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 snow on the ground. I just don’t understand that.
Two opportunities in the past were missed and bumbled each time. The first one was only about 75 yards and I pulled. I cannot believe that I did that, but we all foul up periodically. The second was a 400 yard shot on the move and that one missed. It was a tough shot on a moving target. I may have scared it. This will be my third attempt, and also, my last. The Canadian Grey Wolf is one of the ultimate predators in the region and due to the numbers, there is no limit. That is the good news, the bad news, you will be extremely lucky if you get one. They are very wary and very smart. In the region their prime sources of food are moose calves.
Hunting ducks, fall turkeys, maybe a pheasant trip, and some walleye fishing in February are all possibilities. It is going to be busy this fall into winter. It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. I hope you can get out in the wilds and harvest your trophy or just a decent animal for some fine dining.
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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck, Hank