This section is from the book "Moose-Hunting Salmon-Fishing And Other Sketches Of Sport Being The Record Of Personal Experiences Of Hunting Wild Game In Canada", by T. R. Pattillo. Also available from Amazon: Moose-Hunting, Salmon-Fishing and Other Sketches of Sport: Being the Record of Personal Experiences of Hunting Wild Game in Canada.
At the hour of calling we went to the meadow, but nearer the head of it, and were not much disappointed that we got no response, as the neighbourhood had been too greatly disturbed. Nor were we any more fortunate the next morning. It was.therefore decided that we would change our ground for calling that night, and we went to a bog on Big Broad River Lake a distance of over two miles. This we reached about 4 p.m., and as we stepped out on it to reconnoitre and select spots for calling and concealing, Jack noticed fresh tracks of an immense moose, judging by their size, and, in these the muddy water had not settled, showing that he had passed there very recently, and could not be far away; so we concluded to make a temporary "lean-to" for the night, which took us till nearly sundown. Then Jack took up a position on a big boulder at the very front of the bog, while Bob and I went up the bog 100 yards or more to meet him if he came down. We concealed ourselves behind small spruces, with our guns resting over them. Jack speaks: no reply. He speaks again, all are intently listening. Presently there came a rejoicing "Bwar!" but a long way off. Again we call, and again he answers, nearer than before. Now our hearts are going " pit-a-pat " at the imaginary appearance of that monster, and the remembrance of those fore legs flying about, as we had seen them the first night out. We speak again, and again he answers, but apparently not much nearer. Then we lost trace of him, although continually calling in all the wooing, coaxing tones known to hunters; but he gave no response. Yet we were on the qui vive looking up the bog, our eyes and ears at the greatest tension, with the guns cocked, expecting any moment to see our game. Dusk had come, and we had concluded to give up for the night, when suddenly, and without the slightest warning, we were greeted from a clump of second-growth birch and maple on the edge of the bog, with " Bwah I" We were prepared for anything in front of us, but coining so abruptly, and from such an unexpected quarter, I jumped well, I won't attempt to say how high, but high enough to make me conspicuous to the moose, and convince him that he was on the wrong tack. On examining the tracks in the morning, we were certain it was the same moose whose prints we had seen in the afternoon, and we found, on further examination, that he had been in the neighbourhood of the "lean-to" during the night, had taken our scent, and gone off again. We concluded to leave that ground undisturbed that day, and return the next afternoon. On getting back to camp during the forenoon, we found that Bruin, in our absence, had evidently smelt the moose meat, and had been trying to get at it, but without success. Knowing his appetite would not be satisfied without a further attempt to gratify it, we decided to sleep that night with our eyes open and lights and fires out, that we might be ready to receive him.
During that day Jack went to the lake, and brought back five ducks, while Bob and I went down the stream, and each caught as many beautiful trout of uncommonly large size as we cared to carry home. The fishing was just immense. We used, for bait, moose meat and the white grubs found in old decayed logs. The spot where we got the catch was at the head of a pool, 400 yards below where the tree crossed the stream. We each cut a pole about 12 feet long, and took our stand. As soon as we threw in our bait, the water was literally boiling with fish, which became so ravenous after a little while, that they actually jumped out of the water for the bait before it touched it. We captured thirty-three, in an amazingly short time, and from appearances could have taken three hundred and thirty-three, as they seemed just as plentiful when we left off fishing as when we began. These were the real sea trout, with bright silvery sides and salmon-coloured flesh, and were as sweet and delicious when coming from the pan or broiled on sticks before the fire as are the fattest salmon. We just feasted on them, alternating with moose-steak. We went to the meadow that night and on the following morning calling, hoping against hope that a moose might cross on to the ground after it had been disturbed; but we had no success. At night, as we had planned, with the guns all loaded, the light was put out, and the fire allowed to smoulder, while Jack took the first watch from eight to eleven, Bob and I sleeping with our guns within easy reach.
About ten o'clock Jack touched me and whispered, "I hear something outside." I touched Bob, and passed the message on. "I'll look out quietly." He did, and returned and whispered, " There is a big bear up against the tree where the fore quarters of meat are. You creep out first, Tom, and sit on your haunches; you go next, Bob, and do the same, but a little behind Tom; and I'll go behind you both, and when I say, c Ready! one! two! three!' blaze away. Aim for his shoulder, for we are so near, the bullets will rise." Thus prepared, we slipped out as planned, and saw the bear, as Jack had seen him, so intent on that feast he was never to have, that he had not noticed us.
When we had our positions, Jack's " Beady I" a pause, " One! two! three 1" " Bang-ang-ang!" all as one report, made Bruin jump, pitch headlong, never to rise again. The woods echoed in the stillness of the night with a sound resembling a man-of-war at big-gun practice. He was a big fellow, an old stager, and I doubt not an old offender. We estimated he would weigh from 350 to 400 lbs. He had a splendid skin, which I used several winters on my sleigh, and we obtained a large quantity of grease; for he was very fat.
After all the excitement, you can easily imagine sleep had fled for a time. Didn't we feel proud ? We were like " cocks of the walk." A moose, a bear, duck, and trout! It had been many a day since there was such a successful hunt. "Now, boys," said Jack, "I fully believe we'll have more luck yet, unless something goes wrong; for, do you know, I think we are going to get a shot at that big fellow to-morrow night. I don't expect anything up the meadow in the morning, as this cannonade to-night would drive everything off the ground; but I am very hopeful. When we get on the other bog, we'll change our ground some, and I think we can fool him."
With such pleasant anticipation for the closing up of our already most successful trip, we turned in for the night.