THE OUTDOORS GUY: Moose hunting, not for the faint of heart

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No other sport remains steeped in history and tradition like moose hunting, and Bullwinkle enthusiasts are gearing up for the hunt everywhere.

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The pursuit of the elusive Alces americanus, or Eastern Moose as they are more commonly known, is indeed a unique hunt. After over 30 years of tireless dedication, spending a good chunk of each fall honing my skills, I like to think I understand these beasts inside and out. But this is simply not the case. Of course, I shared the complainant’s moose calls and scent tactics on the local radio, made my own hand horns, and even practiced the call in my basement all the way to ’till my throat is raw. (Much to my wife’s chagrin) Still, I still haven’t fully understood these beasts.

Moose hunting is difficult and certainly not for the faint of heart; it is a pursuit requiring ultimate patience and stealth. Moose hunters immerse themselves in the most remote corners of our country each fall, traveling great distances to reach moose country. In an effort to attract a big bull through vocalization and the use of scents, we do everything we can during the coveted moose rut.

Even in the height of the rut, most dominant bull moose remain reluctant to show up, let alone show up for a solid harvest opportunity. Hunters heading to the moose camp this month and early October pray for cool weather and light winds, paving the way for one of the most exciting hunts in all of North America.

Hats off to the bravest of the brave, the craziest loons in the woods of northern Canada. Let the moose craze begin and good luck everyone!

Moose season in Quebec

For those planning to hunt moose in Quebec this fall, the big game management and hunting regulations in this province are straightforward. In the majority of hunting areas, the harvest of female moose is (generally) prohibited every two years. During years when cows are protected, only bulls and calves may be taken. Some outfitters and regions operate differently, so do your homework before booking a hunt. Many areas of the Outaouais provide excellent moose opportunities a short drive across the river, and I myself have hunted several spots in this region.

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The cost of a non-resident permit comes at a high cost to hunters in Ontario, although many find that not having to participate in a draw or wait for tags to become available is well worth the cost. For more information on moose hunting opportunities in Quebec, contact the Federation of Quebec outfitters: www.pourvoiries.com/fr/

Hail from the waterfowl of the valley

I would hate for waterfowl to feel left out, so here are the thousands of duck and goose hunters out there every fall; crouching motionless behind camouflaged boats, or inside duck blinds. The centuries-old tradition of calling and luring is an art that rarely makes the pages of a hunting journal, let alone your local newspaper. With the migratory bird season already underway, we pay tribute to these fans of ducks and geese. Not everyone has the motivation or ambition to do it, but those who do are rewarded with the sights, sounds and smells of our wonderful marshes in early fall.

For more information on waterfowl season and regulations in your area: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-game-bird-hunting/regulations-provincial- territorial-summaries / ontario.html


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