Winter fun in the Great Outdoors!!

- February 19th, 2015

My February column is now out in the fabulous Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper! Shout-out to my pals Anthony Dixon and Tina Peplinkie who bring the daily news to folks in the upper Ottawa Valley!

Check it out online:


Winter fun in the Great Outdoors! 

 Photo courtesy of Jeff Morrison<br /><br /><br /><br />
Avid winter angler Grant Bailey with a nice walleye pulled through the ice.

(Avid winter angler Grant Bailey with a nice walleye pulled through the ice.)

Ice-fishing fanatics up the Ottawa Valley are coming off one of the busiest weekends of the season. This past weekend, Ontario residents were out in full force enjoying the merits of Family Fishing Weekend – a province-wide initiative celebrating the sport of winter angling and without the otherwise mandatory fishing licence. Seven years ago it was decided that a festive winter fishing weekend would be adopted to mirror National Fishing Week events during the summer. But hey, just because Family Fishing Weekend is behind us doesn’t mean ice fishing is done for the year. This bitter cold snap has ensured several more weeks of safe and solid winter angling!

Sportsmen’s Show this weekend

Ottawa’s Ernst and Young Centre plays host to some 25,000 outdoor enthusiasts this weekend. The Ottawa Boat and Sportsman’s Show is Eastern Ontario’s largest outdoor recreational event and a great opportunity to browse the latest in outdoor gadgetry, new watercraft and see some few familiar faces. The show will feature more than 150,000 sqare feet of exhibitor space offering this year’s best place to buy a boat, accessories and gear. Preview this year’s hottest boating and fishing tackle, plan your next outdoor getaway or learn how to fish from some of Canada’s top fishing pros. Any event that features Big Jim McLaughlin is alright in my books!

Valley Fishing and Outdoor Show in March!

The 15th annual Valley Fishing and Outdoors Show arrives next month, better mark it on your calendar! The brainchild of my old pal Dave Arbour, this year’s show is set for March 27-29 at the Carp Fairgrounds and Arena and will feature everything from casting ponds to archery, shooting and fishing simulators. With more than 100 exhibitors and lots of hunting and fishing equipment this truly is the best the valley has to offer. And this year, yours truly will be on hand hanging out in the Redneck Barn. There will be a top-notch chef on hand, a Miss Redneck fashion show, great prizes and more. Come out and say hi, I’d love to chat! Best of luck to Dave Arbour who is undergoing surgery this week. Get well soon my friend so you’ll be ready for your show in March!

Testing testing

Thank goodness this winter for Kamik’s Snow Shield ultra-cold weather boots I had the pleasure of trying out. This homegrown boot manufacturer, which has become world-renowned for its winter footwear, has somehow produced a pair of boots worthy of walking on the moon. These beauties are rated to -100 Celcius and are completely waterproof with 900 Denier and seam-sealed construction. The large format winter boots boast a moisture wicking lining, special Lace Lock snow collar and are encompassed by a patented lightweight synthetic rubber shell. The removable 24mm Zylextreme liner and 4.5mm EVA insole were just what the doctor ordered recently at Petrie Island’s Oziles ice fishing village. The Kamik Snow Shield boots are ideal for ice fishing and make standing on the frozen hardtop seem like a warm summer’s stroll in the park! For more information on Kamik’s full-line of winter footwear:

Quebec brochure now available

For anyone planning a trip to Quebec this year, the 2015 hunting and fishing brochure is now available. With a full rating system, facilities breakdown and sporting opportunities, the hunting, fishing and lodging brochure is a handy guide for non-resident sportsmen. Contact Quebec’s Ministry of Tourism at: 1-877-BONJOUR

Big ones through the ice!

With the winter angling season now in full swing, I am searching for big fish stories. If you have hauled a lunker through the ice, I would love to hear from you. Your big fish story may be featured right here in my March column. Send your story to and feel free to attach a photo.

Mystery animal attack on horse!

- February 4th, 2015




(These graphic images show the extent of injuries sustained by Christa Fraser’s horse)

But what really attacked Christa Fraser’s horse? Was it a coyote as reported initially?

Can only be one thing in my opinion….and it aint a Sasquatch!

According to Fraser, who stated “I don’t believe that one lone coyote would get between two horses and attack one of them in broad daylight”, and goes-on to explain that it doesn’t fit with a coyote’s hunting pattern and the wound is not consistent at all with a coyote attack.

The National Capital Commission first sent out a release Sunday advising the public to be on the lookout for a coyote spotted in the vicinity then Tuesday, they updated details of their advisory asking residents and farmers to increase safety measures for livestock and pets.

Trails were closed and  traps were installed and NCC will continue to monitor the area.

But how big were said traps??

Ms. Fraser contacted the Sun to explain she found one of her two horses “severely wounded” in the paddock, 50-feet from her front door and wanted to warn her neighbors to be on the lookout for the dangerous animal.

Even Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Dr. Brent Patterson studied the photos of the horse’s wounds and ruled out coyotes, bobcats or cougars as the culprits but suggested perhaps a ‘foreign animal’ could be to blame.

