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Full text of "American big-game hunting: the book of the Boone and Crockett club;"

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The Book of the 
Boone and Crockett Club 



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American 



Big- Game Hunting 



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EDITORS 

THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL 




NEW-YORK 

FOREST AND STREAM PUBLISHING CO. 

1901 



Copyright, 1893, by the 
Forest and Stream Publishing C( 




Contents 



Page 

The Boone and Crockett Club . . 9 

The Editors. 

A Buffalo Story 19 

George S. Anderson. 

The White Goat and his Country . . 26 

Owen Wister. 

A Day with the Elk 61 

Winthrop Chanler. 

Old Times in the Black Hills ^ . . 7Z 

Roger D. Williams. 

Big Game in the Rockies . . . , 90 

Archibald Rogers. 

Coursing the Prongbuck . . . .129 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

After Wapiti in V/yoming . . . 140 

F. C. Crocker. 

In Buffalo Days 155 

George Bird Grinnell. 

Nights with the Grizzlies . . . . 212 

W. D. Pickett. 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Page 

The Yellowstone Park as a Game 

Reservation 240 

Arnold Hague. 

A Mountain Fraud 271 

Dean Sage. 

Blacktails in the Bad Lands . . 287 

Bronson Rumsey. 

Photographing Wild Game .... 299 

W. B. Devereux. 



Literature of American Big-Game 

Hunting 319 

Our Forest Reservations . . .326 

The Club Exhibit at the World's 

Fair 334 

Constitution and By-Laws of the 

Club 2>Z7 

List of Members 340 

The sketches entitled Big Game in the Rockies, and In 
Buffalo Days, have already appeared in Scribner's Magazine, 
and are here reprinted by kind permission of Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons. Nights with the Grizzlies has appeared in the 
Forest and Stream, and is reprinted by permission of the 
Forest and Stream Publishing Co. 



List of Illustrations 



Going to Water .... Frontispiece 

From Scribner's Magazine. ^^^-^^ p^^^ 

The Master of the Herd .... 19 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

On the SHde Rock 46 

Photographed from nature in the Chief Mountain 
country, Montana, by Wilham H. Seward, Jr. 
From the Forest and Stream. 

On the Heights 91 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Stalking the Stalker 99 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Studying the Strangers .... 105 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Crossing a Drift 115 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Two Pairs . 117 

From Scribner's Magazine. 
5 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Facing page 

At Mid-day i6o 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Blackfoot Indian Piskun 184 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Through the Mist 197 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

Prospecting for Grub 214 

From Scribner's Magazine. 

The Buffalo of the Timber . 240 

Photographed from life in the Yellowstone 
National Park by John Fossam. From the 
Forest and Stream. 

A Mountain Pasture 254 

Photographed from life in the Yellowstone 
National Park by W. H. Weed. 

Buffalo Cows and Calves . 264 

Photographed from life in the Yellowstone 
National Park by John Fossam. From the 
Forest and Stream. 

Resting 294 

Photographed from life by T. G. IngersoU. From 
the Forest and Stream. 

The illustrations from Scribner's Magazine are reproduced 
by kind permission of Charles Scribner's Sons ; those from 
the Forest and Stream by permission of the Forest and 
Stream Publishing Company. 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

The aims of The Boone and Crockett 
Club are sufficiently set forth in Article II 
of its Constitution, which reads as follows : 

The objects of the Club shall be : 

1. To promote manly sport with the rifle. 

2. To promote travel and exploration in the wild 

and unknown, or but partially known, por- 
tions of the country. 

3. To work for the preservation of the large 

game of this country, and, so far as possible, 
to further legislation for that purpose, and 
to assist in enforcing the existing laws. 

4. To promote inquiry into and to record obser- 

vations on the habits and natural history of 
the various wild animals. 

5. To bring about among the members the inter- 

change of opinions and ideas on hunting, trav- 
el, exploration, on the various kinds of hunt- 
ing-rifles, on the haunts of game animals, etc. 
9 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

The Club is ororanized primarily to pro- 
mote manly sport with the rifle among the 
large game of the wilderness, to encourage 
travel and exploration in little-known regions 
of our country, and to work for game and 
forest preservation by the State, Attention 
has been paid to all three points by the Club, 
but especially to sport and protection. Nev- 
ertheless exploration has not been neglected. 
In a trip after wilderness game the hunter is 
perforce obliged to traverse and explore little- 
known regions, at least when he is in search 
of the rarer animals, or is desirous of 
reaching the best hunting-grounds ; and in 
addition to such exploration, which is merely 
incidental to the ordinary hunting trip, mem- 
bers of the Club have done not a little ori- 
ginal exploration for its own sake, including 
surveying, and geographical and geological 
map-making. The results of these explora- 
tions, when sufficiently noteworthy, have 
appeared in periodicals devoted to such 
subjects, or in Government reports. The 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

present volume is devoted to big-game hunt- 
ing and to questions of game preservation. 
In behalf of game protection the Club 
works through the State for the procuring 
and setting apart of reservations where for- 
ests and game alike shall be protected at 
all seasons by the law. These great forest 
reservations thus become the nurseries and 
breeding-grounds of game and of the large 
wild animals which are elsewhere inevitably- 
exterminated by the march of settlement. 
Already several such reservations have been 
established in different States, both by Na- 
tional and by State action — for instance, the 
Adirondack Reserve in New York, the Col- 
orado Canon Reserve in Arizona, the big 
timber reserves in Colorado and Washing- 
ton, the island set apart in Alaska as an 
undisturbed breeding-ground for salmon and 
sea-fowl, the Yosemite Valley and the Se- 
quoia Parks in California. The most impor- 
tant reservation, however, is the Yellowstone 
Park, which is owned by the National Gov- 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

ernment, and is the last refuge of the buffalo 
in this country, besides being the chief home 
of the elk and of many other wild beasts. 
This is the most striking and typical of all 
these reserves, and has been thought well 
worth special description in the present vol- 
ume, with reference to its effects upon the 
preservation of game. 

The enactment of laws prohibiting the 
killing of game anywhere, save at certain 
seasons and under certain conditions, must 
be left largely to the States themselves; and 
among the States there is the widest pos- 
sible difference both as to the laws and as 
to the way they are enforced. It is enforce- 
ment which needs most attention. Very many 
of the States have good game laws, but in 
very few are they rigidly enforced. Maine 
offers a striking instance of how well they 
work when properly framed and adminis- 
tered with honesty and efficiency. There 
are undoubtedly many more moose, caribou, 
and deer in Maine now than there were 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

twenty-five years ago; and if the Maine 
Legislature will see that the good work is 
continued, these noble beasts of the chase 
will continue to increase, to the delight, not 
only of the hunter, but of every lover of 
nature and of the hardy life of the wilder- 
ness, and to the very great pecuniary profit 
of the people of the State. In other States — 
Colorado, for instance — good has come from 
the enactment and enforcement of game 
laws ; but in no other State have the gov- 
ernmental authorities acted with the wisdom 
displayed by those of Maine, and in no 
other State have the results been so note- 
worthy. It is greatly to be wished that 
such States as Washington, Idaho, Montana, 
and Wyoming, which inclose the best hunt- 
ing-grounds now existing in the United 
States, would follow Maine's lead. 

Another means by which the Club hopes 
to bring about a proper spirit for the pres- 
ervation of our big game is by frowning on 
and discouraging among sportsmen them- 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

selves all unsportsmanlike proceedings and 
all needless slaughter. The Club has per- 
sistently discouraged anything tending to 
glorify the making of big bags of game, 
and it strives to discourage the killing of 
the females of any game species save under 
rigid limitations. No harm comes to any 
species from the destruction of a moderate 
number of bulls, bucks, or rams, and these 
are the legitimate objects for the hunter's 
skill. Only legitimate methods of sport 
should be followed ; torch hunting and the 
slaughter of game in deep snow or in the 
water are held to be unsportsmanlike. 

Hunting big game in the wilderness is, 
above all things, a sport for a vigorous and 
masterful people. The rifle-bearing hunter, 
whether he goes on foot or on horseback, 
whether he voyages in a canoe or travels 
with a dog-sled, must be sound of body 
and firm of mind, and must possess energy, 
resolution, manliness, self-reliance, and capa- 
city for hardy self-help. In short, the big- 



The Boone and Crockett Club 

game hunter must possess qualities without 
which no race can do its life-work well; and 
these are the very qualities which it is the 
purpose of this Club, so far as may be, to 
develop and foster. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 
George Bird Grinnell. 



15 



American Big-Game Hunting 



"W; 



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'l"he Master of the Herd. 

rhotographed from life. From Forest and Stream. 



^^TBR CmT£:ji z/ 



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<^^ 



A BuiFalo Story 

On the last day of September, 1871, Ijoined 
my regiment, then in camp near Fort Hays, 
Kansas. At that time the different troops of 
the regiment had not been assigned to their 
winter quarters. My own was on its way 
north from Texas, where it had been stationed 
since the close of the war. I was extremely 
anxious to learn what its destination was, for 
I had never killed any of the large game of 
the country; in fact, had never fired a rifle 
except at a target. Should my troop be or- 
dered to Fort Riley, or Fort Harker, east 
of Fort Hays, or to Fort Dodge, south of 
Hays, I feared that my chance of meeting with 
large game would be doubtful. To my great 
delight, however, I found that my assignment 
was to Fort Lyon, situated on the northern bank 
of the Arkansas River in eastern Colorado. 

On October 12 about 10 a. m., we broke 
camp and took up our line of march for the 
west, following the old Smoky Hill stage- 
J9 



American Big-Game Hunting 

route. The autumn thus far had been very- 
mild. The great migration of the buffalo 
to their winter range in Texas had not yet 
begun, and I had some lingering doubts as to 
whether we might not reach our destination 
before the head of their column would cross 
our road. We had gone only about ten miles 
from camp, however, when I espied a solitary 
old bull, and instantly I was all excitement, 
to the great amusement of my companions. 
Taking an orderly from the ranks, I put spurs 
to my horse, and was soon in hot pursuit of 
this decrepit outcast. This was sport new 
both to my horse and myself We were both 
excited and equally timid. At a range of fifty- 
yards, or more, I emptied my revolver at the 
poor, tottering, old body, and a chance shot 
hit him and brought him to bay. It was now 
his turn to take up the chase. With some 
difficulty I recharged my weapon, and one or 
two more shots brought my first buffalo to 
earth. He was old and lean and mangy, and 
yet I was loath to allow one pound of his 
flesh to be wasted, and wanted to carry it all 
back to camp. The orderly said, with a cyni- 
cal smile, " Lieutenant, he ain't no p-ood to 



A Buffalo Story- 
eat, but you might take his tongue." His smile 
was changed to smothered laughter when he 
saw me attempting to carve up the corners 
of the animal's mouth in order to take the 
tongue out between the teeth. He dis- 
mounted, and with a single cut beneath the 
under jaw showed m^e how to take out the 
tongue properly. 

As evening came on, small groups of buf- 
falo were seen dotting the plain. At sunrise 
we saw hundreds where the night before 
there had been only dozens. From this point 
on to Fort Wallace, we were never out of 
sight of these nomads of the "Great Ameri- 
can Desert." From the higher points of our 
route, when the horizon was distant from ten 
to twenty miles, hundreds of thousands were 
visible at the same instant. They were not 
bunched together as cattle are, in droves, 
but were spread out with great regularity 
over the entire face of the land. 

On the third day of our march, a severe 
snow-storm set in, accompanied by a fierce 
north wind — a genuine "norther." This, 
night we were compelled to leave the road 
and go to the Smoky Hill River for water. 



American Big-Game Hunting 

We made our camp at the mouth of a small 
ravine that led down to the stream through 
the bluffs, which there form its banks. Mil- 
lions of buffalo were driven before the storm, 
and, being- prevented by the high banks 
of the river from crossing either above or 
below this point, were huddled together in 
a dense mass which threatened to overwhelm 
our little command. By placing our camp a 
little to one side of this living tide, and under 
the friendly shelter of the bluff, we passed the 
night in security, while the countless horde 
kept up its ceaseless tramp. 

For six days we continued our way through 
this enormous herd, during the last three of 
which it was in constant motion across our 
path. I am safe in calling this a single herd, 
and it is impossible to approximate the mil- 
lions that composed it. At times they pressed 
before us in such numbers as to delay the 
progress of our column, and often a belliger- 
ent bull would lower and shake his shaggy 
head at us as we passed him a few feet dis- 
tant. Of course our fare was principally buf- 
falo meat during this trip, and killing them 
soon ceased to be a sport. 



A Buffalo Story 

The next year — the winter of '72 and 
^"jl — this herd, during its southward migra- 
tion, extended as far west as Fort Lyon, or 
some seventy miles farther west than its route 
of previous years. It was probably driven to 
this course by the extension westward of set- 
tlements in Kansas and Nebraska. This was 
the last great migration of the southern herd 
of buffalo. Millions and millions were killed 
this season, and their hides and tongues 
shipped east over the Union Pacific, Kansas 
Pacific, and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 
railroads, and this leads me to the short 
story I have to tell. 

The winter had been especially severe. 
The entire country north of the Arkansas 
valley was deeply covered with snow, while 
the valley itself was comparatively open. 
The quarters in which I lived faced the 
south. The yard in the rear of my house 
was inclosed by a board fence about seven 
feet high, and a wide gate afforded means 
for entrance. 

One night, in the late winter, or early 
spring, the region was visited by one of those 
terrific storms for which this section is so 
23 



American Big-Game Hunting 

justly celebrated. The wind blew with a vio- 
lence such as I had never before experienced, 
the air was filled with drifting snow, and the 
temperature was in the neighborhood of zero. 

About the break of dawn I was awakened 
by my servant, who said to me : " Lieutenant, 
the wind blew your back gate open last 
night, and a buffalo has come in and taken 
refuge under the shelter of the fence." 

It was only necessary for me to raise 
myself in bed and look out of the window, 
which was at its foot, to verify this fact. I 
directed that my gun and a few cartridges 
should be brought me, and while my servant 
held up the window, I, still lying in bed, gave 
this solitary old bull a broadside at fifty yards 
range. At the salutation, he started out 
through the gate, and before I could reload, 
was out of sight behind the fence, so I rolled 
over to resume my morning's nap. 

Two or three hours later, word was brought 
me that I had killed the buffalo, and that his 
body was lying about two hundred yards 
back on the plain. I went out to him and 
took his tongue as my reward. Investigation 
showed that I had shot him through the 
24 



A Buffalo Story 

lungs, and that he had been able to go thus 
far before succumbing to his mortal wound. 
Poor, miserable, old tramp! He had evi- 
dently been driven out of the herd to die, 
having become a useless member of its so- 
ciety, and in killing him I spared him a 
few days of further suffering, and scored a 
record of buffalo-killing rarely or never 
paralleled. 

George S. Anderson. 



25 



The White Goat and his Country 

In a corner of what is occasionally termed 
**Our Empire of the Northwest," there lies 
a country of mountains and valleys where, 
until recently, citizens have been few. At the 
present time certain mines, and uncertain 
hopes, have gathered an eccentric population 
and evoked some sudden towns. The names 
which several of these bear are tolerably 
sumptuous: Golden, Oro, and Ruby, for in- 
stance; and in them dwell many colonels and 
judges, and people who own one suit of clothes 
and half a name (colored by adjuncts, such as 
Hurry Up Ed), and who sleep almost any- 
where. These communities are brisk, san- 
guine, and nomadic, full of good will and 
crime; and in each of them you will be likely 
to find a weekly newspaper, and an editor who 
is busy writing things about the neighboring 
editors. The flume slants down the hill bear- 
ing water to the concentrator; buckets unex- 
pectedly swing out from the steep pines into 



The White Goat and his Country 

mid-air, saih'ng along their wire to the mill; 
little new staring shanties appear daily; some- 
body having trouble in a saloon upsets a lamp, 
and half the town goes to ashes, while the 
colonels and Hurry Up Eds carouse over the 
fireworks till morning. In a short while there 
are more little shanties than ever, and the 
burnt district is forgotten. All this is going 
on not far from the mountain goat, but it 
is a forlorn distance from the railroad; and 
except for the stage line which the recent 
mining towns have necessitated, my route 
to the goat country might have been too 
prolonged and uncertain to attempt. 

I stepped down one evening from the stage, 
the last public conveyance I was to see, after 
a journey that certainly has one good side. 
It is completely odious; and the breed of 
sportsmen that takes into camp every luxury 
excepting, perhaps, cracked ice, will not be 
tempted to infest the region until civilization 
has smoothed its path. The path, to be sure, 
does not roughen until one has gone along it 
for twenty-eight hundred miles. You may 
leave New York in the afternoon, and arrive 
very early indeed on the fifth day at Spokane. 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Here the luxuries begin to lessen, and a 
mean once-a-day train trundles you away on 
a branch west of Spokane at six in the morn- 
ing into a landscape that wastes into a gallop- 
ing consumption. Before noon the last sick 
tree, the ultimate starved blade of wheat, has 
perished from sight, and you come to the end 
of all things, it would seem; a domain of 
wretchedness unspeakable. Not even a warm, 
brilliant sun can galvanize the corpse of the 
bare ungainly earth. The railroad goes no 
further, — it is not surprising, — and the stage 
arranges to leave before the train arrives. 
Thus you spend sunset and sunrise in the 
moribund terminal town, the inhabitants of 
which frankly confess that they are not stay- 
ing from choice. They were floated here 
by a boom-wave, which left them stranded. 
Kindly they were, and anxious to provide the 
stranger with what comforts existed. 

Geographically I was in the "Big Bend'" 
country, a bulk of land looped in by the Col- 
umbia River, and highly advertised by rail- 
roads for the benefit of "those seekinor homes." 
Fruit and grain no doubt grow somewhere in 
it. What I saw was a desert cracked in two 



The White Goat and his Country 

by a chasm sixty-five miles long. It rained 
in the night, and at seven next morning, 
bound for Port Columbia, we wallowed north- 
ward out of town in the sweating canvas- 
covered stage through primeval mud. After 
some eighteen miles we drew out of the rain 
area, and from around the wheels there imme- 
diately arose and came among us a primeval 
dust, monstrous, shapeless, and blind. First 
your power of speech deserted you, then your 
eyesight went, and at length you became un- 
certain whether you were alive. Then hilar- 
ity at the sheer discomfort overtook me, and 
I was joined in it by a brother American; but 
tv/o Jew drummers on the back seat could not 
understand, and seemed on the verge of tears. 
The landscape was entirely blotted out by the 
dust. Often you could not see the roadside, 
— if the road had any side. We may have 
been passing homes and fruit-trees, but I think 
not. I remember wondering if getting goat 
after all — But they proved well worth it. 
Toward evening we descended into the 
sullen valley of the Columbia, which rushes 
along, sunk below the level of the desert we 
had crossed. High sterile hills flank its 
29 



American Biji-Game Hunting 



■& 



course, and with the sweeping, unfriendly 
speed of the stream, its bleak shores seemed 
a chilly place for home-seekers. Yet I 
blessed the change. A sight of running 
water once more, even of this overbearing 
flood, and of hills however dreary, was ex- 
hilaration after the degraded, stingy monot- 
ony of the Big Bend. The alkali trails in 
Wyoming do not seem paradises till you 
bring your memory of them here. Nor am 
I alone in my estimate of this impossible hole. 
There is a sign-post sticking up in the middle 
of it, that originally told the traveler it was 
thirty-five miles to Central Ferry. But now 
the traveler has retorted; and three differ- 
ent hand-writings on this sign-post reveal to 
you that you have had predecessors in your 
thought, comrades who shared your sorrows: 

Forty-five miles to water. 
Seventy-five miles to wood. 

And then the last word: 

Two and one-half miles to hell. 

Perhaps they were home-seekers. 
We halted a moment at the town of Bridge- 
port, identified by one wooden store and an 

30 



The White Goat and his Country 

Inchoate hotel. The rest may be seen upon 
blue-print maps, where you would suppose 
Bridgeport was a teeming metropolis. At 
Port Columbia, which we reached by a land- 
slide sort of road that slanted the stagfe over 
and put the twin Jew drummers in mortal 
fear, we slept in one of the two buildings 
which indicate that town. It is another im- 
portant center, — in blue print, — but invisible 
to the naked eye. In the morning, a rope 
ferry floated the new stage and us travelers 
across the river. The Okanagon flows south 
from lakes and waters above the British line, 
and joins the Columbia here. We entered 
its valley at once, crossed it soon by another 
rope ferry, and keeping northward, with the 
river to the east between us and the Colville 
Reservation, had one good meal at noon, and 
entering a smaller valley, reached Ruby that 
evening. Here the stage left me to continue 
its way to Conconally, six miles further on. 
With the friends who had come to meet me, I 
ascended out of Ruby the next day over the 
abrupt hill westward, and passing one night 
out in my blankets near a hospitable but 
limited cabin (its flowing-haired host fed us, 
31. 



American Big-Game Hunting 

played us the fiddle, and would have had us 
sleep inside), arrived bag and baggage the 
fourth day from the railroad at the forks of 
the Methow River — the next tributary of the 
Columbia below the Okanagon. 

Here was a smiling country, winning the 
heart at sight. An ample beauty was over 
everything Nature had accomplished in this 
place; the pleasant trees and clear course of 
the stream, a fertile soil on the levels, the 
slopes of the foot-hills varied and gentle, un- 
encumbered by woods, the purple cloak of for- 
est above these on the mountains, and risingr 
from the valley's head a crown of white, clean 
frozen peaks. These are known to some as 
the Isabella Range and Mount Gardner, 
though the maps do not name them. More- 
over, I heard that now I was within twenty- 
five miles of goats; and definite ridges were 
pointed out as the promised land. 

Many things were said to me, first and last. 
I remember a ragged old trapper, lately come 
over the mountains from the Skagit River. 
Goats, did I say ? On top there the goats 
had tangled your feet w^alking in the trail. 
He had shot two in canip for staring at him. 



The White Goat and his Country 

Another accurate observer had seen three 
hundred on a hill just above Early Winter as 
he was passing by. The cabined dwellers on 
the Methow tied their horses to the fence and 
talked to me — so I had come from the East 
after Qroats, had I? — and in the store of the 
Man at the Forks I became something of a 
curiosity. Day by day I sat on the kegs of 
nails, or lay along the counter devoted to his 
dry-goods, and heard what passed. Citi- 
zens and denizens — for the Siwash with his 
squaws and horses was having his autumn 
hunt in the valley — knocked at the door to 
get their mail, or buy tobacco, or sell horns 
and fur, or stare for an hour and depart with a 
grunt; and the grave Man at the Forks stood 
behind one counter while I lay on the other, 
acquiring a miscellaneous knowledge. One 
old medical gentleman had slain all wild ani- 
mals without weapons, and had been the 
personal friend of so many distinguished his- 
torical characters that we computed he was 
nineteen about the time of Bunker Hill. They 
were hospitable with their information, and I 
followed my rule of believing everything that 
I hear. And they were also hospitable with 
3 33 



American Big-Game Hunting 

whatever they possessed. The memory of 
those distant dwellers among the mountains, 
young and old, is a friendly one, like the 
others I carry, whether of Wind or Powder 
Rivers, or the Yellowstone, or wherever 
Western trails have led me. 

Yet disappointment and failure were the 
first things. There was all the zeal you could 
wish. We had wedged painfully into a se- 
vere country — twelve miles in two days, and 
trail-cutting between — when sickness turned 
us back, goatless. By this time October was 
almost gone, and the last three days of it went 
in patching up our disintegrated outfit. We 
needed other men and other horses; and 
while these were being sought, nothing was 
more usual than to hear "if we 'd only been 
along with So-and-So, he saw goats " here and 
there, and apparently everywhere. We had, 
it would seem, ingeniously selected the only 
place where there were none. But somehow 
the services of So-and-So could not be pro- 
cured. He had gone to town ; or was busy 
getting his winter's meat ; or his married 
daughter had just come to visit him, or he 
had married somebody else's daughter. I 
34 



The White Goat and his Country 

cannot remember the number of obstacles 
always lying between ourselves and So- 
and-So. 

At length we were once more in camp on a 
stream named the Twispt. In the morning 
— new stroke of misfortune — one of us was 
threatened with illness, and returned to the 
Forks. We three, the guide, the cook, and 
myself, went on, finally leaving the narrow 
valley, and climbing four hours up a mountain 
at the rate of about a mile an hour. The 
question was, had winter come in the park 
above, for which we were heading? On top, 
we skirted a bare ridge from which everything 
fell precipitously away, and curving round 
along a steep hollow of the hill, came to 
an edge and saw the snow lying plentifully 
among the pines through which we must go 
down into the bottom of the park. But on 
the other side, where the sun came, there was 
little or none, and it was a most beautiful 
place. At the head of it was a little frozen 
lake fringed with tamarack, and a stream 
flowed down from this through scattered 
birches and pines, with good pasture for the 
horses between. The park sank at its outlet 
35 



American Big-Game Hunting 

into a tall impassable caiion through which 
the stream joined the Twispt, miles below. 
It was a little lap of land clear at the top 
of the mountains, the final peaks and ridges 
of which rose all around, walling it in com- 
pletely. You must climb these to be able to 
see into it, and the only possible approach for 
pack-horses was the pine-tree slant, down 
which we came. Of course there was no 
trail. 

We prospected before venturing, and T , 

the guide, shook his head. It was only a 
question of days — possibly of hours — when 
snow must shut the place off from the world 

until spring. But T appreciated the three 

thousand miles I had come for goats ; and if 
the worst came to the worst, said he, we could 
"make it in" to the Forks on foot, leading 
the horses, and leaving behind all baggage 
that weighed anything. So we went down. 
Our animals slipped a little, the snow balling 
their feet; but nothing happened, and we 
reached the bottom and chose a camp in 
a clump of tamarack and pine. The little 
stream, passing through shadows here, ran 
under a lid of frozen snow easily broken, and 
36 



The White Goat and his Country- 
there was plenty of wood, and on the ground 
only such siftings of snow as could be swept 
clean for the tent. The saddles were piled 
handily under a tree, a good fireplace was 
dug, we had a comfortable supper; and 
nothing remained but that the goats should 
be where they ought to be — on the ridges 
above the park. 

I have slept more soundly; doubt and hope 
kept my thoughts active. Yet even so, it was 
pleasant to wake in the quiet and hear the 
bell on our horse, Duster, occasionally tankle 
somewhere on the hill. My watch I had for- 
gotten to place at T 's disposal, so he was 

reduced to getting the time of day from the 
stars. He consulted the Great Bear, and see- 
ing this constellation at an angle he judged 
to indicate five o'clock, he came back into the 
tent, and I heard him wake the cook, who 
crawled out of his blankets. 

"Why, it's plumb night," the cook whined. 

"Make the breakfast," said T . 

I opened my eyes, and shut them imme- 
diately in despair at the darkness that I saw. 
Presently I heard the fire and the pans, and 
knew that the inevitable had come. So I got 

3* 37 



American Big-Game Hunting 

my clothes on, and we looked at my watch. It 

was only 4.30 a. m. T and the Great 

Bear had made half an hour's miscalculation, 
and the face of the cook was so grievous that 
I secretly laughed myself entirely awake. 
"Plumb night" lasted some time longer. I 
had leisure to eat two plates of oatmeal and 
maple syrup, some potato-and-onion soup, 
bacon, and coffee, and digest these, before 
dawn showed. 

T and I left camp at 6.40 a. m. The 

day was a dark one. On the high peaks 
behind camp great mounds of cloud moved 
and swung, and the sky was entirely overcast. 
We climbed one of the lower ridges, not a 
hard climb nor long, but very sliding, and 
often requiring hands and feet to work round 
a ledge. From the top we could see the open 
country lying comfortably below and out of 
reach of the howling wind that cut across 
the top of the mountain, straight from Puget 
Sound, bringing all that it could carry of the 
damp of the Pacific. The ridges and summits 
that surrounded our park continually came 
into sight and disappeared again among the 
dense vapors which bore down upon them. 
38 



The White Goat and his Country 

We went cautiously along the narrow top 
of crumbling slate, where the pines were scarce 
and stunted, and had twisted themselves into 
corkscrews so they might grip the ground 
against the tearing force of storms. We came 
on a number of fresh goat-tracks in the snow 
or the soft shale. These are the reverse of 
those of the mountain sheep, the V which the 
hoofs make having its open end in the direc- 
tion the animal is going. There seemed to 
be several, large and small ; and the perverted 
animals invariably chose the sharpest slant 
they could find to walk on, often with a decent 
level just beside it that we were glad enough 
to have. If there were a precipice and a 
sound flat top, they took the precipice, and 
crossed its face on juts that did not look as 
if your hat would hang on them. In this 
I think they are worse than the mountain 
sheep, if that is possible. Certainly they do 
not seem to come down into the high pas- 
tures and feed on the grass levels as the 
sheep will. 

T and I hoped we should find a bunch, 

but that was not to be, in spite of the indi- 
cations. As we continued, I saw a singular- 

39 



American Big-Game Hunting 

looking stone lying on a little ledge some 
way down the mountain ahead. I decided it 
must be a stone, and was going to speak of it, 
when the stone moved, and we crouched in 

the slanting gravel. T had been making 

up his mind it was a stone. The goat turned 
his head our way, but did not rise. He was 
two hundred yards across a split in the moun- 
tain, and the wind blowing hard. T 

wanted me to shoot, but I did not dare to run 
such a chance. I have done a deal of miss- 
ing at two hundred yards, and much nearer, 
too. So I climbed, or crawled, out of sight, 
keeping any stone or little bush between me 
and the goat, till I got myself where a but- 
tress of rock hid me, and then I ran along 
the ridge and down and up the scoop in it 
made by the split of the mountain, and so 
came cautiously to where I could peer over 
and see the goat lying turned away from me, 
with his head commanding the valley. He 
was on a tiny shelf of snow, beside him was 
one small pine, and below that the rock fell 
away steeply into the gorge. Ought I to 
have bellowed at him, and at least have got 
him on his lees? I know it would have been 



The White Goat and his Country 

more honorable. He looked white, and huge, 
and strange ; and somehow I had a sense of 
personality about him more vivid than any 
since I watched my first silver-tip lift a rot- 
ten log, and, sitting on his hind legs, make 
a breakfast on beetles, picking them off the 
log with one paw. 

I fired, aiming behind the goat's head. He 
did not rise, but turned his head round. The 
white bead of my Lyman sight had not showed 
well against the white animal, and I thought I 
had missed him. Then I fired again, and he 
rolled very little — six inches — and lay quiet. 
He could not have been more than fifty yards 
away, and my first shot had cut through the 
back of his neck and buried itself in mortal 
places, and the second in his head merely made 
death instantaneous. Shooting him after he 
had become alarmed might have lost him over 
the edge; even if a first shot had been fatal, 
it could not have been fatal soon enough. 
Two struggles on that snow would have sent 
him sliding through space. As it was, we 
had a steep, unsafe scramble down through 
the snow to where he lay stretched out on 
the little shelf by the tree. 
41 



American Big-Game Hunting 

He was a fair-sized billy, and very heavy. 
The Httle lifting and shoving we had to do 
in skinning him was hard work. The horns 
were black, slender, slightly spreading, curved 
backward, pointed, and smooth. They mea- 
sured six inches round the base, and the dis- 
tance from one point to the other, measured 
down one horn, along the skull, and up the 
other, was twenty-one and a half inches. The 
hoofs were also black and broad and large, 
wholly unlike a tame goat's. The hair was 
extraordinarily thick, long, and of a weather- 
beaten white; the eye large and deep-brown. 

I had my invariable attack of remorse on 
looking closely at the poor harmless old gen- 
tleman, and wondered what achievement, after 
all, could be discerned in this sort of surprise 
and murder. We did not think of securing 
any of his plentiful fat, but with head and hide 
alone climbed back up the ticklish slant, hung 
the trophies on a tree in a gap on the camp 
side of the ridge, and continued our hunt. It 
was not ten o'clock yet, and we had taken 
one hour to skin the goat. We now hunted 
the higher ridges behind camp until i p. m., 
finding tracks that made it seem as if a num- 
42 



The White Goat and his Country 

ber of goats must be somewhere near by. 
But the fog came down and shut everything 
out of sight; moreover, the wind on top blew so 
that we could not have seen had it been clear. 

We returned to camp, and found it greatly 
improved. The cook had carpentered an im- 
portant annex to the tent. By slanting pine- 
logs against a ridge-pole and nailing them, 
he had built a room, proof against wind and 
rain, and in it a table. One end was against 
the opening of the tent, the other at the fire. 
The arrangement was excellent, and timely 
also. The storm revived during the night, 
and it rained fitfully. The roar of the wind 
coming down from the mountain into our park 
sounded like a Niagara, and its approach was 
tremendous. We had built up a barrier of 
pine-brush, and this, with a clump of trees, 
sheltered us well enough; but there were 
wild moments when the gust struck us, and 
the tent shuddered and strained, until that 
particular breeze passed on with a diminish- 
ing roar down the canon. 

The next morning the rain kept us from 
making an early start, and we did not leave 
camp until eight. Now and then a drizzle 

43 



American Big-Game Hunting 

fell from the mist, and the banks of clouds were 
still driving across the higher peaks, but dur- 
ing the day the sun slowly got the better of 
them. Again we saw a solitary goat, this 
time far below down the ridge we had chosen. 
Like the sheep, these animals watch the val- 
ley. There is no use in attempting to hunt 
them from there. Their eyes are watchful 
and keen, and the chances are that if you are 
working up from below and see a goat on the 
hill, he will have been looking at you for some 
time. Once he is alarmed, ten minutes will 
be enough for him to put a good many hours 
of climbing between himself and you. His 
favorite trick is to remain stock-still, watch- 
ing you till you pass out of his sight behind 
something, and then he makes off so ener- 
getically that when you see him next he will 
be on some totally new mountain. But his 
intelligence does not seem to grasp more 
than the danger from below. While he is 
steadfastly on the alert against this, it ap- 
parently does not occur to him that anything 
can come down upon him. Consequently 
from above you may get very near before you 
are noticed. The chief difficulty is the noise 



The White Goat and his Country 

of falling stones your descent is almost sure 
to make. The character of these mountain- 
sides is such that even with the greatest 
care in stepping we sent a shower rattling 
down from time to time. We had a viciously 
bad climb. We went down through tilted 
funnels of crag, avoiding jumping off places 
by crossing slides of brittle slate and shale, 
hailing a dead tree as an oasis. And then we 

lost count, and T came unexpectedly on 

the goat, which was up and away and was 

shot by T before I could get a sight of 

him. I had been behind some twenty yards, 
both of us supposing we had to go consider- 
ably further. T was highly disgusted. 

'*To think of me managing such a botch as 
that," he said, "when you've come so far"; 
and he wanted me to tell the people that I 
had shot the goat myself. He really cared 
more than I did. 

This goat was also a billy, and larger than 
the first. We sat skinning him where he had 
fallen at the edge of a grove of tamarack, and 

T conversed about the royal family of 

England. He remarked that he had always 
rather liked "that chap Lome." 

45 



American Big-Game Hunting 

I explained to him that "that chap Lome" 
had made himself ridiculous forever at the 

Queen's Jubilee. Then, as T did not 

know, I told him how the marquis had in- 
sisted on riding in the procession upon a 
horse, against which the Prince of Wales, 
aware of the tame extent of his horseman- 
ship, had warned him. In the middle of the 
pageant, the Queen in her carriage, the 
crowned heads of Europe escorting her on 
horseback, and the whole world looking on — 
at this picturesque moment, Lome fell off. I 
was not sure that T felt fully how inap- 
propriate a time this was for a marquis to 
tumble from his steed. 

"I believe the Queen sent somebody," I 
continued. 

"Where?" said T . 

"To him. She probably called the nearest 
king and said: 'Frederick, Lome 's off. Go 
and see if he 's hurt.' " 

"'And if he ain't hurt, hurt himy' said 
T , completing her Majesty's thought. 

This second billy seemed to me twice the 
size of a domestic goat. He was certainly 
twice the weight. His hide alone weighed 
46 




O 'Si 



The White Goat and his Country 

thirty pounds, as far as one could determine 
by balancing it against weights that we knew, 
such as a sack of flour or sugar. But I dis- 
trust the measurements of wild animals made 
by guesswork on a mountain-top during the 
enthusiastic state of the hunter's mind which 
follows at once upon a lucky shot. Therefore, 
I can positively vouch for this only, that all 
the goats which I have seen struck me as being- 
larger and heavier animals than the goat of 
civilization. After all, the comparison is one 
into which we are misled by the name. This 
is an antelope; and though, through certain 
details of his costume, he is able to masquer- 
ade as a goat, it must be remembered that 
he is of a species wholly distinct. 

We took the web tallow, and the tallow of 
one kidney. The web was three quarters of 
an inch thick. 

Neither elk, nor any animal I have seen, 
except bear, has such quantities of fat, and I 
do not think even a bear has a thicker hide. 
On the rump it was as thick as the sole of my 
boot, and the masses of hair are impenetrable 
to anything but modern firearms. An arrow 
might easily stick harmless ; and I am told 

47 



American Big-Game Hunting 

that carnivorous animals who prey upon the 
deer in these mountains respectfully let the 
goat alone. Besides his defensive armor, he 
is an ugly customer in attack. He under- 
stands the use of his thin, smooth horns, and, 
driving them securely into the belly of his 
enemy, jumps back and leaves him a useless, 
ripped- open sack. Male and female have 
horns of much the same size ; and in taking a 

bite out of one of either sex, as T said, 

a mountain lion would get only a mouthful 
of hair. 

But modern firearms have come to be 
appreciated by the wild animals; and those 
which were once unquestionably dangerous 
to pioneers, now retreat before the Winches- 
ter rifle. Only a bear with cubs to defend 
remains formidable. 

I said this to T , who told me a per- 
sonal experience that tends to destroy even 
this last chance for the sportsman to be 

doughty. T came on a bear and cubs 

in the spring, and of course they made off, 
but his dog caught and held one little cub 
which cried out like a child — and its con- 
temptible mama hurried straight on and away. 
48 



The White Goat and his Country 
Not so a goat mama of which T- 



also told me. Some prospectors came on a 
bunch of goats when the kids were young 
-enough to be caught. One of the men cap- 
tured a kid, and was walking off with it, when 
the mother took notice and charged furiously 
down on him. He flew by in ignominious 
sight of the whole camp with the goat after 
him, till he was obliged to drop the kid, which 
was then escorted back to its relatives by its 
most competent parent. 

Yet no room for generalizing is here. We 
■cannot conclude that the Ursus family fails 
to think blood as thick as other people do. 
These two incidents merely show that the 
race of bears is capable of producing unma- 
ternal females, while, on the other hand, we 
may expect occasionally to find in a nanny- 
goat a Mother of the Gracchi. 

I wished to help carry the heavy hide of the 

second billy; but T inflicted this upon 

himself, "every step to camp," he insisted, 
"for punishment at disappointing you." The 
descent this day had been bad enough, 
taking forty minutes for some four hundred 
yards. But now we were two hours getting 

4 49 



American Big-Game Hunting 

up, a large part of the way on hands and 
knees. I carried the two rifles and the glass, 
going in front to stamp some sort of a trail 
in the sliding rocks, while T panted be- 
hind me, bearing the goat-hide on his back. 

Our next hunt was from seven till four, up 
and down, in the presence of noble and lonely 
mountains. The straight peaks which mar- 
shal round the lake of Chelan were in our 
view nearby, beyond the valley of the Twispt, 
and the whole Cascade range rose endlessly, 
and seemed to fill the world. Except in Swit- 
zerland, I have never seen such an unbroken 
area of mountains. And all this beauty going 
begging, while each year our American citi- 
zens of the East, more ignorant of their own 
country and less identified with its soil than 
any race upon earth, herd across the sea to 
the tables d'hote they know by heart ! But 
this is wandering a long way from goats, of 
which this day we saw none. 

A gale set in after sunset. This particular 
afternoon had been so mellow, the sun had 
shone so clear from a stable sky, that I had 
begun to believe the recent threats of winter 
were only threats, and that we had some open 

so 



The White Goat and his Country- 
time before us still. Next morning we waked 
in midwinter, the flakes flying thick and fu- 
rious over a park that was no longer a pas- 
ture, but a blind drift of snow. We lived 
in camp, perfectly comfortable. Down at 
the Forks I had had made a rough imitation 
of a Sibley stove. All that its forger had to 
go on was my unprofessional and inexpert 
description, and a lame sketch in pencil ; but 
he succeeded so well that the hollow iron 
cone and joints of pipe he fitted together 
turned out most efiicient. The sight of the 
apparatus packed on a horse with the panniers 
was whimsical, and until he saw it work I 

know that T despised it. After that, it 

commanded his respect. All this stormy day 
it roared and blazed, and sent a lusty heat 

throughout the tent. T cleaned the two 

goat-heads, and talked Shakspere and Thack- 
eray to me. He quoted Henry the Fourth, 
and regretted that Thackeray had not more 
developed the character of George Warring- 
ton. Warrington was the ma7i in the book. 
When night came the storm was gone. 

By eight the next morning we had sighted 
another large solitary billy. But he had seen 



American Big-Game Hunting 

us down in the park from his ridge. He had 
come to the edge, and was evidently watch- 
ing the horses. If not quick-witted, the goat 
is certainly wary; and the next time we saw 
him he had taken himself away down the other 
side of the mountain, along a spine of rocks 
where approach was almost impossible. We 
watched his slow movements throug-h the g-lass, 
and were both reminded of a bear. He felt 
safe, and was stepping deliberately along, 
often stopping, often walking up some small 
point and surveying the scenery. He moved 
in an easy, rolling fashion, and turned his head 
importantly. Then he lay down in the sun, 
but saw us on our way to him, and bounced 
off. We came to the place where he had 
jumped down sheer twenty feet at least. His 
hoof-tracks were on the edge, and in the gravel 
below the heavy scatter he made in landing; 
and then, — hasty tracks round a corner of 
rock, and no more goat that day. 

