If you are interested in Duck Hunting Season Ontario, then you are in the right place. Duck hunting can be a lot of fun, there is nothing like getting that beautiful duck to add to your trophy rack. It is fairly easy to start hunting ducks. But to become a master, you will require a lot of hard work.
There is always something new to learn, even after years of experience. Whether it is just figuring out the right way to set up decoys or learning new tactics, your techniques for waterfowl hunting are a trade in itself.
In this article, you will learn more about Duck Hunting Season Ontario and also 10 valuable duck hunting tips that will improve your hunting technique and help you to add the beautiful duck to your trophy rack.
Duck Hunting Season Ontario
Ducks (other than Harlequin Ducks), season starts in September until December.
Black bear hunting is one of Ontario’s major attractions for non-residents, and it also has excellent deer hunting opportunities.
Also, there are other hunting opportunities for upland game birds that include spruce grouse and ruffed grouse as well as turkeys and waterfowl, which round out the varied hunting opportunities in Ontario.
All migratory game birds are federally managed by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) of Environment Canada. The Canadian Wildlife Service establishes yearly hunting seasons and bag limits for the migratory game bird species. This includes ducks, rails, geese, snipe, woodcock, mourning doves and more.
Ontario has been a hot spot for waterfowl hunters in North America for a long time. Whether you hunt for goose or duck, from shore or boat, Ontario offers such a wide range of waterfowling experiences that will make you always want more.
There are quite a number of species of Ducks in Ontario, such as Mallards, Blue /Green Winged Teal, Pintails, Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Bluebills, Black Ducks, Buffleheads, and Goldeneyes.
The geese found here are the Snow Goose and Canada Goose. Traditionally, Snow Geese hunting in eastern Canada was limited to hunting in Quebec. But over the last several years, their migration path has shifted into eastern Ontario, providing the hunters with great Snow Goose hunting opportunities.
Information for Hunters
Any waterfowl hunter should be aware of the following:
1. Know your bag and possession limits
2. Non-toxic shot is required for all waterfowl hunting in Canada.
3. In Southern Ontario, most field hunting for Canada geese takes place on private land. So, the permission of the landowner must be taken, or hunters may want to look into trips through outfitters who have pre-granted access.
Migratory Game Birds
In order to hunt migratory game birds (for example, waterfowl, common snipe, mourning doves, and woodcock) in Ontario, you must have: a wildlife habitat conservation stamp and a federal migratory game bird hunting permit, as well as a small game licence and an Outdoors Card. This includes hunting these species with falconry birds or non-indigenous falconry birds.
Bag and Possession Limits
In many areas of Canada, daily bag limits and possession limits will vary by individual bird species. The fully feathered wing of the bird must remain attached to the game bird and only be removed after the bird is taken to the owner’s residence for preservation or when the bird is being prepared for immediate cooking. This will help game officers accurately inspect and identify the hunters’ daily bag or possession limits.
Hunters can harvest different bird species in one day, so the ability of the game officer to differentiate between the game bird species is an important thing. The game officer may issue a ticket to the hunter for being over their limit if he finds a species that is not identifiable.
Hunting From a Boat
In order to hunt migratory birds from a boat, you must turn off the boat motor and wait until it has stopped its forward propulsion. You may not shoot from a boat that is in motion. Likewise, when hunting from a non-motorized boat like a kayak or canoe, you must wait until it has ceased its forward motion before you start hunting.
You must have adequate means to retrieve any game bird you may cripple, kill, or injure. When you shoot a bird, make every reasonable effort to retrieve it immediately. And if the bird is still alive, kill it right away. Make sure to include it in your daily limit.
10 Duck Hunting Tips
1. Do not Look Up
Ducks have strong eyesight. Looking up at circling ducks is like shining a spotlight at them. So, try to practice how to look up with just your eyes and not your head. You can also wear a facemask, it will really help to cover your shiny face.
2. Develop a Decoy Strategy
While buying quality hunting decoys is important, knowing how to use them perfectly is even more important. Here are simple decoy strategies that you can try yourself:
1. Ducks like to land coming into the wind. So wind direction is an important element to consider when setting up your duck decoys. You can place the decoy in the water such that the ducks will fly towards you to land. Make sure you are facing the wind direction
2. Spread your decoys in a U shape. This shape will help guide ducks in. Also, it will provide you with excellent shooting opportunities from your blind. You must give the ducks enough room to feel comfortable, so pay attention to the distance between decoys as well. Take it as a rule, if the decoys do not look real to you, they will not look real to the ducks flying overhead. So, to add a sense of realism, be sure you alternate the direction in which your decoys face.
3. Work On Your Calls
Duck calls have a big effect on your hunting success. So it is important to learn how to use them correctly. If you can bring ducks to you, you will have much better hunting opportunities. There are different types of birds, so make sure to choose a call that matches your species.
4. Hunt With Experience
The best way to gain knowledge is through others. If you are a beginner, hunting with an experienced hunter will teach you a lot. Try to find a relative or a friend who hunts responsibly and legally, and go hunting with him in the field or on the water.
Experienced hunters know how to do things, and you can gain a lot of knowledge by just watching them. They have already put the boat in before, set up a decoy spread, and blended the layout blinds in with cover. This way, your first hunt will have a much better outcome.
5. Match Your Shot Size to Your Target
No point in firing #2 steel shot at teal ducks. This will blow them to pieces. #2 is more suitable for hunting bigger ducks like gadwalls and mallards. You will need a shot size that fits the fowl you are going after.
6. Take the Shot
Hunting requires a lot of patience. Shooting in a hurry is no way to duck hunt. It is important that you take your time and stay on target. And once you feel it is the right moment, go for it.
Most hunters opt for the lead duck. But if you aim for the last duck, you will have ample chance to aim correctly and hit the target.
7. Use a Dog for Duck Hunting
Some of the best spots for duck hunting are in really deep water. And getting into freezing cold water is not that easy even if you wear waterfowl waders. Of course, having a duck boat can make things easier, but why not consider getting a hunting partner?
When duck hunting, having a hunting dog will be very helpful. Not only can they track down wounded birds, but also they will bring your kills back to you. You do not have to move a muscle.
Keep in your mind that there are different breeds of dogs. And when it comes to duck hunting, certain breeds are better than others. Also, no matter what your dog’s breed is, your dog will need training. You need to be patient, although this will take time, a properly trained hunting dog is worth the wait.
8. Late Season Birds are Spooky
Birds tend to get smarter the more they are shot at. So decrease your calling and decoys later in the season.
You may use only 2-4 decoys. Also, they seem to avoid motion-type decoys late in the season, so it may be better not to use them.
9. Do not Move
If you move too much, you can ruin your hunt. Try to stay as still as you can so you do not ward off any flocks. You should learn how to stay still and quit moving so much if you want to shoot any ducks during the open season.
10. Get a Gear Bag
Duck hunting requires lots of gear, such as facemasks, gloves, shells, calls, earplugs, flashing lights, and more. Be sure you get a bag with a shoulder strap. This will make it easier for you to hike a way into your spot, if you have to. And make sure it has ample room for all of your gear, but it is not so big that it takes up lots of room.