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Moose Hunting in Canada

The Canadian moose is a fascinating creature. In the deer family, the moose is the member that is largest weighing as much as 1800 pounds. They are accomplished swimmers and within days of a calf’s birth, it can swim powerfully. They have been known to dive more than 16 feet to a lake bottom when searching for food.

Habitat of the Canadian Moose

The Canadian moose can be found in every province of Canada. They typically roam the rivers of the boreal forest, aspen prairies, and the tundra of the north as well as along the margins of thousands of lakes. They are also found along the rocky hillsides of western wooded mountain ranges.

Moose don't tolerate heat well and during the warm months of fly season often spend hours cooling themselves in water where they feel quite at home. Only the caribou can match the moose in swimming skills of any of the North American deer.

Interesting Facts

A moose has very poor eyesight but are compensated with an excellent sense of hearing and smell. They can travel long distances over all types of terrain and have immense physical power and endurance. Their long legs allow them to wade through terrain that stops most other animals such as the wolf and other species of deer. When a moose gets frightened, they typically crash noisily through underbrush, but under normal circumstances, even fully antlered bulls move silently through the dense forest.

The Canadian moose population is quite healthy with an estimated five hundred thousand to a million moose roaming the provinces. British Colombia and Ontario are thickly populated with the large game animal where in the past they were unknown in these regions. Even Newfoundland which was moose free until the beginning of the twentieth century now has a healthy moose population as it was “seeded” with several pairs.

Predators of the Canadian Moose

Humans are of course the largest predators of the moose, but calves are often hunted by wolves, black and grizzly bears. A grizzly bear can easily take down an adult moose as well. Wolves take their life in their paws when hunting moose. They typically hunt in packs but a moose once cornered can cause bones to be broken and even death to a wolf.

The wolverine occasionally preys on moose and when cougars and moose coexist, the cougar takes a significant toll on moose yearlings and calves. It is said that only a few moose will die of old age.

Moose Hunting and Economics in Canada

In Canada, the moose is an important economic resource. Hunting alone is said to generate more than five hundred million dollars. They are also an important source of food for those that live in rural regions as well as for the aboriginal people. They are also a draw for tourists to Canadian parklands as many people are curious to see these majestic animals in their native habitat.

Tips for Hunting Canadian Moose

Bagging a bull moose with a magnificent set of antlers is the dream of almost any hunter whether a novice or a seasoned veteran. When hunting moose, it should be noted because of their large size, a rifle of suitable caliber should be used as the weapon so that loss or suffering of the animal is at a minimum. Heavier bullets should be used to ensure a clean kill.

The two methods practiced for hunting Canadian moose is either stand or still hunting. When a hunter practices the still hunting method, it means that they walk quietly and at a slow pace searching for moose in areas where there is sign of plenty. One of the best times to use this method is when crackling leaves in the underbrush are soaked from a heavy rain and allows the hunter to move more stealthily.

Hunting using the stand method is when the hunter positions himself in a spot where they will be undetected and wait for a moose to cross their path. This is by far the most popular method. With either method of hunting it is always recommended that before the actual hunt begins that scouting is done in areas where hunters expect to come upon their prey. Signs that moose are in residence are fresh droppings, moose tracks and vegetation that looks as if it has recently been eaten. Because of their large size, it is often easy to spot where moose have recently been.

Once the hunter has deemed an area good for spotting his prey, he can find a place where he can stand comfortably in complete quiet to wait for the moose to pass by. Hunters should expect to observe for long periods of time before spotting his prey, so should be well prepared for the wait.

Recommended Equipment for Hunting Canadian Moose

A novice hunter may not be aware that there are a number of items to take along on a moose hunt. A well prepared hunter will have of course his gun and ammunition. A sling is also recommended. Knives and a small chain saw will be utilized if a hunter makes a kill. As the hunter will be spending long hours in the wilderness a thermos with a favorite beverage or soup will also be appreciated. Binoculars for spotting prey should be packed as should a moose call. To ensure hunters can find their way a compass is advised or a GPS device.

Hunting Canadian Moose with an Outfitter

Many hunters hire an outfitter to take some of the work out of hunting Canadian moose. They will know the best spots to hunt, provide much of the equipment and at the end of the day; hunters can retire to a comfortable lodge where a comfortable bed and a filling meal awaits. There are a number of outfitters all across Canada that caters to visiting hunters. Whether a hunter is looking for moose or other large game, an outfitter can take the guesswork out of what areas will have the highest concentration of their prey and usually guarantee a trophy at the end of the hunt.
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