Recent Hunting Season Adventures

With thousands of miles of accessible Crown Land across the region, hunters have plenty of beautiful country to pursue moose, deer, bear, wolves, waterfowl and a variety of small game animals.

The greatest thing about living right in the heart of Ontario’s Sunset Country is that if you enjoy outdoor activities there are endless opportunities to have fun all year round.  

The fall hunting season is particularly exciting for me because there are so many options to keep any hunter busy. With thousands of miles of accessible Crown Land across the region, hunters have plenty of beautiful country to pursue moose, deer, bear, wolves, waterfowl, and a variety of small game animals.  

Grouse numbers are plentiful across Sunset Country.  These birds are the finest eating wild game I have ever had. I love them!  

The grouse hunting across Northwest Ontario has been off the charts the past few years. While their populations are said to be cyclical, I cannot remember the last time the grouse hunting was poor. Old logging trails are prime spots to hunt and are widely available for hunters to walk or drive with an ATV.  

You would hard pressed to find a prettier bird!

If you enjoy action, these super tasty birds are a blast to hunt, especially if you have a dog to share the experience with. It is somewhat surprising that more folks don’t visit to grouse hunt, but I think they just don’t know how good it really is.  

We had a great duck dinner one evening in late October! My friend's dog Tikka got a good workout with these ring bills. 

While the deer numbers are still down somewhat from their peak between 2005 and 2010, the population is improving quickly thanks to a couple of great winters the past couple of years. So far we are off to a great start this year as well with little snow cover on the ground as of mid-December… so the future is bright!    

Keith Beasley from the Canada in the Rough TV show shot a nice buck in November.

While I did not harvest a deer this fall, I was able to guide a few friends to some nice bucks. I also captured pictures on my trail cameras of a bunch of solid bucks, that are going to be approaching trophy size in the next year or two. If you like big woods deer hunting, Sunset Country is the best place in the world to do it!  

Helping to pull a deer out for one of my guests.

Waterfowl hunting seems to be losing participation in this part of the world, which is somewhat surprising as well. We have some pretty good hunting opportunities thanks to all of the water and marsh areas.

I only got out a few times this year, but it’s always fun to get out there and get in a bunch of shooting. Early in the season, resident birds can be found all over the place, then in late October we get a good run of northern birds that can make for some awesome hunting! I just need to practice shooting a little more!  

Moose tags have been reduced over the past few years, but if you're lucky to get your hands on a tag, hunting remains good in the northern and eastern parts of the region.  

My pals Dennis Favreau and Sean McAughey with the moose we harvested in -30 temperatures in December. We're eating well this winter!

My friends and I always do a moose hunting trip in December just before the season closes on December 15 (the season closes earlier for non-residents). We enjoy the snow hunt, but it was a real workout this year because of a run of super cold weather while we were there. We were fortunate to harvest a big cow, so we’ll be eating well this winter!  

Remote moose country is beautiful! 

If you’re interested in planning a hunting trip for next year, look around the Sunset Country website and find the outfitter who can fit your needs the best. Feel free to send me a message anytime as well, and I can share my two cents. I guarantee that you’ll have a great time! 

About Jeff Gustafson

Jeff Gustafson is a professional angler living in Kenora, Ontario on the shores of Lake of the Woods. His outgoing, genuine, friendly attitude makes him a natural outdoor writer, fishing and hunting guide." You'll see him fishing the Bass Master Tournament Circuit where he's has had a lot of success against the best bass anglers on the planet. Jeff also fishes many bass tournaments in Ontario's Sunset Country, his home base. 

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