Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011--THE YEAR IN REVIEW

     We are closing in on the New Year and I like to look back on the past year and try to evaluate how our different seasons went and how we fared afield here in the beautiful Grand Lake area. As you can see from the photo above,there is no shortage of beautiful scenery and great photo opportunities in our area.This photo was taken last fall at the height of the changing of the leaves to their fantastic fall colors. It was taken from the beach in front of my home on Salmon River and to say I live in paradise would be an understatement. Many times, Ken and I both forget what a wonderful place we live and work in at home here on Salmon River. It seems that many times a person becomes so used to living in a certain place that one has to remind themselves just how unique and special that place is. I know, speaking for myself,all I have to do is look through some old photos and I find myself with a big smile on my face,marvelling at the sheer beauty and wildness of our home here on Salmon River. In my post last month,I said that 2012 will be a year of change for Ken and I, so I hope the readers of my blog will stick around and see what's new each month in the coming new year.
    The year started off well for our crew ice fishing on Grand Lake and Salmon River as soon as we had enough ice to safely travel with a vehicle. We don't take any chances with thin ice at any location we fish and we like to see six inches of good ice before we get out there putting up our shacks and tents. We fish out of shacks on Grand Lake and sometimes we use temporary shelters when fishing the more sheltered bays and coves in Salmon Harbour. There are several species to pursue on Grand Lake but we usually set up for smelt,whitefish and burbot,using a variety of baits. When fishing Salmon River and the Harbour for pickerel and perch,we use worms,grubs and bead head jigs for the perch and live minnows or a piece of oily fish with a spinner for the pickerel. We like to set some lines and work one or two.Multiple lines raise your chances of a hook-up dramatically so we use as many as the law allows us. The following photo shows Kenny hoisting up a nice burbot from Grand Lake. Ken has caught them much larger than this one but he says this size makes the best fillets for fish and chips. We always keep a few to deep fry because they make such delicious battered fish.                                                           
    The next photo shows Ken with my son Curt and his girlfriend Erica with some nice pickerel taken right on the edge of town at McLeod's Park.
This would be a typical catch after fishing for a few hours in the afternoon.
    As you can see,we have had some good success ice fishing in our area and this is a great way to spend a day outdoors during our long New Brunswick winter.
    When our winter finally broke,the Miramichi River started to run and we began to get ready for our annual trek over to Doaktown for the black salmon opener on the 15th of April. We had good fishing again last spring with many grilse and salmon being caught during the season. The following video shows me catching a nice grilse last spring near Sutter Pond in Carrolls Crossing. It remained good fishing for most of the season because there was lots of ice around to keep the water temps cool.As I said earlier,the fishing stayed good well into the season and the sea trout arrived right on schedule to provide some good fishing at the mouth of the many brooks that flow into the Miramichi River. The bright salmon runs that normally start in June,started in late May and never let up until the end of a season that many will remember as one of the best in recent memory.There was an abundance of large salmon interspersed with some nice grilse that came in on every raise of water all summer long. The water temps stayed good and with lots of water,it was a great year for the salmon making their spawning runs up the Miramichi and all her tributaries. The following photo shows me playing a nice fall grilse on the Cains River in 2010.   If there was a highlight during our seasons last year,it would have to be the bright salmon fishing that the large runs provided for the many ardent salmon fishermen from around the world. Any sport who made the trip to the beautiful Miramichi River for a weeks fishing last year was not disappointed both in numbers of fish seen and hooked. The many large spawners that made up the largest part of the runs bodes well for this magnificent fishery in the future but the keepers of this great resource must be ever on the hunt for new and better ways to improve the size of the runs and their health and well-being if these great game fish are to survive in the future.
    The brook trout fishing this past year was very good,as this has been the case for some years now. Since the allowable catch has been managed more closely,we have seen both sea-run and regular brook trout numbers increase and we are usually able to get into good numbers of both of these species at the right time of the year. Speaking of timing,it's everything when fishing many of the species here in the Grand Lake area and our guides know when and where to intercept the different species as they make their pilgrimages up our various rivers and streams. The following photo shows me with a nice brook trout taken on the Cains River.    We also pick up some nice trout while fishing for spring salmon on the Miramichi River. Each year,sports will pick up some trophy sized sea- trout from the lower stretches as they make their run up the river in May.The next photo shows me releasing a nice trout while fishing for spring salmon in the Carrolls Crossing area.
    The pickerel bite was off a bit last summer because of an abundance of water in the system all season long. I've mentioned in my blog before that if conditions are good for salmon and trout,chances are the pickerel bite will be off and that was the situation we faced this past summer. The beauty of fishing for pickerel is if you know your stuff,you can usually coax a fish or two into taking something,even if you have to try a few different lures to entice these great game fish into taking. My view on pickerel fishing is that it is an underutilized sport fish here in New Brunswick,largely due to the fact that most sports are concentrating on Atlantic Salmon and brook trout. This is too bad because sports are missing out on some great action during the low water later in the summer. The next photo is one of my son Curtis fishing with Sgt.Cain on Salmon River.last summer. It was tough fishing but Curt is a great pickerel guide and he got the Sgt. into several nice fish.
    If any hunt up here in New Brunswick could be termed a sure thing,it would have to be the spring bear hunt. This past year we had multiple bears on our baits and some of those bears were trophy sized. If any hunter wants to take a nice average sized bear,New Brunswick is the place to hunt.Of course,if you are after a trophy sized animal,the hunter will have to wait it out and hope the larger bears show themselves during daylight hours. Ken and I have a couple of little tricks we use to get those big boars to show themselves. Ken guided for a native lady in northern Ontario and ran one hundred baits for her and she taught Ken a few good baiting tricks  that her father taught her when he was running the show before she took over after her father retired. Not all baits are created equal and you can trust that Ken and I are doing things up right at our bait sites in order to bring in those big boars.The next photo shows a very large bear at one of our baits in the Gaspereau River area.
    My highlight for the past season was being invited to guide Wanda Doherty on her 2011 moose hunt. I've known Wanda and her husband Jake for most of my life and we had a great hunt that included good friend and fellow guide Allen Davidson as well as Wanda and Jakes daughter Chelsey. I want to tell my readers a bit about Chelsey and her very interesting life she has had so far. Chelsey is the type of girl that loves adventure and travelling and meeting new people. This Christmas Chelsey is in Malaysia competing in the Miss International Tourism competition,representing Canada. Now Chelsey didn't get to this competition by being a couch potato who thinks a pretty girl just has to stand around and,well,look pretty! No, not this girl! What I really like about Chelsey is she will roll her sleeves up and work right along with you to get a job done. Chelsey maintains a good grade average at university and works part-time for N.B. DNR.She really enjoys her work and has made a big impression on all the folks she works with and I can see a great future for this young lady no matter what path she takes. The next photo shows Chelsey swimming with some sharks while working on a project in the Bahamas.
    The next photo shown is one I took of Chelsey relaxing for a bit after we loaded her mothers moose to transport it to the Cache for registration. As you can see from this photo,Chelsey is as comfortable in the bush wearing blue jeans as she is wearing those fancy gowns while modelling on the fashion runways around the world.   I had a great time hunting with the Doherty's this past moose season and I wish Chelsey all the best in her future endeavours.
    I hope the readers of my blog enjoyed my look back on the past year and I would like to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year! from Ken,Jamie Dallas and I here at home on Salmon River.
    Anyone looking for an adventure in the Grand Lake area,please give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and Ken and I will arrange a trip for you that you will enjoy here at home in Gods Country!
    This is Dale Bauer saying 'Happy Trails to You.....Until we meet Again!'

