Have you ever been on a fly-in to a remote lodge? Birch Bark Lodge is as remote as it gets, but with many of the great amenities, you can’t live without. Simply drive to Pickle Lake, located in, Superior Country of Ontario. Get on a floatplane and take a short 45-minute ride, and you are at Birch Bark Lodge on pristine Wigwascence Lake—far beyond where the roads end. Wigwascence Lake is 7.5 miles long with numerous islands and bays, and is part of the 250-mile long Pinemuta River, offering endless walleye and trophy pike fishing as well as fabulous moose hunting opportunities!
Owner and operators Mike and Kim Pierson treat visitors like family, catering to those looking for a truly memorable fishing and/or moose hunting adventure. From the time you arrive at the lodge until it’s time for you to leave, it’s like you never left home—except you’re a whole lot more relaxed!
Birch Bark Lodge has two comfortable cabins keeping the focus on the remote experience—the surroundings are pristine and breathtaking, just like they have been for thousands of years. The main lodge is a great place to relax after a day of great fishing or hunting and tell stories with family, friends or other guests; then enjoy homestyle meals from fresh fried fish to steaks on the grill with all the sides—perfect for refueling after a great day on the water. The deck overlooks the peaceful Wigwascence Lake and is highly recommended to help you forget the stresses of life.
Birch Bark Lodge can accommodate small to large groups. Book a trip for you and your spouse, or bring a whole group of up to 12, and you’ll be the only guests at the lodge! And whether you want to do your own cooking—or leave that to Mike and Kim—it’s entirely up to you, with both American and Housekeeping plans available.
This was not my first trip to Birch Bark Lodge, in fact, it was my third. It seems whenever it’s time to leave and get on the floatplane, I internally start planning my trip back. On my last trip to Birch Bark a couple of years ago, it was a cast and blast adventure, which I always try to do in the fall. Why not do two of my favorite things in one trip… seems logical! The fall fishing is always lights-out, and you can take a break mid-day and fish while still keeping an eye out for those big majestic moose.
Well, on that last trip I was successful on catching so many walleyes that my arms felt like rubber along with a couple of trophy-class pike, but the extremely unusual and unseasonably warm fall weather was not conducive to really great moose hunting. So on this trip, in an effort to redeem myself I pulled out all the stops and brought my own “Secret Weapon.” That weapon was a good friend of mine, Glen Boyd, who guided me on a hunt the year prior where we connected on a giant bull. Glen and I stayed in touch and became good friends. So I called him up and he was all in!!
Due to extremely thick-wooded terrain that is in many cases unhuntable by foot, most Birch Bark Lodge guests hunt exclusively by boat. This kind of hunt is exciting, as you navigate and glass miles and miles of Lake Wigwascense’s shoreline, islands, and river and creek edges, trying to catch moose coming to water. Part of the program is stopping in prime moose-looking areas to give rutting moose a cow or bull call. The goal, of course, is to get them to call back and convince them to come within shooting range. The hopes of an emerging giant from brush and river corner keeps your adrenaline on high alert!
Glen and I decided on the “set up and call in prime areas” method on this hunt. We again experienced some pretty mild weather on this trip, but did have bulls calling back at almost every area we set up on. They just would not come in and got hung up back in the thick woods, which is fairly typical during mild weather conditions. Luckily we had both a bull and a cow tag, so we had options. However, the plan was if we saw a cow early in the trip, we would try to call in a rutting bull on her, which is what we did on one occasion but the bull snuck in behind us. Hard to believe an animal that size can be so quiet!
As the week progressed, the weather started to change in our favor, but we were running out of time. On the second to last day, our plan changed to going after a bull or cow. The decision was to go back to the area we had the cow and bull encounter. We set up with the wind in our favor on a point adjacent to another point in a back slew off the lake. It wasn’t 20 minutes after getting set up, followed by Glen giving a couple of cow calls then a bull call, that a big blonde-colored cow moose stepped out in response to Glen’s chatter.
All I heard in the breezy, drizzly air was the sound of a moose stepping in shallow water, and I knew instantly that our decision had paid off and it was game on. I looked up, and all I saw was a big head staring our way, looking for the moose making all the noise. She read the script and turned to give me a perfect broadside shot. As I squeezed off my Ruger 30.06 I knew it was going to be a successful hunt, and as I rang out a second one just to be sure she was going down, my adrenaline went into high gear! A feeling like no other.
A great bonus to moose hunting on such prime fishing water is throwing a couple rods in the boat. Where else can you look for moose and reel in walleye and pike at the same time? It was so fun to be able to fish with Glen and chat about the previous year’s hunt while make plans for how we were going to accomplish another successful hunt. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours fishing with the passionate fishing Birch Bark owner, Kim, again on this trip. I really enjoy it because not only does she love to catch fish—she is a little competitive too. (lol)
The Birch Bark Lodge moose hunting experience is a total escape to the breathtaking and secluded wilderness. Just bring your gear and weapon of choice and spend the week chasing your trophy of a lifetime! Add in the fishing and you’ll experience a cast and blast unlike most! And now it looks like my awesome guide and buddy Glen Boyd has a new home at Birch Bark Lodge, so if you are looking to have your next moose hunt guided, I can tell you he is one of the great ones!
Most guests return to Birch Bark Lodge year after year for the unbelievable fishing, hunting, scenery, and great service, but most of all they come back for the friendships they’ve made with Mike and Kim Pierson! As I got back on that float plane, as usual, I started my plan to come back home to Birch Bark Lodge!