As told many times, a major reason for all my hunts has been the outdoor’s aspect. And I’m quite sure that’s also true of a majority of hunters. I’ve hunted both private land and public (Crown Land). In this Province of Ontario, public land technically belongs to the Queen of England, under the guardianship of The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, allowing residents the privilege of pursuing fish and game within strict guidelines and licences. Mostly, I prefer the Queen’s Land because as I go further north there is more of it, meaning less human habitation and more natural wildernesses. I like wandering on the Queen’s Land as there is discovered many trails created for logging and other legitimate activities. I like walking, so have never owned an ATV, and likely never will. That allows me to wander off a trail whenever the need or impulse leads me to do so. Plus, ATVs disturb the tranquillity and seriously damage old trails. Nonetheless, I can appreciate their practical use over solid trails in getting back to a camp for hunting on foot or retrieving big game. But for “pleasure riding” and tearing up the Queen’s Land? I think that should be banned! My most fond memories of hunting such areas has been the naturalness and tranquillity of it all – not in shooting a game animal!
If truth be told, on many Crown Land trails I’ve toted loaded rifles with a big game license in my pocket for protection against bears or an angry moose! Ontario hunting laws are such that if you are in possession of a shotgun or rifle on such ventures it is assumed by an officer (if you meet up with one) that you’re hunting, and no excuse prevails! You will likely end up in court defending your activities unless you have an in season license that corresponds with the weapon you’re carrying. So sometimes I purchase a license because I want to investigate a new area or simply walk some trails. And it provides protection against wild game, that could hurt an unwary explorer, by the legal right to carry a firearm (shotgun or rifle) or archery tackle. And you never know what you might see on such ventures, such as this:
< Recently taken with an I-phone at over 200 yards. No weapons and no season (yet) in New Brunswick, my native province, guided by my son.
One of my favorite trails takes me here on Crown Land:< A very good area for any legal game, including ducks.
The discovery of tracks, scat and other sign gives a history of activity by wildlife that can be discerned by a savvy explorer/hunter.
< Very fresh! Of all places, this pic was taken on Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada during our recent visit there, which is a sister Island to Campobello Island where my wife and I grew up and I was born. And there were lots of piles of deer poop like that one.
< And how about these at 40 yards from the residence of our son and his wife where we were vacationing on Deer Island, N.B.
Where we were hosted Looking out the main window of the second floor at the back of the house. The deer were feeding not more than 40 yards away.
Their home on the side of a “mountain” Deer play here
The following is of Eastport, Maine, taken during our recent trip to New Brunswick, from the ferry that crosses between Campobello Island and Deer Island which are on the Canadian side of the border. Before, during and after WW2, Eastport was called “The most eastern port city of the USA”. It was a bustling place. With my parents, along with some other citizens of Campobello, fishing boat trips were made each Saturday to Eastport for shopping, and my dad would visit fishing gear shops along the waterfront. My wife was born there, her mom, and my grandmother. During the 4th of July celebrations, huge warships would anchor about where this ferry is, and shoot their cannons over Campobello… it was the greatest fireworks display I’ve ever witnessed! Today, it is a mere shadow of what it was then when several fish plants dotted the waterfront along with a canning factory – that blew up one morning with barrels of flaming oil going sky high! I sat out on the headland of our property, three and one-half miles away, watching a fireworks display that challenged that of the US warships! It continued for several hours… But Eastport is still a nice place for a vacation.
But, hey, there are new trails in my Crown Land hunting areas left behind by recent logging. That has opened up a lot of new territory for deer, bear and moose, not even to mention lesser game. I visited there shortly after our return from vacation in New Brunswick. Those new trails lead to some clear cuts with great potential. But I’m certain that others will have discovered that by now as well.
< I pulled into this new trail, and the boulder that blocks the trail (good thing) is over 4 ft high!. This logging road leads into a clearing and then continues as a bulldozed trail down, down and down into one of Haliburton Highlands deep gorges. Should be good for big game or small game hunting.
And this was a pic I took in there with my cell phone. I’m still getting used to it as I’ve never before used one. My digital camera gives better pics.
< That’s the muzzle of my .458 and the toe of my boot. Oh yeah, what else do we see? A big track that’s not from a moose, human or elephant! What then could it possibly be other than a big bruin! It looks about a couple weeks old… maybe more. And I had a bear tag in my pocket… still do – it’s good till November 15.
And look what else I found there on my latest trip, Tuesday, Oct. 12. I missed it on my first trip on the 8th:
< The logging is apparently done. A bulldozer had done its work here and this cartridge had been fired and tramped into the mud later — dry mud filled the mouth of the case. But you can discern some of the blue streaks which were permanent when it was cleaned up.
<That was caused due to heat on firing, and perhaps a residue of oil left in the chamber. I’ve cleaned it up and next time will reveal it’s identification. A clue: I’ts a late model hot cartridge – see if you can guess what it is. No, it’s obviously not a .458 Win, but the cartridge is slightly larger than a .458, but not the caliber.
More comin’ folks, ’bout Tales and Trails!
Since they tell us that a pic is worth a thousand words, there are more than 10,000 words in this week’s blog!