Sunday, November 27, 2011

N.B. 2011 DEER SEASON ---A TIME FOR CHANGE.


    The 2011 deer season just ended last week-end and the numbers are now in. A total of 4755 deer were killed, with 137 being taken with a bow. These figures are slightly lower than last years kill of 5101. DNR and many hunters had been predicting even lower numbers so I guess we are supposed to be happy with those results? Nope,I don't think so! This years deer kill is the fourth worst on record and that's not good! Of course,there were some nice bucks taken around the province and the Grand Lake area produced some very nice trophies for a few lucky hunters. As a matter of fact,there were at least three nice bucks that I know of that were taken just a few kilometers from the Pioneer Lodge. One of the Phillips girls got a nice eight point buck in her back orchard in New Dominion and a nice nine point and a huge ten point were taken in Cox's Point.It should also be pointed out that all of these bucks were taken on private ground. That's where the bulk of our deer herd lives now. The Big Woods have really seen a drop in numbers in our areas we have hunted in the past and that is why we have to change our tactics from now on when pursuing deer.Roughly two thirds of this years kill came from the south and western areas of the province and this is where most of the private ground is in New Brunswick.
    Our deer hunt this year was cut short before we really got started. Ken's brother-in-law,Bob Urquhart,passed away half way through the season.Bob was Dallas and Jamies father so that effectively ended the season for my hunting partners for 2011. Jamie did manage to set up a spot close to town and he seen quite a bit of action at this site. He had about a half dozen does and kids and one young buck that he had a chance at but chose not to shoot because of poor light. Jamie said he would rather let him grow than risk wounding a nice deer.Good for you,Jamie! The following photos are from Jamies new bait site in town.
We are in the process of setting up five or six sites such as these in and around the village.These sites will be bow sites because of their location. This is a trend that will be on-going as we move our hunting efforts closer to the village and to points further south.For my part,I travelled to the southern end of Grand Lake and scouted some of my old stomping grounds that I hunted years ago when I was growing up in that area.I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of deer sign I was seeing but a lot of the activity was does and kids. There were some bucks around because I found some scrapes and some nice rubs in a couple of locations. My son Curtis lives in the area so it makes it convenient when hunting there because we use his place as a base of operations when in that locale. It's only an hours drive to these hunting grounds,which is about how far we travel when hunting the Big Woods to the north of us. I went in to check out a spot I found on the last day of the season and took a short video clip of the spot where a nice buck and a few does are coming out to an overgrown field.This spot should be good for a bow hunt next fall over bait. The deer in this area take bait well,with the locals using apples carrots and pumpkin with good success. It has been our experience that big bucks will show themselves more readily if you set up for them back in the woods rather than on the edge of the field. They don't like exposing themselves during daylight hours but if they can sneak into a bait located in good cover,these big bucks will sometimes come in during the twilight hour before dark.
    The next two photos show one trophy class buck and a nice up and commer buck at a wilderness food plot constructed next to a beaver dam. It proves the theory that if hunters construct food plots in wilderness areas,the deer will utilize it.
This year was the first year in memory that there were no deer hanging on the game pole here at home on Salmon River. Ken and the boys certainly weren't in very good spirits for this years hunt and they just didn't get into the hunt like they usually do.I found myself being rather bummed out at the low numbers of deer in our traditional hunting spots so I never really got excited about this years deer hunt.I'm not trying to make up excuses for our lack of success during this years hunt but there were unusual circumstances to deal with this year and I thought I would best use my hunting time scouting new areas. At least I found some nice bucks while changing areas during the 2011 deer season. Hopefully,this will bode well for next years deer hunt and we will get a crack at some of those big bucks we know are in our chosen areas.
    As I already said,there were still some nice bucks taken in the grand Lake area and two guys who work at the local saw mill score on a couple of trophy bucks.Shaun S. from Minto was hunting with his son in the Salmon River area (for some reason he didn't get too specific about where he got his buck). He had a hunting partner who pushed the deer right out to Shaun. Now that's what I call a good buddy! The next two photos show Shawn with his 2011 buck.
This buck had a nice high rack and Shaun said the experience was certainly enriched by the fact his son was with him and got some first hand experience hunting with his Dad and seeing him take this nice N.B. buck.
    Another saw mill worker,Ivan B. of Chipman,took a tremendous buck while hunting out of his brothers camp on the western side of Grand Lake. I didn't get any photos of this buck but Ivan told me it was a twelve pt. buck that dressed out at 248 lbs. That's a big buck by any standard! Congratulations to Ivan and Shaun and all the other hunters who managed to take a buck this year.
    One of New Brunswicks on-line hunting sites,NBHunting .com has a thread that shows some of the nice bucks taken around the province by the members of that site. These photos show that New Brunswick still has the potential to be the white-tail buck mecca that it once was. Even now,with our deer herd numbers at near historic low,hunters across the province managed to take some really nice bucks. Here is the link to the photos of those nice bucks.http://newbrunswickhunting.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3230-2011-whitetail-harvest-pics-only-no-comments/
    My own thoughts,upon reflecting back upon this past deer season,is that change is inevitable.It's part of our reality and is the basis for our evolution as a species. But for some strange reason,most humans have a tendency to resist change,even though it is an integral part of our existence. Imagine how far we have come in a relatively short time,both as a species and as hunters. As our fore-bearers had to change their hunting areas as game was diminished in their traditional areas,so do our modern day migrant hunters from the north and east pursue our deer herd ever further south. This is an entirely natural occurrence and one we must accept in the hunting community. This season,I saw much less hunter activity by visitors from away and I'm assuming the less enthusiastic hunters just didn't bother travelling this year. Many of the more serious hunters travelled further to the south and hunted on or near private ground in hopes of increasing their chances for success There was also less hunting pressure from the locals because many didn't bother to even by a licence. This made the woods much quieter this year and I really liked that part of the hunt. So in the near future,Ken and I,as well as the boys,Jamie and Dallas,will be changing our hunting efforts by hunting closer, with bows and a little further south,towards the southern end of Grand Lake in hopes of increasing our hunting success on those big N.B. bucks.
    The ruffed grouse hunting this year was very good in our area and many hunters limited out on good days when the weather co-operated. There were some good sized flocks at the start of the hunting season  which indicates a good nesting year with a high survival rate. Of course,after the young of the year got thinned out,the older wiser birds that were left weren't nearly so easy to bag.
        The woodcock flight this year was considered average this year but the northern birds were here but at times it was feast or famine,depending on the locale and how hard the coverts had been hunted.Jamie spent this season doing a lot of training and less shooting as he tries to finish off his English setter to be steady to wing and shot. These little birds are great sport and we are fortunate to live in close proximity to some very good coverts around Grand Lake and its tributaries.
    For this post,I have dug out a couple of ornaments to show my readers.The first photo is of a pair of black panthers. The larger cat has a stylized, elongated body with red paint around the mouth.The paint is pretty good on this one but this type of ornament is notorious for loosing its paint because it is applied over the glaze and gets worn or flaked off from being handled and cleaned. The smaller cat resembles the larger one but is fashioned in a more realistic fashion. Both of these ornaments are Japanese in origin and are from the late Fifties or early Sixties.
 The next photo is one of a ceramic string holder fashioned into an owl. I have several string holders fashioned from different things. Manufacturers employed a variety of figures into the making of string holders including one of the more popular ones,a black mammy face. Back in the day,string was used a lot in everyday life and most households had one on the wall,usually in the pantry. This nice little owl has under glaze decoration with two sized holes for the string to come out of. If you look closely,you can see the holes for the string under the beak of the owl. I'd peg this little item from the late Fifties or early Sixties. The manufacturer was an English pottery. Here is a photo of the mark. 
The last item I have to show my readers is one of a N.B. wardens badge from 1939. This badge is in very good condition and shows very little wear. These badges,along with guide badges, are becoming very collectible and the early ones are commanding high prices. I know I probably paid more than I should have for this one but it was an earlier version and had the significance of being issued in the year WW11 was started.
    In closing,I would like to urge any of my readers who are looking for a vacation hunting ,fishing or just relaxing in the Grand Lake area to give me a call or shoot me an e-mail for more information on how to arrange a day or a week in Gods country! This is Dale Bauer saying 'Happy Trails to You....Until we Meet Again!'

