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OUTDOORS GUY JEFF MORRISON No better time to be a hunter

Whether you’re a bow, rifle, shotgun or muzzle-

leader enthusiast, or an avid cold water angler, autumn truly is the greatest time to be alive. I have to admit with autumn’s shorter days and

cooler evenings my thoughts inevitably turn to hunting, but for others it might be late season northern pike, muskie, or walleye angling that gets them excited. For hunters, both the rifle and bow season for

moose is open as we speak, on top of the many thousands of white-tailed deer bow-hunters already using their tree-stands. Over the next few weeks, every sportsman and

woman worth his or her weight in venison will be hitting woods and water in pursuit of wild fish and game splendor. It may sound flowery, but this is honestly the

ultimate season for the great outdoors, and what better time to kick-off my new Outdoors Guy column here in Bounder magazine. Honestly, being here feels much like destiny to

me, a sort of “higher calling”, you might say, as I strive to keep the voice of Ottawa-area hunters and fishermen alive. It’s a task I have taken on with the Ottawa SUN

for the past eight years, and I’m proud to have found this new second home. In this oftentimes ultra- conservative city it can be a daunting task at times, trust me, but dammit -- we gots to do what we gots to do. So sit back and enjoy a ride through some of the best the local outdoor scene has to offer. Trophy fishing fanatics -- you know who I’m


talking about -- these are the folks who don’t even pull their fishing equipment out of storage until the first frost. Although accustomed to playing second fiddle, these fall trophy hunters know full well the most scale- straining fish of the year are boated during October and November.

There is no better time to go trophy fishing than

with limited competition on the water and big fish lurking around every corner, in our now chilly local lakes and rivers. When big-game hunters are away anglers will

play, so take advantage of some of the many fishing hotspots our region has to offer. The Ottawa, Rideau, Jock, Bonnechere and

Madawaska Rivers and a handful of lakes produce bragging-size pike, muskie and walleye as the water temperatures drop and vegetation begins to die off. If you have access to a good survival suit and

plenty of nerve, get out there and take advantage of fall turnover. The Ottawa River (Zone 12) as well as the Zone 15 and 18 muskie seasons are open until December 15. Keep in mind that only “lunge” over 54” can be

taken from the Ottawa and only those fish measuring over 36” for Zone 15 and 18. The Northern pike and walleye season for the Ottawa River (Zone 12), Zone 15 and Zone 18 is open until December 31. Better hold onto your rod with both hands. You

just never know how big these critters can get. Turkey hunters were given some exciting news in

2008 when the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) announced a brand-new fall season for the glorious gobbler. The fall turkey hunt in Ontario now runs from October 12 – 24 and hunters are permitted to harvest one bird during this season. Unlike the spring hunt, however, both male and

female turkeys are fair game. According to statistics, hens actually make up 62 per cent of the fall harvest, making this hunt less about big bearded Toms and more about the ladies. Last year, a total of 9,252 wild turkeys were taken

during the spring hunt, while only 370 birds were bagged during the fall season.

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