Hi, I'm Ken Laninga in northern Alberta, Canada. My cabin is in "moose country" and I love hunting moose, deer, bear, elk, buffalo etc with my digital camera. (sometimes, if the freezer is empty, I use a rifle too)
I'd rather go to my cabin than any other place. Always something new, something exciting, something fun or something scary! My blog chronicles my visits to the cabin; that blog is at http://www.sticksite.com/blog.html.
I've found a lot of neat/cool things to do at the cabin to make visits there more enjoyable; my list of tips lives at http://www.sticksite.com/cottage/.
One tip that applies to folks with a cottage or a more rustic place like my cabin is to think about first aid. For many people their home away from home can be quite remote. Having a prepared kit of personal medical supplies is essential. My suggestion for a small kit: Bandaids (pretty obvious), elastic wrap (also called an ACE bandage), Aspirin (google for how many things it can help with!), anti-bacterial ointment, pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), Calamine Lotion (for bug bites), scissors, a collapsable knife, and for the nearly blind amongst us - an eyeglass repair kit. But here is some equally important advice: People need to keep items in their medicine cabinets fresh. Some items can last for years, but others are not meant to sit around - they can go bad. Examine product labels/bottles etc for expiration dates and regularly review. Maybe every spring or every fall set a reminder to go over the contents and refresh old items.
On this page I'll concentrate on the wildlife we see. Birds, Beavers and ONE Grizzly Bear qualify for
pages of their own and they are at:
At the bottom of the page I'll illustrate a few more items of "Adventures in CABINizing."
If YOU are an outdoor enthusiast, as I am, and are looking to buy, or lease or sell a "Recreational Property" then this page will interest you: http://www.sticksite.com/RecreationalProperties/.
This shabby cow moose just could not understand why her newborn calf did not follow her; she stepped over the bison fence with no problem at all. I kept the fence between her and myself but she put the run on me several times; I had the truck parked within 5 feet all the time and dove into it.
It was, of course, early spring so she was losing her heavy, warm, winter coat.
This high fence is to keep buffalo in. In spite of that, buffalo ("bison") can hop over it without a problem.
These moose, near the cabin, looked like they were doing a TV commercial for milk.
The moose here seem to be very religious; either this one is praying OR he is mooning me.........dunno.
This moose is on my lawn.
See the "Beaver Sculpture" in the background? For a lot more about that, see my BEAVERS page.
On this particular morning I could see 7 moose from the cabin windows; it was not possible to get one picture with all seven on it, unfortunately.
One evening in November 2007, I saw 12 moose and 28 deer in my field, from the kitchen table.
It was a snowy morning when this young moose (a bull) came to the cabin with his mother.This bull, only a few months old was about a yard away from the cabin window, showing the buttons which will be his antlers in future years.
For anyone who might not be sure, moose do shed their massive antlers every year. ONLY the bulls have antlers.
But you knew that!
This is the first moose I ever shot; a 50-inch rack; shot one cool September morning back in 1960, while brother John and our Dad were there too. This moose dressed out at 755 pounds!
Yes, that's me there; when I still had hair.
It was many years later that I bought the 320 acres on which my cabin sits about a mile away from where I bagged this big one.
These four nice bull elk came by the cabin one morning in late July, 2010. The passed within 100 yards of the window so I took a whole raft of pictures from the window.
At my cabin there are both Muledeer and Whitetailed Deer; the Mulies are much larger. Can you tell the real one from the "not so real" one?
No, I did not "mess with" this picture; it is exactly what the camera saw.
I took this picture, like many of the others, from the cabin window.
On this particular picture, I was lucky; the sun was just coming up and the way the sunshine "lit up" the velvet on this Muledeer's antlers was rather neat, I think.
This young deer was inspecting a pile of "sheds" which are antlers shed (dropped) by moose, elk, Whitetail Deer and Muledeer in the winter. Sometimes we find them.
This fawn was from a momma deer which had three fawns and she raised them all. I was so very proud of her.
That was a terrific challenge with all the coyotes, wolves and bears around.
I shot this Whitetail buck with 3 cameras; NOT with a rifle even though it was hunting season and I had the proper license; I just did not 'feel' like killing him after he posed for me so wonderfully.
He is about 30 feet from my cabin window.
I took this pic of the doe with her fawn from my cabin window too.
I shook the camera and the picture was blurry. A week later they were in the same spot and I managed to "do it right."
This nice Muledeer was hot on the trail of some does which had just gone by the cabin; he did not worry about me opening the window for the camera, only 30 feet away.
Again, a shot from the cabin window.
This Whitetail doe was not pleased to have a coyote come so close so she put the run on him!
The birds throw a lot of the bird-seed on the ground and this doe decided it should not be wasted.
This brought her to within 5 feet of the cabin window; and later she put her nose right up to the glass.
