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2017 Ontario Moose Hunt - RUT DATES
Planning another Moose Trip to Ontario This year. Trying to figure out what dates would be best. I am leaning towards getting flown in on September 30th and flown out on October 7th. I can back this up a week if I need to and that gets me away from the full moon but I risk warmer weather. (Which in the past has really put the brakes on things) I am a little nervous about going earlier because the last two years it has been pretty warm up there. Another thing that has me slightly concerned is the fact that the time I am considering it will be a full moon.
If anyone has any input from 2015 and 2016 season in Ontario I would like to know what you thoughts are on these topics. #1-Are the dates I am choosing too late? #2- Do you think this full moon will effect the daytime activity of the moose?
I think the dates a late for only seven days. Last week of Sept. and first few days in Oct.
The full moon will have little effect.
I would be more concerned with weather than the moon.
Rut was early last year. We hunted about 8 days after opener as it has been real warm last couple of years (T shirt Weather!) . First morning we should have had it done but one of our guys got picky and never took a shot. The other 8 days we seen Moose all but one day but came in silent and not committed to bow range or grunted in but held up every time. Three groups of guys on opening weekend got it down in first two days with bulls grunting all the way in to within mere yards for easy chip shots. We will be hunting opener this year (warm or not).
Which WMU are you going to be hunting in? Whether it's a big factor on moose hunting usually the Northwest part of Ontario gets a little bit colder earlier in the season. If you hunting in the north western part of Ontario I will recommend you change the date to a week earlier. If you hunting central area Ontario I would hunt the date you have chosen. Is this a flying in hunt ? The other factor to keep in consideration is , if you're hunting in a high-pressure area, moose will not be easy to call in , are you hunting spot in stock ? by boat? Or treestand? Myself I do not pay any attention on the moon face, I pay attention on the weather . Good luck
This is one hunt I'd like to do sometime. I did one many years back in Québec and really enjoyed it. It was a diy hunt with an outfitter, got an area and cabin. Saw zero moose. But saw lots of sign. It was only my second hunt outside of my home state of Pennsylvania. I wish I knew then what I know now. I think it was about 1985. Mallardsx2 love to hear a story about ur hunt.. Ed
Weather has nothing to do with "timing" the rut for moose. Or any other ungulate. Calves and fawns are born the same time every spring regardless of what the weather was like the previous fall. I've heard hunters claim that the rut was a month late or almost non-existent because of an overly warm fall. Yet the same number of calves are born at the same time as the previous years when the rut was "on time".
Weather does affect the rut in the intensity of activity. Animals have their winter fat and fur on and activity in warm temperatures is more physically draining and uncomfortable. They are just listless. Often they will come in quiet and look around before deciding to engage. You won't see or hear a thing and assume nothing responded.
Another thing that will shut moose right up and turn them into "sneakers" is recent wolf activity in the area. Often you will get an immediate response but then it's just like the bull disappeared without a sound or trace. You'll get the same in a heavily hunted area.
So yes, a crisp, frosty fall morning is an ideal time to be calling and often sound travels farther on those morning to. And you hear more. But given the choice between cold post rut and a warm pre or peak rut I'll take the shirt sleeve hunt.
There is also that peak stage where bulls are cow'd up and can be hard to bring in. This is when you'll hear a bull grunting, but he seems to just move off. His cow is leading him away. Smaller bulls are still susceptible though, because they're still looking.
Tail of the rut is also very good, because the bulls have bred the cows they gathered and are on the prowl for leftovers. But being tired and worn by now, they may well come in quiet and check for competition. They're looking for love, but not a fight anymore. They now have a limited time to replenish for the coming winter.
If you want to know when the rut actually is, which is timed by the female being in heat, which in turn is signaled by hours of daylight, phone the local biologist and ask him when the majority of calves are born for the area you want to hunt. Count backwards using the gestation period of the animal you're targeting.
I will be hunting up Near Timons.
I hunted up there in T-Shirt weather in the past and it was really bad hunting. Nothing seen nothing called in.
Maybe my dates I have chosen are a smidgen late.
In 2015 we called a bull in on the 29th of September like he was on a string. I killed my bull back in 2010 I think it was on the 20th or something like that. Maybe even the 19th. I don't remember the season dates but it was early and he was horny. lol
Tough to go wrong the end of September
I;ve hunted Ontario 4 times and Saskatchewan once, best moose dates are Sept 25 thru Oc1 1. I have shot 2 bulls Sept 27th one in AM one in evening
I agree with sbschindler.
I killed my bull back in 2010 on the 20th of September.
He came in ready to breed.
One good friend of mine is an outfitter, and another guides moose every fall. I'm going on my first moose hunt this fall and I am going to be going about Sep 23 - beginning of Oct. I feel confident in those dates :)
Just like any other deer if it doesn't happen doesn't mean they weren't rutting. Maybe there's no cows around, maybe there is wolves around, maybe maybe maybe. Give the classic time frames a shot and have at er.
