Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MORE 2014 NEW BRUNSWICK BUCKS

    As I predicted in my last post, the deer kill this year was below 7,000 coming in at 6790 animals taken. This number would have been much lower if we didn't have snow and colder weather during most of the 2014 deer season. Our deer herd was just starting to rally a bit when we were hit with a brutal winter last year in 2013. Unfortunately, our province is near the northern extreme of the whitetail deer's habitat and due to extensive logging on our crown forest and industries spraying of succulent hardwoods, deer face an uphill battle during the winter. Many folks think that deer need a mature canopy of forest cover to survive in the winter but I think access to a food source such as cedar is much more important. Mother Nature equips animals with coats that allow them to survive freezing temperatures but without food they certainly cannot survive. That is why I am a strong advocate of planting cedar adjacent to our buffer zones. Whitetail deer in our province flock to cedar instinctively as soon as the temperature drops whether there is snow on the ground or not. I am hoping that the QDMA and hunting fraternity in our province can exert enough pressure on government and forestry companies to implement a cedar planting program to assist our deer herd in growing and sustaining itself. This is at the top of my Christmas wish list and I think it will stay that way until a positive change happens before it is too late for our whitetails.

    Despite having everything going against them, hunters still manage to bag some beautiful bucks each fall here in New Brunswick. Our herd has the genetics and potential to produce trophy bucks but unfortunately we lack the numbers to make for good deer hunting. I have gathered some photos of deer taken in the southern half of New Brunswick this year and I'm sure my readers will agree there were some beautiful bucks taken again this year. The following photo shows a well known hunter from the Sussex area with the nice buck he took this year to complete a New Brunswick Grand Slam.
 The next photo shows his 2014 black bear.
 Finally, here is a photo of his 2014 moose he took in his quest for a NB Grand Slam.
 This is quite an accomplishment for any hunter and I extend congratulations to this young sportsman from Sussex. WTG Brad!
 
    I've got a few photos of some heavyweight bucks taken last year. Two brothers from the Woodstock area took two dandies in the first week of the season. The first photo is of a 260 lb. buck taken on the first day.
 The second brother took a beautiful 14 point buck that dressed out at 265 lbs.
 The next buck dressed out at 255 lbs. and had ten points. It was taken in zone 16

 This buck was taken in the Miramichi area, sported a beautiful ten point rack and dressed out at 235 lbs.
 The next photo shows a nice buck that dressed out at 231 lbs.
 The next 2014 buck dressed out at 215 lbs. and had a nice 12 point rack. This buck was killed in southern New Brunswick.
 The next photo shows an 8 point buck that dressed at 210 lbs.
 Next is a photo of another buck with a nice 8 point rack taken in the snow during this years season.
 This buck dressed out at 220 lbs. and had a nice heavy ten point rack.
 This 2014 buck was a heavy racked eight pointer and dressed out at 220 lbs.
 The next photo shows a hunter with a trophy buck that he hunted for three seasons and finally killed it this year. This deer was taken near Fredericton Junction.
 
 This next photo is a little bloodier than I prefer but I wanted to include it because this buck was a real hog at 255 lbs. dressed. Big swollen neck on that boy! It also had a beautiful fourteen point rack. A true New Brunswick trophy buck!
 This next buck sported a nice rack and dressed out at 210 lbs.
 The next photo shows a massive fourteen pointer that dressed out at 245 lbs. This guy must have been wearing his lucky underwear when he took this buck!
 This big buck was taken near Riley Brook in the northern half of the province. This area was famous for its hardwood ridges and the big bucks that ran them back in the day. I guess there is still a few left. A nice ten point rack that was twenty-five and a quarter inches wide.
 Here is another nice eight point buck taken this year.
 This buck had a nice ten point rack that dressed out at 200 lbs.
  This next buck was one of the heaviest racked bucks to be taken in zone 17 in 2014. Taken by a hunter from Minto just on the outskirts of town.
 The next nice buck had a rack with split brow tines.
 The next photo shows a buck killed on the Trans Canada Highway in southern New Brunswick this past hunting season.
 This next buck was a very nice trophy that came in over 200lbs and had a great rack. That's one happy hunter right there!
 This next photo shows a nice buck that dressed out at 220 lbs and grossed 165 B&C points. Not too shabby!
 Another big racked 2014 buck.
 This nice ten point buck was taken in Coles Island near to the Pioneer Lodge. This is all good deer country down that way.
 The next buck dressed out at 200 lbs. and had a heavy basket shaped rack.
 This heavy racked buck had everything that trophy hunters like!
 The next photo shows a group of resident hunters with the bucks they took during the 2014 season. Nice!
 This big buck has been photographed in good taste and shows it as the true trophy that it is.
 Another great racked New Brunswick buck!
 The next photo shows a nice buck taken on the last day of the 2014 season. Couldn't end any better for this hunter!
 I saved this photo until last because it was one of the better bucks killed this past season and the photo of this buck and the hunter who harvested it exemplifies the thrill and honor of being able to harvest a buck of this calibre. This trophy buck was killed in Charlotte county and had a heavy eighteen point rack. What a buck and congratulations to the resident hunter who took him! 
 
