Following the complete closure of Canada to non-resident hunting in 2020, the anticipation for the 2021 season was immense; the building excitement was palpable since remote portions of the country experienced little or no hunting pressure during the shutdown. For those hunters getting to hunt these areas this year, the result was a perfect storm for a hunting season that will not soon be forgotten.
Simply put, WTA clients were able to harvest truly impressive trophies of all species during the 2021 season. The Yukon, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia all produced a great set of rams, moose, and mountain caribou. However, on the flip side, please note that portions of the Yukon experienced a varying degree of winter kill that will result in many outfits limiting Dall sheep harvest numbers for the coming years. This will result in added strain to the Dall sheep market, so if you are considering a Dall hunt be ready to look three or four years out.
But the real standout from 2021 were whitetail deer hunts in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Upon conclusion of each hunt the number of big buck pictures emailed to the WTA office was astounding and reminiscent of the glory days of Canadian whitetail hunting. It could suggest that the coming years will offer the finest whitetail hunting Canada has had in decades.
With these results in the books, anticipation for the 2022 hunting season is building.
One thing we learned from the 2021 season was the widespread misconception regarding COVID travel protocol for U.S. residents going into and returning from Canada. Here is a simple breakdown of the current procedure to enter and exit Canada.
Prior to Traveling
- You must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel.
- You must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entering Canada.
- You must go through the prompts on the Arrive Can. Upon satisfactorily completing the prompts, you will be issued a code verifying you have gone through the process. You will need to display this code when checking in for your flight.
Personally speaking, I have fielded many questions pertaining to the Arrive Can app and pre-trip testing. I can report from firsthand experience that the app is extremely user-friendly and simple to complete. I applaud Canada for designing and executing such a smooth-running system. Pre-trip testing was also quite simple as I was tested at my primary care physician’s office and received results within 24 hours.
- You must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to re-entering the U.S. This is a rapid test and typically takes less than 15 minutes to get results. In most circumstances, outfitters are organizing these tests.
There are also several tests that can be purchased online and self-administered under virtual monitoring if you prefer to avoid testing centers. If you select this option, I highly encourage you to order the test well in advance due to shortages. And double-check that your test of choice meets U.S. re-entry requirements.
In summary, don’t let COVID travel protocol keep you from applying for dream hunts in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. The 2020 lockdown essentially pushed the Pause button on hunting for a year and now that the pause is off, you should absolutely consider getting in on the adventures. And you should absolutely call WTA today at 1-800-346-8747.