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.
I know now that the light is all right if used on a dark night the darker the better; but the birds, either geese or ducks, must be approached slowly and from the leeward, by poling, not raising the pole out of the water. This precaution is necessary, as the ducks would smell you if to windward, and be constantly on the wing, thereby alarming the geese, and making them restive. The other way I have had my boat poled up so near that their eyes could be seen in fact, too close for big results. The ridiculous results of our first experience with the lamp afforded much amusement to the residents of the place, and many a joke on the strength of it was cracked at our expense. Whenever the subject was broached of getting upon the birds, the lantern experiment was resurrected. In another chapter a more successful hunt with the lamp is told.
I have great reason to remember one of my goose-hunts on this (Port Joli) harbour. With a companion from the town of Liverpool, 16 miles distant, we had a shanty built in the woods, half a mile from the shore and two miles from the head of the harbour on the western side, which was and is uninhabited. This being so near the shooting-grounds, we were saved much tramping, and were always near the haunts of the game. One morning late in March we went on to Denim's Point, and spied a large body of geese feeding 300 yards off. We watched them some time, and found they were inclined to feed away, and to scatter; so when a bunch of nine fed together and in range, we levelled our rifles, one at 300, the other at 325 yards, and pulled, when over fell three dead. In my excitement, without giving the undertaking a thought, I caught up my shot and started for them. I had no difficulty in getting to the birds, and securing them, but in returning, I undertook a shorter way, which nearly cost me my life. I had proceeded about 75 yards on my return, when I slumped into a kind of quicksand, which let me down above my knees every step I took; but hoping to worry through it, I did not turn back, but found ere long that I was making slow progress, as I could not step along on account of the depth of mud, and at the same time was becoming weary. I saw at this stage it would be impossible to reach the shore with the load, so decided to stick the gun, a $50 one, in the mud, and leave it; then I could move with a little more freedom, but had taken only a few steps, when one of my waders left me, and very shortly after, the other, while my limbs were becoming chilled with that icy water. My case was becoming desperate and alarming, so I was forced to let the geese go too. To make the matter more serious, the tide was rising fast. My companion was on the shore, nearly crazy, arid I was still folly 100 yards away from him. He kept encouraging me to persevere, or I should have given up before. At last I found I was getting so weak that I could not, without help, reach the shore. I called to him that I could go no further, so then, with a stick, he started to my assistance, and when I had his shoulder to lean upon, I was encouraged, and could help myself more; besides, he had taken a course in getting to me where the mud was more solid, and when we got to that I could step better, and finally got on to firm ground. It was some little time after I sat down to rest before I could get strength enough to stand again, my companion rubbing my limbs all the while to induce circulation. Then after an hour's walk, leaning on his shoulder, we reached the hut the most delightful spot my eyes ever rested upon. Pat (my companion) was not long in getting a roasting fire on, and getting my frozen socks and clothes off and changed. Then he started for the settlement to get a team to convey me there. I went to the house of the friend with whom I always stayed, and there remained for three days before being able to proceed to my home. My gun was diligently sought after for many days, but was never found to my knowledge, nor were the waders. Two of the geese were picked up by parties who knew they were mine and very kindly brought them to me.
I could fill a book with the recitals of the very pleasant as well as perilous adventures I had in the many years Port Joli was made my gunning resort; but these must suffice, with the addition, further on, of the story of hunting moose on snow-shoes in March in its backwoods. Just here I might be permitted to say that all the neighbouring lakes and brooks therefrom into the harbour teem with fine sea trout, of which at every outing I varied my pleasure by taking large catches. Parting here with the scenes of most pleasant memory, I would recommend any one wanting a fortnight's outing, combining fishing and shooting, to go to Port Joli. Make Simon Douglas's your home, and take his son John as your guide. In the autumn there are duck, goose, woodcock, and curlew shooting, besides a splendid back country filled with moose at the calling season. With John Douglas as a guide, you are almost sure of luck. In fact, I think I would be safe in guaranteeing it.