 
As you can see from the photos in this piece, there were some great bucks taken during the 2014 deer season. I have shown some of the nice bucks taken in our province last season but by no means all of them. It isn't an easy feat to kill a dressed two hundred lb. buck nowadays here in New Brunswick. I really don't expect that to change a lot in the near future but that doesn't mean we shouldn't start trying to help them along in any way we can. Especially on crown land. If you look at New Brunswick's official coat of arms you will see that two of the most prominent images on our shield are the whitetail buck and the Atlantic salmon.
I find it disturbing that two of the creatures that lie at the very core of who we are as a people and province are in serious trouble because of low numbers. Is this because of neglect or is it that we just don't care? Due to recent developments in New Brunswick's social consciousness, I am seeing a glimmer of hope for the future of our beautiful province. You might say I'm cautiously optimistic. After all, this is the year of the Green Parties entry to the Legislature and a moratorium on Fracking by the newly elected N.B. Liberals. More and more over the last few years I've noticed that residents of this province are awakening to the fact that change is within their power in our Democracy. This can only be a good thing, in my opinion.
 
From all of us, to all of you, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 
    This is Dale Bauer saying " Happy Trails to You.....Until we Meet Again!"



 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 DEER SEASON IN THE BOOKS

    The 2014 deer season has just ended and as usual there were some great New Brunswick deer killed. There were also many hunters who failed to tag a deer. Again, nothing unusual there. One aspect of this years hunt that was a little  unusual was the presence of snow for a good portion of the season. Snow and cool weather always favor deer hunters pursuing whitetails. Sign is much easier to read and the colder weather helps get the deer moving. This invariably helps boost success rates for hunters and is always welcomed by enthusiasts of this great sport.
    Overall, our group had pretty good success this year although we didn't connect on two trophy bucks we were after. One was a beautiful ten point buck that was literally in our back yard and the other was a nice twelve or fourteen point that was rubbing eight inch diameter cedar trees. This buck was also very close to home,  just on the outskirts of town.
    As usual, Jamie managed to connect with a nice eight point that he spotted on the edge of a clear-cut. Jamie is a VERY good shot and he killed this deer at three hundred yards, off hand AND off his wrong shoulder! That's some shooting! This photo shows Jamie posing with his young daughter and this years buck.
 Jamie didn't get this buck weighed but it was rough guessed at around 170-180 lbs. field dressed. We figured this buck to be 3.5 years old and not quite in his prime yet. Still, a nice buck for this part of the country. Unfortunately, I didn't get the pictures of the eight point buck that Wes tagged or Kenny's spike buck that he took. The closest I came to a deer was a small button buck that nearly jumped in my lap after |I put some doe in heat scent out and doe called using only my mouth. Moments after I called, I seen a patch of brown fur bounding through the woods towards me and stopping within ten yards of where I was sitting. That little buck had some surprised look on his face! He milled around for a bit playing peek-a-boo with me and then trotted off in the direction he had come. That was almost as much fun as actually pulling the trigger on one.
    Let me say right here that I am a strong advocate of the old fashioned deer bleat that New Brunswick deer hunters carried for years while hunting. I believe this doe call to be much more effective at bringing in both bucks AND does when conditions are right. Seeing is believing and I have called in ten times as many deer with a bleat rather than a grunt call. But, each to his own.
    Some local hunters were successful this past season. My neighbor and old friend Rodney L. took a nice eight point buck in his back pasture and another buddy, Sheldon W. took a dandy ten point buck that dressed out at 224 lbs. from his fathers property in Coal Creek. I didn't get the photos of his buck but after seeing the pictures on someone's phone I can tell you that Sheldon's buck was a dandy! There was an even bigger one on his trail cam that he couldn't catch in the daylight. He told me he is already preparing for next year! I did get photos of buddy Trevor Trails nice buck he killed near his food plot in Dufferen. Trevor told me he had quite an ordeal getting his tag on this buck. Seems he didn't want to stay down so Trevor said he was a little heavy with lead when he finally did go down. Here is a photo of Trevor's 2014 buck.
 This buck sported a nine point rack and dressed out at 198 lbs. A very respectable mature buck for this country. I don't have the official numbers from the DNR on this years deer hunt but I'm guessing somewhere south of 7,000. Don't forget, this years harvest numbers will be skewed higher than normal because of having snow and cool weather during half of the season. Last year the kill was 8,161 so I think if we got at least 7,000 after that long winter we had last year, we will be doing good. Poor old deer have everything going against them in this country.
 
