Archive for the ‘Hunting’ Category

Canid conundrum continues

- December 11th, 2014

The following photos were taken around my hunt camp, near Mont Tremblant, Quebec, about 3 years ago showing what I believed at the time, to be images of an eastern wolf pursuing a whitetail deer.

But was it really a wolf? Could it have been a coyote-wolf hybrid?

Thanks to fishr for putting me on an episode of the Nature of Things with David Suzuki, where they featured the Coywolf, its biology, evolution and how their population continues to expand throughout North America.

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/meet-the-coywolf

It was pointed out that in Algonquin Park alone, 1/3 of the predators examined in a recent study turned out to be the hybrid Coywolf, while the bulk of animals captured were eastern coyotes and, to a lesser degree, the eastern wolf.

The theory is that eastern wolf eradication programs in the early 1900′s created a ‘predator void’ in central and eastern NA, whereby coyotes from the south moved northward to establish a new home range.

As these adaptable southern yotes arrived with few predators to speak of (besides man) and since most of the eastern wolves were gone(but not all), they managed to intermingle with the remaining few wolves in the region.

The eastern wolf began to perceive the eastern coyote as a mate instead of an enemy. Unlike the grey or timber wolf, the eastern wolf will tolerate the eastern coyote.

A distinct hybrid species – the coywolf – was born in 1919!

Not as large or robust as the eastern wolf, but larger and stockier than a typical eastern coyote.

Researchers in Nova Scotia maintain that the coywolf is actually dominating in numbers and growing more aggressive with time. Other researchers in big US Cities like Chicago are studying movements and growth of Urban coywolves.

So, who’s to say what the bulk of the predators are in this region? My guess is, we still have a mix of natural eastern coyotes, some coywolves, and just north of us in the upper valley and across the river, there remains a small number of eastern wolves as in the photos above.

I invite you all to send in your predator pics, so that we may dissect the crap out of them, and come up with a reasonable identity of the animal in question: (theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com)

Of the hundreds of predator images Ive taken around my house (within Ottawa City Limits) I see very few that fall into the ‘coywolf’ category based on what I now know.

Outdoorsguy

Another Magical Kenauk Deer Hunt

- November 27th, 2014

November’s Outdoors Guy column is now out in print in the Pembroke Daily Observer, or available online for folks who dont live up the valley. Congratulations again to Jordan Durocher, winner of this year’s Great Outdoors Trivia Contest:

 http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2014/11/24/another-magical-deer-hunt-in-montebello-que

 

Another magical deer hunt in Montebello, Que.

Deer hunting season may be deemed successful for a variety of reasons, ranging from a sagging meat pole to no meat pole at all.

My annual deer hunt to Kenauk Nature always brings with it a lot of emotion. The famous Montebello, Que. deer woods which was recently sold by Fairmont Hotels, is a hunter’s paradise with rolling hills, rugged terrain and majestic old growth forests. Climbing the peaks each autumn with my hunt gang in pursuit of a whitetail buck is always exciting, and this year was no exception. On one hand, I am in a paradise living a hunter’s dream of chasing whitetails in one of the most scenic woods in the region. Then on the other hand, my Kenauk trip marks the last kick at the hunting can for the year. Thank goodness for a lot of great trail cam images this fall as, sadly, most of antlers I saw were travelling at night after legal shooting hours.

Harvest’less hunt part of conservation

This deer season, unlike some previous ones, I was not presented with the opportunity to harvest a mature buck and that’s fine with me. It is why they call it hunting after all. Like last fall, however, I did have an opportunity of looking through my scope at a fat four-point buck which, as nice a deer as it is, was still shy of Kenauk’s six-point minimum. Not that I would have taken this young buck anyway and I trust other hunters also keep conservation in mind these days. The idea of allowing lessor bucks the chance the mature and disseminate their progeny is a ‘growing’ trend; especially as deer herds continues to rebuild in Western Quebec and Eastern Ontario. I do not personally need freezer meat so badly that I would pluck a smaller animal from the gene pool before its prime. Perhaps next year I will have the opportunity to harvest a nice whitetail but until then, I am left with the satisfaction of another fulfilling hunt. Thanks to Bill Nowell, Lynda Melanson and Celyne Fortin of Kenauk Nature for facilitating yet another trip to this little slice of heaven. To experience wilderness at its best with top notch accommodations, check out: http://kenauk.com/ For more information on deer hunting across the river a short drive from the Valley, contact Quebec’s Ministry of Tourism at 1-877-266-56871-877-266-5687.

