Larry Leigh

Larry Leigh is an avid angler, hunter and all-round outdoors person who prefers to cook what he harvests himself. He is a past president of the Canadian Wildlife Federation and retired hunter education coordinator for the Government of Yukon.

Avatar photo
A man holding a shotgun

Firearm Care And Maintenance

It used to be that firearm maintenance was more tedious and certainly more frequently needed than it is currently.

A cabin in winter

Basic Winter Safety

Where we live, winter uses up a lot of our time each year. The duration varies a bit, but it’s still a lengthy period…

A variety of ammunition cartridges

Ammunition Choices

Currently, there is a much greater variety of ammunition choices for hunters than ever before in firearm history.

A hunter preparing to take a shot with a rifle

The Hunter’s First Rifle

The .30 calibre, is 112 years old and still high on the list as one of the most-versatile hunting cartridges in the world.

A bear spray refresher

They may still be good, but who wants to learn they don’t work while facing a bear? Each container has only eight seconds of spray.

Tackle box or junk box?

The water is still hard and ice-fishing is good, but now is the time to take out all your open water gear and do some maintenance and organizing. You could get by without a gear inspection, but come July you’ll hate yourself for the condition of your tackle and its containers. IEventually, we all have …

Tackle box or junk box? Read More »

Taking water for granted

In the Yukon, we are spoiled with our abundance of water. Sadly, here and throughout most of North America, we use it (read “waste it”) as if the supply is infinite.

Arthritis: Minimize the difficulty

Here we are, much older than we used to be and almost all of us suffer from the discomfort of arthritis in various places.
Even at a moderate level of pain we find ourselves avoiding lifting, bending, and reaching, as all of those movements – and especially something sudden – hurts.

Local fishing in Whitehorse

Whitehorse is not a world-renowned fishing destination, but it is the entrance to the Yukon, which is one of those places on many people’s fishing “bucket list.”

Black bears and pike

After considerable thought, I can’t come up with any similarity between black bears and pike except that a lot of people won’t eat either. That is sad, as both are delicious and easy to prepare.

Salmon, twice as good

It’s hard to say which of these two salmon recipes is the best because both are delicious. The bonus is that each one is pretty simple to prepare.

Quit loafing around

Try your hand at baking bannock. All it takes is two cups of flour, less than a tsp of salt and about a tsp of baking powder.

Stressed out? Try mindfulness – Part 2

One of the main ingredients of doing mindfulness successfully is to be able to focus so that your brain and body can slow and calm down allowing you to relax.

Stressed out? Try mindfulness – Part 1

More than 35 years ago, I was taught a simple meditation routine. I did not then or now completely understand the mechanics of the routine, but I did it daily for a year or so.

Ice fishing safety

Yukon rivers all have currents, bends, gravel bars, log jams and usually decreasing water levels over the winter.

Time on the land – take a child with you

In my fairly lengthy experience dealing with kids in and about outdoor activities, I have found that they are like sponges when it comes to absorbing information. It is rare to find a child who isn’t interested in nature and the environment. Sadly too many youngsters (and adults) have become addicted to the small screen …

Time on the land – take a child with you Read More »

Buying a knife

Part 1 of 2  One of the more common errors made by someone young or otherwise inexperienced in selecting a knife is to buy something big (heavy) with a thick, long blade. A common example is any knife similar to the famous Bowie knife or one of those large “survival” knives with the hollow handle, …

Buying a knife Read More »

Buying a knife

Part 1 of 2 Different knives are for different purposes, so peeling potatoes is not as easy with a Leatherman as it is with a paring knife. If your budget allows it, I think a person who hunts and fishes needs three knives. The angler can do a better job filleting fish with a knife …

Buying a knife Read More »

Snow can keep you warm

With a little know-how and little or no tools, a snow shelter can save your life. It will amaze you how warm you are inside a snow structure.

Boat trailering suggestions

Larry has some tips to keep your boat trailer, and boat, moving I frequently see trailered boats with the outboard in the “down” position. This increases the chances of  damage to the lower unit or broken prop blades from rocks thrown up by the truck or the trailer tires. If you must use the “down” …

Boat trailering suggestions Read More »

Deer hunting recipes

With hunting season once again upon us, it’s time to attempt to read those hurried, scribbled-down notes of some great wild-game recipes that I have received from many of the big-game hunters I have met, or hunted with, over the years.

Camping: Timesaving tips

Foul weather can wreck more than your mood when you’re out camping and hunting moose. Simple tips and tricks.

Pike for supper

Pike are very common, not difficult to catch and are a delicious mild-flavoured fish. Their one big negative is that they have more bones than other fish, with those “Y” bones in a line along the thickest part of the fillet. The method to remove these bones is pretty straightforward and can be found on …

Pike for supper Read More »

Who invited all these bugs?

