Archive for the ‘Hunting’ Category

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!



Trail camera preparation in comfort & style

- September 10th, 2014


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’.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


(Warning – blatant product plug coming…)


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

These new Merrell’s I courtesy of, 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 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:



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



Preseason scouting time is upon us

- September 3rd, 2014

For hunters out there not currently chasing black bears or gearing up for moose, just a reminder that it’s nearing that time of year when pre-season deer scouting is in order.

Man, I don’t care who you are, just setting one foot into your hunting territory at this time of year is exciting!

I’ll be heading up to my deer woods over next couple of weeks to do some scouting and put up some trail cams. Cant wait!!

Has anyone else done any pre-season deer scouting?






SeaWorld invests $10 Million in Killer Whale Conservation

- August 19th, 2014

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. recently announced its plans to build new, first-of-its-kind killer whale environments and that it will fund new programs to protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild.

The new projects will build on SeaWorld’s legacy of providing state-of-the-art, innovative homes for its animals, and will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come.  As part of its vision for the future, the company also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research and is embarking on a multi-million dollar partnership focused on ocean health, the leading concern for all killer whales and marine mammals.

“For 50 years, SeaWorld has transformed how the world views marine life. The unprecedented access to marine mammals that our parks provide has increased our knowledge of the ocean and inspired generations,” said Jim Atchison, Chief Executive Officer and President of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “Our new killer whale homes and research initiatives have just as bold a vision: to advance global understanding of these animals, to educate, and to inspire conservation efforts to protect killer whales in the wild.”

Transformational New Environments

The first of the new environments will be built at SeaWorld San Diego where the killer whale environment is planned to have a total water volume of 10 million gallons, nearly double that of the existing facility. With a planned maximum depth of 50 feet, surface area of nearly 1.5 acres and spanning more than 350 feet in length, the new environment will also have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world’s largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales. 

Named the Blue World Project because of its size and scope, the new environment will allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enriching experiences and other interactive programs. The environment will enhance the educational experience for guests, foster deeper knowledge of killer whales and their ocean environment and inspire them to celebrate and conserve the natural world.

Expanding on SeaWorld’s legacy of leading-edge animal environment design, the enlarged environment will provide killer whales with even more dynamic opportunities.  It will support the whales’ broad range of behaviors and provide choices that can challenge the whales both physically and mentally. 

Among other things, it is planned to include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water, thus functionally increasing speed and diversity. Innovative features focused on husbandry and animal care will offer SeaWorld’s animal health professionals and independent scientists unique access to the whales that can lead to a better understanding and care of the animals both in the parks and in the wild.

The San Diego environment is expected to open to the public in 2018 with new killer whale homes to follow at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio. 

Killer Whale Research

 As part of the Blue World Project, SeaWorld has committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild, especially those identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale.  That includes new projects already funded this year: one that will help to understand the hearing ranges of killer whales and the other that will provide insight into nutritional status and reproduction of the Southern Resident Killer Whale.  The matching funds will be in addition to killer whale research conducted by SeaWorld’s scientists, which includes nearly 50 studies to date. 

 Recognizing that ocean health is a leading concern for killer whales and all marine mammals in the wild, the company also announced it will be embarking on a major multi-million dollar partnership focused on protecting the ocean.   

Advisory Panel

SeaWorld will also engage an Independent Advisory Panel to bring new perspectives and ideas to the project. The panel will focus on the creation of an environment that maximizes the health and wellbeing of the animals. Given the particular expertise of current panelists and those expected to join, the panel will further advise on integrated research projects that can be conducted within the new environment and foster partnerships within the science and academic communities working in the wild. 


Current Advisory Panel members include:

  • Dr. Paul Boyle, Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education, Association of Zoos & Aquariums
  • Dr. Heidi Harley, Professor of Psychology, New College of Florida
    • Dr. Dorian Houser, Director of Conservation and Biological Research, National Marine Mammal Foundation
    • Dr. Linda Lowenstein, Professor Emeritus Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
    • Dr. Shawn Noren, Associate Research Scientist, Institute of Marine Science, University of California Santa Cruz
    • Mr. Tom Otten, Chief Executive Officer, Reef Experience
    • Dr. James F.  Peddie, DVM, Distinguished Faculty Chair, Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, Moorpark College
    • Dr. Paul Ponganis, Research Physiologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    • Dr. Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer and National Director, Film and Television Unit, American Humane Association
    • Dr. Pam Yochem, Senior Research Scientist and Executive Vice President, Research, Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute

For more information on the Blue World Project, please visit


Former Canada in the Rough host charged!

- June 10th, 2014

I’m still not sure what to make of Thomas Pigeon and his recent charges…just goes to show that if you do something wrong and someone notices, even years later you’ll pay for it!


Pigeon – the former host of the popular Canadian television show; Canada in the Rough, is being forced to pay $8000 restitution for 2 muskox and a wood bison believed to be taken illegally more than 11 years ago!

In March 2003, Pigeon headed to Nunavut and Northwest Territories to capture footage for his hunting adventure show, Canada in the Rough.

Although a lot of time has passed, someone tipped off authorities here in Ontario regarding mounts Pigeon brought back to the province.

Wildlife investigators have since seized video footage of the illegal hunt which had been broadcast as part of Canada in the Rough back in 2003.

Too much time passed to  charge Pigeon for illegal hunting however, investigators used the footage to make their case for the illegal possession charges.

It’s illegal in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to use vehicles to get within 1.5 kilometres of a muskox for the purpose of hunting. 

In a news release, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources says video footage shows muskox being herded by the guides using snowmobiles so that Pigeon can shoot them.

“The final production depicts the hunters as engaged in a fair chase hunt while approaching the animals on foot and then shooting them,” the release says.

Pigeon has pleaded guilty to the charges and ordered to pay $8000 in fines!

In addition to the fines, the taxidermy mounts were forfeited to the Crown.

Note: It should be noted that NONE of these charges are in any way linked to current hosts of Canada in the Rough, the Beasley brothers. I know them personally and they run an ethical and conservation based series..