot of good photos with it.

- Len Gray, Calgary

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Hi Len,

I use Treebark Cameras and they have served me very well, even in the extreme cold.

TJ
Question:
I generally take my  boys to carson a couple of times a year and we do not always get our limit. What is the best lure for rainbow trout for winter and summer.

- Mike, Redwater

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Hi Mike,

My experience on Carson is limited but the couple times I've fished it in May and June, we did extremely well trolling nymphs on a sinking fly line. My most productive fly was a 52 Buick. I'd highly suggest that you visit the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard and I'm sure there are some anglers in the fishing forum that could offer far more advice than I can.

TJ
Question:
Hi, I am huntuing cougar this year for the first time and I dont have dogs. What is the easiest and best way to find cougar without dogs.

- Kelly Andrews, Highriver

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Hey Kelly,

Hunting cougars without hounds is a challenge for sure. Your best bet would be to locate fresh tracks and then try mouth calling with a predator call. I'd suggest a fawn in distress or dying rabbit call. Just be careful though as cougars are big toothy predators that can come in fast.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Can I use any size caliber when shooting coyotes such as 30-06 or 270, or do I have to use a 22 cal like a 22-250 or 22 mag. Had coyote 15 yards from house last night and intend on "discouraging" it pretty soon. I'm not after the hide, but there are 4 or 5 travelling around here together and our dog is looking like an easy target for them.

- Fred, Barrhead

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Hi Fred,

Providing it's legal to shoot coyotes and legal to discharge a firearm where you live and you follow all the rules of gun safety, there is nothing wrong with shooting a coyote with a .270 or .30-06 although I suspect damage to the pelt will be extensive.

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
What can you tell me about the fishing at Michelle Lake and Coral Lake. I'm looking at purchasing a Heli-Fishing trip for my husband's 50th birthday and I wanted to know if these lakes are best for just fly fishing or if a person can just use the regular casting rod and lure. Any information you can give me would be most appreciated!!!!

- Shelly, Calgary

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Hi Shelly,

I've yet to do the helicopter trip to Coral but it's most definitely on my bucket list. What a great birthday gift that will be. I do know several people that have fished it though and yes, fly fishing definitely stacks the odds in your favour. The golden trout in these lakes can be very spooky and in the sterile high-mountain lakes, they are used to eating a diet of insects, so fly fishing definitely fits the bill.

TJ
Question:
Hi,
I recently heard that there is a large population of wild boars in the province. Do you know if this is true and what areas of the province they are located? Is there a season on them or are they currently unresrticted?

Thanks - Lee Schneider, St. Albert

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Hi Lee,

I'm not certain there is a large population but there are definitely some hunters harvesting them. The Barrhead area seems to be one of the hotspots but I've heard about them from Grande Prairie to east of Edmonton. There have been some great threads on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard recently about wild boar hunting that you should check out. Just do a search for wild boars in the hunting forum. There is no season for wild boars but caution must be taken not to confuse domestic pigs with the feral ones.

Check out http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca for more information.

TJ
Question:
Hello,

Next year I plan on bow hunting, something I have never done before. I would like to be prepared before next year.  Is there any websites that you could recommend I read before next season?

- Tim O'Brien, Grande Cache

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Hi Tim:

Rather than starting with websites, I'd highly recommend that you start with your local archery shop and get properly set up by a professional. After that, there is loads of information out there on hunting elk with a bow. I'm a big fan of the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard (http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca) and the archery forum is filled with knowledgeable bow hunters and I've always respected Wayne Carlton's knowledge of elk. Here's a link to an article about him but I'm sure a Google search will turn up countless more. http://www.camowest.com/elksec1.htm

Good luck in the upcoming season,

TJ
Question:
TJ, we have lots of pictures and video of large deer in the area that we hunt and as the rut was in full swing we would see alot of smaller bucks running does. They were running them hard almost all day but we would not see any of the larger ones that we were after. Why do you think that all we would have seen chasing the does were the smaller ones and not the larger dominant bucks? We know that they are still there but they are being really elusive this year. We have not spooked any of them and have hunted the winds properly and are still getting them on our cameras but have not been able to see any of them in the open. Any advise would be great.

Thank you - Tyler, Calgary
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Hi Tyler,

Big bucks are typically quite secretive breeders and will usually hide away with a doe for a few days while they are breeding. If the area you are hunting has a high doe to buck ratio, it's quite easy for the dominant bucks to find receptive does and is the reason you aren't seeing them out in the open. The smaller bucks don't get much opportunity to breed and are much more active chasing does that aren't receptive. The most likely time to see the big boys out on the hunt is right at the end of the rut when most of the does have been bred and they are searching for those last few receptive does. The last few days of November are your best bet to catch a big buck in the open. It's also a great time to try some rattling and calling.

TJ
Question:
Hi,
I am planning to start a hunting and fishing club. Do you ave any suggestions that could streamline the process?

- Sean Watt, Edmonton

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Hi Sean,

I'd highly recommend that you contact the Alberta Fish and Game Association. There are many benefits to affiliating your club with them and the local AFGA zone director will be a huge help in getting you set up. They can be contacted at 780-437-2342 or www.afga.org.