I had become uneasy about the weather. 
It was all sunshine again, and though our first 
goat was irretrievably gone, we had the after- 
noon before us. Nevertheless, when I sug- 
gested we should spend it in taking the shoes 
52 



The White Goat and his Country 

off the horses, so they might be able to walk 

homeward without falling in the snow, T 

thought it our best plan. We wanted to find 
a bunch of goats now, nannies and kids, as well 
as billies. It had been plain that these ridges 
here contained very few, and those all hermits; 
males who from age, or temperament, or dis- 
appointment in love, had retired from society, 
and were spending the remainder of their days 
in a quiet isolation and whatever is the goat 
equivalent for reading Horace. It was well 
enough to have begun with these philoso- 
phers, but I wanted new specimens. 

We were not too soon. A new storm had 
set in by next morning, and the unshod horses 
made their journey down the mountain, a most 
odious descent for man and beast, in the sliding 
snow. But down on the Twispt it was yet 
only autumn, with no snow at all. This was 
a Monday, the 7th of November, and we made 
haste to the Forks, where I stopped a night 
to read a large, accumulated mail, and going 
on at once, overtook my outfit, which had 
preceded me on the day before. 

Our new camp — and our last one — was 
up the Methow, twenty-three miles above the 
^* 53 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Forks, in a straight line. Here the valley 
split at right angles against a tall face of 
mountain, and each way the stream was re- 
duced to a brook one could cross afoot. The 
new valley became steep and narrow almost 
at once, and so continued to the divide 
between Columbia water and tributaries of 
the Skagit. We lived comfortably in an old 
cabin built by prospectors. The rain filtered 
through the growing weeds and sand on the 
roof and dropped on my head in bed; but not 
much, and I was able to steer it off by a rub- 
ber blanket. And of course there was no 
glass in the windows ; but to keep out wind and 
wet we hung gunny sacks across those small 
holes, and the big stone fireplace was mag- 
nificent. 

By ten next morning T and I saw 

"three hundred" goats on the mountain op- 
posite where we had climbed. Just here I 
will risk a generalization. When a trapper 
tells you he has seen so many hundred head 
of game, he has not counted them, but he 

believes what he says. The goats T 

and I now looked at were a mile away in an 

air-line, and they seemed numberless. The 

54 



The White Goat and his Country 

picture which the white, slightly moving dots 
made, like mites on a cheese, inclined one to 
a large estimate of them, since they covered 
the whole side of a hill. The more we looked 
the more we found; besides the main army 
there were groups, caucuses, families sitting 
apart over some discourse too intimate for the 
general public; and beyond these single 
animals could be discerned, moving, gazing, 
browsing, lying down. 

"Megod and Begod," said T (he oc- 
casionally imitated a brogue for no hereditary 
reason), "there's a hundred thousand goats!" 

"Let's count 'em," I suggested, and we took 
the glasses. There were thirty-five. 

We found we had climbed the wrong hill, 
and the day was too short to repair this error. 
Our next excursion, however, was successful. 
The hill where the goats were was not two 
miles above camp, — you could have seen the 
animals from camp but for the curve in the 
canon, — yet we were four hours and a half 
climbing the ridge, in order to put ourselves 
above them. It was a hard climb, entirely 
through snow after the first. On top the 
snow came at times considerably above the 
55 



American Big-Game Hunting 

knees. But the judicious T (I have never 

hunted with a more careful and thorough 
man) was right in the route he had chosen, 
and after we had descended again to the edge 
of the snow, we looked over a rock, and saw, 
thirty yards below us, the nanny and kid for 
which we had been aiming. I should have 
said earlier that the gathering of yesterday 
had dispersed during the night, and now little 
bunches of three and four goats could be seen 
up and down the canon. We were on the 
exact ground they had occupied, and their 
many tracks were plain. My first shot missed 
— thirty yards! — and as nanny and kid went 
bounding by on the hill below, I knocked her 

over with a more careful bullet, and T 

shot the kid. The little thing was not dead 
when we came up, and at the sight of us 
it gave a poor little thin bleat that turns me 
remorseful whenever I think of it. We had 
all the justification that any code exacts. We 
had no fresh meat, and among goats the kid 
alone is eatable; and I justly desired speci- 
mens of the entire family. 

We carried the whole kid to camp, and later 
its flesh was excellent. The horns of the 
56 



The White Goat and his Country- 
nanny, as has been said before, are but sHghtly 
different from those of the male. They are, 
perhaps, more slender, as is also the total make- 
up of the animal. In camp I said to T 

that I desired only one more of those thirty- 
five goats, a billy ; and that if I secured him 
the next day, that should be the last. Fortune 
was for us. We surprised a bunch of several. 
They had seen me also, and I was obliged to 
be quick. This resulted in some shots miss- 
ing, and in two, perhaps three, animals going 
over ledges with bullets in them, leaving safe 
behind the billy I wanted. His conduct is an 
interesting example of the goat's capacity to 
escape you and die uselessly, out of your reach. 
I had seen him reel at my first shot, but he 
hurried around a corner, and my attention was 
given to others. As I went down, I heard a 

shot, and came round the corner on T , 

who stood some hundred yards further along 

the ledge beside a goat. T had come 

on him lying down. He had jumped up and 

run apparently unhurt, and T had shot 

him just as he reached the end of the ledge. 
Beyond was a fall into inaccessible depths. 

Besides T 's shot we found two of mine — 

57 



American Big-Game Hunting 

one clean through from the shoulder — the 
goat had faced me when I fired first — to the 
ham, where the lead was flat against the bone. 
This goat was the handsomest we had, smaller 
than the other males, but with horns of a better 
shape, and with hair and beard very rich and 
white. Curiously enough, his lower jaw be- 
tween the two front teeth had been broken 
a long time ago, probably from some fall. 
Yet this accident did not seem to have inter- 
fered with his feeding, for he was in excellent 
plump condition. 

This completely satisfied me, and I willingly 
decided to molest no more goats. I set neither 
value nor respect on numerical slaughter. 
One cannot expect Englishmen to care 
whether American big game is exterminated 
or not; that Americans should not care is a 
disgrace. The pervading spirit of the far 
West as to game, as to timber, as to everything 
that a true American should feel it his right 
to use and his duty to preserve for those com- 
ing after, is — ''What do I care, so long as it 
lasts my time? " 

There remain a few observations to make, 
and then I have said the little that I know about 
58 



The White Goat and his Country 

goats. Their horns are not deciduous, so far 
at least as I could learn, and the books say 
this also. But I read a somewhat inaccurate 
account of the goat's habits in winter-time. It 
was stated that at that season, like mountain 
sheep, he descends and comes into the valleys. 
This does not seem to be the case. He does 
not depend upon grass, if indeed he eats grass 
at all. His food seems to be chiefly the short, 
almost lichen-like moss that grows on the 
faces and at the base of the rocks and be- 
tween them in the crevices. The community 
of goats I watched was feeding; afterward, 
when on the spot where they had been, I 
found there was no grass growing anywhere 
near, and signs pointed to its having been the 
moss and rock plants that they had been eat- 
ing. None of the people in the Methow 
country spoke of seeing goats come out of the 
mountains during winter. I have not sufficient 
data to make the assertion, but I am inclined 
to believe that the goat keeps consistently to 
the hills, whatever the season may be, and in 
this differs from the mountain sheep as he 
differs in appearance, temperament, and in all 
characteristics excepting the predilection for 

39 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the inclined plane; and in this habit he is more 
vertical than the sheep. 

Lest the region I hunted in may have 
remained vague to Eastern readers, it is as 
well to add that in an air-line I was probably 
some thirty miles below the British border, 
and some hundred and twenty east of Puget 
Sound. 

Owen Wister. 



A Day with the Elk 

Early in September of 1890, we were in 
camp in the northern part of Colorado, an 
easy day's ride from the Wyoming line. Our 
party, eight in all, consisted of myself, three 
friends, three packers, and a cook. We had 
been out nearly a month, and after the first 
week our success had been good. We were 
taking life very easily — hunting a little, fish- 
ing now and then, and doing a great deal of 
healthy "lying round camp." 

Game was very plentiful. There were black- 
tail and elk all around us. The antelope, 
than whom the ammunition manufacturer has 
no truer friend, were within easy reach. One 
of the party had bagged two bears, and a 
packer had found a dead one, whose fore- 
paws and ears were sufficiently preserved to 
be worth a $10 bounty to the finder. 

The outfit with two exceptions was con- 
tent. Our cook, having surreptitiously drunk 
all the whisky, was struggling with an in- 
61 



American Big-Game Hunting 

creasing thirst provoked by an empty demi- 
john. My cup of happiness, unlike the cook's, 
had never been emptied, but it was far from 
full. I had not shot an elk. They were all 
round us, and had been for a fortnight. I 
had hunted them alone and in company. 
I had had many chances at young bulls, 
but had hitherto held my hand, waiting in 
vain for a good head. We had plenty of 
meat — a condition of things forbidding use- 
less slaughter. Spike bulls and cows were 
therefore sacred, and seemed to know it, for 
they gave me every chance to take advan- 
tage of their youthful inexperience or sex. 
Twice I had stumbled on a large band in 
timber. I had heard the musical challenges 
of the young bulls answered by the patriarch, 
with his squealing whisde ending in a deep 
grunt of conscious superiority. The young 
bulls were provokingly plentiful — but the pa- 
triarchs always invisible. Of course every other 
member of the outfit saw the " biggest bull 
yet" whenever I happened to be absent. Each 
of my three friends had a good head or two 
to his score, and their accounts were closed. 
Our time Vv^as nearly up, and I began to de- 



A Day with the Elk 

spair of getting what I wanted. For two 
days I sulked in my tent, and then one morn- 
ing Robert Bruce's historic spider fell into 
my lap from the tent-pole, and I arose and 
went forth for a last try. 

Our camp was by a stream in an aspen 
grove, on the edge of one of those open spaces 
which, be they large or small, are known in 
Colorado as parks. Behind us to the south 
lay heavily timbered ridges, alternating with 
little valleys full of shade-trees, long, sweet 
grass, and pleasant brooks. There, I thought, 
was as good a place as any in which to find 
the "faultless monster that the world ne'er 
saw," and thither I accordingly went. 

It was about noon when I started, and my 
intention was to v/ork away to the south, and 
then hunt back to camp toward evening. I 
know that there are those who say that if you 
want to kill game you must get up early. 
They are perfectly right, and I agree with 
them entirely. But there are others who 
maintain with equal truth that toward sun- 
down is the best time. One time is as good 
as the other, and inasmuch as an empty belly 
and the dark before the dawn are bitter things 
63 



American Big-Game Hunting 

to me, and to be avoided if possible, I prefer 
the evening shooting. So, fortified v^ith a 
eood niorht's rest, and a breakfast calculated 
to last me till the morrow, I set forth alone 
and on foot. 

In hunting, as in most cases where real 
work is to be done, one is best alone. Two 
people are apt to talk just at the wrong time. 
And even if you do not talk at all, four feet 
make — of necessity — more noise than two, 
and two bodies are easier seen than one. I 
left my horse behind, because I did not wish 
to burden myself with an extra responsibility. 
A horse can be a dreadful nuisance. You 
may want to go where he cannot, and so you 
must either leave him tied up somewhere, or 
else suit your way to his. Again, you lose 
valuable time in dismounting and tying up, 
before stalking or shooting your game. And 
both time and temper suffer when you can't 
find the place where you left your horse. 
Some men have the true woodsman's instinct, 
and never get lost or turned round. These 
are fortunate beings, and worthy of respectful 
admiration. But woe to him who, unendowed 
by nature with their gifts, seeks to imitate 
64 



A Day with the Elk 

them. For my part I have always had quite 
enough to do to keep my head and feet agreed 
as to the direction of camp. Any extra strain, 
such as the necessity of looking for a mislaid 
horse, is sure to cause a disagreement be- 
tween the members, and so bring on a catas- 
trophe. 

I had been out several hours. It was get- 
ting on toward evening, and I was well on my 
way home. There was no lack of elk in the 
neighborhood, for my more fortunate friends 
had proved that they were easy to find. I 
could see that bands had roved that very 
morning over the country through which my 
path lay. I could see where some great bull 
had thrashed the young sapling with his 
horns till the tender bark was stripped off, or 
hung in long, w^et ribbons from the wounded 
tree. And in the, pools where the big fellows 
had wallowed, the mud had scarce settled. 
In places the grass was trampled and littered 
as if by a bunch of cattle. The "sign" was 
plentiful and fresh. Still I heard no whistle, 
nor saw a living thing, save now and then 
when a big-eyed blacktail doe would gaze at 
me with mild wonder until she got my wind, 
5 65 



American Big-Game Hunting 

and then away she would bounce through the 
timber, followed by her startled fawn. 

But the shadows were getting longer and 
the air cooler; the sun was going rapidly 
down hill. I knew that now was the time 
when the elk were sure to be moving down 
out of the timber for their evening feed in the 
open glades. I was making my way quietly 
along a little stream, whose timbered banks 
afforded good cover, and at the same time a 
view of the small parks running up to the 
wooded ridges on either side. Suddenly my 
heart went to my throat, and I dropped in 
my tracks. There — to the left and within a 
few yards of me — was a cow coming down 
through the timber to drink. Close behind 
her was another cow, and then a young spike 
bull. I lay still and breathless, praying to all 
the gods that the band, which I felt sure was 
behind, might pass my hiding-place. There 
would surely be a big bull or two among 
them, and at that distance if I missed — . I 
was already thinking whether the neck or 
the shoulder was the best chance. The cow 
bent her head to the water, and began to 
drink. Her two companions paused on the 

66 



A Day with the Elk 

brink. Nothing else showed. The cow raised 
her dripping muzzle. I was so near that I 
could hear the drops tinkle as they fell back 
into the stream. And then a puff of wind, soft 
as a sigh, fanned my cheek, and with a snort 
and a bound the two cows and their youthful 
escort vanished back into the wood. They 
had got my wind, for see me they could not, 
and no log could have lain more still. 

Then arose a mighty trampling on the 
other side of the stream. The trio had 
evidently rejoined the band, startling them 
by their sudden retreat. I crept across 
the stream, and crawled through the thicket 
to spy out the land beyond. A thick, low 
clump of trees thrust itself like a venomous 
green tongue out into the open park which 
stretched away in front of me to the right 
and left. Beyond the park was a heavily 
wooded ridge, whither I felt sure the band 
had gone. But no — not all! Further on, at the 
extreme end of the green tongue of timber, 
in full view and broadside on, stood a young 
bull. He was evidently the last of the herd. 
He stood gazing about him as if he won- 
dered what had startled the others, and why 
67 



American Big-Game Hunting 

they had left him so unceremoniously. What 
a picture he made, as he stood outlined against 
the green hillside, turning his lordly head 
slowly from side to side with watchful eye 
and spreading nostril ! I had seen plenty 
as good as he, and had held my hand. But 
then it might be my last chance. He was 
only a ten-pointer. But I had gone home so 
often empty handed, and he was only seventy 
or eighty yards away. Instinctively my rifle 
went to my shoulder, my finger pressed the 
trigger, the elk plunged forward and fell on 
his knees. As he struggled to rise, I shot 
him again. And then — what are mere 
words to describe what I felt! On my left, 
beyond the accursed green tongue, went 
with a rush a great band of cows and calves. 
And in their very midst rolled the great- 
grandfather of all the elk in the State of 
Colorado, — a perfect monster ! His back was 
as broad and as yellow as the Tiber in 
spring. His horns were as thick as a strong 
man's arm, and spread like the branches of 
an oak. Across the park and up the hill he 
went, his wives and children thronging round 
him so close that I could not shoot for fear 
68 



A Day with the Elk 

of doing useless harm. Up and over the 
ridge and into the timber he went, and I saw 
him no more. It was all over in a moment; 
then I remembered the young bull I had shot, 
and went and sat down by him. I expressed 
my profound regret for what had occurred, 
and explained how it had all happened. His 
grandpapa should have shown himself a mo- 
ment sooner, or at least should have had the 
decency to separate himself from the ladies 
when running away. And then, having per- 
formed the necessary rites, I left him where 
he lay, and started for camp to get a packer 
and a horse. 

My way lay over the very ridge the elk 
had crossed in their flight. Thinking that I 
might get another chance at the big fellow, I 
went carefully along, keeping a sharp look- 
out ahead. For about an hour I kept on 
through the woods. It was getting dark fast, 
but I was very near home, and could see the 
great park on the edge of which our camp 
lay. As I walked, I could hear from time 
to time the whistling of bulls on all sides; 
some far off, and some seemingly quite near 
at hand. In crossing a large open patch of 

5* 69 



American Bis-Game Huntinfi 



burnt timber, I was stopped by a very loud 
whistle close in front; and, on creeping up, 
saw on the far edge of the clearing three 
bulls standing. They were between me and 
camp, and not two hundred yards away. 
They seemed to hear or see me, but stood 
perfectly still, probably mistaking me in the 
dusk for one of their number. One was a 
big fellow, I could see, as he stood out 
against the sky. What horns he had ! The 
failing light made him seem gigantic. I 
crawled on till within easy range, and still he 
never moved. He was standing breast on, 
apparendy watching me. Aiming for where 
his great shaggy throat joined his broad 
breast I fired^ The rifle blazed out in the 
dusk ; the elk gave a bound, and turned 
his quarter toward me; the other two 
dashed off into the woods. Again I fired; 
this time for his shoulder. The flash of the 
rifle half blinded me for an instant, but I 
could see that he was down. I started for 
him at a run. Up he got, and went lurching 
heavily down hill toward camp. I was now 
quite close to him, and fired once more. 
Again he fell, but, the slope aiding him, he 



A Day with the Elk 

struggled up and went stumbling along. 
There was no need of another shot. He 
was nearly spent, and my only thought was 
to get him as near camp as possible. For- 
getting all about the danger of going too 
near a wounded elk, I was close at his 
quarter, hurling sticks and stones at him to 
drive him home, as one would an ox. The 
hill was steep ; my second shot had broken 
his shoulder ; he pitched rather than walked 
down the slope ; and finally fell forward in a 
heap and breathed his last. 

He was not the monster I had lost, but 
he was a grand big one; as big as any we 
had killed on that trip. I had what I wanted 
at last, and having marked well the spot 
where he lay, I heaved a sigh of satisfaction 
and started for camp. 

In half an hour I was stowing away a well- 
earned supper, and fighting my battle over 
again for the benefit of all who chose to 
listen. About nine o'clock I went back with 
two packers and a horse to where my prize 
lay stiff and cold. By the light of a roaring 
fire we cut him up, and then, loading the 
horse with what we wanted, we left the re- 
71 



American JSig-Game Hunting 

mainder for the bears and coyotes, and be- 
took ourselves to camp. 

Two days later I had the melancholy satis- 
faction of assisting at the decapitation of the 
monster who had escaped me. I devoutly 
believe it was the same elk, and though of 
course I cannot swear to his identity, yet I 
am sure he must have been a full brother to 
old Yellow Back. My friend had stalked and 
shot him while superintending the luncheons, 
siestas and gambols of his numerous family. 
When I saw him I groaned in spirit, and con- 
gratulated the lucky sportsman. We took 
only his head, for he was too much married 
by far to be good eating. His mighty body 
was left as a memetito mori to the valiant bull 
who succeeded him in the affections of his 
widows and offspring. 

Winthrop CJianler. 



72 



Old Times in the Black Hills. 

In the spring of '75 I found myself one of 
a party of six occupying a rude but strongly 
fortified stockade on French Creek, in the 
Black Hills, almost under the shadow of Ca- 
lamity Peak, and not far from where Custer 
City was afterward built. 

I had left Denver the previous fall, quite a 
tenderfoot, and, like Lord Lovel of milk-white 
steed fame, wanting "strange countries for to 
see," I determined to join a party that I heard 
was outfitting at Cheyenne to go into the 
Black Hills upon a hunting and prospecting 
tour, under the guidance of old California Joe, 
one of the most noted scouts and hunters In 
the West. At this time the presence of gold 
in the Black Hills was hardly known, and the 
country, being an Indian reservation, had not 
even been explored by white men, or surveyed 
by the government. The plans of the party 
in question suited my ideas exactly, and I 
soon found myself on the back of a **cayuse," 
73 



American Big-Game Hunting 

followed by a good stout packhorse, equipped 
for a journey of several months, eu route to 
Cheyenne, probably one hundred miles due 
north. After two days of hard riding I reached 
Cheyenne, and found that the party had started 
two days before, intending to cross the Platte 
River at Fort Laramie, another hundred miles 
north. Undaunted, I pushed on without delay, 
not even stopping to take a shot at any of 
the numerous bands of antelope that continu- 
ally crossed my path. I reached the post the 
second day, only to learn from a "bull- 
whacker" — I dared not disclose my purpose 
to the officers — that the party I was looking 
for had been turned back by the troops as 
trespassers on Indian territory, and were sup- 
posed to have gone in the direction of Fort 
Fetterman. Though somewhat disheartened, 
I lost no time in following them, and soon 
rode into their camp, after dark, in a blinding 
snow-storm. 

My welcome was anything but cordial. 
They regarded my story that I, a tenderfoot, 
had ridden through from Denver in four days 
to join them as suspicious, and believed, as I 
afterward ascertained, that I had been sent 

74 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

out from the post to spy upon their move- 
ments. As I rode into camp I noticed they 
were just finishing supper. During the argu- 
ment that followed my arrival and proposition 
to join them, I observed a large, powerfully 
built man, dressed in buckskin, seated apart 
from the rest. He was eating the meat from a 
section of ribs he had scraped out from among 
the coals and ashes. He took no part in the 
conversation until, in answer to a question, 1 
stated that I was a Kentuckian. At this he 
rose and settled the matter by saying that if 
I was a Kentuckian he would vouch for my 
honesty of purpose, and that I would stand 
fire in the scrimmages that we were certain to 
have with the Sioux. This was California Joe, 
who for years had been chief of scouts with 
General Custer. He afterward informed me 
that he was from near Danville, Kentucky, 
that his name was Mose Milner, and that he 
had gone West in the forties. I mention this 
from the fact that I have since read an account 
referring to him as one of the most noted 
characters in the West, whose life was sur- 
rounded by mystery, as he always refused to 
tell his real name or whence he came. 

75 



American Big-Game Hunting 

After waiting a couple of days for the river 
to fall, we forded just above the junction of 
the Laramie and the Platte. I came very 
near losing my packhorse and entire outfit, 
one horse being drowned in the treacherous 
quicksands in spite of our strenuous efforts to 
rescue him. At the end of a two weeks' jour- 
ney through the best game country I ever 
hunted in, we entered the Black Hills proper, 
through Red Canon, the place where the 
Metz party and many prospectors e7i route to 
the new Eldorado were afterward killed by 
the Indians. Old Joe had several opportuni- 
ties to verify his good opinion of my ability 
to stand fire, as we were attacked by roving 
bands of Sioux at Alkali Springs, Hat Creek, 
and Red Canon. Our first action was to erect 
a couple of log cabins and surround them with 
a strong stockade, with a bastion at each cor- 
ner. We spent the entire winter here, feeling 
secure of our ability to stand off any bands of 
Indians that might attempt to dislodge us. 
We were utterly oblivious of the fact that the 
Indians had reported our presence, and that 
the government had sent out troops from both 
Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies to bring 
76 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

us in ; one command, under Lieutenant Mix, 
returning after several weeks' unsuccessful 
search with a large percentage of the men 
suffering from frozen extremities. 

In the early part of the winter game was 
plentiful; it was a perfect hunter's paradise, 
it being necessary only to sit in the stockade 
gate and shoot deer coming down to water. 
We frequently had eight or ten carcasses 
swung to our corner-poles, and did not deign 
to eat other than the choice pieces, throwing 
the remainder over the stockade walls to at- 
tract wolves at night. These we shot for their 
pelts. In the early spring the Indians coming 
in for "tepee" poles burned the country for 
miles around us, and quite a little jaunt be- 
came necessary to find game. We generally 
took turn about at supplying the table with 
meat, and it eventually proved anything but 
a sinecure. 

On one such hunt I met with a rather 
curious misadventure. It being my turn to 
replenish the larder, which, by the way, had 
for several weeks contained absolutely nothing 
but meat, — not even coffee, — I placed a raw- 
hide hackamore and a pack on "Coffee," an 
n 



American Big-Game Hunting 

extra bronco I had bought, filled my pouch 
with a good supply of jerked bear-meat, and 
calling two of the dogs, — Kentuck, a grey- 
hound, and Maida, a deerhound, — I struck 
out just as the sun was peeping over the hills. 
I decided to go to the foot-hills in the direc- 
tion of Buffalo Gap, in the hope of finding ante- 
lope in some of the valleys. Noon found me 
near Point of Rocks and still tramping, "Cof- 
fee" trailing leisurely along, at times drop- 
ping entirely out of sight while looking for 
unburned grass, then whinnying and scam- 
pering after me full tilt, like a boy just out 
from school. I had seen several deer and a 
couple of sheep, but none within range. 

Here I came upon some cottontail rabbits, 
the first and only ones I ever saw in that part 
of the country. They were not frightened 
by my presence, evidently never having been 
disturbed by man. I tried a shot at one very 
near me, and as I was using 107 grains of 
powder, entirely overshot him. Although 
the smoke of the gun reached him, he did not 
budge an inch; a second shot literally scat- 
tered him to the winds. The dogs, returning 
at this point, quickly despatched several. 
78 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

Leaving "Coffee" in the valley, I decided 
to give up antelope and take my chances 
on deer and sheep on the mountain-side. 
When about winded from my exertions, I 
dropped upon a fallen pine, somewhat dis- 
gusted with my ill luck. Presently I heard 
the distinct bark of a deer very close to me. 
Peering cautiously from behind a huge gran- 
ite boulder that obstructed my view ahead, 
my heart beat faster in an incipient buck- 
fever, for not sixty yards from me, on a small 
plateau, stood a big buck, while at his feet 
lay a doe. His head was slightly turned to- 
ward me, his nostrils were quivering and dis- 
tended, and he looked as if prepared to 
bound away. He was evidently alarmed by 
the noise of the dogs I had left in the canon, 
which were now making their way up the 
steep sides of the mountain. He seemed ut- 
terly oblivious of my presence; and there was 
a look of proud defiance in his eye that gave 
him a most noble, majestic appearance as he 
stood impatiently striking the hard ground 
with his fore foot. I had long been anxious 
to kill two deer with one shot, a feat I had 
twice seen accomplished by others, so I 

79 



American Big-Game Hunting 

paused a minute with rifle at full cock, hoping 
the doe would arise alongside of him. I had 
not long to wait ; his note of warning aroused 
her, and she jumped to her feet. 

Taking a quick aim just back of his shoul- 
der, I fired. As soon as the smoke cleared 
from in front of my eyes, I saw him still stand- 
ing erect; he shook his antlers, paused a mo- 
ment, then rearing to his full height he pitched 
forward upon his head, apparently stone dead. 
Forgetting in the excitement of the moment 
to take a second shot at the doe, which was 
now bounding off seemingly uninjured, I ran 
exultingly forward to the buck, dropping my 
rifle on the edge of the plateau as I reached 
for my hunting-knife to cut his throat. To 
my amazement he bounded to his feet and 
made straight at me, meeting my advance 
with a charge as sudden as it was unexpected. 
His onslaught was irresistible, and striking 
me squarely, he sent me whirling heels over 
head, fortunately landing me near my rifle, 
for in reaching for my knife I discovered it 
was missing. Scrambling to my feet, I arose 
with my rifle in my hand, and not a minute 
too soon, for the now thoroughly enraged 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

buck was upon me, with eyes gleaming like 
coals of fire. I clubbed my gun and struck 
at his lowered head, hitting the bur of his 
antlers; and the rifle flew out of my hands, 
broken in two at the grip. I grasped him by 
the antlers, and the tussle we then had would 
have been an interesting and thrilling one to 
a spectator. I myself would have much pre- 
ferred the role of spectator to that of partici- 
pant, but unfortunately I had no choice in the 
matter. 

The dogs, now coming up, fortunately di- 
vided his attention. Kentuck promptly seized 
him by the ear and hung on bravely, notwith- 
standing the sharp hoofs of the buck were 
cutting him frightfully at each stroke of his 
deadly fore feet; Maida, in the mean time, was 
unable to secure a hold that would assist us. 
In my efforts to hold his head down I slipped 
and fell, and buck, dogs, and myself mingled 
in a confused heap. As I fell I lost my hold 
on the antlers and scrambled for my mutilated 
rifle ; but before I found whether it could be 
used or not, the buck lunged forward, falling 
with Kentuck beneath him. It was his last 
•effort ; he was dead. Completely winded from 



American Big-Game Hunting 

my continued and violent exertions in the 
light air, — being almost up to timber-line, — I 
sank upon the ground, and could not refrain 
from smiling at the forlorn appearance we 
presented. 

Blowing like porpoises, their tongues loll- 
ing out, covered with blood from their own 
and the buck's wounds, the dogs lay extended 
at full leneth. An examination revealed that 
Kentuck's mouth was split almost to his ears, 
and there was a hole in his abdomen from 
which his entrails protruded, besides several 
minor cuts. Maida was more bloody than 
hurt, having lost several patches of skin, and 
hair enough to pad a saddle. As for myself, my 
antelope-skin shirt and overalls were ripped 
and bloody, one sole was torn from my heavy 
hunting-boots, elbows and knees were skinned 
by the sharp ledges of slate and loose quartz 
scattered about, and I had a badly cut lip and 
several loose teeth. I considered my great- 
est injury the damage to my rifle. It was 
one that I had made to order by Freund, 
of Denver, being a 45 -caliber, heavy octa- 
gon barrel, Springfield needle-gun movement, 
with set triggers and curled maple pistol-grip 
82 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

stock. I considered this the best all-round 
sporting-rifle I had ever owned. I was three 
hundred miles from a gunsmith, virtually un- 
armed, and carrying my life in my hand. 

An examination of the dead buck proved 
him indeed a grand specimen. He had eight 
points to each antler, and their condition and 
his numerous scars proved conclusively that 
he had ever been willing to defend his title as 
monarch of the woods. I never would have 
believed that any deer could attain so large 
a size, and though I have hunted them from 
Arizona to Montana, I have never seen his 
equal either as to size or condition. This 
fact determined me to carry him into camp 
whole ; in fact, I had no other alternative, 
being without a knife. I found the task of 
cutting his throat with sharp pieces of slate a 
tedious one indeed, and I had a terrible time 
getting the carcass on " Coffee," who, al- 
though the best packhorse I ever saw, had 
never overcome his horror of a dead animal, 
and did not even relish the rabbits I had 
strapped on him at noon. It may seem a 
simple thing, but I found loading that buck 
without assistance one of the hardest tasks I 
83 



American Big-Game Hunting 

ever undertook, and more than once was on the 
point of giving it up. However, my desire to 
substantiate my claim of having bagged the 
largest deer of any of the party sharpened 
my wits. Snubbing "Coffee's" nose up tight 
against a tree growing at the base of a ledge 
on to which I had succeeded in dragging and 
rolling the carcass, I blindfolded him with my 
hunting-shirt, and then managed to roll the 
buck on the pack from the ledge. 

By the time this was accomplished, the sun 
was sinking behind the mountain. Returning 
slowly to the valley, no course was left me 
but to camp for the night, for I was at least 
fifteen miles from the stockade. I may have 
been a fit subject for the Society for the Preven- 
tion of Cruelty to Animals, but " Coffee" spent 
that night in the embrace of a *' diamond 
hitch," holding the buck securely on his back. 
After making a hearty supper off the bear- 
meat, and dressing the wounds of the dogs, — 
which, by the way, healed rapidly, consider- 
ing their terrible nature and the fact that I 
had nothing but bear's-grease to dress them 
with, — I hobbled " Coffee," and, being thor- 
oughly exhausted, rolled myself up in a 
84 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

buffalo-robe, and was soon fast asleep : only 
to be awakened in a few hours by the nasty 
yelping of the wretched coyotes. Though 
there were probably less than a half-dozen of 
them, it sounded as though the whole canine 
race was present. I did not dare make a fire 
large enough to run them off. When I had 
finally come to the conclusion that the best 
thing I could do was to grin and bear it, the 
shrill cry of a mountain-lion aroused the dogs 
and also put to flight the coyotes, and I spent 
the remainder of the night in comparative 
peace and quietness. 

Kentuck's cold nose coming in contact with 
my neck, in his efforts to share my robe, 
aroused me about daylight ; and, not waiting 
for an extensive toilet and dainty breakfast, 
I broke camp and set out for home. Ten 
o'clock found me crossing Slate Creek, a few 
miles from the stockade. Looking down the 
creek, I saw a doe feeding at the mouth of 
a small gulch several hundred yards away, 
and quickly led "Coffee" and the dogs out 
of sight, with the intention of stalking her, 
forgetting at the moment the condition of 
my rifle. Just then I saw her start, look 

6* 85 



American Big-Game Hunting 

down the creek, toss her tail up, and dart into 
the bushes. Wondering what could have 
so startled her, I cautiously crept from out 
the coulee by which I was approaching her, 
and to my surprise saw, a couple of hundred 
yards still further down the creek, an Indian 
on foot. He crossed fearlessly, almost care- 
lessly, and walked up on to a high point of 
ground jutting out into the valley or creek 
bottom he had just crossed. After a swift 
glance up and down the creek he turned, 
parted the bushes in front of him, and dis- 
appeared. I readily recognized him even at 
that distance as an Ogallala Sioux. After 
waiting probably ten minutes to assure my- 
self there were no others with him, knowing 
it was seldom if ever they are seen alone on 
foot, I proceeded down the creek, intending 
to learn if he was heading in the direction 
of the stockade. 

When just at the identical spot where I had 
last seen the Indian, an unearthly screech 
sounded in the chaparral a few feet in front 
of me, followed instantly by the bang of a 
gun, and I felt a blow on my side which nearly 
turned me around. What thoughts chased 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

themselves through my excited imagination 
as I felt that terrible bullet plowing its way 
through my vitals will never be told. Then, 
as visions of the whole Sioux tribe dancing 
around my scalpless body vanished, I realized 
the truth. A disturbed sand-hill crane, that 
had alighted there during my detour, had 
screeched almost in my ear, and my stockless 
rifle, which I was carrying at full cock, had 
been discharged, nearly fracturing my ribs by 
the recoil. I felt truly thankful that Califor- 
nia Joe was not present, for if my hair did not 
actually stand on end, I certainly had all the 
sensations of this once experienced never to 
be forgotten feeling. 

With a sigh of relief I went back to ** Cof- 
fee " and the dogs, and after cinching up the 
former until he looked like a wasp, and ar- 
ranging the compress on Kentuck, I struck 
out for French Creek at a trot that hustled 
both the crippled dogs and overloaded " Cof- 
fee" to keep up with. Upon coming down into 
French Creek valley, about two miles above 
the stockade, another and greater surprise 
awaited me; for there I found encamped a 
party of prospectors, arrived from Fort Fetter- 
87 



American Big-Game Hunting 

man. As I had not for months set eyes upon 
any white man except my own immediate 
party, this was a treat as pleasant as it was 
unexpected. The fact that "Coffee" boldly de- 
serted me here did not deter me from staying 
to dinner, especially when I saw they had 
both coffee and flapjacks, — delicacies that I 
had not reveled in for some weeks past. 
After spending an hour with them, I started 
down the creek, leaving poor Kentuck thor- 
oughly exhausted from loss of blood, and 
unable to walk another step. To the astonish- 
ment of the boys, I walked into the stockade 
with a piece of bacon swinging in one hand 
and a sack of flour on my back. I doubt if 
they would have been more surprised had I 
walked in with General Grant and Queen 
Victoria on either arm. 

" Coffee " had made a bee-line for home, 
anxious to be relieved of a load he had car- 
ried continuously for almost twenty-four hours. 
As I was so long in following him, they were 
beginning to feel alarmed at the continued 
absence of "Blue Grass," — a name given me 
by Joe, and one that clung to me throughout 
my stay in the Black Hills. 



Old Times in the Black Hills 

That night we went up to the new camp 
and sat around a blazing log-heap, listening 
to the news from " the States" until long after 
midnight. Kentuck we swung in a blanket, 
taking turn about carrying him home, and it 
was many weeks before he was again in con- 
dition to accompany me on a hunt. 

Roger D. Williams. 



89 



Big Game in the Rockies 

Some eight or. ten years ago it was by no 
means difficult, for one who knew where to go 
and how to hunt, to get excellent shooting 
in northwestern Wyoming. Large game was 
then moderately abundant, with the excep- 
tion of buffalo. The latter had just been 
exterminated, but, bleaching in the sun, the 
ghastly evidences of man's sordid and selfish 
policy lay exposed at every step. 

Indian troubles of a very formidable char- 
acter did a great deal toward keeping the 
game intact in this portion of the country by 
keeping the white man out, and while other 
parts of Wyoming grew, and towns sprang up 
with rapid growth to become in an incredibly 
short time cities, involving in destruction, as 
the past sad history shows, the wild animals 
in their vicinity, this Northwestern portion re- 
mained unsettled, and acted as an asylum to 
receive within its rocky mountain-ranges and 
vast sheltering forests the scattering bands 
90 




On the Heights. 

From Scribner's Magazine. 



Big Game in the Rockies 

of elk and deer fleeing from annihilation and 
the encroaching haunts of men. As soon as 
it was safe then, and in some instances un- 
questionably before, cattlemen, not inaptly 
styled pioneers of civilization, began to drift 
down along the valley of the Big Horn, and, 
like the patriarchs of old, ''brought their 
flocks with them," settling here and there, 
wherever they could find advantageous sites 
for their ranches. 

And now, as I propose to give some hunt- 
ing experiences of those days, if you will 
accompany me to Billings, on the Northern 
Pacific Railway, the nearest town to my ranch 
and the Mecca to which the devout cattleman 
drives his wagon for supplies, I will introduce 
you to the foot-hills and mountains, and some 
of the adventures therein. 

After four days on a sleeping-car, it is a 
delightful release to tumble out on a frosty 
September morning, and, being guided to 
where the ranch-wagon and crew are bivou- 
acked just outside the limits of the rapidly 
growing town, to get one's breakfast on 
terra firma. No time is now to be wasted ; 
the mules are hitched up; the little band of 
91 



American Big- Game Hunting 

horses are rounded together, and when we 
have jumped into our saddles, the cook, who 
always handles the reins, gives a crack of his 
whip, and we take our departure from civ- 
ilization. A couple of miles brings us to a 
primitive wire-rope ferry, where we cross the 
Yellowstone River, which at this season of 
the year is low and clear; in a few minutes 
we are over, and, ascending the bluffs on the 
other side, take our last look at the beautiful 
valley we are leaving behind. 

By night we reach Pryor's Creek, and pick- 
ing out as good a camping-place as possible, 
the mules are soon unhitched and with the 
horses turned loose to graze. While the cook 
is preparing the evening meal, I bag a few 
prairie-chickens to give variety to the fare. 
Breakfasting at daylight the next morning, 
we are soon under way again, with Pryor's 
Mountains in the distance as our goal for this 
day's journey. Toward evening the white te- 
pees of an Indian camp are visible clustered 
in a picturesque group close to Pryor's Moun- 
tains. Passing them, not without paying a 
slight tribute in the way of tobacco and such 
other gifts as our copper-colored friends gen- 
92 



Big Game in the Rockies 

erally demand, we fairly enter Pryor's Gap, 
and there, in a beautiful amphitheater, we 
again make camp. This evening we must 
have trout for supper, so all hands go to 
work, and we are soon rewarded with a fine 
mess of trout from the head waters of Pryor's 
Creek. 

The next day, as we reach the summit of 
the gap, one of the most beautiful views in 
the country opens out. The great main range 
of the Rocky Mountains stretches before us, 
its rugged, snow-capped peaks glistening in 
the morning sun, and we long to be there, 
but many a long mile still intervenes, and 
forty-four miles of desert has to be crossed 
to-day. This is always an arduous undertak- 
ing. It is monotonous in the extreme, and men 
and animals are sure to suffer for want of good 
water, for after leaving Sage Creek on the 
other side of the gap, there is no water to be 
had until Stinking Water River* is reached. 

* Bancroft, in his account of the early explorations of Wyoming, 
refers to this river as follows : " It is a slander to use this non- 
descriptive name for an moffensive stream. The early trappers took it 
from the Indians, who, in their pecuhar fashion, called it 'the river 
that ran by the stinking water,' referring to bad-smelling hot springs 
on its banks." 

93 



American Big-Game Hunting 

But all things must have an end, and at last, 
late in the evening, we find ourselves en- 
camped on the banks of that stream, beautiful 
despite its unfortunate name. 

Fording the river the next morning, not a 
very terrifying operation in its present low 
stage, we climb the steep bank and soon be- 
gin our long ascent of the divide that sepa- 
rates us from our ranch and Greybull River. 
Accompanied by an immense amount of ex- 
pletives, and very bad language, the mules 
are finally induced to gain the summit. Here 
even the most casual observer could not fail 
to be impressed with the magnificent and ap- 
parently indefinite expanse of mountain scen- 
ery, that, turn which way he will, meets his 
view. However, we have no time to linger, 
and picking our way among the countless buf- 
falo wallows which indent the level surface of 
the summit, the wagon, with its wheels double 
locked, is soon groaning and creaking down 
the descent, which leads to the merrily rush- 
ing Meeteetse, following which, down to its 
junction with Greybull, we are soon inside 
our own fence, and are joyously welcomed by 
the dogs. Here, too, I find my trusty friend 



Big Game in the Rockies 

and companion of all my hunting trips, Taz- 
well Woody, a grizzled veteran of the moun- 
tains, who once long ago claimed Missouri as 
his home. From the ranch to the mountains 
is a comparatively short trip, for one day's 
travel to the westward would place you well 
up on their slopes. 

