Editor’s Word: This story was initially printed within the June 1953 difficulty of Out of doors Life and it displays the language and stereotypes of the occasions.

A COLD OCTOBER drizzle was soaking the Ontario bush when the previous Ojibway Indian and his spouse beached their canoe beneath our tent. That they had a little bit boy with them, kind of wedged within the bow forward of the lady, and he was yelling bloody homicide. 

They appeared too previous to be his dad and mom, and the person defined that, jerking a finger on the toddler and grunting, “Mamma useless.” 

After we welcomed them with cigarettes, the lady held the boy up and pointed to his mouth. “Harm,” she mentioned. And he wailed on the high of his voice. 

Neither my associate, Okay. Okay. (Knick) Knickerbocker, nor I is a drugs man, however we received the thought. The poor little cuss was teething, and so they’d come to our camp hoping we may do one thing for him. I rummaged in my gear for one of the best treatment we had, a bottle of aspirin. We didn’t dare give them the entire bottle for worry they’d feed all of them to the child. So I shook out a dozen tablets, broke every in half, then pointed to the face of my watch and held up half a pill for every hour. 

They had been tickled pink. The lady poked the primary dose into the boy with out ceremony. He went proper on crying, however they paid no consideration to him. 

They got here as much as our tent and the person’s eyes fell on our two 70-pound-pull searching bows and the arrows. Curious as a child with a bulging Christmas stocking, he examined the razor-sharp fringe of the four-bladed arrowheads, tried the pull of my bow. Then, after wanting in useless for firearms, he grinned at me, and mentioned, “Moose massive. String-gun too little.”

KNICK AND I had been nonetheless chuckling about it lengthy after the Indians paddled away. 

“Sincere Indian,” Knick mentioned. 

However we didn’t share all of the previous man’s doubts. I began searching massive sport with a bow in 1935, and I’ve by no means carried a gun since. Knick’s additionally an skilled archer, and he’d come all the best way from Virginia to match his bow with a moose. As much as the time of our moose hunt, I’d killed nothing greater than deer (although I’ve added moose, bear, antelope, and elk to my record since) and neither had Knick. Nonetheless we each felt our bows would cease a moose. Different archers had proved that. 

The Indian wasn’t the primary to price us underequipped for moose searching. We’d had problem discovering outfitters and guides prepared to deal with us, as soon as they realized we supposed to make use of bows fairly than weapons. 

One clothing store bluntly canceled our reservations. One other mentioned he was booked full. 

We didn’t blame them. Surprisingly few know a lot concerning the killing energy of searching bows. And since big-game guides dwell largely by the success of their events, it’s solely pure that almost all draw back from archers. Weapons get extra sport. 

It wasn’t till Knick and I contacted Archie McDonald in Quibell that we had been in a position to prepare for a moose hunt in Ontario. And I confess we’d been in Archie’s principal camp on Cliff Lake two days earlier than we let or not it’s identified we had been gunless. By that point it was too late to pack us out. 

That was lots of moose bearing down on me. I questioned what he’d do when my arrow drove into him. Would he come crashing for shore and pound me to a pulp along with his massive hoofs? 

For guides we drew Invoice Humphries an Victor MacQueen, an Englishman and a Scot respectively, and so they had been good sports activities concerning the factor. We had been to hunt in an space the place they entice beavers in winter. They assured us there have been loads of moose there, and if we had been prepared to take possibilities on bows it was O.Okay. with them. 

So the 4 of us set out for Cedar River, the outlet of Lake Wabaskang, 100 miles north of Worldwide Falls. We labored via a series of lakes—Twilight, Night, Thriller, Cliff, Cedar, Perrault—touring in two canoes with five-horsepower outboards, and portaging over rocky trails. Chilly rain fell in an countless drizzle, damaged solely by more durable squalls. We had been wind-bound on Cliff Lake, on Cedar, and once more on the decrease finish of Wabaskang. 

We made camp late one afternoon, dried our garments and baggage, and let a great fireplace drive the coolness from our bones. By morning the rain stopped, and the world started to seem like a match place to dwell. 

