Another early freeze-up

For the third year in a row it looks like we’re going to get another early freeze up across Northwest Ontario.
A string of cold nights last week set the stage for the shallow lakes and bays to freeze up with another blast of cold weather this week.
I wrapped up most of my fishing for the season about ten days ago even though there are good opportunities to catch musky, walleye and crappie right up until freeze up.
For many years I fished right up until the last day I could get out there but around 2005 I started hosted my own outfitting business for deer hunting and I used to spend quite a bit of my time starting around mid-October running around on area lakes to access the hunting spots we used to deer hunt.
Most of the hunters I would take were U.S. residents who were able to hunt around the Kenora area until Nov. 15.
I can only remember once in about a ten year period where a lot of the bays and smaller lakes froze up before the 15th.
This is going to be the third year in a row where these same places are going to freeze up about 10 days before the 15th.
It’s tough to say what is causing these earlier than normal cold snaps but most likely it’s a coincidence.
It’s disappointing to me because our winter is long enough so getting a couple of extra weeks to be out in the boat is a nice bonus.
The reason I like accessing some of my hunting spots by boat is you can reach more remote areas with less hunting pressure and it’s a unique experience.
I’m not going to jump the gun and say we’ll be ice fishing anytime soon because we do need extended cold weather to make that happen but once the ice forms it’s not likely that we’ll see it open back up.
Fortunately there is still plenty of good country on main land for those of us who like to hunt.
Since I haven’t been fishing the past couple of weeks I have been spending most of my time in the woods chasing deer around.
I had some old friends from Minnesota here hunting last week and unfortunately they did not have much luck.
The daytime activity of the deer was just about zero in the areas we were hunting but at night they would come alive, evident by the hundreds of photos I was getting on the trail cameras I have set up in our the hunting areas.
I have a lot of fun with my trail cameras and have quite a few of them out in the areas that I like to hunt, throughout the season.
I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of pictures of deer that I’ve gotten this season and a few nice, mature bucks as well.
Even though the deer numbers are still high within our urban communities, out of town, the deer population is still much less than it was a decade ago.
When the deer population was peaking the wolf numbers exploded as well, as a result of having so much easy prey.
In recent years, the wolf numbers have decreased as well, they go as the deer go.
There are still wolves around but instead of getting hundreds of pictures of them on my cameras during a season, I only get a few here and there these days.
I did get a good photo on one of my cameras this past weekend of four wolves in the same photo, on an old logging road.
Hopefully the deer in that area will avoid them over the winter.
If you are still looking for another fishing outing or two, my advice is to make it happen sooner than later because unless we get a major late-November warming trend, we’re just about done in the boat.
In the meantime, stay off the ice until we get a shot of real cold weather to tighten things up.

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