My April column in the fabulous Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper is now out!
Thanks as always to Anthony Dixon and Tina Peplinkie who bring the daily news to folks in the upper Ottawa Valley!
Check it out online: http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/
Valley turkey enthusiasts gobbling up a storm!
April 25th each year marks the launch of yet another coveted spring gobbler season. Thanks to reintroduction programs dating back three decades, 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 game species around, so you had better get used to them!
Note: The annual April 25th Turkey Opener moves to Monday April 27th because opener falls on a weekend. Sorry for the confusion
Although most hunters are aware, it is illegal to hunt 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.
Moose tags way down!
This winter, a proposed moose project was undertaken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry dealing with harvest, predation, parasites, and climate and changing habitat of our beloved Bullwinkle. The following moose management strategy was proposed:
1) limiting calf moose hunting season across northern Ontario to a two week period.
2) a two-week resident and non-resident open hunting season for calf and adult moose across northern Ontario, beginning on the Saturday closest to Oct. 22. Outside of this two-week season, calf moose could not be harvested. Hunting for an adult moose would still be permitted for the remainder of the open season with a valid moose licence and in accordance with existing rules. Also, a delay to the start of 2016 resident and non-resident moose hunting season across much of northern Ontario by one week, is very likely.
Scribe heading for trout
In a few short weeks as I head-off on my annual trout fishing adventure with my dad and brother-in-law’s, my mind will filled with visions of crystal clear lakes and behemoth brookies. It doesn’t matter how far you travel, so long as you bask in Mother Nature’s springtime spectacle. Enjoying the peaceful serenity in the delicate call of the white-throated sparrow, or the courtship rituals of the common loon. Playing cards and horse-shoes with family and scouting the backwoods trails on ATV are part of the experience. For all the avid trout anglers in the Valley, here’s to tight lines, bent rods and monster ‘specs’ as far as the eye can see!
Great online camping resource
Anyone who enjoys spending time camping at one of the many Ontario campgrounds – whether travelling with a 32-foot 5th wheel or pitching a two-man tent – should do themselves a favour and check-out this comprehensive new website. The new Parks Blogger Ontario site includes useful information on camping and travelling into copious Ontario Parks. The new site, I began contributing articles to this spring, features scads of camping tips and tricks, as well as stories by fellow campers. Happy camping this summer and do yourself a favour and check out: http://www.parksbloggerontario.com/
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 we always carry a can of bear spray and although I’ve never used it, it is always there at the ready! Statistics show there are a dozen or so bear attack attacks in North America each year, some of which 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 provides a bit of extra insurance when travelling or camping in bear country.