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Questions regarding regulations and legal issues will not be answered here.

Questions regarding legal issues should be directed to Fish and Wildlife at:
Information Centre ........ 780-944-0313
Toll Free ..................... 1-877-944-0313
E-mail .............. esrd.info-centre@gov.ab.ca

Fish and Wildlife

Head Office Mailing Address
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Great West Life Building
9920 - 108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2M4

Go here for Question Form
Question:
I just completed my hunting course and passed the exam. I am looking for opportunity to join experience hunters in next seasons. Are there any groups which welcome first time inexperienced hunters to start the journey?

- Edmond, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Edmond,

I can offer two suggestions for you. The first would be to join the Sarcee Fish and Game Association and attend their meetings and functions. The second would be to join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum. There’s a great thread on there about finding a hunting partner.
www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=38944

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey, I was one of the lucky ones that drawed the Hay-Zama Bison hunt this year. I went up for a couple days recently and looked around the area NE and SE of Zama, saw some old tracks and old activity but I couldn't find anything new? Any tips for me?

- Dan, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Dan,

From the successful hunters I’ve spoken with that have hunted there, the best advice is to keep putting the miles on and really concentrate on well sites. If you do find tracks, keep hitting that spot daily as they are likely to come back.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm new to Alberta and looking to get out to hunt Elk within the next couple of weeks.
What areas that are still in season would be best in the 3 areas near Calgary? (any others you recommend?)

1. CFB Suffield (are there different rules for Suffield?).
2. (Prairie) WMUs 124, 128, 142, 148, 150.
- Is this area farmland? If so, are there open areas, or a list of farmers who allow hunters on their land?
3. (Foothills) WMUs 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 308, 310.
- Mostly farmland? I see Bob Creek Provincial Park is in WMU 308, is that a good area?

Any suggestions would be great. Appreciate your time.

- Chad, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Chad,

I’d suggest you familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations as all of the elk opportunities still open in the areas you’ve listed, require the hunter to draw a special licence. Special licence draws are held in June so you’ll have to wait until next year to apply in the draws.

TJ
Question:
Hi, me and some buddies are planning a spring black bear hunt. I am just curious, where are some good hunting areas?

- Jake, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Jake,

Black bears are plentiful throughout Alberta but I’ve always enjoyed hunting them in the Fox Creek/Valleyview area.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What's the difference between a supplemental whitetail and a general whitetail?

- Andrew, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

A supplemental whitetail licence allows you to shoot an additional antlerless whitetail or two in specific WMUs. More details can be found in the hunting regulations. http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm fairly new to Alberta and very new at hunting... I've actually got 2 related questions:

1) Are there any good areas near Edmonton (1-2 hrs) to hunt grouse? I only really know of Jack Pine and haven't had much luck out there.

2) I'm headed down near Caroline, AB this weekend and thinking of bringing my .22 along just in case there are a few birds about. Any recommendations for places to go?

Also, I wouldn't be opposed to meeting a like-minded individual who has experience hunting grouse in the Edmonton area. Is there a sort of "Plenty of Fish" for hunting?

- Andrew, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

The Alberta Conservation Association publishes a great guide to areas open to public hunting. It can be found at: www.albertadiscoverguide.com

There is an excellent ongoing thread on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard regarding hunters seeking partners. It can be found at: www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=38944

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm looking to find a decent spot to shoot a coyote. I would really like a pelt this year as I have not had many opportunities to down one! Please help with some spots? The closer to south Calgary, the better.

- Brayden, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Brayden,

Most of the farm and ranch country surrounding Calgary has good coyote populations. Once deer season is over, go out for a drive with a county map and knock on some doors to get permission.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey, I'm new to the Red Deer area and I am wondering where I can go to hunt whitetail? Any suggestions would be awesome.

- Logan, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hey Logan,

There are loads of conservation properties in your area that offer excellent whitetail hunting. A list of them can be found at: www.albertadiscoverguide.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I'm new to hunting and missed draws for the second year. I'm looking for a good spot for mule, whitetail and elk.

