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Friday, February 29, 2008

Make a walking stick......

Need or want a walking stick?
The next time you go out to your woodlot; don't cut one out of your favorite park or off private property. Look around for a small sapling that has been damaged from snow press, you will notice that at the base of the sapling snow has caused the trunk of the sapling to bend. This creates a natural handle for a walking stick. If you look at the photo to the left you can see the natural handle, each stick is unique, no two sticks the same. The preferred time to harvest your potential stick is in March or early spring when the sap is flowing in the trees. This makes peeling simple and if you find a Black Cherry sapling it can be done with your fingers. Otherwise a draw knife available from Home Hardware or a jackknife will also get the job done. Once you have it peeled, let it dry for a couple of weeks;but not in direct sunlight as this can cause it to crack. Then sand either by hand or with an orbitable sander, first with 80 grit, then 120. Some people prefer the natural color of the wood or you can use a stain to get the color you prefer. Let the stain dry and then apply 3 or 4 coats of clear (outside) varethane; letting each coat dry for at least 24 hours. After each coat drys, sand lightly prior to applying the next coat. Be sure to wipe the walking stick with a cloth to remove dust prior to applying the varethane. You can then either put a brass end on the cane available from Lee Valley or dip it in a rubber compound available from Canadian Tire. This puts a kind of none slip end on the stick and protects it from water/snow/gravel. As you can see from the photo, the shapes and character from each stick is unique. So on your next walk get your son or daughter involved and make it a project you complete with them from beginning to end. Its something they will remember, and will probably use for years to come.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Army Jackets

Want a good army jacket check out these. These are all from the same person, just listed on different sites. I've seen these jackets and they are in excellent shape, some are like new.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Maps for your GPS

These maps are excellent for your GPS. Especially for a Garmin 60CSX. Check them out at http://www.toporider.com/topogpsONT.html They also carry maps for other regions and specified uses.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Suggestion for Provincial Government

I just had a thought.....lol; thinking outside the box again, forgive me. Let's look at the recent over inflated price of fuel in Ontario. Ok, the price of 1 litre of gas was $1.03 a day ago, today $1.09. We all know that when a holiday weekend approaches gas takes a jump up to $0.12 cents a litre, and most of the time is not a reflection of world prices, supply & demand or any other factual excuse. Who pays it every day; we do. Where does it go?......I'm not sure; waiting lines still at hospitals, crumbling infrastructure, cuts to transfer payments to municipalities, Ok to my point; ok let's take $.01 cent from every over inflated litre of gas sold in Ontario.........now let's take that $.01 cent from the Provincial windfall collected daily. Now let's just collect 1 years worth and put it into an account. What is your estimate of how much money would be sitting in that account? I'm fairly confident it would scare the crap out of all of us. Now imagine if that money was utilized to manage our Natural Resources............It's all about priorities.........I'm just not sure what those pritorities are......are you?

Compass or GPS???

To be honest no outdoors person should be without..."Both!" Why? Well the first time you drop your GPS in the water, or on a rock, batteries go dead, or it has an electronic melt down.........need I say more? A compass could be your lifeline; not only that but both can be utilized for different purposes. Your compass can serve as a quick reference for direction, used to start a fire........if equiped with a magnifying glass, and used for general navigation. If you're going on an extended trip over long distances for a week or two, it will also cut down on how many batteries you'll need to take along. Don't get me wrong; GPS units with topo's and some of the other features they offer are absolutely awesome. However I would strongly suggest that you not only purchase a good compass, but also become very good at navigating with it. Most importantly remember this..."Always trust what your compass is telling you" A very good lesson that may not seem like good advice is just once get "Lost" under conditions where you have someone more experienced to get you through sorting out your solution. You'll always remember how to sort things out. Good luck and happy navigating! I have provided the models I utilize in the photos; my compass I've owned for 30 years, the GPS for one, and I utilize them both.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Calling Moose

