The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Algoma 2013 - Day 4: Close Encounters of the Moose Kind

Photo by Robin Ireton

Just for a change today (I really mean yesterday, since I was too tired to write last night) we did not go grousing. Instead Bob, my new trusted "pointer", left earlier for his bait stand on his ATV and shortly afterwards Jeff and I followed to bait all four sites. Our plan was to make the run and bait mine last and I would stay to see if the bears would come earlier, like happened the previous day.

We started by Bait 16, the "Pit", and Bob's trail camera revealed that two different bears had visited it sometime after dark, a large one and the other quite small. That is the site I took the decision not to hunt. That was also the only hit bait of the four we visited. Cè la vie!

Jeff stopped to bait Bob's site at Shanty Road and Bob asked me to tell me he had seen  five grouse. Maybe he will become a bird hunter one day! When we came to the last and furthest away bait at the other pit, also on Shanty Road, I went ahead to check the bait and three grouse flushed not ten feet from me, but the 375 Holland & Holland is rather inadequate for shooting grouse on the wing!

We came back to my bait (we now call it 17.5) at around 12:30 and it had not been hit, so I decided to take my place while Jeff refreshed the bait with a large nice piece of beaver.

And I sat, and I sat, and I sat...

In order to avoid falling sleep and possibly finding a bear licking my face like my lab Tupã likes to do I got my i-Phone (No! There is no cell phone or Internet coverage here, thank you) and finished reading Aldo Leopold's Round River, a less famous work than Sandy Country Almanac, but not less important in my view, as it show a bit more about Leopold the hunter. After that I also ready some of the hilarious Galen Winter's stories on The Journals of Major Peabody.

By 8:00 PM it was getting too dark to shoot and started raining again, so I left my very comfortable chair and walked back to my truck a half mile away.

Shortly after getting the main road while i was coming around a bend in the road my headlights showed a very large dark body supported by four very long legs. It took me a few seconds to remember that they don't have horses around here and that the animal was a cow moose. I continued driving slowly as the she-moose trotted in front, but before I could snatch a picture she left the road on a pond or beaver dam and within seconds had crossed it and entered the north woods.

This may not have been such a close and personal encounter as Bob had, but it surges make you want to drive carefully. I need to drive my truck home and not leave a reck here in Ontario.

We had T-bone steaks for dinner washed down by a bottle of good French red, Chateau Haute-Tulieres. After dinner a hot sauna helped us couple with the long day and prepare us for a good night of sleep. Bing quite tired I had to write about today, tomorrow!    

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