Where do you want to hunt?
Moose hunting is something that even the most well traveled high budget hunters only do a few times in their lifetime. It’s important that you have the proper information to find the hunt that would satisfy your trophy quality expectations, physical condition level and budget. There is a lot of grey area in the moose hunting sub-species classifications, so we’ll attempt to break it down based on regions.
Shiras moose are found in the Rocky mountains of the western US is the smallest of all the subspecies. It’s also one of the most difficult tags to draw. Some states like Utah have moose tags you can buy but you’ll pay a pretty penny for them. Those hunts often will require very good physical condition and the hunts will run around $13,000 with guaranteed tags. Average bulls on a good hunt will run about 30-40 inches wide, but a fifty inch bull is a possibility.
Moose in Maine are considered Eastern Canada Moose and can be a very tough draw as well, even though this state has the highest population in the lower 48 states. The hunts are around $4,500 if you draw a tag, or you can buy Governor’s Tags for around $12-$15,000 at auction. Shooter bulls there are 38-50 inches.
Eastern Canada Moose
The Eastern Canada Moose (Alces alces Americana) is slightly smaller than the Western Canada Moose, with significantly smaller antlers, and a darker, blackish-brown coloration and reduced saddle area. The eastern moose’s range spans a broad swath of northeastern North America which are in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador (native to Labrador, introduced to Gander Bay, NF in 1878 and to Howley, NF in 1904), Nova Scotia, Quebec, Eastern Ontario, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and northern New York.
Everything east of Saskatchewan, as a general rule, will have smaller bulls from 20-40 inches, but the prices can be from $4,000-$7,000. Buyer beware on these hunts, as it has been our experience that many of these hunts can be a train wreck and you really have to know who you will be hunting with before you book. Be very careful of cheap hunts in this area. WITH MOOSE YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!
We have an exceptional moose hunt in Newfoundland if you want to hunt Eastern Canada moose.
Western Canada Moose
The Western Canada moose is the second largest North American subspecies of moose, second to the Alaskan moose. The Western moose inhabits British Columbia, eastern Yukon, Northwest Territories, southwestern Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, western Ontario, the upper peninsula of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, and northeastern North Dakota.
Many of these hunts are associated with agriculture, and have a decent amount of resident pressure on the bulls, limiting trophy quality to 20-40 inch bull averages in some areas. There are pockets that produce better bulls but for the most part this is just a moose hunt. What we do like about these farm country hunts, like our Peace River moose hunt in Alberta is you will see many bulls during your hunt. It’s a great spot and stalk hunt and can be conducive to archery as many times you can ambush bulls coming out of the fields. Hunts here range from $5,500-$7,000.
British Columbia, in our opinion, is the place to hunt large bulls with a good bang for the buck. The key to moose hunting in British Columbia is getting remote by horse, or float plane. The further back you go the better the bulls will be. Bulls in BC, especially northern BC can push over that magical 50 inch mark. A 50 inch bull in the Prince George are is definitely a shooter, and north of Smithers a guy can actually get into 60 inch bulls. Hunts for bulls in BC that average 40-50 will cost between $7000-$10,000, and further north with 50-60+ inch bulls a guy will pay $10-$14,000, and likely have a extra fee for a float plane.
Alaska is also all about going remote for giant bulls, and even then you may be competing with resident hunters in some areas. Good Alaska moose hunts will run from $14,00, up to (and sometimes over) $25,000 for 55-65 inch bulls, with some pushing up to 70 inches. Alaska’s high costs are all about plane flights. It’s very expensive to get you remote, but even more, it’s expensive to get your moose back out.
By the way, if you’re tough enough, and can get on the waiting list, check out our unguided moose hunt in Alaska. Here are some helpful tips if you want to go the unguided route.