Larry has some tips for getting rid of those pesky mosquitoes I’ve often wondered what it would be like to go camping, fishing, hiking or just relaxing by the fire without the abundance of biting insects that seem to enjoy the same places as we do. How about the frustration created by those two or …

Who invited all these bugs? Read More »

Grizzley Bear

The bears are back in town

Never far away, but hibernating over the winter, the bears are awake now and ravenously hungry. Actually, bears are always hungry.

Tinfoil and the barbeque

Tinfoil, as it’s commonly called, is actually aluminum foil. While it’s not essential, it is a boon to the fine art of barbequing. One of the first things to understand is that it comes in various weights/thicknesses and strengths. Some of it is so flimsy that it tears even while wrapping a nicely shaped potato. …

Tinfoil and the barbeque Read More »

Bicycle bison hunt

The Porter Creek Secondary School bison hunt changed from a snowmobile hunt to a bicycle hunt due to lack of snow in March. The planning had been done for the 13 participants, six students, six adults (staff and parents) and Hunter Education Coordinator, Jim Welsh. The Porter Creek Secondary School group was part of the …

Bicycle bison hunt Read More »


Many situations need a fire, right now! An emergency or something you come upon. May not even be an emergency or survival situation, yet.

Ziplocs and vacuum-sealing

Great for camping, canoeing and hunting, ziplocs are watertight. It can rain for days and the items in your Ziploc bags will still be dry.

Ice-fishing with kids

If you don’t make it fun, they won’t like it. Going out again will be unlikely. In that respect, it’s like summer fishing, only it’s cold as well as boring. Kids need to be entertained and that’s your job. They also do better if they have stuff to eat and numerous cups of hot chocolate …

Ice-fishing with kids Read More »

Snowmobile survival gear

A little planning and preparation can save your day in many situations. The winter bison hunts and Dempster Highway caribou hunts are true examples of the extremes in planning and preparation when it comes to snowmobile travel. Some operators, who realize that bad things can happen, carry survival equipment. Others take off without so much …

Snowmobile survival gear Read More »

Snowmobile ice travel

Larry Leigh has some tips to stay safe when venturing out onto ice on your snowmobile

Long johns—the cure for the common cold

These days, long johns are referred to as a “base layer” and are usually made from some very scientific-sounding material and come with a big, obvious logo to satisfy status-seekers.

The cooking fire …

A cooking fire isn’t just a miniature bonfire, and to make a good one takes luck, experience or some advice from someone who’s got a reputation for being a good campfire cook.

KD, rice and Pilot Biscuits

If you have a big budget and a small appetite, freeze-dried meals will work to keep you healthy on the trail. I have always found the servings too small and I’d need two of them to fill me up. They are certainly convenient and super light to carry. With a little imagination, you can end …

KD, rice and Pilot Biscuits Read More »

A shelter from the storm

It’s quite amazing how many people (if they admit it) have had a potentially near-death experience in the outdoors. It’s rarely a plane crash or a boat-sinking experience. Actually, these situations are often due to inadequate planning or mistakes. It’s just three years ago that four really experienced outdoorsmen went to shore in October to …

A shelter from the storm Read More »

Preparing those tasty fish treats

Most Yukoners like to eat fish, but sometimes people want a different taste sensation. Here are some fairly simple options to try: Tasty Fish Treat #1 Ingredients Arctic grayling, filleted and cut into 1-inch squares Shake ’n Bake, for coating Oil, for deep frying Method Shake the fish in a ziplock bag with old-fashioned Shake …

Preparing those tasty fish treats Read More »

Never-fail old standbys

It seems we are living in an age of electronic wizardry. Every season there is a raft of new GPS and communication devices as well as night-vision, heat sensors and range-finding scopes. In the current race to get all these new gizmos, we often forget about some old and very dependable items from the past. …

Never-fail old standbys Read More »



Schnitzel is really delicious and fairly simple to make, but there is a bit of cleanup afterwards. It can be made with just about any kind of meat or fowl, wild or domestic. It isn’t a very common dish locally and is really delicious using some of that 100 or so pounds of moose meat …

Schnitzel Read More »

Footwear and foot care

Our feet suffer less and work longer when they are cared for and housed in proper fitting, good quality footwear.


Axes are very useful tools here in the north where campfires, bonfires and wood stoves are a big part of life. Everybody has at least one tucked away somewhere.

Fishing with Children

The first rule of fishing with children is that it has to be fun or it will fail.

Garage Sales 101

Garage sales are friendly Saturday morning events where we get a chance to socialize with other shoppers and the households, neighbourhoods and organizations hosting the sales.

Fishing with children

Fishing for youngsters may be their first glimpse of ethics and responsible behaviour in relation to nature.

Be Prepared

It is absolutely amazing how even a little preparation can get us through challenges that could be insurmountable without a bit of prep time.

Low impact on the land

The sites you choose look good to you or you wouldn’t set up there. Make your best effort to leave them as you found them. PHOTO: Pixabay   It really wasn’t too many years ago that campsites could be obvious almost forever due to the accepted practices of the day. Tents were different with straight …

Low impact on the land Read More »

Let’s use that whole bear

Sadly, black bears have an undeserved reputation of not being very good to eat. A number of Yukon hunters, including me, will dispute that thought as black bear is just as delicious any other animal hunted for meat in the Yukon.

