Interview with Wilfred and Mary Erickson

(part 2)

Interviewed by June Chambers

June : What was that about your father now?

Wilf : He came over to this country and it was probably over quite a few times . When the money was gone he'd go back home. Then he went over to Germany and went to agricultural school and then he finally came out here to Canada up in Prince Albert.

Mary : He went to Canwood didn't he?

Wilf : Yeah, Canwood, yeah that's close to Prince Albert I think.

Mary :Yes it is.

Wilf : And had a farm there.

Mary : He came to B.C. during the war.

Wilf : Yeah when they got married ,then he had to quit spending money so he had to struggle

Mary : He'd got to, he had everything he needed .

(Discussing pictures Mary brought out.)

June : So this is the Bowyers. So you don't have a picture of your mother and dad , or do you

have a picture of your mother and dad?

Wilf : Yes it should be around some place.

Mary ; I have a picture of the two of them holding Donald.

June : You said you had a picture of the old house that the railroad track went through.

Wilf: Yeah

June : Or you couldn't find it?

Wilf : Well I haven't looked for it.

June : Oh you haven't looked for it

Wilf : It should be around some place.

Mary: Do you want me to bring out the photo album?

June : Yeah, well unless you're too tired.

Mary : Oh' I'm not tired.

June : I'd like to have taken a picture of that Mitchell house on the shore there. It would be pretty small.

Mary : The old boat house.

June : Yeah, the old boat house.

Mary : I'll see what I can find.

Wilf : Some of the pictures you've taken ...........

June : Tell me about that cabin you saw in the bush there when you first , is that when you were trapping away back, that little cabin that you found..

Wilf : That was when I was trapping.Did you go up to that Tabert cabin?

June : Taber cabin?

Wilf : Taber cabin. It was Tabert cabin, wasn't it Mary? That cabin on the way up to Bob Allens .

Mary : I can't remember Tabert.

Wilf : You know we went up the hill there and we said "Well there's the cabin." I thought you said Tabert. Bishops were there. Tabert, thenBishop.

Mary : I don't remember.

Wilf : A little farther on it goes over to ...

Mary : Van Buskers.

Wilf : No, Van Buskers was down just below that was up on the hill behind it, behind Van Buskers.

Mary : Oh yeah. Yeah that's

Wilf : Bishop.

Mary : Bishop was up in there somewhere.

Wilf : Yeah Bishops. Bishops house that's up the Wright Creek Road.

Mary: It's still up there. At least it was the last time we were up .

June : How long ago since you were up there?

Mary : Two years.

Wilf : Didn't we go up there this year?

Mary : No, it was raining all the time this year.

June : So it was up there two years ago?

Mary ;Yes, it was still standing.

Wilf: I thought we went up there this spring. Sure we did. We went up there.

June: So Bishops old house is still there. Is it on Marsolais land?

Mary: Oh I don't know who owns the land now.

Wilf : No, it's , instead of going to the left, did you go up to the ...

June : No, I didn't go up there because I phoned and they said there's nothing left there so I didn't go but I'm still going to check it out myself and now I certainly will since you said it was there just this spring.

Wilf: Yeah. Well we could probably......It's getting on now. If we don't get but we could take a drive out there, snow, then it's hard to travel but we could take a drive out there , could pick you up and just go.

June : Sure.

Wilf: That would be an idea too, so do you think Mary that we could go for a drive sometime and pick her up and go up there.

Mary : Sure we could, we could do that certainly.

More talk on going up there.

June : Anyway I want to ask you about that cabin that you found when you first went trapping.

You went into this old cabin, I know it is gone now , but what did you say, there was sapling furniture or something?

Mary : Yes, there was a chair made out of saplings and a baby's crib and a double bed and it was all made out of saplings .

Wilf : Yes across from Summit Lake . I can remember it was the first year we spent there.

Mary : Wasn't it on the lake?

Wilf : That was on the edge of the lake, yes. Straight where you could see from here. All

down now and just demolished

Mary : We never knew who it was. It was very old but it was obviously a family.

June : Yeah, the baby's crib.

Mary : And everything was made with, well, trees, saplings and not nailed. They were pegged.

June : Was it willow or was it poplars?

Mary : I really couldn't tell you.

