Saturday, December 7, 2019

2019 FALL HUNT

    Winter is slowly settling in here at home on Salmon River after what I would call a typical fall. Temperatures hovered around the freezing point and rarely got into double digits on either side of the scale. The moose hunt was a great success again this year. There was a total of 3,686 moose harvested. That's 152 more than last year. Although these are great numbers overall, there is cause for concern in some of the southern zones. The northern half of the province continues to produce some real trophies each year.  Here is a photo of one lucky hunter from up north with his first moose.
This moose had 20 pts. and a 52 inch spread. It dressed out at 920 lbs. A trophy bull in anyone's eyes! This next bull was taken by a well known hunter from the Sussex area. Brad has taken several trophy animals over the years and this is his latest bull moose which was taken last fall.
This moose was in beautiful condition and is a true trophy. Congratulations Brad! 
    Kenny and Jamie each had tags for Zone 18 which is in the heart of our hunting territories. I was along to do some calling and help out whatever way I could. Ken, Dallas and I set up camp on the Harley Road and when daylight came, we were on stand and calling. The weather turned bad so we did what many other hunters did and went for a drive. We had scouted several different areas and as luck would have it, a moose stepped out in the road at about 75 yards and stopped. Kenny didn't hesitate and both Ken and Dallas fired and the moose dropped right on the road. Dallas was second gun and with his help we soon had the moose dressed and loaded. We even had a couple of hunters from Richibucto give us a hand loading it. Thanks guys! Here is a photo of us with Kens moose.
Ken has taken bigger bulls but he is not a trophy hunter, per se. This was a nice young bull that was in great shape and he wasn't rutted up, so he was great table fare. Here is another photo of Kens moose where it dropped on the road. The hunt was over for us on the first day at 3:30 PM. This was one of the shortest and easiest moose hunts I have ever been on and we really enjoyed ourselves. Good job Kenny!
Jamie was hunting for horns and passed on a couple of smaller moose early in the hunt. On the last day, he had a chance at an old smasher but couldn't connect. Jamie didn't tag a moose but he took it all in stride. He knows that if you want to be a trophy hunter,you must be prepared to take the good with the bad. Jamie still had a great hunt and was happy to have had his chance at a nice bull. Next time Jamie!

    After the moose hunt, my buddy George wanted to get out for some late fall striper fishing. We have been targeting stripers the last few years as this fishery has exploded onto the outdoor scene here in New Brunswick. In the fall, we usually fish cut bait and that's what worked for George and I at the end of the season in late October. We fished the Miramichi River near Red Bank from shore and managed to land a few keepers. Here are a couple of photos of George and I with the stripers we caught.
I hate to admit it but George out fished me in both size and numbers, This fish put up a great fight and it was at the top of the slot size. George caught three more over two days similar to this one.
We used Dan MacDonald's heavy duty Big Rigs with great results, His tackle is top notch and reasonably priced. Please check out Dans gear at this link https://www.facebook.com/Big-Rigs-Tackle-100435508108899/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARDbWyBZf0lns8algzbKD-fTV3HByhbkniccw-hnV8sAZDq4Hqy9qOKyo95lwXMNaMJeg_qNLIMnKl5-

