Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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 indicate a small increase in the  harvest this year. That would certainly make sense because we have had a couple of good winters that has allowed the herd to expand....a little. Successive good winters allows all age classes to better survive but usually fawns, yearlings and 2.5 yr. old deer reap the greatest benefit. A heavy snow pack during the winter has a negative effect on smaller deer on two fronts. They can't get food as easily and may be over browsed by the larger deer and they can't escape coyotes and cats if they are bogged down in snow. These two factors kill a lot of deer during a bad winter.
    In our hunting areas around Grand Lake on the Crown land we saw a slight increase in small racked "dink" bucks and does but the older deer with the big racks that most hunters are looking for were few and far between.. The older class deer that are left are very hard to pattern because they are covering a lot of ground these days. Many times these big boys are here one day and gone the next.. I didn't kill a deer again this year but Jamie bagged a young six pointer on the last week-end of the season. He hunted a big buck in Salmon River for most of the season but never laid eyes on him. That happens a lot these days. Jamie switched tactics and joined Kenny the last week-end for a hunt on private ground near Pioneer Lodge in Cumberland Bay. That proved to be a smart move. Here is a photo of Jamies 2017 buck.
 If anyone is wondering how Ken, Jamie and Dallas got their start in the outdoor life just take a look at this photo. Ol' Wes had these boys on the hunt as soon as they were big enough to buck some brush. As a matter of fact, Wes was known to put one of the boys in his knap sack and take them on a hunt BEFORE they could get around easily. This is how these guides got their start. Thanks Wes!.These boys turned out to be good woodsmen with your guidance.

      Jamie's uncle Kenny didn't tag a deer this year either but he helped a young local lad get his first buck. This kid was really pumped after getting his first deer and in this instance size DIDN'T matter. I think it's very important for young hunters to harvest game early on because it fires up that hunting instinct and that success spurs them on during future hunts. The same thing goes for fishing. Young people lose interest quickly but when they get that first rush of adrenaline they are usually hooked. This is a photo of Kyle Hay with his first buck. Well done Kyle!
 I should also mention that Kyle's step-dad, Derrick Bizeau, played a big part in his success. Make no mistake about it, this is how it all starts for these young hunters.
    Although Ken and I didn't kill a deer this year, we did have a few smaller bucks on our cameras. These young deer will be pretty decent bucks next year, if they survive. Here's a photo of one buck I was hunting this year that was harvested by Andy A. from the Minto area.
I don't know Andy personally but I do know his mothers side of the family quite well and they are all good woodsmen. This deer was killed on Crown land between Minto and Chipman. Good job Andy!
    I had a smaller buck on the camera that wasn't killed from the same area and he should be a pretty good buck next year.
 I don't mind seeing these smaller bucks around because I know if they can survive until the age of 3.5 years old, they will be nice bucks. Most deer of this age in New Brunswick will dress out between 160-180 lbs. and have a 8-10 point rack.. I'm using average figures here and there can be some variation either way. Jamie and Kenny  had a young buck with good potential on one of their cameras. This is going to be a nice deer next year.

 This deer is on private ground and very close to home.. We like seeing these bucks in our back yard. Our immediate area was known for holding big bucks back in the day but with the extensive logging over the last couple of decades, our area has suffered heavy losses in the deer herd. This isn't just a localized problem. It's province wide with the exception of some private land near the suburbs, predominantly in the southern half of  New Brunswick..This problem could be fixed relatively quickly with the right application of common sense and decency but the will to do so has to be there first. Only time will tell but I'm an optimist and I believe there are better days ahead for New Brunswick's deer herd.
    The private land around Grand Lake has long been a white-tail haven and there is still some good deer hunting to be had ,if you have access. There are some good bucks in these areas but the bulk of the deer hunting is done by local land owners. One young fellow I know from Grand lake has been having great success the last few seasons. Ryan Smith and his hunting buddies are co-operating and holding out for bigger bucks and it's paying off! Ryan has taken a nice buck the last two seasons and his buddies are doing well also. These guys are hunting hard and have a lot of time and equipment invested in their deer hunts but that's what it takes to harvest big bucks in New Brunswick today. This is a photo of Ryan's 8 point buck he took this year. It dressed out at 190 lbs.
 He took a similar deer last year. Both these deer are considered trophy sized bucks in our area by today's standards

