Heading north for moose

Around the Kenora area, any talk of moose these days is from those who were avid hunters prior to the 2000s.
Once home to a healthy moose population, Wildlife Management Units 6 and 7B in the Kenora area are now just barely hanging on with a few animals left.
Hunters in the Fort Frances area are fortunate to have a great moose population east of town that gets better as you approach Atikokan.
For those of us in Kenora, we must head north or east to chase these magnificent animals that are awesome just to see and very good eating.
For the past seven or eight years, my friends and I have been making an annual trip up to the Red Lake area for the last week or so of the resident hunting season which ends annually on Dec. 15.
We apply for bull and cow moose tags for the WMU’s around Red Lake and have had good success over the years, harvesting at least a couple of moose every year between our group of six to eight hunters.
The reasons for the moose population decline in the southern part of the region are numerous.
A high whitetail deer population which has transmitted disease to moose, a warming climate, increasing populations of predators, poor management and loss of habitat are just some of reasons that are tossed around.
The reality is, it is likely a combination of all of these elements and many others. With the massive decrease in the deer population, is there a chance that the moose might come back?
This past weekend my wife August and I headed up to Red Lake with a few friends and family to try our luck at getting a moose. We rented a cabin at Five Lakes Lodge and had a good time, hunting during the day and enjoying the fun of roughing it in a cabin for a few nights.
There is something about sharing a cabin in a remote, quiet spot with good friends. We ate good, stayed up late and got up early.
We did not have great luck hunting this past weekend as far as getting to use our moose tags but we were around moose every day and got to see a bull on our last afternoon, but only for a couple of seconds before it disappeared into the trees.
We were using an ATV to travel old logging roads and clear cut areas, then got on foot if we found some fresh sign indicating that there might be moose nearby.
It’s a tactic that has been successful for my friends and I later in the season. I think we need some colder weather to get the moose moving around a little bit more and hunters will be more likely to see them.
Though we would have loved to have tagged a moose this weekend, it was still a great trip and we left with plenty of memories.
At the end of the day, this is why we fish and hunt.
If you get a chance to take a fishing or hunting trip and rent a cabin at one of the many resorts or lodges across the Sunset Country Region, take it! You’ll have fun!

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