Hunting Trips End In November
Well our hunting trips are coming to an end, with winter cold on it's heels blowing cold northerly winds that cut through parkas and freeze your bones. The bear this fall was fantastic with some large color phases. All of our hunters had shot their bear and each one was a trophy beyond expectation of the hunter. We are very pleased with how our bear hunts are getting recognition as they deserve.
Manitoba bear hunting has been great and is actually the only province/place in North America which has kept records of samples from bear kills. This information is key to provide evidence that baiting bears allows selective harvest, which in turn reduces wounded animals and killing of sows with cubs. We have more on this topic on our bear hunting page
Our Manitoba bird hunting like the rest of the province, had it's ups and downs. When it is warmer 600 miles up north, why would the birds fly down? They don't. We had several stalls in the migration this year and at the end of Oct. they came down in mass. Quite the contrary to what we are used to seeing for a migration. At times, we and the hunters had to hunt hard (something the Lodge hasn't experienced for 25 years), and pulled off some great hunts, but we spent a lot of time looking for the birds. Another aspect i believe was a factor, was the incredible fast rising water levels we experienced. Our lake is at 50 year high, 1 meter above normal water levels! This had changed the entire plant structure and feed beds which resulted in birds feeding in places we couldn't get to and out in big rafts on the big lake. Rafts of 1000 - 2000 birds were staging in the bays but unlike most years they didn't have the food source to get them to come "inside". We learned that in such a case we did better with more boats hunting which kept the birds moving.
It just goes to show you that in nature, nothing is a given, especially the weather. We learned many things from year to year but we really learned to appreciate our hunters who are sportsman, and good duck hunting weather.
Our deer hunting was subjected to abnormal weather also but that is November in Manitoba. It was warm for the early part which made some of our travel longer than normal, to get around the thin ice, but we had snow for tracking, and then from that extreme it turned to -25C and froze each hunter solid in the stand. The rut peeked at the start of the second week which is somewhat normal but deer were plentiful throughout the season. Some hunters passed on shootable bucks and wished they hadn't but, we all do, that's deer hunting. They can try for them again next year when they are bigger
Wolves! Did I say we we have Wolves, timber wolves, big ones and lots of them. We plan to lessen the numbers this winter but i hope more hunters come and help us out next fall. They are increasing in numbers each year and our Moose population is catching heck from it. We had only one hunter shoot a wolf this fall but it was female so that helps keep the population in check. We found a nice 140ish size buck that was killed by the wolves and i don't like to think about how many more are going to fall victim this winter. If we don't get lots of snow that will really help the Deer stay ahead of them. Regardless we are going to do some predation management this winter. Anyone want a wolf rug?
The work isn't over for us, lots of stands to take down, camp gear to get ready for spring, our new 25ft boat needs a few little improvements, bear baiting is set to go when the ice is thick, trap line is waiting with hungry wolves, wood to split, all fun stuff.
That is all for now, another good season behind us, nobody got hurt.
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