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These mountain grizzly bear hunts in British Columbia rival even the coastal brown hunting in Alaska. With the highest grizzly population in the province and unbelievably low hunting pressure, this wilderness has huge bears—and tons of them. It’s one of the best and least-known hunting grounds in the north.
These outfitters have access to places far in the backcountry where few locals are willing or able to travel. Hardly anyone hunts grizzlies here besides them—and they only offer two tags every year. This allows the bear population to live the way it did in the years before modern man arrived. You’re far more likely to find old, enormous, battle-scarred boars here than in the more popular hunting grounds in Alaska, where other hunters regularly pick off the big guys.
While most mountain grizzlies can’t compare to brown bears on the coast, the ones here have much more food than most of their brothers. With abundant moose, caribou, berries, and even salmon streams inside their range, and with the extremely limited hunting allowing most to live out their natural days, they grow to become some of the biggest bruins around.
The largest grizzlies taken in this area measure an incredible nine feet and weigh in at up to 800 pounds. A bear that big is considered a serious trophy even on Kodiak Island. Even if you don’t have the good fortune to find one that’s that big, you have excellent odds of getting one that measures 7 feet or larger and weighs over 500 pounds.
On top of these huge sizes, these bears also show up in great numbers and varieties. You can regularly spot 10 or more on a single mountainside. This gives you a chance to choose your trophy—not just in size, but in color phase as well. They range from the traditional grizzled brown to blond, dark chocolate and red.
Both spring and fall hunts are available. Spring grizzlies usually have better hides and sharper claws, but those taken in the fall have a much higher weigh-in. Which one makes the better trophy depends on your interpretation.
If you go during the spring, you’ll have a longer hunt (14 days compared to the 10-day fall hunts). However, you won’t have as many options for a combination hunt. You can only combine spring hunts with black bear. In the fall, you can add black bear as well as caribou, mountain goat, and western moose.
Most of these hunts are performed at high altitudes above the timberline. The bears have plenty of food up here at either time of year, and they’re easy to spot. That doesn’t mean the hunt is easy, though.
If you choose to go backpacking, you can expect an extremely demanding hike that will take you through streams, up cliffs and over mountains. You need to be in very good shape to take this option.
You can opt to use horses or vehicles to help cut down on the hiking. Of course, you’ll still need to perform the final stalk on foot. The more fit you are, the better your odds will be.
By default, you will work one-on-one with your guide. You can choose to have another hunter come with you if you wish.
All hunts use spot-and-stalk methods only.
The default hunt costs $10,000. You can add black bear at any time of year for an extra $1,000. During the fall hunts, caribou, mountain goat, and moose are available for $2,000, $4,500, and $5,725 respectively.
When you book one of these grizzly bear hunts, the price covers:
While grizzlies take a lot of firepower to bring down, the chief concern at the ranges you will find here is accuracy. The outfitter recommends a .300 magnum for its combination of accuracy and power. However, if you feel comfortable using a more powerful gun at ranges of 200–300 yards, it won’t be a bad idea to use that instead.
For clothing, you should bring layers of good camo and high-quality rain gear. British Columbia tends to be rainy and chilly in the fall. Be ready for some snow in late October and November, too.
The price does not cover:
If you dream of going on grizzly bear hunts in some of the most pristine territory in North America, you couldn’t pick a better outfitter to work with. Don’t put off registering your hunt—remember, they only offer two tags per year!