For those who missed my October Outdoors Guy column in the Pembroke Daily Observer, here you go:
This one is dedicated to the legend of Rick Whitetail Guru Poulin:
The Outdoors Guy, Jeff Morrison, poses with a fine whitetail buck taken at Kenauk Nature in Montebello, Quebec
With the scent of this country’s whitetail season wafting down from the north country, deer hunting enthusiasts are getting ‘hopped-up on goofballs’ for the most anticipated time of year.
Every year around this time a deer hunter’s thoughts transcend everyday consciousness to become ‘at one’ with nature. It is often difficult to put into words what whitetail season means to those who participate annually. As I celebrate my 35th year in God’s Country with my 84 year-old father and a handful of close hunting companions, I am constantly reminded of some of my most cherished memories from the past 3.5 decades, and they’re numerous.
Behold the dark ghost
I was an impressionable young hunter back in November 1983, the time a truly giant whitetail buck slipped through the Quebec hardwoods like a ghost and appeared before me, larger than life. So large in fact and dark in colour, I was convinced it was a moose and lowered my rifle. By the time this inexperienced 16-year old realized the so-called moose was actually a 300 pound rut-swollen whitetail buck, the beast had already moved down the ridge and melted from view. My uncle, the late Alfred Morrison, was perched over the next hill and put his experience to work. It is memories like this which remain etched in a hunter’s ‘grey matter’ and return to the forefront each fall when they pass that same spot in the woods. I believe each and every hunter shares this childlike enthusiasm along with a full comprehension of the importance of time spent afield.
Since warm outerwear and cool weather go hand-in-hand like conservation and Canada’s trapping heritage, I recently field-tested some apparel from Canadian company – Canada Goose, in preparation for deer season. Famous for their luxurious winter parkas adorned with coyote fur collars, the Canada Goose Expedition Clothing Company has been making quality outerwear since 1957. Today, the company offers some of the most sought-after coats and jackets on the market, used by many of the country’s law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately their products have been targeted of late by animMy Sitesal rights groups that take offence to the use of coyote fur in some of the collars, even though animal fur is recognized as probably the most organic and self-sustaining material known to man. The Hybridge Lite model jacket I tested on a scouting and trail camera expedition recently was as comfortable and warm as any jacket I’ve used yet.
Awarded the Best Backcountry Jacket by Outside Magazine, I knew there must be something special about the product. This ‘lightweight down’ as it’s known in the industry, fit like a glove and stood up to some pretty heavy bush travel. Weighing in at less than 1 pound, the Hybridge Lite was more of a second skin than it was a jacket. The product combines 800-fill goose down with a 10D rip stop nylon shell and stretchy Tensile-Tech fleece side panels. Designed with cuff bindings and thumb holes to keep snow out, the Hybridge Lite is also easily rolled up and stowed away. Be prepared for the slim fit as the product is designed snug with the intention of layering as weather gets cooler. All in all, I was more than satisfied with quality and functionality of this product making for the perfect pre-season outerwear! For more information on this or other Canada Goose Products: http://www.canada-goose.com/
Hunt safely with Rick’s spirit
Statistics show that serious accidents are quite rare during the hunting season, however mishaps do occur. Perhaps our greatest concern apart from falling asleep in the tree stand, would be muscle strain and body fatigue. After trekking five miles or more up and down the mountains each day, aches and pains are part of the deal and injury a possibility. Simple stretching exercises in the morning helps your body get loosened-up and ready for an enjoyable day in the backwoods. Good luck this fall and may the spirit of local legend Rick ‘Whitetail Guru’ Poulin be with you in your travels.