With its origins being the Canadian Rockies, by the time this famous river hits the foothills, it is quite cool to the touch and in some areas also very shallow. It is common to see boaters hit the water for a day of fun, but what I was told is that many boats use similar motors to the Sea-Doo, this way they avoid propeller damage. 

The only problem with this, is that if rocks get into the system, it can spell bad news, and with an unforgiving current, you better have both experience and a plan. I am pretty new to the area having just moved here but no stranger to cold waters and strong currents, and loading boats onto trailers following my hunts. 

I have been planning on scouting the area, as part of building my waterfowl network and getting to know the sites and some of its territory. So, I set out for a drive with my father and we ended up at one of the local boat landing spots. We casually walked to the edge of the water, to take in the beauty and study the boat launch. There were many boaters and people enjoying the view or cooling off in the shallows. 

There was a Ford truck partially submerged with its trailer under water setup to pick up a boat, with nobody in the driver’s seat. The owner was a few meters up the river with the his boat parked to the side and from where I was standing all looked normal. He pushed off the boat and swivelled the front around and was now heading South East toward his truck but he had to loop around and come in heading North to be aligned with his trailer. 

By the time, he came round the current caught him and he was going to slam him into the pillar of the bridge, my first reaction is what the heck is he doing, but then I soon realized he had motor issues and the boater had been planning the loading of the boat with engine issues alone all alone. A cyclist from the path nearby also realized what was going on and came down to the shoreline to offer help but the boat was too far out in the river. 

Although the engine was in obvious trouble, the boater successfully managed to straighten out and come back to shore, just West of his trailer. Well, I could not let the boater struggle with the river alone, so I handed over my keys and wallet and jumped into the river up to my waist with my jeans and dress shoes on. Grabbed the rope at the front boat and with the boaters plan, I held onto the boat and let it go down stream just past the trailer and the boater used his marine winch cable hooked to the bow while I pushed hard to ensure it was properly lined up with the trailer and in minutes he started cranking it in. 

The boater let out a chuckle, I reckon he was not expecting me to jump in fully clothed to help out. Following few kind words and a thank you, I believe he was surprised, but I told him not to worry, as I had done this many times during my waterfowl hunts. I was not reckless in my approach and my actions were out of kindness. 

As it is said “Water is the driving force of all nature.” 

In just a few short weeks, I will be leaving behind a piece of lush Eastern wilderness that is all too familiar to me, every rock formation, brush line and its waterways. A place that fed the very substance and gave meaning to my words poured into these blog entries. 

I am saddened to leave my current hunting grounds and the bond I have forged with it. It took years to build trust with land owners and find these slices of heaven. But as avid outdoorsman and humble man, I am re-assured with my knowledge and my ability to adapt, I shall create a new connection with the vast land found at my destination. 

Ron’s Creek

At the same time, I am also very excited and eager to write new stories of my hunts in the very same territory, where I will have the privilege of walking in the footsteps of Carl Rungius and Philip Goodwin. The cool air, and the majestic scenery shall open the gates of adventure and creativity and in time my ashes might be scattered next to Carl’s. 

Until that time, let the winds of the West bring great joy and the discovery of incredible new hunting grounds. 

Several years ago, during an anniversary dinner, a waiter came up to our table to take the order and within seconds, she had complimented me on my cologne. Not only did she pick up on the very faint odour because I do not use very much, but she knew the exact brand. 

I was impressed with the waiter’s energy and level of customer service but most of all with her sense of smell. Over the years, as I spent more and more time in the great outdoors, I noticed that I too may possess a great sense of smell and it can be extremely handy in the woods. 

I can pick up very distinct odours in the field, especially if the breeze is just right, at times I find myself truly envious of other mammals and their sense of smell and among their other senses being more advanced than ours.

One year, while walking through the Toronto zoo, I was overcome by a strong smell of wet cat in the air, it was a very bitter smell. As I got closer to the end of the pathway, I realized that I had just come up to the Lynx cage. I was well over a hundred meters away when I picked up the scent.

Not only do I consider this a privilege having a great sense of smell, but it is also I believe a very important tool we can use in the woods, while hunting small game or big game. Next time you are out, take some time to stop along the trail and test yourselves. 

Try and identify what odours you can pick up, who knows maybe during one of your hikes, you can pick up the scent of a large mammal, which depending on the circumstances it may put you at an advantage. 

Enjoy the outdoors and have a safe summer.

