(above: a pic of the author holding his favourite shotgun and a freshly harvested grouse)
Southern Ontario, and Ontario in general is blessed with some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world.
Be it the rough character of the shield, the eloquence of Algonquin Park’s meandering trout streams, the majesty of the great lakes or the complex diversity of our vast wetlands. Ontario is a truly unique land. With such a vast, diverse expanse of wilderness at our doorsteps, a person could never run out of rivers to paddle, fish to catch or game to hunt. It is a hidden gem that can provide a wonderfully rich experience for those willing to take the time to stop look and listen. Despite this uniqueness and expanse of natural beauty, Southern Ontario is still under publicized and under appreciated.
I have spent the better part of my life living in and exploring Ontario, specifically the Kingston Area. Thirty minutes or less in any direction from Kingston and you will find yourself staring at the mystery and tranquility of a back lake or catching a glimpse of a skittish deer bounding across a field. Its scenes like these that I have had the luck to witness time and time again, and it is these experiences I aim to share with anyone who will listen.
So take a gander at my posts, leave a comment if your so inclined, and enjoy my take on the precious gem that is Ontario.
Hopefully, they may inspire you to get up, turn off the computer, ditch the cell phone, pick up a rod or a paddle and get outside.
Cheers from the Wild
Thanks for the follow!
Nice job. Enjoyed your blog. I will post a link at http://www.ontariotrophybucks.ca. Feel free to visit!
I’m tech admin for 2oldguyswalking. Muchly appreciate your “follow”. Though 2oldguyswalking are neither anglers nor hunters, I like your journalistic style and share your love of our Ontario.
Hi Bushwacker, Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you are enjoying the blog! I can definitely appreciate that multitude of activities available for any outdoor enthusiast in Ontario and I definitely share you obvious love of hiking and walking trails. Keep up the good work on http://www.2.oldguyswalking.wordpress.com and perhaps we will cross trails at some point in the future.
Hi Albert, I am a chef who grew up in Harrowsmith and have travelled the last decade. I am now back in Kingston looking to start foraging. My only issue is knowing what can be foraged in these areas. I am looking to meet local foragers and gain knowledge from their experience and journies. Do you have any suggestions on how to begin, groups or individuals to discuss or forage with to better understand the land and what it produces?
I think you’ll find that with a bit of research online finding species to pick wont be the problem, the problem will be finding land to do the foraging on. Unless of course your one of the lucky ones with access to lots of private land!
First off Id suggest heading over to Chapters and picking up a couple field guides on edibles in Ontario and spending some time on learning whats available out there. You could also check out the sections on my blog on foraging, specifically the article which links to the Northern Bushcraft website. That site is a great resource for what’s edible in our general area.
Next Id say just get outside. The more time you spend outdoors the more things your going to notice and learn.
If your looking for specific advice on edibles this time of year Id suggest looking for wild grapes, choke cherries, shagbark hickory nuts, and some speciesof mushrooms if the temp and humidity are right (there may be the odd chanterelle around). I am going to caution you up front that mushrooms should only be picked if you can make a positive identification. To assist I’d recommend checking out a field course on mushroom identification offered by Queens university(link below).
If your looking for someone to join you to assist I’m always willing to tag along on a trip to offer what help I can. You could also frequent the markets and see if any fresh forageables become available and you could inquire with the person selling. There is also a foraged foods broker in Kingston that brokers sales between foragers and restaurants. I may be able to dig up a contact if you like.
Feel free to keep in touch and let me know how the foraging is going or if you have any specific questions. I love to hear about newcomers to the foraging world and about the progress they are making.
Great little blog. Very informative and interesting.
Stumbled upon this looking for pepperette recipes. Love the blog and spent couple hours reading through the various stories and recipes. Great stuff here! We hunt largely in southern and northern ontario as well. We run a webiste thehuntblog.com and would love to have you guest post for us some time. Shoot me an email if you get a chance love to talk hunting any time. Cheers
I came across your site while trying to find information on where to forage for wild leeks in Ontario. Do you have any advice on this? How do you know where to look? Or is it just that I should pick a forested area near me and hope to come across a few patches? I’m looking forward to trying them out this season, as I’ve never had them before!
Leeks grow in most places, however the best locations are well drained area with dark loamy soil high in organics. As for specific locations in the wild, I’ve found they grow a bit better next to deciduous trees like maples and oak. Not so much near pine and spruce. Another key tip is they will show up first whereever the sun can get to in the woods.
Remember, only harvest one or two from each large cluster. It takes a long time for wild leaks to reproduce and mature. Leaving leaks in the ground will ensure more leaks for the future.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your search!
Just found you blog while google searching about ice fishing in the area. Nice to see a familiar face out here on the internet.
We will have to go out for a hunt and/or fish sometime. Keep up the good work.
Thanks Matt. Its a Hobby, and mostly a way for me to track my exploits.
I’m definitely down to go for a fish or hunt sometime.
Found your blog while I was looking on information on appropriate places to forage for mushrooms and leeks in the Kingston area. I was wondering if you might point me in the direction of some areas that aren’t conservation or private land. Thanks!
Hi Krista, Thanks for reaching out. My first suggestion would be to look at the crown land atlas.
This will help you locate public land in the area.
For areas with a bit less traffic, I recommend asking friends or family who may have property or property access. Alternatively, queens puts on a mushroom identification clinic every year. You could try that and perhaps meet some like minded individuals.
I’ll conclude with two friendly requests
1) Practice restrain when harvesting leeks. They have a very long growth and reproductive cycle and are very suceptible to over harvesting.
2) Be careful when harvesting mushrooms and be sure you are 100% sure of the identity as some may be toxic or even fatal.
Good luck, and happy hunting!
My family and I will be traveling to Lake Oppinicon this weekend. We will enjoy some Pike and bass fishing there but I have been trying to find a nearby lake to visit for a decent chance at a musky. Would you say Collins lake has s good fishable population of esox masquinongy ? Thank you for your assistance
I have been fishing colins for about 8 years and to this day have only had one sighting of a musky. I would say the chances are low. Consider Stoco or Moira Lake as alternatives. Folks also have decent success on the St. Lawrence River.