Duck Hunting in Obedjiwan Quebec

Duck hunting in Obedjiwan Quebec

It was in de fall of 1964 I was a clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company and living with the manager Clement and wife Helene.It was in late October and I had decided that I would go duck hunting and maybe get a couple of partridges at the same time.

I was up early around 5 o’clock had a good breakfast and packed a lunch. Yes my grandmother was not there to do that.It looked pretty cold and maybe some rain on the way. Got my packsack on, grabbed my 12 gauge pump gun, a Remington and on my way to a couple of lakes behind the reserve.

I had been walking for about an hour and nothing in sight. I had crossed a beaver dam and followed a small creek until I noticed a nice little lake and to my surprise about 400 yards from me I could see some Canada geese. They had their heads up and into the wind. So I did not move an inch, I said to myself I’ll wait until they put their heads down and start eating. I waited a good 15 minutes and they didn’t move at all so I waited another 5 and they started to move around and started eating, slowly I crawled a little closer to about 400 yards and I said to myself still too far. I was lucky that the wind was head on my direction. They were still eating and not worried
about me. I managed to crawl another 200 yards and I said not close enough yet I have to do another 150 yards, which I manage to do. The goose in front had its head up and looking around, she knew that something was wrong. They all started moving into the wind, up I got and fired away, I fired all 3 shots and got 3 big Canada Geese and let me tell you they were big, we call them the Great Canada Goose.

Pulled out a piece of rope tied them together and place them over my shoulder, they were pretty heavy. On my way back I saw a few partridges but did not shoot any, I had enough with these 3 honkers.

I had been gone for about 5 hours and back with 3 big Canada Geese and only shot 3 shots and did not even see a duck, but let me tell you it was a wonderful day.

Hunting up north of Kapuskasing 1958

It was in the fall of 1958 my cousin Denis and I had talked about going out hunting partridges, about 40 miles North West of Kapuskasing. We decided that it would be for a whole week in the bush. My brother Roger and a couple of our friends, Gilbert and his brother wanted to come along. We said no problem but everyone brings their food, sleeping bag and not to much because we may have a long walk in. We asked our aunt Lydia if she could drive us in. She said okay, when you guys are ready. We all had jobs gathering equipment, like pots and pans a few dishes a good size tent, packsacks, blankets for the ones that had no sleeping bags. Denis and I had each had a cooey 22 rifle and three boxes of short shells; that was enough for a week.

It was Saturday morning and everyone was ready at 6 0’clock and on our way we went with aunt Lydia. We left the main highway after fifteen minutes and took a bush road, my aunt drove up as far as she could go, and that was a good 40 miles. We asked her to have someone pick us up on Sunday, in 8 days.

We packed all we had on our backs and up the trail we went, looking for a river, creek or lake to set camp. About 30 minutes later we found the nicest little place to set up camp. Just beside a small river and lake with a beaver dam at the other end. After setting up camp we had hot dogs for lunch. Then we gathered all the wood we could fined, I said we may need to keep the fire going all night we may have wolves or a bear around. This seemed to scare the gang, just by thinking of the possibility it might happen.

Around noon Denis and I went out looking for partridges, we came back with 8 nice ruffle grouse, males and females. Roger asked can we go and have a look for partridges also, I said yes but stay close to the lake, maybe cross over the beaver dam. Away they went while Denis and I cleaned the partridges and then gathered up some more wood. My bother and the Carierres were back about an hour latter with their three partridges, I showed them how to clean and pluck them.

We got ready for supper and I asked everyone if they wanted to eat the partridges. No one answered and I asked again and looked at them and asked if anyone ate partridge before and they all said no and did not seem to want to. Okay we’ll all have fried baloney and everyone agreed. Baloney lots of ketchup and bread.We kept the fire lit up until we went to bed and that was around midnight, it was a bit chilly but a beautiful night with a lot of stars.

I was up at 6 o’clock the next morning got the fire going and water boiling a few burnt toast and good instant coffee; this made the others get up because of the smell. That day hunting was good, a few ruffle grouse. Also I gave them a course on how to set snares for rabbits; everyone had two snares set and could not wait until the next day. The next day we had three rabbits, Denis, Roger and I, the Carierres had better luck the next day, each catching one.

It was Wednesday and no more food left only a loaf of bread butter salt and pepper and coffee. I said for supper do you want partridges or rabbits, no one answered. Anyways I got a few forked sticks, one with a rabbit, put a little butter salt and pepper and placed it beside the fire to cook. Got 6 partridges placed them on the forked stick and did the same thing, put them to cook. As I turned them around a few times so they would not burn I pulled a piece of meat off the partridge and ate it, I said this is better than chicken that you eat at home. They were all looking at me, I said this is good. I tried a piece of the rabbit it was also great, I said you guy are just not hungry and you don’t know what your missing. Denis tried a piece of the partridge and another piece and said it’s better than chicken, they all tried it. Anyways to make this short we ate them all and cooked up a few more.

The next day we picked blueberries killed more partridges and a couple more rabbits and yes we ate that until Sunday when my father came to pick us up.I can tell you that they all enjoyed the trip and the experience of eating wild meat was never forgotten by all of us. Even up to today we a still love wild meat.


