Some springtime rantings


Since my posts have been few and far between these days, I thought I would spend a bit of time and put together a few thoughts of potential interest… 

It is spring, I can tell now and it’s not just because of the weather. Yesterday morning, I heard was must surely have been the horniest Tom turkey ever. He was gobbling up a storm and strutting around the field like nobody’s business. Man, I pity the hens!


Now that I’m the proud holder of an official Ontario small-game license, I’ve been busy reading and studying what’s in season and what is not. One thing I couldn’t believe was that raccoon season is closed all summer? Also, did you know it was illegal to shoot a red squirrel with a small-game license? They are considered fur-bearers and are only to be trapped. I did not know that!


Another thing of interest is the latest issue of Bounder magazine – get yours fresh of the press!! The Spring issue of Bounder focuses on ‘Wheels’ it two-wheeled vehicles or 4-wheeled. 

Plus, there’s the usual articles of interest to most men (& women too) One-Minute Moore,  Music, good food, Red Green, Papousak, Delmer & Cecil and of course my favourite the Outdoors Guy.


With spring trout season just about here, I’ve had my eye on the ice-out conditions in our region and things seem to be on track. One thing I also noticed at Petrie Island (and it bothered me), was that some nut had left their ice-fishing hut to flounder out on the ice. 

I’m not sure how closely the MNR follows these things with the March 15 hut removal date seemingly important, from both a safety and environmental standpoint. I suppose that bay of the river will have some new ‘habitat’ this summer; once the hut breaks up and drops to the bottom!


I must say, I’m pleased these days to have two of my old whitetail friends stop by each evening for a nibble of food (and I don’t care who knows it) One is a brazen 3 year buck we call Garfield, and the other is a two year old we call Rainbow..ok, I know, but my daughter’s named them and I think its cute.


Anyone headed out after gobblers this spring; I invite you to drop me a line with your plans for the hunt. I’ll also have a bragging board set up for those successful hunters later on, so hold onto those photos.

Have a good one, and prey for a better ‘Round Two’ of the maple syrup season. Its the one time of year when Mother Nature really is in charge..and she can be a real ‘biatch’ sometimes!


35 thoughts on “Some springtime rantings”

  1. For us here, we try to keep the friends back there happy and healthy. So that means leaving left overs from trapping off in the bush as far as I can venture, topping up my feed spots (winter gets use of the pvc pipe feeders, snowless times are spread on the ground) which get changed frequently to avoid the possibility of having a given spot to be fraught with disease of previous visitors.

    Of course there is also food scraps, birds do away with nearly every little bit of meat that is left on the bone or cartilage, and any fat trimmings as well, the veggies get turned over in the garden.

    In a week or so I will disk last years ploughed field for an 8 acre food plot which should help our 4 legged friends into the coming winter.

    Beyond that, I keep an eye on the population and what not through tracks and trail cams, and adjust feeding schedules and predator control accordingly.

    1. Rob, it sounds like have the concept of Quality Deer Management (QDM) down to a science..although, not limited to just deer, you’ve got the whole ecosystem covered.


  2. nice to see you’re still alive, anyone who want to see turkeys in full strutt should hang out on the cloverleaf at the Scotiabank Place, one of the cornfields is full of turkeys almost every day

    Planning on going up to our favorite spek lake near the hunt camp on Good Friday

    1. Iggy, with some luck your lakes will be clear of ice by then..this weekend with +15 and a bit of wind will break them down quickly!


  3. headin off next week for a few days of golf in Ocean City Maryland (a lot warmer than here) and when I get back spring fishing and turkey hunting should be just about ready
    I’m going up to our cottage on Sunday to check it out but I know the ice isn’t off yet, I was walking on it last weekend

  4. It would be nice if the quotas for moose and white tails were out. The MNR says that the new hunting regulations with the quotas won’t be out till somtime in June. Something has to be done to get the quotas out earlier..

