Author Archive

Moose hunt is almost here!!

- September 19th, 2014

My September Outdoors Guy column is now out in print in the Pembroke Daily Observer, or available online for folks who dont live up the valley:

http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2014/09/19/moose-hunting-not-for-faint-of-heart

 

Moose hunting not for faint of heart

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

 
No other sporting activity requires as much finesse or is as steeped in history and tradition as moose hunting.

From the construction of traditional birch-bark horns to understanding a set of skilled calls, pursuing the elusive King of the Northwoods remains an activity for the highly motivated. It is a pursuit which requires patience and skill. Moose hunters immerse themselves deep into the North woods and portage great distances to access prime moose country; with the ultimate goal of enticing a large bull through vocalization and use of scents. Even during the peak of the rut, most dominant bull moose are hesitant to make an appearance let alone present themselves for a good harvest opportunity. Hunters heading North this month and early into October are praying for cool weather and light winds; to lay the groundwork for one of the most exciting hunts of the year!

Kenauk Casting and Blasting

For trout enthusiasts who thought it was over for the year, Kenauk Nature located across the river in Montebello, is offering ‘brookie’ and ‘bow’ fishing until the end of October. This is a time when most other trout waters have closed for the year and most sportsmen are out hunting. Thanks to ongoing management efforts, Kenauk continues to provide great fishing opportunities longer than anywhere else. And with Quebec’s grouse season opening this weekend, sportsmen can enjoy some ‘casting and blasting’ at this famous Montebello reserve. For more late season fishing and hunting information call 819-423-5573

Valley waterfowl

Surreptitiously trudging the marshlands before dawn, migratory bird hunters are the unsung heroes of the outdoor world. There are hundreds of waterfowl enthusiasts out there each September rain or shine; crouched motionless behind a camouflaged boat or well-decorated duck blind. The age-old tradition of duck calling and decoying is an art that rarely makes the pages of any hunting journal, let along the local paper and with migratory bird season soon under way, we pay tribute to those die-hard folks. Not everyone has the cohones to do it, but those who do are rewarded with the sights, sounds and smells of Ontario hinterland during early fall. For information on waterfowl season and opening dates, log onto http://tinyurl.com/mvbx8b7.

Testing, testing

It was a wet and damp day when I meandered through the backwoods testing the new fourth generation Danner Pronghorns. The Pronghorn has been a mainstay for Danner; now entering its fourth generation of tireless service to outdoor enthusiasts. Designers developed the fourth generation based on feedback from folks just like myself who love to hunt and fish! They softened up the collar and built the footbed of a new lightweight and more breathable material. Both are huge improvements. They also introduced pull loops and semi-locking laces on the new model for a more secure fit, and reintroduced their famous CamoHide leather. The new Danner Pronghorns performed beautifully afield, providing great support and traction on the rough terrain; and have somehow succeeded in improving an already proven hunting boot. Even with 1200 G Thinsulate, the new Pronghorns weigh-in at a scant 65 ounces per pair. The second week of the November deer season will be a breath of fresh air this year! For more information: http://www.danner.com/product/hunt/pronghorn/

Great Outdoors Trivia – Question #2

Here is question number two in this year’s Great Outdoors Trivia Contest. Keep track of your answers as the first person to correctly answer all three wins a prize package courtesy of Tinks Scents. Apart from the Alaskan moose (Alces Gigas), which of the following moose subspecies are found mainly in the United States? A) Alces Americana B) Alces Andersoni C) Alces Yankeola or D) Alces shirasi? Keep track of your answers and send them to me via email: theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com

Next Time

See you next time for the kick off to the coveted whitetail deer season and the final question in this year’s Great Outdoors Trivia Contest!

Wildlife Speaker Series this week – Whitetails

- September 17th, 2014

Thanks to my pal Gary (Star Whisperer) Boyle for the following information on this week’s City of Ottawa wildlife speaker.

Back in February, the City held another Speaker Series featuring an Urban Coyote expert and I suggested to them  they give me the heads-up next time a speaker comes to town. Evidently the message still never got through!

White-tailed Deer – September 18, 2014

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014
7 to 9 p.m.
Ben Franklin Place
101 Centrepointe Drive

The City of Ottawa will be holding its third Wildlife Speakers Series event on Thursday, September 18 at 7 p.m. at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive. This session will address white-tailed deer.

White-tailed deer

People and deer have a long history together. White-tailed deer are valued as a game species, and for their grace and beauty, but they can also become a pest to farmers and gardeners. Motor vehicle collisions involving deer are a major safety concern, especially during the fall.

The City has invited experts from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to present information on white-tailed deer ecology and biology to improve our understanding of these wild neighbours.

Michael Gatt is the Ministry’s Senior Wildlife Biologist for our region. He has worked with a variety of public stakeholders to develop key strategies for the prevention and management of conflicts with deer and other wildlife.

Dr. Brent Patterson is a research scientist with the Ministry, and an adjunct professor with Trent University. He has spent many years exploring the ecology of deer and their canine predators (wolves and coyotes).

