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Trail and 

Camp Fire 

The Book of the 

Boone and Crockett Club 


Uniform in style and price, $2.50 
each. Sent postpaid. 

Forest and Stream Publishing Co. 
127 Franklin St., New York. 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

100k 0f 3J00n* attfc OIr0riutt fflluh 





Copyright 1897 by 
Forest and Stream Publishing Company 

Forest and Stream Press 
New York, N. Y., U.S.A. 



The Labrador Peninsula 15 

A. P. Low. 

Cherry 51 

Lewis S. Thompson. 

An African Shooting Trip 78 

Wm. Lord Smith. 

Sintamaskin . . . 124 

C. Grant La Farge. (Atlantic Monthly) 

Wolves and Wolf Nature 152 

George Bird Grinnell. 

On the Little Missouri 204 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

Bear Traits 223 

A Berry Picker George Bird Grinnell. A Silver 
Tip Family]. C. Merrill. The Bear's Dispo- 
sition Theodore Roosevelt. Modern Bear Bait- . 
ing Henry L. Stimson. 

The Adirondack Deer Law 264 

Wm. Gary Sanger. 

A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt . . . 279 

Clay Arthur Pierce. 





The Origin of the New York Zoolog- 
ical Society 313 

Madison Grant. 

Books on Big Game . 321 

List of Books 336 

Constitution of the Boone and Crockett 

Club 343 

Officers of the Boone and Crockett Club 347 
List of Members 348 

List of Illustrations 
Gen. B. H. Bristow .... Frontispiece 

Facing page 

In Camp after the Leopard Hunt ... 79 

Wounded Hartebeest 97 

The Big Elephant 105 

Klipspringer 109 

Oryx in 

Oryx 113 

Rhinoceros 115 

A Lion with Fatal Taste for Donkey 

Flesh 117 

Herds and Flocks at the Springs . . .121 


List of Illustrations 

Facing page 

The Gray Wolf 161 

The Coyote i?7 

Bird' s-Eye View of the New York Zo- 
ological Park 3 X 3 

Preliminary Plan of the New York Zo- 
ological Park 3 J 7 


The third volume of the Boone and Crockett 
Club book is now presented to its members. 
The two earlier ones "American Big Game 
Hunting," and "Hunting in Many Lands/' 
were published in 1893 and 1895, respectively, 
the purpose of the club being to issue one 
such volume every two years. 

Since the publication of the last volume a 
wider public interest has been aroused in sev- 
eral of the objects for which the club is work- 
ing, and not a little progress has been made 
in carrying them out. Some of these matters 
deserve especial mention. 

Late in the year 1895 the National Academy 
of Sciences, at the request of the Secretary of 
the Interior, appointed a committee of forestry 
experts, who should examine the national for- 
ests and report upon them. After this com- 
mittee had reported, thirteen additional forest 
reservations in the West, covering 21,000,000 
acres of land, were set aside by Presidential 



proclamation. This action was directly in the 
line of recommendations urged in the Boone 
and Crockett Club books, and two members of 
the club were appointed by the National 
Academy of Sciences as members of this com- 

More local, but still of the highest import- 
ance, is the successful setting on foot of the 
New York Zoological Society, the incorpora- 
tion of which was mentioned in the club's pre- 
vious volume. The history of the Society in 
some detail will be found in the following 
pages. The Boone and Crockett Club is 
largely represented on the board of manage- 
ment of the Zoological Society, and much of 
the Society's success is due to the unselfish 
energy of these members. 

The abolition in the Adirondacks, for a 
period of five years, of the unsportsmanlike 
practices of driving deer to the water by 
hounds and of jack-lighting is to be credited 
largely to the efforts of the Boone and Crock- 
ett Club. The chairman of its game law 
committee spent much time in Albany work- 
ing with the New York Legislature to bring 
about the passage of this bill, and a member 
of the club, who was also a member of the 


Legislature, introduced and carried through 
the measure which put an end to this slaugh- 
ter. A paper from the pen of this member 
will be found in the present volume. For 
many years attempts had been made to stop 
hounding, and once a law forbidding it was 
enacted, but the influence of the hotels and of 
a certain portion of the Adirondack guides 
was too strong to be permanently overcome 
until the Boone and Crockett Club took hold 
of the matter. 

In Captain Anderson's paper, in the club's 
last volume, entitled "Yellowstone Park Pro- 
tection," the history of the destruction of the 
Park herd of buffalo was fully given, but the 
number of these animals remaining in the 
Park could only be conjectured. Recent esti- 
mates based on animals and tracks seen last 
winter, seem to justify the conclusion that the 
buffalo left alive there number between twenty- 
five and fifty. Probably there are between 
thirty and forty. They are badly scattered, 
and, even under the most favorable circum- 
stances, their increase must be very slow. 

The two earlier volumes of the club's pub- 
lication, though devoted chiefly to accounts of 
hunting adventure, contain also considerable 



matter bearing on the natural history of North 
American game and forest preservation. In 
the present volume an effort is made to devote 
somewhat more space to the natural history 
side of our large animals, for the publications 
of the club should contain material of perma- 
nent value. Of course, any book, whether 
on hunting or science, should be interesting, 
but it should be something else, too. Hunt- 
ing stories should be more than merely pleas- 
ant reading. The purposes of the club are 
serious, and its published papers should be of 
a lasting character. We wo.uld call special 
attention to Mr. Low's admirable paper on the 
Peninsula of Labrador, which is an abstract of 
his talk given before the club at its last an- 
nual meeting. The composite chapter on the 
habits of bears contains some material that is 
absolutely new, and additional contributions 
of this nature may confidently be looked for 
hereafter from members of the club. The big 
game hunter is a man who travels about with 
his eyes open, and the more familiar he is with 
the habits of game the greater will be his suc- 
cess. The best hunters owe their success less 
to their skill with the rifle than to the knowl- 
edge which they have acquired of the game 



that they pursue, and the closer a man's habits 
of observation the more speedily will he be- 
come a good hunter. 

In this volume will be found the draft of the 
new constitution, authorized at the club's an- 
nual meeting to be submitted for ratification 
at the coming one. The changes made in this 
are chiefly in the direction of raising the stand- 
ard of the qualifications for membership, and 
in more sharply defining the position taken 
by the club in matters of sport. Such changes 
cannot fail to appeal to most members, who 
will recognize that the Boone and Crockett 
Club cannot take too high ground in relation 
to all matters pertaining to its objects. 


NEW YORK, October i, 1897. 

General Benjamin H. Bristow 

From the Club Minutes of January 16, 1897 

The chairman gave expression to the club's sense of loss 
in the death of the president, and it was voted that an entry 
be made in the minutes of the meeting, as follows : 

General Bristow was a man who was distinguished 
in many walks of life. He was an accomplished law- 
yer, a brave soldier, a statesman pre-eminent for ability 
and integrity; he represented true American citizen- 
ship in its highest and best sense. 

As a member and officer of the Boone and Crockett 
Club, General Bristow was devoted to the interests of 
the organization, and to the wider public interests with 
which it is concerned. By sentiment, influence and ex- 
ample he stood for what is highest and most worthy in 
sportsmanship. His membership in the club, his warm 
interest in its work, and his devotion as a presiding offi- 
cer will be cherished in its annals as an abiding honor. 

General Bristow was a singularly pleasant compan- 
ion, and a most staunch and loyal friend. While it is 
fitting that the club should make note in its minutes of 
the loss of a member and officer whose death is de- 
plored, no such formal record can express in any de- 
gree the regret and the keen sense of personal loss felt 
by all its members who knew him. 

The Labrador Peninsula 

In many minds the name Labrador is associ- 
ated with the picture of a barren, rock-bound 
coast, continuously hidden by a thick veil of 
fog and mist, and lashed by the waves of the 
ice-laden North Atlantic; a land without re- 
deeming features, barren, cold and uninhabited, 
except by a few degraded Eskimo who struggle 
for existence in this semi-polar region. To 
some extent this view is justified by the aspect 
of the northeastern coast, where the sweep of 
the arctic current bears southward throughout 
the summer a continuous stream of icebergs, 
which lower the temperature of the coastal 
region to such an extent as to prevent the 
growth of trees on the islands or exposed por- 
tions of the coast. The unknown interior was 
supposed to be of a similar character, and only 
during the past few years has sufficient knowl- 
edge been gained to refute such ideas, and to 
show that, although by no means a country fit 
for agriculture throughout, it is much less bar- 
ren and desolate than was formerly supposed. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The distinction of being the earliest discov- 
ered and latest unknown portion of the Amer- 
ican continent may be claimed for the Labrador 
Peninsula. In 990 A. D. Biarne, the Norseman, 
sailed from Greenland and skirted the shores 
of Labrador on his voyage southward, probably 
to Nova Scotia. He was followed by other 
crews of these adventurers, whose latest voy- 
age to America was in 1347. After a lapse of 
one hundred and fifty years Labrador was re- 
discovered by John Cabot in 1497, on a voyage 
from Bristol in search of a passage westward 
to Cathay. About the same time the fisheries 
of Labrador and Newfoundland became known 
to the Basque fishermen, and in 1504 the town 
of Brest was founded on the north side of the 
Strait of Belle Isle. This town grew rapidly, 
so that in 1517 over fifty vessels called there; 
and at the height of its prosperity, about 1600, 
Brest contained 200 houses, and a population 
of about 1,000 persons. 

Mercator's map of 1569 shows the coasts of 
Labrador and Ungava, or Hudson Bay, and, 
as he derived his information from Portuguese 
sources, it is evident that the fishermen of that 
country had previously penetrated Hudson 
Strait. The search for a northwest passage 


The Labrador Peninsula 

to China brought to the coast of Labrador 
Martin Frobisher in 1577, John Davis in 1586, 
Weymouth in 1602, and finally, in 1610, Henry 
Hudson, who discovered the great bay called 
after him. 

In 1603 Champlain established Quebec, and 
shortly afterward the Jesuit missionaries began 
their labors among the Indians, traveling 
through the northern interior from camp to 
camp, and incidentally gaining a knowledge of 
the country. The hardy couriers des bois. 
or French trappers, also soon overran the 
northern wilds, where they acquired the habits 
of the natives, and usually took to themselves 
wives from among the Indian friends. Much 
of the knowledge gained from these sources 
was, incorporated in Delisle's map of 1703 
which shows the principal lakes and rivers, 
especially of the southern and eastern water- 
sheds of the peninsula, in marked contrast to 
the lack of detail found in English maps of 
the same period used in the delineation of the 
boundaries between the territories of England 
and France as laid down by the Treaty of 
Utrecht in 1713. 

The Hudson Bay Company was formed in 
1669, and within a few years had several posts 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

established at the mouths of rivers flowing into 
Hudson Bay, where for many years they con- 
fined their trade without attempting to explore 
inland; and it was not until after the forma- 
tion of their rival, the Northwest Company, 
in about 1760, that they were forced to establish 
posts inland. Long before that date the 
French had trading posts scattered throughout 
the northern interior from the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence westward to the foot of the Rocky 
Mountains. After the amalgamation of the 
Northwest Company with the Hudson Bay 
Company in 1821, the following trading posts 
were for a time maintained in the interior of 
the peninsula : Waswanipi, Mistassini, Temis- 
camie, Metiskin, Nichicun, Kaniapiskau, Fort 
Nascaupee, Michikamau and Winokapau. Of 
these at present only Waswanipi, Mistassini 
and Nichicun remain. The officers and serv- 
ants of the company employed at these posts 
must have had a good knowledge of the inte- 
rior of the peninsula, but, until quite lately, it 
was the policy of the company to give no in- 
formation to outsiders, and, in consequence, 
all such knowledge has been lost. The only 
officer of the company who left a written 

account of his journeys through Labrador was 


The Labrador Peninsula 

John McLean,* who resided at Fort Chimo on 
Ungava Bay, and made several trips through 
the interior from there to Hamilton Inlet be- 
tween 1838 and 1840, on the way discovering 
the grand falls of the Hamilton River. 

The first exploration undertaken by the 
Canadian government was that of H. Y. II. 
Hind in 1862. He ascended the Moisie River 
some 200 miles ; and from his observations and 
information obtained from Indians and others 
wrote two large volumes, which until quite 
recently were the standard authority on mat- 
ters relating to the Labrador Peninsula. In 
1870 and 1871 parties were sent out by the 
Geological Survey to explore the country 
between Lake St. John and Lake Mistassini, 
and in 1884, owing to the absurd rumors as to 
the immense size of Lake Mistassini, an expe- 
dition was organized to complete the survey of 
the lake. I was attached as geologist to the 
party, and in the spring of 1885 was promoted 
to the charge of the expedition. We com- 
pleted the survey of the lake, finding it, as 
was expected, about 100 miles long, much to 
the disgust of the enthusiasts who, on the 
strength of Indian stories, had claimed that it 

i *Twenty-five Years in the Hudson Bay Territory. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

was equal to, if it did not exceed, the size of 
Lake Superior. On the completion of the 
survey of Lake Mistassini I descended its out- 
let, the Rupert River, to James Bay, and re- 
turned home by ascending the Moose River 
to the Canadian Pacific Railway north of Lake 

In 1887 and 1888 I was employed on ex- 
ploratory work among the islands of James 
Bay and on the rivers flowing into the east 
side of Hudson Bay. In 1887 R. F. Holmes 
attempted to reach the Grand Falls of the 
Hamilton River by ascending the river from 
its mouth, but, owing to lack of proper equip- 
ment and a poor crew, was obliged to return 
without accomplishing his purpose. On his 
return to England he published an account of 
his trip in the Transactions of the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society. Arguing from the eleva- 
tion of the interior plateau as given by Hind, 
and from the height of the river below the 
falls, he arrived at the conclusion that the total 
fall must be about 2,000 feet, and inferred that 
it was all made in a single jump. 

In 1891, fired by Holmes' account, two 
separate expeditions started from the United 
States to discover the falls, and both reached 


The Labrador Peninsula 

them within a few days of each other. To 
Austin Gary and D. M. Cole,* of the Bowdoin 
College expedition, fell the honor of first 
arrival. Unfortunately they burnt their boat 
and outfit, and were obliged to tramp and raft 
down stream 250 miles to the mouth of the 
river. On their way down they passed unseen 
Henry G. Bryantt and C. A. Kenaston, who 
were on their way up. These latter made a 
careful determination of the falls, finding the 
drop to be slightly over 300 feet, and thus 
shattered the belief in another of the marvel- 
ous wonders of unknown Labrador. 

In 1892 I was sent to explore the East Main 
River, which flows westward, close to the fifty- 
second parallel, into Hudson Bay, to deter- 
mine its suitability for a natural boundary 
between the Province of Quebec and the 
northern territories of the Dominion. I as- 
cended the Ashouapmouchouan River from 
Lake St. John to the Height of Land, passed 
through Lake Mislaosiori and proceeded north- 
ward about 100 miles to the East Main River, 
and followed it downward some 300 miles to 

*BulL Am. Geog. Soc., Vol. XXIV. 

fA Journey to the Grand Falls of Labrador. Geog. Club, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

its mouth. The following year in continuation 
of the boundary work, I again reached the East 
Main by the same route, and then ascended it 
150 miles to its source; from there we crossed 
several branches of the Big River, which also 
flows into Hudson Bay, and so reached the 
upper part of the southern branch of the 
Koksoak River, and followed its course down- 
ward to Ungava Bay. From there we took 
passage in the Hudson Bay Company's 
steamer to Hamilton Inlet, where we passed 
the early part of the winter at Northwest 
River, a small post near its head. 

In March, 1894, we started inland, hauling 
on sleds, up the Hamilton River, outfit and 
provisions sufficient for the next summer's 
work. The quantity was so great that it re- 
quired four trips to move it, and in conse- 
quence our progress was very slow about 
twenty-five miles a week. After considerable 
hardship and trouble we succeeded in reaching 
the neighborhood of the Grand Falls on the 
1 9th of May, when the advent of spring soon 
brought open water, and with it easier canoe 
travel. During the summer we explored two 
branches of the Hamilton River and Lake 
Michikamau, which lies to the north at the 


The Labrador Peninsula 

head of the Northwest River, and which is 
second in size only to Lake Mistassini. In 
August we proceeded southward by way of the 
Romaine and St. John rivers, and reached the 
mouth of the latter at the end of the month, 
after an absence of sixteen months from civili- 

In 1895 I spent two months in exploring 
the country about the central area on the 
headwaters of the Manicougan River that 
flows into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Big 
River of Hudson Bay and the Koksoak of 
L^ngava Bay. Last summer I made a trip 
across the northern part of the peninsula from 
Richmond Gulf on Hudson Bay to the mouth 
of the Koksoak River. 

The results of the past five years explora- 
tions in conjunction with the previous work 
done in Labrador are sufficient to give a gen- 
eral idea of the physical features and natural 
resources of the peninsula; and there only 
remains an area of about 100,000 square miles 
in the northwestern part totally unknown, but 
even this will be partly explored during the 
coming summer (1897) by the expedition to 
be sent out in May to Hudson Strait and thence 
to work southward. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The outline of the peninsula is roughly that 
of a right-angled triangle, the base being a 
line drawn from the foot of James Bay east- 
ward to where it reaches the north shore of 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the neighborhood 
of latitude 50 degrees, and from there follow- 
ing the coast to the Strait of Belle Isle. The 
perpendicular, which is about the same length 
as the base, or 1,000 miles, is represented by 
the coast fronting on Hudson Bay, which runs 
nearly north and south; the remaining side 
is formed by the coast line facing the Atlantic 
and Hudson Strait, and, owing to the great 
jog caused by Ungava Bay, has a length 
of nearly 2,000 miles. The total area of the 
peninsula is nearly 550,000 square miles, or 
equal to one-sixth of the area of Canada or 
the United States. The southern part of this 
vast territory belongs to the Province of Que- 
bec, the East Main and Hamilton rivers being 
the natural boundary between the Province 
and Ungava District on the north belonging 
to the Dominion. A strip of coast extending 
from the Strait of Belle Isle to Cape Chidley 
at the eastern entrance of Hudson Strait is 
under the jurisdiction of the government of 


The Labrador Peninsula 

Labrador may be considered as a plateau, 
which, except in a few places, rises abruptly 
from the coast to a general elevation of 1,500 
feet above sea level, while the central area has 
a general elevation of nearly 2,000 feet. This 
plateau has an undulating surface, broken by 
ranges of rocky hills that rise from 400 feet to 
800 feet above the general level, while minor 
ridges of glacial drift, from 50 feet to 200 feet 
high, also break the general contour. The 
wide, irregular valleys between these ridges 
are covered with innumerable lakes that vary 
in size from great bodies of water 100 miles 
long to mere ponds. The lakes are connected 
by networks of streams, so that with a knowl- 
edge of the country a journey in almost any 
direction may be made with canoes without 
portages exceeding two or three miles in length, 
and, as a rule, less than half a mile long. There 
are four principal watersheds; the western, 
with its rivers flowing into Hudson Bay, is 
the greatest; next in area is the northern, fol- 
lowed by the southern, and the last is the east- 
ern, where, with the exception of the large 
rivers emptying into Hamilton Inlet, no 
streams of importance occur, owing to a high 
coastal range which throws most of the drain- 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

age to the northward. Toward their heads 
the rivers flow nearly on a level with the sur- 
rounding country without definite valleys, but 
as they approach the coast they descend into 
deep valleys, which they follow to the sea. 
The Saguenay is an example of one of these 
valleys, cut down 1,500 feet below the level 
of the surrounding country, while the valley 
of the Hamilton extends 400 miles inland, and 
is everywhere several hundred feet below the 
general level. 

As might be expected with a range of 1,000 
miles in latitude, there are great differences 
in climate between the southern and northern 
portions of Labrador. Along the shore of 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence hardy crops are easily 
grown, and many of the river-valleys are 
well fitted for settlement. As the central area 
is approached the climate becomes more 
rigorous, and varies from temperate in sum- 
mer to extreme cold in winter, when the ther- 
mometer often registers 50 degrees below zero. 
Along the coast of Hudson Bay good root 
crops are raised at Fort George in lati- 
tude 54 degrees, but on the Atlantic coast the 
summer temperature is so lowered by the ice- 
laden arctic current that only at the heads of 


The Labrador Peninsula 

the long fiords can vegetables be grown in the 
open air. 

The southern watershed, south of latitude 
52 degrees, is generally well wooded, and on 
the central plateau black spruce, larch and 
white birch grow, but they are generally very 
small. After passing northward of latitude 
52 degrees the summits of the hills become 
bare, and continuing northward the barren 
areas increase, so that in latitude 55 degrees 
only small, stunted trees are found about the 
low margins of lakes and water-courses, while 
beyond latitude 58 degrees the conifers cease 
to grow, and small arctic willows and birches 
alone are met with. 

The interior is inhabited during the winter 
by a few families of Indians belonging to the 
Algonquin or Cree family. They are divided 
into three tribes, the Montagnais of the south, 
the Nasacaupees of the northern interior and 
the coastal tribe of Hudson Bay. During the 
summer nearly all descend to the Hudson Bay 
posts on the coasts to trade and to meet their 
relatives and friends; and they usually remain 
at the coast from one to three months. 

The Eskimo are found scattered along the 
coast from Hamilton Inlet to Hudson Strait 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

and down the east coast of Hudson Bay to 
Fort George. The west branch of the Kok- 
soak River, which closely parallels latitude 
58 degrees, forms the dividing line between 
the hunting grounds of the Eskimo and the 
Indians in the interior; south of this line the 
Eskimo confine themselves to the coast. Al- 
though no longer at war, there is no love lost 
between these races, and they rarely associate 
and never intermarry. 

Travel in the interior of Labrador is con- 
fined to canoes in summer and to walking in 
winter. Notwithstanding Gilbert Parker, who 
sends a man across Labrador from Ungava on 
a well-beaten trail, it is impossible to travel on 
foot except when the streams and lakes are 
frozen, on account of the long, irregular bays 
of lakes that stretch out in all directions, as 
well as the many deep, mossy swamps which 
occupy the lower grounds when lakes are 
absent. Pack animals cannot be used because 
of the lack of fodder, the southern country 
being deeply covered with moss, while the 
northern barrens are 'clad with a mantle of 
white lichens with little or no grass. The fre- 
quent portages put the use of heavy boats out 
of the question, and reduce the modes of sum- 


The Labrador Peninsula 

mer travels to canoes only. The Indians and 
Hudson Bay Company use bark canoes, but 
my experience is that a cedar canoe is much 
better, as it carries more in proportion to size, 
paddles and poles easier and faster, is much 
more easily mended, and does not constantly 
leak, and is but little heavier than a bark canoe. 
Of course, much depends on the model of the 
canoe, the ordinary straight, shallow, paddling 
canoes of civilization being simply an abomina- 
tion on long trips. 

In winter, dogs are used on the coast, But 
owing to the lack of convenient stores of food, 
they cannot be employed in the interior for any 
extended time, as a dog can only haul sufficient 
food to last him two weeks, and in the depth 
of winter, when the going is heavy, his effective 
load would be much less. The barren-ground 
caribou has not been used for hauling, and so 
winter transport in the interior must be done 
by men. In the winter, when the snow is 
deep, a long, narrow toboggan is used, and the 
load is about 200 pounds; in the cold, short 
days ten miles may be taken to be a good 
day's travel and I know of no harder work 
than hauling such a load over the gritty snow, 

in which the sleighs stick and must be hauled 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

by main strength up and down hill alike. In 
the spring, when the sun and rain has formed 
a crust on the snow, the toboggans are ex- 
changed for sleds, and the going is much 
easier, so that a man can without great diffi- 
culty haul a load of 300 pounds twenty-five 
miles in a day. A serious hindrance to ex- 
tended travel is caused by the absence of any 
assured supplies in the interior, especially dur- 
ing the summer, when the small Hudson Bay 
posts are absolutely without supplies of any 
kind, and when the few people remaining at 
them depend wholly on the fish caught in nets 
from day to day. Game and fish, although 
not scarce, cannot be depended on, and a full 
supply of food must be taken from the coast 
to escape the chance of starvation. Of course, 
if time is no object, stops might be made 
where fish or game are abundant, and a store 
of dried provisions laid in, but for constant 
travel no dependence can be placed on the 
game to supply the daily wants of a moder- 
ately large party. 

In the following notes on the game of Lab- 
rador I have attempted to give what informa- 
tion I can, of interest to the sportsman, in 
regard to the distribution and habits of the 


The Labrador Peninsula 

various species, leaving out much that is of 
value only to the naturalist, and therefore 
somewhat foreign to the purpose of this paper. 

As a region for big game the Labrador 
Peninsula may not compare favorably with 
the great game preserves of Africa or Asia, 
and many better hunting grounds may be 
found in the West and Northwest; but, al- 
though not a sportsman's paradise, there are 
many places where good bags may be made, 
especially in the barren and semi-barren lands 
of the northern interior. 

Following the natural order, the wolf (Can-is 
lupus, Linn.) is the first of the game animals 
met with in Labrador. For some unaccount- 
able reason wolves are rarely met with any- 
where in Labrador, even where the great herds 
of barren-ground caribou afford easy prey. In 
the more southern regions the scarcity of cari- 
bou may account for the few wolves found 
there, few skins being traded at the Hudson 
Bay posts, and I have never seen or heard a 
wolf during my journeys through the interior. 

The arctic wolf (Canis lupus, var. albus) is 
also only occasionally taken in the barren 
grounds, and does not appear to enter the 
timbered regions of the interior. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The fox ( Vulpes vulgaris, Fleming) is com- 
mon throughout the peninsula, from the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence to the shores of Hudson 
Strait. The red, cross and silver or black 
foxes are only color varieties of the same 
species, as on the Moose River I found a lit- 
ter containing two red, three cross and two 
black kittens, showing that the color no more 
constitutes varieties than does the difference 
of color in a litter of the kittens of the common 
cat. In the northern regions there appears to 
be a larger proportion of dark-colored and 
more valuable foxes than in the south. 

The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus, Linn.) oc- 
curs abundantly in the barren ground and 
southward to Nichicun. Along the seaboard 
they range further southward, descending to 
the southern part of James Bay, and on the 
Atlantic coast are plentiful about Hamilton 
Inlet, and more rarely southward to the Strait 
of Belle Isle, on their migrations during the 
winter from the north. 

The barren-ground bear (Ursus arctos, 
Rich.) is undoubtedly found in the barrens of 
Labrador, as skins are brought in at intervals 
to Fort Chimo when the Indians have a favora- 
ble chance of killing it. On other occasions 


The Labrador Peninsula 

they leave it alone, having a great respect and 
fear for its ferocity and size. While descend- 
ing the south branch of the Koksoak River in 
1894 we saw tracks along the banks which my 
Indians said were much larger than those of 
any black bear they had ever seen; unfortu- 
nately we did not get sight of the animal. 

The black bear (Ursus americanus, Pallas) 
is found everywhere in the wooded country, 
and a few are killed in the semi-barrens as far 
north as latitude 56 degrees. During August 
and September bears are commonly met with 
in the valleys of any of the southern rivers 
where there are extensive burnt areas covered 
with blueberries, on which the bears feed and 
grow fat. I have followed several of these 
streams, and I have never failed to see several 
bears. Assured sport may be obtained on a 
trip up any of the rivers emptying into the St. 
Lawrence, but probably the best place for bear 
hunting is in the valley of the Hamilton 
River, below the Grand Falls. The food con- 
ditions are perfect, and, as the upper part of 
the valley is not hunted by the Indians, the 
bears are very plentiful, and a good bag would 
undoubtedly be made there in the early 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The polar bear (Thalassarctos maritimus, 
Linn.) as a rule is confined to the coast, and 
goes inland only in the early spring to pro- 
duce its young. At such times it is met with 
from twenty-five to fifty miles inland. It is 
not common on the Atlantic coast, owing to 
the number of fishermen from Newfoundland 
who pass the summer there engaged in the 
cod fishery. These people kill all the bears 
that stray southward on the ice in summer, 
and prevent any breeding along the coast. 
To the northward of the cod fishery, in Hud- 
son Strait, polar bears are common, and great 
numbers are annually killed by the Eskimo. 
The Hudson Bay Company's ships on their 
passage through the Strait usually get several 
among the ice. The most accessible place for 
polar bears is the outer islands of James Bay, 
where the animals are seldom hunted. In this 
locality I killed four bears during the summer 
of 1887, besides seeing several others. Moose 
factory may be reached by a canoe trip of a 
week or ten days from the Canadian Pacific 
Railway, and arrangements for boats could be 
made with the Hudson Bay Company, so that 
the islands might be visited, and the round trip 
made in six or eight weeks, with almost a cer- 


The Labrador Peninsula 

tainty of bagging bears, as well as of good 
sport with ducks and geese, which breed in 
large numbers on the islands. 

The moose (Alee americanus, Jardine) is 
only found in the southwest portion of Labra- 
dor. It does not occur to the east of the 
Saguenay, and to the west of that river its 
northern limit hardly reaches to the southern 
boundary of the peninsula. Moose are found 
in the region between the St. Lawrence and 
Lake St. John, and westward about the tribu- 
taries of the St. Maurice and other streams 
flowing southward into the St. Lawrence and 
Ottawa rivers. They are most abundant about 
the headwaters of the Ottawa to the north- 
ward of Mattawa. The building of railways 
and the settlement of the country about Lake 
Temiscaming is driving the moose northward, 
so that for the past few years a number have 
been killed about the southern part of James 
Bay, where for many years previous none had 
been taken. 

Woodland caribou (Rangifer caribou, Linn.) 
are found in the southern wooded part of the 
peninsula, ranging northward into the semi- 
barren regions, where they overlap the south- 
ern range of the barren-ground caribou. About 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

twenty-five years ago caribou were very numer- 
ous on the southern and western watersheds, 
but owing to the enormous areas then swept 
by fire, the caribou were practically extermi- 
nated, either directly by the fire or indirectly 
from the ease with which they were hunted 
in the restricted areas of greenwoods by the 
Indians, whose southern hunting lands were 
destroyed, and who were obliged to hunt 
closely in order to exist. Within a few years 
the interior became almost wholly depleted of 
caribou, and then the Indians died in numbers 
from starvation owing to the failure to find 
deer. Within the past few years the caribou 
have been increasing throughout the interior, 
and they will probably soon again be quite 
numerous. At present probably the most sat- 
isfactory hunting grounds for woodland cari- 
bou are to be found in the southern country 
to the west of the Saguenay, including the 
Lake St. John, St. Maurice and Ottawa 
regions, or along the coast of the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence eastward to the Strait of Belle Isle, 
the caribou becoming most numerous toward 
the east. 

