Heading to hunt camp anyone?

I’m heading back up to the hunt camp this weekend, to put out some trail cameras and poke around a few places. I know I run this same hunt camp post every year, but we all keep coming back so why shouldn’t I!

Ahhhh, ‘Hunt camp’ can mean different things to different people. 

One person’s hunt camp could be as basic as a  4-man tent, while for someone else it might be a summer cottage transformed into a makeshift hunt camp when autumn arrives.

Others might be members of a private hunt club or an organized lodge, while some might even choose to go with an outfitter, rent a chalet or a small cabin. You could convert a fishing or trapping camp into a hunt camp in the fall and you know what, it doesn’t really matter. 

Regardless of what four-walls make-up your hunt camp, tis the season to celebrate the sport we all know and love in your private little domain.  Sharing the experience with friends and hunting companions only serve to enrich the experience. 

The hunt camp experience is something only a true hunter has ever known and will ever really understand. Sorry to all animal rights people, environmentalists and other ‘non-hunters’ out there, you simply cannot relate and this post will mean absolutely nothing to you. 

Yup, it is a time of year when many other things in our busy lives will take a backseat to this special place.  We will dream about it at night and long for that glorious day when we first arrive.

After 33-years of this tradition I realize the hunt camp experience is over in the blink of an eye..so enjoy your time to the fullest and for goodness sake, let it all soak in. You just never know when it could be your last!

Our hunt camp was broken into over the winter and some pukes caused quite a bit of damage, shooting out the glass in all the old hunting pictures just for fun. Dad and the boys were up there this summer to clean it up and fix the damage. These pukes will have a couple of surprises if they try to break in now.

Hey, everyone ready for hunting season…I know I am!


59 thoughts on “Heading to hunt camp anyone?”

  1. The cottage is our hunt camp, fish camp, logging camp and sugar bush. Used year round, season to season.
    Just finishing up one season and looking forward to the next. Will be heading up tomorrow night. We pick up a new pup
    Friday, north of Barrie. Lots to look forward to.

    1. Hey imacdon, I didnt realize you deer hunted up there..thought you went closer town. What’s the bush like up there?


  2. hey Jeff, nice to see a new topic
    was out shooting the bow today, new X-cal
    man is it fast
    I shot it on the weekend and was burying the arrows
    right to the fletch and almost got a hernia pulling them out
    Went to SAIL today, they’ve got a big sale on
    the place was packed but lots of staff on to help out.
    I e-mailed LeBaron last week to see if they had a sale coming up
    but they didn’t bother answering, too bad
    not long now to the moose hunt

    1. Hey Iggs, did you ever get that padded case for your new Excal? You’ll need that
      for the trip as Im pretty sure you need to have a crossbow in its case after and before legal shooting hours.

      Speaking of Excalibur, Sure-shot dave has injured his shoulder and having trouble pulling back the compound. Anyone have an Excalibur for sale, or know of one for sale??


  3. I hunt north of 7, lots of bush, we hunt the first week at my Dad’s south of 7, more open fields
    and longer shots. Coyote’s woke us up last night in Barrhaven, thought I was at the cottage.

  4. We’re heading up opening weekend of bird season. Will put up a stand for the archery hunt. Then it’s on like bing bong! Only home 2 weekends until the end of November after that!

    It’s been just a crazy summer hence my quietness here. All good stuff, but just nuts….a little too much I vow to not repeat again next summer.

    1. No worries Keeb, like my oldman always says; “Gotta make hay when the sun shines”

      Sounds like another year of Keebler..hehe


  5. First year hunter here, just wondering if there are any camps/ppl willing to take out a freshman close to Ottawa that won’t cost me an arm and a leg. . .I’m still waiting to hear back from one person but would love to know where in the Valley people go 😀

    1. Hey John, thanks for stopping-by. I currently don’t hunt the ON side for deer, but I’m sure there are gangs out there looking for a young pup to get his start.

      I’m glad to see guys getting into the sport for the first time, especially when they may, or may not, even have family members who hunt. We have a fellow in our gang I grew up with who’s been deer hunting with us past 6 years now, and none of his family ever hunted, even though he lives and grew-up in the country.


  6. Our cottage is the hunt camp. We are anxiously awaiting the start of grouse season, and then deer. One complication for deer season this year is the fact that my son Sam started university and his mid term exams are right smack in the middle of deer hunting season. We may not be able to hunt for as long as we would like, but we will thoroughly enjoy the time we do get to hunt. It’s my favourite time of the year.

