Best hunt: Mule deerNo matter how you look at it, Chilcotin Country is as good as it gets. You’ll never have a problem finding a country music station on the radio, fresh-washed Levis are considered dress pants and monster mulies roam the high country. True, there are plenty of mule deer in the lower ridges of this rolling plateau, with its cattle ranches, lodgepole forests and glacier-fed rivers. But to find the big, heavy-racked bucks, you’ll need to scale the Chilcotin’s ring of mountains, where the air is cool and damp, and snow squalls rake the peaks, even in early September. Yes, it does sound much like sheep hunting, with the prime alpine meadows above the treeline at elevations topping 1,800 metres. There you’re as apt to bump into a band of California bighorns as you are a bachelor group of trophy-class mulies. In these wild and windswept heights, the browse is rich and succulent, and predators—including hunters—are few. This is spot-and-stalk hunting, and you might glass the alpine meadows for several days before you locate a deer. But when you do, there’s every chance it will carry a 150-class rack or better. You’ll always remember hunting in this spectacular high country, with its patchwork of vibrant yellow, orange and brown, the rest of the world far below you. Resident hunters, as well as Canadian residents accompanied by a hunter-host, can do this hunt on their own. However, a number of guide-outfitters in the area offer experiences ranging from basic horse packing to full-service hunts, the latter mostly for non-residents from outside Canada.
- Bighorn sheep
- Black bear
- Blue, ruffed and spruce grouse
- White-tailed deer
- Willow ptarmigan