  5. well moose quotas have to be out in May I thnik because that’s when you need to apply in the draw and I can’t see the MNR asking people to go in blind………well maybe I can

  6. from what i watched the powers to be said the deer quotas will be the same as last year exept for a few select areas.
    with that said all you trout fishermen have to get on board and send the mnr your thoughts on the new proposed fishing regulation change in ontario to drop the rainbow trout limit to 2 from 5 out in the lake . there are large number of boats going out and not targeting salmon and directly targeting the rainbows in port hope area it is nothing to see 20 to 25 rainbows killed per day per boat .. we witnessed 150 rainbows killed per day from some of the boats in port hope and that went on every day for 2 weeks. I know salmon are a put and take fishery but the rainbows are not

    1. Sorry Chess, I never had time to put anything together on the new rainbow regs down there to control over-harvesting..I know its a serious issue, and
      hopefully the new limit can get things under control.


  7. is there no Rainbow limit, it would be the only game fish I’ve ever heard of with no limit
    I know Perch used to be unlimited but they were considered course fish then

  8. Iggy there is currently a 5 fish limit of trout/salmon a combined total of 5 but what is happening if you have certain device called a fish hawk you can find the magical temperature and you can slaughter the rainbows. These boats promise (guarantee fish). I don’t want to go into to many details but ALL trout Fishermen are alone on this one, we have no one fighting for us. We are fighting as individuals on this proposed fish regulation change I urge every one to email the mnr on this.

    1. Chessy, it sounds like the problem is more with charter boats taking more than they’re allowed. How often do they get checked anyway?

      What happened to the old ‘Creel Census’ you used to do years ago…do those even happen anymore?? When I was in College, they even have some of the students help out!


  9. picked my edition of Bounder Magazine at the Carp/ Valley Outdoor show today.
    Good read and the show was good once again.
    Saw Adrian Hare the turkey guru, he told me there are very few turkeys around his home near Barrie so he’s going to hunt near Bracebridge. Funny how a couple of bad winters and too many coyotes can ruin a good population of birds

    1. Iggy, I wonder if turkey times are tougher around Central Barrie-area, than they are around here?

      Is it just me, or do we seem to have more and more gobblers around this part of ON every year? Man, I had three on my lawn this am….

      Not that Im suggesting the Gobbler Guru move to Ottawa, but it does seem our birds are doing just fine.

      How did you find the Show this year Iggy, as far as numbers go??


  10. on a different note, i’ve got my list of questions beside the phone ready for when political hopefuls phone to do there begging. gun registry, MNR funding etc.. I have a good ideal who i will be voting for, but i like to make some of these bozo work and show them some of us are concerned about more than just main stream issues.

    1. McDan, my guess is you’d have a lot of answers such as..ummm, and hmmmm and, ok well, our stance on that is…well, let me get back to you on that…!


  11. jeff they are not taking more than allowed. they are with in the current regulations but it is getting out of hand. one boat last year took over 750 rainbows. thats why we need to stop it technology has surpassed the mnr limits

    1. Ok Chess, I was just basing that on some of the numbers you mentioned earlier, obviously these boats must be bringing lots of clients out each day.

      I can see in that case a limit of 2 making much more sense than 5 per person. What is the current status of this reg change? Is it going to public hearing or have the MNR already said they’ll put it in effect?

      Boy, I never would have imagined the rainbows being in trouble around the lake..there always seemed to be an endless supply heading up the tribs each spring.


  12. If you view the pdf file the mnr is taking comments and will decide on the comments. Right now you are only allowed to keep 2 in the river but 5 out in the lake. The OFAH is dead set against the change as they say there is no scientific evidence that dropping the limit to 2 will make a difference…. the way I see it if your only allowed to catch 2 fish a day that would leave 3 fish to swim for next day I know that is not scientific but it is simple math :). new york state now has a 2 fish limit as well.

  13. @ Jeff QUOTE: “Also, did you know it was illegal to shoot a red squirrel with a small-game license? They are considered fur-bearers and are only to be trapped.” END QUOTE

    As a matter of fact I did not know that! Congrats on the hunting licence.

    Spring time for us is beaver and muskrat season. Picked up 16 beaver this weekend and 25 muskrats. Got soaked to the nipples once but managed to stay on top of the ice…….

    1. Tks Trapper…and I’d suggest you stay off the ice at this point..whatever ice is left. Sounds like you cleaned-up on the springtime beaver (that sounds bad) when do you wrap things up?

      Doing any fishing this spring?


