My fourth moose hunting trip on the Romain River Qc.

Before I get into the hunting trip I would like to talk about our trip back to Schefferville my wife Madeleine and I. Yes I’m back with the Naskapi Police Force for a 3 month contract. The pay is good and the fishing season is just on its way and if you read my stories before, like they say here, Schefferville is the Capital or Paradise for the fishermen, women. When we talk about lakers 30lbs our more is not rare. Big landlocked salmon, nice 5 to 6 lbs speckle trout, big pike and corrigan’s “white fish”. On my way down we saw a healthy cow moose and two little calves. The calves could not have been more than a week old, they were small.

It was in September 1969 all the practising had been going on for the last month. My brother in law JM and I said this is the year we get our big bull. It was around the middle of September, the 18 foot Rupert’s House canoe was loaded and the 6 HP Evinrude was running and up the river we went. Yes it was the same Island, Officer’s Island. We managed to leave earlier it was about 3PM. As we approached the island I noticed tracks, moose tracks, the bull and the cow. As we got closer we noticed that they were very fresh. The cow track returned to the river and the bull track into the bush. We looked at each other thinking what will be our the plan to get this big bull.

There was another Island just a little lower about a couple of thousand feet. I told JM I’ll let myself drift to the Island before you do your walking in the water moose imitation. He said okay, I’ll wait until you’re all installed before I do my calling.

Once on the other island and ready I waved an okay to JM. He already had his hip waders on; I noticed that he was breaking small twigs by his movements. He listened for a few seconds and then headed slowly into the water. I could hear clearly the sound of a moose walking in the water, good and loud. Then I heard clear, yes very clear the grunt sound of the bull, just beside him in the bush. JM did not hear a thing by his reaction he continued the walking process got out of the water, broke a few twigs, waited a few seconds and gave the soft short call of the cow in heat.

I heard nothing, no answer after that first grunt and it was a loud one. About 20 minutes later JM gave the same call a little louder this time, I could hear the echo hitting the mountains in the back. The call was excellent, but no answer. Where is that bull? Was he still beside JM? Maybe he’s only a hundred feet away. I knew by JM’s reactions that he heard nothing.

Dark was starting to set in and JM was walking around, looked like he was checking the moose tracks. I hopped into the canoe and started paddlingback. Going up the river was hard work. I did not want to start the motor; we have to put all the chances on our side. When I arrived on shore JM came up to me asked not to loud. Did you hear something? I said you, no he replied, I said yes, just after your second or third step on the moose walk in the waterimitation, the bull gave a loud grunt, just one and I heard it loud and clear. JM said no, I did not hear a sound not even a branch or twig crack. He said are you sure you heard the grunt sound and I said yes and it was just beside you in the bush.

We discussed for a couple of minutes and came to the conclusion to camp just a little farther up on the same island and that we did. It was close to 10 PM when tent, sleeping bags, every thing set up for a light lunch, as usual peanut butter and jam sandwiches with a good hot cup of tea and the sack we hit. We did not give a call, only tomorrow morning before sunrise would be best for our chance to get that moose interested again. He smelled us and perhaps was far from us now.

The next morning at 5 AM we were out beside the river and listening. Not a sound, it was very quiet and it was pitch black out there. I managed to find a few dry twigs. It was time for the moose call, I broke a few twigs, JM walked into the water, did his moose walk, and moose urinating, and back out onto shore, I broke a few twigs and listened. The whole imitation was perfect. What I do while all this is going on is just close my eyes and listen. It’s exactly the same sounds.After a couple of minutes not a sound, JM gave his soft and short call of the cow in heat. Not a sound or answer. Twenty minutes later the cow call and a little louder. Half an hour later the same call, nothing in sight or not a sound to be heard.

We stayed quiet for the rest of the morning until 3 PM, When we started giving a few soft calls, not to loud about every 45 minutes. Not an answer, not a sound, It was even quiet on the river, no one travelling. That night are 9 PM just before going to bed, I gave the loud and long call and this I did 3 times. You could here the echo hitting three to four mountains away. Maybe tomorrow morning we said.

But no not the next morning and three more mornings gone by not an answer or a moose in sight. It was time to pack up and head home and that we did.Until the next moose hunting trip we told ourselves. We ran here and there during the hunting season, no luck at all.

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