Moose Hunting Trip Lac Allard Quebec

Moose Hunting Trip Lac (lake) Allard

It was the first week-end of September 1977 my brother- in-law Jean Marie said we should go out hunting at Lac Allard. It’s the last week-end for fishing and the opening of the moose hunt. Lake Allard was a 30 minute flight in. I said I’ll ask Madeleine if it’s okay to go. Oh boy she said, are you crazy, no and you can’t go out fishing our hunting. I said I’ll be very careful and Jean Marie said that he will do everything. He’ll prepare the camp and all I have to do is lay on my lawn chair, listen and watch. Yes I had broken my ankle a month ago. I had a big cast up to my knee and was on crutches. We had a couple of days to get ready. I told Jean I’ll give you a positive answer to-morrow morning. I knew that I would get a yes and my chances were pretty good.

The next morning I called Jean Marie and told him that was a big yes. He replied and said great. I booked or flight last night. We have to be at the plane no later Than 6:30 AM.

It was exactly 6:30 AM we were at the lake and the Beaver float plane was ready. J.M. and the pilot tied the 16 ft. cedar canoe onto one of the floats and then load our baggage aboard. Oh yes not to forget my lawn chair. J.M. asked me how did you convince Madeleine. I replied, remember one of those first books we bought on “ how to hunt and call moose” The one that Paul Emile Goyer wrote. Well in that book just about at the very end. There’s a part that’s addressed to all the ladies saying that “ never try to stop your loved one from going on a moose hunting trip” That is one of the worst things a women can do their loved ones. J.M. laughed and said yes I don’t think I would have thought about giving that as an answer.

Up and away we were like I said about a 30 minute flight and it should be a little less as we had a tail wind. Twenty minutes later we are over Lac Allard. It’s about 5 miles long and about a half a mile wide A few good points and sandy beaches and a nice looking lake for moose hunting. J M said to me that; point there at the middle looks good. I said yes, okay with me, I won’t have to walk too far. That’s where our pilot dropped us off and up and away he went. I said to JM if I ever get rich one of these days, that’s what I want to buy a Beaver with floats Look at him climb. There’s a lot of power in that engine.

I noticed a couple of old moose tracks on the sandy beach, maybe a week or two ago. I said to JM it looks like a cow and a bull. Which it was. I tried to help JM a bit, but he said no I can do it myself and if you fall you may break the other ankle. I said okay; give me a hand with the lawn chair. I was set about 100 feet from JM and this for a reason. A moose or any wild animal is always curious to new and unfamiliar sounds. So they try to sneak up to see what’s going on. My job as JM said was, he wanted me to watch and listen.

Around noon everything was in place and JM was making us a snack with a good cup of coffee that he had in his big thermos. The weather was beautiful and pretty calms a few wrinkles on the water. I said to JM we are the only ones on the lake. Did you see anyone? No, and not even a campsite or cottage on this lake. I guess it’s to close to the mine Q. I. T. and the railway track. JM said that we will start our little moose show around 3PM with nice little calls, nothing to loud. If we have to, we will do that in a couple of days. I asked how long are we here for? I asked the pilot to come and pick us up next Thursday or before if they we were to get bad weather.

It was 3 PM and JM with his hip waders on and was doing the cow moose walk and as usual and then the cow in heat urinating in the water. Yes he had brought me my dry twigs that I cracked just before he started his walk into the water. As he came out I cracked a few more twigs. We listened for about 10 minutes and not a sound. He bent down in front of the lake at one foot distance and gave the soft calling sound that sounds like a mosquito, waited a few seconds and repeated the same call. We waited and listened and let me tell you I was comfortable on my lawn chair. I even had a pillow and blanket. A half hour later he did the same call and no louder. He asked me; did you hear any echo. No not at all. It was close to 5PM when he gave another couple of calls but a little louder, no echo.

JM whispered to me and said I’m going to walk over to the other point and sit there for a while. I’ll be back around dark and you; no walking around. Don’t worry about me your just like your sister.

It was calm and not a sound to be heard. I picked up my 30.06 to make sure that it was okay. So all I had to do was sit and relax. I said to myself, I had not planned to do the moose hunt this fall and here I am and more than that I’m also on a fishing trip.

It was close to 7PM and starting to get dark, I could barely see the other side of the lake, I could see JM coming and THEN. I heard splashing sounds in the water and it was regular. Not to loud but I could hear it clear and it was getting pretty dark. It was on the opposite of JM. I picked up my rifle, took the safety and aimed in that direction with my finger off the trigger, I think my whole eye was in the telescope. It was about 250 feet from me, it was big I could see the head, the moose a big bull, but and I say but, you don’t shoot when your not sure. I still thank the lord today. It was a moose head in a canoe with two guys paddling on lake.