    1. Hunting mom, I remember those days when I was in College and University, trying to make it to deer camp. I remember one time arriving at camp after exams (driving 6 hours from Lindsay, and dodging a huge speaking ticket) at 2:00 AM..and then having to get up at 4:00 AM to hunt…not that i minded in the slightest.

      I’m sure you folks will work all this out and find time to spend at camp as a family.


  7. Got the X-Cal case, a quiver, broadheads and a bunch of other stuff at SAIL this week, they have a no tax sale on hunting accessories, I had e-mail LeBarons to ask them if they were having a sale but once again, I was just another customer getting in the way. No reply

    1. Iggy, that’s really bad of them…Im sure Steve Baron himself would like to know how customer service is in Ottawa. I don’t go in there too often but was well treated when I did. This is unacceptable though..guess they didnt realize who you are, and who some of your friends are..hehe..otherwise they might have tried to avoid some bad press. I know the store in Richmond is great..and always happy to help!

      Oh well, guess you’re all set for moose now? How do you find the new Excal is for pulling back? I assume you have a good cocking aid? How far would you comfortably take a shot with that crossbow? 40-50 yards??

      The boys back home are gearing up for moose also…second year they’re hunting moose from our deer camp. Only a crossbow season for moose up there, never been allowed for rifle in Zone 9.


  8. I was hitting bull’s-eyes at 40 yards on Monday at a buddies place, I was doing the same at the cottage but it was burying the arrows so deep in my Styrofoam block it took everything I had to pull them out.
    I’m going to go to 50 to see how I do.
    I still haven’t shot a broadhead at 40 or 50 so we’ll see.
    As far as LeBarons, I honestly didn’t expect anything more, if you look at the forums they get criticized for their customer service all the time

    1. Geez Iggs, wouldn’t want to be a moose standing in front of you..hehe..or anything for that matter. I’m sure these Excaliburs have more than enuf speed and impact for adequate penetration at 50 yards..of course, you’re limited to what brush might be in the way I suppose.

      Too bad about Lebaron, its always been my store of choice..even as a kid growing in QC..we toured to the Mtl store all the time.


  9. By the way, Als Corner Store has a big sale this weekend and Northerner, a buddy of mine is working the sale as a rep for Quaker Boy

    1. Iggs..Isn’t it at Als where you get that great deer bait?? Some sort of sticky molasses concoction. Man, I’ve still got 160 pounds of apples in back of my truck that was supposed to go to hunt camp last weekend…be bringing that up tomorrow.

      I’m putting out additional trailcams this year..one will be located in this awesome bottleneck between two lakes – a stone’s throw from where I harvested my big QC record buck back in ’96. It’s also the place where I had one of the forkhorns walk out to me on opening morning last fall. Itssss alsoooooo the place where a huge non-typical snuck through on my hunting partner Jim one time about 20 years ago. This giant buck was smart and sent out a diversion..hehe…this crazy looking doe with one antler came out first. Jim was so preoccupied with the doe, he didn’t even realize the buck of a lifetime was sneaking past him.

      Silly one-horned doe!!


  10. Supposed to be heading up to Pickle Lake next Friday. I say “supposed” to because I’m not sure I will be able to get away from work without stirring up a ^%&$ storm with my business partner. We’re swamped at work, but it’s not like I can go moose hunting in February or April. The season is now, and I need to go!!!

    1. Geez Dave and I thought the security bus. basically ran itself..hehe…just kidding.

      Yes, work certainly does suffer during the fall, but we cant help ourselves can we?


  11. QUOTE:Geez Iggs, wouldn’t want to be a moose standing in front of you..hehe..or anything for that matter. I’m sure these Excaliburs have more than enuf speed and impact for adequate penetration at 50 yards..of course, you’re limited to what brush might be in the way I suppose
    at 330 feet per second even at 50 yards it’s got enough speed to down a moose, and your right, the only thing in the way is grass, shrub and branches, if it hits anything it’s way off track
    I get that deer moose and bear bait at the TSC Store in Arnprior, it’s corn covered in some kind of sweet molasses, smells so good it’s almost tempting me to try it hehe
    They won’t sell it to you unless you give your name address and phone number, when asked why they say it’s in case they have trouble with a batch, sounds pretty hokey to me

    1. Iggy, I think TSC’s policy is the same at Ritchie’s Feed & Seed where I get my deer feed. They have my info on file as well…and they told me the same thing, in case there’s a bad batch.

      Its been several years now, and never got a call from them..so I assume the batches have been ok..