Hearty Burger Soup

In a recent article on uses for ground meat, I intentionally left out soup so I could do this article on that topic. Burger soup is surprisingly easy to make and I am satisfied it will please even the most discriminating taste buds. The complete project, including cooking time is about 2 hours, but of course, longer …

Hearty Burger Soup Read More »

Ropes and the rope bag

Ropes are the long standing traditional way to fasten or tie things down. These days, those ratchet devices with straps and hooks have replaced knots and loops. For some of us older people, ropes are still the logical tie-down tool.

Caring for the bison hunt rifle

Since the bison hunt started, hunters have had problems with their rifles. Steps to prep them for -25ºC to -40ºC range.

Moose Round Steak

Moose round steak

Tenderloin and backstraps (striploin) get all the hype regarding being the most tender cuts off any wild game animal. They have a good reputation as they usually are tender unless they aren’t cooked properly – which is very often as many people insist on cooking wild game just like they would cook beef. For many …

Moose round steak Read More »

Camp guns for bears

A “bear gun” in camp or at the cabin is very common in the Yukon. It’s primary function is for protection of the humans in camp.

Oil lamps

In modern times oil or kerosene burning lamps are used more as part of décor than to throw light on a situation. People nowadays run electric lights – either battery powered or using electricity – from the grid or a small generator. Propane lights are also used, but to a lesser degree than 20 years …

Oil lamps Read More »

Wall tent camp

The wall tent camp

Sleeping on good quality cots with a wood stove it was so comfortable that I stayed eight nights and prob-ably slept better than at home.

Human Errors Re: Bears

Sadly some human errors are fatal mistakes when bears are involved. Bears are somewhat predictable, but there are many exceptions to that rule. As a result, humans must always err on the side of caution when in bear country. Recent photos in the news from Banff show two separate situations where a human has moved …

Human Errors Re: Bears Read More »

Oyster Sauce Makes it Better

Not too many years ago, I discovered oyster sauce during a barbecue at a friend’s house. I wasn’t sure what the new flavour was, but I really enjoyed it. I have passed on the secret to many others since then and all who have tried it rave about it. This sauce can be found in …

Oyster Sauce Makes it Better Read More »

Salmon: Another Dijon Delight

Fire up the barbecue, here’s another never-fail salmon recipe. Salmon: Another Dijon Delight Ingredients: ¼ to ⅓ cup mayonnaise 2 Tbsp of your favourite Dijon mustard 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tsp fresh or concentrate lemon juice ½ tsp dill Black pepper to suit your taste Lemon pepper Olive oil Method: In a mixing bowl …

Salmon: Another Dijon Delight Read More »

Salmon on a Stick

This shish kabob recipe works well, but be gentle as rough handling will cause the cooked fish pieces to break and fall off the skewer. Ingredients: Any size skinless salmon fillet cut into 1” cubes ½” thick sliced zucchini, enough to put 1 slice between every 2 pieces of salmon ¾ inch pieces of red …

Salmon on a Stick Read More »

Bear Spray

It’s that time of the year again, the bears are out and we need a refresher on bear spray. It isn’t magic – and definitely not the solution to all bear problems – but with a little know-how it will keep you safe in most bear encounter situations. Bear spray is a tool to help …

Bear Spray Read More »

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon

Many household freezers have some – or even a lot – of salmon waiting their turn on the menu. Hopefully all our salmon is wild salmon and not the farmed Atlantic Salmon that is so common in stores these days. Farmed salmon looks and sounds to be less expensive, but if all the factors are …

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon Read More »

Coyotes in the Neighbourhood

Coyotes inhabit everywhere from Central America to the Canadian territories. Originally they resided in the west, but now they reside all across Canada including Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland since the 1980s – they crossed over when ice tied the islands to the mainland. They are somewhat opportunistic in their menu choices, but mammals make …

Coyotes in the Neighbourhood Read More »

Veggies à la Barbecue

I bet you can get your kids or even adult veggie haters to enjoy them done on the barbecue. Here are three simple and very tasty methods. Simple Method #1 Cut carrots diagonally, broccoli any size, cabbage in slabs or just about any other veggie. Wrap in tinfoil with a little olive oil and oyster …

Veggies à la Barbecue Read More »

Portable Burn Barrel

On a recent half-day ice-fishing adventure with our son, I got to experience some of the benefits of a portable burn barrel that he has been using for the past five or six years. He puts it to use throughout the year, but spring/autumn hunts and hard-water fishing are when it sees pretty consistent use. …

Portable Burn Barrel Read More »


“It will take a few minutes.” Almost all the time, taking a few minutes to get a fire going is an acceptable part of the outdoor adventure. There are some semi-emergency or worse situations where we need the fire going right now and a few minutes is just too long. Getting warm is an immediate …

Firelighters Read More »