Friday, October 21, 2011

PUDDLE DUCKS,BIG BUCKS,THE BITE AND VINTAGE STUFF



    It's  been a great fall down home here on Salmon River so far this year and with the rifle deer season just around the corner,Kenny and I have high hopes that we will have some nice bucks on the ground again this year.
    Our 2011 moose hunt was a great success (see last post)and our annual duck hunt was a lot of fun,with all blinds taking at least a few during the first day. The pond that I hunt had less shooters this year because Dallas was guiding a couple of new-comers and Randy-Micheal was hunting with his father.That left Ken, Jamie and myself as gunners,along with a couple of gents who found our pond and didn't realize that we were hunting there. It just so happened that I knew Royden W. from his younger days in Chipman so we worked out a good shooting arrangement for the morning hunt. This could have been a difficult situation under different circumstances but I took some of my own advice and showed a little respect and sportsmanship and invited Royden and his son,Jamie to stay and shoot with us after they offered to leave. They stayed and shot with us and they managed to kill a few ducks but more importantly,young Jamie saw how quickly and easily sportsmen can resolve any differences they may have and have success and fun in the process. This was Jamie's first duck hunt and I don't think it will be his last. It's great to see young people in the field and two thumbs up to Royden for the super job he has done introducing his son to the outdoors. Jamie had a summer job with Fredericton Outfitters and caught his share of salmon and grilse while filming some video for you-tube,so he's off to a great start!
    The following photo shows Ken,Jamie,myself and the two retrievers hunting the pond on the first day.
 We got a dozen ducks or so between us but this year I was top shooter with a limit! Now I'll be the first to admit that my shooting skills have slipped a bit in the last few years but this year it seemed all I had to do was point and shoot and it rained ducks! No complaints here! Normally Jamie out shoots me but he was using a different gun this year and I think it threw him off a bit. That's what Jamie said, so I guess that's what happened. The next photo is a brace of ducks and Kenny in the background taken on the first morning.
 We had a mixed bag of ducks coming in to our decoys and we took blacks,blue and green winged teal and wood ducks during our hunt. All of our other blinds also took a mixed bag of ducks and had shooting all day long,just as we did. We had seen a lot of black ducks prior to the opener but many of them seemed to have left for parts unknown just days before the opener. Ken and I think that hunters out scouting during the days leading up to the opener caused these shy ducks to vacate the area. We have found that black ducks are very sensitive to human activity in their resting areas and won't tolerate being disturbed for very long. The following short video clip shows how we were set up in the pond on the first day.
Dallas and his group of new duck hunters did well with all shooters taking ducks,including a female shooter,Cora B. who said she didn't realize how much fun it is hunting ducks.I'm sure Cora will be back shooting with us next year and she says she will be bringing a friend along to keep her company. See you next year,Cora!
    With the rifle deer season starting on Monday,Oct.24th,Ken and I and the rest of the boys have been busy putting out apple baits at our spots close to town.We learned a long time ago not to bother trying to bait big woods deer with apples because it doesn't work.If the local deer herd isn't familiar with apples as a food source,they will ignore an apple bait and continue to feed on browse. We tried for years to draw them in to our baits but we gave up after continually bringing black bears in.This would be great if we were targeting bears but when you are after deer,you soon tire of carrying pails of bait to feed the bears. Nowadays,we just bait deer in areas where we know they will find our baits and come in to feed regularly. We have found that even if a bear does come in to feed on our deer apples in these areas,the deer will continue to visit.They just come when the bear isn't there. We have slowly been shifting our hunting areas over to the southern end of Grand Lake.The deer herd hasn't suffered quite as bad farther to the south and these farmland deer come to the apples much easier. We will continue to hunt our old big woods areas each year because there are still a few old bucks running around and we will be posted on the crossings for at least a few days of the season.
 Another buck that survived last years winter was a huge buck that we hunted in Coal Creek. One of my contacts in the area told me he seen this buck cross the road in front of him late this summer and he looks as good as he did last year. We had concerns that this buck might not survive the rigors of our New Brunswick winters because Ken and I both think this buck is getting old and won't be around much longer. We will be hunting this buck again this year and like the other buck in the previous photo,we will be hunting him over an apple bait.Look closely at his rack and see the nice mass this bucks horns carry.
 These two bucks,as well as a couple more slightly smaller ones are bucks we will be hunting close to town. We will also be hunting another half dozen or so bucks that cruise the big woods in our old haunts such as the Harley Road and the Pleasant Brook country. Be sure to read next months blog to see the results of this years deer hunt.
    The 2011 salmon season ended last week-end on the 15th of October and this year will be remembered as one that provided great angling opportunities over most of the season.The water stayed on the high side and didn't warm up during the summer months. There were good runs of salmon and grilse on most of the rivers and the fishing stayed good until the last day or two. The wind and rain pretty much blew out the last day but Donna A.and myself fished the MSW Miramichi on Friday and Saturday morning before the conditions deteriorated to the point were fishing wasn't feasible.Neither of us had any hook-ups but we rolled a few and had a couple of bumps and just enjoyed being on such a great river at the end of the season. I did manage to catch a very nice grilse in the Cains River a week before the season ended. This was the nicest grilse I have ever caught and he was very close to being a salmon,coming in at 63 cm.,right on the nose. This fish was a nice bronze colour and displayed the typical fall colors of a Cains River fish. The next photo shows me with the grilse.
 I also caught a nice trout while floating from Carroll's  Crossing to Doaktown when I brought my boat home for the year. I was alone so all I could do was get a picture of the fish beside my boot so you could have a reference for judging its size.I thought it was around sixteen inches. I released the trout after the photo because the season had ended and that fish was an incidental catch while fishing for salmon. These nice sea trout can provide great action when the salmon aren't taking and that can be quite often! The following photo shows the trout I caught that day.
   There are still a few rivers that remain open to salmon angling until the end of the month and the striper fishing is going full tilt at all the local hotspots. Muskie fishermen continue to boat some nice muskies in the water between the Princess Margret bridge and the bucket club in Fredericton. This area has proven to be a great spot for fishing large stripers, as well as muskie. Muskie seem to be expanding their range and I expect to see more in Grand Lake and the other connected lakes in the near future.These fish are a great sport fish and provide a lot of thrills when you hook a big one!
         I have picked up some nice vintage items in my travels lately and I left even more behind because I have been trying to slow down my pace of purchases due to concerns over storage space. It takes up a lot of room to store large collections and I've gathered up a truck load of outdoor items over the years. The first photo shows an English game plate featuring a mature stag and a hind standing with another young stag. This game plate is in excellent condition,with no wear to the gold rim decoration. This plate has an overstamp which means it was probably made by one company and then purchased in a lot by another company who then put their company stamp over the original manufacturer. I would age this plate to the late Fifties or early Sixties.  I will include a photo of the stamp and overstamp so my readers can see who the manufacturers were. If anyone is familiar with English potteries,you will recognize the names as manufacturers of high quality pottery items. The next item I have is a little gem of a thing that was spared from certain destruction from the burning tips of cigarettes.This little ashtray portrays a duck hunting scene with lots of action that I find quite appealing to the eye. This item is quite collectible in its own right but when you find the words ''Mercury Dealer'' in the advertising,then it adds a whole other area of collectors to the arena.This adds to the demand for the item and therefore ,the price increases. This little ash tray is in beautiful,unused condition and I would date it to the Fifties or early Sixties.
     The next little item I have is a hand tooled leather wallet that has a nice buck embossed on the front fold. I remember having one of these wallets when I was a kid and thinking ''When I get older,I'm going to get a buck like that'' and I've been trying ever since! I've come close but not quite like the one displayed on this nice unused leather wallet. These wallets were popular souvenir items back in the late Fifties and early Sixties and many times had names stamped on them like Niagara Falls or some other major tourist attraction. This wallet is circa 1960.
    I hope the readers of my monthly blog enjoy seeing some of the vintage items I collect. I realize that this stuff isn't strictly about Kenny and myselfs outdoor activities but this is a part of my everyday life and I like showing these great collectibles so people will know what cool stuff is out there on the marketplace. If any of my readers is interested in anything they see in my posts or would like a day on the river or a week in the bush in our area,just give me a shout and Ken and I and the boys will be at your service! This is Dale Bauer saying,''Happy Trails to You.....Until we meet Again!''

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2011 MOOSE HUNT,THE BITE AND VINTAGE STUFF