  12. It pains me to say this, but I’m not going moose hunting this year with family up north. I just cant make it happen. I will however head out deer hunting later in the season in an area a buddy shared with me. I’ve never been deer hunting so this will be a learning experience. I will be using my truck as a hunt camp sleeping in the box (it has a cap over it). I’m thinking my initial hunt will be hiking the mountains looking for deer trails. I’ll try and identify a good spot with multi-directional views atop a steep hillside as a make-shit stand. I won’t be moose hunting (and I bet they catch this year!) – but I will be hunting and trying something new. Good hunting everyone!

  13. @GPG
    if there is a good deer herd in the area you are hunting, scout it out, find some deer trails. if there is any quantity of deer there will be easily identifiable trails, follow the trails until you come to another trail crossing it. this is an intersection and the chances of seeing a deer are very good, hunt downwind of the cross trail, and good luck.
    best to be up high in a tree stand if possible

    1. GPG, I’m very sorry to hear no moose for you this year, but I do wish you luck for deer. I have hunted deer many many times with two guys and there are lots of things you can do. We used to do something I called the ‘circle chase’ quite a bit.

      Both hunters walk singlefile through the deer woods, with the wind in your face. Start off approx. 50 feet apart…then the back guy slows to a sneak where you are 100 – 150 feet apart. The ideal distance is approx. 100 yards. The idea of the circle chase is that the first hunter will move the deer ahead which HEAR him, but are unable to SMELL him because of wind direction. The deer’s natural instinct is to circle around downwind of the first hunter, which brings him right into the second hunter!

      I have seen this work, and you can take turns as the guy in the back tends to be the shooter. You can lengthen or shorten your distance between the two hunters depending on density of woods. Open hardwood you would spread out and dense brush move closer together.

      Just one thought for hunting deer with two guys..

      Have fun!!!


  14. Some unusual wolf activity in our area (WMU 58). We’ve been hearing them howling at night, which is unusual. We usually only hear them in the winter. Then, on our way back from the cottage yesterday, a HUGE wolf crossed the road in front of us. It was no scrawny coyote, but a wolf that was as big as a small deer. In fact, my daughter initially thought it was a deer.

  15. hi jeff did very well last day of lakers we caught 2 8to 9 pounders 3- 5 lbs and 2 about 3 lbs in the am all full of baitfish .The baitfish were suspended in 10 to 30 ft of water with a temp of 20.6 degrees they were really aggressive for this time of year but all said this summer was one of the better years for fishing i will be sending all of my info to a buddy of mine at the mnr fisheries section which will let him know how many were stocked and native to the lake anyhow have a great day and i will let imcdan know when i might be filming a goose and duck hunt video for a possible tv show i am trying to also get a deer hunting episode this fall as well will keep you posted .Have a great day jeff

    1. Thanks for the update Mike, and congrats on the nice lake trout! Also keep us posted on the possible hunting vid.


    1. Hunting Mom, is it possible these are coyotes, or brush wolves? I know in my area, I hear them howling when celebrating a kill..also with the pups earlier in the year.

      I’ve heard they howl for a variety of reasons throughout the year.


  16. Another thing that works is two hunter walking up each bottom of a ridge, quite often deer will lay down on the side of a ridge because they can see and smell better, and up and over the ridge is a great escape route, except no so great if there is another hunter on the other side. Honestly I’ve never shot a deer this way, but I’ve done it and seen it work, you just need to be a little more ready than I was hehe
    It’s also quite save because there is a ridge between the hunters

    1. Ok Iggy, so you mean each hunter walks along a parallel ridge-bottom, with the lying in between them. That makes good sense and is something I’ve never done actually. Of course you need to have the right topography to pull that off, but the idea sounds great.

      And you’re absolutely right about deer sitting on ridges. (And there’s lots of ridges where I hunt) Oftentimes you’ll see them bedded on a ridge-top overlooking a valley, with the wind blowing into them(up from the valley). That way, they can SEE danger down the ridge in front of them, and SMELL danger from behind by just turning their head.

      Who says these critters are dumb!


  17. Our group did get a bull moose tag this year, and I have this feeling inside telling me they will catch a big one. Still, I really can’t make it. Then again, I get this feeling every year before the hunt 😉

    Thanks for the circle technique, I’ll put that one to good use too – probably as we are walking the trails and identifying a good crossing as Iggy suggests. I feel better already knowing I can test out a new territory, a new hunt, and proven techniques.

    Hunting mom – I had unusual encounters with wolves this summer as well. I was at a cottage near Tremblant in early August. One night sitting around the fire I could hear a wolf howling up in the mountains across the lake. It was absolutely beautiful. A few days later I was at another cottage closer to Tremblant in a populated cottage lake. My son went biking with my nephew and they were tracked down by a wolf. They heard it breathing in the blueberry patch they had found, and later saw that it had followed their bike tracks in the sand (even walked over their bike trails). My nephew went back with his dad and spotted a huge wolf standing at the tree line not far from where they were. I saw pictures of the wolf tracks taken next to my nephews hand. It literally dwarfed his hand!

