Rocky Mountain Elk

Our Sawtooth Outfitting territory is an elk hunter’s dream come true!

Elk Hunting is our specialty. Our Sawtooth outfitting territory is located in the Purcell Mountains, which are particularly renowned for heavy, dark antlered Bulls. This area has many remote basins and lush undergrowth, which provides an abundance of food and cover for the big bulls. Our guides are skilled at coaxing these bulls out into the open.

British Columbia is one of the few areas in North America where you can hunt Elk with a rifle during the rut. In 1998, the East Kootenay region was designated a 6 point or better Elk region. This fact, combined with proactive habitat restoration efforts, has resulted in our Elk populations reaching an all-time high, with many mature bulls available. The past several years have been excellent trophy Elk hunting in the East Kootenays, and we expect the next few to be the same or better.

Nonetheless, we take only 6-8 Elk hunters in the hunting territory per week to ensure a healthy population of mature bulls. And with over 350,000 acres in our territories, we have plenty of area to move around in search of your trophy bull. We use horses, ATV or 4X4 vehicles to get close, and then hike to access the back end of isolated river valleys that hold the big mature bulls. Our area has over 30 such valleys (anywhere from 3 to 14 miles long).

Most of our hunters combine their Elk hunt with the pursuit of mule deer, whitetail and wolf which are included (apart from the tags) in the base price of the package. 

Client Review

Ryan and Katie, First and foremost, thank you for a wonderful experience.  Both Steve and I meant it on after the first day when we said the trip was a smashing success even if we never bagged an elk.  And we sure as hell bagged a couple huge elk!!!  Bonus beyond expectations.

You are both a pleasure to be with, and we felt very fortunate to have found you.  As soon as our calendars are clear enough for us to pull the trigger, we’ll be booking again. – WOW!  There are not words adequate to describe how incredible Ryan, Katie and Sawtooth Outfitters are.

My brother and I booked a 2:1 7-day Elk trip.  We were prepared to see some beautiful country, backpack some miles (we worked to get in shape ahead of time), and work hard for a chance at a bull elk.  We had no idea!  The general area, and in particular Sawtooth Outfitters’ exclusive territory, is beautiful beyond words. Just packing out and camping in some of the valleys was worth the price of admission, even if we never saw an elk!  And elk we saw! I don’t believe I’ve worked so hard on any pack trip in my life.  It was incredibly testing, but always enjoyable.  The work was so much of the pleasure!  And, any time we thought we were working hard, we needed only look to Ryan, who was working twice as hard.  Every time we got to the “top”, and there was another ridge or mountain to climb, it was invigorating and inspiring to see the beauty and land get only more incredible.

We saw elk the first day out, numerous mule deer, mountain goats and all kinds of other wildlife. After Ryan called, and we then stalked and bagged a beautiful 6×6 trophy bull elk, we packed it out for a couple of days (lots of very rewarding work).  But, Ryan didn’t stop there. As long as we were interested in putting in the effort, he was right there with us.  Ryan called in another beautiful bull a few days later, and we took a 7×6 beauty as well.   I cannot imagine a better hunt, or a better outfitter.

The camps and lodge are beautiful, yet you don’t ever feel like you’re in a hotel – they’re still rustic, but we had all the amenities we could ever have wanted.  The camping/packing was perfect and very rewarding.   I truly could not have hoped for a better hunt (it would have been amazing if we’d never bagged a bull; it was that great!).  If you get the chance, go get in shape (although there were others successfully hunting that didn’t put the miles or elevation in that we did), and prepare to be amazed.

The most rewarding hunt/work I’ve ever done. Thank you, Ryan, Katie and Shelly.  You’re amazing and we’ll be seeing you again!!

Peter and Steve S. (California) September 2023

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