Whos hunting what and when


Although hunting is in our blood and steeped in our family tradition, mid-summer is typically a quiet time in the Great Outdoors for local hunters. 

It is a time of year when fishermen far outnumber hunters and firearms are generally put on the shelf for a period of rest; until the cool weather arrives again. 

But all is not lost, the fall hunting seasons are just around the corner and there must be, at least, some hunters hitting the woods these days?

I mean, much of small game hunting can be done year round but you rarely hear about it at this time of year. 

Drop me a line and tell us what’s on your mind, hunting-wise. 


61 thoughts on “Whos hunting what and when”

  1. Got a bear hunt planned for mid August with my buddies Mike and Karen up near Markstay (Sudbury area). They are great hosts for me and a few other lucky people. I started hunting bears with them a few years ago and it’s become one of my favorite hunts.
    Then October comes and of course that’s the moose hunt, a fly in in western Ontario up near Atikokan, about two hours west of Thunder Bay. This will be my 21st year going up there
    Got a new (to me) for grouse hunting this fall to, can’t wait to get to use it.

  2. Iggy, do Mike & Karen use the standard baiting procedures similar to those bear hunters in the spring. – combination of ‘attracting baits’ and ‘holding baits’.

    I’ve often seen old meat or rotting fish used in conjunction with sweets like donuts and small cakes.

    Are they able to consume the bear meat at that time of year?


  3. I urge all hunters to get their guns out and practice with them. There is nothing worse than hearing bang bang bang in the moose woods and when you meet up with group, so and so missed. Then you find out so and so did not have gun out since last year.

    1. Chessy, you bring up a good point.

      We owe it to our hunt party and to the animal as well, to be a good marksman….


  4. mike collects road kill beaver in the spring and freezes them. He’s got a huge freezer in his garage, all his buddies up that way call him and tell him where they see them. They use a pole and a bag, that way when the bear comes in, you can tall how big the bear is, they have to stand up, the little ones have to jump. It gives you time to size it up and also to tell is it’s a male of female. If it has cubs, it’s a no no. Two years ago I shot a lone bear on one of the bates, turned out to be a female, but dry. There were a few teeth missing and you could tell it was fairly onld. We sent in a tooth from it, one of the few it still had, and the MNR (yes there was someone there) sent me back a badge and a report that the bear was 16 years old. Last year Mike and Karen got a new trail cam as a thank you from a coulpe of very appreciative guests, they sent me an e-mail with video from the trail cam of a very very large bear, and also of one doing the backscratch on the tree beside the bait. These two should be running their own resort/outfitting company.

    1. Wow Iggy, that’s an extremely old sow..no wonder she was dry.

      I believe another one of the arguments for the spring season was the ability to more readily identify females during the hunt. Newborn cubs would always stay close-by the mother at that time of year; however, by the fall it may not be the case, thus making females a bit harder to identify in the late season.

      A spring season probably makes more sense from a conservation standpoint, but hey, you gotta work with what you’re given!

      Sounds like your friends Mike and Karen know how its done…any chance you’d share that trailcam image with us??


  5. Agreed Chessy, even if it’s just a .22. Keeping the eye keen and the hand steady is very important.
    I shoot the .22 all summer long and shortly I’ll be getting the big guys out to get ready. For the bear hunt I use a 12ga with slugs and I’m 18 yards from the bait so the shooting is in tight and it doesn’t take a lot of practice, but the bigger rifles do.

  6. I too will be after the bears this fall.In the spring i used meat but i found that the bears loved the black beetles with a red diamond shape on there shell that used to work there way into the meat.I mostly hunt with a bow and at inside of 10-15yds you could here the crunching as they laped the beetles up like candy.In the fall i find sweets and oats are good.I set up a feeler bait last week with a camera and it was hit the same night,but 1.20am. As for deer hunting this fall. I am kind of torn this year though because for the last 12yrs i have used the bow or the shotgun with slugs for 99% of the big game because of the restrictions in the (WMU). I find i am itching to use the rifle again. That distinct crack of the rifle in the big woods is calling again. We were spoiled with more than 1 tag for the last 6-8yrs. And yes i agree with chessy about practice. Every fall 2 days before the opener the pits are full of guys who you can tell have not even looked at there gun much less shot it since they put it away the year before.

