Whitetail enthusiasts around the world know about the legendary status of the western Canadian provinces for white-tailed deer hunting, but the world rarely talks about Ontario. Having hunted here our entire lives as well as publishing Ontario Monster Whitetails Magazine and the Big Game Records of Ontario, we know first-hand how much of an oversight this is, as giant world-class whitetails roam in every corner of Ontario.
We hunted in early November with our good friends at Pickerel Creek Camp in the beautiful Patricia Region in Northwest Ontario, right near Ear Falls. The whitetail rut was clearly in full swing as we saw a nice ten point tending a doe in the middle of an old clear cut as we were sighting in our rifles after the long trip.
The hunting strategy was simple; get way back off beaten roads and paths and find swampy edges in the thick timber. Once there, we used very aggressive tactics to lure big bucks into range. We rattled and grunted every 15 minutes all day and even set up decoys in certain spots. By day three we had 10 different bucks come into the stand. It was incredible!
Northwestern Ontario is so pristine and un-pressured that buck to doe ratios are very healthy which means intense competition among bucks. Rattling and grunting work extremely well in this area. Numerous bucks came charging in after a rattling sequence with hair bristled and looking for the intruder. We also watched bucks making scrapes and rubs. It was truly the greatest natural whitetail behavior we had ever seen. It was bucks in their natural form, responding to rattling and grunting and active in daylight hours; every big buck hunter's dream!
At 11 am on day four, Paul made another rattling sequence, and a massive 9 point big-bodied buck charged out of the timber into the beaver meadow. With steam pouring out of his mouth the big buck grunted across the meadow looking for the intruder. Paul was able to steady his rifle and make a perfect 70-yard shot. The big buck only went 20 more yards. We even witnessed two timber wolves feeding on the entrails of Paul`s bucks the next day.
Our Northern Ontario adventure was exciting from start to finish. Ontario has one of the most pristine and unpressured deer herds on the planet and by far the most mature bucks we have seen anywhere!