Harold (316) is the only place I see with all 3 as a general at the same time. I think it's the only spot I have seen mule deer with a general. Is there a better place with less traffic that has all 3 or atleast mulie and 1 other.

- Will, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hey Will,

The best spot to go hunting is pretty subjective and often comes down to obtaining permission. I’d suggest focusing on one area and taking the time to learn it and taking the time to acquire some permission.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have a Parker Hale 30.06 that I have used for many years and have been quite successful. It seems to be a bit off now and I want to replace it. Some have suggested a Sako 85 270 with scope to go the 400 yards I have experienced of late with some elk. I shoot mostly deer and moose but the elk have been a bit of fun after 40 years of just getting some meat in the freezer. Can you suggest a rifle and scope good at 400 yards with maybe a range finder in the scope? I like bolt actions and the stock with an inside pad. It will probably be my last major hunting expense so I expect maybe $2K or something.

- Robert, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Robert,

Personally, I would avoid the range-finding scope and buy a separate rangefinder. I find the rangefinding scopes bulky and awkward to use. If the 30-06 has served you well, why not get another one? It’s a tremendously versatile cartridge and more than adequate to 500 yards. I’d suggest shouldering a few different rifles to see what feels best but with the $2,000 price tag in mind, I’d check out the Tikka T3 or Winchester M70. Top that off with a Zeiss HD5 3-15x42 with Rapid Z 600 scope and you’d be set for longer ranges.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Just wondering what zones and areas I'm able to purchase a general 3 poiint or larger elk tag?

- Dwayne, Stettler
Click here for answer

Hi Dwayne,

Your best bet would be to check out these opportunities in the Hunting regulations. They can be found at http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hey I'm new to shooting. Just got my first gun a couple days ago and I have nowhere to shoot. Just curious as to where is some crown land close to the city where I can fire off a box of shells? And also, what kind of documentation is needed to be shooting on crown land? Either near the city or Red Water/Fort Saskatchewan area, I just want to go shoot a target.

- Jordan, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Jordan,

I’d highly suggest you join a certified range as the rules regarding shooting on crown land vary widely.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am new to the area, have passed the hunter safety course, as well as passed firearms safety. I am looking for someone that knows some areas for elk and deer and wouldn't mind taking on a new hunter. I have been using a compound bow and am good to 40 yards accuratley and consistently.

- John, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi John,

I’d suggest you join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Mesageboard. There’s a great thread there about people looking for hunting partners. http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I was wondering if you could recommend a place near Edmonton where I can shoot rabbits?

- Dominic, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Dominic,

I don’t personally know of anywhere but the ACA’s Discover Guide is a great resource http://www.albertadiscoverguide.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is there somewhere online where I can look to find out moose populations in the various hunting zones in Alberta? As well, I had heard that the populations in some areas were hit hard with winter ticks this year. Is there somewhere to confirm this information?

- Gerry, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Gerry,

Since AEP took over aerial surveys from ACA, the population data isn’t as readily accessible. Your best bet is to talk with the regional biologist in each region you are interested in. They should have a good idea on ticks as well. http://aep.alberta.ca/about-us/contact-us/fish-and-wildlife-area-office-contacts.aspx

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello! I am relatively new to hunting (had a great successful first season), and am now looking in to a more serious pursuit. Starting out, there is a lot of gear I do not have, and like most, a lot of money I do not have. So would you have suggestions yourself, or ideas on where to look for a good prioritization of gear? What items should I buy before others and what ones deserve the most cost? I have an interest in doing some backcountry pack-in Elk hunting. I have a plenty of experience in backcountry multi-day travel so that is not the issue, just the hunting specific gear...pack frame, range finder, binoculars, spotting scope, calls. I have a rifle and a Sitka cloudburst jacket, and lots of other none-hunting specific camping gear (internal from pack, stove, sleep system, etc.) I could use....anyway, any help is appreciated!