It grew to become an exquisite world after we took our casting rods all the way down to the Cedar and flipped our spoons on the foot of a low waterfall. We caught wall-eyes and northern pike as quick as we may take ’em off the hooks. The pike ran 10 to 12 kilos apiece. In half-hour I landed three that totaled 40 kilos. We hung a couple of in timber round camp for bear bait. We put again those we caught after that; it was wall-eyes we wished for consuming, and the river swarmed with them. 

But we discovered one of the best fishing of all at Wine Lake, a couple of miles down the Cedar from Wabaskang. Lake trout from three to 12 kilos had come up within the shoals to spawn, and so they pounced on our lures the best way a leopard goes after a goat. Every now and then we hooked lunkers that wouldn’t be dealt with on our medium-weight casting rods. We broke strains and smashed recommendations on some I wager weighed over 25 kilos. We saved no lakers, nonetheless preferring wall-eyes at camp, however we caught them on the price of 10 or 12 an hour anytime we fished. 

It was raining once more the second morning, however Knick and I had come an extended option to kill a moose and we didn’t have all fall to do it. So after breakfast we climbed into the 2 canoes and headed downriver. 

Knick and Invoice turned off the place Wine Lake has its outlet within the Cedar, however Vic and I saved on one other three or 4 miles. Then we went up a small creek and into a little bit unnamed lake that Vic mentioned was a moose hangout. By that point the wind was blowing a gale and the chilly rain had us drenched to the pores and skin. We went ashore, received a fireplace going, and huddled over it till our tooth stopped chattering. Then we went moose searching. 

Moist climate offers an archer one nice benefit over the prey. He can transfer with out noise, which he should do to get shut sufficient to attain with an arrow. Vic and I traveled slowly, combing each open place forward. Finally we noticed a modern whitetail buck, a six-pointer, coming towards us. I picked a gap forward of him within the brush and lined an arrow on it. When he walked into it I let go. It ought to have been a simple shot, since his neck and a part of his shoulder had been in sight at about 30 yards, however there was an excessive amount of thick stuff in the best way. Or possibly it was my fault. My fingertips had been numb with chilly by that point, and I didn’t get off a great launch. 

I heard the arrow thud into one thing strong and noticed the deer whirl and run. I discovered the arrow, bedded in a younger pine, three paces wanting the place he’d stood. It had brushed a twig, glanced off, and whacked into the tree. “I received a reputation for this place.” I informed Vic. “Let’s name it Arrow Lake.” 

two hunters, one holding a longbow, crouch behind a whitetail deer; vintage B&W photo
Fred Bear, left, and Knick, discover Fred’s arrow pierced the white-tail’s neck and mind. Out of doors Life

He grinned, but it surely was a feeble efficiency, and I may see he was biting his tongue to carry again some comment on my efficiency. 

It helped after I missed one other shot at an even bigger buck late that afternoon. I shot excessive, and once more I blamed my chilly fingers. However I knew higher than to alibi to Vic. We noticed seven deer that day, together with three bucks, and I may have killed all three with a rifle. By the point we received again to camp I noticed that any fragment of religion Vic and Invoice could have had in archery was pretty much as good as gone. At supper the guides exchanged vital glances throughout the hearth and acted like a few guys who’ve picked a lame horse. 

THE WEATHER broke two days later, and we noticed stars overhead and pink within the morning sky for the primary time for the reason that hunt started. We hurried via breakfast and had been on our manner earlier than dawn, operating, the canoes via a winding canyon of gold and scarlet foilage. We hadn’t realized how far autumn had superior. Geese received up in entrance of us, and an eagle soared lazily overhead. 

We separated as soon as once more, agreeing to fulfill for lunch. Vic and I noticed two cow moose that forenoon, however nothing with antlers. Knick and Invoice stalked a great buck however couldn’t get inside vary. 

At midday we met in a cove fashioned by a giant level that thrust half a mile out into the lake. We had been ending the final of our grub when a sequence of low, whimpering grunts rolled throughout the water to us. Invoice lifted a warning hand. We listened till it was repeated. 