    Fall is upon us once again here at home on Salmon River and the maples on Moon Island in front of my house are ablaze with different shades of red,orange,yellow and some green that is still hanging on. This is the time of year that many of us wait for faithfully,those first outings to the bush,starting with the moose hunt and then to the duck meadows for our annual duck hunt.Both of these outdoor activities are long-standing traditions with both the Hargroves and myself. If our duck hunt goes as well as our moose hunts did,we'll all be grinning from ear to ear and giving out hugs and high fives! As I mentioned in my last post, ol' Wes Hargrove got drawn for a moose tag,as well as his nephew,James. To say the Hargrove Clan had a great moose hunt would be an understatement and as luck would have it,I got to go on a moose hunt as the designated hunter.
This was the first time that Wanda Doherty,wife of good friend Stephen Doherty,had ever been drawn for a moose tag and since they both have such tight schedules,they thought I should come along to do some scouting and help Wanda during the hunt because Stephen was having a hard time juggling his work schedule. I've known Stephen and Wanda for years and I wanted Wanda to be comfortable and enjoy the hunt,without having to work too hard. I checked around and scouted some areas around Chipman and much to my surprise there was a couple of spots about ten minutes outside of town that held good numbers of moose. Stephen and I kept a close eye on the two spots we had chosen to hunt and we were seeing fresh sign each time we scouted the area.One thing I really liked about these two spots is there was a large bull hanging around the choppings in each area we had chosen to hunt and we would eventually decide to hunt a cutting that overlooked the Coal Creek Valley. A more scenic spot to hunt moose would be hard to find,especially with the fog hanging over the valley at dawn on the first morning. Stephen and I thought it would be a good idea to invite our long-time friend and fellow guide Allen Davidson along on the hunt to call for us a bit and cook up his tasty lunches at dinner time.Stephen and Wanda's daughter Chelsie rounded out the hunting party on the first day. After coffee and discussing some strategy,the Dougherty's started off down the road at legal shooting time,looking carefully into the choppings for a black shape that might be a moose. Allen and I stayed back on the crest of the ridge so we could call out over the valley in hopes of bringing in a big bull.The following video shows Allens calling sequence on the first morning.We called all morning and a big bull must have answered us fifty times with grunt after grunt but he wouldn't come out.Allen thought the bull was with a cow and he wouldn't leave her and I think he was right.After a while,during the height of Allen's wailing and the bulls grunting answers,the cow he was with took to wailing too,for a short time,as if to say 'Yes,I'm here and he's staying here with me'! That's just exactly what they did.Those two moose never moved from their spot all that first day. The next morning,I went to meet the girls and Stephen had been sick all night and couldn't get out of bed and Allen had other commitments so it was me and the two ladies striking out for our moose hunting area.After coffee and some small talk,we started down through the choppings,stopping once at a slough hole to call,then moving on to the last chopping at the end of the road. The girls and I stood on the road and I called twice and was peering off into the distance straining to hear a bull that was grunting far off in the distance when Wanda calmly said'Dale,there's one right there'. I couldn't believe my ears but as I slowly turned,sure enough,there stood a young cow facing straight on to me with it's ears up like a german shepherd. I didn't like the shot and Wanda told me to come over by her because she could see it well from where she was standing.I said it was a little small,should I shoot it? Before she could answer,I remembered what she had told me. She just wanted a moose,any moose,so I just said 'we can't fool around' and I laid that young cow moose down low. The girls and I were very happy to have our moose and we had just been standing waiting for the help to arrive when a huge cow came out and crossed the road just as Allen and Stephen were coming down the road. Chelsie later said that she saw the moose's ear flicker and motioned to her mother that the moose was standing there looking at us.That's when Wanda whispered to me that the moose was there.The following photo shows Wanda and I with her moose shortly after it was taken.This young moose was a dry cow and it dressed out at five hundred and eleven lbs. I already had some tenderloin and it was delicious so I would expect the rest of the meat to be very tasty after it has been hung for a week and then cut up. The next photo shows Chelsie and her mother with her moose before we dressed it out.
