Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.


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#1 Post by OLDGUNNER » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:53 pm

I will tell a little story about about what I saw and what I understand things to be really like. I see all of the articles written about these things and I believe 99% are written by people that visited Baffin island in the summer time, when it was nice to see. They typically took a bunch of pictures and came back and wrote their articles. And I understand that usually this is all that most can read on the Web – what else do they have to read?
And to complicate things further, there are too many articles written by people about Baffin Island that really had not been there, they have written articles about ‘WHAT THEY THINK WOULD HAVE BEEN THE WAY IT WAS’. This is of course very common with everything in life – people writing about things that they know not. It may seem logical to them, so they write as if they ‘Know’ and they are doing the world a favor by telling everyone of ‘What they know’. Anyone can see this on the ‘YOUTUBES’, where some I find are very useful but most are just BS for some one’s entertainment.
And of course anyone can say the same thing about anything that I may write, I understand that...but I ‘KNOW’, ‘I KNOW’...that I don’t have anything to gain with trying to fool anyone as I find other’s doing. I can see on forums where I see what I think is pure fiction, but I can’t help that...so-be-it.
But let me hit you right off the bat with something that I saw and BELIEVE, which I believe most won’t. My back ground with my first real gun started when my dad bought me my first gun just before my 6th birthday...A Stevens single shot .22, 3.95 at the local Sears store.
Fast forward to a little spot on the map...At the time it was a single building of a Hudson’s Bay Trading Post, with a little shack as a residence of the two managers, which is now a settlement called ‘Apex’ on Baffin Island. Three coworkers and I walked out there three mile from our base. I just wanted to buy a Polar Bear hide. It was the spring of 55 in March with the colder days maybe 40 below. I had volunteered to go there with the first of the DEW LINE project. The guy running the Post that day told me that he and his partner came to work there after a 900 mile dog sled trip from the mainland. Compare that with someone and his daily free-way traffic to work.
We spent maybe three hours there one afternoon. We were the only ones that walked there, with everyone else coming by Dog Sled. These dog sleds were nothing like the Alaskan dog sled...these were 20 feet long minimum with two dozen or more dogs. It was a rather busy afternoon with a dozen or so customers. The wife and their children stayed outside on the Dog Sled in the cold. The reason for all of the children was because they got an extra two dollars a month for each one and all of the older ones that they cared for, from the Canadian Government. I was told that the single family received 24 a month plus 2 extra for each of the others with any extra income coning from mainly Polar Bear hides. The Post had shipped out most of the hides the fall before and only had the worst of the lot left. They still had one small stack left and he sold them all for 30 and 35 apiece. He didn’t tell me how much he was paying the Eskimo’s for the hides, but I can now see where these can go for as much as 10,000 per....as per the web????...Don’t know, I am not there. At the time there was only a few months of open water to do the all of their shipping in and out.
Let me tell you about some things that I had come to know about...
In general all of the meat hunting, except for fish in the summer time, was for seal, walrus and polar bear...and all of this took place at the edge of the open water. The only place for the seal and walrus to feed was at this water’s edge, so this is where they all hung out.
The seals could come in under the ice and had breather holes, that they could keep open if it didn’t get too cold. The Eskimos would set off to the side and spear the seal with their ‘Sticks’. The polar bear did this same thing – tried to grab the seal when it came up though the hole and the ones that were just sunning themselves or just resting. A buddy and I went seal hunting one time in Newfoundland...a different way...the hides were selling for 30 a piece. We could see the seals but we didn’t get a single one...I’ll add this later.

Back to Baffin Island...But let me tell you about a couple of things that I was told by him that day and I have absolutely no reason to NOT disbelieve him. I can understand where some may not, or not be able to, understand, I should say. That will be their problem, and I can’t help them one bit with this. So don’t give me any feed-back about you not believing this. I well realize that there would be some that would not be able to understand.

That day at this store, an Eskimo came in and bought from three setting there, a .22 single shot rifle for 35 dollars...his whole months pay. After he left I asked the guy, just what is he going to do with that .22? Oh, that is their Polar Bear gun, that is the only kind we sell here. And I said......”Wait a minute, I know a little bit about a .22.” To which he said, exactly, “Oh, you don’t understand, they can’t afford the bigger high powered rifles, let alone the ammunition.” “They just shoot the bear in the face and make him mad, and then as the bear comes to attack him, they have their sharp stick to raise up let the bear come down on the stick, as they always do.” Okayyyyy, I understand....

He went on to explain that the open water has come into within about two hundred mile to the south, and they are gearing up to go get their first fresh meat of the spring. They don’t shoot the seal or walrus with the .22’s either because they will just jump back into the water and get away. Again they will just use a sharp stick with a barb on the end to hold the seal and walrus – makes sense to me. As the open water comes into the area and to fall, they will have good hunting and eating. One has to remember is that they didn’t have a local Walmart to go to...it was strictly a DIY situation all around. They would store up all the meat that they would need in the open water time to last them them through the winter until the next spring. They had things figured out. it took more meat to feed a bunch of dogs over the winter than for themselves.

And this includes a rather macabre thing about the area, I didn’t see it of course, it’s just that he told me. There were no medical facilities at all. I don’t even think they was such a thing as a MId-Wife, that was all DIY. There was no such thing as getting on the phone and asking for a doctor’s house call so they handled some things the best they knew how, as in dealing with the old and infirmed. And this included any old-age care facilities - these were non existent. So....this first trip of the season to the open water gave them a chance to do their best with this. They took along those that were old, too old to really help with the chores and so forth and anyone that was suffering or terminally ill, and left them there, on the ice. If one thinks about it, dying of the cold is a humane way to handle such things....one just goes to sleep, or we may think at least it works this way. The power of rationalization can do wonders. And I think it was a way to get these things done as far away as possible. Can’t one just visualize some mother-in-law trying to convince some one that they can still help with the baby sitting or something and is not ready to take that final trip.
Again, one has to be there to understand such things – I can’t help them there.

I’ll add the seal hunting story in Newfoundland later – enough for today.

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