Wilf : Willow. I would think it was willows. They bend. And there was what they used to call red willows, the Northern dogwoods.

Mary : Yes it probably would be. There was quite a lot of them at the north end of the lake all right. But there was a ........ We took the chair but we didn't look after it. We should have done

Wilf: or was it, it was on, it wasn't the one that is on the point today?

Mary : No, it was back in the bush, kind of.

Wilf : There is one on the point still, as far as I know, the roof is still on it and I put a floor inside it but I couldn't use it as a cabin because everybody just went there and shot the lock off and demolished everything. They had a whole bunch of pictures and they just threw them on the floor, negatives, they threw them on the floor and they became too wet and were destroyed.

Mary : Yes they were old pictures and very nice too, to have had. But there's vandals everywhere.

June : Another person I was going to ask you about, do you know Percy Batard? Did you know him?

Wilf : Oh yes, oh yes.

June : Could you tell me something about him?

Wilf : Well ah...I'll tell you one of the things that's right smack on the mind. There was a man named Keeler living with a woman but they weren't married, they finally married. They were looked down on because they weren't married and they drove to town . She was expecting and then she went over the hill, they went over the hill by the Salmon River. They went right down in the gulley and there they were. The car wasn't damaged but they were stuck. It's a wonder it wasn't damaged. So he got up and went to MacNeills. That was the postmaster and he would not have anything to do with helping them. I thought it was very cruel . So he ran to Percy Betard. He lived farther over. He was out right now and drove up and helped them get out and took them to the hospital and the baby was healthy. There was nothing wrong with it.

June : Oh she was having, she was gonna have a baby?

Wilf : Yeah she had the baby right there, in the car down inthe gully.

Mary : I always thought Keeler was so odd because he named both the girl and the boy after himself.

June : What was that?

Mary : Do you remember what his name was Wilfred?

Wilf : No.

Mary : I can't think right now, but I thought it was so odd , both the boy and the girl with his first name.

June : Something like Eric and Erica, something like that?

Mary :Wasn't that but something like that. Very odd. Was it William and Williamette.

Wilf: No it was something else because the girl was sounded strange on the girl.

Mary: It did sound strange.

June Hmm

Wilf : There was a fight between him (Betard) and MacNeill. He must have been religious or something and Percy was, they had a fight and MacNeill ran up the road throwing rocks at this Percy and he said "Well you got the right name". At first he had teased him and he said "Why don't you have any children". They never had any children.

June : He never had any children ?MacNeill?

Wilf : No he never had any children and oh, he was so hot at that and he chased him home and threw rocks at him and he said "You got the right name"

Mary : He had it changed, I don't blame him. His actual name was "Bastard" and he dropped the "s" you see.

June : Yeah. Was it Petard or Batard?

Wilf : Batard.He just dropped the "s" out.

June : Because I see in the Salmon Valley book they got de Bastard but I was talking to Allen Stevens and he said it was Percy Betard.

Wilf : We all called him that.

Mary : I always liked him . He was a nice guy.

Wilf : Oh yeah he was friendly. If you needed help, he was willing to help you.

June : I've heard nothing but bad stories about MacNeills.

Mary : Well they were odd people ,there's no denying that.

Wilf :Well Percy had something in Kenya, Africa so that's where he had to go back there because he had something there and he went back there and that was ... whenever heard anymore about him.

Mary: We don't know what became of him.

June : So he was, he was married though?

Wilf : No, he was never married.

June : Never Married?

Wilf : No.

June So he never had no children, nothing.

Wilf : No.

June : But that brown house by Wright Creek, that's his.

Wilf : Yeah, the one that's kind of fancy.

June : Cottage roof.

Mary : Yeah that's right. I like that house. I always did. He took me upstairs one time and let me look out the window.

Wilf : Mrs. MacNeill used to look out the window and say "I wonder if he's going to get married."

Mary : I hope she wasn't talking about me.

Wilf : No, no that Percy.

Mary : I was there, maybe she thought me and Percy.

June : Maybe she was hoping you guys would get married and you already were married.

Mary : Well that was when I was a girl.

June : Oh you weren't married yet.

Mary : No.

Wilf : Well yeah he goes away back in time.

Mary : Well he was in Kenya before we got married, wasn't he Wilfred?

Wilf : Yeah.

