Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FALL IS FINALLY HERE!

The end of summer provided us with some beautiful weather here at home on Salmon River and it seemed as if the sun shone every day. I appreciate all that nice weather but we needed a good rain and it's on it's way as I write this. The forecast is for about 100-150 mm. of rain over the next four days. That's quite a dump of rain in a short period of time but I think it will put our rivers right back to a good level for the fall. This is going to provide salmon fishermen on the Cains River and the MSW Miramichi with some terrific fishing to end a very good year for returning salmon.
    I was thinking about the changing weather patterns and how many times, nowadays, we get large dumps of precipitation over a short period of time. After seeing the latest forecast, it really struck home how things are changing. This is a photo I took four years ago of the maples on Moon Island in all their splendor.
 That photo was taken a full five days earlier than this one I just took today which is the twenty-ninth. 
 That's a pretty drastic difference in color. Summer really did stay longer this year. The leaves have barely started to change this year. It makes me wonder if this is a trend or just a normal aspect of a bigger pattern of weather events.

    The pickerel bite stayed good right up until the first day of fall. That's the last day I fished before I hung up my spin-cast for the year. I did well each time I went out, catching at least a half dozen fish between 18-24 inches. This is a photo of the biggest pickerel I caught this year. It was twenty-four and one quarter inches. Not my personal best but still a trophy pickerel. Here are a couple of photos of this years fish.
I really like the plastic measuring board put out by Frabill. You can get quick, accurate measurements of your fish that will help to keep you honest and help get the fish back in the water quicker.
 These fish were hard fighters because the water stayed cool and conditions were perfect for this species. Here are some more photos of fish we caught.
 

 The average size of the pickerel we catch would be around twenty inches. They will readily take a lure and give a good fight with light tackle. It's a great species to start young fishermen out on because they will usually co-operate by giving a good bite. This is a photo of me with a fish I got while out by myself one evening.
 I caught several nice fish that night and that was the pattern for most of the late season on Salmon River. I think this fish was the best one I got that night at twenty-three and a half inches. 
    We will be finishing off the fishing season with trips to the Miramichi and Cains rivers for fall salmon and it looks like the last two weeks will have lots of water throughout the province. 

    The Canada goose season started with a bang for my neighbor across the river. His fields are looked after by the local dairy farmer and the geese are regular visitors there. They will feed in his fields all day and then fly out to the bar in the river to spend the night. Rodney has been setting up for geese each fall for several years now and they have a good system worked out. Last numbers I heard was around forty birds for him and his shooters. I'm sure their hunt this year compared well to other years because they have had consistent shooting all along.
    A couple of other hunters who were hunting fields south of here, further down the river had some good luck one day. Randy-Michael L. and Cora B. were set up and watching flocks around them but they were staying just out of range. They sat tight and in the meantime while they were waiting for a flock to come in range, out comes a flock of turkeys! 
 They said the turkeys didn't bother the geese any and although they didn't mingle, they all shared the same dinner table and chowed right down. After a short time the turkeys moved on and the geese started milling around the field again in small groups and Randy and Cora were able to score on a few geese including Cora's first!

This photo shows Randy picking up a goose during their early season field hut. 
 Duck season is just around the corner and it should be a good season because there seems to be lots of birds around.

   The 2015 moose hunt was just completed and by most accounts it was a very good season. Although the afternoons were quite warm, the nights cooled off nicely and temperatures were into single digits. Most hunters said the moose were calling well but many times they were frustrated because the bull wouldn't leave the cow. If this happens, moving closer while grunting like a bull and thrashing the brush will sometimes bring him charging. This can be a nerve racking experience but it's quite a thrill also, if it ends well. There were some trophy bulls taken again this year with the bulk of them from the northern half of the province. We registered around seventy moose at the cache here in Chipman and that compares closely to last years total. Here is a photo of the first page registered when I stopped in at the half way point. 
 C. Shirley of Chipman had one of the first bulls registered as well as one of the biggest at 789 lbs. M. Jardine of Chipman brought in a twenty-two pointer that was bigger later on in to the season. There were fifty-three moose registered at the half way point. My neighbors group had three tags and filled all three. Another group from Minto who work at the local saw mill filled both of their tags in Salmon River. Here is a photo of one of the great bulls taken up north this season.
 That's one happy hunter right there! This next photo shows another great bull taken in the northern part of the province this year.
 Just one look at the bulls in these photo tells you that New Brunswick has some trophy sized bull moose walking around out there.  This next photo shows another trophy taken on the last morning of the season. This tremendous bull has twenty-seven points.
 
    The final tally for moose killed this season was 3728. This is 45 more moose than was killed last year. The southern zones had a decrease of sixteen percent less moose killed. This was offset by a similar increase in the northern zones. Another great year for moose hunters in New Brunswick.

    We just had a rare celestial event occur in our skies a few days ago. The "blood" moon was very visible in the skies around home and folks took advantage of this fact by getting some good shots of the moon as it was eclipsing. This photo shows the moon before the eclipse.
 The next photo shows the moon in full eclipse and in its "blood" stage.
 Brenda D. of Minto took some great shots of the event and I want to thank her for letting me use her photo,

    Since duck season starts tomorrow, I thought I would show my readers a couple of prints I picked up recently. The first one is entitled "Mallards Jumping". This print is dated 1953.
 The next one is a Canada goose print entitled "Canada geese. After a Squall". This print is also dated 1953 by Henry Holt & company, inc.

    I want to take this opportunity to wish all hunters a safe and successful 2015 season and remember to take a beginner, if you can find a likely candidate.
    This is Dale Bauer saying "Happy Trails to You.....Until we Meet Again!"

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