Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). A Book-Lovers Holidays in the Open. 1916.
The frontispiece I owe to the courtesy of Mr. Theodore Pitman, a fellow Harvard student of Archie's, whom we met on Buckskin Mountain; being both a hunter and a lover of the picturesque, he was as much impressed as we were by the scene when a cougar stood in a pine, with the Grand Canyon as a background. The photograph at the end of the book is by Doctor Alexander Lambert, and the tail-piece is from a photograph by him.
I had been told by old hunters that black bears would sometimes attack moose calves, and in one instance, in the Rockies, my informant described to me how a big grizzly, but a few weeks out of its den in spring, attacked and slew full-grown moose. I was not surprised at the latter statement, having myself come across cattle-killing grizzlies; but I wondered at a black bear, which is not much of a beast of prey, venturing to meddle with the young of so formidable a fighter as a moose. However, it is true. Recently my nephew Hall Roosevelt, who was working at Dawson City, went on a moose hunt in the valley of the Yukon. One night a moose cow passed by the camp, having first swum a stream in front of the camp. She was followed at some little distance by a calf. The latter halted near the camp. Suddenly a black bear, with a tremendous crashing of branches, came with a rush through the bushes, and seized the calf; although it was driven off, it had with its teeth so injured the spine of the calf that they were obliged to shoot the latter.
On a hunt in the Northern Rockies, Archie met a man who had two dogs, an ordinary track-hound and a Russian wolfhound. One day they came across a white goat, and before the slow creature could reach the precipice the dogs overtook and bayed it. The track-hound merely jumped to and fro, baying; but the wolfhound rushed straight in and caught the goat by the neck on one side; whereupon the track-hound seized the other side of the neck. Immediately, with two wicked backward thrusts of its horns, first to one side, then to the other, the goat killed both its assailants; the stiletto-like horns were driven to the hilt with a single jab.
The attack by the moose upon us, mentioned in the final chapter, was so unusual that I give the deposition of the two guides who were with me, and also the report of the senior of the two, the game warden, in reference to the occurrence. They are as follows:
That I have just returned from a trip in the Tourilli Club limits as a Guest of Dr. Alexander Lambert, I had the ordinary game license No. 25 issued to me on the 6th day of september instant. On september the nineteenth, on Lake Croche, having with me as guides, Arthur Lirette and Odilon Genest, I killed an old bull moose as authorized by the license, which only permitted to me to kill one moose. That afternoon, shortly after three o'clock, we were returning in our canoe to the West end of the Lake, where a portage trail led to our camp; a small stream runs besides the portage trail; when half a mile from our proposed landing place, we saw an old bull moose on the shore. We paddled up to within a hundred yards of it. We supposed that when it saw us, it would take to the woods. It however walked along the edge of the water parallel to our canoe, looking at us. We passed it, and gave it our wind, thinking this would surely cause it to run. But it merely raised its hair on its withers and shook its horns and followed after the canoe. We shouted, but it paid no heed to us; we then reversed our canoe and paddled in the opposite direction; but following us and threatening us, the bull moose turned and walked the same way we did, we renewed our former course, and thereupon so did the moose, where the water was shallow, we did not venture near it, but where the water was deep, we went within fifty yards; and it then thrashed the branches of a young tree with its antlers, and pawed the earth and advanced a little way into the water towards us, walking parallel to our canoe, it reached the portage trail, it turned and walked up this trail and sniffed at our morning's tracks, and we supposed it had fled; but on nearing the landing place, we saw it standing in the trail, and it rushed down towards us and we had to back quickly into deep water; we paddled on round the shore, hoping it would get tired and go; we shouted and tried to frighten it, but it merely shook its head and stamped on the ground and bounded in a circle; then it swaggered along grunting, it kept its mouth open, and lolled out its tongue and when it turned towards us, it ran its tongue over its muzzle, thus it accompanied us to and for an hour, cutting us off whenever we tried to land; then it turned, and went up the little stream, shaking its head, and galloping or bounding not trotting, for fifty yards, it disappeared around a bend of a stream, we waited a few minutes, and landed, and started along the portage trail for camp, after about ten minutes, the trail approached the little stream; then the moose suddenly appeared rushing towards us at a slashing trot, its hair ruffled and tossing his head.
