By Mike Bodenchuk, North American Editor
Almost every state has posted their 2014 drawing results and if you're still without a North American hunt scheduled for this fall, some last-minute openings are still available. You can find some over-the-counter western license opportunities listed in our Important U.S. Permit Deadlines
Over the next couple of months, we'll be contacting a number of reputable booking agents to see what they recommend for those suffering from post-draw disappointment.
At Safari Outfitters (http://www.safari1.com/
; 307-587-5596), Clark Jeffs tells us he still has a few November openings for bull elk in the Moreno Valley in northern New Mexico
. November hunts will target both resident and migratory elk. Bulls in this area typically score 280 to 300 with a few 330-class bulls taken every year. This is a 2X1 hunt on a 15,000-acre private ranch with guaranteed landowner tags. Hunters stay in comfortable condo accommodations about five miles from the ranch. Hunting is conducted on foot with vehicle access. Normally priced at $6,400 this five-day hunt is reduced to $5,900.
Jeffs' second recommendation is a private land pronghorn hunt in Wyoming
on a leftover tag. This long-time outfitter is offering three-day, 2x1 October hunts, which are perfect for father/son or daughter, for only $1,600. Expect pronghorn bucks in the 13-inch- to 15-inch-class with the potential for a larger buck. There are also a few archery openings available in August for the same price.
Jeffs also has a few discounted openings for Quebec-Labrador
caribou. The hunt includes transportation from Montreal to Kuujjuaq and return, charter flight from Kuujjuaq to camp and return, comfortable accommodations, boat/motor and guide, trophy prep and shipping of 125 pounds of meat and antlers back to Montreal. The normal price for this hunt is $7,995, but the remaining openings are priced at $7,200.
Jeffs also has numerous other offerings including international hunts. Contact Clark Jeffs or Steve Bellamy by phone at 307-587-5596 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At ProHunt Concierge Ltd. (http://www.prohuntconcierge.com/
; 970-629-5086) Amy Martin Shaffer tells us, "One of my BC
outfitters just got back to me with five available hunt openings for this season. I have personally hunted this area (took a great Stone ram there!) and can vouch for not only the outfitter, but also the superb quality of the area in general and lack of resident hunting pressure."
One opportunity is a 1x1 14-day backpack hunt for Stone sheep. Dates for this hunt are August 16-29, 2014, with charter days on August 15 and 30. The $40,000 price tag includes guiding/outfitting services, tags, license and BC royalty fee for Stone sheep, the float plane flight to camp, and all flights within area. Other animals are available on a trophy-fee basis: moose, caribou and goat are $4,500 each, plus tags; grizzly is $9,050, plus tag. These prices include BC royalties.
Also available are two openings for two hunters each for a 2x1 mountain goat or mixed bag hunt. Price is $10,900 per person for a 2x1, 10-day hunt, including trophy fee and royalty for one animal (moose, caribou, or goat), and all flights within area. For this same hunt 1x1 the price is $11,900. Other animals available on trophy fee basis for $4,500 each, plus tags.
Available dates for these hunts are August 30 through September 8 (which, Shaffer tells us, is perfect timing for goat and caribou), and October 1-10, which is great for moose.
Not included in the price is the charter from Smithers ($1,680 per person), license and tags for priority animals, lodging in Smithers as needed, GST, tips.
Shaffer describes this as "the perfect adventure for a buddy hunt! Very low hunter numbers in this area make for exceptional trophy quality and high success."
All of these hunts originate in Smithers, BC. Hunters are responsible for their flights to and from BC, hotel before and after the hunts, GST on hunt and tags (refundable post-hunt), and tips.
"For the right hunter, this would be well worth it," says Shaffer. "Historically, this is one of the best and very under-hunted areas in northern BC for Stone sheep, interior grizzly, huge mountain caribou, goat and Canadian moose. The outfitter is also a pilot and can fly hunters around as needed to maximize success on priority species as well as secondary animals. No horses, this is backpack and Argo/boat hunting at its finest in one of the most remote areas in BC! Updated camps and equipment."