 Here is a photo of one of Ryan's hunting buddies with the buck he got near Grand Lake on private ground.
 This big buck dressed out at 232 lbs. and won the camp contest. for heaviest weight. It sported a nice heavy 9 point rack. Well done boys! I think it's great to see these young hunters getting the job done on these local big bucks. The potential is here and with a little luck and determination, it can happen.
    Other parts of new Brunswick also seen some great bucks harvested in 2017. Parts of Miramichi and Woodstock in central N.B. had some nice bucks taken and in the south around Sussex and Saint John there were some really nice bucks killed this year. Here are a few photos of a huge buck taken in Sussex on private land by a young lady hunter. 


 That's about as good as it gets in New Brunswick but every year monsters such as this are still being taken. Congratulations to this young lady for taking a trophy of a life time. This next photo shows an old warrior from the northern part of the province that was killed this year also. This deer was taken near Edmonston.
 This buck had a very heavy rack with 17 points. It dressed out at 245 lbs. This is another example of the quality of our bucks if they can survive for a few years. Here is another photo of a big racked buck taken this year.by a lucky hunter  in New Brunswick.
 This buck not only has mass and tine length but also has a good spread with kicker points for character. Another great buck taken here in New Brunswick.
    
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my old friend from my youth, Kevin Voutour, on taking an absolute monster buck this fall. Kevin and I grew up as neighbours in Minto and travelled together for years as kids and later on as young men. I remember Kevin running his trap line after school and on week-ends as much for the love of the woods as for the extra money he made on his line. He was mainly a water trapper but he wasn't limited just to those sets. I remember seeing one of his fur receipts from a few years ago and he put a pile of hurt on the local coyote population at that time. As we got older, we started hunting ducks at MacDonald's Meadows and running the big woods of  Salmon River in the old burnt lands at the mouth of Little Forks. Here is a photo of Kevin and I with a moose I got one year in that area. He will tell you that moose hunting is his "thing"but it's much more than that. Kevin doesn't miss anything in the woods. Trust me.

We also stayed at camps on Newcastle Stream and at the head of Gaspereau River. Wild as hawks and living for the hunt! I'll say it again, "There's no life like it!".Of course, we grew up and moved on but we always remained connected through mutual friends and casual meetings. Today, Kevin and I are getting a little long in the tooth and I suspect his recent trip to Saskatchewan  was a gift to himself for reaching that special milestone in life. Kevin has come full circle with this buck and it will be nearly impossible to top this trophy. Looks good on ya pal! You earned every inch of it! This is a photo of Kevin with his buck shortly after he killed it.
 This buck had a live weight of 302 lbs. and dressed out at 242 lbs. The outfitter didn't know this buck was in the area they were hunting because there were no trail cam photos of him.What this buck scores is still to be determined. It would be safe to say it  is over 200 inches.. Congratulations again Kevin on your trophy buck!

As hunting season winds down for us here at home on Salmon River, we will still be out for rabbits and partridge while scouting around to see what deer are left. If we can get another good winter this year, our deer herd will increase correspondingly That's a good thing from where we sit..

Until next time, this is Dale Bauer saying "Happy Trails to You....Until we Meet Again".

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 N.B. MOOSE HUNT--A RECORD HARVEST!

    The leaves have all turned and are starting to fall as our temperatures begin to drop to seasonal values. Here at home on Salmon River, we are still experiencing higher than normal temperatures for this time period. We have only had a few days of frost and the weather is more reminiscent of late summer than fall. I don't like our Maritime winters very much but I would prefer to have cooler temperatures during hunting season. It seems our fall temperatures have been consistently warmer the last few years and it makes for a tougher hunt.
    New Brunswick has so many photo opportunities at this time of year it's hard to pick a favourite  but this shot of the Miramichi River from the bridge in Doaktown is a nice one.
  I mentioned in a previous post that Grand Lake Photography on Facebook has some terrific photos of the scenery and wildlife in the Grand Lake area. This next photo was taken by a very talented lady who posts regularly to that page.
 Here is a link to that FB page to view more photos. https://www.facebook.com/groups/331519736986527/

