4 of the Best Hunting Trips in Ontario

Sunset Country consists mostly of the boreal forest and many, many lakes, making it ideal for hunting. Explore our amazing opportunities for hunting bear, moose, deer, and duck in NWO!

Book your next Canadian hunting trip in Sunset Country, you won't be disappointed!

Sunset Country consists mostly of the boreal forest and thousands of freshwater lakes. The cities and urban areas are sporadically placed within the forests. Northwest Ontario is ideal for hunting; the area is large and the animals are abundant. Four of the best hunting opportunities include black bears, moose, deer, and birds (waterfowl, ducks, grouse, etc).

Ontario Black Bear Hunting

Ontario is one of the most accessible areas in Canada for quality black bear hunting. Our forests and lakes make it a perfect habitat and a plentiful food supply for these industrious animals. As a result, Ontario has one of the largest black bear populations in North America. Since it is hard to accurately count bear populations, estimates as to their numbers vary widely. In the southern part of Sunset Country, around Rainy River, Fort Frances, and Atikokan, there are about 40-60 bears per 100 sq. km. Around Kenora, Dryden, Ignace, Red Lake, and Sioux Lookout, there are approximately 20-40 bears/100 sq. km.

The opening of hunting season for black bears in Ontario is on the 15th of August for most Wilderness Management Units and September 1 or 7 in others. Consult the MNR Hunting Regulations Summary for open season dates for the area you plan to hunt. Opening day may be different for residents and non-residents. Non-residents of Canada now must use the services of a licensed tourist outfitter - even if they own property in the WMU they are hunting in - this is a relatively recent change. 

In Sunset Country, bear hunting is excellent and our Travel Association has many tourist outfitters who have rights to Bear Management Areas (BMA) and who can offer guided or unguided hunts. Bow and rifle hunts are the most common and non-residents obtain their licenses and access through the tourist outfitter. There are a wide variety of accommodation choices from fully-guided American Plan hunts to unguided hunts where you rent a housekeeping cabin. You can also fly into a remote outpost cabin and hunt in BMAs that have no road access to them. Whatever package you choose, your chances for a successful hunt are very good. Visit the Sunset Country website for more information on fall or spring bear hunting packages.

Ontario Moose Hunting

Northwest Ontario's Sunset Country has more moose than any other region in Ontario. Moose are the ultimate in big game with many bulls sporting 50-plus inch racks. Bow hunts as well as traditional rifle hunts are available or, for something uniquely different, try an old-fashioned black powder hunt. Non-resident moose hunts are available based on tags allocated to our individual outfitters—a system that ensures stable and healthy moose populations while affording hunters the opportunity to bag a trophy bull. Cow and calf tags are also available.

There are few settings as wild or as beautiful as Northwestern Ontario to come for moose hunting. Endless tracts of boreal forests, rock ridges, and wide-open meadows make up the topography of this 60,000-square-mile area of Ontario. As you hunt, you'll find the setting to be to your liking and in itself a big part of the experience. Your accommodation choices are many and varied. Full American Plan lodges where meals are part of the package are available or for the independent hunter, a housekeeping package where you do your own cooking is the best choice. Many hunting lodges are accessed by car or boat or you can try a fly-in moose hunting trip in remote parts of Sunset Country. Our member outfitters offer both guided and unguided hunts. Visit the Sunset Country website for more information on moose hunting in Northwest Ontario.

Ontario Deer Hunting

Large populations of whitetail deer can be found in the southern part of Sunset Country. They are mostly found around and below the Trans-Canada Highway which runs across Sunset Country. This is the part of Ontario where the famous "Dryden Buck" was shot at the end of 2003. The illegally shot deer was an Ontario record with a score of 223 gr 199 7/8 net green score. The deer in Ontario are large-bodied and can be found in great numbers. Hunters can access the services of a deer hunting guide if they wish or venture out on their own (some areas must use a guide if you are a non-resident). There is also an excellent population of does.

Deer hunters enjoy a high success rate with full support services from our hunting outfitters. You can stay at a full-service hunting lodge or rent a housekeeping cabin for your Canadian deer hunt. Visit the Sunset Country website for more information on deer hunting in Northwest Ontario.

Ontario is the perfect place for duck hunting

Ontario Duck, Bird and Waterfowl Hunting

The sheer numbers of ducks, Canadian geese, other waterfowl and game birds in the Sunset Country region of Ontario, Canada make it a bird hunter's paradise. Located directly north of the State of Minnesota and with thousands of lakes and water systems, Sunset Country is along a major migration flyway for several species of waterfowl. Extensive beds of wild rice on the many lakes provide important forage for hungry, migrating birds, and the ideal setting for a fall waterfowl hunt. Bring your hunting dog, hunt remote areas accessible only by hovercraft and enjoy the natural beauty of the backcountry areas of Northwest Ontario.

The options for a great hunt are virtually endless! You may want to even combine your hunt with a fall fishing trip

Download the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary from the MNR website. It's nicely broken up into species so it's easy to find what you are looking for. The MNR also provides a  Map of the Wildlife Management Unit Boundaries in Ontario. If you want additional information on hunting, the Sunset Country Travel Association also produces a great Travel Guide that includes a poster-sized map of the area. Order your FREE Travel Guide & Map online or call us toll-free at 1-800-665-7567.

About Erin Rody

I grew up on Black Sturgeon Lake in Northwestern Ontario. I am a staff writer for the Sunset Country Travel Association. Through my articles I hope to entice you to visit the wonderful region I call home. We are all about outdoor adventure; with 70,000 lakes and rivers and a whole lot of forests how can we not be? Whether you like to fish, hunt, canoe, kayak, boat or go camping, Sunset Country has something for you. Enjoy!

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