New Elk Hunting Area Opens In British Columbia


Published: July - 2008

Imagine hunting elk in a place where they have never been hunted. Think of the big bulls that could turn up! Well, just such an opportunity will be available this September in northern British Columbia. The entire wildlife unit known as Zone 7-52, west of Fort Nelson, is being opened to elk hunting this year for the first time ever. The 10-day season is slated to start on September 1.

You might be wondering how a hunt area could have gone un-hunted for this species. Well, about 20 years ago, there was a push to create habitat for elk and a number of them were transplanted to northern British Colombia. Since then, elk populations have burgeoned and pushed into areas where they were not previously found. Nowadays, elk are showing up everywhere in BC, opening up new opportunities to hunt them. Ironically, the good news on elk has a twist to it that has sheep hunters crying the blues. Elk, it seems, are competing with Stone sheep for winter range, and the exploding elk population increased the populations of wolves and bears. As predators increased and spread with the elk, they found sheep easier prey than elk. Elk populations have managed to continue growing while sheep populations are crashing. Bottom line: Getting a Stone sheep ram is growing more and more difficult in BC, while the chances of getting a big bull elk are improving.

The regulations to hunt this new area had not been printed as this was written, but should be available as you read this. When I learned of the new opportunity, I checked in with a number of outfitters in Zone 7-52 and found several are prepared right now to take hunters into this area. Frank Simpson of Simpson Stone Sheep Outfitters, Ltd. hunts the Turnagain River area and has two hunters booked at $7,000 for the impending 10-day elk season this September. He is cautiously optimistic about the hunts, having found what he says are some good bull drop antlers in his area. Apparently Simpson's got enough confidence that the hunt will go well that........(continued)

 
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