 Salmon fishermen had a terrible year this season. The weather was too hot and dry and this didn't allow very many fish to ascend the river in a normal fashion. I have to say I can't remember a year with so little rain. Most fishermen just shrugged their shoulders and played the hand Mother Nature dealt us while waiting for the fall rains to bring the fish in. Unfortunately, the rains didn't come and neither did the fish. Oh, there were a few fish coming in on the tides and any little bump in water levels but for most fishermen it was too little and too late. One bright spot was on the Northwest Miramichi where the fishing was a little more consistent. Outfitters located further downriver on the MSW Miramichi also had a little better year because of being located closer to the tides and having access to low water pools. Even with that advantage, it was a year of tough fishing for these outfitters and their sports alike.
    Atlantic salmon are in a precarious position in their existence because there are so many factors that are impacting them negatively. Warming temperatures, over fishing at sea, predation from seals and fish such as striped bass,escapes from fish farms and the list goes on. This is not an easy fix but there are programs at work to address at least some of these issues affecting the survival of our beloved Atlantic salmon.
    Sea trout numbers were also down this year when compared to previous years. many avid trout fishermen either missed the run because the fish went early or they just didn't appear on schedule as in previous years. This can be very frustrating for sports who plan vacations around this yearly event. This is a photo of a nice trout from the MSW Miramichi River.
 Striped bass fishing is heating up with some huge ones being caught in the lower Saint John River system. Each year, more fishermen are gearing up to pursue these great game fish. They can be caught at many locations along the coast and the lower Miramichi River has some hot spots that can be fished from shore with good results. Grand Lake has produced some good stripers this year and my good friend Marlon C. tells me his visitors to his rental cottage in Douglas Harbour were catching schoolies off of his dock. Grand Point has also been fishing well for fishermen. This is a photo of a huge striper taken near Saint John recently.
 Fishing for stripers has been gaining in popularity in recent years. The spring spawing frenzy on the lower Miramichi River has done a lot to further the interest in this tasty fish. Social media provides up-to-date information on fishing trips that are often measured in hundreds of fish hooked! It doesn't take long for good news like that to travel and there are more and more boats out there every year. 

The 2017 moose hunt can only be described as a success with 3801 animals taken. That is a harvest record and and I think the first day had record high temperatures of 30*Celsius.It did cool down a little later in the week but most hunters will agree the temperatures were way too warm. The harvest was the largest since 1960 and the success rate was over 80%. These figures verify that moose numbers are at least holding their own or growing in most zones. Southern zones have seen their numbers fall over the last few years whereas the northern zones have seen an increase on average. Still, overall herd numbers are good and that makes moose hunters and wildlife enthusiasts happy!
    I hunted in zone 18 with the Doherty family and we had a lot of fun over the week. Brad had a tag and had never killed a big game animal before so Steve and I really wanted to give him as good a chance as possible to get one. We set him up in a stand in a chopping that was grown up but was still being used regularly..There were lots of tracks and trails with raked trees at intervals throughout the area.. There was a nice little wallow about fifty yards from his tree stand that he could keep an eye on. It was a good place. Brads sister, Chelsie, stayed at the base of the stand and called while Brad was perched up fifteen feet in the stand. Stephen and I heard a moose bellow at day break but that was it. Meantime, Brads moose was circling them and making what Brad described as prehistoric sounds! I guessed that to mean bellows and grunts with breaking branches. That moose circled and hung around for three hours before finally showing himself at 10:20 of the second morning. Brad took his time and made a perfect shot. Here is a photo of his twelve point bull where it fell.
 This bull was in beautiful shape with lots of fat and no sign of rut. We had a feed of tenderloin the first night and it was some tasty! Brads bull dressed out at 728 lbs on the scale. A dandy bull that Brad and our hunting party was very happy to get. Here is a group photo taken before we hauled him out.
 The next photo shows us hauling the moose out with the bike.
 Luckily, we only had to go 100 meters to the road. Once we got to the road we got the moose loaded with the help of  two brothers from Coal Creek who were also hunting in the area. That good deed was payed back in spades later on in the hunt when they took a big bull that we were also hunting. Here is a trail cam  photo of that same bull.
 We had photos of three different bulls using one of the four trails where we were hunting. The bull in the next photo had horns like a deer.
 This next bull may or may not be the bull that Brad shot.
 Any of these moose were on our hit list but the big guy in the first picture was the main one we were looking for. Remember the two brothers who helped us out? Here is the bull they got later on in the hunt.
 That's a trophy bull by any standard. It couldn't have happened to any better guys. Congratulations Gerald and Robin.