Arthur Lirette, who is one of the game wardens of the Tourilli Club, called out to me to shoot, or the moose would do us mischief, in a last effort to frighten it, I fired over its head, but it paid no heed to this and rushed over the stream at us; Arthur again called: "Tirez, monsieur, tirez, vite, vite, vite," and I fired into the moose's chest, when he was less than twenty feet away, coming full tilt at us, grunting, shaking his head, his ears back and his hair brindled; the shot stopped him; I fired into him again; both shots were fatal; he recrossed the little stream and fell to a third shot; but when we approached, he rose, grunting and started towards us. I killed him. If I had not stopped him, he would have certainly killed one or more of our party; and at twenty feet I had to shoot as straight as I knew how, or he would have reached us. I had done everything possible in my power to scare him away for an hour and a quarter, and I solemnly declare that I killed him only when it was imperatively necessary, in order to prevent the loss of one or more of our own lives, and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously, believing it to be true, and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath, and by virtue of the Canada EVIDENCE ACT, 1893.
(Signed) THEODORE ROOSEVELT,
Declared before me, this 24th day of september 1915.
(Signed) E. A. PANET, N. P. & J. P.
Deputy-Minister, Department Colonization, Mines and Fisheries, Quebec.
PROVINCE OF QUEBEC,
DISTRICT OF QUEBEC,
Je, Arthur Lirette, du village de St-Raymond, gardien du Club de Pêche et de Chasse Tourilli, et Je, Odilon, Genest, du même lieu, en ma qualité de guide, déclare sollennellement que les faits relatés ci-hauts par la déclaration de M. Théodore Roosevelt, laquelle nous a été lue et traduite en francais par le Notaire E. A. Panet, de St-Raymond, que cette déclaration contient la vérité dans toute son étendue, et que si le dit Th. Roosevelt n'avait pas tué l'orignal mentionné par lui, que nos vies étaient en danger.
Et je fais cette déclaration solennelle consciencieusement la croyant vraie, et sachant qu'elle a la même force et l'effet, comme si elle avait été faite sons serment, en vertu de "The CANADA EVIDENCE ACT, 1893.
Le 19 Septembre 1915 Mons. Col. Teodore Rosevelt partant pour faire la chasse a l'orignal dans le club Tourilli accompagne d'Arthur Lirette et Odilion Genest comme guides vers 9 heures du matin au lac Croche du Bras du Nord le Col Rosevelt tua un original dans l'apres midi voulant sen revenir du camp du lac a l'ile avec la tete et le panage dans le canot vers les 3 heures 1/2 nous apercumes un autre original sur le bord du lac nous avons arreter notre canot nous l'avons regarder et l'orignal nous regardait bien ferocement nous etions a peu pres un arpent de distance l'on se mit a ramer pour aller au portage du lac a l'ile et l'animal se mis a suive sur la meme directions de nous nous avons retourner sur nos pas une couple d'arpent et l'orignal fit la meme chose et l'on pouvait voir qu'il etait bien enrager alors l'on se mit a crier et frapper sur le canot avec les avirons afin de pouvoir l'effayer au contraire il se mit a corné les arbres du bord du lac avec le poil bien droit sur le dos et il grattait avec ses pattes dans la terre ensuite il a pris le portage nous avons rester pour 10 minute ensuit nous avon ramer pour se rendre au portage le pensant disparu mais l'on ne pu se rendre que l'animal revenait de nouveau sur nous avons reculer de nouveau sur le lac et l'orignal est rendu dans l'eau jusquau genoux ensuite se mit de galopper et sauter et a traverser la petite Riviere et se mit a piocher et Beugler et se battre avec les arbres il a rester 5 minutes a peu pres et nous avons essayer a rapprocher encore sur terre mais imposible car l'animal est revenus de nouveau sur le bord du lac faire la meme chose ensuite il pris la petite Riviere en trottant a peu pres 200 pieds et il disparu nous avons laisser faire pour quelques instant ensuite nous avons approcher sur terre au petit portage cela faisait que n'on avait eté gardé par cet animal pour une heure a une heure 1/2 ensuite j'ai dis a Monsier et Odilion que l'on faisait mieux de se suivre et mener autant de bruit possible afin de l'effrayer mais l'orseque n'on eut fait deux arpents dans le portage j'ai apercus l'animal qui semblait nous attendre dans le petit ruisseau et la voyant qu'il y avait bien du danger pour nous tous nous etions a une distance le 30 verges de lui j'ai avertit Monsier de tirer et Mons. a pris sa carabine et a tirer en l'air afin de lui faire bien peur et de pouvoir le chasser mais an contraire en entendant le coup du fusil il foncé sur nous j'ai dit a Monsieur Col. tirer bien vite et il a tiré de nouveau l'animal qui etait a 18 pieds de nous a pen pres et il la blessé a mort il a fait deux sault en s'eloignant de nous mais il s'est retourner encore sur nous et j'ai dis au Colonel de tiré afin de le mettre à terre cela faisait une heure et demi que cet animal nous gardait.