Mary: I was pretty sure he did

June :So he wasn't too many years in that house I guess, eh?

Wilf : No. Well I don't know how long he was there but the Killeys used his house when they were cutting ties up the Wright Creek Road .

June : Ivor Killey?

Wilf : Ivor Killey and there was another boy there.


Wilf ; No George wasn't with them till he came.... I can't remember . Otto.

Mary : Otto

Wilf:Yes, Ivor and Otto.

June :Brothers?

Wilf : Yes.

Mary : It was always a nice house. I always liked it. I liked the Ruste House too.

June: Where was the Ruste house?

Wilf : It's right down below. It was a two-story house.

Mary : It's the one that John's girl and son-in-law had bought.

June :Oh, okay. Pat's house like?

Mary: Yeah

June : Oh that was the Ruste house.

Wilf : Yes it was. He's the one that built it. He was the first settler here.

Mary : And it was two-story house.

June : I know Pat told me that they took the top down .

Wilf : Well it fell down and Ruste became too ill to do anymore work so, I think he took it off and put another roof on.

Mary: But it was so...such a pretty house , two storys, little balconies under the windows.

June : So when was that house built? I was going to ask Pat how old it was... well I know they didn't build it.

Wilf: I don't know for sure. It could be in the early 30's , maybe even before that, let's see now. Yeah I think it was built before that even.

June : Is that right?

Wilf : Probably 1927, and they had no roof the first winter so they just covered it over.

Mary: It was still there when I was there.

June : That red house?

Mary : That double story.

Wilf : Maybe it lasted for a couple of years.

Mary : Well it had to last long enough for me to see it anyway. I always liked that place. I think what fascinated me were the little balconies under the top floor windows .

June : Yeah that would be kind of cute.

Mary : It was so attractive, they called it... everybody around the neighborhood always called that "the house of flowers" because she always had flowers.

June: Mrs Ruste?

Wilf : Oh yeah , so did Mrs Smaaslet. They had green thumbs.

Mary : Clear to the elbows. Something like my mother. She sure had green thumbs.

June : She liked flowers too.

Mary : Oh she did. She had, well according to my father, if she planted something upside down it would grow. She ...I know he said that so often and one time I got a dandelion plant. I planted it in a pot and turned the pot upside down to see if it would come up pink, that's what Grand-dad always said. It didn't. It come out the hole in the bottom and bloomed yellow.

June : Experiment, hey?

Mary : I can remember that little....Yes Dad often said that. It was Grandfather that told me if I planted it upside down it would turn pink. He was good with plants too but Dad was better than Granddad was . They brought those roses from Saskatchewan. I still have them.

June : Is that right hey?

Mary : They aren't being cared for. I can't do very much now but they need to be dug up and the soil worked over and replanted.

Wilf : We need to have a gardener here. That soil is so hard.

Mary : Turned hard, very hard.

Wilf : I think the trees growing around kind of destroy the soil eventually, their roots and you got to keep working , put fresh soil in. I can see it down here, that cottonwood down here, it's got roots coming up all through the garden.

Mary : Granddad . I think that Scotch rose was granddad's originally but Dad was....Dad brought it from Saskatchewan though.

Wilf : Saskatchewan, where they come from, that's a fairly cold area so if they can grow it there it can grow here.

Mary : Oh that Scotch rose , it blooms all the time, that yellow prickly one. (More talking.)

It's the prickliest rosebush I've ever seen in my life though. You can't put a needle between the prickles.


June : I was going to ask you if you remember any special event like Christmas or school or anything like that that was particularly interesting in your life.

Mary :Well one of the things that I remember the most was that cow moose . She must have lost her calf , that is the only thing we could think of, because she decided that the black calf that belonged to one of our cows, was hers and she'd lure that calf away day after day and we'd have to go .... We didn't dare go on foot to get the calf back , we had to go on horseback so Granddad finally locked the calf up in the barn , wouldn't let it out. Finally she gave up but I remember that vividly . I also remember tracking down so many of those saw-whet owls. See it was free-range so the cattle roamed everywhere , wherever they liked but Dad had one lead bell-cow and the bell sounded just like the saw-whet owl calling. We tracked down many of those saw-whet owls thinking it was the cow-bell. Very annoying!