Happy Appies

Winter is the time for socializing around the wood-stove at the cabin or just in the living room at home. We all want to be warm and welcoming, but when people “just drop by” we get nervous about what we can feed them as far as snacks and appetizers are concerned. Certainly there are lots …

Happy Appies Read More »

Fishing on a Budget

The equipment needed to start out fishing can be very expensive and it’s really easy to spend a lot more than you need to. One of the first things a prospective angler needs to learn is that the huge rack of lures and accessories was made more to catch you than to catch fish. There …

Fishing on a Budget Read More »

Hold Onto that Heat

Woodstoves are still a very traditional heat source for our homes and cabins. Firewood and stoves have always been messy with chips and bark in a trail from the woodpile to the stove, but it’s the way of the north. Sadly firewood isn’t as close to town now as 25 years ago and permits are …

Hold Onto that Heat Read More »

Winter Bird Feeding

I feed the birds in winter because it makes me feel good to do it and the birds certainly seem to enjoy it as well. Squirrels certainly take advantage of the situation, but seem to be much less interested in the feeders that do not contain sunflower seeds. Squirrels can also be stopped by blocking …

Winter Bird Feeding Read More »

Cast Iron

Long before Teflon or other spray coatings were on your pots and pans, cast iron was easy to use and easy to clean. It’s been around for hundreds of years and although always heavy, was brought from Europe by the early settlers to North America. The large cauldrons and kettles, now no longer in use, …

Cast Iron Read More »

Boat Launch Etiquette

This was an extreme situation, but I once pulled up to the ramp to put my boat in the water and a Zodiac owner had just pulled his inflatable out of the water and onto the ramp. He and his companion then proceeded for at least half an hour to disassemble and pack up their …

Boat Launch Etiquette Read More »

Remember Walking?

I still see a number of people out walking for exercise and just the enjoyment of it. It’s kind of a mindless activity at least on a smooth path, where you can unwind yourself or unwind an issue. Sadly for many, the only walking they do is to get to their vehicle or when leaning …

Remember Walking? Read More »


Except above tree-line, good firewood is available in most places in the Yukon but a few days of rain can make pretty good wood too wet to get anything but thick smoke and little flame. A short time spent on preparation  can help to get at least a  good cooking fire anywhere. In other articles …



Until the mid to late 1800s, all firearms were muzzle-loaders, which, as the name implies, had to be loaded singly by pushing the components – powder, patch and projectile – down the barrel from the muzzle. This loading process made them slow to get ready to shoot again, compared to how the process was accelerated …

Muzzle-Loaders Read More »

Axes: Use and Abuse

Winter is the busiest and most abusive time of the year for axes. They get a solid workout in the fall when we split the majority of our firewood, but all winter long they are used for making kindling as well splitting the rest of the wood. For some reason we have gotten into the …

Axes: Use and Abuse Read More »

Cooler Tips

These days the word “cooler” can mean a pre-mixed alcoholic beverage, but it’s also the name of an insulated box to keep your food and drinks cool. Coolers come in various shapes, sizes and prices. A really large one seems like a good idea until you try to lift and carry it after it has …

Cooler Tips Read More »

Lists, Colour Coding and Labels

People new to outdoor activity such as hunting, hiking and camping are likely a bit more organized on the second or third trip than they were on the first one. At first the newbie often just stuffs the pack and gear boxes in no particular order and, unless they are lucky, has to go through …

Lists, Colour Coding and Labels Read More »

Lost, Who Me??

I bet almost every  backpacker, hunter or any other outdoor person has been lost in the bush, at least for a short time. Most won’t admit it, but will agree that they were, “temporarily unsure of their location” or “I got turned around.”   It’s a blow to your ego to come clean and admit …

Lost, Who Me?? Read More »

Chainsaw-chip Fire Starter

We get pretty good at fire-starting if we light enough fires, but there are some ways to make it even easier. Solid-fuel fire-starters work well but kerosene-dampened chainsaw chips are always successful at minimal cost. If you cut your own firewood, you can gather the chips around your saw-buck. If that isn’t possible, everyone has …

Chainsaw-chip Fire Starter Read More »

Hiking: Other Essentials

In previous columns, I’ve talked about food, tents, packs, boots, foot care and outer garments. Now let’s look at other things that range from nearly essential to nice-to-have. Cleanliness needs can be met with biodegradable products, or with a part bar of soap from the bathroom and a small shampoo from the travel section of …

Hiking: Other Essentials Read More »

The Camp Knife

Too often, I have seen people wearing knives that are really too big to take on any task except chopping down trees. These are often visitors, but locals sometimes wield these big blades as well. If we had junglelike undergrowth, maybe these machete stand-ins would have a legitimate purpose. I’m guessing that folks who really …

The Camp Knife Read More »

Clothing to Keep You Safe and Warm

Time on the land can be uncomfortable and even very dangerous if you aren’t ready for the weather nature sends to greet you. On a summer day in the alpine, all four seasons can assert themselves. The hiker who is prepared with good clothing, equipment, and attitude can actually enjoy the weather experience. Ill-prepared hikers, …

Clothing to Keep You Safe and Warm Read More »

On Backpacks

Since people come in different lengths, so do packs. Most quality packs have frame adjustments to lengthen and shorten the unit. Some have no adjustments, but that’s fine if it fits you at the length it is. Don’t buy it simply because the price is right.