    1. Paul, you must tell us more about these ‘black beetles’…are these Carrion Beetles by any chance?

      I’ve seen them lots of times before, but never imagined another animal eating them, thats neat.


  7. never bear hunted but my son and I will be doing so this fall, he is very excited about it . he’s bought himself a new rifle this summer [ his first]. he started to really get into hunting the last three years and i tell ya there is nothing like it with your child. My favorite is grouse hunting with him on a beautiful fall day we’ll pack a small pack and start walking for about half day have a bite to eat and walk back nice and easy. four wheeler stays home and you would’nt believe the conversations you can have with your kid in an enviroment like that. and jeff i love that picture you posted. love those old deer camp pictures and stories ect..lots of history in some of those camps and your right about family history and it being in our blood and its up to us at present to keep it alive and well.

    1. McDan…I was actually going through a bunch of old hunting photos like that this weekend….left to my father from my uncle’s estate. Seeing these guys back in the 1940’s displaying the efforts of a week during deer season always makes me smile. And to think that I’m doing the exact same, in the exact same place, over 70 years later is incredible!

      It just goes to show what a bonding family experience deer hunting can be.

      We plan on putting the old photos up on our camp wall this fall…they are extra special since my father’s oldest brother who was killed during WWll is in a lot of them.

      Man, I’d love to write a book about the lore and legend of old deer camps..now that would be a hoot!


  8. I know a gent who outfits for bear. He feeds them left over donuts from Timmy’s and popcorn. He’s got some hilarious footage of bears with donuts, chocolate and jam all over their snouts 🙂

    As for me, I’m bringing out my 300 Savage this weekend for a little fun on a buddy’s farm. I need to get a .22 so I can shoot more often at a cheaper price! Or, I should start learning to reload.

    As for hunting, my youngest goes to school full time this fall so no more kids to look after means more hunting time for Keebler! 🙂

    I plan on hitting partridge opening day with more days of that, maybe some rabbits (seem to be alot around this year), then fall turkey, maybe a week of moose and a week or 2 of deer.

    my “itch” had gone down or was sleeping until I was talking with a guy last week about moose hunting and now I’m officially thinking about the fall nonstop. Even had a moose hunting dream last night! Love those!

    I’m also looking into buying a headcam to mount on my noggin or my rifle. They have 1080P HD models out now for around $300. Very, very tempting 🙂

    1. Hey Keebler, you own a 300 Savage? Me too! What model is yours 66..99? Mine is a bolt action but
      I know most were leaver. I used it deer hunting for a few years. It has great balance and is more than
      powerful enough for deer.

      Have you ever seen footage from that HD headcam? I’ll have to look into that, it sounds really cool.


  9. For me it’s beaver house hunting season and doing an inventory on how many active colonies there are on the line. Trapping season never ends. Managing a trap line properly is a year round job.

    1. I’m impressed Trapper, there weren’t too many guys like you around when I used to trap.

      My father always taught me the merits of not trapping an area clean of beaver, but no one else back then seemed to do this or care.

      Little did I know it at the age of 7 or 8, but I was actually learning an important concept of fur management and conservation.

      That’s right, my Dad starting bringing me trapping when I was probably in Grade 2 or 3. Most people today would think that’s some sort of abuse, but I look back with fond memories and remember it like it was yesterday!

      Anyhow, nice to hear that some folks are still concerned about that sort of thing Trapper.


  10. Mike sent it to me by e-mail, but it’s on my old computer, I’ll see if I can retreive it and e-mail it to you

  11. I’m not sure what the beetles do or what the real name for them is but boy,in the spring the bears absolutely love them. I guess it’s the same idea as when they flip rocks to lap up the ants and the ant eggs. Oh they do finish off the meat but when it’s getting blue, fresh bugs come first.

