Opinion Column

The Outdoors Guy:Deer hunters celebrate their hunting heritage

By Jeff Morrison

Submitted photo by Jeff Morrison:

A mature whitetail buck tends to a doe as she approaches estrus.

Submitted photo by Jeff Morrison: A mature whitetail buck tends to a doe as she approaches estrus.

With the familiar scent of white-tailed deer season in the air, sportsmen everywhere are gearing up for the most anticipated time of year.

Deer enthusiasts of Eastern Ontario and west Quebec are chomping at the bit with the ‘pre-rut’ period now upon us. This special time of preparation and anticipation in the deer world is followed by the whitetail rut in early to mid-November. Ungulates like deer and moose are polygamous by nature with males hoping to breed copious females over the next month or so. During this pre-rut, bucks will alter their daily routine in preparation for the active few weeks that follow. As does enter estrus, bucks usually stop feeding completely to focus on the task at hand. In the autumn deer woods, love always comes before lunch.

Each year around this time a hunter’s thoughts transcend regular consciousness to become one with nature, one with the deer woods. It is difficult to put into words what the whitetail season means to those who participate, year after year. It is our hunting heritage after all and we must keep the tradition alive. As I celebrate my 37th year at deer camp with my aging 87-year-old dad and a dwindling number of hunting companions, I am reminded of some truly cherished memories from the past nearly four decades. Enjoy each deer season to its fullest and help preserve hunting for future generations, you never know when it could be your last.

Deer hunting in Quebec

One deer trip I look forward to greatly is at Quebec’s Kenauk Nature. The famous Montebello-area hunting preserve is a historic paradise with rugged terrain and majestic old-growth forests. I have been fortunate to take some magnificent bucks at Kenauk over the years but, as most deer hunters know, it’s not all about the harvest. Getting out in the crisp fall air coming together as a group, strategizing and pouring over topographic maps with hopes of positioning yourself for a chance at a trophy, is what it’s all about. If a memorable whitetail hunt is what you're after, keep Kenauk, or one of the many other great Quebec Outfitters, in mind. For more information on Kenauk Nature: http://kenauk.com/activities/hunting/

If you're considering an out-of-province hunt this fall for a change of pace, visit the Quebec Federation of Outfitters: https://www.pourvoiries.com/en/hunting-quebec/species/white-tailed-deer/ for a plethora of hunting and lodging information. Happy hunting one and all!

New website – Deer hunt story contest!

I invite all hunting and fishing enthusiasts who have not done so already, to visit my new website; The Outdoors Guy. Check out my ‘New Blog’ page and share your favourite deer hunting story for a chance at a great prize package. Each person who contributes a brief story (approximately 100 words) will be entered into a draw for a Tinks Hunting Scent package ($100 value) which includes cover scents, #69 doe-in-rut buck lure, natural and synthetic lures and other assorted goodies. Drop by my new website for a peak and watch for a Blog Post entitled “Favourite Deer Hunt”. The winning story will be awarded by random draw and announced in early December. Visit: http://www.theoutdoorsguy.ca/ for more information.

Safety first

Although serious accidents are rare during the hunting season the occasional mishap does occur. Perhaps our greatest concern as hunters, apart from falling asleep in the tree stand, would be muscle strain and body fatigue. After trekking eight kilometres or more up over hill and dale each day, aches and pains are part of the deal and injury a possibility. Simple stretching exercises in the morning will help get the old body loosened up and ready for an enjoyable day in the backwoods. There’s a reason why your dog stretches before they get up in the morning. Good luck and be safe out there.