Freezing Fish

Over the years a few people have told me that due to a loss of flavour, they do not freeze fish and only eat them fresh. Certainly a well cared for fresh fish has a slight flavour edge on one that’s been frozen, but not enough difference to avoid freezing your catch. For most of …

Freezing Fish Read More »


Over the years I’ve been out in the rain. I’ve seen  people who wear raingear from ultra-expensive Gore-Tex to disposable vinyl rain ponchos, or even garbage bags. Huddling under a tarp is another common sight. How well the garbage bag/vinyl poncho crowd did depended on how long the rain fell, their attitude, and definitely their …

Raingear Read More »

Grilling Salmon

Salmon can be grilled in your oven. Then, it’s referred to as broiling. It can also be grilled on the barbeque, or carefully over a campfire. During our lengthy winters broiling is the usual method at our house, but occasionally I dig the snow off the barbeque and ask myself why I am standing out …

Grilling Salmon Read More »

A Hike or a Walk

Both hiking and walking use feet for propulsion. A walk is often more leisurely, unless it’s your mode of exercise, and it’s done without a load. A walk is usually undertaken close to home, it doesn’t usually cover too much distance, and it usually ends where it started. A hike, on the other hand, often …

A Hike or a Walk Read More »

Camp Tips and Ideas

Meat care: • Pre-cut ropes for hanging quarters. Make them six to seven feet long with a tied loop on one end to fasten to the meat. Leave them attached to lift meat up into a plane or a high truck bed. • Use a child’s crazy-carpet snow toy, or a quadruple folded tarp, to …

Camp Tips and Ideas Read More »

Cooking and Eating Ling Cod

Ling cod, or burbot, is very common in the Yukon’s southern lakes, and is quite easy to catch by jigging, bottom fishing, or using set-lines (which requires a free, separate fishing licence). These fish are bottom-feeders and are attracted to bits of fish belly on a single hook. They usually swallow the baited hook, so …

Cooking and Eating Ling Cod Read More »

Ice Rescue By Others

Falling through the ice is less life-threatening if you are with others, especially if they’re prepared for such an event. Some very experienced Yukoners have put planes, trucks, four-wheelers, and snowmobiles through the ice. A greater number have gone through on foot. It usually happens quickly with little chance to take preventative action. If your …

Ice Rescue By Others Read More »

Cold Water Immersion

The 1-10-1 principle refers to time: one minute, 10 minutes, and one hour. “One minute” deals with cold-water shock; when you first fall into the cold water. There will be an immediate deep gasp followed by hyperventilation and possible panic. Controlling panic and your breathing are critical to survival. This situation will pass in about a …

Cold Water Immersion Read More »

Ice Fishing Equipment

Ice fishing is a cold weather activity and your hands are involved in every operation, including cutting holes, setting up equipment, and hopefully handling fish. High quality gloves, mitts, and hand warmers are essential to keep at it for any length of time. Long before power or even hand-powered augers were available, holes for winter …

Ice Fishing Equipment Read More »

Ice Fishing, Part 1 of 2

In southern Canada’s ice-fishing season, lakes have been traditionally dotted with wooden ice huts or shanties. These are frozen in places with propane or home-built oil drip stoves to keep the anglers warm.  Rarely in the Yukon have I seen such huts, but occasionally a collapsible tarp and plywood structure are seen.  The modern ice-angler …

Ice Fishing, Part 1 of 2 Read More »

Sleeping bag selection

Sleeping bags are available from $25 to $2500, depending on your needs and budget. They will all be satisfactory if used as intended, but none will work very well if used other than what they were made for. Sleeping bags come in a couple of different shapes, a multitude of materials, and a variety of …

Sleeping bag selection Read More »

Knives For the Hunt

Generally speaking, a hunter should have two knives — one for camp chores, such as cutting rope, whittling a wiener stick, or cutting up vegetables. The second knife is for use after the animal after it is down. The general-duty camp knife should be a very convenient multi-tool as made by Gerber, Leatherman, SOG, or …

Knives For the Hunt Read More »

Cowboy/Camp Coffee

A little research shows me that “camp coffee” and “cowboy coffee” are the same thing, but maybe originated in different locations. Basically, each involves a fire, a pot, some water, and some ground coffee. Even the more intricate efforts involve these basic items. Most people who enjoy this type of brew like it for the …

Cowboy/Camp Coffee Read More »

Dumplings For Your Moose Stew

It’s an unfortunate household that doesn’t occasionally sit down to a simmering pot of delicious moose or other wild-game stew. It’s a meal that can be made easily in camp or at home and it’s guaranteed to satisfy even the biggest appetite. There was a time when a stew wasn’t complete without including dumplings (bread-like balls) …

