Waterfowl in Ontario

Wood Duck

Seasons begin in early September for geese, peak in mid-October for ducks, and end in late December when winter sets up shop. Some areas offer additional winter hunts for the province's burgeoning population of resident Canadians. Current limits for both ducks and geese are generous, since Ontario has been a hotspot for waterfowl production in North America for more than a decade.

Many operators offer full-service hunts with dogs, decoys, and transportation, while others offer scaled-down services for experienced hunters.

Beaver PondA good beaver-pond rig consists of two-dozen black, mallard, or wood duck decoys - usually some of each - while big-water rigs for diver ducks often push past the 60 mark. For most situations in Ontario, three-dozen goose decoys placed properly are adequate, although field set-ups often contain two dozen more.

Chest waders and warm, layered, waterproof clothing systems, including hats and gloves, are a must. This is the North Country; if you don't like the weather, wait an hour.

Waterfowl hunters require a federal Migratory Waterfowl Permit and stamp, available at post offices, besides a provincial small-game permit. Non-tox shot is required for all waterfowl hunting in Canada.

One last tip, a small green or camo waterproof dry bag for extra socks, camera, snacks, and a Thermos can make even the most miserable day pleasantly bearable.

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