Black Gold Sights
Mike’s Outfitting Alberta Elk
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Mike Ukrainetz 20-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 20-Sep-19
Pyrannah 20-Sep-19
Bou'bound 20-Sep-19
deerslayer 20-Sep-19
Trial153 20-Sep-19
APauls 20-Sep-19
petedrummond 20-Sep-19
deerslayer 21-Sep-19
ElkNut1 21-Sep-19
Irishman 21-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 21-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 21-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 21-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 21-Sep-19
Bou'bound 21-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Sep-19
Bou'bound 22-Sep-19
caribou77 22-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 25-Sep-19
deerslayer 25-Sep-19
Silver 26-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 26-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 30-Sep-19
Mike Ukrainetz 01-Oct-19
SBH 01-Oct-19
Bou'bound 01-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 02-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 02-Oct-19
Mark Watkins 02-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 03-Oct-19
Mark Watkins 03-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 06-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 13-Oct-19
David A. 14-Oct-19
David A. 14-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 14-Oct-19
David A. 14-Oct-19
Bou'bound 14-Oct-19
David A. 14-Oct-19
Mike Ukrainetz 20-Oct-19
Bou'bound 22-Oct-19
20-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
800 lb bull, 337 gross score, 2019
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
800 lb bull, 337 gross score, 2019
Hey Bowsiters, thought I would share how we have been doing on our Alberta Elk hunts. We just killed this giant for us bull with a rifle on opening day, the day after bow season ended. We didn’t lay eyes on him in bow season but we were hunting his area. Not a typical bull for us but one I thought everybody would love to see! It’s a rifle rut hunt opening on Sept 17th. Our archery season runs Aug 25 to Sept 16. I’ll also post some pics of our bow kills, 100+% success rate this year!!

20-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy White from Ontario, 2019 bull.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy White from Ontario, 2019 bull.
Here is 6 time repeat hunter Troy White from Ontario with the first bowkilled elk of this year, 2019. 42 yd shot. This is Troy’s 4th elk with us, his biggest being a 315 gross score a couple years ago. Just to keep it real a 300+ score bull is a giant for us, most bulls we kill are like the bull pictured or small 6 pointers.

From: Pyrannah
20-Sep-19
Looks like fun!

From: Bou'bound
20-Sep-19
Great bulls and excellent season results

From: deerslayer
20-Sep-19
That’s awesome Mike! You are a consistent and productive outfitter. Great job on that!

Just out of curiosity why do you think that is regarding the bulls not normally going much past 300? I live just south of you in northern Montana and I’ve always wondered why Alberta bulls don’t get generally as big antler wise as their cousins just south of the border.

From: Trial153
20-Sep-19
Big body on that elk. Very cool

From: APauls
20-Sep-19
Justin, Alberta bulls do get big, but Mike is as close to you as Portland, Oregon, or Minneapolis. He's pretty far up there in AB.

And congrats on the bulls Mike!!! That is a heck of a heavy brute

From: petedrummond
20-Sep-19
great

From: deerslayer
21-Sep-19
I’ve talked to many, many people coming through the border, outfitters from all parts of the province included, and can tell you the general consensus is a 300” bull is on the big side for Alberta. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but there is no real comparison between Montana bulls and Alberta bulls, just like our whitetails and theirs. Just wondering why that is, especially because they typically outperform the lower 48 and just about every species and category.

From: ElkNut1
21-Sep-19
Mike, great job on the bulls, well done sir!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Irishman
21-Sep-19
Deerslayer, I think there are parts of Alberta that do have big bulls (in the eastern part of the province I think), just like there are places in Montana that don't. Finding a bull in some areas of Montana like the Wisdom area that score over 300 is rare. A lot of the big elk in Montana are in areas that had elk transplanted from Yellowstone park, an example being the Missouri Breaks.

21-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy’s son Lukas White with his archery bull from this fall, 2019.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy’s son Lukas White with his archery bull from this fall, 2019.
Lukas White and his dad Troy have hunted with us for the last 5 years and Lukas has taken 4 elk. He’s also shot a couple moose on this combo elk and moose bowhunt. (Troy also did a 6th hunt with us and his dad Dale before Lukas starting coming along. Dale killed a nice moose on that hunt.)

21-Sep-19
The reason we don't have many 300+ inch score bulls in NW Alberta is due to an over the counter rifle season that opens in the middle of the rut, Sept 17 and goes right till Nov 30! And you can kill any bull with just 3 points on one side. Plus they issue 1200 antlerless elk tags, so any cow or calf can be killed from Sept 17 to Jan 20. With an estimated population of about 1000 elk in my main zone if it wasn't for the jungly thick woods, littered with deadfall and steep, steep river valleys almost every elk would be killed, except for the spikers and 2 pointers.