    Mother Nature provided deer hunters with snow for most of the season and hunters across the province were happy to have it. Like last year, the snow cover helped hunters figure out where the deer were and made it easier to find good ambush points. Some of the younger hunters used the snow cover to track big bucks on the move but this type of hunting isn't for everyone. Older hunters, for the most part, just don't have the stamina to stay on a track all day through rough terrain although there are exceptions to every rule. This can be a very difficult way to kill a big buck but when it all comes together, the reward can be an old smasher hanging on the game pole.
     Brooke took the first buck in our group again this year. She was watching Grandpa's apple trees out back and one morning an eight point buck was standing there. This buck was three and a half years old and dressed out at 192 lbs lbs. Here is a photo of Brookes buck.
On the scale.
Kenny and Jamie hunted hard the last two weeks of the season and two days before the end  of the season, Kenny connected on a nice trophy sized white-tail buck. Kenny's buck was taken on Jamies private ground on the Harley Road. He jumped the buck on the edge of a chopping and made a great running shot on it. Kens buck had eleven points and dressed out at 217 lbs.
This was a nice buck to get and Kenny was happy to harvest it. It had been a while since his last one and he felt he was due. He was right! Another nice buck for the wall Kenny!
    Jamie passed on several small bucks waiting for a big one but it didn't happen for him this year. As for myself, my activities were limited due to health issues and personal commitments but I did get out a bit and I was seeing more sign in our hunting areas and that was encouraging .God willing, I'll be in better shape next year and get a chance at a buck. It's been a while for me and I've got the feeling I'm due too!
    I want to mention some other successful hunters from our area who tagged nice bucks this year. These bucks, as well as Brooke and Kens, were taken within ten kilometers of our homes here on Salmon River. 
    This first buck was taken Marley Lemon on her fathers private wood lot. Marley's dad has had a feeding station for many years and only takes mature bucks out of his little herd. Marley grew up sitting with her father and helping with the feeding regiment during the off season. This year with her Dads help , she took a dandy buck. This was Marley's first buck and it dressed out at 242 lbs
Here's another photo of Marley's first buck.
Terry has a few big bucks of his own on the wall but he's super proud to have been there when she got her first one. Congratulations Marley on your first buck! Terry got Marley's hunt on video and here is a short clip  of their special hunt. 
    This next buck was taken by Martin Beers while he was out for a drive on the Harley Road.
Another nice buck was taken close to home by local hunter Randy Dickinson. This was Randy's biggest buck and it dressed out at 226 lbs.
Another local hunter also took a young 8 pt. that dressed out around 160 lbs. As you can see, we have the genetics to grow trophy bucks right here at home. We just need more of them! The common denominator with all these bucks is they were all taken on private ground by hunters who had access.

    Honorable mention goes to Kevin Sabean for hanging yet another nice New Brunswick whitetail on the pole. This buck wasn't his biggest but it's still a nice mature buck that any hunter would be proud to harvest.
Kevin has also passed on his considerable skills as a woodsman to his sons and together with some friends they have a great FB page full of their outdoor related activities. Please check their page out here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/130516343992260/.

    I want to mention the bucks that Hal Kifillen and his step-son took this fall. Hal was hunting out of his lodge in upper Salmon River and he helped Tanner get his first buck and it was a beautiful 13 pointer. It was taken near the end of the season  Here is a great photo of Tanner with his big buck.
Not to be out done, Hal tagged a beautiful dark horned buck that dressed out at 212 lbs. 
Good job boy's! It's really nice to see bucks of this calibre coming out of Salmon River once again.

    I guess if I had to pick a "sportsman of the year" for 2019, it would be Dave English. Dave first got my attention by posting photos of huge stripers he was catching at the Reversing Falls in Saint John with some regularity. By huge I mean 25lbs. and up. Like this one 
Then I see where he had moved up river from Saint John and posted a picture of a trophy sized musky he landed.
Not too shabby! At this point I'm thinking, this man can fish, big time! I'm getting it. Fishing is his thing. Then I come across this photo of him with a beauty white-tail buck he took this fall with his bow.
I'll let my readers be the final judges but Dave gets my vote, for sure. Congratulations Dave on a great year!

    Preliminary numbers are a total kill of 7,294 deer killed in New Brunswick this year. That represents a 17% increase over last years harvest. This increase can be attributed to a slight jump in the size of our deer herd and a late season with snow on the ground.. Deer hunters shouldn't get too excited because this increase is coming from the rock bottom in terms of numbers of deer killed in past years. I have to say that this is the first year in many years that I can see a light at the end of this tunnel  Currently, we have a Minister of Natural Resources in a minority government who is making any small changes that will move us forward in terms of rules and regulations governing our fish and wildlife. Most of these changes are easy to make and won't cost the government any money. The real test is yet to come and that is nothing short of re-vamping the Crown Lands and Forest Act The large forestry companies are not going to want change because the way it stands, they run the show. Every other DNR Minister and  Premier since L.J. Robichaud has caved into the pressure from Big Business. Groups are organizing and law suits are pending before the courts that are exposing the decades of corruption between Big Business and our provincial governments. This push back by the citizens is why we have a minority government today and I will end this short rant by saying if our present government doesn't come up with a good plan, in short order, to improve our forestry practises, the government will fall. Are you listening Mike?