The barren-ground caribou (Rangifer groen- 
landicus, Linn. ) ranges in immense bands over 


The Labrador Peninsula 

the barren and semi-barren lands. On the 
Atlantic coast they are found as far south as 
the Mealy Mountains, a high barren range 
between Hamilton Inlet and Sandwich Bay; 
to the northward they come out on the coast 
between Hamilton Inlet and Nain during the 
winter, and are then killed in great numbers 
by the inhabitants. During the winter of 
1895-96 upwards of 5,000 animals were slaugh- 
tered by the natives about Davis Inlet, and 
more than half of them were left to decay in 
the woods without removing even the skins. 
From information obtained from the northern 
Indians and my own observations there ap- 
pear to be three principal bands of the barren- 
ground caribou in northern Labrador. The 
first and smallest passes the winter on the 
coast of Hudson Bay and the immediate inte- 
rior, passing northward in the summer to the 
barren lands beyond Clearwater and Seal 
lakes. The second band comes southward 
during the fall, and winters in the valleys of 
the Koksoak and its branches; the third band 
is that already referred to as being found on 
the Atlantic coast. During the summer this 
band retreats to the highlands to the north- 
ward of Nain, and in September migrates 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

southward. In doing so it divides into about 
equal parts, one portion following the coast, 
the other passing inland and wintering in the 
partly wooded country about the headwaters 
of the Hamilton and Ungava rivers. There 
appear to be great fluctuations in the size of 
the bands, and at times they almost disappear 
for a number of years, as was the case with 
the Ungava band in 1892, when, after a year 
of great slaughter, the deer failed to return, 
and in consequence the Indians, who depend 
upon them for food and clothing, were re- 
duced to such straits that upward of 175 per- 
sons died of starvation and exposure. I have 
found in the old journals of the Hudson Bay 
Company that similar calamities have hap- 
pened two or three times during the present 
century, caused directly by the indiscriminate 
slaughter by the Indians, who either nearly 
exterminated the band, or, as they believe, 
frightened away the deer by the stench of the 
decaying bodies lying about everywhere. The 
destruction of the Indians follows that of the 
deer, and then the latter have a chance to in- 
crease, as in the case with the Ungava herd 
at present, where, after two or three years of 
practical disappearance, the increase is becom- 


The Labrador Peninsula 

ing quite marked. The best and easiest place 
to make a hunt for trophies is on the hills in 
the rear of Nain. Until the end of October a 
steamer runs up the coast every two weeks, 
and calls at Nain, where Eskimo guides may 
be obtained. In September the horns are per- 
fect, and the bucks are beginning to be lively, 
but have not yet congregated into large bands , 
and consequently require some skill in hunt- 
ing, which is not the case when the migrations 
take place, as then the poor animals may be 
shot down easily, and the sport resembles that 
of a slaughter-yard. 

In closing the list of game animals of Lab- 
rador mention may be made of the fur-bearing 
animals, including the marten, weasel, ermine, 
mink, wolverine, otter, beaver, muskrat and the 
common and arctic hares, all of which afford 
large quantities of valuable furs, the fur of 
Labrador being superior to that of any other 
part of the American continent. 

Ducks and geese afford good shooting along 
the coasts of Labrador, especially on the west 
coast fronting on James Bay, where the low 
shores and swampy, grass-covered flats serve 
as excellent feeding grounds. Inland, the ab- 
sence of suitable food in the small lakes and 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ponds accounts for the scarcity of gramina- 
ceous ducks and geese. 

The Canada goose is met with in summer 
on all the northern rivers and larger lakes, and 
affords exciting sport during the moulting sea- 
son, when they cannot fly, and are chased in 
canoes and killed with the paddles. This, to 
be sure, cannot be called sport in its true 
sense, but it is great fun, and also provides a 
change of diet. Along the coasts the Canada 
goose is met with frequently, and it breeds in 
large numbers on the outer islands of James 

The snow goose or wavies, until within a f ew r 
years back, were killed by tens of thousands 
on Hudson Bay on their way to and from 
their breeding grounds in the far north, but 
the settlement of the northwest appears to 
have greatly reduced their numbers, so that 
the Hudson Bay posts on the bay can no 
longer depend upon salt goose as the principal 
article of food throughout the year. 

The brant goose is shot in large numbers 
along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence in spring and autumn, but they are 
never seen elsewhere in Labrador, being un- 
known to the northern Indians. They must 


The Labrador Peninsula 

pass direct from the St. Lawrence to their 
breeding grounds north of Hudson Strait. 

Swans breed on the Belcher Islands, a chain 
of large islands that lie about seventy-five 
miles off the east coast of Hudson Bay oppo- 
site to Great Whale River. These islands 
have not yet been visited by white men, but I 
have seen swan feathers from there with the 
Eskimo at Great Whale River. 

Black, pintail and teal ducks are the most 
common species found about the shores of 
Hudson Bay, and the first two breed there in 
great numbers. In the interior the black duck 
only is found, and is uncommon, owing to the 
absence of proper feeding grounds. The fish- 
eating ducks are common on the coasts and in 
the interior, where they are represented by 
two species of mergansers, scoters, golden- 
eye, whistler and surf ducks> along with the 
common and red-breasted loon, while on the 
coast eider ducks are very numerous. 

The grouse are represented by five species 
the ruffed, Canada, sharp-tailed, willow and 
rock ptarmigan. The ruffed grouse is abun- 
dant throughout the southern interior, north- 
ward to Lake Mistassini and the Hamilton 
River. The Canada grouse is common to the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

edge of the barren grounds, or to latitude 57 
degrees. On Hamilton Inlet they are very 
numerous in the late autumn, when they ap- 
pear to migrate inland, and are then so tame 
that they are snared with a loop on the end of 
a stick, and when shot the charge consists of 
four or five grains of BB shot. 

The range of the sharp-tailed grouse is con- 
fined to the shores and islands of James Bay, 
where it is known as the "pheasant/' In 1887 
I obtained a clutch of eggs of this bird at the 
mouth of the East Main River, and in 1892 
shot a number of young birds near that place, 
while last year I procured skins of adults along 
the east coast to beyond Fort George in lati- 
tude 54 degrees. The inhabitants informed 
me that it was quite common along the coast, 
where it feeds on the different small fruits 
found there in abundance. 

The willow ptarmigan breeds in astonishing 
numbers throughout the barren and semi-bar- 
ren lands, and is found abundantly about the 
willow-covered banks of the northern lakes and 
streams. Being a free flyer it affords 
much better sport than the other grouse, 
which too often cannot be induced to fly when 

once treed. The willow ptarmigan pass south- 


The Labrador Peninsula 

ward into the wooded country during the 
winter, and are often plentiful during the 
season along the north shore of the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence. The southern migration de- 
pends on the state of the food supply in the 
north, and the birds only come south in great 
numbers when the willows are covered with 
snow, or the buds encased with a coating of 
frozen rain. 

The rock ptarmigan is a smaller and more 
northern species, breeding in the most north- 
ern portion of the peninsula, and coming south 
only in the winter. Many of these birds breed 
on the north side of Hudson Strait and cross 
to the south shore in September, when large 
numbers alight on the ships then passing 
through the strait. 

The wading birds are not plentiful inland, 
but are common about James Bay and along 
the Atlantic coast. Formerly curlew were 
killed in great numbers, both on Hudson Bay 
and on the Atlantic coast, but of late years 
they have decreased rapidly, for some unac- 
countable reason. The conditions in the north 
have not changed, and the decrease is probably 
due to slaughter on their wintering grounds 
in the south. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The Labrador Peninsula may not contain 
the quantity and variety of big and feathered 
game found in the west and northwest por- 
tions of the continent, but no apologies are 
needed for its game fish, which are unrivalled 

The salmon fishing of the rivers flowing 
into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on its north 
side is famous the world over, while the land- 
locked salmon, lake and brook trout of the 
interior waters afford sport that cannot be 

The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar} is found 
in all the rivers from the Saguenay eastward 
to the Strait of Belle Isle, thence northward 
along the Atlantic coast to Hudson Strait, and 
for about 100 miles down the east coast of 
Hudson Bay. The fishing of the Gulf is too 
well known to require any comment here, and 
I will confine my remarks to the salmon fish- 
ing of the eastern and northern rivers. The 
Atlantic coast under the jurisdiction of the 
government of Newfoundland has never been 
officially protected, and the cod fishermen 
have been allowed to use trap nets indiscrim- 
inately, the result being the almost total ruin 
of the salmon fishery, which only a few years 


The Labrador Peninsula 

ago equalled or surpassed that of the Cana- 
dian coast. In Hudson Strait, beyond the 
ravages of the cod-trap, salmon are still 
abundant, and the Hudson Bay Company 
make profitable net fisheries in the lower part 
of the George, Whale and Koksoak rivers of 
Ungava Bay. The Eskimo say that the rivers 
of the strait, to the westward of the Koksoak 
and for about 100 miles down to the east 
coast of Hudson Bay, are plentifully stocked 
with salmon. Along the north shore of the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence the fish strike into the 
river early in June; they are taken in Hamil- 
ton Inlet in July, but they do not ascend the 
Koksoak and other rivers of Ungava Bay 
until the middle of August. There appears to 
be some connection between the time that the 
fish strike into the rivers and the temperature 
of the water along the coast, the northern 
waters remaining cold longer than those about 
the southern coasts. 

The landlocked variety of Salmo salar or 
ouinaniche (diminutive of winan, the Cree 
word for salmon) is found in Lake St. John 
and the tributaries of the Saguenay, where it 
has free access to the sea; but as the fish is 
found plentifully in both branches of the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Hamilton River above the Grand Falls, as 
well as in Lake Michikamau and the head- 
waters of all the rivers of the central plateau, 
except those ef the western watershed, with- 
out any possible communication with salt 
water, I have no doubt that the ouinaniche 
represents the original salmon, a fresh-water 
fish, and that the Atlantic p?lmon has for 
some reason acquired an anadromous habit, 
like the sea-trout variety of Salvelinus fontina- 
lis, the common brook trout. Wherever found 
the ouinaniche exhibits the game qualities 
which have made it so famous in the Lake St. 
John region. It never grows to the size of its 
sea-going brother, and rarely exceeds eight 
pounds in weight, being more often from two 
to four pounds. Good sport may be had with 
this fish on the Upper Hamilton River, at 
Lake Michikamau, on the Romaine and Mani- 
cougan rivers of the St. Lawrence, and on all 
the rivers of Ungava Bay. 

Hearne's salmon, or the Arctic salmon, is 
found in the lower parts of all the rivers from 
Cape Jones, at the entrance to James Bay, 
northward through Hudson Strait and south- 
ward along the Atlantic to south of Nachvak. 
This fish is not a salmon, but a small-scaled 


The Labrador Peninsula 

trout, quite distinct from the southern sea 
trout, which is only an anadromous variety of 
the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). It 
swarms in the mouths of all the northern 
rivers, which it enters early in the summer. It 
rises readily to a fly, and when hooked jumps 
well and is very game. The weight varies 
from two to fifteen pounds, the average being 
about seven pounds, and altogether it is a 
valuable addition to the eastern game fish. 
Last year I brought home skins of this fish, 
and they are at present in the hands of Pro- 
fessor Prince, of the Marine and Fisheries 
Department. , 

The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis} is 
found in all the streams and lakes of the inte- 
rior, and in many places ranges to six or seven 
pounds in weight. The heavy fish are usually 
found in the lakes and moderate-sized rivers; 
those of the smaller streams usually vary in 
weight from a half to two pounds, and more 
than make up in quantity for the lack in 
weight. In the very large rivers only small 
fish are caught, probably owing to the large 
fish congregating in deep pools away from the 
shores. When all places are so favorable it is 
hard to name any particular locality for brook 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

trout, but I think that the very best fishing is 
found on the Hamilton River above the 
Grand Falls, and from there to the heads of 
both branches of the river. In every rapid 
and eddy fish varying from four to seven 
pounds may be caught in unlimited numbers. 

The lake trout (Sah'elinus namaycush) 
abounds in all the lakes and in the larger 
rivers before they leave the level of the cen- 
tral area and descend into their deep valleys. 
The average weight of this fish is about eight 
pounds, but individuals up to thirty-five pounds 
are often taken by deep trolling, set lines or 
nets in the larger lakes. Good fishing with 
the fly is often found under patches of foam in 
eddies, but the fish as a rule are sluggish, and 
do not take freely, and when caught do not 
afford nearly as much sport as the landlocked 
salmon or brook trout. 

The common whitefish (Coregonus clupei- 
formis) is a little-known game fish. It is 
found abundantly in all the lakes of the inte- 
rior, its range being the same as the lake trout, 
and extends to the shores of Hudson Strait. 
It is also found in the rivers, where it fre- 
quents foam-covered eddies along with trout 
and ouinaniche. In fishing for these latter I 


The Labrador Peninsula 

have frequently hooked whitefish, especially 
with rubber-winged May flies or with midges 
on No. 12 hooks, as they very seldom take the 
larger trout flies. When hooked, the whitefish 
is very game, jumping like a landlocked sal- 
mon and fighting harder than a trout. As 
their mouths are very tender great care is 
necessary to successfully land them. 

The list of game fish of the peninsula closes 
with the pike (Esox lucius) and the pickerel 
(Stizostediwn vitreum). The former is found 
in all the rivers and most of the lakes north- 
ward to latitude 56 degrees; the latter only 
occurs in the western rivers of the southern 
watershed and in the southern rivers of the 
western watershed. The pike ranges from two 
to twenty pounds in weight, while the pickerel 
are generally taken weighing from four to ten 

In the foregoing short notes on the game of 
the Labrador Peninsula, I have endeavored to 
give a brief and as accurate a statement as 
possible of the numbers and range of the 
various species, in order that it may serve as 
a guide to any sportsman who may think of 
trying his luck in that region. I have rather 
underestimated the chances of obtaining good 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

sport after any particular game, and have 
pointed out the difficulties in connection with 
travel in the interior. Except for barren- 
ground caribou and bears, only moderate sport 
can be expected with the rifle; excellent shot- 
gun shooting will be found about the shores 
of James Bay, and good sport may be obtained 
in many places along the coast, but in the 
southern interior little use for a gun will be 
found during the summer. 

The fishing requires no apologies, as it is 
always good; and, to my mind, anyone mak- 
ing a trip inland must do so with the idea of 
getting plenty of fish, and only occasional 
good sport with the gun or rifle. 

A. P. Low. 


I had spent a good many hours one October 
day on the Snake River plains searching for 
antelope, and it was well along toward night- 
fall when "Rubber Boots" and I pulled up 
before the door at the ranch, and I dis- 
mounted, leaving Boots to the care of the 
packer. The day had been raw and cold, and 
I hurried into the house and to the great open 
fire. I was a little blinded by the light at 
first, and turned all my attention to the fire, 
only replying to the usual question of "What 
luck?" addressed me by my companion. I was 
unaware of the presence of a third person 
until I heard a strange voice say, evidently in 
pursuance of a conversation which had been 
interrupted by my entrance: "For those big- 
gest trout, bait with grasshoppers, shove your 
raft out from the shore, and when they take, 
just let 'em take, and sit down on your raft, 
and you are in for a run around that lake." 

Looking in the direction from whence the 
voice proceeded, I observed for the first time 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

a tall, lank, but powerfully built man, standing 
with his back toward me. I threw some more 
wood on the fire, and as it blazed up, and 
seemingly in acknowledgment of my subdued 
laughter, a grizzled face was turned toward 
me, and its owner added, "but, of course, you 
don't want a very big raft." 

This was my first acquaintance with Cherry, 
an acquaintance which has ripened and be- 
come closer with years, and on which I have 
never ceased to congratulate myself. What- 
ever I may know of woodcraft and hunting is 
due largely to his tuition. For many years 
we have roughed it and smoothed it together ; 
found game and found none; and day in and 
day out he was the best partner it has ever 
been my good fortune to meet. He possessed 
the invaluable faculty of always being around 
when he was wanted, and was ready for what- 
ever might turn up, from trout fishing to In- 
dian fighting; he had an inexhaustible fund of 
good humor; was always on the alert, game 
to the core, and willing to endure any hard- 
ship. Cherry was a born sportsman, and a 
living exposition of the noblest innate rules of 
the art; but he had his foibles and weak- 
nesses, and of these only I speak. I think his 



greatest failing was the careless manner in 
which he handled the truth, often with ludi- 
crous results, not the least humorous feature 
of which was his own entire oblivion of them. 
As a youngster, I imagine Cherry's educa- 
tion had been sadly neglected, and one of his 
queer conceits was to hide his evident defici- 
encies in this respect. It was decidedly a case 
where silence was golden, but he much pre- 
ferred fighting in the open to ambuscading in 
that fashion, and was never known to confess 
his ignorance of any subject under the sun. 
For instance, one year when we arrived for 
our annual hunt, we were met at the railroad 
station by Cherry and the other guides with 
a pack outfit, and journeyed from there to a 
small frontier town where our supplies were 
awaiting us. On reaching our destination, we 
went directly to the post-office, to inquire for 
any mail that might have arrived, and Cherry 
accompanied us. The postmaster gave us our 
mail, and with it a letter which he had had for 
some time, the address on which was not clear, 
and asked us if we could make it out. We 
were unable to do so, and were about to hand 
it back, when Cherry said perhaps he could tell 
something about it. As he could neither read 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

nor write a fact well known to all of us we 
were somewhat surprised at his request; but 
in nowise abashed at the witticisms which it 
provoked, Cherry examined the letter very mi- 
nutely, scrutinizing it carefully from every pos- 
sible point of view, and finally handed it back 
to the postmaster with the utmost gravity, re- 
marking that "the devil himself could not 
read it." 

When we reached Cherry's ranch we found 
that his partner had just returned from a trip 
to the nearest railroad station above, and had 
brought back a telegram and letter for Cherry. 
He as well as Cherry was unable to read, and 
Cherry brought the telegram to me, asking 
that I should read it, stating, by way of 
apology, that he "could read books and let- 
ters, but he hadn't got along quite as far as 
telegrams yet." The letter was typewritten, 
and this he also asked me to read, remarking 
that he could read "what had been writ in a 
good common school hand, but that letter had 
been writ most awful poor." 

One of Cherry's most elaborate essays at 
fiction was what would be known on the stage 
as "the story of his life." 

This narrative he imparted to me while we 



were snowbound in camp together up among 
the foothills. The bear signs in our section 
had become rather poor, and a snowstorm 
affording us a more favorable opportunity, we 
started out to take advantage of it. But the 
storm proved to be rather more than we had 
bargained for, and after two days of travel, 
during all of which time it continued to snow, 
we made as good a camp as possible, and in 
the loneliness and solitude that prevailed dur- 
ing that time Cherry took me into his con- 
fidence. Many of his stories derived too much 
of their charm from Cherry's picturesque man- 
ner of telling to be successfully recounted, and 
others were imparted only under the pledge 
of secrecy, but sufficient may be here set down 
to illustrate his varied career and the resources 
of his imagination. 

Cherry was about sixty; long, lank, and not 
exactly what might be called a handsome 
man; and as he sat by the camp fire and re- 
lated his veracious narrative, the result was 
impressive as well as ludicrous. He had been 
born in Texas ; was a bit hazy as to the loca- 
tion, but, as he put it, "by crossing the Rio 
Grande twice, and then .sfoing between a butte 
and a sand hill, he could strike the old home- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

stead in the center every time." But whether 
he followed his back track or not, he said, it 
would be easy for him to get there when he 
struck Texas; everybody down there knew 
the place. As a matter of fact, it was on his 
father's ranch that old Noah had built the 
Ark; it was famous on that account, and 
about everybody in the State had been there 
at one time or another to look at the place, 
and secure a few chips as souvenirs. He re- 
called the days of his youth, when evil times 
came not, and he could travel eighty or ninety 
miles a day easily, always on the run, up hill 
and down; how, when he was fourteen years 
old, he had left his father's house to go to 
work on a cattle ranch, and when, after six 
months, word came to him that his father's 
fortune had been lost in an unlucky specula- 
tion, he had returned, and emptied out of his 
pockets $80,000 in gold, which had tided his 
father over, and saved the family from degra- 
dation. He also told me that his name was 
not Cherry, but Ryan, and that he had two 
brothers, one of whom had become known to 
fame as Doc Middleton, the notorious road 
agent and confidence man, while the other 
had acquired a scarcely less enviable reputa- 



tion under the pseudonym of Dick Turpin. 
The reason why he had himself assumed an 
alias was one of the things imparted to me in 
confidence. He had left Texas many years 
ago and journeyed to Montana, where he had 
started a ranch, and introduced a breed of 
horses which he said had since become known 
all over the world under the name of the 
"Suffolk Punch." Of this stock he had some 
So,ooo head, besides the ordinary breed of 
horses, cattle, sheep, etc. 

As fortune smiled upon him, he had "done 
society" a little, as he expressed it, and, wish- 
ing to marry and settle down, had paid court 
to the fair daughter of a neighboring cattle 
king. While, from Cherry's account, the at- 
tractions of this young lady were not such as 
would entitle her to pre-eminence among her 
sisters in the capitals of the effete East, they 
seemed to have secured for her decided pre- 
cedence in her own circle of society, and suit- 
ors came from far and near. While Cherry 
was far too delicate to go into details, he gave 
me to understand that his attentions were not 
unfavorably regarded by this damsel, and that 
he might long ago have been settled down to 
a happy matrimonial existence with the object 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

of his affections, had it not been for his pros- 
pective father-in-law. Why the stern parent 
objected was not quite clear, but he did so, 
and finally his animosity attained to such a 
pitch that Cherry thought it safer to leave the 
country, as the old gentleman was a dead shot 
and afflicted with a villainous temper. Being 
offered the alternative of migrating or of 
making a target of himself if he remained, he 
chose the former, and was forced to depart on 
such short notice that he was compelled to 
leave behind him his 80,000 Suffolk Punches, 
his ranch, and everything else of value he pos- 
sessed. Up to the time of this conversation 
Cherry had not succeeded in retrieving his 
fortunes, but lived in the daily hope of doing 
so, and, indeed, according to his own account, 
Dame Fortune had so often and so unexpect- 
edly taken a hand in his affairs that I should 
not be surprised at anything that might hap- 
pen. I never read an account of some new 
western Monte Cristo that my thoughts do 
not instinctively turn to Cherry, as the possible 
possessor of this hastily acquired wealth. He 
could travel the whole road from poverty to 
wealth and back again in less time than any 
man I ever heard of. 



The storm having blown over in a couple of 
days, we broke camp and started for the ranch, 
and on the way ran across the tracks of an 
enormous grizzly, and, as luck would have it, 
caught up with him, and, having a fair shot, I 
killed him almost where he stood. As we 
were taking off his hide, Cherry told me 
about the last one he had killed, and as the 
story progressed, I began to feel that this one 
was only a cub in comparison. According to 
this narrative, while he and his companion 
had been trapping on the upper waters of the 
Gros Ventre two years before, their trap had 
been set and been sprung, but the bear had 
somehow managed to escape. The same thing 
happened a second, and then a third time. 
Exasperated at such unbecoming conduct on 
the part of the bear, Cherry and his com- 
panion resolved that they would have him at 
any cost, and they set a spring gun by the 
trap, and also a spear with a dead fall, to pierce 
the wily animal's back. The next morning 
they found that the trap had been sprung, the 
gun had gone off, and the spear lay buried in 
the ground, but the bear had evidently es- 
caped without a scratch. This was too much 
for Cherry's companion, who insisted upon 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

taking up the death-dealing apparatus and let- 
ting the bear go, but Cherry pleaded for one 
more trial, and the next morning was at the 
trap as the sun rose over the hills, to see what 
had been the result of this last experiment. 
He found everything just as it had been left 
the day before. Apparently the bear had 
either risen later than usual, or had secured 
his breakfast elsewhere at less personal risk to 
himself. So Cherry, after examining his rifle, 
made himself as comfortable as possible be- 
hind some bushes, and waited. Morning 
passed and noon came, and still no bear; but 
shortly after the sun passed the meridian, 
there was a crashing among the underbrush, 
and there came into sight what I judge, from 
Cherry's account, must have been not a grizzly 
bear, but one of those antediluvian monsters 
known as a cave bear, which were the terror 
of our prehistoric ancestors. Cherry was an 
old campaigner in bear hunting, and not easily 
dismayed, but the sight of this tremendous 
brute as he came leaping toward him, clearing 
the intervening logs at a single bound, and 
making the earth tremble at each succeeding 
jump, was so startling as to make him turn 
"goose-flesh" all over, so that, as he expressed 



it, "you could have struck a match" on any 
part of him. Realizing that discretion was the 
better part of valor, Cherry, like Brer Rabbit, 
"laid low/' and with bulging eyes watched the 
bear as he finally landed with one hind foot 
square in the number six trap. This would 
have doomed an ordinary bear, but not so this 
one, and with the most intense astonishment 
Cherry watched him with the greatest deliber- 
ation press down the springs with his front 
feet, and then open the trap with his disen- 
gaged hind foot, and step out, apparently little 
the worse for his experience. 

Up to this time Cherry had been so much 
interested in the bear's operations that he had 
forgotten all about his rifle, and it was not 
until bruin had dodged the spear and started 
to make off with his booty that he remem- 
bered it. He got in two shots on the bear 
then, but seemingly with no other effect than 
to put him into an extreme state of irritation, 
and in this disagreeable mood he started for 
Cherry on the run. The situation was cer- 
tainly precarious. Cherry tried another shot, 
but, as ill-luck would have it, the cartridge 
missed fire and the ejector refused to work. 
In the next second or two Cherry thought of 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

all those things in this world that he should 
have done, but had left undone, and of all 
those other things which he should not have 
done, but had done; but the instinct of 
self-preservation was still strong within him. 
and an open tree-trunk presenting itself at 
this opportune moment, he made a dive for 
it. It had been felled to the ground in some 
terrific battle of the elements years before, and 
Cherry got into it just in time to feel the 
bear's claws tickle the soles of his boots, as he 
jammed himself into its farther extremity. Do 
the best he could, this was as far as the bear 
could reach. He was baffled for a moment 
only, however, and then Cherry felt his im- 
promptu habitation suddenly elevated into the 
air and borne along at a rapid rate. Working 
himself down to the opening again, he found 
that the bear had picked the log up on his 
shoulders and was making for a large beaver 
pond about three hundred yards distant, from 
the steep bank of which he dropped it into the 
water, and then sat down to lick his wounds 
and await developments. Foreseeing what 
was coming, Cherry had taken such precau- 
tions as he could to keep his rifle dry, and as 
the log floated high enough out of water to 


enable him to breathe after the first ducking, 
he set to work to remove the obstructing car- 
tridge; but it was slow work, and he labored 
under great disadvantages. Meantime the 
bear grew impatient, and evidently decided to 
force the fighting, for he walked out on the 
dam and tore a large section out of it. The 
pond drained rapidly, and, to his horror, 
Cherry soon felt the impetus of the current 
drawing him with ever increasing rapidity into 
the clutches of the bear, who was at the open- 
ing, balancing himself on three legs prepara- 
tory to reaching for his victim with the fourth. 
When Cherry reached this point in his narra- 
tive I took a good look at him, to see if he 
was really present in the flesh, so completely 
did he seem to have closed every avenue of 
escape. But it seems a new cartridge did go 
home finally, and as he made the last cut with 
his skinning knife, he told me that that hide 
brought him $60 green. 

Apparently no adventure ever happened to 
Cherry that did not remind him of some paral- 
lel instance in which he had figured, usually of 
a much more dangerous and exciting charac- 
ter. One year, while we were hunting in an 
extremely rough and broken country, we came 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

across a good-sized bear, and finally, after a 
hot chase, brought him to bay on a narrow 
trail running around a huge cliff, where we 
killed him. His death struggles sent him 
over the cliff and to the rocks below. All 
of these circumstances brought vividly to 
Cherry's mind an adventure which happened 
to him some years before, while hunting bear 
in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The country 
was rough and almost impassable on horse- 
back, and finally he came to such a place that 
he was compelled to dismount and seek a way 
out on foot. He found a narrow trail with a 
high bluff above him and a precipice below, 
and had reconnoitered this for some distance 
when he saw,, rounding the turn ahead of him, 
a huge California grizzly. He had left his ride 
behind him, so hastened to make retreat in 
good order, but on turning the curve behind 
him, he beheld to his horror another grizzly 
coming in the opposite direction. For thou- 
sands of feet, so it seemed to Cherry, the cliff 
rose above him almost perpendicularly, and 
the descent into the canon below was just as 
steep. Most men in a similar predicament 
would have ceased to think of the affairs of 
this earth and concentrated their attention on 



the next world ; but not so the resourceful 
Cherry. Short as was the time for delibera- 
tion, his fertile instinct was equal to the occa- 
sion. With the rapidity of a lightning-change 
artist, he proceeded to divest himself of his 
clothing, which he tossed over the cliff, and 
then, throwing himself on all fours, he pro- 
ceeded to meet the advancing grizzly. In 
those days, as he explained, he was a most 
powerful man, and covered with a superabund- 
ance of hair. This latter acted as his disguise, 
and, putting on a bold front, he awaited the 
approaching grizzly, which growled and 
showed his teeth as he came up. Cherry did 
likewise. They drew closer, and putting their 
noses together, both bristled up and growled 
louder and fiercer. The bear sniffed at 
Cherry, who returned the compliment. The 
bear pawed the earth. So did Cherry ; and 
then, with bristles erect and a parting growl, 
each went his way, with an occasional snarl and 
a look backward, until the next turn hid them 
from view. As Cherry was whittling a stick and 
putting some sand on it, preparatory to sharp- 
ening his skinning knife for removing the hide 
of the bear, he remarked that that was about 
as close a call as he had ever had, but, as he 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

stated with an air of apology, he knew it was 
all right, " because it was November, and 
March is the only month that counts for me. 
I always notice that if I manage to get through 
March I always live the rest of the year." 

While not an admirer of Indian character in 
general, Cherry paid the " sincerest form of 
flattery " to one of them in the person of 
lago, and at one time this trait of his came 
near getting all of us into trouble. The last 
year we were together, the Indians, always 
more or less dangerous, were especially treach- 
erous. They would get together in small 
raiding parties, and swoop down on defense- 
less cattlemen, disappearing as quickly as they 
came, and leaving a trail of murder and deso- 
lation wherever they went, until finally the 
Government had to send several troops of in- 
fantry and cavalry to protect the lives and 
property of the settlers. One day our party 
surprised one of these murderous bands and 
made them all prisoners, and were marching 
them to the nearest army post, when, at a given 
signal, they made a break for liberty. Most of 
them escaped ; a few did not. Some time 
afterward the State authorities sent an agent 
to inquire into this part of the " massacre," as 



the "new journalism" styled it in flaming 
headlines. Knowing he had been in our part 
of the country, we instructed Cherry to be 
most discreet, and not to boast, as was his 
wont, over the Indians he had accounted for. 
As a matter of fact he had not accounted for 
any of them. 

It was not long after this that a stranger 
rode up to the ranch, and, following the hos- 
pitable custom of the country, Cherry hailed 
him and invited him in. Some twelve or fif- 
teen of us were sitting outside the door at the 
time, most of us young fellows, and the agent, 
as he turned out to be, nodded in our direc- 
tion, and asked Cherry if those were all his. 
Cherry took a look at the throng gathered in 
front of the house, and then turning on the 
agent, asked him, in a tone of undisguised con- 
tempt, " if he took him for an incubator ? " He 
soon got on the good side of Cherry, though, 
by telling him that he had heard what a good 
shot he was, but during the dinner that fol- 
lowed, adroitly remarked that he supposed that 
the Indians whom Cherry had had in charge 
had escaped. Up to this time Cherry, who 
had all the time been eager to give a full ac- 
count of the entire transaction, had managed 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

to restrain himself, but this slur on his ability 
as a marksman was too much, and, in spite of 
all our winks and nudges, he came out with an 
emphatic, " No, sir ; not much, they didn't ; 

not by a d d sight." Anything could be 

questioned but the accuracy of his faithful 
rifle. I do not know what the agent reported, 
but am certain he could have had the entire 
band of Indians satisfactorily accounted for if 
he had remained long enough in Cherry's 
society. We took care, however, that he did 

It was the year that young Robert Ray 
Hamilton was lost that Cherry's pride receiv 
ed its quickest fall. The horse that Hamilton 
had ridden was found on the bank of the 
river not far from our camp, with the saddle 
overturned, an antelope strapped on behind 
the cantel, and some river grass clinging to 
the stirrups. In the hope of finding his body, 
we built a log canoe for the purpose of search- 
ing the river. Men accustomed to handling a 
boat were requested to step out from the mot- 
ley crowd gathered on the bank, and among 
the first of the volunteers came Cherry, with 
the remark that, "he was born and bred in a 
boat." We shoved out from the shore, and 



began poling along the shallow stream. All 
went well until we struck a deep and stagnant 
pool, when Cherry suddenly dropped his pole, . 
and, peering over the side, gasped out : " Boys, 
we have got to turn back ; I can't see no bot- 
tom here." Nor could he be induced to get 
into an upright position again and go to work 
until the bottom was once more in plain sight. 