  12. jeff i would be first in line if you wrote a book like that. last deer hunt we turned on the radio at lunch time to a station from burnstown dont know if you know it, but its all local radio and radio hosts. well at lunch the host was reading from a diary from a hunt camp i believe from around black donald from the early 1900 i’m talking horse and buggy. that was really neat. every day he read a diferent page. jeff make sure you copy those pics before putting them up in camp, just in case

    keebler you mention reloading, i’ve been thinking about it for a while but find it very intimadating if you or anybody out there can maybe set me straight as to time and effort (brain power) it would be apreciated

  13. Reloading isn’t much cheaper unless you’re into competition shooting where you shot thousands of rounds a week. Don’t believe me ? Do the math, after your initial investment of presses and powder dispensers, scales, case trimmers, primer cleaning and seating tool, etc you’ll have to buy all the components, primers, powder, bullets, and if you don’t already have them on hand you’ll need brass……..Still interested I have a turn key operation for sale, Jeff can direct you how to contact me (assuming that Jeff can vouch for you and that he won’t forward any undesireables)

    1. Trapper, I can vouch for Keebler without hesitation! We go wayyyy back…back to when he was referred to as ‘GPS Man’ in my Thursday column…and he’s even done some 8mm work for me; converting old video footage to DVD..which was excellent by the way.

      After hearing what’s involved with reloading, though, I’m not sure how interested he’ll be….but I will send him your ‘non work’ email if that’s ok.


  14. Jeff,
    Great blog and great comments from the readers. My son has gone skeet shooting at least 15 times this summer as he wants to be ready for the duck and goose season but more importantly wants to WIN our yearly trap and skeet competition that is held every September in preparation for the fall hunt.
    This “shooting competition” started about 15 years ago and is held annually. The owner of the hunt camp who happens to be the dogger started this annual event because he was getting Pi$$ed off at the hunters from his camp (15 in that hunt camp) that would miss deer. Most of the guys neglected to go out during the “off season” to practice. The shoot consists of 12 g, high power with scope, high power open sites, black powder and 12 g slugs with scope or open sites. Trophies are given out to the 1st place winners and we even have a turkey shoot. It’s a lot of fun. Let me know if you are interested in more information for your blog and I will gladly provide it.
    As for me I am a traditional hunter that goes out and hunts moose, deer every year since I am a teenager. I use to be a lot more involved but I guess getting older has changed my perspective. I really like the comradery in the hunt camp and this is what I look forward to every year. It really does not bother me if I harvest. I much prefer seeing the younger ones (or even older) hunters reaction after they are successful.

    Also I’ve been thinking of converting my old hunts that I have on 8mm as my 8mm camcorder is no longer functional to view. I would love to convert them into digital. Seeing that you mentioned “keebler” does this sort of stuff, I am wondering if you could share his contact with me or even better you have my email address.

    Oh! Love the picture too!

    1. Alain, I simply love the shooting competition idea! I should set something up with the guys at our camp as we have a couple of new ones (& older ones) who could use the practise. Although we don’t focus all that much on the harvest, we do find it important to capitalize on those rare opportunities for a shot we get during the deer season – more so now with a lower deer herd.

      I guess I’m like you Alain, I don’t get too worried about pulling the trigger every year, in fact, the last time I went 5 seasons without a deer..although I did pass up on some smaller ones. Like you say, deer camp is more about the camaraderie and spending time in the outdoors. I really love the challenge of planning a great hunt with the guys..and to see some deer afterwards is a bonus, whether we get shooting or not.

      I’m sure Keebler would not mind the free advertising: His name is Brian Houle and his business is called Memories2dvd.

      His website is: http://www.memories2dvd.ca/ His phone number is: (613) 324-2383

      I can tell you that the work he does is incredible and I plan to get more done. My Avatar is actually a screen shot Keebler captured from the Super 8mm footage of an old family fishing trip to Northern QC back in 1974…my first really big trout trip to Mistassini – the province’s largest lake.

      Thanks for the comments Alain.


  15. We just booked our flight to Winnipeg for our annual archery deer hunt. We leave Sept. 9 for ten great days.

    It will be my 20th season perusing whitetails in Manitoba.