    In my last post I mentioned that Wes Hargrove,Kenny's father,drew a moose tag for zone 18 . James Parker,Wes's nephew,also drew a tag for the same zone.Having two tags in the family meant this hunt was definitely going to be a family affair. The crew of hunters stayed at the Smith camp in Salmon River and from what I was told,they had a great hunt and had some great meals during their stay at the camp. Ol' Wes told the boys right off that they weren't going to shoot any cows or calves on the first day and they held good to their word as they seen a cow and a calf the first thing Thursday morning and let them walk. Friday morning Dallas had a good chance at a four point bull but his scope fogged up and he couldn't see to take the shot.Dal was still fuming about that boo-boo the next day. It was getting down to the crunch on Saturday and as luck would have it,Dallas and James stopped back at the camp so Dallas could go to the toilet.After answering natures call,he stepped out of the toilet and looked down the river and there stood a cow and a nice bull.Well Dallas threw himself together and sprinted back to the camp to get James and they carefully stalked to within seventy-five yards of the standing moose.Dallas told James to wait until the moose stepped up on the bank before shooting and as the moose cleared the shore,they emptied their guns into the two moose. The hunt had ended successfully and everyone in camp was in a celebratory mood. Drinks all around and a good time was had by all!This photo shows Wes standing in the background and James in the foreground,with Kenny standing in the middle with their moose.Ken told me that they really hunted hard and he felt they were very lucky to have taken their moose in such warm conditions. James's cow dressed out at five hundred and sixty-five lbs. and Wes's nine point bull dressed out at six hundred and eighty five lbs. The next photo shows Wes standing beside his 2011 bull.
In summarizing this years moose hunt,I would have to say that overall,the conditions were not very good because of the very warm weather we had.Many hunters were in their t-shirts during the afternoon and the moose were mainly moving at night and staying in the green woods during the day.Many hunters complained that the moose were not calling or answering during this years hunt but It seemed to depend on the hunters location and probably the callers ability to call. There were only three more moose killed this year than last year,in spite of over eight hundred more tags being issued.Our station in Chipman registered thirty-two moose this year with the largest coming in at over one thousand lbs. and having sixteen points.This moose was killed by Kyle Jenkins of Cumberland Bay on the second day of the season. Although the conditions were far from perfect,some very nice bulls were taken all around the province and the Chipman area produced some outstanding trophy bulls for several of the locals.
    Although the trout season has ended,we still have some very good pickerel fishing here at home on Salmon River in the tidal waters. The water is just getting down to a good level for fishing pickerel and fishermen still have time for an outing or two before it gets too cold. There are tremendous numbers of fish in the MSW Miramichi and most salmon fishermen are expecting a big finish to a great year of fishing on this world class river. The fall run is just starting and the Cains River has fresh fish in the lower river that are slowly making their way up to the pools in the headwaters. This has been a great year for many salmon rivers and lets hope this trend continues well into the future. The striper bite is starting to heat up and some nice fish are being taken in all the hot -spots on the Saint John River system. Quispamsis is holding its annual sturgeon contest soon and there is a muskie tournament in the city of Fredericton for you guys that like to throw the heavy hardware.
    Our annual duck hunt is coming right up on the first of October and it looks as if we will have a good hunt again this year. There seems to be good numbers of ducks around and I think they had good nesting conditions this past spring. Look for my next post in October to see some video and photos of the duck hunt.
    I have been collecting outdoor magazines for some time now and I have amassed a large assortment of these magazines that date back to the early nineteen hundreds.I try to get ones that are in very good condition and they must have a desirable picture on the cover with the date displayed prominently.I do make an exception to that last rule but only if the cover is exceptional. The next photo photo shows a large bull moose about to be taken by a sport.Note the date on this magazine,December 1959. The next photo shows a cover in which a black man is being attacked by a lion while a white hunter tries to save him.The date on this one is January 1936.The last vintage item I have to show in this months blog is a souvenir item from Minto,New Brunswick. I believe this is a piece of Blue Mountain Pottery formed into a canoe with a native paddler navigating the canoe.I would say this piece is from the late sixties or early seventies.
I hope the readers of my blog enjoy seeing these items I have collected over the years and if anyone would like to purchase something they see here,just send me an e-mail. I will ship anywhere in Canada or the US.
    If anyone would like to spend a day or a week on the water or in the bush with Ken and I,just give me a shout and we will get you set up for a trip you will long remember! Until next time,Happy Trails to you....Until we meet again!
   

