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Jeff Gustafson - Livewell

Last moose hunt a success despite milder weather

In last week's column, I mentioned that my friends and I were headed north to spend the last few days of the Northwestern Ontario hunting season chasing moose around.

It's an annual trip that I've been making since 2005. Over the years, there probably has been more than 20 people who have come and gone from the group. But over the last several years, there have been six or eight of us who make the trip every year.

Last week for hunters to fill tags

Hunting season started a couple of months ago but for hunters who have yet to fill their deer or moose tags, they are running out of time because the season will come to an end on Dec. 15.

It has not been a very successful season for me. I have a bull moose tag and will head northeast of Kenora for the last few days of the season to try and find one. I also put off deer hunting until the past couple of weeks and it's been tough for me.

Early-season ice fishing offers lots of fun

While we haven't experienced a lot of super cold weather so far, it has been cold in general for well over a month so all of the smaller bodies of water across Sunset Country are covered with ice.

The minimal amount of snow also has helped the ice to form nice and strong because there is no layer of insulation, which always is nice early in the winter season.

This all means there are some great ice-fishing opportunities out there for anglers eager to get a new season started.

Warm-weather Christmas gift ideas

At this point of the year, the start of our long winter, it's hard to believe that warm weather ever is going to come around. But every spring, the snow melts and we get to experience the beautiful Sunset Country summers year after year.

For the angler on your Christmas list, finding a gift is easy because there are so many new and functional items we can use throughout the season.

Time to think of gifts for holidays

Since I started writing this column way back in 2007, I've always put together a Christmas gift-buying guide for the outdoors person but I've usually waited until a week or two before Christmas to do it.

For the last-minute buyer, this probably helped but most people likely already were finished with their shopping by then. So this year, I'm going to change things up a bit and get this out a little earlier.

Fishing Bassmaster Elite Series in 2019

Over the past few months, there have been some sweeping changes in the professional bass fishing landscape.

For the past couple of decades, the FLW Tour and the Bassmaster Elite Series have been the premier high-end bass tournament circuits. But that all changed in September when Major League Fishing announced a new circuit for the 2019 season called the Bass Pro Tour.

The new Bass Pro Tour invited 80 anglers—68 from Bassmaster and 12 from the FLW Tour—for its new circuit.

Late- season musky fishing

As the small lakes across Northwestern Ontario freeze over this week, most of the regular bass and walleye anglers have packed their gear away for another season.

Musky anglers are a different breed, however, many of which are known to break ice with their boats to get in those last few days of open-water fishing before another long winter sets in.

Muskies are not caught very often during the winter. I've only seen one come through a hole in the ice, and heard of a couple of others from friends, so that tells me they simply don't eat a lot during those months.

Making a living in the fishing industry

Brainerd, Mn. is a small city, a little bit bigger than Fort Frances and Kenora, but it is one of the epicenters for the fishing community in North America.

Back in the 1970s, Al and Ron Lindner, two brothers from Chicago, moved to Brainerd because of its proximity to countless bodies of water with great fishing for various species of fish. The Lindners subsequently started the In-Fisherman empire that included a TV show, magazine, radio show, and professional walleye tournament circuit, among several other activities.

Hunting season ramping up for me

While hunting seasons for most birds and animals have been open for weeks already, for people like me who like to get in every bit of fishing we can, the hunting season only is starting to ramp up now that the fishing has begun to cool down.

Over the past week, I've spent much of my time in the woods getting ready for some deer hunters that I have visiting me this week. I really enjoy spending time in the woods, scouting for deer sign and keeping my eyes peeled for all of the wildlife I can.

Be smart out on the water

Two American anglers had quite the scare last week when they went missing for three days on Lake of the Woods during the first snowfall of the season.

It’s unclear exactly how the father and son ended up some 50 km up the lake from where they were staying at Buena Vista Resort in Morson.