Hunting Outfitting
Game Species

Game Species

In the Mackenzie Mountains we primarily hunt for Dall's sheep and mountain caribou, but also for moose and in the southern parts for mountain goat. The predators wolf, wolverine and black bear are also open for harvest and are taken occasionally. Grizzly bear hunting has been closed to non-resident hunters since 1982 (fear of over-harvest being the reason for the closure).

For most hunters who travel to the remote Mackenzie Mountains Dall's sheep hunting is the primary pull. There is an estimated number of 14.000 - 26.000 Dall's sheep in these mountain ranges. Counts are based on information provided by hunters, guides and outfitters.

Non-resident hunters take an average of 200 rams annually. The total annual harvest amounts to 0.8 - 1.5% of the Mackenzie Mountains Dall's sheep population. Rams have to show curl in order to be legal to be harvested, and the average age of rams taken is about 10 years of age. Average life expectancy of Dall's sheep is only 8-9 years, but they do get as old as 16 years.

Dall rams older than 4 years of age usually stick together as do ewes over 4 years of age. Older rams roam in groups of 3 - 10, but solitary animals are seen as well.

The Mackenzie Mtn. are famous for their Dall's sheep hunting for numerous reasons: The sheep numbers are continually stable, the hunts are very successful, trophy qualities and age averages are high and the overall hunting experiences are rated as very good to excellent.

Mackenzie Mountain outfitters therefore provide the hunts most hunters are looking for: a great and successful experience.

While trophy sizes in horn length range from 23" to 44", the mean average is 35". Bases range from 10.5 to 15 inches with an average of 13 inches. The average time spent hunting for a ram is about 4 days.

Dall's sheep hunting starts July 15 and ends October 31, but most of us outfitters leave the high country by the end of September due to encroaching snows.

While Dall's sheep is the primary goal of most hunters who travel to the remote Mackenzies, Mountain Caribou is usually next on the list of trophy choices. The Mountain Caribou belongs to the sub-species of the Woodland Caribou and is classified as such in the NWT Hunting Regulations.

There is an estimated population of 13.000 to 18.000 caribou from at least three different herds in the Mackenzie Mountains. Non-resident hunters take approximately 170 bulls annually and the hunts last between 1 - 4 days.

Many Mountain Caribou from the Mackenzie Mountains score in the record book class, and a lot have been entered. Hunting for caribou in the Mackenzie Mountains is an amazing and satisfying experience.

Mountain caribou use different elevations throughout the year and carry out a distinct migration between late summer and late spring. During migration they can number into the thousands. The rut takes place during this migration, from late September to early October, when bulls will form harems of 12 - 15 animals. Hunting Season for non-resident hunters runs from July 25 - October 31st.

It is the largest subspecies of the moose family that inhabits the Mackenzie Mountains, Alces alces gigas, the Alaska-Yukon Moose. Non-resident hunters take only about 50 moose a year and there are no confirmed numbers as to total of population.

On average hunters spend about 5 days hunting for moose and trophy qualities are tremendous. The average antler spread has been recorded continually around 60 inches and record book moose are taken yearly.

Moose hunting season in the Mackenzies opens September 1st, and therefore all moose hunting takes place during the rut, which starts around the 5th to 8th of September.

Mountain Goats range into the Mackenzie Mountains and into the Yukon. Trophy sizes can reach up to and above 10 inches. On average 15 goats a season are harvested. The hunting season for goat opens on July 15 together with the Dall's sheep.

Of the predators, which are open to hunting to non-residents, the wolf is more notable with an average of 12 wolves taken per year. Wolverine and black bear are taken only very occasionally. Only one wolf tag per non-resident hunter can be held.


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