Hunting in the Tri-Counties


My knowledge of hunting derives from my reading, years ago, of authors such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Through Faulkner I came to know hunters such as Uncle Ike McCaslin,

    1. “a widower these twenty years, who in all his life had owned but one object more than he could wear and carry in his pockets and his hands at one time, and this was the narrow iron cot and the stained lean mattress which he used camping in the woods for deer and bear or for fishing or simply because he loved the woods; who owned no property and never desired to since the earth was no man’s but all men’s, as light and air and weather were; ...” [1, p. 3]

  1. and game such as

    1. “the big old bear with one trap-ruined foot that in an area almost a hundred miles square had earned for himself a name, a definite designation like a living man:–– the long legend of corn-cribs broken down and rifled, of shoats and grown pigs and even calves carried bodily into the woods and devoured and traps and deadfalls overthrown and dogs mangled and slain and shotgun and even rifle shots delivered at point-blank range yet with no more effect than so many peas blown through a tube by a child –– a corridor of wreckage and destruction beginning back before the boy was born, through which sped, not fast but rather with the ruthless and irresistible deliberation of a locomotive, the shaggy tremendous shape.” [1, p. 193]

  2. Nova Scotia’s big game have been primarily from the deer family Cervidae: caribou and moose in the nineteenth century; white-tail deer in the twentieth, when just after World War II the populations may well have reached the quarter-million mark [2]. Of course we also have small game, and the images below depict hunting scenes in southwestern Nova Scotia since the 1890s.

References and Notes

    [1] William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses. Vintage Books, New York, 1973. The quotations are from the stories “Was” and “The Bear.”

    [2] Denis A. Benson and Donald G. Dodds, The Deer of Nova Scotia. Dept. of Lands and Forests, Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax, 1977. 92 pp.

    [3] I thank archivist Lisette Gaudet, of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives (YCMA), for providing access to photographs and archival material concerning hunting in the Tri-Counties. All photographs labeled YCMA are copyrighted; please contact the Archives if you wish to acquire such a photo.

    [4] I am indebted to archivist Peter Crowell, of the Argyle Township Court House and Archives (ATCHA), for introducing me to the photographs of Willis and Major Sabean, who were rural professional photographers active in the Kemptville area during 1895–1910. All photographs labeled ATCHA are copyrighted; please contact the Archives if you wish to acquire such a photo.

    [5] I am grateful to Wilfred Allan for permitting me to display digital images of his postcards.

William Day (1 April 2014)