Canada: BC Vancouver Island Roosevelt Elk

10 Hunting Days
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The mysterious coastal rainforests of Vancouver Island are home to the most genetically pure and largest Roosevelt Elk on earth. Very exclusive with few tags available annually and near-perfect opportunity rates on B&C or P&Y quality bulls

TRIP DURATION 10 professionally guided 1×1 hunting days
PRIME TIME  Archery season in September and rifle season in October
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Indigenous

Package Highlights

The haunting scream of a big bugling “Rosie” echoing through the misty coastal rainforest sends chills up even the veteran guides spine. Typically weighing in at 1200 lbs, these bulls are massive, and during the rut, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with. An oversized incredible creature residing in an equally oversized and incredible landscape. Test your wits against these bulls for 10 full 1×1 guided days, which over the years has yielded extremely high success rates, and with even higher opportunity rates at Pope & Young or Boone & Crocket quality animals. Mature bulls sporting heavy dark orange antlers crowning up top with prominent ivory tips are undeniably impressive.

Stay in a beautiful seaside main lodge with all the amenities and chef-inspired meals. Lodge based hunts are generally conducted by side by side or 4×4 pick up to access the lush old-growth forests and adjacent cut blocks along a series of partially overgrown logging roads. Here Elk can be called, spotted, tracked and stalked as the situation dictates. In addition to the main lodge, choose a more limited custom barge-based floating camp, which allows mobility to keep moving and hunt every nook and cranny along the very fringes of the expansive hunting territory if needed. Zodiacs deployed from the barge or main lodge enable hunters to navigate small tributaries accessing otherwise inaccessible river valleys.

September archery rut hunts are conducted during the peak bugle, relying mainly on pre-scouting, thicker cover and calling tactics to lure Elk into bow range. During the October rifle season, however, hunts are mostly spot and stalk, occurring during a less vocal second rut, and less vegetation later in the fall offers better visibility. Opportunities to combine with Vancouver Islands massive Black Bears when they are their heaviest is always possible during these Elk hunts, charged on a flat rate trophy fee basis. Overall Vancouver Island offers an exhilarating coastal hunting adventure for the only genetically pure Roosevelt Elk, which also happens to be the continents largest variety of Elk. Tags are guaranteed but extremely limited, and often require booking several years in advance.

Typical Day & Tactics

Greet the outfitter at the airport in beautiful Campbell River, and grab a couple of last provisions in town. Set off on a 2-3-hour drive across the island to either to the main lodge, or a harbor where the live-aboard custom landing barge is moored. The western coast of the island is a labyrinth of sounds and inlets branching and penetrating deep into the island’s interior. Almost immediately hunters begin cruising the mosaic of logging roads by side by side, or the many inlets by Zodiac skiffs with a mission to locate the herds of rutting Elk.

Many of the guides have a decade or more experience hunting this expansive outfitting territory, often focusing on specific animals they have patterned or have a history with over the years. The Elk tend to favor localized areas, so it pays to know where to look. Despite being huge and fairly abundant, these Elk are shy, secretive and elusive creatures, and the lush rainforests provide ample cover. A typical week of hunting however often yields 5-6 different good bull sightings. Archery hunts in September rely mainly on calling tactics during the peak bugle, which makes Elk easier to locate. Greener cover and a soft, mossy forest floor help archery hunters slip into a closer position undetected, then call the bull into bow range. Rifle hunting occurs during the second and less vocal rut, but the Elk tend to reside in somewhat predictable areas. Recent cut blocks bordering swamps or river valleys are excellent locations. Rifle hunting is conducted more spot and stalk, relying less on calling tactics. Judging is vital and big bulls are often crowned with heavy beams and ivory tips.

A typical day sees early mornings, usually with a midday lull for lunch, and out hunting again till dark. A light breakfast, lunch often in the field, followed by hearty home-cooked meals comprised of local ingredients back at camp fuels hunters throughout the adventure.  Between Elk hunts, check prawn or crab traps and perhaps even try a little fishing for lingcod or rockfish which only adds to this exciting coastal adventure! The plentiful Coastal Black Bears here are huge, especially in the fall, and may be taken on a trophy fee basis, completing this Vancouver Island quest. Once the hunt is concluded, drive back to Campbell River with your guide to catch your flight home. The outfitter is partnered with quality taxidermists in BC who contacts the hunters regarding their trophies shortly after returning home.

Landscape & Climate

This mountainous, coastal rainforest ecosystem is set along the ragged Pacific coastline. River valleys carve through the slopes spilling into the ocean at estuaries amongst a series of sounds and inlets. The collision of these two environments provide incredible biodiversity and heightened fertility brought on from the sea. Trees grow enormous and dominant, species include Western Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, and Douglas Fir. Primary hunting areas occur along the river basins, or in old-growth timber adjacent to recently logged or burned areas. Coastal tidal flats or any low elevation meadows are also worth checking.