One of my most amusing experiences with 
Cherry happened that same year. Reports of 
remarkably good shooting had come to us 
from the other side of the range, and, hoping 
to participate in it, we decided to cross, al- 
though it involved a trip of some 300 miles in 
the dead of winter. We had almost succeeded 
in reaching the foothills, when a blizzard from 
the north struck us with such severity that for 
four days it drove us before it southward. 
The country back of us was in such condition, 
and the cold so intense, that we then decided 
to strike out for a town about ninety miles 
distant, to rest up and supply our larder before 
again venturing into the mountains. 

After two days of forced traveling we 
reached the town, and gave an eager welcome 
to the first place of entertainment we could 
find, leaving our horses outside. The latter 

6 9 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

did not relish this arrangement, and soon be- 
came restless, so that Cherry finally decided 
to take them to the outskirts of town, and 
make camp, where we were to follow him 
later. We were just beginning to luxuriate in 
the comfort and warmth of the hotel, when we 
were startled by a series of piercing yells and 
curses almost outside the door, and, recogniz- 
ing Cherry's voice, we rushed out, vaulted 
into our saddles, and drove our horses pell- 
mell around the corner. The sight that met 
our eyes was sufficiently exciting to cause all 
of us to hurry to the rescue. Our pack horses 
were bucking about in every direction ; some 
running away ; some tangled up in the wire 
fences, and in danger of serious injury ; and 
some on the ground, thrown by their loosened 
lash ropes. Cherry was afoot, the bridle of 
his horse in one hand and his six-shooter in 
the other. The cause of all this commotion 
was a trolley car, which had suddenly burst 
around the corner with the usual clanging of 
the bell and pyrotechnic emission of sparks. 
When we arrived on the scene, Cherry had 
the motorman covered with his revolver, and 
was bawling to him at the top of his voice to 

"take his wagon into another street." This 



order not being obeyed with sufficient alac- 
rity, he fired a couple of shots across his bows 
as a gentle warning, which confirmed the 
motorman and his fares in the impression that 
a hold-up was in progress, and the last we saw 
of them they were scuttling across lots to a 
place of safety. We hastily got our outfit 
together, and started at once in the direction 
of the old ranch, concluding that, after all, 
there was no place like home. Cherry lis- 
tened patiently to our remonstrances as we 
rode away, but was evidently not placated, 
and declared defiantly, as the town disap- 
peared behind the hills, that " No Christian 
soldiers, with their church-bells ringing, could 
travel up the same canon with his pack 
horses. Not if he saw 'em first." 

It must not for a moment be assumed from 
these stories that Cherry was at all deficient 
in courage, and nerve, and daring. Far from 
it. And while he was not what is known as 
a " bad man," and had no private graveyard, 
yet many a western bully has found to his 
cost that, underlying that childlike and amia- 
ble simplicity of character, there was a stratum 
as hard as flint, and which struck fire as 
readily when dealt a blow. Unless the tradi- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

tions of the frontier are at variance with the 
facts, there are several people registered in 
the next world on Cherry's introduction. Ac- 
cording to one of these stories, Cherry and a 
number of trappers and cattlemen were gath- 
ered at a ranch one winter evening exchang- 
ing yarns, as was their wont, and everything 
was peaceful and amicable enough until the 
advent of a tough citizen from the foothills, 
who came in just as Cherry was relating some 
of his experiences, to which the newcomer 
took most decided objections. Cherry stood 
his abuse and ridicule as long as possible, and, 
finally, when it became unbearable, resolved, 
rather than have trouble, to leave, and was in 
the act of mounting his horse when this bully, 
who was of enormous size and strength, dealt 
him a terrific blow on the head, which nearly 
rendered him insensible. He then followed 
up this cowardly advantage with several more 
of the same kind, after which he dragged 
Cherry back to the house and threw him on 
the floor, as an example of what others might 
expect who incurred his displeasure. He had 
made a very grave mistake, however, in giv- 
ing Cherry this brief breathing spell, for it 
enabled him to pull himself together and col- 



lect his faculties. One of his eyes had been 
rendered useless by a blow it had received, 
and the other was nearly blinded by the blood 
which flowed from a cut on his forehead ; but 
as soon as he was able to distinguish his an- 
tagonist he made for him with a rush. See- 
ing him coming, the bully drew his revolver, 
but before he could pull the trigger Cherry 
was upon him, and before the others could in- 
terfere, had they been so disposed, had killed 
him with his own weapon. 

I happened to be present at a little tragedy 
in which Cherry took part, which caused the 
death of a famous horsethief and his partner, 
and which well illustrated Cherry's coolness 
and nerve. He had known years before in 
Montana a man by the name of Murphy, who 
at that time was acting as foreman for a large 
cattle company, and afterward got mixed up 
in some one of the numerous border frays 
which were continually arising, and the other 
side getting the upper hand, he was forced to 
leave. While en route south he fell in with a 
man by the name of Spalding, who had some 
two hundred head of horses with him, which, 
he assured Murphy, were all "good" stock, 
and offered to give him an interest in them if 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

he would help to get them to market, and this 
proposition Murphy accepted. Shortly after 
this they fell in with Cherry, who was return- 
ing from a hunting trip, and Spalding made 
the same proposition to him, which was also 
accepted. The very next night a band of 
horse thieves, or sheriff's deputies they never 
knew which stampeded their outfit, and made 
off south. They succeeded in recovering the 
greater part of the stock ; but, fearing further 
depredations, and being near Cherry's ranch, 
decided to winter the stock there. 

During the winter a trapper from the north, 
who stopped over at the ranch for the night, 
told Cherry that the horses had been stolen, 
and that Spalding was the man who had done 
it. Cherry questioned Spalding on the sub- 
ject, and, much to his and Murphy's surprise, 
learned that the charge was true. Cherry was 
for washing his hands of the whole outfit, but 
Murphy decided to see it out, and, chiefly on 
his account, our old guide concluded not to 
interfere, but to allow 'the stock to winter on 
the ranch and let matters take their course. 
The winter was almost gone before anything 
further was heard of the stock ; but the latter 
part of March word came to Cherry that a 



strong Montana posse was headed for the 
ranch. Even then he and Murphy took no 
measures to disassociate themselves from their 
suspicious company, but decided to stick to- 
gether, and take chances. Our party was 
camped on the river, about two miles below 
the ranch, and one morning in April we heard 
the posse go by on the gravel brink below, 
and by the time our horses were caught and 
saddled, we heard the shooting in the dis- 
tance. We found out afterward that Spald- 
ing had gone to the cow barn about the time 
the posse arrived, and the leader met him at 
the door as he came out. He was at once 
covered with revolvers and ordered to sur- 
render, but, instead, he jumped back into the 
barn, and opened fire with both his guns. 
The odds against him, however, were too 
heavy, and he was shot down where he stood, 
but not until more than one poor fellow had 
been sent to his long account. Spalding was 
riddled with buckshot, and a fusilade of Win- 
chesters was kept up long after he was dead, 
so that we had to bury him in a blanket. 

Murphy, hearing the shooting, grasped his 
rifle and started for the barn, but just as he 
opened the door of the ranch, a bullet im- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

bedded itself in the wood near his head, and 
sent the splinters flying into his eyes. Dazed 
and blinded for the moment he put his hand 
to his eyes, and half stepped, half fell back 
into the doorway, and the man who had fired 
the shot, thinking he had killed him, raised 
himself from behind the mound where he was 
hidden. Quick as a flash, Murphy killed him 
with his gun at his left shoulder, and almost 
in the same instant shot through the heart an- 
other of the deputies, who incautiously showed 
himself in another direction. Then he stepped 
into the open, and called out that he would 
fight them one at a time, or surrender, but, 
even while he spoke, a bullet struck him in 
the back. He turned to face this new foe, 
but was struck again and again until he reeled 
and fell, but even then, though shot through 
in a dozen different places, he continued to 
use his rifle, and when they got to him the 
magazine was empty. The posse had sur- 
rounded the ranch when we rode up, and 
commanded the occupants to step forth. 
Cherry was the only one. As he came out of 
the door he was ordered to throw up his 
hands, while forty deputies covered him. He 
had his hands in his pockets ; started to obey 



the order ; drew them half way out ; hesi- 
tated ; shoved them back, and finally crossed 
his arms on his chest. The order was re- 
peated, but Cherry, looking about him, first at 
the posse confronting him with levelled rifles 
still smoking from their recent execution, and 
then from the body of Spalding to the body 
of his friend Murphy, both riddled with bul- 
lets, he deliberately put his hands back in his 
pockets, and, turning to the Sheriff, said; 
"These hands will go up for men, not for 

Cherry will be sixty his next birthday. 

Lewis S. Thompson. 

An African Shooting Trip 

In the fall of 1893, Dr. A. Donaldson 
Smith, now the well-known African explorer, 
and I found ourselves in London, with but 
three days in which to make ready for the 
African shooting trip we had planned for the 
following winter. Most of the time during 
these three days was spent in buying big rifles 
for ourselves, guns for arming our native fol- 
lowers, tents, provisions, water-filters, water- 
bottles, and large metal barrels for water 
transportation. These last proved very use- 
ful in crossing the waterless plains. By hard 
work and rigid economy of time the most 
necessary things were procured, and on Octo- 
ber 13 we were steaming down the Thames in 
the P. & O. boat Oceana, bound for Aden, in 
company with an Englishman, H. K., who was 
to make the expedition with us. The P. &. O. 
boats carry no explosives, and so, before 
reaching England, we had been obliged to 
order cartridges for the heavy rifles we in- 


An African Shooting Trip 

tended purchasing in London sent to our 
destination along with the other ammunition ; 
we therefore found ourselves in the curious 
position of being obliged to buy such rifles as 
would fit our cartridges, a condition of things 
which greatly amused the gun-makers. For- 
tunately we found the rifles we needed, and 
they did us good service. 

On the passage out, we added to our stock 
of provisions and medical supplies a*t Malta 
and Port Said. On arriving at Aden we found 
it the hot and forsaken place ij^i always pic- 
tured ; but, labor being ve jH we easily 
cultivated the habit of sittipPI Re pleasant 
stone veranda of the hoteir^KjB natives 
moved back and forth between us and the 
different shops. 

We fell in here with anEnglish officer, Cap- 
tain Swayne, who gave us many valuable 
hints in regard to what we should carry as 
food for ourselves and men, and the best 
method of packing it up for camel transporta- 
tion. This last is a very important matter, as 
the boxes or bags must be of a certain size 
and weight and properly distributed on the 
camel's back ; otherwise, you are sure to have 
a camel with a sore back in a short time, and 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

in this condition he wastes away and soon 
becomes useless. Our own provisions were 
packed in boxes, each holding sufficient to last 
two weeks. This method proved very effi- 
cient as a restraint on the extravagance of our 
native cooks, as they were told under no con- 
ditions would a new box be opened until the 
time limit of the last had expired. The pro- 
visions for our men, consisting mostly of rice, 
dates and ghee clarified butter made from 
camel's milk were put up in boxes, sacks and 
tins, respectively, and were easily made into 
suitable camel packs. There happened to be 
a boat in the harbor just arrived from the Per- 
sian Gulf with a large cargo of fine dates on 
board, from which we supplied ourselves 

Finally everything was stowed away on a 
small steamer, and, after a three days' trip, we 
arrived, in very rough weather, off a small vil- 
lage on the African coast. The sea was so 
high that at first it seemed impossible to land ; 
but during the course of the day all our 
goods were taken safely in, and we, ourselves, 
carried ashore on the shoulders of natives. It 
was an anxious time for us, as we sat on the 
beach watching our gun and cartridge boxes 


An African Shooting Trip 

while they were being brought through the 
surf, as the loss of any of these would have 
been irreparable. Notwithstanding the fact 
that the coast abounds in sharks, the natives 
give no thought to them. They are admir- 
able swimmers, and the water about the 
dhows swarmed with black heads, all eager to 
earn a little silver by carrying things ashore. 

On landing we were most kindly received 
by the English resident, the only permanent 
white man there ; and, after a few days of 
preparation, he sent us off into the jungle, 
with a caravan of forty-five camels, as many 
men, and six to eight ponies. We carried 
with us in our metal barrels some distilled 
water brought from Aden, as the water on the 
coast had a bad reputation ; well-earned, we 
thought, when we had pointed out to us, near 
the resident's dwelling, a small, white stone, 
upright in the ground, and were told the 
former resident rested beneath it. 

Shortly before we started inland an acci. 
dent happened to A. D. S.'s camera, which 
crippled his photographic work a good deal. 
While taking some photographs one evening, 
he noticed that the film-roll turned very hard, 
and finally something broke inside the camera. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

We hunted up a dark place in the cellar of 
the resident's house, and, opening the camera, 
found the film torn completely across, not 
having been turned evenly on the supply roll. 
We took the film off, and, when about to re- 
place it, were uncertain whether the glazed or 
dull side should face the diaphragm. All 
were in favor of the glazed side, but on open- 
ing both of H. K.'s cameras, we found the 
glazed side facing front in one and the dull 
side in the other. H. K. had loaded one of 
the cameras himself, but had forgotten which 
one it was. Then both men suggested that I 
open up my camera to settle the matter. 
This I positively refused to do, as I knew 
little about the inside of the machine, and 
wished to run no risks. The film was finally 
replaced, and all would have been well had 
the back of the camera been closed tightly. 
Unfortunately, a little crack let in sufficient 
light to damage many of the photographs. 

Before leaving the coast, we tried the shoot- 
ing and kicking qualities of our large rifles 
eight-bores and *577's experiments for which 
we had previously had no time. The eight- 
bores were very accurate, and, considering the 

10 drams of powder and 2-ounce ball, shook 


An African Shooting Trip 

us up comparatively little. The .577 rifles, 
with 6 drams of powder and 610 grains of 
lead, made themselves felt rather more, prob- 
ably because the bullet was rather heavy for 
the weight of the gun. The last-named rifles, 
however, proved very strong hitters. All 
told, we had about twenty guns, which made 
it possible for us to go into the best shooting 
districts, the wandering native tribes, which 
are very frequently met with, rarely giving 
trouble, provided you have a good number of 
firearms. To be sure, we were told of an 
Italian who got into a little difficulty with the 
Sultan of one of the interior tribes, and ar- 
rived on the coast covered only by his py- 
jamas, and minus all his outfit ; but we soon 
acquired confidence in our men, and felt un- 
easy only when all three white men were away 
from the camp at the same time. 

The people on whose coast we had landed 
are a combination of the Arab and African 
Galla, and unite the intelligence of the former 
to the hardy, enduring qualities of the latter. 
Of medium height, they have, for the most 
part, well-shaped heads, without the retreating 
forehead of the blacks, prominent cheek-bones 
and strong jaws. They are usually lightly 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

built, and with the muscles of the arms and 
legs rather small and flat ; but the chests are 
well developed, and the pectoral and back 
muscles invariably stand out finely. The 
large, flat feet of the African are not infre- 
quently replaced by slender, well-formed feet, 
with high insteps. As Mohammedans, they 
eat the meat of no animals which have not 
had their throats cut, and been properly bled 
before death. This is not always convenient 
or easy to do with wild game, and especially 
with elephants and rhinoceros. In fact, only 
one rhinoceros was eaten on the trip, which 
one we managed to bleed properly before he 
died. Unlike the Mohammedans of some 
countries, they do not adhere to the rule of 
eating only animals with cloven hoofs. 

One kind of antelope only the gerenuk 
our men refused to eat ; for what reason we 
were unable to make out, unless that it may 
be they held these animals as somewhat 
sacred, because they made praying mats from 
their skins. Birds and fishes are also ex- 
cluded from their list of foods, apparently on 
no religious grounds, but "because our fa- 
thers did not eat them." The fact that these 
natives do not eat fish would tend to substan- 

8 4 

An African Shooting Trip 

tiate the medical theory that fish-eating is a 
predisposing cause of leprosy. All along this 
part of the coast no leprosy is apparent, 
whereas at Lamu, farther south, where fish is 
a regular article of food with the natives, 
there is a considerable leper population. 

The men's dress consists of a waist-cloth, 
and sometimes they throw another cloth over 
their shoulders, and possibly twist a third 
piece around their heads for a turban. No 
matter how quickly or casually this is done, 
their dress, like that of all Eastern peoples, 
looks as if it were made on them. To protect 
the feet, they wear a thick, flat, leather sandal, 
turned up in front, and held on by leathern 
thongs twisted around one or two toes. 
These have to be taken off when stalking 
game, as they are very noisy. 

The women, who are not nearly as good- 
looking as the men, are pretty well covered 
with cotton cloth, and often wear a string of 
beads around the neck. The clothes are gen- 
erally stained a light brown color by using 
moist clay a useful idea where one must 
wear the same clothing several years. They 
are a light-hearted, childish people, yet have a 
great deal of pride, and are generally brave 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

to foolhardiness. Watching them carefully, 
one is led to believe that this recklessness of 
danger is due more to pride and natural cour- 
age than to a religious belief in fate. This 
fearlessness is apt to bring one into curious 
situations at times, which one would gladly 
avoid, as the natives always expect the 
"sahibs" to be in for anything that turns up. 
We were agreeably surprised at the extremely 
decent way in which the women were treated 
by the men ; and, what is more, the men did 
their share of labor. 

One is first impressed on starting into the 
jungle by the ability of his followers. With 
a good head-man, everybody from the head 
shikari, or hunter, down to the camel-men, 
knows his place in a few days, and rarely 
has to be urged to do his share of the work. 
The rapidity with which a caravan is got 
under way is simply marvelous. Often we 
had hardly time, after being awakened in the 
morning by the crying of the camels which 
were being loaded, to put on our clothes and 
drink our coffee before the whole encamp- 
ment was in motion. 

The supply of water is often a most import- 
ant matter in Africa, and especially so where 


An African Shooting Trip 

we were, in the dry season. Every move was 
regulated by the wells ; and one realizes how 
precious water really is when he sees men 
almost fighting for its possession at a water 
hole, or, as in one place, where natives built 
fires to keep the elephants from coming down 
at night and drinking up what little there was 
At one of the wells we passed, where water 
was very scarce, we found a few men and 
camels belonging to an Englishman, who was 
camped far away in a dry district. The 
camels were hung about with water-harns or 
carriers, and the small detachment had been 
sent down to fill them and relieve the camp. 
The natives owning the wells at first posi- 
tively refused to part with any of the precious 
fluid. My head man, Adan, here showed his 
intimate knowledge of his countrymen. He 
talked persuasively and joked with them, while 
gently stroking the gray beard of the oldest 
inhabitant, and in half an hour had won the 
prized permission. Our metal casks, though 
rather large and clumsy, kept the water sweet, 
and were much more serviceable than the 
ordinary wooden barrels, which, when empty 
and well baked in the sun, are apt to shrink 
and go to pieces. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

In the rainy season, when the country is 
green, and grazing good on the waterless 
plains, the natives take their large herds of 
camels perhaps several days from any water 
holes, and allow them to graze for a week or 
more without driving them to where they can 
get a drink. During this time, the natives 
and their horses drink camel's milk in place of 
water. It is not a bad substitute, and, after 
getting used to the slight acid flavor, I used 
to drink large quantities of it both fresh and 
sour. It will not do for tea or coffee, however, 
as it curdles them. The camels are, no doubt, 
oftentimes kept from water longer than is 
good for them. They are a stupid animal, 
and, when thirsty, do not nose round like a 
horse, among the water barrels, to make their 
wants known. They might go two weeks 
without giving a sign of thirst, unless when 
in the neighborhood of wells. Although two 
out of the three compartments into which a 
camel's stomach is divided are well lined with 
pouches exclusively for water supply, and can, 
by action of muscles in the stomach wall, be 
shut off from the rest of the cavity, notwith- 
standing the capacity of this reservoir, it is 
probably best for a camel to have a drink 


An African Shooting Trip 

every few days when possible. The falling 
off in the animal's general condition, and espe- 
cially the noticeable decrease in the size of 
its fatty hump, which should occupy quarter 
the length of the back, calls attention to the 
fact that it requires more water. 

Our camels would eat any green bush or 
tree, but were especially fond of thorn bushes. 
The fact that the thorns were two or three 
inches long seemed rather to add to their at- 
tractiveness. Camels have been given a very 
bad reputation as regards temper and general 
disposition, but, so far as our limited experi- 
ence went, they never really offered to bite, 
although we constantly walked among them 
about camp, at night, when they were lying 
down. The camel mats, put on to protect the 
animal from his load, and used by the native 
tribes as coverings for their huts, made good 
blankets for our men, protecting them from 
the cold night air of the inland plateau. The 
camel is invaluable to the natives, and, with 
their flocks of sheep, constitutes almost their 
whole wealth. They are not only useful as a 
transporting machine, but many are raised for 
their meat, the hump and the marrow bones 
of the legs being the choice parts. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Sheep meat is also highly prized, and our 
men preferred it to any antelope we shot. A 
part of this preference was no doubt due to 
the fact that sheep cost us something, and 
they always expected us to give them a good 
feast of mutton when any big game had fallen 
during the day* 

The camel is often made use of for shikar 
work. The natives, armed as they are only 
with bows and spears, cannot approach suf- 
ficiently near the antelope to make sure with 
these weapons. They, therefore, use their best 
friend, the camel, and by walking along close 
to the animal's shoulder, gradually edge in 
near enough to the antelope for a shot with 
an arrow beneath the camel's neck. The ante- 
lope, being accustomed to see camels about, 
do not fear them. One beautiful head, I re- 
member well, belonging to the large kudu 
type of antelope, was obtained by a native 
who employed this method of stalking. 

To finish up with the native livestock, I 
must mention their ponies. These are hardy 
little beggars, with lots of endurance. My 
own pet pony, which was a very good repre- 
sentative of the type, had considerable Arab 
blood in him. Tough and very sure-footed, 


An African Shooting Trip 

he liked nothing so well as a long run after a 
wounded antelope. We were told that gray 
and white ponies were used in rhinoceros 
hunting. The rhinoceros is made angry by a 
native riding a white pony directly by his 
nose, and the big brute follows savagely, the 
attention of his small eyes being held by the 
light-colored spectre dancing ahead of him. 
The friends of the rider run on either side, 
and fill the hide of the rhinoceros with spears 
and arrows. Though the natives have to pay 
little attention to their horses, as they never 
require shoeing in such a country, they are 
extremely careless about the most important 
part of the animal in the tropics the back ; 
and, when selling a pony, try their best to get 
their money before unsaddling. Usually, the 
saddle cloth has a suspicious red look, and, 
beneath it, if there is no open sore, there are 
generally several old scars of previous break- 
ing downs. Being Mohammedans, these peo- 
ple will have nothing to do with dogs, and 
one never sees dogs except among the Mit- 
gans or bushmen, who are of a lower caste. 

The quiet, nomadic, pastoral life led by the 
natives often grows tiresome, and the different 
tribes are constantly raiding one another. 

9 1 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

This seemed to be done more for relaxation 
than for any other reason, and we regretted 
that we barely missed seeing one or two of 
these fights. 

Once well started, as our camels were in 
good condition, we usually managed to cover 
twenty or twenty-five miles a day, except in 
mountainous regions. The forty-five camels, 
swinging along at their halting gait in single 
file, the head-rope of one fastened to the tail 
of the preceding camel, reached out for two 
hundred yards or more, and the men scattered 
all along the line kept up such a noise that 
we were obliged to range well out on either 
side to get any shooting. My daily shooting 
outfit consisted of two shikaris and my syce, 
who looked after my pony. The shikaris 
carried the Winchester and .577, and the syce 
the shotgun and camera. This combination 
put us in readiness for anything that we 
might run into. 

The first piece of game I shot was a big 
bustard with my Winchester, as I did not 
dare approach nearer than seventy-five yards. 
This bird, the same as the Arabian bustard, is 
of a general brownish color with a mottling of 
white. He walks about in a very thorough- 


An African Shooting Trip 

bred manner, flies strong, and is difficult to 
approach within shotgun distance. We also 
met with two smaller varieties of bustards, 
and these, together with wild guinea fowl and 
doves, often supplied us with meat when large 
game was scarce. 

It was not many days before we fell in with 
various kinds of antelope, and soon had speci- 
mens of about the smallest known variety, the 
native dik-dik, or Salt's gazelle. These little 
chaps, standing about sixteen inches at the 
shoulder, delicately and perfectly shaped, are 
found in almost all districts where the country 
is gravelly and rolling. They jump up like 
hares from beneath a bush, and make a diffi- 
cult mark when running in the brush. The 
horns of the male are about three inches 
long, and are often partially obscured by a 
brush of stiff hair which grows up from 
the forehead. 

My first piece of real good luck was in get- 
ting an oryx. This animal, about the size of 
a mule, is certainly the most gamy, in looks 
and actions, of all the antelope tribe in this 
region. While A. D. S. and I were stalking 
some aoul antelope, H. K., who was ahead, 
drove two oryx within one hundred yards, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

giving me a good side shot. At the report of 
the Winchester, they ran off at a fast pace, 
but we made out a splash of color on the light 
skin behind the shoulder of the animal shot 
at, and my next shot taking her for it was a 
cow in the buttock, she slowed up, and a 
bullet through the spine settled the matter. 
The horns were slender, and of the fair length 
of thirty-three inches. 

One day the men discovered a bunch of 
about fifteen aoul antelope, which are about 
the size of a large goat, and have beautiful 
lyre-shaped horns. These were off on one 
side, and my shikari and I stalked them 
around a hill, by which they were feeding. 
This brought us within a hundred and ten 
paces, and gave me a quiet shot at the leading 
buck. The ball not only passed through his 
shoulders, but, on running up, we found, lying 
dead about five feet beyond, a doe, killed by 
the same ball, though we were not aware that 
another animal was so near. Still another 
aoul, offering a running shot at fifty yards, 
gave me a chance I could not resist. This re- 
sulted in a broken hip, which enabled me to 
get her after a short run. We soon gave up 
trying to get a shot at aoul from a concealed 


An African Shooting Trip 

position, as this was seldom successful. The 
best plan is to walk quietly toward them by 
a series of gradually approaching zig-zags, 
when they do not seem to realize your real 
direction before you are within shot. 

Some live bait put out at night to attract 
lions or leopards was pulled down by hyenas, 
and I managed to get one of the brutes with 
a charge of buckshot. It belonged to the 
spotted variety, of which there are quantities 
throughout the country, and their evening call 
was always with us during the trip. They, of 
course, offer no sport. 

We had already reached the inland plateau, 
which, for the most part, rises abruptly from 
the maritime plain. This rough and ragged 
line of demarkation gives rise to some fine 
mountain scenery. It certainly appealed to 
us very pleasantly when we were coming out, 
after a long time spent on the great, level 
interior plain. It was toward the end of an 
afternoon, when the mountains appeared sud- 
denly and distinctly before us as we stood on 
the edge of the plateau, and we realized 
sharply that a day or two would bring us to 
the coast, and that our shooting trip would 
then be over. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

At the end of ten days' travel, we were 
about 3,000 feet above the sea level, and were 
entering the country of the Gadabursi tribes, 
well known for their warlike habits. We, 
therefore, made a free display of our guns, 
had regular sentries posted at night, and sur- 
rounded the encampment with a thorn fence, 
or zareba, which was useful in warning off 
animals as well as men. 

We had already seen elephant and lion 
tracks, and as our men showed great eager- 
ness in trying to find the animals themselves, 
we had not much doubt but that we should 
soon become acquainted with some of them. 
One night we heard, and dimly saw, some 
elephants near a water hole; but it was too 
dark for shooting, and the next day we were 
unfortunate in not finding them. A. D. S., 
however, who followed up some fresh tracks 
he chanced upon, although unsuccessful, and 
obliged to halt for the night away from the 
main camp, had the monotony relieved by a 
lion, which came suddenly up to the little 
camp on his way to a water hole. He imme- 
diately began to roar with magnificent effect, 
and stayed in the neighborhood a good part 
of the night, which explained the drowsiness 

9 6 

An African Shooting Trip 

of the party on the following day. It was im- 
possible to get a shot at him. 

For a few days after this we were rather 
quiet. My men and I came on some very 
good specimens of the gerenuk (Waller's ga- 
zelle), the most curious of the antelope we 
met with, their long, thin necks and sloping 
quarters giving them much the appearance 
of a small giraffe. One evening I got a good 
opportunity at some wart hogs near a water 
hole, and wounded one in the leg, which we 
followed up next day. 

Before killing him, I wished to get a photo- 
graph of the beast in life, and H. K. engaged 
his attention so well, while I came up with the 
camera on the opposite side, that the old boar 
made a quick, determined charge, and H. K. 
only saved his legs by holding the pig off with 
the muzzle of his rifle. We had to shoot him 
without getting a good photograph, as he re- 
sented all close approaches with the camera. 

We first became acquainted with the lion in 
the following way. A. D. S. had camped sev- 
eral hours in advance of H. K. and myself. 
That night he lay in wait behind some brush 
near a stream of water, with a goat tied out 
as bait. He had fallen asleep, when he was 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

awakened by a tremendous roar, and realized 
that something was carrying off his goat. 
Although it was bright moonlight, the animal 
raised so much dust that he could make out 
nothing, and, thinking it might be a leopard, 
he fired at it with a charge of large shot. The 
animal disappeared, and when next seen was 
thirty or forty yards away, and undoubtedly a 
lion, with a companion. A. D. S. had no more 
good shots that night, but caught occasional 
glimpses of both animals on a bluff, so close 
behind his retreat as to make his position de- 
cidedly uncomfortable. Early next morning 
word was sent back to H. K. and myself to 
hurry on and take part in the sport. Our 
camps were not yet in motion, and I was up 
on the hills after kudu. Some of my men 
came running and shouting after me, and, 
when we reached the level, my pony was 
already there in readiness, and the caravan on 
the move. 

Our men were greatly excited, and hurried 
us on down a rocky ravine at a rapid pace. 
They ran alongside, carrying the heavy rifles, 
and keeping pace with the horses. On com- 
ing up to the place where A. D. S. was 

encamped, we immediately set about tracking 

9 8 

An African Shooting Trip 

up the lions. There was a rather respectable 
little stream of water running through the val- 
ley, along the sides of which grew some good- 
sized trees, and the ground beneath them was 
well covered with jungle growth. The men 
went carefully to work, but the earth soon 
proved too hard for tracking, and we tried a 
drive of the most likely piece of jungle. 

This proved unsuccessful, and, waiting for 
night, we all three sat out behind live bait, in 
hopes of a shot. H. K. was the lucky man. 
The lions came up to his position about mid- 
night, probably attracted by the far-reaching 
voice of his bait ; and he succeeded in killing 
one outright, and in wounding the other. In 
the morning we tracked up the wounded ani- 
mal, and obtained our first sight of a wild lion. 
H. K. secured a good shot, as we all stood 
together, about fifty feet away from the lion, 
which was in plain sight, and finished him. 
Both were full-grown male animals, but with 
scanty manes. 

Excepting two or three leopards, nothing of 
importance was added to our bags until about 
a week later, when we fell in with elephants. 