Let me say of this portion of the range 
that it is the most rugged, broken, and pre- 
cipitous of its whole extent, and the charm of 
overcoming its apparent inaccessibility can 
only be appreciated by one who has toiled 
and sweated in surmounting the difficulties of 
mountain travel from a pure love of nature in 
its wildest and grandest form. 

Experience having taught me long ago 
that it was well nigh impossible to get good 
specimens of all the different varieties of big 
game on any one trip, I made up my mind 
to devote a certain amount of time each year 
to one variety. By this means their habits 
could be studied more closely, and the main 
point never lost sight of. In a short paper 
like this I may best take up the chief of these 
varieties one by one, and, without regard to 
95 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the time of their occurrence, tell something of 
my experiences with each. And first, as to 
perhaps the shyest, the Rocky Mountain 
sheep. 

In the pursuit of Rocky Mountain sheep, 
the hunter, to be successful, must have a 
fondness for the mountains, a sure foot, 
good wind, and a head which no height will 
turn. These requisites, with patience and 
perseverance, will, sooner or later, as the 
hunter gains experience, reward him with 
ample returns. Sometimes, however, the un- 
expected will happen, and the following tale 
may serve as an example. 

We were camping well up in the mountains, 
and almost any hour of the day sheep could 
be seen with the glasses. I was after sheep ; 
it was my intent, business, and purpose to 
get some if possible, and all my energies 
were concentrated in that direction. 

There were two fine rams in particular that 
we could see about a mile and a half from 
camp occupying the slope of a rocky point or 
promontory that jutted out from a spur of the 
range. These two had a commanding posi- 
96 



Bie: Game in the Rockies 



'to 



tion, for, while it seemed impossible to get to 
them from above, they could see every move- 
ment from below or on each side of them. 
However, after studying the country for two 
days, I found that by ascending the mountain 
behind them and coming down again I could 
still keep above them, though there was a 
very narrow ledge of rocks, rather a hazard- 
ous place, that had to be crossed to get to the 
point they were on. This narrow ledge they 
had to come back on to get to the main part 
of the mountain; so, stationing my companion 
there, and taking off my shoes, and putting 
on an extra pair of heavy stockings, I pro- 
ceeded to crawl toward the sheep. 

With due care, and not making a sound, 
I made a most successful stalk. Peering over 
the ledge, I raised my head just enough to be 
sure my game was still there. They were 
there, sure enough, within seventy-five yards 
of me, totally unconscious of danger, when 
all of a sudden they sprang to their feet and 
dashed away from below me as though pos- 
sessed of a devil. I fired hastily, but of 
course missed, and turning, tried to run back 
to head them off, wondering what had started 

7 97 



American Big-Game Hunting 

them, as I knew I had made no noise. But 
running over broken rock in one's stocking 
feet is a very different thing from the slow, 
deliberate movements that brought me there, 
and besides, in a few seconds I had the mor- 
tification of seeing my would-be victims 
bounding across the narrow ledge that sepa- 
rated them from the mountain. However, I 
thought with satisfaction that at least one 
would meet its death from my companion 
in hiding ; but, alas ! although the rams al- 
most knocked him down, his cartridge missed 
fire, and the game ran safely by. 

Regaining my shoes, which was a great re- 
lief, I soon joined my companion, and then 
discovered the curious adventure I had been 
made the subject of It seems that when I 
had reached a point well down on the prom- 
ontory I must have disturbed a cougar, which 
was evidently there for the same purpose I 
was, and which had stealthily followed me as 
I proceeded toward the sheep. Old Woody 
described it as highly amusing — I sneaking 
down after the rams, and the panther sneak- 
ing down upon me. As soon as the beast 
got an opportunity, it turned off, and, making 
98 




Stalkin.t;- tin- Stalker. 

From Scribncr's Magazine. 



Big Game in the Rockies 

the descent, alarmed the rams and thus 
made my hunt a failure. 

For several days I watched this point, but 
those rams never came back to it again. 
However, not long after this I was amply re- 
warded, and secured a fine specimen. From 
one of the high ledges I was looking down 
into a sort of amphitheater shut in by mas- 
sive rocky heights. In this secluded retreat 
a little band of ewes, with one grand old 
patriarch as their master, could be seen every 
day disporting themselves with many a curi- 
ous gambol. After many unsuccessful at- 
tempts, I was enabled to get a shot, and 
great was my delight at depriving the little 
band of their supercilious protector. Upon 
another occasion I was camping away back 
up in the mountains, where there were about 
eighteen inches of snow on the ground. The 
weather had been villainous; there was no 
meat in the camp, and I determined to see if 
I could not get a deer. The prospect was 
not very cheering, for shortly after starting 
a heavy fog shut down, hiding ail objects 
from view. I had not proceeded far, how- 
ever, when I struck the fresh track of a ram, 

99 



American Big-Game Hunting 

and, following it cautiously for about a mile 
through the open, it led into a dense patch of 
pine on the side of the mountain. Proceed- 
ing very carefully now, I soon made out the 
outline of a fine old ram that had wandered 
off here in the timber to be by himself. Giv- 
ing him no time to run, for I was close upon 
him, certainly not farther than twenty-five 
yards, I planted a shot just back of the shoul- 
der, but he did not seem to mind it. I gave 
him another when he started to walk slowly 
off. One more shot in the same place, and 
down he came. Even then he died hard. 
Such is the vitality of an old ram; for upon ex- 
amining him I found his heart all torn to 
pieces. This was a good head of nearly six- 
teen inches circumference of horns, and the 
girth of chest was forty-six inches. In return- 
ing to camp for horses to pack him on, I jumped 
five more sheep, but having done well enough, 
they were allowed to disappear in safety. 

Sheep have a wonderfully keen vision, and 
it is absolutely useless to try to get to them 
if they once see you, unless you happen to be 
above them and on their favorite runway; then 
they huddle together and try to break back 



Big Game in the Rockies 

past you. The only safe rule is to travel high 
and keep working up above their feeding- 
grounds. In the spring of the year they are 
much easier to kill than in the fall, for then 
the heavy winter snows have driven them out 
of the mountains, and they come low down 
after the fresh green grass. The rams are then 
in bands, having laid aside the hostility that 
later in the year seems to possess each and 
every one of them. 

I was much interested once in watching a 
band of eight rams, all of them old fellows. 
They would feed early in the morning and 
then betake themselves to a large rock which 
stood on a grassy slope, where they would 
play for hours. One of them would jump on 
the rock and challenge the others to butt him 
off. Two or three would then jump up, and 
their horns would come together with a clash 
that I could hear from my position, which was 
fully a quarter of a mile away. On one occa- 
sion I saw them suddenly stop their play and 
each ram became fixed ; there the little band 
stood as though carved out of stone. They 
remained that way for quite half an hour with- 
out a movement. I could not detect with the 



American Big-Game Hunting 

glasses the slightest motion, when, presently, 
three strange rams made their appearance. 
Here was the explanation that I was looking 
for. They had seen them long before I had. 
The three visitors were not very well received, 
but were compelled to beat an ignominious 
and hasty retreat up the mountain side. 

As summer draws near, and the winter 
snow begins to disappear, bands of elk may be 
seen migrating toward their favorite ranges. 
The bulls are now together in bands of greater 
or less extent. Their horns are well grown 
out, but are soft and in the velvet. The cows 
and calves stick closely to the thick timber. 
As the season advances and the flies become 
troublesome, the bulls will get up as high as 
they can climb and seem to delight in standing 
on the brink of some mountain precipice. I 
have often wondered, in seeing them standing 
thus, whether they were insensible of the mag- 
nificent scenery that surrounded them. 

Reader, what would you have given to have 
seen, as I have, a band of two hundred and 
fifty bull-elk collected together on a beauti- 
ful piece of green grassy turf at an elevation 



Big Game in the Rockies 

of nine thousand feet? Here was a sight to 
make a man's nerves tingle. This was the 
largest band of bulls, by actual count, that I 
have ever seen, though my cousin and partner 
once saw in the fall of the year, including bulls, 
cows, and calves, fifteen hundred. This was 
on the memorable occasion when the only elk 
ever killed by any of my men gave up his life, 
and we have all concluded that this particular 
elk was frightened to death ; for though three 
men shot at him and each was confident he 
hit him, they always asserted afterward that 
no bullet-mark could be found on him. 

Generally, in August, in each band of bulls 
there will be found one or two barren cows. 
About the end of August, after the bulls have 
rubbed the velvet off their antlers, they will 
come back to the vicinity of the bands of cows. 
I have seen bulls as late as September 4 peace- 
ably feeding or resting among the bands of 
cows. Usually, in a band of fifty cows, there 
would be three or four males, including, possi- 
bly, one or two spike-bulls.^ I have seen these 
spike-bulls in the velvet as late as Septem- 

1 A spike-bull is a young elk carrying his first or dag antlers. These 
are single-tined, though in rare instances they are bifurcated. 
103 



American Big-Game Hunting 

ber 4, though by that time the older bulls 
had mostly rubbed the, velvet off. A little 
later, about September 7, the bulls begin to 
challenge each other, — in hunting parlance, 
"to whistle." This, on a clear, frosty night, 
is sometimes extremely melodious, and it is 
one of the most impossible sounds to imitate. 
Hunting elk, if I may be pardoned for saying 
it, I do not consider very exciting sport to a 
man thoroughly versed in the woods. They 
are far too noble an animal to kill unneces- 
sarily, and if one hunts them in September, 
when they are whistling, it is a very easy 
matter, guided by the sound, to stalk them 
successfully. 

Elk, like the rest of the deer family, are 
excessively fond of saline matter. Their trails 
may be seen leading from every direction to 
the great alkaline licks that abound in certain 
parts of their mountain-ranges. Among other 
favorite resorts are springs, which make, on 
steep wooded slopes, delightful, boggy wal- 
lowing places. The bulls revel in these from 
August to the middle of September. It is not 
an uncommon thing to kill them just as they 
emerge from their viscous bath coated with 
104 



^tt ] 




, i-^ 



J 



\: 



M 



':t>^^ 






Studying- the Strangers. 

From Scribner's Magazine. 



Bis Game in the Rockies 



'to 



mud. The elk has a great deal of natural 
curiosity, and I have seen extraordinary in- 
stances of this where they had been but 
little hunted or alarmed. My friend Phillips, 
of Washington, who was with me, will vouch 
for the veracity of this story, which I give 
as an example: We were wandering along 
the top of the mountain, some nine thou- 
sand feet up, trying to stalk some elk, not to 
shoot them, but to photograph them. We 
jumped a small band of bulls, numbering about 
sixteen. They trotted off slowly, frequently 
stopping to look back, until all but two large 
bulls had disappeared. These walked slowly 
back to within fifty yards of where we were 
standing, and stopped, facing us. 

It was truly one of the most charming 
sights one could have wished for, to have those 
graceful, sleek creatures almost close enough 
to caress. Presently, with a defiant snort, and 
with a succession of short barks, they would 
move away and come back again, repeating 
these manceuvers over and over again, until 
we got tired of trying to look like a brace of 
marble posts and sat down. We thought this 
would frighten them, but it did not, and once 
105 



American Big-Game Hunting 

I thought they were going to proceed from 
curiosity to more offensive operations, so close 
did they come to us. Even my caterwauHng, 
as my friend unfeelingly characterized my 
attempt to imitate their challenges, did not 
seem to alarm them, and not until a full half- 
hour had elapsed did this pair of inquisitive 
worthies at length jog off. 

Elk are vigorous fighters, and while it seems 
that their combats seldom terminate fatally, 
the broken points of their antlers, and their 
scarred and bruised bodies, bear testimony 
to the severity of their encounters. A full- 
grown elk stands about sixteen hands high, 
is about eight feet two inches long from nose 
to tip of tail, and with a girth around the 
chest of about six feet. 

It was on the head of Wind River that I 
secured my largest head. The regularity of 
the points was somewhat marred, as the bull 
had evidendy been fighting only a short time 
before I killed him. These horns were not 
very massive, but the length, measured along 
the outside curve, is sixty-three and seven 
eighths inches. The circumference between 
bay and tray is from seven and one half to 
1 06 



Big Game in the Rockies 

eight inches, and the greatest spread between 
antlers is forty-nine inches. 

Probably more horrible lies have been told 
by bear-hunters than any other class of men, 
except, perhaps, fishermen, who are renowned 
for their yarns. However, I trust that in the 
case of the few instances I have to give of my 
experience I can keep fairly within the bounds 
of truth and not try the reader's credulity. 

Bear-hunting, as a general rule, I do not 
think would appeal to most sportsmen. It is 
rather slow work, and one is often very inade- 
quately rewarded for the amount of time and 
trouble spent in hunting up Bruin. There is 
hardly a portion of the mountains where there 
are not evidences of bears, but I do not believe 
that in any locality they are especially abun- 
dant. They have been hunted and trapped 
so long that those which survive are extremely 
cautious. In my experience there is no ani- 
mal gifted with a greater amount of intelli- 
gence, and, in this region, the hunter's chief 
virtue, patience to wait and stay in one spot, 
is sure to be rewarded, sooner or later, with a 
good shot which should mean success. 
107 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Let me say that the danger and ferocity of 
the bear is, I think, very much over-stated, yet 
there is just enough of the element of danger 
to make the pursuit of this animal exciting. 
Naturalists do not now apparently recognize 
more than two varieties of bear in the Rocky 
Mountains ; that is, they class the cinnamon, 
silver-tip, and grizzly as grizzly bear. The 
other variety, of course, is the black bear. I 
am by no means sure that the grizzly bear 
will not be further subdivided after careful 
comparisons of collections of skulls. 

Much has been said and written about the 
size and weight of the grizzly bear, and in 
most instances this has been mere guess- 
work. Lewis and Clark made frequent men- 
tion of this animal, and yet their estimates of 
the weight fall far below that of other 
writers. Only a few instances have come 
to my knowledge where the weight has been 
ascertained absolutely. A good-sized grizzly 
killed in Yellowstone Park one summer by 
Wilson, the Government scout, weighed six 
hundred pounds. Colonel Pickett, who has 
a neighboring ranch to mine, and who has 
killed more bears than any man I know of, 
1 08 



Big Game in the Rockies 

weighed his largest, which, if I remember 
rightly, weighed eight hundred pounds. 
One will, of course, occasionally see a very 
large skin, and from its size it would seem 
impossible that the animal that once filled it 
out, if in good condition, could have weighed 
less than twelve hundred pounds. But I 
think it may be safely set down that the 
average weight of most specimens that one 
will o'et in the mountains will be under, 
rather than over, five hundred pounds. 

To me, bear-hunting possesses a great 
fascination, and for years I have hunted 
nothing else. Personally I prefer to go after 
them in the spring. Their skins are then in 
their prime, the hair long and soft, and their 
claws (if valued as they should be) are long 
and sharp from disuse. Bears seek their 
winter quarters in Bad Lands and in the 
mountains. Those that adopt the former 
come out much earlier ; consequently if the 
hunter is on the ground soon enough, by 
beo-inning first in the lower lands and work- 
ing toward the mountains, he may be rea- 
sonably sure of securing good skins as late 
as June. In the spring, too, bears are much 
109 



American Big-Game Hunting 

more in the open, and travel incessantly in 
search of food. 

It is highly interesting to watch them, 
when one has the chance, turning over 
stones, tearing open fallen trees, or rooting 
like a pig in some favorite spot. Acres upon 
acres even of hard, stony ground they will 
turn up, and in other places it would be dif- 
ficult to find a stone or rock they had not 
displaced. They will undermine and dig out 
great stumps. Ant-hills you will find lev- 
eled, and the thrifty squirrels, who have la- 
bored all the previous fall to make a cache of 
pine nuts, are robbed on sight. 

One spring, the work on the ranch being 
done, Woody and I took our pack-horses and 
proceeded to the mountains after bears. I 
had no sooner picked out a good camping- 
ground than it began to snow, and for four 
days we could not stir from camp. How- 
ever, it finally cleared off, the sun came out 
bright and warm, and the little stream that 
we were on began boiling, tearing, and rush- 
ing along, full to the banks, causing us to 
move our camp back to higher ground. 



Big Game in the Rockies 

After breakfast, as we proposed to take a 
long day's trip, we took our horses with us. 
Riding up to the head of the stream we were 
on, looking for bears, no signs were to be 
seen, though plenty of sheep were in sight 
all the time. Riding on, away above the 
canon some six or eight miles we could see 
some elk. We closely scanned the neigh- 
boring heights, but still no sign of bears. 
Finally, we turned off and worked our way 
clear up on top of the mountain, determined 
to see the country anyway. Slowly we 
climbed upward, skyward, dragging our 
weary horses after us, until at noon we were 
nearly up and concluded to lunch at the 
little rill of melted snow that came from a 
big drift on the mountain-side. 

To get to it, though, we were obliged to 
cross the drift, and Woody led the way with 
his favorite horse, old Rock, in tow ; and here 
was where my laugh came in, to see those 
two floundering through that drift. At times, 
all I could see of Rock was the tips of his 
ears. The crust was just strong enough to 
hold Woody up if he went " easy," but he 
could not go easy with the horse plunging 



American Big-Game Hunting 

on top of him, and they would both break 
through. However, they had to go ahead in 
spite of themselves, and they were finally 
landed half-drowned and smothered on dry 
ground. Of course, profiting by this expe- 
rience, I circumnavigated the drift, and we 
sat down to our dry bread and bacon, washed 
down by a long pull from the handy snow- 
water. Ten minutes and a pipe was all that 
we allowed ourselves before resuming our 
toil — for that is really the way to designate 
the ascent of these mountains. 

We saw six fine rams which did not seem to 
regard us with any uneasiness, permitting us 
to get within murderous distance, and I 
looked at their leader with some longing. 
He had such a noble head of curling, grace- 
ful, well-rounded horns. He must have been 
a powerful adversary when it came to but- 
ting. Stifling the desire, I passed by without 
disturbing them, and at last reached the top 
of the divide, and was repaid by a glorious 
and most extended view. 

At that time Nature was not in her most 
smiling garb. It had been steadily growing 
colder, ominous clouds were gathering in the 



Big Game in the Rockies 

west, and an ugly rolling of thunder warned 
us that no genial spring day with shirt-sleeve 
accompaniment was to gladden and cheer us. 
Still we must look for bears; so buttoning up 
our coats and turning up our collars we sur- 
veyed the country. At the same time it was 
impossible to forego a study of the grandeur 
of the view displayed before us. 

Those who have seen the mountains and 
foot-hills only in the fall of the year, when 
every blade of grass is parched and brown 
and dry, can form no adequate idea of the 
change that presents itself in the spring. Es- 
pecially is one surprised when, standing on 
the top of some mountain height surrounded 
by everlasting snow, he looks down over the 
valleys and sees the richness and vividness of 
the green growing grasses which seem to roll 
up almost to his feet. As we stood there we 
had a glorious panorama. The vast gathering 
cloud was behind us, and the sun, though 
not shining for us, was lighting up the broad 
valley below. Greybull River stretched away 
until it joined the Big Horn beyond. The 
whole range of the Big Horn Mountains was 
visible, their snow-tops glistening like a bank 

8 113 



American Big-Game Hunting 

of silver clouds, and the main range we were 
standinsf on was brouorht out in all its daz- 
zling grandeur. Snow-drift upon snow-drift, 
with gracefully curling crests, stretched away 
as far as the eye could reach, for miles and 
miles. Still we saw no bears, and while we 
were enjoying all this wonderful scenery we 
neglected the storm, and were soon envel- 
oped in a raging tempest of wind and snow 
with a demoniacal accompaniment of light- 
ning and crashing thunder. 

We hunched up our backs and stumbled 
alongr'the ridgre before the blast, and were 
soon brought up by a drift. However, here was 
luck for once. We saw the print of two fresh 
bear-tracks crossing the drift. All thoughts 
of the storm were lost in our delight at the 
vicinity of bears, for the sign was very fresh. 
Alas, though, we lost the tracks after cross- 
ing the drift, and could not find them again 
upon the rugged soil of these ridges where 
the wind had blown the snow off. We circled 
round and round, studying every patch of 
snow, and my companion, Woody, looked and 
spoke doubtfully. At last I caught the trail 
again. Only a half-dozen tracks, but enough 
114 




Crossing" a Drift. 

From Scribncr's Magazine. 



Big Game in the Rockies 

to show the right direction, and as we as- 
cended the ridge the tracks were on, I saw 
the two rascals across the gulch on an enor- 
mous snow-drift, tearing and chewing at 
something, I could not make out what. 

It was still snowing hard, but it was only a 
squall and nearly over. The wind was wrong; 
it unfortunately blew toward the bears and the 
only direction in which we could stalk them. 
Still an attempt had to be made. We took 
the bridles from our horses and let down our 
hacamores, to let them feed comfortably and 
out of sight, while we crawled up the ridge to 
where it joined the one the bears were on. 
We had to creep up a beastly snow-drift, 
which was soft and no telling how deep. 

It was deep enough, for we went through 
sometimes to our armpits. But what mat- 
tered it when we were at concert-pitch, and 
bears for the tune ? We were now on the same 
ridge as the bears. Cautiously, with the wind 
just a little aslant, we crawled down toward 
our prey, crossing another miserable snow- 
drift, into which we went up to our necks, 
where we brought up, our feet having touched 
bottom. We floundered out behind a small 
"5 



American Big-Game Hunting 

rock, and then looked up over at the bears. 
Too far to shoot with any certainty, and I said 
to Woody, " I must get closer." And so back 
we crawled. 

Making a little detour we bobbed up again, 
not serenely, for the wind was blowing on the 
backs of our necks straight as an arrow to 
where the bears were. But vv^e were a little 
higher up on the ridge than they and our 
taint must have gone over them, for when I 
looked up again one of them was chewing 
a savory morsel, and the other was on his 
hind legs blinking at the sun, which was just 
breaking through the clouds. Wiping the 
snow and drops of water and slush from our 
rifles and sights, and with a whispered advice 
from Woody not to be in a hurry if they came 
toward us, but to reserve fire in order to make 
sure work, — for no sheltering tree awaited us 
as a safe retreat, nothing but snowy ridges 
for miles, — I opened the ball with the young 
lady who was sitting down. 

She dropped her bone, clapped one of her 

paws to her ribs, and to my happiness waltzed 

down the snow-bank. As she now seemed 

to be out of the dance, I turned to her brother, 

ii6 




Two Pairs. 

From Scribner's Magazine. 



Big Game in the Rockies 

for such I afterward judg-ed him to be, who, 
with great affection, had gone down with her 
until she stuck her head in the snow. Not 
understanding this, he smelled around his fallen 
relative, when a hollow three-hundred-and- 
thirty-grain chunk of lead nearly severed one 
hip and smashed the other. He did not stop to 
reason, but promptly jumped on his relative, 
and then and there occurred a lively bit of a 
scrimmage. Over and over they rolled, slap- 
ping, biting, and making the best fight of it 
they could, considering the plight they were in. 
Each probably accused the other of the mishap. 
The snow was dyed a crimson hue. It was 
like the scene of a bloody battle-ground. At 
last the lady first aggrieved gave up, and 
plunged her head back into the snow, while 
her brother, not having any one to fight with, 
went off a short distance and lay down. We 
cautiously approached, bearing in mind that 
a snow-drift is a hard thing for pedestrians 
in a hurry to travel on, and when we got 
about ten feet from the first bear, I told my 
companion to snowball her and see what 
effect that would have, for she looked too 
innocent to be finished for and dead. 
^* 117 



American Big-Game Hunting 

But instead of doing so, he discarded his 
rifle and reached for her tail. Ah, I thought 
so ! for, as he gave a yank, up came her head, 
her jaws flew open like clockwork, and a 
snort came forth. But right between the eyes 
went the deadly messenger, smashing her 
skull and ending any prolonged suffering for 
any of us. Her end accomplished, we turned 
to the other partner. He had been taking it 
all in, and was ready for a fight. He seemed 
pretty fit, too. Fortunately, he could not come 
up to us ; the snow-drift was too steep, and 
he had only two serviceable legs to travel 
with. Still he had true grit, and faced us; but 
it was an unequal battle. 

Again the bullet reached its victim, and 
brother ba'r lay quietly on his back with his 
legs in the air. No need to trifle with this 
bear's tail, as any fool could see that he was 
dead. However, we pelted him with a lot of 
snowballs, and then Woody went around to 
his stump of a tail and pulled it while I stood 
guard at his head. We took off our coats, and 
soon had the skins off the pair of them. These 
skins proved to be in the finest condition, 
though the bears themselves were poor. I 

ii8 



Big Game in the Rockies 

should judge one was a three-year-old and 
the other a two-year-old. Still they were 
good-sized grizzlies. 

Those skins seemed to grow in size and 
weight as each of us lugged one up the side 
of the mountain over shelving rock, snow, 
and loose gravel to where we left our horses. 
Of course they were not there, and we had to 
go on, carrying the skins, which were growing 
heavier and heavier every minute, until we 
tracked our horses to where they were feed- 
ing, and, in Western vernacular, "we had a 
circus" packing those skins on my horse. It 
was done at last, though, and to stay, by 
means of blindfolding him with a coat; and 
after a little while he settled down to work as 
though he had carried bears all his many years 
of service. I had a very nasty time in getting 
down the mountain after my horse slipped 
and fell down a gap in the crown rock. We 
could not get the other down, so I took 
charge of my horse and skins and made the 
rest of the descent in safety, though it looked 
squally for a bit when the old rascal's feet slid 
out from under him, knocking me down in 
the snow, and he on top, and I could feel that 
119 



American Big-Game Hunting 

even with the fleecy covering the rocks were 
still very hard. 

However, it was deep enough for me to 
crawl out, more scared than hurt, and soon 
we had sage-brush and grass under our feet, 
with an easy trail to camp, where a square 
meal inside of a stomach that sorely needed 
it soon made amends for all hardships. Won- 
dering what those bears had been at work at, 
I went back the next day and found that they 
had been tearing up a sheep that had died of 
scab, a disease that wild sheep are subject to. 

To a thorough sportsman, killing bear after 
a successful stalk is by long odds the best and 
most exciting method, but the country must 
be such as permits of this, — as, for instance, 
when there are long stretches of high moun- 
tains, plateaus or ridges above, or devoid of, 
timber, where the bears resort to root, and 
where the hunter from some elevated post can 
look over a large area with the aid of glasses. 
The general procedure, though, is to put out 
bait — that is, to have the carcass of some ani- 
mal to attract the bear, and many a noble 
elk or timorous deer has been thus sacrificed. 
To avoid this needless destruction it has been 



Big Game in the Rockies 

my custom to take along on my hunting-trips 
aged and worn-out horses, which answer ad- 
mirably when it comes to drawing bears to 
a carcass. Of course, this is not always a 
sure way, for the bear, if alarmed or disturbed, 
will only visit the carcass at night, and then, 
if the hunter is persistent and determined to 
get a shot, he may expect many weary hours 
of watching from a friendly pine. 

I think I hear the reader say, " What 's the 
fun in shooting a bear from a tree? — there 
is no risk in that." True, there is not; but it 
is when you come down from your perch that 
you may not feel quite so safe, as with limbs 
benumbed from cold and lack of circulation 
you climb down, knowing that perhaps sev- 
eral pairs of watchful eyes or cunning nostrils 
are studying your movements. Involuntarily 
your thoughts travel in the vein of your 
gloomy surroundings as you go stumbling on 
your way to camp : what if the bear should 
prefer live goose-flesh to dead horse? 

One spring morning I was knocking around 
under the base of the mountains and found 
myself, about dinner-time, so close to Colonel 
Pickett's cozy log-cabin that I determined to 



American Bifr-Game Huntin 



t> 



pay him a long-postponed visit. After an 
ample repast, including some delicious home- 
made butter, which I had not tasted for a 
month, Woody and I, with our little pack- 
train, regretfully filed off, and, fording the 
river, took up our wanderings, not expecting 
to see our cheery host again for a year. 

We had not proceeded far, though, when 
we met an excited "cow-puncher," who evi- 
dently had news to tell. He had been up 
on the side of the mountain, which was here 
a long grassy slope as smooth as any of 
our well-tended lawns, extending upward to 
where it joined the dense pine-forest which 
covered the upper portion of the mountain. 
Our friend was the horse- wrangler for a neigh- 
boring ranch, and was out looking for horses. 
Did any one ever see a horse-wrangler who 
was not looking for missing stock? 

When skirting the timber he surprised, or 
was surprised by, a good-sized grizzly, which 
promptly chased him downward and home- 
ward, and evidently for a short distance was 
well up in the race. Gathering from his de- 
scription that the bear had been at work on 
the carcass of a steer that had died from eat- 



Big Game in the Rockies 

ing poison-weed, I determined to go back 
and camp, and see if another skin could not 
be added to the score. It did not take long 
to pick out an ideal camping-spot, well shel- 
tered, with plenty of dry wood, and trout 
from the little stream almost jumping into 
the frying-pan. 

Our horses had been having pretty rough 
times lately, and they lost no time in storing 
away as much of the rich grass as they could 
hold. They had plenty of societ3% too, for 
the slope was dotted here and there with 
bunches of range cattle and bands of horses, 
not to mention the recent additions to the 
families of each in the shape of frolicsome 
calves and frisky foals, all busily at work. 
Bruin seemed rather out of place in such a 
pastoral scene, and yet, as one looked higher 
beyond the somber heights of the forest 
toward the frowning crown rock that re- 
sembled some mighty fortress forbidding fur- 
ther progress, or the everlasting snow-peaks 
above, one could well fancy that wild animals 
must be up there somewhere, either in the 
dense woods or in the still higher and safer 

retreats. 

123 



American Big-Game Hunting 

We at once examined the ground, and 
found the carcasses of two steers, one of 
which was untouched, but the other was very 
nearly devoured. All the signs pointed to 
more than one bear, and the ground was 
fairly padded down round the carcass they 
were using. Unfortunately, though, there 
seemed to be no place to watch from, — not a 
bush or rock to screen one while awaiting a 
shot. To cut a long story short, I watched 
that bait every afternoon and evening for a 
week, and though it was visited every night 
I never got a sight of the prowlers. Bears 
will very often, when going to a carcass, take 
the same trail, but when leaving, wander off 
in almost any direction. Taking advantage 
of this, and being satisfied that they were up 
in the timber through the day, we hunted for 
their trail, and found it on an old wood-road 
that led through the timber. To make sure, 
we placed the hind quarters of one of the 
steers just on the edge of the forest, and 
awaited developments. That night the bears 
found it, and, dragging it off, carefully cached 
it; so we determined to watch here. 

As the daylight faded that night I was 
124 



Big Game in the Rockies 

much disappointed to find that if I was to get 
a shot it would have to be in the dark; so as 
soon as I found I could not see to shoot with 
any degree of safety, I got up in a pine-tree 
that commanded the road and was just over 
the bait. It was weary work watching, and 
to make it still more uncomfortable, a heavy 
thunder-storm swept by, first pelting one with 
hail, then with a deluge of rain and snow. 

It was pitch-dark, except when the black 
recesses of the forest seemed to be rent asun- 
der during the vivid lightning. The whole 
effect was weird and uncanny, and I wished 
myself back under my soft, warm blankets. 
I could not well repress thinking of the early 
admonition of ''Never go under a tree during 
a thunder-storm." — But what 's that? One 
swift surge of blood to the heart, an involun- 
tary tightening of the muscles that strongly 
gripped the rifle. I seemed to feel, rather 
than see, the presence of three strange ob- 
jects that appeared to have sprung from the 
ground under me. 

I had not heard a sound; not a twig had 
snapped, and yet, as I strained my eyes to 
penetrate the gloom, there, right at my feet, 
125 



American Big-Game Hunting 

almost touching them in fact, I made out the 
indistinct forms of three bears all standing on 
their hind legs. Oh, what a chance it was if 
it had not been so dark! I could not even 
see the end of my rifle; but I knew I could 
hit them, they were so close. But to hit 
fatally? Well, there is no use thinking about 
it now the bears are here. Trust to luck and 
shoot ! 

Hardly daring to breathe, I fired; the 
scuffling on the ground, and the short, sharp 
snorting, told me I had not missed; but I 
could see nothing, and could only hear the 
bear rolling over and over and growling 
angrily. Presently there was quiet, and then 
with angry, furious champing of jaws the 
wounded animal charged back directly under 
me; but I could not see to shoot again, worse 
luck. From sundry sounds I gathered the 
bear was not far off, but had lain down in a 
thicket which was about one hundred yards 
from my tree. I could hear an occasional 
growl, and the snap of dead branches, broken 
as she turned uneasily. I did not know 
exactly what to do. To descend was awk- 
ward, and to stay where I was, wet and 
126 



Big Game in the Rockies 

chilled to the bone, seemed impossible. It 
was most unlikely the other bears would come 
back; however, thinking it would be prudent 
to stay aloft a little while longer, I made up 
my mind to stick it out another half hour. 
During this wait I fancied I could see shad- 
owy forms moving about, and I could surely 
hear a cub squalling. The light was now a 
little better, and the darkness, though still 
very black, was not so intense. 

Just as I had screwed up courage to de- 
scend, another bear came up under the tree 
and reared up. This time I made no mistake, 
and almost simultaneously with the rifle's re- 
port a hoarse bawl proved to me that I had 
conquered. Glad at almost any cost to get 
out of my cramped position I sung out to 
Woody to lend a hand, as I proposed de- 
scending, and as he came up I came down, 
and then we discussed the situation. The 
proximity of the wounded bear was not pleas- 
ant, but then the dead one must be opened 
in order to save the skin. But what if the 
latter were not dead ? Hang this night- work ! 
why can't the bears stick to daylight! But to 
work, — there was the motionless form to be 

127 



American Big-Game Hunting 

operated on. Inch by inch we crept up with 
our rifles at full-cock stuck out ahead of us 
until they gently touched the inanimate mass. 
It was all right, for the bear was stone-dead. 
Hastily feeling in the dark, as neatly as pos- 
sible the necessary operations were nearly 
concluded when simultaneously we both 
dropped our knives and made for the open. 
. . . It makes me perspire even now when 
I think of that midnight stampede from an 
enraged and wounded grizzly. 

Archibald Rogers. 



128 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

The prongbuck is the most characteristic 
and distinctive of American game animals. 
Zoologically speaking, its position is unique. 
It is the only hollow-horned ruminant which 
sheds its horns. We speak of it as an ante- 
lope, and it does of course represent on our 
prairies the antelopes of the Old World, and 
is a distant relative of theirs ; but it stands 
apart from all other horned animals. Its 
position in the natural world is almost as 
lonely as that of the giraffe. 

The chase of the prongbuck has always been 
to me very attractive, but especially so when 
carried on by coursing it with greyhounds. 
Any man who has lived much in the cow- 
country, and has wandered about a good deal 
over the great plains, is of course familiar 
with this gallant little beast, and has probably 
had to rely upon it very frequently for a sup- 
ply of fresh meat. On my ranch it has always 
been the animal which yielded us most of the 
9 129 



American Big-Game Hunting 

fresh meat we had in the spring and summer. 
Of course at such times we killed only bucks, 
and even these only when we positively 
needed the flesh. 

In all its ways and habits the prongbuck 
differs as much from deer and elk as from 
goat and sheep. Now that the buffalo has 
gone, it is the only game really at home on 
the wide plains. It is a striking-looking little 
creature, with its big bulging eyes, single- 
pronged horns, and the sharply contrasted 
coloration of its coat ; this coat, by the way, 
being composed of curiously coarse and brittle 
hair. In marked contrast to deer, antelope 
never seek to elude observation ; all they 
care for is to be able to see themselves. 
As they have good noses and wonderful 
eyes, and as they live by preference where 
there is little or no cover, shots at them are 
usually obtained only at far longer range 
than is the case with other game; and yet, 
as they are easily seen, and often stand look- 
ing at the hunter just barely within very long 
rifle-range, they are always tempting their 
pursuer to the expenditure of cartridges. 
More shots are wasted at antelope than at 
130 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

any other game. They would be even harder 
to secure were it not that they are subject 
to fits of panic, folly, or excessive curiosity, 
which occasionally put them fairly at the mercy 
of the rifle-bearing hunter. 

Prongbucks are very fast runners indeed, 
even faster than deer. They vary greatly 
in speed, however, precisely as is the case 
with deer; in fact, I think that the average 
hunter makes altogether too little account 
of this individual variation among different 
animals of the same kind. Under the same 
conditions different deer and antelope vary 
in speed and wariness, exactly as bears and 
cougars vary in cunning and ferocity. When 
in perfect condition a full-grown buck ante- 
lope, from its strength and size, is faster and 
more enduring than an old doe; but a fat 
buck, before the rut has begun, will often be 
pulled down by a couple of good greyhounds 
much more speedily than a flying ^^earling 
or two-year-old doe. Under favorable cir- 
cumstances, when the antelope was jumped 
near by, I have seen one_ overhauled and 
seized by a single first-class greyhound ; and, 
on the other hand, I have more than once 
131 



American Big-Game Hunting 

seen a pronghorn run away from a whole 
pack of just as good dogs. With a fair 
start, and on good ground, a thoroughbred 
horse, even though handicapped by the 
weight of a rider, will run down an ante- 
lope ; but this is a feat which should rarely 
be attempted, because such a race, even when 
carried to a successful issue, is productive of 
the utmost distress to the steed. 

Ordinary horses will sometimes run down 
an antelope which is slower than the average. 
I had on my ranch an under-sized old Indian 
pony named White Eye, w'hich, when it was 
fairly roused, showed a remarkable turn of 
speed, and had great endurance. One morn- 
ing on the round-up, when for some reason 
we did not work the cattle, I actually ran 
down an antelope in fair chase on this old 
pony. It was a nursing doe, and I came 
over the crest of a hill, between forty and 
fifty yards away from it. As it wheeled to 
start back, the old cayuse pricked up his 
ears with great interest, and the minute I 
gave him a sign was after it like a shot. 
Whether, being a cow-pony, he started to 
run it just as if it were a calf or a yearling 
132 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

trying to break out of the herd, or whether 
he was overcome by dim reminiscences of 
buffalo-hunting in his Indian youth, I know 
not. At any rate, after the doe he went, and 
in a minute or two I found I was drawing up 
to it. I had a revolver, but of course did not 
wish to kill her, and so got my rope ready 
to try to take her alive. She ran frantically, 
but the old pony, bending level to the 
ground, kept up his racing lope and closed 
right in beside her. As I came up she fairly 
bleated. An expert with the rope would 
have captured her with the utmost ease; but 
I missed, sending the coil across her shoul- 
ders. She again gave an agonized bleat, or 
bark, and wheeled around like a shot. The 
cow-pony stopped almost, but not quite, as 
fast, and she got a slight start, and it was 
some little time before I overhauled her 
again. When I did I repeated the perform- 
ance, and this time when she wheeled she 
succeeded in getting on some ground where 
I could not follow, and I was thrown out. 

I have done a good deal of coursing with 
greyhounds at one time or another, but al- 
ways with scratch packs. The average fron- 
9* 133 



American Big-Game Hunting 

tiersman seems to have an inveterate and 
rooted objection to a dog" with pure blood. 
If he gets a greyhound, his first thought is to 
cross it with something else, whether a bull 
mastiff, or a setter, or a foxhound. There 
are a few men who keep leashes of grey- 
hounds of pure blood, bred and trained to 
antelope-coursing, and who do their coursing 
scientifically, carrying the dogs out to the 
hunting-grounds in wagons and exercising 
every care in the sport; but these men are 
rare. The average man who dwells where 
antelope are sufficiently abundant to make 
coursing a success, simply follows the pur- 
suit at odd moments, with whatever long- 
legged dogs he and his neighbors happen to 
have; and his methods of coursing are apt to 
be as rough as his outfit. My own coursing 
has been precisely of this character. At dif- 
ferent times I have had on my ranch one or 
two high-class greyhounds and Scotch deer- 
hounds, with which we have coursed deer 
and antelope, as well as jack-rabbits, foxes, 
and coyotes; and we have usually had with 
them one or two ordinary hounds, and various 
half-bred dogs. I must add, however, that 
134 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

some of the latter were very good. I can re- 
call in particular one fawn-colored beast, a 
cross between a greyhound and a foxhound, 
which ran nearly as fast as the former, though 
it occasionally yelped in shrill tones. It could 
also trail well, and was thoroughly game; on 
one occasion it ran down and killed a coyote 
single-handed. 

On going out with these dogs, I rarely 
chose a day when I was actually in need of 
fresh meat. If this was the case, I usually 
went alone with the rifle; but if one or two 
other men were at the ranch, and we wanted 
a morning's fun, we would often summon the 
dogs, mount our horses, and go trooping out 
to the antelope-ground. As there was a 
good deer-country between the ranch bot- 
tom and the plains where we found the 
prongbuck, it not infrequently happened that 
we had a chase after blacktail or whitetail on 
the way. Moreover, when we got out to the 
ground, before sighting antelope, it frequently 
happened that the dogs would jump a jack- 
rabbit or a fox, and away the whole set 
would go after it, streaking through the 
short grass, sometimes catching their prey 
135 



American Big-Game Hunting 

in a few hundred yards, and sometimes hav- 
ing to run a mile or so. In consequence, by 
the time we reached the regular hunting- 
ground, the dogs were apt to have lost a 
good deal of their freshness. We would get 
them in behind the horses and creep cau- 
tiously along, trying to find some solitary 
prongbuck in a suitable place, where we 
could bring up the dogs from behind a 
hillock, and give them a fair start after 
it. Usually we failed to get the dogs near 
enough for a good start; and in most cases 
their chases after unwounded prongbuck re- 
sulted in the quarry running clean away 
from them. Thus the odds were. greatly 
against them; but, on the other hand, we 
helped them wherever possible with the rifle. 
We often rode well scattered out, and if one 
of us put up an antelope, or had a chance at 
one when driven by the dogs, he v/ould al- 
ways fire, and the pack were saved from the 
ill effects of total discouragement by so often 
getting these wounded beasts. It was aston- 
ishing to see how fast an antelope with a 
broken leg could run. If such a beast had 
a good start, and especially if the dogs were 
136 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

tired, it would often lead them a hard chase, 
and the dogs would be utterly exhausted after 
it had been killed; so that we would have 
to let them lie where they were for a long 
time before trying to lead them down to 
some stream-bed. If possible, we carried 
water for them in canteens. 

