general hunt information

FAQ's

 
Do I have to put in for a draw to get my license? Will you have my license when I arrive?
No, you don't have to put in for a draw. All of our licenses are guaranteed. We will have your license waiting for you upon arrival as long as you have applied for your Alberta Wildlife Identification Number (WIN Number) at www.AlbertaRelm.com, and you have filled out your contract and sent it back to us.
Where are you located?
In Northwestern Alberta north of the city of Grande Prairie. Please refer to the hunting area page for more detailed info. Our hunting Area
Where do I fly in to? Do you pick me up at the airport? How far a drive is it to your lodge from the airport?
The easiest way to get to our area is to book your flights into Grande Prairie Alberta through Uniglobe Geo Travel 780-424-8310 or you can book it yourself on a website such as www.expedia.com. On all of our hunts we have you arrive in the evening the day before your hunt. You will then get a shuttle or taxi to a hotel and then we will pick you up at the hotel in the morning at 11 am. The hotel cost is your responsibility (about $150 US funds).

The best hotel choices which have a shuttle service from the airport are:
• Holiday Inn 1-780-402-6886
• Pomeroy Inn 1-780-831-2999
• Super 8 Motel 1-780-532-8288
• Best Western 1-780-402-2378

You can stay at any hotel you can find in Grande Prairie though just make sure to book your hotel well in advance, this is a small but booming oil city. This overnight hotel stay gives enough time if you have a delayed flight, you miss a connecting flight or your baggage gets lost. The bags can be located, flown in on a later flight and delivered to your hotel. It also gives time to sight in your gun or bow before the hunt. If your hunt is in the middle of the season then we can usually get in a short 1/2 day hunt. If the season isn't open yet then it becomes a scouting evening. It is just over an hour drive from Grande Prairie to the lodge. For your departure on all hunts, except the elk and moose bowhunt, we take you directly to the airport from the lodge. 
Can I drive to your area from my home in the states? What about driving from Edmonton to save money, can I do that?
Yes you can drive right to the lodge in just a car from your home. It is an hour and 15 minute drive from Grande Prairie, a 6 hour drive from Edmonton and a 12 hour drive from the Montana border all on good paved roads. The last 2 miles is a good gravel road. You can also go to hunting area page for a Google Map to Spirit River and we will also email or fax you the final directions to the lodge once you have booked the hunt. 
Is it difficult to enter Canada, do I need a passport?
It generally is not difficult to enter canada. Yes, you will need a passport. One of the only real problems we've seen is if you've ever had any criminal charges, even a D.U.I., you might have difficulty entering Canada and may need to clear it up months beforehand. Visit this website for more info www.bordercrossing.ca. Bring a copy of your hunt contract when you enter Canada, occasionally Canada Customs will ask to see it. It is your responsibility to make sure you will not be refused entry into Canada though. Refusal of entry by Canada Customs and Immigration is not sufficient reason for a refund. 
Is it difficult to bring a gun to Canada?
No it is not difficult to bring a gun to Canada. You will need a firearms declaration form to clear your rifle through customs. We will send you one as part of your deposit confirmation. There is a $30 payment at the border to process this form.  You can also complete the online form or download it here: Non-Resident Firearm Declaration
Can I send my clothes and weapon to you before my hunt so I don't have to clear customs with it?
No you can't really do this. The problem is that customs will treat it as if we are buying your gear from you and give us a tax and duty bill for the full value of all the goods.
Can I send someone else on my hunt at the last minute if I can't go?
Yes we usually don't buy the licenses until the day before the hunt starts so it is easy to just change who is hunting.
What are the accommodations? Do I need to bring bedding, a towel? Is their laundry service, internet access?
The accommodations are in a comfortable lodge. We provide bedding, towels and internet access if you bring a laptop computer. We don't have any laundry service, you'll have to bring enough clothes to last the duration of your hunt. Please click here to refer to the hunting area page for more detailed information.
What do you provide? What don't you provide?
We provide all your meals, accommodations, transportation and field care of trophies once we pick you up from the hotel in Grande Prairie. We do provide some soft drinks/pop and snacks but liquor is not provided. We will stop at a store for you to purchase additional amounts of pop, snacks and any liquor on your way to the lodge.
What do we do with antlers, meat, hides? How do we get it home?
The easiest, least expensive and least risky way to bring any of it home is as extra baggage on your flight home. On antlers and capes we put your clothes around the antler tips, clean, dry and then tape up the skull plate and we freeze the cape. We also freeze bear hides. All the items then go in a thick cardboard box or plastic bin. Cost of the extra bags will vary with each airline but they generally charge $100 per extra 50 lb. bag. Animals can also be left here with a Canadian taxidermist but it is very expensive to get mounted then sent to your home, often twice as much as what you would pay at home. If you plan on keeping the meat, then all meat processing costs are your responsibility, approx. $150 for a deer and about $600 for a whole moose. Frozen meat can also be taken as extra baggage. We have plastic bins or coolers available for $10 a bin or $40 a cooler. Your hunting license acts as your Alberta export permit and U.S. customs will have you fill out a wildlife import form. It is very easy to do. Meat CANNOT be shipped to you later. We have tried and have not been able to locate a reliable way to do it. You also cannot UPS or FEDEX animal parts home like you can within the United States. Dry ice is also very difficult to find in Canada so if you are driving up it would be good to bring well insulated coolers or even a freezer that you can plug in at hotels on the way home. If you choose not to take the meat for yourself it will be donated to our local landowners or needy families at no cost to you.
