Eye on the Outdoors

Beaver

Knowing the Canadian beaver

Back in the 50s and 60s, before many of my readers were even born, as a conservation officer I had the pleasure of undertaking many studies on specific wildlife. These included banding waterfowl, tagging and following fish species, partaking in tagging waterfowl, netting and tagging fish, big game management such as flying the winter yards, …

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Looking back (way back)

My interest in ancient archaeology happened when I turned 62. True, it was a little late in life to go back to life studies, but I was digging in my garden back in north central Ontario when I came upon some old bone structure.

Game on

One thing you know for sure about wild meat is that it hasn’t been loaded with chemicals and growth hormones to get it to market quickly. In general, it has feasted on wild plants and grasses. It’s about the most natural meat you could get. When hunting and harvesting wild game, you know the exact …

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Anti-hunting lives on

History of bloodshed has led some to associate firearms in war with hunting. There are misconceptions and misunderstandings about firearms.

Factors in wildlife management

Look at a section of forest that has been harvested. A group of conservation-minded people entered the cut and made a number of bush piles. The bush pile becomes a safety net for rabbits, squirrels and other such creatures, but let’s not stop there.

Know the age of fowl meat when cooking

There’s a big difference between cooking the meat of wild animals and cooking the meat of domestic animals. Domestic meats contain a wide variety of chemicals, including growth hormones, while wild meat has none.

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.

All about the red fox

Foxes have a number of colour phases. Mainly, we see the red and white, but additional phases include all-black, and black and red. No matter what colour, these foxes all have two things in common.

The perfect canoe paddle

There are many canoe paddles on the market today, made in many styles, of many materials. The key to buying one to fit you personally is appreciating the adventures you will be undertaking in your canoe. If I was to go kayaking, I certainly would only use the ultra light synthetic paddles, even though I …

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Walking stick – what you see, but don’t see

There is an old saying, “I can’t see for looking.” That could be very true when it comes to actually seeing a “walking stick.” The walking stick is a most interesting insect to study. Being from Ontario, where there are plenty of these insects, I had plenty of chances. It’s apparently not so common here …

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The history of the canoe

Back in the early 1970s I wrote a monthly outdoors column for an Ontario outdoors magazine. One evening, after a day spent hunting moose, we pulled the canoe up on the sandy shore of an island and started a small campfire a short distance from our tent. I was with my hunting buddy, Dan Thomey, the founding publisher …

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The amazing bat

Part 1 of 2 Back in the 1930s and 40s, many weird stories hung from the tails of bats—they would get tangled in your hair, they were mixed up in witchcraft, a bite from a bat would condemn you to a life married to a witch. The list went on, despite the fact they were …

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Wild Game Stew

A stew to go hunting for

This is one stew recipe that I picked up more than 30 years ago. It has yet to be outshone by any other wild game stew I’ve made.

Nuts to the red squirrels

Red squirrels are a fascinating part of the outdoor life. They also can be an intentional nuisance to your pet dog. We often watch Red, the red squirrel that inhabits our backyard, as he torments Avalanche, our Siberian husky, daily. Red also steals the peanuts we put out for the magpies. Although the red squirrel …

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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.

Nature versus hunting

How can I go out and shoot an animal? It might surprise you that many animals that go through meatpacking companies are actually shot with a .22 caliber stunning bullet, then hung up by the back legs, then sliced so they can bleed to death in a way that makes the meat of that animal …

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Getting to know bears

If I had to say which member of the bear family I mistrust the most, with little hesitation, I would say the black bear. This is backed up by an experience I had as a conservation officer at the Ottawa Sportsman show. The department had a two-year-old black bear that had been in captivity all …

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Telling a fish’s age

Once you cut a tree down, you can count the number of years it has stood by counting the annual rings around the stump. It might surprise many that you can get a pretty good idea how old a fish is by counting the rings on a single scale. When we used the big box …

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Sport fishing and the future

Fish management is an ever-changing science. With climate change at hand, it will present many unanswered questions about the future of fishing.

