Unseasonably warm temperatures in northern Ontario could hamper the start of the long weekend's moose hunting season in the province.

Jerry Sinnesael, stocking up on ammunition at a Thunder Bay sporting goods store, has made the same trip up to northwestern Ontario from Tillsonburg every year for the last 18 years.

But the moose aren't so easy to hunt when the weather is as warm as it has been recently. Forecasted highs in the area are above 15 C this week.

"They just don't move around. If it's cool and crisp outside, they move around more," Sinnesael said.

That's because moose stay in wet, low-lying areas when they get overheated, according to biologists.

When hunters do manage to kill one, it's a race to transport the carcass to a cool area or get it butchered before the meat can spoil.

'Coming out to hunt this week'

While local hunter Chad Buist normally heads out for the start of the season, he's willing to hold off until hunting conditions improve.

"I'll probably just wait for the cold weather to kick in and go from there," he said.

Adrian Hagar, who manages D&R Sporting Goods in Thunder Bay, said it's easier for local residents to exercise that kind of patience. They still have the entire season ahead of them, while others will soon have to return south one way or another.

"Local guys might tend to not go out for as long, or maybe, you know, go out next week," Hagar said. "But anybody coming out of town generally has a week's holidays. They're coming to hunt this week."

The regular moose hunting season began on Saturday and will last into December.