- Abe, Linden
Click here for answer

Hi Abe,

Here’s a list of what I consider the essentials for hitting the mountains here in Alberta. http://outdoorquestblog.blogspot.ca/2013/07/backpack-gear-list.html

Thanks,

TJ
Question:
I have heard there are wild hogs stemming from captive game hunts in Alberta, both in the south and up in areas around Edmonton. However, I have had very little success finding any more information than that. There is no licensing information for them, so is it legal to hunt them? And would you have any more leads or suggestions on where to go and how to go about it? Thanks!

- Abe, Linden
Click here for answer

Hi Abe,

There’s been several threads on this exact subject on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum. There’s little question that finding these wild boars is challenging but I’m sure you’ll find some helpful information there.
http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hi, I'm located in Edmonton and looking for a hunting partner. Passionate 32 year old hunter, non-smoker and non-dinker in good physical condition. I will hunt in the mountains this year for elk around RMH.

- Ivan, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Ivan,

Check out the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum at
http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=38944


There is a great thread there about finding hunting partners and another good bet would be to become involved with a local Fish and Game club.

Good luck,
TJ
Question:
I am new to archery and have never hunted anything other than coyotes and other pests. I am hoping to bag my first mule deer with a recurve this fall. I am looking for someone with experience who can help me get my bow set up and tuned adequately and maybe give me some tips on gear.

- Seth, Linden
Click here for answer

Hi Seth,

It sounds like a visit to a knowledgeable technician is in order. The folks at Calgary Archery Centre are extremely knowledgeable about recurves and I’d highly recommend giving them a visit.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
So if there is a roost pond a 1/3 of a mile away from an oat field that geese have been feeding on, If we shoot the first few singles that come into our spread on the field, will the rest of the geese on the roost pond hear the shots and not come to us?

- Caden, MN
Click here for answer

Hi Caden,

I asked my buddy and professional waterfowl outfitter, Claudio Ongaro, to help me out with this question and he said, “Yes ... If they are Canada's ... They will simply slip out the back and go elsewhere. We rarely hunt geese inside of a full mile.” I will bow to Claudio’s expertise on this one.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is there any public land near Calgary where I can hunt rabbits? I'm new to hunting and would like to start small and was told rabbits are good for beginners. Any help would be much appreciated.

- Denver, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hey Denver,

You may want to head out to the Forestry west of Calgary and do some scouting. There’s typically lots of rabbits/hares out there, especially adjacent to areas with lots of willow.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
For the beginners, are budget rifles such as Savage AXIS II XP, Mossberg Patriot, Ruger American and Remington 783 worth it to buy for hunting?
If yes, please indicate which mark?
If no, what is your suggestion?

- Saeid, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Saeid,

The quality of today’s budget rifles is actually amazingly good and for those just getting into hunting or those on a budget, they are a great option. I’d avoid the combo packages that include a scope, however, as the scopes are typically quite poor quality. Buy a scope separately and you’ll be much better off. All of the rifles you listed are good options. I’d go to the store and shoulder all of them and see how they feel and how they fit and make your decision from there.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What calibre rifle would you suggest for hunting coyotes and other predators? Where would I find out who buys coyotes?

I really want to get a badger. Do you have any suggestions?

- Rory, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Rory,

I’m a big fan of the .223 for coyotes but a 22-250, 204, 243 and a host of others are good choices as well. I’m not certain about coyote buyers but you could check with a few of the local Hutterite Colonies.

Badgers are most common in the extreme southern part of the province. They are relatively easy to find after a fresh snow as their fresh diggings are a giveaway that they are in the area. Go for a drive one day after a fresh snow, knock on a few doors for permission and you should be able to find a badger.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have some experience hunting. I have general elk and whitetail tags. I am looking for a hunting partner that's safe and not into partying. I have my own gear, I just need someone with some more experience and a love for the outdoors.

- Rodney, Fort Saskatchewan
Click here for answer

Hi Rodney,

I’d suggest you join a local Fish and Game Club ( http://www.afga.org/clubs-and-zones.html ) and you can meet some like-minded people there and I’d also suggest joining the Alberta Outdoorsmen messageboard. There’s an excellent thread there about people looking for hunting partners. http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I inherited a Sako in 222 Remington magnum. I know Remington no longer produces this round... what are my options here?