Roosevelt Elk share this landscape with Black Bears, Coastal Wolves, Sitka Blacktail Deer, Mountain Lions, Mink, Marten, River and Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Orcas, Bald Eagles, Ravens, Mergansers, Loons, Hummingbirds, Steller’s Jays, and many others. Below the surface, Rockfish, Lingcod, Halibut, Salmon Sharks, Herring, Dungeness Crabs, and Spotted Prawns call these waters home.

With rainforests come the likelihood of rain, and best to be prepared with rubberized raingear. Fronts are constantly blowing through and most hunts see at least some rain over the course of 10 days. If it’s not raining the weather is usually quite pleasant, however, warm and sunny, weather does not lend itself to the best hunting conditions, and much like the Coastal Black Bears, Elk tend to prefer cool, darker, overcast days, perhaps with light periodic sprinkles. Temperatures have the potential to be quite cool on the coasts if its windy, but generally all that’s needed is a light sweater under a quiet weatherproof shell in the mornings, evenings or overnight. Middays can heat up if its sunny.

Meals & Accommodations

There are two accommodation options for this hunt. Boat-based and/or cabin lodgings. The Coastal hunting vessel is a 40-foot live-aboard landing barge custom-built for this exactly this hunt by the outfitter, which allows access to the remote fringes of the hunting territory. Comfortably sleeping up to 5 with bedding included, this barge is complete with running water, a flushing toilet, shower, generator-powered electricity, fridge, large chest freezer, BBQ, quad ramp, hydraulic prawn hauler with prawn and crab pots and Zodiac tender skiff to access and hunt the coastal rivers.

The main lodge is beautiful, remote and right on the coast with fantastic views from off the porch as well as many creature comforts.  Full-service kitchen and chef, a large dining hall and common lounge, running water, flushing toilets, electricity and WIFI Hunters stay in separate cabins with private rooms and bathroom with the guide quarters being a separate building.

Eggs Benedict, French toast or pancakes, bacon, muffins, yogurt, fruit, coffee, juice or cereal rounds out the breakfast line up. Depending on tides, weather and hunting locations, lunches are usually quick and often packed for the field. Sandwiches, wraps, fruit, various snacks and bottled water are common options. Days are long this time of year and dinners are usually quite late but spare no expense. Grilled chicken or steaks, spaghetti, pork loin are classic items but freshly caught Pacific Spotted Prawns, Dungeness Crab or Ling Cod also find their way onto the menu and are incredibly delicious with a local flare.

Key Equipment Suggestions

This hunt requires only basic equipment with several specific recommendations, and the outfitter provides a more detailed equipment list upon booking. A day pack, quality rain gear (top & bottom and rubberized for maximum waterproofing), gloves and warm hat, layered hunting clothing, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, comfortable, tall waterproof walking boots, camp shoes, a headlamp or flashlight and a digital camera covers the essentials. Hunter orange is not required in British Columbia.


Trophy Archery Elk hunts: 10 full days – 1×1 guided – x1 Roosevelt Elk – September = $20,000

+$10,000 trophy fee upon successful harvest or mortal wounding & loss.

Trophy Rifle Elk hunts: 10 full days – 1×1 guided – x1 Roosevelt Elk – October = $30,000

  • Additional Coastal Black Bear = $4500


  • Round trip airport pick-up and drop-off services
  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • Professional 1×1 guiding with an experienced guide
  • All ground transportation while hunting (Boats, Trucks, ATV’s)
  • Basic meat, trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist

Not Included

  • 5% Government Sales Tax (GST)
  • Travel to the destination city of Campbell River, BC
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals and accommodations
  • BC non-resident hunting licenses and tags
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Rifle Rental if requested
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Taxidermy and trophy export
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs, side ventures or tourism


  • Extra hunting days: Not usually possible
  • Non-hunting observer: $2000 for the duration of the hunt
  • Rifle Rental & ammo: $300
  • BC Non-Resident Hunting License: $189
  • Wildlife Preservation Fund: $189
  • Non-Resident Roosevelt Elk tag: $350
  • Non-resident BC Coastal Black Bear tag: $189
  • Trophy fees for additional game species;
    • Additional Coastal Black Bear = $4500

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive at the airport in Campbell River BC, where they are greeted by the outfitter or his staff. The Roosevelt Elk hunting areas are roughly 2-3 hour’s drive from town.

Travel Suggestions

Campbell River is easily reached via a short commuter flight with one of two smaller airlines (either Pacific Coastal or Central Mountain Airlines), with the best connection occurring in Vancouver BC.

Airport Shuttles 

Round trip airport shuttles between the airport/hotel and hunting areas are already included in every package.

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.