  14. show was good, busy though, seemed real good, you should get a hold of Dave Arbour and get the numbers from him.
    As far as turkeys go, the Barrie area has a long established turkey flock, but a couple winters of bad weather and wet springs can devistate it, like what has happened in Barrie, so yes we have a lot of birds here in Ottawa, and they are hardy, but they can get destroyed pretty quick with bad timing

    1. Yes, Central and Southern Ontario had turkeys long before Eastern ON..and its interesting to see how the cycle works..I remember seeing gobblers 20 years ago in central ON south of Lindsay, when I was going to school there.(Even there, if was a bit of a novelty at the time) The closest gobblers we seemed to have around here back then, were across the St. Lawrence in Upstate New York.

      I tell you, it sure is nice to see them all over the place now!

      Hey, does anyone know how much wild turkey predation there is by coyotes? I can tell you one thing, just from observation and what my cameras have picked up. Now that there’s a lot less coyotes around my area, all sorts of critters have returned.

      The turkeys and some deer are in the back now almost every day, and even a red fox stops by on his tour each morning. Back when the coyotes were running amuck, the turkey and the even the foxes avoided the area like the plague! Until just the past week, I hadn’t seen a single fox on the property in probably a year.


  15. Turkey were introduced by OFAH in Eastern Ontario (WMU 65) back in 1987, and it took 13 years before we had our first season in 2000. Turkey are doing well around my parts, the groups have broken up and are atarting to show up at their old haunting grounds….kinda glad, I was worried there for a while, they are later than normal.
    Now, just have to keep an eye on the trespassers….Dang it!!!!

    1. Boy, I’m surprised it was that long ago in WMU 65…guess they did take a long time to get ‘rooted’ because I dont recall seeing any turkeys around in those early days.

      Serge, you have unwanted visitors on the property you hunt?


  16. Oh…and a rant….wish the MNR would do something on costs for NR Turkey licence…people from outside of the province pay the same price as we do….not fair!!!

    1. What? You’re saying someone from out of province (QC for example) would pay the same to hunt turkey in ON as an ON resident would?

      That would never happen in Quebec, I can tell you! In fact, there is NO price for a non-resident turkey license in QC…and that’s because non-residents are NOT allowed to hunt gobblers in that province. I’m sure if/when the turkey population explodes over there, they would introduce an out-of-province hunt for them, but until then it appears to be closed!

      I’m not really sure what ON’s thinking is with allowing out-of-province hunters to pursue turkeys for the same price..doesn’t seem to be a great control measure.


  17. Jeff I think the cost for non-resident tags were made the same as residents to promote tourism. Kind of a back handed way to apease some of the spring bear complaints from outfitters/lodges. To get out of province people to come to Ontariio to hunt turkeys. Then when a demand is present they will up the price.

    Then again I may be giving the MNR too much credit. LOL

    1. Yes Rick, I can see a bit of logic there..

      Ok, so what would you say the logic is in Quebec closing off the turkey hunt completely to non-residents?

      I found that to be a bit of a surprise actually..considering how extensively they promote the spring bear hunt to non-res hunters(Mostly US) The latest stats I heard was over 90% of the Spring QC bear hunt was by American hunters.

      I guess closing off the turkey hunt in QC is a bit of ‘protectionism’ on their part..until such time that gobbler numbers reach more huntable levels..


  18. Well, seeing as I live right on the Quebec border, I get to see all the non-residents that come into Ontario…and like they do for deer season, not many of them bother to ask for permission. And it PMO that NR come here and pay the sme price as me.

  19. Oh, forgot, nothing against my follow neighbors… 🙂 Have many friends there… LOL

  20. @serge picard yes the ofah did help but dont forget the nwtf, they spent 1000s of dollars out of pocket the ofah has reaped the rewards of the turkey course in the amount of hundreds of thousands in profit .

  21. @ Jeff, 10 More beaver and we’re done with them.

    Rats we’ll continue to take until they show too many signs of bighting one another.

    Either way Apr 30 we wrap up for another year 🙁

  22. i don’t know about anyone else, but I have turkey fever in a bad way! 🙂 been out looking at them, half-scouting, but i need to get out and seriously find out where they’ve been hanging out. I can’t wait for opening morning. That day will be a short hunt, but then I’ll be able to get out a few days a week until my quote is (hopefully) filled 🙂

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