Before Alberta was even a province, outfitters and guides were leading hunting parties deep into the Rocky Mountains. They were able to provide their clients from around the world with an amazing outdoor experiences, and of course an opportunity to take back a big game animal.
With hunting season now in full swing here in Alberta, there will be some visitors who will be coming to our province for the first time in anticipation of a unique hunting experience.
For many folks a backpack-hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains is high on their bucket list.
Alberta is known worldwide as a premier hunting destination and has been attracting outdoor men and women for well over 100 years - - - and for a good reason. Alberta has nine big game species, as well as waterfowl and upland bird hunting opportunities. With 255,541 square miles of territory, there is a lot of room to move around and experience everything from horseback to boreal forest and prairie grassland hunts.
The professional outfitting industry is also a significant economic driver in Alberta. An independent report in 2013 pegged a total of $105 million in economic activity.
Hunting with a professional outfitter and guide can be the trip of a lifetime for a father and son
The reputation of this industry ultimately rests with the individual outfitter and guide. It is their personal interaction with the visiting hunter who will carry Alberta’s reputation to the towns and cities around the world, and perhaps entice others to experience what our province has to offer by way of hunting opportunities.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet some professional outfitters right across Alberta, and it's not hard to see why our province has such a well-earned reputation. I spent some time with Mark Parsons, owner of Anchor Bar Outfitting who I think captures the spirit of what its like to be a professional outfitter in today's modern world.
Mark Parsons is the quintessential guide right down to laying out an original song
It is important to note that anyone who is a non-resident or a non-resident alien (non-Canadian citizen) hunter must be accompanied by either a hunter host or an outfitter guide when hunting big game, wolf, or coyote. For more information about coming to Alberta to hunt check out these resources.