A. D. S. went off in one direction to follow 
up an elephant rumor, while H. K. and myself 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

were conducted in an opposite direction by an 
old native, who said he would guide us to a 
pool where the elephants came every night. 
We followed old Kimbaro, the guide, to the 
water, and that very night, about twelve 
o'clock, were awakened by our men, who said 
the elephants had come for their nightly 
drink. Although it was too dark to see any- 
thing, we distinctly heard the big beasts about 
one hundred yards away, moving about in the 
water, and making low, rumbling noises. 

In the morning we took up the track, and, 
after following it for hours, under a hot sun, 
came to a native village, by which the ele- 
phants had passed. The argyle, or chief of 
the village, said he would take us to where the 
elephants would probably rest during the day. 
He kept his word, and inside of an hour 
showed us a herd of about twenty. The 
country was rolling, rough, and stony, which 
was well for us, but unfortunately it was very 
open. This made a very close approach the 
most important element in elephant shoot- 
ing impossible. 

The elephants had got an idea into their 
heads, and were moving slowly along in a 
compact body as we approached within shoot- 


An African Shooting Trip 

ing distance. I tried several shoulder shots, 
and very soon one large elephant, wounded in 
several places, stepped out from the herd into 
the open, where we were, looking decidedly 
mad. A ball from my eight-bore broke a 
foreleg high up, and down he went, but was 
up again immediately. I then tried a head 
shot with the .577 ; the hardened bullet, strik- 
ing just in front of the ear, passed through 
the brain, and the big fellow went down for 

Passing by him, my shikari and I ran up on 
to some low hills in pursuit of the rest of the 
herd, which had been held up somewhat by 
one of my men, who circled them on a pony. 
Coming up with them in quarter of a mile, I 
soon had two down without much trouble, but 
the third one took a lot of shooting, and 
though he did not actually charge, seemed 
willing to do so any time. Finally, the .577 
again found the fatal spot in the head, just as 
H. K., who had been looking up a wounded 
animal, arrived on the scene. 

Having no more cartridges, I stood behind 
H. K. while he killed two more, the last, 
though not a full-grown animal, charging 
viciously up, within about twenty feet, before 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

he was finally brought down by a forehead 
shot. On our return to the village the chief 
sang a song of victory, and there was much 

Two days were consumed in cutting out the 
ivory, and removing and preserving as tro- 
phies the skins from the heads and legs of 
several animals. While taking off the head 
skin of the large animal first shot, we found 
the .577 bullet one-nineteenth part tin had 
passed completely through the skull, and re- 
mained partially flattened against the skin on 
the opposite side of the head. We tried the 
traditional delicacy of elephant foot, roasted 
twenty-four hours in the ground, after the 
manner of the late Sir Samuel Baker, from 
whom H. K. had received personal instruc- 
tion, and found a little of it acceptable, but 
it was rather a formidable dish, when a foot 
measuring four feet around was brought on 
as an entree course. 

Two nights after the elephant shooting, we 
were awakened about one o'clock by the 
sentry, who said something was making away 
with a goat that had been tied out to attract 
leopards. We could distinctly hear the brush 
crackling close to the zareba, and picking up 


An African Shooting Trip 

our rifles, with nothing on but pyjamas and 
sandals, started toward the noise, as it was too 
dark to see more than a few feet ahead. 

We were very close, when I was caught up 
on some thorns, and, fortunately, as it proved, 
for we were now within a few feet of the 
animal, which, though invisible, was making 
far too much commotion for a leopard. Acci- 
dentally looking on the ground, I saw by the 
light of a lantern, carried by the sentry, 
plenty of fresh elephant tracks, and we will- 
ingly gave up the pursuit. Had we walked 
into the middle of the herd, instead of bring- 
ing up the rear, it might not have been 

The next morning natives reported a herd 
of elephants about one hour away. Pretty 
well satisfied with what elephant trophies we 
had, I determined to get some photographs of 
living elephants. We managed to get very 
close to the herd, but the thick undergrowth 
prevented a satisfactory use of the camera, 
and the results were poor. I was sure they 
could hear the click of the ratchet as I turned 
the film roll ; and soon, catching our wind, 
the herd moved off to an open, elevated piece 
of ground near at hand. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

The desire for more shooting now over- 
came my principles, and my shikari, who was 
rather disgusted with the photographing part 
of the morning's work, hurried on to the open 
plain, where the elephants stood facing us, 
having halted at the cries of some of my men 
who had headed them. What appeared near 
enough for me, did not satisfy my shikari at 
all, and we kept on toward the herd until 
even he was willing to stop, and I knew him 
well enough by this time to be sure that a 
further advance was out of place. I fired at 
the biggest one we could pick out of the herd 
of twelve or more, as they stood head on. 
Up went their trunks and ears, and trumpet- 
ing, they charged us. There was a long 
stretch to cover before we came to sloping 
ground, and no bushes or trees ; but, separat- 
ing, to distract the elephants, we managed by 
hard running, made tiresome by my 1 6-pound 
eight-bore, to reach the incline before they 
came up to us. As they lost sight of us, and 
could not get our wind, the elephants stopped 
and filed off rapidly on one side. This en- 
abled me to place another bullet behind the 
shoulder of the leader of the procession the 
same big elephant I had just shot at, and who 


An African Shooting Trip 

showed the mark of the first bullet by blood 
running down his chest in front. The ani- 
mals now entered the dense thicket where we 
first found them. There they stood, hot and 
angry, and reaching their trunks down into 
their stomachs, drew up large quantities of 
water, which they blew over their dusty sides. 

Some of the natives now told me that the 
big, wounded elephant had rushed off by him- 
self down the valley, toward the camp. We 
immediately started in pursuit, and, after a 
long chase, during which I tried a few un- 
successful long shots, came up with him in 
broken ground. This allowed us to gain a 
little elevation in front, and gave me a fore- 
head shot. Down he went, but he was still 
breathing when we came up. This elephant 
appeared very old, and had much the best 
ivory we obtained. 

The ivory from this country, besides being 
smaller, is harder in consistency than that 
found in the better-watered regions farther 
south, and for this reason is not so market- 
able. The most important ivory industry of 
to-day is that which makes use of it for cover- 
ing piano and organ keys. By special ma- 
chinery, sections of the large, soft tusks from 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

the south are converted into gigantic shav- 
ings of desirable thicknesses. The knife- 
blade, starting from the outside, pares around 
the circumference of the tusk until it reaches 
its very core. These shavings are then placed 
in water, and so soft does the structure be- 
come, that the strips uncurl themselves. This 
results in a very easily worked material, and 
with the loss of hardly any ivory in the pro- 
cess. The hard northern ivory, on the con- 
trary, is very difficult to work, and not at all 
amenable to similar treatment. Why this 
difference in size and consistency varies ac- 
cording to the amount of water in a country 
is not clear, except that elephants in well- 
watered regions need large and strong dig- 
ging implements, as they live largely on roots 
and bulbs, whereas the animals in less moist 
districts are largely tree feeders, and, not 
requiring as large tusks, do not develop them. 

The next day we came up with A. D. S., 
and found that he, also, had been fortunate, 
and had several exciting encounters to relate. 

Our provisions were running a little low, so 
we sent two men and some camels back to 
the coast for supplies. Natives attacked 
them on the way down, but were kept off by 


An African Shooting Trip 

firing a few shots, and the little band eventu- 
ally caught up with us again, with a good sup- 
ply of rice, dates and letters. It was in this 
country we fell in with the Sultan of all the 
Gadabursi tribes, and the same who had 
stripped the Italian, previously mentioned, of 
all his belongings. We managed to get along 
amicably with the crafty old chief, who in- 
structed his son to show us game, and made 
us a present of some sheep. In exchange, we 
gave him some tobacco and highly-colored 
cotton clothes, called kylies. The common 
cotton cloth, of which we carried a large sup- 
ply, is the money of the interior, and, curi- 
ously enough, is made in New England, and 
is known throughout a large section of East 
Africa as " Americany." The English claim it 
to be inferior to some cloth they have tried to 
introduce on the coast, but, be that as it may, 
the natives say their fathers used the " Amer- 
icany," and it is good enough for them. 

The old Sultan became rather a nuisance 
after the novelty of having him about had 
worn off, as he hung about the camp expect- 
ing to be entertained with picture-books, etc. 
Fortunately, A. D. S. had brought along a 

music-box to amuse the natives, and by play- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ing this continually we managed finally to 
drive the old fellow away. The sick people, 
who came to us to be cured, troubled us not a 
little here. In an evil moment, H. K. had said 
that the other two sahibs were medicine men ; 
and, when this rumor became well circulated, 
it caused a serious drain on our mustard plas- 
ters and compound cathartic pills. 

Since leaving the maritime plain, we had 
been at an altitude of about 4,000 feet for a 
few days from 6,000 to 8,000 and remained 
at about 3,000 feet for the rest of the trip, 
except during the descent to the coast. This 
insured us freedom from malarial troubles. 
How free the air was from germs will be 
readily seen from the following fact. Our 
butter, which we had brought out from Lon- 
don, was sealed up in two-pound tin cans. 
When opened, these cans lasted each one of 
us about ten days, and during that time the 
butter melted to a liquid state during each 
day, and became solid again at night. Not- 
withstanding this fact, it remained perfectly 
sweet until used up. 

Although disappointed at not finding more 
signs of lion in the Gadabursi country, we got 
some splendid antelope shooting, principally 


An African Shooting Trip 

oryx and hartebeest and a few klipspringer. 
The last-named, a beautiful small mountain 
antelope, with curious quill-like hairs, is, like 
the chamois, very fond of peaks and preci- 
pices, and so, is difficult to approach. 

On coming down from the mountains into 
the level country, large herds of hartebeest, 
with scattered bands of oryx and aoul, showed 
themselves on the plains. Though apparently 
stupid, the hartebeest did not prove easy vic- 
tims. Before they were much disturbed, one 
could approach within about 200 yards in the 
open, and take one shot ; but to be perfectly 
sure of heart or lungs, with an express .577, at 
that distance, is not an easy matter, and, un- 
less hit in a vital spot, these animals generally 
made off in the herd with apparently little dis- 
comfort. The Winchester, .45-90300, though 
much more accurate than the .577 express, 
did not prove as effective as one could wish, 
when used against oryx or hartebeest at long 
ranges, hard-hit animals escaping with too 
great frequency. But there are probably very 
few horned animals that can match these two 
species for vitality and pluck. 

We used to leave camp in the morning, ac- 
companied by a few men and a camel to bring 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

back the meat, and it was not uncommon for 
us to return at night, the camel loaded down 
with all he could well carry. We gave away 
most of the game to some neighboring vil- 
lagers, who were glad to have such feasts, 
and showed their gratitude by giving dances 
before our tents. 

One day, while out shooting in this region, 
a small herd of oryx ran by in single file, 200 
yards or more away. I tried the Winchester 
on each animal as he passed, and, at the third 
or fourth shot, an oryx, badly wounded in the 
left hind leg, suddenly wheeled out of line, 
and came running down to where we were 
standing. He seemed very much astonished 
on seeing us, lay down, and allowed us to 
take a photograph within ten feet without 
offering to charge, something they are very 
apt to do when wounded and at close quar- 

We saw a number of ostriches at long dis- 
tance, and my syce picked up a fresh ostrich 
egg, which Abdulla, the cook, scrambled for 
my breakfast next morning. Though a little 
coarse, it was fair eating; but, like the ele- 
phant's foot, its very size, filling as it did the 
whole frying-pan, destroyed one's appetite. 

An African Shooting Trip 

As A. D. S. and I wished to make sure of 
lion and rhinoceros, we decided to cross the 
Haud, or waterless plain, lying to the south- 
west, a five days' journey without wells. H. 
K., not caring to make so extensive a trip, 
parted from us here, and made his way slowly 
back to the coast. 

One night, before starting on this journey, 
while smoking together after dinner, A. D. S. 
and I were startled to see a considerable num- 
ber of our men range themselves about us in 
the growing darkness. The interpreter said 
they refused to cross the waterless plain with- 
out increased pay. Taking the lantern from 
the table, I walked around the circle, and 
made out the faces of the malcontents for 
future reference. We decided to make a firm 
stand once for all, and sent word to the men, 
after they had dispersed and were gathered 
about their camp-fires, that they must be 
ready to march the following day at the old 
wages, or make their way back to the coast as 
best they could. The next morning the spirit 
of dissatisfaction had fled, largely through the 
efforts of my head man, Adan, who was al- 
ways staunch, and an excellent manager of his 
own people. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

We filled up everything and everybody 
with water men, camels, horses, goats, etc. 
and started on the five days' trip across the 
desert. Here our metal barrels with padlocks 
came in extremely well, as we knew exactly 
how much water was on hand all the time, 
and there was no chance for theft. The 
allowance per man was one quart of water a 
day, and the horses got three to four gallons 
every other day, which quantities, in both 
cases, proved sufficient. 

Even in the middle of the desert we saw a 
fair number of antelope, principally oryx and 
aoul, which shows how little they depend on 
water. I shot one good oryx and some aoul. 
The oryx, which I had wounded with the 
.577, as we were returning from an unsuccess- 
ful attempt to follow up some lion tracks, ran 
a little way, stopped among some mimosa 
trees, and resented every approach on our 
part by coming on with lowered head. After 
dodging about some time, I managed to pho- 
tograph him while he was lying down. 

The trail crossing the waterless plain gave 
a rare opportunity for studying footprints 
of game, as the carnivorous animals con- 
tinually use such paths for their nightly 


An African Shooting Trip 

growls. The hyena's track was seen every- 
where ; a slovenly print like the animal him- 
self with toe-nail points showing in the sand. 
Then there were the leopard and cheetah 
tracks, differing because the cheetah can only 
partially retract his claws. Most noticeable 
of all was the lion track. Clearly outlined, 
with no nail points showing, and deeply im- 
pressed in the sandy soil, it always made one 
think of the five or six hundred pounds of 
tremendous energy which had passed by, es- 
pecially when the track was fresh, and the 
men following on the hot trail. 

Arrived on the other side of the plain, we 
found some fair water, and began to hear 
news of lion and rhinoceros. The natives 
told stories of lions continually jumping into 
the native villages over zarebas, oftentimes 
eight to ten feet high, and carrying off sheep 
and goats, and of one man, who had been 
recently killed by a lion, while watching his 
flocks on the hills. 

At last, one day, when in good rhinoceros 
country, luck came my way. For several days 
we had been puzzled in following tracks, but 
managed one morning, after many hours' hard 
work, to come up with two animals in rather 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

thick cover. There they stood, forty yards 
away, their ugly noses lifted high in the air, in 
complete astonishment. At the report of the 
eight-bore, they started off at a great pace ; but 
100 yards was as far as the largest a cow- 
could go, the ball having entered her chest 
and cut some of the large blood vessels. 

The smaller animal led us a long chase, 
and, when twice wounded, charged quick as a 
flash when only about twenty feet off, in some 
high grass. He came right in amidst us, 
and we only avoided being run down by 
throwing ourselves quickly one side. My men 
laughed and joked about it ; but, notwith- 
standing their good nerve, I saw they were 
not quite so anxious to close in on him again. 
He gave in, eventually, to a little more lead. 
A. D. S. also got a couple of rhinoceros, the 
last one requiring a good deal of shooting. I 
managed to get up very close to him as he 
was going through the underbrush, and so 
caught him with the camera. By quick work, 
our men cut the throat of this animal before 
he was dead, and, this becoming known, the 
natives quickly swarmed around to strip off 
the hide and meat. The skin of the rhino- 
ceros is much prized for shields, and the 


An African Shooting Trip 

natives on the coast know how to make them 
up very well. 

This shooting was done in a very dry coun- 
try, thickly covered with mimosa, and we were 
obliged to send a good way for water, which 
the rhinoceros really does not seem to care 
much about. We became acquainted here 
with the so-called rhinoceros bird a small, 
insignificant bird, with a harsh, piercing cry 
that immediately arrests attention. He does 
not, by any means, always take you to rhino- 
ceros ; but, if you follow him long enough, he 
is pretty sure to bring you to game, a honey 
tree, a camp of hostile natives, or something 
else equally interesting. 

We were told of a place, about a day's 
march away, where lions abounded ; in fact, 
though it was the only district in that country 
where there was good green grass for graz- 
ing, none of the natives dared take their 
herds of camels there, as one man, who had 
recently ventured to do so, lost several camels 
by lions, and immediately withdrew. On the 
way to these attractive hunting grounds, A. 
D. S. shot his first lion a fine, large one. I 
was fortunate in getting a leopard at the same 
place ; and the accompanying photograph 


Trail and C amp-Fire 

shows our camp, with the dead leopard, and 
three small live leopards brought in by natives. 
These small leopards played about the camp 
like kittens, and were very sociable and much 
at home. 

Arrived at the green hunting grounds, we 
found plenty of lion tracks, and the next 
morning early, I bagged my first lion. We 
found he had followed up our caravan track 
during the night, and, coming up to the zare- 
ba, within twenty feet of A. D, S.'s tent, was 
undoubtedly about to jump in, when the sen- 
try shouted at him. He growled, and turn- 
ing, saw a donkey, which had been staked 
outside the zareba, and near which I was, 
lying behind some thorn brush. In one or 
two bounds the lion had cleared the space, 
and all was soon over with the poor donkey 
My stand was only ten feet away, and, as the 
dust cleared, I saw the lion holding the don- 
key up, off the ground, by the throat. Aim- 
ing at his neck, I fired, and without any other 
sound than a long sigh, the lion sank down 
on the ground in a perfectly natural position, 
the donkey still in his mouth. The ball had 
smashed the spinal column close to the skull, 
and killed him instantly. We shot, alto- 


An African Shooting Trip 

gether, six lions in this region, of which 
number four came my way. 

The most interesting situation we were 
placed in at all was with a wounded animal, 
which our men tried to drive out to us from a 
patch of brush. Stationed only thirty feet 
away, on the other side, which meant only 
one shot in case of a charge, one thought of 
all the chances. The drive did not succeed, 
however, in this particular case, and we were 
finally obliged to go into the brush, where 
A. D. S. gave the quieting shot. Our men 
showed the greatest pluck at this time. They 
crawled in, until they could see the animal, 
only fifteen feet away, and called to us to fol- 
low with the rifles, which we were compelled 
to do, no matter what we thought of it. Such 
bravery of the natives, as mentioned above, is 
common among these people, and several in- 
stances are told of shikaris deliberately grasp- 
ing a lion by the mane, and pulling him off 
from a white man whom he was mauling. 

Another story is told of an English officer, 
who was caught by a wounded elephant. 
While the frenzied animal was trampling the 
white man to death, his shikari, armed only 

with a spear, rushed in and prodded the beast 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

with his ineffective weapon. The elephant 
stopped his devilish work for a moment, 
seized the native by an arm, and threw him 
away with such force as to tear the arm from 
the body. This man still lives on the coast 
an example of extreme devotion. 

The resident wrote me about an amusing 
incident which happened to another officer, 
while on a shooting expedition, some months 
after we had left the country. This English- 
man was awakened out of a sound sleep in 
the middle of the night, and quickly realized 
that some large animal had firmly closed his 
jaws on his arm, and was trying to pull him 
out of bed. He instinctively threw his other 
arm around the further side of the light cot 
bed, and the next tug sent everything down 
in a heap. He knew by this time the animal 
was a lion, and was much relieved when the 
beast, becoming rattled, snatched up the pil- 
low instead of the man, and made off with it. 
The writer added that the officer was not 
much hurt, but was very indignant. 

A little more luck still awaited me in the 
green grass country, for it was here I fell in 
with some lesser kudu antelope, an animal of 
great beauty, and rarely seen. As my shikari 


An African Shooting Trip 

and I were walking down through the green 
belt one morning, a lesser kudu suddenly 
sprang into view, and gave me a running end 
on shot about fifty yards off. We saw he was 
hit, and following quickly through some brush 
came on another male kudu, which was cross- 
ing only thirty yards away, offering an easy 
running shot. He only went a short distance, 
with the .577 ball behind his shoulder. A 
quick run brought us up to the animal first 
wounded, which was soon brought down. By 
good fortune, in stumbling upon these beau- 
tiful creatures, we had in a few minutes ob- 
tained two fine specimens of a rare species. 

While camped here, we had company near 
by in the shape of a large native camel currier 
or village. The news had spread that two 
white sahibs had come on the ground for the 
special purpose of killing off lion ; so these 
people immediately moved in, and said they 
would remain as long as we stayed, and kept 
up the good work of extermination. 

We were obliged finally, however, to move 
on from this happiest hunting ground of all. 
Our stock of provisions was getting low, and 
every day made it shrink alarmingly. It was 

not easy to leave a spot where we had had 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

such good sport, and which, besides, was so 
well fitted for a camping place that we felt 
quite at home there. 

The green belt one and a half miles long 
and half a mile wide is a broken combina- 
tion of bunches of mimosa and small mea- 
dows, and our camp, pitched at one end 
against a little forest, looked out on a small 
green field of grass. Our tents being pitched 
side by side, we took our meals together, 
and we spent many pleasant hours after din- 
ner, smoking our evening pipes, making plans 
for the morrow, and listening to the chattering 
of the men, their forms dimly seen about the 
camp-fires against the barrier of the zareba, 
as they discussed their sahibs, their voices 
mingled with the cries of the camels, sounds 
which one gets to like, and would give much 
to hear once more. But move away we must, 
and a few marches brought us again to the 
water holes, which supply the country for 
miles about. Drilled through the solid rock 
at some earlier period, by means unknown, 
these wells are about forty feet deep to the 
water level. A chain of six or eight men is 
kept busy all day long, as, standing one above 
the other on small ledges, which occur at in- 


An African Shooting Trip 

tervals on the sides of the wells, incessantly 
chanting, they pass the water up, in hol- 
lowed out sections of trees, to the troughs. 
The troughs are all day long surrounded by 
crowds of thirsty camels, sheep and goats, 
which may be seen breaking into a run as 
they reach the crest of the bluff overlooking 
the wells, and begin to hear the splash of the 
cool water near at hand. 

A day's march from these wells, while sepa- 
rated from A. D. S., I came unexpectedly one 
night on a small village, to find that an Abyssi- 
nian, armed with a Remington rifle had, single- 
handed, compelled the villagers to pay him 
a tribute of sheep and goats. The natives 
unarmed as they were, could not resist, espe 
cially as other Abyssinians were in the neigh- 
borhood. As soon as we had located oui 
camp, this robber came in a very humble way, 
kissed my hand, and tried to make matters 
smooth by offering presents of sheep, which 
he had just stolen. He was told that unless 
he had disappeared early next day he would 
be taken to the coast, and, although he was 
not about in the morning, he undoubtedly 
returned shortly after we left. These people 
suffer yearly from Abyssinian raids, and, be- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ing so far in the interior, cannot be assisted 
from the coast. 

Not far from this village, my shikari and I 
fell in with a big kudu, an animal we had been 
unfortunate in stalking before, and which is 
the largest antelope of the country. As we 
were skirting some low hills in thick brush, we 
were startled by the sudden rush of an animal 
which sprang up ahead of us, and caught a 
glimpse of a pair of curved horns disappear- 
ing on our left. My shikari shouted to me to 
run to the right, and as we came out of the 
brush, a large kudu, with wide spreading 
horns, appeared racing along on a little hill- 
side eighty yards away. I was too quick with 
the first barrel, but the second brought him 
down with a bullet in the spine. 

On our next march we came unexpectedly 
on two leopards, in a small ravine, which at- 
tracted our attention by their purring. I hesi- 
tated a second too long, looking at the beau- 
ties, and when I did fire, was obliged to shoot 
through a small bush, and missed. Twice 
before I lost leopards when they should have 
been mine. Once, when I tried to exchange 
guns with my shikari at a critical moment, 
and again, by attempting a difficult head on 


An African Shooting Trip 

shot with the .577 when I should have tried 
my Winchester. 

The waterless plain was ahead of us, and, to 
help out the rice and dates, I bought a fatted 
camel for the men, who enjoyed it hugely, 
drying big strips over the fire, so as to pre- 
serve it for the journey. The hump, one solid 
mass of fat, weighed at least fifty pounds, but 
the flesh had for us a strong, unpleasant taste, 
and all we could manage were the marrow 
bones, which were decidedly good. 

Arrived at the coast by an uninterrupted 
journey, we parted from our staunch follow- 
ers men who might joke and laugh about 
the camp-fire in the evening should you be 
killed during the day, while fighting it out 
with dangerous game, but whom we admired 
immensely for their bravery and manliness 
men whom you knew you could trust to stay 
with you at all times. 

We were most hospitably received by the 
resident, and in a few days caught a boat, and 
left with our skins and ivory, thorough believ- 
ers in the native saying that Mohammed does 
not count the days spent in shikar. 

Wm. Lord Smith. 


The early morning of Thursday, the last 
day of January, was clear and still. The 
heavy snowstorm of the day before had ceased 
during the night, leaving a new layer, a foot 
in depth, upon that which already lay deep 
over mountain and lake, and piling itself high 
upon every branch and twig of the dense 
forest about us. I had awakened at three, 
still conscious of the effects of yesterday's 
long tramp, when Peter and I had followed 
for eight hours the fresh tracks of a herd of 
seven caribou, far over steep hills, through 
heavy timber, and in deep, soft snow, only to 
find that the waning day bade us strike out 
for camp ; for the further route of our game 
was still to be disentangled from a labyrinth 
of tracks made where they had stopped to 
feed. We had eaten our lunch as we marched, 
delay being a thing to avoid, and fire out of 
the question on so fresh a trail ; and when we 
reached camp again, just as darkness closed 



in, we were a tired and hungry pair. So it 
was with difficulty now that I summoned up 
resolution to perform the duty of which the 
biting cold upon my face and the snapping of 
the log walls of our camp apprised me, and 
resisted the insidious argument that I really 
was not awake. To leave the snug shelter of 
warm blankets in order to rake together a few 
almost extinct embers, nurse them into a 
glow, and pile the stove full of wood is not an 
alluring task at such a time ; but camp-fire 
etiquette, sometimes relaxed in the milder au- 
tumn season, must be rigidly adhered to, even 
indoors, in these long, frigid winter nights. 
Therefore my companion and I had made the 
usual agreement that he who woke first should 
forthwith replenish the fire, and as his deep 
breathing was now proof that nothing was to 
be expected of him, I conquered my slothful 
disinclination, and a roaring blaze at last re- 
warded my efforts. Then I opened the door 
upon such a night as only the northern winter 
can show. 

Silence, absolute and supreme ; the rich 
purple-black of the sky revealing its immeas- 
urable depth, in which hung, clear and round 
and at many distances, the myriad stars which 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

filled it ; in the north the great pale arc of the 
aurora reflected faintly on the white snow 
lying over the open space of the river in front 
of us. But the keen air allowed little time for 
more than a swift glance ; then a match light- 
ed showed the mercury at eighteen degrees 
below zero not extreme, but cold enough 
to make blankets desirable ; so I got back 
into them without further delay, and fell 

The next thing I knew, some one else was 
poking the fire ; the room was warm, and the 
light of day came through the windows. I 
turned and saw the red " tuque," straight 
black hair, and copper skin of Peter lit up by 
the flames as he bent over the stove. Seeing 
me stir, he remarked that breakfast was nearly 
ready, and that the morning was " varry cold." 
Signs of life now appeared in George, my 
companion, and soon we were at breakfast, 
with that appetite which surely is not the least 
boon of a woodland life. Peter was right 
about the cold. It was nearly eight o'clock 
now, and the thermometer stood at twenty- 
seven degrees below zero, but the cloudless 
sky and perfectly still air were a promise that 
this would be the best of all days for a winter 



tramp. The journey we had planned was a 
rather long one, and offered a considerable 
variety of snow-shoeing, but we were in good 
trim for it, and had no fear of rough climbing 
or tangled windfalls. 

The use of snow-shoes is not a difficult 
matter, even for the beginner. Like every 
other form of athletic pursuit, it requires some 
practice to overcome the awkwardness of first 
attempts, and to acquire familiarity in dealing 
with the little complications of woodland 
travel, such as windfalls, thick bush, and steep 
places. But the same is true to some extent 
of all walking, and there is no reason why any 
one who likes wholesome exercise, and can 
ride a horse or a bicycle, row a boat or paddle 
a canoe, should hesitate about making a win- 
ter hunt through fear of the much exagger- 
ated difficulties of snow-shoeing. 

The first time that I ever put on snow-shoes 
I started out with the usual stiff-legged, strad- 
dling gait of the beginner, and his conviction 
that the huge and cumbersome things were 
skillfully designed to impede my progress. 
The first advice of my Indian instructor was 
to " limber up " my joints, and walk as though 
I had no snow-shoes on. Acting upon this, I 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

managed to go a mile up a steep hillside and 
back again, with tolerable success. The next 
day I hunted caribou, walking about ten miles. 
After that we did from fifteen to twenty 
miles every day, in a very rough country, 
and in snow that was both deep and soft, 
my companion being a man who not only had 
not worn snow-shoes, but had never even 
been in the woods. 

The shoes should be large, and not too 
heavy ; the webbing of the best, and tightly 
strung. The strings should be of moose-hide, 
in the aboriginal fashion the white man's 
" improvement," of straps, is a snare and a 
deception. The strings must be carefully 
adjusted, which takes a little trouble at the 
outset, but is of the first importance. If too 
tight they hurt the foot ; if too loose they 
allow it to slip forward, and catch under the 
toe bar in a way that is dangerous when going 
down hill. The foot-gear varies somewhat 
with individual preference ; but there should 
be several pairs of thick woolen stockings or 
socks, and over these moccasins or felt boots. 
For one whose feet are not toughened by 
much snow-shoeing, I advise the use over all 

of snow-shoe rubbers heavy rubber over- 



shoes without heels. They are a valuable 
protection against the chafing of the strings, 
which must be worn pretty tight over the 
toes, and, by retaining the heat of the foot, 
they largely prevent the melting of the snow 
under the instep, and its caking on the web- 
bing. They must always be longer than the 
foot, to allow ample room beyond the ends 
of the toes. With proper foot-gear, then, 
good shoes, and a little instruction from an 
expert, the beginner may rapidly qualify him- 
self for one of the most exhilarating methods 
of pursuing the moose or caribou. He will 
not attempt too much at first, and he will take 
in good temper, I trust, the little mishaps that 
come to him ; and bear in mind that, though 
an occasional wild plunge head-foremost into 
winter's mantle is alarming, and the subse- 
quent struggles rather exasperating, still no 
harm results. As for distances, they vary, of 
course, with the strength and skill of the indi- 
vidual, the nature of the country, the weather, 
and the depth and quality of the snow. I 
know men, Indians and trappers, who have 
made great distances in a continuous journey. 
My own trips to the wilderness have usually 
been made at times when I stood in need of 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

physical recuperation ; so that I have not 
been in condition to undertake great efforts. 
My best day's tramp was about twenty-five 
miles. Of course I am speaking, be it under- 
stood, of the season of the year when it is still 
legal to kill game, during which time the snow 
is soft, except when packed by the wind upon 
the open surface of lakes. Of the barbarous 
and unsportsmanlike practice of "crusting" I 
know nothing by experience. 

I write this because I have so often been 
asked by my fellgw-sportsmen whether the art 
of snow-shoeing were not so difficult as to 
stand in the way of a winter camping-trip. I 
think this idea arises partly from the fact that 
some writers have mistaken their own lack of 
skill, or want of competent instruction, or 
perhaps their pig-headedness, for an inherent 
difficulty in the sport they describe ; and I 
think I have even detected occasional traces 
of a desire to magnify their own exploits by 
exaggerating the difficulty of what they have 
done ; but these exaggerations are to be de- 
plored when they tend to discourage others 
from wholesome enjoyments. But to return 
to our day's journey. 