    1. Well GPG, as you may or may not know, our deer camp is a stone`s throw with Tremblant…well, about a 12 mile stone throw, but we do have
      timber wolves up there…as well was brush wolves(eastern coyotes) I actually posted some images two falls ago of a timber wolf chasing a deer about 300 yards from our camp. Glad to say he never caught up with it.

      I also saw a black wolf in Montebello two years during deer season..first one Ive seen seen and I think they`re pretty rare.


      1. If you don’t mind me asking GPG, which lakes did you stay at…i know pretty much all of them in that region.


  18. Iggy, we hunt in the Griffith/Dacre area as well. That is where our cottage is – on Centennial Lake.

    Outdoors guy, you are probably right that we heard brush wolves. They sounded a bit yappy. But what I saw running across the road seemed way too big to be a brush wolf. It was the size of a small deer

    Is it normal to find wolves and brush wolves/coyotes sharing the same habitat?

    GPG, that was an eerie encounter your nephew had. The wolf showed little fear of humans. I thought it was only coyotes that were like that.

    1. Hunting Mom, back home we’ve seen brush wolves as large as 80 and 90 pounds, of course we’ve seen timber wolves that big up there too, which makes identifying them quite difficult. Most people just call them brush wolves now since most of them are anyway.


  19. The first lake where I heard the wolf in the mountains was Lac de la Sucrerie. The second lake with the close encounter was Lac Ouimet between Tremblant village and St-Jovite

    Great idea Iggy. I’ve obeserve ridges such as you explain. I’ve been hiking in winter in these places with high traffic trails (they seem to be organized like highway networks – smaller trails feeding into highways), seen fresh bedding along the sides of the ridge as well – usually closer to the top than the bottom.This also gives the deer a quick escape in all directions. Either up or down. Amazing animals!

    1. Oh man GPG, I know those lakes well…especially Ouimet!! We used to fish Ouimet every week during the late summer and fall for several years. There is a great localized population of muskie in there and we’d bring up the ol flat-bottom boat and trolling motor.(No gas motors allowed) Most muskie we ever caught in one evening……7, if you believe that. Nowhere could you catch as many nice fish as some of these small mountain lakes. Not huge though, they average 5-10 pounds.

      Every last muskie we ever caught in Ouimet was released safely too…we often fished late into the night…they were crepuscular feeders like walleye. Of course, we were the only ones who knew that trick at the time.


  20. Is that right eh? What a coincidence. That’s amazing fishing. I’ve never caught a muskie. My cousin has a cottage on that lake, and I can tell you that your secret is probably still safe amongst the locals. I spent a week there and I don’t think I saw another fishing boat on the water. I might just have to drop in this fall with my canoe and electric motor 😉

    1. GPG, tell you what..if and when you head back up to your cousin’s place, send me a private email, and I’ll enlighten you with the rest of my tricks..hehe, don’t want to post all my secrets ya know..

      Your cousin is fortunate to have a cottage on such a beautiful and prestigious lake which, in my opinion, is second only to Lac Tremblant(Another awesome lake Ive fished dozens of times – and most scenic waters in all of Central Canada)


  21. @Hunting Mom
    I used to hunt on Green Lake, very close to Centennial Lake, very nice area with lots of hardwoods

  22. Right on! I’ll hold you to it when I go up, probably in October.

    I agree the lake is beatiful. His cottage is on the south side and when looking at the lake the ski mountain is always in view. I’ve camped on the north side of lac Tremblant and you’re right, the scenery is breathtaking. The mist rising in patches from the mountains in the morning looks like smoke. and I’m impressed there so few cottages on that lake being so close to the populated resort area.

    1. OK GPG, it’s a deal! From what you describe, I have an idea where he is located. Must be close to where the float planes dock? Along the side where Grey Rocks hotel and ski-hill are/used to be??

      Lac Tremblant North is where I went all the time. Was fortunate that a friend had a cottage up on North End and we’d spent the weekends looking for muskie, and marvelling at beauty of the Central Canada’s most spectacular lake. Apart from western Canada’s Lake Louise, Emerald Lake..etc…for me Lac Tremblant is the ultimate. Haven’t spent time up there in about 15 years, and I miss it greatly.

