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.