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Alberta Moose Hunt

Beautiful Alberta

With my vaccination record and a Covid test prior to reaching the border, it was off to the Spirit River area in Alberta Canada.  Over 2,200 miles one way, it took a mere three days of driving.  The drive was enjoyable and seeing all the country we rarely hear about added pleasant memories to the trip.  Crossing the border at Sweetgrass/Coutts got me into Canada.  At the kiosk on first entry, my passport, proof of at least two vaccinations for Covid, and the completed test for the virus at least 72 hours before crossing was required.  Then they asked me where I was going, what I was going to do, and when I would arrive there. 

Next step was to go into the administration building where my contract with the outfitter was examined and my paperwork to bring a firearm into Canada was examined.  The final step was to pay my fee to bring in the firearm and off I went.  Total time was about 30 minutes. 

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Japanese Ambience Festival

Display in the Gardens with a Shinto Shrine on top.

For an entire weekend in October, Lauritzen  Gardens grounds was alive with merriment as guests celebrated the joys of autumn and experience the Japanese culture first-hand.   My wife is a member and we go to the gardens whenever there is a program.  This one was special since several years ago we spent three weeks in Japan on a tour. 

The Omaha Sister Cities Association helps host the Autumn and Japanese Ambience Festival, with a variety of activities to celebrate the Japanese culture. Japanese Ambience also celebrates the anniversary of the gift of the Japanese Sunpu Castle Gate at Lauritzen Gardens by Shizuoka, Japan, Omaha’s first Sister City.

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We Have Been Waiting for This Season

 

The Aspen trees are in full bloom with the coming of fall.

It is here.  The season hunters have all been waiting for, “Fall.”  It arrived September 22nd, and one of the first signs is the turning of the sumac.  Fishing is really picking up now and will be good through October, if you can put up with the cool to cold weather and the windy conditions that go with it.  I have one friend that fished South Dakota and had outstanding catches of walleye and perch.

We who live in the northern hemisphere have probably all noticed longer days and shorter nights in the summer and the opposite in winter. This phenomenon occurs because the Earth’s axis is not straight up and down at a 90 degree angle, but it is instead tilted a bit.

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Pam and I after a gator harvest.

