Species: Bear, Deer, Duck, Goose, Grouse, Moose, Pheasant, Woodcock
Why we chose it
Nova Scotia is a perfect spot for the hunter looking for a mix of waterfowl, upland birds and a bit of big-game hunting without having to travel far. While Colchester County, where Truro is the county seat, typically records the second highest take of whitetails—around 1,000 a season—some of the best bucks, along with a fair number of black bears, come out of the mixed farmland and big timber country of Cumberland County to the west. Flocks of Canada geese, meanwhile, stage in nearby Cobequid Bay and hop inland to feed in the farm fields of the Annapolis Valley to the east. The Annapolis Valley is also one of the top areas to hunt pheasant, while the woodlots and second-growth thickets hold ruffed grouse as well as flights of woodcock. Moose are present, but you’ll have to enter a draw for a permit. One great advantage of Truro is its handy central location, with the Trans-Canada running from the New Brunswick border past its doorstep and out to Cape Breton Island, while Highway 102 provides a link to Halifax, one hour to the south. It’s also a friendly town where you’d want your kids to grow up. General hunting gear can be picked up at one of the bigbox stores, but there are also specialized shops that cater to hunters and shooters, including Valhalla Gun Shop, Adams Gun Customizing and Machine Shop, J.E. Campbell Gunshop and Mackay’s Wild Outdoor Store.