Hey folks, hope you all had a wonderful, and fishful summer. I apologize for the lack of updates. My camera got wet back on a trip in July and I was without it until about two weeks ago. The walleye fishing slowed in the Lancaster area by about mid-July so most of my limits were caught upstream above the dam. I did have a chance to get out for bass a few times but the old Sea Nymph is making it more and more difficult to focus on fishing. The trolling motor finally gave up and I ended up having to paddle my way in tight to bass spots. Not ideal although it did put a few nice fish in the boat including a monster smallmouth in the 5lbs range. I have therefore decided to sell my boat and am presently getting a feel of the market for new boats. I’ve narrowed it down to two choices: The Lund Predator 1810 or the Lund Pro-Guide Tiller 1825. I like the slightly wider and longer hull of the Pro-Guide and the fact that it’s a tiller because you save so much space in the boat not having a console, but the Predator comes with an 110HP Merc instead of the 90HP one on the Pro-Guide. It’s also a bit more affordable than the Pro-Guide. All things considered however you are talking about two serious boats. I fished in my friend Mike’s Rebel SX all year and I can only imagine what the extra two feet will provide in terms of fishability and ability to handle the big water that is Lake St-Francis. Next season should be a fun one. If anyone has an opinion or suggestions about these two models I’d love to hear it.
In the meantime I’m gearing up for my yearly week off in November to hunt the numerous and beautiful whitetail deer in the area. I’m not sure I’ll top last year’s success (see post entitled “A Moment I Will Not Soon Forget) but I am anxiously anticipating spending a week in the outdoors and getting away from work for a while. The fall is truly the prettiest season if you are dressed properly and you get out there. Its sights and smells are both picturesque and invigorating.
Waterfowl season is well underway now. I have been fortunate enough to be able to get out for 3 weekends now and we’ve limited out each time. It is getting more and more difficult to draw in the geese as the season progresses, but with a bit of patience and persistence we are able to bag our 5 per stamp in a couple of hours. I am by no means a goose calling expert but I’m learning each year. Here is a short video of the final approach of a small flock I shot back on opening day. I apologize for the shaky finish as I was tempted to grab my gun at the last minute but decided to keep recording instead.
We got out to our field that day at about 5:30, giving us plenty of time to set up the decoys and get ready. There were a few corn rows left standing providing an ideal ambush point. The farmers and hunters have a good relationship when it comes to goose hunting in the area. Geese give farmers headaches and they are more than happy to allow hunters on their land. From a hunter’s perspective, we truly appreciate this. That’s why it is critical to make sure to leave the field as you found it. Don’t drive out to your spot unless you’ve received the farmer’s permission and always pick up empty shells and anything else you brought out there with you. Practicing good ethics while hunting is essential in maintaining this relationship and is beneficial to all hunters in the long run. The geese started flying at 6:24am and by 7:10am we had our limit of 20 geese, or 5 per hunter.
If you look closely you’ll see a black lab in that last picture. That’s Asia, Mike’s dog. So far she’s a bit better at running around frantically than at retrieving geese but Mike is well on his way to having her become an excellent hunting dog. She does retrieve ducks already and has retrieved geese in training. Here’s an example of how Mike trains her taken a little later that morning. I really get a kick of watching her jump in the water.
If you are out of ideas as to what to do with goose meat, I suggest you take them over to Stephane Levac’s butcher shop up in Dalhousie. He has a huge variety of sausage flavours to choose from and take it from me they are fantastic. They are also quite affordable. One thing he does ask is that you take good care in ensuring all pellets are removed from the breasts. The best way I’ve found to do this is to soak them in brine for a few hours before giving them a final rinse. I enjoy goose meat on it’s own as well. It lends itself well to strong marinades and slower cooking processes. However if you treat it like beef it will be very tough.
So far so good for the fall season. I’ll let you all know how the deer season turned out.
Feel free to send me pics and stories as some of you have been doing this summer. I really enjoy sharing hunting and fishing stories so drop me an email and comment. I know the comment approval process is a bit annoying but I have to do this or I get spammed like you wouldn’t believe.
Cheers and stay outside! Jigger