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Display in the Gardens with a Shinto Shrine on top. For an entire weekend in October, Lauritzen  Gardens grounds was alive with merriment as guests celebrated the joys of autumn and experience the Japanese culture first-hand.   My wife is a member and we go to the gardens whenever there is a program.  This one was special since several years ago we spent three weeks in Japan on a tour.  The Omaha Sister Cities Association helps host the Autumn and Japanese Ambience Festival, with a variety of activities to celebrate the Japanese culture. Japanese Ambience also celebrates the anniversary of the gift of the Japanese Sunpu Castle Gate at Lauritzen Gardens by Shizuoka, Japan, Omaha's first Sister City. The first display we viewed was the Bonsai presentation by the Nebraska Bonsai Society.  While in Japan we saw many examples of Bonsai and the Japanese "bonsai" only  produces small trees that mimic the shape of real life trees. Outstanding displays of exquisite art work. A demonstration of Samurai warriors in traditional dress presenting Japanese swordsmanship techniques. This was a fascinating presentation and the kids in the audience seemed to enjoy it the most. We then toured the gardens just looking at the beautiful displays of flowers and the leaves in the trees starting their fall turn.  The Gardens has had a project dedicated to Japan that is still under construction, however the entrance looks complete. We hope that by next fall the display will be completed. Now this bad boy does not belong in this series of pictures, but I had to put him in the series.  I leave in 4 days for N.W. Alberta, Canada for a moose and Canadian Grey Wolf hunt.  I have harvested moose before, but twice have missed the wolf. This is the third attempt and also the final.  Wolves are one of nature's ultimate predators.  They are very smart and difficult to hunt.  If I score, I will have a full body mount and set him out in the back yard on really nice days.  We live on a golf course and that should take care of the interlopers. My duck hunting has been pathetic.  Generally in mid to late October we get Gadwall, and Widgeon opportunities.  We also have a lot of teal in early October, but that was limited too.  Anyway, they fly too fast for me in my old age. Next time you hear from me, I should have a meat moose and a wolf. Click on the book and buy from Amazon. Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank                                                                  
  The Aspen trees are in full bloom with the coming of fall. It is here.  The season hunters have all been waiting for, "Fall."  It arrived September 22nd, and one of the first signs is the turning of the sumac.  Fishing is really picking up now and will be good through October, if you can put up with the cool to cold weather and the windy conditions that go with it.  I have one friend that fished South Dakota and had outstanding catches of walleye and perch. We who live in the northern hemisphere have probably all noticed longer days and shorter nights in the summer and the opposite in winter. This phenomenon occurs because the Earth's axis is not straight up and down at a 90 degree angle, but it is instead tilted a bit. Therefore, as the planet orbits the sun every 365 days, sometimes the northern hemisphere is closer to the sun (summer) while sometimes it is farther away (winter). And some people are feeling gloomier. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is the seasonal depression that affects some of the population generally during the winter months.  But alas, my fellow hunters, it is not for us because our souls become inflamed with the opportunity to perform the task of being a hunter/gatherer.  Our first stop is the sporting goods store to spend money on equipment.  You cannot have enough gear, and if being questioned, don't admit to anything. A July sunrise as I look across the lake.  Notice the reddish color along the top of the picture.  This is due to the smoke and haze from the fires on the western part of the country. As the sun continues it's rise the effect of the sky conditions become more pronounced.  We also were getting smoke from the fires north of the border.  This adds to the color and reddish look of the rising sun. September first and the haze and smoke are gone and the sunrise is still as brilliant as ever.  The sky now has a totally different background.  Shooting pictures without a filter works well through the trees or on the tree line. I passed on a first class pheasant hunt with friends in South Dakota because I have a moose hunt in Alberta.  This January I contacted Mike's Outfitting in Spirit River, Alberta to schedule for next year, 2022, and requested if there was an opening for 2021, I would like to take a look.  Lo and behold, in March Mike called me and said he had a spot in November and would I be interested.  I am not getting any younger, and so answered in the positive.  At that time, the border was closed and I put my money down and secured the slot with the idea that surely the border would open.  I would get a refund if the border did not open less a 10% admin charge, so the dice were rolled. It's a miracle and the border opened up to non essential traffic into Canada, and that is me.  I cross at Sweetgrass in Montana, and now for how to get into Canada.  It is not just showing a passport and my document for the equipment to harvest the moose, but there is a little more.  Canada requests that a person put the ArriveCAN app on your phone.  The app steps you through a series of questions and you photo the proof that you have had both Covid-19 shots.  I have had both shots plus now the booster.  Then, you must have completed a Covid test not more than 72 hours before entering into Canada, and the test must be negative.  Canada provides on a website all the information you need to figure things out and it is really simple.  Great information and I had no questions after studying it over. It is moose I am going after.  However, there is another opportunity that I have missed twice, and that is a Canadian Grey Wolf. That is the moose harvested in 2018.  My wife, Pam, was along for this trip and we had great weather.  Notice the color of the legs and the color of the animal.  In the daytime they hide in the timber in the background or along the edge and are very difficult to see.  On this trip, it will be considerably colder and there will be snow on the ground, I hope.  They come out into the Canola fields during the day to feed.  The outfitter feels this late hunting is better.  This is the other animal I am hunting on this trip.  Pam is not going along for two reasons.  One she said she will not go when the weather is 10 to 20 below zero. Two if there is two to three feet of
  We needed one more fishing trip up to Lake Francis Case before calling it quits, and this day was day two.  The month of June was a beautiful month and the severe heat was coming that we all experience during July and up into August.  The fish keep feeding, it is just that they go deep and seem to be more spread out.  Anyway this is the feeling of the guide we have fished with for several years.  He was born, raised, and worked in the area all his life.  He is no stranger to Lake Francis Case.  This was day one of the trip. We go through Sioux City, Iowa on the way up and have driven this road for the last 35 years as we made our way up I-29 to fish in the many outstanding lakes of South Dakota.  This is the first time, that my wife and I both remember, there was no construction on the Interstate through Sioux City.  The second thing about the trip is the city or the state posts a video camera along the shoulder to trap speeders.  You have to be aware as you drive up or down the interstate though the city as there is only one warning sign, and then bang you are on it.  We learned the hard way as I sent the community a couple of times some money.  Along I-29 is a monument to Sgt Charles Floyd.  Charles Floyd died on August 20, 1804, after becoming violently ill the previous day (likely peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix). Clark wrote, “we Came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hopeing it would brace him a little, before we could get him in to this bath he expired, with a great deel of composure, haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter— we took Buried him to the top of a high round hill over looking the river & Countrey for a great distance Situated just below a Small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergts. Floyds Bluff— we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title & Day of the month and year Capt Lewis read the funeral Service over him after paying everry respect to the Body of this desceased man (who had at All times given us proofs of his impatiality Sincurity to our­selves and good will to Serve his Countrey) we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd. wide & Camped a butifull evening.” Floyd would be the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the expedition. Today, part of a 23-acre park, a 100-foot obelisk of heavy Kettle River sandstone marks the final resting place of Sergeant Charles Floyd Jr. After all the years of driving by this monument, we stopped and visited the park and the monument. . This was day two of a great fishing trip and after yesterday, we were ready to hit it hard for another day.  We requested that we stay at the pheasant lodge Tom and Nova had recently purchased.  We were the only people staying there this second night and had the run of the lodge all to ourselves.  Next morning was absolutely outstanding.  A light breeze from the southwest and a high overcast.  Meeting the guide at 7 AM we were on the lake by 07:30.  The lake was really starting to fill up as there was a holiday coming on the weekend.  Straight out from the landing the guide found the submerged river bank on the west side of the lake.   Again, we fished in 50 feet of water, letting out lead core line and trolling at a speed of about 1-2 mph.  My favorite is the Berkley Slicker Shad and that is what the guide was using again today.  Studies have shown that walleye will single out small shad even when they have other forage available to them. That partly explains why, since its introduction just a few years ago, the Berkley\u00ae Flicker Shad Crankbait has become one of the most popular. It did not take long.  We started to pick up walleye.  Again we were catching a lot of shorts.  Shorts are fish less that 15 inch in length, the minimum set for Francis Case.  That is a good thing as this is a really fertile lake.  Then wham, you catch a keeper, with most of the keepers in about the 17 to 19 inch range.  These filet out really well and fit in the pan nicely. We never measured the fish, but it was the biggest