My first experience at actually even attempting calling moose happened while I was living in Northwestern British Columbia. One of my fellow Forestry officers had observed a large bull moose up on a cut block in mid to late July. Our hunting trip took place September 20th; and was just one of those last minute ideas....hey lets go wack a moose tomorrow.ok, be at your place at 6:00 a.m. Well he arrived at 8:00, we got up to the cut block at about 9:00 a.m. parked the truck walked approximately 1 mile on an old skid trail and looked around observing large tracks lots of sign but old. I decided to stand up on a log and call, I had read and listened to calls so I attempted to mimic that sound. Much to my amazement he answered. This bull was over 2 kilometres away but I could clearly here his low gutteral grunt. I said to my partner do you think he'll cross that lake? No, we'll have to go around the other side. Well I kept calling the bull kept answering and you could tell he was getting closer to the far side of the lake. So I said well lets just walk back to the truck and I'll call him right to the truck. 45 minutes later he was standing broadside to me at 30 feet, 54 inch rack.....two shots with a 338 and he was down. So we turned the truck around, slid the plywood out to make a ramp, hooked a winch to his horns and winched him up into the box. Hunt complete, hunt successful and my partner shaking his head in absolute disbelief. So don't worry about sounding stupid it works, and its not hard to do. Remember though that moose lock into your position from your first call and can locate you like they have an onboard GPS unit in their head. Give it time as sometimes smaller bulls will come in silent worried they are going to get their butts kicked by the big boy. Good luck give it a try, but also be careful, I have had numerous bulls charge me. The moose in the photo is not the one I shot, but I thought I should include a photo.

White Tube Jigs For Lakers

I read an article on using white tube jigs for Lake Trout and never really gave it anymore thought until one day last July while fishing for Bass. We were fishing the shoreline of a lake which had lots of rock outcroppings and nearshore structure tapering off quite quickly to over 20 feet in depth. My fishing partner flipped a white tube jig in towards shore bouncing it off a rock face and working it down into the depths. All of a sudden I hear "Damned I'm stuck on bottom". I looked up and noticed that unless bottom swims it appeared as though the line was swimming away from the boat. I said give your line a good shot.........which they did; to both our surprises the so called swimming bottom turned out to be a 6 pound Lake Trout. It absolutley engulfed that white tube jig. So needless to say I now use tube jigs for Walleye, Bass Lake Trout and Muskie. They are an awesome lure and seem to attract a variety of species.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Specs & Browns

Some of my most memorable moments while fishing were wading through thick cedar swamps in a pair of old sneakers, a pair of shorts, my favorite ball cap and some worms, a few flies and some small spinners in my vest. It's truly amazing the size of fish you can find in a stream that disappears under log jams, or under vegetation. I've even had streams totally disappear and come upon them twenty or thirty feet away. What size of fish you ask........well would you believe Browns in the 1 - 5 lb range in a stream no wider than 2 feet......specs in the 10 inch to 1 1/2 lb range. Most people drive by these types of streams thinking there couldn't be fish in that ditch. I have fished streams in southwestern Ontario some of which lead into the Upper Thames River, branches of the Beatty Saugeen, small streams around Lake Huron, and quite a few around Lake Superior. If you really want to have a ball give it a try sometime. I have fished beaver ponds and small lakes and found unreal specs up to 3 lbs more than willing to snap the rod right out of my hand, I've had browns take a worm so hard, and pull so fast and with such force that I have snapped my ultra light in two .....not to mention that I wasn't expecting that kind of a hit. Unreal moments, unreal fish, and memories......I can't wait til spring...........!!!

Slot Sizes ....?????