Monday, August 22, 2011

SALMON WARS,MOOSE HUNTING AND VINTAGE STUFF

A photo taken from the Priceville Bridge last fall.
    Summer is slowly winding down here at home on Salmon River and the large volume of water we have continues to play havoc with our outdoor excursions. I'm not going to complain about this situation because I would much rather see lots of water in our river systems than a drought. It has really helped the salmon and trout stocks but it has made it much harder to catch the warm water species such as pickerel. With the high water we have this summer,the top water lures have not been working as well and we have found that good sized spoons will work much better but you will have to try and cover  more water because the fish are spread out over a much wider area. Although the water conditions continue to be excellent for the salmon and their pursuers,the catching has dropped off this month because many of the fish have been in the system for a while and they tend to get a little fussy on the take.
This photo shows Donna A. of Carrolls Crossing fishing in Carrolls last fall.
    I got a very disturbing report this month from the Carrolls Crossing area above Doaktown.Now I frequent this area quite a bit during the spring and summer months and I know a lot of the locals that live in this area and they are all a pretty good bunch of lads up that way.As a matter of fact,a few can be said to be good Christian people who wouldn't dream of doing wrong or hurtful things. One of these gents, who shall remain anonymous,is a life long Christian who also happens to love fishing and has been fishing the open water in his area for well over thirty years.This gentleman and his son were out in their boat fishing a pool that is open to the public, just as they had done for years prior, when a couple of guides from a salmon club based in the area showed up. This club has been in the area for many years and they own some very good water in the area of the club,as well as good water in other spots along the MSW Miramichi. In years past,when the water conditions are such that the fish are moving a lot rather than holding,the members of this club would sometimes come to the open pools to fish rather than fishing their own private waters.Why they do this I can only speculate on,but I'm assuming they feel the fish are taking better in the open water rather than in their private water. Many of the locals feel this is unfair but most grit their teeth and try to be cordial to the guides and their sports.After all,it IS open water and that means it's open to ALL fishermen! These two brothers who guide for the club,one who is the head guide for the salmon club,was carring NO FISHING signs and proceeded to post this open water! When the local protested that he couldn't lawfully do that,the guide said they owned the adjacent land and they were posting the water to keep out the 'outsiders' but seeing that the local had fished there all his life and lived in the area,he would allow him to continue fishing.When the local protested that the water was open to all fishermen,the guide said OK,you aren't going to fish either! The local said ' You will have to call the police and physically drag me off of this water before I'll leave' and believe it or not,this guide did call the RCMP,who showed up a short time later. After hearing both sides of this story and calling the local DNR office,the RCMP said the local was indeed within his right to be fishing that pool and the signs were taken down. I know this local personally and I also know he is a mild mannered gent who lives a Christian life but I hear he was so mad he was about to burst a vessel. I have to admit that I too was absolutely outraged at the antics displayed by this supposedly professional guide who was in full knowledge of the actions he was taking.At this juncture,I can only say that I am very glad to have missed this little drama because I just don't have the stomach for it at this point in my life.Let me state right now that if I employed two guides who behaved in this fashion,they would be fired on the spot! They displayed bad manners,as well as being downright dirty! I'm getting angry just relating this story but I felt it should be told just to illustrate how easily things can turn ugly on the water. I want to also state that not all lodges in the area behave in this fashion.As a matter of fact,one outfitter in the Macnamee area goes out of his way to keep the peace with the locals and many times has offered up a days fishing on their private water to locals that have done him a good turn.And that's the way it should be! There is nothing worse than having a day on the water or in the bush spoiled by some oaf who doesn't have the good sense or manners to conduct himself like a gentleman while pursuing his outdoor sport. These kinds of antics aren't restricted to just the salmon waters.I recently read a bit of blog from a writer who was fishing pickerel near Chipman who had another party crowd him while fishing from his canoe.Why would you pull up within fifteen feet of another boat when there is,quite literally,acres of very fishable water around you? The simple answer is ignorance! There is often another human trait that comes into play while afield and that is GREED,the deadliest of all human sins. Many times greed leads to another undesireable human trait and that is bullying.Most of the open water has at least one guy that thinks he owns the pool and always throws his weight around,especially to any new comers.All this does is ruin someones day and sully the name of good sports who are just trying to have a pleasant day of fishing. As I end this rant,I would like to remind the readers to try and remember the big picture.It isn't the sport fisherman who is the enemy of salmon.It is big business trying to make big money, whether inland or offshore,that poses the greatest threat to salmon stocks in our rivers and we must remain vigilant to their destructive practices in their pursuit of profits.
    On a more positive note,the salmon runs continue to be good in most rivers and I am glad to report that I have seen more salmon in Salmon River this year than in the last twenty! I can only hope that this trend continues and we see more fish in the future here at home. Just last week I looked out my window around 9:AM and saw a huge salmon jump that left a ring as if someone dropped a fifty pound stone into the river! I'm assuming that some of the 30-40,000 land-lock salmon that were stocked in Grand Lake will make their way up the river.One of the bioligists said a certain percentage of these fish would just naturally travel up the river system,perhaps not to the headwaters but up several miles from the mouth at Salmon Harbour. A couple of years ago,Kenney and I were fishing the mouth of  Sisson Brook and Ken got a landlocked salmon and missed a second one.We were quite sure they were landlocks because there had been recent stockings  in Grand Lake and the body profile is much leaner on the landlocked salmon because they are not going to sea to feed up in the rich salt water environment. It was also mentioned to me that trout fishermen fishing at Big Forks stream were catching a lot of salmon parr,so that tells me our river isn' dead to wild atlantic salmon runs yet and we still have breeding adults going up Big Forks. If there are salmon still in Big Forks then a lot of the other feeder streams should still have a few. It would probably be a good idea to take a count sometime if for no other reasnon than to see where the Salmon River stands today,in terms of numbers,as compared to former traditional numbers that were taken in yearly counts over thirty years ago.I had access to the run numbers for several years running years  but the last time I tried to find them,the secretary at the cache couldn't find it on the computer but I do remember that the numbers were 6-8,000 for Salmon River and thats not counting the Gaspereau River which has its own run of salmon. Back in the late 70's and early 80's many local salmon fishermen filled their tags right here on Salmon River and her tributaries and only took an occasional trip to the Miramichi or the Cains River in the fall,just for a change of scenery more than anything else. It would really be something to see those days again and you never know,Mother Nature has a way of healing herself,all we have to do is do our part as stewards of the land to help her along.
