Nakina Moose Hunting
We also offer accommodation packages for hunters with their own Moose tags in WMU 18A, WMU 18B or WMU 19.
Nakina is the top destination in Ontario for Moose hunting. Every year the amount of adult Moose tags issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is less and less. Many outfitters farther south have had all their tags taken away. Luckily the Moose population is so high in Nakina that we still get issued non-resident rifle and archery tags for both Bull and Cow. The number of tags changes from year to year based on Moose population assessments so please inquire about availability.
The terrain in the Nakina area is perfect for Moose to flourish. There are many lake and rivers as well as marshes with aquatic plants that the Moose like to eat. There are logged areas and burn areas where fresh grasses grow. These areas are usually the first place softwoods start to grow and Moose love to eat the shoots and bark. Many hunters say the Moose meat taste better when the moose have a wide variety of plants to eat, especially softwood sprouts, water plants and grasses.
Another factor to consider is there is nothing but wilderness north of Nakina. We are at the end of the line and the farthest place north that you can drive to in Ontario. As Moose get harvested farther south Moose coming down out of the wilderness take their place. Nakina has been called a Moose breeding factory, which is why Moose hunters enjoy a very high success rate compared to other regions.
Having a high population of Moose in the area does not help hunters unless they have easy access to the Moose. There are hundreds of miles of ATV paths, game trails and old logging roads, which will allow you to get access to 1000s of square kilometers of prime Moose habitat fairly close to the lodge in WMU 18. From camp you also have easy access to WMU 18B and WMU 19. Some guests bring boats or rent canoes from us and put in the extra effort to travel along rivers and across lakes to find active game trails along the shore where Moose consistently come to feed and drink.
If you are new to Moose hunting there are three different behaviors exhibited by Bull Moose during the rut. Small younger Bulls are generally on the move and have no real territory. They just wander around looking for food. Hunters will see them crossing logged or burn areas and traveling along game trails. The big granddaddy Bull Moose that are at least 7 years old will stake out a territory and lure cows in with their scent. They will leave three piles of scat in the shape of a big triangle and then make a urine pit right in the middle. The urine is like perfume to the cows and draws them in from miles around. The Moose will keep dropping scat at the three piles and keep urinating in the urine pit. This is a big sign to look for. If you fine unusually large piles of scat and it looks like there is fresh scat on top of older scat then you know you are in the territory of a big bull. Tree rubbing and calling with a Moose horn can bring a bull within sight because finding a pile of fresh scat only tells you that you are in the right area. At this point you don't know what direction where the other two piles are located. The third behavior is from medium size bulls that are big but not fully grown. They will patrol the parameter of the big bull's territory to try and take advantage of the cows that have been lured in. Sometime these medium size bulls can be a little arrogant and either perform a size-up ritual or even challenge the bigger bull. This is when Bull Moose are at their most dangerous. During the rut they have five times the testosterone as usual and after a confrontation they will be wound up and ready to attack anything. Hunters need to keep a safe distance but within targeting.
Another sign to look for is multiple cows consistently hanging around the same area. Generally the only time you see more than one cow in a specific area is when they have been attracted to the bull's scent markings.
By law in Ontario bows have to be a minimum of 50lbs. - 60lbs. is recommended. A rifle should be a .270 or bigger. With a .270 you need to be fairly close and have an excellent shot. The most popular Moose hunting rifle in Ontario is a 300 WIN MAG. This will drop the Moose quickly, which is imperative because you do not want to chase the Moose a 1/2 mile into the bush. Dropping him quickly means field dressing quickly, which means better quality meat and minimizing urine contamination of the meat.
Cows average around 700 pounds but can reach 1000 pounds. Bulls average around 900 pounds but a full grown mature bull can exceed 1300 pounds in the Nakina region. On rare occasions bulls over 1500 pounds get harvested.
Proper shot placement is key to your success and will reduce the amount of work involved after the kill. We recommend you read this Proper Moose Organ Target Shot Placement article; written by Canada Outdoors Magazine.