Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ate my Tag : Changed my Bag

 Deer hunting in Northern Canada offers challenges: 
Finding deer, keeping warm, and changing an ostomy bag.

Damn Cold
I hunted 3 full days,

before sunrise to after sunset,

with temperatures of -29C
                              or -39C with the wind chill. 

That's -20F, or -38F with the wind chill.

My blind is well camoflaged, with narrow viewing windows. 

The secretary chair is it's only comfort. 

Freezing temperatures are OK when walking, but when sitting still all day long, it's VERY cold.

wore layers of top-quality clothes of merino wool, primaloft, and goose-down.
But eventally my body chilled

With lots of idle time to think, I found it interesting to feel the heat leave my feet, then my hands, then my legs, then arms.  When my core started cooling, it was time to climb down from the blind and do some jumping-jacks to get the circulation working and to generate body-heat.

Changed my Bag
The many layers of warm clothes added difficulties to changing my ostomy bag.

To get to my bag, I would have to unzip 3 layers of pants.  And to be able to see what I was doing, I would also have to unzip 3 layers of coats.  This is difficult to do with cold fingers.  And it's also a serious risk to an already chilled body core.

I did this operation once, but was determined to avoid doing it again.
Sorry for no picture, but my fingers were too cold to use the camera :)

So I listened to my body, to remind myself of what most ostomates know ...

  • 80% of stool volume happens within 2 hours of waking.  So I got up earlier, and changed my bag before getting dressed for warmth.
  • reduced fluid consumption, trading minor dehydration for reduced pass-through
  • avoided eating high-roughage foods that create higher-volume output (vegetables & breads)
  • avoided eating gassy foods (onions, broccholi, seafood)
With these adjustments, I was able to avoid future bag changes during those nasty cold days.

Ate my Tag
Over the season I saw hundreds of deer, and enjoyed the thrill of being close to them without them even knowing I was there. 

I had 2 licenses for MuleDeer does, but didn't shoot. 

Hence the expression 'I Ate my Tag' or 'Ate tag soup'.

With an automatic trail-camera, I captured 1000s of pictures of deer. Here are a few of my favourites.

I was looking for a big buck and not willing to shoot any deer unless it was one of the top 3 that I saw from the trail-camera.  Of course I saw way more deer from the trail-camera which is there 24x7, than I did actually sitting during a few days.  Generally the big boys only show up at night, so I was patiently hunting deer that I had never seen, yet knew they were in the area.

On my last hunt-day, I took #3. 
I know that not everyone has the same appreciation for hunting
and I respect their opinions. 
But for me, it's a way of life and 2 families will enjoy venison this winter.


  1. Looks live a beauty. Must be at least 240? 8 pointer? I really miss the outdoor experience, and love partridge. You have inspired me to work towards betting better and maybe back out in the bush next year! Thanks man!

  2. I didn't have him scored but he certainly wasn't a 240. But he was a respectable 10 pointer. Sounds like you really should get back out in the Bush :)