Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas all.

A Merry Christmas to anyone who happens along. I haven't posted in a while but I have a week off and I hope to be spending a fair bit of time in the woods. I hope all enjoy the season

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nothing fancy

I love bird dogs whose reason for being is finding birds and they look at you as you come abreast of them by rolling their eyes until you see the whites without them moving their heads.
I love the covey flush which gets your chest pounding and your adrenaline going as if it is your first covey.
I love the rise of a trout or better yet the hidden wink of the take of a dead drifted nymph.
The pull of a salmon as the fly swings on a drift.
The feeling you feel as you realize that you will soon have the moose dead to rights after a tense 20 minute stalk and you look asking, is he there? he should be there and then you see him bigger than anything you had imagined.
Sunsets,woodsmoke, leather, canvas, cold rain, warm sun, first snow of the season. The smell of balsam fir and wet dog. I taste and smell all of this in simply cooked wild game. Moose and onions. Its as good as food gets.

Well that picture was a disappointment, it didn't do it justice. Oh well off to the city tomorrow. Snow shoes and snowshoe hares soon winter has arrived.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I haven't been out much busy with work and last weekend we had terrible weather. It has been unseasonably mild. Its 0130 now and the wind has woke me up. Its forecast at 110 KM/h or about 70 mph. The house is shaking with some of the gusts. I spent many a night on the North Atlantic in weather like this and its a pleasure to be in a warm dry house. We have had no snow but they are getting hammered just a little west of here. It won't be long I am sure before we start getting hit ourselves with snow. I hope to get out this weekend with the dogs and my daughter. I will need a day in the woods to get me through next week as I will be in the city all next week attending a course.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am back to work now three days now and I miss the woods. I miss the quiet, the stillness. I was lucky, I had 10 weeks to hunt as I wished and I got out a fair bit. Every day that I hunted this past fall, with the exception of a few afternoons in which I took my daughter, I hunted alone. As I think I wrote in a previous post here, a few years ago I used to go on trips by myself lasting weeks, never felt the need for much company in the woods. I guess I will get used to being back to work in a few days but I feel a bit razzed by being around so many people. Two more days until the weekend and then its back to the real world, the world of the woods and the barrens. In my last post I posted a picture of my daughter that we took Sunday. All she is talking about is getting out again this weekend. She has been bit by the bug it seems.

We were both walking quietly in the woods last Sunday and a half hour elapsed without either of us saying a word, she was walking just ahead of me and as we crested a hill she stopped and looked back at me and said " I am really starting to understand why you love this, its magic" she then looked ahead and carried on.

Can't wait for the weekend. Grouse for a month, then seaducks and icefishing for trout. Then out with the fly rod for sea trout,brook trout and salmon as the seasons march on. I have enough meat in the freezer and enough great memories to play through in my mind to get me through the winter.
Life outside is good, won't be lost for long.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beautiful Weather

I have had fantastic weather the past week which is unusual for Newfoundland in November. I have been grouse hunting in the woods rather than ptarmigan hunting and they closed my daughters school for a few days because of mold so she has been with me in the woods. Yesterday was fantastic, she really truly loved being there and sees the beauty in it. Anyway today is a sunny cool day and I am taking my older dog up on the high ground for one last chance at the ptarmigan. I had a dead battery all week so no pictures but will post a few of todays picture this evening God willing.

That is an older picture of one of my dogs who is long gone. He was a great dog.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Well my freezer is full and I mean full. I had to get rid of some of my little girls ice cream and take some bread out of the freezer to fit in the last of the moose. There are a few more packs of sausage to go in there and Monday I will be back on the country with my dogs. My daughter is great and that makes me feel wonderful. I am going out next week for my dogs sake and will not be taking many birds as a man has to know when enough is enough. I will be home for Saturday as my little girl wants a day in the woods with her dad now that she is feeling better. She has an air rifle and a bow and she just loves hot chocolate made over an open fire out of a billy can. I didn't spend as many nights in country this year as most but I am glad to live where I do and be able to be away from everything in 20 minutes. Bring on winter I am ready

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One more week.