  Jamie and Dallas were hunting with other family members in Bronson. This area of zone 18 has been a great producer of moose for many years now. The Hargroves hunted this same area for two years now and there has been ten moose taken in that time by them and others. I taked to Jamie after the hunt and he said there were still lots of moose in the general area. Along with several cows, there was a monster bull that managed to elude the hunters for the five day hunt. The next photos show the bull that Jamie shot for his cousin Debbie.
 
 Jamie killed this bull with an old octagon barrel single shot 45-70 that a friend had given him. Pretty good job for a gun over 100 years old.

  There were many moose of this calibre taken right across the province but the northern half produced the most. Here is a photo of one of the better bulls taken in the northern half of the province this year.
 This huge bull is about as good as it gets in New Brunswick but each year there are a few taken that are of this calibre. Our moose herd is in good shape and non -residents would be well advise to get their name in on the draw for next year when it comes up next year.
    The rifle season for deer has started and there have been some nice bucks shot already. We have been packing away boats and motors and all of our fishing gear this past week .Salmon season ended on Oct. 15th and this is when we start putting our summer gear away and getting ready for deer season. We have some good stands this year and I'll have some photos in my next post.

    If any sports out there are looking for a day or week in our woods or on our waters, please contact me through  the links provided. Our adventures are affordable and Ken and I will do our best to insure our guests have a great time during their visit to the beautiful Grand Lake area.

Until next time, this is Dale Bauer saying " Happy Trails to You.....Until we Meet Again!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER......ALL SUMMER LONG!

This summer has been the driest in recent memory. Terrific weather for beach goers and site seers but not so great for fishermen and the fish. With no appreciable amount of rain since June, things are pretty parched up to this point. All the rivers and brooks are at very low level and even Grand Lake is at a low point. Here at home on Salmon River, we are watching as all the different bars on the river are starting to show. This makes travelling above Chipman in even a small motor boat next to impossible. If you can make it to Parkhills Bar, you will likely have to walk your boat up over the bar. There are also re-deposited pieces of the bank lodged in low areas but at least most of these are sprouting vegetation and are visible. Ken and I have been taking it easy this summer and it has allowed us to do other chores that needed done. There never seems to be enough time in the run of a day so when the opportunity arises , we make the most of it. I put in a new floating dock that got some use this summer. The fire pit area on the beach needed work so I spent a day or two sprucing things up there. Unfortunately, there were many days this summer when open fires were banned. As I write this there is a partial ban in our area and the Grand Lake Basin. One positive point in this sultry summer has been an increase in tourism numbers right across the Maritimes. New Brunswickers are realizing what a unique and beautiful place we live in and many are travelling close to home or to neighbouring provinces. This is a good thing because those dollars stay here and nurture our local economies and the families that live here. Our coastline and inland river valleys are relatively unspoiled and support lush and vibrant ecosystems for people to explore and use. There are endless photo opportunities such as this one of a family of loons on French Lake at the lower end of the Grand Lake drainage.
 If my readers are interested in seeing some great photos of the area, check out Grand Lake Photography on Facebook. You won't be disappointed. The next photo is a photo taken from my beach that shows Moon Island on Salmon River in all its fall splendour.

 Fall is a beautiful time of the year in New Brunswick  and the time has never been better for visiting sportsmen to hunt here. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or from Europe, both these currency's provide an exchange rate that results in substantial savings for visiting sportsmen and tourists in general. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as to say New Brunswick gives visitors the best bang for their buck no matter what their interests may be. Please don't hesitate to contact me for details on the great deals we have on outdoor adventures in our area.

As I have already said, this has been a summer of endless days of sunshine and hardly a drop of rain. This effectively stalled the fishing for cold water species like Atlantic salmon and brook trout.The Miramichi River has had cold water closures at intervals throughout this summer and all scribes have been singing the same tune. No water and poor fishing. A good raise of water is desperately needed and until it comes, the salmon fishing will be hit or miss at best. Hopefully, we will get a gradual raise and the fish will come in spurts rather than racing to the spawning grounds and not looking at flies. I believe we will have a good fall season if we can just get some water. As the water cools with the approach of fall, the brook trout will leave the spring brooks and spread out more in the river system. This will provide some good angling until the season closes.

