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Author Topic: More Red Lake Exploring  (Read 5740 times)

Offline Rob

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More Red Lake Exploring
« on: December 26, 2008, 07:59:30 pm »
Today Harlan and I headed out to try a bit more hunting before the season closes next week.

Weather was very warm around -10 to -5C. Skies were overcast and there was a light snow falling. The snow was deep and fluffy.



We travelled through an area that had about a 10 year growth after a cut. The moose activity in here was amazing but after a few hours of trudging through knee deep snow we moved on to another area.

Just seems there is wilderness as far as the eye can see. Incredible scenery.


We found some great evidence of grouse. When they bed down at night they dive into the deep snow and being buried like that offers a good insulating blanket. There were no less than 10 of these bird beds.


You can see how deep they get in there.


And at the bottom of the holes is a sure sign they were here.


And after a full day of trudging Harlan got his prize. The smile on his face says it all.


What I should have got a shot of is Harlan shooting the bird with my gun and it knocking him right onto his ass. :D

Overall there are soooooo many places to explore here in the Red Lake Region. We were only 25 kms out of town.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 08:28:37 am by Harlan »
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Offline Harlan

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2008, 08:58:39 pm »
Here's some pics of the same area the day before.  I hit the road early hoping to wake up some grouse.  What I got instead was the biggest surprise since i moved here.  Walking in the middle of the road was a large female Lynx and 2 cubs

I pulled over and the female ushered her cubs to the ditch.  She stood guard for a second, then walked to the middle of the road and urinated.  As soon as she did that, the 2 cubs bolted across.  It was so cool seeing those cubs relate to her body language and marking. 

Notice the cub on the left in the second picture. 

Once gone, i got out and compared my boot size to the females print.  As you can see, those are some big paws! boot size is 11.







Notice the sky....first light.  I've always had success with wildlife sighting at this time.  It pays to get out of bed and hit the road early.

A parting shot:  Gorgeous blue sky over Red Lake on Christmas Day

« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 09:00:17 pm by Harlan »

Offline HOOP

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 11:32:51 am »
Its always great to get photographs of lynx.   Good job!

The Red Lake lads are having lots of fun in real winter just outside of town, while us southerners are suffering in a melt down and rain at the moment, and have to drive hours just to get the opportunities.   Very jealous!   ;D

Looking forward to more photos. 
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"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline White Wolf

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 11:56:26 am »
Rob

Great photos once again!!! Love the Lynx photos They are one of the best suited winter animals at least for getting around and the paw print shows why.

Harlan looks awful happy with that bird. Congrads Harlan!!


HOOP yes Red lake seems to be the place to be at. Locally there is only about a foot of snow in the bush but today it is snowing a lot and it appears it is headed your way . So there is still a chance for you.

Offline JAK

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 02:56:50 pm »
Really love the Lynx photos. Thanks.

Nice looking bird also. Ruffed Grouse or Spruce Grouse?
Really interesting the way those birds dive under the snow. Never knew that.
I guess I can take the rest of the day off now. :)

Offline jimdiane

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 03:59:47 pm »
I guess I'm a little out of the picture but when did Harlan move up north? He lived a few minutes from my work in the big dirty city ::) 
...........I'm damn jealous :( :(

jim

Offline Harlan

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 04:26:40 pm »
Hey

  I moved up here at the end of November.  A big move from hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto.  Silence is bliss....no more jackhammering, street cars and sirens all day and night.  The only noise i'm hearing now is the ice getting thicker.  Silence is bliss!

  It is amazing how those grouse cocoon themselves for the night in their warm home.  I'm still shocked at the amount of feces though.  Each hole had a ton of it.  I'd have never believed it judging from their size.


Offline Rob

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 06:27:56 pm »
That was a spruce grouse.
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Offline Harlan

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 06:34:06 pm »
Rob, sorry to burst your bubble but it's a ruffed grouse

Offline Rob

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 07:39:44 pm »
I am only going on what you said, red breast meat means spruce grouse. Was the meat red or light pink? Before being cooked that is.

I went back this afternoon to find the two that got away and rummaged around in the trees there for over an hour but had no luck. I can say one thing, the snow is getting very deep. Saw some very fresh tracks of a lynx or possibly a timber wolf in there. There are no fresh bedding holes either.
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Offline Harlan

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2008, 08:02:50 pm »
The meat was light pink, not red.  Sorry, my bad. 

Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2008, 10:21:52 pm »
Nothing like getting between two friends having a discussion of a bird. So how do I handle this. I'll try this way.  Just after season opened I had a Bruce Peninsula Ruff Grouse breast it was almost as white as the Turkey I had at Christmas. It had a very pale pink cast. As I'm a field birder Feathers are my clues to a birds ID. :)  Now for the bird in Harlan's hand.
It has a tail with a band on it just like a Ruff Grouse. Note the light terminal band after a dark band. (the end of the tail looks white.) The Heavy Bars in the flank just like a Ruff. For more clues see: Peterson, NG Birds and Sibley.
From what I'm see in the photograph of this bird there is a 99/100 chance it is a Ruff Grouse. Now if you get another 2 or 3  and I'm in the area I'll be glad provide the wine for dinner.   ;).
Stay safe
OAF
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 05:04:19 am by Oldand Fat »
“ We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” Stephen Hawking. 1942 - 2018

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Offline Rob

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2008, 11:40:23 pm »
Thanks for making it a positive ID for us OAF. But just ot be clear it is Harlan with that bird in his hands.

Only 3 days left in Grouse season so if we are going to get a few more you will have to be here soon.
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Offline Oldand Fat

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 05:01:12 am »
Opps  :-\ It might have helped if I had read the caption on the Pic above. Great Photostory on the Lynx.
Stay safe
OAF
“ We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” Stephen Hawking. 1942 - 2018

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Offline memaquay

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Re: More Red Lake Exploring
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2008, 11:11:23 am »
I'll be pounding the trails today, as I couldn't get out for the last two days with the extremely warm weather.  Back to normal now...once you've shot enough of the buggers, you'll know immediately if they are ruffy's or sprucey.  Hey Rob and Harlan, check around and see if you get any sharptails up there...they are open until march 31 up here.  They look more like a  sprucey, but quite a bit bigger, and you can often find them in cutovers.  They come in big flocks. Taste is kind of hard to describe..not as gamey as sprucey, but not chicken like either....kind of beefy flavour.