June :Yeah. I guess so, an owl instead of the cows.

(NOTE : In a Reader's Digest book- NORTH AMERICAN WILDLIFE , it describes a saw-whet owl as making a raspy call like that of a saw being sharpened and is seldom seen at night.)

Mary : There's lots of interesting things alright. We all had the flu one time. I was the only one that didn't catch it. So I had to take the horses and cows down to the creek for water and that kind of thing. And Dad was...we were....we didn't have much money of course and we needed meat and dad was so sick in bed , couldn't get out of bed, and there was a nice bull moose in the yard eating our apple trees and we couldn't shoot it, he was annoyed. Right in front of the house.

June : Why did you have to leave it, because he was sick?

Mary : He was too sick. He couldn't get up and shoot it. He did stagger up and look at it through the window but he couldn't do anything more. And that summer , I think it was the same summer that that moose calf got tangled up in the barbwire fence . He got it out. I don't know how he got it out nor what became of it either because he chased us all away . He said the cow would never come back if we were around. The calf disappeared so I guess the mother did come back.

Wilf : They used to jump over the fence, the barbwire fence, and then they get caught and they drag that wire out into the fields and gradually get rid of it. They must have ripped their skins pretty badly.

Mary : Well that was just a little calf because his skin was still red.

Wilf : Yeah. You know they're always red when they're small.

June : Yeah.

Mary : Well there's quite a few things that I remember alright. Did I show you that picture of that? When they were building the house when we first moved to Shady Acres?

June : No, I don't think so.

Mary : Hmm. I'll have to look for it and show it to you sometime.

Wilf : I suppose they don't have anymore of those Institute picnics, do they?

June : Ah....

Wilf: That was always something we looked forward to, you know because we got allthe ice cream we ....

June : They don't have things like that anymore. They have field days and stuff like that.

Wilf : Those were a delight you know because they had races and good swings and a good meal and free ice cream.

June : Hmm.

Mary : And the chocolate bars. You could buy chocolate bars for much was it?

June : Five cents, ten cents.

Mary : Five cents I think it was and they were good-sized chocolate bars . I enjoyed those Farmer's Institute picnics.

Wilf : Well we had..

Mary : Foot races for the kids, sack races, always close to that

Wilf : It was down by the river, on the lower side of the road and there was a beautiful picnic ground in there.

June : Where the Hall is now?

Wilf : No there's no hall there. It's right beside the road, just over the bridge.

June : Okay ,on that flat out there.

Wilf :Yeah, on the lower side.

Mary :They have got the picnic tables and things and I think they rent them , don't they? to people ?

June : And they got....there's spots I think where you can park a camper in there or something like that.

Wilf : Yeah and it was right close to the road a little farther down.

June : Yeah because there's a nice sort of beach there.

Wilf : Umhm

Mary : Pretty stones on that beach too. I used to go and collect them. I think I still have some of those and Dad, my dad, used to get those little pickle jars, those little round pickle jars, and put some kind of...was it putty? And cover it with putty and stick those little stones inside .It really looked nice, and varnish it.

Wilf : I'll go and look.....

Mary : Yes, there's one downstairs, isn't there ? Maybe she'd like to see it.

June :Sure.

Mary : He was quite artistic.

June : Your grandfather?

Mary : Yes and dad too.

June : So I was going to ask you- did your grandfather and grandmother stay with you or just your grandfather?

Mary : Just Granddad because Dad's mother died. She died before we came to B.C.

June : Oh.

Mary : She was.....they had a little house, dad and granddad. See they had the two farms there in Saskatchewan, quarter sections they were I guess , maybe half sections and they worked them together and Granddad and Grandmother, they had a little house not very far from our house. There was a vegetable garden in between and I can remember running across the vegetable garden to go to visit Grandma and Granddad. Grandmother always had beads for me to string and Granddad was the one who taught me to read.

Wilf : That is a little too heavy for me. ( Carrying jar with stones and shells puttied on)

June : Oh my goodness! Pretty fancy! That's neat. Oh look at the little shells hey.

Mary : Little shells he picked up. They need washing I guess and re-varnishing the stones.

Wilf: Yeah they need to be cleaned up . They shine up when they get washed.

June : Yeah, neat.

Wilf : Put a little coating of varnish on them.

