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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Wolf hunt crucial to area

The holidays are something I look forward to every year for a number of reasons.

We get to spend some time with friends and family that we might not get to see a lot of throughout the rest of the year, we generally eat pretty good, and most folks take a break from their hectic work or school schedules to relax.

The holidays this year were great. But it was a whirlwind of non-stop action for a week or so, so it was pretty nice to get back to somewhat of a more regular routine this week.

I’m sure many of you share the same thought.

New goals for new year

As we embark on the new year, we all make resolutions or set new goals that will make the upcoming year better than the last.

If you’re reading my column, you likely enjoy the outdoors in some form or another, so this week I’m going to give you some ideas on goals you might be interested in accomplishing on the water or in the field in 2016.

When we talk about big northern pike, 40 inches is the bar across Sunset Country. A 40-inch pike will weigh around 20 pounds on most of our waters and is a truly big fish.

Last-minute gift guide ideas for outdoors lovers

With only a sleep or two left before the big day, if you haven’t picked up all of the presents for everybody on your Christmas list, you might need some help.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to find gifts for people who enjoy the outdoors, especially in our part of the world where we have so many different seasons and outdoor activities going on all the time.

When it comes to picking stocking-stuffers, there are a bunch of smaller-sized items that will make somebody very happy. For the angler on your list, new lures always are a welcome addition to the tackle box.

No luck at moose camp

In what has become a December tradition over the past eight or nine years, some friends and I from Kenora made our annual trip up to Red Lake last week for a late-season moose hunt.

We’ve had quite a bit of success over the years—always being able to use our tags on a moose or two.

Things were a little bit different on this trip because amongst the group of five of us, we only had one bull tag that we could hunt.

Usually we have a few adult tags, then the option for everyone to harvest a calf if we would get lucky enough to see one.

Lure-maker turns hobby into a business

A few years ago, Kenora angler Jason Tait had a revelation when he looked at the bottom of his boat while fishing and noticed a pile of used soft plastics that were destined for the garbage can.

With the excellent bass and walleye fishing we have right across Sunset Country, it’s not uncommon to go through several bags of soft baits on a good day. And over the course of the season, it adds up to a pretty good pile of baits.

Weird winter weather so far

Looks can be deceiving when you peek outside these days across Sunset Country.

Unusually mild weather just keeps hanging around and it looks more like late March out there than December. It’s certainly pleasant, but it’s not convenient for those of us who enjoy outdoor activities at this time of year.

Usually by early December, most of our lakes are ice-covered and the smaller bodies of water are safe to get out on and ice-fish. But that is not the case so far this winter.

Help needed in support of proposed spring bear hunt

Over the past few months, there’s been quite a bit of chatter through various forms of media that the spring bear hunting season is coming back in Ontario.

Until this week, my perception was that a new spring season was coming back in 2016—until I caught wind of some heavy resistance from anti-hunting folks trying to shut it down again.

A successful moose hunt

Across Northwestern Ontario, it remains unclear what’s going to happen to our moose population.

The southern part of the region has seen a major reduction in moose numbers over the past couple of decades while populations in the north seem to be hanging in there.

Because of this uncertainty about the moose population, the Ministry of Natural Resources has continued to reduce the number of adult tags that are given out over the past several years, in addition to reducing the calf season to two weeks this year from the usual two-month season.

Gearing up for FLW Tour

After wrapping up most of the “on the water” stuff that I needed to do before the end of October, I got to spend a good chunk of time in my office over the past week.

It wasn’t because I wanted to be sitting inside while we were having the nicest November weather ever, but there was some work to be done.

It’s that time of year when I need to start planning for 2016. For instance, the deadline to register for the FLW Tour bass tournaments that I’ve fished the past few years is Nov. 30.

Late-season duck hunting

Back when I was in high school, my friends and I would spend at least a few evenings every fall trying to duck hunt.

We seldom used decoys (usually just a call) and we just would try to sit in a likely spot where ducks would fly over us when they are most active just before dark.

We always managed to get a few and had fun.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten back into waterfowl hunting along with a couple of buddies who are geared up with good decoys and calls that definitely help increase the action.