    There are still some good hunting days left for rabbits and grouse before the snow gets too deep. Jamie and Kenny are still picking up a few partridge here and there but rabbits are scarce in our area. This is also prime time to scout for next years hunt. It's nice to know if there are still bucks that survived the season. There is just enough snow to see a track and animals have been on the move. It's too bad fur prices are so low because the amount of fox, cat and coyote tracks we are seeing is unreal. It's nice to see some species thriving and maintaining healthy numbers. I'm very optimistic that sportsmen in New Brunswick will all do whatever they can to ensure we have a management process in place for our white-tailed deer going forward.

    Ice fishing season is coming right up and the tournament dates are already listed on FB. I love ice fishing for pickerel and perch and I'll be out there every chance I get. If anyone would like to tag along, please contact me through the channels provided. We have reasonable rates and supply everything you need for your ice fishing adventure in the beautiful Grand Lake area!

 

    This is Dale Bauer saying " Happy Trails to You.....Until we Meet Again! "

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SPRING/SUMMER REPORT 2019 GRAND LAKE AREA

    So far, the weather this spring has been pretty good. It has been a slow and steady melt with warm days and cool nights. That's just the way we like it here at home on Salmon River. The ducks arrived pretty much on time this spring. I saw the first puddle ducks on March 27th. I have seen them arrive as much as a week earlier on other years when warm weather early on opened things up quicker These dates are within normal parameters, so as long as the rain stays away, maybe we won't get any bad flooding. After last years mess, I don't even want to think about it. We're about two weeks away from the peak of the freshet so we will just have to wait and see what Mother Nature brings.
     Fast forward to the first week in June!
    I had to abandon the post I was writing because we got hit with a flood again this year! This years flood peaked about six inches less than last years historic level. Still a level that, once again, caused damage and hardship for all involved. Most folks in the flood zone were at least a little better prepared this year but some residents were still struggling with the after effects of last years mess, myself included.
    Fast forward once again to the end of August. I had to stop writing my blog after starting back up after the peak of the flood because of the tremendous amount of work on my plate. Severe flooding two years in a row and some health issues had my activities outdoors slowed down considerably. Ken and the boys didn't get hit but Jamie did have some water in his basement that needed tending.
    Most of the locals I talked to felt that the flooding of the Saint John River system didn't help the fishing for most species. The late, cold spring slowed runs down by as much as two weeks. Things did seem to get back to normal in July but what is normal these days?

   The 2nd Annual JDI Fishing Derby was held during the Chipman Summer Festival and attendance was doubled over last year. That means this tournament is being well received by the fishing fraternity and will continue to grow. The proceeds from this tournament goes to the Chipman Fish and Game Club to fund projects. JD Irving is the corporate sponsor for this tournament and they have spared no expense in organizing this fishing derby. Volunteers from the fish and game club were out in full force, with help from Irving's work force in Chipman. Doug Tyler was MC for the event and is always a popular speaker at the microphone. He was helped out by Jim Lawless, GM of Woodlands and Robert Fawcett, head of Corporate Relations for JD Irving. The overall tournament was a success and the weather held off until the end of the day. Tents helped to ward off the heavy rain showers and kept the closing ceremonies dry. Here is a link https://www.facebook.com/Chipman-Fish-Game-Club-217555511667995/ to the Fish and Game Club. Look for the live feed and other details of the tournament. I'm not going to go through the list of winners but I did want to mention Lucas Leavitt because he cleaned up in the youth category and also did really well in the kids derby held earlier in the summer. This young man loves to fish and it's starting to show. His name is in the winners circle on a regular basis and is someone to watch at future events. Honorable mention goes to Keith Murray and Adam Mountain for their catches. My old buddy George Palmer took third place in the yellow perch category. Congrats buddy! Here is a short clip of the storm as it hit Chipman at the end of the tournament.


