Author Archive

Valley turkey hunters gobbling up a storm!

- April 16th, 2015

My April column in the fabulous Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper is now out!

Thanks as always to Anthony Dixon and Tina Peplinkie who bring the daily news to folks in the upper Ottawa Valley!

Check it out online:


Valley turkey enthusiasts gobbling up a storm!

Wild turkey populations have rebounded in Ontario. As with Canada geese, the species was in serious decline a century ago because of over-hunting and habitat loss. Efforts to re-establish the turkey in the province from the 1980s forward were successful. (MIKE HENSEN The London Free Press)

With next Saturday’s start to the annual Ontario turkey season, hunters from across the Valley are gearing up for another exciting kick at the gobbler can!

April 25th each year marks the launch of yet another coveted spring gobbler season. Thanks to reintroduction programs dating back three decades, wild turkey populations across the province have reached sustainable levels. As we have witnessed over the past few years, there are more bird sightings than ever in the valley and around eastern Ontario, and the hunt is improving each spring. The glorious gobbler has evolved into one of the most prolific and tastiest game species around, so you had better get used to them!

Note: The annual April 25th Turkey Opener moves to Monday April 27th because opener falls on a weekend. Sorry for the confusion

Although most hunters are aware, it is illegal to hunt turkeys within 400 meters of any place where bait has been deposited, unless the place has been bait-free for at least one week. Bait is described as corn, wheat, oats or any other feed that may attract wild turkey or any imitation of such feed. Standing crops, crops stacked in accordance with normal farming practices and grain scattered as a result of normal farming operations are not considered bait. Following the rules is part of the game and it would be a shame to ruin a great hunt by pushing your luck.

Moose tags way down!

This winter, a proposed moose project was undertaken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry dealing with harvest, predation, parasites, and climate and changing habitat of our beloved Bullwinkle. The following moose management strategy was proposed:

1) limiting calf moose hunting season across northern Ontario to a two week period.

2) a two-week resident and non-resident open hunting season for calf and adult moose across northern Ontario, beginning on the Saturday closest to Oct. 22. Outside of this two-week season, calf moose could not be harvested. Hunting for an adult moose would still be permitted for the remainder of the open season with a valid moose licence and in accordance with existing rules. Also, a delay to the start of 2016 resident and non-resident moose hunting season across much of northern Ontario by one week, is very likely.

Scribe heading for trout

In a few short weeks as I head-off on my annual trout fishing adventure with my dad and brother-in-law’s, my mind will filled with visions of crystal clear lakes and behemoth brookies. It doesn’t matter how far you travel, so long as you bask in Mother Nature’s springtime spectacle. Enjoying the peaceful serenity in the delicate call of the white-throated sparrow, or the courtship rituals of the common loon. Playing cards and horse-shoes with family and scouting the backwoods trails on ATV are part of the experience. For all the avid trout anglers in the Valley, here’s to tight lines, bent rods and monster ‘specs’ as far as the eye can see!

Great online camping resource

Anyone who enjoys spending time camping at one of the many Ontario campgrounds – whether travelling with a 32-foot 5th wheel or pitching a two-man tent – should do themselves a favour and check-out this comprehensive new website. The new Parks Blogger Ontario site includes useful information on camping and travelling into copious Ontario Parks. The new site, I began contributing articles to this spring, features scads of camping tips and tricks, as well as stories by fellow campers. Happy camping this summer and do yourself a favour and check out:

Being bear safe

When travelling in bear country this spring, be sure to keep your wits about you. When portaging, up north, during the trout season we always carry a can of bear spray and although I’ve never used it, it is always there at the ready! Statistics show there are a dozen or so bear attack attacks in North America each year, some of which don’t end well. Bear spray can be purchased at local hunting and fishing stores and, keep in mind, that there may be some paperwork to fill-out. Bear spray provides a bit of extra insurance when travelling or camping in bear country.

Ontario beards & spurs on the way!

- April 15th, 2015

With only 10 days left until Ontario’s 2015 spring wild turkey season gets under way, its a time that many hunters have been waiting for with baited breath!

