Canada: Alberta Wolf

6 Hunting Days
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Northern Alberta lays claim to some of the largest wolves on earth. Match wits and endurance against the keen senses of these elusive predators with our specialty baited hunts, offering above-average opportunity rates! Now, a new addition to the North America 29!

TRIP DURATION 6 full professionally guided hunting days
PHYSICAL LEVEL Medium
PRIME TIME From mid-December into March
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Indigenous

Package Highlights

Recently added to the list of the North America 29, test your wits and endurance against one of nature’s most coveted and elusive predators. Northern Alberta produces some of the largest and heaviest wolves on the planet. This comes from living alongside and preying on 2600 lb. wood bison.

Our outfitting partner is a wolf specialist, who pays much focus and attention to detail, which results in his excellent opportunity rates, often higher than 70%. With typical shots ranging between 250-300 yards, producing a wolf sighting in daylight is our job, but bullet placement is ultimately that of the hunter.  Patience, practice, and persistence are what this hunt calls for. These huge wolves are worth it.

With only 2-4 hunters max in camp, non-consecutive change-overs, and not even operating during weeks with full moons, our outfitter carefully puts as many of the odds in his hunter’s favor. Custom heated blinds with stable shooting benches, carefully selected locations, generous baiting, trail camera vigil, and custom rifle rentals give our hunters every advantage possible. 10-day Whitetail/ Wolf Combos in late November or 10-day Wood Bison/Wolf Combos in March are also available but very limited, often booked 1-2 years out.

Focus is on successfully harvesting one big beautiful wolf, but every hunter is allowed a second wolf, for NO additional trophy fee! Hunt the winter months over bait during the wolves’ rut or breeding cycle for maximum results. Each chapter of the winter is different, however. Early season (late November to January) offers fresh, less weary wolves, but at the cost of short days and cold temperatures. Mid-season (January to mid-February) is the wolf rut, with rogue wolves constantly moving. Single wolf sightings are common, and so is howling. Days are longer but still cold. Late season (mid-February to the end of March) is warmer and with longer days. Wolves are scavenging heavily post-rut, and it’s a great time to be out hunting.

Venture to the vast and mystical boreal North Country and accept the wolf hunting challenge! It’s a cold hunt for the passionate and persistent sportsman, but the rewards are worth it.

Typical Day & Tactics

Arrive to camp using one of the various destination cities, settle in, and get licensed with the outfitter for the coming week. The days are quite short, so enjoy a hearty breakfast with no need to head off in the dark too early. Before leaving the lodge, hunters are presented with an extensive lunch buffet to assemble a big personalized bagged lunch for the day ahead.  Guides accompany their hunters, usually by snowmobile, to their baited and pre-scouted blinds roughly half an hour after daylight.

These customized plywood blinds are carpeted, complete with a swivel chair, propane heaters, long sliding windows set over a shooting rail or bench rest for ideal shooting form and accuracy. Blinds are often set on a hill in a remote dead-end type area, offering a great view overlooking a secluded tree line with an established bait pile consisting of frozen abattoir scraps or roadkill deer and moose.

Settle into your blind. It’s home for the next few days, and so it is important to stay warm and comfortable. The more time hunters quietly log in their blinds, the more successful they tend to be. Inspect and review the initial landscape. Range the bait pile and glass for concentrations of wolf tracks and trails. These are likely spots to also pre-range. This hunt is a mental game, so anything a hunter can do to stay quiet, awake, ready and focused will only boost odds. Don’t expect phone service, and electronics don’t last all day in the cold. Bringing a good book for the blind is highly recommended, provided hunters stop reading and carefully scan their surroundings every minute or two.

While all blinds are outfitted with propane-powered Black Cat type space heaters, it is encouraged to use the heaters sparingly and only if needed for best results for wolves. Several hours into a sit stomachs start to grumble but are satiated by the big bagged lunch. Stagger your lunch to make it last, and employ other strategies to stay warm & attentive. Wolves can appear suddenly; on their own or in a pack. All color phases are present in the area. Most prevalent are the classic Grey Wolves, but good numbers of white or black grizzled wolves are also taken each year. Least common would be tawny brown/rusty red type wolf color patterns. And while hunters may be looking for something specific, it is not always possible to be selective with wolves. Expect 200-300+ yard shooting, and make the first shot count!

