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Sure, you can find mule deer most any place in B.C., but where are all those big, heavy-racked, mature bucks? Look up, way up, beyond the treeline, where you’d expect to see shaggy white goats, not deer. That’s where the big bucks linger, gathering strength through the summer until the deepening snows and the onset of the rut push them down into the lowlands.
This is unforgettable high-country hunting, where you’re as likely to bump into sheep as a band of bachelor bucks with heavy-beamed antlers. But this is also tough hunting, since you’ll need to climb to the alpine, camp up there in the cold, the sleet and the occasional blizzard, then trek back down with a couple of quarters lashed to your already heavy pack.
If a do-it-yourself hunt is too daunting, however, a number of guide-outfitters in Cariboo offer horse trains to take you up into the mountains. Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience, sure to draw you back year after year. —George Gruenefeld
When to go: September offers a short window of opportunity between the onset of hunting season and deteriorating weather conditions in the alpine.
Gun and load: Most deer calibres with a fairly flat trajectory and deer-sized energy out to 200 yards or better will do the trick with a 160-grain bullet. The gun-scope package needs to be light, because every ounce makes a difference when you’re hunting mountain country. Also, you’ll want the assurance that you have enough gun to change a grizzly’s mind, just in case.