    1. You’re one lucky SOB Rick!!

      I’m sure most of us here would give their eye-teeth for 10 days in the wilds of Manitoba!

      In a future Blog post, I will be displaying some of the reader’s fav hunting photos…so if you have any nice shots from MB you’d like to share, along with a caption, that would be great.


  16. trapper is correct about reloading ……However your accuracy goes way up with reloads. if you take the time to do it right . you can take a gun from a 1.5 inch group to a .5 inch group… i have a deerfield 44 mag that i have no problems shooting 150 yards with and can kill deer with. the bullets go much faster and flatter than factory . my 270 wsm. we wont even go there because even if i said it no one would belive, on the other hand I would never buy one of my rifles because i have shot and shot them . the cost of reloading is cheaper because once you start loading you will love the way your rifle shoots…. also …next time you buy a box of shells take a micromitor to them and just see the length differnce in a box of 20

    1. Chessy, do reloads shoot better because they tend to be more heavily packed with powder?
      Or is the accuracy as a result of better, more consistant loads compared to the manufacturer where there might be a great difference, between shells, in how they are loaded?

      I’ve always wondered that..


  17. I noticed on the Leeches story


    you told some guy named Fred to read a different paper, unfortunatly, I can never get to the first page of comments, can you help me out, am I doing something wrong, I’d sure like to know what Fred said hahahaha
    Leeches eeeuukkk, they are discusting. Imagine, they are telling you to put salt on them, then sit and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, until it slitheres up and dies

    1. Iggy, I noticed the comment in that article by ‘outdoorsguy’..it must be someone else pretending
      to be me…hehe….I like what he said though!

      Its funny, I have experienced the same thing when reading comments on those main page news articles…I think it makes a difference if you click on ‘next’ page versus ‘2nd’ page..


      1. Iggy, I notice that all new comments in the News Section get posted on top of first page…with the older stuff falling to the back…


  18. Gee thanks Jeff! I appreciate it!

    I just spoke with Alain and will be helping him out in August!

    I have to clean my rifle before this weekend – friendly shooting range fun to kick off vacation 🙂

    1. Keebler, I tell ’em like it is..cause I know your work is excellent. Im glad it worked out for Alain, I know it was something I have been thinking about for a long time.

      Have fun at the shooting range…better thicken up that recoil pad so you dont throw your shoulder out before vacation.


  19. sorry for the railroad, but without a viewers comment section, there is no other way.

  20. it has to do with harmonics of barrle and where you seat your bullet, No 2 chambers are the same . if you seat each bullet the same depth that is right for YOUR gun than that is half the battle . the other half is the speed in which it comes out . for instance half a grain opens my group from .5 to over a inch . at a hundred yards. that does not sound like alot but here is the trick . shoot a hundred yards … then stand up in “hunting style” where you dont get 4 min to sight in . just shoot free hand at a hundred . it will scare most people from shooting . i know lots of guys that can shoot hole for hole at a bench and then challange them to stand up and shoot .. there some times lucky to hit the paper.. and as far as more powder . no my gun liks mid range and shoots very very very well :

  21. thanks for the great re-load info. i’ve read that about the difference in casing diameters in a box which effects where they seat in chamber. any clue where i may start to get more litterature on this would be great.

  22. Barrel Harmonics
    Evidently, some do not understand “barrel harmonics” and how to “tune” your rifle. Here is a not so short and not so sweet post about it.

    Barrel vibrations that travel from the chamber after ignition, to the muzzle, then back and forth like waves on a pond are what is called “barrel harmonics.” It is paramount to accuracy that your bullet reach the muzzle as the vibrations are at the chamber just starting to head back to the muzzle. To “tune” your rifle you need to determine how much of a charge your cartridge will need with the specific components selected, to achieve that end. When one load develops, they are attempting to “find the sweet spot.” Or one of “those sweet spots,” since there are a few or more of them depending on the cartridge.

    If your bullet is exiting the barrel at the time the vibrations are at the muzzle, inconsistency/inaccuracy is the result. No powder scale could precisely weigh the powder in order to get right on an individual ripple to throw the bullet a specific direction and distance consistently. If your bullet reaches the muzzle at the same time as the vibrations do, willy-nilly is the result.

