2022 Canadian big-game hunting forecast: Hot spots for whitetails, mule deer, moose, elk, bear and more


With COVID-19 restrictions easing at the time of this writing, Canadian hunters should be able to travel unfettered to their favourite hunting areas this fall, whether within their home province or to hot spots in other jurisdictions—provided there isn’t a resurgence of the virus, that is. The hunting prospects for the coming seasons are mostly good, too. Some are even great. Unfortunately, there are also a few grim forecasts.


Across most of Canada, the past winter was long, cold and brutal. Such conditions can be hard on deer, especially if spring is delayed, as was the case in some regions this year. As well, caribou continue to face many challenges right across the country, resulting in fewer hunting opportunities.

On the upside, moose numbers are mostly stable, elk are doing well right across the West, and black bear hunting has never been better. For some big-game species with restricted ranges, such as bison, mountain goats, mountain sheep, pronghorns and muskox, generalizations can be difficult. While there are hunting seasons for all of those species, the prospects will vary from region to region, depending on the health of local populations. Here’s what hunters can expect across the land this fall.

Before heading afield, always be sure to check the local seasons and regulations. With access management now an important tool for maintaining hunting opportunities, also be sure to follow any relevant regulations, such as motor vehicle restrictions. Finally, stay abreast of the potential reinstatement of pandemic-related travel restrictions, especially if you plan to hunt outside of your home province. For links to all provincial and territorial hunting regulations, go to www.outdoorcanada.ca/huntingregs.