Moose Hunting Trip

It was Sept. 1981 my buddy Reno and I decided to go out moose hunting in Northern Quebec,
30 miles west of the Daniel Johnson dam, (hydro quebec). The Manicougan Reservoir, Manic 5.
Friday morning the first week-end of September. It was also the last week-end for trout fishing.

At Lake Louise that morning Reno the pilot yes another Reno were waiting for us. We tied the 16 foot chestnut canoe on to the float of the PA18 Supercub. All the baggage on board, Reno and I and up we were for a place called Cross Lake.

As we approched the lake I could see fresh tracks on the sandy beach. Landed and pulled up to that beach. I was the first one off and first thing was to look at those tracks. Yes fresh , this morning I said. It's a cow, nice big cow. It was 11am and a lot of time ahead of us to do some hunting today.

Reno the pilot was up and away, just had time to wave good bye. All the baggage was on the nice sandy beach and Reno was checking the place to put up camp. He said right here and I replied, good.

Once the tent up and everything inside, I said Reno, we will be quiet for a good half hour, no noice at all. He said okay. About half an hour later, not a sound was to be heard. I pulled out very slowly, from my packsack my two dried hardwood sticks. These are 2 feet long and 2 inches in diameter. I gave them to Reno and whispered, kock them together two to three times every 15 minutes, hit them hard together. I left for the bushes behind the tent. I also told him don't stop until I either shoot or I'm back here. It was 3:30pm, just the right time to get her interested.

I walked 100 yards and stopped and listen for a few minutes. I heard nothing. I walked about another 100 yards and heard my buddy hitting the sticks together. I stopped and listened. I continued for another 100 yards. Listened and nothing. I was about 500 yards from camp. I could see on my right side and in front of me for about 1o0 yards. But on the left, the bush was thick. I could see about 15 feet, without moving. I'll stay here and listen.

It was close to 4pm and very quiet, I could hear my friend hitting the sticks together about every 15 minutes. I listened and listened. Then I heard somthing like a rubbing sound on the spruce branches, it was close and on my left. I said to myself it has to be the cow. No cracking sounds. Then again, the rubbing on the branches and it was very close. I could hear it breathing and another brushing sound. It was very very close, and it was starting to get dark, I had to go to the toilet and fast. I could hear it breathing, it was close, I could not hold on any longer, my gut was going to bust, down went my pants, in that sitting position, I saw it, the big dark just about black colored cow, beautiful cow take off. She was only 20 feet away from me. That is really close.

I said to myself oh no, what did I do and what am I going to tell my buddy. I guess things like this do happen at least once in a life time.

I got back to camp, Reno was laying on the beach and making signs to me to be quiet. He pointed accross the Lake and said right there. We had no telescope. I said it looks like a moose standing on a hump. Reno said that's what I see also. It was to dark to shoot and you don`t shoot if your not sure at what your shooting at..

There was a moose around and if we want it we had to put all our luck together. No cooking to-night. We had a lite lunch sandwhiches and a couple of drinks. Time for bed, it was 7pm and see if that cow is still interested, with all that humain odeur and plus, she may be far gone tomorrow...

We are here for one whole I`ll continue this story next week.


Ice Fishing in Northern Quebec & Labrador

Another great ice fishing trip with my wife in Northern Quebec. I t was a beautiful day.

I looked at the thermometer and it was +2 C. No wind. I was 7AM and said Mado it's a great day to go ice fishing. A quick reply okay you want to go fishing.

The lunch was packed, a hot thermos of coffee and one with tea. Started up the snowmobiles, hooked up one sleigh and our way at 8:15 AM.

We headed for Ashtray Lake to one of my special places. It was a one hour drive and the trip was wonderful. Did not see any caribou on our way down. Ashtray Lake is 30KM from the town of Schefferville.

Got the shovel out of the sled and shovelled six spots clear to the ice. A distance of 30 feet from each. I checked the distance from the shore and said we should be in the good spot. Four to six feet of water under the ice would be excellent. Got my ice cutter out and running. the depth were perfect, I had what I wanted 4 to 8 feet was good.

Got my roll of green line 60 pound test, big chromed hooks and bait. My bait were suckers (carp) the best bait that the natives use for winter fishing around here. Also went and got a few big birch branches,at least 1 1/2 inch in diameter. They have to be strong enough, because there are big lakers here and that's what we wanted, the BIG one's.

We had all the lines in and it was 10:45 AM. At exactly 10:50 AM yes five minutes later Mado had a bite on her line (she said her line because it was the first line to move) It was biting on the bait and giving pretty hard jerks. She ran for the line, said don't pull it up yet, wait until it's really hooked on. I tie my line with a loop in it with a half bow. That means that when the fish bites and feels no tension on the line, it swallows the bait while moving with it. Once the loop is pulled to it's complete extension about 5 to 6 feet. The line stops and the hook is in it,s throat. No way your going to lose him unless the line breaks. Mado saw the branch move, she grabbed the line and started pulling, she yelled it's a big one. Beautiful laker at the first look it 's about 15 to 18 pounds I said. She was happy.

We got a second one about 20 minutes later and this one was mine. About 10 to 12 pounds. I did not bring my weight scale. I said we will weigh them once at home. Mado ran for another line that was moving. She stood close and waited. She pulled out and other beauty, maybe 15 pounds. We wanted to have lunch put impossible, the lakers were biting like crazy. Mado pulled out another one. I had another one on my line ran to the line and waited. It was nibbling at the bait. Maybe to small to bite on those big hooks. I waited. Mado yeld I got another one. I was waiting. It was starting to pull the line, I grabbed the line and jerked it. I had it and to my surprise a beautiful speckle trout and not a small one. Mado said I say 5 pounds. I said no around 6 to 7 pounds. We'll see at home.

I said you watch the lines, I'm hungry and want to have lunch, because this is also part of the fishing tip. I picked up a few pieces of dry branches and wood. Lit the fire, got the sandwiches out and toasted them. Mado yelled again I have another one, it was another nice laker. I said to myself if we want to eat, we should pull the lines out and besides that we had enough fish for a few weeks to come. 6 lakers and a speckle trout was more than we expected. Mado said one more I want to catch a speckle trout also. We ate our toasted ham sandwiches. Great coffee for me and tea for Mado. We fished another hour and Mado got another one, but not a speckle it was another big lake trout.

It was 1:30 PM. Pulled the lines out, packed the sled and headed for home. Did not see any caribou on our way back.

I weighed the lakers and the smallest one was 12 pounds, the biggest 22 pounds and that speckle weighed exactly 6 and 3/4 pounds. The biggest speckle trout caught last winter in the region was 14 pounds and the record last summer Manahec was 17 pounds 4ounces. That was a beauty.

Another great fishing trip and I said it in my others stories this place is paradise for fishing.
Not to forget we burnt (tanned) by the sun and wind while driving our snowmobiles. It's a beautiful country.