Hunting in the Carp Hills

People are hearing gunshots in the Carp Hills and asking about whether it’s safe to walk on the Crazy Horse Trail.  The answer is that anyone going out into the bush at this time of year should be aware of the risks and should wear bright orange.

It is now hunting season.   Geese and duck hunting started last month.  Bow season for deer started yesterday, with gun hunting of deer starting on 2 November.  Black bear and small game seasons started back in September. 

The discharge of firearms in the City of Ottawa is governed by the Discharge of Firearms by-law.  The discharge of firearms is allowed throughout the Carp Hills, except within 450 m of the rural estate neighbourhoods.  People may hunt on city-owned land.  They may not hunt on private property without permission from the landowner.

We live in a rural area that has hunting traditions. We expect hunters to hunt legally and responsibly and in turn we need to respect their right to hunt. We hope that hunters will avoid the trail area or use it very early in the morning, knowing that hikers are using it in the fall and likely keeping game away. Hikers should wear bright orange.  We can respect each other’s desire to enjoy the area.

The Crazy Horse Trail lies on city-owned land.  The area is less affected by hunting due to its proximity to the residential areas to the southeast (Westwood), southwest (village of Carp), and northeast (Marchurst Road).  See the figure below.  However, the outer reaches of the property lie outside of the 450m restriction.  For reference, the width of the property is approximately 600m and the length of the property is approximately 1300m.  

Hunting is not permitted in the green cross-hatched area.

For provincial hunting seasons, please see the links below. The Carp Hills are in Wildlife Management Unit 64B.

For the hunting of migratory birds, see this link.  We lie in District 4.

Tick and Lyme Disease Research in Carp

Updated on 21 April 2020.

Message from Dr. Kulkarni:  “The UPTick project is coming soon to a neighbourhood near you! University of Ottawa researchers, led by Dr. Manisha Kulkarni, will be conducting a project on ticks and Lyme disease in the village of Carp and the adjacent Carp Hills over the next two years (2020-2021). The project aims to assess the impacts of urban change on tick populations and tick-borne disease transmission. For more information and FAQ visit”

Councillor Eli El-Chantiry and Friends of the Carp Hills are sponsoring a meeting on Tuesday, 14 April at 7:30pm at the Carp Mess Hall, 2240 Craig Side Road, where epidemiology researchers from the University of Ottawa will talk about a new project in Carp and answer questions.

University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology & Public Health has a new project on ticks and Lyme disease in Ottawa called UPTick (“Best practices for urban planning in the context of climate change and emerging tick-borne diseases”).  The researchers are sampling four areas in Ottawa and the Carp Village/Carp Hills interface is one.  The project is supported by Ottawa Public Health and Councillor Eli El-Chantiry.

A map shows the study area highlighted in red. The study area is large because sampling sites will be located along a gradient of urban development that includes the three “groups”: 

  1. natural wooded zones,
  2. established residential/woodland interfaces, and
  3. within-neighborhood residential yards and trails.

The researchers will conduct field sampling for ticks and their small mammal hosts (e.g. mice) in different woodlands and neighborhoods where previous research has shown that tick populations are likely present. This will allow them to identify at-risk locations and populations for better targeting of interventions to reduce human exposure to ticks, and to understand the drivers of human risk for tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. 

Three private landowners with large Carp Hills parcels that lie along the village boundary have agreed to provide access to the researchers.  This includes Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Tick populations in Carp and the Carp Hills have grown significantly in the last 7 to 8 years, with residents living along and near the boundary being particularly affected.  Landowners with large parcels of land (e.g. Ducks Unlimited Canada) along the village boundary have been contacted and asked to allow access for the researchers.  Sampling will also occur on publicly owned land in the village in parks and along trails.

For more information, download this six page PDF about Project UPTick.

Map of study area in red. (Map from UPTick Project.)

Winter Photo Contest Winner

Congratulations to Erik Frebold of Vancouver for his winning photograph of a bird nest in winter in the Carp Hills.  Erik’s photo will be our banner for March, a nice reminder that spring is on its way.

We’re visiting from Vancouver and the Carp Hills is our favourite place to ski because it’s so quiet, beautiful, and has great wildlife/birds. We spotted this nest today Feb. 17th; it’s about 1m off the ground and measures only 5cm across. My guess is it’s from a Marsh Wren. Photo was taken with a Pentax Optio W80 digital and lightly edited for contrast with the GIMP 2.10.8 (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) in Linux.

We had five submissions to the contest.  Our judge, Chris Busby, made these comments on Erik’s photo:

Nice composition using the rule of thirds, colours have a nice range (blue shadows contrast nicely with browns and yellows of brush), nice shadow detail of nest.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit photos and to care about the Carp Hills.

Other contest submissions:

“Panoramic shot of Beaver Pond, Crazy Horse Trail.” Photo by Denis Gallant.

“Just having a break on the Crazy Horse trail on a beautiful day.” Photo by Denis Gallant.

