High Quality Bowhunts.
Here is some real facts about Bowhunting with Rough Country and Alberta in General.
1. Quality Guiding- From Owner down. - the guys we employ here have a passion for bowhunting, we live it, we love the challenge and the thrill of getting in tight on these high quality animals and beating them at their own game. These guys hunt these areas themselves, they hunt the different species themselves, and they know the real highs and lows of bowhunting being through it themselves. Maximum Effort. (thanks Deadpool)
2. Not all Areas/Terrain are equal for Bowhunting. lets use spot and stalk Mule Deer as an example here. Spot and Stalk type hunting, lets break it down into steps. first step- SPOT. seems simple enough, Spot a target animal, this is where open country really helps a hunter. if you cannot see the animals you cant stalk them. step 2, stalk. ok stalk, so walk up there and shoot the animal. ok while this might happen the odd time or happen with a rifle, it isn't going to happen 90-99% of the time. so lets consider what factors help a hunter Stalk an animal into close range. Terrain and Wind. Yep these are the single 2 most important factors. Terrain, you need cover yes. but the most important factor to consider when thinking about optimal bowhunting terrain is actually elevation changes. terrain that will obscure a deer's vision and hearing will give the hunter an edge to at least close the gap to reasonable distance. Wind- yep its windy in southern Alberta, almost everyday it blows, enough said. lets recap- optimal Spotting areas- Open Country or clearings where large chunks of land can be viewed and glassed. Check mark, we have that in our areas. Optimal stalking terrain- Elevations changes and wind. Check mark, we have coulees, drainages, river valleys, hills and badlands in our areas, and wind is almost always blowing.
Ok lets consider one more factor in recap, how hard is it to get access to these optimal areas? Answer- these are not mountain hunts, you're not hiking in 4 hours with a backpack just to get into a glassing area. in fact, many glassing areas can be driven to with a pickup truck. Check mark again.
3. Safe havens and lands for animals to mature. ok lets quickly debunk this one as well. You want to pursue trophy class animals, yep, we want you to as well. well those animals have to be there then, Check mark. ok, why are they there? 1. private lands, yes we hunt mainly privately owned properties. 2. safe havens, areas where no hunting is allowed. here's a fact for you, all of our hunting units have these safe haven lands where no hunting is allowed. most of them are by way of Provincial Parks, Some are by the way of private lands where landowners have never allowed, or allowed very few hunters to access lands. Safe Havens for animals to mature into prime ages.
4. Predation and hunting pressure. I will use Deer and our parkland moose as an example here. Deer first- what are the main predators of Mule Deer and Whitetailed Deer? Answer-Cats, Wolves, Coyotes. what are the main predators of moose? Wolves, and maybe the odd cat gets a young or old one. So what do we have of these predators in our areas? Not very many. Our areas have basically zero Cats to be spoken of, no wolves for 100 years. lots of coyotes yes, and they do have impact on deer for sure, but they are also the predator that is most easily controlled by hunting in Alberta. we shoot as many as we can and so do many of our farmers and ranchers. Hunting Pressure- Yes they are other hunters out there, but access to private lands plays a role here, there is always chunks of land in our areas where farmers and ranchers don't let on other hunters or very few. The shear size of our hunting area plays a big role as well, Thousands of acres of area, I'm not even sure the total land mass, but it would take 3 hours of straight drive time in one direction to go from one end of it to the other, its that large. Limited Hunting draws for residents plays another big factor, Moose are 100% limited draw tag for residents, in our parkland areas it can take a resident 7-10 years to obtain a tag, and its only a limited tag number. Mule Deer are a limited draw tag for Rifle hunts in all our areas and limited draw for some Archery as well. often a resident will wait 5-8 years to draw a tag depending on the particular hunting unit.
5. Scouting. Yep, we do a ton of it, many hours are spent either watching animals through the glass before the season, or pictures taken on game cameras, and we do harvest a number of animals that have been scouted beforehand. We shed hunt in the spring, and because we live in our Deer and parkland moose area we get to see the animals all year. We know their travel patterns and habits, and we take pride in figuring those things out.
6. You get what you pay for. Yep its true, you can find a bear hunt cheaper then ours, you can find a deer hunt cheaper then ours, but there is always a reason for that, whatever that reason might be.
7. While all this information maybe great, always keep in your mind that its hunting, nothing is a guarantee, bowhunting even more so. the only thing we can guarantee is you seeing some beautiful countryside, beautiful game animals, meeting some great hardworking and likeminded people, and eating some great food while enjoying goodness of our areas and gods creation. Maximum Effort, (thanks again Deadpool)