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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   95

" From the end of the steel to Athabaska Landing, something over fifty miles, the deer were conveyed in waggons and were then loaded on scows for the trip down to Fort Smith. This turned out to be the most difficult part of the trip. The scows were hard to manage and a great deal of ice was encountered which hindered progress. In the end it was found impossible to get as far as Fort Smith, and it was decided to remain at a point seventy miles from the fort, where reindeer moss was plentiful, until such time as the deer could be driven to their destination, or until the spring, when they could be conveyed down the river. The herd was kept here very comfortably until the spring, and on the 20th May, 1912, reached Fort Smith, the total loss of deer en route being nineteen.

"The herd wintered satisfactorily and were in good condition in the spring. The chief herder had selected a suitable place for them west of Fort Smith on a point jutting out into a lake lying south of Great Slave Lake. There is plenty of reindeer moss in this locality and it seemed in every way suitable for the keeping of the herd. However, the flies became so troublesome to the herd in the summer that they stampeded and, at last reports, had not all been gathered together again.

"A new range for the deer has been selected on a large island in Great Slave lake and it is the intention to move the remainder of the herd there this spring.

"Considering the difficulties of transportation, the shipment was taken through with comparatively small loss; but the success of the herd is not fully assured until it is certain that they can be controlled and prevented from stampeding at the time when the flies are most active. If matters go satisfactorily with them for another year, it may be advisable to consider increasing the number by a further shipment."

 

MOOSE

The European moose was formerly under domestication and proved valuable for transportation purposes in the cold northern countries. It is on record that it once hauled a sleigh 234 miles in one day. For divers reasons—the chief one being that exiles used it to effect their escape—it became unlawful to maintain the moose in captivity in some countries. Probably it would have developed into a valuable domestic animal for northern latitudes had this prohibition not been imposed. It is possible also, that the Canadian moose, which is of greater size and strength, could be developed into a domestic animal of value. Several cases are recorded of its being successfully used for draught purposes, in the first generation from the wild state. It is but just to add, however, that the moose has not yet been bred in captivity.


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