Our First Bull Moose on the Romaine River

On the Romaine River once again with J.M. my brother-in-law. It was Friday just before supper time. I was on duty as Chief of Police for the Municipality of Havre St Pierre. When J.M. came knocking at my door. He said I need a partner to come hunting with me on the Romaine River for the week-end. I said that’s impossible for me I have to work all week-end. Did you ask your cousin Michel? He can’t come. Also I said there is a lock-out at the Mine Q.I.T. at midnight. No I can’t go. If I bring you back tomorrow morning, just come in for the night. I’ll ask my constable if he wants to replace me for the night shift.

All was fixed up, it was 5:30 p.m. and we were waiting for J.M's wife to come back with the jeep. 6.0’clock no jeep. I called my buddy, S.Q. police Julien if he could bring us up to the Romaine River. In 10 minutes he was parked in front of my mobile home. We tied the canoe on the jeep, luggage aboard and on our way we were. Half hour later canoe on the river everything aboard and up the Romaine river we went. The weather was great and about half an hour of day light left.
It was a little past 7 p.m. when we arrived to our Island “Iles des Officiers”. Set up camp, got ready for super, it was 8 p.m. The weather was great, not a breeze of wind, it was chilly and to night was the full moon, 17th September 1975.

After our nice tasty supper and as always it was cold roast pork. We decide to take a walk up along the sandy beach of the Island. This took a good hour return. We did not even see a moose track. I said to J.M. that’s good they didn’t come, but will tonight.

J.M. got his big hip waders on and the moose call show began. I cracked a few dry branches, J.M. walked into the water imitating the moose, stopped. We listened for awhile and he gave a soft low call of the cow in heat. Waited and then the imitation of the cow urinating in the water…listened walk out of the water. I cracked a few dry twigs and listened, not a sound could be heard and it was totally quiet.

We stood on the beach for a half hour and J.M. did the soft call just a little loader. We listened for a good hour and then decided to hit the sack. It was close to 10 p.m. I was rolling out my sleeping bag when I heard a grunt noise. I said to J.M. did you hear that, he said what. I said a grunt. I turned out the gas lantern and out the tent we went slowly, not a sound’ we made. We listen a good 20 minutes and then another grunt sound just across the river. My heart started pumping, I could not hear nothing, just the booming in my ears. I touched my heart and I can tell you it was beating at a least 200 per minutes. I bit on my teeth holding them together with a lot of pressure for a couple of minutes my heart beat slowed down. It grunted again, it seemed to be close about a couple of hundred feet from us, in the bush. We could hear the branches cracking and it’s heavy breathing.

It was the full moon and as I said not a breeze of wind and it was very chilly J.M. and I were in our long john’s. We took each our turn to go back to the tent and got dressed. Every move I made I could hear I was making a noise. I picked up my sleeping bag and decided that we were spending the night outside on the beach.

A good hour had passed and not a sound. Not even a crack J.M. gave the soft cow call. Not an answer. Tried it again, not a sound. It was close to midnight and we then heard a sound of outboard motor coming up the river. It passed us and head up about a mile higher when it stopped. Some hunters that probably were working the evening shift.

It was 02 am. When J.M. called again, he said I guess it’s gone. I said I’ll give it my bull call, J.M. said yes do it. I think, I only had half of the call out, when it answered load and close just across the river 100 ft. from us. Man oh man my heart beat started again an twice as load. I could see the moose, just a 100 feet away, it was the full moon, not like day light but pretty close. J.M. passed me his rifle to have a look at it in the telescope. There was a blue line all around the moose. It had its head up and was trying to smell us. We did not move an inch. It walked into the water up to its belly, always had its nose straight up. It was 75 feet away from straight us. It stood there for a good hour. Then suddenly it turned and started running out of the water and into the bush, what a noise it was making, breaking every tree in it’s path, all we could hear was the cracking sound and the grunting. It then started running up the river. This was around 03 am. J.M. gave the cow in heat call, it still was running. I said it's going to cross on to the Island. J.M. said, give the bull call. I did and it stopped, we could not hear it anymore. I gave another bull call, it answered and was coming back breaking everything on its way. It stopped in front of us, about 20 feet in the bush. We waited and waited. This is when we heard for the first time ever, the sound of a horse, the exact sound of a horse when he blow’s and his lips hit together. It stopped and not a sound, but we knew it was there.

It was close to 06 am. and daybreak had started, we could see the other side of the river 100 feet away, no more than that. JM said give it your best bull call, which I did without hesitating and out of the bush it came and into the water. It was big, it was huge, it crossed about half of the river, 50 feet from us. J.M. had it in his sight (telescope) he shot, the moose buckled up and fell. It was floating in three feet of the water. We tied it behind the canoe and crossed to other side. It was floating pretty well. J.M. said we will bring it back to the dock, three miles down river. It took an hour with the 6 horse power motor. We pulled it onto the dock and I gutted it.
J.M. hitched hiked back to town to pick-up his jeep. Came back with the family and a few friends. We picked up the moose all in one piece and installed it on the trailer.. It was a huge bull.
I can say that we weighed every piece with the bones, the hind and front quarters, the spine with sirloin and back straps, the neck, all that together weighed 620 lbs. Total overall weight was good 1000 lbs. After receiving the results from its teeth extraction, that bull was healthy for its age, which was 14 ½ years old. The rack was 5 big horns on each side.
The caribou season for the outfitters just ended here in Northern Quebec. Canada. The hunt on the beautiful George River was a 100% success rate. In March to the end of April 2009 is the great Snowmobile Adventures. A 150 milles round trip for groups of 12 real interested snowmobilers. A 8 day trip with 5 days at the lodge, hunting ptarmigans, snaring rabitts, ice fishing big lake trout and even the possibility of winter caribou hunt. All guided by natives and live their culture.
If interested contact Fred by e-mail at