Indian Mode of Hunting – Beaver

Jul. 30, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 87

Indian Mode of Hunting.

I.—Beaver.

Wa-sa-Kejic came over to the post early one October, and said his boy had cut his foot, and that he had no one to steer his canoe on a proposed beaver hunt. Now nice, fat beaver, just before the ice takes, is one of the tidbits that come to the trader’s table, and having spare time just then I volunteered to accompany him, knowing I would get a share of the game. As we made our way over the several small portages between the large lake on which the post is built and the one in which he had located the beaver, he told me there were two lodges on the lake to which we were making our way. We pitched our tent on the last portage, so as not to make a fire near the beaver. Beavers have very poor eyesight, but very acute hearing and smell, and once they are frightened the sport for that night at all events is finished.

We had something to eat and then started for the lake, leaving our tent and things ready to return to after dark. Smoking and talking are forbidden when one is in a beaver lake; care also must be taken that the paddle does not rasp the side of the canoe. The beavers had built an immense dam across the discharge of the lake, and left a small cut in the middle for the overflow to pass. Here Wa-sa-Kejic placed a No. 4 Newhouse trap in about 4in. of water. On a twig 9in. high and set back about a foot from the trap he placed a small piece of castorum. The smell of this attracts a beaver. Then he lengthened the trap chain with three strands of No. 9 twine, tying it to a stout pole, which he planted very, very securely in deep water, out from the dam.

The beaver, when he finds himself caught, springs backward into the deep water and dives to the bottom; here he struggles to get away until shortness of breath compels him to rise to the surface, and this is repeated until the weight of the trap is too much for his exhausted condition, and he dies at the bottom, from whence he is hauled up by the hunter when next visiting his traps. After placing the trap on the dam Wa-sa-Kejic opened another ready for setting, tied the poles, and had every thing ready; then giving me implicit injunctions not to make the last noise, told me to steer the canoe quietly
to the lodge, which was fixed in a small bay out in the lake. When we reached the beaver’s house, he carefully placed the trap in the same depth of water as he had done the previous one, with this difference, that he omitted the castorum, because, as he told me after ward, the beavers went on top of the house every night, the young ones to slide down into the water, and the old ones to do any necessary plastering. Another trap was set at the next house, and from there we paddled the canoe a considerable distance from the beaver works, and figuratively rested on our bars until sundown.

We were now going to try still-shooting them. Be fore night sets in about sundown each fine evening in the fall the beavers leave their lodge, first, to eat the young willows along the shore, and after satisfying their Hunger to patch the dam, plaster their houses and cut young trees to store up for their next winter’s food!

They come to the surface on leaving the lodge, and unless something frightens them swim on the surface in and out along the borders of the lake until they see a favorable spot to go ashore; and here they set to nibbling the bark of young birch or poplar, and if the hunter is careful may be shot at close range.

As I said before, talking while hunting beaver is forbidden; and the hunter conveys his wishes to the steersman by signs, thus: To draw his attention he oscillates the canoe slightly; to move the canoe ahead the motion of paddling made by throwing the open hand inboard; to alter the course of the canoe is done by signing with the hand either to the right or to the left, as desired; to stop the canoe’s headway when getting too close to the game is done by gentle downward patting of the hand, etc.

Being already versed in this dumb language, we shoved away and took up a position near the lodge, but to the leeward of it, and waited. The sun having already gone down behind the forest, on the other side of the lake, we had not long to wait until a beaver broke water and swam away in a direction from us. Wa-sa-Kejic shook his head, as much as to say, “We will go after that fellow later on.” The first was followed quickly by a second, a third and a fourth! Then, after waiting for fully fifteen minutes and no other appearing, Wa-sa-Kejic made signs to go ahead; this we did slowly, without taking the sharp-bladed paddle from the water. Presently we heard a noise as if a pig were supping up from a trough. This was one of the beavers crunching up young twigs in the water. The canoe was edged slowly toward the land, with Wa-sa-Kejic on the alert, both dogheads full-cocked and ready for action. Presently the downward motion of the hand was given, the gun brought deliberately up to the shoulder, and the next instant the explosion, followed almost as one shot by the second barrel! A thick smoke hung between us and the shore, but we could hear kicking and splashing of the water; that told the shot was true. The beaver had ceased to struggle by the time we reached the shore. ‘”But for what was the other shot?” I asked Wasa-Kejic.

“For that,” he answered, pointing to another beaver, stone dead on the bank; and then he laughed, for there was no necessity of keeping quiet any longer, for the shots had frightened any other beaver in the vicinity.

“We may as well go to camp now,” continued Wasa-Kejic, “and we will see our traps in the morning.” From the fact of our having come ashore late, and perhaps more because of the hearty supper we made off of roast beaver, we did not awake until the sun was high. We, Immediately partook; of a hasty breakfast of tea Gallette and pork and went to see the traps. “Fortunate?” Well, yes! We found one in each trap; and returned during the afternoon to the post.

