Jeff Morrison - 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
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.
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?
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
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!
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:email@example.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!
Jeff Morrison - 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!
Jeff Morrison - September 25th, 2014
(Somewhat flattering photo of feral hog’s ‘less destructive’ domestic cousin)
Word has just hit the street that the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF) Kemptville district is waging war on feral hogs in Eastern Ontario!
Should a hunter spot one of these feral hogs while out in the field, the Ministry is encouraging them to ‘shoot to kill’ and, I assume, ask questions later.
The feral hog is described by the MNRF as a wild beast that damages crops, transmits diseases to domestic swine and can be a threat to human safety.
All hunters and land-owners are encouraged to shoot every wild hog they see under ‘Provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act’ and have even distributed a ‘tip sheet’ describing the wild boar ‘kill zone’ and best location for a effective kill shot!
Wild hogs have been reported east of Ottawa in the Plantagenet and Hawkesbury area and have caused havoc in many areas of North America.
The public is encouraged to report any wild hog encounter to the MNRF: (613) 258-8267 - ask to be connected to Kemptville office
P.S. Thanks to my pal Keebler, via twitter, for the heads-up on this one!
Follow me on Twitter @ThatOutdoorsGuy (but leave the hogs at home)
Jeff Morrison - 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:
Moose hunting not for faint of heart
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Jeff Morrison - 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.
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:
Planning and Growth Management
613-580-2424, ext. 14873