Wolves can be notoriously tough, so leave varmint calibers at home! Anything in the .270/6mm plus type calibers is recommended. Hunters are encouraged to practice with and bring the rifle they are most seasoned with for best results, but the outfitter’s custom 7mm rifles are also available in camp for hunters to use.

Combo hunt options are also available. Consider a 10-day Whitetail/Wolf Combo in late November or a 10 day Wood Bison/Wolf Combo in March. In both cases, hunters pursue either Whitetail or Wood Bison, with the opportunity to harvest a wolf at any time. Once successful with the Whitetail or Wood Bison, the focus turns to wolves and clients begin hunting over pre-scouted bait piles from a custom blind until the end of the hunt.

At the end of each day, return back to the lodge for a hearty dinner and make a game plan for the following morning. Once your quarry is on the ground, detailed trophy preparations such as skinning, labeling, packaging, and freezing are all provided by the knowledgeable crew. The outfitter can arrange delivery to a taxidermist if desired. These local taxidermists can do the complete work, or prepare the trophies for shipping, submitting for CITES and export permits required for wolves.

 

Landscape & Climate

These winter hunts occur in the remote wilderness of Northern Alberta’s Boreal Forest. The region is a vast, dense forest comprised mainly of Black Spruce, Tamarack, Jack Pine, Balsam Poplar, and White Birch growing above the Canadian Shield. Many small lakes, wetlands, and waterways are scattered throughout the mosaic of old burns or previously logged areas, forming a patchwork of forest succession. Blind locations are usually in a recently cut area offering excellent visibility, on the ends of standing old-growth forest where the wolves will likely emerge. In addition to wolves, this endless forest is also home to other prey species including wood bison, moose, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, beavers, muskrats, and red squirrels. But also their competitors such as coyotes, lynx, pine martins, great grey owls, bald eagles and of course, the many ravens & gray jays, known as Whiskey Jacks.

Typical Northern Alberta wolf hunting weather is cold!  Early season (late November to January) averages from 0F/-20C, and while uncommon, extreme chills can reach lows of -30/-40C. Mid-season (January to mid-February) is the wolf rut, and the weather is cold, with temperatures of -20C or slightly colder considered the norm. Late season (mid-February to the end of March) can see some big temperatures swings as spring approaches. Temperatures around -20C represent the extreme cold end of the spectrum, and highs go slightly above the freezing mark. It’s vital to pack and dress for the cold weather appropriately.

 

Meals & Accommodations

After a long cold day in the blind, the creature comforts of a warm cozy camp, and hot food are welcome! There are two accommodation options. The main lodge is a remote homestead that can accommodate as many as 4 hunters who sleep in a separate house, complete with full bathroom, fridge, and sitting area. Meals and the common lounge area are at the main lodge next door complete with wi-fi, phone service, flat-screen satellite TV, and other comforts.  The outpost camp is 3 hrs. north of the main lodge and is set up for 2 hunters and a guide per week. The outpost camp is either a rustic “hunting shack” on wheels, or a rented house on the outskirts of the small local community. The outpost camp is simpler but more exclusive, with just the basic amenities positioning hunters within striking range of strategic areas.

Breakfasts are hearty for the cold day ahead. Big helpings of classic items like bacon, sausages, fried, hard/soft boiled eggs or omelet casseroles, hash browns, toast, fruit, yogurt, juice, tea or coffee are served in the morning. Before heading out, assemble a personalized lunch from a “buffet” line-up. Expect a big sandwich station with spreads of turkey, ham, roast beef, cheeses, bread, buns, and condiments. Granola bars, fruit, candy, trail mix, and bottled water are standard items. Dinner menus tend to include meaty lasagnas, moose roasts, elk or beef steaks, or various fried and roast chicken dishes, which are paired with soups, potatoes, perogies, rice, and salads, with cakes, ice cream or pie for dessert. Part of staying warm is staying well-fed, and the outfitter has this area covered!

 

Key Equipment Suggestions

Aside from some specialized requirements for cold weather or precision shooting gear, the equipment list is quite standard. A quality layering system comprised of thinsulate, merino wool, polar fleece or other good insulating underlayers, with over bibs, parkas, heavy socks, cold weather boots & boot blankets, shooting gloves under heavy mitts, fleece neck warmer or a balaclava, warm toque (stocking hat) or fur hat and goggles for the snowmobile rides. Other helpful items can include battery heated vests, suits or boot liners, disposable air-activated, or rechargeable hand/toe warmers, or Heater Body Suites, and a good thermos. A good rangefinder, small bipod and a tripod shooting stick (for under the rifle butt) greatly assists with a steady shooting rest in the blinds, .270 Cal/6mm + type rifle caliber rifles, a quality scope (often 50 mm objective lens for low light), and a soft gun case/sock for commuting to blinds are all recommended shooting related items. Hunter orange is not required in Alberta.

