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alternating short naps with walks to get my blood in circulation I whiled passed away an hour or two or three hours. The caribou now commenced moving again and finally passed beyond another ridge. By that time the wind had freshened enough so that it deadened I no longer worried about the sound of my walking. All I now had to guard against was being seen.

When next I came in sight of the caribou they were still too far from cover for successful shooting. At five hundred yards I could easily have killed two or three of them, but we I needed the whole band. I was preparing for another long wait when all of a sudden the clear outlines of the animals became hazy and I realized that a light fog was coming up. Only the future could tell whether this would be for good or evil. The fog gradually thickened until the caribou were swallowed up in it. Knowing that my eyesight was a little better than theirs, I now crawled ahead until I saw the outline of the nearest first one through the mist. Evidently this was a straggler well behind the others and a wait was again necessary. The caribou were slowly grazing away from me, as I could tell by the gradual disappearance into the fog of their single accidental rear guard. As this animal faded I crawled ahead, and when it became more distinct I stopped. After about half an hour of this intermittent slow pursuit the fog rolled away and the entire band were clear before me, some of them at the foot of the slope down which I was crawling and others on the level beyond. The nearest were perhaps a hundred yards away and the most remote about three hundred and fifty. I was in their clear sight now, but that only meant I must keep still, or else move only with such stealth as makes imperceptible the progress hides the movement of the hands of a clock. No wild animal is intelligent enough to be frightened by a thing which does not seem to move.

During all this time I had been worrying about the success of the hunt with relation to what my companions might do. I was afraid that from the seacoast where they were traveling they might have seen the caribou outlined against

Last edit about 1 month ago by Samara Cary
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the sky on top of one of the hills. My general rule was well understood, that two men must never go after the same band of caribou, and I knew that under ordinary circumstances the boys would obey. But this was no ordinary situation case. They were worried and ill and their lives and mine were at stake. The problem would present itself to them as to whether it might not be possible that I had failed to see these caribou and that I had by now proceeded in my hunt perhaps ten or fifteen miles beyond them. Had that been the case so the thing to do would have been to let Emiu try. He was not a very good hunter, having had little experience. I think up to this time he had killed only half a dozen or a dozen caribou in his life - all of them on our expedition. I feared that the decision might have been made that he should try the hunt. Even when working with a concerted plan, two hunters, in my opinion, are not so good as one; when working without plan either may easily spoil the other's chances. When the fog lifted my mind was at length freed from this worry, for the caribou were in a position where they could not be approached except from my direction and a hunter coming up behind me would be bound to see me as soon as he saw the caribou. That would be his warning to keep hands off.

As I wanted the whole band, I now used a method of shooting designed to that end. When described it may seem cruel but it is in reality the least cruel of all methods, for by it every animal fired at will be dead within a few minutes, while an indiscriminate blazing away, not uncommon among hunters, whether native or white, will allow wounded animals to escape to a torture that will end days later either by death from the wounds directly or from wolves that will get a crippled wounded animal more easily than those that are unhurt.

A caribou shot through the brain will drop so instantaneously that it frightens the herd. One shot through the heart will usually sprint at top speed anything up to a hundred yards, and that frightens the band still more.

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Neither of these shots is, therefore, possible if you want to secure an entire band. I accordingly waited until an animal near the middle of the herd, but not very close to the other caribou, presented its side to me. I then took careful aim so that the bullet should pass through the body just back of the last rib. An animal thus wounded will stagger at the blow but will not run. It evidently has no idea of what has happened but feels a pain or discomfort which induces it in a few minutes to lie down in a manner identical with the quite quiet lying down of a well-fed ruminant that is going to rest and chew the cud. Caribou are like sheep about imitating each other. If one runs they all run, and if one lies down they are very likely all to lie down. The noise of the rifle does not startle the arctic caribou, for it resembles the cracking of lake ice, which sound is frequently repeated any day the temperature is rapidly dropping. Such changes of temperature happen often enough so that caribou in winter seem to be in constant and placid expectation of loud and sharp noises. When the wounded animal lies lay down, the others will accordingly glanced at it and then went go on feeding. In this case I took my time and As an additional precaution shot two others similarly, upon which not only they lay down two or three but several unwounded animals lay down as well.