“Cow, calling,” Vic mentioned softly. “She could have a bull along with her.” 

We received up noiselessly and laid our plans in a rush. The purpose was related to the principle shore by a neck of land about 200 yards large and timbered with open stuff. Knick and I’d have an opportunity for taking pictures there. The guides would drive, beginning on the far finish of the purpose, and if there was a bull with the lovelorn cow he’d have to return previous us to get ashore. 

Knick and I picked our stands and Invoice and Vic shoved off in one of many canoes. Ten minutes later a cow moose come out of the willows 300 yards away, splashed via the shallows, and struck out throughout the cove. When nothing else confirmed up in three or 4 minutes I relaxed. Then I heard a heavy animal coming via the comb in a rush and headed virtually at me. I caught a glimpse of brown, too gentle for a moose, and an eight-point buck got here busting out of the adlers. He was spooked, and going locations, however I had him within the open and I knew he was my buck. 

He went previous me at 15 yards, operating in lengthy, reaching bounds. I shot when he was broadside. The arrow made a great strong hit, however I noticed that I’d failed to guide him sufficient. I’d aimed for the rib part however the arrow had flashed into his flank. 

I came upon later the shot would have killed him anyway, possible inside 100 yards. The four-bladed head had severed massive arteries and was bedded in opposition to the hip bone. However I didn’t know that on the time. 

The one obvious impact of the shot was to sluggish him down. His lengthy jumps modified to quick, excessive hops. I despatched one other arrow after him earlier than he’d gone 20 yards. It sailed over his again, a clear miss. 

He was going right away from me, 40 yards off, after I loosed a 3rd arrow. That seems like quick taking pictures with a bow however my common time between photographs is 5 seconds, and the buck misplaced lots of his pace because of my first shot. 

I took a little bit extra time with that third shot. It struck him at the back of the neck, slightly below the pinnacle, and he went down like a dishrag. Once we dressed him we found the arrow had gone via the primary vertebra behind the cranium and had pushed deep into the mind. No bullet ever killed a deer faster. 

Invoice and Vic got here out of the comb in a couple of minutes, plainly disenchanted and disgusted. They’d heard no taking pictures, in fact, and I noticed it hadn’t even occurred to them there might be a kill with out gunfire. 

“See something?” Vic requested with affected person resignation. 

“Noticed a cow moose and a buck,” I replied. “The moose swam the cove.”

“What occurred to the deer?” 

“He went proper via right here,” I mentioned, pointing. 

I allow them to take the lead, and so they virtually fell over the useless buck. 

“Nicely, I’ll be damned,” Vic muttered. Invoice added, “No taking pictures or nothing.” It wasn’t lavish reward, however the best way they mentioned it made it concerning the greatest praise I’d ever had on a searching journey. 

Again at camp that evening, nonetheless, I may see the 2 weren’t satisfied {that a} bow was correct moose medication. They’d witnessed a trial demonstration and had been inclined to provide me extra credit score than I deserved, however there’s a distinction of one thing like 800 kilos between a moose and a deer, and to their mind-set, killing a moose would require a much more deadly weapon. 

Knick and I voted to strive the Arrow Lake nation subsequent morning. We’d seen loads of moose signal there and likewise a few cows. It appeared like a great wager. 

Knick and Invoice left camp first however they loitered on the best way down the Cedar, scouting for tracks, and Vic and I handed them. However 5 minutes after we paddled into the little lake they got here out of the creek behind us—simply in time for the present. 

Proper then, with each canoes in plain sight, a moose confirmed up on the fringe of the alders throughout the lake. We noticed his antlers first, excessive of the comb, after which he waded into the water. I had my glasses on him earlier than he took three steps. He was a giant bull with a tremendous head. 

WHY HE DIDN’T spot us, I nonetheless don’t know. Whereas our canoes had been pretty near shore and he was virtually half a mile away, we had no cowl. I didn’t suppose there was an opportunity we may cross to his facet of the open lake unseen. However we needed to strive. 

