Wildlife harvest allocation

Wildlife harvest allocation is the process of dividing the available harvest of a wildlife population between user groups (resident hunters and guided hunters), following wildlife stewardship priorities:

  1. Wildlife conservation and sustainability
  2. First Nations’ needs for food, social and ceremonial purposes
  3. Resident hunting opportunity
  4. Non-resident hunting opportunity

Wildlife Act regulations define hunting opportunity through hunting seasons, animal classes and hunt types to ensure sustainable harvest. Despite regulations, the combined interest of licensed hunters for some big game species exceeds what the populations can sustain. These hunts can be designated as "Category A".

To fairly and predictably distribute harvest opportunity of Category A hunts, after accounting for conservation and First Nations’ needs, the Province divides the available allowable harvest by setting harvest allocations for resident and guided hunters.

Allocation splits

The Province’s harvest allocation policy applies to the big game hunts defined as Category A in the harvest allocation policy.

The proportion or “split” of the allowable harvest for Category A hunts for resident and guided hunters is also defined in the harvest allocation policy to inform stable and transparent decisions. 

Region Species Resident Split (%) Guide Split (%)
1 Bull Elk 85 15
1 Either Sex Elk 85 15
2 Bull Elk 80 20
3 Mountain Goat 65 35
3 Moose 85 15
3 Big Horn Sheep 70 30
4 Big Horn Sheep 60 40
4 Mountain Goat 65 35
4 Bull Moose 80 20
5 Moose 75 25
5 Bull Caribou 75 25
5 Mountain Goat 65 35
6 North Thin Horn Sheep 60 40
6 South Moose 75 25
6 North Moose 75 25
6 South Mountain Goat 65 35
6 North Mountain Goat 65 35
6 North Caribou 75 25
7A Bull Moose 77 23
7B Mountain Goat 65 35
7B Antlerless Elk 98 2
7B Bison 82 18
8 Bull Moose 80 20
8 Big Horn Sheep 70 30
8 Mountain Goat 65 35


Allocation applies to areas of the province that are regulated by hunting seasons and covered by guiding territories. In areas of the province not covered by guiding territories, the available harvest will be for resident hunting opportunity only.

Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure

The Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure (2019) was guided by input from the Allocation Working Group with representatives from government and stakeholder organizations.

The Category A hunts and allocation splits were set by the Province in 2015 following a review of the wildlife allocation process and recommendations put forward by the Allocation Working Group, stakeholders and government experts.

The harvest allocation policy and procedure inform consistent allocation decisions across the province, while allowing for the Director and Regional Managers to use defensible methods of determining allowable harvest and allocation appropriate for species in their region.

Supporting policies and procedures

For additional policies and procedures that support harvest allocation, see: Wildlife Policy.