My Second Moose Hunting Trip on the Romaine River

It was Friday after supper J.M. and I just left Havre St. Pierre, we were on our way to the Romaine River. It was 6 P.M. when we put the canoe and luggage aboard, we were heading for Officers Island a 30 minute trip with the 6 H.P. and 16 foot cedar canoe. It was 7 P.M. the tent was set up and all we had to do for the next half hour was to be quiet and listen. We heard nothing, J.M. got his hip waders on and head to the river. He stop and listen, nothing. I started breaking small twigs and J.M. stepped into the water and started the moose walk lifting his legs higher and making the same sound as a moose walking in the water. He stopped and listened, then took his birch bark moose call and dipped it into the water to fill it up. He lifted up over his head and slowly poured the water out making the sound of a cow moose peeing in the water. All this is to stimulate the bull if he’s around. He then stepped out of the water and we listened for about 20 minutes. We heard nothing; J.M. went back to the side of the river and very softly started the cow call, soft and short. Did the same call twice. We sat beside the tent and listened, we did not even say word not even a whisper, we just listened. A half hour later went back to the river and did the same call but a little louder and twice again.

It was around 9 P.M. and we did not even hear a sound, I went down to the river and gave the great and loud call in three directions, it was loud and clear and we could hear the echo bouncing off three and four mountains away. We listened for about an hour, we heard nothing and decided to go to bed.

It was pretty cold that night and when we got up the next morning there was frost on the ground. It was 5 A.M. and J.M. was doing the moose walk in the water. He got out of the water and we listened for a couple of minutes and still nothing. He started his soft and short call and as he just finished I heard a grunt sound and just across the river, I said to J.M. did you here it, he said what, the grunt sound just on the other side, he said no, but his eye’s looked like fifty cent pieces. Are you sure, he said to me, I said yes, just like on the record, the sound that I practice. We waited about 20 to 25 minutes and J.M. got his hip waders on, I started breaking sticks and into the water J.M. went and started the moose walk at the third or fourth splash it grunted again and this time he heard it. This time it was straight in front of us on the other side of the river but we could not see anything. To the other side of the river is about a half a mile.

We waited for an hour and not a sound, yes there was a sound a boat was coming up the river oh no we said. We had nothing to do but wait, we waited all morning because not only one boat went but five in all.

We had a breakfast and diner at the same time, boiled eggs and buttered bread and orange juice. Nothing fried, anything smelly for that moose, you put all the chance you can on your side when your out on the call.

It was 3 P.M. and it had been quiet for about the last two hours so it was time to do our show, J.M. doing the moose walk and me breaking twigs. We listened for about 30 to 40 minutes and not a sound. We repeated the same thing with the soft call and not a sound. It was 8 P.M. and not a sound, I went to the side of the river and gave those 3 great load and long calls. At 9 P.M. we were in the tent for supper and at 10 P.M. in bed. We heard nothing during the whole night.

Next morning at 5 A.M. J.M. did his thing, the moose walk in the water and then the soft and short call and not a sound to be heard. We did this three times during the morning and heard nothing. It was 3P.M. and did the same things and not an answer. At 6:30 P.M. we were on our back without a moose again. But let me tell you that we were very happy with what we experienced and heard the real call of a bull moose. Maybe the next time we will get the big bull.

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My first moose hunting trip.

It was a cold morning, around the end of September, my brother-in-law J.M. and I were on our first moose hunt on the Romaine River. We had been practising the moose call, female and male call since the middle of July. We had bought a book and disc to learn how to imitate exactly the moose call. J.M. was great with the female call and I with the bull call.

It was 6 A.M. and up the river we went, we planned 7 days hunting trip. The weather was beautiful not a breeze of wind and the river was like a piece of glass. We arrived at the first portage an hour later, called La Chute de l'Eglise, it took half an hour and we continued to the next portage, La Chute a Charlie, it took another half hour to portage.

We arrived at the place we had pointed out on the map, a creek and a small island where we could pitch up the tent. The distance for shooting was more than perfect. J.M. had a 308 rifle and I only had a 32 special, the distance was good for me. After every thing was set up, even our little table and bedding was all laid out. It was around noon and it was time for lunch. It still was very calm and we could hear a little water falls a bit farther up the river.

