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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

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.

Hunting enjoyed by many

For many of us who enjoy outdoor activities across Sunset Country, fall always is exciting because hunting season will keep us busy for a couple of months before a long winter sets in.

While some hunting seasons have been open for several weeks now, this past weekend marked the opening of the gun season for moose and deer.

I certainly can understand that hunting is not for everybody, but the experiences that my friends, family, and I share when we go hunting are all about just being out there mostly.

Remembering our fishing friends

There is a bond amongst those who we share time with in a boat or in the outdoors.

It might be with our parents or grandparents who get us out fishing as kids, friends we spend time learning how to fish with, or that person who we take many weekend adventures with over the years.

The bonds created by special moments or experiences are one of the special things about all outdoor activities for me.

Wrapping up the tournament season

This time of year is always a little bit depressing for those of us who love bass fishing and competing in tournaments around the region.

Although I really enjoy the fall season and all the fun that comes with it, it’s always a little disappointing to know we won’t get another chance to compete against all of our buddies again for eight or nine months.

This past weekend, there were tournaments on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake that saw anglers duke it out for bragging rights for the winter.