Do you have a taxidermist I can leave my animal with to get mounted?
Yes we do, but Canadian taxidermists are not cheap and neither is the shipping. Usually we recommend taking your antlers, cape, hides and meat home with you as extra baggage.
What's the country like in your guiding area; is it a physically tough area to hunt?
It is a mix of 50% open flat farm fields and 50% thick woods, small creeks and big river valleys. Most of our hunts can be done by someone who is not very physically fit. The only hunts where higher physical fitness will give you a better chance for success is the mule deer bowhunts and the elk hunts with rifle or bow. 
Do you hunt private or public land? 
Both but when we say private land in Canada it doesn't mean that we have exclusive access to the land and by public it doesn't mean that it is crowded with hunters. It is actually illegal in Alberta to pay a landowner for hunting access. We simply ask a landowner for access and he says yes or no, 90% say yes and we end up with hundreds of thousands of acres of land to hunt. We may be the only ones hunting a piece of land it or it may have several people hunting it. On much of the public land we see less people than the private areas.
How do you handle a 2 on 1 guided hunt, will I simply have to wait my turn to shoot? Why don't you just get another guide?
The 2 on 1 guided hunts usually work just fine with enough opportunities for both hunters to get their animals. We can typically split up the 2 hunters. For example, one person may be sitting a field edge and the other with the guide, or on spot and stalk bowhunts one hunter watches the animals escape route and the other does the stalking. The main reason we do most of our hunts 2 hunters to 1 guide is because it is difficult to find great guides who have the private land access that we need. We have found that one excellent guide can do a better job than just getting a somewhat unqualified one to take one hunter. Wages, vehicles, fuel and food are all much higher than practically anywhere in the United States too, it isn't cheap to get a guide. Since all the guides work as a team as soon as one animal is down the 2 hunters will get split up and the hunts quickly become one on one guided anyway. If it is a big concern for you, you can get a separate guide for $2000 a hunt. 
Do I have to wear any blaze orange on the rifle hunts? 
No there is no blaze orange requirement and it really isn't necessary but if you feel more comfortable with it on you are welcome to bring it.
Do you have a wound policy?
Yes we do. For the baited bear hunts the policy is that drawing blood counts as a kill. Since you have 2 bear licenses you can kill or wound a maximum of 2 bears total. On all the other hunts you are allowed a maximum of 2 wounds per species. That means that if you draw blood on 2 animals and we can't find either one of them then your hunt for that species is over. Of course we always make every effort to recover any wounded animals and we don't encourage unethical shots.
Can I shoot 2 big game animals of the same species in one year in Alberta? 
Generally No. We have had this question come up in regards to a hunter buying one mule deer hunt with us and buying another mule deer hunt with another outfitter expecting to kill 2 Alberta mule deer in the same year. You can't do this. You can only buy one license per species per year. In certain areas of Alberta, one black bear license allows you to harvest 2 black bears, a wolf /coyote license is unlimited kills, but you'll need good luck getting just one wolf. All other licenses are for one animal only. 
Do I really need a camera? Can you just email me any pictures after the hunt?
Yes, you do need to bring a camera with you and carry it with you at all times to get any pictures you might want. Sorry, but with our slow internet connection we will not be able to email you pictures after the hunt. 
What is a standard tip for my guide and the cook?
A standard total tip amount for a hard working guide and cook is about 10% of the hunt cost split approximately ¾ to the guide and ¼ to the cook. This would be about $80-$150 to the cook and $300-$600 to your guide per hunter in cash. Amounts less than this send a clear message to the guide or cook that they DID NOT do a good job, hopefully that message rarely needs to be sent but we understand if it is necessary. We will try to do a better job next time. Amounts more than this say that they did a very exceptional job, much more than you expected, hopefully that happens often! We also understand that a big tip is not within every hunters hunt budget. Any amount is appreciated. 
Do you have any additional fees?
Yes and No, depending on whether you are driving or flying, whether you are bowhunting or rifle hunting and whether you kill or not. Here is a complete list of every possible extra fee: 
  • Flights or driving expenses to get to our area.
  • A $250 cash fee will be charged for an early departure drive from the lodge to Grande Prairie to pay for the fuel and mileage on the truck and lost guide time which takes about 3 hours round trip.
  • Before or after the hunt hotel fee approx $150 a day in Grande Prairie.
  • Firearm import fee $30.
  • Liquor and extra snacks or soft drinks.
  • Tips or Gratuities. (5-10% of basic hunt cost)
  • Cost of getting antlers, cape, hides and meat home. Amount varies greatly depending on species and how much you are taking home.