2020 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations:
“Residents who did not receive a Special Licence authorization through the draw process are now eligible to obtain a Special Licence hunting opportunity through the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society. This opportunity is in response to the financial hardship currently experienced by the lack of international travel due to current restrictions. Current licence restrictions still apply.”
1) What is a “special licence hunting opportunity through the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society”?
Temporary changes were made to the Wildlife Regulation in 2020 to allow outfitters to take residents of Alberta on a guided hunt utilizing an allocation. Traditionally, outfitter allocations established under section 54 of the Wildlife Regulation could only be used by outfitters for non-resident Canadian and non-resident alien clients. The 2020 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations is referring to guided hunts that use an outfitter’s allocation.
2) Can I just buy the “special licence” and go on my own without an outfitter?
No. The temporary change to the Wildlife Regulation enables an outfitter to guide an Alberta resident hunter on an allocation. As a hunter, you would need to be a client of the outfitter.
3) Can I go with an outfitter using my general or draw opportunity?
Yes, you can hunt with an outfitter using your general or draw opportunity; that was also the case before the Wildlife Regulation changes were made in 2020. Be aware that the best practice established by the APOS Board of Directors is that an outfitter can guide Alberta residents in a Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) where they either hold allocations or privileges for the species being hunted or have the permission of at least 1 outfitter who holds allocations or privileges for that species in the WMU being hunted.
4) Does going on a guided hunt using an allocation affect my draw status?
Your draw status will not change if you go on a guided hunt with an outfitter using an allocation. However, if you are successful on your draw, you cannot hold two licences for the same species. For example, if you get drawn for a mule deer as a resident, you can still go on a guided moose hunt with an outfitter, but you cannot go on a guided mule deer hunt. You cannot “double up” for a particular species.
5) How long will these changes be in place? Is this a permanent measure?
The opportunity for residents to go on a guided hunt with an outfitter using an allocation will be in place for up to 2 years.
6) How do I find an outfitter?
You can search on www.apos.ab.ca under Find an Outfitter by clicking “Guiding Alberta Residents” and the species you are seeking.