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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Know your Rover, Know its Range

by  February 3rd, 2014

a chocolate lab, pointing

“Here, Penny. Come here, girl. Whoa. Now Whoa!” The panicked expletives started the minute I turned my brittany, Penny, loose to quarter the covert. The problem was, it wasn’t me shouting the commands. It was my hunting partner who had only hunted upland birds over his labs.

He didn’t understand that the range for a pointing dog was vastly different than that of a flushing dog, (but really shouldn’t have been commanding or cautioning my dog at all).

He was used to a very close working dog and thought that a wider ranging dog was going to bump birds before we got in position to shoot. What he didn’t know was that a pointing dog, unlike a flushing dog, will (or should) hold birds on point until the guns arrives for the flush.

Range is simply the distance a dog can effectively hunt from its master, and this will vary from dog to dog, breed to breed.

To my mind, range is simply the distance a dog can effectively hunt from its master, and this will vary from dog to dog, breed to breed.

A dog’s natural range is first dictated by genetics and then molded by handling and training in the field. Each breed has its own general parameters in which it works effectively.

Being mindful of the differences between breeds makes the potential owners more informed and more likely to be pleased with their hunting companion.

Point or Flush?
Flusher Retrievers
Flushing dogs, such as retrievers and spaniels, do as their name suggests.

Upon scenting game, they chase and ultimately flush birds. In order to be effective, these dogs must work within a distance of typical shotgun range (10 to 25 yards). If the dog pushes the envelope and starts popping birds up at 35 to 40 yards, the number of missed birds will increase.

The way to train a dog to handle within range is to make sure it’s successful at finding birds in range of the gun during training. Planted birds and solid basic obedience training will convince the dog that if it stays close enough to the shooter, a mouthful of feathers and a retrieve are the reward.

Pointers
Pointing dogs on the other hand can, and should, stretch out the field a bit more. As long as the dog is dependably holding birds until the gun-totting hunter arrives, it can be trusted to reach out a little more.

To ensure that a dog remains steady on point and doesn’t flush birds prematurely, never shoot birds that the dog bumps or flushes.

Soon enough the dog will understand that the only way he gets the reward of a mouthful of feathers is to remain still and hold the bird on the ground until the handler flushes the bird.

Best Breed Debate
The debate over which breed is best for a particular game bird has gone on for decades and will certainly continue. With that in mind, I suggest for the rough shooter who expects to shoot both upland and waterfowl on a given hunt, one of the flushing/retrieving breeds might be most appropriate choice, flushing/retrieving breeds might be most appropriate choice — a springer spaniel or Labrador, for example.

With training, these breeds work close to the gun and will also be happy to hunker down in a blind while waiting for waterfowl to pitch into the decoys.

If, on the other hand, you like to keep your boots dry and hunt upland birds exclusively, then pointing breeds are a better fit. Pointing dogs have a style and range that add a unique flavour to the hunt. True pointing breeds, such as setters or English pointers, are specialists — as are those who tend to own them.

For those who don’t want their dog to dictate the kind of game they pursue, there are always the dock-tailed Continental breeds, such as German shorthairs, Hungarian vizsla, pudlepointers and even brittanys. Pointing, tracking, and retrieving of upland birds, waterfowl, and furred game is all in a day’s work for these versatile breeds.

The distance your dog works from you is ultimately a matter of choice. Regardless of what breed you prefer orgame you hunt, it’s important that you recognize the skills your own dog brings to the field and allow it the room he needs to be effective.

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A big bear sighting!

Well sometimes you just have to let a bear bare all!

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Hunting Wild Turkey….The Basics

So turkey season is upon us and though we don’t have wild turkey up in the Wawang region, this delectable bird is the start of the hunting season ahead and a fantastic reward for a difficult hunt!