There were red-letter days, however, in 
which our dogs fairly ran down and killed 
antelope, — days when the weather was cool, 
and when it happened that we got our dogs 
out to the ground without their being tired 
by previous runs, and found our quarry soon, 
and in favorable places for slipping the 
hounds. I remember one such chase in par- 
ticular. We had at the time a mixed pack, 
in which there was only one dog of my own, 
the others being contributed from various 
sources. It included two greyhounds, a 
rough-coated deerhound, a foxhound, and 
the fawn-colored crossbred mentioned above. 

We rode out in the early morning, the 
dogs trotting behind us ; and, coming to a 
low tract of rolling hills, just at the edge of 
the great prairie, we separated and rode over 
the crest of the nearest ridge. Just as we 
137 



American Big- Game Hunting 

topped it, a fine buck leaped up from a hol- 
low a hundred yards off, and turned to look 
at us for a moment. All the dogs were in- 
stantly spinning toward him down the grassy 
slope. He apparently saw those at the right, 
and, turning, raced away from us in a diag- 
onal line, so that the left-hand greyhound, 
which ran cunningly and tried to cut him off, 
was very soon almost alongside. He saw 
her, however, — she was a very fast bitch, — 
just in time, and, wheeling, altered his 
course to the right. As he reached the edge 
of the prairie, this alteration nearly brought 
him in contact with the crossbred, which 
had obtained a rather poor start, on the ex- 
treme right of the line. Around went the 
buck again, evidently panic-struck and puz- 
zled to the last degree, and started straight 
off across the prairie, the dogs literally at his 
heels, and we, urging our horses with whip 
and spur, but a couple of hundred yards be- 
hind. For half a mile the pace was tremen- 
dous, when one of the greyhounds made a 
spring at his ear, but, failing to make good 
his hold, was thrown off. However, it halted 
the buck for a moment, and made him turn 
138 



Coursing the Prongbuck 

quarter round, and in a second the deer- 
hound had seized him by the flank and 
thrown him, and all the dogs piled on top, 
never allowing him to rise. 

Later in the day we again put up a buck 
not far off. At first it went slowly, and the 
dogs hauled up on it; but when they got 
pretty close, it seemed to see them, and let- 
ting itself out, went clean away from them 
almost without effort. 

Once or twice we came upon bands of 
antelope, and the hounds would immediately 
take after them. I was always rather sorry 
for this, however, because the frightened 
animals, as is generally the case when beasts 
are in a herd, seemed to impede one another, 
and the chase usually ended by the dogs 
seizing a doe, for it was of course impos- 
sible to direct them to any particular beast. 

It will be seen that with us coursing was 
a homely sport. Nevertheless we had very 
good fun, and I shall always have enjoyable 
memories of the rapid gallops across the 
prairie, on the trail of a flying prongbuck. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 
139 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

I went into camp, one night in September, 
on one of the many branches of the upper 
Snake River, in northwestern Wyoming. It 
was after a most severe and perplexing day's 
pack, — one of those days in which "things'* 
go wrong. The packs turned, the cinches 
refused to hold, and the fresh little Indian 
pony — for which we had traded a sore-backed 
packhorse, one cup of sugar, and a half-dozen 
cartridges, three days previous, with some 
Bannack Indians who came to my camp-fire 
on the Snake River — fancied she could put 
everybody in good temper by having a buck- 
ing fit. She had managed to settle one side 
of her pack on a sharp stub when she came 
down from a flight, and to punch a fair-sized 
hole in the canvas cover, which immediately 
began to flow granulated sugar; but by good 
luck we managed to catch her lariat and re- 
arrange her pack, minus about one half our 
supply of sweets. The day was finished with 
140 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

eight horses thoroughly tired, and three men 
in a condition which admitted of only the 
fewest words with the longest possible inter- 
vals between. Gloom overhung the outfit. 

These feelings disappeared as soon as we 
had finished our supper, and we had just 
lighted our pipes when, close by our camp- 
fire, we heard clearly the call of a bull elk. Up 
to that time I had not had a shot at this, the 
grandest of all the deer family, and I was 
quickly on my feet, rifle in hand. Wading 
the brook, I stalked as hurriedly as I dared 
toward an opening some forty rods beyond. 
It was just the last glimmer of daylight, and 
I made time until I came to the bank, over 
which I could look into the open park where 
I felt the royal beast was. What a picture 
greeted my gaze ! The park was perhaps 
four hundred yards across, and nearly oval in 
shape, and from' the opposite side ran out, 
nearly to the middle, a plateau some thirty 
feet in height. On the point of this, standing 
as immovable as one of Barye's bronzes, was 
a bull elk with antlers that would please the 
most fastidious sportsman in the world. In a 
moment he elevated his head and gave a call 



American Big-Game Hunting 

ending with those Hquid flute-notes that make 
the blood run quickly in the most phlegmatic 
hunter's veins. A quick glance showed me 
that I could not approach him any nearer, 
and putting up my sight, as I thought, high 
enough, I pressed the trigger, and saw the 
bullet strike just under his belly. He whirled 
and made for cover, and out of pure despera- 
tion I gave him another shot, without result. 
In a shorter time than I have spent in telling 
this, the twilight had entirely disappeared, and 
I wended my way back to camp with only the 
memory of what I had seen to repay me 
for the wetting which my hurried crossing 
of the brook had given me. 

For three days we had climbed mountains, 
wallowed through mud-holes, and tobogganed 
down clay banks, hunting for elk which the 
Indians had frightened away from the Snake 
River by their noisy mode of hunting. There 
were four lodges of Bannacks, and they had 
some eighty horses of various kinds and 
colors. They said they had spent six weeks 
there jerking elk-meat for their winter's food. 
The country which we crossed during these 
three days was completely checkered with elk 
142 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

trails, mud-wallows, slivered trees, and many 
other evidences that large bands of elk had 
occupied the country for months ; and my 
packer insisted that we would surely find 
them if we continued huntincr in the rouorh 
mountains which lay to the east. 

Early the next day, while at the brook mak- 
ing my morning toilet, I heard Stewart say 
to the cook that the horses had gone out of 
the country; and after two minutes of very 
vehement remarks, he informed me that five 
horses had taken the back trail, and that 
Worth must go with him to head them off. 
So, each taking a horse, they rode away, leav- 
ing me to keep camp with only old Scoop 
Shovel, a split-eared packhorse, for company. 

Always having loved nature, I concluded 
that a little prospecting on my own hook 
would be preferable to lounging about camp 
waiting for the return of the men and 
horses ; so, saddling old Scoop Shovel, I 
forded the brook and, crossing the scene of 
my bad shooting the previous evening, 
climbed a small range of hills. On the op- 
posite side I found a good-sized stream, 
which I thought was the main Coulter Creek. 

U3 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Following it up some two miles, I suddenly- 
heard a bull elk call, and fastening my horse, 
I crept toward the sound. Coming out of 
some thick woods, I saw across the stream a 
band of seven elk and three or four calves. 
They were feeding away from me, and I de- 
cided that if I crossed the stream and reached 
the top of a little hill before they could walk 
out of the woods and get into the middle of 
an open park, some half-mile across, I might 
be able to get a shot. The stream was quite 
rapid and fairly deep, and while I did not 
care for wet feet, I hoped to escape a wet 
jacket. However, as I stepped boldly in, the 
current whirled me off my feet, and the water 
opened its gates and let me find a resting- 
place on the slippery, smooth stones of its 
bottom. 

On gaining the opposite bank, I broke into 
a run for my game. I have always been a 
fair sprinter, but before I had reached the 
hill, fifty or sixty rods away, I was completely- 
pumped, and had to stop. Fortunately I was 
running toward game, rather than being 
chased by a grizzly, for I had shot my bolt. 
The high altitude had put me out of the race. 
144 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

However, a rest for a few minutes got me in 
order, and slowly climbing the hill, I looked 
over and saw that the band, a hundred yards 
away, had stopped feeding, and with elevated 
heads were trying to catch the scent of pos- 
sible danger. I decided to chance a shot, and 
with lungs well filled covered the bull. At 
the report, I heard the shot strike, and with 
three leaps he came to his knees, but only 
quickly to regain his feet and trot away. I 
started on the run toward him, and he 
having then reached the brook, leaped for 
the opposite bank. Firing while he was in 
the air, I saw him fall on his head on landing, 
and hurried up just as he was having his last 
struggle. My first shot had been too far 
back ; the second went in at the flank, rang- 
ing forward and breaking his shoulder. 

His harem were somewhat dazed, and did 
not evince much fear, but stood crowded to- 
gether looking at me. I shouted at them, 
and as that did not frighten them away, waved 
my hat and walked toward the band; they only 
trotted a few yards and halted, facing me. I 
then fired a shot over their heads, and run- 
ning at full speed toward them, they broke 
145 



American Big-Game Hunting 

into a trot, crossed a small piece of thin tim- 
ber, slowed down to a walk, crossed the open 
park, and, occasionally stopping to look back, 
finally disappeared up the mountain-side. 
The bull was a magnificent specimen, with a 
head royal, twelve good points, and remark- 
ably even and symmetrical. I killed other 
bulls with more points, but none which was 
in all respects so perfect as this. 

The next night I camped within two hun- 
dred yards of this elk, and was awakened by 
hearing some large animal feeding on his 
carcass; but the night was dark, and as I was 
without any light but firebrands, I did not 
make the attempt to see if it was a grizzly — 
which the next day proved it to have been. I 
asked my packer if he wanted to go and inter- 
view the visitor; he said he had not lost any 
grizzlies, and we concluded that our blankets 
were more comfortable than the unknown 
quantity of a grizzly in the dark. 

The next day, on Pifion Mountain, hearing 
several bulls call from the same place, I 
stalked the band and counted thirty-odd 
head, with five bulls in sight, all within eighty 
yards. With my glass I counted the points 
146 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

on each head, and selecting the finest, fired 
but one shot, and the bull did not go more 
than twenty feet before falling. I think, with 
my repeating-rifle, I could have killed three or 
four more, but I refrained from doing so ; in 
fact, I did not kill a cow during the trip. The 
band did not go far; for, while skinning out 
this head, I could hear the bulls call within 
a few hundred yards down the mountain-side. 
I spent two days in the little park at the foot 
of Pinon Mountain, and saw and heard a 
great many elk, in bands of three to thirty, 
but refrained from shooting. Bear signs were 
fairly abundant ; but I did not see a single 
live bear then. Later, I saw a fine one inside 
the Yellowstone Park line ; and as I had 
promised Captain Harris I would not shoot 
inside the park, I told the bear to move on, 
which he did at a particularly slow pace. 
This was a black bear; possibly a grizzly 
would have been more neighborly. 

I enjoyed one triumph over my men, who, 
with the usual freedom of Westerners, had 
dubbed me "Pilgrim " — Stewart, in particular, 
fancied a man from the East could not teach 
him anything regarding sport. One Sunday 
147 



American Big-Game Hunting 

morning he said he would go out and catch 
a strinw- of trout, that we mitrht have a 
change of diet. He spent an hour and 
a half at the brook, and returned with one 
small Rocky Mountain trout, about four 
inches in length, saying there were plenty 
of trout, but they were so wild he could not 
catch them. I had noticed, on crossing the 
brook, that the fish would run for a hiding- 
place, being easily frightened; so, after he 
had exhausted all his art, I said I would try 
them. With a fish-pole, a brown hackle, and 
a bit of elk-meat on the point of the hook, 
I crawled through the grass, and without 
showing myself, snapped my fly on to the 
water, felt a pull, and whisked out a trout. 
I continued my practice until I had all I 
wanted, and returned to camp, remarking 
to the cook as I threw them down: 

"Stewart don't know anything about fish- 
inor; he ougrht to take some lessons. There 
are plenty of trout in the brook only waiting 
to be caught"; which piqued Stewart so much 
that he sulked for the balance of the day, 
highly displeased at being beaten by a ten- 
derfoot at the simple game of fishing. 
14S 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

Northwestern Wyoming is a magnificent 
country, and the weather equals the country. 
On our trip we had but two hours' rain ; at 
night the thermometer went below freezing, 
but during the middle of the day it ran as 
high as seventy. One of the curious facts 
is that the elk trails could not be better lo- 
cated by human mind or hand to overcome 
the difficulties of the broken country, and 
they are used almost entirely by hunters 
and pack-trains in passing from one point 
to another. The elk has an eye to the beau- 
tiful as well, for I often found well-beaten 
lookouts on the extreme edge of precipices, 
showing that they enjoy resting at these 
points to view the beautiful scenery. It was 
a veritable paradise for big game, and there 
must have been hundreds of elk within a few 
miles of my camp. There was some sign of 
moose, and the Bannack Indians told me that 
they had killed one with "heap big horns." 

Much against my wishes we decided to 
break camp and move north, when from the 
Pinon Mountain we could see the higher 
peaks north of us covered with snow; for 
we feared that we might be caught by a 
149 



American Big-Game Hunting 

heavy snowfall, and have trouble in getting 
out. My intention was to have gone south 
to Buffalo Fork, looking for bear, but this I 
was obliged to postpone to some future date; 
so we bade good-by to the charming little 
park where we were camped, and journeyed 
north, lowering our altitude many hun- 
dred feet as we dropped down on the head 
waters of the next creek. Its valley and 
the surrounding mountains were as well sup- 
plied with elk as the country from which we 
had just come. I saw bear signs quite fre- 
quently, and many of them fresh, but did not 
spend much time looking for the animal, as 
I found the usual and most successful way 
was to bait with an elk carcass and watch 
through the day, hoping that a bear would 
scent the bait and come to feed on the flesh. 
This is slow business, and I preferred more 
activity. One night I distinctly heard the cry 
of a mountain-lion, or panther, several times. 
Going up Snake River, I passed within the 
boundaries of the park, and camped one night 
close by a little pond just under Mount Sheri- 
dan, some two miles south of Heart Lake. As 
I was eating my supper, half an hour before 
ISO 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

sunset, a fine band of elk came out on the 
mossy shores of the pond and frisked and 
played for some time. The old bull would 
hook and prod the cows, and occasionally 
call, getting answers from nearly every point 
of the compass. The next day we skirted 
Heart Lake on the westerly side as far as the 
inlet, then through and over the curious hot- 
spring formation for a couple of miles. 

Heart Lake is a charming sheet of water, 
nestling as it does among these heavily tim- 
bered mountains, and it is said to have an 
abundance of fine trout. While riding along 
the shore I often saw a good-sized fish shoot 
from the shallow out into deep water. There 
were a great many ducks and geese in and 
about the inlet, and one flock of geese offered 
a most tempting shot. My pack from Heart 
Lake to the Hot Springs on the shores of 
Yellowstone Lake was very tedious, as we 
found no drinking-water on the trail. The 
day was warm, and I looked forward to my 
arrival at Yellowstone Lake with anticipated 
pleasure in the drink of spring water which I 
was to have that night ; but on arriving I 
found the spring dried up and nothing but lake 
151 



American Big-Game Hunting 

water to drink. That was warm, with a sul- 
phurous flavor, owing to the hot springs close 
by the shore and under the water as well, 
besides holding many wigglers. I strained 
a bottleful of water through some linen and 
hung it on the limb of a tree, waiting for it to 
cool, and looking at it with the hungry eye 
of a wolf watching meat hung out of reach. 

My Indian pony had a new experience the 
following morning. After starting our pack- 
train, we skirted the shores of Yellowstone 
Lake, and coming to a quick-running stream, 
which in its clearness looked very inviting, 
the Indian pony succeeded in loosing her 
trail-rope, and pushed her head nearly up to 
her eyes into this clear water. Withdrawing 
it quickly with a scream, she cut such capers 
that for a while our pack-train was more or 
less disarranged. The water had run only a 
short distance from a boiling spring, and the 
heat had taken off a good deal of the hair 
from her face. For twenty-four hours I could 
not induce her to drink. 

On the trail to the outlet of Yellowstone 
Lake, I saw several bands of elk, and rode 
within thirty yards of them. They did not 
152 



After Wapiti in Wyoming 

show signs of fear, but quietly walked off into 
the bushes, with the exception of one bull ac- 
companied by three cows. They were lying 
down, and when I came to them, the cows 
moved off; but the bull stood there, and for a 
few minutes I thought he was going to charge. 
He pawed the ground, shook his head, and 
kept alternately taking a few steps toward 
me, and then backing a little, ripping up the 
soil with his antlers, and breaking the small 
bushes, in token of challenge. I concluded 
to retreat rather than fight, so quietly with- 
drew, leaving him in possession of the field. 
While in camp one day, on Lizard Creek, 
I climbed Wild Cat Mountain, hunting up 
a trail that would lead to the eastward ; and 
coming out on the southern point of the moun- 
tain, a magnificent view opened to my gaze. 
On the south, immediately at the foot of this 
mountain, was a park; it was dotted with 
clumps and groves of fine trees, through 
which ran a good-sized stream. The mea- 
dow ran a half-mile to the foot-hills, well 
covered with long grass, which in the sun- 
light, moving with a gentle breeze, rose and 
fell like the billows of the ocean. For miles 

i?3 



American Big-Game Hunting 

beyond were mountains piled on mountains; 
and I could see clearly the grand Teton 
range springing up from Jackson's Lake : 
Mount Hayden, some fourteen thousand feet 
high, with Mount Moran just north of it, — 
Hayden rising majestically from the surface 
of the lake thousands of feet, with sharp 
slopes and walls of bare rock above, and its 
base buried in a darkness of pine and spruce. 
Their snow-covered summits and immense 
glaciers must impress any beholder with a 
strong sense of sublimity. It is said that 
on the summit of one of the Tetons there 
is an inclosure made of rocks several feet 
in height, built by what long-vanished and 
forgotten race of builders no man will ever 
know. 

F. C. Crocker. 



154 



In Buffalo Days 

On the floor, on either side of my fireplace, 
lie two buffalo skulls. They are white and 
weathered, the horns cracked and bleached 
by the snows and frosts and the rains and 
heats of many winters and summers. Often, 
late at night, when the house is quiet, I sit 
before the fire, and muse and dream of the 
old days ; and as I gaze at these relics of 
the past, they take life before my eyes. The 
matted brown hair again clothes the dry bone, 
and in the empty orbits the wild eyes gleam. 
Above me curves the blue arch ; away on 
every hand stretches the yellow prairie, and 
scattered near and far are the dark forms of 
buffalo. They dot the rolling hills, quietly 
feeding like tame cattle, or lie at ease on the 
slopes, chewing the cud and half asleep. The 
yellow calves are close by their mothers ; on 
little eminences the great bulls paw the dust, 
and mutter and moan, while those whose horns 
155 



American Bijr-Game Hunting 



have grown one, two, and three winters are 
mingled with their elders. 

Not less peaceful is the scene near some 
river-bank, when the herds come down to 
water. From the high prairie on every side 
they stream into the valley, stringing along in 
single file, each band following the deep trail 
worn in the parched soil by the tireless feet 
of generations of their kind. At a quick walk 
they swing along, their heads held low. The 
long beards of the bulls sweep the ground; 
the shuffling tread of many hoofs marks their 
passing, and above each long line rises a 
cloud of dust that sometimes obscures the 
westering sun. 

Life, activity, excitement, mark another 
memory as vivid as these. From behind a 
near hill mounted men ride out and charge 
down toward the herd. For an instant the 
buffalo pause to stare, and then crowd toge- 
ther in a close throng, jostling and pushing 
one another, a confused mass of horns, hair, 
and hoofs. Heads down and tails in air, they 
rush away from their pursuers, and as they 
race along herd joins herd, till the black 
mass sweeping over the prairie numbers thou- 
156 



In Buffalo Days 

sands. On its skirts hover the active, nim- 
ble horsemen, with twanging bowstrings and 
sharp arrows piercing many fat cows. The 
naked Indians cling to their naked horses as 
if the two were parts of one incomparable 
animal, and swing and yield to every motion 
of their steeds with the grace of perfect horse- 
manship. The ponies, as quick and skilful as 
the men, race up beside the fattest of the herd, 
swing off to avoid the charge of a maddened 
cow, and, returning, dart close to the victim, 
whirling hither and yon, like swallows on the 
wing. And their riders, with the unconscious 
skill, grace, and power of matchless archery, 
are drawing their bows to the arrow's head, 
and driving the feathered shaft deep through 
the bodies of the buffalo. Returning on their 
tracks, they skin the dead, then load the meat 
and robes on their horses, and with laughter 
and jest ride away. 

After them, on the deserted prairie, come 
the wolves to tear at the carcasses. The rain 
and the snow wash the blood from the bones, 
and fade and bleach the hair. For a few 
months the skeleton holds together; then it 
falls apart, and the fox and the badger pull 
157 



American Big-Game Hunting 

about the whitening bones and scatter them 
over the plain. So this cow and this bull of 
mine may have left their bones on the prairie, 
where I found them and picked them up to 
keep as mementos of the past, to dream over, 
and in such reverie to see as^ain the swellinor 
hosts which yesterday covered the plains, and 
to-day are but a dream. 

So the buffalo passed into history. Once 
an inhabitant of this continent from the Arctic 
slope to Mexico, and from Virginia to Oregon, 
and, within the memory of men yet young, 
roaming the plains in such numbers that it 
seemed as if it could never be exterminated, 
it has now disappeared as utterly as has the 
bison from Europe. For it is probable that 
the existing herds of that practically extinct 
species, now carefully guarded in the forests 
of Grodno, about equal in numbers the buffalo 
in the Yellowstone Park ; while the wild bison 
in the Caucasus may be compared with the 
"wood" buffalo which survive in the Peace 
River district. In view of the former abun- 
dance of our buffalo, this parallel is curious 
and interesting. 

The early explorers were constantly as- 
158 



In Buffalo Days 

tonished by the multitudinous herds which 
they met with, the regularity of their move- 
ments, and the deep roads which they made 
in traveling from place to place. Many of the 
earlier references are to territory east of the 
Mississippi, but even within the last fifteen 
years buffalo were to be seen on the Western 
plains in numbers so great that an entirely 
sober and truthful account seems like fable. 
Describing the abundance of buffalo in a cer- 
tain region, an Indian once said to me, in the 
expressive sign-language of which all old 
frontiersmen have some knowledge: "The 
country was one robe." 

Much has been written about their enor- 
mous abundance in the old days, but I have 
never read anything that I thought an exag- 
geration of their numbers as I have seen them. 
Only one who has actually spent months in 
traveling among them in those old days can 
credit the stories told about them. The trains 
of the Kansas Pacific Railroad used frequently 
to be detained by herds which were crossing 
the tracks in front of the engines; and in 1870, 
trains on which I was traveling were twice so 
held, in one case for three hours. When 
159 



American Big-Game Hunting 

railroad travel first began on this road, the 
engineers tried the experiment of running 
through these passing herds; but after their 
engines had been thrown from the tracks they 
learned wisdom, and gave the buffalo the right 
of way. Two or three years later, in the 
country between the Platte and Republican 
rivers, I saw a closely massed herd of buffalo 
so vast that I dared not hazard a guess as 
to its numbers; and in later years I have 
traveled, for weeks at a time, in northern 
Montana without ever beino- out of sicrht of 
buffalo. These were not in close herds, ex- 
cept now and then when alarmed and running, 
but were usually scattered about, feeding or 
lying down on the prairie at a little distance 
from one another, much as domestic cattle 
distribute themselves in a pasture or on the 
range. As far as we could see on every side 
of the line of march, and ahead, the hillsides 
were dotted with dark forms, and the field- 
glass revealed yet others stretched out on 
every side, in one continuous host, to the most 
distant hills. Thus was gained a more just 
notion of their numbers than could be had in 
any other way, for the sight of this limitless 



In Buffalo Days 

territory occupied by these continuous herds 
was far more impressive than the spectacle 
of a surging, terrified mass of fleeing buffalo, 
even though the numbers which passed 
rapidly before the observer's gaze in a short 
time were very great. 

The former range of the buffalo has been 
worked out with painstaking care by Dr. 
Allen, to whom we owe an admirable mono- 
graph on this species. He concludes that 
the northern limit of this range was north 
of the Great Slave Lake, in latitude about 
6T)^ N. ; while to the south it extended into 
Mexico as far as latitude 25° N. To the west 
it ranged at least as far as the Blue Moun- 
tains of Oregon, while on the east it was 
abundant in the western portions of New 
York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and 
South Carolinas, and Georgia. In the interior 
the buffalo were very abundant, and occupied 
Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, 
West Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, 
parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, 
the whole of the great plains, from southern 
Texas north to their northern limit, and much 
of the Rocky Mountains. In Montana, Idaho, 
161 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Wyoming, and most of New Mexico they were 
abundant, and probably common over a large 
part of Utah, and perhaps in northern Nevada. 
So far as now known, their western limit was 
the Blue Mountains of Oregon and the eastern 
foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada. 

Thus it will be seen that the buffalo once 
ranged over a large part of the American 
continent, — Dr. Allen says one third of it, — 
but it must not be imagined that they were 
always present at the same time in every part 
of their range. They were a wandering race, 
sometimes leaving a district and being long 
absent, and again returning and occupying it 
for a considerable period. What laws or what 
impulses governed these movements we can- 
not know. Their wandering habits were well 
understood by the Indians of the Western 
plains, who depended upon the buffalo for 
food. It was their custom to follow the herds 
about, and when, as sometimes occurred, these 
moved away and could not be found, the In- 
dians were reduced to great straits for food, 
and sometimes even starved to death. 

Under natural conditions the buffalo was an 
animal of rather sluggish habits, mild, inoffen- 
162 



In Buffalo Days 

sive, and dull. In its ways of life and intel- 
ligence it closely resembled our domestic 
cattle. It was slow to learn by experience, 
and this lack of intelligence greatly hastened 
the destruction of the race. Until the very 
last years of its existence as a species, it did 
not appear to connect the report of firearms 
with any idea of danger to itself, and though 
constantly pursued, did not become wild. If 
he used skill and judgment in shooting, a 
hunter who had "got a stand" on a small 
bunch could kill them all before they had 
moved out of rifle-shot. It was my fortune, 
one summer, to hunt for a camp of soldiers, 
and more than once I have lain on a hill 
above a little herd of buffalo, shot down what 
young bulls I needed to supply the camp, 
and then walked down to the bunch and, by 
waving my hat and shouting, driven off the 
survivors, so that I could prepare the meat 
for transportation to camp. This slowness 
to take the alarm, or indeed to realize the 
presence of danger, was characteristic of the 
buffalo almost up to the very last. A time 
did come when they were alarmed readily 
enough, but this was not until all the large 
163 



American Big-Game Hunting 

herds had been broken up and scattered, and 
the miserable survivors had been so chased 
and harried that at last they learned to start 
and run even at their own shadows. 

Another peculiarity of the buffalo was its 
habit, when stampeded, of dashing blindly 
forward against, over, or through anything 
that might be in the way. When running, a 
herd of buffalo followed its leaders, and yet 
these leaders lost the power of stopping, or 
even of turning aside, because they were con- 
stantly crowded upon and pushed forward 
by those behind. This explains why herds 
would dash into mire or quicksands, as they 
often did, and thus perish by the thousand. 
Those in front could not stop, while those be- 
hind could not see the danger toward which 
they were rushing. So, too, they ran into 
rivers, or into traps made for them by the 
Indians, or against railroad cars, or even 
dashed into the rivers and swam blindly 
against the sides of steamboats. If an ob- 
stacle lay squarely across their path, they 
tried to go through it, but if it lay at an angle 
to their course, they would turn a little to 
follow it, as will be shown further on. 
164 



In Buffalo Days 

The buffalo calf is born from April to June, 
and at first is an awkward little creature, 
looking much like a domestic calf, but with a 
shorter neck. The hump at first is scarcely 
noticeable, but develops rapidly. They are 
odd-looking and very playful little animals. 
They are easily caught and tamed when 
quite young, but when a few months old they 
become as shy as the old buffalo, and are 
much more swift of foot. 

Although apparently very sluggish, buffalo 
are really extremely active, and are able to 
go at headlong speed over a country where 
no man would dare to ride a horse. When 
alarmed they will throw themselves down the 
almost vertical side of a canon and climb the 
opposite wall with cat-like agility. Some- 
times they will descend cut banks by jumping 
from shelf to shelf of rock like the mountain 
sheep. To get at water when thirsty, they 
will climb down bluffs that seem altogether 
impracticable for such great animals. Many 
years ago, while descending the Missouri 
River in a flatboat with two companions, I 
landed in a wide bottom to kill a mountain 
sheep. As we were bringing the meat to the 
"* 165 



American Big-Game Hunting 

boat, we saw on the opposite side of the 
river, about half-way down the bluffs, which 
were here about fifteen hundred feet high, a 
large buffalo bull. The bluffs were almost 
vertical, and this old fellow was having some 
difficulty in making his way down to the 
water. He went slowly and carefully, at 
times having pretty good going, and at 
others slipping and sliding for thirty or forty 
feet, sending the clay and stones rolling 
ahead of him in great quantities. We 
watched him for a little while, and then it oc- 
curred to some malicious spirit among us that 
it would be fun to see whether the bull could 
go up where he had come down. A shot was 
fired so as to strike near him, — for no one 
wanted to hurt the old fellow, — and as soon 
as the report reached his ears, he turned 
about and began to scramble up the bluffs. 
His first rush carried him, perhaps, a hundred 
feet vertically, and then he stopped and 
looked around. He seemed not to have the 
slightest difficulty in climbing up, nor did he 
use any caution, or appear to pick his way at 
all. A second shot caused another rush up 
the steep ascent, but this time he went only 
1 66 



In Buffalo Days 

half as far as before, and again stopped. 
Three or four other shots drove him by 
shorter and shorter rushes up the bluffs, until 
at length he would go no further, and subse- 
quent shots only caused him to shake his 
head angrily. Plainly he had climbed until 
his wind had given out, and now he would 
stand and fight. Our fun was over, and look- 
ing back as we floated down the river, our 
last glimpse was of the old bull, still standing 
on his shelf, waiting with lowered head for 
the unknown enemy that he supposed was 
about to attack him. 

It is not only under the stress of circum- 
stances that the bison climbs. The mountain 
buffalo is almost as active as the mountain 
sheep, and was often found in places that 
tested the nerve and activity of a man to 
reach ; and even the buffalo of the plains had 
a fondness for high places, and used to climb 
up on to broken buttes or high rocky points. 
In recent years I have often noticed the same 
habit among range cattle and horses. 

The buffalo were fond of rolling in the 
dirt, and to this habit, practised when the 
ground was wet, are due the buffalo wallows 
167 



American Big-Game Hunting 

which so frequently occur in the old ranges, 
and which often contain water after all other 
moisture, except that of the streams, is dried 
up. These wallows were formed by the roll- 
ing of a succession of buffalo in the same 
moist place, and were frequently quite deep. 
They have often been described. Less well 
known was the habit of scratching themselves 
against trees and rocks. Sometimes a soli- 
tary erratic boulder, five or six feet high, 
may be seen on the bare prairie, the ground 
immediately around it being worn down two 
or three feet below the level of the surround- 
ing earth. This is where the buffalo have 
walked about the stone, rubbing against it, 
and, where they trod, loosening the soil, which 
has been blown away by the wind, so that in 
course of time a deep trench was worn about 
the rock. Often single trees along streams 
were worn quite smooth by the shoulders 
and sides of the buffalo. 

When the first telegraph line was built 
across the continent, the poles used were 
light and small, for transportation over the 
plains was slow and expensive, and it was 
not thought necessary to raise the wires high 

1 68 



In Buffalo Days 

above the ground. These poles were much 
resorted to by the buffalo to scratch against, 
and before long a great many of them were 
pushed over. A story, now of considerable 
antiquity, is told of an ingenious employee 
of the telegraph company, who devised a 
plan for preventing the buffalo from dis- 
turbing the poles. This he expected to 
accomplish by driving into them spikes 
which should prick the animals when they 
rubbed against them. The result somewhat 
astonished the inventor, for it was discovered 
that where formerly one buffalo rubbed 
against the smooth telegraph poles, ten now 
struggled and fought for the chance to 
scratch themselves against the spiked poles, 
the iron furnishing just the irritation which 
their tough hides needed. 

It was in spring, when its coat was being 
shed, that the buffalo, odd-looking enough 
at any time, presented its most grotesque 
appearance. The matted hair and wool of 
the shoulders and sides began to peel off 
in great sheets, and these sheets, clinging 
to the skin and flapping in the wind, gave 
it the appearance of being clad in rags. 
169 



American Big-Game Hunting 

The buffalo was a timid creature, but 
brought to bay would fight with ferocity. 
There were few sights more terrifying to the 
novice than the spectacle of an old bull at 
bay: his mighty bulk, a quivering mass of 
active, enraged muscle ; the shining horns ; 
the little, spiky tail ; and the eyes half hidden 
beneath the shaggy frontlet, yet gleaming 
with rage, combined to render him an awe- 
inspiring object. Nevertheless, owing to 
their greater speed and activity, the cows 
were much more to be feared than the bulls. 

It was once thought that the buffalo per- 
formed annually extensive migrations, and 
it was even said that those which spent the 
summer on the banks of the Saskatchewan 
wintered in Texas. There is no reason for 
believing this to have been true. Undoubt- 
edly there were slight general movements 
north and south, and east and west, at cer- 
tain seasons of the year; but many of the 
accounts of these movements are entirely 
misleading, because greatly exaggerated. In 
one portion of the northern country I know 
that there was a decided east and west sea- 
sonal migration, the herds tending in spring 



In Buffalo Days 

away from the mountains, while in the au- 
tumn they worked back again, seeking shelter 
in the rough, broken country of the foot-hills 
from the cold west winds of the winter. 

The buffalo is easily tamed when caught 
as a calf, and in all its ways of life resembles 
the domestic cattle. It at once learns to 
respect a fence, and, even if at large, mani- 
fests no disposition to wander. 

Three years ago there were in this country 
about two hundred and fifty domesticated 
buffalo, in the possession of about a dozen 
individuals. Of these the most important herd 
was that of Hon. C. J. Jones, of Garden City, 
Kansas, which, besides about fifty animals 
captured and reared by himself, included also 
the Bedson herd of over eighty, purchased in 
Manitoba. The Jones herd at one time con- 
sisted of about one hundred and fifty head. 
Next came that of Charles Allard and Michel 
Pablo, of the Flathead Agency in Montana, 
which in 1888 numbered thirty-five, and has 
now increased to about ninety. Mr. Jones's 
herd has been broken up, and he now retains 
only about forty-five head, of which fifteen 
are breeding cows. He tells me that within 
171 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the past year or two he has sold over sixty 
pure buffalo, and that nearly as many more 
have died through injuries received in trans- 
porting them by rail. 

Mr. Jones is the only individual who, of re- 
cent years, has made any systematic effort to 
cross the buffalo with our own domestic cattle. 
As far back as the beginning of the present 
century, this was successfully done in the 
West and Northwest ; and in Audubon and 
Bachman's "Quadrupeds of America" may be 
found an extremely interesting account, writ- 
ten by Robert Wickliffe, of Lexington, Ken- 
tucky, giving the results of a series of careful 
and successful experiments which he carried 
on for more than thirty years. These experi- 
ments showed that the cross for certain 
purposes was a very valuable one, but no 
systematic efforts to establish and perpetuate 
a breed of buffalo cattle were afterward made 
until within the past ten years. Mr. Jones has 
bred buffalo bulls to Galloway, Polled Angus, 
and ordinary range cows, and has succeeded 
in obtaining calves from all. Such half-breeds 
are of very large size, extremely hardy, and, 
as a farmer would say, "easy keepers." 
172 



In Buffalo Days 

They are fertile among themselves or with 
either parent. A half-breed cow of Mr. 
Jones's that I examined was fully as large as 
an ordinary work-ox, and in spring, while 
nursing a calf, was fat on grass. She lacked 
the buffalo hump, but her hide would have 
made a good robe. The great size and 
tremendous frame of these cross-bred cattle 
should make them very valuable for beef, 
while their hardiness would exempt them 
from the dangers of winter, — so often fatal 
to dom.estic range cattle, — and they produce 
a robe which is quite as valuable as that of 
the buffalo, and more beautiful because more 
even all over. If continued, these attempts 
at cross-breeding may do much to improve 
our Western range cattle. 

Mr. Jones has sold a number of buffalo to 
persons in Europe, where there is a consider- 
able demand for them. It is to be hoped that 
no more of these domesticated buffalo will be 
allowed to leave the country where they were 
born. Indeed, it would seem quite within 
the lines of the work now being carried on 
by the Agricultural Department, for the gov- 
ernment to purchase all the domesticated 
173 



American Big-Game Hunting 

American buffalo that can be had, and to 
start, in some one of the Western States, an 
experimental farm for buffalo breeding and 
buffalo crossing. With a herd of fifty pure- 
bred buffalo cows and a sufficient number of 
bulls, a series of experiments could be carried 
on which might be of great value to the 
cattle-growers of our western country. The 
stock of pure buffalo could be kept up and in- 
creased; surplus bulls, pure and half bred, 
could be sold to farmers; and, in time, the 
new race of buffalo cattle might become so 
firmly established that it would endure. 

To undertake this with any prospect of 
success, such a farm would have to be man- 
aged by a man of intelligence and of wide 
experience in this particular field ; otherwise 
all the money invested would be wasted. Mr. 
Jones is perhaps the only man living who 
knows enough of this subject to carry on an 
experimental farm with success. 

Although only one species of buffalo is 
known to science, old mountaineers and In- 
dians tell of four kinds. These are, besides 
the ordinary animal of the plains, the "moun- 
tain buffalo," sometimes called "bison," which 
174 



In Buffalo Days 

is found in the timbered Rocky Mountains ; 
the " wood buffalo " of the Northwest, which 
inhabits the timbered country to the west and 
north of Athabasca Lake; and the "beaver 
buffalo." The last named has been vaguely 
described to me by northern Indians as small 
and having a very curly coat. I know of 
only one printed account of it, and this says 
that it had '* short, sharp horns which were 
small at the root and curiously turned up and 
bent backward, not unlike a ram's, but quite 
unlike the bend of the horn in the common 
buffalo." It is possible that this description 
may refer to the musk-ox, and not to a buf- 
falo. The "mountain" and "wood" buffalo 
seem to be very much alike in habit and ap- 
pearance. They are larger, darker, and 
heavier than the animal of the plains, but 
there is no reason for thinking them specifi- 
cally distinct from it. Such differences as 
exist are due to conditions of environment. 
The color of the buffalo in its new coat is a 
dark liver-brown. This soon changes, how- 
ever, and the hides, which are at their best 
in November and early December, begin to 
grow paler toward spring; and when the coat 
175 



American Big-Game Hunting 

is shed, the hair and wool from young ani- 
mals is almost a dark smoky-gray. The calf 
when just born is of a bright yellow color, 
almost a pale red on the line of the back. 
As it grows older it becomes darker, and by 
late autumn is almost as dark as the adults. 
Variations from the normal color are very 
rare, but pied, spotted, and roan animals are 
sometimes killed. Blue or mouse-colored buf- 
falo were occasionally seen, and a bull of this 
color was observed in the National Park last 
January. White buffalo — though often re- 
ferred to as mythical — sometimes occurred. 
These varied from gray to cream-white. 
The rare and valuable "silk" or "beaver" 
robe owes its name to its dark color and its 
peculiar sheen or gloss. White or spotted 
robes were highly valued by the Indians. 
Among the Blackfeet they were presented to 
the Sun as votive offerings. Other tribes 
kept them in their sacred bundles. 

Apart from man, the buffalo had but few 
natural enemies. Of these the most destruc- 
tive were the wolves, which killed a great 
many of them. These, however, were prin- 
cipally old, straggling bulls, for the calves 
176 



In Buffalo Days 

were protected by their mothers, and the fe- 
males and young stock were so vigorous and 
so gregarious that they had but little to 
fear from this danger. It is probable that, 
notwithstanding the destruction which they 
wrought, the wolves performed an important 
service for the buffalo race, keeping it vigor- 
ous and healthy by killing weak, disabled, 
and superannuated animals, which could no 
longer serve any useful purpose in the herd, 
and yet consumed the grass which would 
support a healthy breeding animal. It is cer- 
tainly true that sick buffalo, or those out of 
condition, were rarely seen. 