Pricing 

Specialty Baited Winter Wolf Hunt: 6 full days – 2×1 guided – x 1+ Wolf – December-March = $5,500

Wolf/Whitetail Combo Hunt: 10 full days – 2×1 guided – x 1+ Wolf & x1 Whitetail – November = $7,500

Wolf/Wood Bison Combo Hunt: 10 full days – 2×2 guided – x 1+ Wolf & x1 Bison – March = $12,500

Included 

  • Round trip airport pick-up and drop-off services from High Level, Alberta
  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • 2×1 professional guiding with experienced local guides
  • All ground transportation (truck/snowmobile) while hunting
  • Rifle rental for the duration of the hunt & ammunition if desired
  • Basic trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist
  • Bonus opportunity at 2nd Wolf/Coyotes with NO trophy fees

Not Included 

  • 5% Government Sales Tax (GST)
  • Travel to the destination city of Edmonton, Grand Prairie, or High Level, Alberta
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals and accommodations
  • Vehicle Rental (if not flying to High Level or driving a personal vehicle)
  • Alberta non-resident hunting license & Wolf/Coyote tag (approx. USD$100)
  • Alberta non-resident Whitetail tag (approx. CDN$250) if booking Whitetail/Wolf combo
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • CITES Permit, Taxidermy and trophy export
  • Personal side ventures, tourism, or misc. purchases – alcohol, souvenirs, etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: Generally not available
  • Non-hunting observers: Not encouraged
  • Alberta non-resident hunting license & Wolf/Coyote tag (approx. CDN$100 payable upon arrival)
  • Alberta non-resident Whitetail tag (approx. CDN$250 payable upon arrival)
  • Alberta non-resident Wood Bison Licensing: Included
  • Second Wolf: Free – No trophy fee
  • Coyote: Free – No trophy fee

Destination City

Hunters can arrive at one of three destination cities in Alberta. Edmonton (+ a 7-hour drive), Grand Prairie (+3-hour drive) or High Level where airport pick-up and drop-off is included. Some hunters drive from home in personal vehicles, while others fly to either Edmonton or Grand Prairie and rent a vehicle.

Travel Suggestions 

Edmonton is easily reached by many North American airlines. Best connections to Grand Prairie or High Level are usually through Edmonton as well. Any hunters wishing to drive to the lodge are welcome to do so; address and directions to the lodge can be provided.

Airport Shuttles 

The outfitter will arrange airport pickup / drop off from High Level only. Airport shuttles are NOT included if flying to Edmonton or Grand Prairie and so a rental vehicle would be required.

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel. Non-Canadian citizens can be denied access into Canada if they have a DUI or any other criminal infraction.

Don – Pennsylvania, USA

“My name is Don and I’m from PA and have been involved as a professional guide and hunter for over 40 years.  I have had the pleasure of hunting and guiding all over North America.

I currently am guiding and own a trophy whitetail operation in Ohio. I have just returned from an exceptional baited wolf hunt in Northern Alberta that was booked through Adrian Skok and Taiga International Outfitters. Having outfitted in Canada myself for over 24 years, I can say without hesitation that everything Adrian said to me about my hunt was spot on. He left nothing out about what was expected of me pertaining to my equipment and my ability to be able to shoot my weapon at the required distance to be successful. He also helped me with suggestions about my travel itinerary. The guides in his family were great people with extreme knowledge of the area and the animals that live there (especially the wolves) that I was after. I harvested an exceptional white wolf and everyone in camp had an opportunity to take one also.

Without reservation, I recommend Adrian and Taiga International Outfitters for all your hunting adventures. With that being said, I have a trophy moose hunt in Newfoundland and also an elk hunt in Alberta booked with him for the next two years. If you are looking to book a hunting adventure with someone you can trust that has a vast knowledge of the areas, guides, and animals, I highly recommend Adrian Skok and Taiga International Outfitters. Thanks again!”