July 2nd, 2008
Well, the 2008 Ontario Hunting regulations are out and it looks like a good season for hunters in WMU 65.
The Ministry has decided to kick off the bow season a bit early this year, and has graciously allowed us a four-day head start from the 1st until the 4th of October. Then we’ll just have to park our sticks and string for a bit until the regular bow season opens on the 15th of the month and runs through until the end of December.
No great changes after that. Our two weeks of shotgun season open on the 3rd of November and close on the 16th, and the guys in buckskin and coon-skin caps can blast away with their muzzle-loaders from the 1st of December until the 7th.
The record amounts of precipitation that fell as snow last winter haven’t abated much. Our rainfall through May and June has been way above normal levels, resulting in lush browse and good cover. So, although a lot of our deer started the spring in very poor condition, Mother Nature served up the remedies by the bushel.
We’re certainly seeing as many deer as we did last year at this time, although I haven’t seen the numbers of twin fawns that I did a year ago. Now, to be fair, that might just be a coincidence….maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. But it would seem to make sense that some of the older does – the most likely carriers of twins – just didn’t have the youthful vigour to make it through the winter of 07-08.
Both Jim and I have seen some really nice bucks with impressive racks. A four-member bachelor herd – two of them at least four-year olds – keeps showing up in one of our favourite spots, and another small spruce plantation is the nesting-grounds for a huge old duke who has a rack with enough parking space for ten Stetsons. The guy or gal who tags this fellow is going to have their name on the charts.
Jim and I will be scouting out some new properties in August that haven’t been hunted in years. Two of them have old over-grown orchards, and that might prove to be really good bambi-candy, because not a lot of our wild apple trees have pollinated. As Jim says, “The traffic is a lot more interesting when you only have a few ice-cream stands to watch.”
Take a care, and check The Scrape regularly.
Jamie and Jim