November 2, 2015, opening day of the rifle season for whitetail deer in Ontario and what a memorable opening day it was for Omer and me. This hunt goes into memory as the culmination of camaraderie, sportsmanship and teamwork between me and my hunting buddies, notably Jason and Omer. By the end of legal shooting time at 5:18 pm, we had a button buck and a coyote in the bag. I saw a doe from my stand too. It is going to be very difficult to top this hunt in this and succeeding seasons. Continue reading
Taking a moment to write these words before I make final preparations to go sit in my stand this afternoon. It is the opening of the rifle season for whitetail deer in Ontario. I am going to a property near Spencerville where my hunting buddies and I have our stands set up. Jason and I were out yesterday with our dogs, combining upland gunning, checking the trail cameras and relocating my stand. Until yesterday my stand was located overlooking a ridge on crown land adjacent to the property we hunt. We found a group of hunters operating a camp on the crown land and the last time I sat in my stand the previous season there was a hunter seated on the ground about 100 yards right in front of me. Even if a deer wandered into view on the ridge in front of me I could not very well shoot with another hunter down range. We moved the stand to the edge of the property, well away from where the hunters from the camp should be trying their luck.
We swept through some decent grouse cover with the dogs on our way to the first two trail cameras, but turned up no birds. Once we reached the cameras, Jason put the chips into his camera and we viewed what the trail cameras caught since we last checked. There were deer, coyotes, raccoons, Val and Peter (the owners of the property) and most interestingly, two young black bears. We hunted the property starting in 2011 and to date took three deer (two bucks and a doe) in following seasons. Never have we seen a bear or sign bears were in the area. Jason has a bear tag this season, so maybe he will put a bear in the bag.
We decided to move the trail cameras to cover the area closer to where our stands are located. We continued the hunt, working our way to check on the deer stands and reset the trail cameras. I hoped we would get into some woodcock and maybe a snipe in the bog next to Rick’s stand. Rick is a neighbour of our host and hostess who hunts the property also. No birds were turned up, but as we approached Fran’s stand Jason noticed deer trails crossing in front of it. We placed one of the trail cameras on a tree overlooking one of the trails. We moved toward Jason’s stand and the dogs got birdy. As I approached Jason’s stand a grouse hopped up before taking flight. I called to Jason “grouse!” I did not shoot as Jason was in front of me in the direction the grouse flew. I heard two shots from his autoloader. He thought he winged it, but we searched with the dogs and turned up nothing. We made our way back to Jason’s stand and carefully placed a trail camera to watch the area.
We concluded the hunt after moving my stand and resetting a trail camera to watch the area. Now we have our stands set to cover the hardwoods and cedars at the edge of the swamp the deer use to travel across the property. This season everyone has a doe tag except me so I hope a buck sees fit to amble past my stand before the season closes. Time and fortune will tell.
