Archive for June, 2012

Swim from Cuba to Florida with no shark cage

- June 29th, 2012

 Shark

 

Is Penny Palfrey nuts? You be the judge!

The 49-year-old marathon swimmer is at attempting an unassisted open water swim from Cuba to Florida. It may well prove to be ‘assisted suicide’ and you’ll see why…

Last week, World record-holder Palfrey swam 67 miles, over open water, between two of the Cayman Islands.  The swim set a new world record for a solo ocean swim. 

Sounds pretty impressive, eh?

The problem was that particular swim was the crew who followed her were forced to kill three sharks along the way, which posed a threat to Palfrey. Two of the sharks were of Oceanic whitetip variety - which are included as vulnerable species on the ICUN worldwide list of critically endangered animals.

Obviously not great for publicity.

Now in her latest record-setting swim attempt, the British- Australian mother of three will swim, unassisted, from Havana, Cuba across 100-mile Florida straight to Florida.

It would seem that ‘unassisted’ implies that her crew will NOT be dispatching any rogue sharks this time, and Palfrey is going with the Grace of God, but that remains to be seen. Although a Cuba-Florida swim has been successfully attempted in past, protective shark cages were usually involved. (I’m sure a few people, over the years, fleeing Cuba’s communist rule have also made the swim.)

So, is Penny Palfrey really nuts? Let’s just say, I wouldn’t do it!

I wish Ms. Pelfrey the best of luck as she sets-off on her voyage this morning. I think she may need all the luck she can get!

Outdoorsguy

Early Summer a time of rebirth in the Great Outdoors

- June 22nd, 2012

 

It sure is nice to see the Great Outdoors in a cycle of rebirth, and there is no better time to witness this transformation than during early summer.

 

Spring is often referred to as the time of rebirth and rejuvenation in the animal world, but this isn’t entirely true. The actual fruits of labour tend to come to fruition during late June – the early summer period.

 

The Wild Turkey, for example, is one of those creatures with a birthing period which falls around this time of year.  Sure, the breading is carried during the spring, but following a 28-days gestation period the poults are born (all within 24 hours) and join the hen on a great new adventure.

 

This year, I was very fortunate to capture some images of new-born poults on my property no more than a couple of days following birth.

 

In this trail-cam image the newborn poults are barely recognizable scattered around the ground below her feet. If you zoom-in, you get a better appreciation of their size and appearance.

Henpoults1

I find the newborn poults look like small woodcocks, actually, with a dull light brown-grey mottled appearance.

Henpoults2

Henpoults3

 

Wild turkeys are not the only animals having babies at this time of year.  Although I am not a huge fan of raccoons, I did capture these night-time trailcam images of mom coon and her two young ones.

coonyoung1

coonyoung2

 

The below images of a doe and fawn in my back field were taken about 4 years ago, and remain some of the nicest wildlife pics I have taken personally. Unless you’re a full-time wildlife photog who spends days on end in the field, capturing images of a nursing fawn is a rarity indeed.

 Quigleydoe

Quigleydoe

 

Although I have not captured any images this spring/summer of does’ and newborn fawns, I have seen a couple. One on my way to Cornwall a couple of weeks back, and the other morning I spotted a doe feeding on a nearby property, and as I watched her through the binoculars; her posture and mannerisms seem to indicate she may have a fawn hidden nearby( I will be watching her more closely over the next few days)

 

Without going into another long drawn sermon on the merits of trail cameras, I honestly don’t think I could live without them! Keep an eye on the Outdoors Guy Blog as the summer progresses; I will be testing out some new Bushnell Trail cameras. One revolutionary new model has all the features of the top surveillance cams, but retails for just over $100 from what I understand.

 

Thanks for stopping-by and have fun in the Great Outdoors this summer!

 

Oh yeah, and please feel free to send-in your early summer wildlife photos!

 

Outdoorsguy

Here’s one of Rick’s pics of a nice Tom turkey strutting his stuff for a nearby hen:
Rickgobbler1

Here’s another one of Rick’s recent pics of some nice ‘twin bucks’.  (This image is an exlusive for the Outdoors Guy Blog)

Ricktwobucks

Here’s the photo(& story) of Bobcat Rick saw in NB back in 2008:

Jeff this is the only Bobcat I have been lucky enough to get on film. The picture was taken on July 27 2008 in New Brunswick. I have never seen a Lynx.

Rickcat

Here’s an incredible Lynx image( & caption) sent in by GPG….man, some guys have all the luck!! (Is it me or does that photo look like a classic painting??)

“Here’s a picture of the Lynx which was watching us from shore. We were on our way back from the evening hunt so it was taken at dusk.

GPGLynx

Here’s another Bobcat pic sent in by Rick. This one was taken in Kemptville-area December, 2009. If I hadn’t known it was a Bobcat, I’d have said it was a Lynx…goes to show how similar they are.

KemptvilleBobcat

 

 

 

 

 

Summer starts with bass and muskie nearing full swing

- June 20th, 2012

JeffMUSKIECorybass 

Fishing in Zone 18 is poised for take-off this weekend!!

The coveted muskie fishing season in Eastern Ontario got under way a couple of weeks back, and the popular bass season kicks-off this weekend.

Bass and muskie are traditionally the final two species to open each summer; however, account for probably half of the anglers in this part of Canada.

