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Grouse Hunting at Onaman Resort

Grouse harvested at Onaman River Resort.

get a taste of the north



Onaman River Resort is surrounded by true wilderness.

We got a hint of that driving in, when we saw a lynx hunting alongside the road.

Like that lynx, we were there to hunt grouse in classic Northern Ontario wilderness.

The resort, north of the town of Jellicoe, is surrounded by black spruce, birch, poplars and alders interrupted only by clear cuts, tumbling creeks, pristine lakes and the main road.

Grouse Hunting in Ontario Grouse hunting in Ontario. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

A bit of history

Originally, it was a Second World War prisoner of war (POW) camp where German soldiers were delivered by boat and paid to cut cordwood. Little supervision was needed since they had no idea where they were and a trackless wilderness separated them from civilization. Some eventually settled here.

Later logging created roads and clear cuts -- prime grouse habitat -- that we explored. The area remains a wild frontier, complete with gold prospectors.

Angling heaven

Showing off a catch from nearby Humboldt Bay Showing off a catch from nearby Humboldt Bay. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

On the Onaman River, the resort is a short run from the eastern end of Lake Nipigon’s Humboldt Bay, known for world-class lake trout, brook trout, pike, and walleye fishing.

Lakers from 20 to 40 pounds are boated each season and a 54.5-pound lake trout was caught in 2003. During our stay, clients landed several pike between 15 and 20 pounds.

But we were there for grouse, so we only caught a few dinner walleye.

Grouse

Bird Dogs assist in the Grouse Hunt in Ontario
Bird dogs assist in the grouse hunt in Ontario. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

We ran bird dogs through this wild country, but a cold, wet spring with 37 consecutive rainy days had decimated ruffed grouse numbers. Even so, we bagged enough spruce and ruffed grouse to provide us with a few meals.

Sadly, we never connected with sharptails in the area’s vast clear cuts.

Blueberries collected while hunting grouse Blueberries collected while hunting grouse. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

The bird hunting was still good by southern Ontario standards, especially when combined with fine fishing, wildlife viewing, blueberry picking, and incredible wilderness. Owner Robert Lindsey’s weekly fish fry was another highlight.

All in all, our stay was outstanding. Spend any time at all here and a feeling of freedom kicks in. No wonder some of those POWs never left.

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