My daughter is well and I spent the afternoon butchering moose. I have it half done and am just finished cleaning up the grinder and sausage stuffer. I will spend the best part of tomorrow butchering as well. The butchering is not so bad but the sausage making and grinding can tend to go long. Tomorrow is Friday and when the moose is dealt with and safely in my freezer I will have one more week off for ptarmigan hunting then back to work. I will continue to hunt with the dogs on the weekends after I go back to work until the snow makes it too difficult. This can happen at anytime now. Ptarmigan closes mid December and Grouse at the end of December. My dogs are pretty crazy around the house the past few days. They get as wild as I do if I can't get to the woods. I am thinking about heading into a place called the Buchans Plateau or maybe what we call the Bay d'Espoir area for a week.Both are in central Newfoundland and are pretty remote areas. I guess the next time I post will be after I return

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Does anyone know where the love of God goes

"when the waves turn the minutes to hours?"
I have always liked this song.

I spent many years on the North Atlantic and a few on the Southern Ocean as well.The majority of my years have been spent at sea. I went to sea right out of high school and stayed at it so I could get extended periods of leave to spend in the back country. Newfoundland was a very hard spot to make a living. I stayed at it and got my Canadian Master Mariners license about 10 years ago. I sailed on mostly foreign flagged (not Canadian Flagged) out of mostly East Coast USA ports. I now teach Sea survival and Marine firefighting. I took the position so I could stay at home with my daughter and still take my fall off. I have been lucky to make a transition to a decent living ashore but sometime still miss the sea. I live in an older home with a great ocean view and we wake many nights with the house shaking and rattling in the winter storms. I sometimes miss the sea but not the nights "when the waves turn the minutes to hours"

I used to work 4 months on two months off. I use to leave my house in the dark to go to the airport to catch a flight to join a ship maybe in Newark,somewhere on the Delaware ,or Miami and I use to wonder each trip if I would return. I have lost friends on the North Atlantic and we have lost former students this year.
God bless all Mariners,Fishermen, and Offshore workers.

"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours? "

Monday, November 9, 2009

Will you take me now!

They haven't been patient. My two dogs need a run

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Its Saturday afternoon and my quarters are hung and the weather is perfect for aging meat in the mid 30's F.

I had planned Thursday to head up country for a few days but the weather was calling for wind snow and rain. My daughter is still not 100% from her bout with the flu and the wind Thursday was out of the NW at 30mph with gusts to 45. I decided to make a mornings hunt as my wife had to leave for work at 11am so I wanted to be home for my daughter as she is still absent from school. I left at 5am and drove up a dirt road which leads to a lake on the boundary of a wilderness area and as the sky lightened I started walking up slowly to a cove that moose frequent. It was blowing a bit and I was walking through some dense tamarack (We locally call juniper)stands. There was fresh sign everywhere and I slowed down. I pushed through some juniper and got a start as I jumped a cow and calf. They headed straight away through the brush and I heard more cracking and crashing off to my right. I knew there was an open marsh to the right so I started after them. Moose will often circle when pursued or stop on the far side of the clearing. When I broke out on the marsh I saw a cow and a calf, a cow and two bulls. One bull was about 150 yards and he stopped and stepped broadside and just stood there. I used a 30-06 with 180 gr nosler partitions. When I pulled the trigger he staggered and turned and started to run. He went about 20 yards and I fired again and he piled up hard.The first one would have killed him the 2nd stopped him in his tracks. If you notice the picture from a day or so ago you can see his nose and half his rack is buried in the turf of the bog. It was pure luck no skill to find him and a child could have made the shot. The difficulty now came with dealing with him by myself. I always carry commercial fishing twine and used that to spread him out so I could clean him. I got his insides outside then went home arriving home about 10 am. My mother in law came to watch my daughter and I went back to quarter him and drag him to the lake. I got the 4 quarters to the lake at dark which is about 5pm and headed out along the shore. It was too windy for the canoe and dark so I hauled the quarters home Friday morning. Its a winters meat and I feel truly grateful for it. The hard part of moose hunting is not getting them down but getting them home. I honestly enjoy the work involved, I appreciate the meat more when I work for it. It wasn't a hard hunt but it was tough getting the quarters to the shore. I love moose and caribou hunting but when they are dead I feel both good/bad as I walk up to them. If I didn't "REALLY APPRECIATE" the meat I wouldn't pull the trigger

down the lake

I am taking the last two quarters out. I am happy here because if I didn't get him out it would be quite a few days before I would get back there because of the weather. If I was lugging the meat on my back I wouldn't have one quarter out yet. It was my own fault because I didn't pay enough mind to the weather. Anyway I am finally getting under the lee and was relaxing a bit here and feeling delighted