If you’ve ever hooked into a ‘lunge’ it is an experience you won’t soon forget! Back in the day, I was about as avid a muskie hunter as one could possibly be. I remember that first summer of chasing lunge..back in about 1993. I hooked into a muskie by accident and I was hooked instantly. That fish, on the other hand, did not remain hooked as many lunge tend not to do. I needed to upgrade my equipment from medium-action bass/walleye spinning gear to full-fledged heavy muskie tackle. (& trust me, it isn’t cheap!)

That first summer I started off slowly; acquiring a bit of tackle at a time and it took almost the entire summer before I had any muskie casting or trolling gear, and an actual fish in the boot. I must have missed a dozen before I nabbed my first one – a nice 42″, 17.5 pound specimen.

 It was my first bonafide lunge and the only one in my life I’ve ever kept. (Not that I would ever consider or suggest it today, but lemme tell you, it was friggin tasty. Served it to boys at moose camp that year)

My love summer affair with the ‘fish of 10,000 casts’ went on for the next 10 years, or so, unabated. My buddies and I fished many of the beautiful muskie lakes in the Laurentians(Lac Tremblant for example) and  including the Ottawa River on occasion. (The 39.5 pound behemoth in photo above was taken in the Ottawa near Hawkesbury, back in about 1998)

Regardless whether you are bitten by the summer muskie bug like I was, or just love to chase old bucket mouth. The start of summer and this weekend’s opening to bass season brings back many fond memories.

What summer memories do you have pursuing your favourite game fish?

Outdoorsguy

Here’s a link to the MNR Regs for Zone 18, if anyone is interested:

http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@letsfish/documents/document/mnr_e001337.pdf

 

Quebec women in Thailand poisoned by Fugu?

- June 19th, 2012

 Puffer

Officials now believe the sisters from Pohénégamook, Quebec, who were vacationing in Thailand, may have died from Fugu poisoning.

 

A Thai Doctor who examined the girls says their death shows signs of severe poisoning; consistent with eating a (potentially) deadly Puffer fish meal.

 

What is Fugu?

fugu

 

My condolences to the entire Belanger family and friends of Noemi and Audrey.

 

Here’s an excerpt on Fugu, taken from the book: Weird Facts about Fishing:

 

Fish Food with a Kick!
“Another weird fact about fish and fishing in
society today is some of the strange fish dishes
used as table fare across North America. One
such odd fish meal is fugu, a fish eaten as a delicacy
in Japan and other parts of Asia. The fugu is
a blowfish with extremely deadly poison within
its organs, yet many around the world eat it as an
expensive meal. In Japan, there is an expression
that goes “I want to eat fugu but I don’t want to
die.” This expression has come about as the result
of some instantaneous deaths from meal-goers
who have eaten improperly prepared fugu.
In Japan, only very skilled and licensed chefs are
even allowed to prepare fugu for their clients as
there are strict regulations now in place on the
use of this deadly blowfish as table fare.
Not only is this dangerous fish meal high profile
because of its deadly after effects, the cost per
serving is outrageously high. It may cost as much
as $200 or more per person and sometimes more,
depending on the chef.

 

According to people in the blowfish community,

the most poisonous fugu of all, known as torafugu,

is also the most delicious and the most expensive of

the fugu dishes. This deadly dish, as I discovered, is

actually now sold online and in some grocery stores
in Japan. Winter is evidently the best season to
eat this fish as there seems to be less risk of dying
at this time.

Dreaded Northern Snakehead found in BC

- June 14th, 2012

snakehead1

The northern snakehead discovered recently in a Burnaby, British Columbia pond is being analysed by Biologists. By all accounts it is the first time this invasive species has been found in Canadian waters.

Researchers are hoping to determine that the fish was an accidental release from someone’s exotic fish tank, although I don’t know why anyone would have a Northern snakehead as a pet.

In case you’re not familiar with these nasty critters, here’s an excerpt taken from my book Weird Facts about Fishing:

 

The northern snakehead is another odd fish
that is native to the Yangtze River in China
where they survive in large numbers. However,
as with many other accidental introductions into
North American waters, they can also be a scary
sight and create substantial damage. The northern
snakehead story in the United States dates back to
the turn of the new millennium where a restaurant
owner from New York City reportedly ordered
some snakeheads to make soup for his restaurant.
Well, that’s when all the trouble started. The
northern snakehead, you see, is a very peculiar
fish in not only its looks but in its ability to breathe
air. These critters can live for several days out of
water and in China are often packaged and
shipped live as they will remain fresh for longer
providing a fresher meal.

It is believed that the New York restaurant
owner received his snakeheads for soup but
found them too cute to eat, so later decided to put
them in his aquarium instead. As the story goes,
his two snakeheads quickly consumed all the
‘feeder fish’ the restaurant owner offered them
and in no time became too large for the aquarium.
It is believed the man then released them into
a pond behind the house where these nativeChinese
fish had their run of all the local pan
fish in the lake, which they made short work of
devouring. As time went on, the snakeheads
reproduced and eventually found their way into
other nearby water systems. They have reportedly
even been caught by anglers in Maryland
and turned into the Department of Natural
Resources for examination.

Because of their ability to breathe air and the fact
that they are extremely resilient, with such a veracious
appetite, the northern snakehead is a real
concern to local waters. Some people call them
the “Jaws” of the new millennium. They are
yet another example of an exotic fish species
accidentally released into non-native waters.
Within a year, it was discovered that the snakeheads
had been found in six other U.S. states.

In 2008 President George W. Bush announced
trade and import bans on 28 snakehead species,
in an attempt to prevent any further spreading. The
northern snakehead is another weird and wonderful
fact in the world of fishing today, though
probably weirder than they are wonderful.