The grizzly bear fed to some extent on the 
carcasses of buffalo drowned in the rivers or 
caught in the quicksands, and occasionally 
they caught living buffalo and killed them. 
A Blackfoot Indian told me of an attempt of 
this kind which he witnessed. He was lying 
hidden by a buffalo trail in the Bad Lands, 
near a little creek, waiting for a small bunch 
to come down to water, so that he might kill 
one. The buffalo came on in single file as 
usual, the leading animal being a young 
heifer. When they had nearly reached the 
177 



American Bi<r-Game Huntine: 



to 



water, and were passing under a vertical clay- 
wall, a grizzly bear, lying hid on a shelf of 
this wall, reached down, and with both paws 
caught the heifer about the neck and threw 
himself upon her. The others at once ran 
off, and a short struggle ensued, the bear 
trying to kill the heifer, and she to escape. 
Almost at once, however, the Indian saw a 
splendid young bull come rushing down the 
trail toward the scene of conflict, and charge 
the bear, knocking him down. A fierce com- 
bat ensued. The bull would charge the bear, 
and when he struck him fairly would knock 
him off his feet, often inflicting severe wounds 
with his sharp horns. The bear struck at 
the bull, and tried to catch him by the head 
or shoulders, and to hold him, but this he 
could not do. After fifteen or twenty minutes 
of fierce and active fighting, the bear had re- 
ceived all the punishment he cared for, and 
tried to escape, but the bull would not let him 
go, and kept up the attack until he had killed 
his adversary. Even after the bear was dead 
the bull would gore the carcass and some- 
times lift it clear of the ground on his horns. 
He seemed insane with rage, and, notwith- 
178 



In Buffalo Days 

standing the fact that most of the skin was 
torn from his head and shoulders, appeared 
to be looking about for something else to 
fight. The Indian was very much afraid lest 
the bull should discover and kill him, and 
was greatly relieved when he finally left the 
bear and went off to join his band. This 
Blackfoot had never heard of Uncle Remus's 
tales, but he imitated Brer Rabbit — laid low 
and said nothing. 

To the Indians the buffalo was the staff of 
life. It was their food, clothing, dwellings, 
tools. The needs of a savage people are not 
many, perhaps, but whatever the Indians of 
the plains had, that the buffalo gave them. 
It is not strange, then, that this animal was 
reverenced by most plains tribes, nor that it 
entered largely into their sacred ceremonies, 
and was in a sense worshiped by them. The 
Pawnees, in explaining their religious cus- 
toms, say, "Through the corn and the buffalo 
we worship the Father." The Blackfeet ask, 
"What one of all the animals is most sacred? " 
and the reply given is, "The buffalo." 

The robe was the Indian's winter covering 
and his bed, while the skin, freed from the 
179 



American Big-Game Hunting 

hair and dressed, constituted his summer 
sheet or blanket. The dressed hide was used 
for moccasins, leggings, shirts, and women's 
dresses. Dressed cow-skins formed the 
lodges, the warmest and most comfortable 
portable shelters ever devised. Braided 
strands of rawhide furnished them with 
ropes and lines, and these were made also 
from the twisted hair. The green hide was 
sometimes used as a kettle, in which to boil 
meat, or, stretched over a frame of boughs, 
gave them coracles, or boats, for crossing 
rivers. The tough, thick hide of the bull's 
neck, allowed to shrink smooth, made a 
shield which would turn a lance-thrust, an 
arrow, or even the ball from an old-fashioned 
smooth-bore gun. From the rawhide, the 
hair having been shaved off, were made par- 
fleches — envelop-like cases which served for 
trunks or boxes — useful to contain small 
articles. The cannon-bones and ribs were 
used to make implements for dressing hides; 
the shoulder-blades lashed to sticks made 
hoes and axes, and the ribs runners for 
small sledges drawn by dogs. The hoofs 
were boiled to make a glue for fastening the 
1 80 



In Buffalo Days 

feathers and heads on their arrows, the hair 
used to stuff cushions, and later saddles, 
strands of the long black beard to ornament 
articles of wearing-apparel and implements 
of war, such as shields and quivers. The 
sinews lying along the back gave them 
thread and bowstrings, and backed their 
bows. The horns furnished spoons and 
ladles, and ornamented their war-bonnets. 
Water-buckets were made from the lininof of 
the paunch. The skin of the hind leg 
cut off above the pastern, and again a short 
distance above the hock, was once used for a 
moccasin or boot. Fly-brushes were made 
from the skin of the tail dried on sticks. 
Knife-sheaths, quivers, bow-cases, gun-cov- 
ers, saddle-cloths, and a hundred other useful 
and necessary articles, all were furnished by 
the buffalo. 

The Indians killed some smaller game, as 
elk, deer, and antelope, but for food their de- 
pendence was on the buffalo. But before the 
coming of the whites their knives and arrow- 
heads were merely sharpened stones, wea- 
pons which would be inefficient against such 
great, thick-skinned beasts. Even under the 

^2* i8i 



American Big-Game Hunting 

most favorable circumstances, with these 
primitive implements, they could not kill food 
in quantities sufficient to supply their needs. 
There must be some means of taking the 
buffalo in considerable numbers. Such whole- 
sale capture was accomplished by means of 
traps or surrounds, which all depended for 
success on one characteristic of the animal, 
its curiosity. 

The Blackfeet, Plains Crees, Gros Ventres 
of the Prairie, Sarcees, some bands of the 
Dakotas, Snakes, Crows, and some others, 
drove the herds of buffalo into pens from 
above, or over high cliffs, where the fall 
killed or crippled a large majority of the 
herd. The Cheyennes and Arapahoes drove 
them into pens on level ground; the Black- 
feet, Aricaras, Mandans, Gros Ventres of the 
Village, Pawnees, Omahas, Otoes, and others, 
surrounded the herds in great circles on the 
prairie, and then, frightening them so that 
they started running, kept them from break- 
ing through the line of men, and made them 
race round and round in a circle, until they 
were so exhausted that they could not run 
away, and were easily killed. 
182 



In Buffalo Days 

These primitive modes of slaughter have 
been described by earlier writers, and fre- 
quently quoted in recent years; yet, in all 
that has been written on this subject, I fail 
to find a single account which gives at all 
a true notion of the methods employed, or 
the means by which the buffalo were brought 
into the inclosures. Eye-witnesses have been 
careless observers, and have taken many 
things for granted. My understanding of 
this matter is derived from men who from 
childhood have been familiar with these 
things, and from them, during years of close 
association, I have again and again heard the 
story of these old hunting methods. 

The Blackfoot trap was called the piskun. 
It was an inclosure, one side of which w^as 
formed by the vertical wall of a cut bank, 
the others being built of rocks, logs, poles, 
and brush six or eight feet high. It was not 
necessary that these walls should be very 
strong, but they had to be tight, so that the 
buffalo could not see through them. From 
a point on the cut bank above this inclosure, 
in two diverging lines stretching far out into 
the prairie, piles of rock were heaped up 
183 



American Big-Game Hunting 

at short intervals, or bushes were stuck in 
the ground, forming the wings of a V-shaped 
chute, which would guide any animals run- 
ning down the chute to its angle above the 
piskun. When a herd of buffalo were feed- 
ing near at hand, the people prepared for the 
hunt, in which almost the whole camp took 
part. It is commonly stated that the buffalo 
were driven into the piskun by mounted 
men, but this was not the case. They were 
not driven, but led, and they were led by 
an appeal to their curiosity. The man who 
brought them was usually the possessor of 
a "buffalo rock," a talisman which was be- 
lieved to give him greater power to call 
the buffalo than was had by others. The 
previous night was spent by this man in 
praying for success in the enterprise of the 
morrow. The help of the Sun, N'api, and 
all Above People was asked for, and sweet- 
grass was burned to them. Early in the 
morning, without eating or drinking, the 
man started away from the camp and went 
up on the prairie. Before he left the lodge, 
he told his wives that they must not go 
out, or even look out, of the lodge during his 
184 







5 



S4 



-^•^^1 



x^ 



In Buffalo Days 

absence. They should stay there, and pray 
to the Sun for his success, and burn sweet- 
grass until he returned. When he left the 
camp and went up on to the prairie toward 
the buffalo, all the people followed him, and 
distributed themselves along the wings of the 
chute, hiding behind the piles of rock or 
brush. The caller sometimes wore a robe 
and a bull's-head bonnet, or at times was 
naked. When he had approached close to 
the buffalo, he endeavored to attract their 
attention by moving about, wheeling round 
and round, and alternately appearing and 
disappearing. The feeding buffalo soon be- 
gan to raise their heads and stare at him, and 
presently the nearest ones would w^alk to- 
ward him to discover what this strange 
creature might be, and the others would 
follow. As they began to approach, the man 
withdrew toward the entrance of the chute. 
If the buffalo began to trot, he increased 
his speed, and before very long he had the 
herd well within the wings. As soon as they 
had passed the first piles of rock, behind 
which some of the people were concealed, 
the Indians sprang into view, and by yelling 
185 



American Big-Game Hunting 

and wavinof robes friorhtened the hind-most 
of the buffalo, which then began to run down 
the chute. As they passed along, more and 
more people showed themselves and added to 
their terror, and in a very short time the herd 
was in a headlong stampede, guided toward 
the angle above the piskun by the piles of 
rock on either side. 

About the walls of the piskun, now full 
of buffalo, were distributed the women and 
children of the camp, who, leaning over the 
inclosure, waving their arms and calling out, 
did all they could to frighten the penned-in 
animals, and to keep them from pushing 
against the walls or trying to jump or climb 
over them. As a rule the buffalo raced round 
within the inclosure, and the men shot them 
down as they passed, until all were killed. 
After this the people all entered the piskun 
and cut up the dead, transporting the meat to 
camp. The skulls, bones, and less perishable 
offal were removed from the inclosure, and 
the wolves, coyotes, foxes, and badgers de- 
voured what was left. 

It occasionally happened that something 
occurred to turn the buffalo, so that they 
iS6 



In Buffalo Days 

passed through the guiding arms and es- 
caped. Usually they went on straight to the 
angle and jumped over the cliff into the in- 
closure below. In winter, when snow was 
on the ground, their straight course was 
made additionally certain by placing on, or 
just above, the snow a line of buffalo-chips 
leading from the angle of the V, midway be- 
tween its arms, out on to the prairie. These 
dark objects, only twenty or thirty feet apart, 
were easily seen against the white snow, and 
the buffalo always followed them, no doubt 
thinkinof this a trail where another herd had 
passed. 

By the Siksikau tribe of the Blackfoot 
nation and the Plains Crees, the piskun was 
built in a somewhat different way, but the 
methods employed were similar. With these 
people, who inhabited a flat country, the 
inclosure v/as built of logs and near a tim- 
bered stream. Its circular wall was complete; 
that is, there was no opening or gateway in 
it, but at one point this wall, elsewhere eight 
feet high, w^as cut away so that its height was 
only four feet. From this point a bridge or 
causeway of logs, covered with dirt, sloped 
187 



American Bi":-Game Huntiiii 



"to 



by a gradual descent down to the level 
of the prairie. This bridge was fenced on 
either side with logs, and the arms of the 
V came together at the point where the 
bridge reached the ground. The buffalo 
were driven down the chute as before, ran 
up on this bridge, and were forced to leap 
into the pen. As soon as all had entered, 
Indians who had been concealed near by ran 
up and put poles across the opening through 
which the buffalo had passed, and over these 
poles hung robes so as entirely to conceal the 
outer world. Then the butchering of the 
animals took place. 

Further to the south, out on the prairie, 
where timber and rocks and brush were not 
obtainable for making traps like these, sim- 
pler but less effective methods were adopted. 
The people would go out on the prairie and 
conceal themselves in a great circle, open on 
one side. Then some man would approach 
the buffalo, and decoy them into the circle. 
Men would now show themselves at different 
points and start the buffalo running in a 
circle, yelling and waving robes to keep them 
from approaching or trying to break through 

iS8 



In Buffalo Days 

the ring of men. This had to be done with 
great judgment, however; for often if the herd 
got started in one direction it was impossible 
to turn it, and it would rush through the ring 
and none would be secured. Sometimes, if 
a herd was found in a favorable position, and 
there was no wind, a large camp of people 
would set up their lodges all about the 
buffalo, in which case the chances of success 
in the surround were greatly increased. 

The tribes which used the piskun also 
practised driving the buffalo over high, 
rough cliffs, where the fall crippled or killed 
most of the animals which went over. In 
such situations, no inclosure was built at the 
foot of the precipice. 

In the later days of the piskun in the 
north, the man who brought the buffalo often 
went to them on horseback, riding a white 
horse. He would ride backward and for- 
ward before them, zigzagging this way and 
that, and after a little they would follow him. 
He never attempted to drive, but always led 
them. The driving began only after the herd 
had passed the outer rock piles, and the people 
had begun to rise up and frighten them. 
1 89 



American Big-Game Hunting 

This method of securing meat has been 
practised in Montana within thirty years, and 
even more recently among the Plains Crees 
of the north. I have seen the remains of old 
piskuns, and the guiding wings of the chute, 
and have talked with many men who have 
taken part in such killings. 

All this had to do, of course, with the 
primitive methods of buffalo killing. As 
soon as horses became abundant, and sheet- 
iron arrow-heads and, later, guns were se- 
cured by the Indians, these old practices 
began to give way to the more exciting pur- 
suit of running buffalo and of surrounding 
them on horseback. Of this modern method, 
as practised twenty years ago, and ex- 
clusively with the bow and arrow, I have 
already written at some length in another 
place. 

To the white travelers on the plains in 
early days the buffalo furnished support and 
sustenance. Their abundance made fresh 
meat easily obtainable, and the early travel- 
ers usually carried with them bundles of 
dried meat, or sacks of pemmican, food made 
from the flesh of the buffalo, that contained a 
190 



In Buffalo Days 

great deal of nutriment in very small bulk. 
Robes were used for bedding, and in winter 
buffalo moccasins were worn for warmth, the 
hair side within. Coats of buffalo-skin are 
the warmest covering known, the only gar- 
ment which will present an effective barrier 
to the bitter blasts that sweep over the plains 
of the Northwest. 

Perhaps as useful to early travelers as any 
product of the buffalo, was the "buffalo chip," 
or dried dung. This, being composed of 
comminuted woody fiber of the grass, made 
an excellent fuel, and in many parts of the 
treeless plains was the only substance which 
could be used to cook with. 

The dismal story of the extermination of 
the buffalo for its hides has been so often 
told, that I may be spared the sickening de- 
tails of the butchery which was carried on 
from the Mexican to the British boundary 
line in the struggle to obtain a few dollars by 
a most ignoble means. As soon as railroads 
penetrated the buffalo country, a market was 
opened for the hides. Men too lazy to work 
were not too lazy to hunt, and a good hunter 
could kill in the early days from thirty to 
191 



American Big-Game Hunting 

seventy-five buffalo a day, the hides of which 
were worth from $1.50 to $4 each. This 
seemed an easy way to make money, and the 
market for hides was unHmited. Up to this 
time the trade in robes had been mainly con- 
fined to those dressed by the Indians, and 
these were for the most part taken from 
cows. The coming of the railroad made 
hides of all sorts marketable, and even those 
taken from naked old bulls found a sale at 
some price. The butchery of buffalo was 
now something stupendous. Thousands of 
hunters followed millions of buffalo and de- 
stroyed them wherever found and at all sea- 
sons of the year. They pursued them during 
the day, and at night camped at the watering- 
places, and built lines of fires along the 
streams, to drive the buffalo back so that 
they could not drink. It took less than six 
years to destroy all the buffalo in Kansas, 
Nebraska, Indian Territory, and northern 
Texas. The few that were left of the 
southern herd retreated to the waterless 
plains of Texas, and there for a while had a 
brief respite. Even here the hunters fol- 
lowed them, but as the animals were few and 



In Buffalo Days 

the territory in which they ranged vast, they 
held out here for some years. It was in this 
country, and against the last survivors of this 
southern herd, that "Buffalo Jones" made 
his successful trips to capture calves. 

The extirpation of the northern herd was 
longer delayed. No very terrible slaughter 
occurred until the completion of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad; then, however, the same 
scenes of butchery were enacted. Buffalo 
were shot down by tens of thousands, their 
hides stripped off, and the meat left to the 
wolves. The result of the crusade was soon 
seen, and the last buffalo were killed in the 
Northwest near the boundary line in 1883, 
and that year may be said to have finished 
up the species, though some few were killed 
in 1884 to 1885. 

After the slaughter had been begun, but 
years before it had been accomplished, the 
subject was brought to the attention of Con- 
gress, and legislation looking to the preser- 
vation of the species was urged upon that 
body. Little general interest was taken in 
the subject, but in 1874, ^^ter much discus- 
sion. Congress did pass an act providing for 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the protection of the buffalo. The bill, how- 
ever, was never signed by the President. 

During the last days of the buffalo, a re- 
markable change took place in its form, and 
this change is worthy of consideration by 
naturalists, for it is an example of specializa- 
tion — of development in one particular direc- 
tion — which was due to a change in the en- 
vironment of the species, and is interesting 
because it was brought about in a very few 
years, and indicates how rapidly, under favor- 
ing conditions, such specialization may some- 
times take place. 

This change was noticed and commented on 
by hunters who followed the northern buffalo, 
as well as by those who assisted in the exter- 
mination of the southern herd. The southern 
hunters, however, averred that the "regular" 
buffalo had disappeared — gone off some- 
where — and that their place had been taken 
by what they called the southern buffalo, a 
race said to have come up from Mexico, and 
characterized by longer legs and a longer, 
lighter body than the buffalo of earlier years, 
and which was also peculiar in that the animals 
never became fat. Intelligent hunters of the 
194 



In Buffalo Days 

northern herd, however, recognized the true 
state of the case, which was that the buffalo, 
during the last years of their existence, were 
so constantly pursued and driven from place 
to place that they never had time to lay on 
fat as in earlier years, and that, as a conse- 
quence of this continual running, the animal's 
form changed, and instead of a fat, short- 
backed, short-legged animal, it became a 
long-legged, light-bodied beast, formed for 
running. 

This specialization in the direction of 
speed at first proceeded very slowly, but at 
last, as the dangers to which the animals 
were subjected became more and more press- 
ing, it took place rapidly, and as a conse- 
quence the last buffalo killed on the plains 
were extremely long-legged and rangy, and 
were very different in appearance — as they 
were in their habits — from the animals of 
twenty years ago. 

Buffalo running was not a sport that re- 
quired much skill, yet it was not without its 
dangers. Occasionally a man was killed by 
the buffalo, but deaths from falls and from 
bursting guns were more common. Many 
195 



American Big-Game Hunting 

curious stories of such accidents are told by 
the few surviving old-timers whose memory- 
goes back fifty years, to the time when flint- 
lock guns were in use. A mere fall from 
a horse is lightly regarded by the practised 
rider ; the danger to be feared is that in such 
a fall the horse may roll on the man and 
crush him. Even more serious accidents 
occurred when a man fell upon some part 
of his equipment, which was driven through 
his body. Hunters have fallen in such a way 
that their whip-stocks, arrows, bows, and even 
guns, have been driven through their bodies. 
The old flint-lock guns, or "fukes," which 
were loaded on the run, with powder poured 
in from the horn by guess, and a ball from 
the mouth, used frequently to burst, causing 
the loss of hands, arms, and even lives. 

While most of the deaths which occurred 
in the chase resulted from causes other than 
the resistance of the buffalo, these did oc- 
casionally kill a man. A curious accident 
happened in a camp of Red River half-breeds 
in the early seventies. The son of an Iroquois 
half-breed, about twenty years old, went out 
one day with the rest of the camp to run 
196 




Through the ]\Iist. 

From Scribner's Magazine. 



In Buffalo Days 

buffalo. At night he did not return, and the 
next day all the men went out to search 
for him. They found the horse and the arms, 
but could not find the man, and could not 
imagine what had become of him. About 
a year later, as the half-breeds were hunting 
in another part of the country, a cow was 
seen which had something unusual on her 
head. They chased and killed her, and 
found that she had on her head the pelvis 
of a man, one of the horns having pierced 
the thin part of the bone, which was wedged 
on so tightly that they could hardly get it 
off. Much of the hair on the head, neck, and 
shoulders of the cow was worn off short, and 
on the side on which the bone was, down 
on the neck and shoulders, the hair was short, 
black, and looked new, as if it had been worn 
entirely off the skin, and was just beginning 
to grow out again. It is supposed that this 
bone was part of the missing young man, who 
had been hooked by the cow, and carried about 
on her head until his body fell to pieces. 

My old and valued friend Charles Rey- 
nolds, for years chief of scouts at Fort Lincoln, 
Dakota, and who was killed by the Sioux in 
13* 197 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the Custer fight in 1876, told me of the death 
of a hunting partner of his, which shows how 
dangerous even a dying buffalo may be. 
The two men had started from the railroad 
to go south and bring in a load of meat. On 
finding a bunch of buffalo, they shot down by 
stalking what they required, and then on 
foot went up to the animals to skin them. 
One cow, lying on her side, was still moving 
a little convulsively, but dying. The man 
approached her as if about to cut her throat, 
but when he was within a few feet of her 
head, she sprang to her feet, rushed at him, 
struck him in the chest with her horns, and 
then fell dead. Charley ran up to his part- 
ner, and to his horror saw that the cow's 
horn had ripped him up from the belly to the 
throat, so that he could see the heart still 
expanding and contracting. 

Charley buried his partner there, and re- 
turning to the town, told his story. He was 
at once arrested on the charge that he had 
murdered his companion, and was obliged to 
return to the place and to assist in digging 
up the body to satisfy the suspicious officials 
of the truth of his statements. 
198 



In Buffalo Days 

In the early days, when the game was 
plenty, buffalo-running was exhilarating 
sport. Given a good horse, the only other 
requisite to success was the ability to remain 
on his back till the end of the chase. No 
o-reater degree of skill was needed than this, 
and yet the quick motion of the horse, the 
rough ground to be traversed, and the feeling 
that there was something ahead that must be 
overtaken and stopped, made the ride attrac- 
tive. There was the very slightest spice of 
danger; for while no one anticipated a serious 
accident, it was always possible that one's 
horse might step into a badger-hole, in which 
case his rider would get a fall that would 
make his bones ache. 

The most exciting, and by far the most 
interesting, hunts in which I ever took part 
were those with the Indians of the plains. 
They were conducted almost noiselessly, and 
no ring of rifle-shot broke the stillness of the 
air, nor puff of smoke rose toward the still, 
gray autumn sky. The consummate grace 
and skill of the naked Indians, and the speed 
and quickness of their splendid ponies, were 
well displayed in such chases as these. More 
199 



American Big-Game Hunting 

than one instance is recorded where an In- 
dian sent an arrow entirely through the bod- 
ies of two buffalo. Sometimes such a hunt 
was signalized by some feat of daring bra- 
vado that, save in the seeing, was scarcely 
credible, as when the Cheyenne Big Ribs 
rode his horse close up to the side of a huge 
bull, and, springing on his back, rode the 
savage beast for some distance, and then 
with his knife gave him the death-stroke. Or 
a man might find himself in a position of 
comical danger, as did "The Trader" who 
was thrown from his horse on to the horns 
of a bull without being injured. One of 
the horns passed under his belt and sup- 
ported him, and at the same time prevented 
the bull from tossing him. In this way he 
was carried for some distance on the animal's 
head, when the belt gave way and he fell 
to the ground unhurt, while the bull ran 
on. There were occasions when buffalo or 
horses fell in front of horsemen riding at 
full run, and when a fall was avoided only 
by leaping one's horse over the fallen animal. 
In the buffalo chase of old days it was well 
for a man to keep his wits about him ; for. 



In Buffalo Days 

though he might run buffalo a thousand times 
without accident, the moment might come 
when only instant action would save him 
his life, or at least an ugly hurt. 

In the early days of the first Pacific Rail- 
road, and before the herds had been driven 
back from the track, singular hunting-parties 
were sometimes seen on the buffalo range. 
These hunters were capitalists connected with 
the newly constructed road, and some of 
them now for the first time bestrode a horse, 
while few had ever used firearms. On such 
a hunt, one well-known railroad director, 
eager to kill a buffalo, declined to trust him- 
self on horseback, preferring to bounce over 
the rough prairie in an ambulance driven by 
an alarmed soldier, who gave less attention to 
the mules he was guiding than to the loaded 
and cocked pistol which his excited passenger 
was brandishing. These were amusing ex- 
cursions, where a merry party of pleasant 
officers from a frontier post, and their guests, 
a jolly crowd of merchants, brokers, and rail- 
road men from the East, started out to have a 
buffalo-hunt. With them went the post guide 
and a scout or two, an escort of soldiers, and 

201 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the great blue army-wagons, under whose 
white tilts were piled all the comforts that the 
post could furnish — unlimited food and drink, 
and many sacks of forage for the animals. 
Here all was mirth and jest and good-fellow- 
ship, and, except that canvas covered them 
while they slept, the hunters lived in as much 
comfort as when at home. The killing of 
buffalo was to them only an excuse for their 
jolly outing amid novel scenes. 

It was on the plains of Montana, in the 
days when buffalo were still abundant, that I 
had one of my last buffalo-hunts — a hunt 
with a serious purpose. A company of fifty 
or more men, who for wrecks had been living 
on bacon and beans, longed for the "boss 
ribs" of fat cow, and when we struck the 
buffalo range two of us were deputed to kill 
some meat. My companion was an old 
prairie-man of great experience, and I myself 
was not altogether new to the West, for I 
had hunted in many territories, and had more 
than once been "jumped " by hostile Indians. 
Our horses were not buffalo-runners, yet 
we felt a certain confidence that if we could 
find a bunch and get a good start on them, 



In Buffalo Days 

we would bring in the desired meat. The 
troops would march during the day, for the 
commanding officer had no notion of waiting 
in camp merely for fresh meat, and we were 
to go out, hunt, and overtake the command 
at their night's camp. 

The next day after we had reached the 
buffalo range, we started out long before 
the eastern sky was gray, and were soon 
riding off over the chilly prairie. The trail 
which the command was to follow ran a little 
north of east, and we kept to the south and 
away from it, believing that in this direction 
we would find the game, and that if we 
started them they would run north or north- 
west — against the wind, so that we could kill 
them near the trail. Until some time after 
the sun had risen, we saw nothing larger than 
antelope; but at length, from the top of a high 
hill, we could see, far away to the east, dark 
dots on the prairie, which we knew could only 
be buffalo. They were undisturbed too ; for, 
though we watched them for some time, we 
could detect no motion in their ranks. 

It took us nearly two hours to reach the 
low, broken buttes on the north side of which 
203 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the buffalo were ; and, riding up on the 
easternmost of these, we tried to locate our 
game more exactly. It was important to get 
as close as possible before starting them, so 
that our first rush might carry us into the 
midst of them. Knowing the capabilities 
of our horses, which were thin from long 
travel, we felt sure that if the buffalo should 
take the alarm before we were close to them, 
we could not overtake the cows and young 
animals, which always run in the van, and 
should have to content ourselves with old 
bulls. On the other hand, if we could dash 
in among them during the first few hun- 
dred yards of the race, we should be able to 
keep up with and select the fattest animals 
in the herd. 

When we reached a point just below the 
crest of the hill, I stopped and waited, while 
my companion rode on. Just before he got 
to the top he too halted, then took off his hat 
and peered over the ridge, examining so 
much of the prairie beyond as was now visi- 
ble to him. His inspection was careful and 
thorough, and when he had made sure that 
nothing was in sight, his horse took a step or 
204 



In Buffalo Days 

two forward and then stopped again, and 
the rider scanned every foot of country 
before him. The horse, trained as the real 
hunter's horse is always trained, understood 
what was required of him, and with pricked 
ears examined the prairie beyond with as 
much interest as did his rider. When the 
calf of Charley's right leg pressed the 
horse's side, two or three steps more were 
taken, and then a lifting of the bridle-hand 
caused another halt. 

At length I saw my companion slowly 
bend forward over his horse's neck, turn, and 
ride back to me. He had seen the backs of 
two buffalo lying on the edge of a little f^at 
hardly a quarter of a mile from where we 
stood. The others of the band must be still 
nearer to us. By riding along the lowest 
part of the sag which separated the two 
buttes, and then down a little ravine, it 
seemed probable that we could come within 
a few yards of the buffalo unobserved. Our 
preparations did not take long. The saddle 
cinches were loosened, blankets arranged, 
saddles put in their proper places and tightly 
cinched again. Cartridges were brought 
205 



American Big-Game Hunting 

round to the front and right of the belt, 
where they would be convenient for reload- 
ing. Our coats, tied behind the saddle, were 
looked to, the strings which held them being 
tightened and securely retied. All this was 
not lost on our horses, which understood as 
well as we did what was coming. We skirted 
the butte, rode through the low sag and 
down into the little ravine, which soon grew 
deeper, so that our heads were below the 
range of vision of almost anything on the 
butte. Passing the mouth of the little side 
ravine, however, there came into full view a 
huge bull, lying well up on the hillside. 
Luckily his back was toward us, and, each 
bending low over his horse's neck, we rode 
on, and in a moment were hidden by the side 
of the ravine. Two or three minutes more, 
and we came to another side ravine, which 
was wide and commanded a view of the flat. 
We stopped before reaching this, and a peep 
showed that we were within a few yards of 
two old cows, a young heifer, and a yearling, 
all of them to the north of us. Beyond, we 
could see the backs of others, all lying down. 
We jumped on our horses again, and set- 
206 



In Buffalo Days 

ting the spurs well in, galloped up the ravine 
and up on the flat; and as we came into view, 
the nearest buffalo, as if propelled by a 
huge spring, were on their feet, and, with 
a second's pause to look, dashed away to the 
north. Scattered over the flat were fifty or 
seventy-five buffalo, all of which, by the time 
we had glanced over the field, were off, with 
heads bending low to the ground, and short, 
spiky tails stretched out behind. We were 
up even with the last of the cows, and our 
horses were running easily and seemed to 
have plenty of reserve power. Charley, who 
was a little ahead of me, called back: "They 
will cross the trail about a mile north of here. 
Kill a couple when we get to it." I nodded, 
and we went on. The herd raced forward 
over the rolling hills, and in what seemed a 
very short time we rushed down a long slope 
on to a wide flat, in which was a prairie-dog 
town of considerable extent. We were on 
the very heels of the herd, and in a cloud of 
dust kicked up by their rapid flight. To see 
the ground ahead was impossible. We could 
only trust to our horses and our good luck to 
save us from falling. Our animals were doing 
207 



American Big-Game Hunting 

better than we had supposed they could, and 
were going well and under a pull. I felt that 
a touch of the spurs and a little riding would 
bring us up even with the leaders of the buf- 
falo. The pace had already proved too much 
for several bulls, which had turned off to one 
side and been passed by. As we flew across 
the flat, I saw far off a dark line and two 
white objects, which I knew must be our 
command. I called to my comrade, and, 
questioning by the sign, pointed at the buf- 
falo. He nodded, and in a moment we had 
given free rein to our horses and were up 
among the herd. During the ride I had two 
or three times selected my game, but the in- 
dividuals of the band changed positions so 
constantly that I could not keep track of 
them. Now, however, I picked out a fat two- 
year-old bull ; but as I drew up to him he ran 
faster than before, and rapidly made his way 
toward the head of the band. I was resolved 
that he should not escape, and so, though I 
was still fifteen or twenty yards in the rear, 
fired. At the shot he fell heels over head 
directly across a cow which was running by 
his side and a little behind him. I saw her 
208 



In Buffalo Days 

turn a somersault, and almost at the same 
instant heard Charley shoot twice in quick 
succession, and saw two buffalo fall. I fired 
at a fat young cow that I had pushed my 
pony up close to. At the shot she whirled, 
my horse did the same, and she chased me as 
hard as she could go for seventy-five yards, 
while I did some exceedingly vigorous spur- 
rino-, for she was close behind me all the time. 
To do my horse justice, I think that he would 
have run as fast as he could, even without the 
spurs, for he appreciated the situation. At 
no time was there any immediate danger that 
the cow would overtake us; if there had 
been, I should have dodged her. Presently 
the cow stopped, and stood there very sick. 
When I rode back, I did not find it easy to 
get my horse near her; but another shot was 
not needed, and while I sat looking at her 
she fell over dead. The three buffalo first 
killed had fallen within a hundred yards of 
the trail where the wagons afterward passed, 
and my cow was but little farther away. The 
command soon came up, the soldiers did the 
butchering, and before long we were on the 
march again across the parched plain. 
14 209 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Of the millions of buffalo which even In 
our own time ranged the plains in freedom, 
none now remain. From the prairies which 
they used to darken, the wild herds, down to 
the last straggling bull, have disappeared. 
In the Yellowstone National Park, protected 
from destruction by United States troops, are 
the only wild buffalo which exist within the 
borders of the United States. These are 
mountain buffalo, and, from their habit of liv- 
ing in the thick timber and on the rough 
mountain-sides, they are only now and then 
seen by visitors to the park. It is impossible 
to say just how many there are, but from the 
best information that I can get, based on the 
estimates of reliable and conservative men, I 
conclude that the number was not less than 
four hundred in the winter of 1891-92. Each 
winter or spring the government scout em- 
ployed in the park sees one or more herds of 
these buffalo, and as such herds are usually 
made up in part of young animals and have 
calves with them, it is fair to assume that 
they are steadily, if slowly, increasing. The 
report of a trip made in January, 1892, speaks 
of four herds seen in the Hayden Valley, which 



In Buffalo Days 

numbered respectively 78, 50, no, and 15. 
Besides these, a number of scattering groups 
were seen at a distance, which would bring 
the number up to three hundred. 

In the far northwest, in the Peace River 
district, there may still be found a few wood 
buffalo. They are seldom killed, and the 
estimate of their numbers varies from five 
hundred to fifteen hundred. This cannot be 
other than the merest guess, since they are 
scattered over many thousand square miles 
of territory which is without inhabitants, and 
for the most part unexplored. 

On the great plains is still found the buf- 
falo skull half buried in the soil and crum- 
bling to decay. The deep trails once trodden 
by the marching hosts are grass-grown now, 
and fast filling up. When these most endur- 
ing relics of a vanished race shall have 
passed away, there will be found, in all the 
limitless domain once darkened by their feed- 
ing herds, not one trace of the American 
buffalo. 

George Bird Grinnell. 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

In this paper I propose to give an account 
of some experience with the grizzly bear in 
the summer and fall of 1885. Here let me 
correct some impressions prevailing among 
sportsmen from the East as to the proper 
time to hunt this animal. As detailed in the 
sporting papers, one sportsman hunting late 
in the fall finds them at the timber-line, and 
having some success and basing his opinion 
upon statements of his guide, is satisfied that 
is the only place to find them, and that 
you must stealthily follow the trail through 
dense timber, as he did. Another sports- 
man finds theni below the foot-hills among 
the Bad Lands, and thinks that is the 
proper locality ; and so each one is gov- 
erned by his own particular good luck and 
experience. This reminds me of the heated 
controversy that agitated some of the readers 
of one of the sporting papers a few years 
since as to the color of the jack-rabbit of the 
212 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

plains : one party contending they were gray 
and the opposing party that they were white, 
each party citing his own restricted experi- 
ence with that fleet-footed animal. To those 
having more extended observation it was 
plain that each side was to a certain extent 
right as well as wrong, for it is well known 
that the jack-rabbit is gray during summer 
and fall and turns white in the winter, and then 
again sheds his white coat in spring: at least 
this is the case in Wyoming and Montana. 

So with the grizzly. He is essentially an 
omnivorous animal : his food varying with 
each season and the locality where such food 
is obtained, his habitat varies accordingly. 
He lies in his winter bed until routed out 
by the melting of the winter snow, and the 
ground being still frozen, he has to rustle for 
his grub. He soon becomes poor from the 
necessity of much traveling around for old 
carcasses and whatever food comes handy. 
He is then usually in the foot-hills. In the 
summer his food is more vegetable — grass, 
roots, plants, etc. His haunt is then on the 
highest mountain plateaus, where he does 
a great deal of rooting in a certain kind of 

H* 213 



American Big-Game Hunting 

loose rock and loam. In the last of summer, 
berries are ripe, and he is then found below 
the foot-hills, and in the Bad Lands, or wher- 
ever chokeberries, plums, bulberries, etc., are 
found. In the fall he craves animal food, and 
is then found high up in the foot-hills, or 
again on the mountain plateaus, wherever 
game is most abundant ; and in November 
and December he seeks his winter quarters. 
These remarks do not apply to grizzly bears 
that are found in the Bad Lands bordering 
the Missouri or the Lower Yellowstone, as 
they live there the entire year, "holing up" 
in winter in the bluffs of those desolate-look- 
ing regions. 

The intellect and intelligence of the grizzly 
bear are not fully appreciated. Strip him 
of his hide, stand him erect on his hind feet, 
stick a plug hat on his upper end, and he 
resembles in anatomy and general appear- 
ance that "noblest work of God" — man: a 
little too long-bodied, neck a little short, but 
otherwise, looking at the muscles of his 
thighs and forearm, a veritable athlete. Re- 
clothe him in his fur, place him on his all 
fours, watch him rooting around for grubs 
214 




aiiniijlL'diJL!:"^ 



.."■1 



Prospecting for Grub. 

From Scribner's Magazine. 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

and worms and carrion, and wallowing in 
mud and filth, and he resembles in apparent 
stupidity and habits the lowest type of animal 
— the hog. Yet those well acquainted with his 
characteristics will, I think, agree with me 
that in intelligence and perhaps even in in- 
tellect he is not many grades in the process 
of evolution below man. 

About the middle of July, 1885, word 
reached me that there was considerable sign 
of bear "rooting" on some high mountain 
plateaus not many days' travel by pack-train 
from my ranch. Taking a pack outfit, in- 
cluding my fur-lined sleeping-bag, a good 
mountain man, and a lad of fifteen to take 
care of camp and the horses, and enough 
grub for a few days, we reached the locality, 
after a hard climb, about noon on the i8th 
of July. We made camp at about 8500 feet 
elevation on the head of one of the forks 
of Four Bear Creek, having to pack wood up 
from below for making coffee. 

We struck out after lunch up the gulch, and 

after going a few miles discovered a grizzly 

rooting among the rocks well up to its head, 

near the summit of the range, which is here 

215 



American Big-Game Hunting 

between 10,000 and 11,000 feet elevation. 
A reconnaissance indicated that the only- 
chance to approach him to windward was- 
hy crossing the mountain to the right into 
the valley of another fork of Four Bear 
Creek. Accordingly, we climbed over the 
mountain divide and were making along its 
opposite slope, when just in our front about 
a mile off, near the head of the gulch on 
the right, was discovered another grizzly- 
rooting. It was agreed that I was to have 
the shot, and it became necessary to leave 
my horse and dogs back with the men. I 
took it afoot. A little study of the ground 
showed that in order to approach him suc- 
cessfully, it was necessary to descend to the 
bottom of the gorge on the right, and to 
ascend along its bed. This I proceeded to 
do. Just before reaching the bed of the 
gorge I was exposed to view, and was walk- 
ing fast or running to get the advantage 
of its friendly cover. When within about 
fifty yards of the bottom, and with my at- 
tention directed to the bear about half a mile 
away, a large grizzly forced himself on my 
attention by rising from his bed in the bot- 
216 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

torn of the gulch. Walking slowly away, he 
commenced ascending diagonally the op- 
posite and steep side of the gorge. The old 
rascal during the heat of the day had dug 
a resting-place in the cool bed of the branch, 
was taking his siesta, and evidently resented 
being disturbed. From the sullen way in 
which he made off, occasionally looking back, 

1 felt he was going to be ugly. Quicker 
than it takes to write it, I had two car- 
tridges in my right hand, which, with the 
one in the rifle, were thought sufficient, for at 
that time the size of the beast was not re- 
alized. The cartridge in the rifle was a i lo- 

2 7o-grain express, and those in the hand iio- 
270-grain and iio-340-grain respectively, all 
express-balls. 

While making these preparations, the bear, 
going diagonally up the side of the gulch, 
had disappeared behind a huge conglomerate 
boulder that overhuno- the stream. Seeino- 
he must soon emerge, I dropped on my right 
knee and stood ready to fire at the first favor- 
able opportunity. In a moment he emerged 
from behind the boulder, walked up a short 
distance, stopped and looked back, exposing 
217 



American Big-Game Hunting 

his left side to rather more than a quartering 
shot. Aim was quickly taken for his heart. 
A report followed, and the little express- 
ball did its work well. It broke two ribs, 
three or four large fragments entered the 
heart, and the balance of the splinters scat- 
tered through the lungs. Making but little 
noise when hit, — an ugly sigh, — he, as this 
species of bear almost always does under like 
circumstances, tucked his head between his 
hind legs, and rolled down into the gulch, using 
his fore legs for guides. He came up with a 
bounce, was on his feet in a moment and mak- 
ing^ a rush straiq-ht for me. I had loaded in a 
jiffy with the other i io-270-grain cartridge, 
but waited a moment until he commenced as- 
cending my side of the gulch, hoping with 
a good shot to roll him back. Crossing 
rapidly the bed of the gulch, he was in a 
moment ascending toward me, and when 
within about thirty yards (he was originally 
about seventy yards at the first fire) I fired at 
his front, hitting at the point of the right 
shoulder, shattering the socket-joint and that 
bone half-way to the elbow. He did not 
roll back, but was demoralized and sickened, 
218 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

and had not the sand to come further, but 
changing his direction to the left about forty- 
five degrees, passed within twenty yards of 
my right front. I was loaded and ready for 
another shot as he passed. He appeared so 
near done for, however, that I hesitated to 
fire, wishing to have some practice on him 
for my two young dogs Bob and Snip, which 
had never seen a live bear. He, however, 
seemed, after passing, to mend his licks so fast 
that I feared he would give trouble in de- 
spatching him, so I ran rapidly after him, 
he in the mean time having partially dis- 
appeared under the bank; and when within 
fifteen or twenty yards he turned at bay, 
facing me. Before he could charge, if such 
was his aim, the i io-340-grain cartridge was 
delivered into the side of the neck within the 
collar-bone, making a fearful wound, and roll- 
inor him down into the o"ulch, where he soon 
died. It was only after my man had come up 
and the bear had been rolled over that his 
dimensions and the danger I escaped by the 
little ball doing such execution at the socket- 
joint were realized. Had it struck an inch 
and a half to the left, he would have be^n on 
219 



American Big-Game Hunting 

me in a few more jumps; and though another 
shot would have been given, I think, unless 
it had been a paralyzing shot in the brain or 
spinal column, he could have so torn and la- 
cerated me as to make death preferable. 

