Alberta’s Lakeland Early Season Hunting Opportunities

Posted on: September 12, 2019

The oncoming of the inevitable cooler weather every September brings with it great opportunities for hunters in Alberta’s Lakeland. WMU 514 offers early season hunting for whitetail deer, moose on the draw system, upland game birds such as ruffed grouse and to top it off, black bear. Hunters will not find the crowds that appear later in the season along with animals that have not seen the pressure that comes later in the fall.

Whitetail deer are easy to pattern as water holes will provide an excellent location to set up a tree stand or a ground blind. These can be a remote back water of the many lakes in the region or a small stream such as the Medley River. Look for trails that lead down to the water, set up your stand and it will only be a matter of time before Mr. Big makes an appearance. For those lucky enough to draw the calling season moose tag the area provides some excellent moose habitat with Wolf Lake being a popular location. The lake has an excellent campsite to run your base camp out of and, with the use of ATVs/ UTVs, many remote spots can be accessed to set up for an evening of calling within a short drive of the campsite.

Upland birds are also plentiful in 514 with the tasty ruffed grouse the number one quarry that hunters pursue. The birds are still green at this time of the year and do not spook as easy as they do when the leaves have fallen. Look for food sources along many of the cut-lines that run throughout 514. The best food source being the many wild rose bushes that grow everywhere, and early morning and late evening are the best times to find the birds eating.

The 514 area offers some of the best Black Bear hunting in the province and baiting is legal which improves your chance at a real trophy. Baits are best set close to water sources with both tree stands and ground blinds being effective hides for the hunter. The best bait this time of year include oats and old fry grease mixed in a 50 gallon drum then secured to a sturdy tree. The bears are getting ready to hibernate and will visit the baits all day long to take advantage of the tasty treat. Most hunters will set up trail cameras at the bait site to determine the quality of animals that are coming in. This type of hunting is truly selective harvest as the hunter can identify the largest bruin that is frequenting the bait and wait till it shows up to take his shot. The best part about harvesting a fall bear is the excellent eating they provide as the animal is in its best condition of the season.

A bear that is eating blueberries is the most coveted by hunters due to the extra tender and sweet meat. Always make sure you have all the proper tags and have read the Alberta Hunting regulations to ensure you are following all applicable game laws. And, if someone asks you when does hunting season start? You can tell them right now in Alberta’s Lakeland Region.

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