Alberta Extends Mule Deer Hunting Season


Published: June - 2008

In 1993 I reported on a tremendous opportunity to hunt big mule deer in southern Alberta with the inception of a special season that allowed hunting for three days each week and limited resident hunting pressure. Records kept and published by the Alberta Professional Outfitter Society show that hunters have taken seven of the top 10 mule deer and two of the top non-typicals in this region since this special season opened. Now, Alberta has just extended the three-day season to four days for 2008, allowing hunting from Wednesday through Saturday during the November rifle season in the southern prairie hunting zones.

I checked in with a number of outfitters who still had openings for this hunt. The first was Gordon Burton of Double Diamond Outfitters. He has a couple of openings for this year at $7,500, and he is happy to give his booked hunters the extra hunting time. We have had tremendous hunting in these zones, reports Burton. I discourage scoring because it leads to disappointment, but we do harvest 180-class bucks every year. One hunter in 2005 got a 210 typical that netted 198 7/8. Some of these top bucks are featured on his web site.

Billy Franklin of Silver Sage Outfitters and his brother, Jack, also have been producing in these prairie zones for years. Franklin says that hunting went bananas around the year 2000 and is still pretty fantastic. His mule deer clients keep rebooking. He charges $7,000 for his prairie mule deer hunts. Archery hunters should note they can hunt the same area for six days at $5,500. Franklin offers both spot-and-stalk and ground blind hunts for bowhunters and says they can expect several good opportunities at quality bucks. Franklin was also happy to see the four-day season implemented to spread out the pressure and allow him to hunt longer without competition from residents on the weekend. The Franklins have accounted for several 200-point bucks every year and try to get hunters a chance at a 170-point deer. Just in case you do not appreciate it, a 170-point mule deer is a pretty impressive........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Double Diamond Outfitters; Silver Sage Outfitters; Americana Expeditions Inc.; Milk River Outfitters; Trophy Hunters Alberta;

  


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