In 1946 I was at the Artillery School in Camp Shilo, Manitoba. I was in University COTC and taking my training for a Commission in the Artillery.
Captain Jerry Keeler was my instructor on the day in question and we were to learn the art and skill of directing artillery shell fire as Forward Observers.
We were on a high bluff overlooking Sewell Lake at the north edge of the training area. Jerry intended to fire airburst rounds over the water so we could see the pattern of the shrapnel: visual is so much better a teaching vehicle than is the blackboard!
He fired the first round and it burst about 40 or 50 feet above the water – the pattern of the shrapnel was distinct. There was now no question – we knew exactly what to expect if and when we fired at an enemy!
Almost immediately the round had burst a very large bull moose charged out of the forest at the far side of the small lake and took to the water with the intention of reaching our side. What an amazing rack of antlers he had!
“Watch this,” Jerry said.
“I’ll drop a round behind the moose and we’ll see how fast he can swim!”
He had no intention of harming the moose, merely having a little distorted fun!
He fired the round and, true to form, it burst over the water well behind the bull moose.
You have never imagined how fast a moose can travel in water!
The amazing thing, however, was not the rate of movement of the bull moose………… but the fact that 12 more heavy-antlered bull moose burst forth from these same woods and into the lake – following the first one!
Thirteen huge adult bull moose!
Now how many people have ever seen that?