Monday, 30 April 2012

Turbulent teenagers

If you’re the kind of person who find that your teenager are or were turbulent, get over it since it seems to be the same of many mammal species.  Many years ago, we had a fox den on our land where a female succeeded in delivering 7 small fox cub.  I spent many days observing them while they were awaiting the mom’s return with her mouth full of rodent.   Ma conclusion was very simple, they reminded me of 12 to 14 years old teenagers.  They sleep, play and eat or they play, sleep and eat… 
Have a good day.  Louis 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Big eater

May I present the gray seal.  With the closure of seal hunting for the last 30 years, the gray seal is one of two species that the numbers have increased dramatically in the St-Lawrence river.  Each spring, the Anticosti shores becomes a meeting place for many thousands of these marine mammals.  They come to molt their winter coat.  They spend a few weeks basking in the sun, awaiting the return of their prey.  In their case, capelin and herring are their regular menu.  In July, the seals are very close to the shore to benefit from the migratory flows of the capelin.  They catch them by charging in!   
Have a good day.  Louis    

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Major project

Here is a photographic sequence of a major food plot project that we are finishing this year.  This all began when the beavers flooded a 15 acres cedar grove, killing the trees.  We caught the beavers and digged a drainage ditch in the entire cedar grove, in the flooded area as well as in the dried area.  During the winter, the wood was cut and part of the residues were burned.
Next summer, the excavator came for the first time to dig a ditch on the surroundings, remove the tree stumps and make windrows.
It dried and drained for one year and we made seed tests in the small opening on the left of the future field. 
The excavator came back again to bury the windrows.

For the last two weeks, a young man has been collecting the final residues with an ATV so that we may sow in three weeks a mixture of Whitetail Imperial clover and soya.  I will let you know the progress during the summer.   
Have a good day. Louis

Friday, 27 April 2012

Beavers again

Obviously, I’m not trapping beavers at this time of the year even though I again had a lack of time to control the situation around my place and in the surroundings… I would, however,  like to share with you some thoughts about the beavers.  It’s true that they cut woods and that they flood large areas, but the forest openings that they do are awesome for deer and other wildlife of the area.  The beaver fur is of great quality during the winter, the meat may be used to bait bears or to feed my spouse cats.  Trapping them takes us outside in the winter and each catch is a small adventure…  Have a good day and remember, never underestimate the vicinity of beaver ponds for deer…  Louis 

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Today, I take this opportunity to introduce to you two acquaintances of mine,  André Beaudry and Georges Landry, official measurers of the Boone & Crockett Club in the Granby area.  They were present at an antler party held at the trophy region of Alexandria, Ontario.  I’ve also added a picture of an Ontario giant harvested a few years back between Alexandria and Casselman.  As you can see on the pictures, the official measuring is a technique which require special attention and a certain laps of time which may vary considerably depending on the geometry of the antler.   
Have a good day.  Louis    

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Majestic but parental

During our 6 years as resident of Anticosti, the bald eagle was our preferred subject.  His majesty and his greatness would make his encounter always enjoyable.  One spring, we were installed in our blind so that Jose could photograph the hatching.  Many times, we thought that it was happening but every time it was a partner exchange to cover the egg or eggs.  When this exchange was being done, the adults seemed to take a meticulous care by either replacing twigs around the eggs or by turning the eggs.  Finally, we never had the chance to take these pictures.  Each year, we’d arrive a few days later, the eggs would be hatch and life got back to normal.  
 Have a good day.  Louis

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Power line at 12h00

Back in 2007, I had the chance to be welcomed in Alberta by two friends of mine, Robert and Andrée, two Quebeckers who have been working at Fort-McMurray for the past 10 years.  They had proposed that I come and hunt with them for the making of my second film.  One of the agreements was to give them a hand to setup some tree-stands in « big buck spots », as Robert would say.  After some scouting, I chose one of these famous spots right under a power line and suggested that they hunt it all day.  They always had the bad habit to get out of their stands at 11h00 and be back at 14h00.  A friend of the couple, Robert Blackurn form Alma, had never killed a nice buck despite 3 previous trips in the west.  I therefore suggested to him to use the tower in the power line and to bring his lunch with him instead of coming back to camp for lunch.  Finally, on his second day at 12 :10pm, a nice looking 155BC buck showed himself on the right side of the tower and therefore supported my theory of big bucks moving in the middle of the day… especially in the west and in forest area.  

