Nestled on Crescent Lake, a widening of the Assiniboine River as it meanders through the flat prairie country of southwestern Manitoba, Portage la Prairie is within easy reach of two shrines of North American waterfowl hunting: Delta Marsh is barely 30 kilometres to the north, while Oak Hammock is about 100 klicks away. Not that there isn’t smoking-hot field shooting for ducks and geese—including Canadas, specklebellies and whites—within easy reach of town. And if you have any energy left for an afternoon hunt, you could try for sharptails and Hungarian partridge along the windrows. Then, of course, there’s the deer hunting. Manitoba’s entire population of approximately 160,000 whitetails is found in the southern third of the province, with a high proportion of them in the grasslands. These are predominantly Dakota whitetails—big-bodied, heavy-racked bruisers that carry record-book genetics. Moose and elk draw permits also provide opportunities close to home, as do wild turkeys and abundant black bears in the spring. Although Winnipeg, with its international airport, as well as Cabela’s and Wholesale Sports Outdoors Outfitters, is just 85 kilometres to the east via the Trans-Canada, there’s no pressing need to make the trip—two of Portage la Prairie’s big-box stores offer general hunting supplies. And for more specific needs, MacDonald’s Sporting Goods is the place to go.