- Deer Hunting Strategies
- Fly Fishing
- Fresh Water Angling
- Hunting News
- Moose Hunting
- Mountain Adventures
- Prince George Sockeye Salmon Season 2010
- Scouting for Moose
- Epilogue to 2010 Sheep Hunt
- Stone’s Sheep Hunt – August 2010
- Sheep Hunt 2010
September 1st, 2010
I just finished up posting the moose scouting blog entry and realized that tomorrow is September 1st.
September signifies several things. Its the archery opener for elk and for spike / fork moose, and deer in the Prince George region…..as well as the sockeye salmon opener.
Its been a few years since Prince George had a sockeye season. This year the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have announced a sockeye fishery in the Nechako River from September 1st to September 26th. With the recent news pegging the Fraser River sockeye returns at 34 million sockeye salmon, it is one of the largest returns in over 100 years. A lot of them will be passing through Prince George. Approximatly 300-400 000 could be moving up the Nechako to their spawning grounds in well known places like the Stuart River and through up to Takla and its tributaries as well as the Stellako River.
|upstream from the boundary signs at the confluence with the Fraser River to the Hwy 97 bridge (John Hart Bridge)||Sockeye||Sep 1 – Sep 26, 2010||2 per day. FN0733|
With a 2 fish limit. Its a great opportunity for Prince George resident anglers to take home great eating salmon.
That reminds me, I need to go set up my bottom bounce rig! For those who don’t know how to catch (flossing is a better term) sockeye, it is quite simple. I’m rigging up with an 8-12 foot leader(12 lb test) of which at the end is a size 2/0 barbless Gamatkasu hook (laser sharp hooks are critical), a small size 10 red corky strung onto the line to the head of the hook (gives a little floatation for the hook)…and then tie off the leader onto a three way swivel of which a bouncing betty is attached to the dropper ring and the main line attached to the other ring. Many people like to tie yarn onto the hook, but it is not necessary. This system is quite popular and how most folks in the lowermainland catch sockeye salmon along the Fraser River bars.
Don’t forget to ensure you have the Conservation surcharge for non-tidal salmon (Salmon Conservation Stamp) put on your freshwater fishing licence prior to retaining any sockeye salmon.Filed under Fresh Water Angling | Comment (0)
September 1st, 2010
This past weekend, a good friend of mine and I decided to head out to our respective LEH zones to scout for moose. We both drew adjacent zones of which neither of us had ever hunted before. My hunt doesn’t start until October, however my friend will be hunting in September with another person who also has a LEH bull moose permit.
Now scouting is important and everyone says you need to scout but how many actually put it to practice? Probably not many. Here’s a short write up highlighting great examples of how a scouting trip can turn up hot moose hunting locations right here in British Columbia!
For me, scouting starts on the internet utilizing both IMAP and Google Earth. Both are invaluable tools of which I utilize for my hunting. My resources are not limited to just those two, but definatly among the most important two.
IMAP is a BC Government based mapping program which takes a little time to get to know how to use and to utilize the tools within the program for maximum benefit. Click on the link to view and take the time to go through it:
If you havn’t already downloaded Google Earth to your computer, I would highly advise you to do so. Google earth is an amazing tool to utulize for on line scouting. Click on the link below and hit the download link for Google Earth 5.
Back to scouting for moose. I did most of my scouting via google earth and IMAP, getting to know the lay of the land, where the cutblocks are, where the wetlands are, where the rivers / streams are, where the corridor / pinch zones are and where the roads are in relation to all of the above. I had a pretty good idea where I was going to start looking for moose when and if I am able to get afield.
We had a great day scouting both zones and we have singled out a few spots which should guarantee at least moose sightings and perhaps a bull to shoot.
Keep in mind, I am not one who goes out hunting for big bulls. I’m like the vast majority of moose hunters in the province. And that is for guys / gals who just want to shoot a meat bull, cow or calf moose in season. Most often its going to be the 1st bull moose they see. There’s no point in getting all worked up on how to find big bulls…thats easy enough by heading north and flying into wilderness places…..but rather focus on habitat that will increase your liklyhood of encountering any bull moose. Sure if a big one presents itself, it is up to you as the shooter if you want to shoot a big bull. Big bulls in my experience, are pretty darned tough eating unless taken early season in a northern BC August or early September hunt before the rut begins.