Safety first

This time of year with some hunters still on the go, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded to be vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions. Remember that hunter orange of a minimum 400 square inches is required and for Ontario residents, a hunter orange cap as well. Be sure to keep your firearms and ammunition separated and locked away when not in use and never shoot unless absolutely sure of your target and beyond. It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle, and remember that any hunter who harvests a deer must immediately attach the game seal. A safe hunt is a happy hunt and a careless accident can turn a wonderful day in the woods into tragedy.

Contest winner

Congratulations to Jordan Durocher of Pembroke – winner of this year’s Great Outdoors Trivia Contest. Jordan was the first person to correctly answer all three trivia questions and will receive a generous hunting scent gift package courtesy of Terry Rohm of Tinks. Thanks to everyone who participated this year.

Next time

Check out next month’s Outdoors Guy column for another product field test, highlights from this year’s deer season and your Valley ice-fishing primer! Drop me a line anytime with your hunting and fishing news or stories: theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for Animals?

- November 24th, 2014

Ok, now I’ve heard of everything – a Charter of Rights and Freedoms for animals to call their own?

An  animal rights group from Canada has proposed the ground-breaking “Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Animals” as not only a way to further the protection of animals but (in my opinion) further the agenda of this one particular Animal Rights group.

An organization calling themselves ‘Animal Justice’ launched the idea which would “guarantee the rights and freedoms that make life worth living, and give all animals a chance to have their interests represented in court.”

What??

The group claims there is a huge gap between how Canadians care about animal welfare and how the legal system views it, and are hoping a petition draws the attention of policymakers. 

 According to the group’s lawyer: “A charter would give clear guidelines on how animals are to be treated and how we expect to live with them… free  from suffering, live meaningful lives which they can express natural behaviours and socialize.”

It actually took me a few seconds to check the calendar, as I was convinced it was April 1st and this was all a big joke.

Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and I’m a huge proponent of conservation and wildlife management, but come on now people, give your head a shake!

 

Outdoorsguy

 

Going Wild for whitetails!

- October 20th, 2014
My October column is now available in the Ottawa Valley’s foremost authority on the outdoors; the Pembroke Daily Observer.
 
Congratulations to Jordan Durocher of Pembroke, this year’s winner of the Great Outdoors Trivia Contest. Jordan takes home a nice Tinks Gift Package!:
 
 

Ottawa Valley hunters going wild for whitetails

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

With the coveted white-tailed deer rifle season just around the corner, enthusiasts are gearing-up for the most anticipated week of the year.

Deer hunters of the Ottawa Valley are chomping at the bit with the whitetail ‘pre-rut’ posed for take off. This special time of preparation and anticipation will be followed closely by a full-blown rut in early to mid-November. Remember that ungulates like deer and moose are polygamous by nature with males’ breeding copious females throughout the fall. During pre-rut, bucks begin altering their daily routine in preparation for the active few weeks that follow. As does enter estrus, bucks usually stop feeding altogether to focus on dissemination of their progeny. Love always seems to come before lunch in the Great Outdoors.

Long-standing tradition

The whitetail rifle season is special and sentimental time I have enjoyed now for the past 34 years. From that very first season when my father invited me to deer camp with the men, I was hooked instantly. It was a tumultuous and exciting time for a young green-horn deer hunter. The joy of pursuing deer as an impressionable youth is like the bud of oak tree; not yet developed but primed and ready to go. I believe most hunters, young and old, share this childlike enthusiasm and really understand what it means to spend time afield. How many activities in life allow us to relive those magical carefree days of our youth?