    If someone is shooting sub-moa at 400 yards, no matter where that bullet is landing relative to other loads in that rifle, they have “found the sweet spot” or are damn close!

    I think that is why so many think I am lying or dismiss my posts of range results, they just don’t understand how a factory rifle can shoot that well because they have no clue.
    I’ve seen lots of shooters that load their own cartridges; many simply load until they see pressure signs then back off a tenth of a grain or so thinking they have the best load. That is why their rifles shoot like shit and in turn why they refuse to believe anyone can do better!

    Doubters, do yourselves a favor and look up Audette Ladder Testing. You probably should read-up on barrel harmonics while you are at it.
    Unfortunately, reloading manuals don’t address chamber variations because they too have to follow SAAMI specs with case dimensions, bullet seating depth, and cartridge overall length. By measuring the rifle’s chamber, reloaders can trim brass for best fit and seat bullets at optimum depth. Bullet seating depth and brass length have a profound impact on accuracy. Most chambers are cut with too much “free bore”. This dimension is the distance from the rifled bore to where the shoulder starts. The free bore is at least .025” larger than the bullet diameter and up to .100” deeper than needed. As the bullet jumps from the case to the bore, it has room to move laterally resulting in less than perfect bore alignment. This causes the bullet to strike the bore off center and be deformed. As the deformed bullet travels down range, it actually wobbles a little. The greater the wobble, the worse the accuracy. Compensations for chamber variations can be made in the reloading process.

    First, measure the chamber case neck length using a Case Neck Length Gauge. After you measure the case length, trim your brass .005” shorter than the measurement. This will allow room for the brass to “grow” when fired. Recommended SAAMI trim length is usually way too short for most chambers.

    Second, you need to know the exact bullet seating depth to compensate for forward bullet jump. A long established fact: the less the bullet jump, the better the accuracy. Different bullet styles, shapes, and weights, will require different seating depths. Use a Bullet Depth Gauge to determine the exact bullet seating depth for each different bullet type. The bullet should be .010” from touching the bore. If the bullet touches the bore, chamber pressure may increase.

    I am not that smart i read and read and read these are from two sites i have read . hope this helps you out .. read read … No question is to stupid to ask when it comes to reloading ..

    1. Hey Chessy..Barrel Harmonics would actually be a great name for a rock band!

      Obviously you’ve done of lot of work in this area…geez, first a pesticide expert and now firearms.

      Who’d a thunk it!


  23. cheesy, great information!

    I sight mine in sitting down with a sandbag, but once it’s on, I completely simulate the ‘hunting’ experience and stand up shooting free hand. I have never, ever had more than 3 seconds at the most. That’s what makes it all so exciting! One second, you’re looking for them and the next few seconds is pure, calculated (somewhat), pandamonium 🙂 lol

    1. The problem I always found between target shooting and the real thing was adrenaline…if only there was a way to replicate the adrenaline rush of the real thing, while you’re target shooting.

      And for those non-hunters out there who might be wondering…Yes, we hunters do get a rush of adrenaline when our sights are fixed on a live target – this is quite normal and does not mean we are blood thirsty killers!


  24. thats the problem . i have so much %$## in my head. and you should see my bookmarks of all the reading i do its not really being smart its just knowing where to come for information …much like this blog. come to it every day to see what i can find and put to use ….. not that i have ever found anything on this page cough cough cough 🙂

  25. if you practice and do all your homework. even with the adrenaline rush you still may get what your after if not the boys will have fun shooting your hat at the end of the week.

  26. at the deer camp next to ours, if you miss, you get a deer tail cut out of the t-shirt you were wearing at the time and it gets hung from the rafters with your name on it……forever

    1. Iggy, we had the same thing at our camp for years..we called it the “Sh*tty Shooters Shirt-tail Society”

      I had a couple of my shirttails up there…


  27. I think anyone who has hunted deer for a while have missed, and when you make it fun like that it just makes the whole experience that much better. When you hunt deer with dogs, like we do, sometimes you know you missed before you shot

  28. Iggy, just where is your huntcamp located? The one that’s next door to you sounds familiar as many a shirt of mine might attest to.