They stopped to talk with me and they also taught that they were alone on the lake. We talked for a few minutes; I told them that they scarred the hell out of me. They left us a couple of rabbits for a pack of cigarillos. We only smoke cigarillos after the moose is down and with a nice shot of cognac.

Remember what I said “you have to no what your going to shoot at and that 100% sure before you aim and pull that trigger”.

We had a light supper and hit the sack at 8:30 PM. JM said it looks like bad weather coming in and to-morrow is Sunday and the last day for fishing. We have to go fishing and nothing is going to stop us.

The next morning I was up at 5AM. A little wind for the northeast and we could hear the little drops of rain falling on the tent. At daybreak I was outside listening and trying to see if anything was around. It was 7:30 AM all was quiet and nothing in site. JM was making breakfast and it looked like we were going out fishing for the day. The lunch box was ready.

Attached the 4HP motor to the canoe, all the baggage, rifles and our way to south end of the lake. When we flew over I saw a nice river with a few rapids. It was 10AM when JM pulled ashore; he took his fishing rod, tackles box and rifle and said I’m going to fish down rapids. I said I’m going to fish from the canoe; there are too many rocks for me to try and walk around here. I’ll try it about 100 feet above the first rapid. That’s okay, but be careful.

After getting everything in place and seated comfortably. I gave it my first cast and yes I had one and nothing small, it jumped about three out of the water and what a fight. I knew after seeing it jump like that, that it was a “Ounananish “ we call them in French it’s a “landlocked salmon”. It took me a good ten minutes too bring it close to the canoe. I heard JM yelling, I got one and it’s something big, I yelled and said me to. It was a nice size landlocked salmon a 8 ½ lbs. A beautiful fish. We fished for a couple of hours. We did a lot of catch and release. We kept 12 landlocked salmon, weighing from 51/2 to 12lbs. and we kept 20 nice speckle Trout, weighing from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs. This was great and it was time to get back to our moose hunting.

It was 5PM when we got back at camp. Nothing seemed too have moved around here. No moose tracks. JM said I’m hungry and I think were in for an excellent lunch and dinner. With this rain I’m cooking a couple of speckle trout and I'll cook them outside the tent. I replied that was a what I was thinking also. We will also bury the left over. Not to leave any greassy smell around for that big bull.

That was a great supper, those trout melted in our mouth and with a bottle of white wine it was still better. JM said, no calling to night, but if it’s nice tomorrow we will give it our best shot. Tomorrow morning we will start our show very early. I said okay. It was around 10PM and the rain has stopped and the wind had died down. It was time to hit the sack.

During the night we could hear two wolves howling to each other. It seemed that they were on each side of the lake. This went on for a good hour or more as I fell asleep on their howling.

Monday morning and I was up at 4AM. Had a look outside. It was bitch black, nice and no wind. JM got up and said I fell asleep on the howling of the wolves. That a means that theirs something around and their interested in it. I guess the same thing as we want. We had a light breakfast, no toasting or frying and the left over coffee.

At 5:45 daylight had started to appear. JM with his hip waders on and me with my dry twigs. The show began. I was well installed on my lawn chair. About half an hour after his two soft calls, we got an answer, but it was soft and far. It was the call of a cow when she’s either with her calf or the bull. It sounds just like the owl call, not three times but two hoot, hoot. We waited a good hour and the repeated the two soft calls. It was noon and know answer. JM said if she’s with a bull, we have to do everything we can to convince the bull that I’m a cow in heat. We had a little snack and waited.

It was 3:30PM and JM gave two longer soft calls and we waited. I was hardly breathing; I could hear everything, even a bird landing on a branch. I heard a CRACK, a loud crack at the same place JM was the night before, out on the point. We didn’t move, we listened and watched. It was and I still remember like It was yesterday. They were coming around the point and straight for us, non stop. The cow in front and the big bull about 20 feet behind her. JM had his rifle up and ready, he was just waiting for the bull or cow, either to move from one side or the other. The bull was in the open, I say 300 yards, POW. The bull stopped, the cow looked at the bull, the bull turned to his right, walked about 15 feet and fell down on his right side. The cow headed straight for the bushes yelling the call that cows does to keep her bull with and this until she was far enough that we could not hear her anymore. It was done and yes my heart was going at 150 miles an hour. We shook hands and JM took off for the bull. Yes me behind hopping on my crutches. What a sensation and what a trip even on crutches.

I helped JM even if he did not want me around. As he opened the stomach to empty it, I held the legs. JM said that’s all were going to do for now. I will cut it up in quarters tomorrow and I’ll call the dispatch to pick us tomorrow afternoon.

We were out the next afternoon. I say it again what a trip. Both hunting and fishing on crutches. The antlers measured 52 inches. A beautiful and healthy bull. What a trip.