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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Pheasant hunting south of the border

Last week, I wrote about my annual late-season moose hunt I take with my friends.

Every year I take off for five-seven days and stay in a cabin with my friends.

This year, my wife, August, decided she would take her own hunting trip at the same time and hit the road south of the border to go pheasant hunting in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Late-season moose hunting fun time

The big game hunting season in Northwestern Ontario wrapped up Monday (Dec. 15).

As has been a tradition for a group of my friends and I for the past several years, we headed north to the Red Lake area to spend the last week of the season moose hunting.

Typically, six or eight of us go and rent a cabin from Five Lakes Lodge, just south of Red Lake. It’s always a fun trip.

All that’s new in ice fishing

Since 2005, I’ve spent the first weekend in December down in Minnesota at the annual St. Paul Ice Fishing Show.

It is a big ice-fishing event held at the Xcel Energy Center, the same place the Minnesota Wild play, in a large event centre next to the arena.

It’s a unique outdoors show because it is great for consumers. Nearly every big retail outfit in Minnesota attends, and sells everything from tackle to fishing rods to shelters and augers.

The retailers are selling everything for very good deals in an attempt to try and get as many sales as possible.

Love to eat wild meat

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get to use my deer tag on a small eight-point buck not too far from my house.

The beauty of living out-of-town like we do is that we pretty much can step out the door of our house and start hunting.

In a year when the deer numbers outside of town (Kenora) are way down from where they have been for the past decade, I was happy to get to use my tag.

’Tis the season for giving gifts

I always get pretty good notice of when the holiday season is approaching because the wives and girlfriends of my fishing friends start sending me messages asking for ideas of what they should get their guys for Christmas.

Sometimes this is an easy one for me to answer, especially if there is something that I know they don’t have and could use.

Other times, I’ll throw out a few ideas to try to help. And happy to do so!

Heading north for moose

Around the Kenora area, any talk of moose these days is from those who were avid hunters prior to the 2000s.

Once home to a healthy moose population, Wildlife Management Units 6 and 7B in the Kenora area are now just barely hanging on with a few animals left.

Hunters in the Fort Frances area are fortunate to have a great moose population east of town that gets better as you approach Atikokan.

For those of us in Kenora, we must head north or east to chase these magnificent animals that are awesome just to see and very good eating.

Fishing season transition

Now that winter finally is starting to bare its teeth, lakes are beginning to freeze up and another open-water fishing season is coming to an end for us here in Sunset Country.

After a terrible spring, weather wise, the summer was okay while the fall actually was pretty good despite some super windy days here and there.

Here’s to hoping for an easier winter this year than the past two.

Last hurrah on the water

It looks like our weather finally is starting to get a little bit more winter-like this week after quite a few nice days over the past month.

Earlier in the week, I got out on Lake of the Woods to film my final TV show of the season and we were lucky to get a beautiful day to chase muskies.

Over the past three seasons of filming my TV program, “Fishing with Gussy,” we’ve had nothing but bad luck trying to film a musky show.

Stocked trout a treat

Across Northwestern Ontario, it’s well-known amongst area anglers that there are stocked trout lakes available to anyone interested in catching these pretty fish.

Brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake (a cross between brook and lake trout) are not native to our region, but these stocked populations give anglers a chance to catch these fish.

Fall is one of the best times of year to catch these fish because they move into shallow water around the shore of the lakes they are in, and their activity level usually is pretty good.

Great fall fishing still awaits

Since the bass tournament season ended a few weeks ago, I’ve had the chance to get out on the water on some of the nice days we’ve had of late.

The fishing has been good, in general, especially for crappies. There have been a few good outings for walleye and pike, too.

Since my summer was so busy, I fell a little bit behind on getting the 13 episodes of Season 4 of my TV program, “Fishing with Gussy,” done. As such, we’ve been shooting a few shows recently to get caught up.

They will start airing in January.