down to Harry Richardson’s and dealt for a portion of his leafed treasure and returned to SnakeBite. Before I arrived, I picked up a red fox and brought along Loomis and spent another night with him. I arrived back at Camp Crookshank with three frozen coyotes to thaw out and skin and tobacco, adequate to the task. We operated from this camp until February and then went down the river to the Elbow for supplies and headed out west from there, to what we called Devil’s Lake, to begin muskrat trapping as soon as the weather warmed. We spent the first night with Mr. Jack Hitchcock, four miles from the lake and then proceeded to the lake. We saw a badger on the way but didn’t get him. The lakeshore on the north for one hundred yards back, showed more badger holes than I ever saw in one place.
The lake, itself, showed no signs of muskrats. The shore to the north for a mile was flat and level, reaching to the base of a range of hills from which deep coulees with a good flow of spring water, supplied wood and protection for camping. Among the hills were many small sloughs, alive with muskrats. When we had the tent set up and a supply of wood gathered I took some big traps and went to the lakeshore and set them for badger.
Frank took the lighter traps and went to the sloughs for muskrats. ‘Twas a little too early for either. My first round of traps surprised me with a blank. Frank’s first round supplied him, a half a dozen rats. My luck was not better the next round Frank’s next round was a little better, too. He skinned his catch and scattered baits around the remains. On my next round, I shot a badger and picked up a red fox. Frank brought in ten muskrats. I made two more trips and didn’t bring in any fur Frank’s catch did not improve. A team and wagon came in sight, down by the lake and headed for a good place to camp. He stopped when he came to our tent. He was ready to start trapping muskrats. The next day, we all started north to the lakes on the Red Deer Valley, about twenty miles away. We established a camp in the Valley between two lakes separated by a hundred yards or less. The snow was all gone except some drifts. A stream of water flowed down between the lakes that we couldn’t cross until the surface water ran off.
Mr. Loomis started his trap-line along the shore below the lake. Frank started his line on the upper lake; I started mine in a slough that we had passed near the valley. Loomis had two dozen traps, Frank had the same number and I had eighteen. Our first day’s catch was 75. It took us half the night to get them all skinned, the hides cleaned and on the stretchers, to dry. The next day, I brought my traps in and it took all my time to take care of the furs. I stretched lines in one tent to dry them out, and
|The Howard Clan webpages were submitted by Patrick K. Best The Howard Clan were some of the original homesteaders of the North Bend District. It is hoped that you and many more people enjoy this history that this clan went through everyday to strive to live and provide a great part in making the history of Saskatchewan come alive. |
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