Meats out

I have the quarters hanging safely in my shed. I got up the lake yesterday just after daylight. I made two trips with the scanoe as it was blowing pretty good. After I landed the 2nd two quarters and got them aboard my truck the wind really started to howl.I made it home about 1030. Today I am resting my weary muscles and bones and doubting the wisdom of solitary moose hunting. I will post more about the hunt tomorrow, then its back to bird hunting. The best of it is is that I still have two more weeks off. I don't have to return to work until the 23rd. The best part of life is being outside

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moose Down

Sorry for poor picture. I will post the story tomorrow night. Its 2:41 am here now pretty tired, I just awoke. I shot him at first light Thursday morning. I was all day until dusk dragging the quarters to a lake where I can get him with my canoe and am going to get him shortly.( I hope) The forecast is calling for snow and wind mid morning but its clear now so with the moon I am going to get him in an hour or so. Light winds now but 50 mph forecast late this morning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gun registry in trouble

Voting now on registry in Canada for long arms. Looks good

I am not keen on politics but I am big on individual freedoms. The Canadian long gun registry is in trouble. Looks good

Vote Carried to end registry. Small step in the right direction

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In early waiting for moose

I went in early yesterday morning. It was beautiful with the early morning moon.

I walked in on a ridge overlooking a few marshes by a fair size lake. (still called ponds in Newfoundland)
I saw some fresh sign but no animals. I came out early as I was still a little under the weather.It was though a beautiful morning, the pictures don't do it justice. On Thursday I am going to head up this lake with canoe,wall tent,cast iron pan and tin stove. I am going to put my camp where a brook runs into the lake on back of those islands. If you are on this ridge in a few more evenings you would see my evening fire. This is good moose country. It is on the opposite end of the same lake pictured in my last post

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Looking for moose

Well my daughter and I are getting over the flu we hope. We are both feeling better. I was well enough to get in the past day or so, but I stayed home to look after my daughter. I wouldn't let her go to Nan's house as I didn't want my mother to get the flu. Anyway she is feeling better and I am headed up tomorrow looking for a moose. My dogs will do a bit of complaining but I have put away the shotguns for the time being and will be out with the rifle.
The moose season runs until the first Saturday in January so I have lots of time. I have been out with my longbow and recurve but now I want the meat and hope to get a bull down so I can go back to getting my dogs out which is my big love outdoors. Don't get me wrong I love moose hunting but I miss my dogs. There is a big moose population here, actually we are supposed to have the densest population of moose in North Americ,a the problem is in getting one where you can deal with him especially when you hunt solo as I do. I hunt big lakes and then haul meat by boat or canoe.

The above pictures were taken within a half hour of each other. In one a caribou and calf are crossing and in the other a cow moose or calf are crossing. The photo's are a couple of years old. I intend to be at the same spot tomorrow at daylight. The way that I enjoy hunting moose and caribou mostly is through spot and stalk. I head in by canoe at daylight then if no animal is spotted I climb the hills and glass the surrounding countryside. You will see animals most days but the stalk is the challenge. If I didn't have the birdogs I would stick with the bow. I love hunting moose but love getting the dogs out more. Life is short the time that you can spend with a good dog is shorter still.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


A few great bloggers have given me a mention and a boost in viewers.

I would like to give my thanks to Brigid. She has a fantastic blog and it is a pure pleasure to read her prose.

Bill at Black and Tan Bombshells has a great bird dog blog and he I believe is in it for the love of the dogs.

MDMM at Sometimes Far Afield is also another great blog about hunting, food and the outdoors.
I have been following it for a long time.

Thank you, I appreciate your kind words.

Out again

I awoke on Monday and decided to head out again. I still felt a little off so instead of heading inland I took the two dogs and headed up the shore

I headed to Cape Race which is a rugged piece of coast

I use to hunt on this ground years ago when I was a young boy with my father and see the ships passing off the coast. Cape Race is a major landfall for ships on the North Atlantic Route. When hunting there with my father years ago I would see the ships and wonder as a boy would, about who was on them and where were they going. I wanted to sail on them and thought that one day I too was going to sail the world. I made my living as a merchant sailor and officer for over 20 years and sailing years later often looked upon the great capes of the world and wished I was ashore.