This is a comical recollection regarding slot sizes. Ok, I've gone out and done it this time, I bought a ($3500) boat. Oh yeh I bought a motor ($1500) ...and trailer ($1000) now for plates ($75) insurance ($250) , tackle, rods, fishfinder, net, oars, safety gear, floater jackets, fishing licence, cooler, gas for truck, docking fees, GPS, add another ($2500)You see where I'm going with this..well you will in a minute. I finally arrive at my destination, been waiting for weeks, launch the boat, go to a nice rock face and start trolling out from shore.......15 minutes first Lake Trout, perfect! Well wait a minute..it's in the "Slot Size" can't keep him, oh well maybe the next one.....back he goes. Ok I'm going to keep this brief, this goes on all day long, we catch measure and return to the lake over 15 Lake Trout. Do you think the Ministry knows that 99.9 % of all the fish in the Lake are within the slot size? Of course they do, will the slot size go up next year......of course it will.......does anyone keep fish in the slot size?......of course some people do........do the majority of fish get taken through the ice when the Ministry isn't going to be around checking......of course......Why when anglers contribute so much to the economy and to the resource will government not properly fund the Ministry Of Natural Resources, so that our Lakes and Rivers and our Natural Resources in general be managed properly. Come on, give me a break, I just contributed a lot of money to ensure, government got taxes and licencing, people were employed to manufacture what I bought.............this story has been witten a thousand times......when will government wake up..........probably after its too late, and everyone stops enjoying these sports, because there are no fish and even if you were lucky enough to catch one, you wouldn't be allowed to keep it. Wake up government!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Awesome Hand Made Knives..

If you're looking for a knife that holds an edge, looks good, feels good, excellent craftsmanship.......look no further. Ron Post creates some truly beautiful yet totally practical knives; whether for the avid wood carver, for your kitchen, unreal fileting knifes, folding knives........check out his website http://www.postknives.com/ He usually goes to the Sportsman Show in Toronto and can sometimes be found at the Magnetewan Market during the months of July and August.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How about Heli Fishing on your dream river in Northern BC?

The same lodge that offers heli skiing also offers exclusive fishing on some of North America's most famous and most written about rivers. Fish rivers like the Damdochax, The Bell Irving, Nass, Meziadin and Bear. Check out their website, rate plans and information by clicking on the title to this post. This also would be a fishermans trip of a lifetime. The following link will take you to a slideshow of the lodge and some of the fish they catch........enjoy http://www.steelhead-fishing.net/content/gallery.html

Last Frontier Heli Skiing

This is a post for all the skiing fenatics out there. If you think you've done it all, you're mistaken .Unless you've been to Last Frontier Heli Skiing. It won't be a cheap trip but it also won't be one you'll ever forget. Last Frontier Heli Skiing is located in Northwestern BC and offers probably one of the best downhill heli skiing experiences in the world. Snow depths that are unreal and runs that are so long after two or three days you won't be able to stand up. If you think you're up to the challenge click on the title and go to thier website..check out the pictures and information; and then decide if you're up to the challenge. If you do go........let me know if you were able to ski after the third day

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Northern British Columbia Fishing...........

This is a little bit outside of Ontario; however I did live here for seven years and not only was the fishing excellent, the moose hunting was the best I'll ever do in my life. Back on topic regarding the fishing....I lived in the Town of Stewart BC; which sits on the end of the Portland Canal (Pacific Ocean) on the border with Hyder , Alaska. The fish in this photo were caught in the harbor in January trolling a cut plug. It took me about two hours. These fish had so much fat on them it was unreal, good fighters I might add. They all ended up in the smoker. Crossing over into Hyder Alaska , populatiom of around 100 people, if you drive just out of town the State of Alaska built a Grizzly and Black bear viewing platform. Some brave fisherman attempt to fish downstream of the platform, however I never felt the need to tempt fate. Meziadin lake is also an excellent choice, I usually always caught my limit of Dolly Varden on the far side of the lake trolling about 10 feet from shore in 4-6 feet of water. On one occasion I was using an old push button reel, with a very small Clio.......much to my surprise I thought I was caught on bottom........"Big Surprise" a 54 pound Chinook...worst part I had to throw it back as once they reach the lake you can't keep them. If you are wanting excellent fishing; Terrace BC, can't be beat, springs, pinks, steelhead, sockeye.............I'll post more info in the future.....

Outdoors Ontario Slideshow