The lower water this summer has made for some good pickerel fishing. With their watery habitat shrinking daily, they get crowded into the good habitat that is left. This makes it much easier to find fish and that usually results in more hook-ups. A local gal, Whitley C., was fishing the lower Salmon River below Chipman and caught a few nice pickerel one afternoon. Whitley really likes fishing for pickerel and gets out every chance she can. I think the fish in the next photo is her personal best. She didn't measure it but it looks like it's 24 in.+. Here is a photo of Whitley and her trophy pickerel.
 The weed beds on the lower Salmon River right to Grand Lake provide great cover for pickerel and perch. On the rare occasion the pickerel aren't biting, you can switch to plan B and catch some nice sized yellow perch .You can also expect to hook white perch and sunfish. Lately, fishermen have been hooking smallmouth bass around the dock in Chipman. My neighbour and his son hooked and release what he estimated to be a 4 lb. smallmouth just up river from the dock.
    My son Curt and I were out the other night and caught a few pickerel. Most were average size 18-20 inches. I did get one nice one before we cut our trip short after experiencing engine difficulties. Here is a photo of Curt with an average sized pickerel.
 We only fished for about an hour and there was a chop on the water that put the top water bite off but I did land a nice one before we started for home. Here is a photo of that pickerel before being released.
 There is still some good pickerel fishing to be had. This will last until the fall rains start and the water cools off. We will then switch over to fall salmon and late season brook trout.Of course, the weather will have to co-operate and give us some water. Our brooks and rivers need it desperately! 

We may have had to deal with hot weather here at home but we are only an hour and change away from salt water. This is great because during the month of August the mackerel start running and the stripers are usually close by. Not only that but lobster season opens in Bouctouche and Richibucto at the first of August and everyone likes a fresh feed of lobster! My fishing buddy, George P., asked me if I wanted to join him on a trip to Richibucto to try and get some mackerel. I told him I thought that would be a great idea so we loaded up and were on our way.
    We landed at the wharf at about 8:AM and were ready to go in no time.
 As you can see from this photo, we were using a small boat and outboard for our ocean excursion but we picked the right day for it. The wind was very light and it was a blue bird day so we felt a little safer as we made our way out of the harbour.
 George had been out a couple of times before and the plan was to watch for seals and bird activity. This had worked for him before so we tried a couple of  spots on our way out to open water. On our third drop we hooked a couple of mackerel. We made a few more casts and George suggested we keep searching for a school. As we got closer to open water we spotted a huge flock of gulls and cormorants on the water and a couple of seals bobbing around on the edges. There happened to be buoy there so George just tied off on it. He took a cast and pumped it once and hooked three and the bite was on!
 I took a cast right behind him and by the time I pumped them in I had four on.
 And that's the way it went for the rest of the morning. We didn't have to cast. We just lowered our lines over the side of the boat and gave a couple of tugs and hauled in mackerel after mackerel. We quickly filled a cooler with nice sized mackerel.
 There is no possession limit on mackerel so George and I took enough to do us for a while. They are great eating and are good bait for stripers so it's nice to have a bunch for the freezer.
 The only down side to mackerel fishing is the mess they make. They are bleeders and if the fishing is good,  don't be surprised if you get splattered in the face a time or two! Here is a short video clip of George catching a nice string of mackerel later that morning. It was just after noon when George and I started back to the wharf. We followed in the wake of a lobster boat as we travelled the 5-6 miles back to shore.
 It was a beautiful day and the fishing was fantastic! I think I'm going to start calling my buddy "Captain George". He handled the boat well, got us into some fish and got us back home safely. Good job Captain! 
    Although the best fishing is off shore for mackerel, the many wharves along the coast can provide some good fishing on the incoming tide and peak of tide. This is a great way for a small group to spend a relaxing day on the dock casting for mackerel and stripers. Timing is everything so a tide chart and up-to-date information on the runs is essential for success. There are lots of uncrowded spots to fish in any of the coastal communities along the North Shore and that's the beauty of it. New Brunswickers wouldn't have it any other way! 

