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Primary Style of Hunting?
31 July 2017, 22:23,
RE: Primary Style of Hunting?
The Voyageurs were a hardy bunch.

Outdoor expert and firm favourite of mine Ray Mears talks of them in this episode

If you've not seen his shows most are on youtube, do yourself a a favour and watch.
1 August 2017, 21:17,
RE: Primary Style of Hunting?
They were a hardy bunch. Old Ray did not mention that most were forced out of their jobs by disability.

They were not independent travelers exploring the bush, they were under contract to move goods from one place to another and those 80-90 pound packs were a brutal load on the portage.

Most were forced out of their jobs at an early age with strangulated hernias.

Most were also extreme tobacco addicts and insisted on stopping every hour or two for a pipe of tobacco.

You can travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific in Canada by canoe and your longest portage will be 8 miles over the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains.
2 August 2017, 14:31,
RE: Primary Style of Hunting?
They were the 'contract truck drivers' of their day.

Here is another fella worth looking at (I'm sure Keith knows all about him)

Not so much survival programmes but more a nice bloke providing entertainment (and some knowledge)

Most of his programmes are on youtube
4 August 2017, 13:54,
RE: Primary Style of Hunting?
(2 August 2017, 14:31)harrypalmer Wrote: They were the 'contract truck drivers' of their day.

Yes they were and their canoes were nearly the size of modern transport trucks.

Well not really, but some of the canoes reached 30 feet long and were 4 feet across the beam. They would carry up to a ton of trade goods and took 10-12 men to propel.

Those exploits were restricted mostly to our northern tier of states, the area around the Great Lakes, but the French did send exploration parties down the rivers to claim areas in the south. French explorers were into the southern country by 1670.

I have done reenactments at historic sites dating back that far. When you get to that time frame over here you are diving into historic archaeology more then document study since there are very few records of daily life and only a few artifacts. Where British archaeology requires deep digging to reach the goods all of our goodies are in the top 12" of soil and much has been plowed under by farmers.

There was a second border of French settlement along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Mobile Alabama to Boluxi Mississippi, then to New Orleans. That area was also dependent on trade for furs with the Native population.

No birch bark in the south so those canoes were generally made from hollowed logs. Some of them were made from a single tree split, and both sides hollowed, then attached together like a catamaran. Made from big trees, some of them 50 feet long and 4 feet diameter.

Many times the canoes were so long they made them double ended so instead of turning the boat around in a narrow river they would simply turn the paddlers around and go the opposite way.

That area of the Monongahela River that Kenneth labeled a haven for squatters actually had a thriving boat building industry from an early time. They were building flatboats and selling them to the settlers coming across the mountains. The flatboats were not a uniform size and each family or group bought what they required. Most were rectangular with square bow and stern, a couple of sweep oars and a rudder. They simply flowed with the current.

Since the river depths varied with the seasons many boats were built on the shore and left for the rising flood waters to float them. Even our large rivers often dried up during summer and froze during winter. Families would often camp in their grounded boats for weeks waiting for the waters to rise.

When the floods, or tides as they called them, came there was a rush of travel down the rivers to the settlements. The boats were abandoned at the jumping off points and often broken up for fire wood or shack building materials by the river town residents.

Land was never free for the taking in the U.S., it has always been owned by someone and required purchase or the fulfillment of obligations for settlement. Every square inch was owned by the Indians, the Colony, the Empire, the U.S. Government or by individuals who purchased it from one of those entities. Sometimes people thought the land was free, but it was not. Squatters were forced off the land by legal owners once they arrived on the frontier.

At that point they normally went farther into the territory owned by some one else and built another cabin and remained until roving Indians killed them or new legal owners arrived and forced them off once more.

Even in the settlements near the forts the death rate due to Indian attacks was around 50% per year for nearly a decade. For those not part of the settlement pattern there could be total annihilation with every squatter in a region killed and their remains cremated in the ashes of their burned out cabins.

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