Posted by Geoffrey
As a new hunting season approaches I look forward to setting out on grouse and woodcock hunts with my dog Hera. As I look to the season ahead I remember the first grouse I shot 41 years ago in Limerick Forest. I was out with my dad and as we drove along one of the forest roads a grouse ran out in front of us. We stopped and got out of the white Volkswagen van he drove in those days. I was carrying my first shotgun, a Savage hammerless 16 gauge single shot with a 28 in. barrel and full choke. The grouse ran off the road and escaped, but my dad and I found there was a covey of birds. As we swept the cover there were multiple flushes with the birds flushing unseen. This was both exciting and frustrating for me, but my chance came when finally a grouse flushed and offered me a shot in a gap between a couple of fir trees. I mounted my gun and fired, a snap shot just like I read in the CIL guide to upland gunning. My dad heard the shot and asked if it was me. I replied it was me and walked up to the gap between the trees and there on the ground was my grouse. I sure was excited and cried out repeatedly “Dad, I got a grouse!” What I remember most about shooting my first grouse was the feeling of triumph and touch of sorrow I experienced when I retrieved the dead bird. Continue reading
The first week of the rifle season in the area near Spencerville, Ontario where my hunting buddies and I sit in our stands during the deer season is over. What a week it was. We hunt on the farm of friends who allow us access. The farm is surrounded by crown land, much of it swamp. Monday, November 3rd was the opening of the season. The Saturday before Jason, Omer and I put out 800 lbs of apples by Jason’s stand at the edge of a patch of the swampland. Last season Jason shot a 6 point buck in the first hour on the opening day of the season from his stand. Jason was not with Omer and me for the opening of this season. Omer sat in Jason’s stand–Omer has yet to shoot a deer so we want him to get one this season if possible–I sat in Fran’s (Jason’s wife) stand. Jason and Fran have a four month old daughter, Rose, at home so their hunting opportunities are limited this season. In their absence, Omer and I, with their blessing, sat in their stands. Omer and I were in our stands by 2:00 pm. We sat until the end of legal shooting time, half hour after sunset, and no deer were seen. We heard shooting from the surrounding crown land, so it looked like a good start to the season for some of the deer hunters in the area. Continue reading
Continuing preparations for the 2014 white-tailed deer season in Ontario, Jason and I set out to the farm in Spencerville to relocate the deer stand used by Jason’s wife Fran. We took the dogs, Hera and Nos, so they could enjoy a good run on the property. We brought Jason’s wheeler, it is proving to be an asset in our big game hunting. We were on the road shortly after 8:00 AM. We arrived at the farm shortly after 9:00 AM and set out. The cool weather took care of the mosquitoes. We were able to get on with the task without putting on insect repellant. It was a nice cool and sunny day.
Our objectives were to put up Jason’s two trail cameras and relocate the deer stand. It was located on a patch of crown land in an area where hunters from a hunt camp in the vicinity cross. Jason thought it would be more productive to move the stand onto the farm to a spot that attracts more deer and fewer hunters. We found what looks to be a very good spot on the farm to set up Fran’s deer stand. It is in a woodlot overlooking where two deer trails cross: a crossroads. I cannot help but think of the superstitions concerning crossroads and the Devil. There are legends concerning people having made deals with the Devil at crossroads and interestingly we are hunting a creature with cloven hooves. But these are just stories, right?
The trail cameras are in place and Fran’s deer stand is relocated. The whole expedition was carried out without any trouble. The dogs had a good, long run and did not run into porcupines. We put a great deal of time and effort into deer hunting, scouting the area and carefully placing the deer stands. We will be back when the archery and rifle seasons open in hopes of bagging a deer. Nothing is guaranteed, but we enjoy the experience no matter what fortune brings.
This season everyone in our hunting party got a doe tag in the antlerless deer draw. Jason and his wife Fran, Omer and myself were successful. Hopefully one of us will bag a deer this season. This past weekend Jason and I headed out to the farm near Spencerville, Ontario we hunt deer to check on our stands and to put out some salt. We brought our dogs, Nos and Hera so they could have a good run in the field just ahead of the 2014 hunting season. We will return to the farm in the near future to put up trail cameras. The past three seasons we have taken a deer: Fran took a spike horn buck (from my stand) in the last minutes of shooting time on the last day of the rifle season in 2012. I took a doe (my first deer) with my brand new Browning X-Bolt Medallion rifle, left hand, 30:06, one week after I bought it. Jason took a six point buck in the first hour of the 2013 rifle season with his new Cooper rifle. Here’s hoping this trend continues this season!
Posted by Geoffrey
Monday, November 4th, 2013 was the opening day of the two week rifle season for white-tailed deer in the county where Jason, Omer and I hunt. We took to the field in hopes of bagging a nice whitetail. Both Jason and I had doe tags, so we were confident that at least one of us would fill his tag. As it happens, Jason bagged a six point buck in the first hour of sitting in his stand. It was a great start to the season!