Dumplings For Your Moose Stew Read More »

Sheep Hunting Part 3

Many new gun cartridges have come to the market in the last few years. A number of them are in the 30-calibre-and-under range, and would be excellent for a sheep rifle. The old standbys, such as .270, .308 or .30-06 will never let you down if you do your part; they are also suitable for …

Sheep Hunting Part 3 Read More »

Sheep Hunting: Part 1

 A sheep hunt is a true test of intestinal fortitude. It is similar to an alpine hike, but with a heavier pack — due to meat-care equipment, a rifle, and ammunition. And whereas backpacks are lighter coming down on hikes, if your sheep hunt is successful, the trek out includes hauling 75-90 pounds of meat, cape, and skull. Two hunters …

Sheep Hunting: Part 1 Read More »


It’s in almost everybody’s garden, and it grows totally untended in abandoned homesteads and mine sites — It must be a North American plant, right? Well, not so. it was brought to North America in the late 1700s, but didn’t gain wide popularity until the mid-1900s. This red-stalked, green-leafed vegetable is rich in vitamin C, …

Rhubarb Read More »

Your Goose is Cooked

Unlike the southern provinces where ducks and geese are around for a few months, migratory bird hunting is not a popular activity here. But those who do make the effort can readily get birds for the freezer. Preparing these birds for the table is really quite easy, but, sadly many would-be or used-to-be bird hunters …

Your Goose is Cooked Read More »

The Perfect Weenie Roast

As far as I know, electronic gadgetry hasn’t affected the humble hot dog. Having said that, I’m confident that somewhere out there there is a new gizmo guaranteed to make the perfect tube-steak. Making a hot dog can be a very simple operation, and that’s probably why it is so popular with very young children; …

The Perfect Weenie Roast Read More »

Use and Care of Axes

On a recent visit to a friend’s place I noticed that his axe handle had a 10 to 15 centimetre warp, and the head was loose and rusty. I’ve never seen a warped handle, but all the problems were a result of lack of care. Swinging an axe with a loose head is very dangerous …

Use and Care of Axes Read More »

My View on Optics

Whether you’re a hunter, bird-watcher, naturalist, or a combination of all three, optics play a big part in the activity. Sure, wildlife can be spotted with the naked eye, but a device to magnify your vision is crucial if you want to see the creature in detail. A hunter’s ability to distinguish the sex of …

My View on Optics Read More »

Fly Fishing for Pike

In the Yukon, fly anglers usually target arctic grayling, rainbow trout, or kokanee salmon in stocked lakes. These fish are readily available, fairly easy to catch and make great meals. One very common Yukon fish, usually overlooked by the fly-angler, is the northern pike. These great fish are often demeaned with nicknames like “slough shark” or “alligator,” and sadly …

Fly Fishing for Pike Read More »

Smaller Guns for Women and Youth

If the gun doesn’t fit the shooter, learning to use it will be difficult and even dangerous. Traditionally, both rifles and shotguns are made to suit an “average” sized person, but sadly that person is male and is larger than the average woman or youth. A gun that is too long for the shooter cannot …

Smaller Guns for Women and Youth Read More »

Duct Tape

Likely, most households, tool-kits, camping–boxes, and glove compartments contain a roll of duct tape. Originally developed to seal joints in cold-air ducts (hence the name), it has proven useful for many more purposes. As comedian Red Green says, “If you can’t fix it with duct-tape, you just can’t fix it.” He has shown over and …

Duct Tape Read More »

Managing Recoil in Rifles

Newton’s law about every action having an equal and opposite reaction becomes obvious, and sometimes painful, when shooting any type of firearm. Firearm recoil or kickback is affected by the energy of the particular cartridge you are shooting, the shape of the stock, the weight of the firearm, the way the gun is held, and …

Managing Recoil in Rifles Read More »

A Recipe That Might Change Everything: The Ziploc Omelette

Next to drug dealers, North American kitchens are probably the biggest users of smallish, sealable plastic bags. There are a variety of sizes and brands, but Ziploc is probably the best all-round choice. Not only can you freeze things in them, but if you’re careful there is at least one dish you can cook in …

A Recipe That Might Change Everything: The Ziploc Omelette Read More »

Bison Hunt: On The Table 5/5

When serving bison, ideally the first meal is raved about. If not you’ll have difficulty serving the remaining 2300 pounds in the freezer.


Bison Hunt: In The Kitchen 4/5

Nutrient comparison: fat per 100 grams of lean cooked meat: bison: 2.42 grams; choice beef: 10.15 grams; pork: 9.66 gram. Why we hunt Bison.

field dressed game

Bison Hunt: Field Care 3/5

I suppose by now some hunter has field-dressed a large wood bison by themselves, but I’ll bet they never want to do it again.

Bison Hunt: Getting Equipped 2/5

Hunting Bison isn’t easy. One bull broken down and weighed in pieces is 2,300 pounds. Big animals that can disappear after being hit well.