Mary : The varnish is worn off I suppose.

June : Well probably ...just with the light and the elements wears it off, I guess.

Mary : They haven't been outside. See what it's like when it's washed. Guess I should try and find that .....It shows the tent that we stayed in when they were building . The house is partly built.

June : That's the Bowyer (house)?

Mary : Yes at Shady Acres .

June : So did you name, did they name it Shady Acres?

Mary : Yes, they did. After coming from the prairies I guess it was pretty shady.

June : So were the kids born on Wright Creek or were they born before. You were born in Saskatchewan.

Mary : All three of us were born in Saskatchewan. Erica was only a few months old when we came up. She was born in September and we came up in June I think so we were all born in Saskatchewan.

June : Yeah.

Mary : But he did do woodwork. I remember a doll cradle he made for me one time. He made it out of , you know those Japanese orange boxes, the wood. He polished it up and made the cradle, put rockers underneath it.

Wilf : Like some coffee?

Mary : It was a nice little treat. Simpler than today. Dad's dog, Scamp, he, she was one of those miniature collies and we used to cut hay on the Van Buskers land and so onetime we got a load of hay and we got Scamp on top of the hay load along with me and Margaret and there was a moose at the far end of one of the fields . Of course there was no limit then and we needed meat and dad shot it. I'll never forget Scamp's opinion of that . She looked at him, she looked at the moose, she looked at him, she looked at the moose and then she jumped off the haystack and headed...waded through the snow and you could see her expression "I don't know why he wants that thing but if he does I suppose I better go and get it". She had....sometimes animals have expressions that are practically words.

June : Really odd.

Mary : We were sorry when we lost Scamp. She was really a nice dog. Too bad dogs don't live as long as you do.

June : Yeah dogs don't have that long a life.

Mary : Well they tell us that it's seven years to one - like one year for us and seven years for a dog.

June : Yes, something like that.

Mary : Katie must be quite old in that case because we've had her nine years I guess. What's seven times nine?

June : Seven times nine is sixty-three.

Mary : Well she must be in her sixties then. Poor dog. Maybe that's why she's getting a little gray around the muzzle. There are times when I think she doesn't know she's getting old

though. She sees somebody with a bicycle come into the yard. Oh she hates bicycles.

June : She hates them?

Mary ; Yes, she doesn't like them one bit. She was just a puppy and I took her for a walk down on a leash and we went down towards the railway and you know that kind of puddle there is just before you reach the end of the side road?

June : Oh yeah.

Mary : There was a pair of geese in that and they flew up. Katie didn't think that was very nice. She was scared of them. Then we got a little bit further and a train went by and that was terrible. And on the way home a moose ran across the highway. She ....I don't think she wanted to go on walks anymore. Too scary. She's very good about going down the road very far.

June :Yeah. I know what I was going to ask.


June : The Indian girl and the moose, what was it you were telling about her?

Mary : And the grizzly? I don't know which story that was now cause there were several of them. I know that one time we picked up an Indian girl and her husband and they were carrying a sick baby and we picked them up and drove them to the hospital. Oh a couple of months later she came knocking on the door and she handed me a pair of moose skin gloves , all beautifully beaded and I asked her if she'd made them and she said "Oh yes, two-year old moose out on ice, I shoot 'em, I skin 'em, I tan 'em, I made the gloves". I've never forgotten that.

June : And did she have a run-in with a grizzly, that same girl, or not?

Mary: Well they did, did you see in the Citizen.............. ( talk on bear mauling guy)

Mary : Well we had a couple of run-ins with grizzlies different times.

June : Bad ones?

Mary : Well scary but we were walking through the bush . Earl was just tiny. Wilfred was carrying him at the time and we ran into this grizzly and her cub and we turned , we went back, ran back and I stumbled and twisted my ankle. I can remember Wilfred whirling around but the grizzly had stopped. She must have chased her baby up a tree or something. She hadn't come after us but that was scary, especially after I'd twisted my ankle. Another time Wilfred was.....Wilfred and I were .....see he had a fence , to fence the beavers , I think he told you about that. And we'd gone down there to look and see if the fence was still there by any chance and there was a grizzly there so Wilfred shot the grizzly and the thing whirled around and ran and just all the trees, just ripped the branches off so Wilfred didn't follow it very far because I was there . We went home. Then he took the...our dog but she wasn't going to have anything to do with it. No way. She wouldn't follow it. Don't blame her.