I hunted in Ontario during the archery moose season for a number of years. It was a 3 week season for bow. At some point during that time period it would turn cold and the bulls would be moving and coming to the call good. Could be the first week or could be the last. Sure the bulls were still rutting in the warm weather as evidenced by rut pit use however most of the activity was after dark !! I was once told by an area biologist that oct 3 was the goldern day with most cows being breed just before and after that date. Some say that the weather doesn't matter but I agree with skull give me a nice cold snap the first week over warm temps the last week anytime !
Maybe we should differentiate between rutting behaviour and actual breeding.
A bull won't be breeding a cow until the day she comes into heat. But that same bull can display what we consider rutting behaviour for weeks before that and after to a lesser extent. I've called bulls right in early September. I called one bull in from about five hundred yards, in late November. He never made a sound and snuck right up close., but I watched come the whole way.
Here in northern BC, I consider the first week in October to be golden. But if northern Ontario typically has an earlier spring then breeding is likely a bit earlier to. Breeding is timed for the calves to be born at the optimum time in the spring for survival. And a few weeks of weather is not going to dictate that.
Like others have stated, pick that prime time and hope for ideal conditions. If the weather sucks, change up your tactics and kill a quiet bull.
Just to test the weather and rutting (moose) behavior my buds and I did an experiment each year if the weather was really warm and we weren't getting much response during the day we would get up early in the am usually near to midnight and call. What a difference in the response. Quite the erie feeling to have several bulls grunting and coming in the pitch black ! Then during the day they shut right down again. But throw in a couple cold days and the daylight activity and response would really go up. Not saying that the weather stops the rut and breeding but just from my experience moved it to the cooler night hours.
No doubt about it the temperature has a lot to do with moose movement, cool nights with frost in the AM and highs under 50 are going to have lots of Bull movement, Also the fall equinox plays a part in cows coming into heat. fall equinox generally happens with in a day or 3 of the 20th of Sept. when all of thios falls togeathetr you will have a great hunt with lots of action and as APauls said Just like any other deer if it doesn't happen doesn't mean they weren't rutting.Maybe there's no cows around, maybe there is wolves around.
Great thread. The real reason that we were considering going up a smidge later is the fact that my wife has off Columbus day from work and that will save us a day. I guess at the end of the day I have called in 5 bulls (Only seeing three) and it was either below 32 degrees or raining. And they were all between September 20th and the 29th so why go later? Maybe I answered my own question. lol
Just looking for advice based on experience and I have always gotten that on this website. And for that I thank all of ya
20th to the 29th is a good time frame, maybe a few days early but as I said earlier weather is the ultimate decider clear cool weather is best
I'm sure you meant you hunt around TIMMINS, not Timons, you are only couple hours away from me, I will recommend your hunt the first week of October
Ya sorry. I misspelled that. But yes that is where I will be hunting.
How is the winter weather up there?
This year the weather has been really good not too cold not too much snow Which WMU you're going to be hunting
last few years in ont I've gone the last week in September and had no luck calling but tagged out both times. In 2010 we went sept 10 and had called out numerous bulls. Have always been told it depends on the winter. The rougher the winter the moose aren't as vocal in the rut. If it was a mild and reasonable winter the more vocal they are and the more energy they have to breed
Those original dates are ok, also ok if you back them up a week, flip a coin
Last year i killed on sept 27, year before October 6
Based off my experience in Ontario I think as a bowhunter you're better off the last week of September than pushing your hunt into October. Just seems in October the locals are moving about a lot more, scouting all up and down every tote road, and setting up camps for the upcoming rifle hunt. I prefer September, because although there's grouse hunters around most stick to the roads and leave the bush pretty vacant. I've had poor luck with the weather on just about every moose hunt I've been on, with it being "abnormally" warm, and all I can tell you is when that happens get CLOSE to water, primarily those "moosey" looking small rivers and streams, because the bulls will stick very tight to the cover along them. Ignore all that sign you see in the clearcuts; most of it was made at night...if it's warm water is where you need to be. Timmins is a good area!
i guide and hunt moose all over northern ontario and Rut period is pretty well the same. It has nothing to do with weather but it does play a role on how active the bulls are. Daylight hours is what kicks the cows into estrus which then gets the bulls going. Your dominant bulls will breed first from mid to end of september. You will still get activity in early october but for the most part you will call in the smaller bulls that have been pushed away from cows from the bigger bulls. My opinion.....Last week of september if you have a choice
Looks like we are going to roll the dice and head in on the 29th and come out the 7th. I will send pictures if we do any good.
Best of luck to all of you.
if you get the cooler weather you will have movement, if it is warm they will still move but only a half to a full hour in Am and half hour in the evening
I Moose hunted WMU 31 ( just west of Timmins) for a number of years. As for weather it really is a crap shoot. we've been in T-Shirts one day and snow on the ground the next and that was mid October during the rifle hunt. It really is hard to go by the weather as it changes day by day let alone year by year. I think you got some good advise for bow hunting wit the last week of Sept. Good luck to you!
Heading up on the 28th. Going to try the week later. Two years ago we killed on the 29th or the 30th.
Anyone else getting excited?