Moose Country Minute – October 28 2017

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The guy who drives the food-catering truck had a big sign by his coffee urn last week when he pulled into the Ottawa plaza where I have a small office.

“Going moose hunting,” it read. “See you in a week.”

He is a Franco-Ontarian with a joual accent reminiscent of folks born and raised in Northern Ontario communities like Foleyet and Gogama, and he was heading to Kapuskasing with his brother to hunt his moose.

“Yes sir,” he said. “It’s going to be good.”

He arrived back at the plaza a week later, his hunting trip over, and was talking about the great disappointment of taking out a cow that wasn’t a cow — but a small bull with a spike.

It made their bull tag null and void, and wouldn’t you know it, later that day they came across a bull moose with a rack that stretched as long as his out-stretched arms.

“I could have shot it a dozen times,” he said. “I had it dead in my sights and only a hundred yards away.’

“But I had to put the gun down.”

Hunters have hunting stories like fisherman have fish stories and many, of course, are tall tales.

But I knew he was telling the truth.

It’s a good nine-hour drive from Ottawa to Kapuskasing, some 850 klicks, and it is always exciting to be on the way to an adventure, but not so exciting coming back when the adventure is over and dreams are unfulfilled.

“There’s always next year,” he said wistfully.

And then he poured me my coffee, and wrapped my chuckwagon sandwich in a napkin.

“There you go,” he said. “What’s that word you used last time … scrumptious?