June : Did you finally get the grizzly or it took off

Mary : I don't know whether it did or whether it didn't.

June : Maybe it wasn't shot good enough.

Mary: He may have died. We don't know.

June : So you are talking about the fence for the beavers. Is that that fence for the tame beavers that you had?

Mary : Not hey were, see the beavers were trapped out in this part of the country .Completely trapped out and Wilfred and his brother was well before the war. There was two beavers. A pair of beavers moved into that little creek ,Wilfred can tell you where the creek is, and they fenced them in and guarded them so that they would increase . When the war broke out, of course, they had to leave it but by that time there was enough of them that they walked around the fence and went down into the river , but if they hadn't guarded them, the Indians wanted them , you know. They eat the beavers. It's a nasty habit they have. They put a net around a beaver house and then jump on the house and chase the beavers out and then that is the end of them.

June : They'd jump in the net and get caught then I guess.

Mary : They would, yeah.

Wilf : I'll get you a cup there.

Mary : so.. But the most interesting run-in with a beaver....a grizzly was the one that Wilfred was alone. You should ask him to tell you about that.

June : Okay.

Mary : The run-in with the grizzly Wilfred, you should tell her about that one that you ran into that time .

Wilf : The grizzly that ......I would not like to meet a grizzly without a rifle.

Mary : Tell her about that time the dog chased...followed it....went into that little spruce grove never did find it either.

Wilf : Well east of Bear lake there was a trap trail went up where the power line is now, up there, Odell Creek , and followed the trail where the power line is now, didn't follow the power line .The trail was there first, was pretty well straight where the power line is now and then it took off and went into McEwen Lake. Well before you hit McEwen Lake was a little valley and down in that valley there was always a grizzly and it was a huge one that walked across and so I always packed a rifle and had Savage which was a little better than a 30-30 , a 303 Savage and it was heavy though, that rifle so I decided to take the 30-30 and there was fresh grizzly tracks. I went on by and went up in to the upper reaches underneath the Averil Mountain, on the other side of it and I camped overnight to see if there was any beaver up there and I camped overnight and there was nothing. There was too much snow and on the way back the next morning I came walking down along McEwen Lake and down into this draw and lo and behold ! The dog backed up on my snowshoes. The dog ran ahead and then backed up on the snowshoes and barked and barked and barked and there I saw a grizzly through an opening sitting on top of a moose and it started coming and grunting and growling and went off the pathway into that straight line in and out. It came closer and closer and closer and when it was just about ready to come out of that straight stretch into the open , but that was too close I thought , I better shoot it in the chest forwards and that's a very hard way to shoot him and then it bulldozed trees, saplings right out of that four feet of snow and slapped this and slapped that but as soon as I shot, the dog got courage and ran up there . See the dog could run on the snow but the grizzly had to sink through . It was heavy . Well as soon as the dog ran after that I dropped my pack on the trail and I headed up on the other side on the slope and finally I heard the dog following that grizzly and the grizzly was mad at the dog and puffed, all winded then it quit. It was getting weak and it quit and it went up on the hill on the other side and disappeared and quieted down and the dog quieted down and the dog came back and I sure praised that dog because it pretty well saved my life actually because that grizzly would have torn me all to bits . So I went back and I got the dog. It went up the hill and it bled so heavily, that I don't see how on earth it could survive, and it had gone into a little clump of balsam, that's small evergreen.

June : Yeah, I know what balsam is.

Wilf : And I had heard that if a bear does that, you don't go in after it because they'll sit behind there and wait for you and that's the end of you if you go in. I tried to get the dog to go in but the dog wouldn't. I went all the way around it to try to antagonize that bear to come out but he wouldn't come out because it was an open ...quite a space open area but just this little clump of balsam and that's where he was holed up in and he wouldn't come out so I thought to myself "I'm not going to go in" so I took my pack and went home but I never went up there again because it turned so mild that I couldn't move , the snow melted. It was in the springtime.

June : So you never found out what happened to the grizzly.

Wilf : I never went up there again. I was too busy with other things.

Mary : That was scary!

June : Yes, I guess!

