Lake Huron, Ontario – 9,000 years ago, ancient hunters seized the initiative along a land corridor between modern-day Northeast Michigan and Southern Ontario to create lanes that could be used to herd caribou for hunting purposes. The lanes were created using stones to create paths for caribou to travel that were 26 feet wide and nearly 100 feet long. The paths dead-ended in a natural cul-de-sac of sorts with points along the way for hunters to capture & kill the caribou. The hunting ground has a total width and length of 96 feet and 330 feet respectively. However, no one makes use of the hunting grounds anymore because they are buried underneath 120 feet of water in Lake Huron.
It is believed hunters were able to exploit the grounds during the autumn when the caribou are known to be their meatiest. It is also the time of year that their fur is of the best quality. In addition, the configuration of the hunting grounds indicates that it was beneficial for spring hunting when caribous would migrate back into Canada after the winter season. The finding isn’t unique as the ancients widely used this tactic of caribou hunting throughout the Northern arctic regions. What makes this find special is how well it is preserved. The relative calm of the waters in Lake Huron has largely preserved the structures allowing scientists to study them and gain valuable insights.
There is another choke point along the land corridor known as the Alpena-Amberley Ridge that will be further researched this spring. Other members of the research team who are scuba-trained dove to the depths of underwater site to explore it. They were able to retrieve a modest amount of artifacts. An underwater rover is also exploring the hunting grounds and providing feedback via video camera.