Wood ducks….

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Opening day of duck hunting in the southern waterfowl district of Ontario was fantastic. On that day and those that followed wood ducks were king. I took a limit of five drake wood ducks and a green-winged teal on the first day and wood ducks, ring-necked ducks and green-winged teal on subsequent hunts.

Others in camp  bagged a few geese, a mallard and even a shoveler. Mostly however, it was wood duck. When I left camp the count of ducks for the group was 60 along with three geese. Of those 48 were wood ducks.

Woodies are, without doubt, my favourite duck. They are beautiful, taste great and are also useful for fly tying.. I picked lots of great feathers from our haul.

Hunting season is here in earnest.  Archery season for deer season starts on Saturday. We’re having wood duck for dinner tonight. I reconnected with my family and spent time with my son. Life is good.

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Gearing up

Hunting season is here. For me, it starts in earnest on Saturday when our central district duck season begins.  After that, grouse and woodcock open on Tuesday and the following Saturday marks the commencement of the southern district waterfowl season — and, with any luck at all, I’ll be hunting that whole week. That’s the current plan should work or family crisis not intervene.

I’ve purchased a few items; duck and goose loads as well as a couple of these nifty Flambeau ammunition boxes (pictured below). I like these little boxes; they hold 4 boxes of 12 gauge shells. I’m not sure if they’ll stand up to life in the bottom of a canoe, however. I’ll report back on that when the time comes. The good news is they were about $8 a piece, so they didn’t exactly break the bank.

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My main purchase has been a Leverage 5200 ladder stand. This is an innovative design that’s suited to short pack-ins.

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This photo gives an idea of the simplicity of the stand’s design and also shows why it should be just the ticket for my traditional bow. No rail on it means I have the freedom of movement I need.

The whole thing is one piece and the ladder’s three sections telescope in and out so that the whole stand is no more than four feet high when configured for backpacking and is 14 feet high when fully erected. I can attest that it is easy to set up and has a solid and spacious platform. It should come in handy on October 1, when our archery season for deer begins.

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It’s time to revive this blog!

 

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It has been a busy few months since I’ve added anything to this blog but the mood has struck me once again. We’ll start with the easy stuff. Here’s one of my nicest smallmouth this year, a 19-incher. Haven’t broke the 20-inch mark yet this year but there’s still a little time. Caught it on a black mohair leech.

Then there was my turkey this spring.IMG_0679.jpg

And a spring bear too.IMG_0811.jpg

Add to that a  lot of trout  and  bass fishing too. Oh, and some pike in early spring. Now hunting season is here again and there are ducks and deer and my Howard Hill Big Five longbow to attend to. Should be a great season.

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The things you see when you don’t have a tag

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As you know, I attached my deer tag to a doe last week during the archery season. That means, unless I party hunt, I’m out for the remainder of the two week gun season and other seasons to follow.

This morning, I was feeling those blues so I decided to go for a walk in the woods with camera in hand. Fifteen minutes later, I smelled and then saw this young buck. I took several photos with these two being the best.

He was oblivious to me for the most part, acting as if he were in rut mode with head to the ground mostly and reeking like a youngster wearing too much Ax body wash.

I got within 12 yards or so and was wishing a long bow and a deer tag would magically appear in my hands. But, alas, it was not to be.

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In any case, I enjoyed the encounter. And since this fellow is a new deer to me, I’m starting to thing he is on the vanguard of the rut, roaming as young romantics will do.

I’ll be party hunting with friends several times in the next little while. How much you want to bet I won’t get a chance like this again in that time?

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Filled my doe tag

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This morning I affixed my tag to the ear of this nice little doe. Her and I had been matching wits for the last few hunts.

She wouldn’t come into the shooting lane with other less experienced deer. Instead she hung out in a raspberry patch and busted me at least once by circling down wind.

I remedied that by setting up my climbing tree stand on an oak closer to her bedding area and on the downwind side of where she entered the raspberry patch. Even with all that planning, the wind shifted and swirled so that, had I not been 14 feet up, she would have busted me again as she browsed in that patch.

I finally put an arrow through her heart at 12 yards. The shot angled down and took out both lungs as well. She piled up 35 yards later.

It’s certainly not the biggest deer I ever tagged. Then again, it’s not the smallest either. No matter; I’m thrilled as always. She’ll make good meat.

Now I’ll get back to the serious business of bird hunting.

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