I have been in half a dozen scrapes of 
more or less danger with these bears, but 
have never lost my presence of mind until 
they were dead, and the danger passed 
through realized. I have always determined 
never to run, but to face them and fire away, 
believing that the least sign of fear gives 
any animal additional courage. 

I had an adventure similar to this with 
a she-bear that had been approached within 
fifty-seven yards. It was a bright moonlight 
night, and her cub was squalling in a beaver- 
trap by her side. A good shot was delivered 
over the heart. Three shots were discharged 
as she rushed forward, first by myself, then 
one from Le Corey, who was backing me, 
and then another by myself; and when the 
"racket" was over, the bear was lying dead 
twelve yards from us. All these shots were 
bull's-eyes and deadly. In this case I could 
not have run had the spirit moved me, as 



Nights with the Grizzhes 

from a serious accident I had been on crutches 
or my back for twenty-four days, and hobbled 
up the mountain in this instance with the help 
of a crutch and a stick, Le carrying my rifle. 
A familiarity with all the breech-actions 
of the day, together with an extended experi- 
ence with the Sharps system, has convinced 
me that the latter system, in safety, facility, 
and rapidity of manipulation, is not equaled 
by any. Take the next best, the double- 
barreled rifle : only two shots could have been 
delivered in the two before-described adven- 
tures, I have never had sufficient confidence 
in any of the repeating rifles to use them 
against dangerous game, when so much 
better could be had. Their want of power, 
their facility for getting out of order at the 
wrong time, especially when rapidly manipu- 
lated, combined with the fact that their ra- 
pidity of fire is very little greater than a 
system like the Sharps, are the considera- 
tions that have influenced me. In my opinion 
there has not yet been invented a repeating 
apparatus that is equal, under all circum- 
stances, to the human hands in connection 
with a good breech system. 



American Big-Game Hunting 

A better idea of these bears can be had 
from measurements than from weight. The 
bear first alluded to was a very large one 
(one among three of the largest ever killed 
by me), and, judging by one killed and 
weighed subsequently, he probably weighed 
600 pounds, though not fat. His length, as 
he would have stood, was 6 feet 10 inches. 
Measurements show that he could have stood 
erect on his hind feet to the height of 8 feet. 
His head was 18 inches long by 12 inches 
wide ; his hind foot 1 1 Yz inches by 6 inches ; 
fore foot, without the toes, 7 by 6 inches. His 
forearm, after being skinned, measured 18 
inches around ; his skull, which is preserved, 
15^ inches by 9 inches. The tusks pro- 
jected from the gums i ^ inches. 

With the 45-caliber rifle used, I have killed 
nearly 40 bears — all, with the exception of 
this one, with a 340-grain express-ball. This 
270-grain express bullet was a 44-caliber used 
for several years on deer from a 44-caliber 
rifle. It did very good work in this instance, 
but for a large bear the heavier ball is prefer- 
able. The 270-grain ball flies remarkably 
true for its weight. 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

In the process of skinning the bear, it was 
found that this was not the first encounter he 
had had with mankind. In the muscles of 
the neck, and of the right fore leg above the 
elbow and next to the bone, were found four 
rifle-balls, and a large fragment of another 
ball. The wounds had healed up, and each 
ball was inclosed in a sac with the appear- 
ance of having been there several years: 
one 42-caliber 205-grain lead ball lay in 
the muscles of the neck, another of same cali- 
ber and weight, two 50-caliber 3 75 -grain lead 
balls, and the large flattened fragment of a 
ball were in the muscles of one fore leg next 
to the bone. The 42-caliber balls I judged 
were fired from a '66 model, 44-caliber 
Winchester, and as all the balls were little 
battered and did not shatter the bone, they 
must have been fired from a rim-fire car- 
tridge ; all the balls were cannelured. 

The bear I was after when this one was 
stumbled on, took to his heels and dis- 
appeared rapidly over the mountain after 
the second shot. We went for the first one 
seen, but the dogs getting the wind of him, 
and having a taste of bear's blood, igno- 
223 



American Big-Game Hunting 

miniously "broke" and stirred him up. We 
chased him on horseback and afoot for three 
quarters of a mile, but did not get near 
enough to get in an effectual shot. The dogs, 
that had never before chased a live bear, 
could run alongside of him, but did not take 
hold. Probably you or I would have done 
the same thing under the circumstances. 

Haying-time cut short this hunt. A short 
time afterward one of my neighbors com- 
plained of the depredations of bears among 
his thoroughbred cattle, having recently lost 
two yearlings. I suggested that if he would 
furnish the medicine in the shape of a car- 
cass, a repetition of such business might be 
stopped. He agreed, and I at once recon- 
noitered the locality and selected a point 
in the valley of a small mountain stream, 
where he promptly had the carcass planted. 
An almost daily inspection was made of the 
medicine, but not until the morning of the 
seventh day were there any indications of 
its being disturbed. Promptly on hand at five 
o'clock that evening, I was rather incau- 
tiously approaching under cover of a slight 
rise of ground and the sage-brush, and had 
224 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

gotten within 150 yards, when a dark object 
that to my startled imagination appeared ten 
feet high, and proportionately broad, appeared 
to rise out of the earth. Recognizing the 
situation at once, I rose up offhand and 
pulled, but the firing-pin failed. This had 
never before happened under such circum- 
stances, and only half a dozen times in the 
rifle's history, for want of attention to the 
firing-bolt. The bear gave me time to cock 
and fire, but as no answering "bawl" came, 
the shot was evidently a miss, resulting from 
my being "put out" by the previous mishap. 
He was rapidly followed to the edge of the 
willow swamp (about 150 yards), through 
which the trail passed, where he was seen, 
evidently unwilling to forego his evening 
meal. He quickly sat up, made me out, and 
at once disappeared before a shot could be 
delivered. I gave him up for the time, very 
much discouraored at failinsf to bao^ such 
a large grizzly. He was evidently a boar, 
and certainly was not much scared, and from 
his size and actions I was satisfied he was the 
one that had stolen my neighbor's yearlings. 
The next evening, August 1 7, I was on hand 
15 225 



American Big-Game Hunting 

early ; but, acting on previous experience,, 
took a different position on his trail a hun- 
dred yards from the medicine. The direction 
of the wind forced me to take position with 
my back to the brush from which the bear 
would probably appear. This did not suit 
me. On first arriving on the ground, a dark 
object came rapidly down the mountain-side, 
about one mile up the valley, through an 
opening. This evidently was a bear, though 
not apparently as large as my friend of the 
evening before ; and I felt sure he would 
make his appearance did he not take the 
alarm. Lying down, protected by some sage- 
brush, I waited patiently until the gray dusk 
of approaching twilight, but no bear ap- 
peared on the scene. 

Can you recall your feelings when, as a 
boy, you passed through a graveyard at the 
hour of dusk, thinking, with the poet, 

'T is now the very witching time of night, 

When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out 

Contagion to this world? 

With what superstitious dread you looked 

cautiously around, expecting a hobgoblin at 

226 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

any moment to rise out of the ground ? How 
every noise — the crackling of a twig — star- 
tled you ? So it is with me when watching on 
the trail of this bear at such an hour. When 
occasion requires it, his movement is as 
stealthy and noiseless as a cat's. You hear 
the rolling of a boulder up the mountain-side 
in the timber several hundred yards away. 
You know it must be done by some large 
animal, and you suspect a bear. Presently 
the same noise, but closer, and your faculties 
are all on the qui vive, and you are every 
moment expecting his appearance. You wait 
what, to the excited senses, appears a long 
time. What has become of him? It was, 
perhaps, a false alarm, and you are dis- 
couraged; when, presently, there he stands, 
apparently right on you, and seemingly risen 
out of the ground. 

So it was on this occasion, as I lay in the 
open about thirty feet from the thicket, in 
a prone position in the grass, clothed in 
soiled buckskin, with three cartridges in left 
hand and finger on trigger, ready to rise into 
a sitting position and deliver fire. Hark ! 
the crackling of brush almost behind me. It 
227 



American Big-Game Hunting 

is a moment of intense interest, for I don't 
know where he will appear. My attention is 
kept constantly to the rear and left rear. 
No more noise. What has become of him ? 
It is getting- very dark, and maybe it was 
a mistake. Presently, there ! right on me 
apparently, but really fifty yards to the left 
rear, stands a black mass that must be the 
bear. I rise cautiously to a sitting position, 
and as he stands, looking wistfully up toward 
the old horse, I pull away at his side. The 
report is followed by a suppressed bawl, and 
he rolls over. I am loaded in a moment and 
waiting to see if he regains his feet. He 
does not, and it is unnecessary to fire. I 
walk up to him with finger on trigger at a 
ready, but the death-rattle is in his throat, 
and another shot is unnecessary. He turns 
out to be a black bear with a very black 
coat, and pretty well furred. He is dressed 
as quickly as possible, for it is now dark, and 
quite six miles to quarters, over a trailless 
mountain. A walk of half a mile to my horse 
Pike, and then as rapid a ride home as 
circumstances will admit, wind up the even- 
ing's adventures. I am well satisfied, but 
228 



Nights with the Grizzhes 

know I have not yet gotten the right one, 
the ••calf-killer." 

Rush skins and attends to the hide the 
next morning, and before sundown I am 
again on hand. The old horse is fast disap- 
pearing, and it is desirable to lose no time. 
Position is taken this time a little nearer the 
trail. In coming out from the willow-brush 
it passes for twenty or thirty yards through a 
marsh that is screened, to some extent, by 
scattering willows on the near side; and my 
position enables me to see, through these 
willows, a portion of the trail over which the 
bear will probably come. Late in the after- 
noon a storm had passed around the moun- 
tain, and a strong and favorable wind was 
blowing. Lying prone among the sage- 
brush, in a position favorable for observation, 
with everything at a ready, I wait patiently. 
Sundown comes; the mountain to the west 
casts its shadows around. It becomes quite 
dusky: so much so that I experiment as to 
whether the fore sight can be seen, otherwise 
a wad of white paper must be tied over the 
front sight. This is as yet unnecessary. It is 
now the witching time when this bear likes 
15* 229 



American Big-Game Hunting 

to prowl around. The senses are all on the 
strain as they are directed to the left rear. 
Just then a dark moving mass flits by be- 
tween the willows on the trail, and soon 
emerges in full view, but again to disappear 
in a slight depression passed by the trail. 
Heavens, what a monster he seems in the dim 
twilight ! As soon as he disappears I move 
rapidly and noiselessly forward to within 
about fifty yards of the trail he has to pass, 
drop on the right knee, and am ready. He 
does not come to time, however, and has evi- 
dently stopped to listen; doubtless remem- 
bering the first evening's experience, and be- 
ing in hearing of last evening's racket. Has 
he taken the alarm and gone back? When 
on the point of going to the left, peering 
over, and taking a chance shot on the run, 
his back appears over the sage-brush and he 
is moving confidently forward, having satis- 
fied himself there is no danger. At the 
first favorable opportunity, as he passes 
throucjh the sao^e-brush, I deliver fire into his 
side, a little too high, and he rolls over, but 
with such a bawl as to indicate he is danger- 
ous, did he know from what direction came 
230 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

the shot. He is soon on his feet, going back 
on his trail, toward the swamp. Loading 
quickly, I run forward to intercept him, and 
find him, after stumbling along 40 or 50 
yards, in a sitting position near the edge of 
the marsh, evidently nearly done for, with his 
back toward me. A moment's interval was 
sufficient to place a ball in the back of his 
head; he rolls over, and is soon dead. A 
Tiasty examination showed him to be a large 
bear, and the handsomest and most sym- 
metrically formed I had ever killed. He was 
in just the proper flesh for activity and busi- 
ness, though not quite as large as the big 
bear killed on the Big Bear Fork of Four 
Bear Creek, heretofore described. 

Before proceeding to disembowel him, I 
did what had always been done under like 
circumstances — that is, placed the loaded rifle 
convenient for instant use. Something whis- 
pered this caution, especially novv^ as it was 
a time when another bear might appear on 
the trail at any moment. Keeping my eyes 
as much as possible at the point on the op- 
posite side of the marsh, where the trail 
debouched on to it, I had proceeded to rip 
231 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the carcass from the throat to the pelvis, 
and had my hands already messed up in a 
mass of liver, paunch, express-balls, etc., etc., 
when my attention was drawn to a dark mass 
at that point, and in a moment my rifle was 
in hand ready for the emergency. By the 
time I was ready to fire he had discovered 
something unusual in his front, and had "sat 
up" to make me out. Before doing so, aim 
had been quickly taken at his brisket, and at 
the report he had tumbled over, the ball 
striking the left side, fragments penetrating 
the heart. Judging from his boldness in 
stumbling on to me, not more than fifteen 
minutes after my last shot, I expected that 
he would show fight, but instead he made 
back on his trail as fast as his condition 
would allow. From previous experience in 
just such circumstances, the necessity was at 
once recognized of a cautious but vigorous 
pursuit, if he was to be secured before hiding 
in the brush; and without hesitation I plunged 
through the marsh, half knee-deep in mud and 
water, and entered the narrow trail on the 
opposite side. Pursuing it rapidly for thirty 
or forty yards to where it passed through 
232 



Nights with the GrizzHes 

a little opening, there, within ten steps of 
me, was a dark mass, breathing heavily and 
lying partially behind a small clump of 
willows. Putting a telling shot through the 
center of the mass, he appeared to wake up, 
and gave an exhibition of some of the 
grandest ground and lofty tumbling, at one 
time appearing to stand up on his head and 
kicking with his hind feet ten feet straight 
into the air. As he did not get upon his feet 
again, another shot was unnecessary, and he 
soon settled down and was dead. 

This bear was as large from tip to tip as he 
of the Big Bear Fork, but not as fat nor as 
large-bodied ; in fact, not as heavy as the one 
just killed. Neither of these bears, I think, 
needed a second shot, and, undisturbed, would 
not have gotten on their feet again. A 
dense thicket was near, and they might have 
scrambled into its cover and have been lost, 
so another shot was given. At any rate, 
darkness was at hand by the time the car- 
casses were dressed, and a dense fog was 
settling over the mountain that had to 
be crossed. The exhilaration of spirits from 
the killing of two such large bears on the 
233 



American Big-Game Hunting 

same evening — one of them the bear that I 
was after — caused me to forget fatigue and 
fog, and with a light heart Pike was mounted 
and the mountain ascended. A thick fog 
soon enveloped us, so that nothing could be 
seen beyond a hundred feet. Pike and I 
soon disagreed as to the direction, but I in- 
sisted on my way. After going a half-mile 
and getting into some rough ground, it was 
evident that I was wrong and completely 
befogged. The rein was then given to Pike, 
and he turned squarely to the left, and, 
having gone 600 yards over some pretty 
rough ground, he came to the head of the 
game-trail leading down the mountain, and 
which we had several times traveled. Pike 
had his way the balance of the ride, and after 
passing across the drainage for two miles we 
got below the fog, and by ten o'clock we 
were once more at home. 

As an indication of the labor usually un- 
dergone in hunting this bear, it is stated that 
seventy-five miles were traveled (one half of 
which was in the night) before the first shot, 
and one hundred and five miles before killing 
the three. I have since traveled more than 
234 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

a hundred miles after a special bear and was 
repaid by only one shot at long range, and 
no bear. 

The next day Rush and McDevitt skinned 
and packed in the hides and fat of the two 
grizzlies. The weighing apparatus was 
taken along, and the "calf-killer" was found 
to weigh 405 pounds after being dressed six- 
teen hours, the other something less. The 
black bear was not weighed, but it is pre- 
sumed he weighed about the average of this 
species (175 pounds) in life. 

The rifle employed is the same used for 
several years, a 45-caliber Sharps, with which 
I have killed thirty-eight of these bears, of 
which number twenty-two were killed with 
a single shot each, using no grains C. 
& H. No. 6, and a 340-grain express-ball. 
As I have before stated, the rise of its tra- 
jectory is 7.01 inches in 200 yards, an average 
of about twenty shots through a trajectory 
range. Previously I had used a 44-caliber 
Sharps, with a bottle-neck shell holding 100 
to 105 grains of the same powder with 
which a good many bears had been killed. 
No especial ball has been determined on as 
235 



American Big-Game Hunting 

best for bear and elk and sheep. With ex- 
ceptional opportunities for several years past 
among all our big game, together with a 
careful study of the subject, based on a dis- 
section of wounds made by different combi- 
nations of powder and ball, I think the 
2}i 45-caliber shell, with no grains strong 
powder and a 340-grain express-ball such 
as I use, the most destructive charge in all 
American rifles for bear, elk, and sheep. A 
little lighter ball might answer, perhaps, but 
I am not sure. The amount of powder would 
not be sufficient for a heavier one for best 
results. The best results not only depend 
on the relative proportion of powder and 
ball, but also on the diameter and depth of 
the hole in the point of ball. If the walls 
around the hole are too thin, they will break 
off too soon, or in too fine pieces. If the 
walls are too thick, they may not disintegrate 
until the ball's velocity has been so much re- 
tarded that the particles will not have veloc- 
ity to make their own way, but will follow 
the channel made by the butt; so that a 
good many considerations enter into the 
problem. The ball in question, shot directly 
236 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

into a bear, elk, sheep, etc., will, after pass- 
ing through the skin, break up, usually tear- 
ing a hole through the ribs, even of a fat 
animal, through which the unclenched hand 
can be passed, the fragments scattering in a 
cone shape, the larger fragments penetrating 
to the opposite ribs. In this way the whole 
momentum of the ball is expended on the 
vitals, the heart and lungs. Hit further back 
it breaks up into still smaller fragments, 
making a terrible wound in the paunch and 
entrails that none of those animals can long 
survive. I have never known it to fail in 
breaking the large bones of the largest bear 
or elk when coming in contact with them. 

For deer and antelope my 40-caliber is 
found sufficient, using 100 grains of strong 
powder and a particular express-ball of 270 
grains. It makes about a 6 >^ -inch curve in 
two hundred yards, and the ball flies very 
true. I use also in the 45-caliber the 44- 
caliber ball before alluded to, using three 
thicknesses of patch paper. It flies remark- 
ably true for its weight, and makes a 6.34- 
inch curve per 200 yards, with no grains 
C. & H. No. 6. I failed to say at the proper 



American Big-Game Hunting 

place that the degree of hardness or per cent, 
of alloy has a great deal to do with the exe- 
cution, as well as accuracy of flight, of the ex- 
press-ball. When of pure lead they break up 
too soon. Nor have I ever known a reason- 
able degree of accuracy obtained with any 
lead ball with a comparatively large charge, 
beyond 50 or 75 yards. They are knocked 
out of proper shape by the time they leave 
the muzzle. This want of accuracy has been 
observed with the best English express-rifles 
with light leaden balls. I find in my ex- 
perience with the balls of my preference (as 
above) that from five per cent, for the heavier 
ball, to eight per cent, for the lighter, is best. 

A 20-bore double-barreled shotgun, made 
by Bland & Sons, of London (chambered for 
the Kynoch brass shell), for ducks, the sev- 
eral species of grouse, jack-rabbits, magpies, 
skunks, etc., completes my battery. I value 
the latter very highly for its " executive 
ability," combined with a weight of only six 
pounds. 

I have written much in detail, because I 
think it is the details that make the account 
of hunting trips interesting. I hope its pe- 
238 



Nights with the Grizzlies 

rusal may interest readers as much as the 
recalling of its incidents has interested me. 
I have made several mentions of Four 
Bear Creek. The name was given it for 
want of a better one by the United States 
Land Surveyors, who happened to be in 
camp on Hell- Roaring River, near the creek's 
mouth, on the night in Vv^hich I killed four 
bears, the last about 9.30 o'clock at night, 

W. D. Pickett. 



239 



The Yellowstone Park as a 
Game Reservation 

When the Yellowstone Park was set aside 
by Act of Congress as a national reservation, 
very little was known of the region beyond 
such facts as could be gathered during one 
short season of exploration, mainly devoted 
to an examination of the marvelous hot 
springs and geysers, which have since made 
the place so famous throughout the world. 

During his first visit to the region in 1871, 
Dr. F. V. Hayden realized the exceptional 
nature of the hydrothermal manifestations 
found here and the grand scale upon which 
the phenomena were displayed. Although it 
was then far removed from all beaten tracks, 
he shrewdly foresaw the necessity of govern- 
ment protection, if these scientific curiosities 
were to be preserved intact in their natural 
condition. He saw that vandals would soon 
despoil the region of the delicate incrusta- 
tions and sediments slowly deposited through 
240 




u^. 




r 




^ 



■-A-^*^ 



Z^^^'^ 



^ o 






The Yellowstone Park 

long ages from thermal waters, and that set- 
tlers, learning their real value, would seize 
upon all objects of interest for their own gain. 

On his return to Washington he urged the 
enactment of a law establishing the Yellow- 
stone Park as a government reservation. In 
this work he was ably supported by Senators 
Anthony, of Rhode Island, Edmunds, of 
Vermont, and Trumbull, of Illinois, and also 
by Mr. Dawes, of Massachusetts, then a 
member of the House of Representatives, 
who in an excellent speech presented the 
matter so forcibly that the enabling act 
passed the House without opposition. 

The report of the Public Lands Committee 
of the House recommending the passage of 
the act, after pointing out the worthlessness 
of the region for agricultural purposes or for 
settlement, closes with this expression of 
opinion, valuable in the light in which the 
Park is now held by the civilized world: 

The withdrawal of this tract, therefore, from sale or 
settlement takes nothing from the value of the public 
domain, and is no pecuniary loss to the Government, but 
will be regarded by the entire civilized world as a step of 
progress and an honor to Congress and the nation. 
i6 241 



American Big-Game Hunting 

The organic law establishing the Park, 
after defining its boundaries, states that the 
reservation is "dedicated and set apart as a 
public park or pleasure-ground for the bene- 
fit and enjoyment of the people." Exclusive 
control of the Park was given to the Secre- 
tary of the Interior, with power to make the 
necessary rules and regulations for its proper 
care and maintenance. He was authorized to 
" provide against the wanton destruction of 
the fish and game found within said Park, and 
against their capture or destruction for the pur- 
pose of merchandise or profit." The act was 
approved by the President March i, 1872. 

It will thus be seen that from the very in- 
ception of the project for a grand National 
Park, the preservation of the game was con- 
templated, although it is evident that abso- 
lute prohibition of shooting was not then 
intended. Probably this was not deemed 
necessary in such a remote and unfrequented 
region, to say nothing of its working a hard- 
ship upon those who were ready to penetrate 
its forests and search for fresh wonders. 

At that time the country included within 
the Park was practically an inaccessible 
242 



The Yellowstone Park 

region, which, owing to the rough and 
rugged nature of its barriers, had defied all 
earlier attempts at exploration. It stood out 
alone as a broad unknown mountain mass 
when the surrounding country had been 
fairly well explored. It had been visited 
only by a few venturesome pioneers, mining 
prospectors, and fur-hunters, who found little 
or no encouragement to seekers after wealth. 
Only one trans-continental railway spanned 
the Rocky Mountains, crossing Wyoming far 
to the south of the Park, the Union and 
Central Pacific having been opened to traffic 
in 1869. At that time, wild animals roamed 
freely over prairie, plain, and mountain slope, 
from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande. 
In Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, elk, 
deer, and antelope abounded in favorable lo- 
calities. In the North Park in northern Col- 
orado, I saw almost daily numerous bands of 
antelope, hundreds in each, grazing along 
the shallow bottom-lands. Over the Laramie 
plains, antelope and deer might be seen 
almost any day from the railway. Buffalo 
roamed the great plains in vast numbers. In 
1872 I saw buffalo in the North Park, but 
243 



American Big-Game Hunting 

they long since left that ideal grazing- 
ground. The Upper Missouri and Yellow- 
stone valleys were the homes of magnificent 
herds; now they have disappeared forever. 
I never had the good fortune to see such 
enormous herds as frequently wandered over 
western Kansas ; but I well remember one 
autumn afternoon, when seated in a railway 
car, book in hand, glancing out upon the 
prairie, as I turned the pages, I scarcely 
looked up from the volume but the shaggy 
forms of buffalo were visible; and this con- 
tinued until darkness cut off the view. To- 
day none are to be seen. Except under 
protection, buffalo have practically become 
extinct. Elk, moose, deer, antelope, and 
mountain sheep are gradually retiring to 
more and more secluded mountain recesses. 
Year by year game areas become more re- 
stricted, even in the mountain regions. The 
lumberman and railway-tie cutter, the ad- 
vance-guard of a constantly increasing civil- 
ization, are steadily encroaching upon the 
haunts of game. 

Large areas of the Rocky Mountain coun- 
try are timberless and in great part waterless 
244 



The Yellowstone Park 

during portions of the year. In such sec- 
tions the bare rocks carry very little soil and 
afford an insufficient food-supply for game. 
In many instances where the natural condi- 
tions would otherwise be favorable, the 
mountains rise as long narrow ridges between 
relatively broad valleys. On the occupation 
of the lowlands by a steadily increasing 
population, such game-resorts became easily 
accessible to butchers and skin-hunters. The 
game was either soon killed off, or the in- 
stinct of self-preservation taught the animals 
to abandon their haunts for more secluded 
pastures. No better instance of the quick- 
ness with which animals perceive danger need 
be mentioned than their migration from the 
Big Horn Mountains, when that once admir- 
able game-country was suddenly invaded by 
hunters from all parts of the world. It is 
true that the game was slaughtered in vast 
numbers, but it is equally true that the ani- 
mals migrated to less disturbed regions. 
For years the Big Horn Mountains have 
been known as a gameless country; "shot 
out" was the expressive phrase applied to 
them by hide and horn hunters. The urgent 

i6* 245 



American Big-Game Hunting 

necessity for game-preservation, if it is de- 
sired to protect our larger animals from ex- 
termination, is apparent. 

At the time the Yellowstone Park was set 
aside, the country was almost a tei-ra incog- 
nita ; its boundaries were ill defined. Since 
then it has become famous throughout the 
world, and is annually visited by thousands 
of people, attracted there by many scientific 
and scenic features. Gradually its impor- 
tance became known, both as a national forest 
reservation and as a natural storage reser- 
voir, which, if properly protected, will supply 
through broad rivers the arid regions below 
with much-needed waters. Its fitness for a 
grand national game reservation soon becamie 
manifest to a few people familiar with the far 
West, and with the disappearance elsewhere 
of our large Rocky Mountain animals. The 
necessity for rules against the shooting of 
any and all animals was early recognized, 
and for several years such rules have been 
strictly enforced with beneficial results. 

In recent years, with a better understand- 
ing of the country, its timber, water supply, 
the picturesqueness of its scenery, and its 
246 



The Yellowstone Park 

natural advantages for game, an effort has 
been made to enlarge the reservation on the 
south and east and to clearly mark its boun- 
daries. By this proposed enlargement, the 
sources of the Yellowstone and Snake rivers, 
and the greater part of the Absaroka Range 
on the east, would be included within the 
Park. It is believed that this additional terri- 
tory will before long be made a part of the 
Park reservation by the action of Congress, 
as it has already been set aside as a timber 
reservation and placed in charge of the super- 
intendent of the Park. In speaking, there- 
fore, of the superior advantages of the region 
as a home for animals, the timber reservation 
will be meant as well as the Park itself 

The area of the Yellowstone Park, as at 
present defined, is somewhat more than 3300 
square miles. The central portion is a broad 
volcanic plateau between 7000 and 8500 feet 
above sea-level, with an average elevation of 
8000 feet. Surrounding it on the south, 
east, north, and northwest, lying partly within 
and partly without the Park lines, are moun- 
tain-ranges with culminating peaks and 
ridges rising from 2000 to 4000 feet above 
247 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the general level of the inclosed table-land. 
Beyond the mountains the country falls away 
on all sides, the lowlands and valleys varying 
in altitude from 4000 to 6000 feet. The 
entire region stands out as a bold mountain 
mass, measuring approximately 75 miles in 
width by 60 miles in length, which rises high 
above the adjoining country. 

Although it is commonly so called, the 
central portion of this mass is not, strictly 
speaking, a plateau ; at least it is by no means 
a level region, but an undulating country, 
broken by abrupt escarpments and long 
table-like ridges of gently inclined rocks. It 
is accidented by shallow depressions and 
valleys of varied outline, the irregularities of 
lava flows adding much to the diversity of 
surface forms and features. Deep canons 
and gorges cut the plateau, and penetrate 
nearly to the base of the accumulated lavas. 
These nearly horizontal lavas rest against the 
steeper slopes of the encircling mountains. 
The foot-hills, in contrast with the plateau, 
afford a more broken character, the inter- 
montane valleys become deeper, the country 
gradually growing rougher until the higher 
248 



The Yellowstone Park 

summit of the ranges present an indescribable 
array of crags and precipices reaching far 
above the timber-line. The Rocky Moun- 
tains nowhere offer a rougher tract of country 
than the Absaroka Range bordering the Park 
on the east. Such an elevated mass naturally 
becomes a storm center, attracting moisture- 
laden clouds. The concentration and precip- 
itation of this moisture in the form of rain 
and snow furnishes during the year an amount 
of water exceptionally large for the Rocky 
Mountains. An abundant supply of rain and 
snow favors a forest growth, which in turn 
aids to conserve the water. In consequence 
a luxuriant growth of nutritious grasses 
springs up, accompanied by a varied under- 
growth of bush and shrub. Observation of 
mountain, valley, and plateau shows that about 
84 per cent, of the Park is forest-clad. Over 
the greater part of the timber reservation the 
proportion of forest is not quite so great, 
much of the higher mountains being above 
timber-line, or else in the southern part more 
open and park-like, with long stretches of 
grass-lands dotted here and there with groups 
of picturesque pines. 

249 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Across the plateau, with a very sinuous 
course, stretches the Continental Divide, sep- 
arating the waters of the Atlantic from those 
of the Pacific. On the plateau on both sides 
of this divide lie magnificent sheets of water, 
notably the Yellowstone, Shoshone, Lewis 
and Heart lakes, forming a most character- 
istic feature of the country. This part of the 
Park has been designated the " lake region." 
Hundreds of smaller lakes and ponds occupy 
depressions either in the ancient lava flows or 
in basins of glacial origin. Scattered over 
plateau and mountain are bogs, marshes, and 
meadows in marked contrast to most of 
the Rocky Mountain country. Innumerable 
perennial springs reach the surface from be- 
neath the rocks. Around the borders of these 
lakes and ponds stretch fringes of al- 
pine meadows, affording excellent grazing- 
o-rounds. Yellowstone Lake, with a shore- 

o 

line of nearly lOO miles, is encircled by old 
lake terraces and glacial benches covered 
with bunch grass and capable of supporting 
laree herds of wild animals. To one familiar 
with the plateau along the continental water- 
shed it is possible to travel for miles keep- 
250 



The Yellowstone Park 

ing clear of timber by following from one 
to the other the open, winding glades and 
long stretches of meadows and shallow drain- 
age-channels which carry the melting snows 
to the sources of the Yellowstone and Snake 
rivers. It is in these secluded nooks and 
sheltered spots that one finds the game. 
A reservation for the protection and main- 
tenance of our large game under natural 
conditions requires an extensive region un- 
broken by an area adapted for the abode 
of man or subject to the disturbances of a 
continuous traffic. With the rapid encroach- 
ments of civilization in the Rocky Mountains, 
these conditions demand that the country set 
apart should be unfit for agricultural purposes, 
and free from mineral resources to tempt the 
cupidity of the advance-guard of settlers. 
The Yellowstone Park meets the require- 
ments of such a natural reservation better 
than any other locality that could be selected. 
The severity of its climate during the greater 
part of the year renders the region a forbid- 
ding one for settlement and permanent occu- 
pation by man. On the other hand, the 
broad expanse of forest incloses sequestered 



American Big-Game Hunting 

nooks, and enticing grassy parks, with ab- 
solute seclusion in mountain recesses admir- 
ably adapted for the homes of wild animals. 
It is the great diversity of its physical fea- 
tures, offering within a restricted area all the 
requirements for animal life, which fits it for 
the home of big game. Abundant food sup- 
ply, shelter from wind and weather in winter, 
cool resorts on the uplands in summer, 
favorable localities for breeding purposes and 
the rearing of young, all are found here. 
The Park supplies what is really needed — a 
zoological reservation where big game may 
roam unmolested by the intrusion of man, 
rather than a zoological garden inclosed by 
fences, and the game fed or sustained more 
or less by artificial methods. To most trav- 
elers who make the accustomed tour and 
seldom leave the beaten track, it is a sur- 
prise and regret that they see so little game, 
and they are apt to question its existence in 
any considerable numbers. In summer the 
game seldom frequents the geyser basins or 
places of popular resort, but wanders about 
undisturbed by the throng of pleasure-seek- 
ers. If one wishes to see game he must 
252 



The Yellowstone Park 

leave the dusty roads and noisy stages, and 
travel by pack-train the unfrequented trails 
into the secluded portions of the Park. Few 
care to take this trouble, as the rules, rigidly 
enforced, prevent the trying of their skill 
with the rifle, when they meet the objects 
of their search. For game protection scouts, 
foresters, and gamekeepers are required. 
These could not well be supplied, except at 
great expense, were it not that the natural 
wonders of the region, which each season at- 
tracts such large crowds, demand for the 
maintenance of peace and order that United 
States troops be stationed there for the pro- 
tection of the Park, and the observance of 
the necessary rules and regulations. All the 
large game animals of the northern Rocky 
Mountains are known in the Park except 
the white goat {Mazama montand) and the 
caribou {Rangifer tarandus), and it seems 
probable that the former, if introduced, 
would remain, as their favorite haunts, 
mountain fastnesses, are not unlike the Ab- 
sarokas. Elk, moose, deer, antelope, moun- 
tain sheep, buffalo, and bears are found. 
Of all the game, elk most abound, roaming 
253 



American Big-Game Hunting 

over mountain, plateau, and valley alike, the 
higher portions in summer, the lower in 
winter. For elk, the park is an ideal coun- 
try. They frequent the alpine meadows and 
grassy terraces, passing freely from one to 
the other of the open uplands. Where streams 
flow through these openings, or ponds occupy 
shallow depressions, the elk resort to them in 
large numbers during summer and autumn. 
The accompanying picture gives an excel- 
lent illustration of such a favorite haunt. 

In midsummer cows and calves frequent 
the picturesque park-like country near the 
sources of the Snake River. In my opinion, 
the head waters of the Snake furnish one of 
the best breeding grounds for elk anywhere 
to be found. In winter they descend to the 
broad valley-bottoms, where food is accessible 
and shelter easily obtained. In traveling 
over the country about these feeders to the 
Snake, I have been impressed by the apparent 
absence of elk, yet the first heavy autumnal 
snow will drive them from the mountains to 
the lowlands, the freshly fallen snow being 
tramped down by hundreds of elk tracks 
coming from all directions. In the more 
254 




Oh ^ 



o "3 



The Yellowstone Park 

rugged portions of the country along the 
summit of the ridges, elk are seldom seen, 
although well-worn trails traverse the passes 
of the range at high altitudes, and may be 
safely followed by travelers as the easiest 
routes across the mountains. 

In an unexplored country, elk trails afford 
the best means of travel ; they are well laid 
out and lead to good camping-grounds. More- 
over, if there are any outlooks in the forest, or 
bare points on cliff or canon wall, the trails 
will pretty surely take one there. I am much 
indebted to the elk for fine points of observa- 
tion. Animals are not supposed to be lovers 
of nature. As regards the elk, this, I think, 
is an error. From long observation, I believe 
they have an appreciation of the picturesque 
and the grand. So thoroughly have I felt this 
that frequently when encamped in some beau- 
tiful and secluded nook, I have strolled aw^ay 
from the noise of the camp with a firm belief 
that at dusk these animals would visit the spot, 
attracted by its beauties, if by nothing else. 

Possibly there are sportsmen who, having 
shot their elk, are not again attracted toward 
them, as toward other big game; they are 
255 



American Big-Game Hunting 

easily killed, and the shooting of them be- 
comes slaughter. Deer and antelope are 
more graceful and less easy to get a shot at 
than elk. Mountain sheep offer far more ex- 
citement in the chase over rugged cliffs. 
White goats are seldom seen, save in limited 
areas and out-of-the-way regions. Buffalo 
are now so rarely seen that to come upon one 
in the Vv^ilds is the ambition of the hunter. 
Bear-hunting must always be exciting on ac- 
count of the element of danger. Preferring 
not to use the rifle, the pleasures of the chase 
do not enter into my enjoyment of animal life, 
and to me elk are the most interesting of all 
big game, and a constant source of pleasure. 
I never tire of watching them, they show so 
much individuality and independence of char- 
acter and stateliness of manner. In spite of 
the fact that they are gregarious and fond of 
companionship, they show less affection for 
each other than almost any other animal. 

I have much feeling in common with an old 
Scotch friend of mine, a lover of nature and a 
frequenter of forest and mountain, who spent 
a fortnight in the Park with the express pur- 
pose of reproducing upon his bagpipe those 
256 



The Yellowstone Park 

remarkable notes, the whistling of the elk, but 
with only partial success. The story is told 
that the elk left that part of the country, and 
he was unable to keep up with them. 

That there are several thousand elk in the 
Park and adjoining country is quite certain, 
but from the nature of the case it is a difficult 
matter to estimate them. Their number may 
vary from year to year, depending upon the 
severity of the winter and other causes. Ex- 
ceptionally severe seasons would naturally 
cause an increased death-rate. At all events, 
they exist in numbers sufficient to put at rest 
all fear of extermination if they shall only 
be protected and allowed to wander undis- 
turbed. Several favorable seasons might 
cause them to reach the limit of a winter's 
food supply, but overcrowding must tend to 
a high death-rate, and the struggle for ex- 
istence would keep their number down. The 
migratory habits of the elk would lead them 
to seek new haunts beyond the protected 
region, offering every year opportunities for 
healthy, manly sport to the ambitious hunter 
during the shooting-season. 

Moose have been observed In this region 
17 257 



American Big-Game Hunting 

only to a limited degree, but probably they 
occur in somewhat larger numbers than is 
generally supposed. While they are migra- 
tory in habit, their requirements restrict their 
favorite haunts to limited and inaccessible 
areas, and they prefer swampy and boggy 
regions in the lowlands to the meadows and 
grassy parks of the uplands. They roam 
mainly in the southwest corner of the Park, in 
the Falls River Basin, a level country fed by 
innumerable streams and springs coming out 
from beneath the lavas of the plateau. As 
this basin lies partly in Idaho, beyond the 
borders of the Park, and the moose wander in 
and out of the reservation, their protection is 
a matter of great difficulty ; yet it is important, 
not only on account of their scarcity, but be- 
cause it is near the southern limit of their 
range. They do not travel in large bands, 
and a country tramped up by moose is un- 
known in the Park. In many instances they 
have probably been mistaken for elk. I have 
detected their footprints in the broad valley 
of the Snake, below the mouth of Lewis 
River, and also in the Lower Geyser Basin, 
on Sentinel Creek, a small area, but one ad- 
258 



The Yellowstone Park 

mirably fitted for their needs. They have 
been seen on the borders of the Lake of 
the Woods, and on the head of Stinking 
Water River east of Yellowstone Lake. 

Two varieties of deer inhabit the Park 
commonly known as the black-tail and white- 
tail deer, the former being much the more 
abundant of the two. Being fleet of foot, they 
roam over the entire area in passing from one 
pasturage ground to another. They show a 
decided preference for gently sloping foot- 
hills carrying a scattered growth of mingled 
pine and maple and other deciduous trees 
their natural habitat being the border-land 
between dense forest and open valley. Such 
favorite spots affording food, shelter, and 
shade abound, and present one of the most 
characteristic features of an ideal park coun- 
try. Deer haunt the valleys of the Gallatin 
Kange and the lava slopes around the head of 
Black Tail Deer Creek, which flows into the 
Yellowstone; but more than any other animal 
they seem to delight in changing their habi- 
tat. The ideal country for deer is that para- 
dise for big game, the valleys of the numerous 
streams forming the sources of the Snake. 
259 



American Big-Game Flunting 

While by no means as numerous as elk, deer 
are found in sufficient numbers to allay all 
anxiety as to their permanence under the 
new conditions now surrounding the Park. 

Antelope, graceful and swift-footed crea- 
tures, restrict their range to the open country, 
with habits nearly identical to those devel- 
oped on the plain. They are by no means 
numerous, and were so much shot at before 
protection was afforded that they nearly, be- 
came extinct. But in the last few years they 
have steadily increased in numbers, and ex- 
perience seems to have taught them that 
safety lies within the pr.otected region, rather 
than in seeking in winter the lowlands out- 
side its borders. Swan Valley and the slopes 
of Mount Everts apparently satisfy their re- 
quirements. In summer small bands roam 
over Hayden Valley, but so far as I know 
have not increased in size. 

The advantages of this region as a game 
reservation are again shown in its meeting 
the requirements of the bighorn, or mountain 
sheep {Ovis canadensis), an animal of quite 
different habits, which lives almost wholly 
among the crags and cliffs of the steepest 
260 



The Yellowstone Park 

mountains. An ideal bighorn country is 
found in the Absaroka Range, where the bare 
rocky slopes are interspersed with patches 
of nutritious grasses. The size of their bands, 
the frequent well-worn trails over the barren 
rocks, and the occurrence of sheep '"sign" 
everywhere, indicate conditions suitable to 
sheep life. The head waters of the Stinking 
Water and Thoroughfare Creek are among 
their favorite haunts. In the higher regions of 
the Gallatin they may occasionally be seen, 
and, indeed, this may be said of the summits 
of most of the peaks throughout the Park. 
They are an agile, wary, keen-scented animal, 
and apparently never so happy as when on 
the jump. Next to the elk, they are probably 
most sought by the horn-hunters and game- 
butchers ; but with a little protection, and only 
half a show, they are abundantly capable 
of taking care of themselves. 

