My bucket list just got shorter last week!
I experienced my first ever Canadian waterfowl hunt. I was joined by my brother, Dan Ward of South Dakota, along with Jens Gran of Polson, Rob Hart of Missoula and his friend Pete Larson of Minnesota.
The hunters from left to right: Dan Ward, Rob Hart, Eric Olson and Jens Gran.
It was everyones first trip to hunt waterfowl in Canada. I have been to Canada walleye fishing, but that was over 17 years ago. Way before 9-11, so as you might imagine, getting across the border now requires a little more paperwork and preparation to avoid any delays or hassles.
Now to cross the border, you need a passport as well as a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration. I would recommend planning ahead a couple of months, so you can apply for the passport. The firearm declaration can be filled out before you cross the border. This form, which comes with a $25 fee, asks for gun type, barrel length, and the guns serial number.
Once in Canada, you will undoubtedly be treated to world class duck and goose hunting.
We were based out of a hunting camp operated by Eric Olson of Havre, called Mr O’s Outfitters. The camp consists of two houses in Beaver Flats Resort, located on Lake Diefenbaker. The lake is 140 miles long and is 40 miles from Swift Current in the Providence of Saskatchewan.
We booked our trip through Alan Evans from Missoula, of Montana-Canada High Plains Adventure (406-240-4078) Mike Knudson of Havre and Gary Dreikoson also helped guide us on our morning and afternoon hunts.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon, just in time for an afternoon duck hunt. A weather system entered the area bringing overcast and windy conditions. This created ideal duck hunting weather for our first hunt. There were 8 hunters in our group. We set-up blinds and a decoy display in a field next to a pond that contained hundreds of ducks. This was the start of a dream shoot. In a little over an hour and a half, we bagged 61 ducks.
Rob Hart in the blind waiting for sunrise.
The next morning we left camp at 4:30 a.m. to travel an hour in the dark, to a field where we would be setting up for our first goose hunt. By 8:00 a.m. we bagged our daily limit of geese.
The next couple of days we experienced great duck hunting, but the goose hunting suffered because of the improved weather conditions that entered the area.
If you are planning a trip there are a couple different ways to experience Canada waterfowl hunting. You can employ an outfitter that handles every detail or you can bring your own decoys, scout for waterfowl and then ask permission to hunt, after you have discovered where the birds are located.
An outfitter like Mr O’s takes a lot of the guess work and hassle out of planning a trip. They charge $1100.00 for three days of hunting. That includes 3 goose hunts in the morning and 3 duck hunts in the afternoon. It also included room and board, so you don’t have to cook or buy food.
Whichever way you choose one thing is certain, if you love to hunt waterfowl, you will love hunting in Canada!