In addition to the presentation, there will be a nature slideshow and an environmental exposition from 6 to 9 p.m. at Ben Franklin Place for residents to learn more about Ottawa’s wildlife, natural environment and local environmental initiatives. The City will also provide information on traffic safety (Speeding Costs You Deerly) and public health (Lyme disease).

The City will hold one more event in the Wildlife Speakers Series this year. The series is intended to increase residents’ knowledge and appreciation of wildlife and promote coexistence through understanding and respect. All of these events are free of charge.

For more information:
Amy MacPherson
Planning and Growth Management
613-580-2424, ext. 14873
E-mail: amy.macpherson@ottawa.ca

The Reality of Outdoor Reality Television

- September 16th, 2014

I’m sure most of you out there watch some sort of reality television, I know I do.

Some of my favourite television shows are, in fact, Reality TV with an outdoor theme. Hunting and fishing reality TV such as; Mountain Men, Yukon Men, Life Below Zero, Kodiak, The Hunt, Wicked Tuna and so on…make-up much of my evening entertainment!

But I always try to keep things in perspective….

Not ALL of what I watch do I accept at face value. I realize that ‘dramatization’ is all part of reality television these days, but what are we to do?

Perhaps the most ‘real’ out there, or a television show that depicts a more true picture of life in the north is, Life Below Zero. Some find the images to be graphic, but subsistence living does involve fish and wildlife being harvested on a regular basis.

The true reality, for most shows of this nature, is to ‘tone down’ the more graphic images so as to appeal to a wider audience. Some shows will even ‘create’ a story that isn’t really there; simply for entertainment value.

Come on, you’ve all seen it!

Nature photography and programming has been dramatizing and creating ‘stories’ for viewers for centuries, and I’m cool with that, so long as you as a viewer keep things in perspective.

When I watch these shows with Mrs. Outdoors Guy, or my kids, I do feel it necessary to explain the ‘true reality’ of certain situations as we watch them. Those more experienced in the outdoors can see right through Network TV’s attempt to gently ‘pull the wool over viewers eyes’.

But again it’s all cool with me..I even follow some of them on Twitter!

I suppose we can’t be too picky about details when it comes to these TV shows, since there is still value and entertainment in watching them.

At least I think there is…

Speaking of which, I have two episodes of the new series The Hunt, sitting in the PVR I haven’t watched yet, although according to Chessy, this one is somewhat on the brutal side!

Outdoorsguy

 

Fishing the Mighty St. Lawrence with Eric

- September 10th, 2014

My buddy Eric Dupuis, Adverting Guru with the Ottawa SUN, and his wife Bridgit headed out on the Mighty St Lawrence River recently for some late summer angling action, and here’s the result:

We launched out of Prescott on the St. Lawrence yesterday and caught a couple nice small-mouth and Bridgit caught a nice walleye.

Bridgit - Walleye - St

 

Had to go deep to get them. Caught the first bass in 25′ on a tube and the 2nd one in 50′ on a drop shot.

Smallmouth Bass - St

 

Bridgit caught the walleye in about 40′ on a worm harness.

Caught them all around the marina and fort area. Caught a bunch of Gobies too. 

Hoping to make it out again in 2 weeks.

Eric Dupuis

Trail camera preparation in comfort & style

- September 10th, 2014

TC8

Oh, the beloved trail camera, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

Perhaps the most exciting part about fall and hunting season is getting to play with my favourite toy; the wildlife surveillance camera, otherwise known by hunters simply as the ‘trail cam’.

TC1

Here I’m adjusting the settings on my trusty Bushnell Trophy Cam – Bone Collector. This particular trail cam has been in that same tree for more than a year now, and I’ve only changed the batteries once. Once!!

Not bad for an estimated 15, 000 photos.

TC2

Certain trail cams like this one, which gets lots of action, I set to low  res. image (3 MB) to allow for the 300 -350 photos it captures each week. Other cams I may opt for ‘HD Video’ instead, keeping in mind the amount of space an HD vid occupies on the SD card.

TC3

These little Trophy Cams are not only reliable, they’re about as user friendly as it gets. Scrolling through the menu and changing settings with this model can be done with ease, and Bushnell remains consistent with their new models as well; keeping menu options and layout pretty much the same across the board.

TC4

Trail cameras with Invisible/Black LED’s like these two models are great for those ‘camera shy’ critters who don’t enjoy being photographed at night.

Since the LED Glow is obscured, they also make a better ‘surreptitious surveillance’ system for around the house, or to monitor your hunt camp for break-ins.

TC6

Checking-on already established trail cams or setting-up new ones is about as close to actual hunting as it gets.

SM1SM2

(Warning – blatant product plug coming…)

 

Wow, what fantastic looking footwear! Do I look good, or what?

These new Merrell’s I courtesy of Shoeme.ca, made this week’s trail camera set-up an even more enjoyable experience. I felt like I was floating on air!

Thanks to the good folks over at Shoeme.ca for the opportunity of trying-out a fantastic pair of new shoes. I’ll be wearing these puppies to hunt camp next weekend when I set-up another series of trail cameras.

For more information on the latest in trail cam footwear: http://www.shoeme.ca/collections/merrell

 

TC7

Happy trail-camming one and all – may your SD cards runneth over with big game images!

Outdoorsguy