The Indian gave me the meat of two beavers for myself. He left his traps set to visit at some future time, because there were several animals yet in the lake. Describing the mode of killing beaver would not be complete unless we explained that of “trenching.” This method of killing them is largely practiced by the Indians after the lakes and rivers are frozen over. I cannot do better than to describe a small lake that Wasa-Kejic and I went to trench in December. This beaver lodge I had found the very last day of open water, for that night the wind turned round north and froze up everything! As it was close to the post, and I had found it, I simply made a bargain with Wa-sa-Kejic to do the trenching for a pound of tea. In those days tea was tea in the remote interior, and meant many a cheering cup to the Indian.

Wa-sa-Kejic whistled his dogs after him when we left camp in the morning. The lake lay in the hollow of a mountain of considerable height, and could be compared to an inch of water in the bottom of a teacup. Before we were half down the precipitous sides we saw the dogs nosing around the shore, scenting for the beavers in their “washes” or breathing holes. Wa-sa-Kejic, when he cast his eye around the small body of water, said, “This is an easy lake, and the beaver will soon all be dead.”

He now produced an ordinary socket chisel of 1 in. point, and in a few minutes had this handled with a young tamarack about 6ft. long. We each carried an axe, and the first order I got was to cut some dry sticks that stood at the discharge, each stick to be about 4ft. long. These, as fast as cut. the Indian drove across the creek after he had cut a trench in the thin ice from shore to shore. This was to prevent the beaver from going down the creek. The next thing was to break open the lodge from the top. This was done to scare the beavers out into the lake and make them resort to the washes. The
beaver washes have their entrances under water, and go up sometimes a considerable distance from the shore, terminating generally under the roots of a tree. The beavers flee from wash to wash, as the hunter finds them out, and as each wash is discovered by the dogs (which scent the beavers through the frozen surface) the hunter stakes up the entrance to prevent them from returning.

Beaver washes vary in number according to the formation of the lake, from two to three up to twenty. The practiced eye of the hunter tells him at once ‘if the lake has few or many. And this is why Wa-sa-Kejic said we would soon kill the beaver. At last the three dogs remained pointing and listening about 12ft. from the shore under a spruce of considerable size. The Indian set to work to stake up the entrance, which he did as fast as I could furnish the sticks. On the shore of this barricade he cleared away the ice and snow, making an opening about the size of a bar rel head, and then he paused, and pointing to the water said, “See frat! That’s the beaver breathing!” This was shown by the water’s surface gently rising and falling.

He now took off his coat, and baring his right arm up to the shoulder he gave me the ice chisel and told me to pierce the ground where the dogs were pointing. I had hardly given a blow or two before I saw Wa-sa-Kejic stoop over the hole and plunge his naked arm into the water. Instantly it was withdrawn, and a big fat beaver, securely seized by the tail, was struggling in his grasp. A blow of his axe on the spine finished him in quick order, and this was repeated from time to time as I continued to enlarge the hole where the beavers were huddled together under the roots. We got six out of this wash, and two out of another, which constituted all that were in the lake. Two each made a very good load for us going home, and the next day I sent a man with a flat sled to bring home the remaining four. The three principal modes of killing beavers are by shooting, trapping, trenching.

Martin Hunter.
Saguenay County, Quebec.

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Abstract

Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account [...] Read more →

Zulu Yawl

Dec. 10, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 477-479

Zulu.

The little ship shown in the accompanying plans needs no description, as she speaks for herself, a handsome and shipshape craft that a man may own for years without any fear that she will go to pieces [...] Read more →

Mocking Bird Food

Mocking Bird Food.

Hemp seed……….2 pounds Rape seed………. .1 pound Crackers………….1 pound Rice…………….1/4 pound Corn meal………1/4 pound Lard oil…………1/4 pound

 

Home Top of Pg. Read more →

Vitruvius Ten Books on Architecture

VITRUVIUS

The Ten Books on Architecture

TRANSLATED By MORRIS HICKY MORGAN, PH.D., LL.D. LATE PROFESSOR OF CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY

IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND ORIGINAL DESINGS PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HERBERT LANGFORD WARREN, A.M.

NELSON ROBINSON JR. PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE IN HARVARD [...] Read more →

Slaughter in Bombay

From Allen’s Indian Mail, December 3rd, 1851

BOMBAY. MUSULMAN FANATICISM.

On the evening of November 15th, the little village of Mahim was the scene of a murder, perhaps the most determined which has ever stained the annals of Bombay. Three men were massacred in cold blood, in a house used [...] Read more →

The Public Attitude Towards Speculation

Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.

THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE TOWARD SPECULATION

THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an [...] Read more →

Fed Policy Success Equals Tax Payers Job Insecurity

The low level of work stoppages of recent years also attests to concern about job security.

Testimony of Chairman Alan Greenspan The Federal Reserve’s semiannual monetary policy report Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate February 26, 1997

Iappreciate the opportunity to appear before this Committee [...] Read more →

Beef Jerky

BEEF JERKY

Preparation.