  1. Scout first. Before you can shoot a turkey you have to find one. Before hunt season, drive the back-country roads just after dawn and listen for turkey gobbling. Become aware of creeks, trails, fences and pastures, so that during the hunt, you will know where you are going.
  2. Wear camouflage, as turkeys have very keen eyesight. Suits, caps, facemasks and gloves are essentials, and don’t forget to wear dark socks. Try to match your colors to the plant life around you.
  3. Pattern your shotgun. Make a target that looks like a turkey’s head and neck. Practice firing from 25, 40 and 45 yards using different choke and ammunition. You’ll know what to expect when you’re aiming at a real turkey.
  4. Use a call. A call can be an important part of a successful hunt.
  5. Take advantage of the landscape. When you are stalking a gobbler, hide behind bushes, trees, rocks, tall grass or anything else that will obscure your approach.
  6. Choose a location to shoot from that puts you slightly above your target. Make sure that you have a good view of everything around you, including the turkey.
  7. Wait until the turkey is within 40 yards of you. Take aim at the area between his head and neck and fire. Strive for a perfect, one-shot kill.
  8. Check out “Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies: How to Hunt Effectively Under Any Conditions,” by Ray Eye at Amazon (see Resources below).

Here’s a couple of pointers from Stephen Ward:

Stephen Ward

 Stephen Ward Typically at dawn, sometimes mid day and then again right before sunset, a gobbler will go to the creek to drink, then work his way back up the hillsides feeding… they sometimes have a favorite spot to drink from that affords them easier access…. find that spot and you can score. Also, a gobbler will often gobble as he gets to his roost for the night at 7 pm or so; if you hear that, then you have an idea of where to set up the next morning down below that point and a creek”

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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Rise and Shine!

So spring has sprung…summer is well on its way….and it is apparent with the awakening of the bears 🙂  They are slowly emerging and letting us know that we should stop worrying about the snow…it’s all gone now!!

This is the first time that these babies have seen the snow……

 

No worries though, Momma is always nearby!

So for those that were worried that the snow would never leave, Mother Nature says just be patient…..it is just around the corner!

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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in black bear, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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The study of Caribou patterns in North Western Ontario

Tracking the travels of the elusive Woodland Caribou in the English River Forest

This improved understanding will help the ministry develop resource management practices that will minimize the impact of human development and resource use on caribou.
Caribou

Caribou @ Wawang Lake Resort

It is a relatively unknown fact that the Woodland Caribou once thrived in the Wawang area.  Herds lived freely and well fed on the abundance of lichen in the surrounding area.  In the last century, due to logging, hunting and forest fires, the population not only migrated but was also put at serious risk.

In 2012, the Woodland Caribou was escalated from the Species at Risk list to the Endangered Species list in our area.  With the stringent management and extensive research taking place, the Ministry biologists suspect that it may be slow but the Woodland Caribou will eventually once again become prolific in the English River Forest which encompasses Wawang Lake.

With such rarity, it was a real treat to see on right on our very own beach….what a majestic creature!

If you’re not familiar with northern forests, it would be easy to think that forest-dwelling woodland caribou are more or less on their own in these woodlands. But caribou share the landscape with many other species – including other large mammals.

The program is researching ways to maintain healthy caribou populations in the province. Since 2010, program researchers have fit more than 190 caribou with collars that transmit information about their location and movement behaviour in three large study areas. Their objective is to sample animals in relatively undeveloped landscapes, as well as in more disturbed and developed areas, to collect information on how survival, reproduction, habitat selection and movement patterns are affected by human influences. They plan to analyze this information to develop a better understanding of the factors that influence woodland caribou persistence. This improved understanding will help the ministry develop resource management practices that will minimize the impact of human development and resource use on caribou.

A shed radio transmitter collar used to track the movement and behavior of the Woodland Caribou

A shed radio transmitter collar used to track the movement and behavior of the Woodland Caribou

The Northern Mammal Ecology Program at the Ministry of Natural Resources Center for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research studies caribou, wolves and moose to learn what determines the density and distribution of these mammals on the northern Ontario landscape.

The abundance of other large prey species (e.g., moose) and predators (e.g., wolves) on the landscape are believed to influence the caribou density. When intact forests are affected by development or resource extraction activities, these disturbances may cause changes in the abundance, behaviour and the amount of habitat available for species like moose and wolves. These changes have the potential to have a negative impact on caribou density and persistence.

