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Wild Life In Canada | by Angus Buchanan



Canada, in a great belt that runs from sea to sea, across the southern territory of her dominion, is the civilised, rapidly growing country which we all know to-day. Therein, in out-of-the-way places where mankind pass not too often, there are still quantities of big game and fur-bearing animals and wild-fowl to delight the lover of nature and solitude. But it is not of such places that I write in this narrative-not of the outdoor places that are within reach of those who inhabit the populated south country of Canada; for the wanderings which it has been my good fortune to experience, and which henceforth I will endeavour to describe, were through a part of the great unpeopled North, which even to-day comprises more than half of the large Dominion of Canada.

TitleWild Life In Canada
AuthorAngus Buchanan
PublisherMcClelland, Goohchild and Stewart, Limited
Year1920
Copyright1920, McClelland, Goohchild and Stewart, Limited
AmazonWild Life in Canada

By Captain Angus Buchanan, M.C., Author of "Three Years Of War In East Africa" with numerous photographs by the author

To D. F. B, A Great Lover Of Nature And Every Aspect Of The Clean Broad Outdoor World In Fair Weather Or Foul, And Who Kept Fresh In Me Even Unto Manhood The Ever-Eager Delights Of Boyhood In All Living Wild Things

-Preface
So great is the far north territory that there is many a hundred miles on which no white man has yet set foot, and even where the white man has been, in the distant interior near to the Barren Lands, ...
-Chapter I. In A Frontier Settlement
The railroad terminates at the crest of a stiff incline a mile short of the head-waters of Crooked Lake. The rural train, which travels the roughly-laid single line on alternate days, completes the mo...
-The Police
Ya, Stranger, he answered. The iron hand is raised, our stripping of the forest is done, the river and the mill can do the rest. Ah ! Been in the woods, Ryan ? Ya. Quit now ? ...
-Chapter II. Out To Lake Ile A La Crosse
I was setting out on a long expedition into the North, through little-known territory, west of Hudson Bay, on exploration and natural-history research. I had left my collecting shack on the Plains...
-Outfit For Expedition - Hunting Equipment
12-foot split cane fishing-rod. 12 bore shotgun. 303 Ross rifle. Mauser revolver and belt sheath. Revolver cartridges, 50. Rifle cartridges, 100. Shotgun cartridges, No. 10 dust-shot, 100. Shotgun...
-Photographic Outfit
Camera stand. Developing tank. Thermometer (in tank). Extension back to camera. Dark-room lamp. Acid hypo, 6 tins. Film-packs, 6 tins containing 8 dozen each. Rytol developer, 8 bottles, 22 tabloid...
-Tents
Silk tent, 8 feet x 10 feet, which packs into very small bulk, and weighs but a few pounds. Ground-sheet. Grub for two men for two weeks (allowing that we kill fresh fish and meat en route): ...
-Tents. Part 2
We saw then how foolhardy we had been to attempt the journey; how complete might have been the disaster at the very outset of our undertaking. We had learned a lesson on overhaste, but, strange as ...
-Tents. Part 3
Crooked Lake, May 13. Early Nesting Mallard To-day found a Mallard's nest containing three freshly laid eggs ; the nest being in a cavity almost on the water edge in a low willow-covered bank. This...
-Tents. Part 4
To obtain a photograph of the nest's interior, Joe and I made a ladder by felling two young poplars 25 feet long and setting them against the tree next to the nest, thereafter nailing on cross-rungs u...
-Chapter III. Seeking The Sandhill Crane
One evening in May found us quietly moving along the east shore of Lake lie k la Crosse, when the sun was lowering in the west and a soft, damp-tempered haze hung around the bottom of the dome of the ...
-Seeking The Sandhill Crane. Continued
A few minutes sufficed to finish breakfast and start on the trail. Our search did not meet with immediate success, and by eleven in the forenoon our eagerness was rebuffed and considerably abated, wh...
-Chapter IV. On The Great Churchill River
It is difficult to measure the distances one travels in passing through new country, so one seldom attempts it. When the question arises of travel about to be undertaken, or that has been accomplished...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 2
The following morning we resumed our journey and were soon to learn that we had rapids and typical hard river voyaging to contend with. During the morning we encountered three rapids. The first we ran...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 3
The following morning, June 5, we found our course soon after pushing off. Below Primeau Lake we ran Crooked Rapid and part of Knee Rapid, after making a short portage over the rocks at its head where...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 4
It commenced to rain after midday and we got miserably wet before evening. During the day the following birds were observed: Leconte Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, ...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 5
June 10 In the early morning we bade a goodbye to Hans Madson, who looked on with melancholy visage at our departure : God knew when next he would see a white man ! Not likely another to pass his w...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 6
June 13 Having secured some specimens yesterday-among them an adult Northern Bald Eagle-I was busily employed skinning all morning. After lunching we again pushed forward, our course swinging we...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 7