“Feb 17th on the Carp Ridge; can’t really describe where this is, and that’s one of the the beauties of the area. I like this because it shows the typical scenery of close forest with suggestions of intriguing open lake areas behind. Taken with a Pentax Optio W80 digital and lightly edited with The GIMP in Gnu-Linux.” Photo by Erik Frebold.



“This is my photo taken during the first 1K of the trail today . We went for a very cold snow shoe. Saw one other person. Did entire loop. No filters or processing as I do well to even think to bring out my phone and take a photo.” Photo by Marilyn David.

Winter Evening Snowshoe Event

15 February – Conditions Update – Snowshoes are needed.  The trails are in excellent condition with deep snow.

Join us on Valentine’s and Family Day weekend, 15 February, at 110 Donald B. Munro starting at 7:30pm for a guided ❤️ the Hills Evening Snowshoe in the winter beauty of the Carp Hills.  This private property has one of the highest points in the Hills and scenic views over the Carp River valley.  Following our exertions, we’ll gather at the outdoor bonfire for bonhomie and alcohol-free beverages.

Some degree of physical fitness is required.  There are steep climbs that will be slippery and challenging.  You will need to sign a waiver before participating. This event is suitable for active kids 10 and older.

A nominal charge of $10 per adult is payable on arrival.  Children 16 and under are free. Our organization’s largest expense is our insurance, which we must have in order to offer events like these.

Waiver (PDF) – Please download, print, and bring this with you.  Families or couples can use one waiver.  All adults must sign it.

Parking and Gathering Place

Park across the road at 211 Donald B. Munro Drive (the Gambit Music Academy).  Overflow parking is on the shoulder of Donald B. Munro. Please arrive at least 15-30 minutes before 7:30pm.

Take care parking and crossing the road to the entrance.  We will meet you at the bottom of the hill by the gate where you will register.  Bring your waiver and participation fee.  Then don your snowshoes and follow the trail up the hill to a large open area where we will gather by the bonfire.  

There are no washrooms on the site.

What to Expect

We will have groomed trails available for self-guided snowshoeing.  Guides will be on-site to help people orient themselves.  The trails are wide and easy to navigate on your own.  You must stay on the trail; no off-trail exploration is permitted.

Return to our gathering place around the bonfire for refreshments.

Snowshoes are required.  Skis are not suitable for this site.  We love dogs, but please leave your dog at home.

What to Bring

  • Your wavier and participation fee.
  • Your snowshoes.
  • Appropriate clothing for staying warm and exercising.
  • Optional: a drinking container suitable for a hot beverage (helps to reduce garbage).
  • If you have a head lamp, bring it.  We would like to run the snowshoe under ambient light, but a head lamp will be helpful before and after the hike for getting around in the dark.

Trail Code

The landowners have generously opened their property to the public for this event.  Please respect the land and follow instructions.  Participants must stay on the trail; no off-trail exploration is permitted.

Winter Photography Contest

We are holding a  the Hills in Winter photography contest to celebrate the beauty of the Carp Hills in our coldest season.  The contest runs from now until February 18, 2020.  Along with public glory, the winner receives a one-year new membership or membership renewal to Friends of the Carp Hills.  If the format is suitable (see below), the winning photo will also be used as our Facebook banner for one month and as one of our rotating banners on our website.

Our contest judge is FCH board member Christopher Busby.  Chris has 49 years of experience in every facet of photography—from darkroom manager to professional portraitist to newspaper photographer—and three of his pictures were selected by National Geographic photo editors for publication in Your Shot.

Photographs submitted for the contest will be judged on creative use of composition, lighting, focus, point of view and that indefinable quality of a compelling photograph that captivates the viewer.  Note that you don’t need fancy camera gear to take a great photo: used skilfully and artistically, a smartphone will produce fabulous photos.

The winner will be announced on our Facebook site and website on March 1, 2020.

Contest Rules and Guidelines
  1. Your photo must be taken between January 1 and February 18, 2020, in the Carp Hills.
  2. You may submit as many as 5 photos.
  3. Provide some background about your photo: where it was taken, why you took it, what settings you used, and any other information that your fellow photographers might find interesting.
  4. Photos may be submitted in landscape or portrait format, but if you want your photo to be used as a banner on our Facebook page or website, then it should be in landscape format.
  5. All subject matter is acceptable as long as it is in the Carp Hills: landscapes, animals, plants, rocks, people etc.
  6. Some post-processing is acceptable (cropping, colour correction), but adding artificial elements (e.g. a moon in the sky) or erasing features is not acceptable.  We’re looking for photos that celebrate the natural, unenhanced beauty of the Carp Hills.
  7. Submit photos in JPEG format to our contest email:  Please send one photo per email, preferably no larger than 2 to 3 MB.  We will request a higher-resolution photo from the winner if needed.

We reserve the right to publish all submitted photos on our website or other media. By submitting your photos and participating in the contest, you are agreeing to give copyrights to Friends of the Carp Hills for the use of your photographs in any of its promotional material:  web site, Facebook page, newsletter, brochures, caps, T shirts, etc.