This was the last day of the open season ; 


to-morrow the law would stand between our 
rifles and the game no obstacle, perhaps, 
save to a sportsman's conscience. George 
was safe from a blank score he had killed 
his caribou, a young bull, two days before ; 
but I had not yet had a shot. Peter had 
urged upon me strongly the desirability of our 
taking up again the tracks of yesterday where 
we had left them, back in the mountains, say- 
ing : " Ah '11 t'ought he's not go varry far ; 
sure he's got wan varry large caribou ; that's 
good chance for find 'um ; " and had this not 
been our last day, I should probably have 
adopted this plan. But the trip decided upon 
was to a point which I had long wished to 
reach, and it had been postponed from day to 
day since our arrival here, for various reasons. 
It offered, moreover, a fair probability of see- 
ing game caribou, that is, for we had found 
no sign of moose upon any of the hills, which 
we had explored in many directions. So 
Peter's views did not prevail. 

Now, as for the place we were going to, I 
knew little more than that, some years before, 
when poring over a map of this region, lost in 
speculations concerning the distant lakes and 
rivers, my fancy had been captivated by a name, 


Trail and C amp-Fire 

the name of a lake Sintamaskin * which 
lay some distance beyond the farthest point 
I had then reached in my brief camping-trips. 
Names are misleading. This is a country of 
many lakes, greatly diverse in character and 
of very varying degrees of beauty ; and I had 
no reason to suppose that this lake possessed 
any special charm to distinguish it from the 
hundreds of others about it. Yet the name 
lingered in my memory, and in those sudden 
waves of longing that come to all of us who 
love the woods, it would recur to me with a 
strange wild flavor of the far-away northern 
forest. Gradually, however, it faded from my 
recollection, and had not been recalled to me 
until a few days ago, when, as we were set- 
ting out upon our trip, a friend, familiar with 
all this region, said : " You'd better go over 
to Lac Sintamaskin ; " and, after describing it, 
he added : " You'll see fine timber there ; you 
know it has never had a dam on it." Just 
what this meant can best be realized by those 
to whom our northeastern wilderness is known. 

* Sintamaskin : the first syllable nasal, like the French saint; ac- 
cent on the last syllable, which is pronounced as English kin. The 
Algonquin word is Sattamoshkt, and is said to signify "Shallow 



The first act of the devastating lumberman, 
about to ply his trade on any lake and its 
tributaries, is to build across the outlet of that 
lake a big dam, which, through the indiffer- 
ence of improvident legislatures, he is allowed 
to leave, and which remains, for years after 
his operations are concluded, a hideous monu- 
ment to the brutality of man. By means of 
the dam the water of the lake is raised far 
above its natural level ; the shores are 
drowned, and their original beauty is forever 
destroyed. The waters recede, but they leave 
behind them a ghastly fringe of bare stones 
and dead gray trees, to take the place of the 
banks carpeted to the water's edge with vel- 
vety many-hued mosses ; the lovely grass- 
grown beaches of pebbles and white sand ; 
the graceful boughs of the innumerable forest 
trees which hung over all and mirrored their 
shimmering foliage in the tranquil waters. 
Sometimes, indeed, it happens, as in the case 
of one exquisite jewel of the wilderness I 
have in mind the Little Wayagamac that a 
lake has an outlet which for some reason can- 
not be dammed, but which furnishes enough 
water without a dam to float away the logs on 
the spring freshets. In these cases the heavy 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

hand of the impious and wasteful lumberman 
falls less: cruelly, and if fire does not follow in 
his train, destroying all, we dismiss him from 
our thoughts, with curses upon him only for 
having cut down all the pines. But Sintamas- 
kin, I learned, falls within neither of these 
categories. High upon the very summit of 
the hills, and distant only some three miles 
from the main river, it discharges its waters 
down the steep mountains in a tumbling, 
rock-strewn flood, and dam or no dam, the 
lumberman cannot handle his logs in that 
precipitous descent. Some day he will find 
another way, perhaps ; but, for the present, 
nature's defense holds good, and this spot is 
still inviolate. So it seemed that I might 
look for some sort of confirmation of my 
fancies concerning it. To be sure, now that 
the deep snow had blotted out all but the 
boldest shore-lines, we could hardly hope to 
realize one of the greatest beauties of this still 
unmolested lake. But my resolve to go there 
was none the less firm, and even George, to 
whom the whole country was a new wonder, 
caught something of the infection, so that 
now both our voices were raised against the 
proposal of the Indian to take up again the 



trail of yesterday, and our start was made 
upon the road to Sintamaskin. 

For the first time since our arrival in camp 
we set forth all together, George and I and 
our two Indians, whom, since they were both 
named Pierre, we distinguished by calling one 
Peter and the other Pierre Joseph. They 
were both typical members of the Abenaki 
race. Pierre Joseph, whom we found here, is 
a somewhat morose and taciturn creature, 
given, say those who know him, to fits of im- 
practicable sullenness at times, which make 
him an undesirable partner. Hence he tends 
his traps alone, which are scattered through 
the woods to the west and north of us, on the 
upper branches of the Wastaneau and the 
waters flowing into the Vermilion ; and in 
this vast waste he leads his solitary life, un- 
solicitous of human companionship, making 
day by day the round of his traps, with the 
leathern strap across his forehead by which he 
drags the toboggan carrying his furs and his 
supplies. At the end of the day's journey he 
finds shelter in one of the little round-topped 
bark wigwams that he has built in convenient 
places. He is universally conceded to be a 
skilled hunter, and, despite his rather gloomy 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

reputation, he was always obliging enough 
while with us. 

Peter is a character, an old friend of mine, 
a tall man of quiet movements. His com- 
plexion is somewhat ruddier than is usual 
among his degenerate people, and his features 
have something of the aquiline which typifies 
the Indian. His expression is of both dignity 
and sweetness, his courtesy unfailing, and his 
industry untiring. He has the keenest sense 
of humor, and is a most entertaining story- 
teller ; his voice soft and musical. Altogether 
he has a winning personality, whose only fault 
is the old one that has been the ruin of his 
race, and that has led him into serious trouble 
more than once upon his return to the haunts 
of men. And yet so ingratiating is this per- 
sonality that time and again, by sheer virtue 
of that alone, he has restored himself to favor 
among those who had every reason to exhibit 
only severity. He is a descendant and bears 
the surname of that captive from the neigh- 
borhood of Deerfield, Samuel Gill, whose 
story Parkman tells in " A Half-Century of 
Conflict." Now, after nearly two centuries, 
here was I, in part the descendant of that 
nation which, through the ferocity of its 



bloodthirsty savage allies, had been so bit- 
terly hated and so desperately feared by the 
struggling colonies, and with me as guide in 
the trackless Canadian wilds was this child of 
the wilderness, this descendant of the little 
Massachusetts Puritan. 

The first three miles of our journey were 
northward down the river upon which our 
camp faced, the south branch of Wastaneau. 
At this point, about a mile below the lake of 
the same name, it is a quiet, winding stream, 
flowing between banks that in summer are 
low and grassy, with the hills rising behind 
them on either hand ; but now the snow had 
in great part obliterated the distinction be- 
tween river and bank, and we cut off many 
turns of the stream, passing over land where a 
few isolated twigs, sticking at random from 
the white surface, were all that indicated the 
thick bushes I should see when paddling my 
canoe here the following September. Gradu- 
ally the hills approached the river and the low 
banks disappeared ; one or two rocks showed 
their heads in a narrow place. The men went 
slowly, sounding with poles through the snow 
to see if the ice were good the first premoni- 
tion of what lay but a little way beyond ; for 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

there the river leaped suddenly over the brink 
of a ragged wall of rock, and turning sharp to 
the east, went dashing and roaring down into 
a deep gorge, through which it swirled in 
foaming whirlpools and cascades. Cliffs and 
great walls of forest-clad mountain rose sheer 
above it ; between them we saw it far beneath 
us, to where it turned around the shoulder of 
a mountain and ran off again to the north, to 
its junction with the other branches, the 
Riviere du Milieu and the Riviere du Nord. 
Thence the three streams, united, flow east- 
ward into the St. Maurice Madoba-lod'ni- 
tukw, the Abenaki call it some twenty-five 
miles below La Tuque, ancient gathering- 
place of the dreaded Iroquois in their bloody 
raids upon their northern neighbors. 

At the falls we left the river and began our 
climb up the mountain. It was a long and 
toilsome ascent, guided only by the blazed 
trees for there was no other sign of port- 
age and as steep as it is practicable to climb 
on snow-shoes. We pulled ourselves up by 
branches and the trunks of trees, often hold- 
ing to them with one hand, and reaching back 
with the other to grasp the extended rifle of 
the man below and haul him up ; continually 



fearful lest the soft snow might slide with us 
bodily, and send us rolling helpless downward. 
We were up at last, however ; and now our 
path was easier, though still rough, and along 
the side of steep slopes, and up and down 
many sharp pitches. We were passing through 
a heavy forest, our course to the east, about 
parallel with the ravine of the river. We 
went, of course, in single file, the men taking 
turns at leading, for the work of him who 
" breaks track" is much the hardest. The 
snow was about four feet deep on a level, and 
far more than that in places. It was soft, and 
though our snow-shoes were large very dif- 
ferent from the slender toys one sees in the 
shop windows of Montreal our tracks were 
at least a foot in depth. This meant heavy 
going for us, though it did not seem to im- 
pede the caribou. The trees on our left 
opened, and our path led near the edge of the 
ravine. It was just at the point where it 
turned to the north, and through the snow- 
laden branches we caught glimpses of a mar- 
velous distance : long walls of mountain, russet 
and gray with the naked limbs of great hard- 
wood trees, or deep green with tier upon tier 
of spruce and fir; here and there the light 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

green of a pine all hoary with snow lying 
high upon every branch, even to the very top 
of the tallest trees ; then farther lines of hills, 
their banks of evergreens showing an unimag- 
inable deep blue in this intensely clear air ; 
beyond all, in the extreme distance, faint, 
translucent hills of blue and violet melting 
into the sky, and one clear note of rosy white, 
a far-away burned mountain. 

Next we plunged into dense forest of deep 
green : the ground was level ; were it summer 
we should be walking on spongy green moss. 
All about us the tall straight stems of spruce 
and fir rose high into the air, their dark 
branches interlacing overhead. Among their 
feet were the little balsams, an endless wealth 
of Christmas trees ; but here their fragrant 
branches were adorned only with snow, piled 
upon them so deep that they were pyramids 
of white, merely flecked here and there with 
a green which, by contrast, looked black and 
colorless. So thick they stood that we could 
see for only a few yards, and their branches 
brushed our faces and sent heavy showers and 
lumps of snow upon us as we passed. The 
hoarse croak of a raven overhead brought to 
my mind visions of Norse gods flying through 



the winter sky skin-clad and with black 
wings upon their heads. 

Then the ground lifted again, the birches 
and moosewood reappeared, the forest was 
more open and more varied, the ground rough 
and broken. And so, now on rocky hard- 
wood ridges, again through sombre swamps of 
evergreens, went our way, nearly three miles 
in all, until at last a sudden downward slope 
brought us to the border of a little lake. We 
crossed first this, and next a narrow strip of 
spruce-grown land, and we had reached Lac 

This is a large, open lake, with fine woods 
about it, and some picturesque low cliffs along 
its eastern shore, but not on the whole a very 
interesting spot. We crossed it in a north- 
easterly direction, two miles, carefully scan- 
ning its unbroken white stretch for signs of 
game. We found nothing but the record of a 
little woodland tragedy : the footprints of a 
hare bound across the lake, at first near to- 
gether, then suddenly far apart as he had 
leaped for his life ; approaching, at an angle, 
other tracks, those of a marten ; then the two 
mingled, a disturbed place in the snow, drops 

of blood ; and last, the tracks of the marten 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

back to the shore, partly obliterated by the 
wide trail of the object he had dragged along. 
Off the lake and another climb, stiff as the 
first, but shorter, three-quarters of a mile 
through heavy forest, and then Lac Long, head 
of the waters we had followed. As its name 
implies, it is a long and narrow lake, through 
which we passed, and here we saw tracks of 
caribou made before yesterday's snow, how- 
ever, so that they were not of great interest to 
us. Another short stretch of woodland, and 
we came to Lac aux Truites. This was Sinta- 
maskin water, and here for the first time we 
saw the pine in any quantity. Opposite us, 
about half a mile away, the eastern shore rose 
abruptly in a bold cliff, and upon its brow and 
on every ledge and projection of its face the 
pines stood in rows, their green plumes clear 
and beautiful against the blue of a cloudless 
sky. The cliff extended to the north, past the 
lake, and formed one wall of a ravine through 
which the outlet flowed ; down this we went 
toward the object of our journey, a mile 
away down a short way, then along a level 
stretch. The forest was heavy here and 
there a big pine, many tall spruces, and mas- 
sive, splendid gray birches, whose rough bark, 



always full of color, was now, against the 
snow, of intense vividness of rose and violet. 
Then the last slope downward, rough and 
rocky, and here stood the trees which are, to 
my mind, perhaps the greatest glory of Sinta- 
maskin white birches. Not the slender sap- 
lings of our local woods, but magnificent great 
fellows, two feet in diameter, their wonderful 
bark curling in scrolls where, in its exuber- 
ance, it had peeled away ; silvery white in 
summer or now against the blue sky; by 
contrast with the snow, they were salmon and 
golden, their color intensified by the lumps of 
snow piled up on every projecting edge of 
bark They grew even to the shore, where 
they mingled with the cedars, whose feathery 
branches overhang the clear green water in 
summer-time, but whose lower limbs were now 
buried beneath the sloping snow. 

We came out upon a long and narrow bay, 
the southwestern corner of the lake. On the 
left was a ridge covered with spruce and hard 
wood ; on the right a high and precipitous 
wall of cliff and tumbled masses of granite, 
upon which rose ranks of the sombre-hued and 
rigid spruce and fir, and high above all the 
graceful forms and lighter green of the pines. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

In single file we advanced Pierre ahead, 
then I, George next, and Peter bringing up 
the rear and as we neared the mouth of the 
bay the great expanse of white opened before 
us ; we saw that its farther shores were thickly 
wooded and the hills not very high to the 
east, for the lake lies well up at their tops. 
In front of us was an island, five hundred 
yards away ; to the north, others. They were 
rocky, fringed with cedar, and above these, 
again, were the birch and pine. 

Further examination of the scenery was cut 
short ; for as we reached the open and turned 
northward along the western shore, Pierre 
Joseph and I, who were somewhat ahead of 
the others, saw what brought us to a halt, 
namely, fresh tracks. They led across our 
path straight for the nearest island. The 
caribou were not long gone, and we instinct- 
ively lowered our voices to a whisper as we 
discussed the probability of their being behind 
the island. But no ; as I looked ahead again 
I saw another line across the snow. We ad- 
vanced ; these tracks led back from the island 
to the shore, and were so fresh that at the 
bottom of each deep hoof-print the water 

which overlay the ice under the heavy snow 



was not yet frozen a significant fact with the 
temperature still well below the zero point. 
There was no whispering now ; we raised our 
eyes to the shore, which was in shade and 
fringed with a dense growth of cedars. Too 
bad they had gone up into the woods ; it 
was past midday, and too late to follow them 
far ; if we had only got here a little sooner ! 
But hold on ! What's that ? In the gloom 
of the dark cedars I saw a dim gray shape, 
motionless ; then another. And now I real- 
ized that I had done a foolish thing, one that 
some years of experience should have taught 
me to avoid : I had left the cover on my rifle. 
Slowly and cautiously I drew it off, not daring 
to make a sudden movement, but breathless 
with the fear that the game might start ; for 
one jump into the bush and the only chance 
would be gone. My heart was beating so 
that I wondered if the caribou would not hear 
it, when just as I got the rifle free they 
started not two of them, but three, and not 
into the woods, but straight across us out over 
the lake, about a hundred yards away. They 
were running, and with a swiftness that de- 
manded quick shooting, and that was surpris- 
ing in snow which, though less deep here than 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

in the timber, still was such that a man would 
be practically helpless in it without snow- 
shoes. They sank so deep that as they 
ploughed ahead the movement of their legs 
could hardly be seen, but was more than sug- 
gested by the flying lumps and clouds of snow 
that rose about them. Their thick-set bodies 
loomed large and dark against the dazzling 
surface beyond them, and contrasted sharply 
with their long hoary manes. I sighted on 
the leader and fired, and as I saw him stagger 
perceptibly I heard another shot. George 
had come up and was beside me, opening fire 
on the second. I kept on at the first one, 
shooting as long as he moved ; but at the 
third shot he pitched forward and lay in the 
snow. Then as I turned my head I saw 
George's beast sinking, and we both fired 
almost together at the third, now a good 
long shot, but after another volley down he 
went, too. Luck, pure and simple, after all ; 
but then we had expended considerable skill 
during the past week with little to show for 
it, and this we considered our fairly earned 
reward. Then we made the tour of our 
quarry three bulls. No coup de grdce was 
needed ; they were stone-dead. They lay 



upon their sides, with heads outstretched, and 
the tumbled snow covering up their heavy 
powerful legs and big round black hoofs, 
which carry them abroad when all other deer 
are fast bound by impassable barriers of 
snow. Their sleek sides glistened in the sun- 
shine, and we saw the color of their bodies a 
hue the exactest balance between brown and 
gray ; an absolute neutral, which, with their 
white heads and long-haired gray throats, 
makes them seem of the very essence of the 
northern forest and the winter rime. 

Our guides began at once to busy them- 
selves with the preparations for luncheon, 
always to me one of the most interesting 
episodes of a winter day's journey. The foot 
of a bold rock on the shore was selected as a 
suitable place against which to build the fire ; 
the snow about it tramped down to make it 
more firm. The men drew little axes, shaped 
like tomahawks, from the sashes wound about 
their waists : one of them attacked a dry dead 
tree which stood near by, his unerring strokes 
ringing clear and sharp on the still air; the 
other vanished within the woods, where he 
selected a fir-balsam and cut it down. We 
heard the crashing as it fell, and saw a cloud 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

of snow-dust rise among the trees. Presently 
he reappeared, bearing upon his shoulder a 
length of the trunk, which he threw upon the 
snow before the rock ; then away again, to 
return with a great load of thick green 
branches, which he piled upon the log. This 
was to be our seat. Then he turned to help 
his comrade, who was chopping up the dry 
wood of the dead tree. They brought loads 
of this ; it was built up against the rock ; 
strips of fat bark were torn from a birch and 
thrust under and among the sticks, the match 
was applied, and in a moment the crackling 
flames were shedding a heat more than grate- 
ful to him who, warm and a little tired with 
the toil of long and heavy tramping, soon had 
begun to chill under inaction in the keen 
cold. Meanwhile, one of our Indians had 
taken the tin pail and gone out a way upon 
the lake. He took off one of his snow-shoes, 
and used it as a spade to dig a hole in the 
snow ; at the bottom he found slush, through 
which he broke with a few blows of the head 
of his axe. Below again was water, a few 
inches deep, and under that the ice. He 
dipped his pail full and returned to the fire. 
A green pole was driven into the snow, and 


from the end of it the pail of water was hung 
over the flames. This was to make the tea, 
universal comfort and mainstay of the so- 
journer in the wilderness. The tin cups and 
plates were spread upon the green boughs ; a 
plate of cold bacon and pork was set near the 
fire to warm ; a loaf of bread was cut into 
generous slices, which were toasted at the 
flames upon the ends of sharpened sticks; 
and in an incredibly short time since it was 
beginning to seem that this was a pretty 
bleak place after all, we were basking in the 
warmth of a roaring fire, and partaking heart- 
ily of hot drink and smoking food. Then 
pipes, lit with hot coals, were never better, 
and at last we rose, strengthened and re- 
freshed, ready to set out upon the long tramp 
home, more than ten miles away. It would 
be long past nightfall before we reached it ; 
but the hills on our homeward trail sloped 
downward, the moon would be high in a 
cloudless heaven, and though weary we should 
be happy : so the rapidly lengthening sha- 
dows gave us no uneasiness as we turned our 
faces away from Sintamaskin. 

When next I came it was in the blue and 
golden haze of a sunny September afternoon. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

We had toiled slowly up the long portage 
from the St. Maurice, three miles of continu- 
ous steep ascent, the men and I heavily laden ; 
we had reached the lake, and the men had 
returned for another load. I agreed to meet 
them at the portage on the farther shore, and 
then we two, my wife and I, embarked in a 
tiny birch canoe. We were in a little land- 
locked bay, so closed at the farther end by 
narrows as to seem a pond ; beyond them it 
opened out again, and again narrows ap- 
peared beyond ; thence we passed by deep 
winding channels among many islands which 
border the eastern shore. The water was 
crystal-clear and green ; the rocks were mot- 
tled with lichens and carpeted with velvet 
moss, emerald-green, white, and crimson ; the 
cedars curved their aromatic boughs over the 
limpid depths ; against their deep green the 
scarlet berries of the mountain-ash blazed in 
the sun, and among them stood the silvery 
stems of giant birches, their exquisite tops 
shimmering green and gold against the blue 
of the sky. And above all, upon every little 
island and over all the hills, rose the stately 
pines, in whose topmost branches the soft 
west wind sang the song it sings to all upon 



whom the wilderness has laid its spell, calling 
upon us to return again, with a voice that 
can never be long denied. 

To many this is a fine, large lake, well 
wooded, but in which unfortunately there are 
no fish ; to a few of us Sintamaskin is a fairy- 

C. Grant La Farge. 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

The dog is usually regarded as the most 
intelligent of quadrupeds. Perhaps we think 
him so because we see more of him than we 
do of any other domestic animal, and perhaps 
a part of his intelligence is derived from his 
long association with man ; but at all events it 
is very great by comparison with that of the 
other animals which we know. 

Wolves are only wild dogs, and their intel- 
ligence should be of a high order. That it is 
so, all who have had much opportunity for 
observation are agreed. The Indian recog- 
nizes the wolf as the embodiment of craft and 
smartness, as is shown by the name for scout 
in the Indian sign language. He also regards 
the wolf as a friend, and among some tribes 
there are people who claim to understand the 
language of the wolves, and to hold communi- 
cation with them, receiving friendly warning 
of the approach of danger. From the hilltop, 
the wolf barks at the Indian hunter as he 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

passes along, and the hunter calls back a 
cheery greeting in his own tongue. The 
white hunter acknowledges the wolf's intelli- 
gence, and is divided between his admiration 
for it and his hatred of the animal for the 
harm it does. 

As a rule the gray wolf is regarded as less 
intelligent than the little coyote, whose smart- 
ness, however, almost makes up for his lack 
of size. 

In discussing wild animals, we are all very 
much disposed to consider the species as a 
whole, and to deal in general terms, jumping 
to the conclusion that all the individuals of a 
kind are exactly alike, and not taking into 
account the marked variation between dif- 
ferent individuals, for we consider only their 
physical aspect. We forget that to each in- 
dividual of the species there is a psycholog- 
ical side ; that these animals have intelligence, 
reason, mind, and that at different times they 
are governed by varying motives and emo- 
tions, which differ in degree only from those 
which influence us. 

Yet if we stop and think, we realize that 
important physical differences exist between 
individuals within the same species ; that some 


Trail and Camp -Fire 

are stronger, swifter, more enduring than 
others. If, then, their physical qualities vary, 
as we know they do, it is only logical to 
conclude that mental differences may also 
exist between different individuals. Concern- 
ing these mental differences we are much in 
the dark, yet in the horses that we ride and 
in the dogs that we have for our companions, 
we recognize such individuality. If this exists 
among domestic animals, we may be certain 
that it does so among the wild ones. 

We may feel sure that on them, as on 
all other animals, two principal motives the 
desire for food and the desire to escape from 
their enemies act at all times ; but besides 
these, they have other impulses of which we 
scarcely ever think. As one of these, the 
hunter recognizes curiosity, which he con- 
stantly observes, and which frequently proves 
fatal, even to those animals which are the 
most wary and the best able to take care of 
themselves. Playfulness is always manifested 
by the young, and often even by old mammals, 
and is shown also in the habit common to many 
a carnivorous animal, which disables its prey, 
and then lets it run off, well knowing that it 
can easily catch it again ; or in the case where 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

a coyote teases a badger to the point of fury, 
just as a small boy may tease his smaller fel- 
lows until they roar with rage. The sexual 
motive is overpowering at certain seasons. 
Pride and revenge and grief no doubt are felt. 
Love of approbation, which is well known to 
exist in domestic animals, no doubt does so 
also in the wild. Self-sacrifice is practiced by 
the mothe^ who starves that her young may 
feed. In fact, it is altogether probable that 
the higher wild animals are influenced by a 
vast number of just those motives which influ- 
ence savage man. 

Familiar as this subject should be to all, it 
is yet one about which we think too little. 
Among the many essays which have been 
written about it, none is more interesting or 
more to the point than that given by Darwin 
in chapters III. and IV. of the " Descent of 

One of the strongest evidences of the intel- 
ligence of wolves is seen in the fact that they, 
perhaps alone of all wild animals, at certain 
times so far surrender their own individuality 
as to combine to help each other for the com- 
mon good. The mere fact that wolves hunt 
in packs is not in itself evidence of the power 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

of organization, but that they hunt together 
by relays, one relieving another, does show an 
ability to correlate cause and effect, which 
comes surprisingly near to what we are accus- 
tomed to call human intelligence. I believe 
that this organizing faculty is occasionally seen 
in the gray wolf, and constantly in the coyote. 


The range of the large wolf of America ex- 
tended east and west from ocean to ocean, 
and from the farthest barren grounds of the 
Arctic circle south to the tierra caliente of 
Mexico. Whether the American wolf known 
as big, gray, timber, buffalo, lobo, or loafer 
wolf is the same with the wolf of northern 
Europe, and whether or not the big wolf of 
America to-day is to be divided into sub- 
species, is a question on which I believe the 
naturalists are not altogether agreed. But for 
the purpose of this article, the large wolf may 
be considered as one species wherever it is 
found in America. 

Over the greater portion of its range this wolf 
is gray in color, but in the Arctic regions, and 
occasionally in the Northwest, it is white or 
nearly so, while in Florida and some of the 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

Gulf States, and in British Columbia, it is 
black. In Texas there are red or bay wolves. 
The hair of the black wolves which I have 
seen from British Columbia was not wholly 
black, though the color of the hide was so. 
By parting the fur it could be seen that near 
the skin the hair was dark gray, and that only 
the tips were black. In the same way, many 
of the gray wolves of the West have the under 
coat pure white, but the long hairs being 
black tipped the whole effect is gray. 

More or less difference in habit, caused by 
conditions of its environment, is found in 
this species. The wolves of the North live 
to a considerable extent on reindeer and cari- 
bou ; those of the East on deer, while those of 
the South prey largely on deer and on the 
wild hogs which run at large through the pine 
forests and swamps. Years ago, the center of 
abundance of the gray wolf in America cor- 
responded very closely with the centre of 
abundance of the buffalo. Great numbers of 
these always hungry animals accompanied the 
buffalo herds, killing calves or old bulls, and 
sometimes cutting out from the herd strong 
young heifers, which they had little difficulty 
in pulling down if once they could separate 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

them from the companionship of their fellows. 

In the eastern United States the wolf is 
almost extinct, but in the unsettled parts of 
Canada it is still to be found in considerable 
abundance. In 1893, and again in 1895, wolves 
were killed in the Adirondacks, but I know of 
no authenticated recent capture of this species 
in Maine. In 1895 a litter of wolf cubs was 
reported to have been killed not far from Jer- 
seyville, 111., the mother having been seen in 
that neighborhood several times in previous 
years. In the Southern States, in sparsely 
settled districts near the Gulf of Mexico, 
wolves are said to be even now not very un- 
common, and within a few years past several 
have been seen in the wilder and more moun- 
tainous portions of Tennessee. 

It is not until the Missouri River is crossed, 
however, that the wolf occurs in any abund- 
ance; but when the cattle country is reached 
they are found to be more or less numerous, 
though they do not increase nearly so fast as 
does the coyote. At the same time in many 
sections of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and 
Texas, they are numerous enough to cause 
very serious loss to the stockmen. 

Notwithstanding the fact that ever since 

Wolves and Wolf Nature 

the settlement of America the wolf has been 
pursued with guns, traps and poison, it is 
certain that no blow ever befel the race so 
severe as the extermination of the buffalo. 
Their natural prey gone, the wolves also in 
great measure disappeared. Probably they 
scattered out in search of food, and starved in 
great numbers. Those that survived were 
then forced to turn their attention to the 
herds of the stockmen, which furnished them 
an easy prey. They began to increase, and 
for years their depredations have resulted in 
very heavy loss to raisers of horses and cattle 
on the Northern plains. 

As a rule, they do not attack the herds 
when alarmed and closely bunched together ; 
but, prowling around the outskirts, they try 
to cut off the young stock, which is most 
easily killed. Sometimes, however, a small 
bunch of wolves may round up a little bunch 
of cattle, which stand in a close circle, their 
heads outward, prepared for the attack. After 
circling about them for a short time, two or 
three wolves will dash at the bunch, and if 
they can scatter the animals, it is the work 
of an instant only to pull down a yearling or 
kill two or three calves. Sometimes a single 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

wolf, if it finds a two-year-old by itself, will 
run it down, and often by a single bite will 
kill it, or so disable it that its destruction is 
sure. Within the year I have come upon a 
two-year-old heifer killed in this way, by a 
single wolf as the tracks in the snow 
showed and by a single bite in the flank. 
There was more or less foam and saliva on 
the heifer's lips, and on the side of her neck 
and shoulders, showing that she had been 
chased some distance. When I rode up to 
the carcass it had been just killed, and was 
still bleeding and perfectly warm. 

In the days of the buffalo, wolfing was a 
recognized industry, and one which was profit- 
ably followed. The method was simple. In 
winter, when the wolf skins were prime and 
when wolves were sure to be hungry, small 
parties of wolfers went to the buffalo range, 
and killed buffalo, which they poisoned with 
strychnine. This was usually not done until 
the cold weather had come and the ground 
was frozen, or, perhaps, covered with snow. 
The carcass of the buffalo used for bait was 
partly skinned, and then split, and more or 
less strychnine was placed in the visceral 
cavity, and mixed up there with entrails and 

1 60 

Wolves and Wolf Nature 

blood, and into this strips of the meat were 
thrown. The remaining meat of the carcass 
was then thoroughly poisoned by scattering 
the strychnine over it, and this might even be 
rubbed into the flesh along with the warm 
blood taken from the hollow of the ribs. 
Often, while this was being done, the wolfer 
would be surrounded by a circle of ten or 
a dozen or more wolves, waiting patiently 
for him to complete his operations and go 
away, so that their meal might begin. In 
those days wolves had no fear of man. They 
were very seldom shot at, and knew of the 
gun chiefly as an implement to call them to a 

It was remarkable to see how quickly the 
wolves stripped the meat from the carcass of 
a buffalo ; and the same thing, but in a less 
degree, can be seen to-day if a small bunch of 
wolves kill a range animal. 

Facts bearing on these points are given by 
Joseph Kipp, an educated and thoroughly 
reliable Mandan half-breed, now nearly fifty 
years old, who was born and reared on the 
Missouri. In an interview quoted by Mr. 
J. W. Schultz in Forest and Stream, Mr. Kipp 
recently said: 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

"In the fall of 1864 the American Fur 
Company, at Fort Benton, sent me with a 
stock of trade goods to winter with the Pie- 
gans, who were camped on the Marias River. 
Early in February a man was sent out to 
assist me, and I lost no time in going on a 
hunt with the Indians, for I had been cooped 
up in a lodge all winter and wanted a change. 