Dragon-flies are now about the shores, and have been in evidence for the past three or four days. They commonly fly back and forth at height of the tree-tops (say 40 to 50 feet) or else very low aroun...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 8
So we stayed in camp all day, I skinning and looking over my case of specimens, Joe cooking meals over a spluttering fire, and baking a few days' supply of sour-dough bannock from the sack of flour. ...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 9
June 21, 22, And 23 During those days we camped at Stanley Mission Post; the 21st was a Sunday, and we took things easy, on the 22nd much time was spent at the Hudson Bay Company's post, replenishi...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 10
June 24 It was daybreak at 2 a.m. and the rain was easing outside the tent. By 4 a.m. we were hauling up tent-pegs and preparing to leave Stanley. There was a light wind from the north, but it was ...
-On The Great Churchill River. Part 11
In the afternoon, after spending some time searching through one or two of the islands, we reached the end of Island Lake and there located Frog Portage on the south shore opposite an island, where th...
-Chapter V. Reindeer Lake And Fort Du Brochet
Reindeer Lake! Fort Du Brochet! Names remote on the map of Canada, names situated in that Far Northern hinderland where so few have come into being that each denominates a kingdom of virgin country wh...
-Reindeer Lake And Fort Du Brochet. Continued
The small, log-hewn, square-built cabins are weather-beaten and grey like time-worn boulders on the wayside, and stand solitary as sentinels on a bare, treeless, grass-grown knoll. The Fort -the build...
-The Pike
This fish, commonly called Jack-fish in Canada, is that long-snouted, somewhat repulsive fish that everyone knows; and it needs not description. Its flesh is quite edible in northern waters, but never...
-Chapter VI. The Barren-Ground Caribou
At the south end of Reindeer Lake, soon after striking north from the great Churchill River, one is vividly made aware, even in summer, that the land of vast Caribou herds has been reached. There at t...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 2
Those notes contained for me one main idea- that Lac du Brochet was a particular winter haunt of the Caribou. That thought caught hold and took root. Hence you have found me entering the Land of th...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 3
Meantime, in the northern latitude the seasons were changing. By mid-September the leaves of the birch trees had completely faded to tints of yellow and yellow chrome, and many had fallen. Summer b...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 4
I took down my rifle and we filed out of the cabin and started off. Outside the night-sky was dull and grey, but a fair light was thrown on the snow by the cloud-obscured moon, which was full. L...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 5
It was then about 10 a.m. It was still snowing, but less cold-not a bad day to stand about in; and as the Caribou was a fine animal I decided that this was a good opportunity to secure a museum specim...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 6
However, to return to my pack : after caching the Caribou, I loaded up and continued homeward. On the way I encountered three more lots of Caribou but did not molest them. It is noteworthy that the wi...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 7
However, to return to the Caribou and the main object of this narrative, during my winter travels I was fortunate to see thousands upon thousands of those graceful animals. Once in particular I wit...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 8
If you have found Caribou country in winter, and can put up with intense cold, you will find that the actual shooting of these animals is not difficult. They are stupid animals once you have frightene...
-The Barren-Ground Caribou. Part 9
Caribou, which are strong swimmers, are also killed in numbers when swimming lakes in their early Fall migration. Some Indians on the borders of the Barren Lands make kills in this way, but they are p...
-Dressed Fur Skins
Hide dried first by stretching on the circular inside of teepee-thus drying by the heat of the fire alight on the ground in the centre of the interior ; skin then rubbed with brain (or soap) and worke...
-Dressed Fur Skins. Part 2
There then remained open, to any animal that might enter the enclosure, only the narrows leading into Sand Lake, where I and the camera would be hidden. It was night when we had finished and return...
-Dressed Fur Skins. Part 3
It snowed heavily overnight, and we awoke in the morning to thrust our heads through the foot of snow that covered us in our sleeping bags : the thermometer had dropped also overnight ; and altogether...
-Chapter VII. Sled-Dogs Of The North Trails
Without sled-dogs there could be no winter travel over the great territories of the Far Canadian North, and consequently little or no fur trade. Possibly you have never had occasion to think of such a...
-Sled-Dogs Of The North Trails. Part 2
I will leave now the sled-dogs of the Frontier and deal entirely with the more pure, more attractive types of those that are common to the borders of the Arctic. Perhaps some of the finest dogs I hav...
-Sled-Dogs Of The North Trails. Part 3
Everywhere in the North native laws of man and beast are stern, even merciless; the outcome, perhaps, of living half the year face to face with the powerful elements of winter, eternally fighting for ...
-Sled-Dogs Of The North Trails. Part 4
Pure Timber Wolf Female: In Captivity, To Improve Breed Of Sled-Dogs. The total fish caught in this way varies. If a complete freeze-up does not set in over-rapidly, one man may have 8,000, another...
