Another Magical Kenauk Deer Hunt

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:


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: 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:

43 thoughts on “Another Magical Kenauk Deer Hunt”

  1. speaking of safety, not much orange on the hunters in your truck post and none on the head.
    Here we go again with progeny! 😉
    What ‘moving trend’?. Mother nature intends that the fittest, smartest, and the biggest of the species get the best chance to breed. Of course the lodge wants pictures of big bucks, not 4s and spikes; it’s not good for business. If you want to hunt for a large buck knock yourself out, but if that ‘fat 4’ makes a stupid mistake at my house his progeny never gets disseminated. (whatever that means) Sort of like nature. Bird in the hand my friend.

    1. Regarding the our family camp we had already made the decision this year to take one small buck.

      But alas…that never presented itself this year..figures!


    2. johan, I had passed up on so many small bucks at our family camp over the past few years; figuring Im doing my part for conservation and what did it get us?

      As I’ve mentioned on occasion, micromanaging a deer woods aint worth a pinch of coon shit if you’re the only ones doing it? Gangs around us are shooting anything with 10 cm’s or more sticking out of its head!

      Sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth it


  2. Yes it’s murphy’s law! I am sure those gangs thank you for letting them have the choice tender bucks. I would be wearing an orange lid, QC or no QC.

    1. The only other hunt gang we know who considers limiting their harvest is another gang of English hunters in our area. People need to know that the density of mountain deer has always been lowering than in the flat agro areas.

      The thing that really peeves me off is the hunters that drive from 2-3 hours away; even south of Montreal to hunt around our camp! Like really, i know its crown land but come on, we’ve had the only hunt camp in that area for the past 100 years.

      And then to have run-ins with hunters who put-up their “Chasseur a l’affut” signs and then tell US to get out of THEIR hunting area??

      HOnestly, thats the biggest enjoyment I get out of a place like Kenauk where you have a territory all to yourself without competing with a bunch of other hunters. Fo

      I am envious of folks with large tracts of private land..of course, patrolling and keeping people off it is another issue at this time of year!

      But again..I digress


  3. I find the topic of management interesting. We normally see tons of deer, but this year, didn’t. The sign was sure there so either they’re deking us better or there is fewer deer.

    I shot a 3 pt opening morning fully expecting to see more deer, but now if I could do it over, maybe I wouldn’t. Although, we only ended up with 6 deer out of 12 or 13 hunters after 2 weeks of hard hunting so from that meat in the freezer point of view, probably a good thing I did. I’ve also personally had issues successfully shooting bucks the last 3 years so it was nice to put it all together properly (twice). Some confidence is back.

    Someday I’d like to try a hunt in PQ. It’s always fun exploring new territory in this fantastic country of ours. One spot on my mind is the Lake of the Woods area past Thunder Bay.
    But it’s all beautiful.

    Any day in the bush is a good day. 🙂

    1. Yes Keeb, I am with you on the management part of things. Sadly though, unless you manage your own property, its nearly impossibile to practise your own form of I have discovered.

      Regarding your interest in hunting NW Ontario..perhaps you might consider the Kenora area? Not far from Lake of the Woods and, for whatever reason, their whitetail herd has ballooned in recent years. People hunting right inside city limits. I actually wrote a story for Rack Magazine last year about a fellow who harvested one of the province’s biggest trophies ever from just outside of town!

      Not sure if you know anyone up in that area, but it would be a nice place to do some ‘recon’. Regarding QC deer hunting, although tag system is simple and easy to figure out, there is LOTS of competition there on crown land making things difficult for someone trying to establish a new territory. Finding a hunt gang with an established area is a good place to start.

      I hear ya buddy….a day in the bush is what its all about, although Im considering hunting only with trail cameras from now on, its the only truly successful method of hunting Ive found in recent years..hehe..