 Have a good day. Louis    

Monday, 23 April 2012

Beaver drying

Back in winter this morning.  When you trap beaver, in almost every case, despite the water repellency of the fur, it is not very often that you capture a dry beaver.  As soon as he’s out of the water,   the fur starts to freeze because of the confine water.  Here is a small tip to sponge the water.  Simply pass the beaver in the snow a dozen times just as in the picture and you’ll be surprised. 
Have a good day. Louis 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Food plot

The following picture was taken last weekend, April 14th.  I wanted to show you the importance of clover in a good alteration work.  Already growing and offering all the necessary proteins to deer that did not have access to nutritious food for the past months.  No other seeds other than the white clover can do this as fast and efficiently.  In this case, it was Whitetail Imperial Clover. 

Have a good day. Louis

Saturday, 21 April 2012


Hi to all, many may think that the danger of a guide’s trade comes down to working around firearms that are manipulated not always in a safe manner by all kinds of hunters.  In my case, and I can certainly testify for other friends of mine who are also guides, a danger as important if not more is the number of hours spent on an ATV in all kinds of possible situations and conditions, often with too much material.  Here is one proof: That particular morning, the forest road was on ice and I did not succeed in climbing the hill with the trailer, so I came back down the hill by rolling over.  Conclusion, more back problems and a knee messed up for a few days.  The other principal danger is linked with tree-stand installations.   
Have a good day. Louis   

Friday, 20 April 2012

Big game channel

During our flight last weekend, I had the chance to photograph the brassica field where I had filmed moose eating that plant.  Obviously, the brassica has been almost entirely eaten and what’s left has become yellow.  Oddly, it is already growing again but that is another story… However, I did magnify the original picture so that you had the chance to see the beaver dam which is used as a natural channel since many years by the deer and moose of the surrounding area.  This dam of a few hundred yards long is an impressive passage where almost all of the big games of the area travel to get to the food plot.  I’ve also included a game camera pictures that were taken by my Spypoint in December on the side of the old beaver hut.  Almost 300 pictures were taken per week and the vast majority was when the animals were going to the field.  Which just shows that they used another route to get back to their bedding area.   
Have a good day.  Louis

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Beware of wolves!

For some times now, wolves and coyotes have been a subject of discussion like never before.  The reason being that hunters are starting to realize the extraordinary effectiveness of these predators to control and even reduces deer populations.  The wolves are especially effective in big forest since they work in teams and may communicate their position without a great deal of effort.  Three years ago, during my trip to BC for ‘Hunt of a lifetime’, we had the chance to see a wolf that the winner of our contest harvested.  This wolf was very skinny for the time period.  While skinning it, we discovered a broken canine tooth of another wolf sitting on the left side of the eye-socket.  These things happen even though they tolerate each other, but there are many frictions in a wolf pack to maintain the hierarchy, this being necessary for the well being of the pack and for their survival.  It takes one or two boss, the Alpha couple and the subordinates…  This last picture was taken by my spouse on a visit to a wolf research center in Nova Scotia.  I will be back with more details on this research center later.   
Have a good day.  Louis.       

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The colored one

Three coloration phases exist for the red fox.  The traditional red, the silver fox and the cross fox.  At Anticosti, where the fox is plentiful, you have the chance to regularly meet the three color phases.  However, since we have a moist climate because of the sea air, the Anticosti foxes have a tendency to develop a wooly coat texture.  The undercoat which is less colorful becomes thick and produces heavier furs that are less silky and colorful.  For a fox to have a brightly colored fur like the one’s on the continent, he needs to have a thick guard hair and not a dense undercoat.  On this picture taken by my spouse, this fox is of an exceptional color for Anticosti and this uncommon phenomena for the island was caused by the particularly cold and dry temperatures of October the year that this picture was taken.  That same year, the furs reached quality standards never again equalled since that year.  The hunting was also good.  
 Good day.  Louis    

Monday, 16 April 2012

They are sleeping

Last Saturday morning, I had the chance to fly in helicopter for a few hours on both sides of the Outaouais river, therefore covering both Ontario and Quebec.  The goal of our flight was to see the results of alteration work, plan some works for the coming year on four different pieces of land and by the same occasion, refresh my aerial picture bank.   While passing over a maple grove, we saw two deers bedded in the middle of a small opening.  I had the chance to take a picture that I am presenting this morning.  One of the deers had his nose tucked under his shoulder, just like a duck.  That goes to show that an helicopter at 700 feet doesn’t seem to bother them… 
 Good day. Louis  

