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Small game, big adventure

Our tips for for apprentice enthusiasts

Fall is a season that rouses the passion of hunters everywhere. With the forest in transformation, hunting enthusiasts flock to their favorite woodlands in pursuit of precious trophies. However, for the hunting novice, it's not always easy to know where to begin.

Small game hunting remains a magnificent gateway for those wishing to learn the ropes of this activity. So here are a few tips for future adherents to make the first hunting experience a success.

Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq

An abundance of critters to be hunted

The animals may be smaller but there’s no shortage of challenges! Small game hunters must keep their eyes peeled as their prey might be creeping along the ground or perched on a branch. At the heart of the thousands of kilometres of forest roads and trails in Québec’s wildlife reserves, the novice hunter will have an exhilarating time tracking partridge, spruce grouse, and hare. These little forest-dwelling beasts will also delight all foodies.

Day hunting or a stay with cabin accommodations

Small game hunting is surprisingly accessible! What a perfect opportunity to initiate new hunters! One of the main reasons? Day hunting can be enjoyed without staying overnight! Around-the-clock hunting getaways are also offered at all cabins located on wildlife reserves where small game hunting is permitted. During a short stay, hunting can begin upon arrival and extend throughout the following day.

Hunters can also opt for longer stays in our comfortable and well-equipped cabins. A forest and hunting stay can last for a number of days!

Wildlife reserves are very much on the beaten track, making small game hunting easier still. Their forest roads can be traveled on foot, by truck, and even by ATV. Four-wheeled vehicle buffs are also welcome in certain sectors of Portneuf, Laurentides, Mastigouche, Rouge-Matawin, Saint-Maurice, Ashuapmushuan, and La Vérendrye wildlife reserves.

Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq
© Sépaq
Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq
© Sépaq

Minimal equipment 

Contrary to big game hunting where more sophisticated equipment and meticulous hunting-ground preparations are essential for good success rates, small game hunting requires very little equipment and minimal preparation. A firearm, ammunition, walking boots, a florescent vest, a hunting licence and right of access are of course required to get off on the right foot. The access fee can be paid online or at all wildlife reserve registration centres.

It's also important to know that initiation licences are available for apprentice hunters. For all newbies without a hunter’s certificate, an initiation licence is just the ticket, enabling hunting in the company of a certificate holder over 25 years of age.

The best places to get started

It’s no secret that Sépaq wildlife reserves are perfect places for small game hunting. Located a stone’s throw from Québec City, Laurentides and Portneuf wildlife reserves offer vast territories and an abundance of game. Mastigouche and Saint-Maurice wildlife reserves are excellent options for newbies from the regions of Mauricie and Lanaudière. And for those wishing to venture a little further away from major urban centres, Ashuapmushan, La Vérendrye, Rouge-Matawin, Matane, Port-Cartier-Sept-Îles, and Rimouski wildlife reserves are sure to satisfy a newfound appetite for hunting.

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