Took this shot from my deer-blind at the edge of my field.
Saw this buck many times and even put his video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvDh4xpHk18.
The following picture shows him still in velvet, with a buddy.
These two buck muledeer were feeding in my field so I walked out there and took their picture.
They were not terribly afraid and I photographed them again many times.
This was in summer, 2010.
In June, 2K, I was sitting in the grass beside the cabin with only a camera and let this small black bear come to within 4 feet of me. (KIDS, DON'T DO THIS AT HOME!)
Later, when I tried to get too close, she made a mock charge at me.
At one point she had a paw up against the window and she came up on the deck in front of the cabin, and had her front paws on the armrest of a chair sitting beside the door; I was standing in the doorway; our noses must have been no more than 5 feet apart. One day in June I saw 6 bears near the cabin.
This brown bear had noted my crop coming up so had to investigate.
This, as you can tell by the awful quality, was taken very long ago. This nice big black bear had been causing a problem tearing the plywood off granaries to let the grain pour out so he could fill his belly. I had no choice but to put a stop to his thieving.
I then cut 3 poles and hung my Powerpull on them to hoist him up so I could lower him into the trunk of the car. That way I could take him back to the cabin for the skinning job. He made a fantastic rug.
Here's something you don't see from the kitchen window every day; a big black wolf carrying off a newborn buffalo calf which died of unknown causes. One hind leg and the snout had been chewed off, probably by coyotes. There was no visible trauma but it was found dead by the buffalo rancher. After the wolf disappeared into the trees I followed, found the calf on a game trail and dragged it back to the cabin, looking over my shoulder constantly; I had no weapons with me. ;-) I've seen this wolf several times in the past few years. No, I do not want to shoot it.
My nephew took me wolf-hunting one day; he knew where they had a den. So, we sneaked into that area and sure enough; the wolf family was home. This big white one had to check us out. He did not dare approach us though. Nor we him.
As you probably know, coyotes are generally *very* afraid of humans. This one did not realize that.
One day I walked down a game trail, went 12 feet off the trail to 'still-hunt' sitting against a tree. After awhile, a coyote came up the trail. He passed within 12 of me and then caught my scent in my tracks, spun around and trotted back the way he'd come. But he never saw me. Unfortunately, ignorant hunters kill them indiscriminately.
This one was along a road as we went by. We stopped but he did not run. I took several close up shots with my camera. What a fantastic fur coat he has! This was a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience. They are much nicer to look at than any dog I've ever seen.
This coyote was very close to the cabin windown, hunting mice for his breakfast.
His fur was slightly damp, as you can see.
Another gorgeous coyote doing all farmers a favour: catching mice.
In the fall of 2004 I was quite thrilled one day to look out the cabin window to see
a fisher very nearby. This was a very black and very large one; I estimate that from tip of nose to tip
of tail he must have been 4' (122 cm) long. Luckily I was able to take this and a whole bunch of other
pictures of him/her. Weeks later I saw a smaller one nearby.
This is one gorgeous creature and, unfortunately, much sought-after by (fur) trappers.
The beavers are making an awful mess near the cabin! These incredible animals warranted a page of their own; it is http://www.sticksite.com/beavers/index.htm. I'm taking a lot of the stumps out with a chainsaw; great for pencil-holders etc. This one is working on his dam.
While bison are not really "wild" in the sense that they are running all over the country, a lot of them do jump over their fences and run around. I've had serious damage done by them to my yard.
This one came to the edge of my lawn and I chased it away. Earlier, I was forced to shoot one with the 7mm Remington Magnum.
Sometimes from the cabin we can see a huge herd of bison; here is one such view, June 2009:
This was the view from the end of my driveway one day. I know this looks very much like a fake pic made with Paintshop or Photoshop but it IS NOT.
This is REAL.
And that Muledeer buck looks like a very respectable fellow.
Besides the big game, we also see some smaller wildlife; this mosquito is an example:
IF YOU enjoy this kind of outdoor living, then you are sure to LOVE these books I recently read. In particular "Three Against the Wilderness" was spell-binding; hard to put down.
If you wonder about the cabin, here it is; there is nothing behind the cabin but bush. No more farms/fields etc. Six miles of solid bush to the Peace River; a very large river.
I live in the city of Grande Prairie; this cabin is 145 km northwest of my house.
I've been hunting for Diamond Willow sticks for Walking Sticks for many years. All the details on my main, home page: http://www.sticksite.com/.
The ARGO A.T.V. is my preferred means of getting around with a large load of Diamond Willow sticks.
Here I am going through a mudhole that even a 4x4 truck might find impossible. At this point, it was probably floating.
The Peace River is a very large river. It runs by my land, about 6 miles away.
In the winter we use snowshoes and cross-country skis to get around.
Sometimes the prez of the USA drops in for coffee.
Like when he needs to ask me for advice.