Bison Hunt: intro of the herd 1/5

1998 was the first bison hunting season. They did nothing to avoid hunters. Later they became wary so hunting them became more challenging.

Smoker Choice and Maintenance

Leaning against the counter at my wife Heather’s staff party, I listened to tales of hiking trips, caribou hunts, broken ATVs and fishing trips good and bad. With the plethora of personalities involved we heard many perspectives of a similar story, until the topic of ice fishing came up. Even the least experienced outdoors person …

Smoker Choice and Maintenance Read More »

Canning Wild Meat

Before electricity, drying and canning were the only ways to preserve meat, but I’ll bet it didn’t take long to get tired of eating dried meat.? With freezers in every home, canning meat has become very uncommon – which is a shame because it is easy, tasty, and it really tenderizes tough meat. It’s also …

Canning Wild Meat Read More »

Vacuum Sealers

Fish quality deteriorates faster than anything else in your freezer. Flavour loss and freezer-burn are the most common results. Double wrapping with plastic and butcher paper allows longer storage, but vacuum packing is the secret to longevity with frozen fish. The early versions of shrink-wrapping devices were large, expensive, and not as dependable as later …

Vacuum Sealers Read More »

Wrapping for the Freezer

Freezer-burn ruins a lot of meat, fish, and vegetables every year. It is caused by air leakage in the packaging, which allows the moisture to escape, drying out the contents. The drying out process leaves the product looking as if it was burned and it is ruined as far as human consumption is concerned. This …

Wrapping for the Freezer Read More »

Coleman: A Good Name in Camping Equipment

It’s been a long time since I was a child, but I clearly remember Coleman lights and stoves on my earliest family camping trips. These days Coleman produces various camping and outdoor equipment including canoes, coolers, tents, modern stoves, LED lights, and of course, old stand-byes like lights and stoves, using either propane canisters or …

Coleman: A Good Name in Camping Equipment Read More »

Hunting Ethics

Respect is one of the most important ideas a hunter can learn and practice.

Tarps Around Camp

Tarpaulins are a very important, but often under-utilized, piece of outdoor equipment. There is no reason why a nature enthusiast shouldn’t have a bunch of tarps in different sizes, since they go on sale for half price at Canadian Tire a couple of times per year. They come in different levels of quality, but the …

Tarps Around Camp Read More »

Lighting and Keeping a Fire

Fires keep us warm, get us dry, cook our food, act as a signal and make us feel good. Anyone can eventually get a fire going but getting it done quickly can be a life-saver, or at the very least get everyone warmer sooner. The “one match fire” works with practice, but carrying a minimal …

Lighting and Keeping a Fire Read More »

Axe Care and Use

I’ve never found a hatchet very useful, but they are very common camping equipment. If hatchet carriers tried a short, full-sized axe, I am confident they’d dump the hatchet. An axe, even a short handled one is used with two hands most of the time and packs much more impact when splitting firewood than a …

Axe Care and Use Read More »

Boot Care

A high-quality, well-made pair of hiking boots will probably cost you much more than your sleeping bag and almost as much as your tent. Having laid out all that cash, you’ll probably want the boots to last for a few years and that is certainly possible with a little TLC. If you’ve cared for the …

Boot Care Read More »

What to Have in a First Aid Kit

You’ll never be sorry for carrying a basic First Aid kit with you on your outdoor adventures. Kits are available ready-made, but they are expensive and often include something you’ll never need – and are missing something necessary. Having the First Aid kit is vital, but training is essential and available locally. You and your …

What to Have in a First Aid Kit Read More »

There’s a Bear in my Yard!

Whether your yard is a camp-site, the area around your cabin or your fenced residential property, it is still disconcerting and sometimes frightening to have a bear that close to you. It’s more common than we realize because a bear may check out your space and finding nothing to attract and hold it there, and …

There’s a Bear in my Yard! Read More »

More Tips About Tents

Now that you’ve selected a tent and figured out how to set it up, let’s consider some more tips to get the best use out of it and to make it last for many years. The fly that came with the tent is essential. No matter what the weather is like at set-up time, put …

More Tips About Tents Read More »

Oyster Sauce and Tin Foil

A roll of aluminum foil can be a time and energy saver when cooking over an open fire – or even at home with the barbeque. The first step to minimizing problems is to buy wider and better quality foil. To cook on an open fire, make your fire in the shape of a key-hole …

Oyster Sauce and Tin Foil Read More »

The Tent: A True Survival Item

If you are interested in sheep-hunting or high country backpacking, then your tent may be the most important item you will ever own. Suffer through bad weather and your attention will quickly be drawn to the difference between low and high quality tents. Over the years, I’ve seen and heard about a number of tents …

The Tent: A True Survival Item Read More »

How to Cook a Meal in a Pit

Yukon is blessed with many pea-gravel beaches surrounding our lakes. These locations are perfect for pit-cooking. It is a bit of effort to dig out the pit, reduce the fire to coals, prepare the food and arrange it on the fire, but once you’ve done that you can relax. Food wrapped in good quality foil …