Patterson explained that  “There are strange exotic domestic animals in large areas like Ottawa” and that they do tend to escape from time to time.

So, what really attacked Ms. Fraser’s horse?

Well, my first thought would have been a cougar, but Dr Patterson ruled that out, so the only reasonable explanation is the Sasquatch from the Patterson-Gimlin film footage!

Hmmm…Dr. Patterson…Patterson-Gimlin, that is a little ironic, don’t you think??

Anyone own a Big Foot trap?


Note: Read ahead to comments, as there has been developments in this case (including an interview I did with Christa Fraser) since my initial post went live.

The following image, taken 2011 in Michigan, shows a radio-collared and ear-tagged cougar. According to Michigan DNR, the closest state with radio-collaring program is North Dakota, of course this case may have originated from Canada as well.

It does demonstrate how cougars can travel very long distances from the home range.


Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show – Trivia for FREE Tickets!

- January 30th, 2015


Thanks to all who participated, the contest is over for this year. Congratulations to Herman Baguss, Ron Barber & Yvonne Hiscoe!


Come Celebrate the Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show – 40th Anniversay – and win Free tickets!!

The Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show has been an Ottawa tradition for the past four decades and this year, the show will be celebrating this milestone in true outdoor fashion! Opening February 19 and running to the 22nd, the Ottawa Boat and Sportsmen’s Show will turn the EY Centre (formerly the Ernst Young Centre) into a boating and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

What about the Free tickets, you say?

A set of two SHOW passes will be given-away each week(courtesy of Erin McKay, Associate Account Manager with PUNCH Canada Inc) for the next three weeks, to those who correctly answer my Sportsmen’s Show Trivia questions!

Read on..

Showgoers can reminisce about good ‘ole times’ with a walk down memory lane, featuring vintage boats and photos captured over the Show’s 40 year history. And of course, choose your dream boat, off-road recreational vehicles, and water sports gear from the largest selection of exhibitors in the Ottawa region.

This year’s show is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. 

Check-out some of the highlights:

Fishing Tips with Pro “Big” Jim McLaughlin:  Never miss a bite again. Get top fishing tips from the legendary fishing pro Big Jim and friends, who will offer sessions on how to improve your angling skills. Afterwards, put his tips to practice as you try your luck at The Minto Jackpot Casting Challenge, where everyone is a winner.

Get WILD with Birds of Prey: Get up close and personal with live Falcons, American Kestrel, Owls & Hawks and have your picture taken with a magnificent Peregrine Falcon. This year the Canadian Peregrine Foundation (CPF) is giving visitors a rare and unique opportunity to have their photo taken with a falcon for a donation which will benefit the restoration and recovery of endangered and threatened birds.

Learn to fish with the Ministry of Natural Resources: This year Canadian Sportsfishing will feature a fishing stimulator giving children and adults the chance to get in on the thrill and feeling of catching a fish.

Exclusive Ice Fishing Seminar: Learn how to master the art of ice fishing through an engaging session with our fishing experts. Gain insightful knowledge on bait, gear, climate and timing and learn how to catch your next meal in the dead of winter!

Tips from Blind Fisherman Pro: Can you feel the bite? Learn from Lawrence Gunther(Euteneier), North America’s only completely Blind Fishing Pro honed his skills fishing commercially for Cod off Canada’s East Coast and now competes in tournaments throughout Canada.


Thursday, February 19, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday, February 20, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.  Saturday, February 21, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, February 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


EY Centre (formerly the Ernst Young Centre.) 4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 2N6


Adults: $15.00  Seniors: $10.00 Juniors: $10.00 (Ages 10 to 15)  Children: FREE when accompanied by an adult (under 10 years) Family Pass: $35.00 (two adults and two juniors)   Four-Day Super Pass any admission valid for all four show days   (Cash & Debit only Box Office)   Save $3 online when you buy advanced tickets before Feb 12, 2015

For complete show information visit:


TRIVIA QUESTION #1: (For a set of FREE tickets to this year’s Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show)


About 10 years ago, my old pal Big Jim McLaughlin and I ran a contest on CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show, in promotion of the annual Sportsmen’s Show. Some years we battled over outdoor trivia, and another time Eric the Intern dressed-up as a giant fish and we cast lures at him! (ahh, good times!)

What was this contest called? Was it a) The Outdoor Showdown b) The Jim & Jeff Show c) Duelling Sportsmen or d) One more way to abuse Eric


TRIVIA QUESTION #2: (For another  set of FREE tickets to this year’s Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show)

What was the name of the venue that hosted The Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show more years than anywhere else? Was it a) The Corel Centre/ Scotiabank/ CTC b) Big Jim’s Backyard c) Lansdowne Park or d) The Nepean Sportsplex

First person to email the correct answer to wins a set of passes to this year’s show.


TRIVIA QUESTION #3: (For the FINAL set of FREE tickets to this year’s Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show)

What is the name of that larger than life, Canadian Fishing Hall of Famer who will be appearing at this year’s Ottawa Boat & Sportsmen’s Show?