All we had to do now was wait and listen. It was 3 o’clock and J.M. said I guess it’s time to put to work what we have been studying for the past 2 months. It was time to start the moose show I called it.

J.M. had his wader’s on and walk slowly to the edge of the river, stopped and listened, then stepped in the water and started walking like a moose lifting his feet higher with every step he took. Making the exact sound of a moose walking in the water. Once in awhile would stop and listen and then slowly stepped out of the water and I started breaking little twigs. Making the sound of a moose walking slowly back into the brushes. Waited for a few minutes, we could not hear a sound it was calm. J.M. had his birch bark home made call in his hand. He started the call of the female in heat, the very soft and not to long call. Waited about 30 seconds and made the exact same call. We listened for 20 minutes and not a sound. J.M. went back to the side of the river and started the same call but a little louder doing this twice. We waited for about an hour and a half, it was close to 6 P.M. not a sound, not even a crack. It was now 7 P.M. and we heard nothing and was pretty dark, I could not see the other side of the river. We had no telescopes then. We still waited until around 7:30 J.M. walked slowly back to the side of the river listened and gave the long and loud call of the female. I could hear the echo for hitting at least three mountains away. He did it the second time and we continued to listen but heard nothing.

We stepped into the tent made our supper, nothing much peanut butter and jam toasted sandwich and a cup of tea. Got into our sleeping bags, it was cold. We listened for about an hour and all I could hear was the singing of the birds.

Then next morning was little windy and looked like rain. It was 5 A.M. and J.M. was doing the moose walk in the water, got out listened and then gave the call soft and short. Did it the second time and we listened for about half an hour and then did the second call and a little louder. We heard nothing.

We went in for breakfast all was very quiet and slowly the rain started and we could see the fog coming up the river. This went on for part of the afternoon. Then around 5P.M. it started to pour and during the night the storm started.

To make this story short the storm lasted for three days and let me tell you we were soaked and decided to pull out on day 5.

We loved the trip and I will tell more stories about our moose hunting in the weeks to come.


Canoe Expedition on the George River

Canoe Expedition on the George River

Discover the magnificent George River in Northern Quebec, which is popular for its caribou hunt as I mentioned before, the George River caribou herd is over 750 thousand heads.

The George River is also known for its Atlantic salmon, sizes range from the grill which is 4 to 5 lbs. The average size catch is 12 to 15 lbs and go up to 30 lbs. You also have the Artic Char average size 5 to 8 lbs. but can go up to 20 lbs. Then the Lakers or Lake Trout if you prefer, on the average size is 5 to 10 lbs. but may go up to 40 lbs. Then the beautiful brookies or Speckle Trout average are 2 to 4 lbs and up to 6 lbs. All this great fishing from the 20 th. June to the 30 th. September.

I shall get back to my mane subject which is the canoe expedition. This takes place from the Wedge Hills Lodge from the 15 July and ends onthe opening of the caribou hunt the 4 of August 08. It’s a 4 days and 3 nights on a 354 km canoe trip guided by local natives.

The expedition starts at Schefferville where you will spend the first night at the Hotel Royal. You may get in to Schefferville by plane or take the Naskapis train from Sept Iles. It’s a 12 hour ride and what beautiful scenery of the nice Moisie River and hundreds of lake and more river you will admire on the way up. Once at Schefferville the group is picked up either the train station or airport and transported to the hotel. The next morning is the departure with a twin Otter a float plane for a 2 hour flight up to the Lodge. You will be greeted there by the staff and be served the best meal by the chef cook. Early the next morning is the departure for the 4 days and 3 nights expedition, sleeping outdoors in this wonderful setting. You will be guided by three local native guides and living their Indian Culture. The journey is aboard three 24 foot freighter canoes with 40 HP. turbo foot motors, three clients per canoe and the third canoe for the food and equipment. You will be fishing, eating shore lunches and sleeping in tents, you will be travelling
at an average of 85 to 90 km. a day. Don’t forget your cameras and there will be a lot of beautiful pictures to take and the wildlife to see.

This is a trip you will never forget and let me tell you the fishing is excellent.