Wilderness Horseback Hunts.
All inclusive hunts, meaning from the time you get to base camp your transportation (mostly by horse), your meals and accommodations are included. We have four comfortable log cabin camps, evenly spaced out throughout the valley.
This is a very remote area, with a large percentage being in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. This means no roads and no people; just you and your guide in some of the most spectacular big game hunting found anywhere in the world.
The day before your hunt begins you will fly into the Cranbrook airport via Calgary, Alberta or Vancouver British Colombia. You will spend that night in cabins at the trail head.
The first day of the hunt begins at about 7:00 am when you will have a hearty breakfast and then prepare for your ride up the trail. At that time you will meet the guides who will be busy getting the horses ready for the trip into camp. While the guides are arranging your gear for the trip up the trail you will go to the rifle range just to ensure your gun is still sighted in.
Once you have been introduced to your saddle horse, given some brief tips on riding you will be ready to head up the trail. You may or may not accompany the packhorses but in any case you will start up the trail with one or more guides accompanying you. The trail is fairly easy going and the first camp is reached in about three hours. Occasionally one hunter may stop off here, but in most cases a short lunch break is taken and then on to the main camp further up the valley.
The trip to the main camp is a total of six hours and it is where the first night is spent. We encourage you to do a lot of walking on the way in and by doing this seldom do we have hunters the next morning that are still stiff and sore. The six hour ride is along Dutch Creek which has some very pretty scenery with good game country. During this ride we go from an elevation of 3200 feet at the trail head to about 4500 feet at the second cabin.
Generally the ride in is in the middle of the day and we do not expect to see much game. We do run into elk and bear occasionally and high on the ridges we may see some mountain goat. We have harvested animals going in but this is rare.
The second day of the hunt begins early with a light snack of toast and coffee and then a walk in the dark to a nearby slide area for the first real hunt. We are often successful on this morning particularly for Elk. Once returning to camp 3 to 4 hours after daylight a hearty breakfast is appreciated and plans are made for the rest of the day. This is when some hunters and guides will move off to another camp with a log cabin 2 hours up stream, or to a spike camp in one of the higher basins. Wherever you go or if you stay at the base camp, an evening hunt starting out on horseback will commence about four hours before dark with you and your guide returning to camp just after dark. The early morning and evening hunts generally continue each day with you hunting a different area until successful.
The last day of the hunt will mostly be packing up and making the six hour ride back down to the trail head. We normally arrive about 4:00 pm which allows time to take the meat to a meat cutter and to go to Cranbrook for your flight out the next day.
Semi Wilderness Hunts.
Our semi wilderness hunts are shorter in duration and are conducted from the cabins. Our camp is on located on the shore of Whitetail Lake, with a boat and outboard available to test out the trophy Rainbow Trout in the lake. These are 8 day hunts with 7 full days of hunting. These are also all inclusive hunts.
Typically, you arrive in camp the day before the hunt is to begin. You may either drive there yourself or be transported from the airport by A/Z Outfitters. The morning of day one you will sight in your rifle, get introduced to your horse and equipment and be ready to start hunting in the late morning. You will hunt each day, leaving camp before daylight and, depending on the circumstances, may be gone all day or return to camp and then hunt again in the evening. Hunting will be conducted by vehicle, quad, by horse and on foot.
Each day will be the same routine, hunting different areas, depending on game location and your ability to travel.
Day 8 will be a morning hunt only, leaving the afternoon for departure or if you are successful, to pack in an animal from the morning hunt.
These semi wilderness hunts are becoming very popular for Elk, Mule Deer, Black Bear and Moose. Our success rate is good and improving each year.