- JD, Ontario
Click here for answer

Hi JD,

While the .222 Remington Magnum is gone, it’s certainly not dead. I believe Nosler still loads for it and you can still obtain brass and dies so reloading is likely your best option. Elwood Epps still shows that it stocks both brass and factory loaded ammo for the .222 Remington Magnum.
Give them a shout:
https://ellwoodepps.com/hunting/brands-we-carry.html

As a side note, Ruger’s very successful .204 is based on the .222 Remington Magnum case.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Is it legal to target shoot on private land if you have the owner's permission? I can't seem to find any decisive information about the subject. How can I fin out if there is a sound bylaw etc.? I'm fairly new to target shooting and I don't want to break any laws. I know people that own land close to Millarville so I would appreciate info for that area and also directly west of Calgary.

- David, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi David,

Casual target shooting is permitted on some private property and not on others. I’d start by contacting the county office to find out their regulations and then of course you need to ensure it is being done safely and not too close to occupied buildings.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello, I am looking for somewhere close to Edmonton to hunt ruffed grouse. Any suggestions? Also, any hunting hints for ruffed grouse?

- Scott, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Scott,

I’ve had some good luck north of Whitecourt. Ruffed grouse will typically be found on trails and gravel roads early in the morning as they pick gravel to help aid in digestion.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Where is the best place near lethbridge to hunt whitetails and mulies? My dad moved here from Quebec and wants to hunt. Any ideas would help a lot.

- Jason, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Jason,

The best whitetail hunting is typically found in agricultural areas on the fringe of good cover. The best bet would be to get out and do some scouting and then knock on some doors to secure permission to hunt. Much of Alberta is limited-entry draw for mule deer so be certain to read the regulations carefully.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am looking for some back country or some crown land close to Camrose that I can go camping and dirt biking. I do not like camp sites.

Any help is appreciated, Thanks.

- Liz, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Liz,

Your best bet for locating crown land is to get a copy of the landowner maps for the counties you are interested in. Some are even available on-line. Here’s the link to the one for Camrose County. https://camrosecounty.civicweb.net/document/1323

I don’t personally know of anywhere you could go but this should be a step in the right direction.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
What are the laws with respect to bowhunting within town or city limits in Alberta?

- Ian, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Ian,

There would be no single answer to that question as each city/town sets their own bylaws. I know it’s not permitted in Calgary but you’d need to contact the bylaw office in the town or city you were interested in hunting to see what their policy is.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
This year I was lucky enough to draw a tag for the wild buffalo hunt in Alberta but have not been able to find a lot of resources with advice for methods of hunting and the terrain, even age and sex identification. Where can I find more information and do you have any advice to start with? Thanks, also looking for experienced hunters to come along with me on this hunt.

- Jennifer, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Jennifer,

Congratulations on drawing a very coveted tag. You should get an information package from the Government at some point soon but you may also want to contact Lyle Fullerton as he is a wealth of info about the hunt. You may also want to join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Messageboard as there’s been some good information there about the hunt in the past. http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

TJ
Question:
I am new to the area and looking for a place to hunt deer. Do you have any suggestions?

- Brian, St. Albert
Click here for answer

Hi Brian,

Check out the ACA Discover Guide. It lists a large number of conservation sites in your area where hunting is permitted. http://www.albertadiscoverguide.com

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I have been hunting since I was 10 years old and now I am 49 years old. I just moved to Calgary and I am an expert in shooting and reloading rifles and shotguns. I am looking for a partner who knows the Alberta area for hunting. I have my truck and all the stuff for hunting and camping.

- Elzobidi, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Elzobidi,

You should become a member of the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum at http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca. There is a great thread in the hunting section about people looking for hunting partners. You may also want to join the Sarcee Fish and Game Association in Calgary and get out to a few of their meeting and meet some like-minded folks. You can check them out at http://sfga.ca.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I am looking for a gun verifier in the Lethbridge area. I am hoping that you will be able to help me with this?