Moose season is coming up next month and we have started to scout our areas in Zone 18. There are lots of moose in the areas we hunt and it really would be hard not to get a chance at one during a five day season. Dallas has a tag for Zone 18 this year and his brother Jamie is guiding a relative in the same Zone. They will probably hunt the same general area after they are done scouting and checking the trail cams. Kenny and Jamie got a dandy bull last year and they say there is still a bigger one in the area. Here is a picture of that bull.
 

We will start our bear baits at the beginning of the month. Most of our sites have been established for awhile but we usually start a few new sites each year just to keep things fresh. A bear hunt in New Brunswick is one of the best deals to be had anywhere. We have a good population of mature bears in our Zones and success is almost guaranteed. Chances are, if a hunter fails to use his tag, he is holding out for a real monster. Bears of this calibre are usually old boars and they can be as cagey as an old white-tailed buck. Like a big buck, many times the rut will bring the only chance at a big boar because they have a tendency to be nocturnal during the rest of the year. Ken and I still have tags available for Zone 17 if anyone wants a great hunt for a super price. Just give me a call or send me an E-mail for details. Here is a nice bear that Nils Otterpohl took last fall while hunting with us.
 

The prospects for deer hunting are a little brighter this year after two mild winters with  the snow pac at a manageable level. We have been seeing more deer this year and there are a few nice bucks around but their numbers are limited. Hard core hunters will still have a good chance at a buck if they have patience and put their time in during the rut. Timing is crucial when trying to intercept a big old buck when he gets rutting. That's about the only time he will let his guard down and a hunter must try to take advantage of that fact. Here is a photo of a big old buck that Jamie killed last year. This buck dressed out at 248 lbs. and that was after he had run some weight off. That's a nice buck in any country! If any sport would like to hunt with Ken and I  please reach out and we will do our best to make it happen.

Until next time, this is Dale Bauer saying " Happy Trails to You....Until we Meet Again! "

Friday, June 30, 2017

TOO MANY SPECIES...TOO LITTLE TIME

    The weather here at home on Salmon River has finally decided to moderate and most folks are happy to see it come. Summer is officially here and the water levels are at a good level for angling and not too warm. Local anglers have been hitting the water hard this month and have been getting some nice fish.
    The gaspereau are on their way out and I have been watching large schools of them slowly dropping back into Grand Lake The shad run was a little late this year but anglers participating in the 13th Annual Monte Farrell Shad Tournament caught fish  and it was a good day weather wise. The tournament was held on June 10th this year. For some reason, bad weather has affected this tourney on several years but not this year. The water level was a bit high and a cold front had come in but there was still eighteen shad landed. Joe Tilley from the Saint John area won first place with a combined two fish total of 5.6 lbs. His young son Rowan also won the perch category. Joe also won the lunker shad category for the heaviest shad entered at 3.2 lbs. Congratulations to Joe and his son, as well as long time  tourney organizers Sam Daigle and Ralph Goodwin for a job well done! This is a great tournament that aims to spread interest in shad fishing on Salmon River and the comradery  of fishing in general. This is a photo of a shad in the net.
 This species of fish is largely overlooked by local anglers because most fishermen are pursuing trout or salmon or one of the many other game fish available to anglers in our area in the month of June. This month is a magic one for fishing and it's really hard to decide what species to fish. Hence, this months heading. I like to think if you have to have a problem, this is a good one to have! Timing is crucial for most species and if you want good success, fishermen should try to time their outings for the peak of the run,whatever it may be. For example, the shad are starting back out of the river now so the peak time to fish them would be during the first two weeks of the month. Anglers should do their research and time their outings accordingly. Try to give yourself a 3-5 day window to avoid weather events that can affect success rates. Another thing to keep in mind is the kind of weather that has occurred that spring. A late spring such as the one this year can sometimes delay peak times as long as two weeks. This is what happened with the striper run and spawning frenzy in Red Bank on the Miramichi River this spring. I didn't get over there until the middle of  this month but my fishing partner and I still managed to hook a dozen or so. We kept three for the table and the fish and chips we made was delicious.
 Donna A. and I fished with Norman Ward, long time resident and guide in Red Bank on the Northwest Miramichi River. Norm knows his territory well and is a super guide for stripers on the NWM river. He is on the water nearly every day of the spring season and knows where the stripers are and what they are taking at any given time. When we got on the fish, we started getting hits at regular intervals. I broke off a nice one using a cheap steel leader. I knew better because I didn't like the look of it when I put it on. I  did redeem myself shortly after that by landing a keeper sized bass. 

