Thursday, September 3, 2015

TBT, New Brunswick

     About 10 years ago I had the pleasure of spending a week bear hunting with Three Brooks Outfitters in New Brunswick. While I didn't end up with the monster, or even the 15 lb bear, I had a great time learning about bears and bear baiting. I recently found a few pics of some of the New Brunswick trophies hanging in the camp.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

No Ordinary Challenge; The MacNab

     Sportsmen and women around the globe take to the fields and streams for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of satisfaction in dedicating the time, and commitment needed to meeting the challenge, and bringing home a hard earned meal. In some corners of the world the challenge of taking game is not enough, and a select few of a particularly sporting nature venture out seeking ways to make their time in the outdoors demanding. For some this additional demand is only satisfied by achieving a MacNab.

     The MacNab is a sporting trifecta of sorts. In the UK there is the Highland MacNab, where a person bags a stag, a brace of grouse, and lands a salmon, all on the same day. I've also read accounts of  what is called a Summer MacNab, which involve bagging a Roe buck, a wood pigeon, and landing a sea-run rainbow trout. These sound like fine challenges, indeed. I'd be happy with just a brace of grouse, and doubt my system could handle completing a MacNab.

     Here in New England we too, have a MacNab, but few have heard of it, and even few have completed it. The New England MacNab is shooting a whitetail buck, a brace of ruffed grouse, and landing a brook trout. Unlike the UK where season greatly overlap each other, the chance of ever completing a MacNab in the US is slim; our season only slightly over lap. In most of New England Trout season closes shortly after grouse season opens, and the deer season during that time period usually restricts hunters to archery equipment, not fire arms. Even if you did manage to take your buck, early season grouse hunting is often challenging, grouse heard but not seen through the thick canopy of leaves. Of course some states make it impossible. In Connecticut, for example, there is a robust deer herd, and some fantastic trout waters. I have no doubt that a sportsman could take a buck in the morning, then land a brook trout by lunch, but the grouse would pose a problem. While grouse can be found in Ct the numbers are small enough that the state only allows hunters to take 1 a day. So much for the MacNab.

     There are other challenges, too. In Maine you are recognized if you bag a deer, bear, moose, and a turkey (maybe coyote is included, too) in one season. That is a feat, and requires dedication. As a grouse hunter I enjoy shooting a mixed bag. While I've enjoyed a few heavy game bags in my time I've never had the pleasure of taking grouse, woodcock, and hares all in the same outing. I've had plenty of grouse/woodcock, woodcock/hare, and hare/grouse days, but never the trifecta. And while I always carry a separate supply of non-toxic ammo in the car, ready to switch our if I see ducks sitting in the rivers when driving around, I've yet to have the chance to mix fowl with upland species. Perhaps this will be the year I add an additional species to the game bag. No. Not the same wow factor as the MacNab, but not a bad goal, either.