How to Cook a Meal in a Pit Read More »

Home-Made Trail Snacks

Fruit Leather is a chewy fruit roll or bar made by blending and drying fresh fruit into a leathery consistency. If it is kept cool it will last for the duration of any trek or sleep-over. To make your own, use a Teflon coated cookie sheet covered with a plastic wrap held around the edges …

Home-Made Trail Snacks Read More »

Warm Feet, Happy Feet

Everyone has had cold feet ruin or at least negatively impact an otherwise great day. Our feet are some distance away from our body heat source and are constantly in contact with cold ground, water and snow. Treat them right and you’ll stay happy. This is doubly important with kids’ feet because their misery becomes …

Warm Feet, Happy Feet Read More »

Sleeping Outdoors

Trappers and dog mushers have always slept out in the cold and with a few exceptions have done well. I got my start in occasionally sleeping outdoors in the winter in 1998 during a winter hunting season for bison. A lot of hard lessons were learned and planning and preparation swiftly became more important. A …

Sleeping Outdoors Read More »

Dressing for the Cold

Wearing high quality brands certainly helps, but the real key to staying warm in winter is dressing in layers with the ability to vent off excess heat. The secret is using three layers as follows: WICKING LAYER: This layer is next to your skin and wicks away perspiration (we all sweat whether we like it …

Dressing for the Cold Read More »

Budget meals for backpacking

I haven’t had any freeze-dried back-packing meals for a long time. They may have changed, but I always found them to be very expensive with very small servings. In order to fill my stomach and keeps the costs down, I’ve always travelled with the food described in this article. The first step is getting an …

Budget meals for backpacking Read More »

Spring Black Bear Hunt

An annual rite of spring for many Yukoners, including me, is the hunt for a black bear. Grizzly bears are also active and available, but I am only interested in hunting something I can eat. Grizzly bear is not on my menu. Check the hunting regulations for seasons and bag limits, but mid-April to mid-June …

Spring Black Bear Hunt Read More »

Larry and a lake trout

Ice-out Lake Trout

The three most targeted fish species in the Yukon are lake trout, Arctic grayling and pike, and are sought after in that order.

Pike in the Shallows

Pike spawn in the late spring and depending on where you are fishing are available in shallow water well into early July. Among my favourite places to try are the high-water sloughs and back channels along our many rivers and shallow bays such as Jackfish Bay on Lake Laberge. These areas are often navigable if …

Pike in the Shallows Read More »

Lip-smacking Ling Cod

Ling cod, burbot, fresh-water cod—call them what you like, we can all agree that they’re delicious. I’ve yet to hear of a complicated recipe, but there are probably some available. As mentioned in my Step Outside column in this issue, dressing-out a ling cod is different from handling any other Yukon species. When you have …

Lip-smacking Ling Cod Read More »


A Great Late Winter Catch

If you catch a fish in the Yukon that looks like nothing you’ve seen before, it’s likely a ling cod. Ling cod and burbot are the usual names used in the Yukon, but this fish is common in much of Canada and goes by a number of local names, depending where you are catching them. …

A Great Late Winter Catch Read More »

Canning Fish and Wild Game

A very traditional—often thought of as old-fashioned—way of preserving fish and wild game is canning using the pressure of steam. Unless you have a friend to lend you a pressure canner, the start-up cost can be between $100 and $200 to purchase the necessary equipment and accessories. In olden times, cans were used even at …

Canning Fish and Wild Game Read More »

Larry field dressing

Meat Care Basics

  When you have 300-500 lbs of moose or bison in your freezer, you really need to have everyone in the family just love the first plateful that you serve them. If you prepare properly as set out below, you increase the chances of that first meal being so delicious that it causes them to …

Meat Care Basics Read More »

Moose Hunt Essentials

A moose will often fall exactly where you had hoped they wouldn’t. Here a prepared hunter shines and the newbie learns a few lessons.

Fish Smoking Basics

Smoking fish and making jerky are somewhat similar in that the process removes the moisture from the product (fish or meat). In either case it is your preference as to how dry you make it. If either is completely free of moisture it will keep without refrigeration, but it is not nearly as palatable as …

Fish Smoking Basics Read More »

The Faithful ’06

The 30.06 Springfield is now over 100 years old. With a 180 grain bullet tit is the minimum cartridge to hunt bison in the Yukon.

Campfire Bannock

Campfire Bannock

Bannock is another old favourite—at least the eating part. Making it is simple, but it impresses everyone in camp cooking it for them.


Jerky 101

  So midsummer is approaching, hunting season is just weeks away and you have an abundance of meat left from last years. There are a few options to consider. They range from not hunting this year (not a likely choice), passing some meat on to someone who will use and appreciate it, making a bunch …

Jerky 101 Read More »

Shore Lunch

The Old-fashioned Shore Lunch

If you’ve ever read about—or been lucky enough to go on—a guided freshwater fishing excursion, there’s always a shore lunch included.

Scroll to Top