Canada’s Big Game diversity includes exotic species.

Like Muskox, Walrus, and Polar Bear to name a few.

Pronghorn

  • An estimated 40,000 Pronghorn inhabit the central to eastern Prairies Wildlife Management units of Alberta and the lower west side of Saskatchewan.

Black Tailed Deer

  • British Columbia has both the Columbia and Sitka Black Deer with estimates of 150,000 Black Deer inhabiting the province.

Mule Deer

  • British Columbia estimates that it has approximately 190,000 Mule Deer with 165,000 of them located in the interior regions of the province.

  • 133,000 Mulies are determined to occupy Alberta.

  • Mule Deer do occupy Saskatchewan and a bit of Manitoba but populations are unknown to me.

Whitetail Deer

  • The Whitetail deer is the most abundant member of the deer family and the most hunted big game species in Canada
  • It occupies the southern section of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
  • Saskatchewan is home to the 'Dakota' strain of whitetail deer, the largest Whitetail in North America! 

Caribou

  • There are approximately 17,000 northern caribou in British Columbia. They are distributed among 31 herds, of which 15 are listed as “Threatened” under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). [1]
  • A 2014 survey of the Baffin Island Caribou population estimates that there are only 3,462 to 6,250 caribou on Baffin Island. This is down from an estimated 120,000 to 330,000 in the 90’s. [3]
  • In 2001 there were more than one million caribou in Nunavik. By 2011 there were fewer than 300,000.[
  • The Leaf herd in the west, near the coast of Hudson Bay, has grown from 270 000 individuals in 1991 to 628 000 in 2001. [4]
  • According to the Québec's Natural Resources and Wildlife survey, the Leaf River Herd (LRH) (Rivière-aux-Feuilles) had decreased to 430,000 caribou in 2011. [4]
  • A story being told across the Canadian North is of a general decline in the caribou herds.

Elk

  • There is a Roosevelt Elk population comprising of 3,000 to 3,500 members on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The balance of the Elk are of the Rocky Mountain species. [5]
  • Since the mid-1970s, the number of interior Rocky Mountain Elk in British Columbia has increased from about 15,000 to 40,000. About 18,000 of these occur in northern BC, 20,000 in the Kooteny region and 1350 in the Thompson-Okanagan area. [5]
  • Alberta has a growing population of Elk (also known as Wapiti) that numbers in the neighbourhood of 26,000 animals. As of late to quote a newspaper article the Elk have been multiplying like rabbits. The Elk were introduced to CFB Suffield in 1997 and 1998 to graze on the long grass around the military base, but the original population of about 200 has now grown to number between 8,000 and 10,000 [6]
  • Saskatchewan has an Elk population of about 15,000 animals that are mostly in the south of the province. [7]
  • Manitoba’s population comes in at about 7,100 and populations to the east of Manitoba are very limited.

Moose

The moose is probably one of the most noted big game animals in Canada. It occupies most of Canada and provincial statistics break down as follows.

 

  • NWT
  • 20,000
  • Yukon
  • 70,000
  • BC
  • 170,000
  • Alberta
  • 118,000
  • Saskatchewan
  • 50,000
  • Manitoba
  • 27,000
  • Ontario
  • 86,000
  • Quebec
  • 75,000
  • New Brunswick
  • 29,000
  • Nova Scotia
  • 1,000
  • PEI
  • -  
  • New Foundland Labrador
  • 115,000
  •  
  •  
  • Canada’s Total Population
  • 761,000

 

  • The most notable number is the 29,000 in New Brunswick. Although it does not seem like much against British Columbia’s 170,000 you have to remember that New Brunswick is a smaller province and that gives it the second highest population density in Canada next to that of Newfoundland.

Black Bear

  • With and estimated population of 380,000 the Black Bear is found in virtually ever province and territory in Canada with the exception of Prince Edward Island. And approximately 70% of that population is found in the three provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
  • You should note that the current black bear population in BC is 120,000 to 160,000 animals or ¼ of the total black bear population of Canada. 

Grizzly Bear

  • The Canadian Grizzly Population is about 26,500 bears.
  • Alberta has about 690 Grizzly’s in its western boundary (near Jasper and Banff Park) there is no current hunting season there.
  • British Columbia has a population of about 15,000 Grizzly Bears (which is about 25% of North America’s entire population). For detailed information on BC’s Grizzly population click here. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/soe/indicators/plants-and-animals/grizzly-bears.html
  • The Yukon has an estimated 6 to 7 thousand Grizzly Bears,
  • NWT territories round up the population with 1,500 and
  • Nunavut with 3,500 Grizzly’s.