Wilf : I just made the trip up there to see if there was any beaver activity, or beaver up on the creeks in behind on the swamp river side and there was no activity whatsoever. There was too much snow. It turned so wet and it opened up below there and I got beaver down here I don't know why I decided to go there, even I didn't know if there was anything worthwhile going up there for. That was another time that we were fortunate . I had my brother with me and he had a shotgun, a 12 gauge shotgun and I had a rifle and this time it was a 3 Remington I think and I couldn't put more than two shells in the chamber otherwise it'd squeeze the bullet into the powder so I had two loose shells in my pocket and two in the rifle and we went up the Salmon River on our trapping trail and here we heard wolves howling close by. So I said "That sounds like they have something. Let's go down this backwater." So we went down the backwater and there a wolf stuck his head up over some roots of a tree and looked at us so I shot it and I got it and all of a sudden there was an awful crash and there goes a mother grizzly with a cub. It was almost as big as itself, grown too. I shot and missed the mother and I shot and got the cub and so I had only the two, three shells I had, must have had five because I had two shells in my pocket and I put them in and my brother said .....everything went so brother said "Watchwhat you're doing! You shot the cub." And I said "It looked like a big one." "Well it was the cub." and the mother ran and then came back and snorted and snorted and snorted and snorted and so my brother said "You wait and we'll let that thing come right on up and then I'll shoot first with the shotgun and then you finish off with the rifle if need be." because we knew we were in trouble. But as soon as that bear came out in the open, it knew exactly where we were. It stood there facing us and looked at us and looked at us and looked at us and I thought "I can't bear this" so I up and I shot it and I had one shell left but the bear turned around and went about 7 yards and dropped dead and we went up, we could hear it dropping because it made an awful racket running after it was hit. But that was a beautiful, beautiful hide and we skinned it, skinned the cub and the wolf and two grizzlies. So with that we brought the skins home and one of our friends was going to the Okanagan and he said "I can take that in and put it into the tannery for you." Okay we thought. So he put it in a sack and didn't even think about salting it and neither did we and so he took it down there and by the time they got it down to the Okanagan it was ruined.

June : Oh for goodness sake!

Mary : That was too bad.

Wilf : That was too bad because it was a beautiful hide so I sold the cub grizzly to some Americans and there was something about they could take black bears through without any trouble but not grizzly so what they did was put the grizzly in the middle of a bunch of black bear and took them all through as black bears.

June : It worked hey?

Wilf : It worked that time for them anyway.

June : Yeah quite the life!

Wilf : But I've left grizzlies alone as much as possible because I was disappointed when I lost that fur because I spent alot of time cleaning it, getting it ready. I never knew, it was hot. They were going to drive right through and get there the next morning but they didn't. They left it in the bag there so it got spoiled.

Wilf : Here was a grizzly right off the trail and it roared and we said we got to get out of here and here went her shoe off and I said "For goodness sakes it is coming too close. We better leave the baby here and get out of here cause they may not touch the baby but they'll sure do touch us." So we went as fast as we could .

Mary :We turned around and the bear had stopped coming.

Wilf : And so everything was alright. It came and then went back to the cub.

June : Yeah.

Mary : Yeah, scary stuff.

Wilf : We headed back home and anytime we went up there we used to always take a rifle.

June telling about the book "Grizzly Bear Mountain."

Mary : Those old books are quite good.

Wilf : There was....I can't remember his name now . He was a Swede and he went over to some lake over here. He worked for the Forestry and he took a rifle , a 22 rather and I said that's all I've been taking is a 22 but I said "You better be careful because a grizzly's nothing to monkey with." Black bears kept running away Black bears is just as bad now. You can't trust a black bear either.

June : No.

Wilf : Anyway he always had a 22 and always came back. Once he didn't. About two years afterwards, they found his bones up in the river.

June : No, you better be careful with them guys. But he never carried anything more than a 22 with him, eh?

Wilf : Umhm. That's all he carried and a 22 is a deadly weapon but if a bear , black bear or grizzly, whatever comes forward to you, a 22 is useless. If it turns it's head so you can get a shot under the ear , then you've got it, but if they're on the warpath and come at you , they don't turn, they look at you all the time.

June: Umhm.

Wilf : I think you better save your film ( cassette) here.

June : Yeah