With that being said the elk hunting is still really good if you know what you are doing and are not lazy or out of shape. And even field sitters kill their fair share of elk over such a long season. (They may also be underestimating the population by 1000+ elk too because of the lack of animal population surveys and difficulty in doing the ones they do.) Estimated kill count is about 175 bulls and 225 cows per year and the population is still growing, and expanding.

21-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Peace River valley, beautiful but deceptively tough to hunt.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Peace River valley, beautiful but deceptively tough to hunt.
Here is a picture of what the big river valleys look like but this isn’t nearly the only refuge they have, the thick flat woods around the farm fields also allow elk to survive while rifle toting hunters walk by within bow range.

21-Sep-19
One of the interesting things is that if a bull figures out how to survive the hunting and sneak around like a mature whitetail, he can get big like the 330+, heavy giant pictured or even much larger. A few bulls have been killed in just my zone that have gone well over 400! But if he acts like an elk and at 3-4 yrs old and a 270-300+ score and he gathers a harem and bugles away, he is dead, so we get a very different type of rut than most elk places. We end up with a lack of 300 inchers and a handful of giants. But each season we have lots of spikers and 2-3 yr old bulls who can be very vocal during their 1st or 2nd breeding season, very susceptible to calling and the hunt can be a blast, even as early as Aug 25. But this is only in my area, Alberta is huge and diverse, from mountains to foothills to prairie to boreal forest to farmland etc, etc, all with a variety of season dates. The only common Alberta thing is that we have the genetics to grow huge bulls but overall poor trophy bull management. But that doesn't mean the hunting isn't fantastic, you just have to understand your local elk dynamics and manage your expectations on the hunt.

From: Bou'bound
21-Sep-19
That is a Great track record on elk just like he runs in bears. Very impressive.

22-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
2019 bull, Mark Dunahoo with his first archery elk
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
2019 bull, Mark Dunahoo with his first archery elk
Thanks bou’bound! We may not always get big bulls but our always high opportunity rate and often high kill success makes it a great hunt. Especially if you compare it to a do-your-yourself, DYI, hunt. How many hunters here can say 4 of them went bowhunting for elk and in 7 days killed 4 bulls? Especially as new to elk bowhunters?

From: Bou'bound
22-Sep-19
None

From: caribou77
22-Sep-19
That's awesome. And to me those are all good bulls. The body on that first one... wow.

25-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
2019 bull, Dave Anderson
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
2019 bull, Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson with his elk. 4 elk kills for 4 hunters in 6 days, we also flesh wounded a 5th bull, he is fine. Dave also got a bull moose on this combo hunt.

25-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Dave Anderson’s 2019 moose.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Dave Anderson’s 2019 moose.
Here is Dave with his 2019 moose to pair up with his elk. We do most of the elk hunts combined with moose which is a pretty unique hunt. We also do elk only bowhunts at a very reasonable cost.

25-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's Link

From: deerslayer
25-Sep-19
Thanks for the explanation Mike!

From: Silver
26-Sep-19
So given the heavy OTC pressure these elk face, how do you choose to hunt them in the thick timber. I’ve got family on the Peace River valley on the BC side, but most of the hunting I’ve tried has been field edges, and I certainly haven’t heard much for bugling, so I suspect its much the same as you’re facing.

That first bull is a Tank!

26-Sep-19
Hey Silver, we hear bugling on a daily basis, especially during archery season. The hunting pressure is very low then with the whole province open to bowhunting on Sept 1st and only around 12,000 bowhunters spread all over. I very rarely ever see another hunter actually in the woods especially when hunting more than 1/2 a mile from a field. We bugle in 90% of our bulls that we kill, aggressive, fun, in their face bugling! We hunt anywhere and have 3-4 young, strong backs in camp to pack a bull out of any valley in less than 1/2 a day.

26-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Veteran guide Kyle Mudge and new guide Alec Zabel packing out!
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Veteran guide Kyle Mudge and new guide Alec Zabel packing out!
Here’s guides Kyle and Alec doing some elk packing out. Kyle is showing what a 32 yr old guide looks like after 10 years of guiding and 21 yr old Alec is what a new, young fresh guide looks like in his first year of guiding! Haha. Kind of a before and after type of picture!

30-Sep-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Gerard Van Den Boogaard with his 2019 bull.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Gerard Van Den Boogaard with his 2019 bull.
We have some awesome guides and when they tag out their hunters they get to do some hunting for themselves. They get limited time so they aren’t too picky on size. Gerard got this nice elk.

