Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Vacation Idea # 2 - Big Game Hunts

With 65,000 square miles of forest lands, Sunset Country offers some of Ontario's finest big game hunting opportunities. Up here there are the "big three" species you can hunt - whitetail deer, moose and black bear. Local outfitters offer guided or unguided hunts depending on the species. For non-residents of Canada, some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) require that you hunt with a guide but this varies across the region.

Whitetail Deer

Over the past few years, Northwestern Ontario has become one of the Canada's premier destinations for whitetail deer hunters. The bucks up here are large-bodied with big racks and many hunters have probably heard of the famous Dryden Buck harvested illegally in 2003. This deer scored gross 217 7/8 and had a net score of 192 7/8 - a truly remarkable animal. Since news of this animal came out, our region has become a very popular destination for Americans who love whitetail deer hunting. Yet with our vast size and extensive hunting land available, you can still come up here and hunt in relative isolation in most areas. Click on this link if you want to find out more about the great Ontario whitetail deer hunting we have to offer.

Black Bear

It is estimated that the black bear population in Northern Ontario is anywhere between 75,000 to 100,000 animals and the Sunset Country region is probably home to at least half of the population. Bear hunting is done primarily from baited stands done with either archery or rifle -depending on the hunter's preference. Big boars can weigh up to 700 pounds - belly draggers for sure - but more commonly mature males are around 400-450 pounds. Unfortunately, the Ontario Government cancelled the Spring Bear hunt in 1999 so the season now runs from August 15th through to October. Local outfitters manage large hunting spaces called Bear Management Areas (BMAs) which have a set number of animals available for harvesting. Careful management ensures a sustainable population and excellent success rates for visiting hunters. Click on this link if you want to learn more about bear hunting in Ontario, Canada.


Moose hunting in Ontario is often a once in a lifetime activity for a big game hunter from the United States. While the increase in the whitetail deer population has put some pressure on moose numbers in recent years, there are still plenty of animals available. Most popular are hunts for bulls and these grow to very large sizes in the Northwest. Moose and calf tags are also available. Non-residents are required to be guided by a local outfitter who is allocated tags by the Ministry of Natural Resources. If you want to participate in a moose hunt - especially if you are after a big bull - then we advise you to book your trip early - a year or more in advance - as the number of bull tags available is limited. Just click on this link if you want to visit Ontario on a moose hunting trip.

Duck and Grouse Hunts

While not in the big game category, Northwestern Ontario is also a great destination for duck hunters or for those who like to hunt grouse. Our many lakes offer excellent resting areas for many different species of waterfowl on their annual migration south. For the upland bird hunter, the numerous abandoned logging roads in Sunset Country allow you to access areas loaded with ruffed grouse. Click on this link if you want to embark on an Ontario duck or grouse hunting trip.

You can also visit this website for more information on Hunting trips in Ontario, Canada.

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