Vic and I crouched low and drove our canoe with exhausting, noiseless strokes. Knick and Invoice had been shut behind as we rounded the top of the lake. A brushy level now hid us from the moose, so Vic turned the canoe towards shore. I used to be out of it and into the alders earlier than its backside touched land. 

I introduced the bowstring again to full draw and heard the sharp, satisfying twang because the arrow left it.

Once I’d final seen the bull he was coming down the lake in our path, strolling slowly in shallow water about 25 yards offshore. There was a powerful wind, blowing in my favor and making sufficient noise within the undergrowth to cowl my actions. Just a few yards again within the brush I discovered a sport path operating parallel to shore, and I adopted it till I figured I used to be midway to the moose. Then I took a department path all the way down to the water. 

Unable to see quite a lot of yards alongside shore, I crouched on the fringe of the alders and waited. Nothing occurred for a minute or two, and I used to be positive the bull had heard me and turned again. However I squatted there patiently and listened. 

Then I heard him, splashing and grunting. One other 5 seconds and I caught sight of him via a gap within the bushes, 75 yards off. 

For an instantaneous I used to be as close to to buck fever as I’ve ever been. He appeared as massive as a boxcar, and I recalled what the Indian had mentioned about my string-gun. Suppose he was proper? That was lots of moose bearing down on me. I questioned what he’d do when my arrow drove into him. Would he come crashing for shore and pound me to a pulp along with his massive hoofs? 

Then I took one other look, sizing up his black bulk and his broad antlers, that shone like polished mahogany. They’d go 48 inches or higher. I considered Knick, Invoice, and Vic again on the purpose, watching from the comb, ready for my shot. 

My bow was as much as it. Was I? 

IF THE MOOSE saved his course he’d cross in entrance of me about 20 yards away. I may take on a regular basis I wished, and at that vary I may hardly miss. 

I discovered one other opening within the brush and settled myself on one knee. I may not see him however I may hear him coming. Then his neck and shoulders crammed the opening. I introduced the bowstring again to full draw and heard the sharp, satisfying twang because the arrow left it. And I used to be on the right track. The feathers of the arrow instantly sprouted out from the middle of the bull’s rib part. 

“That ought to repair him,” I murmured to myself. 

The moose flinched and stiffened. For an instantaneous he froze in his tracks. Then he whirled and lunged towards deeper water. However he made solely three jumps earlier than he stopped broadside to me. 

I had a second arrow on the string when he humped his again, stretched out his neck, and blew a crimson gush from each nostrils. I eased off my draw then, realizing he was carried out for. He turned towards shore, however his legs buckled and he went down. One arrow killed him earlier than he’d moved twice his personal size from the place the place he stood when it hit him. 

We received ropes on him and towed him ashore. Once we dressed him we discovered that my arrow had entered between two ribs, sliced via the lungs, reduce off massive blood vessels, and stopped when the pinnacle sheared off a rib on the alternative facet. The moose was useless a minute after he was shot. That’s how a searching arrow is meant to kill. 

The Indian and his spouse and the little boy turned up at camp about midday subsequent day. Possibly they smelled meat. Anyway, they heard of our luck—maybe by way of the moccasin telegraph. The child was quiet, however each he and the previous ones appeared hungry. 

Learn Subsequent: Carmichel in Australia: Charged by a Backwater Buffalo

We had two moose tenderloins hanging in entrance of our tent. I took one down and gave it to the previous fellow. He grinned from ear to ear, and the lady began to paw via the duffel piled underneath a tarp in the midst of their canoe. She got here up with a light sugar bag full of untamed rice, and handed it to us. After they had been preparing to depart the person noticed my bow propped in opposition to a tree. He appeared from it to the moose quarters hanging close to by. “String-gun loads massive!” he grunted. 

It was Invoice, the once-skeptical information, who whooped a hearty “I’ll inform the world” again at him. Throughout the hearth that evening Vic put an attention-grabbing query to me. “How a lot wouldn’t it value me,” he requested, “to get a bow like yours?”

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