    Each year I try to show readers of my blog some of the great bucks that our resident white-tail hunters take. I like to get photos of trophy bucks but sometimes you get a photo of a trophy like this next one.
 This disabled hunter from eastern New Brunswick shows how to get it done. This hunter took a spike buck and most people would agree THATS a trophy buck!
 
   
 This beautiful buck was taken by a female resident hunter. This ten point buck had a 23.5 inch spread and dressed out at 227 lbs.
 
The next photo shows another female hunter with a nice 12 point buck taken in the snow. these are trophy deer in anyone's
book!

    The following photo shows a nice eight point buck taken by well respected New Brunswick hunter Kevin B. of the Fredericton area. Kevin got out on a fresh snow and tracked his buck to it's bed and that buck stayed right there. That's a great way to take a buck Kevin!
 
 Finally, this next photo shows a doe deer that was harvested and has long spikes still in velvet. This isn't too uncommon and almost each year a doe with horns is harvested. A very unusual trophy indeed!
 
    Due to the large amount of material I have on hand from this years deer hunt, I am splitting my posts and I will be posting part two of the 2014 deer hunt before Christmas next month. Look for photos of some monster bucks taken in New Brunswick last season.
 
Until then, this is Dale Bauer saying '' Happy Trails to You....Until we Meet Again! ''

   
    
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A KIELIDASCOPE OF COLORS

    Fall in New Brunswick is a beautiful time of the year and here at home on Salmon River we are blessed with an abundance of post card quality scenes. A drive around the Grand Lake area will provide many good photo opportunities with the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife in our area of New Brunswick.
 This male ruffed grouse is in a relaxed pose. If he was strutting his stuff,  the black ring around his neck would be standing up and he would be fanning his tail feathers. The next photo was taken by a resident Laker right off of highway 105 on the Grand Lake Meadows. This heron seems to be at rest with a male mallard standing in the background.

 I took the next photo a few years ago and wanted to include it to show the beautiful colors of the maples on Moon Island near my home. It doesn't get much prettier than this!
 
 
We have packed our fishing gear away for another year but I did get away to the Miramichi for one last try for salmon. This was a very disappointing year for anglers and outfitters alike and although there were a few fish around, they weren't in the taking mood. Old Mack McCormack told me he fished the Cains on the last day and the river was full of fish. I asked him how many he hooked and he said he couldn't buy a strike! He told me he tried everything in his fly box right down to No.12 hooks but still no takers. That's salmon fishing for you!
    I didn't hook any salmon on my last outing but I did land a couple of nice trout. 
 These trout put up a good fight even on the heavier salmon tackle I was using. I'll take these trout all day long if the salmon aren't co-operating. It sure livens up an otherwise dull day! The next photo shows another trout I took the same afternoon.
 We ended our pickerel fishing for 2014 on a high note with many nice fish landed. We had multiple days of twenty plus fish hooked and released and I landed my best fish of the season on my last trip. This nice pickerel was twenty-five and a quarter on the measuring tray. That's a nice pickerel anywhere!
 The measuring tray we use is made by Frabill and they are very useful when you want to get accurate measurements such as in a tournament.
 The more I fish for pickerel, the more I enjoy catching them. They very rarely disappoint and the fun factor is high. On a good day it can be non-stop action and young and old alike can appreciate that kind of fishing. We like fishing pickerel through the ice so we're not quite done with this species yet.
 
    The duck hunt in our area was as predicted-slow! The water stayed high during the spring and summer and this hampered the growth of duck food in the bigger ponds near home. As if that weren't bad enough, the water dropped like a stone and the ponds nearly dried up during September. No food and no water means no ducks, unfortunately. The boys did manage to get a handful of birds that kept the dogs busy for awhile but there were no limits in any of our blinds this year.
    My neighbour across the river had good field shooting the first couple of days for geese. Their group of four hunters took nineteen geese the first day. They continued to shoot geese all week as his fields were being harvested. He has a great set up and never fails to get a few good goose hunts in as his fields are being cut.
    We are seeing good numbers of grouse, especially spruce grouse during our travels. The woodcock are down a bit in our area but that may be just a local thing in our coverts. The rabbit population is on the upswing in our area and I like to get a couple of rabbits and a couple of spruce partridge and make a stew. Real tasty on a cold fall day!
 
