ctrl down video player instagram facebook youtube pinterest twitter Home Menu Where Am I? Subscribe Popular
Northern Ontario Travel
The Official Magazine
Home > Experience > Hunting

Tale of Two Moose Hunts

• Credit: The Ontario Experience TV
Image credit

Tale of Two Moose Hunts

Find your trophy at these Ontario fly-in hunting lodges and outposts

Moose hunting experiences are a total escape to the breathtaking and secluded wilderness of Ontario.



Have you ever been or wanted to go on a fly-in to a remote camp to hunt moose? To do so is on nearly every big game hunter's bucket-list and hunting for moose in Ontario is without question one of the best and most exciting places to fulfill the dream.

I have ventured to Ontario over the past several years, including two exhila-rating moose hunts, one at Excellent Adventures and the other to Birch Bark Lodge — both unique in accommodations and incredibly remote.

view from float plane

Excellent adventures delivers

Faron and Joyce Buckler are longtime residents of Red Lake, Ontario, and owners of Excellent Adventure's float plane base located in Ontario's Sunset Country. Once you get to their airbase, Faron and his crew fly you to one of their many remote hunting outposts camps.

My Excellent Adventure's moose hunt was a true bucket-list adventure I will never forget — nor will I ever stop reliving it in my head.

My guides, Glen and Luke, did their homework before my arrival and had several prime active moose areas scoped out. The area the guides keyed in on was a place the moose had been using fairly consistently. When we boated in to set up and call, a cow and calf were already along the shoreline. With a bull tag in my pocket, my guides and I were very confident this was the area where I would have my opportunity to encounter a bull. We started my journey to connect with a trophy bull by setting up the shoreline where we had spotted the cow and calf.

hunter moose calling

With this mid-September time frame and cooler temps setting in, we knew the rut was in full swing. The guides used cow calls followed by a bull call and raked of trees and shrubs in effort to attract any nearby bulls. The first evening hunt was considered a success and was confirmed when we came back to that same spot the following morning to encounter multiple bulls responding in the distance to our calls. Knowing this area had prime activity, we didn't question if we were making the right choice the next morning.

The next day, just as the sun rose over the trees, we encountered my bull of a lifetime. I watched this giant put on a show on the inside edge of the bush, tearing up shrubs that would hang from his massive rack and rubbing the bark off full-grown trees. My seasoned guides called—exciting, confusing, and flat out angering the massive bull. The animal was so convinced by the guides' calls and mock rubbing against the thick shrubs that he stepped out of the dense woods, giving me a perfect broadside shot. My shot placement with the 30.06 Ruger destroyed his foot shoulder with the first shot; then, as the second shot connected, it brought him to his end just feet from the edge of the lake — making for easy transport to the boat.

As I stood shaking from the ultimate adrenaline rush, I was in complete disbelief of the events that had just transpired. The feeling of taking such a magnificent bull cannot truly be expressed in words but only in the experience of being there.

Having a great guide or two can increase your success. Can you do it and be successful without a guide? Absolutely. But from getting you started on your hunt, cooking your meals, helping transport your moose back to camp, and then on the float plane, experienced guides take care of you from beginning to end to help ensure your adventure is an unforgettable hunt of a lifetime.

hunter with bull moose

a cow answers the call at birch bark lodge

Birch Bark Lodge is a simple drive to Pickle Lake, located in the Sunset Country Region of Ontario. Get on a float plane and take a short 45-minute ride, and you are at the lodge on pristine Wigwascence Lake—far beyond where the roads end. Wigwascence Lake is 7.5 miles long with numerous islands and bays and is part of the 250-mile long Pinemuta River, offering fabulous moose hunting opportunities.

Owner and operators Mike and Kim Pierson treat visitors like family, catering to those looking for a genuinely memorable moose hunting adventure.

home cooked moose stew

Keeping the focus on the remote experience, Birch Bark Lodge has two comfortable cabins nestled in the pristine and breathtaking surroundings that have looked the same for hundreds of years.

The main lodge is a great place to relax after a day of hunting; then enjoy meals from homestyle to steaks on the grill with all the sides. The deck overlooks the peaceful Wigwascence Lake and is highly recommended to help you forget the stresses of life.

deck overlooking lake

This was not my first trip to Birch Bark Lodge but a repeat trip to finish what I started and connect on a giant moose. On that first trip, the unusual and unseasonably warm fall weather was not conducive to good moose hunting.

So, on this trip, we hoped the weather would cooperate. To redeem myself, I pulled out all the stops and brought my own "Secret Weapon.” That weapon was Glen Boyd, who guided me on a previous hunt a year prior, where we connected on a giant bull. Glen and I stayed in touch after that hunt and became good friends. So, I called him up — and he was all-in.

Due to extremely thick-wooded terrain that is in many cases unhuntable, we would hunt exclusively by boat. This kind of hunt is exciting as you navigate and glass mile after mile of Lake Wigwascense's shoreline, islands, river, and creek edges, trying to spot a moose coming to water. Part of the program is stopping in prime moose-looking areas to give rutting moose a cow or bull call.

Of course, the goal is to get them to call back and convince them to come within shooting range. The hope of a giant moose emerging from brush or a river corner helps keep your enthusiasm on high alert.

back lake view

Glen and I decided on the setup and call method in the prime areas. We again experienced some pretty mild weather on this trip, but fortunately, we did have bulls calling back at almost every spot we tried. The animals simply would not come in and kept hanging up in the thick woods — which is typical behavior during mild weather conditions.

We had both a bull and a cow tag, so we had options; however, the plan was if we saw a cow early in the trip, we would try to call in a rutting bull on her, which happened on one occasion, but the bull snuck in behind us.

Hard to believe an animal that size can be so quiet. As the week progressed, the weather started to change in our favor; however, we were running out of time. On the second to the last day, our plan changed to going after a bull or cow. The decision was to go back to the area we had the cow and bull encounter.

We set up with the wind in our favor on a point adjacent to another point in a back slew off the lake. Within 20 minutes, after Glen gave a few cow calls, then a bull call, a big blonde-colored cow moose stepped out in response to all the chatter.

All I heard in the breezy, drizzly air was the sound of a moose stepping in shallow water, and I knew at that time our decision paid off, and it was game on. I looked up and saw a big head looking our way.

She read the script and turned to give me a perfect broadside shot. As I squeezed off my Ruger 30.06, I knew it was a successful hunt, and as I rang out a second round to be sure she was going down, my adrenaline went into high gear! Moose down — a feeling like no other.

3 people standing near moose

It's incredible that even after I've experienced these mind-boggling, successful bucket-list hunts, there's still another "bucket list moose hunt" on my list that I sure hope I'm lucky enough to check off.

The Excellent Adventures and Birch Bark Lodge moose hunting experiences are a total escape to the breathtaking and secluded wilderness of Ontario.

If you're looking to commit to chasing a trophy of a lifetime, stop procrastinating—go get it done! As we are learning from our experience with COVID-19— one of these days may never come. Add in the great fishing opportunities at these locations, and you'll experience a cast and blast unlike any other.

angler holding lake trout

angler holding stringer of walleye

 

For more information on these moose hunts, visit:

Excellent Adventures

or


Featured articles

X