" One day we ran a large herd of buffalo, 
which we found a mile or two north of where 
Cutbank Stream joins the Marias. I had a 
splendid horse, but as soon as I killed a cow I 
stopped, for that was all the meat I wanted, 
and more too. I had reached the herd some 
time before the Indians did, and when they 
saw me dismount one of them asked me to 
exchange horses with him, as he wanted to 
make a big killing. I let him have it, and 
tying his horse to the horns of the buffalo, I 
proceeded to skin it. In less than five min- 
utes the wolves began to gather about me. It 
was the running season, and each bitch was 
surrounded by a number of dog wolves play- 
ing and fawning about her, and quarreling 
with each other just like a lot of dogs. The 
wolves kept about fifty to sixty yards from 

me, but one coyote came up quite close, and a 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

couple of kit foxes ventured up within eight 
or ten feet. I felt a little uneasy to be sur- 
rounded by such a big pack, and considered 
for some time whether to fire at them or not. 
I had only four balls left and rather wanted to 
keep them. Finally, however, I did shoot at 
a big white wolf, and not only killed him, but 
another one beyond. The rest of them, how- 
ever, didn't pay any attention. Well, I only 
took the depouille and bossribs of the cow, 
and tying them on behind my saddle, I rode 
off about fifty yards. The wolves immediately 
ran up to the carcass, and such a snapping 
and clicking of teeth you never heard. In a 
very few minutes the cow was eaten up, and 
the bare bones were dragged and scattered 
about. The wolves, as soon as the carcass 
began to be fairly well picked, commenced 
striking out toward the northeast, and finally 
all of them went off in that direction, leaving 
only the kit foxes to keep me company. I cut 
off several bits of meat from the ribs tied to 
my saddle, and they would pounce on them 
almost before they struck the ground. 

"In the old times wolves were much more 
numerous than coyotes, and to-day the condi- 
tions are directly the reverse. If wolves are 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

so much sharper and more difficult to catch 
than coyotes, as some people say, how does it 
happen that they are very scarce in the whole 
West, while coyotes seem to be more numer- 
ous than they were in the old times?" 

Conditions have changed for the wolf. In 
early days he was disregarded, but now a very 
large class of people in the West take an 
active interest in wolves. As these animals 
began to be troublesome, and to prey on the 
stock of the cattlemen, people who had heard 
of the old-time industry of wolfing took to 
poisoning them, since, as a rule, the work of 
trapping them called for more patience and 
skill than the average ranchman possessed, 
and they were too wary to be shot. At last, 
however, the wolves refused to take the 
poison; refused to eat any meat, in fact, ex- 
cept a carcass freshly killed by themselves. 
This, of course, put an end to the poisoning, 
and recourse was had again to steel traps. 
With these, trappers have had some success. 
I know of a case last winter where six wolves 
were trapped in a very limited area, and, curi- 
ously enough, all of these were she wolves. 
After people had become discouraged with 
their lack of success in poisoning, a great 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

many greyhounds and staghourids were taken 
into the West, and efforts were made to use 
these to kill off the wolves on the ranges. 
No doubt many wolves have been killed in 
this way, as it is certain that many coyotes 
have, but this method of hunting, while an 
exhilarating sport, is inefficient as a means of 
exterminating the wolves. In a level country 
where the ground is good, dogs can overtake 
and kill wolves; but they must be very swift 
animals, regularly trained to the work, and 
there must be two or three at least to each 
wolf. I heard not long ago of a man who 
started two wolf-hounds after a bunch of six 
gray wolves, in a rough country. The dogs 
easily overtook the wolves, which then turned 
on them, and simply ate them up. In a 
rough country dogs can accomplish but little 
against the wolves, because they become foot- 
sore and hurt themselves against the stones, 
and can no longer overtake the wolves. I 
never heard of a wolf becoming footsore or 
hurting himself among the rocks. 

In the old buffalo days it was, of course, an 
every-day matter for a man who was traveling 
over the prairie to meet little bunches of five 
or six or a dozen wolves strung out, traveling 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

one after another from place to place. These 
seldom regarded the man any more than he 
did them. Occasionally one might ride down 
into a ravine, and almost over a wolf lying 
asleep in some sunny spot or under a bush. 
It would spring to its feet in great alarm, 
make a half dozen wild jumps to some high 
point, and stop for a look, and then, seeing 
that it was only a man, would continue to 
gaze, and at last trot unconcernedly away. 
Nowadays it is rather unusual for any one 
to see a wolf, and in recent times few men 
have had such an experience as happened to 
an acquaintance of mine, who, one morning in 
April, 1897, stepped out of the cabin to look 
about, when a big gray wolf came around the 
corner of the house within fifteen feet of him. 
Man and wolf were both astonished, and the 
man jumped into the house to get his gun, 
while the wolf ran to the top of a knoll about 
two hundred yards away, and halted. When 
it stopped the man shot, the ball entering the 
right ham, ranging through the body, and 
smashing the left shoulder. The wolf fell, 
sprang to its feet again, and ran around in a 
small circle, biting at the point where the ball 
had hit it, while it yelled dismally, and so 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

loudly that it was heard at the next cabin, 
about two miles distant. The man cheered the 
ranch dog at the wolf, and jumped into the 
house again to put on his boots, for he had just 
gotten out of bed. By the time he had them 
on, and had started for the wolf, the dog came 
back with his face, breast and shoulders badly 
cut, though the wolf had seemingly made only 
two or three snaps at him. The man fol- 
lowed the wolf along the mountain side, over 
snowbanks, and up and down the sides of 
gulches for two miles, before he overtook it 
or could get a shot at it. All the time the 
animal was bleeding so freely that there was 
no difficulty in following the trail. When he 
came to it, it was too weak to go further, and 
he was able to finish it with stones. 

In old times, the wolf in the buffalo range 
lived almost exclusively on the flesh of that 
animal, devouring the remains of those killed 
by the Indian or white hunters, and also those 
which perished by drowning, and by being 
mired in crossing streams. About the traps 
or "pounds," which were used by the Indians 
to catch buffalo, wolves were always abund- 
ant and fed upon the carcasses and remains 
left in the trap over night. If a band of buf- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

falo were driven in toward evening, and the 
butchering was not finished that day, the 
wolves were sure to spoil whatever meat was 
left there during the night. It was, therefore, 
a common practice for the Indians to set 
snares in the openings of the fence which in- 
closed the buffalo corral, and in this way they 
caught many wolves. Another form of trap I 
have described in my book on the Blackfeet* 
They also trapped many wolves by means 
of dead-falls, for in old times the fur of these 
animals was highly valued by some tribes for 
robes, and also for purposes of ornamentation, 
the buffalo robes often being trimmed with a 
margin of white wolf skin. 

In countries where buffalo were not abund- 
dant, wolves killed for themselves and by run- 
ning them down, deer, moose, caribou, and 
perhaps elk, though, as these last animals go 
in large droves in winter, it may be ques- 
tioned whether the wolves often make suc- 
cessful attacks on them. 

To-day the wolf feeds largely on domestic 
animals. On the western range it kills many 
colts, but chiefly calves and older cattle, as 
already described. The she wolf which has a 

* " Blackfoot Lodge Tales," page 240. 

Wolves and Wolf Nature 

litter of young puppies leaves them in their 
home usually a hole dug in some cut bank 
or ravine and, sallying out to the prey, eats 
freely of its flesh, and then returning to the 
mouth of the hole, disgorges the contents of 
her stomach, on which the puppies feed. As 
they are abundantly supplied, and do not con- 
sume all that is brought to them, the imme- 
diate vicinity of the den is often very offensive 
from the odor of the decaying flesh. We are 
told that wolves change their abiding place 
several times during the growth of a litter of 

The young wolves are born probably in 
April, over most of the plains country. I 
have seen them in July half grown, big and 
strong, but as clumsy as pups at the same 
age. I remember that once, many years ago, 
as I rode down the valley of the Birdwood, 
toward the North Platte, in company with 
Major North and a dozen young fellows, 
white and Indian, we startled from beneath a 
bush an old she wolf and five half-grown pup- 
pies. There were two or three miles of level 
bottom all about us, and our fresh horses 
were eager for the race, which we were glad 
to give them. We scattered out, and for a 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

little while the plain was alive with galloping 
figures and noisy with cracking six-shooters, 
and when we came together to resume our 
ride, four of the wolf puppies had been ac- 
counted for, but the mother and the other 
young one had escaped, either by speed or by 
dodging into high grass, where it was impos- 
sible for us to find them. 

In books on natural history tame wolves 
are often mentioned, but I have never seen 
one unconfined. I have, however, often seen 
wolves, young and old, at play, when they 
were ignorant of my presence, and have been 
impressed by the similarity of their actions to 
those of dogs under like circumstances. When 
not alarmed, they often hold the tail high up. 
I have seen them hold it nearly straight up, 
and also curved up at various angles, as a dog 
may hold his. To show affection or friendli- 
ness for their fellows, they wag their tails just 
as a dog does ; and some young wolves, seen 
a year or two ago in the Zoological Park at 
Washington, on the approach of the keeper 
showed the evidences of affection and delight 
that a dog would at the approach of a friend : 
laying back their ears, grinning, wagging their 

tails, and wriggling their bodies in an absurd 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

transport of joy. When the wolf is fright- 
ened, it tucks its tail between its legs, and 
forward under its belly, precisely as does a 
frightened dog. 

A good many years ago a peculiar circum- 
stance happened to me, which for a long time 
I was unable to explain to myself on any 
theory whatever. With a single companion I 
was traveling south through western Nebras- 
ka, then absolutely without inhabitants, and 
camped one night on the bare prairie, forty or 
fifty miles north of the Union Pacific Rail- 
road. The night was moonless, but bright 
starlight, not at all what would be called a 
dark night. The horses were picketed close 
to us, and we had gone to bed, and were 
sleeping some few feet apart. 

About the middle of the night I was awak- 
ened by feeling something drawn across my 
chest, and opening my eyes I saw, sitting on 
its haunches close to my body, a wolf, which, 
as I looked at it, reached out its paw and 
again drew it across my chest, much as a dog 
would scrape his paw over his master's knee 
if he wished to attract his attention. I was 
more or less irritated at being aroused, and, 

gently freeing my feet from the folds of the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

blanket about them, I threw one of them 
around and kicked the wolf in the ribs, when 
it promptly disappeared, and I saw nothing 
more of it. 

I have since concluded that the wolf was 
uncertain whether it sat by a carcass or a living 
person, and was experimenting to satisfy itself 
on this point before beginning its meal. The 
animal was certainly a gray wolf, as shown by 
its size and outline, which I distinctly saw 
against the starlight sky, as well as by the 
resistance that I felt when my foot struck it, 
for it was not a small animal. 

The wolf of Northern Europe is said to 
be a ferocious beast, and, when pressed by 
hunger in winter, frequently to destroy human 
beings. The wolf of North America, which is 
essentially the same animal, is notoriously a 
coward, and avoids man when he can. It is 
true that at frequent intervals stories appear 
in the newspapers giving accounts of attacks 
on human beings by wolves in this country. 
Such stories usually contain internal evidence 
of their falsity. Others on investigation have 
proved to be inventions, others still cannot be 
traced to their authors. 

The fact seems to be that, until the advent 

Wolves and Wolf Nature 

of white men in America, game was so plenty 
that the wolves had no difficulty in killing for 
themselves whatever they needed to supply 
their wants. They were seldom disturbed by 
man, and so were on terms of friendliness with 
the aborigines. Very soon after the coming 
of the white man the wolves began to learn 
that these new people were not friendly or 
indifferent, and were armed with weapons 
far more effective than those used by the 
Indians; and from regarding man as a friend 
and associate they came to avoid him as a 
being to be feared. 

The deer, the moose, the caribou and the 
buffalo furnished a fat subsistence to the wolf, 
and long before those animals had become 
exterminated in any region, and hunger had 
forced him to consider the question of attack- 
ing human beings, the wolf had learned the 
power of the white man, and had retreated 
beyond the settlements to regions where game 
was still plenty. 

Major Frank North, who, as a boy, in 1856 
and '57, devoted a winter to poisoning wolves 
in Nebraska, and who followed the wild life 
of the western prairies almost up to the time 
of his death, nearly thirty years later, told me 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

that he had never in all his experience known 
of a wolf attacking a human being. On a 
number of occasions during the winter that he 
was poisoning wolves, when returning on foot 
after dark from putting out his baits, he was 
followed at a distance of not more than eight 
or ten feet by a huge white wolf. The first 
two or three times that it followed him he was 
afraid of it, believing that perhaps it might 
attack him, but it never approached very close 
to him. 

I have known of but one person being 
attacked by a wolf, and this attack was ap- 
parently not made because the animal was 
hungry, but because it was cross. The per- 
son who was injured was a daughter of old Jim 
Baker, one of the few old-time trappers still 
living, who resides on Snake River, in the 
northwest corner of Colorado. The occur- 
rence took place about sixteen years ago, and 
in summer. The young girl, then eighteen 
years old, went out just at dusk to drive in 
some milk cows. As she was going toward 
them, she saw a gray wolf sitting on the 
hillside, just above the trail. She shouted 
to frighten it away, and when it did not move, 

took up a stone and threw at it. The animal 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

snarled at her call, and when she threw the 
stone came jumping down the hill, caught her 
by the shoulder, threw her down, and tore her 
badly on the arms and legs. She screamed, 
and her brother, who happened to be near 
and had his gun, ran up and killed the wolf. 
It was a young animal, barely full grown. 

If a man is unarmed a wolf will often dis- 
play great boldness. Only a few years ago, 
while on the Blackfoot Reservation, I rode past 
a wolf, perhaps forty yards distant, which did 
not even turn to look at me until I shouted at 
him. Then he slowly turned his head and 
looked at me, and actually seemed to grin. I 
had nothing about me more formidable than a 


The range of the coyote extends from the 
Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, and as 
far north as to beyond the Red Deer's River, 
and south into Mexico. The coyote is a 
small animal, less than half the size of the 
gray wolf, and much more timid than that 
species, but it is abundant enough and intelli- 
gent enough to do a great deal of damage to 
the stockman's herds. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

In old times, before the days of range 
cattle, the coyotes in the buffalo range sub- 
sisted chiefly on the dead buffalo that they 
found, on the remains of those killed by man, 
and of those killed by the wolves. In com- 
pany with the gray wolves, the badgers and 
the kit foxes, they visited the Indian's buffalo 
traps. Besides this, they killed deer, ante- 
lopes, jack rabbits and grouse, together with 
prairie dogs, ground squirrels, mice, and all 
sorts of ground nesting birds. In those days 
coyotes seemed few in number by comparison 
with the gray wolves, and they were always 
timid. Yet at night they would sneak into 
camp, and carry away any food that might 
have been left lying about, or would chew 
up reins, horse collars, bridles, raw-hide ropes, 
and even saddles, if these were left where they 
could get at them. 

In the northern plains country the young 
coyotes are born about May i, and in their 
early puppyhood are maltese blue in color. 
They are brought forth usually in a hole dug 
in the side of a ravine, and until they are 
quite well grown do not venture far from 
home, holding themselves always in readiness 

to dive under ground at the slightest alarm. 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

Near the mouth of this hole may be found 
bones, feathers and bits of skin, and often the 
partially devoured bodies of rabbits, prairie 
dogs and gophers, on which the pups have 
been chewing or with which they have played. 
The parents are constantly foraging for them 
and they have plenty to eat. 

Their retreat does not always save them, 
and I have more than once spent some hours 
in the hot sun in reaching the bottom of such 
a hole by laboriously digging into the bank 
with a butcher knife. If the inmates are cap- 
tured the profit is not great, for their extreme 
timidity renders young coyotes most ill-na- 
tured, cantankerous and vicious pets. Their 
whole time and intelligence are devoted to 
solving the problem of escape, and usually 
one night or at most two gives them the 
solution, and they slip their collars, chew off 
their ropes, or gnaw a way out of the box, 
and in the morning are missing. Then every- 
body in camp including him who held title 
to the beasts is heartily glad to be rid of 

If, however, the coyote can be captured 
very young, before it knows that there are 

such things as friends and enemies, it is 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

readily tamed and makes an interesting, but 
always mischievous, pet. I have seen such 
tame coyotes tame to their owners and to 
people that they were accustomed to see each 
day, but very shy to strangers, and keeping at 
a safe distance from them. An interesting 
group of three individuals seen on a ranch in 
northern Montana had been captured before 
their eyes were opened. As very small pup- 
pies they were tame, and very playful and 
pretty. When about half grown one disap- 
peared, but the others remained about the 
place, on the best of terms with everyone, in- 
cluding the ten or a dozen greyhounds which 
were regularly used in hunting coyotes. A 
short time after this it was observed that the 
chickens were disappearing, and a little later 
their headless bodies would be found. A 
watch kept by the small boy who owned 
chickens and coyotes alike, proved that one 
of the wolves was killing the chickens for its 
own amusement, and one day while it was 
watching with keen satisfaction the struggles 
of a decapitated hen, the boy shot it. 

The third member of the family grew to full 
size, and was a pretty, though timid, animal. 
It used to play gaily with the greyhound 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

puppies of its own size, and evidently was per- 
fectly at home with them. It wagged its tail 
and fawned on any one that it knew well who 
caressed it, but if a stranger attempted to pat 
it, it usually dodged, and would not come 
within reach of the hand. It did not always 
remain about the camp, but wandered away 
on to the prairie. Here it was several times 
seen, and taken for a wild coyote, and chased 
by the hounds. It would run fast and far, 
and at length, when tired or about to be over- 
taken, it would stop, lie down, and roll over 
on its back, lying there with its paws in the 
air until the pack came up. When the dogs 
reached it, and recognized it as a friend, it at 
once jumped up and fraternized with them, 
seeming by its actions to express its gratitude 
to them for having spared it, and, perhaps, its 
satisfaction at the joke it had played on the 
hounds. At all events, the boy who rode 
with the pack declared that he believed " the 
little devil done it a' purpose," and I was very 
much inclined to agree with him. 

The wisdom of the coyote is proverbial. 
In the folk myths of many tribes of western 
Indians he is a mysterious and supernatural 

being, often one of the gods, but sometimes 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

merely a man, whose craft and mysterious 
powers enable him to work wonders and to 
perform many marvelous deeds. Yet, whether 
god or man, he possesses a bad and malicious 
disposition, and is always getting into trouble, 
and constantly bringing misfortune on those 
with whom he is associated. The deeds at- 
tributed to the coyote by the Indians, while 
they pay a high tribute to his intelligence 
leave much to be desired as to his morals. 

Coyotes do many curious things ; but one 
of the oddest that I ever heard of was wit- 
nessed by my friend Captain North, at the 
old ranch on the Dismal River in northern 
Nebraska. The ranch house at the lake was 
built of sods or adobes, with walls eighteen 
inches or two feet thick. The window casings 
were set in the same plane with the inner 
walls, and the sashes were hinged above, and 
when the windows were open hooked to the 
ceilings of the rooms. There was thus at 
each window an embrasure as deep as the 
thickness of the wall, and as long and high as 
the sash. 

Among the dogs at the ranch was a bull- 
terrier, which among the cow punchers there 
had a great reputation as a fighter, and was 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

certainly the master of all the other dogs, and 
the boys never wearied of talking of his fight- 
ing qualities, or of wishing that he might meet 
some worthy foe. 

One night in winter, some one happening 
to look out of the ranch window discovered, 
curled up close to the glass, a ball of fur, 
which a little inspection showed to be a coy- 
ote, which had jumped up into the embra- 
sure, and was peacefully sleeping in the warm 
and sheltered place out of the wind and snow. 
The question at once arose what they should 
do with it. It could easily be killed, but 
there would be no fun in that. At length 
some genius among those present proposed 
that, while one man should cautiously open 
the window, another should stand by with the 
bull-terrier in his arms, and throw the bull- 
terrier on to the coyote. Then all could rush 
outside and witness the fight, and the dog's 
triumph. The plan was carried out. When 
all was ready the window was silently and 
swiftly opened and the dog was tossed on to 
the coyote, which at once disappeared, fol- 
lowed by the dog, and all hands rushed out to 
see the fight. They heard the dog rush bark- 
ing around the house, and in a moment he 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

passed them, and ran around the corner, bark- 
ing and growling and greatly excited. Two 
or three times he ran about the house, but the 
coyote had disappeared, and at last all hands, 
much disappointed, went inside again. One 
of the men, going to the window to see that it 
was fastened, was astonished to see the coyote 
lying up against the glass, just as he had seen 
it a few moments before. The coyote had 
evidently jumped down from the window, run 
around the house, and when he came to the 
window again had jumped up into it and 
gone to sleep, as if nothing had happened. 

The strangest part of the story follows. 
The dog was again thrown at the coyote, 
which at once repeated its performance, again 
completely baffling the dog, which lost all 
trace of it. It seems clear from this that the 
coyote, while smart enough to measure the 
dog's intelligence, did not connect the attack 
on him with the inside of the house, and prob- 
ably did not know that the window had been 
opened. Such matters as a window and the 
inside of a house were, of course, quite outside 
the range of his experience. The cowboys, 
after this second attempt, being much im- 
pressed by the coyote's smartness, decided 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

that he was entitled to undisturbed rest for 
the remainder of the night. 

A year or two ago, while riding out to look 
at a bunch of cattle, I saw as I rode over a 
little hill near the house, a coyote down in the 
next valley, and with the coyote was a badger. 
I had no gun, and the coyote seemed to know 
it, for he paid no attention to me, but ap- 
peared to be playing with the badger. He 
would prance around it, make a feint of at- 
tacking it, and then run off a little way, the 
badger immediately running after him. This 
he did until the badger had gone sixty or 
seventy yards, when I got so near the two 
that the badger saw me, and ran into a hole, 
and the coyote trotted off a short distance, 
and lay down. This was not the first time 
that I had seen something like this going on, 
but I had never quite comprehended what it 
meant. Evidently the two animals were either 
playing with each other which was most un- 
likely or the wolf was teasing the badger. 
Further consideration, and talk with others 
who had seen the same thing, led me to be- 
lieve that the wolf was plaguing the badger in 
order to make it follow him. The badger is 
notoriously short-tempered, and would rather 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

fight than run away, and I have no doubt that 
the coyote's device was to make the badger so 
angry that it would follow him, and to draw it 
along until a second coyote was met with, 
when the two would attack the badger, and 
kill and eat it. In a fight, a badger would be 
more than a match for a single coyote, but 
two of them could probably tire him out, and 
at length kill him. 

A striking example of craft and intelligence 
was seen last year (1896) at my ranch. We 
have there a rather worthless yellow sheep 
dog, which imagines that he can catch every- 
thing that runs away from him, and spends 
much time chasing coyotes, jack-rabbits, and 
antelope. He never catches any of these 
creatures, but he always chases them, and 
after he has run himself down, comes back 
with lolling tongue and a mortified air. The 
coyotes often in the daytime come up within 
one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards 
of the house, and whenever the dog sees them, 
he chases them out of sight. They do not 
appear to be very much afraid of him, and 
do not run away very fast. At night the 
coyotes come up close to the door, and can 
be heard all about the building, and at this 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

time the dog is kept busy chasing them, but 
he does not follow them far after dark. 

Not very long ago the coyotes devised a 
plan for getting rid of this dog. About nine 
o'clock at night, one of them came up close 
to the kitchen door and howled. The dog 
rushed out after it, and the coyote ran away 
down toward one of the corrals, and around 
behind the blacksmith's shop into the garden, 
the dog following after him at the top of his 
speed. Behind the blacksmith's shop were 
waiting six or seven other coyotes, which at 
once attacked the dog and began to worry 
him. The noise of the fight led Collins to 
seize his rifle and rush out there, and in the 
bright moonlight he saw a writhing, snarling 
mass of animals on the ground. At first he 
could not shoot for fear of killing the dog, but 
his shouts caused the coyotes to scatter, and 
he shot at one, but without result. He was 
only just in time to save the dog, which was 
badly cut up. Since that time Shep's interest 
in coyotes has somewhat abated. He still 
chases a single one with his old enthusiasm, 
but if a second appears he gives up the pur- 
suit and returns to the house. 

The coyote eats to live, and lives to eat, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

and the question of subsistence occupies most 
of his thought. So he has become an expert 
in hunting methods, and these methods are 
well worth studying. It is in the manner in 
which these animals combine for mutual as- 
sistance in the actual chase that they show 
the greatest intelligence, securing with a min- 
imum of effort creatures as swift as the jack- 
rabbit or the antelope. 

Early in the spring, when the calves are 
being born, it is not unusual to see from one 
to three coyotes sitting round on the hills 
waiting for an old cow to hide her new-born 
calf and go off for water. At this time of the 
year they get a good many of the calves. It 
is not uncommon for several of them to sur- 
round a single cow with a young calf and try 
to kill it. They make fierce charges up close 
to the cow, in the hope of drawing her away 
from the calf, or frightening the calf so that it 
will leave hen If cow and calf had sense 
enough to keep close together there would be 
little danger, but often a young heifer will 
chase a coyote, and thus become separated 
from her calf, and then two or three bites 
from the other coyotes kill the calf. 

I have several times seen this plan carried 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

out by coyotes, and that it is not confined to 
any one territory is shown by an account 
given by Miss Florence A. Merriam, in Forest 
and Stream, where she quotes a conversation 
with a California ranchman, which indicates 
that coyotes are everywhere very much alike. 
The man said to Miss Merriam : 

" We used to miss our pigs when they were 
a month or six weeks old, and one day when I 
was carrying on the piling business I come 
out to the ranch and the hogs were up here, 
and I rode along, and as I got on to the rise 
where that black stump is," pointing out of 
the window toward the pasture fence, " I saw 
one of the old hogs chase a coyote. I thought 
it was a dog first, and stopped to see. Then 
I saw another coyote and the other hog was 
after him." 

Two coyotes commonly work together, it is 
said ; one to decoy the guardian of the young, 
while the other does the stealing. 

" The little pigs was scart," the ranchman 
went on, " and they stood themselves up in a 
little pyramid pile while the old hogs was 
chasing the coyotes away. One coyote would 
come up and the hog would chase him, but 
the coyote would keep a-going to get the hog 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

away from the pigs ; bother and tease him to 
get him away. The other coyote would be 
dodgin' round close where the pigs were. 
Then the coyote that was furthest off he run 
and skipped by his hog, and run as fast as he 
could for the pile of pigs and got one. By 
the time the wolves had killed the pig, the old 
hogs were back after them, but they maneu- 
vered round till one got the pig and dragged 
it off. Then the old hogs went after the 
other little pigs and took them to the hill." 

" Have you ever seen the wolves chase a 
calf ? " I asked the ranchman. 

"Seen them?" he ejaculated. "I've seen 
them right there on that flat," pointing to the 
meadow below the house. 

"There were two coyotes and a cow and 
a calf. The coyotes would both rush up to- 
gether, and the cow would take after one, and 
he'd run off, and while she was chasing that 
one, the other one would slip up and kill the 
calf. If a coyote attacks one cow with a calf, 
when she sets up a-bawlin' all the cows within 
sight or hearing will come to the rescue, all 
bawlin' and bellerin' to drive you crazy." 

The cowboys are greatly troubled by coy- 
otes, and the farmer explained the reason by 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

saying : " You know the cowboys here take a 
cow's hide and slit it up into strips and twist 
up a lariat for lassoing, and put a drag hon- 
doo a block of rawhide or wood on the 
end. They picketed their horses out with 
them years ago when things was new, and 
often had their horses cut loose at night. 
The coyotes never bother rope, but I've seen 
rawhide lariats cut up into short pieces by 
them as slick and smooth as if cut with a 
knife. Everybody always looks out for his 
lariats when they are off on the ranges. A 
coyote would slip right up and cut them. 
I've been told of it by a great many horse 
men, and have heard of it out in the deserts 
east of here." 

"They're a sneakin' animal," the ranchman 
declared, stroking his beard, and then went 
on to tell his experiences around the sheep 
camps. " If they get round the bed ground, 
the sheep will bunch up. I had a bunch of 
sheep, about 2,400, on the desert near the 
Grand Canon. The coyotes was thick there. 
You could hear them barkin' in every direc- 
tion such gangs of them, all barking and 
howling at the same time. On a dark night 
like this they'd make night hideous. We were 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

doctorin' the sheep for the scab, and had them 
all in a corral, and at night could hear them 
surging back and forth from one side to the 
other. The sheep men say coyotes never get 
inside a corral to get the sheep, but get close 
to the outside. When they get inside an in- 
closure they haven't much show to get out 
with anything they're a sensible animal. But 
they're awful bold in the daytime when the 
sheep are out in the herd. They'll run up to 
one and cut its throat. Then there's a grand 
scattering" he concluded, as he reached for 
his hat, and went out to hitch the bucking 
broncho. So writes Miss Merriam. 

The prong-horned antelope is the swiftest 
animal on the plains, and yet the coyotes 
catch a good many of them just by running 
them down. This sounds like a paradox, yet 
it is quite true, and is explained by the cun- 
ning of the wolves and the habits of the 

A single coyote which undertook to run 
down a single antelope would get tired and 
hungry before he accomplished much, but 
when two or three coyotes are together it is 
quite a different thing. The coyotes do not 

all run after the antelope together. They 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

take turns, and while one runs the others rest, 
and at last they tire the antelope out, and 
capture it. 

If, when it was started, the antelope ran 
straight away, it would, of course, leave all the 
wolves behind, those that were resting even 
more than the one that was chasing it; but 
the antelope often does not run straight away; 
it is much more likely to run in large circles, 
and this enables the wolves to take turns 
when chasing it. 

When three or four prairie wolves decide 
that they want antelope meat, one of them 
creeps as close as possible to the antelope 
they have selected, and makes a rush for it, 
running as fast as he possibly can, so as to 
push the antelope to its best speed and to 
tire it out. Meantime his companions spread 
out on either side of the runner, and get upon 
little hills or knolls so as to keep the chase in 
sight. They trot from point to point, and 
pretty soon, when the antelope turns and 
begins to work back toward one of them, this 
one tries to get as nearly as possible in its 
path, and as it flies by, the wolf dashes out at 
it and runs after it at top speed, while the one 

that had been chasing the antelope stops run- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ning and trots off to some nearby hill, where, 
while the water drips off his lolling tongue, he 
watches the race, and gets his breath again. 
After a little, the antelope passes near another 
coyote, which in turn takes up the pursuit. 
And so the chase is kept up until the poor 
antelope is exhausted, when it is overtaken 
and pulled down by one or more of the 
hungry brutes. Of course the coyotes do not 
catch every antelope they start. Sometimes 
the game runs such a course that it does not 
pass near any of the waiting wolves, and only 
the one that starts it has any running to do. 
In such a case the pursuit is soon abandoned. 
Sometimes the antelope is so stout and strong 
that it tires out all its pursuers. 

Yet the wolves catch them more frequently 
than one would think, and it is not at all 
uncommon to see coyotes chasing antelope, 
although, of course, to see the whole race 
and its termination is very unusual. Often if 
a wolf running an antelope comes near to a 
man he gives up the chase, and that par- 
ticular antelope is saved. It is a common 
thing for a coyote to chase an old doe with 
her kids just after the little ones have begun 

to run about. At that time they are very 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

swift for short distances, but have not the 
strength to stand a long chase. In such a 
case a mother will often stay behind her 
young, and will try to fight off the coyote, 
butting him with her head and striking him 
with her forefeet. He pays little attention to 
her, except to snap at her, and keeps on after 
the kids. Several times I have seen a mother 
antelope lead her little ones into the midst of 
a bed of cactus, where the wolf could not go 
without getting his feet full of thorns. If the 
bed is small, the wolf makes ferocious dashes 
up to its border, trying to frighten the little 
ones so that they will run out on the other 
side and he can start after them again, but 
usually the mother has no trouble in holding 
them. I have several times killed young an- 
telope whose legs had been bitten by coyotes, 
but which had got away. 

