My July column is now out in the Pembroke Daily Observer. Check it out:
Regardless of what outdoor adventure you embark upon this summer, the rest and relaxation of spending time the Great Outdoors is the ultimate reward.
Summer is meant to be enjoyed leisurely with my family and friends in an outdoor setting. Camping, cottaging, and of course fishing are a few of the things I enjoy. One day, I could be casting for northern pike and bass with my daughters at the trailer in Cobden or putting up trail cameras, and the next I might be scouting the deer woods or checking on the hunt camp.
Holiday season is all about getting back to basics and enjoying things that really matter. So, do yourself a favour this summer, turn off that boob tube, and try to forget about gas prices for a week or two. We are fortunate to live in a region that offers such a wide variety of recreational outdoor activities at our doorstep.
The new Danner Steadfast hunting boots I field-tested recently are a great addition from a company who’s been making high quality hunting boots since 1932. The 8″ Steadfast model I tested were form-fitting, solid and according to Danner are custom made for hunters who enjoy stalking. The footbed on these boots is positioned low within an all-new platform to provide ground-sensing traction, much like a high performance Porsche race car engine with a low center of gravity.
These boots combine nubuck leather and 900 denier nylon for lightweight support, and feature a great waterproof dry liner which pulls moisture away from the foot for improved comfort after a long day of sneaking along that deer trail. A roomier toe-box at the front also ensures warmer feet come late November. Overall, I found the new Danner Steadfast to be solid, comfortable and lightweight; a perfect fit for the upcoming deer or moose season. For more information, check out Danner products: http://www.danner.com/product/hunt/
Food for deer
At a time of year when many sportsmen are out on the water, Dave Smetana is out working his deer fields. Dave isn’t a farmer by profession but more what you might call an agricultural conservationist. He has been managing food plots for several years and has a variety of different feed options spread around his Carleton Place property.
Nurturing crops for deer is a growing trend and our region is no exception, with food plots offer supplemental nutrients throughout the summer and later in the season after farm crops are cut. Earlier this summer Smetana got things started with the ATV and a Plot Mule, which is a small set of discs hauled behind an ATV. From there it’s a matter of spreading the seed evenly.
According to this deer farmer, once the seed hits the ground, it needs to be covered with soil immediately. Some seed requires ¼ inch of coverage, while others need more. Managing your own food plots might be time consuming, but for dedicated conservationists like Dave Smetana, it is a labour of love. As summer progresses the food plots really come into their own providing great nourishment for white-tailed deer.
Bear awareness this summer
Each summer cottagers, campers and municipalities are urged to do their part to avoid nuisance bears. Black bears are attracted to any food source, and in areas where berries and other natural forage is not available, bear’s will eat whatever they can get including pet food, compost and even garbage. They will also return to food sources they remember from last year so be mindful when spending time in bear country. Although bear encounters are rare they do occur, so be sure to keep your wits about you this summer.