To gain a better understanding of how predators and other prey species might be affecting caribou, researchers are also collecting information on the distribution, density and behaviour of these other species. For example, more than 45 wolves have been fitted with collars that transmit information about their location and movements. These collars have been placed on animals that inhabit the same three study areas as the collared caribou. Information collected focuses on the types of habitat (e.g., forest types, landscape features) that wolves inhabit and travel through, the prey species they eat, and the characteristics of the locations where they catch their prey.

The collared movement data for the caribou in North W

The collared movement data for the caribou in Northwestern Ontario

 

Researchers have also conducted aerial surveys within the study areas to calculate moose densities and identify the characteristics of locations with relatively high and low moose densities. They are also examining historic information gathered from moose collared in other areas of northern Ontario, to develop a more detailed understanding of how moose respond to different types of forestry practices.

This holistic approach to caribou research – which focuses on the species they interact with, as well as caribou themselves – should provide some important insights into caribou ecology that will help the ministry develop effective caribou conservation measures.

In time, it will become more and more common to spot these animals on your visits up to Wawang Lake….stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled!

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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in caribou, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Time to Start Planning Your 2015 Bear Hunt!

The 2014 season has come and gone with plenty of success.  Many people dream one day of harvesting that trophy bear but put it off for one reason or another….time to put the excuses on hold!

Bear Hunt Rates

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BBQ Moose Roast

How to Barbeque a Moose Roast

Have you ever wanted to barbeque a moose roast and still have it be tender? We have, and recently cooked a moose round roast on the barbeque that was so tender once we carved it, it was possible to cut it with your fork.

How did we do it? Let me tell you about it.

I started out with a moose round roast; I know this is not the best cut to be barbequing. So I knew it would require moist heat if it were to be palatable.

I remembered a friend of mine telling me how he had cooked ribs on his barbeque and had great results. I wondered if I could achieve the same?

mooseroast1

I wanted to give it a try.

The Process

The process is quite simple really, and you could likely apply this to any meat that is tough.

Cook it with moisture over a long period of time.

How much time… I cooked our roast for almost 9 hours.

Ingredients:

  • Moose round roast 3 pounds
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic (elephant)
  • 1 1/2 cups of barbeque sauce

 mooseroast2

Directions: Barbeque a Moose Roast

Thaw the moose roast in your refrigerator

Coarse chop the onion

Peel and slice half of the garlic and mince the balance

Start with a 8 inch by 8 inch roasting pan and place the moose round roast that you plan to barbeque onto a thin layer of the chopped onions.

Place the rest of the onions around the roast evenly.

What I did next was to sprinkle the onions with the sliced garlic and rubbed the roast itself with the minced garlic.

I followed this by pouring the barbeque sauce over the roast.

Once this was complete I covered the entire pan with a layer of heavy aluminum foil and took the pan (with the roast in it) outside to my barbeque.

I lit one burner (in my case the right hand one) and set it to low heat. I then placed the covered pan containing the moose roast I wished to barbeque on the left hand side well away from the heating element.

I then closed the lid.

mooseroast3

I have a thermometer on the outside lid of my barbeque I maintained a constant temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 hours, until the internal temperature reached a minimum of 140 degrees; or your required doneness.

At the end of the cooking time the barbequed moose roast was cooked to perfection.

We served the moose roast with baby potatoes, carrots, chopped onions and mushrooms. All of which were cooked on the barbeque while the roast was cooking. All the veggies were wrapped in foil; salt, pepper and butter were added and placed directly over the burner that was set on low temperature. About 1 1/4 hours.

We made gravy from the juice from the meat pan as well we added the onions from the meat pan to our veggie dish.

Also we had grape tomatoes with feta cheese dressed with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction…

The barbequed moose roast, the entire dish… well…

Delicious

Now I can say we learned how to barbeque a moose roast… and have it tender too!

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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in moose, recipe, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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