The coyotes understand very well at what 
time of the year the young antelope are born, 
and at this season they spend much time sit- 
ting about on the hills and watching the old 
does. These, however, are often pretty well 
able to take care of themselves, and I have 
seen an old doe, which unquestionably had 
young hidden somewhere nearby in the grass, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

chase a coyote clear out of the county. She 
kept close behind him for the three-quarters 
of a mile that I could see them, striking at 
him as che ran, and he had his tail between 
his legs, and was evidently thoroughly scared. 

One hot summer day some years ago, a 
gang of section men were working in a cut on 
the Union Pacific Railroad west of Laramie, 
when suddenly a big buck antelope ran down 
one side of the cut, across the track, and up 
the other side. His sudden dash in among 
them startled the men ; and while they stood 
looking up where he had crossed, a coyote 
suddenly plunged down the side of the cut, 
just as the antelope had done. The readiest 
of the section men threw a hammer at him, 
and the wolf turned and scrambled up the 
bank, that he had just come down, and was 
not seen again. 

Some years ago I camped one afternoon on 
Rock Creek, Wyo., and as there was very little 
feed we turned the horses loose at night to 
pick among the sage brush and grease wood. 
Early in the morning, before sunrise, while 
the man with me was getting breakfast, I 
started out to look for the horses. They 

were nowhere to be seen, and I climbed to 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

the top of the hill back of camp, from which, 
as it was the only high place anywhere about, 
I felt sure that I could see the missing ani- 
mals. Just before I got to the top of the hill 
an old doe antelope suddenly came in view, 
closely followed by a coyote. Both of them 
seemed to be running as hard as they could, 
and both had their tongues hanging out as if 
they had come a long way. Suddenly, almost 
at the heels of the antelope much closer to 
her than the other wolf appeared a second 
coyote, which now took up the running, while 
the one that had been chasing her stopped, 
and sat down and watched. The antelope 
ran quite a long distance, always bearing a 
little to the left, and now seeming to run 
more slowly than when I first saw her. As 
she kept turning, it was evident that she 
would either run around the hill on which I 
stood or would come back near it. At first I 
was so interested in watching her that I for- 
got to look at the wolf that had halted near 
me. When I did so he was no longer at the 
place where he had paused, but was trotting 
over a little ridge that ran down from the hill, 
and watching the chase that was now so far 
off. He could easily have run across the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

cord of the arc and headed the antelope, but 
he knew too well what she would do to give 
himself that trouble. After a little, it was 
evident that the antelope would come back 
pretty near to the hill, but on the other side 
of it from where she had passed before, and 
the wolf which I had first seen chasing her 
trotted out two or three hundred yards on to 
the prairie and sat down. The antelope was 
now coming back almost directly toward him, 
and I could see that there were two wolves 
behind her, one close at her heels and the 
other a long way further back. The first 
wolf now seemed quite excited. He no longer 
sat up, but crouched close to the ground, 
every few moments raising his head very 
slowly to take a look at the doe, and then 
lowering it again, so that he would be out of 
sight. Sometimes he crawled on his belly a 
few feet further from me, evidently trying to 
put himself directly in the path of the ante- 
lope ; and this he seemed to have succeeded 
in doing. As she drew near him I could see 
that she was staggering, she was so tired, and 
the wolf behind could at any moment have 
knocked her down if he had wanted to, but he 
seemed to be waiting for something. The 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

wolf that was following" him was now running 
faster and catching up. 

When the antelope reached the place where 
the first wolf was lying hidden, he sprang up, 
and in a jump or two caught her by the neck 
and threw her down. At the same moment 
the two wolves from behind came up, and for 
a moment there was a scuffle, in which yellow 
and white and gray and waving tails were all 
mixed up, and then the three wolves were seen 
standing there, tearing away at their breakfast. 

I was so much interested in the intelligence 
shown by the coyotes that I do not think I 
felt the least sympathy for the antelope. Even 
if I had wanted to help her I could have done 
nothing, for she was so tired that the coyotes 
could easily have caught her after I had gone. 

Mr. Lew Wilmot, an old-timer in the West- 
ern country, has contributed to Forest and 
Stream some interesting notes on the hunt- 
ing habits of the coyote, which are well worth 
quoting. He says : 

" A few years ago along in the spring, I took 
my rifle and started up into the open hills to 
kill some grouse, and when I got up on the 
top of a small ridge that puts down between 

my creek and the Columbia River, I stood 


Trail and Camp -Fire 

still for a while, listening for a grouse to hoot. 

" Across from where I stood was quite a 
high mountain, covered with bunch grass and 
a few scattering pines ; the snow had not all 
gone, especially near the top. I had not 
stopped very long when I saw a deer coming 
over the hill, and from the way it was running 
I knew there was something after it. Soon I 
saw two coyotes down to the right, and from 
the way they were running I thought they 
were trying to head the deer off from the river. 
Soon I saw two more on the trail, and then I 
saw two more to the left, and it looked to me 
as if those that were on the flanks were run- 
ning the fastest. There was a crossing in a 
gap in the ridge I was on, and I knew the deer 
would come through that gap ; so I ran down 
toward the gap, not that I wanted to shoot the 
deer, but I wanted to shoot at the coyotes that 
were on the deer's track. 

" I had not got quite down to the gap when 
the deer came through. It was a whitetail 
buck, and he was doing his best to get to the 
river. I had but a short time to wait when 
the two coyotes came along. I whistled when 
they got opposite to me and they stopped and 
looked up. I fired at the one that looked the 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

largest. At the crack of the rifle it started, 
and ran as fast as it could for about fifty yards 
and rolled over dead. The other followed it 
for a few yards and then turned off up the hill, 
and when it saw its mate roll over it stopped. 
I shot at it, and as I did not make the right 
allowance for distance, undershot and broke 
one of its legs. I put my dog after it and he 
soon brought it to bay, and I had the satisfac- 
tion of killing it. 

" On another occasion I was coming down 
from a neighbor's, and when near the bottom 
on the Columbia I noticed a couple of coyotes 
hunting through the grass and low bushes ; 
they had their tails up like dogs, and seemed 
to be as busy. 

" Soon they were joined by two more, and 
all had their tails up, and as they had not dis- 
covered me I waited to see what they were 
after. I never saw dogs hunt through a flat 
more diligently than they did, and it was very 
amusing to see them with their tails up. I 
think they were hunting chipmunks. Not 
having anything to shoot with, I started on, 
and when they saw me they trotted off up the 
gulch, but lowered their tails, coyote-like. 

" I have often been told by white men and 
i 99 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

by Indians that they have seen as many as 
fifteen coyotes after one deer. This winter 
while on a trip to Curlew I had to go down on 
Kettle River, and I saw where six deer had 
been caught by coyotes. I examined to see 
whether any big wolves had been among them, 
but did not see a track. An old Indian told 
me that a few days before the coyotes had run 
a deer down on to the ice and caught it, and 
he heard it bleat, and he ran down, but when 
he got there they had almost eaten it up." 

Accounts of how the coyote points the game 
that it is hunting have often been published, 
and one summer during haying time a good 
example of this was seen by some of the hay- 
makers at my ranch in Wyoming. 

The loaded hay wagon was coming back 
from one of the meadows, when a coyote was 
seen forty or fifty yards from the road appar- 
ently on a stiff point. He was standing abso- 
lutely still, his nose and tail straight out in a 
line, and one forefoot lifted from the ground. 
Just before him there was a very slight rise of 
ground, but the men who were riding on top 
of the load of hay could see over this, and saw 
that he was pointing a prairie dog which was 
feeding near its hole, just on the other side of 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

the elevation. They were so interested in the 
sight that they stopped the wagon and watched. 
Every little while the prairie dog would sit up 
and look about, and when he did this the co- 
yote would stand absolutely without motion. 
When the dog dropped down on all four feet 
and began to feed, the coyote would very 
slowly and stealthily creep up a few feet 
nearer. This thing went on for some min- 
utes, the dog not seeming to notice the co- 
yote, which at the last must have been in 
plain sight. The last time the dog dropped 
down to feed, the coyote made a swift rush, 
covering twelve or fifteen feet, picked the little 
animal up, and then for the first time noticing 
the hay wagon, stood for a moment with his 
prey hanging across his mouth, and then trot- 
ted slowly off up the hill. 

As he is usually seen, the coyote gives one 
the impression of a down-trodden much-bullied 
animal, that desires nothing so much as to get 
away. It sneaks along with downcast mien 
and lowered tail, and casts fearful glances back- 
ward over its shoulder, as if it expected every 
moment to have a stone thrown at it. But 
if you happen to be without a gun when you 
meet it, there is no animal on the prairie more 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

unconcerned and impudent. They will bark 
at you from a nearby hilltop, or trot a few 
paces from the trail you are following, and lie 
down and yawn as you ride by with an assump- 
tion of being bored that would be aggravating 
if it were not so comical. 

Their impudence shows itself sometimes in 
their daring to tease the big wolves, whose 
power one would think should protect them 
from such attacks. A pair of coyotes were 
seen one winter not long ago, on a big piece 
of ice, engaged in bothering a gray wolf. The 
ice was slippery, and they could get started and 
could turn much more quickly than their larger 
cousin. One of them would dance in front 
of him and annoy him, while the other ran 
by from behind and nipped him as it went 
past. Then the big wolf would try to turn and 
chase the little one, but he would slip, and be- 
fore he fairly got started would get a nip from 
the other. So they worried him for a long 
time in fact, until the observer tired of look- 
ing at them, and rode away. 

To my mind the coyote is a much more in- 
teresting animal than the gray wolf, and I 
believe that on account of his greater abun- 
dance and his far greater intelligence he does 


Wolves and Wolf Nature 

almost as much harm. On the other hand, he 
does not a little good by killing prairie dogs, 
ground squirrels, and other rodents that de- 
stroy the farmers' crops. 

I never see a coyote nowadays without being 
reminded of my old friend Medicine Bear, and 
of the speech he addressed to me in a council 
with reference to his support in the future. 
He began something like this : 

I always think about living. If I was thinking of 
dying I would have been dead long ago. I like to eat 
and that is why I am living, and when I see you out 
here, I see that I can still live, and that I am still going 
to have some more meat. The only thing I am living 
for now is eating. Ever since I have been living there 
has not been a day of this time but I have had something 
to eat, so it makes me feel good when I hear a man talk- 
ing about how I can still live. 

George Bird Grinnell. 


On the Little Missouri 

Formerly the prong-horned antelope were 
very plentiful on the immense rolling prairies 
which stretch back of the Little Missouri, 
where my ranch house stands. In the old 
days they could often be procured by luring 
them with a red flag for they are very 
inquisitive beasts. Now they have grown 
scarce and wary, and must usually either be 
stalked, which is difficult, owing to their ex- 
treme keenness of vision and the absence of 
cover on the prairies, or else must be ridden 
into. With first-class greyhounds and good 
horses they can often be run down in fair 
chase ; without greyhounds the rider can hope 
for nothing more than to get within fair shoot- 
ing-range, and this only by taking advan- 
tage of their peculiarity of running straight 
ahead in the direction in which they are 
pointed when once they have settled into 
their pace. Usually antelope, as soon as they 

see a hunter, run straight away from him ; 


On the Little Missouri 

but sometimes they make their flight at an 
angle, and as they do not like to change their 
course when once started, it is occasionally 
possible to cut them off from the point toward 
which they are headed, and get a reasonably 
close shot. 

In the fall of 1896 I spent a fortnight on 
the range with the ranch wagon. I was using 
for the first time one of the new small-calibre, 
smokeless-powder rifles, a 30-30160 Winches- 
ter. I had a half-jacketed bullet, the butt 
being cased in hard metal, while the nose was 
of lead. 

While traveling to and fro across the range 
we usually moved camp each day, not putting 
up the tent at all during the trip ; but at one 
spot we spent three nights. It was in a creek 
bottom, bounded on either side by rows of 
grassy hills, beyond which stretched the roll- 
ing prairie. The creek bed, which at this 
season was of course dry in most places, 
wound in S-shaped curves, with here and 
there a pool and here and there a fringe 
of stunted wind-beaten timber. We were 
camped near a little grove of ash, box-elder, 
and willow, which gave us shade at noonday ; 

and there were two or three pools of good 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

water in the creek bed one so deep that I 
made it my swimming-bath. 

The first day that I was able to make a 
hunt I rode out with my foreman, Sylvane 
Ferris. I was mounted on Muley. Twelve 
years before, when Muley was my favorite 
cutting pony on the round-up, he never 
seemed to tire or lose his dash, but Muley 
was now sixteen years old, and on ordinary 
occasions he liked to go as soberly as possi- 
ble ; yet the good old pony still had the fire 
latent in his blood, and at the sight of 
game or, indeed, of cattle or horses he 
seemed to regain for the time being all the 
headlong courage of his vigorous and supple 

On the morning in question it was two or 
three hours before Sylvane and I saw any 
game. Our two ponies went steadily forward 
at a single foot or shack, as the cow-punchers 
term what Easterners call "a fox trot." Most 
of the time we were passing over immense 
grassy flats, where the mat of short curled 
blades lay brown and parched under the 
bright sunlight. Occasionally we came to 
ranges of low barren hills, which sent off 
gently rounded spurs into the plain. 


On the Little Missouri 

It was on one of these ranges that we first 
saw our game. As we were traveling along 
the divide we spied eight antelope far ahead 
of us. They saw us as soon as we saw them, 
and the chance of getting to them seemed 
small ; but it was worth an effort, for by 
humoring them when they start to run, and 
galloping toward them at an angle oblique to 
their line of flight, there is always some little 
chance of getting a shot. Sylvane was on a 
light buckskin horse, and I left him on the ridge 
crest to occupy their attention while I cantered 
off to one side. The prong-horns became un- 
easy as I galloped away, and ran off the ridge 
crest in a line nearly parallel to mine. They 
did not go very fast, and I held in Muley, who 
was all on fire at the sight of the game. After 
crossing two or three spurs, the antelope going 
at half speed, they found I had come closer to 
them, and turning, they ran up one of the val- 
leys between two spurs. Now was my chance, 
and wheeling at right angles to my former 
course, I galloped Muley as hard as I knew 
how up the valley nearest and parallel to where 
the antelope had gone. The good old fellow 
ran like a quarter-horse, and when we were 

almost at the main ridge crest I leaped off, and 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ran ahead with my rifle at the ready, crouch- 
ing down as I came to the sky-line. Usually 
on such occasions I find that the antelope have 
gone on, and merely catch a glimpse of them 
half a mile distant, but on this occasion every- 
thing went right. The band had just reached 
the ridge crest about 220 yards from me across 
the head of the valley, and had halted for a 
moment to look around. They were starting 
as I raised my rifle, but the trajectory is very 
flat with these small-bore smokeless-powder 
weapons, and taking a coarse front sight I fired 
at a young buck which was broadside to me. 
There was no smoke, and as the band raced 
away I saw him sink backward, the ball having 
broken his hips. 

We packed him bodily behind Sylvane on 
the buckskin and continued our ride, as there 
was no fresh meat in camp, and we wished to 
bring in a couple of bucks if possible. For 
two or three hours we saw nothing. The un- 
shod feet of the horses made hardly any noise 
on the stretches of sun-cured grass, but now 
and then we passed through patches of thin 
weeds, their dry stalks rattling curiously, mak- 
ing a sound like that of a rattlesnake. At last, 
coming over a gentle rise of ground, we spied 


On the Little Missouri 

two more prong-bucks, half a mile ahead of us 
and to our right. 

Again there seemed small chance of bagging 
our quarry, but again fortune favored us. I at 
once cantered Muley ahead, not toward them, 
but so as to pass them well on one side. After 
some hesitation they started, not straight away, 
but at an angle to my own course. For some 
moments I kept at a hand gallop, until they 
got thoroughly settled in their line of flight ; 
then I touched Muley, and he went as hard 
as he knew how. Immediately the two panic- 
stricken and foolish beasts seemed to feel that 
I was cutting off their line of retreat, and raced 
forward at mad speed. They went much faster 
than I did, but I had the shorter course, and 
when they crossed me they were not fifty yards 
ahead by which time I had come nearly a 
mile. At the pull of the rein Muley stopped 
short, like the trained cow-pony he is ; I leaped 
off, and held well ahead of the rearmost and 
largest buck. At the crack of the little rifle 
down he went with his neck broken. In a 
minute or two he was packed behind me on 
Muley, and we bent our steps toward camp. 

During the remainder of my trip we were 
never out of fresh meat, for I shot three other 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

bucks one after a smart chase on horseback, 
and the other two after careful stalks; and I 
missed two running shots. 

The game being both scarce and shy, I had 
to exercise much care, and after sighting a 
band I would sometimes have to wait and 
crawl round for two or three hours before they 
would get into a position where I had any 
chance of approaching. Even then they were 
more apt to see me and go off than I was to 
get near them. 

Antelope are the only game that can be 
hunted as well at noonday as in the morning 
or evening, for their times for sleeping and 
feeding are irregular. They never seek shel- 
ter from the sun, and when they lie down for 
a noonday nap they are apt to choose a hol- 
low, so as to be out of the wind ; in conse- 
quence, if the band is seen at all at this time, 
it is easier to approach them than when they 
are up and feeding. They sometimes come 
down to water in the middle of the day, some- 
times in the morning or evening. On this trip 
I came across bands feeding and resting at 
almost every time of the day. They seemed 
usually to feed for a couple of hours, then 
begin feeding again. 


On the Little Missouri 

The last shot I got was when I was out with 
Joe Ferris, in whose company I had killed my 
first buffalo, just thirteen years before, and not 
very far from this same spot. We had seen 
two or three bands that morning, and in each 
case, after a couple of hours of useless effort, I 
failed to get near enough. At last, toward 
mid-day, after riding and tramping over a vast 
extent of broken sun-scorched country, we got 
within range of a small band lying down in a 
little cup-shaped hollow in the middle of a 
great flat. I did not have a close shot, for 
they were running about 180 yards off. The 
buck was rearmost, and at him I aimed ; the 
bullet struck him in the flank, coming out of 
the opposite shoulder, and he fell in his next 
bound. As we stood over him, Joe shook his 
head, and said, " I guess that little .3030 is the 
ace " ; and I told him I guessed so to. 

Beside antelope, the only wild beasts of any 
size which are still left on the plains anywhere 
near the Little Missouri are wolves and coyotes. 
Coyotes are more or less plentiful everywhere 
in thinly settled districts. They are not dan- 
gerous to horses or cattle, but they will snap up 
lambs, young pigs, cats, and hens, and if very 
hungry several often combine to attack a young 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

calf. In consequence, farmers and ranchers 
kill them whenever the chance offers ; but they 
do no damage which is very appreciable when 
compared with the ravages of their grim big 
brother, the gray wolf, which in many sections 
of the West is now a veritable scourge of the 

The big wolves shrink back before the 
growth of the thickly settled districts, and in 
the Eastern States they often tend to disap- 
pear even from districts that are uninhabited, 
save by a few wilderness hunters. They have 
thus disappeared almost entirely from Maine, 
the Adirondacks, and the Alleghanies, although 
here and there they are said to be returning 
to their old haunts. Their disappearance is 
rather mysterious in some instances, for they 
are certainly not all killed off. The black bear 
is much easier killed, yet the black bear holds 
its own in many parts of the land from which 
the wolf has vanished. No animal is quite so 
difficult to kill as is the wolf, whether by poison 
or rifle or hound. Yet, after a comparatively 
few have been slain, the entire species will per- 
haps vanish from certain localities. 

But with all wild animals, it is a noticeable 
fact that a course of contact with man continu- 


On the Little Missouri 

ing over many generations of animal life causes 
a species so to adapt itself to its new surround- 
ings that it ceases to diminish in numbers. 
When white men take up a new country, the 
game, and especially the big game, being en- 
tirely unused to contend with the new foe, 
succumbs easily, and is almost completely 
killed out. If any individuals survive at all, 
however, the succeeding generations are far 
more difficult to exterminate than were their 
ancestors, and they cling much more tena- 
ciously to their old homes. The game to be 
found in old and long-settled countries is much 
more wary and able to take care of itself than 
the game of an untrodden wilderness. It is a 
very difficult matter to kill a Swiss chamois ; 
but it is a very easy matter to kill a white goat 
after a hunter has once penetrated among the 
almost unknown peaks of the mountains of 
British Columbia. When the ranchmen first 
drove their cattle to the Little Missouri they 
found the deer tame and easy to kill, but the 
deer of Maine and the Adirondacks test to the 
full the highest skill of the hunter. 

In consequence, after a time, game may even 
increase in certain districts where settlements 
are thin. This has been true of the wolves 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

throughout the northern cattle country in 
Montana, Wyoming, and the western ends of 
the Dakotas. In the old days wolves were 
very plentiful throughout this region, closely 
following the huge herds of buffaloes. The 
white men who followed these herds as pro- 
fessional buffalo-hunters were often accom- 
panied by other men, known as wolfers, who 
poisoned these wolves for the sake of their 
furs. With the disappearance of the buffalo 
the wolves diminished in numbers so that they 
also seemed to disappear. During the last 
ten years their numbers have steadily increased, 
and now they seem to be as numerous as they 
ever were in the region in question, and they 
are infinitely more wary and more difficult to 

Along the Little Missouri their ravages have 
been so serious during the past four years as 
to cause heavy damage to the stock-men. Not 
only colts and calves, but young trail stock, 
and in midwinter even full-grown horses and 
steers, are continually slain ; and in some sea- 
sons the losses have been so heavy as to more 
than eat up all the profits of the ranchman. 
The county authorities have put a bounty on 

wolf scalps of three dollars each, and in my 


On the Little Missouri 

own neighborhood the ranchmen have of their 
own accord put on a further bounty of five 
dollars. This makes eight dollars for every 
wolf, and as the skin is also worth something, 
the business of killing wolves is quite profit- 

"otves are very shy, and show extraordin- 
ary cunning both in hiding themselves and in 
slinking out of the way of the hunter. They 
are rarely killed with the rifle. I have my- 
self shot but one with the rifle, though I 
have several times taken part in the chase of 
a wolf with dogs, and have if necessary helped 
the pack finish the quarry. They are occa- 
sionally trapped, but after a very few have 
been procured in this way the survivors be- 
come so wary that it is almost impossible even 
for a master of the art to do much with them, 
while an ordinary man can never get one into 
a trap except by accident. More can be done 
with poison, but even in this case the animal 
speedily learns caution by experience. When 
poison is first used in a district wolves are 
very easily killed, and perhaps most of them 
will be slain, but nowadays it is difficult to 
catch any but young ones in this way. Occa- 
sionally an old one will succumb, but there 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

are always some who cannot be persuaded to 
touch a bait. The old she-wolves teach their 
cubs, as soon as they are able to walk, to avoid 
man's trace in every way, and to look out for 
traps and poison. 

In consequence, though most cow-punchers 
carry poison with them, and are continually 
laying out baits, and though some men devote 
most of their time to poisoning for the sake 
of the bounty and the fur, the results are not 
very remunerative. The most successful wolf- 
hunter on the Little Missouri for the past year 
was a man who did not rely on poison at all, but 
on dogs. He is a hunter named Massingale, 
and he always has a pack of at least twenty 
hounds. The number varies, for a wolf at bay 
is a terrible fighter, with jaws like that of a 
steel trap and teeth that cut like knives, so that 
the dogs are continually disabled and some- 
times killed, and the hunter has always to be 
on the watch to add animals to his pack. It 
is not a pack that would appeal, as far as 
looks go, to an Old-World huntsman, but it 
is thoroughly fitted for its own work. Most 
of the dogs are greyhounds, whether rough 
or smooth haired, but many of them are big 
mongrels, part greyhound and part some other 


On the Little Missouri 

breed, such as bull-dog, mastiff, Newfound- 
land, bloodhound, or collie. The only two 
requisites are that the dogs shall run fast and 
fight gamely ; and in consequence they form 
as wicked, hard-biting a crew as ever ran down 
and throttled a wolf. They are usually taken 
out ten at a time, and by their aid Massingale 
killed two hundred wolves during the year. 
Of course there is no pretence of giving the 
game fair play. The wolves are killed as ver- 
min, not for sport. The greatest havoc is in 
the spring-time, when the she-wolves are fol- 
lowed to their dens, which are sometimes holes 
in the earth and sometimes natural caves. 
There are from three to nine whelps in each 
litter. Some of the hounds are very fast, and 
they can usually overtake a young or weak 
wolf ; but an old dog-wolf, with a good start, 
unless run into at once, will surely get away if 
he is in running trim. Frequently, however, 
he is caught when he is not in running trim, 
for the hunter is apt to find him when he has 
killed a calf or taken part in dragging down 
a horse or steer, and is gorged with meat. 
Under these circumstances he cannot run long 
before the pack. 

If possible, as with all such packs, the 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

hunter himself will get up in time to end the 
worry by a stab of his hunting-knife ; but 
unless he is quick he will have nothing to do, 
for the pack is thoroughly competent to do 
its own killing. Grim fighter though a great 
dog-wolf is, he stands no show before the on- 
slaught of ten such hounds, agile and power- 
ful, who rush on their antagonist in a body. 
They possess great power in their jaws, and 
unless Massingale is up within two or three 
minutes after the wolf is taken, the dogs liter- 
ally tear him to pieces, though one or more of 
their number may be killed or crippled in the 

Other hunters are now striving to get to- 
gether packs thoroughly organized, and the 
wolves may soon be thinned out ; but at 
present they are certainly altogether too plen- 
tiful. Last fall I saw a number myself, al- 
though I was not looking for them. I fre- 
quently came upon the remains of sheep and 
young stock which they had killed, and once, 
on the top of a small plateau, I found the 
body of a large steer, while the torn and trod- 
den ground showed that he had fought hard 
for his life before succumbing. There were 

apparently two wolves engaged in the work, 


On the Little Missouri 

and the cunning beasts had evidently acted in 
concert. While one attracted the steer's at- 
tention, the other, according to the invariable 
wolf habit, attacked him from behind, ham- 
stringing him and tearing out his flanks. His 
body was still warm when I came up, but his 
murderers had slunk off, either seeing or 
smelling me. Their handiwork was unmis- 
takable, however, for, unlike bears and cougars, 
wolves invariably attack their victim at the 
hindquarters, and begin their feast on the 
hams or flanks if the animal is of any size. 

It will be noticed that in some points my 
observations about wolves are in seeming con- 
flict with those of Mr. Grinnell ; but I think 
the conflict is more seeming than real ; and in 
any event I have concluded to let the article 
stand just as it is. The great book of Nature 
contains many passages which are hard to 
read, and at times conscientious students may 
well draw up different interpretations of the 
obscurer and least known texts. It may not 
be that either observer is at fault ; but what is 
true of an animal in one locality may not be 
true of the same animal in another, and even 
in the same locality two individuals of a spe- 
cies may widely differ in their habits. On the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Little Missouri, for the last two or three years, 
as formerly on the Sun River, hunting- with 
dogs has been found to be a far more success- 
ful method of getting rid of wolves than trap- 
ping. Doubtless there are places where this 
would not be true. I am inclined to think 
that wherever wolves have been chased in one 
manner for a long time, a new method will 
at first prove particularly efficacious. When 
they have become thoroughly used to poison, 
traps have a great success. If they are per- 
sistently trapped, then poisoning does well. 

I am particularly interested in what Mr. 
GrinneH's informants have described as to the 
occasional tolerance, even by hungry wolves, 
of kit foxes ; for frequently a wolf will snap 
up a fox as quickly as he would a fawn, and 
once, at least, I have known of a coyote being 
killed by a wolf for food. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

NOTE. The apparent discrepancies between the ob- 
servations recorded in the two articles on wolves just 
preceding, may, we think, readily be explained on two 
grounds. One of these is that of difference in locality, 
but more important is the difference in the date of the 
two sets of observations. In the West, difference in 
time means difference in surrounding conditions. 


On the Little Missouri 

It is suggested that two points in Mr. Grinnell's article 
are open to criticism. It is known that to-day hungry 
wolves will readily kill foxes, and Mr. Grinnell himself 
gives examples of what he believes to be attempts by 
coyotes to kill badgers. Therefore, the account quoted 
from Mr. Kipp, of a pair of hungry wolves mingled with 
coyotes and kit foxes, waiting near a buffalo carcass, 
seems almost incredible. The wolves should have eaten 
the kit foxes, and, perhaps, even the coyotes. 

The answer to this is simple. At the time to which 
the event here quoted refers, wolves were never hungry. 
We are accustomed in a conventional way to speak of 
wolves as lean and hungry beasts, but in the buffalo days 
they were seldom or never lean, and seldom or never 
really hungry, because they always had plenty of buffalo 
meat. Therefore, it was that wolves, coyotes, badgers 
and kit foxes associated on terms of more or less equal- 
ity, and very seldom, so far as known, interfered with 
each other. Of course, at a feast the big wolves served 
themselves first, and the other animals came after them 
in order of size, unless there was enough for all, which 
was usually the case. To-day the big wolves are glad to 
eat any animal smaller than themselves. Coyotes try to 
catch and eat badgers and kit foxes, and it is possible 
that occasionally in some way the badger may be able to 
capture and eat a kit fox. For all these animals food 
Aow is very scarce. For all of them, food in the old 
*imes was extremely abundant. 

It is further suggested that the statement that wolves 
regarded the Indians as friends, is putting it a little too 
Strongly, since it is also stated that many tribes assidu- 
>usly hunted them for their fur. It is true that the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Indians caught wolves for their skins, but they did not 
pursue them, that is to say, they did not or very sel- 
dom shoot at them or chase them. They caught them 
in traps and snares, and the wolves, being usually full fed 
and seldom or never frightened by the Indians, were ex- 
ceedingly tame. Note, in confirmation of this view, a 
statement in "Lewis and Clark's Travels," page 172 
(Longman, London, 1814), where the wolves about a 
buffalo trap are said to have been very fat, and so "gentle 
that one of them was killed with an esponton." 

When Mr. Grinnell makes a general statement about 
how wolves and Indians regard each other, he confesses 
that he is generalizing about all Indians and all wolves 
from those Indians and those wolves that he has known. 
Very likely he may be wrong as to certain sections of 
the country, but he is convinced that he is right so far as 
the plains country and the buffalo Indians were con- 
cerned. On the other hand, in one of the old books 
about British Columbia, where there were no buffalo, 
wolves are said to be always hungry, and mention is 
made of the havoc these animals wrought among horses, 
and of the fact that they occasionally attacked men, so 
that the Indians stood in dread of them. Statements 
about hungry wolves, and wolves attacking men, must, 
however, be accepted with caution. 

No fact in natural history is better ascertained than 
that wild animals adapt themselves with extraordinary 
rapidity to the new conditions which they have to face 
on the settling up of a country. This fact will often 
explain the conflicting statements made by observers in 
different places and at different times. 

The Editors. 

Bear Traits 

Bears are recognized as the shyest and wariest of big 
animals, but most of the stories told about them have to 
do more with the emotions of the hunter, or with the 
game's ferocity when wounded, than with the manner of 
life of the bear. The increasing scarcity and increas- 
ing shyness of these animals renders the study of their 
habits each year more difficult, and it is high time that 
observations such as here set down should be recorded. 