That buffalo were among the animals in- 
habiting the Yellowstone Park was known in 
the early days of its history; and that inde- 
fatigable explorer and former superintendent 
of the Park, Colonel P. W. Norris, soon recog- 
nized the need of protection for them if their 

17* 261 



American Big-Game Hunting 

extermination was to be prevented. The Park 
buffalo may all be classed under the head of 
mountain buffalo, and even in this elevated re- 
gion they live for the greater part of the 
year in the timber. In many ways their 
habits are quite different from those generally 
attributed to the buffalo of the plain, and it 
is most unusual, save in midwinter; to find 
them in open valley or on the treeless moun- 
tain slope. They haunt the most inaccessible 
and out-of-the-way places, and what would 
seem to be the least attractive spots, living 
in open glades and pastures, the oases of the 
dense forest, often only to be reached by 
climbing over a tangle of fallen timber. Lo- 
calities least visited by man and avoided by 
other animals are by preference selected by 
buffalo. During long wanderings over the 
timber plateau I have never ceased to be 
amazed at the resorts selected by them, and by 
the rapidity of their disappearance on being 
alarmed. I have frequently come upon ground 
tramped up by buffalo, showing every evi- 
dence of recent occupation, but the animals 
were gone. It is surprising how few buffalo 
have been seen in midsummer, even by those 
262 



The Yellowstone Park 

most familiar with their haunts and habits. 
They wander about in small bands in such 
unfrequented country as the southern end of 
the Madison plateau, the Mirror plateau, and 
the head of Pelican Creek, and on the borders 
of that elevated table-land known as Elephant 
Back. In winter, leaving the forest, they 
feed over the slopes of Specimen Ridge, and 
in the open Hayden Valley. 

It is not likely that there ever were 
many buffalo in the Park, or that those there 
ever suffered seriously from the hand of man 
other than the Indian. Up to within recent 
years the plains buffalo offered a more attrac- 
tive field for the hunter nearer home. Their 
abodes in the Park were inaccessible and far 
away from any base of supplies. Only since 
their extermination from the plains and the 
advance of settlements to the Park border 
have inroads upon their numbers taken 
place. If they ever roamed over this country 
in large herds, evidence of the fact should be 
apparent by well-trodden buffalo trails, which 
nowhere form a feature of the Park plateau. 
Whether the natural increase in their num- 
bers has been kept down by the severity of the 
263 



American Big-Game Hunting 

climate and an uncongenial environment, or 
whether the young calves have been attacked 
by predatory animals, has never been satis- 
factorily determined. Dangers which would 
scarcely befall them in an open country 
might in a timbered region tend to keep 
down their numbers. They occasionally 
wander beyond the Park borders into Idaho 
and Montana with the first fall of snow, re- 
turning to their mountain homes with the ap- 
proach of spring. In 1884 I estimated the 
buffalo in the Park at 200; since that time 
they have gradually increased, and have 
probably doubled in number. In the winter 
of 1891-92 the grazing-ground in Hayden 
Valley was visited by a snowshoe party, who 
counted the scattered bands and took photo- 
graphs of several groups. These groups 
were generally small, and each contained a 
goodly number of calves. They numbered 
by actual count nearly 300, but there is no 
means of knowing what proportion of the 
Park buffalo were then gathered here. 

Bears of all kinds that inhabit the northern 
Rocky Mountains are found in the Park. 
The natural conditions of the country — a 
264 



The Yellowstone Park 

dense pine forest; a soil producing a variety 
of wild fruits, berries, and roots; a slowly de- 
caying vegetation upon which flourish grubs 
and ants, delicate morsels to Bruin — all 
tend to furnish an environment suitable to 
the omnivorous bear. Black bears are the 
most common, but silvertips abound, many 
of them of great size and strength. They 
are undoubtedly increasing in numbers, but 
unless attacked are harmless; and of the 
thousands of visitors to the Park every year I 
have yet to learn of one injured by them. 

Of the smaller animals, such as the dif- 
ferent kinds of the Felidcs, — including moun- 
tain-lions, — foxes, wolves, porcupines, noth- 
ing need be said, save that they find within 
the reservation the essential conditions of a 
home. Two animals, however, — the wolverene 
and the beaver, — demand more than mere 
mention : the former on account of its rarity 
in the Rocky Mountains, and the consequent 
danger it runs of extermination, and the latter 
on account of the never-failing interest which 
they excite in the tourist, and the frequency 
with which their dams and habitations may 
be seen along the traveled routes. The wol- 
265 



American Big-Game Hunting 

verene is now seldom, if ever, reported from 
the country south of the Park, and must be 
considered one of the rarest of animals within 
its borders. Its predatory nature renders it 
a most undesirable animal near settlements, 
but this is no good reason why it should not be 
protected in the mountains. It is a stealthy, 
cautious animal, moving about without the 
least noise. I have seen but four, and these 
on meadow-lands underlaid by a deep soil. As 
they are supposed to live largely on rodents, 
they were doubtless seeking food among the 
burrowing animals. Although they are re- 
garded as great robbers, in the hundreds of 
camps I have pitched within the Park my at- 
tention has never been called to the tracks of 
a prowling wolverene. 

The numerous broad, flat valleys, cut into 
the plateaus and mountains, are singularly 
well fitted for the home of beaver. The 
meadows filling these valleys, the clear 
streams flowing through them, and the se- 
clusion which they offer, are exceptional in- 
ducements and are all necessary requirements 
for their haunts. With the growth of popula- 
tion it is probable that a very considerable 
266 



The Yellowstone Park 

amount of trapping was carried on in early 
days, and their numbers greatly reduced. Of 
late years, special vigilance has been exer- 
cised to prevent the trapping and molestation 
of the Park beaver, but it has been by no 
means easy to accomplish this, on account of 
the remoteness of many of the best-stocked 
streams, and the high price of the skins, which 
tempts the cupidity of the trapper. Captain 
George S. Anderson, the present superinten- 
dent of the Park, believes the beaver are 
steadily increasing, and this is no doubt the 
fact, in view of the efforts that he has made 
to stop all trapping. 

Innumerable streams flowing from the 
mountains to the central plateau, magnificent 
lakes, the sources of grand rivers, and a river 
system divided into four drainage basins, 
make the region singularly well suited for 
fish life. Exploration soon developed the 
fact that, while many of these rivers and 
lakes abounded in trout, others, above the 
waterfalls which form so characteristic a fea- 
ture of the streams between the plateau and 
the lowlands, were wholly destitute of fish. 
In the spring of 1887 I addressed a letter to 
267 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the late Professor Baird, calling his attention 
to the importance of stocking these waters, 
more especially Shoshone Lake, for the bene- 
fit of the people. At that time it was not 
considered feasible to take up the matter. 
Since then these waters have undergone care- 
ful investigation, and, as a result, have been 
stocked with fish under the supervision of Pro- 
fessor B. W. Evermann, of the United States 
Fish Commission, who reports that the dif- 
ferent species of trout planted are doing well, 
so far as can be told at this early date. Six 
varieties — brook, lake, mountain, rainbow, 
Loch Leven, and Von Behr trout — have been 
placed in one or the other of the different 
drainasfe basins. In Shoshone and Lewis 
lakes both the common lake trout and the 
Loch Leven variety were planted. The Yel- 
lowstone Park is destined to rank as one of 
the favorite resorts of the angler, — fishing, 
under the proper regulations, becoming one 
of the many attractions of the place. 

Nearly all birds common to the northern 

Rocky Mountains resort to this region during 

certain portions of every year. Migratory 

birds, like ducks and geese, live for months 

268 



The Yellowstone Park 

upon many small lakes dotted over the 
Park, rearing their young without the least 
fear of molestation. Pelicans find a home 
around the shores of Yellowstone Lake and 
the bottom-lands of its tributaries. That 
graceful creature and rare bird, the white 
swan, may frequendy be seen on Yellowstone 
Lake, and on three separate visits to that 
secluded sheet of water, Riddle Lake, I have 
never failed to find several of them paddling 
about in its quiet waters. Eagles, fish- 
hawks, and ospreys soar above the forest, 
building their nests upon the summits of the 
crags and pinnacles in the wildest and most 
inaccessible places. It is always an impres- 
sive sight to see that magnificent bird, the 
bald-headed eagle, flying high over the lakes, 
crossing and recrossing the wooded con- 
tinental watershed, equally at home among 
the sources of the Mississippi and Columbia, 
undisturbed by his only really dangerous 
enemy, rifle-bearing man. 

The preservation of animal life, as it exists 
to-day under natural conditions within a gov- 
ernment reservation, may be purely a matter 
of sentiment; but surely this grand possession 
269 



American Big-Game Hunting 

must be worth every effort to preserve it, 
even at considerable cost of time and money. 
With the encroachments of civiHzation, the 
demands of those seeking to use the Park for 
their own selfish ends must in the nature of 
things steadily increase. Pressure for timber 
and water privileges, and rights of way for 
railroad purposes, will constantly arise. The 
larger part of the timber reservation should 
become an integral part of the Park, as 
much of the game, and its best breeding- 
grounds, lie within this reservation. Let 
Congress adjust the boundaries in the best 
interests of the Park and the needs of traffic, 
clearly defining them in accordance with the 
present knowledge of the country, and then 
forever keep this grand national reservation 
intact. After this is done, the Park can be 
maintained only by the constant vigilance of 
enthusiastic friends, who realize its value for 
economic reasons, and believe in the purposes 
of the organic act setting it apart forever as 
a pleasure-ground for the people. 

Arnold Hague, 



270 



A Mountain Fraud 

My acquaintance with Lanahan began at 
Eagle Rock, Idaho, in August, 1890, where 
we met to undertake a trip into Jackson's 
Hole. Mr. Melville Hanna and I had come 
from the east to make a hunt, and Lanahan 
had been engaged to purchase and superin- 
tend our outfit by a railway official at Boise, 
whom he had impressed with a belief in 
his remarkable fitness for both purposes. 

When we reached Eagle Rock, Lanahan 
was on hand with eight packhorses, an 
elderly man called Mason, and an English- 
man as cook. The cook claimed to have 
practised his vocation in the service of a duke 
on land, and an admiral on the deep, each of 
whom parted from him with a grief he was 
unable to conceal. He had come west for 
recreation and from a desire to see the coun- 
try, was accustomed to riding, consequent 
upon having followed the hounds with his 
ducal employer, and intended, after seeing us 



American B!";-Game Huntlii 



& 



safely back from our trip, to return to the as- 
sistance of the admiral, whose ship was on 
the way to Halifax, On inspecting Lana- 
han's list of supplies, we found that he had 
bought a good-sized stove and an assortment 
of delicacies such as I am sure never started 
for Jackson's Hole before. There were oys- 
ters put up in various ways, tins of cauli- 
flower, peas, all the fruits of the Occident, and 
numerous exotic preserves which we had 
never heard of The array looked too great 
for our eight horses to carry, and when we 
started next day this proved to be the fact. 

Lanahan was a big burly fellow with a 
most repulsive countenance and with great 
powers of conversation. He had lived so 
long in the West that he had lost the man- 
ner of speech of his native isle, except when 
excited or friof-htened, and he recjaled us the 
evening before starting with thrilling tales of 
his personal exploits with Indians and wild 
beasts. He professed to have passed years 
as the confidential scout of Howard, Custer, 
and Crook, and the last named owed the 
fame he had attained as an Indian-fighter to 
his implicit adherence to Lanahan's advice on 
272 



A Mountain Fraud 

several critical occasions. As to game, he 
had fairly wallowed in the gore of bears and 
lions, and he promised to escort me to my 
iirst encounter with a silvertip, the death of 
which was to be brought about by my open- 
ing fire on him at 600 yards and keeping it 
up during the ensuing charge, Lanahan 
standing by peacefully until the bear rose to 
embrace me, when he would give him the 
coup de grace with "Old Nance," as he fondly 
called his rifle. He also announced his in- 
tention of shooting any Indians who might 
come to our camp, if they did not promptly 
leave at his bidding. 

Next morning Mason and Lanahan began 
packing, and Lanahan showed by the hu- 
mility with which he endured the deserved 
abuse of Mason that he was as ignorant of 
the art as we afterward found him of every 
other, except that of dissimulation. Mason 
was finally obliged to substitute our cook as 
helper, and Lanahan, in order to recover his 
prestige, spoke of the dangerous character 
of the horse-thieves of Jackson's Hole, and 
showed a map of the country made by old 
Jackson himself, then languishing in Boise 
18 273 



American Big-Game Hunting 

jail, also a letter from the same hand intro- 
ducing Lanahan to the present head of the 
association, who would, on its presentation, 
protect our stock and return without cost any 
that had previously been stolen. At starting, 
Hanna and I went on ahead, and were pres- 
ently joined by Mason and the cook with the 
packs; but as Lanahan did not appear, we 
sent back Mason, who produced him in about 
an hour, quite flushed as to his countenance 
and uncertain as to his speech, but with that 
part of his intellect devoted to lying as un- 
clouded as ever. His delay, he stated, had 
been caused by his horse rearing and falling 
on him, whereat he became so faint from pain 
that he was unable to move until after a long 
rest and the administration of a teaspoonful 
of the best brandy every fifteen minutes. 
About this time the packs began to loosen 
and get lopsided, and one of the pack- 
horses, called Emigrant, would occasionally lie 
down, and have to be assisted to his feet by 
the united strength of the party. We were 
able to keep him going only by having the 
cook lead him while Hanna and I beset him 
with blows in the rear. 
274 



A Mountain Fraud 

In consequence of these misfortunes, our 
progress was so slow that we made camp 
that night only six miles from our starting- 
point. The next night we reached Big Butte 
Ferry, the trouble about the packs keeping up, 
and Emigrant growing more and more averse 
to the exertions required from him. At this 
point we ** cached" the stove, stovepipe, and 
half a dozen of our most useless pots and 
pan-s despite the remonstrances of our cook, 
and e'.igaged a young man named Joe, who 
had been out for a month prospecting for 
coaX but was quite willing to turn back with 
us. Reaching the village of Kaintuck at 
noon, we camped in the corral of the livery- 
stable, and in less than half an hour our cook 
betook himself to one of the neighboring 
saloons, where we shortly found him so 
drunk as to be incapable of speech or motion, 
but — as we judged from never seeing him 
again — still able to understand that he was 
discharged. 

During the afternoon we fell into conver- 
sation with a bright, active-looking fellow who 
came to call on us ; and, finding that he was 
familiar with the Teton country, had hunted 
275 



American Big-Game Hunting 

and trapped around Jackson's Lake, and 
claimed to be an expert packer and first-class 
cook, we added him to our party in these 
capacities. Later, Lanahan came to us in 
great agitation, and said that Harrington, our 
new man, was a very dangerous character, 
and had just been pardoned from jail, where 
he was serving a twenty-five years' sentence 
for horse-stealing; that he had broken out 
once, and had been recaptured only after an 
exciting chase of seventy-five miles, during 
which he had been shot in the leg. We asked 
Harrington about this. He admitted its sub- 
stantial truth, but said he was innocent of the 
crime, and had been the victim of malicious 
persecution by some men who wanted to 
**jump" his ranch in the Teton valley; so we 
decided to take him along, and did not regret 
it. The disposition by sale for $20 of a 
large quantity of our delicacies to the Mor- 
mon storekeeper at Kaintuck lessened the 
weight of our packs, which Harrington made 
up next morning in less than half the usual 
time, to the evident disgust of Lanahan and 
Mason. Before leaving the town, Harrington 
took me to a saloon where hung several 
276 



A Mountain Fraud 

drawings he had made of elk and Indians, 
which were as true to nature in their general 
features as anything of the kind I have ever 
seen, and caused me to believe that he only 
needed education to make him distinguished. 
He had never had any instruction, and his 
only artistic implement was a lead-pencil. 

When we reached the Teton Valley, Lana- 
han, who had taken up riding ahead to "look 
out the trail," which was as definite as Broad- 
way, and to protect us against the dangers 
which encompassed our path, learned from a 
passer-by that fifty lodges of Lemhi Indians 
were before us on a hunt. He called Hanna 
and me to one side, when he conveyed this in- 
formation, and said he was now convinced of 
what he had suspected from the first, that 
Harrington's joining us was part of a plot 
between him and the Lemhis to facilitate the 
running off of our horses, and an incidental 
murder or two, if necessary. That night we 
camped on the west side of Mount Hayden, 
the biggest of the Tetons, close by the place 
where the Indians had stayed a few days 
before; and Lanahan armed himself and 
climbed a little peak at some distance from 



American Big-Game Hunting 

the trail to "look for Indian signs," as he 
said. At the fire, after supper, he informed 
us that years ago he was well acquainted 
with old Teton, after whom the mountains 
were named, and who had lived in the valley 
when it was fairly alive with game. 

The Grand Teton, now so wretchedly mis- 
named, is to my mind the most magnificent 
of mountains. Its situation, its isolation from 
neighbors, its great height, its vast hollows 
and chasms, many of them filled with per- 
petual snow, and its lofty, bare, inaccessible 
peak, always impress me with a sense of 
grandeur, majesty, and beauty, such as I 
have never found in any other mountain. 

About this time Lanahan abandoned all 
activity except looking for Indians, poisoning 
our minds against Harrington, and attempt- 
ing the " horse-wrangling " each morning. 
He would start out alone quite early, and 
after blundering about in a most inefficient 
way, and getting all the nervous horses 
thoroughly excited and scared, would call 
some of the other men to his assistance, and 
then proceed himself to get the packs in as 
great confusion as possible before the horses 
278 



A Mountain Fraud 

were brought In, the one or two that he had 
caught meantime having escaped. 

The next night, before we crossed the 
divide into Jackson's Hole through Trail 
Creek Caiion, we had a very heavy thunder- 
storm, and in the intervals between the peals 
we could hear Lanahan's vociferous invoca- 
tions to the various saints he relied upon for 
protection, his appeals mingling with the 
damning he was getting from his tent-mates 
for the disturbance he created. He was so 
much demoralized by the storm, and by the 
chance of overtaking the Indians, who were 
evidently not far ahead of us, that he endured 
all this abuse with perfect meekness, and did 
not recover his usual intrepid bearing until 
the next noon, when he resumed his ostenta- 
tious superintendence of the outfit. 

Our first camp after crossing the divide 
was at Fighting Bear Creek, and was made 
memorable by killing a two-year-old bull 
elk, the toughest of his race ; but fresh meat 
had become so desirable that his india-rubber 
qualities were not unfavorably criticized until 
we orot somethino' better, 

o o 

A man coming down the valley told us 

279 



American Big-Game Hunting 

that the band of Indians had divided, most of 
them going south, and ten or twelve men and 
squaws northward, in the direction we were 
to take. This somewhat reassured Lanahan, 
though he strongly advised staying where we 
were for a time, and then striking east into 
the Gros Ventre Mountains, where he knew 
of great quantities of game. The stranger 
also told us of the disappearance of Mr. 
Robert Ray Hamilton from his new ranch 
at the upper crossing of Snake River. 

We made our permanent camp directly 
under the peak of the Grand Teton, on the east 
side. It was in a little park surrounded by 
pines. Cottonwood Creek, a beautiful spark- 
ling stream, flowed through it, and above us 
were the grand mountain masses, feeding 
from their snow-clad sides the chain of little 
lakes along their bases, which in turn re- 
plenish the mighty Snake River during all 
the rainless summer months. I have never 
seen so delightful a camping-ground, nor one 
which supplied so completely every requisite 
for comfort and sport. Our hunting adven- 
tures during the next ten days in this camp 
were not remarkable, though we might have 
280 



A Mountain Fraud 

killed a large amount of game had we de- 
sired. There were a great many antelope 
out on the prairie, and every morning we 
could see some in the park. I once aroused 
the curiosity of a solitary buck to the point 
of coming up within thirty yards of me by 
concealing myself in the sage-brush and 
waving about my wide-brimmed hat on the 
end of my rifle. We found antelope liver the 
choicest delicacy to be had in the Rockies, 
and this fact perhaps led us to kill one or two 
more of these orraceful and interestino^ crea- 
tures than we should otherwise have done. 

It was hardly late enough for the bull 
elk to come down from the high ranges to 
join the cows and calves. Two large bands 
of these ranged between us and Jackson's 
Lake, about fourteen miles north. We could 
have shot some of these almost daily, but one 
of the men, contrary to our orders, having 
gone out and killed two calves soon after our 
arrival, Hanna and I agreed, after he had 
shot one cow, not to fire at anything except 
bulls, and we were guiltless of the blood of 
any more elk during our stay. One day, near 
Jackson's Lake, Harrington and I came to a 



American Big-Game Hunting 

salt-lick in the woods, which we approached 
quietly, thinking game might be there. 
When we reached the edge, we saw a big 
cow elk standing among the trees on the 
other side of the open space, and directly 
after, another one lying down in the high 
grass near the first, only her head and neck 
being visible. She saw us, but did not stir. 
Keeping perfecdy still and looking closely, 
we discovered seven or eight more, but none 
with horns. Finally, stepping forward, think- 
ing we had seen them all, a great number 
jumped up, going out like a covey of quail. 
Some had been lying down in the high grass 
within twenty yards of us, and could not have 
known of our presence. They made a great 
noise and crashing as they scurried off, and 
we could only guess at their numbers, but 
there must have been thirty or forty. 

There were not many bears about here. 
We saw the tracks of several very big ones, 
but only four living ones. One of these dis- 
appeared before we could get a shot, and the 
other three, an old cinnamon with two well- 
grown cubs, we found at the top of one of the 
lower peaks of the Grand Teton near camp. 
282 



A Mountain Fraud 

It had taken Hanna and me three hours' hard 
dimblng to get near the summit, where we 
expected to find some of the bull elk we had 
heard whistling, and the tracks of which we 
saw fresh and plentiful as we ascended. 

We were moving very quietly along the 
game trail, Hanna ahead, when he sud- 
denly stopped and pointed about seventy-five 
yards in front, where we saw the two cubs 
playing on some rocks overhanging a deep 
gulch. We fired nearly simultaneously. My 
cub dropped dead, while Hanna's, badly 
wounded, started up the mountain howling 
his best. It was not ten seconds before the 
mother appeared, not fifteen yards ahead of 
us, charging down the trail looking as big as 
a horse and growling savagely. Hanna, be- 
ing a step in front of me, fired, and the bear 
dropped, but was up in an instant and came 
straight on. He shot again, and again she 
dropped, but was up like a rubber ball. The 
third time the cartridge failed to explode. 
The bear turned a little out of the trail, evi- 
dently bewildered, but as vicious as ever. As 
she passed me, within ten feet, I shot, and the 
ball pierced the heart, but it required two more 
283 



American Big-Game Hunting 

of the 45-90 bullets to kill her. She was one 
of the long-legged greyhound kind, but quite 
fat; and, judging from the impression she 
made on a small tree she ran against and 
clawed like an angry cat, she would have 
badly damaged any man she might have met. 
Her jaw had been shattered by Hanna's first 
shot ; the second had traversed her body, and 
there were two through her heart. Her 
vitality was really astonishing. We got the 
wounded cub, but the other had rolled down 
the gulch; and as we could not reach him 
without a long detour, we left him behind. 
We skinned the two animals and packed their 
hides to camp on our backs, finding the loads 
very heavy before we reached there. 

Porcupines were very plentiful, as they are 
in most parts of the Rockies, and grow to a 
great size. They sometimes fall victims to 
bears, which manage to turn them over and 
get at the unprotected parts, eating every- 
thing but the quill-covered skin. In one 
day's hunt I saw the remains of three that 
had been thus treated. Bears also dig up the 
nests of yellow-jackets for the larvce they 
contain; and we came upon a nest so lately 
284 



A Mountain Fraud 

rifled that many of its former occupants were 
still buzzing angrily about. 

After pleasant days spent at this camp, we 
packed up and started north to go through the 
Yellowstone Park. As we were passing out 
of Jackson's Hole, we looked back and had a 
superb view of the great valley with the Snake 
River winding through it, the bare ranges of 
the Gros Ventre Mountains, and the tower- 
ing snow-capped rocky peaks of the Tetons 
— a wonderful picture. 

The day after leaving Marymere ranch, 
we saw, as we were making camp, three In- 
dians watching us from a distant hill. Lana- 
han's consternation was extreme, and he de- 
clared that we must take turns watching 
through the night. As nobody paid much 
attention to him, except to encourage his go- 
ing personally, he loaded his rifle, put on his 
cartridge-belt full of ammunition, and started 
out after supper ostensibly to guard us, but 
we felt sure to conceal himself somewhere in 
safety from the impending attack, which would 
have been welcome if it had bereaved us of 
him. Next morning he intimated that the 
savages had been prowling about, and that 



American Big-Game Hunting 

we owed the protection of our scalps to his 
vigilance. This idea of his was strengthened 
by the appearance, while we were breakfast- 
ing, of a Lemhi Indian on a beautiful pony. 
He could not or would not speak any Eng- 
lish, and Harrington conversed with him in 
the sign-language, to our great interest, as 
we had never seen it used before. 

Our journey to the Lower Geyser basin 
was unmarked by anything startling, though 
Lanahan was much discomposed one night by 
two men who had come down from the Stink- 
ing Water and camped near us. He was so 
convinced that they were in league with Har- 
rington that he "watched" the horses all night. 
At the basin we started the outfit back to Boise 
with Lanahan and Mason, and joined our fami- 
lies, who were awaiting us. We heard after- 
ward that Lanahan was a prey to the liveliest 
terrors while in the Park, and paid a man 
$io to watch the horses the two nights before 
he got out of Harrington's reach. We have 
never heard of Lanahan since, but his mem- 
ory will ever be green. 

Dean Sage. 



;86 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

One bright, cold November day I started 
from a ranch on the Little Missouri, in west- 
ern Dakota, with the set purpose of getting 
venison for the ever hungry cow-boys. They 
depended solely upon me for their supply of 
fresh meat; and as for some time I had shot 
nothing, I had been the subject of disparag- 
ing comment for several days, and the fore- 
man, in particular, suggested that I should 
stay at home and kill a steer, and not chase 
all the blacktails into the next county. 

So I stole off this time with an almost 
guilty conscience, and plunged at once into 
the dense brush of the river-bottom. In the 
thicket I startled a Virginia deer, but knew it 
to be one only by the waving salute of its 
white flag. I also passed a tree in one of the 
forks of which I had, at another time, found 
an old muzzle-loading rifle, rusted, worn, and 
decaying, a whole history in itself, and be- 
yond, not two hundred yards away, an In- 
287 



American Big-Game Hunting 

dian's skull with a neat round hole through 
the crown. 

The Keogh stage road crossed the river 
near by, and I found out that the place was 
the scene of the last Indian deviltry in this 
section. It was the old story. A man, 
while looking for the stage-horses, was shot; 
a second, hearing the report, went out to see 
what it meant, and was in turn killed ; while 
a third, with perhaps a little more experi- 
ence, jumped on the only horse left at the 
station and fled for his life, with half a dozen 
Indians in full cry in pursuit. 

I walked on along the old trail taken by the 
lucky fugitive, and up out of the river- valley 
to a level plateau above. From the top could 
be seen in the distance several big buttes, 
and a dark pine-tree, which was to be my 
objective point for the day's hunt. To the 
right, as I stepped briskly forward, was a 
large washout, cut deep into the clay soil, 
broken and irregular, with sage-brush scat- 
tered here and there along its sides and bot- 
tom. At the head of the washout I spied 
some yellow long-horned Texas cattle, and 
gave them a wide berth. I had had some 
2S8 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

pleasing experiences of their habits, and did 
not care just then to be stamped flat. 

To the left, a few hundred yards away, was 
a long valley leading to the river and far out 
into the prairie, wooded in patches, with 
small pockets at intervals along the sides, 
filled with low brush. Here at other times I 
had jumped whitetails from their daytime 
naps, and once had had a running shot at a 
large prairie-wolf Bearing all this in mind, I 
veered over toward the valley, and had not 
gone far when I saw in the distance a black- 
tail buck come skipping out of it, and moving 
with high, long bounds, as is the way of its 
kind when frightened or going at speed. 

These bounds, by the way, are very curi- 
ous : the animal lands on all four feet at once, 
in such a small area that a sombrero would 
cover the four footprints. On a few oc- 
casions, when very badly frightened, I have 
seen them run level, like a race-horse; but 
that gait is so unusual as hardly to be 
considered characteristic of this deer. The 
deer in question, after a few long jumps, 
settled down into a trot, then into a walk, 
and finally stopped and looked about. He 

^9 289 



American Big-Game Hunting 

did not see me, however, and when he again 
moved off there was a man jogging quietly 
along in his wake. 

Taking advantage of every little hollow 
to keep from his sight and make a spurt, I 
soon reduced the distance between us, and 
arrived at the further edge of the plateau 
just in time to see him disappear in some 
broken country. Continuing cautiously on 
to where I had last seen him, it became 
apparent that he had determined upon some 
definite course, for his tracks led as straight 
as the nature of the ground would permit 
to what I knew was the head of a large 
coulee which ran into the valley from which 
he had come into view. 

As the soil was very hard and dry, and his 
tracks difficult to follow, I soon determined 
to leave them and cut straight for the coulee 
below the point toward which he had been 
headed, thinking it likely that he would con- 
tinue his course down the coulee, at least for 
a short distance. I ought to be able to write 
that " events turned out exactly as calcu- 
lated," but they did not. I ran with a fair 
burst of speed to the edge of the coulee, and 
290 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

when, after quietly watching- for twenty min- 
utes, no deer appeared, my mind went back 
to the foreman's remark about killing a steer. 

However, it remained for me to go up to 
the point where it was probable the buck 
entered the coulee. I accordingly did so, 
hunting every inch of the way, and looking 
for sign and whatever else might turn up. 
I saw nothing, however, but two grouse that 
startled me, as they always do, but especially 
when my nerves are strung up as they were 
just then. What course the buck had taken, 
was now the question. Doubling back to my 
old conclusion that he had gone straight, I 
went out of the coulee, and followed on the 
line he had gone. At first it led over another 
small plateau, then it dipped down again into 
some more bad lands, cut up and broken 
with picturesque red scoria hills covered with 
straggling twisted cedar-trees. 

About this time my ardor for this particular 
buck had begun to subside, and he was now 
anybody's game. Being somewhat tired as 
well, I climbed to the top of a round clay 
butte, sat down, and lighted a pipe. I had 
been smoking for about ten minutes, enjoy- 
291 



American Big-Game Hunting 

ing the mysterious scenery and thinking what 
course it would be best to. take, when again 
my buck loomed up for a few seconds in the 
distance, and once more walked quickly out 
of sight. This was a great surprise and 
pleasure, and the pace at which I set out 
in pursuit would have rejoiced the heart of 
a messenger boy. I ran as fast as I could, 
stopping to peer over every rise in the land, 
and was soon rewarded by a most interesting 
sight. The buck had come upon another, 
fully as large if not larger than himself, and 
they were exchanging greetings across a 
small washout, each extending his nose and 
smelling the other. They would sniff a min- 
ute and then turn their heads about, flap their 
long gray ears, and wiggle their short black 
tails, acting as if they were old friends. 

It seems a great pity to shoot such no- 
ble creatures; but unfortunately this thought 
rarely comes at the right time for the deer. 
Given, a man having killed nothing for sev- 
eral days, unmercifully guyed by all the cow- 
boys, and add to that a long and lively chase 
after constantly vanishing venison, — when, 
then, the man gets within shooting distance, 
292 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

it is hardly at such a time that his kindly 
instincts will suggest the propriety of letting 
the poor beasts escape. 

As for myself, with every muscle and nerve 
at tension from an exciting chase, and mind 
fairly satisfied of game well earned, it would 
have taken more self-denial than I pretend to 
possess not to shoot, especially since we had 
been living on pork for some time. When 
fresh meat is plentiful in camp, it is to a real 
sportsman no sacrifice to let the does and 
fawns escape, or to shoot them merely with the 
deadly kodak ; but on this day the shack really 
had to have meat — those lordly heads, too. 

There is always a strong desire, when one 
comes upon game, to shoot at once; but it is 
a good plan, if possible, to rest and get one's 
breathing apparatus into proper shape. It is 
most exasperating, not to say cruel, to wound 
a deer and have him get away; and there is 
a good chance of this happening if, before 
your hand steadies and your head clears, you 
begin to open fire. 

From the direction of the wind it was quite 
evident that the deer could not scent me, so 
for some moments I lay watching the animals 
19* 293 



American Big-Game Hunting 

with lively interest, and wondering what they 
would do next. 

They were apparently satisfied with an 
occasional sniff at one another, but seemed at 
the same time to give their attention to some- 
thing beyond my view. From my position 
on top of a small mound, or butte, where 
I had crawled with great caution, nothing 
could be seen either up or down a large 
washout that was between me and the deer ; 
and I had poked my gun through a bunch 
■of grass, and was quite prepared to shoot, 
when the ears, then the head and body, 
of a large doe, closely followed by a young 
buck and a yearling, came into full view. 

To say that I was surprised but faintly ex- 
presses it, and for the time being all idea of 
shooting left me, as I watched with keenest 
interest the advent of the new-comers. The 
old doe, as if aware of her importance as the 
respected matron of a family, walked sedately 
past the two bucks without bestowing the 
least attention upon them, selected a grassy 
spot in the sun, pivoted around twice to level 
her bed, and quietly settled to earth, facing 
me. The young buck and yearling stood as 
294 




Resting. 

Photographed from life by T. G. Ingersoll. 



From Foresi and Stream. 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

if not quite decided whether to follow her ex- 
ample, but finally began to nibble grass and 
walk about. Here, indeed, was a pretty 
picture, — an embarrassment of riches. I 
thought it quite possible to get one big 
buck, with the chance of a good running shot 
at the other ; and as there was no hurry, and 
my gun was at a dead rest for the first shot 
at least, I decided to shoot at the largest buck 
behind the ear, and then trust to occasion for 
whatever should follow. 

I felt that excitement was again about to 
get the upper hand, and I aimed carefully sev- 
eral times before pulling trigger. At last, 
after a sharp report, the smoke blew directly 
in my face, and for a second I could see 
nothing distinctly; but when it cleared away, 
and I, having pumped a cartridge into place, 
was again prepared to shoot, what was my 
astonishment to . find that the buck fired at 
had utterly disappeared, and that the second, 
far from being frightened, was still standing 
with his nose poked down into the washout 
that had been between them. 

Without further speculation, I sighted for 
the neck of buck number two, and at the re- 
295 



American Big-Game Hunting 

port he also disappeared ; but this time I 
made out that he fell over forward into the 
washout. Everything was now afoot and 
moving about, so taking a quick shot at the 
doe, behind the shoulder, and three more at 
the remaining two, the last on the jump, I 
realized, by seeing them fall, a big day's 
work, and for the moment felt very proud. 
It was not until afterward that the feeling 
came up that my glory would have been 
quite enough without killing the last three ; 
but then it must be remembered that we 
needed every pound of meat at the shack. 
The two big bucks had fallen into the 
washout, which was about six feet deep, one 
directly on top of the other, and it was be- 
yond my strength, without a horse and rope, 
to pull them out. As it was, I had to clean 
them in very uncomfortable quarters and not 
in the most approved manner. During No- 
vember, in the northern latitudes, the sun is 
early to bed, and it was four o'clock and get- 
ting gray when the last deer had been cared 
for. i\t dark I washed all trace of blood 
from my hands and arms in the river near 
the shack, and strolled into the kitchen with as 
296 



Blacktails in the Bad Lands 

woebegone a countenance as I could muster. 
I intended to get even with the foreman. 

A sardonic smile stole over his face, and 
a disgusted look over those of the others, 
as they noticed my unstained hands. I re- 
marked to the foreman that I had shot some 
game. He promptly replied, " You did n't ; 
if you had, you 'd have been so proud you 'd 
be as red as a scoria butte with deer blood, 
to show off. No such luck; and as long as 
you and that thirty-eight-caliber pop-gun go 
rustling around this country, I reckon we '11 
eat pork and be glad to get it." 

To this I answered that if he would promise 
to pack in what game I had killed, and would 
do it, I would orive him the huntinor-knife 
that he had been trying to steal for the last 
week. He instantly called it a bargain, and 
asked how far it was to the game. I an- 
swered that it was about five miles, and 
that I would take him there in the rnorning. 

So next morning we started on horseback, 
and I went far enough with him to point out 
exactly where the deer were, and leaving 
him, I rode over to call on a friend who had 
a small horse-ranch in the neighborhood. I 
297 



American Big-Game Hunting 

stayed at this horse-ranch overnight, and did 
not get back to our ranch until the following 
evening about supper-time. 

It leaked out that the cowboys had fairly 
screamed with delight when the truth was 
known, and would rather have been dis- 
charged than help the foreman pack in the 
five deer. He did pack them, however, in 
good faith; and both he and the cow-punchers, 
now that they had fresh meat, spared me 
their jokes, and for several days did not try 
to lend me their pitching ponies. 

Thus ended a most eventful hunt; and al- 
though it was unquestionably a very excep- 
tional piece of good luck to have killed five 
deer neatly, still it is none the less a fact that 
with a thirty-eight-caliber rifle I have always 
done the best work. With a fifty-caliber I 
have shot deer in their vital parts and then 
had them run great distances, whereas with 
the smaller bullet, when properly hit, they 
would almost invariably double up on the 
spot. I can give no explanation that will 
help to determine why the smaller-bored rifle 
has always, with me, been the most efficient. 

Bronson Rtimsey. 
298 



Photographing Wild Game 

The sportsman who wishes to substitute the 
camera for the rifle should possess not only 
a special knowledge of photography, but also 
many qualifications not absolutely necessary 
to a successful hunter. Any one who has had 
much experience in hunting large game will 
remember occasions when, if he had only had 
a camera, it would have been easy enough to 
have made successful pictures. But, once pro- 
vided with a camera, and having started out 
with the sole object in view of making nega- 
tives, he will find the opportunities for suc- 
cessful work few and far between. 

The true sportsman is not a game-butcher. 
When he has shot what he wants, he may well 
refuse to avail himself of chances to kill, and 
turn to the camera as a weapon with which 
to bring home trophies of his abilities as a 
hunter. Few indeed are the localities where 
hunters complain of being able to kill more 
game than they need; yet it has been my 
299 



American Bic-Game Hunting: 



good fortune for a number of years to spend 
my annual vacation in a country where game 
is so abundant that Httle effort is needed to 
provide camp with the needed fresh meat. 

Having in years gone by, through force of 
circumstances, acquired a thorough technical 
knowledge of photography, it naturally oc- 
curred to me to attempt the use of the camera 
when there was no need for a rifle. Although 
I had such a knowledge of photography and 
of the habits of the game as had always en- 
abled me to meet with fair success in the use 
of either camera or rifle, I had no adequate 
idea of the difficulties of my undertaking until 
they became real from actual experience. My 
first effort was with a small and excellent 
hand camera, which also served to make 
views of camp scenes and the beautiful 
scenery of the country in which I was hunt- 
ing. I was especially fortunate in that my 
hunting-ground was on some one of the great 
park plateaus of northwestern Colorado. 

These plateaus are indeed the sportsman's 
paradise. They comprise numerous great 
parks, forests of timber, and lakes ranging in 
size from the tiny pool of brown snow-water 



Photographing Wild Game 

to those large enough to deserve a name and 
a place on the map. They are the great 
summer home of the deer and elk. Frequent 
rains cause a most abundant growth of 
herbage suitable for their food, and the 
higher ground provides cool retreats for the 
male deer and elk while their horns are 
growing and hardening. They never leave 
these plateaus until driven down by the snow. 
Here elk and deer have for the past few 
years existed in sufficient numbers to give 
abundant sport. Farther to the north, where 
these plateaus break into the sage-brush 
plains of Wyoming, antelope inhabit the 
larger parks, and from these feed up for some 
distance through more open timber on the 
slopes of the surrounding hills. In this more 
northerly locality I have succeeded in getting 
photographs of elk, antelope, and deer, all 
within a distance of but a few miles. 

My first experience with an ordinary 
camera soon showed me that, at the usual 
distances, pictures of game would be so 
small as to be of no use. With a year's ex- 
perience to guide me, I began the construc- 
tion of a camera especially adapted for the 
301 



American Big-Game Hunting 

purpose in view. For my lens I used a Dall- 
meyer rapid rectilinear, whole-plate size. I 
used only the back combination of the lens, 
which gave a focal length of about twenty- 
two inches. The lens was equipped with a 
Prosch duplex shutter, which was, I found, 
even when set for its lowest speed, too rapid 
for my purpose. In determining upon a 
camera, I had already arrived at the following 
conclusions : the camera must be a hand 
camera, equipped with a film-roll holder ; it 
must be water-proof, light, not easily dam- 
aged, and of small size — i. e., must make only 
a small-sized negative ; focusing must be done 
at the front by moving the lens. 