 Norman was getting lots of hits too but the first fish he landed was the smallest of the nite. We all had a good chuckle when I asked him to pose with his fish. He's caught lots of stripers that would eat that one in a single bite!

 After fishing for a while longer I hooked and released a few before keeping another one.

 Donna had never caught a striped bass and Norman and I were both hoping she would land her first one that nite. She lost a nice one at the boat but finally landed her first and the biggest of the evening.

 It was a great evening of fishing even though it was post spawn and the fish were on their way out. Norman did a great job finding the fish and even provided some proven lures for us to use. We will be fishing again next month with Norm in Red Bank for salmon. Watch for that post next month.
    The sea trout fishing has been spotty because of the runs not arriving at their usual time this year. Fishermen are catching some nice regular river trout but many were either too early or two late. This next photo shows a young lad from Minto with a 19.5 inch trout that he caught in the Newcastle Stream. Right place. Right time.
 If you look at the fish closely, you will notice it's light colouration. This is indicative of a run trout. My best trout from that stream was 15.5 inches. I was around twelve years old and I caught that trout on a fly rod using a number 6 grizzly king. For years, I would hit the run and fill my basket with nice silver 10-14 inch run trout. It's very nice to see this beautiful stream once again producing quality trout. This next photo shows a 15 inch trout a buddy of mine got this month. This one came from one of the small tributaries that runs into Salmon River.
 We have some great fishing opportunities in our area. The resource isn't pressured too much and opportunities abound. We do full and half days on Salmon River during the summer months fishing for a variety of species. Shore lunch is provided.

    The white perch run is over and we managed to get a couple of feeds right off of my shore. You just can't beat white perch fillets and home fries. Delicious! Here is a photo  from a few years ago of my son Curtis with a white perch he got while fishing with the neighbourhood dog. Howie is still alive and well but he doesn't travel as much now.
 This is a male white perch. The females are many times twice as big as that one my son is holding. Compare that one to these ones that were taken off of my shore on Salmon River.
 
    
Bright salmon are starting to enter the system and there are reports of fish being seen and hooked from Boistown to Blackville but no big runs yet. I will be in Doaktown this week-end and Red Bank next week so I'm hoping to run into a few fish. More on that next month. This photo shows a beautiful salmon I landed in the third week of June.This is the earliest salmon I have landed but many are caught earlier, especially on the Northwest Miramichi.

The spring bear season has just ended and there were some very nice bears taken again this year. There were a few over 400 lbs and that is the number generally accepted as monster category. Social media sites showed photos of some really nice bears taken from all parts of New Brunswick but the kill numbers seem to favour the northern half of the province. It could be that there is more hunting pressure in the northern zones that results in higher kill numbers in those zones.We hunt zones 13,17 and 18 exclusively and have baits in all three zones. Ken and I still have tags available for zone 17 which is a large, lightly hunted zone. We have the bears and some really nice ones in the mix. We have cameras on all our baits so we know who the regular visitors are but there are sometimes unexpected ones show up. Many times these bears are bigger boars who cover larger territories. This is always a nice surprise when checking photos or, even better,actually sitting a bait.
  Ken and I are looking for bear hunters for this fall. We have a super deal available for any non-resident hunters who would like to come to our area and take a bear in the big woods. Any hunter who wants to hunt both deer and bear can book the 3rd week in October where the two seasons overlap. Our friend from Germany,Nils and his wife Elle, did just that and had a great hunt and stay at the lodge last fall. Please refer to previous posts for  more on that hunt and other information on hunting with Ken and I. This is a photo of a bear that Jamie killed this spring off of one of Kenny's baits in zone 18. I talked a little about this bear in my last post. He was a little too brazen and he had to be taken out to continue baiting that site.

I want to invite people to contact me for information on guided trips with us to the beautiful Grand Lake area of New Brunswick. Ken and I will do everything we can to make your stay a memorable one!

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...