My Pembroke column is out in today’s paper for readers up the valley, or online for everyone else:
Daily Observer columnist Jeff Morrison offers up his take on the great outdoors.
With Monday’s kick-off to the province’s wild turkey season, gobbler enthusiasts across the Ottawa Valley will be in hot pursuit of beards and spurs.
For thousands of wild turkey hunters next Monday (April 25th) marks the beginning of another coveted spring gobbler season. Thanks to successful reintroduction programs dating back 30 years ago, wild turkey populations across the province have reached sustainable levels. As we have witnessed over the past few years, there are more bird sightings than ever in the valley and around eastern Ontario, and the hunt is improving each spring. The glorious gobbler has evolved into one of the most prolific and tastiest games species around, so you had better get used to them!
Remember that it is illegal to pursue turkeys within 400 meters of any place where bait has been deposited, unless the place has been bait-free for at least one week. Bait is described as corn, wheat, oats or any other feed that may attract wild turkey or any imitation of such feed. Standing crops, crops stacked in accordance with normal farming practices and grain scattered as a result of normal farming operations are not considered bait. Following the rules is part of the game and it would be a shame to ruin a great hunt by pushing your luck.
Good luck to all the gobbler gurus’ out there and feel free to drop me a line with news from your area.
Fish, Hunt & Ride Mag, spring issue coming
Hunters, anglers and all-terrain enthusiasts await the arrival of the region’s favourite new magazine with baited breath. The spring issue of Fish, Hunt & Ride is just around the corner and, trust me; it’s bigger and better than ever. Now available at over 130 outlets across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec FREE of charge, our exciting new issue features black bear, spring trout, steelhead, turkey filming, ATV events, shed antler hunting, fly-fishing tips, an informative interview with Ted Nugent and much more. By the end of the month you can pick up your copy of FHR in such towns as Barry’s Bay, Killaloe, Forrester’s Falls, Golden Lake and Madawaska up the Ottawa Valley, and across in the Pontiac, Fort Colounge, Gracefield, Low and all points in-between. For more information on where to find an outlet near you, check out our newly revamped website: http://www.fishhuntandride.ca.
Sportsmen Bragging Board
For truly patient sportsmen there is nothing more gratifying than a fulfilled adventure afield. Whether enjoying time in the woods or on the water with family and friends or out on your own, hunting and fishing adventures are among our most cherished memories. (Mine anyway.) One thing I’ve noticed all hunters and fishermen have in common is the excitement of sharing photographs – be they a traditional ‘grip and grin’ image of a big fish or a prized game animal, or more obscure items of interest in the ‘Great Outdoors.’ One time I snapped a photo of a mink, just as it ran across my hunting boot! I am looking for some of the best and most original photos captured a during hunting or fishing trip, for two Sportsmen Bragging Boards I’m working on: one here in the Pembroke Daily Observer and another one for FHR Mag. If you have some neat images you wish to share with thousands of like-minded individuals, please send them to me by email <firstname.lastname@example.org> along with a caption.
Being bear safe
When travelling in bear country this spring, be sure to keep your wits about you. When portaging up north during the trout season I always carry a can of bear spray and, although I’ve never used it, it is always at the ready! Statistics show there are a dozen or so bear attack attacks in North America each year, and some of them don’t end well. Bear spray can be purchased at local hunting and fishing stores and, keep in mind, that there may be some paperwork to fill-out. Bear spray will provide a bit of extra insurance when travelling in bear country this spring.