Although I’ve been promising myself(& Keebler) that this year would be my year for turkey hunting, it didn’t quite happen, but next year for sure..I did take my turkey seminar almost 25 years ago, so I guess I’m due!

Every morning and evening I am taunted by ‘gobbler talk’ all over the place! I predict some good calling conditions ahead if this spring-like weather continues into late April.

What are your plans for turkey season and where are you headed?

For more on the 2015 wild turkey season, check out my Outdoors Guy column in this week’s Pembroke Daily Observer!

Gobble gobble!!



Valley Fishing & Outdoor Show this weekend!!

- March 24th, 2015

Get ready folks, the Valley Fishing & Outdoor Show is here!!

The 15th annual Valley Fishing and Outdoor Show arrives this weekend in Carp! The brainchild of my old pal Dave Arbour, this year’s show is set to run from this Friday March 27th until Sun March 29th 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, I will there hanging out in my very own booth.

Stop by and say hi to the Outdoors Guy!


From Dave’s Site:

Located at the W. Erskine Johnston Arena 3882, Carp Rd off the 417. 

The Valley Fishing & Outdoor Show – Come get your Redneck On

The Valley Fishing and Outdoors Show has gone REDNECK CRAZY.

The Carp Fairgrounds and Arena is located in the Village of Carp (3832 Carp Road) and is once again the site of this year’s event – the largest of its kind.  Three buildings will be hosting the event this year, with one building dedicated just to firearms for sale or trade. The fairground offers lots of free parking.

This year has it all – with boats,  to get you on the water, outfitters to help you plan your next great adventure getaway, and tackle shops and hunting gear to help outfit you for your season. This year’s show is full of great prizes thanks to our many sponsors. You could win a pair of Monster Spectacular tickets for May 30th at the CTC Centre, fishing rods at the casting pond, a Muskie charter from Muskie Canada or a cookbook from Jeff Morrison “The Outdoors Guy”. This year’s event is truly interactive and a family oriented event with games for the kids and young at heart to test your skills in shooting, archery, casting and fishing, soap carving, fly tying and more.

New this year is Fish Cleaning demonstrations by Jeff McNaughton from MNRF and “Ask the Butcher” with Steve Moss from Mossy’s Smoke Shop. Their demonstrations and tips of the trade will help you turn that trophy catch into a tasty treat. Also new this year will be live entertainment from the Felhaver Band on Sunday to help you kick off the winter blues and put a “jig” in your step as you get ready for spring and the new fishing & hunting season. Amanda Kingsland from Y101 will be on hand Saturday on the main stage to host “The Redneck Runway”, a fashion show of all the new and latest clothing to help keep you warm, dry and looking your best. 

Seminars: We are pleased to be offering an outstanding line-up of presenters on the main stage this year.  John Anderson one of the world’s foremost renound Muskie speakers and television guest and tournament pro will be on the main stage Friday and Saturday.   Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Big Jim McLaughlin will take the stage Sunday. Big Jim has been an integral part of Canadian sport fishing for 30 years and is always a hit at the Show.  The Ottawa Fly Fishing Society will also be taking the main stage on Friday evening.  They will also be giving demonstrations and lessons on tying flies throughout the weekend.  Saturday Len Dickinson will present on “the travelling hunter”.  Len is an avid globe–trotting hunter who will be sure to pass on his tips to make sure your next hunting trip is a memorable one. 

The third building at the show will house the Gun Show.  Admission to the Fishing & Outdoor Show also gets you into this venue.  A Show within a Show! There will be 50 tables of firearms for sale and trade.  These vendors will help you find the perfect firearm for your upcoming hunting season.

So come on out and get your REDNECK on. Free parking and reasonable admission rates, makes this an affordable outing for the whole family. 

 Bring in your receipt and ID to Dave’s Hunter Saftey Booth and write your Turkey Exam at the show!

Haven’t ordered the DVD? Don’t miss out, follow the link to order!

We have a great line up of seminars this year with some new faces, and old friends!

Check back regularly for times!