  4. Commenting on keeping others from hunting on you – if they make a habit of it – we put laundry fabric softener sheets where they are sitting – the smell warns the deer to stay away and the person doing it realizes you know they are there. We can’t stop them all but it helps to control it. Sometimes, its someone that needs the meat so you just let them have it and they go away.

    1. tks Shawna, I’ve heard of that strategy before. I’ve also used other items that are good repellants, such as human hair and coyote urine. Deer don’t seem to like either too much.

      Shawna, I am ok with folks who hunt around me who need to meet, but it’s the greed that really gets to me. People who just shoot every legal animal they see because its ‘their right’ to do so, with little regard to long-term effects.


  5. Had a neighbor that wasn’t hunting reasonable and hunting out of season on his property but on our line – I took white clothesline rope and made the fence line higher just to make it “inconvenient’ for the deer to jump – I started in a field corner he was shooting them out of and added small sections every 2/3 weeks , gradually teaching the deer to cross further down the fence I stopped at a spot that was safer for them to come and go – sounds crazy but it worked – most of the deer changed their route and the neighbor got the hint

    1. Ok Shawna, that is quite clever! Glad it served as a deterrent, but really, if this individual was in fact pursuing(& shooting) deer out of season, the authorities should have been notified.

      As we all know..poaching is NOT hunting!


  6. They were – and said they would keep on eye on him, but it was difficult to catch him in the act ….. if they aren’t there to hear the shots and react ASAP then by the time they get there , evidence is usually removed and they can’t enter the home win out probable cause.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately nowadays it’s nearly impossible to ‘catch someone in the act’ with the scant few CO’s there are in ON.

      Sadly, its only after someone has committed an act of poaching that they’ll ever stand a chance of getting caught!


    2. see mike, the problem with the vigilante route is the penalty for retaliating against one of these losers is often worse!

      Just like setting-up a booby trap in the hunt camp to catch people when they try to break-in..if someone’s gets injured on your property, even while committing a may still hold some responsibly.

      We choose, instead, after dozens of break-ins and vandalism at our camp, to post a sign on the front door that reads:


      If you are reading this notice, be warned that you have already been photographed and video-taped by several, strategically located, infrared surveillance device trail cameras. It is suggested that you cause no damage to these premises, or you will be prosecuted and images will be used against you.

      Property Owner in conjunction with the Surete du Quebec

      1. The beauty of this sign is that, whether they believe it or not, just the ‘possibility’ that their image may have been captured on film is in itself enough of a deterrent.

        It’s been two years now since the sign went-up and all is well!

        Oh, and thanks to “Trapper” for this idea far so good!


  7. Jeff, did you put a French translation of your message on the sign, with the French letters above the English and twice as large? You wouldn’t want someone to report you to the language police, lol.

    1. hehe..oh yes fishr, dont you worry..the French version was on TOP and much more visible!!

      I’m serious about that btw…


      Si vous lisez cet avis, sachez que vous avez déjà été photographié et filmé avec plusieurs caméras de surveillance infrarouge (Trail cam). Il est suggéré de ne pas faire aucun dommage à ces camps de chasse sinon vous serez poursuivis par la loi et les images seront utilisées contre vous.

      Signé Propriétaire, en collaboration avec la Sûreté du Québec

  8. We got a big coyote while cutting wood on Saturday, and no, we didn’t drop a tree on him. My buddy was carrying his rifle in the truck with him while we were cutting firewood. We were crossing the first hayfield with tractor and trailer when I first saw it through a thin tree line separating the last hay field. He was so dark that from 350 yards away we thought it might be someone’s dog. As we drove into the last field he watched us from where he was, about 100 yards away and we knew then it was no dog. He was really bushy around the head and ears and almost black. We drove on through into the cedars and across another field to get to his truck and he drove back the field and a half and he said when his truck poked out of the cedars the yote immediately turned to run away. It was funny how it didn’t run when we drove by on the tractor slowly but when it saw the truck it made a b-line. He made a good shot on is as it was running away and close to 150 yards with little time to get set. We figure it weighs between 40 and 50lbs which is pretty big for a yote. I have seen dark ones before but never this close, most are brown or brownish grey but this one was distinct in that the tips of his fur are black but if you part it there’s brown underneath. Interesting for sure.
    There are still lots of them but you don’t see much more than their tracks. I could have shot a different one the last week of the deer hunt but chose to let it go as it wasn’t hurting me and I had just entered the hardwood bush.