    My son Curtis was out on the lower Salmon River a couple of weeks ago guiding a Cape Bretoner stationed in Gagetown. Sgt. Cain had some experience fishing for trout and salmon but had never gone pickerel fishing and after listening to some of his army buddies talking about how much fun they had catching them,he asked Curt to take him out for the day. He couldn't have picked a better guide for this species. Curt grew up right on the shores of lower Salmon River and he's fished these things since he was a baby! As I said earlier,the fishing has been challenging for pickerel this year because of all the water but Curt was up to the task and the Sgt. caught enough pickerel that he had a big smile on his face when they landed back that evening.The following photos show Sgt. Cain landing a few pickerel.
Sgt. Cain did a tour of Afgahanistan recently and I was amazed at the level of maturity this young man showed.He said he had a great time and he     would be back again soon for another day out on the water.Ken was also out guiding a young couple from Collingwood,Ontario. Lucas Parker and his lovely girl-friend were vacationing in the area and wanted to do some trout fishing and Lucas's girlfriend really wanted to see a moose.Ken told them he knew a spot where they could catch some pan-sized brookies and probably see a moose during the trip. They packed up lunch and all their gear and headed for the upper Gaspereau River. After fishing a few spots and catching some nice brookies up to twelve inches long,Ken took them to a spot on the Gaspereau that has a lot of moose and sure enough,he rounded a turn and there was a nice ten point bull moose standing off in the clear cut.This young bull was quite co-operative and stood around and let Lucas walk up on him and he got some great video footage. A short time later,three bears ran across the road in front of them,so Lucas'girlfriend got to see some animals up close and personal. After landing back home and having a nice lunch,it was time to sit back for a bit and just relax a bit with your favorite beverage and reflect back on the days events. Both Lucas and his girlfriend said they had a great time and they thanked Ken and told him they would try to be back again next year.Unfortunately,Lucas' girlfriend was running the camera and the video footage and photos went back to Ontario with her but if I get it sent to me,I'll edit this post and insert the footage and photos of their trip.
    We have started to do some scouting for the up-coming moose hunt and the signs and numbers of moose we are seeing is encouraging. There is certainly no shortage of nice bulls in zone 18,where Ol' Wes hargrove has his tag. We have three very good spots within an area of about 50 sq.mi. and we will call and travel between the spots until Wes gets the shot. There are some real trophy bulls travelling in our area but I would expect we will see a younger satillite bull coming in to the call. Then again,if lady luck is with us and we hunt hard, Wes could be pulling down on one of those big old bulls that we know hang around in our chosen hunting area. We are all getting excited and we will do everything possible to get a nice moose in front of Wes. We may have another tag for our zone if Duane Hargroves son-in-law isn't training for a new exercise in the Canadian Armed Forces. We're keeping our fingers crossed in hopes that the young fellow can get the leave. We'll scout as if he is coming and the worst that can happen is we will have more spots for Wes to check out. I'll be sure to get lots of footage and photos of our moose hunt and I will include them in my next post in September.
    The annual duck hunt follows close on the heals of the moose hunt and Jamie has been at me to get out to the marsh and look things over. Every year it is the same ritual.Jamie and Dallas chomping at the bit to get out in the marsh and slog around seeing what we have for ducks. And me saying"What's the rush? We can just sit down front on the beach and watch the flights in the evening to see what's coming and going and what kind of numbers we have''. Then the boys will usually humor me and sit for a few nights and watch the flights as they come in to feed. I've participated in this little ritual for the last twenty-five years I've lived here on Salmon River and I never tire of it.Hopefully,we will be doing it for many years to come because we really have a great time on our duck hunts.From the look of things,there should be lots of birds around because there was lots of water during the nesting period and all summer, for that matter. We have a couple of flocks of geese practically feeding in the yard and we will have to get our neighbour, Floyd,to cut his field just before the opener to try and keep them in the area.We usually get a crack at them and I would expect this year will be no different. This photo shows me walking the island near our hunting spot on the first day last year.
    I have some nice little vintage items to show my readers this month and there is no shortage of goods out there,if you go to the right spots. One of these spots is the annual Flea Market in Sussex that was held recently. I always find tons of stuff at this sale and my main problem is being able to carry the stuff around for half the day! One of the items I found this year was a very nice vintage fishing board game called''HOOK-EM!'' It has great graphics and is in very good condition for the year,which is 1947.Here is a photo of that game.
I collect all kinds of board games but I don't come across hunting and fishing board games so I was very happy to get this item.
    The next item shown is a nice trout planter or nick-nack holder.This item is called lustre ware because of the shiney wet looking finish applied to the pottery. This piece was made in Japan in the 50's and is marked Shafford,hand- painted.
The last item I have to show is a pair of duck book-ends. These book-ends were also made in Japan in the late 50's or early 60's and is marked ESD,hand-painted. What I really like about these book-ends is the super condition they are in considering the type of paint and the delicate construction.The paint on this type of item has a tendency to flake and it is prone to chipping because it is quite fragile.
In closing for now,this is Dale Bauer saying ''Happy Trails to You,Until we meet Again!''