Slice 5 pounds lean beef (flank steak or similar cut) into strips 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, 1 to 2 inches wide, and 4 to 12 inches long. Cut with grain of meat; remove the fat. Lay out in a single layer on a smooth clean surface (use [...] Read more →

A History of the Use of Arsenicals in Man

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

The Billesden Coplow Run

*note – Billesdon and Billesden have both been used to name the hunt.

BILLESDEN COPLOW POEM

[From “Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq”]

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of February, 1800, when Mr. Meynell hunted Leicestershire, and has since been [...] Read more →

Historical Uses of Arsenic

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

Classic Restoration of a Spring Tied Upholstered Chair

?

This video by AT Restoration is the best hands on video I have run across on the basics of classic upholstery. Watch a master at work. Simply amazing.

Tools:

Round needles: https://amzn.to/2S9IhrP Double pointed hand needle: https://amzn.to/3bDmWPp Hand tools: https://amzn.to/2Rytirc Staple gun (for beginner): https://amzn.to/2JZs3x1 Compressor [...] Read more →

Sea and River Fishing

An angler with a costly pole Surmounted with a silver reel, Carven in quaint poetic scroll- Jointed and tipped with finest steel— With yellow flies, Whose scarlet eyes And jasper wings are fair to see, Hies to the stream Whose bubbles beam Down murmuring eddies wild and free. And casts the line with sportsman’s [...] Read more →

King William III on Horseback by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Reprint from The Royal Collection Trust website:

Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his [...] Read more →

The Kalmar War

Wojna Kalmarska – 1611

The Kalmar War

From The Historian’s History of the World (In 25 Volumes) by Henry Smith William L.L.D. – Vol. XVI.(Scandinavia) Pg. 308-310

The northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, as already noticed, had been peopled from the remotest times by nomadic tribes called Finns or Cwenas by [...] Read more →

The Basics of Painting in the Building Trade

PAINTER-WORK, in the building trade. When work is painted one or both of two distinct ends is achieved, namely the preservation and the coloration of the material painted. The compounds used for painting—taking the word as meaning a thin protective or decorative coat—are very numerous, including oil-paint of many kinds, distemper, whitewash, [...] Read more →

Why Beauty Matters

Roger Scruton by Peter Helm

This is one of those videos that the so-called intellectual left would rather not be seen by the general public as it makes a laughing stock of the idiots running the artworld, a multi-billion dollar business.

https://archive.org/details/why-beauty-matters-roger-scruton

or Click here to watch

[...] Read more →

Wine Making

Wine Making

Grapes are the world’s leading fruit crop and the eighth most important food crop in the world, exceeded only by the principal cereals and starchytubers. Though substantial quantities are used for fresh fruit, raisins, juice and preserves, most of the world’s annual production of about 60 million [...] Read more →

Palermo Wine

Take to every quart of water one pound of Malaga raisins, rub and cut the raisins small, and put them to the water, and let them stand ten days, stirring once or twice a day. You may boil the water an hour before you put it to the raisins, and let it [...] Read more →

Audubon’s Art Method and Techniques

Audubon started to develop a special technique for drawing birds in 1806 a Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. He perfected it during the long river trip from Cincinnati to New Orleans and in New Orleans, 1821.

Home Top of [...] Read more →

The Character of a Happy Life

How happy is he born and taught. That serveth not another’s will; Whose armour is his honest thought, And simple truth his utmost skill

Whose passions not his masters are; Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance [...] Read more →

Carpenters’ Furniture

IT requires a far search to gather up examples of furniture really representative in this kind, and thus to gain a point of view for a prospect into the more ideal where furniture no longer is bought to look expensively useless in a boudoir, but serves everyday and commonplace need, such as [...] Read more →

Watch Fraud on eBay

EBAY’S FRAUD PROBLEM IS GETTING WORSE

EBay has had a problem with fraudulent sellers since its inception back in 1995. Some aspects of the platform have improved with algorithms and automation, but others such as customer service and fraud have gotten worse. Small sellers have definitely been hurt by eBay’s [...] Read more →

Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria. A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant [...] Read more →

Tuna Record

TROF. C. F. HOLDFER AND HIS 183LBS. TUNA, WITH BOATMAN JIM GARDNER.

July 2, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 11

The Tuna Record.

Avalon. Santa Catalina Island. Southern California, June 16.—Editor Forest and Stream: Several years ago the writer in articles on the “Game Fishes of the Pacific Slope,” in [...] Read more →

Tobacco as Medicine

The first published illustration of Nicotiana tabacum by Pena and De L’Obel, 1570–1571 (shrpium adversana nova: London).

Tobacco can be used for medicinal purposes, however, the ongoing American war on smoking has all but obscured this important aspect of ancient plant.

Tobacco is considered to be an indigenous plant of [...] Read more →

A Conversation between H.F. Leonard and K. Higashi

H.F. Leonard was an instructor in wrestling at the New York Athletic Club. Katsukum Higashi was an instructor in Jujitsu.

“I say with emphasis and without qualification that I have been unable to find anything in jujitsu which is not known to Western wrestling. So far as I can see, [...] Read more →