The terror

May I present the mink.  Being a trapper since my younger days, this small member of the mustelid family is probably the most difficult fur animal to trap on a profitable base.  A few minks in your fur bundle is not an achievement in itself, but taking thirty or so minks means that you have the habit’s knowledge of this small ghost which leaves very few signs.  Furthermore, for the size of this animal, they cover a very large territory, especially the males.  Like for the deer, the trapper who took the time to understand the needs of this animal and his natural diet will eventually find him and take advantage of it.  Two secrets : fresh baits and good lures.  Have a good day.  

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Cold morning

We cannot say that we had many cold mornings so far this year.  But there has been colder spring.  In the Outaouais region, we are very fortunate by the quantity and variety of waterfowl that we have.  This is possibly due to the wide variety of habitats and to the warmer climate.  In the spring, the newcomers follow one another and use the different spring or swamp openings to feed and to take shelter.  When you have late springs like in 2007, it is not only deers that suffer but other animal species.  During that spring, many different species used the opening that was created at the mouth of our small lake.  This particular morning, a Wood Duck and a Black Duck couple had a rest while awaiting a ray of sunlight.  Good day.  Louis      

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Back in the past

This is back in 1992 on the south-east shore of Anticosti Island at less than 2 km from the Chicotte river mouth.  The year before, a blue whale known as Pita, the first blue whale to be formelly identified as a whale coming back year after year in the St-Lawrence river to feed in these rich waters, stranded itself on the beach.  She was part of a blue whale group which were individually identified because of their unique tail pigmentation that could be observed during their dives.  The blue whales and the humpback whales are the only two cetaceans to raise their tails out of the water as they dive.  We came back on the scene to see the skeleton state and with the hopes of bringing back a giant vertebra in souvenir since the skull was way to big to bring back on my back… Have a good day. Louis     

Saturday, 7 April 2012


May I present Antenna, a superb Alberta buck that I had the chance to photograph during my second guiding season in that province, which was 12 years ago.  This buck crossed one of my game cameras during daylight at three occasions in an area of less than 1 square km.  Not only did he have an unusual rack but he also had an impressive deer track.  I could see his tracks every two days in different areas.  I was either ahead of time or too late and he finally did not have the chance to meet one of my hunter clients… and he spent Christmas in the woods with the wolves instead of cooling off in our freezer.  The year after, he disappeared just like many other western bucks.  Good day.  Louis.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A small washload

A souvenir.  That was 20 years ago when we were in isolation in a camp at Cormoran on the south-east side of Anticosti Island to realize a study on foxes. Let’s just say that the closest washing machine was not around the corner, as many other things… Have a good day. Louis  

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Angry because of the weather

Here is how I feel this morning.  There is an inch of snow on the ground and I am pissed just like these two foxes… that my spouse photographed at Anticosti during the first snowfalls of October.  Good day. Louis

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Summer colors

Here is an almost totally made up picture… These are ladies slippers from the Canadian Rockies, known as cypripedium acaule.  This is a team picture that Jose (my spouse) and I realized to try to win a photo contest in the plant category. We had installed a large focalisation lens to be able to work further from the plant, at about 4 yards.  We would spray the plant with a garden hose to simulate a rainfall and finally, we used two lighting flashes setup at different angles so that there wasn’t any possible shade.  Our goal was almost reached, as we won the second prize.  Have a good day and enjoy the sun for those who may. Louis

Monday, 2 April 2012

The gannet

Hi to all, many persons wrongly believe that the gannets live exclusively at Bonaventure.  Yet, a gannet colony installed themselves at the Falaise aux Goélands, on the north east side of Anticosti island.  They were around 50 couples which had installed themselves right in the middle of a large colony of Black-legged kittiwakes (10000 of them).  Even if the cliffs were not of easy access as compared to Bonaventure, the early morning sun of the east would allow many beautiful photographic situations.  On occasions, whales and seals would come close to the cliffs, eagles and falcons would try to catch kittiwakes and even the foxes would venture on the cliffs for the same reason.  One day in this mythical spot and you were almost assured to be back with one or two pictures worthy of being in magazines.  This picture got me my first canadian contest title in the Canadian Geographic magazine.  Have a nice day. Louis