-Sled-Dogs Of The North Trails. Part 5
The hardest sled-driving is when passing overland : guide-rope in hand, at one time urging the dogs uphill, at another time righting the sled if a bad canting slope, or a hidden stump, has overturned ...
-Chapter VIII. The Trapper
Day was breaking, and cold mist, less white than the virgin snow, hung over the land ; slowly it was lifting now that the long winter night was over. Gullfoot came to the door of his cabin, fumbled...
-The Trapper. Part 2
About noon on the previous day I had landed at Gullfoot's cabin greeted by the fierce barking of his dozen sled-dogs, whose clamour he came out to quell while welcoming me in. It was then bitterly col...
-The Trapper. Part 3
If wild-fox fur is to remain a valuable asset to Canada, digging out the young in the early spring should be made illegal by law, or limited by law to a very stringent degree. The export of live foxes...
-The Trapper. Part 4
1 Through the Mackenzie Basin, notes on mammals by Roderick MacFarlane. The handsome Cross Fox has many variations of colour, brought about by a greater or lesser amount of greys and a correspondin...
-Chapter IX. Leaving The Lone Land
The winter ! the brightness that blinds you, The white land locked tight as a drum, The cold fear that follows and finds you, The silence that bludgeons you dumb. The snows that are older than...
-Leaving The Lone Land. Part 2
Thus warm hand-shakes, which had nothing of conventionality about them, sent me on my way, while a parting volley of rifle shots followed from the shore as we mushed the dogs and sped out over the fro...
-Leaving The Lone Land. Part 3
This journey undertaken, so far as I was concerned, was now simply a question of straight trailing. Four hundred miles away, following a route almost due south, lay the Pas and the Hudson Bay Railway ...
-Leaving The Lone Land. Part 4
Reindeer River course is not used as a winter route by the Indians, a more direct and untwisting course being chosen in preference to the west of it. January 3 In the dark of early morning, as w...
-Leaving The Lone Land. Part 5
Especially were the children more bold. In the Far North they were wont to retire, at a white man's approach, to hiding within their teepees, like frightened rabbits to their warrens; here, however, t...
-Chapter X. Animals And Birds Collected And Observed
List of Mammals, and where Collected and Noted during this Expedition of 1914.1 Moose Observed Crooked River, May 13. Two observed above Pelican Rapids, Churchill River, June 2. Had fresh meat f...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 2
Arctic Fox, White Fox Many skins were seen east of White Partridge Lake, twenty miles south of the Barren Grounds, November 26, and this species was known to be common in the neighbourhood. One tak...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 3
California Gull? (Larus Californicus?) Three observed over the Saskatchewan River, Prince Albert, May 5. One taken Shagwenaw Lake, Churchill River, June 1. Nesting on island on Sandfly Lake, Church...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 4
Observed Pelican Lake, Churchill River, June 4; Trout Lake, Churchill River, June 15; Reindeer Lake, June 28 ; numbers at south end of Reindeer Lake, July 3. Few observed Reindeer Lake, July 10. Re...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 5
Golden-Eye (Clangula Clangula Americana) Observed Big River, May 9. Very numerous Crooked Lake, May 12, 13, and Beaver River, May 19. Numerous, in flocks, Shagwenaw Lake, Churchill River, June 1. O...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 6
Red-Backed Sandpiper (Pelidna Alpina Sak-Halina) A female, Churchill River, June 8, above Sandy Lake, shot on small stony island, in company with seven semipalmated Sandpipers. Semipalmat...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 7
Two observed north of Fort Du Brochet, December 12, and large pack seen on December 13. Observed December 15. On December 18, after searching three days without observing single bird of this species, ...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 8
American Hawk Owl (Surnia Ulula Capa-Roch) A male taken on Lake Du Brochet, August 1. Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle Alcyon) First pair observed on Beaver River, May 16; few pair Beaver River, May...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 9
Canada Jay (Perisoreus Canadensis Canadensis) One immature bird, taken in Reindeer Lake, July 11, is somewhat difficult to place. It compares well with one of about the same age from forty mile...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 10
Pine Grosbeak ? (Pinicola Enucleator Subsp. ?) Observed bird which I thought was this species on the Cochrane River, July 25. Purple Finch (Carpodacus Purpureas Pur-Pureus) Two adult males ta...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 11
Tree Sparrow (Spizella Monticola Monticola) A male taken on Reindeer Lake, July 11 ; two pairs breeding on an island, first of this species seen on this expedition. A female, Fort Du Brochet, Ju...
-Animals And Birds Collected And Observed. Part 12
Observed Cochrane River, July 18, 19, and noted that they appear to be breeding here. Numbers observed Cochrane River below Du Brochet Lake, July 29. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla Cedrorum) A male t...







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previous page: The Psychic Life Of Insects | by E. L. Bouvierpage up: Books on Nature, Flora and Plantsnext page: Wild Life In Central Africa | by Denis D. Lyell