If you have ever experienced cold wet days during duck hunts, or spent several hours in the woods hunting deer during cold November days until nightfall, then you are truly passionate. Not everyone is bold enough to face the elements in such conditions because sometimes it is just plain uncomfortable and miserable. 

When you are young and full of spunk, facing the elements, experiencing cold and fatigue like this can be very rewarding, it develops character and tolerance to the elements. Where, I live throughout my neighbourhood, there is a generation of old men who are also moose hunters, with knowledge that you will never find recorded on written paper and some of their stories are worthy of novels. 

There is one thing about these seasoned moose hunters, the majority have hunted for forty plus years and in time, they choose to hunt in total comfort, blinds with insulation, propane heaters. Heck, some will carry a thermos full of hot coffee and great meals. They also look for more efficient ways of practicing the sport in comfort. 

As time passes, I too am starting to understand their way of thinking in practicing the sport and have now grasped the concepts of comfort in time. 

Not only can you be comfortable, you can also be successful. 

As I pushed forward with my firm grip on the worn out hardwood handles, my wheelbarrow rolled through the waterlogged grass, slicing into the dirt below the green surface, with its tray filled to the top with old hardware. The evening breeze brought in the freshness of spring into the air, a sweet perfume of mud and decaying leaves. With the warmer temperatures now upon us, the conditions were simply idealic for the European Starling and Red-Winged blackbirds. Over the past few days, their numbers have increased in my area along the roadways on the edges of the farm fields. 

Following several trips back and forth to the road, I took a moment to glance at my bird feeders and the river just over the bank. It is during moments like these when I solidify my relationship with nature, I know that this is where I belong. 

With the clock dial nearing seven in the evening, my eyes caught a pleasant surprise, my Canada goose pair are back for a fourth year. Just like last year, nearing seven in the evening, they make their way up the bank and feed off the scraps scattered on the ground by the squirrels and BlueJays. Actually, it would not be fair to blame the squirrels, because it is the BlueJays that are very messy swishing seeds around with their beaks until they find that perfect one. And of course the unwanted seeds fall below making it accessible to the Mallards and Geese. 

This is a behavioural pattern, the other birds learn to appreciate, especially my two Canada’s because they can not reach high up into the feeder. Over the years my observations have transformed into a fascination, attempting to decipher how the Canada’s have developed this uncanny ability to move between feeding areas and the roost during certain periods of the day and with very little margin of error roughly five to ten minutes to seven on the dot. In my case seven in the morning and in the evening, as well as eleven in the morning along the rivers. 

I do not believe it is linked to daylight because of the time difference between spring and fall. I know one thing, that is even though I may not unravel this mystery; one thing is for sure my repertoire as a seasoned waterfowler will only continue to grow and offer an almost guarantee harvests during the open seasons. 

Time is the wisest counsellor of all. 

If one day I could write like Philip Goodwin put to canvas, then what a story I could tell. Tales of hunts that one could only dream of. Through my words you could hear the crackling fire, smell the camp’s Birch burning firewood, or feel the cold of the whistling winds through the Lodgepole Pines forests. 

One of my woodburn’s

As the heat of the fire envelopes you like a blanket, it would send shivers down your back under your worn out plaid shirt. Your weathered hands with their darkened fingernails from the black soil would disappear as they are tucked away into your palms as you tighten your grip around the tin coffee mug handle to preserve the warmth.

As you ready for bed, you can smell the damp canvas of your tent, and see the dew drops crystallize on its seams. Tomorrow shall bring amazing adventures but for now it is just you and the wilderness. 

January second will be the end of my waterfowl hunting season for this year in my current zone for ducks, as for Canada geese it ended several days earlier. I bet for some passionate waterfowlers just as I, you push it right to the last day. 

This time of year as winter sets in, my biggest obstacle is snow and ice. Open water becomes a distant hidden treasure in my waterfowl territory. If you are blessed and able to find an open body of water that flows and remains open; jump shooting may be one of the most rewarding types of hunts. 

If you find yourselves a sweet spot, listen for the Mallard hens and drakes dabbling and splashing their wings around in the water, taking a crisp bath amongst the icicles. Hens give the impression they are gracefully dancing and will repeat their dive and splash four to five times. The snapping sound produced by their wings during this washing ritual is similar to that of the Common Mergansers when they come in for a landing. Generally they are neatly tucked away on the banks close to the golden wild grass, or fighting the currents in the middle and then at times tilting their bodies forward with their backside poking up. Seeking food at the bottom.