    As I write this piece, the bow only season for deer has ended and the gun season is in it's first week. Our deer herd is producing some nice young bucks on the private ground in the southern part of the province. This is where the numbers are and the south is where you have your best chance of getting a nice buck. New Brunswick has the ability to produce some nice racks on three and a half year old bucks. These bucks in good habitat will weigh in at 170-180 lbs. field dressed and can have a nice 8-10 point rack. Not too shabby but we just need more of them! The next couple of photos are of nice young bucks that were taken by residents with a bow.
 The best bow buck of the season that I seen was a nice drop-tined buck that dressed out well over 200 lbs. A very nice trophy for this resident hunter. This great buck was taken during the first week of the season which should dispel the myth that big bucks can only be taken during the rut.
 This is a mature New Brunswick whitetail that is showing some good width in his rack. There are some great opportunities for bow hunting in New Brunswick during the early season. During the three week long season, hunting over bait can really increase the odds of taking a decent buck. Every year bow hunters and rifle hunters take big bucks over bait. If done right and in a good spot, hunters can really increase their odds of taking a nice buck. Patience is key because many times a big buck will only come in during daylight hours while tending a doe in heat. Don't complain if you have does and kids eating your apples because sooner or later the big boy will show up.
 
    Even though the gun season for whitetails is only days old, there have been some nice deer taken already. The next photo shows a nice ten point buck taken by a resident hunter earlier this week.
 This buck dressed out at 190 lbs. I would guess this deer to be one of those nice 3.5-4.5 year old bucks I was talking about earlier. New Brunswick can produce big bucks if the weather would co-operate for a few years by keeping the snow pac to a manageable level. The next photo shows an old warrior that survived a few seasons before being harvested by another resident hunter in the Woodstock area.
 This bruiser of a buck was taken on the first day of gun season this year and dressed out at 260 lbs. That's a huge buck by any standard and it's probably no coincidence it came from farm country.
    Kenny's nephew, Jamie was driving home from an area north of Chipman when he noticed a white patch on the side of the road. It piqued his interest so he turned around and when he got back to where he had seen the white spot, out of the ditch stepped a nice albino 8 pt. buck. Jamie got a quick photo of it as it took off. You don't see these animals very often!
Jamie got a nice high tined buck last year that was in the 2.5-3.5 year old bracket. If this buck had lived another couple of years it would have been carrying a super rack around. I think Jamie was still quite happy to take this buck. The next photo is his 2013 buck.
 We are getting lots of does and kids on our cameras but the bucks still aren't around yet. The next two photos show two young bucks that we will be looking for this year.
 Both of these bucks will be on our hit list this year if they show up. With all the does and kids we have at our bait sites, we're pretty confident one of these bucks or perhaps one of the real trophies that frequent our hunting area will show up eventually.
 
Again this month,  I regretfully have to report the passing of a well known gentleman in Chipman, forest ranger Wayne Burpee.  All I can say about Wayne was that he was a very nice guy and always gave a helping hand whenever called upon. Besides being a ranger, Wayne was also Deputy Chief of the NBSPCA.  He was very witty and loved a good laugh. Rest in peace Wayne.
 
I have been finding some very nice outdoor items in my travels around the province. The following photo is a great piece of art done in relief on a sheet of copper. The scene depicts the classic hunting scene of a stag and hound. This piece is signed by the artist W. Esser and is dated 1984. It looks as if the artist also made the chip carved frame specifically for the piece.
 The next photo is a hand painted tray that was used as a wall hanging. The scene shows a pair of blue winged teal at rest and it is signed with the artists initials S.F. I would date this piece to the "60's"
 Finally, I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of coasters depicting Canada geese in flight. These coasters are made of copper with porcelain inserts and fit a drink glass perfectly. I know because I tried them out last week-end with great success. I would say these two items are from the "50's" and I really like them!
 In the coming months I'll be offering the readers of my blog links to other pages about outdoor antique and collectible related items that I am familiar with. What started as a hobby over twenty-five years ago has evolved into a way of life and lately I've been getting an urge to write and share my experiences about this fun pastime. New Brunswick has a wonderful outdoor heritage that should be celebrated!
 
    If anyone has any questions about spending some time with us in the Grand Lake area, please contact me through the channels provided. We can arrange a trip to fit any budget but we will always provide sports the best service we can.
 
Until next time, this is Dale Bauer saying "Happy Trails to You.....Until we Meet Again!"
 
 
 

DEER SEASON 2017--A SMALL GAIN

    New Brunswick's deer season just ended a week ago and although the official numbers aren't out yet, preliminary numbers indicat...