Intrigued by this report, we checked in with Franklin who told us that hunters with him can indeed expect to see bucks in the 80- to 84-inch range. In fact, he says his clients killed seven such bucks just this last season. Why are the antelope here so big? According to Franklin, Alberta began to severely limit the number of antelope permits given to residents several years ago. Add a few years of mild winters and this has allowed antelope in the region to live seven to eight years and develop their trophy potential.
Franklin says there are not many nonresident permits available, but that he receives upwards of 21 a year and takes about 16 rifle hunters and five bowhunters each season. Franklin scouts for trophy bucks throughout southeastern Alberta on both private and public land. He says bowhunters have a special opportunity here because the archery season opens well before rifle season, giving bowhunters a chance to get an 80-inch trophy before the antelope start getting shot at.
Franklin charges $2,500 for a six-day archery hunt and $2,750 for a three-day rifle hunt. Rates include accommodations and meals. He also offers combo rifle hunts for antelope and either whitetail or mule deer.