A skill to master is to spot them first before they see you, it may seem like I am stating the obvious but when your Adrenaline kicks in, I find this is when most of us trip up. Take your time and come up with an approach strategy and use the vegetation and the ground to your advantage. I often go through my shot cycle scenario based on their reactive predicted flight path to ensure they fall on land depending on when I release my shot.

If you trigger the alert call of a hen, you have just been handed milliseconds for your shots, be steady and release your shot. Your lead manoeuvre will be put to the test. 

In closing as Jase quotes “The No. 1 rule in duck hunting is to go where the ducks are. 

Be safe and see you in the new year! Thank you to all fellow bloggers and readers.

At Least

Sometimes life just happens and it does not matter how much you plan for it, an event will occur and it can sometimes result in undesirable consequences. Unplanned or inconsequential, which are the very words used to describe an accident. 

More often than none, these accidents leave you saying that it could have been avoided; of course but then it would not be an accident. There are many occurrences in this great mystery called life, which go unexplained and yet this is exactly what makes it so amazing to experience. Then again there is a part of me that believes we can control some of our environment to certain a degree and potentially prevent accidents, at least prevent potential loss of life. 

Every time we go hunting, we increase the frequency in which these events can occur, you can fall out of a tree stand, get hypothermia and in some rare cases get attacked by predators or fall through the ice. The other night, I watched several episodes from a show about survival situations, where some did not make it out alive. 

What was interesting is that as I made my way through the various episodes, I started to notice trends. For instance, in order to save on money they did not purchase the right safety equipment, or made a bad decision based on pressure from their partners rather than use sound judgement. Not being trained or properly equipped was something that seemed to be present in almost all the episodes. 

A small knife, waterproof matches, a lighter, long range walkie talkies, flashlights a whistle are all examples of small items that can be purchased at any hardware store and in a life or death situation these items can make a huge difference. Not only can you make a signal fire using the matches by burning evergreen branches to create smoke, but it can also keep you warm, cook food and keep predators at bay. Carry a pocket compass and take a course to learn how to use it or watch educational videos online. Let people know where you are going and when they should expect you back. These are very simple tools and practices that can potentially save your life. 

Next time you head out on a small adventure, ensure you have enough water, snacks an emergency kit and when that event does occur, you will be able to say at least..I have something to assist. Little things make a big difference; tonight you are reading my blog entry in the comfort of your home and tomorrow you can be alone in the bush in the dead of winter, it can happen that fast.


There are places on this earth where status and wealth are meaningless, under the watchful eye of nature you are insignificant.

As you push forward into the cold dark waters, if you were to fall, life around you would continue and your cries would fade in the northern skies. This place is unforgiving, yet its beauty is simply incredible.

During the golden hour as you seek the Canada’s, you become king but only for a short while, and as the ripples in the water fade, and silence closes in once again, nature rules ruthless and raw.

One day you will understand, and when that day comes, your spirit will be truly free and you shall be able to appreciate the whole experience.

There are hundreds of country songs out there that contain lyrics about rural living in the America’s, but very few actually nail it and awaken something in your heart and soul. But once in a blue moon, as I step out the door onto the wooden steps and climb into my truck, turn on the radio and drive down the highway toward the nearby the factory water towers and the distant flashing red lights of the majestic power lines in the horizon; there is that one song which perfectly captures that very moment in time, when you are suddenly overcome by this feeling of weightlessness and freedom. 

With my window down, and my arm leaning out over the edge of the door, my plaid shirt sleeves rolled up to my elbows, my fingers being gently caressed by the cold northern winds, there is something so sweet out there. The urban lights and sounds winding through the arteries of roads, mixed with the smell of diesel and fresh tar fills the air, which arouses lost memories of men like me and the joy they must have felt heading into the waterways and wilderness. 

Driving down to the dark waters of the Ottawa, my gear all loaded up, heading to wetlands with my buddy, knowing we will create incredible memories, pursuing the famed waterfowl of this great northern nation. Once on the river, with the jon boat clapping through the rugged waves, and through our hat the winds whisper into our ears, old tales shared by aged men who were standing on the side of the road waving with their weathered hands. 

For that moment I am at total peace, truly free and the memories of a distant war torn country fade in the mist of the Mercury motor. All of sudden the silence is broken by the calls of Canada geese, and I know then it must be heaven. And what better company than a sweet country tune. 

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