Ray's Corner

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My First Moose


"...The first moose I shot I was 12 years old and I shot him with that same old shotgun and a dose of ball bearings out of a bicycle hub. My friend and I we went hunting along in, oh, I think it was about the 20th of December, and he knew of two moose not far from the house. They was about a mile maybe. So we went after these two moose this one morning. It was snowing when we left there, we left, oh, about five/six o'clock and we wanted to get down to where the moose was staying in the swamp. They was going across the road up in the choppins and eating out of this choppins and we wanted to get there on the road so when they crossed the road we could shoot them and we wouldn't have bother to go up the choppins after them. But when we got there it was still dark - they'd gone and you could see the tracks across. So the snow was packing, it was snowing hard and he said, "Step in my tracks and don't make any noise."  He said, "When I put my hand out, you stop!"


So we followed their track up in the choppins a little way - they went up this old sled road - and by and by I seen him put his hand out. So I stopped and then he motioned for me to come up careful and I crept up very careful and he whispered to me, "Shoot that moose!" and I whispered, "I don't see any moose!" and he said, "Right there!" And I was looking over the choppins and it was as dark as the dickens. I said, "I can't see any moose!" and he said, "Its right there!" and I couldn't see it. So anyway, I seen him put his gun up around this turn in the road; he pointed his gun around this turn in the road. He had an old shot gun with two bullets and all I had, I had one bullet and the other one I had I had taken the shot shell and had taken the shot out and I wanted something what we called SSG. So there was an old bicycle hub out in the shop and I broke that up and I took nine ball bearings out of this bicycle hub and I dumped it in the shell and wadded the shell full of Family Herald and Weekly Star - a paper we used to get them days - and then put the cap back on it. And I took this one bullet I had and put that in the gun first.


When he aimed the gun around the corner I was watching over in the choppins where he said this moose was and I heard "Bang!" And I heard this old cow moose fall but I could see this moose's ear flicker and he was standing behind a bunch of maples right in front of me. So I was looking over the choppins for him he was about, oh, 30/40 yards away. So I put the old shotgun up on what I thought was his shoulder - and it was dark - and I pulled and I hit a maple tree before I got to him and the bullet caromed off to the side and the tree fell over and he never moved. So I said to the other fellow, I said "Shoot that moose cause I only got these old ball bearings left!" He said "That'll get him!"; he said "Put the ball bearings to him." And I said, "No that wont hurt him!" He said, "Yes it will! I've got to finish that old cow off and I've only go one bullet left!"


So anyway, I put her up on his shoulder and let go and when I let go that old paper caught afire and lit the choppins all up and I see the moose rear in the air and he come down and started to run. And the feller that was with me said, "You got him, you got him!" He said "He wont go far; he's hit hard." I said, "Them ball bearings wont bother him!" And he said, "Yeah, you got him!" So he said, "We'll go up and finish the cow off." And as soon as I walked around the turn in the road I see the old cow setting down in the road going around and round and round with her hind quarters paralyzed that (?) runs the backbone and she couldn't get her hind quarters up. So he went up close to her and when her head came around sideways he shot her in the side of the head and killed her. And we dressed her up and then we went over and hit the calf track and followed a little ways and he said, "Look up there!" he said. So I looked up toward the hardwood and I seen the calf laying there and he was dead. So we dressed him up and we went home and got our friends and neighbours - it took about eight of us to carry two moose out. So we got eight people and we went over and carried the moose out. So from then on we always done our own hunting that way and got our own meat and shot our own meat. ..."