TJ
Question:
I'm new to the area and wondering where a good place to hunt boars is. I've heard Barrhead/Mayerthorpe area, just wondering.

Thanks - Dave Fenwick, Spruce Grove

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Wild boars are quite literally the proverbial needle in a haystack, especially now that more hunters are targeting them. The Barrhead/Mayerthorpe area is definitely one of the more consistent producers but a lot of scouting is required. You might want to check out the hunting forum on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard. There have been several recent threads about wild boar hunting in Alberta. Check it out at www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Just do a search for wild boar on the messageboard and I'm sure you'll find loads of info from hunters across theprovince.

TJ
Question:
I am a non Treaty hunter & wondering if I can legally hunt with a Treaty card carrying hunter. This is for Deer.

- Fred McCorry, Red Deer

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Hi Fred,

For legal matterrs such as this, I would suggest that your best option would be to contact the Sustainable Resource Development Information Centre. They can be contacted at

Information Centre
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta Canada T5K 2M4

Hours of Operation, Mon-Fri: 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Tel (Edmonton local): 780 944-0313
Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Email: srd.infocent@gov.ab.ca

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
I'm new hunter in Alberta. I have a licence to hunt antlerless deer, does that also include does or just bucks?

Thanks - Joe Colicchio
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Hi Joe,

Questions regarding hunting and fishing regulations are best directed to your nearest Fish and Wildlife office but if you check the regulations out, you'll see the definition of antlerless is as follows:

Antlered - A white-tailed deer, moose or elk having an antler exceeding 10.2 cm (4 in.) in length.

Antlerless - A white-tailed deer, moose or elk that is not "antlered" (as defined above)

An on-line version of the regulations can be found at
http://www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

TJ
Question:
I was hunting with my dad and uncle in WMU #515 and all we saw were three does and lots, and I mean lots of wolf tracks. It was only a 4-5 day old snowfall. Later we were discussing that the lack of animal activity could very well be linked to the heightening wolf population. Even though we are trying to preserve these creatures don't you think it has gone to far? It's getting to the point that it's scary to walk around in the forest. What's it going to take, somebody to die before we address this problem? The spring baby ungulates won't stand a chance to a pack of hungry wolves. Is there anything I can do to bring more attention to this problem?

- Barrett Dudzic, Gibbons

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Hi Barrett,

Yes, there does seem to be increasing wolf activity throughout much of Alberta and undoubtedly they, combined with a number of other factors, are working to keep ungulate numbers down in some WMUs. I'm not sure anyone is really working to preserve wolves as they may be shot throughout most of Alberta. Also, the government just legalized the use of electronic callers this year which should aid those that are interested in hunting them have greater success. Your best bet would be to contact the area biologist to get his take on things and I would highly encourage you to become a member of the Alberta Fish and Game Association and join their voice in matters such as this.

TJ
Question:
I am taking my 21 year old step son who wants to tag a black bear on my trapline up near Namur and Gardner lakes. I have seen numerous black bears in my travels and the sows with cubs are easy to determine, however, prior to my stepson taking bead on a bear I would like to ensure it is a male as the sexual organs are not always visible. I have read lots on the ear formations, longer snouts on females etc. But are there any telltale markings or characteristics to look for? Any help on those would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help offered.

- Gregory Young, Athabasca

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Hi Gregory,

It sounds like you've found some good information in the reading you've done. Most hunters concentrate on the head, with the females typically having a longer, more tapered snout but one trick I picked up while hunting with Darren DeLuca on Vancouver Island was to pay attention to the ankles. On sows, the ankles will be quite obvious and much smaller than the rest of the leg whereas on a boar, the ankle will not taper but will be the same diameter as the rest of the leg. Boars also tend to walk much more pigeon toed than sows.

While there is no way to 100% determine sex on a black bear at a distance, paying attention to the head and ankles will give you a pretty good idea.

TJ
Question:
I heard that there is a trail camera that you can hook a 12-volt car battery up to instead of using D batteries. Do you know the name of it or where it can be found, thank you.

- Glenn Woodworth, Blackfalds

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Hi Glenn,

I've never used a trail camera with an external 12-volt battery for power but I do know that both Stealth and Wildview offer models with an external battery jack.

TJ
Question:
This is my 12 year old son's first year hunting and I'm wondering what would be a good gun for a first-time hunter?  

- Ken Marlatt, Edmonton
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I think one of the most common mistakes that people make when outfitting a youngster with a rifle is figuring that one of their old hand-me downs will work. In some cases this may be true but for the most part, adult-sized rifles don’t fit youth that well. A rifle needs to fit before you worry about anything else and this typically means a shorter stock. A number of manufacturers offer “youth” models for just this purpose. One danger with a shorter stock is a rifle that isn’t balanced properly so if a shorter stock is required to fit your son properly, either consider a wooden stock or a shorter barrel to aid in balance.

Recoil is obviously the next concern. How much shooting experience your son has and his physical size will determine an appropriate cartridge. If this is to be a big game rifle, then a .243 would be the minimum to look at and with lighter loads, many youth do very well with rifles up to .270. The addition of a quality recoil pad should be considered a must regardless of cartridge.

The best advice would be to visit a gun shop and try some various brands for fit or if you are looking to hand down a rifle, be prepared to shorten or replace the stock.

TJ
 
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