    JD Irving is to be commended in his efforts at funding every celebration in the province, large or small. This is a great way to win the hearts and minds of all New Brunswickers. In the past, JD Irving would fund bigger projects that benefited New Brunswickers as a whole. Nowadays, the new strategy is to fund all the smaller activities and celebrations all over New Brunswick. I think this is an attempt by the corporation to reach the little guy in N.B. Social media has proven to be a mighty tool in organizing common people against a perceived threat and JD Irving is very wise to recognize this fact. Hence, the push to reach the little guy and I think this strategy is working, to a degree. New Brunswickers today are a lot more savvy and aware of what is happening in our province and it will take REAL change in the way big corporations do business to sway their opinions in both social media and at the election polls. Change is inevitable. Whether it is good or bad is still to be seen.

     We may have been dealing with a flood again this spring but we had returning bear hunters from Germany, so we were hard at it tending baits and preparing stands for our bear hunters. We run baits in three zones but this spring zones 17 and 18 got most of our attention. As usual, we had multiple bears at ALL of our baits and there were some nice boars in the mix.
    Our hunting party from Germany consisted of Nils and Manfred and their lady friends. This was Nils' second hunt with us and he is an experienced and capable hunter. Manfred has had some experience hunting roe deer and hogs in his native Germany but that is the extent of his hunting experience. Nils tagged out on two nice boars by mid week of their hunt and Manfred had two very good chances early in the hunt before wounding the weirdest looking bear any of us have ever seen! This bear looks downright creepy! I'm hoping this bear survived and there may be a good chance it did. We had a team of trackers with a dog and couldn't find it after a couple hours of searching the area. Manfred had already missed a good shot at a nice bear earlier in the hunt , so when he drew some blood out of a bear, he decided to call it a day. I thought he was a very good sport about it. Manfred may have gone home without killing a bear but he had some exciting memories to share when he got back home! Here is a picture of the strange looking bear that Manfred wounded.
This bear was at one of Jamie's baits in Zone 17. This bait was really hot this spring and had two other big boars haunting it. Here are a couple of trail cam photos.
This next bear had a bad looking ear on him. I would like to have seen those two guys meet up sometime.
Overall, our German hunting party had an exciting trip with plenty of wildlife photo opportunities for everyone. Nils was accompanied by his lady friend when he killed his first bear and she got quite a thrill out of the bear circling the blind before it came in to the bait. Here is a photo of Nils with his first bear.
This next photo shows Nils second bear after we skinned it out. Nils was hunting with Kenny at a bait in Zone 18 and actually walked in on the bear when they got to the bait.
Both of Nils bears were beautifully furred with no rubbing. They'll make nice rugs and will be fitting mementos of their hunting trip to New Brunswick. Here is a group photo at the end of their trip.
    I would advise any new hunter who wants to hunt bear with us here in New Brunswick to really do your homework and try to familiarize yourself with all aspects of the hunt. Through the years I have seen many hunters, including some experienced hunters, lose their shit when a bear comes in on them for the first time. This seems to happen more often if the hunter is in a ground blind at eye level within thirty meters. We like to have our hunters on the ground for several reasons and if the hunter is prepared, things will favor the hunter. A large bear or bears that close can be intimidating to some hunters and invariably, they won't acknowledge any fear they have. That's not a good thing for the guide. All bear guides would like the bear to drop at the bait and, with a good shot, they will usually die within one hundred meters. Bears are a tough animal and the shot MUST be good or you will never find it. Advise your guide if you have any reservations about your set up or if you are seriously nervous on your hunt. This will help avoid any potential problems during your bear hunt with us. Ken and I want our hunters to be successful and we will do whatever it takes to get the job done, so just speak up and we will make it happen.