Being gregarious, animals, caribou at a distance from the main band will run towards the center of the band if frightened. I made use of this principle in killing the next animal which was the one farthest from me. I waited till it faced this animal was faced slightly towards the herd and then put a bullet near the heart. It ran at top speed for forty or fifty yards towards the herd and then fell so suddenly that it turned a somersault. This startled the herd and the animals that had lain down of their own accord jumped up, but they were reassured by seeing the wounded still lying apparently placidly at ease.rest. I now followed by shooting these animals at the outer edge of the herd band both towards the right and the left. When each fell the animals ones nearest would run away from it towards the center of the herd. It was perhaps around the fifth or sixth shot that a stampede

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was threatened, for one animal started off determinedly at right angles. I don't think they would have run far because of the quieting effect of the wounded that were lying down, but in this case I was able to kill the leader and that stampeded back those that were immediately following.

At this stage the herd did not give the impression so much of being frightened as of being dazed or puzzled. A thing that startled me had no effect on them - shots began to be fired behind me and the bullets whistled over my head. I knew in a moment, of course, that it was Emiu and was thankful that he had not interfered sooner. He must have been two or three hundred yards behind me and it is not likely that more than half of his bullets took effect. Whether they did or not was a matter of no consequence, for the animals were all within easy reach of my rifle and the stage of their wanting to run away had long passed. When I had shot all the others I killed also the three originally shot through the abdomen, which were still lying quietly with their heads up, much like cows, resting at ease in a pasture.

I have told this story from my own point of view and have given details to show the reader what sort of hunting methods it was we had used for year after year of self support on the expedition of which Knight had been a member. Uniform success under what often seemed the greatest handicaps had developed quite naturally the firm confidence which Knight so often expressed. and in which he so frequently expressed his confidence thereafter. I have even heard him say, and Noice has said the same thing, that sick and five hundred and fifty miles from the nearest neighbor they never worried about a possible failure of the hunt. The disease of scurvy does not impair the appetite and Knight used to say that while he kept wondering how long it would be till he got the next square meal and that while he was also getting pretty tired of being sick, the idea of death from starvation never bothered him. When they story has been told either by Knight or Noice I have frequently heard the criticism, made by their audience that they did not tell it in such a way as to bring out the element of suspense - our distance from the nearest human beings, the illness which crippled our party and

Last edit 28 days ago by Samara Cary
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the uncertainty of getting game in time. I have always sympathized with these critics, for both my memory and diary tell that I was a bit frightened. at the time. I have had the feeling that in the subsequent rapid and exhilarating recovery when they got plenty of underdone meat to eat both sick men must have lost the memory of their previous gloom and worry.

It took only three days until the acute symptoms of scurvy had disappeared. There had been the blackest gloom in their minds and pain in their every joint, but both, vanished disappeared after three days of underdone and raw meat. Their traveling strength came back more slowly and it was several nearly weeks until we were on the road again. It was Only after we got back to “civilization" that did I realized that this experience had planted in the minds of my companions a faith in the safety of northern travel even greater less qualified than my own.

A year after the events experiences just related, that part of our expedition of which Knight was a member was wintering on the north coast of Alaska. I had gone [made a] three hundred-miles by sledge journey to the Mackenzie River trading posts and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police establishments at Macpherson and Herschel Island to buy dogs, and on the journey this I had contracted typhoid fever. It had been my plan to take a small party about two hundred miles northward from the north coast of Alaska in March (1918), camp on a substantial floe and drift with it for a year, living by hunting. According to our views the floe should have drifted in twelve or thirteen months to a place somewhere north of Wrangell Island or perhaps north of the new Siberian Islands. It had been the tentative plan that our party would abandon this floe either at the end of one year or two, years and travel south, landing either on Wrangell Island or on the coast of Siberia. We had relied so often on the game supply of the open ocean that it did not seem to us particularly dangerous to undertake this previously untried adventure. I have never in my whole experience been so eager to do anything. But the typhoid made it impossible, for I was flat on my back for more than four months. In this emergency the journey was undertaken by my second-in-command, Storker T. Storkerson. Knight was one of

Last edit 25 days ago by Samara Cary
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