Is it a) Hacksaw Jim Duggan b) Big John Stud c) Big Jim McLaughlin d) Big Al Bundy

First person to email the correct answer to wins the FINAL set of passes to this year’s show!

WOW, I even made it on the SHOW’s Promo page:






Kid & Ted’s Excellent Cougar Adventure!

- January 21st, 2015

Ted Nugent's photo.

The above photo showing Michigan native Kid Rock posing for the camera with a large cougar he harvested recently, is creating a real Internet buzz!

Thank goodness Ted Nugent was around to back-up his pal Kid!

The following caption posted on Ted’s official website explains how Ted’s pal Kid recently embarked on the hunt and harvested a large cat, and Ted even predicted the aftermath!

HAIL my MotorCity boy KidRock for saving all those muledeer elk & livestock by whacking this magnificent mountain lion. I can hear the braindead squawkers already with their obscene denial that killing lions is wrong. Its [sic] legal its [sic] necessary its [sic] good its [sic] beneficial its [sic] a damn riot! “

Evidently Kid’s recent cougar hunt (and harvest) did not sit well with those opposed to to hunting in general. Even though it was completely legal.

Domestic dogs hard on wintering deer

- January 19th, 2015

This ought to get a few people going….

My latest outdoors column in the fabulous Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper! A shout-out to my pals Anthony Dixon and Tina Peplinkie, who work tirelessly from dusk to dawn bringing the daily news to folks in the upper Ottawa Valley!

Check it out online:


Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer's newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.
Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer’s newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.


The winter months are already tough on white-tailed deer populations and domestic dogs on the loose will only exacerbate the situation.

A couple of January’s ago as I was leaving for work; a strange sound caught my attention coming from my back field. The howl of a barking animal broke the early morning silence and my first thought was coyotes; however; the distinctive domestic canine sound reverberated. One of my neighbour’s dogs had apparently gotten loose and was chasing deer through the fields! My heart sank as I knew the implications. The deer I was feeding at the time included an orphaned fawn and an older buck with a bad leg, which were not seen again for over a week. I never did find the dog, but evidently it had put the run on them good as the lame buck returned limping worse than ever. Less than three weeks later that old buck could walk no more and the Ottawa Police were called in to have it put down. The incident was a grim reminder of why we must control our pets, especially during wintertime as snow depth increases.

Negligent dog owners

Pet owners who allow their animals to run wild regardless of the breed are not only breaking the law, their actions can be devastating for deer at a fragile time of year. Conservation officers deal with belligerent pet owners every winter and, in case you didn’t know, are authorized to destroy any dogs observed chasing or injuring deer in areas where herds gather for the winter. Penalties for allowing your dog to be at large during the closed season for deer, range anywhere from $155 up to $25,000.

Testing testing

Looking back on some cold weather footwear I had the pleasure of field-testing recently, Kamik’s new Shield boots had me travelling in cold weather comfort. The famous Canadian boot manufacturer has succeeded in producing perhaps the warmest boots I have ever tried! Rated to -100 C, the Shields feature completely waterproof 900 Denier with a camo-clad nylon upper, and a completely seam-sealed construction. The removable 24mm Zylextreme liner and 4.5mm EVA insole kept my tootsies toasty on a backfield trail camera adventure during our recent cold snap. Theses boots have a moisture wicking lining, a convenient Lace Lock snow collar and feature Kamik’s patented waterproof and lightweight synthetic rubber shell. Strong like iron, yet light like helium, Kamik’s RubberHe, is the company’s own lightweight innovation. The material is a recyclable, PVC-free synthetic rubber which claims to be 50 per cent lighter than natural rubber and 30 per cent lighter than other synthetic rubbers. Kamik Sheilds would make for the perfect ice-fishing companion or the late season deer hunter. For more information on Kamik’s full line of hunting footwear:

Wild game cookbook

With hunting season over for another year, what to do with that freezer full of fresh healthy game meat? In my latest book, The Canadian Wild Game Cookbook, I explore copious options even a culinary novice has to prepare game meats in tasty and nutritious ways. The use of game meat predates the arrival of European settlers to this country. Over millennia, aboriginal communities incorporated game meat as a way of life through various methods of harvest including hunting, gathering and trapping. Wild game and conservation are still crucial aspects of the Canadian economy within native and non-native communities alike. Game meat is typically low in fat and cholesterol, high in protein and is not loaded with growth hormones or any unwanted chemicals. In my 30 plus years as a passionate and responsible conservationist, I have learned first hand the benefits of game meat and share these fine attributes with you in my new book!

Pembroke fish stocking!

A special thanks to Darwin Rosien of the MNR’s Pembroke office for remembering to send me the annual Pembroke District Fish Stocking Program information. To see the distribution of Ottawa Valley lakes now teaming with spunky young brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and splake, makes me even more anxious for spring! If you wish to be added to Darwin’s growing distribution list to see the lakes firsthand, drop him an email:

Next time

See you right here next month and contact me anytime with your Valley hunting, fishing or conservation news or stories: