Sunday, December 6, 2009

TAKING TROPHY BUCKS--HOW?
























































The 2009 deer season has now come and passed and for many it was another disappointing season. The kill this year was 5,150 animals.The projected kill was 6,600 deer and if your math is as good as mine,the DNR's projections were off by about 1500 deer taken.Now if we had a larger deer herd,these numbers wouldn't concern me much,but with our deer herd having shrunk considerably the last two years,I was hoping that our biologists had a better handle on our numbers of deer in the province. This is because the number of doe tags increase or decrease in each WMZ according to their increasing or decreasing numbers.If our guy's in DNR don't have the right numbers,how can they make informed decisions on how many doe tags to give out? The easy answer is-they can't! Hopefully,after this poor guesstimate by our biologists,they will err on the side of the deer and cancel all doe tags ,except for the extreme southern part of the province. We must do all we can to help our herd grow after the losses of the last three winters. I want to introduce another "huntin' Hargrove" to the readers in this post.Duane Hargrove is Kenny's first cousin.His father,Morris,was Wes's brother and was a fine outdoorsman in his own right.I can remember hunting and fishing with Morris,even when his health was very poor and Morris would still manage to get himself out doing what he loved most.Duane also has that same spirit and makes the trip down to hunt every year with us. On occasion ,Duane hasn't been able to make it down because he is in the Canadian Armed Forces and has done a tour in Bosnia and Afghanistan and he said it was pure torture to be in those hell-holes during hunting season. I have a photo of Duane and his dog with some ducks he took this year down in the lower Grand Lake area.Also included are photos of two of Duane's biggest bucks.There is a third big buck he took,but I didn't get the photo for that one. Duane will be retiring soon and Ken and I hope he will give us a hand guiding in the future. Although the deer kill was down this year,we found several nice bucks to hunt and I got a nice ten point on the last day of the season. I hunted very hard for this buck and I likely would not have taken him if Kenny hadn't intervened and came and got me from where I was posted and moved me about a quarter mile away to some fresh sign. The plan worked perfectly and forty-five minutes later,I had a nice buck on the ground! This is the second time I have killed a buck on the last day of the season.The first time was when I took my first deer up in Riley Brook near Plaster Rock in northern NB. I have also had chances at two more trophy bucks in the dying minutes of the season on two different occasions. These examples prove it doesn't pay to give up too early. My neighbour,Darrell D. took a very nice ten point buck just before I got mine and his also came from the same general area,although about six km. apart. Darrell has taken some nice bucks through the years and puts a lot of time in driving and scouting in the big woods and when he finds good sign,he has the ability to stick it out and usually this strategy pays dividends in terms of nice racks.In other words,Darrell works hard for his buck,usually.Another friend,Gilbert S. from Minto,shot a great ten point buck on the Immigrant Rd. area near Chipman.Now, Gilbert would be the first to tell you that he is not a serious hunter.Gilbert likes to team up with a friend,grab the twenty gauge and some refreshments and cruise around looking for partridge.That's just what he was doing when his big buck stepped out and stood broadside while he got out of his truck,put in a slug and dropped him right there on the road!This was not the first deer Gilbert has taken,but it's definitely the biggest! Gilbert would be the first to tell you that this buck was taken by "pure luck". Another good friend and salmon fishing buddy,George P.of Chipman,took a great ten point buck on the first morning of the season.Georges main claim to fame was as a moose hunter and his skills are in high demand every year during moose season.But lately,George has been making a name for himself on the salmon rivers and he has taken some nice fish the last few years. George new there was a nice deer in the area he was hunting because he had seen the sign during the moose hunt and he figured his best chance at this buck was to try to get him early before he got running around and was still in a feeding pattern,coming out to the clear-cut.Georgie did everything right and the result was a beautiful ten point buck on the ground!.How did George take this nice buck? By close observation, hard work and perseverance. The estimated dressed weight of Georges buck was 240 lb.'s The last buck picture I am posting is of a buck taken outside of Moncton.This is the only deer taken outside of twenty km's from Chipman that I have included in this post.This buck,taken by Scot C. of Moncton,was a tremendous buck with lots of character and mass in his rack.This buck was estimated to be ten yrs. old and Scot had sheds AND photos of this buck going back SIX years! Again,a trophy buck taken by hard work and perseverance. So how do you take a trophy buck here in NB? Well,if you read this post carefully,you will see the word "luck " is only associated with one of these bucks. The rest of these trophy bucks were taken by serious hunters who worked hard and persevered until they reached their desired goal. Bucks of this calibre rarely come easy.I'm not saying it doesn't happen,it just doesn't happen often.All our deer hunts are for bucks such as those you see in this post and the hunts are conducted on free-ranging ,big woods deer.No hand raised, fenced- in bucks here! If you are looking for an easy trophy buck,you would be better off booking a hunt with one of those mid-west farms that hand raises their deer behind high fences.But be prepared to pay a very high kill fee for a production oriented hunt. If you are the type of sport who likes to hunt the big woods,one-on-one for a trophy buck,give me a call and book your deer hunt for next year. We have the trophy bucks and they are just waiting for a sport to put their tag on one.See you there! Oh,and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Ken and I and our guides at Hargrove and Bauer Outdoor Adventures.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CASTIN' & BLASTIN' !











We are now done fishing salmon and trout for the year and what a glorious ending we had to the season! As usual,we finished up on the Cains River and once again,we were not disappointed! There is only one other place that comes close to the experience of fishing the Cains River in the fall and that might be fishing in the Cape Breton highlands in Nova Scotia. But here in New Brunswick,the Cains is the place to be in October. Not only is the fishing world-class,but the scenery,with the fall foilage in all it's splendor,is absolutely beautiful. My good friend and fellow guide,Allen Davidson,and I fished the last two days of the season and had some very good luck. Shawn B. of Fredericton also shared some of that luck as you can see in the photo of Shawn and Allen with his 15lb.+ hen salmon.I had just released a nice hook-bill about the same size when Shawn hooked his salmon. I must say,I have never had a salmon fight like that big hook-bill! It just wouldn't stop jumping! I know it jumped at least a dozen times and maybe more.I was holding him quite tight and that may have made him jump more than usual,but whatever the reason,that fish gave me the fight of a life-time!
Shawn and I got these two salmon on the day



before the closing. I returned the next day and landed two more hen salmon almost identical to the one Shawn got the previous night.all these fish were taken on a relatively new pattern called a Slime.These flies are tied with maribou feathers and there is something about the undulating movement of this fly that causes salmon to strike very aggressively when presented properly.Many fishermen were bemoaning the fact that there wasn't as many fish as last year,but there were good numbers of large salmon present and these salmon are a little fussier than a grilse and the Slime is just the ticket for them.I might mention that these fish had been fished over by a few different fishermen and they would only come to the slime. I know my fly box will always have several on hand for use in the fall when those big hook-bills get moving up river to spawn. The two patterns I used were a Pumpkin and a Fireball. A big bonus when fishing fall salmon on the Cains is the fact you usually catch some very nice trout while fishing. This is usually enough to keep even the most jaded of fishermen interested in pounding the water.I got a nice one of about sixteen inches and a few smaller ones as well. We also had a great opening day for ducks.I shot with Jamie and Dallas,as I mentioned in a previous post and we had a great time on the marsh with the three of us taking seventeen ducks.Whiskey,Jamie's Golden Retriever, fetched up all of the birds and did a great job finding the ones in the grass.I must confess,I had my hands full trying to keep up with these two young fellas! Talk about quick reflexes and straight shooters! We sure had a great day and I'm looking forward to shooting with these boys again next year. We are setting up for our deer hunts now and although we will be concentrating on the last two weeks of the season,we will be getting out and hunting over bait for the first two weeks. We are changing our hunting area and are travelling further to the southern end of Grand Lake.Our deer herd on the crown land have taken a beating lately and I will be commenting on this in future posts.I will have some photos of some nice bucks in my next post,including Dwayne Hargroves' two biggest bucks. It's still not too late to book a hunt for white-tails this year,so if any of my readers would like to get out and about,just shoot me an e-mail or give me a call and we'll get right to it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TIS' THE SEASON!







New Brunswick held its annual moose hunt last week and by all accounts, it was a success



There were 2,436 moose killed this year and that represents an eight per cent increase over last year. Hunter success rate was also up,at sixty-nine per cent,overall. In my mind,these numbers represent a well-managed moose herd that is increasing in size.If you travel New Brunswicks forests any at all,you will surely have an encounter with one of these giants of the North Woods! The photo shown is of a last minute bull taken fifteen minutes from the village of Doaktown. These guys called the cow out in the last half-hour of the three day season and the bull reluctantly followed her and thats when he was downed.Talk about a happy bunch of boys! Now the bull in this photo is a trophy animal in anyones estimation,but there were dozens of moose as big or bigger taken this year.One of the biggest I heard of was a thirty-three point monster taken outside of Oromocto. Our group only managed to get one tag drawn,so Randy-Micheal,his father and Dallas were the ones to actually go on the trip,but when they needed a hand we would all pitch in as needed.And they did need a hand! The area they chose to hunt had several moose in the surrounding bogs and choppings and for the first day and a half,they listened to a cow call,especially at night.The moose actually started calling the week before the season started. I stepped outside of the house one night and I could hear one cow bawling steadily and one or two more off on the distance answering.The problem Randy and friends had was they didn't have an experienced caller with them.There was lots of moose in the area,they just coulden't get one out in the open.Enter, Kenny to the rescue! Kenny is a very good caller,having many years of moose hunting experience in Ontario,as well as here in New Brunswick with his father,Wes,and the rest of his uncles.Kenny likes to call just with his hands and his cow call is a long,high-pitched whine.His bull grunts are also rather high-pitched,short barks.Kenny doesn't like to call too loudlybecause he likes to go to the moose.Any how,Kenny took a drive out to their area and at the first place he set up to call,he brought out a nice young bull at one hundred yards and coming to them. Randy-Micheal was ready and waiting and up to the task.This photo shows the boys with the moose after getting it out of the bush and on the pole.These boys know how to handle big-game and they make short work of the task at hand.Congratulations Randy on your first moose and kudos to Kenny for bringing him to the gun. Randy is like most local moose hunters in the fact that they just want to get a moose,any moose in such a short season. That young bull will be the very best of eating!Thats for sure! The boys also had a good morning hunting geese in the fields during the early season.They found some birds and set up the next morning and Jamie Dallas and Randy Micheal got eleven honkers by lunch time.The photo shows Dallas and Randy showing old Wes their take for the morning. The geese and ducks are both down slightly this year,but if you did your home-work,there were birds to be taken.Scouting and getting access are the keys to good hunting for honkers in the fields. We are on the eve of the first day of duck season and all the Hargrove clan has gathered for the annual hunt.I'll be shooting with Dallas and Jamie and Whiskey dog,the golden retriever. We will shoot in the morning and then have a big lunch and wait for the night hunt.Then the big supper,along with all the stories and tall-tales and the laughter.Thats what it's really all about.The comraderie,the friendship,the good times.And it's there when we all get together,doing something we all love to do,travelling the woods and waters of the Grand Lake area of beautiful New Brunswick. This time of the year, the trees are ablaze with all the fall colors and some of the sunsets are spectacular,like the photo of the peculiar cloud formation taken from my shore on Salmon River. We finally got the rain all of the salmon fishermen have been waiting for.This past month has been quite dry and many of the fish were waiting for a raise of water so they could move up river.The water is up about eighteen inches and there are reports of large fish moning in the Miramichi and there has been some movement on the Cains River and the word is the annual fall runs of salmon have begun.There is some fantastic fishing to be had during this late season and its one of the prettiest times of the year to be on the water. Although the trout season is done,some large brook trout are caught while fishing for salmon and they must be released but they are still fun to catch! So if any of you sports would like to take a trip to the woods or waters of our beautiful area,just shoot me an e-mail or give me a call and we'll get out there and do it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DOG DAY'S OF SUMMER


The Grand Lake area of New Brunswick has just gone through a couple of weeks of very hot weather. When the hot summer sun beats down relentlessly for days on end in the month of August,it's commonly called "the dog days of summer.When this weather hits,the salmon fishermen normally take a break and go golfing or try to catch up on some chores around the house or camp.The salmon will lay in at the cold water pools and are very hard to bring to the fly.Persistent anglers using small size #10 wet flies or big bombers with white tails will sometimes entice one to take,but normally there is a lot of fishing and very little catching in these conditions.Brook trout,as well as sea-trout,will also hold up in front of the spring brooks.Many times they will lie in the same pools as the salmon

but when they do,they will usually lie up closer to the mouth of the brook,ahead of the salmon. These trout will take many times early in the morning or the last thing in the evening.We usually use small white Wulffs or a Muddler Minnow pattern and we usually manage to hook a few.Sometimes when conditions are slow for one species,conditions can be very good for other species.During the "dog days",the water is usually low and this concentrates the pickerel in their habitat and makes them much easier to catch.This is the time to haul out the top water lures and treat yourself to some really exciting fishing for pickerel.They will absolutely smash a surface lure at these times and I must admit,we really enjoy fishing for these great fish.The first photo in this post is one of Mcleods Pond at day-break looking from the park out towards the small island.I was driving by and I thought it looked so nice with the sun coming up and the rising mist,I had to get a photo.That's the nice thing about this area of Salmon River/Grand Lake,there are dozens of photo ops.around every corner! Not only are you GUARANTEED to catch fish,you will be doing it in some of the nicest scenery around.If anyone takes a day trip with us ,you will get great photo ops.for eagles,osprey,many species of ducks and shore birds as well as beaver,mink and sometimes the larger mammals such as moose deer and bear. You will get a historical overview and explanation of the fishing and logging that used to take place on the river in days gone by,as well as how some of these professions are worked today.Guests will also be treated to a delicious shore lunch and Ken and I will make sure everyone leaves with a full belly! Half-day trips in the morning or evening for two people is $130. All inclusive. Any one interested in one of these trips or a hunting or fishing trip for any of our native species,just give me a call or send me an e-mail and we will make the arrangements in no time.I will be making reports on fall salmon fishing and the moose hunt in my future posts.I will also try to post trail cam photos of some of the deer and black bear we will be hunting this fall in my future posts in the coming weeks and months.Until we meet again.....Tight Lines and Straight Shootin'!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

PICKEREL---TROPHY FISH OR TRASH FISH?

Summer is slowly rolling along,with the weather being very similar to last year-WET! This is good news for the salmon and trout,as the high water conditions and cloudy days helps to keep the water temperature down to a very comfortable level for these two species of fish.But that doesn't necessarily mean such conditions are good for the fishermen! The salmon have a tendency to run right on through to their spawning areas,without stopping to rest in the pools and perhaps,with a little luck and skill,be tempted to take a fly.The trout also will be free to move about in their habitat and not be forced to hold in front of the spring brooks,where the temperature is a bit cooler and more to their liking.This makes both of these species of fish a little harder to take. The rule of thumb in these conditions is to fish longer and try to cover more ground. Being in the right place at the right time was never truer than in these circumstances.There are lots of salmon and grilse in the system and more coming on the tides each day and there are some nice fish being caught,its just been a little harder fishing. The high water conditions has been making the pickerel fishing a lot tougher, too
Again,the fish are more dispersed throughout their habitat and you have to spend a little more time to find them,but when you do,some nice fish can be taken.The photo in this post is of my son,Curtis, with a trophy sized pickerel he caught while introducing his girlfriend to the pickerel fishing in our area.
He caught a few good sized ones and then he hooked the one in the photo.He missed it on the first take,which is quite common with pickerel.He knew it was a good fish and he told his girlfriend to watch as he cast to it again.This time the water parted from a distance of about six feet and the water exploded under the lure as the fish struck with such ferocity and violence that it shocked Curtises' girlfriend.After landing the fish and measuring it,Curtis carefully released this great fish to catch another day.Curt explained to his girlfriend that this pickerel was six or eight years old and it's a shame to keep them,especially if you aren't going to eat them.Take a photo and release the fish.At least then you can have bragging rights and provide some other angler the thrill of catching a trophy sized pickerel. Around our fishing area,a nice pickerel is one over twenty inches.One like Curtis caught,twenty-five and a half inches,is considered to be trophy size.We regularly catch ones over twenty inches and we will catch several over twenty-four inches throughout the summer.Now there are people who think you should kill every pickerel you catch and the only reason they would ever fish for them would be for that very reason. Usually these fishermen are hard-core trout and salmon fishermen who are convinced that pickerel will ultimately destroy all their trout and salmon fishing because they will prey on these species.Pickerel will feed on these species,but they usually occupy different habitats and don't impact much on each other.I had a chap tell me the other day that smallmouth bass fought better than a salmon and he called them the "king of gamefish".I had to fetch him up at that point and I told him I would rather fish pickerel than sm.bass any day.He asked me why I felt that way and I told him I liked the way pickerel took the bait and the fact that they were usually easy to catch.Also,pickerel are right in my back yard,so I don't have to travel to fish them. So,if you ask me my opinion,I will tell you every time that pickerel are trophy fish and I'll argue the point until I'm blue in the face! I have included a good picture of a Luna moth in this post also. They really are quite beautiful! The deer and moose are busy caring for their young and trying to stay clear of the flies,which are very bad this year because of all the moisture.There are lots of moose in our area and the deer are making a slow recovery from the devastating winter of two years ago.It is encouraging to start to see more deer in some of the areas that were hard hit with winter kill.Our government should be doing more to help both the deer and salmon in the Grand Lake area,but that is for another post.We do full and half day fishing and sight seeing tours on Salmon River during the summer and early fall for pickerel and perch and we can guarantee you will catch fish,period.So if anyone would like to spend some time on the water with us, just send me an e-mail or give me a call and we will make the arrangements.Tight Lines!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PUFFINS,THE BITE AND LUNA MOTHS

They say time flys when you are having fun and here it is the middle of July already! Ken and I have both been right out straight for the last couple of months,as both of us had an unexpected work load to contend with. I haven't been able to post anything lately because of computer problems,as well as being away on vacation for the last week. I know that puffins are not considered game birds,unless you are from Iceland,where they are still hunted,but I had to mention the colony I visited on Machias Seal island near Grand Manan.
Just having a colony of these delightful birds here in New Brunswick is something all of us native sons should be proud of.Being able to visit them in their mating season in their only nesting colony is a priviledge everyone should try to participate in at least once in their lives.We landed on the island after a boat ride of about an hour and a half on a beautiful day and we were able to visit and observe and take pictures for another hour before we had to leave.There are very strict rules for visiting these birds while they are mating and raising their young and we were very happy that we were able to visit the island and watch the birds from the blinds that the students and biologists use when studying these beautiful little birds.We were also able to observe razor billed auks and common murres in the same habitat. I can only say if you ever get the oppportunity to take this trip,you will never regret it. It truly is a once in a lifetime event. The salmon fishing has been off to a rather slow start this year compared to last year. There have been some very large salmon entering the Miramichi river system,but the grilse run has not come in yet leading some to wonder if we will get anything close to the numbers we got last year.Usually when we get a good run of grilse one year,the following year there is a good run of large salmon and this pattern seems to be holding true.That being said,we should still get some good numbers of grilse coming in as the water conditions a near perfect.Lets hope for the best and pray that last years fantastic run of fish wasn't just a fluke! Last month Ken and I had the priviledge of guiding two fine gents from Darthmouth,N.S. Ed Clarke and his uncle Bob,came up for a little trout fishing and they managed to catch some pan sized speckles,as well as some nice sea trout.Now the sea-trout

that the boys caught were not the huge lunkers that traverse our better streams because these fish typically run early in June up to their spawning beds and will stay there in these protected waters until fall when they will spawn.But we did manage to catch up with some smaller ones that run a little later and will hang around the mouth of the spring brooks.Ed and Bob fished the Gaspereau,Cains and the MSW Miramichi rivers over the course of the day and were into fish on all three rivers.Ken and I wanted to try to give them a taste of what the fishing was like on these different sized rivers because these boys usually fish small lakes back home.I think Ed and Bob had a good time visiting with us and I know Ken and I both really enjoyed guiding them as they are both great guys,as well as being very good fly fishermen.They are also very conservation minded,having released all their trout to be caught another day. We really hope to fish with these two gents again,perhaps in the spring for black salmon.We would love to put together a trip to the Miramichi for these two guys and perhaps a friend or two. Ken called me up the other night quite excited and told me to come over with my camera,as he had something he wanted to show me.When I got there,he pointed to a rather large moth on the side of his porch and asked what it was and I told him it was a Luna Moth.Although these beautiful lime green moths are fairly common,Ken had never seen one before and was quite fasinated by it.I can understand why he had never seen one because in this part of the country their life span is only seven days long and they only produce one generation per year. They are fairly large,having a wingspan of 3.5-4 in. wide,so if you see one,chances are you will know what it is because of its size and lime green coloration.The pickerel bite has been very good lately,as the gaspereau have gone out,so the food supply is dwindling.My son Curtis was out guiding a couple last week and they caught some very nice ones in the 24-26 in.range.If you would like to get out on the water or out in the bush for a trip in our beautiful neck of the woods,just give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and Ken and I will have you into the fish or on the game.See you there!

Monday, June 1, 2009

TROUT N' FIDDLEHEADS,THE BITE AND THE RULES




This past month really flew by,with the weather finally starting to co-operate,the fiddleheads started to pop out and the trout started to take a little better after the water warmed up a bit. Ken and I got out for some pan trout and we got a nice bunch of fiddleheads at the same time.We usually go all out when we go for the fiddleheads,but we had quite a few left over from last year,so we didn't hit them as hard this year.Those pan size trout really go good with a feed of fiddleheads and we always try to have a cook-out along the stream to start the season off. The sea-trout are starting to run and there have been some huge specimens taken in the last week or so.A five lb.er was taken in the Bartholemew R. and a couple of three and four pounders have been taken in the NW Miramichi. One of the outfitters on the main SW Miramichi took a huge sea-run brookie,over five lbs.,this past week-end and he says it is going on the wall.I can't say I blame him.A fish like that is a catch of a life-time,even for an outfitter that is on the water most of the season.The sea-trout are starting to run in the Cains River,and we will be fishing for them in the evenings this week. These fish many times will travel through quite quickly,so you have to get right on them when they are moving or you will miss them. These trout are on their way to their spawning grounds in the headwaters of their home streams and if the water is a good height,they don't fool around,they will run right through and are easily missed.I have one report of a Rocky Brook salmon being taken,but it's still a little early for them,but they act much like the sea-trout,running right through,given good water. This strain of salmon is quite hard to catch,but if you do hook one,you are in for a great fight! These fish are short and thick and very strong,so if you happen to hook one,hang on and hope for the best! The other photo is one of myself and my grand-son,Tyler, with a nice bunch of white perch we caught before dark last nite. The river is full of them right now and we were catching them on every cast.White perch require a very light touch in order to hook them.We just cast into a deep hole and let the worm and spinner slowly sink to the bottom and one will usually pick it up before it hits bottom. If you cast and reel in too quickly,you won't get a nibble and you might think there are none present.So if you go after this species,think SLOW. The bonus with white perch is the delicious fillets they provide.I actually like eating them over a trout. We usually try to get enough that we can do up bags of fillets while they are running.That way,we can enjoy them all summer long. This species is considered a game fish and is subject to bag limits,so make sure you have your licence and know what the limit is,so you don't get in trouble. On that note,I would suggest ALL sportsmen familiarize themselves with the rules governing the water AND the species you are pursuing. Sometimes this can be a little complicated,but it is up to you to know and understand the laws because ignorance of the law is no excuse! I know many of the local DNR guys and for the most part,they are a good bunch of guys that will usually give you a break,especially if it's a minor offence AND they think it's a dumb mistake,but don't look for any favors if you are breaking major laws or repeatedly breaking minor laws.These guys have a job to do and they WILL charge you.So be smart,know the rules and if you aren't sure ,ASK,because taking a chance just doesn't cut it.

 The bear season is in full swing and some nice bears are being taken,but no real monsters yet.There is still three weeks left,so I'm sure someone is going to take one of those sneaky big boys. These bigger bear require a little more patience,they've been around for a while,so they are a little more cautious.But with some perseverence,they can be taken.I guess that goes for most of the fish and game we pursue. So get out in the bush or on the water and have at it.Just give me a call or shoot me an e-mail if you are interested in some good fishing or hunting in the Big Woods of New Brunswick and we will have you on the game,pronto!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BRUINS,THE BITE AND OLD MAGAZINES






After a rather long,protracted spring with not one,but two freshets,the water has finally started to receed and things are starting to bud back to life.Ken and I,as well as the boys,have been busy placing our bear baits the past couple of weeks.We have been seeing quite a bit of action the last few days as the weather has moderated and this has put the bears on the move.Now Ken really likes to hunt bear and he usually tries to take one early before he starts guiding and as you can see from the photo,he had some pretty good luck this past week-end! I should re-phrase that because when it comes to hunting,Ken doesn't depend on luck very often.Nobody takes the number of animals and of the calibre that Kenney does with such consistancy without just being plain good in the woods.Ken loves what he does and that is what makes the difference when he gets down to business.I am proud to be associated with such an outstanding woodsman as Kenney and I hope he feels the same way about me. You just can't go wrong having Ken for a guide.That doesn't mean every hunt is a slam dunk,but you can be guaranteed he will give one hundred percent to try to make your trip a memorable one.The bear Ken took was an outstanding specimen,with a coat of pure black,fully furred and plush as a carpet.I commented to Ken that in all my years I had never seen a bear with as nice a coat as this one! The reason this bear was in such good shape was because he hadn't been out of the den for very long,so he wasn't rubbed at all and his belly fur was still nice and full. Ken's trophy will make a beautiful rug when the taxidermist finishes with it. The spring salmon fishing is starting to wind down,with most of the fish having made their way down to the lower part of the river.There was still some good fishing in the Quarryville area last week-end.Frankie T. from Minto landed five and lost several more,including at least one very large salmon.Frank caught his fish by trolling a long line and was using a Pink Lady for a fly.I just can't bring myself to use this fly,but the fish do seem to like it,especially later on in the season.I've also been getting reports of some very nice sea-trout being caught.Most have been ten to twelve inches,but there have been some three and four pounders taken also.The other photo shows an old Outdoor Life magazine from1918.I collect all kinds of outdoor related items,but these old magazines hold a place near and dear to my heart.I can remember going to the local barber shop with my father at a very young age and hoping that there would be one of the outdoor magazines available for me to look at while I waited for my turn in the chair.I know I was very young because the barber had to put a special board across the arms of the chair so he could cut my hair.It was during these sessions that my window to the outdoor world was opened and I could explore the hunting and fishing in the many different areas of the world.This started a love affair with both the outdoors and outdoor magazines that lasts to this very day.I love to read the old magazines and look at the advertising to see how things have changed and progressed,mostly for the good.It is very interesting to see how fishing has gone from taking home large stringers of fish to mostly hook and release today.It is also interesting to see how much the equipment has improved as well as the techniques used when hunting and fishing as compared to todays world.One thing that stood out to me while going through my magazines is how much things change in a relatively short period of time.Twenty years makes a huge difference in the outdoor world when you have some way to guage it by referencing these old books.I would encourage all of my readers to indulge yourselves and check out some of this great reading any time you can.It is sure to give you a new perspective on the outdoor world and the natural wonders it holds.Ken and I are looking forward to another great season this year both in the bush and on the water,so give me a call and we will get hooked up and get out there and do it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A PERFECT START TO THE 2009 FISHING SEASON!




With about a week gone by in the new season,the fishing on the mighty Miramichi has never been better! Everyone who cast a fly caught fish.It didn't matter if you were a beginner or a seasoned veteran,the fish were co-operating! The first day,April15th,there was a fair bit of ice running and the water was a bit dirty,but the fish were still taking.The water level was fairly low and I'm sure this helped the fish find the flies and there were a fair amount of fish taken,especially in the lower part of the river around Blackville. After the first day,the ice cleared out and the water cleared up and then the fish were taking up and down the river with a fervor not seen in years.Some of the numbers of fish caught were nothing short of astounding. Many sports had several days when they had hooked their limit before lunch.The new rule of ten fish hooked is proving to be good for all who participate in this great fishery.The paying sports are usually satisfied and it takes pressure off of the guides and outfitters,as well as the salmon.After all,ten Atlantic salmon landed in a day is nothing to sneeze at! All the popular flies produced well.It didn't really seem to matter what was thrown at them,they snapped right on.I came down with a terrible cold,of course,and just fooled around casting from shore and caught fish everyday I fished.I didn't feel well so I wasn't really fishing that hard,just trying to enjoy myself,and I was literely hooking fish on the first cast many days.The photos in this post are of the boat launch under the Doaktown bridge and me with a grilse I tagged for WW2 vet Bill Pollick of Minto.Now Bill is in his ninties and can't get out much anymore,but he likes to have a spring salmon each year so I try to accommodate him,if I have any luck.Many sports and outfitters frown on tagging any salmon,let alone a spring salmon,but I believe it is a personal decision and I don't judge any fisherman whether he keeps a fish or not.Most of the grilse are males anyway,so it doesn't hurt the fishery much. We are getting some rain right now ,so the water will come up and be dirty for a few days,so the fishing may be slow for awhile.But when the water drops and clears up,many of the large salmon will be moving down river and will be taking flies. This is a good chance for a sport to break into the "over forty"club.There are many large salmon over forty inches in the system this year,so the chances are good that a sport might land one. As the season progresses,we will be putting out our bear baits and will be baiting well into June when we will start going after sea-trout.So whatever your fancy in the outdoor sporting life,just give me a shout and Ken and I will have you on your way to a great outdoor adventure in the Big Woods of New Brunswick!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photos for last blog entry




