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The Outdoors Guy: Another exciting deer hunting season

By Jeff Morrison

The view of the author’s deer woods from Kenauk Nature’s Muskrat Chalet in Montebello, Que.

The view of the author’s deer woods from Kenauk Nature’s Muskrat Chalet in Montebello, Que.

My annual deer hunt at Kenauk Nature in Montebello is the highlight of my year and this fall was no exception. The famous Quebec deer woods, with its majestic old growth stands of oak, brings me back every time.
Climbing the peaks each November in pursuit of a trophy whitetail buck is about as exciting as it gets, and this year was no exception. On one hand, I am in a paradise living a hunter’s dream of pursing whitetails in one of our region’s most scenic woods. Then on the other hand my Montebello trip is the last kick at the hunting can for the year.
This deer season, I was not presented with the opportunity to harvest a buck and that’s okay with me, it is why we call it hunting after all. My partner Jim and I climbed many miles of clean hardwoods and exposed bedrock chasing a particular buck we found good sign of, but could never catch up to. We were encouraged this fall to see increased whitetail activity overall, both here and back home around our family camp near Mont. Tremblant. Though we left Kenauk’s Muskrat Chalet empty-handed, I feel completely fulfilled as a hunter and fortunate to have experienced such an amazing deer woods. Perhaps next year I will have the chance to harvest a mature whitetail but until then, I am left with the memories of another great season. Thanks to Bill Nowell for facilitating my annual trip to this little slice of heaven. To experience a wilderness at its best and top notch accommodations, check out:  http://kenauk.com/  If you’re considering deer hunting in the province of Quebec, visit the Québec Outfitters Federation:  https://www.pourvoiries.com/en/hunting-quebec/species/white-tailed-deer/

Backyard deer feeding
Winter deer feeding can be a controversial issue in this part of the country, even though I continue to do it almost every year. When carried out properly, supplemental feeding not only serves as a great past-time, but can be of benefit to these animals once snow depth increases. Once you begin distributing feed in early winter; however, it is imperative to continue throughout the winter, as the animal’s digestive system will adapt to the supplemented diet. Game management agencies usually discourage backyard feeding, for the fact that most people are not familiar enough with white-tailed deer diet requirements. Another way to help is by increasing access to the deer’s natural winter forage by creating trails with a snowmobile or ATV or even snowshoes, to offer our deer friends improved access to winter browse.

Safety first
This time of year with some hunting still on the go, enthusiasts are reminded to be vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions. Remember that hunter orange of a minimum 400 square inches is required and, for Ontario residents, a hunter orange cap as well. Be sure to keep your firearms and ammunition locked away when not in use, and never shoot unless absolutely sure of your target and beyond. It is illegal to shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle, and remember that any hunter who harvests a deer must immediately attach the game seal. A safe hunt is a happy hunt and a careless accident can turn a wonderful day in the woods into tragedy.

Ice-fishing safety
With ice fishing season just around the corner, fishermen should consider registering their hut this winter. Not only is ice hut registration a requirement by law it goes a long way in preventing wayward huts later in the season.   Abandoned huts which end-up in waterways after the thaw will create havoc for boaters and early season fishermen. To register your hut in Pembroke District, please call the ministry office at: (613) 732-3661

Next time
Check out next month’s column for your Valley ice-fishing primer. Drop me a line anytime with your hunting and fishing news and let us know where you plan to fish this winter: theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com