Testing Testing

Looking back on some of the more interesting electronics I field-tested this summer, Magellan’s new Echo Watch was one of the most intriguing. I have tested almost every imaginable gadget over the years, but this particular unit was a first. The Echo is well-conceived wristwatch which allows users to ‘sync-up’ to a smartphone using Bluetooth technology, for monitoring such fitness metrics as heart rate from Magellan’s heart-rate monitor (sold separately), or to act as a remote control for fitness apps on your smartphone. The Echo watch caters to fitness buffs who own iPhones, and who are serious about staying in shape and keeping tabs on a variety of fitness parameters. This high-tech watch I found to be solid and waterproof with a clear and precise display. Although I am not a huge fitness buff myself, I can see there would be a real niche for such a gadget. For more information: http://www.magellangps.com/

Canadian Fly Fishing Championships in Montebello

Anyone who’s anyone in the fly fishing world will be out casting a line today at my favorite home-away-from-home, the beautiful Kenauk Nature in Montebello. The lakes, serving as venue, in this year’s big fly fisher bonanza are Mills, Tauntan, Sugarbush, Otter and Green. I have personally fished every one of those water bodies and trust me, they are spectacular! The competition runs until Sunday, Oct. 19. For more information on Kenauk: http://kenauk.com/ or for a schedule of events, check out: http://www.flyfishingcanada.net/uploads/Schedule_NFFC_12_Oct_2014.pdf

Safety first

Statistics show that serious accidents are quite rare during the hunting season, however, mishaps do occur. Perhaps our greatest concern, apart from falling asleep in the tree stand, would be muscle strain and body fatigue. For many of us the deer hunt can be one of most strenuous activities of the year. After trekking five miles or more up and down the mountains each day, aches and pains are part of the deal and injury more possibility. I find simple stretching exercises in the morning helps get the old body loosened up and ready for an enjoyable day in the woods. Good luck and be safe out there this fall!

Outdoor Trivia

Here is final question in this year’s Great Outdoors Trivia Contest. The first person to send me all three correct answers will receive a fabulous Tinks hunter’s scent package. mailto:theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com Question #3: Which of the following is NOT the title of a recent post in my Ottawa SUN Outdoors Guy Blog? A) Ontario wages war on feral hogs B) Hunters Bragging board C) Wildlife Speaker series this week, or D) Stand hunting for success. The winner will be announced in my November column!

 

Hunters Bragging Board

- October 1st, 2014

OK folks, it is that time of year again…when men are men and the bears, moose and deer are nervous!

If you’re back from the woods and have enjoyed a successful big-game hunt this fall, I invite you to share your story and photos right here at the Outdoors Guy Blog.

As someone once said, it’s time to show ‘em if you got ‘em!

Please keep in mind that all photos (submitted by pm please) should be in a small file format. Usually less than 1/2 GB is fine.

I’m off to camp this weekend to follow the moose boys around with their crossbows, maybe do a few calls and put my deer cams up!

Good luck this fall –  to one and all!

Outdoorsguy

 

Our friend imacdon enjoyed an awesome hunting trip out west this fall. Here is the story and some incredible photos of his hunt! Congrats on your first Muley my friend!

“I was fortunate to be invited to hunt moose with my brother and one of his sons in the BC interior for 13 days. We where hunting at approximately 7000 feet. The group consisted at times of 5-10 friends of my brother. We harvested 3 bull moose on the first three days, and 2 mule deer. Out west they take the bark of the animal as soon as its hung. This is done with the ad of a winch on a ATV. Next the moose is quartered with a special chain saw…canola oil…synthetic fuel… and wrapped in cheese cloth. Beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife. Imacdon”

ImacD

ImacA

 

ImacB

 

ImacC

 

My pal Iggy also returned from a successful hunt this fall. He was pursuing moose up in Northwestern Ontario.

Have a cigar Iggs, you earned it!

Iggymoose2014