That is a cool picture Smerch, Looking at old pictures brings your mind back to that time. Unfortunately I have very few pictures from my youth. I didn't really start taking pictures until I had kids.
This reminds me that on my first moose hunt we camped on the Mattagami River too, can't recall exactly where but was fairly close to a big dam. I was 18 along with my buddy, his brother and his uncle. It was a real circus. We had made a "tent" out of orange tarps that must have been 8 x 20. I remember when it was all sewn up I mentioned that maybe we should cover the grommet holes and buddy's uncle said "one rain drop hitting a grommet hole isn't going to hurt anything," those turned out to be famous last words.
So we leave Niagara Falls in the afternoon, ran out of pavement just past Smooth Rock falls and all the way to the Mattagami on logging roads in the dark, getting there around midnight or so. Next step, set up the "Tent". Well to set up the tent you basically had to build a log cabin to put the "tent" over it, so out come the chain saws, lashing together of poles and, finally draping the "tent" over the makeshift frame. By this time it started to sleet and snow with a bit of rain mixed in. Once set up we dragged our stuff in and crashed. The next thing I knew it was raining with the rain collecting on the sagging roof and each grommet hole was a mini waterfall inside the tent. Being so tired we just stoked the fire and pulled a plastic sheet over us. My buddy and his brother both had army surplus sleeping bags that were warm and evidently waterproof. I had an old cheap Canadian Tire special that soaked up water like a sponge. The next morning I woke up and my head was in a puddle and I had ice frozen to my head and I had the worst head ache I have ever experienced!
We had a ton of other mishaps on that trip some while sober, some while not. Wild devil pig encounter, devil pig barricade, skunk shot outside tent, Five Star induced bird feeder, lost in the bush etc. Good times, and way better than spending the week in school!
We did allot of exploring in our 12 foot aluminum, bouncing off dead heads out in the river. We are lucky we didn't all drown. One day it was raining so hard and with our firewood stash soaked, my buddy and I decided to backtrack up the logging road to cut up some dead fall birch that we could split for dry wood. On the way back we see something in the middle of the road, had to give it a double take, it was a Bull, he looked at us then walked off the road into a small clearing maybe 75 yards short of the bush, stops and looks back at us. Well we weren't really hunting at that time, so we weren't prepared at all. I pull over, flip the seat of the truck pull out my rifle, fish around under the seat for the box of shells, get loaded up. By then the moose must have gotten bored wondering what we were and decided to move on. The rifle I was using was a borrowed Lee Enfield 303 with open sights, that I had fired once to make sure it still worked. I took aim and fired, it looked like it slumped forward but it stepped into a gully and went down, I thought that I had it it, well it walked up the other side of the gully, so bang, shot again, one more step and it disappears into the bush. We get back into the truck and race up to where it was, off we go looking for our moose. No sign of a hit, no hair, no blood, nothing, clean miss. That moose was so big I figured it was about 200 yards away when I shot but was more like twice that so I would have been hitting the ground in front of him.
Well we get back to camp and tell our story and my buddies Uncle was so mad that I had missed that moose that he wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the week. He was also mad at my buddy for not bringing his rifle with us because he had a new 30-06 with a scope.
Back then, we didn't know what we didn't know, but boy was it a learning experience of what not to do. Hunting trips no go by in a blurr, more successful by far but gone in a flash. It felt like we were on that trip for a month in comparison.