Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hunting and Fishing in Canada

There are big deer and big fish in Canada.  If you want to catch the biggest muskie of your lifetime most of the places you should fish are in Canada.

With the bad economy, and issues I'll explain in a minute, many people are no longer traveling to Canada for hunting and fishing.  Because there are fewer tourists the tourist businesses are really hurting for customers, and so you can probably get a very good deal on resorts, or similar.

But with all of the big fish, big deer, and current cheap prices there is still the Canadian laws and law enforcement to deal with.

Here are some stories that friends have experienced in Canada.

This spring a few guys went goose hunting in Ontario.  When you return with geese breasts you are required to keep one wing attached with some skin connecting the pair.  These guys kept the wing attached but not the skin keeping the sides together.  They were each fined $2500 and the Ontario law enforcement pointed out that they were being nice, they could've confiscated their guns and truck.

A few guys were fishing.  They had 6 beers with lunch, you are not allowed to drink while in a boat.  So when the ministry of natural resources asked the guys about it, they pointed out that they drank them on shore with lunch.  The ministry officials then asked them to produce all of the bottle caps.  They could only find 5, and so they got a big fine for littering.

A year or two ago, while crossing the boarder, I was distracted for a second and looked away from the boarder guard while he was asking the standard "do you have guns, fireworks, etc." questions.  This, of course, resulted in a lengthy search of our truck and boat.

The speed limits are also a joy.  Last year I was driving the long empty roads at about 45 mph for so long that once we got into Minnesota with 55 mph speed limits I spent an hour marveling at how fast I could go.

The good news with the speed laws, however, is that the government is only interested in your fine money; it may not go on your driving record.  Some of dad's friends budget $200 for their annual speeding ticket when they head up.

If you've gotten a DUI you may, or may not, get in after some lengthy form filling out.

Then there are the fishing regulations.  The resort owners in Northwest Ontario sure saw a drop in their reservations when the lake trout possession limit was reduced to one.

There is also the size limits to think about.  Perhaps the biggest legitimately weighed and caught muskie, caught by Martin Williamson in the Georgian Bay, was 53" and 61 pounds.  Had he caught that fish a year later it would have been undersized, because they changed the size limit to 54".

So there are big deer and big fish but you may consider hunting and fishing somewhere that you can go without being constantly nervous of law enforcement (even if you are completely legal).


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