01-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Kyle Mudge, 2019 bull
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Kyle Mudge, 2019 bull
One of our long time killer guides Kyle Mudge got this elk with his rifle on Sept 29th, a day off because his moose hunters tagged out! It was bugling away out in a field with a dozen cows and sneaky Kyle took him down with the boom stick!!

From: SBH
01-Oct-19
Great stuff Mike. Sounds like you guys do it right just like the bear hunts.

I was not aware of the elk population up there. Sounds like I finally found an elk management system worse then MT! Ha:) Way to go on working with what you got. Those are all awesome elk.

From: Bou'bound
01-Oct-19
I will do that hunt I’m the next few years.

02-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike's elk from 2014
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike's elk from 2014
Thanks Bou'Bound, love to have you come up and do a hunt with us! We have lots of elk and some good ones.

02-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy White from 2015
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Troy White from 2015
Troy's bull grossed 315, biggest client killed archery bull.

From: Mark Watkins
02-Oct-19
Congrats on another stellar season Mike!

Yes, this is a testimonial!

A buddy and I bowhunted elk with Mike in 2012 (I believe). LOTS of big game...we called it the Peace River Safari.

The Peace River drainage is rugged but its not at elevation and a wide range of fitness levels can hunt well in that country.

Mike and his guides are second to none at calling and setting up scenarios for close in your face bow range shots at fired up bulls.

Facilities and home cooked meals are excellent!

Ask away or PM me with any questions...a great time!

Mark

03-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins, 2012 elk
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mark Watkins, 2012 elk
Thanks Mark! It's crazy to think your hunt was way back in 2012, we've shot a lot of elk since then. I'll never forget the incredible calling session we had with your bull, fun, fun!

From: Mark Watkins
03-Oct-19
"Good people helping good people kill great elk!"

Mark

06-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Josh with a 2019 moose he killed on one day off from guiding. We often call them right into bow range even in early season.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Guide Josh with a 2019 moose he killed on one day off from guiding. We often call them right into bow range even in early season.
We often do these elk hunts as a combo with moose, it's a great chance to get both species in one hunt. Almost all of our physically fit hunters get good shot opportunities at both species in 7 full days of hunting. Some guys get multiple chances at both, some guys just kill both. Most of the moose are out of velvet, some not, especially in the first few days of the hunt, Sept 7, 8, 9...

13-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Blake Luse from Montana with his bull from this past fall of 2019.
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Blake Luse from Montana with his bull from this past fall of 2019.
Blake has hunted with us several times for mule deer and decided to add a moose tag to his hunt this year. Him and guide Gerard called this nice bull into bow range and Blake took the bull with one shot. Blake drove up and was able to take all of the delicious moose meat home. Our farmland moose taste fantastic!

From: David A.
14-Oct-19
"....we have the genetics to grow huge bulls but overall poor trophy bull management..."

Same as Oregon and many other areas, and almost everywhere for deer. Apathetic hunters and Game & Fish...we can have almost anything we want if there was sufficient will. Most people just don't care enough to implement necessary changes.

But it goes beyond apathy; it is biologically unsound not to have sufficient numbers of elk/deer in the older age medium and older age classes.

From: David A.
14-Oct-19
Should read, "it is biologically unsound not have sufficient numbers of elk/deer in mid and older age classes."

14-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike’s 2019 bull
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike’s 2019 bull
I got quite a bit of time to hunt elk for myself this past September and I was holding out for a 270+ type 6 pointer. I called several bulls within bow range that didn’t make the cut and then this guy came in and I really thought he was a 300 incher. It’s funny how your mind can trick you when you want something really bad, 40 yd shot and a 60 yd recovery and I was looking at my 250 score bull. Bit of a bummer but oh well. I’ve called in and passed on dozens of bulls since my last big one in 2014. It’s hard to find a 300+ incher but a ton of fun trying!

And I agree David! All animal populations should be managed for a balanced age structure.

From: David A.
14-Oct-19
Congratulations, Mike. And I certainly agree. I have helped change one game law in Arizona and know if hunters unite, show up in number at Game and Fish meetings with a coherent and biologically sound plan things can change and change for the better, including the priority which should be a balanced age structure as you precisely put it.

From: Bou'bound
14-Oct-19
Great job mike. Excellent. great thread

From: David A.
14-Oct-19
Mike, do you think the Manitoba subspecies is really different and do you get any of them in your hunt area?

20-Oct-19

Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike's 2019 moose
Mike Ukrainetz's embedded Photo
Mike's 2019 moose
Here's a bull I killed this year in the same area where we do our combo elk and moose hunts. I killed it Sept 22 and our combo hunts end on Sept 14 which is pre rut so a bull of this size is unlikely but certainly possible. 30 yd shot.

No Manitoba elk near us, it's a long ways away!

From: Bou'bound
22-Oct-19
Great bull

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