Spring, a breath of fresh air

My ‘One year anniversary’ Outdoors Column  is now available in the Pembroke Daily Observer. If you’ve never read the Pembroke paper, do yourself a favour and check it out!

Here is the Daily Observer online:



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Spring, a breath of fresh air for area sportsmen!

By Jeff Morrison

Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer's newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.

(Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer’s newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.)


With scant few hunting or fishing opportunities at this time, Valley sportsmen are dealing with the calm before the storm.

I don’t know about you but the arrival of spring can’t come soon enough! Winter may have its merit but after five long months of its icy grip, enough is enough! Besides, there’s just something unique about spring to get your blood pumping. Perhaps it’s the impending kick-off to trout and turkey season or the aura of rebirth created by seasonal change that rejuvenates the soul of true outdoorsmen, who knows. To hear the thumping drum of that first grouse of the year, or to catch a glimpse of the first wild garlic shoot pocking its head out of the forest floor, are all tell-tail sights that a new season is afoot. I realize spring imagery is difficult to imagine now with two feet of snow on the ground, but at least we’re on the homeward stretch and before you can say, pass the bug spray, we’ll be breaking out the turkey calls and trout tackle like they’re going out of style!

Gobble Gobble

With only a month or so until the province’s turkey opener, hunters are reminded that if you should happen to harvest a gobbler this spring, you only have until noon the next day to report it. Dial 1-800-288-1155, select the Turkey Harvest Reporting option and have your Hunting Card available. You will be asked questions about your hunt and location of harvest, and will need to identify the age and sex of your bird. To purchase a license using the automated phone line, you may call the same 1-800 number until April 30. Your wild turkey license and game seal will be mailed the next business day. From all accounts we should be in-store for another great gobbler season!

Valley Heritage Radio

Be sure to tune into Valley Heritage Radio 98.7 FM, for a new show airing the last Saturday of each month. Hosted by my old pal Brian Corbin of the Arnprior Fish and Game Club, the new radio show boasts copious outdoor action tempered with a touch of local flavour. Brian’s new radio spot will focus on the local service club scene and have features like conservation corner. This month’s spotlight is on birding and bird house construction, followed by turkeys and whitetail food plots in April.

Ferry trouble

Since the closure of the famous Deux-Rivières ferry three years ago, folks in the upper Ottawa Valley wishing to ‘jump the river’ were forced to either cross at Swisha, or travel much further up to Témiscaming. As someone who’s travelled the valley to access Quebec trout waters each spring for the past 25 years, trust me this ferry closure has been a royal pain! But alas, news from our ZEC office across the river indicates that a new ferry is being constructed in Mattawa. If anyone has heard rumblings if this new Mattawa ferry, please drop me a line and I will outline more details in my April column.

Valley fishing Show

Speaking of April, the 14th Annual Valley Fishing and Outdoors Show arrives next month! The brainchild of Valley boy Dave Arbour, this year’s show is set for April 4- 6 at the Carp Fairgrounds and Arena, and will feature everything from casting ponds to archery, shooting and fishing simulators. With more than 100 exhibitors and lots of hunting and fishing equipment, this event is a must do for Valley sportsmen. The awesome thing about this show is you’re bound to run into someone you know. For more information, contact: Dave Arbour at 613)-257-7489.

Huts be gone!

The March 31 ice-hut removal date for Pembroke District seems to arrive too early for hut operators and anglers alike. Folks in Pembroke district have until the end of the month to haul their huts away and remember that MNR law enforcement doesn’t take kindly to anglers who allow huts to end up in waterways after ice out; which poses a hazard to anglers and boaters. Anyone who has not removed their ice hut by March 31 is in violation of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and could face charges. Take note that winter angling remains open on most lakes and rivers after all the huts are gone; however, ice conditions tend to be sketchy and unsafe by that point.

Column Anniversary

This month marks the one year anniversary of my Outdoors Guy column in the Pembroke Daily Observer. I would very much like to thank Managing Editor Anthony Dixon and Publisher Jim Kwiatkowski for the opportunity of contributing to this fine publication on a regular basis. Sharing a passion and love for the Great Outdoors with folks in the Valley is something I am very proud of.

Please feel free to email me anytime (theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com) with suggestions or observation from your own hunting and fishing endeavors.

9 thoughts on “Spring, a breath of fresh air”

  1. Valley Spring Hunting and Fishing Show, sure sign spring is here, love it

    Also about Valley Heritage Radio, I listen to that station any time I go west of Kanata and I even get it at my cotttage on the Quebec side. I really enjoy it

    1. Iggy, until Blake told me about the radio show it was the first I’d heard of Valley Heritage Radio. I will be tuning-in regularly this
      summer when we’re at our trailer in Cobden..and Blake also invited me to join him on the show sometime.

      My apologies to Blake btw, I think I may have mistakenly referred to him by his father’s name Brian.


  2. It’s old fashion radio but they have some characters and play an eclectic supply of music, but I really enjoy it. it’s not for everyone but it really give you a feel of the Ottawa valley

    1. Sounds like it represents the Valley perfectly! Also neat that you can still pick it up on the QC-side..guess we’ll know if that will continue after QC’s April election.

      I believe the station itself is based in Braeside…just up along the river from Arnprior. Beautiful town along the ‘River road’ on way up to Cobden..we drive through it every weekend and admire the view! (Not before a quick stop at Wes’s chip-stand in Arnprior along the way..best fries in the Region!)


  3. I’ve heard good things about the station too, although I’ve never had the chance to listen. Apparently,they have special programming during the deer hunt. They do interviews at different hunt camps in the area. I have to listen this year.

  4. Had a good gather yesterday. Will be boiling later today. It’s funny, two years ago at this time the the syrup season was over. Last year the ice went out Apr 1st. The ice has not even
    started breaking up yet. Looks like April will be cooler than normal. It’s been long winter.
    I’m into next years wood.

  5. The sap it running great at our camp. We collected 400 liters of sap on Monday. Now I’m stuck down in Vegas instead of boiling! (yes it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!). The wife and kids will be going up to collect sap again while I’m gone, then it’s an early Saturday morning trip to the camp to get the boiling done!

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