Archive for the ‘Tradition’ Category

Turkey and trout just around the corner

- March 26th, 2013

Although we are still a few weeks off with plenty of snow left to melt, sportsmen (& women) at this time of year generally fall into two categories.

1) Turkey

Imacdonturkey1

 

 

2) trout

 Beatenpathtrout4Beat

Which one do you choose?

Send me your spring plans and I will feature you (and all your secrets) in my next Ottawa SUN Outdoors Column. There’s no money involved, in case you’re wondering…

Outdoorsguy

 

Maple Syrup better late than never

- March 21st, 2013

sapcan

I was speaking with my father yesterday- who lives the heart of sugar bush country – and it looks like syrup producers are poised and ready for take-off this weekend!

At long last!!

Ah, there is nothing like the maple syrup time of year, if you ask me, and I have spent more years than I can recall working the sugar bush. Times I will never forget..not easy work, I might add, but extremely rewarding!

What a blast it was – running lines, repairing breaks, tapping, watching the evaporator, taking the syrup off and even canning. The whole operation is a hoot right down to the moment when that first batch of syrup comes off…man it tastes great when its warm.

There is a definite science involved in any maple syrup operation; from understanding the sap’s sugar content at various times of the year, knowing the colour, taste and density of grade ‘A’ syrup, to skills like understanding how to build and maintain the perfect fire to keep your evaporator going steady.

Then there’s moment when the ‘webbing starts’ at precisely 7 degrees above boiling point of water, and your pure maple syrup is ripe for the picking, or pouring I should say.

Old school syrup producers have never used modern gauges and I’m sure never worried about it either. They can read more in the webbing off their ladle than a thousand sophisticated gauges could ever read..now that is science in itself.

sugarshack

The final product, well, it is a thing of beauty and there is really nothing in the world that compares to the taste of fresh maple syrup, or taffy on snow.

Canada produces 90% of the world’s supply of maple syrup(majority coming from QC) – a statistic we should be extremely proud of.  It is a big part of our heritage just like hunting, fishing or the fur industry.

Now get out there and enjoy some pure Canadian goodness!! (The forecast this weekend looks like -3 to -5 at night with a daily high around 4 -5 degrees C, and all of next week looks the same.)

Outdoorsguy

 

Ministry’s Paperless Approach going over like lead balloon

- March 5th, 2013

MNRregs

Both the Ontario and Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources have, in recent years, been moving towards making their offices modern and ‘paperless’.

But at what cost?

Sure, having all the rules and regulations available online is a real benefit to those with access to a computer. I’m not sure what I would do without the internet and all my online tools, but what about someone like my father who’s never owned a PC in his life?  What about anyone without access to a computer or the Internet?

Back in the good ol days, you could purchase a deer or moose license and grab a copy of the regs on your way out. But not anymore!

Guys like my hunting pal Ken for example who lives in Quebec’s, Laurentians without access to a computer. Last Fall, he purchased his deer permit at the local Depanneur, as he has for almost 35 years, but when he went to grab his copy of the 2012 Hunting Regulations they were nowhere to be seen!

After calling me and doing a bit of research, we discovered that the booklet is only available now on ‘special order’, and if he wanted one would have to call the 1 (800) which he did. The lady on the line explained that the information he wanted was ‘readily available online’, until Ken explained to her that he doesn’t own a computer.

Over on this side of the river it is much the same thing.

Avid angler Herman Baguss just wanted a copy of the Fishing Regs for 2013 and was told, when he when called the MNR, that they no longer handing them out.

When he asked someone in the know, he was ordered to go online “Download them and print them”..which thoroughly ticked him off!

I’m sure Herman is not the first person to be ticked-off at our government’s move towards a paperless office.

It would seem that both Quebec and Ontario are moving in that direction.

Call me oldschool, but what is really wrong with paper anyway? I suppose it all boils down to dollars and cents. Sadly, with an aging Canadian population, more and more of our older hunting and fishing enthusiasts will start to feel abandoned in a world of high tech. I can’t blame them really.

Hey, can we not just print a token amount of hunting and fishing regs for those who can’t get them online, and make them available?

As much as I enjoy all the modern high tech conveniences, there is still something special about holding a ‘hard copy’ booklet in my hand, but I suppose that luxury has gone by way of the dodo bird.

Outdoorsguy

Ontario non-native hunters face troubling times

- February 4th, 2013

Hotelbuck1959

If the recent land claim with Algonquin’s of Ontario goes through, a large parcel of eastern Ontario will be handed over to the aboriginal community.

In a nutshell,  the deal would see the transfer of 117,000 acres of Ontario Crown land to 10 different Algonquin communities. Although no private property is said to be expropriated, there is also a cash component to the deal of $300 million.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that any non-native hunting (or trapping) camps located within these 117, 000 acres would be adversely affected. Anyone who currently hunts in this region can expect there to be issues and concerns, although what they might be has yet to be determined.

The aboriginal land claim dispute has been a hotbed issue for many years, and now that this pustule pimple has finally come to a head, non-native hunters are fearing the worst.

Without even knowing all the details, it is a fair assumption to say that sparks are about to fly. I am sure glad that my hunt camp isn’t located in the area in question.

Stay tuned for a lot more on this issue…

 

Outdoorsguy

Bill tabled to end Canadian seal hunt

- May 3rd, 2012

 fur-institute-logo

(Fur Institute of Canada Logo)

 

A private members Bill is threatening the future of Canada’s seal hunt!!

 

Representatives of Canada’s sealing community have responded to this legislation; introduced in the Senate this week by Mac Harb to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada.

 

“Mr. Harb’s claims are unfounded.  The Canadian sealing industry is very much alive and well,” said Dion Dakins, Chair of the Seals and Sealing Network. “Consumer demand remains strong.  And with positive results at the WTO and the European General Court, we feel there will be a level trading field for seal products.”

 

Exports between 2005 and 2011 were over $70 million (US) and seal products were exported to 35 different countries. The price for seal pelts has increased from 2009 levels at $15 a pelt to $20 – $25 a pelt in 2010 and 2011 and $32 in 2012.  

 

“The Canadian sealing industry is crucial to the economies of Quebec, the Maritimes, and Canada’s Inuit populations,” added Rob Cahill, director of the Fur Institute of Canada and a leading actor in international relations for the Canadian seal industry.  The seasonal source of income can account for up to 35 per cent of a sealer’s annual income, and is available during a time of year when other rural employment opportunities are virtually non-existent.”

 

Estimates from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador estimate that between 5,000 – 6,000 people acquire an income from the seal hunt for their families, communities and businesses. This amount is approximately one per cent of the total provincial population, and two per cent of its labour force.

 

“To put these statistics into context, this is similar to other locally-important industries such as crop production or forestry that each account for less than one per cent of Canadian GDP, but their local economic importance is undisputable,” said Cahill.

 

Denis Longuépée, a sealer from the Magdalen Islands added, “The animal rights groups are harming our communities and this bill is just another attempt to crush a viable industry. The facts don’t support their claim that our industry is disappearing.” “The animal rights groups and Senator Harb do not understand the people in these communities.”  Longuépée added, “Seal products harvested in our province and in parts of Atlantic Canada provide significant economic benefit to the regions, as well as other parts of the world. “With continued market demand for Omega-3 oils and emerging markets for the use of other seal products in research and development, as well as the traditional uses in furs and leather, we expect the market demand to keep growing.”

 

Should the seal hunt remain part of our Canadian heritage? I beleive it should without question!

 

What do you think?

 
Outdoorsguy