Fish actually have ears

Although fish have ears, they do not have eardrums like humans and other wildlife A number of years ago, while writing outdoor columns for some Ontario newspapers, I touched on the subject of the anatomy of the sensory parts of animals and fish. After the publication hit the newstands, I walked into a coffee shop …

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Cooking with moose meat

A successful hunt means cooking moose. Murray shares some meat pie and quiche recipes to try with the moose meat from a successful harvest.

Birds ‘on the fly’

One of the best-tasting meats comes from game birds. Stripping the bird of all of its bones should be your first step … and the next step, after cooking, is to enjoy.

Know your firearm

The first thing you should do after taking a hunter safety course is to go to the nearest shooting range and ask for help in getting to know your rifle.

Let’s go fishin’! – 3 of 3

On land we have voracious bears that will eat almost anything. In the rivers and lakes, without a doubt, the most voracious fish in North America is the northern pike.

Get stuffed!

Stuffing for fish, birds or game should never be overpowering. When preparing stuffing, make it moist and fragrant.

Moose Dish

Many ways to eat moose

Now that you have your moose or deer meat in the freezer, it’s time to get serious about cooking it the outdoors way, inside.

Get the best out of the fish you caught

One of the best ways to assure the very best taste of your fish is to kill it immediately after landing it. Throw away the fish chain and any containers that just hold water. Just don’t use them.

Winter’s white on white

Before I was married, and my wife Lisa and I moved to the Yukon, my home was built on the northern borders of the Township of Oro-Medonte, in Central Ontario, where I just happened to be the deputy mayor. It is a land of rolling hills, valleys and rippling cold water streams, where many a …

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Beaver Lodge

Knowing the beaver

Evolution is an amazing thing and for the beaver, it has taken millions of years. Once almost 8 feet long some thousans of years ago, now the beaver, even though it continues to grow all its life, it will be lucky if it reaches four feet in length and hardly more than 65 pounds. If …

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Knowing the beaver

Picture this: an animal that lived in our waterways, here in Canada that was close to 8 feet long, big chisel teeth and could swim above and below the water line. Of course you would have had to live a few thousands of years ago. It was a beaver – and the beaver of those …

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Not Just a Dog, But a Best Friend

My dog, who I called The Barron, had an all brown head and a brown patch on his shoulders, but otherwise, was all white and, shall we say, not really accepted by the rich and mighty of the bird dog organizations.

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning do not seem to be as common here in the Yukon as in southern Canada. However, lightning strikes are probably the most common cause of our forest fires. Lightning is a gigantic spark jumping between a charged cloud and the earth, but what actually causes lightning is still an item of debate. …

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The Life of Rabbits and Hares

Growing up in the 1930 and early 40s was tough times. First, there was the Great Depression, followed closely by the Second World War. For the average family, money was tough, far tougher than today and rabbits and hares often graced the supper plates. Of course the cottontail rabbit was the choice of the two …

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Big Game Cookery

With the hunting season upon us, it’s time for some special big game recipes. First of all, there is just about no part of a moose that you can’t eat and enjoy. What better to start with than Baked Moose Tongue. BAKED MOOSE TONGUE First prepare a special Raisin Sauce You will need: 1 cup …

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Gone Fishing

As a Conservation Officer in Ontario in the late 1950s through the 1960s, I patrolled the St. Lawrence River to the Quebec border. I came upon a very strange group of people between five and 90 years old. They were in search of a specific species whose ancestors date back 100 millions years ago and …

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Fish

It will not surprise many that this little planet called  Earth is  covered by  seventy percent water. What may surprise many is that the water on this planet holds close to an estimated 17,000 different  species of fish.   Fish have been found in waters in altitudes of 15,000 feet and in waters 35,000 feet in …

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Golfers and Duck Hunters Have Something in Common

The golfing season and duck hunting season have something in common.  I am convinced  that if a person took up both sports their problems would be greatly magnified. I came to this monumental conclusion when I was chasing golf balls on the number six  fairway. It started to sprinkle rain, but undaunted, like a duck …

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Bison: From the Edge of Extinction

People driving down the highway may see a few bison, and never realize that this animal was at one time on the very edge of extinction. The bison made  some people extremely wealthy, others kept some people from starvation, some were shot for sport from a traveling railway cars, herds were driven over cliffs simply for …

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