    Getting back to the topic at hand, this year a few of us started baiting bear after hearing how much success a camp down the road has been having. Based on our trail cam’s we’ve got somewhere between 4 & 6 bears coming to our 2 baits. So it looks like this season we’re also going bear hunting. This should provide some added excitement during the moose & deer hunt.

    Somehow I’ve managed to win the lottery & draw a cow tag. It seems like my 15th year in the A-Pool was my “lucky” year! This is the first tag our group of 8 hunters have drawn in 11 years.

    And of course deer hunting with the hounds. Between work & family I only get out for one of the 2 weeks but I still make the most of it.

    And of course a few days out during the muzzle loader season always make for an exciting time.

    In between we just pound the geese these days. It’s amazing to see them still pouring into the dekes on those days we manage to limit out.

    Happy Hunting everyone! Looking forward to another season with lots of laughs, memories and time spent with friends & family.

    1. Jayman, it sounds like you’ve got some great bear hunting on the way.

      Would love to hear how you make out?


  29. we got a cow and a bull tag for the rifle moose but we travel to NW Ontario, 18 hours north west

  30. Iggy, you are going back up to Aitikokan-area then?

    Here’s a question for you..and for everyone else too:

    Say you’ve got a camp of 6 – 8 guys and only 2 available tags. How do you decide who gets to fill the tags? Does it go by a ‘first come first served’ basis whereby tags are filled based on harvest opportunity? Then the shooter must radio the other guys to say an animal is down, that sort of thing?

    In Quebec, we never had to deal with that on the same level..as it was always 2 hunters per moose, and under the ‘alternating system’ you always knew what you were allowed to harvest on any given season. One year its bull and calf only and the following year it’s open to everything.


  31. For those of you who are interested, Dave Smetana of Sure Shot Guiding has informed me that he has one spot left for the deer hunt this fall, if anyone is interested in chasing big Ottawa Valley bucks..I believe Dave hunts big farm deer out of the Richmond area.

    Anyhow, I know Dave from wayyy back and a story I wrote about his big trophy buck for Canada’s Outdoor Sportsman magazine about 12 years ago…and one thing I do know is that the man has a knack for finding big bucks!

    So, if you’re interested, just drop me an email and I will get you in contact with Dave.



  32. Atikokan area is it, we fly in with Atikokan Air. It’s a long way to go, but it’s worth every bit of effort. We stay in a very comfy log cabin right on a lake, we have access to motor boats and canoes, although all out hunting is done by canoe. We have to portage quarters sometimes four or five portages but we now have a heavy duty game cart and an old army stretcher. The cabin has solar lights, a propane heated shower, a sauna, running water in the kitchen, what more could you ask for. We also now bring up a 1000W Honda generator for a little extra power and a boost for the solar batteries in case it snows for three or four days like it did a few years ago.
    We ended up with a bull and a cow tag and whoever sees them first gets to shoot them. It’s never been an issue with us, we are meat hunters so as long as we get one or two everyone is happy. Over the years I’ve got more than my fair share of shooting in, but in the last three or four I’m just there to help 🙂 out it seems, but I really couldn’t care less, as long as I come home with a freezer full of meat.
    Good fishing too, that’s where the motors boats come in. Walleye, Pike and SM Bass.
    The north west is a beautiful place in the fall, every time I think of it, I see the bright yellows of the leaves from Birtch and Poplars and the deep green from the Black Spruce. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go this year because of some personal medical problems but the doc gave me the A OK and they didn’t fill my spot so I’ll be heading out for my 21st year in October.

  33. Right on Iggy…I guess the low pressure helps.

    Sounds like a terrific area and you seem to have to right attitude when it comes to the moose hunt. I know territories and hunting techniques can sometimes become political during the moose season.

    Good luck..I wish I was there with you!


  34. I see, they have a section called “Newer Comments” and unless you clic that, you think the last comment is the last one on the first page

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