Seminar Overview

Friday Saturday  Sunday 
6:30 pm -”Fly Fishing”-Ottawa Flyfishers Society  10:00am -”The Traveling Hunter”-Len Dickinson 10:00am – “Muskie Fishing”-John Anderson 
7:30 pm Muskie Fishing”- John Anderson  11:00 am – “Fish Cleaning & Cooking Demonstrations 11:00 am – “Falhaver Family Band”
  12:00 pm – “Muskie Fishing” -John Anderson 12:00 pm – “Ask the Butcher” -Steve Moss 
  1:00 pm – “Rendneck Runway Fashion Show” – Amanda Kingsland Country 101.1 1:00 pm – “Wild Game Cooking Demonstration” 
  2:00 pm – “The Traveling Hunter” -Len Dickinson 2:00 pm – “Big Jim McLaughlin” Canadian Sports Fishing Legend 

There will also be a top-notch chef on hand, a Miss Redneck fashion show, great prizes and more.

For more information:

Bounder Magazine – Spring Wheels Edition

- March 23rd, 2015

If you have not yet picked up the Spring(Wheels Edition) issue of Bounder Magazine, I suggest you get moving.

Bounder is marketed as a Men’s Magazine, but its appeal transcends all gender lines. Whether you’re a ‘sitter’ or a ‘pointer’ who enjoys a good read, you will discover something of interest within the thick, high quality pages of this publication. 

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Publisher Brian Warren, Bounder is getting better and better with every issue. It can found ‘scattered like a shotgun blast’ throughout the Ottawa valley and across town, in a number of different outlets.

I usually pick mine up at Metro and Canadian Tire stores.

For features on classic cars, dogs, men’s health, music, fishing, comedy, hunting, local entertainment, and regular columns by such folks as  Randall Moore, John Switzer, Mark Papousek, Dave Brown, Delmer & Cecil and more. 



Canada Safety Council on firearms safety

- March 12th, 2015

I received the following Press info. from the Canada Safety Council this winter, and thought perhaps it would be of interest to hunters and gun enthusiasts.

It is interesting to note that the rate of firearms deaths in Canada has been falling for past 14 years! In 2001, there were 837 firearms related deaths, or 2.70 per 100,000 Canadians. In 2011 (the last year for which statistics are available) 679 Canadians died from shootings.

Despite a growing population, that’s 158 fewer deaths, and the rate was 2.03 per 100,000 – a 25 per cent drop compared to 2001!


OTTAWA – Firearms are present in an estimated 17 per cent of Canadian households. There are almost eight million firearms in Canada (or about two firearms for every 10 people). The majority of Canadian firearm owners have long guns, which they use for hunting, sport and wildlife control.

 “Firearms in the home must be stored safely,” says Canada Safety Council president Jack Smith.  The Canada Safety Council recommends locking the firearms in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into, and storing the ammunition separately.”

If you have firearms in your home, or if you’re visiting someone who does, Smith advises you to make sure safe storage practices are in place. The Canadian Firearms Program has a toll-free number you can call to discuss any safety concern related to firearms. 

Dr. Alan Drummond, with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, says long guns are a major concern for doctors in rural areas, where firearm ownership is more common. “As a rural emergency physician and coroner, I have seen my share of accidental injuries and deaths inflicted by rifles and shotguns,” he says. In his community of Perth, Ontario, he finds that incidents of firearm deaths and injuries increase in situations where an unsafely stored gun is readily available.

For safety reasons, Canadian firearms regulations require gun owners to be properly trained and licensed. The law also requires firearms to be safely stored when not in use. Safe storage includes keeping guns unloaded and locked, with ammunition stored separately or locked up. 

Firearms licences can be denied or revoked if there are public safety concerns and risks. In 2013, the Canadian Firearms Program refused 886 firearms licence applications and revoked 2,497 firearms licences.

If you observe unsafe storage or use of firearms, or have a concern about firearms, call the Canadian Firearms Program’s toll-free (non-emergency) number during regular business hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. nationwide, Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 1 800 731-4000

You can also email

If you have an urgent or life-threatening concern related to a firearm, call 911 or your local emergency police number.


About the Canada Safety Council

The Canada Safety Council is an independent, knowledge-based, charitable organization dedicated to the cause of safety. We provide national leadership in safety through information, education and collaboration. We are Canada’s voice and resource for safety.