If you were thinking about doing some Canadian hunting, then you've come to the right place.
Canada as a hunting destination has been on our radar for many years. We've heard tales of giant whitetail deer tromping through the woods, darkened skies from flocks of waterfowl, black bear sightings so common you get bored with them, and moose that are the size of, or possibly bigger than, your own truck!
It is in our DNA as North Americans to appreciate and explore the Great White North. We want to see what it offers and how good it can truly be for the hunter in all of us.
We may argue over things like international politics or who's better at hockey, but the only reason is because we are so closely connected. The bottom line is that folks on both sides of the border see the outdoors with a great reverence and only wish to see these opportunities exist for everyone.
When it comes to big game hunting and waterfowl, there may not be a single more opportunity-rich country than the Canadian Provinces and Territories. But be forewarned: these are hunting destinations that are not for the unconditioned. Those that are ready for the Canadian hunting experience must have a resolute mindset, a stout physical condition, and, yes, be ready to spend some money.
As far as the latter goes, it behooves the American hunter to remember that the U.S. dollar is still strong across the border, and now is worth about $1.30 in Canada. If this is still true when you have decided on your bucket list hunt, then a hunting trip to Canada costing $5,000 Canadian will really only cost you about $3,700 U.S. It's worth keeping in mind.
But for now, let's put all that aside and zero in on what your hard-earned money can get you in regards to iconic Canadian hunts.
Yukon Moose Hunt
Smoke pole taking down a moose on a misty Yukon mountain. What is your dream muzzleloading hunt? #TCarms #EncoreProHunterXT #hunting #moose Jim Shockey
Here's another one for the cross-border argument folks: what's better, an Alaskan moose hunt or a Yukon moose hunt? Well, it's worth mentioning that British Columbia and Quebec are the two top producers of world-class moose in Canada, but the Yukon and Northwest Territories are on pretty much equal ground with an Alaskan moose hunt.
In fact, the Northwest Territories is the home to the top bull moose in the Pope & Young record book. It's just that these critters are meant to exist in the colder northern climate and our Canadian friends have plenty of that.
And they have plenty of trophy bull moose hunts, too. As far as big game species go, the moose might be towards the top of a lot of hunters' goals. If it's copious amounts of moose meat and giant antlers you're after, Canada would pretty much be the top place to try.
Alberta Bighorn Sheep
Our group member, Riley Groves, living in Claresholm, Alberta, is shown in this picture with his Bighorn Ram! What a great picture!
As with hunting the revered bighorn sheep anywhere in North America, the tag draw opportunities are few and far between. Should you have luck on your side, you're still going to have to hire a licensed outfitter that could cost somewhere to the tune of $25,000-$30,000 Canadian.
All the same, it might just be the greatest place on the planet to target bighorn.
In 1998, Todd Kirk arrowed a huge, 199 5/8-inch monster near the Whitehorse River, Alberta that is still one of the biggest rams ever taken by bow.
Saskatchewan Mule Deer
It was tough to determine which deer species we should include, since both whitetail deer and mule deer are found in abundance in Canada, and tend towards large bodies and even larger antler racks. In the end, we decided that mule deer represent the area slightly better, and are a little less common south of the border in America.
Saskatchewan has held the Pope & Young world record for a non-typical mule deer, a 291 1/8-inch brute shot by Dennis Bennett since October 1, 2018 when he took it near the Arm River. Mule deer hunting in this province may be one of the best kept secrets outside of Canada, but that's likely to change.
In fact, neighboring Chip Lake, Alberta holds the Boone & Crockett non-typical mule deer record with a 355 2/8-inch beast that Ed Broder shot all the way back in 1926! If those two records are any indication, the Canadian mule deer hunting opportunities that exist are stellar.
Manitoba Black Bear
With bear encounters on the rise in Manitoba, it could lead to some of the best black bear hunting for years to come in this central Canadian Province. While the area doesn't conduct official counts, estimates range in the area of 30,000 or more individual bears.
Since black bears that are labeled problem animals are often subject to trapping and relocation, it seems logical that hunting quotas and allotments will become more liberal. This means that the next few years could be prime time for bear hunting in Manitoba.
By the way, the second biggest Pope & Young black bear ever taken was a 22 13/16 monster hunted in Manitoba in 2008.
Saskatchewan has been home to the world record typical whitetail, Milo Hanson's 213 5/8-inch monster, since 1993. The chart-topping buck caused a surge of hunters to set their sights on the area with world record deer on their minds. Only recently has the duck and goose hunting in Saskatchewan been fully revealed, and what's there is literally a factory of waterfowl.
It's begun to be referred to that way since, naturally, many of the ducks that travel the major North American migration flyways start their journey in Saskatchewan. If you can hunt early season in the area, you're bound to encounter hundreds, if not thousands, of young, uneducated birds on every morning or evening hunt.
While it certainly can't be regarded as a "well-kept secret" any longer, the waterfowl hunting opportunities in Saskatchewan are unlike anywhere else on Earth. If you're an American duck hunter who wants to experience the best of the best, this would be the way to do it.
Other Canadian Hunting Opportunities
Hunting adventures abound on the Canadian side of the border, and not just in western Canada. Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland offer bear hunting, grouse and other game bird hunting, moose hunting, and plenty more.
Some of the best hunting in the world is available in Canada, and as long as we keep hearing about them, we won't stop dreaming of all the hunting opportunities we'd like to experience.
Which one is on your list?
Gear up on all your hunting needs at Cabelas.com.