My first trip on the beautiful George River

All I can say about this river way up in Northern Quebec 175 miles north east of Schefferville and 75 miles east of Kuujjuaq. A beautiful river with 5 different kinds of fish. Atlantic salmon up to 30 lbs. artic char average size 8 to 15 lbs. Lake trout in-between 5 to 40 lbs, speckle trout nice and red from 1 to 6 lbs. and the white fish may go up to 5 lbs. The fishing is great from around the 20 th. of June. Even if the snow is still on the mountains and 2 feet of ice on each side of the river, the salmon are already on there way up.

The caribou herd which is called George River herd is over 750 thousand heads and when you see about 20 thousand moving together it’s like the mountain was moving. You may see 20 thousand heads once in a life time; usually what I’ve seen is herds of 30 to 100 and once in a while 500. When you see them in herds like this, their getting ready for their journey towards the south, getting ready for the rut and also where they will spend part or all winter.

Last September 2008 I was on the George River at Wedge Hills Lodge where I worked for the owner for a month and half. The reason I accepted to go up there was because one, I wanted to see for myself what it was like and two, I’m crazy about the nature, hunting and fishing. When we talk about work I had no specific job to do, but I ended up doing every thing. From water boy to mechanic to guide and even chef cook. I think that I fell in love with the place and I’m going back this summer for three months and even convinced my lovely wife Mado to come up as chef cook.

All the jobs were easy but one, as guide, not because I did not like it, because I was little bit scared or not to brave for my first trip up those rapids. The day I practised, with Jean Marc, the other all handyman. We left the Lodge which each a 24 foot freighter canoe and powered by a 40 horse power Yamaha turbo foot. I followed behind at about 100 feet, the first rapid 1000 feet long with waves up to three feet not to bad. But the next one that I was looking at and was already in it was huge swift and long, the waves at least 6 feet high, I looked at shore a few times and I was going backwards not moving up. I had to zigzag my way up and so did Jean Marc. After a few minutes we were up and on to the third and then the fourth which were like the first one. Jean Marc turned around and came to me and said you’re the best I’ve seen in awhile, your good and I told him I was scared as he…. We headed down the rapids back for the Lodge. When we past the last rapid just before the Lodge I waved to Jean Marc and made signs that I’m going back up alone. Back up the rapids I went and this was just to see if that scary feeling was gone. I went up 5 rapids and back down without a problem all was okay, I had done this a hundred times when I was young and it was all coming back.

Like I said I fell in love with this great and beautiful place and waiting for June to go back with my wife Mado.


Canada Geese Hunting On Marlborough Island

Canada Geese Hunting (honkers) with my Grandfather

We were at the beginning of November 1959, sitting at the super table talking about hunting, my grandparents and I. I happened to say I guess that the goose and duck hunts are pretty well over. My grandfather replied saying, weather like this, it was windy and snowing, this is the best time to go out and hunt honkers, the Great Canada Goose. If we get weather like this on the week-end Saturday or Sunday we’ll go out together. I said great that would be fun, he replied we have to dress up very warm and put a rain suit with that.

Saturday morning around 5 A.M. I was up and it looked like it would be good for geese hunting, grandpa and grandma were both getting up also. Grandfather said yes we’ll go this morning. We had a good breakfast and grandma packed us a good lunch and a couple of thermos of hot tea. Around 6:30 A.M. we were on our way with the 20 foot chestnut canoe and the 5 ½ H.P. Evinrude motor. We did not travel very fast, but we were not in a hurry we had all day. It was very cold the water from the waves was freezing on my rain suit and gloves. My grandfather was sitting in front and told me to slow down in the big waves because the canoe could break in half. Yes my grandfather was heavy a little over 300 lbs. As we approached Marlborough Island he said park the canoe on the north side, which I did. It was cold, snowing and the wind was up to 25 to 30 miles an hour. My grandfather and I looked like a block of ice, yes it was cold.

I got the ten decoys out of the canoe and set them up on the point. The decoys were a piece of wood round and the size of a goose’s body.It was burned until it was black and the neck and head was pushed on, the head was black with a little white. Then the legs were pushed on, these decoys were hand made by my grandfather. We then set the blind, which took about a 15 minutes, we were ready. The farthest I could see was about 200 to 300 feet, the weather was bad.

I could hear the honkers calling and seemed to be pretty close, I started the honk sound and they were coming straight for our decoys, 40 of them and man they were big. We both had double barrels 12 gauged shot guns. I could see them at about 200 feet and about 10 feet off the water. Grandfather said wait and don’t move their going to land on the ground. That’s what they did and about 30 feet away from us. We got up and both shot at the same time and re-loaded and shot again.I hit 5 and my grandfather had 6 so eleven in eight shots was good. We picked them up, they must have weighed a good 20 lbs. each. Grandfather said go and get some twigs with a “V” at the top, bring eleven of them. We took the eleven geese and put each a “V” twig to keep their heads up and set them with the other decoys. Got back in the blind and waited for the next flock.

We could hear the geese calling but could not see them, grandfather said probably on the other island, he told me call once in while, which I did. We could hear a flock calling and were pretty close, I kept on calling and they were getting closer. About 50 to 60 honkers straight for the decoys and around 20 feet off the water. They started turning into the wind and down they came. Grandfather said okay and up we were, 4 shots off loaded and shot again and I managed to shoot six shots. The last ones fell in the water and some on the ground very close to us, we picked up 15 big geese.

We waited for about an hour and very cold it was, we both ate a sandwich and had a good hot cup of tea. Grandfather said we should head back and I agreed. 26 Great Canada Geeses was a great hunt I said and thanked him for it.