(additional reporting by Paul Rickard)
The results are in. It wasn’t a good hunt for many.
An early spring ruined many people’s hunt this year and in some places thegeese are still arriving. People in the south are reporting 1,000’s of geese feeding in the fields. Other people are saying the flying timetable for geese is changing. Still others notice seeing geese in smaller numbers than in the past Whapmagoostui Isaac Rupert bagged the first goose. This was one of the few communities where most people were satisfied with the hunt The Chief, however, didn’t do as well as most of the other voters according to himself.
Chisasibi Lawrence Scipio got the first one. Overall most people felt the hunt was pretty slow. Apparently the hunt was good for some people, worse for others and ended up evening out overall.
Wemindji 1st goose shot down by Oliver Visitor. Numbers of geese taken is down from last year as the snow and ice disappeared too early. Families that used to come back by snowmobile couldn’t this year. This was good news for helicopter pilots who had to work seven days straight canying stranded families back to the community. Most people took less than half the expected numbers of geese.
Waskaganish Not available at press time.
Eastmain Patrick Mayappo had the honour of the first goose on April 21. Hunting was about the same as last year in this community.
Nemaska Abel Jolly is thought to have killed the first goose. The hunt was worse than last year’s and the geese weren’t flying. People blamed the weather and said it was too cold. The only two good days had a strong south wind and the geese flew on by most hunters in this community.
Mistissini Don MacLeod once again at his favourite spot., out his back window. It was slow this year in Mistissini. Hunters say the big flocks that usually come through haven’t arrived yet Hunting so far wasn’t as good as last year. Late breakup is blamed as one of the reasons. People are back but some are still hopeful and sit in blinds after work.
Ouje-Bougoumou Walter Capissisit is credited with the kill. People said this year’s hunting was about the same except flying and landing patterns were off. Geese were landing in other places than normal. Snow was slow in melting, according to hunters, and this affected the hunt The O.J’s will be having a Goose Festival June 16-17 with children’s activities on the 16th and a walking out on Saturday, June 17. Everyone is welcome to attend the festivities.
Waswanipi Clarence Saganash cooked his goose the earliest. People aren’t really complaining but most said it wasn’t as good as last year. Some people aid okay though and some people are still hunting as the geese are still flying as of press time.
Attawapiskat Billy Wesley is rumoured to have killed the first of the season. “The geese went right through and didn’t hang around. But people got their share, it was an early spring and not too much ice,” said Chief Ignace Gull.