The fax rings and another sheet appears from a Cree office somewhere, announcing the spring goose break and the fact that many Cree will go “missing” for the next few weeks. It is this rite of spring which seems to be pretty early this year. Back in the day, when people just disappeared for a month or two, reappearing after most of the ice had left the bays and rivers, goose break was just another season for hunting. Albeit a more fruitful one than the winter in terms of protein and fats, spring often brings fresh meat in the form of the spring goose and ducks.
This year, the official caller of goose breaks, the local schools, sent students and teachers alike packing for camps, trying to get in while the snow is still on the ground and ice is still strong enough to bear the weight of a snowmobile or sled and occupants. But there’s not much chance there. The snow has all but disappeared from the ground and the usual roar and rumble of two stroke engines are not heard very often.
I received a text stating the ice is already bad for snowmobiles on the bay and the geese are just starting to fly. This means there will be plenty of water available for the geese to land in, making the proverbial man-made goose ponds basically useless for attracting geese to ice-free waters. Perhaps another strategy will have to be developed to counter this phenomenon and think of another way to bring the waterfowl closer and within range for shooting.
I think if we took up farming and raised corn, we could attract geese closer and at the same time, have corn to eat in the fall, when the geese return. It could be a feasible strategy for the more southern communities. Hey, if it can happen in Amos, it could happen in some Cree communities, couldn’t it? We just might have to rethink our methods of harvesting wildlife, since much of the available lands around are already being converted into money-making ventures, like hydro, forestry and mining.
So lands are becoming scarce enough for the wildlife to entertain the thought of either setting aside lands just for hunting and wildlife management, or head into farming. I don’t think that I could fit into that famer image though. The thought of hoisting a pitchfork instead of a trusty 12-gauge just doesn’t come to my mind as a way for me to get my meat. But hey, what if we have too?
Farming as a way of life may be something we might have to do in the future, if global warming has its way. The south will be too parched to substain a vast irrigation system to feed all the farms and it just may be that the north, called Canada, will have to provide for the south all the vegetables and fruits. It just may be so that we will be feeding the geese instead of hunting them and harvesting them come suppertime.
The same could be true for the caribou. If not domesticated soon, they too will disappear along with the snows. If they can do that in Finland with reindeer, we could do the same with caribou. After all, anything is possible.
Who would have thought that we could watch the Stanley Cup finals in the middle of nowhere after a brisk day of shooting down geese? Who would have thought that one day, our camps would have electricity and running water? Wow, progress man. It just so happens, that like many other societies around the world who have embraced technology, so have we. Now, we are paying for that technology through global warming. Lets just hope that technology can reverse those effects soon, because I’m tired of burning my skin to a crisp just because some cow farts on the other side of the world.