Anyway we headed towards the cape then got out of the truck and headed in on the big rocky ridges

Wind there was, when I got home I checked the Environment Canada website and saw we had gusts over 50 mph. That is not a lot of wind for Newfoundland but much to much to be bird hunting in. With my cold and that wind on open ground we had an exhausting hunt. When the two dogs and I got back to the truck the three of us were dragged out the wind was a great deal higher than forecasted.
(In spite of the wind I had some great dogwork and hit a few big coveys of ptarmigan.
I am hunting my two dogs together as a brace more this year. I usually try to have a fresh dog. I am planning to get two more dogs the winter)
In the picture of the barrens with the sea in the background if you look closely to the center left of the picture along the shoreline you can see Cape Race lighthouse. This is the closest landfall to a great many wrecked ships including the Titanic. The past few nights the sea has been feather white and I am glad to be home close to my family. I had many a rough night on the North Atlantic in winter.

One more day is planned with the dogs then I am going to pick up the rifle and paddle

Saturday, October 24, 2009

rain has stopped but

The rain has stopped for the first time in days but I have picked up some kind of bug in my chest and throat so I am here looking out the window. I haven't been out since Wednesday.It is pretty breezy though. I am going in Tuesday for an few days if I feel alright. Its good to see the sun. I plan to spend next week with the bird dogs but I am going to get serious with looking for a moose come November. I have seen quite a few moose this fall and its no problem to shoot one. The problem is to get one where you can do something with him,especially when you are by yourself . I have had some terrible lugs on moose over the years. This year I hopefully will get him along a lake or river so I can get a canoe or boat to him. I have an old Model 70 in 30-06 that I am quite fond of. After November 1st, the dogs are staying home until I get him hung. I will post some pictures of my moose hunting area when I go there. I access it by canoe, you can walk there but access is a great deal easier by canoe or boat. We are starting to get snow now here but It hasn't been sticking around. I love moose hunting in the snow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Still Raining

Here in Newfoundland we tend to get a fair bit of rain in the fall but this October it has been unreal. We have rain or drizzle everyday. I don't mind getting a bit wet but I like being able to see my dogs. Yesterday the fog and drizzle lifted a little so I took the rain gear and headed into a spot I haven't been for years. I shot my first bird there and hunted it regularly with my father years ago. Had quite a few rain showers in there but It was worth it. Dogs found a few birds and I saw some country that I haven't seen for years. Rain is forecast for the next few days and my legs and the dogs paws need a bit of rest so we will probably wait until Saturday before going in again. I don't think it going to stop raining, it will just change to snow soon. I am soon going to have to spend some time seriously looking for a moose. I would much rather just run my dogs. There are days with iffy weather in which it would be easy to stay home but I go for the dogs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Open country

Its big country

Home again

Its nice to be home warm and dry. We have had two storms of wind the week but we have had a bit of nice weather also

That's an older video from just before the season started. I spent a couple of days chasing birds and one day down in the bottom chasing moose saw a few moose but couldn't approach them close enough for a shot with the bow

Monday, October 12, 2009

Truck is loaded, canoe is on top, broadheads sharpened, dogs raring to go. I am going in country for 5 or 6 days tomorrow. I still get excited as a child on Christmas eve. The picture is of two of the birds posted earlier. Ptarmigan is a dark meat full of flavor they probably wouldn't be a choice of someone whose favorite meat is chicken

The above picture of three ptarmigan is taken among one of their preferred food sources in the fall, blueberries. If you like berries such as blueberries,lingonberries Newfoundland is your place. Picking wild berries is a popular activities for families.

I prefer getting meat myself. The gun is a Beretta Silver Pigeon S and since I was a young boy I always wanted a Beretta O/U shotgun. I remember growing up around birddogs, shotguns and rifles. My Dad always had birddogs and was into hunting and guns. He also shot handguns at the local Rod and Gun club. He encouraged me and took me hunting often. Actually when I was old enough to toddle off behind him he started to take me with him which had a negative affect on his hunting. He had me shooting rifle,handguns and shotguns at a young age. He not only loved to hunt he loved to shoot at various clubs around the province. He had several shotguns but one of my friends dad had a Beretta O/U and how I loved that gun.

