Outdoorsmen falling into change of seasons

JEFF MORRISON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

With a brisk breeze sweeping through our forests, and local lakes and rivers beginning to cool off, the smell of fall is in the air.

A seasonal change is upon us, you can just feel it in the air. And don't kid yourself, our fish and wildlife can feel it as well.

At this time of year, fish species like northern pike and muskie, which have spent much of the summer months in deep water, slowly begin to disperse back into the shallows.

Seasonal changes and movement are observed in the white-tailed deer and black bear population as well.

With the white-tail buck's antler development now complete, resident males will head into open fields for a little 'meet and greet' with the boys. As the pre-season sizing-up period approaches, bucks congregate in groups to compare antler sizes and establish the pecking order.

Even the roving black bears of the Gatineau hills are now slowly making their way into local fields, to gorge on the calorie rich corn crops.

Late summer is typified by movement and change in both woods and water, and a super time for local sportsmen to observe critters on the move.

Wild-game recipe book on the way: Our friend Harry Kingston has finally hit the big time with his passion for wild game recipes, with his published book to be released this fall. You may recall Harry's delectable sausage recipes from articles here last year, and the local sportsman is ecstatic that a compendium of his culinary clips will be available in bookstores this October. Harry tells me he has just included two new sections, one on field-dressing game, and another section featuring fish recipes from the Rideau/St. Lawrence area. One of Harry's popular new dishes includes the "Leeds County Venison Tenderloin with Anchovy Butter." Watch for further information in the coming weeks on the book release. I can almost taste it now. Mmmm, anchovy butter.

Unauthorized cutting: A Petawawa man was charged this week for illegally harvesting timber on Crown land. The 39 year-old has been convicted of harvesting Crown timber resources without a forest resource license, and fined $1000. Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers from the Pembroke office responded to public complaints about illegal timber harvesting in the Black Bay area. The guilty man believed he was harvesting the timber legally as an aboriginal person, based on his membership in the Bonnechere Algonquin Community. The MNR would like to remind everyone wanting to harvest fuel wood from Crown land for personal non-commercial use, they must first obtain a licence from the MNR.

Beep Beep Zip tang! Herman Baguss was fishing this past Sunday on the Rideau River below the Hwy. 416 bridge when he witnessed not one, but three acts of boating stupidity in the space of three hours. While anchored inside the channel in broad daylight, casting to a favourite spot 30 yards out from a weed bed, Baguss had a bass boat pass by him at a speed in excess of 40 mph, no more than 10 yards away. With at least 150 yards of channel width between he and the far shore, there was no reason why a boat should cut it so close. Half an hour later, another bass boat cut between Baguss and the weed bed he was casting to. Finally, with his boat coasting back into the ramp in only five or six feet of water, another speeding boat travelling 60 mph or more, cut recklessly through the narrow path between Baguss and the ramp. These incidents have left one irate angler wondering how fishermen can be so discourteous.

Next week: Tune in next week for an exciting field test on Bolle sunglasses, as well as an interview with Scott Smithers of the MNR and a feature on the fisheries management work carried out on the Rideau River. Please e-mail me your comments or article suggestions anytime.

jeffm@mail.magma.ca


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