      Short story..one time at Tremblant North we arrived early to muskie fish..and had hooked and released 3 nice ones by 9:00..till I was taking a photo of the third fish prior to release(without a glove on), and it thrashed digging two large teeth deep into my thumb. Tore my thumb apart to the tune of 8 stitches and a partially severed tendon. Dammit, I was more upset that we had to stop fishing when the bite was on..tried wrapping my thumb up in electrical tape and continue fishing except that every time I’d cast, blood would come squirting out..hehe..now that’s dedication!!

      Caught more muskie up there than I can count…then in evenings we’d sit at the cottage and marvel at the mountain!


  23. Iggy,yes I know where Green Lake is. I’ve never been in, but I pass Green Lake Road to get to the cottage. Beautiful country indeed.

    1. Question for Hunting mom & Iggy: The area where you folks hunt is a region I’m not that familiar with to be honest.

      I believe it is rolling hills with mixed hardwood/softwood? From what I hear its more mountainous than other parts of the Ottawa Valley?

      Sounds like a nice area for sure.


  24. You’re right, mixed woods but a lot of hardwoods, and very hilly, perfect for doing the type of stock I was talking about earlier.
    Hunting Mom, you should take a drive up that road, it’s only a few hundred meters, and you’ll see why it’s called Green Lake, it’s an emerald colour because of the limestone and it is extremely deep, right off shore. Pretty amazing lake, I tried to buy a cottage there but they very seldom become available

  25. Iggy, after 30 some odd years, I think I will take a drive down Green Lake Road. I can’t believe I’ve never done that.

    Yes, Outdoors Guy, it is very rugged country, lots of hills, thick bush.

  26. They have a great public boat launch there too and the lake is full of Lake Trout and giant Pike, but it also has huge schools of cisco so the Lakers can be a bit finicky. you’ll see what I mean about the lake, it’s crystal clear

  27. Maybe it’s time to go back soon. I was reading your story thinking “tell me you didn’t have to cut the trip short…” Oh welll, it makes for a great story/memory.

  28. Great topic! Still enjoy reading your blog Jeff. I haven’t stopped visiting!
    Good luck to all the hunters out there 🙂

  29. Jeff, you do realize you aren’t supposed to lip Muskie right? I have had my share of blood letting with pike, one slip or one flip and it’s all over. Thumbs really seem to bleed don’t they? Good news story is I caught more wallies last weekend that the entire summer put together, practically middle of the day too. I kept a couple to eat and tossed the big ones (up to 5.5) back. Turns out I will be spending moose season in Texas, sucks to be me this year.

    1. johan said; “Jeff, you do realize you aren’t supposed to lip Muskie right?”

      haha..smart ass!

      I’m sorry to say that the moose population in Texas is down this year…wayyyyyy down. Yes, it does suck to be you,
      but I hear you with regards to moose season. My schedule hasn’t allowed me to go for past 5 years..so I’m focusing more on

      Nice walleye action..that’s for sure, I guess maybe water temps are dropping? Didn’t see any biggies with other fish lodged
      in their mouth?


  30. Haven’t seen any of those this year Jeff, but always looking. Wallies seem to have a gut full of tiny minnows, inch or less. Is there some kind of fish that hatches later summer or are these little things spring hatchlings?

    1. johan, Id half to see a pic of these tiny fish..perhaps they are not even ‘minnows’..several fish species spawn fall and even winter, however mostly salmonids and I dont think there are any trout in that lake?

      Oh and bear with me folks, I have a couple of new posts coming out this week.

      INCLUDING……….full story of sure-shot dave’s successful moose hunt last week.


  31. Hard to tell what they are as being small digestion works fast on them but they usually burp a bunch up. there are Lakers in Bob’s however I don’t suspect they would spawn in my bay as it’s only 45 feet deep at it’s deepest point. That being said I have seen whitefish floaters in the bay before.
    Lots of apples this year, big ones too. Walked up on two nice yotes eating under one of the trees yesterday. They were in good shape.
    Can’t wait for the moose hunt recall!! Bring it on!

    1. johan said; “Walked up on two nice yotes eating under one of the trees yesterday. They were in good shape.”

      What the heck were they eating??? And you managed to walk up on them…must have had your fuzzy slippers on.


  32. They were eating the apples of course, and there are lots of apples to eat this year too. The wind was in my favour and the clearing I was walking through is pretty soft so I wasn’t making much noise. They did see me before I saw them though so I wasn’t quiet enough, but I got to within 50 yards or so before they loped off. I saw them when they were vacating so I didn’t sneak up on them. I know I could have had I seen them first based on the wind and the irregular stands of cover in the field. It’s one of those fields where not much grass or weeds grow and is perpetually brown so it makes it very hard to see coyotes or deer for that matter because they just seem to blend in. Cool moose story!

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