I want to mention a couple of aspects about our bear hunts that are different than other bait sites that guides maintain both here in N.B. and other areas. You won't see our bait sites with barrels and pails hanging all over our sites. We have a technique that works for us and our bait sites are very clean and super productive. We always have multiple bears with a good boar or two at all our baits. Our baiting technique has been perfected over many years by Kenny and I and it works! Without giving away any secrets, the type of bait, amount of bait and the frequency of the bait cycle is the key to our success. I might add, we have little or no hunting pressure around our baits and this could be another factor for our success. Don't hesitate to contact me through the channels provided for more information on booking a fall or spring bear hunt with us.

    During this very trying summer, I travelled a little more to other areas of the province fishing for stripers. Mostly, I just wanted to get away for a while to a new area. I am new to surf fishing for stripers but I had some success fishing the beaches in Miscou and Cap Lumiere. Like most outdoor sports, timing is critical. The tides and wind direction and speed must be taken into consideration when fishing for stripers on the beach. I did manage to catch a schoolie at Miscou that I released. Here is a photo of that fish.
There are some nice beaches to fish from around Miscou. Lameque and Shippigan Islands. Here is a photo of a popular spot on the Strait side of Miscou.
I caught the fish on a beach in the Bay side of the island. Locals seem to pick which beach they fish according to the wind direction. Here are a couple of photos of those beaches.
A beautiful spot that has all kinds of room for fishermen.
Here is another photo taken on the beach one evening during my trip to Miscou Island.

    I also fished Cap Lumiere a few times this summer. This is a beautiful part of the East Coast whose shores face across the Strait towards the Northern Head of P.E.I. The beach I fished is an hour and twenty minutes from home and has easy access. This spot is gaining in popularity very quickly through social media posts and the best spots are filling up as soon as the tide starts in. I really like this spot because of the rocks which makes structure for the fish. Here is a photo of a small striper Donna A. caught one evening. 
Surf or shore fishing for stripers is a very relaxing activity and the scenery is spectacular. There were tons of gulls and ducks and osprey were constantly hunting and diving for fish along the beach.
     Here is a video clip of an old native guy from the nearby reserve at Indian Island. He looked like Cochise with sunglasses and had an air of nobility about him. I don't know if he was a Chief but he had a few young natives come down to talk with him. Anyhow, he was a very cool old guy. He also knew how to fish stripers. He caught and released one and then hooked what he thought was a bigger one. It turned out to be two keeper sized stripers!  He looked at us after he landed them and asked if we wanted them. We said sure and he handed them over and thanked us for taking them so he wouldn't have to clean them! He said he had caught lots this summer and had eaten his fill. Thank you sir!.

    The 2019 N.B. moose season is just weeks away and we have two tags in our group this year. Kenny and Jamie both have tags for Zone 18. Kenny and I will be hunting the Harley Road area and Jamie will be hunting his private ground along Sisson Brook. These are good areas and with a little luck and good weather, we should be able to knock a couple down. Jamie says he is holding out for a big one but Kenny is like me. If it's a decent size moose, it gets a pill. I really like the meat so I don't worry too much about the horns unless the person I'm hunting with is hunting for horns. Then we hunt the way they want to hunt. We aim to please!
    Both Kenny and Jamie have taken beautiful bulls in the last few years from the Bronson side of the Harley Road. This area has been getting more and more pressure the last few years but still holds some nice bulls. This photo shows Jamie with Kenny's 2016 moose.
I'll have a more complete report on this years moose hunt later on.

    Please contact me through the channels provided if you would like to spend some time with us outdoors in the Grand Lake area. Remember, we have real savings on group bookings.

