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A River’s Edge Moose Hunt

Small cow moose feeding in a Northwestern Ontario wetland. • Credit: Tom Armstrong
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A River’s Edge Moose Hunt

Hunting on opening weekend in Northwestern Ontario

It was opening weekend in Northwestern Ontario and I was sitting in an old cutover along the edge of a river just as the sun was breaking the horizon. As I waited, watching intently, I heard the unmistakable whining bellow of a cow moose calling, and shortly after, a responsive bull grunting back.

With a serious pulse of adrenaline, I started to move closer, trying to pinpoint exactly where they were courting each other. I knew my dad and brother-in-law Jay weren’t far off and, thanks to the technology of the Garmin Rino radio/GPS, we were able to silently communicate via texts to coordinate a quick plan.

It turned out that Jay was sitting on a hilltop watching this same cow calling. There were two bulls close by, but out of range and concealed in heavy brush. Dad and I met at the river, where I perched in the bow of a canoe while he paddled me towards the moose. Jay guided our progress as he watched us close in via his GPS. In a rapid sequence of events, Jay watched the bulls, spooked by our paddles, stop their sparring and walk to the river, the smaller of the two getting there first. As we rounded the last bend, I saw a black shape moving through the brush. I raised my rifle and steadied myself as the canoe slowed. When I saw the antlers and the bull’s chest clear the brush I had my shot, and moments later we had our moose lying along the river’s edge.

Tom Armstrong and brother-in-law Jay after a successful river’s edge moose hunt in Northwestern Ontario Tom Armstrong and brother-in-law Jay after a successful river’s edge moose hunt in Northwestern Ontario. (Photo credit: Tom Armstrong)

Moose hunting in Northwestern Ontario offers great opportunities, albeit there is a limited number of tags. By utilizing the group application system, or using an outfitter and outfitter tags, hunters can target adult moose. There is nearly unlimited access to Crown land in northern Ontario, with a vast network of logging roads and lake and river systems to camp along and to hunt from.

For less primitive lodging options visit visitsunsetcountry.com for a listing of accommodations and outfitters where you can base your hunting adventure.

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