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


NB promises a good season ahead for bear hunters (Photo: David A. Mitchell/Flickr)


This past winter started later than normal in New Brunswick, and left somewhat earlier, which is good news for deer hunters. In fact, whether you hunt deer, moose or bears, the prospects for the coming seasons may be the best in recent memory. Note that the province’s new online registration system for all big-game harvests is now up and running.



In the years prior to the pandemic travel restrictions, non-resident hunters took a high proportion of the province’s bear harvest. Not so in 2021. With the travel restrictions in place, the harvest among resident hunters was up about 20 per cent, the highest in decades. New Brunswick’s bear population remains robust, so hunters should continue to do well this fall.


Although the moose harvest was down in 2021, managers don’t believe the drop was indicative of the overall population. Instead, the weather was unseasonably hot last season, and the animals simply stayed close to cover. Assuming there will be normal weather this season, the prospects for hunters are excellent.



Favourable winters have allowed for a strong increase in deer numbers in recent years, as much as 10 per cent annually. While last year’s harvest was up, it was not as much as was expected, likely due to pandemic restrictions keeping hunters away from the more productive areas. That means hunters can expect even more deer out there this year, and a potentially banner year. More antlerless permits will be issued this year, too, and more areas will be opened for hunting.