    This is Dale Bauer saying, " Happy Trails to You, Until we Meet Again "

Monday, February 18, 2019

MID-WINTER REPORT FOR GRAND LAKE AND AREA

    This has been a typical Maritime winter so far here at home on Salmon River. We had a short January thaw that caused smaller streams and brooks to spill over their banks and broke up some parts of the larger rivers and caused the ice to run and pile up on the flats. Localized flooding was reported in some areas but the worst the Grand lake area suffered was a few basements got flooded and water built up on the roads in low spots causing treacherous driving conditions. One curious observation was deer and other wildlife heading for the roads during the rainstorm that accompanied the thaw. There were many comments on social media and observers thought this happened because the soft snow was causing the animals a lot of difficulty navigating in the forest. Our town deer herd in Chipman was seen and photographed around the village in different locations gathered on roads and this was causing motorists some problems. Here is a photo I plucked from a post that shows a small herd gathered on the road in the Redbank area of Chipman during the storm.

 I also scared another group of deer off the highway while travelling to Cambridge Narrows on the western side of Grand Lake. Another motorist also commented that they saw this same group on the day I was travelling in this area. Here is a photo of that group of deer that I scared off of the Fowler Road. You can see the TCH overpass in the background.
This is another photo of deer heading for the road during the January thaw.
 Although not in our area, a person also reported a large group of about fifty sea gulls on a highway near Bathurst. I guess strange weather also causes strange behavior in wildlife.
    I travel to many areas near home and I visit the Boistown/Doaktown area on a regular basis in the summer and winter. I was visiting friends earlier in the month and was thrilled to see Leroy S.feeding his herd of deer he has visiting during the winter months. Leroy has been feeding a group of deer in his yard that has grown to around twenty-five including six big bucks with horns ranging in size from eight points to a monster twelve pointer. Leroy knows these deer individually and he told me it's not hard to tell who the boss is. The biggest buck will dominate the food source even though Leroy spreads the food out. He says this definitely helps but the big buck will still get pushy at times. I asked Leroy if he hunts the deer and he said that feeding them and being in such close contact with the deer, he can't bring himself to kill one. He said he can't even kill one when he goes away to deer camp with his buddies. Keep this in mind if you are a hunter and decide to feed deer. You may find yourself in a place you didn't bargain for. Leroy was a life long hunter up until he started feeding "his deer". Here is a short video clip of Leroy feeding the deer as I pulled up in his yard. 

  I asked Leroy if the coyotes bother the deer any and he told me he kills about six or eight every year when they move in on the herd. He said if he didn't hunt them they would be taking some of the deer out for sure. Apparently, they will dog them hard when they get on the food. Here is one of the smaller bucks with eight points. Click on the picture to enlarge.
 

The ice fishing season is in full swing in our area and most other places in New Brunswick. Coastal areas and the Saint John area concentrate on smelt when ice fishing but hake is quickly becoming more popular with fishermen, especially in the Saint John area. Many fishermen are going out from their smelt shacks to the deeper water to fish for hake during their outings. The hake are usually found in deeper water than smelts but in the same locale so it's usually just a walk out to the deeper water and drilling a few holes and you are in business.
    Around Grand Lake and near home on Salmon River, ice fishermen usually target pickerel and perch but we also have burbot, rainbow smelt, landlocked salmon and whitefish in fishable numbers. This photo shows a fisherman from the Cumberland Bay side of Grand Lake who caught a nice landlocked salmon while fishing for burbot recently.

