Sunday, 11 April 2010

Trappers in Quebec

I spent my winter vacations this year in the forests of Quebec. There, among other things, I met several trappers. Canada is about the size of Europe but has only about half France’s population. The open spaces are so amazingly huge so you can go many kilometers without seeing any signs of civilization.
A trapper’s job is to enumerate the wildlife in uncivilized area. They earn money by killing some species and selling the furs. Thus they need to spend a lot of time in nature on their own.
Quebec has a million lakes which every winter are frozen over. Trappers use snowmobiles to travel over the frozen landscape even crossing frozen lakes. One trapper said that he does ten thousand kilometers by snowmobile every winter surprisingly without getting lost.
They know a lot of survival techniques:
-they know how to fish through holes cut through ice on frozen lakes. Then they know how to make fire over frozen lakes to cook the fish. It’s amazing to see fire burning on ice.
-they also know how to make shelters for spending their night in the woods. They build them with pine branches they have just cut. They are probably not very comfortable but they would protect you from the wind and snow.
-and finally they know how to set traps for every animal they hunt.
In summer they hunt big animals and travel by quad.

All these amazing and beautiful things to see and to learn about are why I loved my vacations so much.

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