It began with a Moose and Bear Hunting Contest in Ouje-Bougoumou in early September. I was really looking forward to the moose hunt. I went with my uncle Dave and his family to their hunting territory at Waposite Lake.

When we arrived, the camp was all we could have imagined: nice log cabins with wooden floors and propane heaters.

On September 3, I asked my uncle for his boat, so I could go out on the lake alone. The sunny morning quickly turned warm and windy. I kept checking different locations and calling without much success. Then to my surprise, on a tiny island, was a deer. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing until I saw its tail go up. Right there, I knew it was a white tail deer.

I wondered why she would be all alone on this tiny island. I’m sure she didn’t have anywhere else to go. So, I picked up my 303 Brutish rifle and aimed. Then I pulled the trigger.

After the kill, I remembered the Moose and Bear Hunt that was being organized in Ouje-Bougoumou. The regulations said nothing about a deer.

So I went to the Cultural Coordinator, James Wapachee, and registered for the deer. His was surprised to hear of a deer being killed in Northern Cree territory.

When I arrived in Ouje-Bougoumou, I skinned the animal, cut it into pieces, and had people in the community taste the meat. When the day finally ended, the whole deer was already gone.

Someone told me the Crees of Ouje-Bougoumou were not aware of these animals being released, nor did anyone inform the hunters. Varley Shecapio Blacksmith of the Cree Trappers Association said that the game warden knew nothing about the animals being released in the region.

So who knows how they got there. I guess we will never know.