In years past, ice fishermen would congregate around Goat Island and at times there were upwards of one hundred shacks set up in a small community. The fishing was pretty good at times and the government helped with access by keeping the roads plowed out so that even fishermen with cars could reach the island. With that many shacks and everyone chumming, there were good numbers of fish around and it wasn't unusual to catch multiple species on any given day. Night fishing for burbot and smelt was quite popular during that time but with recent changes to the rules, that will remain a thing of the past. Too bad really. What is needed for the Grand Lake ice fishery is an association whereby members would pay dues and the monies put towards paying someone in the private sector to plow roads and keep access open for the members and public. With the growing interest in this sport, I can see this happening sooner rather than later.
    The number of tournaments is growing each year and when weather permits, attendance is good. I fished the first leg of the Tri-Lake series at the Key-Hole with my buddy George Palmer and his son in-law Doug Barton. We had a pretty good day with about a dozen pickerel and a couple of perch hooked and released. George had the biggest pickerel at 19.75 inches followed by Doug with one coming in at 19.5 inches. These fish weren't big enough to get on the board but we still had some fun. I caught seven fish myself and not one was over 18 inches! That's fishing. Here is a photo of George and I landing a fish.
 It was a cold day so it was nice that we could drive the trucks out to our spot. It saved a lot of work and we could jump in the truck to warm up once in a while.
 As you can see from the photo, we had that end of the pond all to ourselves and I thought we would have caught some bigger fish since this end doesn't get fished as hard but sometimes the best made plans don't work out. Still a great day on the ice.
    I had my Grandson Jack out for an afternoon and we managed to catch a couple of pickerel near home on Salmon River. I got a small one at first and Jack had been telling me he was getting bites but I wasn't sure if that was what was really happening or if he was catching the lip of the hole when he was jigging. I checked his bait after it happened a couple of times and the bait was gone so I thought he might be getting bites for real. After re-baiting and getting back in business, it was just a few minutes before he let out a whoop and said "Fish on!" I yelled for him to pull it up because I wanted him to get used to doing it on his own and sure enough, up came a nice pickerel. It was about 21.5 inches and Jack was a happy fisherman!
 After a quick measurement and photo Jack slid the fish back down the hole. I like the fact he has no problem letting them go. Start them young and it will stay with them when they get older. Here is another photo of Jack with the smaller one I caught.

    My buddy George and I also fished the inaugural Jill Knox Memorial Tournament at French Lake a couple of weeks ago. This new tournament was organized by a well known fisherman from the Grand Lake area,Will Redmond. Will was good friends with Jill who passed away recently at a very young age. Will wanted to do something in remembrance so because Jill liked to go ice fishing , he thought this tournament would be just the thing to host in her memory. There were some prizes for biggest pickerel overall and a draw prize for odd species. The bulk of the entrance fees went to the SPCA in Jill's name. The tournament was well attended and although it was tough fishing, I managed to catch a chub for entry in the odd species draw. No luck there either but it was still a good day and for a good cause. Kudos to Will and his helpers for sponsoring this event. Here is a photo of the winners of that tournament.

    I got out fishing a few times by myself and had some good luck catching pickerel near home on the ponds.This short clip shows a visitor, Ivan R., hauling up a nice pickerel during one outing.

 Here is a photo of me with another fish I got on the same day.


 We like to release most of our pickerel because we believe this species isn't given the respect it should have as a game fish. Pickerel take a long time to grow to trophy size (over 20 in.) and it is easy to clean them out of smaller habitat such as the small ponds and back guts here at home on Salmon River. We will keep a fish once in a while if it is a bleeder just because we don't believe in wasting Natures bounty and my good friend and neighbor, Wes Hargrove, loves a feed of winter pickerel. The next video clip demonstrates this fact.

 This next short video clip was taken earlier on the same day when I got the first fish. I had fished a previous day without a bite so I moved over one hundred meters and changed bait and technique and landed seven on this day. It pays to change things up sometimes.

    There are at least two more tournaments coming up that I'll get a report on as soon as I get the information. If our weather holds steady, there will be good fishing well into March. The ponds and coves still have around two feet of ice. That amount of ice  usually means safe fishing unless we get an extreme thaw. Knowing local conditions is very important for safety reasons and that's a good reason in itself to hire a local guide if you're unfamiliar with the area you want to fish. Our motto is always "Safety First!"

    I happened to notice a series of photos in a great Facebook site named New Brunswick Upon Days Faded. These photos were about the pioneer Lemon family who settled on the Gaspereau River in the late 1800's--early 1900's. The original farm house is still standing and is in very good shape. Howard Lemon was the most recent owner and would have been a grandson of the original settlers. Howard recently passed away after a long, full life and was in his nineties when he died. I found these photos very interesting because the Lemons worked in the woods and had logging camps in the Gaspereau country and also outfitted hunting expeditions during the season. It has been said that Grover Lemon killed one of the last caribou in the Gaspereau River area and that head still resides on the wall of the homestead, as far as I know. Here are some of the photos I borrowed from the site I mentioned previously that depict some family members at their camps.

