The Mackenzie Mountains of the NWT cover a vast stretch of absolutely wild and untouched land (54,000 square miles or 34.6 million acres) running east of the Yukon border and west of the Mackenzie River, and unfolding their breathtaking beauty from the British Columbia border to the south all the way north past the Arctic Circle to the northern tundra that sweeps on into the Arctic Ocean. There are no roads, no towns or villages, no year-around residents and very few resident hunters. This is a primordial land that has not changed since Alexander Mackenzie explored the mighty river that now bears his name. Hunting in the Mackenzies is therefore a wilderness experience in its truest form, and while your eyes follow wild mountain ranges that lose themselves in the horizons, the game you pursue will wonder about your presence, being unaware of the existence of man.
The Mackenzie Mountains of the NWT were first opened to trophy hunting in 1965. Since then they have become world renowned for providing high quality wilderness hunting experiences for hunters from around the globe. The primary species that is hunted in the Mackenzies is Dall’s sheep, but many also come to hunt mountain caribou, Alaska Yukon moose, mountain goat, black bear, wolf and wolverine. Member outfitters offer a variety of hunting experiences—traditional horseback hunts, extreme backpack hunts, hunts using helicopters to access the remote areas of the Mackenzie Mountains and even winter wolf hunts using snowmobiles.
There are currently eight outfitters who are licensed by the Government of the NWT to provide big game outfitting services within the Mackenzie Mountains. Under the terms of the NWT Wildlife Act, each licensed outfitter has the exclusive right to provide outfitting services within their outfitting zone. All non-resident hunters must use the services of an outfitter and be accompanied by a licensed guide who is employed by the outfitter. The minimum age to be issued a hunting license in the NWT is 12 years old. Younger children can hunt with a parent or guardian and harvest animals under that person’s license/bag limit. Most outfitters welcome clients to bring along a non-hunting companion to share their experience in this amazing untouched wilderness.
Current game populations are strong and member outfitters pride themselves in managing their areas for long-term sustainability. Hunter success rates are high and many clients come back year after year to enjoy this amazing country. The members of AMMO are hopeful that they will be able to offer their clients world class hunts for many years to come.--Harold Grinde, President, Association of Mackenzie Mountains Outfitters