My friend would sometimes borrow it from his dad when we took the dogs out after school. I always wanted one and as a teen it was a dream of mine. I finally bought one two years ago. I retired my old Beretta A301 semi and take it out once or twice a year for old times sake. I shot everything with that old gun. Ptarmigan, grouse, geese ducks and even an occasional caribou or moose with slugs. The new Beretta is heavy though for all day jaunts and our weather is hard on any guns finish. The other shotgun I use for bird hunting is a Benelli Ultralight. I had trouble getting used to shooting it it was so light but now can hit with it. Its great on the barrens and in the grouse woods and I have never shot so well on birds so inspite of always wanting the Beretta O/U I use the Benelli more. Its not a nice looking gun in my opinion but it is hard to walk out the door and leave it home.
Maybe I need a Beretta Ultralight O/U

Good forecast

We went to town today and had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. (Thanksgiving day in Canada is this weekend) I ended up taking an early evening nap which is something that I generally don't do. I just awoke and let the dogs out and in the east sure enough is Orion and Sirius, its a cool early morning. I am taking it easy with my family tomorrow and giving my dogs a rest. (they need it) Tuesday I am heading in country for a while, maybe a week or so. I love fall and winter especially the fall. Its good to be alive. We are all here with full bellies and warm and dry on a cool windy fall night. Everyone's asleep except for me and I have the rest of the fall free, the forecast for the coming week is as good as it gets for Newfoundland. I have a great deal to be thankful for

Thursday, October 8, 2009

If is not raining its blowing

Notice the dogs ears

Well I have to make a dreaded visit to the city for a few hours this afternoon

Well I have had a few days in and yesterday had a day with no rain.
I spent Saturday afternoon hunting with my Gordon on the open barrens it was windy and the birds were wild. Relaxed in camp Sunday and hunted Sam in heavy rain and fog Monday. Guns required a lot of cleaning. I spent Tuesday bowhunting for moose inthe bottoms and saw a few animals but couldn't get close enough for a shot but did kill a grouse with the bow. This was my first kill with the bow. I intend to give it another month with the bow before taking up the rifle. Moose season here is 3 month long so I will wait until late November before picking up the rifle. There is not much pressure in where I have my camp. Wednesday, yesterday the sun came out and it was a beautiful day on the barrens. I ran the two dogs as I won;t need a fresh dog for a few days and saw a good few birds and had some great dog work. Shot a few birds for the dog. Got home this morning with heavy rain forecast for the next few days. I will be going back in Saturday morning

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Headed out for a few days. I spent a bit of money on good raingear, looks like I am going to need it but I am headed in country today and am planning staying until Thursday unless I kill a moose. Rifle season opened today so I guess now I won't bother a moose until November unless I come across one in a spot where it is impossible to resist.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The other thing I like to do but don't get a great deal of time for is backpacking in the backcountry and fishing for trout. I don't get as much time as I wish as I save my leave for fall

We also have good Atlantic Salmon fishing

test for pics

I am having a little trouble getting the pictures where I want them so I am just trying a few test pics

Just one more for test

rain drizzle and fog

We have had great weather here all summer but I took no time off. Rain drizzle and fog is what we have had the past week except for a break of one day and its whats forecast for the next week off. I didn't get up country yet for a multiday trip but made a few day trips. Its hard to see big ranging dogs in this country in the fog. I was a mariner for 20+ years and hate wet weather. I guess I am living in the wrong place. I am going to head in Saturday coming, for a week. I took a drive in Monday past when the fog broke

The Picture just above is of the track up behind the house.
Anyway drove up and walked in to the hills( in the top picture) where there are a few birds but had no luck. The ptarmigan like to hang out on the crests of these hills. Anyway had a good walk but saw no birds which was pretty strange as there are good bird numbers this year.

I have been in with my longbow but no moose yet I see them all the time ptarmigan hunting. There are two in the 3rd picture which was taken on Monday. Can you spot them? Nothing but rain and fog so headed to the range with a friend today . I am heading in for the day tomorrow rain or shine. Trying to get the pictures where I want them on this page is as frustrating as waiting for a day without rain.