Desperately seeking moose

Casey

Casey

Yellowknife, N.W.T. – Gord Gin does not give up easily. We are cruising Graham Lake in the Northwest Territories, desperately seeking moose. Our small group includes Kay from Australia who, no surprise, has only heard stories of the largest species of the deer family that may weigh more than 300 kilograms and top two metres in height. She wants to see one.

In a small boat, under a bright blue sky, we motor into serene bays, constantly scanning the shoreline for signs of wildlife. Gin is our host at Yellow Dog Lodge, a fly-in fishing lodge about 55 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. He assures us that bear, wolves, lynx, wolverine, porcupines and yes, moose, live in the Arctic taiga around us. But today they’re hiding.

As much as we would love to see a postcard-perfect Canadian moose, we three visitors are pretty happy with our stay. We left Yellowknife via floatplane to land at Yellow Dog Lodge and sure enough, before the engines had stopped on the Air Tindi Cessna 208, Casey, a large, friendly Labrador retriever, had wagged his way down the wharf. (I noticed that Casey, the perfect host, said goodbyes to the group leaving before turning his full attention to us.) Everything about Yellow Dog Lodge was welcoming: the lack of formalities, the cabins, the lakes and the fact that you couldn’t see another sign of civilization.

Gord and Kathy Gin took over the lodge in 2006. In the 1970s it had been owned by Duncan Pryde, a fur trader, member of the territorial legislature and author of Nunaga, My Land, My Country, a story about life with the Inuit. Pryde was one of those larger-than-life northerners. There are plenty of tales about him; Gord related a few one morning as we hiked. Accompanied by Casey we did a loop, starting uphill on crunchy moss, through stands of spruce, past juniper and wild cranberry bushes. We stopped on rocky ledges and looked down at the lodge and the lakes.

Later we trolled for trout on Duncan Lake. In less than 10 minutes, two of us caught silvery, one-to-two-kilogram fish. Then Gord did what is apparently mandatory on a fishing trip: he brought out the beer and we bobbed in the boat, pondering such important questions as would the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline ever be built in this peaceful neck of the woods and why weren’t more fish biting? It was a great morning, rounded off by having those fish we did catch for lunch back at the lodge.

As for our moose hunt, we were unsuccessful. But when we cruised up a marshy channel of the Nicholson River we did get to hop out and hike to a waterfall tumbling from yet another peaceful lake.

Two things to note about a trip to the Northwest Territories: this is the place to go if you are starved for sunshine; in summer it averages 23 hours of daylight. And don’t even think of hiking without a net over your head—I swear the mosquitoes save themselves for visitors.

Explore More:

For more information on Yellow Dog Lodge visit its website at www.yellowdoglodge.ca.

For information on travel in the Northwest Territories visit the Northwest Territories Tourism website at www.spectacularnwt.com.

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read