Polar Bear

  • The global estimate for the Polar Bear is 20-25,000 bears and about 2/3’s of them are in Canada.
  • There are not many outfitters specializing in this hunt but a search for Polar Bear Hunting will quickly reveal North West Territory or Nunavut Outfitters who brag about 100% success rates.
  • These are limited tag hunts that are offered in the spring and late summer.

Bighorn Sheep

  • If you go by population size, British Columbia is clearly the best province to choose for a Bighorn Sheep adventure.
  • However, Alberta does hold the #1, 2, 3, and 4 Boone and Crocket records as well as the Pope and Young world record.
  •  Quantity or quality. That’s your choice.
  • The Canadian population is estimated to be about 15,500.
    • About 11,500 of that estimate are Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
    • 1,500 are British Columbia Bighorns.
    • 4,000 are California Bighorn sheep.

Thinhorn Sheep

  • Thinhorn sheep (which comprises of the Dall Sheep and the Stone Sheep) live only in the north-western part of North America. Predominately in north-western Canada and Alaska.
  • Canada’s population has a variable estimate of 34,500 to 59, 000. [10]
  • The Yukon’s population is estimated to be 22,000. [9]
  • British Columbia’s estimate is from 12,300 to 15,000 individuals.[10]

Mountain Goats

  • British Columbia is the heartland of Mountain Goats and at 50,000 it has more than half of the world’s population. [12]
  • Alberta’s population is believed to be about 2,000 [11]  and smaller numbers in the Yukon, and Mackenzie Territory. [12]
  • The population for the NWT is unknown but it does have a hunting season.

Wolf

  • The grey wolf in is considered a big game animal in Canada and our population is over 60,000 wolves. [13]
  • The Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon have 5,000 wolves each, [13]
  • British Columbia has 8,500 wolves. [13]
  • Alberta 4,200. [13] 
  • Saskatchewan 4,300. [13]
  • Manitoba 4,000-6,000. [13]
  • Ontario 9,000. [13]
  • Quebec 5,000 . [13]
  • Labrador 2,000. [13]

Muskox

  • The NWT and Nunavut are the home for Canada’s 113,300 muskoxen, ~75% of the World population. [14]

Bison

  • Wild populations can be found in British Columbia and Saskatchewan [16]
  • The wood bison population in Canada is estimated at around 10,000 animals. [15]
  • The plains bison population is 670 to 740 adult animals in three free-ranging herds. [16]

Walrus

  • It is thought that there world population of Atlantic Walrus is about 20,000.
  • At 5,000 individuals, the largest walrus herd in Canada occurs north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula in what is referred to as the Foxe Basin.

Cougar

  • Currently, the cougar ranges across most western American states, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and the Canadian territory of Yukon.[18]
  • British Columbia has generated quite a hunting industry for this cat.

Wolverine

  • The world's total wolverine population is not known. The animal exhibits a low population density and requires a very large home range. [19]
  • British Columbia, Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut have active hunting seasons.

 

References:

[1] - http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/speciesconservation/nc/

[2] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barren-ground_caribou

[3] - http://www.gov.nu.ca/eia/news/minister-initiates-interim-moratorium-baffin-island-caribou-harvest

[4] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migratory_woodland_caribou

[5] - http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/elk.pdf

[6] - http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/herd-of-8-000-wild-elk-too-far-gone-to-control-rancher-demands-mass-cull-1.2052516

[7] - http://www.hww.ca/en/wildlife/mammals/north-american-elk.html?referrer=https://www.google.ca/

[8] - https://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/wildlife/mbsp/fs/elk.html

[9] - http://www.yukonwildlife.ca/animalshabitats/ouranimals/thinhornsheep/

[10] - http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/statusrpts/b119.pdf

[11] - http://media.nwsgc.org/proceedings/NWSGC-2008/StatusAlberta_Mt._Goat_Status_Update_for_NWSGC_2008.pdf

[12] - http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/mtngoat.pdf

[13] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gray_wolf_populations_by_country

[14] – http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/report13/muskox.html

[15] - http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/nature/eep-sar/itm3/eep-sar3u/2.aspx

[16] - http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=805

[17] - http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/kids/animal-facts/walrus.asp 

[18] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar

[19] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverin

Photo Credits - Slideshow

  • Pronghorn – CCO Public Domain - Pixabay
  • Grizzly Bear –  Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith - Flickr
  • Moose – USFWS Mountain Prairie - Flickr
  • Cougar - By USFWS Mountain-Prairie (8th Place - Mountain Lion) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Elk – SaunTek - Flickr
  • Caribou – Impisle - Flickr
  • Bighorn Sheep - Pixabay
  •  Mule Deer –  Ray F. - Flickr

Photo Credit - Article

  • Grizzly Bears - Pixabay

Disclaimer

If you want more information use the form below and contact us.