West Nipissing - Upper French River
An Outdoor Paradise in Northern Ontario

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There is a lot of bird hunting in West Nipissing, from the fantastic staging area of Cache Bay to the hunting of grouse in the wooded areas. While bird hunting may still be one of the major draws to West Nipissing, the opportunity to view these wonderful creatures as a birder cannot be overlooked.

Cache Bay has one of the more significant wetland areas in the entire province of Ontario. The spring and fall migrations are spectacular. Having recently undergone a wetland evaluation process by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the findings for West Nipissing are very encouraging. The area is described as ideal for waterfowl of all types; mallards earlier in the season, then scaups, goldeneyes, ring-necks and more.

The best viewing time for the birders and naturalists is during the spring migration. The sights are spectacular and start as soon as the ice starts to melt. For the birder, some very uncommon species have begun to nest in the area. Also of interest are the birds of prey which inhabit the area, including ospreys, marsh hawks, owls and bald eagles, among others. There are literally hundreds of species; species which are not nesting anywhere else in the region.

The West Bay of Lake Nipissing, south of Lavigne, is another significant waterfowl area which experiences quite a large hunt. There are numerous spots throughout West Nipissing that are available for duck hunting.

Hunting for woodland birds such as the ruffed grouse is also a way of life in West Nipissing. During the hunting season many people take to the woods. Itís not unusual to go for a morning stroll and scare up several grouse. Again, the areaís habitat is ideal for these birds, with a good mix of berries and hawthorn, and bordering agricultural land. Access to the bush is easy, with many country roads. As always, be sure you are hunting on Crown Land, and if you are on private land, be sure that you have the permission of the landowner.