GET READY FOR THE 2009 SEASON OPENER!

The ice has been clearing out of the Miramichi river system for the past week and this should make for a very good opening of the fishing season on April 15th. As most local fishermen know,the Miramichi River and it's tributaries experienced some of the strongest runs of salmon in many years.This will translate into a very good black salmon fishery for those sports who enjoy getting out on the water on the first day of the season. Sometimes the weather doesn't co-operate and the season is delayed because of ice conditions,but this year this is not the case! This type of fishing is not for the faint of heart,as the weather conditions can sometimes be quite harsh,as well as high water to contend with.That being said,there is no better time to catch an Atlantic salmon.It's almost as if the salmon are happy the long winter is over and they are eager to take the fly,if presented in the right way,in the right spot.The key to catching black salmon is to get the fly down near bottom in slack deep holes or near to shore where the current isn't as strong.This is where the fish will hold and rest while backing out of the river on their way to the ocean.A sinking line is a must in high water conditions.Only after the water has dropped and cleared up should you switch over to a sinking tip or even a floating line.It would also be prudent to go to a smaller size fly.Many sports turn their nose up at black salmon,or slinks as they are sometimes called,but I love fishing them and have always found them to be great sport,especially at such an early time in the season.Depending on the water conditions,good fishing can be had well into the month of May.The photo of the salmon flies in this post are the standard go-to flies for fishing salmon this time of the year.Everyone has their favorites,mine happens to be the Renous Special.That's the top fly in the photo to the left.The Black Ghost is also a favorite of mine,especially after the water drops and clears.The Smelt pattern,the bottom fly is also one of the old standards.The top fly on the right is a relatively new fly,a Green Slime.This fly has been growing in popularity recently,both in the spring and fall.The bottom fly is a pattern tied by the late Guy Silliker,of Sillikers on the Miramichi.I purchase this fly from Guy shortly befor his death and I had such great sucess with it,I had several more tyed up for future use. You really can't go wrong with any of these patterns.The other photo is one of Salmon River,both Ken and my home river.Salmon River always has its ice out after the Miramichi because it is a slower moving river.As you can see from the photo,there is still quite a bit of ice left to go. This is causing the river to raise to dangerous levels and as I write this blog entry, the water is lapping at the top of the banks in front of my home.This can be a stressful event but it goes with the territory.All we can do is be prepared and wait it out.ken and I will be busy preparing for our annual trip to the Miramichi and I would encourage anyone looking for a great fishing trip to get ahold of me and we will arrange an exciting fishing trip you will remember for a lifetime! I want to tell all our readers and sports that we will only be taking a maximum of four sports per week on any of our adventures,except under special conditions,so we can ensure a quality experience.I would also like to say that anyone who books a trip with us and doesn't take their game,can book again and they will NOT have to pay for the guiding part of their trip!This is just Kens and my way of giving something back to the sports who are good enough to book with us.Cheers and tight lines in the coming season.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!




