Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another creature feature, something foxy

Sam and I are sure encountering the wildlife!
Yesterday we saw nine deer and a fox and today I was talking with my friend, Don Melnyk, out on the road when he spotted another fox and called it right to the truck by making squeaking noises on his hand.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sam and I met a creature on our walk today

Sam and I went for a hike behind our house today and met this handsome marten, called a pine marten in the U.S.
This medium-sized member of the weasel family was likely out hunting red-backed voles, red squirrels, snowshoe hares and ruffed grouse.
I caught a glimpse of him sailing over the snow and rushed toward him so that he would seek safety in a tree until I could take out my camera and get a photo.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

My top secret lure for summer walleye


Don't tell!
I'm not going to mention my top secret lure for catching walleye in the summer. If I did, some professional tournament search engine robot would put two and two together and the first thing you know, everybody would be fishing with them. But you might be able to get a hint if you check out what's hanging from the mouths of the walleyes in these photos.
I like the 1/4-ounce version of this phenomenal lure. I plunk it right along the weedline and reel it slowly back toward the boat so that the lure is down near the bottom, at least most of the way. It is pretty good at shucking most of the weeds.
It works just as well in open territory -- on rocks and sandy bottoms.
And, it catches northern pike like crazy. That's why I always use an ultrathin wire leader, say six-pound or 12-pound test. The new Knot2Kinky wire works great for this. I make the leaders about four-inches long. That prevents almost all of the northern pike from cutting me off but it's not so long that walleyes pay any attention to it.
I put no live bait on the rig whatsoever. I use it just like it comes in the package. And boy, are these lures expensive. (Not!)  I think they each retail for an outlandish $2.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'I wonder if this is a good spot for moose?'

Dan and Sam
Calf and cow moose
Sam and I checked out a trail near camp for moose sign last fall and decided to set out our trail camera.
Look what came by a day later.
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A real Beaver heads to the air base

Chimo Airways base in Red Lake
Red Lake is a busy floatplane base and a common aircraft here is the de Havilland Beaver. Chimo Air, however, which is located right beside our dock at Red Lake Marine, uses de Havilland Otters, like the turbine-engine model on the left, and Noorduyn Norseman planes like the one on the right as well as smaller Cessna aircraft. It doesn't have any Beavers, that is, until this actual animal swam right up to its dock last summer with a tree in its mouth.
You know you are "Up North" when critters are right in the town. Other wildlife commonly seen in Red Lake are black bears, coyotes, foxes, moose, deer, bald eagles and even, on the outskirts, timber wolves.
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Wally is looking after camp this winter

'Wally' the long-tailed weasel is on the job
Brenda, Sam and I have returned to our home in Nolalu for the winter but there is still someone looking after camp -- Wally.
Wally is a long-tailed weasel who first showed up in late August. He made it his mission to clear-out all the mice from the yard starting around the fish house and lodge. When we last saw him in late-October he was ranging around the entire clearing, all the way down to Cabin 10.
He would dash into every pile of brush we made and then reappear a minute later with a mouse in his mouth.
Wally felt completely at ease around us and even Sam, our chocolate Lab. Despite being nearly under our feet he proved a difficult model to photograph. He just wouldn't hesitate long enough to focus on. When I took this photo he had just begun to change into his winter white. He was nearly all white by the time we left. The only thing that won't camouflage with the snow will be the black tip of his tail.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TechLite Lumen Master 200 a great flashlight

If you have been looking for a small, powerful flashlight, check out the TechLite Lumen Master High Intensity flashlight. This little light fits in the palm of your hand yet reaches out hundreds of yards with its 200-lumen CREE LED beam.
I've had one of these for a year now and frankly, it's the only flashlight I want to use.
The light is well-made out of machined aluminum and has rubber o-rings that make it waterproof.
Amazingly, you can stand on our main dock at camp and illuminate the far shoreline across the narrows.
A three-pack of these flashlights sells for about $28, I understand, at Costco.
We don't have Costco stores either in Red Lake or Thunder Bay near where we live in the winter. I actually got my first flashlight at Northwest TimberMart, a building supply store in Red Lake. After trying one I went back and bought all they had and gave one to every member of my family who were at camp moose hunting at the time. TimberMart has not stocked any more, to my knowledge.
However, one of my family discovered the lights are sold at Cosco and brought me a three-pack this fall.
The TechLite runs on three AAA batteries. As you can imagine, such a powerful beam takes a fair amount of power. There are three settings of light intensity, low, medium and strobe. You get about four hours on the low setting which, incidentally, is still brighter than most D-cell flashlights. The high setting will eat a set of batteries in just one hour but it's search-light-like beam is incredibly bright.
Frankly, I don't understand why every LED flashlight has a strobe setting.but there's one on this light if you can think of a use for it.
I must say the TechLite flashlight is better than any other light, is brighter, and costs a fraction of many of the high-end lights sold by sporting goods stores.
It would make a great Christmas gift!