- Linda, Lethbridge
Click here for answer

Hi Linda,

The National Verifiers Network should be able to help you out.

E-mail: verifiers.network@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Fax: 1-877-699-4928
Telephone: 1 800 731-4000, ext 1052

Address:
National Verifiers Network
CFP, Canadian Firearms Registry
Ottawa ON K1A 0R2

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
My dad is coming from Ontario and we have been looking up all the rules and regs for hunting around the Bashaw area. I cannot find any places to go. Also for hunting deer/ moose, do you wear camo or orange? it is very unclear on what to wear for hunting moose/deer and the best dates to go as well. I'm new to Alberta and everything is so different compared to Ontario.

- Becca, Bashaw
Click here for answer

Hi Becca,

It sounds as though you may benefit from another careful reading of the Alberta Hunting Regulations as all of the answers you seek are in there. Currently, all rifle hunting opportunities for moose in the province are on limited entry draw so unless you are a bow hunter, you will have to wait until next year to apply for moose tags. There are, however, loads of general opportunities for whitetail deer. There are no blaze orange clothing requirements in Alberta save for a few special hunts. Good luck with your hunt.

TJ
Question:
Can I go goose hunting on Kakut Lake near Grande Prairie, Alberta?

- Andreas, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Andreas,

I’m not overly familiar with that site so I’d suggest that you contact Ducks Unlimited as it is managed by them. They can be contacted at...
Tel: 780-489-2002
Fax: 780-489-1856
Toll-free: 1-866-479-3825.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Can I target practice with a rifle on crown land, should I notify anybody such as police, fish & game or can you do what our grand parents did and just shoot in the back 40?

- Chad, Grande Prairie
Click here for answer

Hi Chad,

That is a very complex question with no single answer. Target practice is permitted on some crown land but is not in many other areas, depending on the designation of the land. Your best bet would likely be to discuss the area you are interested in with a Fish and Wildlife or RCMP officer if you are unsure.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
I've been shooting on and off for about 5 years now and would love to get out more. I'm looking for an archery friend who would like to get together and go shooting from time to time. I'm curious as to if anyone is interested?

- Victoria, Edmonton
Click here for answer

Hi Victoria,

I’d suggest you join the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum and put a post up there. I’m sure you’ll meet many like-minded folks there. http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
Hello, I live in Calgary and I am looking for a place to do some small game bird hunting (grouse) that is reasonably close. Does anyone have any suggestions?

- Andrew, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

You could head west to the Sibbald Flats area and walk some of the trails there. There are typically lots of birds in the area.

Good luck,

TJ
Question:
This is the first year I applied for mule doe draw and got it, but my question is because there's open archery season on mule doe in all 4 zones around me without draw, do I still have to fill my antlerless mule in my draw zone during archery season?

- Ryan, Red Deer
Click here for answer

Hi Ryan,

Draw tags are only valid in the WMU you were drawn for.

TJ
Question:
Can you shoot at big game while they are in water?

- Thomas, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Thomas,

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations as you will find answers to questions like this in them. They can be found at
http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/

but the short answer to your question is that it is illegal to shoot at swimming big game.

TJ
Question:
Once I get my harvest home, do I need to de-bone the meat before throwing it into my freezer? Will it spoil or taint the meat in any way if I leave the bone attached to the meat for a couple of months?

- Andy, Calgary
Click here for answer

Hi Andrew,

on’t ruin anything by leaving the bone in. I do everything boneless for ease of cutting b
You definitely won’t ruin anything by leaving the bone in. I do everything boneless for ease of cutting but if you have a bone saw, there shouldn’t be any issues.

TJ
Question:
I want to get my bowhunting licence, but I was told you have to take a certain course(s). I was wondering what course(s) exactly?

- Mads, Alberta
Click here for answer

Hi Mads,

There are no specific requirements to obtain your bowhunting certificate other than those that apply to all hunting licences.

TJ
 
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