Friday, October 21, 2011


    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!''


    Spring has finally arrived here at home on Salmon River after what could be described as "a good winter" for this part of New...