To obtain these conditions, I constructed 
my first camera in the following manner: I 
made a rectangular core of wood exactly 
the shape I wished the inside of my camera 
to be. The front end of this core was cylin- 
drical. I then built up on this core of 
wood a paper shell, using strong Manila 
paper saturated with shellac as it was rolled 
upon the core. This was then wound with a 
strong cord at intervals of about one half 
inch, in order to provide cell spaces and conse- 
302 



Photographing Wild Game 

quently stiffness ; and over all was stretched 
strong muslin, fastened to the core with liquid 
glue. The outside was then shellacked until 
it was absolutely smooth and hard, when 
the wooden core was removed, and there re- 
mained a paper tube which admirably met my 
requirements. A wooden frame, fitted to the 
larger end, received the roll holder, and the 
cylindrical part of the front received a brass 
tube covered with velvet, to the end of which 
was soldered the lens flange. This tube 
could be easily moved in and out of the end, 
while the friction of the velvet always kept 
it in place. Upon this tube I marked the 
focus for various distances. Of course the 
lens was capable of making a much larger 
picture than my roll holder would receive, 
and the surplus light was cut off by a metal 
diaphragm placed inside of the tube. 

I found that this camera, when provided 
with a strap, could be carried slung on the 
shoulder with very little trouble. 

The slowness of the lens I found a draw- 
back, and after a year's experience I obtained 
a 12-15 Dallmeyer single-combination lens, 
which I had mounted in aluminum, thereby 
303 



American Biji-Game Hunting 

saving considerable weight. For this lens I 
constructed a camera on a different principle, 
as the length was too great to carry con- 
veniently in the form of a rigid apparatus. 
This in turn I have displaced with a Dall- 
meyer telephoto lens, mounted in aluminum, 
which I consider a marvelous instrument. 

I have not succeeded in obtaining any 
pictures with it as yet. The difficulties of 
using it are in some respects greater than 
with the other lenses, as it requires to be 
focused on the object. I have, however, 
designed a camera with the ground glass 
fastened rigidly in the top, and with a mov- 
able mirror which permits of the focus being 
obtained without removing the roll holder. 
This camera, when extended, is thirty inches 
long, and when packed for carrying is re- 
duced one half 

It is home-made; but, if constructed by 
experienced workmen, I believe would very 
satisfactorily fill the conditions necessary for 
a game-camera. The weight and size, to- 
gether with the necessity of focusing, require, 
however, some kind of a support. I believe 
that a pair of adjustable legs, with a universal 
304 



Photographing Wild Game 

joint which could be easily attached to the 
front of the camera, and a small handle by 
which the back could be supported by the 
hand and moved in any required direction, 
would answer every purpose. The image 
made by this lens is so large, and the field 
comparatively so small, that it requires the 
facility and precision of sighting which are 
obtained in the rifle. I use no finders, pre- 
ferring sights exclusively. 

With this incomplete sketch of a hunting 
photographer's weapons, let us consider the 
conditions under which he must capture his 
game ; and suppose him in pursuit of the 
king of all stags, the noble elk, — giving him 
the advantage even of being in hearing of 
the clear bugle-note which never fails to thrill 
the hunter who has once heard it and so 
knows its significance. To make a successful 
stalk with a rifle, he would simply get his 
game between himself and the wind, and 
approach with such caution, and under such 
cover, as circumstances permitted. When once 
within gunshot, ninety-nine times out of one 
hundred he might make a successful termi- 
nation to the stalk, without ever seeing more 
305 



American Big-Game Hunting 

of his game, before firing, than a patch of 
brown as large as his hat. The swaying 
of the white antler-tips in the midst of the 
thicket, the particular shade of the moving 
brown seen through the openings, would al- 
most always disclose the location of the vital 
point to the eye of the experienced, where 
the tyro w^ould distinguish nothing but the 
shadow of the thicket, moving twigs, and the 
browns and russets of bark and leaves. 

Under such circumstances as these, while 
the hunter triumphantly raises his rifle, the 
photographer crouches hopeless and discour- 
aged. Far different conditions are needed 
for a successful result of his undertaking. 
Not only must the wind be in his face, but 
the sun must be at his back, or upon either 
side. He must be in dense cover, and yet 
cover that permits the free range of his lens. 
His game must be in the open, without 
intervening objects, and must be in the broad 
glare of sunshine. The hunter never realizes 
how seldom an animal comes into full view 
until he has followed him around with a 
camera, and met with failure after failure, 
after having had numbers of chances which 
306 



Photographing Wild Game 

with a rifle would have put a speedy end to 
the chase. When the bull elk are whistling- 
they are an easy animal to stalk ; yet I should 
consider it an easier task by far to kill fifty 
full-grown bulls than to obtain a picture of 
one which would combine photographic per- 
fection with satisfactory composition. 

He who follows game with a camera, and 
who feels the satisfaction of matching his 
faculties against those of his game, will, how- 
ever, derive a keen sporting enjoyment from 
his failures ; and if he meets with success, 
great will be his pride and contentment. He 
will learn much about the habits of game 
which has escaped him before ; and, not need- 
ing to use his rifle, his opportunities for 
observation will be more frequent and satis- 
factory. For myself, the few pictures that 
comprise the results of my hunting with the 
camera have brought me a keener enjoyment 
and a greater sense of satisfaction than the 
finest heads in my collection, possibly on the 
ground that we are disposed to value most 
that which has cost us most. 

I succeeded in obtaining a satisfactory pho- 
tograph of some antelope one morning, when 
307 



American Big-Game Hunting 

we were on the homeward journey from one 
of my hunts. I had ridden on ahead of the 
pack-train, and was just coming to the edge 
of the timber when I saw the white spots 
of several antelope feeding in the sage-brush 
just beyond. Tumbling off my horse, I crept 
along until as near as I deemed safe, when 
I stood up behind the trunk of a tree and, 
pointing my camera through an opening, 
made a noise to attract the attention of the 
antelope. They lifted their heads, and with a 
quick snap I had captured them. They re- 
mained motionless, and turning my roll to get 
another film, I found I had used the last one. 
With careful and slow development, I obtained 
a fair negative. I had judged the distance to 
be seventy-five yards, and the focus showed 
that I was nearly correct. 

My most successful attempt at elk was 
made the year following, when, after two 
weeks of stormy, bad weather, during which 
I had seen abundance of game, but had had 
no chance to photograph, I started off, with a 
pack-animal and one man, to make a quiet 
camp ten miles away, where I knew there 
were plenty of elk. When we had gone as 
308 



Photographing Wild Game 

far as we dared, we pitched camp in a little 
park, and picketing our pack-animals, started 
to reconnoiter. I found an abundance of 
fresh tracks and wallows, and finally saw two 
young bull elk feeding in the open. The 
only point which would enable me to get 
near them with a fair light, required me to 
get very nearly in line with the wind ; but 
as there was nothing else to be done, I deter- 
mined to chance it. When I arrived at this 
point, I found that in feeding they had 
walked farther away, and I was obliged to 
crawl over the intervening space. We had 
nearly accomplished this when the circling 
of the wind gave them an inkling of our 
presence, and put them on the alert. We 
remained quiet, hoping that the wind would 
change back; but it did not, and they stole 
away into the thicket. 

About three o'clock we caught sight of a 
twelve-point bull coming out to drink. I 
could have snapped at him with a downward 
shot, as I was on the slope above him; but as 
the distance was great, I decided to try and 
get nearer. He walked in behind some wil- 
lows and, as I discovered afterward, lay 
309 



American Big-Game Hunting 

down in some water to take his mud-bath. 
While this was going on I began to shde 
down the hill, watching for his reappearance, 
when to my surprise and disgust I suddenly 
saw the head and horns of an elk that was 
lying down one hundred yards to my right 
and almost on a level with me. I did not 
want to disturb him, with a chance of start- 
ling all the other elk in the neighborhood 
before I had a chance to photograph them, 
and so decided to try and get a photograph 
of his head and horns. With my man 
George following at my heels, I finally crept 
up behind a low spruce-tree about seventy- 
five feet from his highness. I knew from 
experience, however, that his head and 
horns would be almost undistinguishable on 
the negative against the surrounding objects. 
Getting my camera ready, and leaning out 
from behind the bush, I told George to 
whistle so that the elk would get up. To my 
great surprise, he turned his head in our 
direction and, without rising, gave vent to a 
shrill blast of defiance or annoyance, as it 
seemed. After repeating these tactics sev- 
eral times, and finally shouting at him, only 
310 



Photographing Wild Game 

to meet with the same answer, I finally de- 
cided to stand up, in the hope that when he 
arose he would hesitate an instant and give 
me an opportunity. Upon performing my 
part of the program, he gave one look in 
my direction, sprang to his feet, and was off 
with such rapidity that, although I snapped 
the shutter, the resulting negative showed 
only an undistinguishable blur, due partly 
to his motion and partly to my haste in try- 
ing to make a quick exposure. 

We then followed in the direction of the 
large band, the bulls of which were making 
a great deal of noise. I finally located them 
about half a mile away in the heavy tim- 
ber. The shadows then were very long 
in the open space, and I knew there was no 
use of trying to photograph except in the 
open. As a forlorn hope I told George to 
hurry through the timber and get on the 
other side of the band, while I would stand in 
the open space, so that I might get a snap 
shot if they came through. In a short time I 
heard a commotion in the band, and a sharp 
stampede in different directions, accompanied 
by loud bugling by the head of the band, 
311 



American Bifi-Game Huntin"; 



to 



whose voice was so deep and sonorous that I 
readily recognized it as the one I had heard 
a few nights previous in the same locaHty. 
At that time my companion and I had chris- 
tened him the "elk with the fog-horn." In 
the midst of the commotion, George gave vent 
to several startling yells, which I supposed 
were made in his effort to turn the band. 

In a short time he returned, breathless and 
tired. As soon as he was able to speak, he 
recounted a tale of wonder which can readily 
be imagined by any of the readers of this 
chapter for whom George has acted in the 
multiple capacity of guide, cook, philosopher, 
and friend. He said that when the band got 
his wind, after several short stampedes, they 
dashed directly toward him, and as I had 
made him leave his rifle with me, he had no 
alternative except to climb a tree or jump out 
where he could be seen and swing his arms 
and yell. He said that this stopped the 
band, but the old bull with the fog-horn 
walked directly toward him until he thought 
he was going to charge, and looked for a 
convenient tree. After inspecting George, 
however, the bull walked off with his band, 
312 



Photographing Wild Game 

apparently not much alarmed. George and 
I returned to camp with nothing to show for 
a hard day's work, cooked our supper, and 
tumbled into our blankets. 

A starlight night gave promise of a perfect 
day on the morrow, and we arranged to get 
up before daylight, so as to catch the elk before 
they had lain down. The next day the same 
experience was repeated: not a photographic 
shot came in our way, and about three o'clock 
we went back to camp weary and disgusted. 
As we had to be in the main camp that night, 
ready to start back home the next day, we 
loaded our pack-mule and were soon on the 
back trail. About half-past four we suddenly 
heard an elk whisde, not far to the left. We 
were going on a game-trail, through heavy 
timber, and I remarked to George, " This is 
our last chance." We quickly tied our ani- 
mals and rushed in the direction of the call. 

A few hundred yards brought us out on a 
little projection, and, cautiously looking over, 
we saw that the ground sloped up beyond 
through burned timber, and that there was a 
band of elk scattered around feeding. Ad- 
justing my lens to the distance, which I 
313 



American Big-Game Hunting 

judged to be one hundred yards, I made one 
exposure after another as rapidly as possible. 
The bull was not in sight, but we could hear 
him crashing around through the thicker 
timber, and bellowing in anger at another elk 
in the distance. 

Suddenly, to my great delight, I saw his 
majesty come into the opening and walk rap- 
idly across between the trees. There was 
only one opening large enough to show his 
whole body, and into this I pointed my 
camera ; but as one of the cows had already 
got sight of us, I knew that my opportunities 
were short. As the bull entered the open- 
ing, I was as near an attack of buck-fever 
as ever before. The resulting picture shows 
a slight movement of the camera; but al- 
though the sun was very low, I succeeded 
with careful development in getting this and 
several other satisfactory negatives. I also 
had my small camera with me, and made sev- 
eral exposures ; but the elk can be distin- 
guished only by spots like the head of a pin, 
if at all. In the mean time one of the 
cows had fed up very close to us, and sud- 
denly stopped in the shadow and looked 
314 



Photographing Wild Game 

at us. I made an exposure on her, but the 
negative showed nothing. A second more, 
and with a spring she was off, and suddenly 
the whole band dashed away in a tumult of 
crashing sticks and timber. Hurrying on in 
the direction of the other elk, I started to 
cross a stream under some dense alders, 
when suddenly a yearling cow started away 
and, running around, stopped directly in front 
of the opening, in an attitude of listening and 
looking back, I quickly reduced my lens to 
a shorter focus and made an exposure which 
gave a fair picture, although the position was 
an unusual one. This ended my opportuni- 
ties for the day and trip. 

These negatives show a remarkable blend- 
ing in the color of the elk and their surround- 
ings, and they would be quite difficult to 
distinguish were it not that some were in 
sunlight, with a shadowy background. One 
negative shows nine cows, nearly all feeding. 

In photographing elk, I very soon learned 
that they -do not like to come out into the 
openings during the middle of the day; con- 
sequently, when one gets opportunities, the 
light is so non-actinic that the results are apt 
315 



American Big-Game Hunting 

to be very much undertimed. Ordinarily, a 
rapid shot is not needed for photographing 
game, as when there is any opportunity at 
all, they are either moving slowly or standing 
still. I should say just enough speed is re- 
quired to neutralize any unavoidable motion 
of the camera which might take place during 
the exposure. 

While trying to photograph the does and 
fawns which were continually jumping up and 
running away as we rode along from day to 
day, I observed a very curious habit which 
had never attracted my attention before : al- 
though they would often stop in the open, yet 
I shortly found that, photographically, they 
were not where they would make a negative. 
After several days, it dawned upon me that 
they always stopped in the shadow. Giving 
special attention to this point, I very soon 
found, on watching the deer which started 
up, that when they stopped for that moment 
of curiosity, as so often happens, it was 
almost invariably in the long shadows 
thrown by some trees across the park, or else 
in some shady part of the wood, and seldom 
by any chance where the sunlight shone 
316 



Photographing Wild Game 

directly upon them. This, while a matter of 
indifference to the hunter, is fatal to photo- 
graphic success in this brilliant rarefied air, 
as it is almost impossible to get the details 
of any objects in the shadow without very 
much over-developing the high lights. 

During the past season I found the elk 
very much wilder. They seemed to haunt 
the heavy timber, and to go to their wallows 
early in the morning or late in the evening, 
being scarcely ever seen in the open. I 
believe I should have succeeded much bet- 
ter had I waited till a month later, when 
the heavy snows would have driven them 
out of the higher country, as at that time 
they move in the daytime, and feed more 
in the open where the sun has bared the 
ground. 

The game-photographer should always de- 
velop his own negatives, since the whole 
development is devoted to bringing out the 
details of the animals, regardless of the sur- 
rounding picture ; and as these are so small, 
and blend so remarkably with the surround- 
ing objects, the ordinary photographer is 
almost sure to overlook them. 
317 



American Big-Game Hunting 

In conclusion, let him who would get neg- 
atives rather than heads, possess his soul 
in patience, and carry all his energy and per- 
severance with him. If he is successful, his 
reward is ample from a sportsman's stand- 
point ; if not, he will find a satisfaction in the 
chase not to be obtained by killing only. 

W. B. Devereux. 



318 



Literature of American Big-Game Hunting 

Throughout the pioneer stages of American his- 
tory, big-game hunting was not merely a pleasure, 
but a business, and often a very important and in 
fact vital business. At different times many of the 
men who rose to great distinction in our after his- 
tory took part in it as such : men like Andrew 
Jackson and Sam Houston, for instance. Moreover, 
aside from these pioneers who afterward won dis- 
tinction purely as statesmen or soldiers, there were 
other members of the class of professional hunters — 
men who never became eminent in the complex 
life of the old civilized regions, who always re- 
mained hunters, and gloried in the title — who, 
nevertheless, through and because of their life 
in the wilderness, rose to national fame and left 
their mark on our history. The three most famous 
instances of this class are Daniel Boone, David 
Crockett, and Kit Carson : men who were renowned 
in every quarter of the Union for their skill as game- 
hunters, Indian-fighters, and wilderness explorers, 
and whose deeds are still stock themes in the float- 
319 



American Big-Game Hunting 

ing legendary lore of the border. They stand for 
all time as types of the pioneer settlers who won 
our land: the bridge-builders, the road-makers, the 
forest-fellers, the explorers, the land-tillers, the 
mighty men of their hands, who laid the founda- 
tions of this great commonwealth. 

Moreover, the class of men who follow hunting 
not as a business, but as the most exhilarating and 
health-giving of all pastimes, has always existed in 
this country from the very foundation of the repub- 
lic. Washington was himself fond of the rifle and 
shot-gun, and a skilled backwoodsman ; and he was 
also, when at his Mount Vernon home, devoted to 
the chase of the gray fox with horse, horn, and 
hound. From that time to this the sport-loving 
planters of the South have rehshed hunting deer, 
bear, fox, and wildcat with their packs of old- 
fashioned hounds ; while many of the bolder spirits 
in the new West have always been fond of getting 
time for a hunt on the great plains or in the 
Rockies. In the Northeastern States there was 
formerly much less heed paid to, or love felt for, 
the wilder kind of sports; but the feeling in their 
favor has grown steadily, and indeed has never 
been extinct. Even in this part of the country, 
many men of note have been, like Webster, devo- 
tees of the fishing-rod, the shot-gun, or the rifle; 
and of late years there has been a constantly in- 
creasing number of those who have gone back to 
320 



Literature of American Big-Game Hunting 

the old traditions of the American stock on this 
continent, and have taken dehght in the wild sports 
of the wilderness. 

Yet there have been fewer books written by 
Americans about life in the American wilderness 
and the chase of American big game than one 
would suppose, — or at least fewer books which are 
worth reading and preserving ; for there does not 
exist a more dismal species of literature than the 
ordinary cheap sporting volume. This paucity of 
good books is, however, not unnatural. In a new 
country, where material needs are very pressing, 
the men who do the things are apt to be more 
numerous than those who can write well about 
them when done. This is as it should be. It is a 
good thing to write books, but it is a better thing 
still to do the deeds which are worth being written 
about. We ought to have both classes, and highest 
of all comes he who belongs to both; but if we had 
to choose between them, we would of course choose 
the doer rather than the writer. 

Nevertheless the writer's position is very im- 
portant ; and there is no delusion more hopeless 
than the belief of many excellent people to the 
effect that the man who has done most is necessa- 
rily he who can write best. The best books are 
those written by the rare men who, having actually 
done the things, are also capable of writing well 
about them when done. It is as true of hunting- 

21 321 



American Big-Game Hunting 

books as of those relating to graver matters, that in 
very many cases he whose experiences are best 
worth recording is himself wholly unable to record 
them. No amount of experience and observation 
can supply the lack of the literary gift. Many of 
the old hunters tried their hands at making books^ 
but hardly a volume they produced is worth pre- 
serving, save possibly as material which some bet- 
ter writer may handle at a future time. Boone 
wrote, or rather allowed a small pedant to write for 
him, a little pamphlet on his early wanderings in 
Kentucky ; but its only value is derived from the 
fact that for certain of the events in early Kentucky 
history it is the sole contemporaneous authority. 
The biography published by or for Davy Crockett 
is somewhat better, but it is hard to say what parts 
of it are authentic and what not. Of course a com- 
paratively uneducated man may by some rare 
chance possess the true literary capacity; and the 
worst of all writers is the half-educated man, es- 
pecially he who takes the newspapers as models 
whereon to found his style; while the mere pedant 
who takes his language solely from books and the 
school-room is but slightly better. But, taken as 
a rule, it may be stated that the man who writes 
well about life in the wilderness must not only 
have had long and thorough acquaintance with 
that life, but must also have had some good 
literary training. 

322 



Literature of American Big-Game Hunting 

There have been a few excellent books written 
by Americans upon the wilderness life and the 
wilderness game of this continent. EUiott's "South 
Carolina Field Sports" is a very interesting and 
entirely trustworthy record of the sporting side of 
existence on the old Southern plantations, and not 
only commemorates how the planters hunted bear, 
deer, fox, and wildcat in the cane-brakes, but also 
gives a unique description of harpooning the devil- 
fish in the warm Southern waters. General Marcy 
wrote several volumes upon life on the plains be- 
fore the civil war, and in them devoted one or 
two chapters to different kinds of plains game. 
The best book upon the plains country, however, is 
Colonel Richard Irving Dodge's " Hunting Grounds 
of the Great West," which deals with the chase of 
most kinds of plains game proper. 

Judge Caton, in his " Antelope and Deer of 
America," gave a full account of not only the 
habits and appearance, but the methods of chase 
and life histories of the prongbuck, and of all the 
different kinds of deer found in the United States. 
Dr. Allen, in his superb memoir on the bisons of 
America, and Hornaday, in his book upon the 
extermination of that species, have rendered similar 
service for the vast herds of shaggy-maned wild 
cattle which have vanished with such singular and 
melancholy rapidity during the Hfetime of the 
present generation. Mr. Van Dyke's "Still-Hunter'* 
323 



American Big-Game Hunting 

is a noteworthy book which, for the first time, 
approaches the still-hunter and his favorite game, 
the deer, from what may be called the standpoint 
of the scientific sportsman. It is one of the few 
hunting-books which should really be studied by 
the beginner because of what he can learn there- 
from in reference to the hunter's craft. The Cen- 
tury Co.'s magnificent volume "Sport with Gun 
and Rod" contains accounts of the chase of most of 
the kinds of American big game, although there are 
two or three notable omissions, such as the elk, 
the grizzly bear, and the white goat. Lieutenant 
Schwatka, in his "Nimrod in the North," has chap- 
ters on hunting the polar bear, the musk-ox, and 
the arctic reindeer. 

All the above hunting-books should be in the 
library of every American lover of the chase. 
Aside from these volumes, which deal specifically 
with big-game hunting, there are others touching 
on kindred subjects connected with wild life and 
adventure in the wilderness which should also be 
mentioned. Of course all the records of the early 
explorers are of special and peculiar interest. Chief 
among the books of this sort are the volumes con- 
taining the records of the explorations of Lewis and 
Clarke ; the best edition being that prepared by the 
ornithologist Coues, who has himself had much 
experience of life in the wilder regions of the West. 
Catlin's books have a special merit of their own. 
324 



Literature of American Big-Game Hunting 

The faunal natural histories, from the days of 
Audubon and Bachman to those of Hart Merriam, 
must hkewise be included ; and, in addition, no 
lover of nature would willingly be without the 
works of those masters of American literature who 
have written concerning their wanderings in the 
wilderness, as Parkman did in his " Oregon Trail," 
and Irving in his " Tour on the Prairies " ; while the 
volumes of Burroughs and Thoreau haveof course 
a unique literary value for every man who cares for 
outdoor hfe in the woods and fields and among 
the mountains. 



325 



Our Forest Reservations 

Few of the large animals of North America could 
-exist save in a timbered country where shelter and 
hiding-places may be had. The wild creatures 
which live on the plains at once fall back before ad- 
vancing settlements, and eventually, like the buffalo 
and the antelope, disappear; while the forest- 
inhabiting moose, deer, and elk, though in dimin- 
ished numbers, still cHng to their old-time retreats. 
The preservation of forests and of game go hand in 
hand. He who works for either works for both. 

The preservation of our large game now has 
interest for a comparatively small class — the nat- 
uralist, the sportsman, and the lover of nature; 
while the preservation of forests, because of its 
direct bearing on the material prosperity of the 
country, is demanding more and more attention, 
and receiving a constantly growing appreciation. 
Intelligent action has been taken by National and 
State authorities in forest maintenance; public ter- 
ritories have been set aside as permanent posses- 
sions for the people. Since each new forest reser- 
326 



Our Forest Reservations 

vation means a new game refuge, a record of what 
has been done for pubHc forests is a record of 
what has been done for game protection; and the 
review is one which affords abundant cause for satis- 
faction to all who are interested in the perpetuation 
of the large game of the continent. 

A bill passed by Congress, March 3, 1891, con- 
tained a provision authorizing the President of the 
United States to set apart and reserve from time to 
time government lands wholly or in part covered 
with timber or undergrowth, as public reservations, 
and to declare by public proclamation the estab- 
lishment of such reservations and their limits. 

The passage of this law, while an essential step 
toward forest preservation, would have availed little 
unless acted on. Fortunately, General John W. 
Noble, who was Secretary of the Interior when 
the measure became a law, took a broad view of 
the importance of forest preservation. Early in his 
term of office he had recognized the great economic 
value of the Yellowstone Park as a source of water 
supply, and had given much attention to the protec- 
tion of this reservation. The Yosemite Park also 
owes a great deal to his fostering care, and it was 
through him that the Grant and Sequoia Parks were 
set aside. When the enabling act of 189 1 presented 
the opportunity, General Noble at once recom- 
mended the establishment of a number of forest res- 
ervations, and from time to time they have been set 
327 



American Biii-Game Huntin 



aside by presidential proclamation. Most of them 
include rough timbered mountain lands, unfit for 
cultivation or for settlement. They will serve by 
far their most useful purpose as timber reservations, 
natural reservoirs which will yield year after year a 
never-failing supply of water. Mr. Noble had the 
wisdom and the independence to lead public opinion 
rather than to follow it, and he set an example 
which it is hoped his successors will emulate. 

Nor was he content to stop here. Realizing the 
rapidity with which commercial greed was sweep- 
ing out of existence important marine species of the 
Northwest, he caused Afognak Island, in Alaska, to 
be set aside as a perpetual reservation for salmon 
and sea-lions, and planned the establishment on 
Amak Island of a reservation for walrus, sea-otter, 
and sea-lions, and of still another on the Farallones 
for sea-lions and sea-fowl. These two refuges for 
the great marine mammals of our western seas have 
not yet been established, but the good work set on 
foot by Mr. Noble should be continued to com- 
pletion with as little delay as possible. 

Much more remains to be done. We now have 
these forest reservations, refuges where the timber 
and its wild denizens should be safe from de- 
struction. What are we going to do with them? 
The mere formal declaration that they have been 
set aside will contribute but little toward this safety. 
It will prevent the settlement of the regions, but 
328 



Our Forest Reservations 

will not of itself preserve either the timber or the 
game on them. The various national parks are 
watched and patrolled by Federal troops, but even 
for them no provisions of law exist by which those 
who violate the regulations laid down for their care 
may be punished. The forest reservations are abso- 
lutely unprotected. Although set aside by presiden- 
tial proclamation, they are without government and 
without guards. Timber-thieves may still strip the 
mountain-sides of the growing trees, and poachers 
may still kill the game without fear of punishment. 

This should not be so. If it was worth while 
to establish these reservations, it is worth while 
to protect them. A general law providing for the 
adequate guarding of all such national possessions 
should be enacted by Congress, and wherever it 
may be necessary such Federal laws should be 
supplemented by laws of the States in which the 
reservations lie. The timber and the game ought 
to be made the absolute property of the govern- 
ment, and it should be constituted a punishable 
offense to appropriate such property within the 
limits of the reservation. The game and the timber 
on a reservation should be regarded as government 
property, just as are the mules and the cordwood 
at an army post. If it is a crime to take the latter, 
it should be a crime to plunder a forest reservation. 

The national parks and forest reservations which 
already are, or by proper protection may become, 
329 



American Big-Game Hunting 

great game preserves are those given in the list 
below. In these reservations is to be found to-day 
every species of large game known to the United 
States, and the proper protection of the reserva- 
tions means the perpetuating in full supply of all 
these indigenous mammals. If this care is provided 
no species of American large game need ever 
become absolutely extinct ; and intelligent effort for 
game protection may well be directed toward se- 
curing through national legislation the policing 
of forest preserves by timber and game wardens. 

NATIONAL PARKS. 

Yellowstone, in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. 
Yosemite, in California. 

Grant, in California, included in Sierra Forest Reserve. 
Sequoia, in California, included in Sierra Forest Re- 
serve. 

FOREST RESERVATIONS, 

Created under Section 24 of the Act of Congress of March 3, 
i8gi (26 Stat., 1095) — showing the locality of the reser- 
vations and the dates of the President's proclamations 
creating the same. Complete to March 20, 1893. 

ALASKA. 

Afognak Forest and Fish=Culture Reserve. Afog- 

nak Island and its adjacent bays and rocks and territorial 

waters, including among others the Sea Lion and Sea 

Otter Islands. Reserved under Sections 14 and 24, Act 

330 



Our Forest Reservations 

of March 3, 189 1. Proclamation issued December 24, 

1892. 

ARIZONA. 

Grand Canon Forest Reserve. In Coconino County. 
Estimated area, 2893 square miles; 1,851,520 acres. Pro- 
clamation issued February 20, 1893. 

CALIFORNIA. 

San Gabriel Timber=Land Reserve. In Los An- 
geles and San Bernardino counties. Estimated area, 
868 square miles; 555,520 acres. Proclamation issued 
December 20, 1892. 

Sierra Forest Reserve. In Mono, Mariposa, Fresno, 
Tulare, Inyo, and Kern counties. Estimated area, 6400 
square miles; 4,096,000 acres. Proclamation issued Feb- 
ruary 14, 1893. 

San Bernardino Forest Reserve. In San Ber- 
nardino County. Estimated area, 1152 square miles; 
737,280 acres. Proclamation issued February 25, 1893. 

Trabuco Caiion Reserve. In Orange County. Es- 
timated area, 78 square miles; 49,920 acres. Procla- 
mation issued February 25, 1893. 

COLORADO. 

Wliite River Plateau Timber=Land Reserve. In 

Routt, Rio Blanco, Garfield, and Eagle counties. Es- 
timated area, 1672 square miles; 1,198,080 acres. Pro- 
clamation issued October 16, 1891. 

Pike's Peak TiiTiber=Land Reserve. In El Paso 
County. Estimated area, 288 square miles; 184,320 
33^ 



American Big-Game Hunting 

acres. Proclamation issued February ii, 1892; supple- 
mental proclamation, March 18, 1892. 

Plum Creek Timber=Land Reserve. In Douglas 
County. Estimated area, 280 square miles; 179,200 
acres. Proclamation issued June 23, 1892. 

The South Platte Forest Reserve. In Park, Jef- 
ferson, Summit, and Chaffee counties. Estimated area, 
1068 square miles; 683,520 acres. Proclamation issued 
December 9, 1892. 

Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve. In Garfield, 
Mesa, Pitkin, Delta, and Gunnison counties. Estimated 
area, 1341 square miles; 858,240 acres. Proclamation 
issued December 24, 1892. 

NEW MEXICO. 

The Pecos River Forest Reserve. In Santa Fe, 
San Miguel, Rio Arriba, and Taos counties. Estimated 
area, 486 square miles; 311,040 acres. Proclamation 
issued January 11, 1892. 

OREGON. 

Bull Timber=Land Reserve. In Multnomah, Wasco, 
and Clackamas counties. Estimated area, 222 square 
miles; 142,080 acres. Proclamation issued June 17, 1892^ 

WASHINGTON. 

The Pacific Forest Reserve. In Pierce, Kittitas, 
Lewis, and Yakima counties. Estimated area, 1512 
square miles; 967,680 acres. Proclamation issued Feb- 
ruary 20, 1893. 

332 



Our Forest Reservations 

WYOMING. 

Yellowstone National Park Timber=Land Reserve. 

On the south and east of the Yellowstone National Park. 
Estimated area, 1936 square miles; 1,239,040 acres. 
Proclamation issued March 30, 1891; supplemental pro- 
clamation, September 10, 1891. 

Note. The areas given are the estimated aggregate areas lying 
within the exterior boundaries of the reservations. The lands 
actually reserved are only the vacant, unappropriated public lands 
within said boundaries. 



333 



The Exhibit at the World's Fair 

At its last annual meeting the Club determined 
to have an exhibit at Chicago. It was felt that it 
would be a pity if at the World's Fair there was no 
representation of so typical and peculiar a phase 
of American national development as life on the 
frontier. Accordingly it was determined to erect 
a regular frontier hunter's cabin, and to fit it out 
exactly as such cabins are now fitted out in the 
wilder portions of the great plains and among 
the Rockies, wherever the old-time hunters still 
exist, or wherever their immediate successors, the 
ranchmen and pioneer settlers, have taken their 
places. 

The managers of the World's Fair very kindly 
gave the Club for its exhibit the wooded island in 
the middle lagoon. Here the club erected a long, 
low cabin of unhewn logs ; in other words, a log 
house of the kind in which the first hunters and 
frontier settlers dwelt on the frontier, whether this 
frontier was in the backwoods of the East in the 
days when Daniel Boone wandered and hunted in 
334 



The Exhibit at the World's Fair 

Kentucky, or later when Davy Crockett ranked not 
only as the best rifle-shot in all Tennessee, but also 
as a Whig congressman of note ; or whether, as 
in the times of Kit Carson, the frontier had been 
pushed westward to the great plains, while new 
settlements were springing up on the Pacific coast 
and among the Rockies. The inside fittings of the 
cabin were just such as those with which we are all 
familiar in the ranch-houses and cabins of the wilder- 
ness and of the cattle country. There was a rough 
table and settles, with bunks in one corner, and a 
big open stone fireplace. Pegs and deer antlers 
were driven into the wall to support shaps, buck- 
skin shirts, broad hats, stock-saddles, and the 
like. Rifles stood in the corners, or were supported 
by pegs above the fireplace. Nothing was to be 
seen save what would be found in such a cabin in 
the wilds; and, as a matter of fact, the various 
rifles, stock-saddles, and indeed the shaps and buck- 
skin shirts, too, had all seen active service. Elk- 
and bear-hides were scattered over the floor or 
tacked to the walls. The bleached skull and antlers 
of an elk were nailed over the door outside ; the 
head of a buflalo hung from the mid partition, 
fronting the entrance, inside ; and the horns of 
other game, such as mountain sheep and deer, were 
scattered about. Without the door stood a white- 
capped prairie-schooner, a veteran of long service 
in cow-camps and on hunting expeditions. 
335 



American Big-Game Hunting 

The exhibit was put in charge of Elvvood Hofer, 
of the Yellowstone National Park. On June 15 
it was formally opened with a club dinner, at which 
a number of the gentlemen connected with the 
World's Fair were present as guests. 

Big-game hunters visiting the Fair must have 
been especially struck with the colossal figures of 
moose, elk, bison, bear, and cougar which guard the 
various bridges; some are by Proctor, and some by 
Kemys. Well worthy of notice likewise were the 
groups of mounted big game in the Government 
Building, and those put up by Mr. L. L. Dyche in 
the Kansas State Building. 



336 



Constitution of the Boone and Crockett Club 

FOUNDED DECEMBER, 1 887. 



Article I. 

This Club shall be known as the Boone and 
Crockett Club. 

Article 11. 

The objects of the Club shall be — 

1. To promote manly sport with the rifle. 

2. To promote travel and exploration in the 
wild and unknown, or but partially known, por- 
tions of the country. 

3. To work for the preservation of the large 
game of this country, and, so far as possible, to 
further legislation for that purpose, and to assist in 
enforcing the existing laws. 

4. To promote inquiry into, and to record obser- 
vations on the habits and natural history of, the 
various wild animals. 

5. To bring about among the members the inter- 
change of opinions and ideas on hunting, travel, 
and exploration ; on the various kinds of hunting- 
rifles; on the haunts of game animals, etc. 

337 



American Big-Game Hunting 

Article III. 

No one shall be eligible for membership who 
shall not have killed with the rifle in fair chase, by 
still-hunting or otherwise, at least one individual of 
one of the various kinds of American large game. 

Article IV. 

Under the head of American large game are in- 
cluded the following animals: Bear, buffalo (bison), 
mountain sheep, caribou, cougar, musk-ox, white 
goat, elk (wapiti), wolf (not coyote), pronghorn 
antelope, moose, and deer. 

Article V. 

The term "fair chase" shall not be held to include 
killing bear, wolf, or cougar in traps, nor "fire-hunt- 
ing," nor "crusting" moose, elk, or deer in deep 
snow, nor killing game from a boat while it is 
swimming in the water. 

Article VI. 

This Club shall consist of not more than one 
hundred regular members, and of such associate 
and honorary members as may be elected. 

Article VII. 

The Committee on Admissions shall consist of the 
President and Secretary and the Chairman of the 
338 



Constitution, Boone and Crockett Club 

Executive Committee. In voting for regular mem- 
bers, six blackballs shall exclude. In voting for 
associate and honorary members, ten blackballs 
shall exclude. Candidates for regular membership 
who are at the same time associate members, shall 
be voted upon before any other. 

Article VIII. 

The Club shall hold one fixed meeting a year, to 
be held the second Wednesday in January, and to 
be called the annual meeting. 

Article IX. 

This Constitution shall not be changed, save by 
a four-fifths vote of the members present. 



339 



List of Members 



/Resident. 
Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, 

Washington, D. C. 

Secretary and Treasurer. 
Archibald Rogers, 

Hyde Park, N. Y. 

Executive Committee. 
W. A. Wadsworth, 

Geneseo, N. Y. 
George Bird Grinnell, 

New York. 

Winthrop Chanler, 

New York. 

Owen Wister, 

Philadelphia. 

Charles Deering, 

Chicago. 
Regular Members. 
Hon. Benj. H, Bristow, 

New York. 

Col. James H. Jones, 

New York. 

Col. W. T. Pickett, 

Meeteetse, Wy. 

Col. H. C. McDowell, 

Lexington, Ky. 



List of Members 
Col. Roger D. Williams, 

Lexington, Ky. 

Hon, Henry Cabot Lodge, 

Senate Chamber, Washington. 

Hon. Bellamy Storer, 

House of Representatives, Washington. 

Albert Bierstadt, 

New York. 

D. G. Elliott, 

New York. 

Arnold Hague, 

Washington. 

Clarence King, 

New York. 

Thomas Paton, 

New York. 

John J. Pierrepont, 

Brooklyn. 

W. Hallett Phillips, 

Washington. 

E. P. Rogers, 

Hyde Park, N, Y, 
J. Coleman Drayton, 

New York. 

Elliott Roosevelt, 

Abingdon, Va. 

J. West Roosevelt, 

New York. 
Philip Schuyler, 

New York. 

Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 

New York. 

Robert Munro Ferguson, 

New York. 

Royal Carroll, 

New York. 

William Milne Grinnell, 

New York. 

H. C. de Rham, 

New York. 
341 



American Big-Game Huntin 

William B. Bristow, 
H. N. Munn, 
Percy Pyne, Jr., 
Frank Thomson, 
J. A. Chanler, 
W. A. Chanler, 



R. D. Winthrop, 
Hon. Boies Penrose, 

C. B. Penrose, 
R. A. F. Penrose, Jr., 

D. M. Barringer, 
Frank Furness, 
J. Chester Morris, Jr., 
B. C. Tilghman, 
A. A. Brown, 
John Sterett Gittings, 
James S. Norton, 
W, J. Boardman, 
W. B. Devereux, 

Glenwood Springs, Col. 

Howard Melville Hanna, 

Cleveland, O. 
342 



New York. 

New York. 

New York. 
Philadelphia. 

New York. 

New York. 

New York. 

Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia. 

Chestnut Hill, Pa. 

Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia. 

Baltimore. 

Chicago. 

Cleveland, O. 



List of Members 



Dr. J. C. Merrill, 

U. S. A., War Dept., Washington. 

Charles E. Whitehead, 

New York. 

Lyman Nichols, 

Boston. 

Frank C. Crocker, 

Portland, Me. 

George H. Gould, 

Santa Barbara, Cal. 
Gen. A, W. Greely, 

Signal Office, Washington. 

Bronson Rumsey, 



Lawrence Rumsey, 
Dundass Lippincott, 
Charles F. Sprague, 
Samuel D. Warren, 
Casper W. Whitney, 
Douglass Robinson, Jr., 
Dean Sage, 

A. P. Gordon-Cumming 
Henry L. Stimson, 
Elihu Root, 
James Sibley Watson, 
H. A. Carey,* 
James T. Gardiner, 
343 



Buffalo, N. Y. 

Buffalo, N. Y. 

Philadelphia. 

Boston. 

Boston. 

New York, 

New York. 

Albany. 

Washington. 

New York. 

New York. 

Rochester, N. Y. 

Newport, R. I. 

All)any, N. Y. 



American Big-Game Hunting 
Charles P. Curtis, 

Boston. 

Gen. W. D. Whipple, 

Norristown, Pa. 

Associate Afctnbers. 
T. S. Van Dyke, 

San Diego, Cal. 

Col. Richard Irving Dodge, 

New Rochelle, N. Y. 
Hon. Wade Hampton, 

Columbia, S. C. 

Hon. Carl Schurz, 

New York. 

Gen. W. H. Jackson, 

Nashville, Tenn. 

Col. John Mason Brown,* 

Louisville, Ky. 

Major Campbell Brown, 

Spring Hill, Tenn. 

Hon. T. Beal,* 

Washington. 

Hon. G. G. Vest, 

Senate Chamber, Washington. 

Hon. Redfield Proctor, 

Senate Chamber, Washington. 

Dr. C. Hart Merriam, 

Washington. 

John Ellis Roosevelt, 

New York. 

W. Woodville Rockhill, 

Washington. 

Prof. John Bache MacMasters, 

Philadelphia. 

Edward North Buxton, 

London, England. 

Capt. George S. Anderson, 

Yellowstone National Park, Wy. 
344 



List of Members 

Capt. Frank Edwards, 

War Dept., Washington. 

Capt. John Pitcher, 

War Dept., Washington. 
Major Moses Harris, 

War Dept., Washington. 

H. D. Burnham, 

Chicago. 

W. A. Buchanan, 

Chicago. 

Hon. Thomas B. Reed, 

House of Representatives, Washington. 



Honorary Me??iber$. 
Gen. W. T. Sherman,* 
Gen. Phil Sheridan,* 
Judge John Dean Caton, 
Francis Parkman, 

■*r Deceased. 



New York. 

Washington. 

Ottawa, 111. 

Boston, 



345