Small game hunting in Ontario's Sunset Country, Canada
Small Game License
There are few places on earth that can provide the variety of hunting options that Ontario's Sunset Country provides. In the small game category, opportunities abound for hunters looking for some fun in the outdoors. Hunters from around the World travel to Ontario's Sunset Country to hunt animals under a small game license. Others choose the small game route after they have harvested a their big game animal. Under the small game license, hunters can harvest:
- wolves (separate tag needed)
- ruffed grouse
- sharp-tailed grouse
- spruce grouse
- red fox
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) provides a Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide to both Ontario resident hunters and non-resident hunters each year. The Ontario Deer Hunting Regulation section can be viewed here.
Ruffed and Spruce Grouse hunting in Ontario
Ruffed grouse are plentiful in Northwestern Ontario. Though their population cycles, spring weather will impact the grouse population from year to year as well. In years with a warm, dry spring, hunters can expect high numbers of juvenile birds. Recent years have seen good populations and hunters rarely have a problem bagging their limit of five birds in a day. Walking old logging trails remains the best option to make contact with grouse. Most birds have not seen people before and most will let you get very close before they decide to run or fly. Calm days are best for grouse hunting, sun or clouds don't seem to matter much, but they tend to hide out a lot more in thicker woods on days with high winds. According to many, ruffed grouse may be the finest eating wild game in the woods and there is probably no better hunt to introduce kids to than hunting grouse in Sunset Country. Though they exist in smaller numbers, the spruce grouse is available throughout most of Sunset Country as well. They are similar size to a ruffed grouse with a beautiful colour scheme. Their dark meat is generally not as well-liked as the white meat of a ruffed grouse.
Wolf hunting in Ontario
By most people's imagination, wolves are the most intimidating animal in Ontario. The truth is, they are deadly predators that keep the provinces deer, moose and small game populations in check. Very elusive, wolves are seldom seen by people in relation to their numbers – there is a very good population of them in Sunset Country. The wolf season in Ontario runs from September 1 through to March 31, though most hunters are specifically targeting them during the winter months of January, February and March. Though it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that non-resident hunters book their wolf hunting adventure through a Sunset Country outfitter. There are a variety of wolf hunting strategies available to hunters visiting Sunset Country, such as:
Small game hunting outfitters in Sunset Country
Various outfitters offer an array of small game hunts for these different animals and checking the different open seasons for each animal will provide you with dates for which to plan your trip. Access abounds for small game hunters with numerous trails and logging roads that can be both walked or traveled by ATV. Though grouse and wolves remain the most popular small game species, asking your outfitter what they have up their sleeve for other animals will surely point you in the right direction. The big woods in Sunset Country are host to a diverse ecosystem that is home to many different animals. Beyond the animals that you can hunt, there is a whole other group of animals that hunters may see in their natural environment. Find a Sunset Country outfitter that best suits your needs, book your fall trip today, and take in some of the great fishing and hunting this area has to offer.