by Jim Hubbard
Editor’s Note: We have enjoyed Jim Hubbard’s two articles which appeared in recent issues of the Newsletter, one on loons and the other on the part Northern Vacations played in the development of Minnicock Lake. Jim has sent in further details about Bert Main's prowess in the woods.
Bushcraft does not loom large in our day-to-day modem lives. There are, however, times when such knowledge is needed and is, in fact, all that is needed. This is a true story about real people and it goes like this.
One Sunday in spring rather late in the afternoon in the early days at Minnicock when cars were parked out at the Buckhorn rather than being driven in, the Freers and Montgomerys had just walked out to the township road when they encountered a very distraught lady. A young gentleman and his mother had come to the area to look at property. The man had entered the bush on the north side of the Boundary Road and had been gone a long time. His mother was worried that he might be lost and didn’t know what to do.
Pat returned to their cottage and telephoned the O.P.P. (Fortunately, phones had recently been installed.) The police sized up the situation and decided to contact Bert Main who lived just west of the Buckhorn Road. Realizing that the situation was in capable hands, the Freers left for Toronto as the Montgomerys were in residence for a few days at that time.
Coming to the scene, Bert, a man of few words, looked over the situation and asked three questions. “Where did he go into the bush?” “How long has he been gone?” “Is he right-handed or left-handed?”. With the answers to these questions, Bert instructed everyone to stay put and, alone, headed into the bush.
In about half an hour Bert emerged with the lost man. Bert is light on formal education, but on the spot he did some complicated geometry in his head. He knew the entry point into the bush. He calculated from the elapsed time the distance that the lost person would have traveled. He knew that a right-handed person would travel in an arc to the right.
With this information, Bert walked in a straight line and intersected the arc. The lost man was now found and the rest was easy. If there is a moral to this story this is it. Know how to use a compass and don’t go into the bush without it.