Hunting News, May 2009
Note: Prices and other details about hunting opportunities constantly change.
Alberta outfitter has scattered openings
This outfitter has a few openings for moose, elk and whitetail deer. He is offering these slots at reasonable rates to get them filled this fall. His hunts have been highly successful. He caters to bowhunters as well as rifle hunters. His moose archery hunt is $3,500 (early September), while elk archery is $3,000 (Sept. 9-16). His rifle elk hunt is $4,000 (Sept. 16-23), while his prime rut hunt for moose in northern Alberta is $5,000 (end of September, early October). He can lease some superb whitetail permits for anytime in November ($4,000). He offers combination hunts at a slightly higher price and will include black bear this year on September and October hunts for no additional cost other than the license.
Incidentally, if you're looking for a black bear hunt with excellent fishing on the side, he offers a two-bear trip at a great northern pike lake, where he caught 63 pike in half a day this spring. His seven hunters killed 12 bears with a good percentage of color phase bruins. This hunt is $3,000.
Tom Batt reports from New Zealand
I got an email today from long-time customer Tom Batt of Utah. He and his wife, Anna, are spending a week in New Zealand and having a grand time.
"Since are arrival it has been non-stop action," he wrote. "This is the best hunt I have ever been on, period!! Better than my three African safaris. I highly recommend this hunt. BJ and his wife Annabell are great hosts and really welcomed us. BJ is truly an excellent professional hunter. Day 1 started with a great red stag. Day 2 turkeys and stalking fallow deer. Day 3 was a great Arapawa ram and goat shoot. Day 4: great spotted fallow deer. Day 5: massive black fallow deer and aduck shoot in the afternoon. The game has been very challenging and hard earned. Thank you for booking this hunt for us."
Tom's red stag. Click on the photo for a larger photo.
Tom's record-class black fallow buck. "Tom has smashed our East Cape record with this big black buck we called 'Triple B,'" the outfitter wrote.
Alaska brown bear, grizzly and Dall sheep openings
As you might expect, we have some scattered openings for hunts that are normally full by this time of year. In some cases prices have been reduced. In other cases the prices haven't changed, but you can book a hunt six months to 18 months in advance when usually you must book two or more years in advance. We have had a great deal of interest in brown bear, grizzly bear and Dall sheep hunts, so we're listing currently available hunts here:
Brown bear hunt based out of a lodge at Wood-Tikchik State Park about 50 miles north of Dilligham, usually $12,000, now $9,500. Sept. 19-30 or Sept. 30-Oct. 10. A good hunt for customers who might not be in tiptop physical condition as blind hunting on salmon spawning beds has been productive. Hunt BR4203WO.
Dall sheep, Alaska Range near Denali. $12,000. Typically 90 to 100% hunter success on mature rams. Hunt DS4918.
Brown bear, Alaska Peninsula, boat-based hunt on private land. Usually $18,000 for hunts. Now the outfitter is offering a 10% discount for two openings with the earliest available October 2009. Lots of bears, high hunter success. Hunt BR4918.
Grizzly bear near Denali, $11,000. 100% success in 2008. Over the years this hunt has produced an 80 to 90% success rate on seven to eight foot bears. Hunt GB4918.
Grizzly/moose combo, $14,500. Bears average 7 1/2 feet, moose 60 inches. The outfitter wants to start with bear first and spend remaining days on moose because all his bear hunters filled out quickly last year. Hunt GBMS4918.
Alaska Peninsula brown bear, usually $18,800, now $16,500. Openings for this fall. The spring hunts in 2010 are full. The biggest bear taken last year scored 28 9/16. Hunt BR4951.
Southeastern Alaska (ABC Islands), 85%-100% hunter success each of the past five years. One openings became available Sept. 27-Oct. 8, 2009, when a hunter postponed his hunt until 2010. Usually $16,500, now $14,000. Hunt BR4920.
Dall sheep, McKinley area, horseback, was $13,000, now $10,900. Negotiable for a party of two.
Prime New Mexico private-land hunts for elk, deer and antelope at good rates
One of the best small outfitters in New Mexico called to tell me that he picked up one of the best leases he has seen, and he has openings for elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. I'll have more details tomorrow, but the antelope average in the high 70s with a few bucks above 80 B&C. Pronghorn hunts are $3,000 and run Aug. 22-24. The property borders a ranch that I've hunted, and that one charges $9,000 for elk hunts, but my outfitter is charging $6,000 for a five-day bull hunt that starts Oct. 10. He also is offering a five-day combo mule deer/elk hunt starting Oct. 31 for $6,000. When the outfitter first visited the ranch he saw several six-point bulls, a couple of muley bucks and some good antelope, all from the highway that bisects the property. Accommodations in Raton are included. Call me for details and ask about Hunt 4745.--Rich LaRocco
Utah permits drawn, credit cards debited
Some of our customers have reported drawing special big game tags. Utah doesn't actually charge the full price of a big game permit until the hunter's name is drawn. Two people told me they've drawn sheep tags -- one for desert rams and the other in the same Rocky Mountain bighorn unit that I hunted last year. Expect the state to post your drawing results by Friday. Click on "wildlife agencies" in the navigation box on every page of Hunts.Net, then click on Utah to check your results.
Nevada landowner mule deer permits received
We have in hand three landowner mule deer permits that are valid for one of the state's quality units in 2009. These are priced at $4,500 apiece. The holder is allowed to hunt during archery, muzzleloader and rifle seasons. Call me anytime if you're interested. These are for a unit south of I-80 and west of Elko. A former outfitter in the area has agreed to tell hunters where in the unit he has seen his biggest bucks.
Join Hunts.Net President Rich LaRocco's fishing party June 7-14.
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