    1. johan, any chance you have pics of this dark coyote? I know back home we had seen many dark ones over the years, and we always assumed there was some timber wolf in them…but probably just a less common coyote color phase.


  9. Hi Jeff. As you mentioned, lovely wooded place this Kenauk Nature. I, and other members of the Ottawa Flyfishers Society (OFS), were there early November at Green and Sugarbush Chalets for some flyfishing. The leaves were off the trees and while moving along slowly in our float-tubes catching and releasing rainbows, we could gaze at the hilly woods and the terrain, hoping to spot a deer or two travelling some noticable beaten paths on the hills.

    1. Hey LG..good to hear from you stranger!

      Yes..Bill actually invited me to stay over this fall to cover the Canadian Fly-fishing Championships, but unfortunately I had hunting on my mind at the time. I have stayed at both Green and Sugarbush…and hunted that corner a few times, never did very on rainbows at Green, they always finicky to me and I was more used to brookie guy I suppose.

      How did you guys make out this year?


  10. Outdoorsguy, will see if I can get a couple for you. The weather is favourable but I don’t get home in daylight so it will have to be on the weekend. I took 3 with buddy’s phone but not sure he has the technical savvy to do anything with them ;-).
    I have seen another dark one a couple of times but that was close to 20 years ago and if I remember that was a big one too! I don’t expect that there are many timber wolves but some of the guys around here swear they have seen them. There is plenty of food for them.

    1. Hey johan, in areas where timber wolves and eastern coyotes have shared is my contention that hybrids have resulted in many of those regions.(F1 Cross, F1 Backcross etc etc) I know they speak of ‘coy-dogs’ as a hybrid between domestic dogs and coyotes, but little has been said or published about a possible eastern coyote and grey wolf hybrid.

      Why is that?

      I am 99.9% sure that back home in the QC Laurentians, there are wolf-coyote hybrids still running around, but anytime I mention that in print someone tells me I’m crazy!

      Seriously, they do…hehe

      Although I have only recently abandoned the idea that these ‘Brush wolves’ as we called them back home are indeed hybrids, while in the back of my mind that’s the only true explanation; since I doubt any ‘100% natural grey wolf’ exists in that part of QC..and these animals certainly are NOT 100% eastern coyote either. They exibit wolf-like traits!

      Short ears..larger stalkier bodies, nose pads wider than 1” diameter

      A couple of years back, I posted a series of trailcam images taken about 1/4 mile from my deer camp near Mont Tremblant. It showed a doe being pursued by a VERY large..white and black canid..running with its tail straight out(a characteristic displayed by wolves..and NOT coyotes)

      Although I did refer to the animal as a timber wolf in the article…it is more likely a coyote-wolf hybrid.

      Thanks for sparking this discussion/debate johan, think perhaps I’ll dig-up those images and create a new Coyote/Wolf blog post!

      I would also invite anyone with knowledge on the subject to stop by with information!

      Footnote: Ok, I guess I was wrong..just googled it and apparently they are recognizing a distinct hybrid of the two, and are calling it the Eastern Wolf now..makes sense to me!

  11. Outdoors Guy

    It would be great if you did a coyote/wolf blog post. We got some trail cam images last winter and would love to get some opinions on them.

    1. Hunting mom, it’s always been of great interest to me since I learned more about both species in College. Of course, back then it was very cut and dried. The timber wolf had a set of “Key identification features’ and so too did the coyote..

      Today, what we see in the woods shows that those lines have blurred slightly!

      Oh, and please send me the coyote/wolf pics by pm to:, I will include them in my post.