From the looks of the following photos, their camps were well stocked with provisions and had a designated Cookie ie. the gentleman with the apron on.

As I said, most times these camps served double duty housing woods workers during the winter months and sports during hunting season.

The next photo shows a sport posing with a black bear that was taken and tacked out on an outside wall to be cured. This was a common practice back in the day.
The next photo is the caribou head that one of the Lemons took before this species was exterminated from this part of the country. 

I'm guessing that this head was done by old Gideon Brown in the early 1900's because he was the only practicing taxidermist in the area at that time that I know of. Gid, as he was called, had a beautiful farm at the Bronson crossroads where he farmed, lumbered,  hunted, trapped and did taxidermy work for locals and sports of that era. The original homestead has been beautifully restored and much of the original furniture has still survived. The present owners are to be commended for their efforts in this regard because many of these historic places succumb to the rigors of time and fall to the wayside to make room for more modern buildings.
    I acquired two dilapidated old mounts of deer that hung for years in the big barn at the Lemon homestead. I knew Mary Lemon, Howard's wife, quite well and I bought many items from her when she would have her yard sales during the summer months. On one occasion, I mentioned killing a big buck in Bear Brook which is a nearby little tributary of the Gaspereau River and she asked me if I would be interested in these old heads hanging in the barn. I jumped at the chance and got the two heads from Mary at a very reasonable price. They were in such terrible shape I tore the mounts apart and just salvaged the horns. it was very interesting to see how these mounts were made from scratch. The neck was formed from a carved board wrapped with excelsior and twine to build it up to size. Plaster of Paris was used around the face with cut pieces of sheet lead for ear liners. I kept the old glass eyes because they would be around one hundred years old and would make great mementos. I was very careful handling the old hides on these mounts because many times they were cured with arsenic if a brain tan wasn't used. Arsenic kept the bugs at bay but was a dangerous method to use. I have the horns from these mounts at home and I was struck by the mass both of these sets exhibit. They obviously came from huge bucks and this was back in the days when deer were just starting to show up in this part of the country. These were NOT farm fed deer but were big woods bucks taken in some very rugged country. Here are the photos of those horns.

This second set has a narrower inside spread but still carries the same great mass as the first one.


    In closing this report, I want to remind my non-resident readers to put in for bear tags this month until February 28th. This guarantees you will have tags for your hunt and simplifies the process of buying your tags. We still have openings in prime time if any hunters are interested in joining our European hunters coming from Germany. We are looking forward to seeing Nils again and his buddy Manfred who will be coming for the first time. We have some choice baits again this year in Zones 17 and 18 so don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call. I can also be reached through our Facebook page. Here is a link for applications for the draw. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/nr-rn/pdf/en/Wildlife/BearNonResFactSheet.pdf  There are lots of tags available in both Zones we hunt and you are guaranteed to get drawn in Zones 17 and 18. We also have do-it-yourself hunts for residents who don't have the time or knowledge of how to bait and hunt bears. This is a great opportunity to hunt bears at a reduced price. We do all the work. You do the shooting!
    The application period for non-resident moose is also open until April 4th so if any sports are interested in this hunt,  please apply in the same fashion as for the bear application. Be aware that all non-resident hunters MUST have an outdoor card number before applying or buying any licences to hunt in New Brunswick. Here is the link for the non-resident moose application. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/nr-rn/pdf/en/Wildlife/MooseNonResidentFactSheet.pdf  Success rates are near 100% for non- residents for both of these species in our Zones 17 and 18. For more information on either of these hunts just reach out to me through the channels provided.

    Until next time, this is Dale Bauer saying "Happy Trails to You....Until we Meet Again!"

2019 FALL HUNT

    Winter is slowly settling in here at home on Salmon River after what I would call a typical fall. Temperatures hovered around the freez...