Give me a calf moose or young bull any day over a big one. They provide the best eating!
I have highlighted several ‘key features’ a moose hunter should key in on for high odds of success of which we noted on our 1 day scouting trip. By no means as a moose hunter, are we limited to just these examples but it is what we found and keyed in on.
- Streams / River / Riparian habitat.
- cutblocks with bench like habitat with a band of mature timber which encompasses a couple small wetlands and a stream.
- deactivated cutblock areas
STREAMS / RIVER / RIPARIAN HABITAT
When scouting, we were able to pinpoint a few areas where we know the odds of encountering a moose are quite high. The first of which is riparian or in laymans terms, stream / river edge habitat. Moose LOVE hanging out around streams / river edges. Especially when there’s an abundance of side channels (or oxbows) and feed such as willow and aquatic vegetation for them to feed upon. Riparian habitat provides a natural movement / funnel corridor for ungulates, in particular moose.
Not far from the road, we found a classic spot for moose hunting with both waders and / or canoe! Great opportunity for the archery hunter as my friend hopes to harvest one with his bow. You can call in moose into close quarters for a shot.
Here’s a great photo highlighting riparian habitat moose love to frequent. Find such a spot and you’ll find moose!! This has it all, for both the rifle and archery hunter.
I love hunting moose in wetlands. Wetlands are magnets for moose. There’s nothing like sneaking into a grassy meadow at day break and seeing moose in the fog! We looked over several such spots which also hold promise for moose. One of the best ways to enhance your odds of seeing moose is to pick meadows which are at pinch points or also along riparian habitat. I have often picked spots casually right from studying google earth images in areas I have never hunted, go right in and shoot my moose the first day hunting there. Here’s one such meadow we found. Its a guarantee you will see moose here!! A little water along the edge and this is one hot spot to hunt. It is also adjacent to a stream, in which travelling moose will eventually wander right through the wetland meadow. The little water pockets are magnets for cows / calves which in turn will also draw the bulls.
Now here is wetland habitat that is a prime draw for moose for a number of reasons. The adjacent cutblock hillside is a prime feeding area for moose as well as offering cover and security within the mature forest and those 2 wetland complexes are a great place for moose to bed during the day. Bulls will also herd the cows up high into the cutblock to breed and this is a classic spot in which to hunt during the rut. It is also tough access due to road deactivation. It would rank up there as one of the best spots to spend a night or two. Odds of seeing and taking a moose here is really high.
CUTBLOCKS with BENCH HABITAT
A short distance from the road (and you cannot see it until you got out for a short walk and I am sure many hunters drive right by this little gem of a spot), we found this: A classic and I mean what a classic bench. Ranged out to a max of 220 yards to the tree line and a great vantage point!! Perfect place to sneak in at first light to see if any moose are present and to call both mornings and evenings to lure a bull out!! There’s a fair sized stream about 400 yards past the edge of the timber with a couple small wetland pockets. A dynamite calling spot. Even my buddy was shaking his head in wonder at what a great spot it was…after all, its in the zone I drew the tag for!! Its amazing what a short walk (very short) can do to discover spots like this. I am positive many hunters have driven right by ever since the block was harvested without getting out for a closer look see whats over the edge.
REMOTE DEACTIVATED CUTBLOCK AREAS
In a landscape dotted with cutblocks, this is one such block that raises my attention. The road is virtually deactivated from where the photo was taken. The cutblock also does not have a road running through it, meaning hunters on ATV’s will not be able to cruise through it. This block is situated on a relatively high bench, in which you can see the hillsides surrounding the block. Its a great place to still hunt through as the cutblock provides one of the only great food sources for miles. Still hunting through this block at first light will provide a great opportunity for moose! For those big bull hunters, this is a great place to find one…as well as a cow / calf moose when in season.
Keep checking back! There’s some great opportunity for those backyard moose hunters who are just looking for a moose to harvest. Keying in on critical features like we did on a 1 day scouting trip, is sure to increase your odds of success!Filed under Moose Hunting | Comments (2)