      Same for anyone else, if you have coyote of wolf images you’d like to share..send them in!!


  12. might just be a little something for Outdoorsguy from ‘santa’ under the tree this year…
    Hope the ice pack lasts…

  13. jeff we have a pack of yotes in the area been popping them off slowly but there is a very big wolf in the area the farmer sees him during the am and at night but can’t get close we have cams out for the deer and hopefully will pick up a shot of this beast , the paw prints are definitely wolf and it’s a big one , i might be able to get a shot a local land owner has lost all of her goats as well a small horse was also taken out this fall it might be the wolf who knows , but something is knocking off livestock and this has to stop

  14. I notice you didn’t let us comment on the Tacoma truck. But I did want to comment so here goes, let’s see if I can get this by the moderators 🙂
    The Tacoma is a great truck, I’ve had a little experience with then. The one issue I have is their “real” gas mileage is very comparable to a full size truck so what’s the point

    1. Sorry Iggs…I have always closed off the vehicle reviews to comments..even when I tested the Ford trucks etc.

      I do see your point with regards to fuel far as the point of getting a Tacoma over a Tundra is that not everyone wants
      or needs a full-size pickup…it is easy to get around and park and the gas mileage is still slightly less than the Tundra…especially the big
      8 cyl, I tested that one last summer. I likes gas!

      But hey, with these gas prices..who cares!


  15. Quote: Jeff Morrison says:
    December 2, 2014 at 9:45 am
    Hey LG..good to hear from you stranger!

    …..How did you guys make out this year?

    Well we did pretty good, some had one terrific day while others were struggling, and vice versa on other days. Sama for both Chalets.

    I would be on the lake early and did not get off till 3:30pm (hard on the muscle legs and breathdable waders feet would start to feel the water temperature), missing the late afternoon / evening activity, while others would take a lunch break then get back onto lake for the evening activity.

    Great to do some flyfishing in those individual lakes with the float-tube toy.

    The wife and I started last Fall carp fishing (the whole experience of baitrunners, etc.). Got equiped like a professional with high quality gear (e.g., Shimano reels, broilly, umbrellas, rod-pods, buzzers, big net, etc.) and confort (e.g., NASH Big Daddy armchairs, etc.), even make my own maize and boillies, but also like commercial stuff. Fishing these fish on the St-Lawrence (Long Sault, Iroquois, Waddington “NY”, etc.) real exciting. I even participated in the 60 hours non-stop CanAm2014 tournament between Canada and USA. Met great people, learned many things from them (Canadians and Americans). Some americans drive over 18 hours to participate in theses various competition. Carp fight, if not more, than salmon. Just love that buzzer sound going off, then the reel peeling at high enticity.

    Did make “backstabber” flies for flyfishing carp, but never was able to find one in the Ottawa area were I could make a good presentation under their nose. One day, maybe.

  16. True, I guess I should have mentioned that the small 8 is comparable in mpg and not that different in price. I’d like to see them come out with a 4 cylinder in the Tacoma but I’m not knocking the truck they are great and indestructible. The other thing is even when you rack up huge mileage they still command a huge resale dollar.
    LeGrand ( TheLarge) has never been shy about spending to get outfitted for any activity.

    1. Yup..that’s right Iggs..and my 2000 Tacoma with only 89K on it..I’ll be running it for couple more years yet and selling it privately.
      In the spring, I’ll be trying out the new 4Runner..then the new Highlander next summer…yes, I know I’m spoiled!


  17. Quote:
    ggy says:
    LeGrand ( TheLarge) has never been shy about spending to get outfitted for any activity.

    True. Will it ever stop?
    I don’t think so.

    Just added another baitrunner reel to my fishing inventory. This one will also serve for Surfcasting. Shimano Ultegra XTC 14000 reel. It will fit just find on my 4 piece travel surfcasting rod. Toro Tamer S 2.7mt 20-30 lbs.

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