The moose hunt of legend is built around a misty marsh, a birchbark horn, and
the mournful wail of a cow moose. The dream response is the soft grunt of an
answering bull and a ticking of antlers on frozen branches. Stay still now. The
giant of the boreal forest is headed your way. For many, the moose defines big
game hunting in North America.
Ontarioís vast moose range offers gun (rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader) seasons, bows-only seasons, and a special bows and- muzzleloaders-only season for moose. The season for bow hunters and for northern gun hunters starts in mid-September. Some of these early gun hunts are in remote areas where access might be fly-in only. In other areas, the gun hunt opens in early October.
Calling, although tremendously exciting, certainly isnít the only way to hunt
Ontario moose. You can slip up on them by paddling a canoe quietly along a
creek, river, or lakeshore, or by stalking them in the bush. Watching and
waiting patiently for moose in feeding areas, especially along the edges of
remote marsh meadows (known as moose pastures), proves highly successful for
hunters each season. Recent burns (2 to 5 years old) and forest cutovers can be
rewarding, particularly if a browsing area or travel corridor is nearby.
For some, the best moose hunting occurs once snow has blanketed the ground. Depending on snow depth, hunting then can be physically and mentally exhausting, and the hunter should be in proper condition for this exercise. Few thrills compare with tracking and stalking moose as they travel a snow-clad landscape. When moose bed, they frequently criss-cross the wind and then button-hook back to watch their downwind trail. Hunters who track moose in snow can work as a team, with one following the trail and another hunter or two on the flanks of the tracker.
A well-placed shot will quickly down a moose. Because of the animalís size, hunters choose heavy or magnum cartridges to minimize chances of wounding. Popular calibres for Ontario moose include the .270, .308, .30-06, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Select a premium bullet weighing at least 150 grains that has the ability to penetrate thick hide, muscle, and bone.
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