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


Last season, Quebec hunters harvested almost 24,000 moose


For much of Quebec, winter is often very cold and snowy, and this past one was no exception. Spring was slow to arrive, too. Most whitetails inhabit the south of the province, however, where the winter was fairly mild, so the toll on deer will be no worse than average. There was so little snow, in fact, that some winter game surveys could not be completed. Overall, the hunting prospects for the coming season looks very good. Meanwhile, the results of three major research studies on black bears, moose and deer will soon be available.



Quebec bear hunters can look forward to another great year. With non-resident hunters basically absent for the past two years due to the pandemic, resident bear hunters have more than filled the gap—last year, licence sales were at their highest since 1990. The success rate was about 25 per cent, with some 5,250 bears harvested. The most productive areas are found in a wide band across the south and west of the province, from Abitibi to Saguenay.


The provincial moose population is considered stable at between 125,000 and 150,000 animals. Moose are very popular with Quebec hunters—last year, the 180,000 licence holders (the second highest number ever) brought home almost 24,000 animals. The hunting zones with the highest moose harvest are in a band both north and south of the St. Lawrence River (zones 1, 2, 26 and 28). Another good bet is zone 13 along the Ontario border.



The most popular and productive areas for hunting whitetails are in the south of the province. In fact, five small zones (4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) along the U.S. border account for nearly half of the deer harvested. Last year’s total harvest of 52,600 deer was up from 2020, but near the long-term average; the 33 per cent success rate was also similar to previous years. Anticosti Island (zone 20) alone accounts for about 10 per cent of the deer taken each year. The south of the province escaped much of the impact of last winter, so the prospects are excellent this year for Quebec’s deer hunters.