We have been having some pretty good weather here in the Grand Lake area this past week and the first signs of spring are starting to show.The edges of the rivers and streams are just starting to open up and this is starting to draw the different species in for a drink or perhaps an easy snack for one of the predators. I watched ten local town deer file down to the river to an open spot and each had a good drink before heading back to the evergreens along the edge of the river. They seemed to be walking on the crust,for the most part,but every few steps a front or back leg would go through and they would stagger a bit.They didn't seem to be breaking through as bad after they got back in the woods a ways. This makes sense,as the edge was catching the sun and was much softer than the snow cover deeper in the woods. We have been getting a lot of reports of deer kills by cars and coyotes,especially in the southern half of the province.One 3 km. stretch of road between Sussex and Saint John has had 11 deer killed on it so far this winter .That's quite a few deer to lose,even in an area of New Brunswick that has pretty good numbers of deer,as compared to the rest of the province. As usual,the coyotes have been picking away at the deer in the yards,but we know of several hunters who have been picking away at the coyotes in these areas and have been reporting some very good success.This is a good thing and hopefully more sportsmen will take advantage of this opportunity to thin out the numbers of these deer killers.If we can keep their numbers in check,our deer herd will rebound that much quicker.I talked a bit in my last post about the other part of the deer equation,that being managing our crown lands to better accommodate our wildlife,more specifically,our deer herd.I was very happy to hear that the first regional citizens "Forests Management Council" has been struck by the French in the northern part of the province.This is a very important first step in getting some sort of input for change,ie. improvement in the way our forests are being managed. After all,Crown Lands DO belong to the people of New Brunswick.I think this fact has escaped some of the large corporations that operate in our province.Governments seem to be unwilling to exercise some sort of control over these large forestry companies,so it is up to the citizens to make sure their voice is being heard loud and clear as to what we think are acceptable actions and what are not. One does not need a degree in forestry to see what is going on.Just look at population numbers and go for a drive and look over the habitat that we are expecting to harbour our wildlife in and make up your own mind about what you see.And if you don't like what you see,get vocal about it,in whatever media you are comfortable with. This is the only way to effect a change and the times are ripe for this kind of action.As you can see from the photo in this post,it's not just coyotes and cars that kill deer in the off season.This large bobcat made a kill practically in a door yard up on the Nashwaak River.There was once a bounty on these animals before the days of coyotes because of predation on deer.Of course their numbers plummeted and there was no need for a bounty.Now that their numbers are rebounding,we are starting to see the odd kill done by a cat. But don't despair,cats don't take anywhere near as many deer as coyotes do.Cat kills are usually done by a large solitary animal,whereas coyotes hunt in a pack and are much more successful at killing deer,especially in the deer yards. The other photo is one of Ken and my son Curt and his girlfriend catching some pickerel and perch close to home,on McLeod's Pond.Erica had never gone ice-fishing before,so we spent a few hours on the ice and managed to get a half-dozen pickerel and a few perch for our efforts.It was a great day out and when you're doing it with family and friends,it's that much more enjoyable! We are looking forward to the Spring Salmon opener and it is sure to be a good season because of the numbers of salmon in the river system.We are also anticipating a good spring bear season and we still have some prime time slots available for any hunters interested in some good hunting,for a good price.Just contact me by e-mail or phone and I will be happy to arrange your hunting or fishing trip to the Great North Woods of New Brunswick!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

'THE TIME'S THEY ARE A CHANGIN'



This is my first post in the new year and I can't help but comment on the current state of affair's in the financial world. The mighty USA has shown once again it's capacity to rise above it's differences and has elected a great,historic leader at a time in it's history when it most needs him.Oh yeah,did I forget to mention he's black? This new president has challenges that will quickly test his mettle and I believe he will meet these challenges head on. The corporate money-mongers have thrown the world into a mess not seen in a hundred years. Now you may say "What does this have to do with sportsmen here in New Brunswick?" Plenty.It just proves once again that human greed within souless corporations do not have the moral compass that is needed to guide them in their never -ending quest for increasing profits. We are seeing the results of this mind-set in the way our forests are being managed. The newly released "Erdle Report" on how we should manage the forest on our crown lands suggested several options on how to proceed,but the government bent to the will of the large forestry companies and chose what has been called "Jaako-Poyre Lite",which means the government chose that report,but added in some diversification in a feeble attempt to pacify the citizens of New Brunswick.The Jaako-Poyre report was soundly rejected by the citizens of New Brunswick and still the government went against the will of the people and adopted it as the best plan for the people.NOT! Until we have a plan that eliminates huge clear-cuts of single species and the spraying of herbicide to kill the young hardwoods that the animals require for forage,we will continue to see many species struggle to survive and increase in the type of environment the government is providing for them. I can only hope I live long enough to see the people of New Brunswick rise up,as did our neighbours to the south,and elect someone who will do what's right,something for the animals,the environment and ultimately for the citizens of our province.Until then,I would encourage all sportsmen to join your local wild-life organizations and be vocal in what you want and be organized in your endeavours for change! I had promised myself I wouldn't use this blog for political dialogue,but January and February are typically very slow months up here in the Big Woods,and this year was no exception. January was such a cold harsh month we barely ventured out at all.The pickerel fishing has been good,as usual.The white fish have started to bite, along with some nice Burbot being taken.We are starting to see some winter kills by the coyotes and we are just starting into their most vulnerable time of the year.Our deer herd needs two things to happen in order for them to increase their numbers on crown lands.First,something has to be done to control the numbers of coyotes and secondly,suitable wintering habitat must be cultivated for the deer.If these things are done,our deer numbers will increase,relative to the effort put forth in these two areas. Although this post has a lot of doom and gloom in it,I would like to point out the black bear population is high and this years spring salmon season should be one of the best in memory.Ken and I are offering some very good deals on both of these adventures,so just shoot us an e-mail or give me a call and we will provide you with all the information you need for a trip to New Brunswick's great North Wood's!

GOODBYE SUMMER......HELLO FALL!

  Temperatures have finally started to moderate here at home on Salmon River and for most folks that's a good thing. This summer was...