Friday, July 22, 2011

ATLANTIC SALMON, THE MOOSE HUNT AND MORE VINTAGE STUFF

    We are now into the middle of our short Maritime summer and the weather has finally started to warm up a bit. The Grand Lake area has received enough rain each week to keep all the brooks and streams filled up and that's good for fish stocks but not necessarily good for angling. One thing I do know for sure is the high water has brought in runs of Atlantic salmon since the first of June that haven't been as good in the last thirty years or longer. Although the water stayed on the high side,the upper Miramichi pools fished well as there were good numbers of fish entering the system each day. For those guides and sports dedicated enough to put the time in on their favorite stretch of water,they were well rewarded for their efforts. During the month of June and the early weeks of July,many sports limited out early and had some time to just relax and enjoy being out on one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world! What a treasure we have in our beloved Miramichi and Restigushe Rivers. We sometimes take these national treasures for granted and I hope all lodge owners,guides and sports will remain vigilant to any change that could harm these precious salmon rivers. One dark spot on New Brunswicks horizon is the large oil and gas companies that are test drilling for deposits over a large portion of our province.I don't know a lot about this process but many people in the know are very concerned about the prospect of what is known as fracking being used to extract the natural gas from the shale deposits. Whenever I hear of these new ventures,a red flag pops into my head and the first thing I ask myself is this. Is this good for the environment and is it good for the people of New Brunswick? On both counts in this instance I think the answer is no! Yes,big business benefits and yes,the government will get nice royalties from the companies mining the gas but what's in it for ordinary New Brunswickers? From what I can see,not a whole lot. I always think back to the days when the salmon farms were first put in the Bay of Fundy and what a devastating effect that had here at home on Salmon River. The effects were almost immediate and myself and other concerned sportsmen watched a whole ecosystem practically destroyed by big business and their bad decisions made hand in hand with both the provincial and federal governments blessings! All in the name of jobs and tax revenues. But at what cost? I often wonder if we would have let these fish farms in the Bay if we had known what a negative impact it would have on our wild salmon stocks. I know I would be against it because I watched first hand how our salmon stocks in Salmon River plummeted from annual runs as high as eight thousand fish to just a handful in a short time period. The Gaspereau River and some other small salmon streams in our area suffered a similar fate. What really galls me is the fact that the government allows these farms to continue to operate knowing what a negative effect this is having on our salmon rivers that are connected to the Bay of Fundy.I am glad to see a study is being conducted to put a dollar value on our wild salmon stocks because at the end of the day,it is money that gets everyones attention. That fact is probably the main reason that the Northumberland Straight was spared the same fate. Thank God for that! The following photo shows me with a nice grilse I tagged last week on the MSW Miramichi. I do tag a few fish every year but I would also support a reduction in tags to four if it was needed to save fish stocks. I also support the DFO in its decision to close most of the Northwest to hook and release to help shore up stocks in that system.
Nova Scotia is now in the process of licencing one of the large fish farmers to set up a farm near the St. Mary's River. This project is being appealed in the courts and we can only hope that common sense prevails but again,money speaks loudly in our poor Maritime provinces so don't be surprised if the NS government goes ahead with this environmental nightmare.Keep your fingers crossed!
    With the weather starting to warm up and the water finally getting down to a normal summer low,the pickerel bite has started to heat up here at home on Salmon River. I love fishing pickerel as much as any other species just because you are almost guaranteed to get some action when the conditions are right. Some sports think smallmouth bass are the cats meow in warm water habitat but I beg to differ. If I had to choose between the two species,I would take the pickerel every time. The pickerels savage strike,especially on top water lures,is hard to beat for a sheer adrenalin rush! August is normally the best month to fish pickerel but water conditions dictate when the bite really turns on. The water has to drop and squeeze the fish into a smaller area in order to provide the best possible angling opportunities for this species. We have some real hot spots close to home and two foot trophy fish are taken on many of our outings. The following video shows one of the lures we have good luck using when angling for pickerel on Salmon River.This set-up has worked well for us for many years now but when the fish are taking,you can catch them on just about any lure in your tackle box. I have taken as many as forty fish during a three hour session using this rig so I know it works well especially when the conditions are right. Just minutes after taping the short clip of the lure we use here on Salmon River,I took a cast into a likely looking spot and hooked a trophy sized pickerel. Here is a short clip of me landing that fish. As you can see,the fish was caught on the same lure I just talked about. Ken and I had no measuring tape that day but we later measured it at twenty-four in. on the mark I made on the boat seat.Pickerel of this size are caught on a regular basis in our area when the conditions are favorable but most fish will average at twenty inches. These fish provide lots of action on days when other species are in survival mode and are very hard to take. I guess that's why Ken and I like fishing them so much!
    There is great joy in the Hargrove camp the last week or so ever since the boys found out that ol' Wes,the family patriarch,was drawn for a moose tag this year. Now Wes is about eighty years young but he still tends his garden and puts up his wood so we're pretty sure he'll be up to the task of finding a moose this September. One thing I know for sure,he will have lots of help scouting because Ken, Dallas,Jamie and myself are just chomping at the bit to get out in the bush in zone eighteen to help him find a moose. One of the boys will have the second tag just in case but we all hope Wes gets this one by himself. Wes has taken his share of moose through the years and that includes a couple that would be considered trophies but he has already said he just wants a good piece of meat and the horns are secondary to him. I can understand Wesley's thinking because a tag is so hard to draw and the three day season doesn't give a hunter much time to be choosey. So many things can go wrong on such a short hunt that good moose hunters always have a plan 'B' just in case things get bugged up. By that I mean other hunters hunting the same area or woods workers moving into the area or any other such problems that might arise. We always have at least three different locations scouted out just in case we do run into problems. You can bet we will be hunting for a trophy but we will be taking the first moose we see because thats the way the boss,ol' Wes,wants it. Here is a photo of the clan on a previous moose hunt that ended successfully.
We will have two good callers on hand during this hunt as well as Dallas, who is an expert at handling these large animals.Anyone who has ever taken a moose knows that the work starts as soon as the moose hits the ground and many times the weather is warm so you have to know what you're doing and you have to get the hide off and the meat processed in a hurry so it won't spoil. I can hardly wait for this hunt and I know the rest of the boys feel the same way. I will be giving updates as the next couple of months unfold and hopefully we will find Wes a nice bull to pull the trigger on this September.
    I have been finding some nice vintage items in my travels and it never ceases to amaze me how much stuff there is kicking around when you have an eye open for this kind of thing. Flea markets are a good source to check out,as well as yard sales and auctions. I also have pickers who know what I'm looking for and they bring me stuff on a regular basis. I enjoy collecting outdoor related goods but I have a real hard time parting with things,even when offered good money for them. I guess that is my downfall,if you could call it that. I keep telling myself that this is a retirement project but if I can't bring myself to sell this stuff,my heirs are going to get a nice windfall of beautiful items when I pass on. I'm sure they will know what to do with it and if they don't,I have an auction house already named in my will that will sell the stuff off for a very nice sum of money. In the meantime I will continue to get pleasure in finding these collectibles such as the ones in the following photos. The first photo shows a very nicely carved eagle done on a slab of cedar. It is signed P. Polchies and I assume that this person is Native American because I recognize the name to be Native. I would age this item as being done in the Seventies or Eighties.
The next item in the following photo is a framed three D picture of an osprey swooping in on a chipmunk. Aside from the fact that this picture is done in 3D, It is an anomaly because an osprey is a fish eater and normally wouldn't bother with a squirrel or other land based prey. For some odd reason, I like this type of thing,even if most people think it's kind of cheesy. I would say this picture is from the Seventies.
And last but not least,I have included a photo of a very nice antler bottle opener that I picked up at the flea market in Shediac. This opener was made in England and features a nicely scrolled tang holding the antler handle. I would date this item to the Forties or Fifties.
    Ken and I will be travelling the Salmon River doing day trips that include fishing,swimming and watching for the many species of wildlife we have in our area, so if you want an affordable day on the water,just shoot me an e-mail and I'll make the arrangements for you to spend some time with us in Gods Country! This is Dale Bauer saying 'Happy Trails to You.....Until we meet again!

SUMMER 2018--HOT AND HUMID

    This summer was a very nice one for visiting tourists and beach goers but it was, once again, a terrible summer for fishing and m...