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Big Game, Duck and Bird Hunting in Northwest Ontario
It is estimated that there is a population between 50,000 and 75,000 black bears in Ontario and most of them live in the Northwest. Bears are most often hunted from baited stands with rifle or archery weapons - it's your choice. Color phases range from black, brown to cinnamon red and there may even be a few rare blond phase bears out there. The largest boars weigh well over 600 pounds which makes for some exhilirating moments when one that size saunters in to your bait.
The largest land mammal in our boreal forest is the moose and the Northwest Ontario has a long established reputation as a fine moose hunting destination. You can hunt these animals in a variety of ways and we highly recommend a guide. Adult bull moose can exceed 1200 pounds and sport racks more than 60 inches across! Cows generally weigh in the 600-800 pound range. Many hunters choose remote fly-in only locations where the moose population is the most dense.
Northwest Ontario has quickly become one of North America's most popular whitetail deer hunting destinations. With our dense forest that include a variety of coniferous and deciduous tree cover, whitetail deer have really moved into the region since the mid 1990s. There are lots of bucks with Boone and Crockett scores in the 130-140 range and close to 20% of the bucks will score in the 150 plus range - or higher! Of course the once-in-a lifetime animals are also out there - the "Dryden" buck, harvested in 2006, had a Boone and Crockett score of over 199 so you know we have some big animals.
While not necessarily known as a prime duck hunting destination, Northwest Ontario is no pushover when it comes to duck hunting. Many flocks visit our lakes in the fall on their southern migration resting up and feeding on wild rice beds. The most common species we see are wood ducks, mallards, blue bills, teal and ring ducks. There are also large populations of Canada geese that make an appearance every fall. Bring your dog and enjoy quality hunting away from the crowds.
Ruffed grouse are plentiful in Northwest Ontario. Recent years have seen an abundance of birds so hunters rarely have a problem bagging their limit of five in a day. A great strategy is to walk old logging trails to make contact with grouse. Most grouse have not seen people before and most will let you get close before they decide to run or fly. According to many people, ruffed grouse may be the best eating wild game in the woods and there is probably no better hunt to introduce kids to than hunting grouse. Though they exist in smaller numbers, the spruce grouse is available throughout most of Northwest Ontario also. They are similar size to a ruffed grouse with a beautiful colour scheme.