The Wilderness Area
Polletts Cove-Aspy Fault Wilderness Area (PC-AFWA) is one of 38 provincial protected areas designated under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. This scenic portion of highland plateau includes 27,230 hectares (67,250 acres) of Acadian and boreal forest, wetland complexes, and coastal headlands. Steep, forested slopes border the plateau which lies some 420 to 450 metres above sea-level.
The Wilderness Areas Protection Act requires that the licensing of vehicle use during the annual moose hunt in Polletts Cove-Aspy Fault Wilderness Area (PC-AFWA) be discontinued as of January 1, 2012. Consequently, no vehicle use will be permitted within PC-AFWA (also referred to as Zone 5) during the licensed moose hunt.
Trail access into the wilderness area is limited. There are several existing access points, but most of the trail routes involve crossing private land. It is recommended that hunters obtain permission before using these access trails. Some local guides have agreements with private landowners permitting them and their clients to use the trails during the hunting season.
Hunting large animals like moose in PC-AFWA using non-motorized methods is extremely challenging, requiring a high degree of physical fitness, preparedness/planning, and manual labour. Participants must be prepared to transport heavy loads for long distances over very steep and rugged terrain. Warm temperatures can occur in early fall, and this can increase the risk of fatigue, heat stress, and the loss of game meat to spoilage. This hunt may not be appropriate for all potential moose license applicants.
Methods and Equipment
The use of pack animals (horses and mules) has proven to be an effective means of transporting heavy loads for longer distances in difficult terrain. Various types of wheeled carts, wagons, and carriers are also used, as are backpacks, framed carriers, powered winches, and come-a-longs. De-boning of meat can reduce overall weight and the effort required to remove harvested game. The use of black pepper and protective cloth (cheese cloth) keeps dirt and flies from contaminating game meat. Low-impact camping is permitted in the wilderness area, however, those planning to do so should be familiar with the special standards for camping which are summarized in the brochure “Keep It Wild – A Guide for Low Impact Recreation in Nova Scotia’s Wilderness Areas”. A copy of the brochure will be mailed to each licensed hunter in Zone 5, and a digital version is available at: https://novascotia.ca/nse/protectedareas/pubs.asp .
The Use of Guides
While the use of guides is not required in Zone 5, local moose hunting guides and haulers are available to assist hunters in accessing more remote areas of PC-AFWA by various non-motorized means (examples: pack horses, mules, hand-operated carts, packs, etc.).
Maps of Zone 5