It was on a little river flowing into the head 
of a British Columbia inlet that I saw my first 
bear a black one. We had laboriously poled 
our canoe for a mile or two up the rushing 
river, and had landed on a gravel bar to sur- 
vey the mountain sides for white goats, when 
around a point a little below us on the other 
side of the stream walked a moderate sized 
bear. It was August, and the ripe salmon 
berries hung thick on bushes which grew in 
the edge of the forest on the cut bank beneath 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

which the river flowed. These berries occu- 
pied all the bear's attention, and he did not 
notice the men who stood in plain sight on 
the other side of the stream. He walked 
slowly along from bush to bush, raising his 
head and wrapping his tongue around the 
branches, and then stripping off berries and 
leaves alike by a downward pull. When he 
had cleared the lower branches, he stood on 
his hind feet, and pulling down the higher 
branches with his forepaws, he stripped them 
in the same way. All his motions were de- 
liberate, and the way in which he gathered the 
food with mouth and tongue reminded me of 
a cow pulling apples from a low-growing tree. 
I watched him with great interest until he 
had approached within perhaps seventy-five 
yards of where we stood. Then, fearing that 
he would smell us, I fired at the white spot in 
his breast, and, as the smoke lifted, had a dis- 
solving view of his hips as they disappeared in 
the undergrowth. When we had pushed across 
the river in the canoe, we found blood on the 
weeds where he had vanished, and a little 
further in the forest came upon the bear, 
comfortably curled up on his side with his 

paws over his nose. 


Bear Traits 

Once in Montana, at a much greater dis- 
tance, I saw an old bear and two cubs pick- 
ing huckleberries in a little mountain valley. 
They walked busily about from bush to bush 
and seemed to gather the berries one by one, 
though the distance was too great for me to 
be sure as to this. The Indians tell me that 
when the service berries are ripe, the bears 
" ride " down the taller bushes by their weight, 
pressing the stems down under the chest, the 
two forelegs being on either side of the stem. 
I have seen quite stout service berry trees 
that had evidently been borne down in pre- 
cisely this way. 

George Bird GrinnelL 


Most of my hunting of grizzlies was in the 
Big Horn Mountains, in 1880, 1881, 1882, and 
1883, at a time when they were not much 
disturbed, and had not as yet adopted what I 
understand is now a common habit, of feeding 
almost exclusively at night. A favorite cus- 
tom of mine was to ride to a hill or point 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

overlooking a good deal of hillside and forest 
margin, picket my hunting pony, and with a 
good field-glass to watch such game as might 
appear ; and in those days it was seldom that 
some animals were not in sight buffalo, elk, 
white tail or mule deer, antelope, sheep, and 
black or silver tip bears according to the 
locality. As a rule, I preferred to watch 
rather than to hunt, unless an unusually fine 
head or the need of meat in camp was an 
incentive to kill. Of the game seen none was 
more interesting than the silver tip, and with 
one family I became quite well acquainted. 

While on a fishing trip in June, camp was 
made on a fine trout stream where I passed 
several days, fishing a little and incidentally 
looking over the country with a view to re- 
turning in October for a fall hunt. Near by 
was a divide, open for a mile or more and then 
covered with pines, surrounded on two sides 
of its triangle by small caftons. Regularly 
each afternoon about four o'clock, a large 
female silver tip with two cubs would appear 
from the woods and work over the ground, 
sometimes till dark. Occasionally a larger 
bear, probably a male, would appear, but did 

not join the others, who seemed to be rather 


Bear Traits 

afraid of him. I may mention that on one 
occasion three mule deer crossed the slope a 
little below the bears, so that I had the un- 
usual experience of having four bears and 
three deer in the field of the glass at one 

The chief occupation of the bears while in 
sight was turning over stones in search of 
insects beneath, and it was most interesting 
to watch their methods. A man turning over 
a stone usually draws it over directly toward 
himself, to the imminent danger of his toes ; 
but a bear knows better than that. In the 
case of a heavy stone, they would brace them- 
selves with one foreleg and with the other 
raise the stone and give it an outward sweep 
well to one side, so that it would not strike 
them in falling. The moment the stone was 
over their heads went down, and they appar- 
ently licked up such insects as were in sight, 
though I was not near enough actually to see 
this. Then usually one or two rapid sweeps 
of a paw were made, probably to uncover 
such insects as might have secreted them- 
selves. One of the cubs would sometimes 
join the mother in this search, but generally 

each worked independently. Imitating their 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

mode of search, I have found many beetles 
and ants, and numbers of mole crickets, and 
of the large stone cricket (Anabrus). In 
this place, at least, dead stumps were rarely 

The habit of turning over stones is very 
general in the spring and early summer, and 
was one of the best indications of the pres- 
ence of bears ; later in the season, wild plums 
and other fruits are more generally sought as 
food. This family of bears were regular in 
their habits, feeding from early morning till 
about nine o'clock, and reappearing about 
four in the afternoon. On cloudy or showery 
days they might be seen at intervals all day, 
but a hard rain they avoided. The female, 
while watchful, was not at all shy. She hap- 
pened to be in sight when the tents were 
pitched, a process she watched with much 
apparent interest and some surprise. At first 
she brought her cubs in close to her ; but 
before long they resumed their search for 
insects, and finding they were not molested, 
paid little more attention to us. When watch- 
ing an object she would raise herself to her 
full height on her forelegs and elevate the 

head, which was moved slowly from side to 


Bear Traits 

side, giving her a rather uncanny look of 
mingled watchfulness and waggishness ; at 
such times she appeared to be making up 
her mind whether to sneak off, to charge, or 
to dance ! This is a common attitude, and 
one I have frequently observed when hunt- 
ing. The effect is of a pretty direct line 
from nose to rump in contrast with the usual 
outline of the bear on all fours, where the 
shoulders are highest and the head and rump 
lowest. This attitude has something comical 
about it, and when seen assures the hunter 
that the animal is alert. 

I watched this interesting family for about 
a week, and left them undisturbed until au- 
tumn. At that time bears were plentiful. In 
the same month and near the same place I 
saw eleven in one day, two black and nine 
silver tips, which I think was not far from the 
usual relative abundance of the two species 
in the Big Horn Mountains fifteen and twenty 
years ago. 

I remember these incidents more distinctly 
than others that occurred to me. Unfortu- 
nately, in those days I thought, with many 
others, that game would continue in abun- 
dance much longer than proved to be the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

case, and so neglected to preserve many notes 
and specimens that to-day would be of very 
great interest. 

J. C. Merrill. 


My own experience with bears tends to 
make me lay special emphasis upon their vari- 
ation in temper. There are savage and cow- 
ardly bears, just as there are big and little 
ones ; and sometimes these variations are very 
marked among bears of the same district, and 
at other times all the bears of one district 
will seem to have a common code of behavior 
which differs utterly from that of the bears 
of another district. Readers of Lewis and 
Clarke do not need to be reminded of the 
great difference they found in ferocity be- 
tween the bears of the Upper Missouri and 
the bears of the Columbia River drainage 
system ; and those who have lived in the 
Upper Missouri country nowadays know how 
widely the bears that still remain have altered 
in character from what they were as recently 

as the middle of the century. 


Bear Traits 

This variability has been shown in the bears 
which I have stumbled upon at close quarters. 
On but one occasion was I ever regularly 
charged by a grizzly. To this animal I had 
given a mortal wound, and without any effort 
at retaliation he bolted into a thicket of what, 
in my hurry, I thought was laurel (it being 
composed in reality I suppose of thick-grow- 
ing berry bushes). On my following him up 
and giving him a second wound, he charged 
very determinedly, taking two bullets without 
flinching. I just escaped the charge by jump- 
ing to one side, and he died almost immedi- 
ately after striking at me as he rushed by. 
This bear charged with his mouth open, but 
made very little noise after the growl or roar 
with which he greeted my second bullet. I 
mention the fact of his having kept his mouth 
open, because one or two of my friends who 
have been charged have informed me that in 
their cases they particularly noticed that the 
bear charged with his mouth shut. Perhaps 
the fact that my bear was shot through the 
lungs may account for the difference, or it 
may simply be another example of individual 

On another occasion, in a windfall, I got up 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

within eight or ten feet of a grizzly, which 
simply bolted off, paying no heed to a hurried 
shot which I delivered as I poised unsteadily 
on the swaying top of an overthrown dead 
pine. On yet another occasion, when I roused 
a big bear from his sleep, he at the first mo- 
ment seemed to pay little or no heed to me, 
and then turned toward me in a leisurely way, 
the only sign of hostility he betrayed being 
to ruffle up the hair on his shoulders and the 
back of his neck. I hit him square between 
the eyes, and he dropped like a pole-axed steer. 
On another occasion I got up quite close to 
and mortally wounded a bear, which ran off 
without uttering a sound until it fell dead ; 
but another of these grizzlies, which I shot 
from ambush, kept squalling and yelling every 
time I hit him, making a great rumpus. On 
one occasion one of my cow hands and myself 
were able to run down on foot a she grizzly 
bear and her cub, which had obtained a long 
start of us, simply because of the foolish con- 
duct of the mother. The cub or more prop- 
erly the yearling, for it was a cub of the sec- 
ond year ran on far ahead, and would have 
escaped if the old she had not continually 

stopped and sat up on her hind legs to look 


Bear Traits 

back at us. I think she did this partly from 
curiosity, but partly also from bad temper, for 
once or twice she grinned and roared at us. 
The upshot of it was that I got within range 
and put a bullet in the old she, who afterwards 
charged my companion and was killed, and 
we also got the yearling. 

Another young grizzly which I killed 
dropped to the first bullet, which entered its 
stomach. It then let myself and my com- 
panion approach closely, looking up at us 
with alert curiosity, but making no effort to 
escape. It was really not crippled at all, but 
we thought from its actions that its back was 
broken, and my companion foolishly advanced 
to kill it with his pistol. The pistol, however, 
did not inflict a mortal wound, and the only 
effect was to make the young bear jump to 
its feet as if unhurt, and race off at full speed 
through the timber ; for though not full-grown 
it was beyond cubhood, being probably about 
eighteen months old. By desperate running 
I succeeded in getting another shot, and more 
by luck than anything else knocked it over, 
this time permanently. 

Black bear are not, under normal condi- 
tions, formidable brutes. They are not nearly 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

so apt to charge as is a wild hog ; but if 
they do charge and get home they will maul 
a man severely, and there are a number of 
instances on record in which they have killed 
men. Ordinarily, however, a black bear will 
not charge at all, though he may bluster a 
good deal. I once shot one very close up 
which made a most lamentable outcry, and 
seemed to lose its head, its efforts to escape 
resulting in its bouncing about among the 
trees with such heedless hurry that I was 
easily able to kill it. Another black bear, 
which I also shot at close quarters, came 
straight for my companions and myself, and 
almost ran over the white hunter who was 
with me. This bear made no sound what- 
ever when I first hit it, and I do not think 
it was charging. I believe it was simply 
dazed, and by accident ran the wrong way, 
and so almost came into collision with us. 
However, when it found itself face to face 
with the white hunter, and only four or five 
feet away, it prepared for hostilities, and I 
think would have mauled him if I had not 
brained it with another bullet ; for I was 
myself standing but six feet or so to one 
side of it. 


Bear Traits 

Ordinarily, however, my experience has been 
that bears were not flurried when I suddenly 
came upon them. They impressed me as if 
they were always keeping in mind the place 
toward which they wished to retreat in the 
event of danger, and for this place, which was 
invariably a piece of rough ground or dense 
timber, they made off with all possible speed, 
not seeming to lose their heads. 

Frequently I have been able to watch bears 
for some time while myself unobserved. With 
other game I have very often done this even 
when within close range, not wishing to kill 
creatures needlessly, or without a good object ; 
but with bears, rny experience has been that 
chances to secure them come so seldom as to 
make it very distinctly worth while improving 
any that do come, and I have not spent much 
time watching any bear unless he was in a 
place where I could not get at him, or else 
was so close at hand that I was not afraid 
of his getting away. On one occasion the 
bear was hard at work digging up squirrel or 
gopher caches on the side of a pine-clad hill. 
He looked rather like a big badger when so 
engaged. On two other occasions the bear 
was working around a carcass preparatory to 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

burying it. On these occasions I was very 
close, and it was extremely interesting to note 
the grotesque, half human movements, and 
giant, awkward strength of the great beast. 
He would twist the carcass around with the 
utmost ease, sometimes taking it in his teeth 
and dragging it, at other times grasping it in 
his forepaws and half lifting, half shoving it. 
Once the bear lost his grip and rolled over 
during the course of some movement, and this 
made him angry, and he struck the carcass 
a savage whack, just as a pettish child will 
strike a table against which it has knocked 

At another time I watched a black bear 
some distance off getting his breakfast under 
stumps and stones. He was very active, 
turning the stone or log over, and then 
thrusting his muzzle into the empty space to 
gobble up the small creatures below before 
they recovered from the surprise and the sud- 
den inflow of light. From under one log he 
put up a chipmunk, and danced hither and 
thither with even more agility than awkward- 
ness, slapping at the chipmunk with his paw 
while it zigzagged about, until finally he 

scooped it into his mouth. 

23 6 

Bear Traits 

The Yellowstone Park now presents the best 
chance for observing the habits of bears that 
has ever been offered, for though they are 
wild in theory, yet in practice they have come 
to frequenting the hotels at dusk and after 
nightfall, as if they were half tame at least ; 
and it is earnestly to be wished that some 
Boone and Crockett member who, unlike the 
present writer, does not belong to the labor- 
ing classes, would devote a month or two, or 
indeed a whole season, to the serious study 
of the life history of these bears. It would be 
time very well spent. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 


Watching at a bait for game is intrinsically 
a much lower form of sport than stalking it. 
There is no opportunity for the prolonged 
generalship and shifting of tactics which lend 
to the stalking of mountain sheep, for in- 
stance, such fascinating interest. But to the 
modern hunter of bears in the West, especi- 
ally in the autumn, there is practically no 
other method open. Instead of the easy- 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

going bully of half a century ago, the hunter 
has now to find and outwit the most timid of 
nocturnal animals ; a beast which clings to 
secluded recesses of wooded mountains, and 
can be tempted from its lair before nightfall 
only by the most alluring appeals to its ap- 
petite. In the course of nine trips to the 
Rocky Mountains, each of which was spent 
in a country where bears were fairly plenti- 
ful, hunting with the utmost care and patience 
of which I was capable, I have, without the 
aid of bait, seen them but twice. 

In the northeastern provinces of Canada, 
on the other hand, where the bears in the 
season live mainly upon blueberries, and 
where forest shelter is always close by, I 
should say that though equally timid, they 
were much more given to feeding by day- 
light, and the hunter can often have the finest 
kind of fair stalking. 

But in spite of its shortcomings, hunting 
with bait has features which make it a very 
absorbing sport. The careful watcher has 
unusual opportunities for studying the habits 
and actions of his game ; though the tactics 
of his sport are simple, he will need all the 

patient, thoughtful strategy he can muster ; 


Bear Traits 

and finally, when his bear is the grizzly, there 
is the ever thrilling, if remote, chance of a 
charge. That chance seems far less remote 
when you are creeping down into some tangled 
ravine to meet your antagonist ravening at his 
food in the deepening twilight, than it would 
if you could stalk him in the open at midday 
and between meals. 

I have never been actually charged by a 
bear. Twice my companion has thought he 
saw one feint or bluster at us. But on each 
occasion I was either busy with my rifle or 
attributed the motion to other causes. So I 
cannot speak from experience of the bear 
hunter's grand sensation that of withstand- 
ing an assault. 

On the other hand, I have had several rather 
unusual chances of watching a bear approach 
his bait. And I have also committed about 
every error of omission and commission by 
which the poor finite human being can betray 
his plans and purposes to the almost infinite 
sagacity of the creature he flatters himself he 
is going to outwit. Out of those countless 
blunders, theories of action have of necessity 
been hammered into me, some of which may 
possibly be useful to others. But to avoid 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

coloring facts too much with theory it may be 
well to state the facts first. 

In the summer of 1886 I spent my college 
vacation hunting with a Micmac Indian on 
the headwaters of a New Brunswick river. I 
had stalked and killed a lean old black bear 
on one of the small mountains that bordered 
the river near our camp, and so much of his 
carcass as we had not carried off for our 
larder, lay among the low blueberry bushes 
near the summit. About a week later we 
climbed up to it again, and found that it had 
been partly devoured by another bear. It 
was in August Blueberries were ripe and 
marvelously plentiful. The new bear thus 
could not have been driven to cannibalism by 
those pangs of hunger by which some writers 
have thought it necessary to explain such an 

It was about ten in the morning when we 
reached the carcass. Nicholas, the Indian, 
examined the carcass from above. I incau- 
tiously walked once around and below it, 
looking for the new bear's trail. We then re- 
tired to another spur of the mountain, whence 
at a distance of about 300 yards we could 

command the whole hillside on which the car- 


Bear Traits 

cass lay. Our plan was to let the bear get at 
the bait, and then stalk it as we had stalked 
its predecessor. From the spot where the 
bait lay it would have been impossible, on 
account of the bushes, to see anything ap- 

The wind blew strongly up that hillside 
all day long ; so strongly that we lay in com- 
parative comfort in a place where the week 
before the black flies had made life a torment. 
At about four o'clock we saw a large bear 
coming up the hill, several hundred yards 
below the carcass. It came slowly but stead- 
ily, and without stopping, until it reached the 
exact spot where I had circled around the 
bait a spot easily distinguishable by reason 
of an opening in the bushes. Then it stopped, 
and its nose went down to the ground. 

"He smell your track," hissed a wrathful 
voice in my ear. The bear turned, and 
started slowly down ; so slowly that, hoping it 
might stop or turn back, I refrained from 
taking the long shot which Nicholas was urg- 
ing upon me. In a few yards, when it was 
well out of sight of the bait, though still in 
full view of us, its pace quickened to a trot, 
and then in a second it was plunging down 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

the hillside at a mad gallop. From first to 
last it did not see or hear us, I am confident. 
In the early morning we had seen from camp 
a bear with a cub wandering over the same 
hilltop, and as we dejectedly tramped down 
that afternoon, we heard a cub squall in the 
direction taken by the running bear; so I 
have no doubt that our conqueror was a 

Four years afterward I was hunting, during 
August and September, on the main range of 
the Rockies between Steamboat Springs and 
North Park, Colorado. Bears were still there 
in good numbers, and our party of three Mr. 
A. P. Proctor and Dr. John Rogers were with 
me secured seven of them that summer, 
counting all sizes and colors. One of my 
baits lay in the center of an open meadow, 
bordering a stream which ran sharply down- 
ward through a deep wooded valley leading 
off the great range toward the low country on 
the west. I had expected to watch it from a 
spur of the forest on the side of the meadow ; 
but on coming to inspect it one morning I 
found that it had been picked up by a bear on 
the previous night, dragged across the mea- 
dow, and left on the edge of the woods at the 


Bear Traits 

very point from which I had expected to 
watch. Closer examination showed that the 
bear, instead of coming up the valley from 
below, as I had expected, had entered and left 
the meadow close by the watching point, and 
that in coming I had already unwittingly 
crossed its trail. 

With the experience in New Brunswick just 
mentioned sharply before me, I studied the 
situation. One thing was certain : I must be 
there before him, for he would be likely to 
bolt as soon as he crossed my trail. At the 
same time it was now impossible to wait for 
him at the watching point, for the wind would 
almost certainly give him my scent as he came 
down behind me through the woods. Out in 
the meadow there was no shelter near enough 
to shoot from. I finally reasoned that if he 
bolted directly back on his trail, I could 
scarcely hope for a good shot under any ar- 
rangement. But, as his trail led sharply up 
hill, there was a good chance that, instead of 
turning back, he might head for some dense 
cover down at one of the extremities of the 
meadow. I therefore chose a point near that 
cover, but so situated that I could witness the 
whole performance, and if he didn't bolt at all 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

would have a fairly good chance to stalk him 
at the bait. 

Shortly before sunset, my eye caught the 
glint of the sun's rays on something moving 
through the forest that clothed the side of the 
mountain above the meadow, and presently I 
made out a small black bear cantering down 
the trail I had crossed in the morning. When 
he reached my crossing, or its immediate 
neighborhood a bush prevented me from 
seeing clearly there was a few seconds' 
pause, and then he came scudding like a 
frightened cat away from the bait, and down 
the meadow toward the cover near which I 
was lying hidden. 

So far the game had worked out according 
to calculations, and, with an inward smile of 
satisfaction, I sat up to take a smooth running 
shot about ninety yards away. Too sure ! 
Just as my finger squeezed the trigger, he 
stopped dead short perhaps having seen me 
rise and after an ineffective attempt to check 
my rifle, my bullet ploughed well in front and 
clear of him. He was in the cover and out of 
sight before I could shoot again, and Proctor 
and Rogers, watching together in another val- 
ley, wondered, after the distant solitary report, 


Bear Traits 

whether I was being gobbled by an angry 

I dragged the bait back to its old position 
under a solitary dead spruce stub in the cen- 
ter of the meadow, and reinforced its attrac- 
tions with some more choice dainties. Every 
night for several in succession, it was visited 
by a bear, but always during the darkness. I 
watched each evening until my sights went 
out, and was there again at daybreak, only to 
find a diminished bait and no bear. When 
you feed a creature for any length of time you 
are apt to acquire a sense of proprietorship in 
it, and I came quite to feel as if I had a 
brand on that bear. But the work was hard, 
and my patience began to run low. Finally, 
one afternoon I was delayed in starting for 
the bait until almost sunset. Though I hur- 
ried my horse down the three or four miles of 
rough mountain before me, the evening shad- 
ows gained so rapidly that when I finally 
leaped off to tie him a quarter of a mile above 
the bait, it was almost dark. Looking back 
from a hundred yards away, the pony was in- 
distinguishable against the woods that bor- 
dered the meadow where I had tied him. In 
my tennis slippers I trotted silently down 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

through the woods to a new watch point per- 
haps ninety yards from the old spruce stub. 
When I reached it, it was so dark that even 
out in the open the little bushes made mere 
black blotches against the lighter meadow 
grass. Under the old stub I could distinguish 
nothing. But, as I stood there in the silent 
crisp air there came the sound of something 
crunching and cracking at the old elk ribs. 
The rascal was stealing my bait again ! 

I slipped down off the watching point, stole 
around behind a low ridge of rock and ran 
down under cover of that to its further point, 
distant some thirty yards from the spruce 
stub. The bait lay on the other side of the 
stub from me now, and anything feeding was 
hidden by some bushes which grew around its 

With my rifle at the ready I sprinted across 
this remaining distance. When almost there 
I stumbled over a dead stick in the long mea- 
dow grass and nearly fell. Instantly a large 
dark object leaped to the right from the 
bushes, and made off for the woods. As soon 
as I could straighten up I threw a bullet after 
it, much as one would throw a stone after a 

dog. At the shot a second black form, ap- 


Bear Traits 

parently smaller, and, I think, a yearling or 
two-year old black bear, raced out of the 
bushes on the other side, and escaped without 
a shot. Furious at losing both, I rushed into 
the bushes to see if there were any more, and 
a third, a cub, with a yelp of dismay, for I had 
nearly trodden on him, scuttled up the spruce 
stub. Walking around until I got him against 
the light in the western sky, I am sorry to say 
I shot and killed him. He was no larger than 
a collie dog, and might much better have been 
left to grow. Though she must have heard 
him, and had the darkness to cover her ap- 
proach, his faithless mother never returned, 
but by her rapid flight helped to dispel in my 
mind another historic illusion as to the invari- 
able ferocity of she-bears. 

Of course bears are not always so timid 
about the scent of man as in the two cases I 
have mentioned. I am inclined to think that 
those were, perhaps, rather exceptional. Sev- 
eral times I have known grizzly bears, and 
once a black which in my experience has 
appeared to be the more cautious species to 
come boldly to baits around which our scent 
must have been much more in evidence than 
at either of the times just mentioned. At the 


Trail and Carap-Fire 

same time the hunter is obliged to gauge his 
plans by the intelligence of the most, and not 
the least, wary. He must, therefore, be always 
able to inspect his bait, to see whether it has 
been touched, without leaving a trail which 
will be crossed by the bear when returning. 

The greatest danger to success, however, is 
that your game will actually scent you while 
you are waiting for it. It is not always flat- 
tering to a gentleman's feelings to observe the 
rapidity with which a beast, which has only 
been pleased and attracted by the overpower- 
ing stench of the carcass beside you, will be 
put to headlong flight by the faintest whiff of 
you. But one can count with the utmost 
positiveness on that result. 

The problem of avoiding this is complicated 
by two uncertainties that of the direction 
from which the bear will come, and that of the 
direction from which the wind will blow at the 
time when he comes. So far as possible these 
two uncertainties must be eliminated before- 
hand. The first must be carefully studied out 
from the facts of each case such as the direc- 
tion of the nearest dense cover and water, and 
the general lay of the land. By placing one's 

bait rather high up in a mountainous country 


Bear Traits 

you can usually force your bear to approach 
from below, and you can generally count on 
his following the cover afforded by ravines 
and watercourses. 

As regards the wind, one must constantly 
bear in mind the fact, which every hunter in a 
hilly or mountainous country must have no- 
ticed, namely, that in the absence of a very 
strong prevailing wind, the air regularly draws 
up a valley or gulch during the daytime only 
to chop around and draw down directly the 
sun has set. As your watching period must 
cover the time both just before and after sun- 
set, your watch point must be so arranged 
that the bear will not get your scent with the 
wind in either of those directions. Add to 
this changeable nature of the breeze, the well- 
known fact that a wary bear will usually take 
a quiet circle through the woods all around 
the bait before going to it, and the complex 
elements of the problem become apparent. 

To solve it, some people recommend watch- 
ing from a tree. This probably would be 
effective in removing your scent, but it would 
also go far toward removing the last vestige 
of manliness from the sport, and though I 
have sometimes compromised on a steep slope 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

or rock, I confess I could never quite go a 

There is another way, though, of avoiding 
the difficulty, which, I think, rather adds to 
than diminishes the excitement and interest of 
bait-hunting. That is to let the bear satisfy 
his suspicions, and get actually at the bait 
before you make your approach. To do this 
successfully, one should choose, if possible, 
two posts of vantage, one at a comparatively 
long distance two or three hundred yards 
from the bait, to watch from, and the other 
forty or fifty yards away, to shoot from. 
These should, of course, be carefully chosen 
with a view to the lay of the land and the 
bear's probable approach, and a path between 
them should then be carefully selected, by 
which the hunter can steal down to the shoot- 
ing point as soon as he sees from the watch- 
ing point that the bear has begun his meal. 
Then, creeping down on his quarry, one can 
bring to use all the caution of the still-hunter, 
and even much of the stalker's skill, while at 
the final shot he meets his adversary on a fair 

I recall a hunt when I tried this arrange- 
ment, however, which will serve to show the 


Bear Traits 

necessity of care in the choice of position, for 
other reasons than the shyness of the bears. 
It is not a pleasant hunt for me to recall, for 
it contained the best and most misused oppor- 
tunity I ever had. 

I was camping in northwestern Montana, 
in a country whose magnificent mountains and 
glaciers had for three years caused me to dis- 
card bear-hunting for the superior pleasures of 
mountaineering. My wife and I were alone, 
except for our man Fox and his eighteen-year- 
old boy. Toward the end of our trip an 
Indian friend, who had joined us for a few 
days' visit, rather unnecessarily killed a fine 
old mountain goat. The meat was, of course, 
rank and uneatable, and as we had seen bear 
signs five or six miles down the valley, at the 
head of which we were camped, in order not 
to waste it, I asked Fox to pack the carcass 
down there, and arrange a bear bait. He had 
never hunted bears with bait, but I explained 
to him the method I have just described, and 
asked him if possible to arrange the bait so as 
to conform to it. He was gone all day, and 
on his return in the evening said that he had 
found a place where he was certain the bait 

would be visited, but that he was not quite 


Trail and Camp -Fire 

satisfied with the shooting and watch points. 
He is such an habitually modest man that I 
did not give this remark full weight at the time. 

The next day we moved our camp some six 
miles down the valley, so as to be a little 
nearer the bait, and a little further from the 
great glacier at the valley's head, whose pro- 
pensity for collecting storms was getting to be 
a little monotonous. After camp had been 
pitched, I decided to go over with Fox to the 
bait, mainly because Fox was anxious to have 
me see whether it had been properly arranged. 
As he had left it only the day before, and had 
tramped all over the place where it was with 
two horses, we had no idea that it had yet 
been visited. 

It had been rather a bad day for me. 
While coming down the valley my scatter- 
brained pony, in trying to clear a windfall had 
thrown himself heavily with me underneath, 
and, though I luckily escaped injury, the 
shock had given me a racking headache. So 
I followed Fox rather mechanically as he 
threaded his way through the quaking aspens 
that clothed the mountain side on which the 
bait lay. A fierce wind was blowing down the 

valley, and, while the sky was clear overhead, 


Bear Traits 

it dashed a fine horizontal spray into our faces 
from the storm that still overhung the great 
glacier seven or eight miles distant. The bait 
was further than we had counted, and when 
Fox finally slid from his horse, the sun had 
already dropped into the cloudbank at the 
valley's head. Picketing the ponies, we ran 
down to an open knoll, which Fox said was the 
watch point. From its foot a dry brook-bed 
ran down through a sparse half-burnt second 
growth of woods to a little meadow, which 
could only be partly seen, some three hundred 
yards away. " The bait lies in that meadow," 
said Fox, " near that large bush." 

I studied it carefully through my field glass. 
The light in the meadow was already rather 
dim, and the bushes looked gray, but I could 
see nothing that looked like a bear. I could 
not, however, even clearly distinguish the bait. 
Fox took the glass. " There's nothing there," 
he said. " Let's go down, and see how you 
fastened it, anyway," I proposed, A goat's 
carcass being so small, Fox had tied it to a 
log to prevent it from being dragged bodily 

Fox led the way down the dry brook-bed. 
It was five or six feet deep, and made capital 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

cover for one's approach. Finally he stopped, 
and motioned to me to go ahead. " The 
watch point is just around that bend," he 
whispered. I stepped around it, and there 
the brook-bed debouched into the meadow. 
Just at its mouth was a small pile of brush, 
arranged by Fox as a cover. I looked over 
it, and saw, about fifty yards away, a grizzly 
bear, standing quartering toward me and my 
left, with his forefeet resting on something 
hidden in the bushes below it apparently the 
bait. The meadow, which had seemed to be 
grassy from above, now showed itself waist- 
high with sarvice berry bushes. The cham- 
ber of my rifle was still unloaded, and I threw 
a shell into it; Fox had no gun. The front 
white Lyman bead came clearly against the 
bear's left shoulder, and I pulled. She went 
down with a muffled roar, and lay out of sight 
in the bushes, still roaring and groaning. 

Instantly another large bear rose on its 
hind feet from behind a bush in the center of 
the meadow, while a third rushed into it from 
the woods on the right. To my startled im- 
agination the meadow seemed to be sprouting 
with grizzlies. The fellow in the center, to 
judge from his tracks, must have stood over 


Bear Traits 

six feet high ; he looked about ten. It was 
already too dusky to see clearly the rear Ly- 
man sight. I had noticed that on my first 
shot ; but I threw a bullet at this second bear 
without looking through my sights at all 
just as you would shoot at a flying quail. 
And as both bears rushed off into the woods 
on the left together, I pumped two more shots 
after them, like the veriest tenderfoot. 

Then, just as they disappeared, I noticed 
that the wounded bear was on its feet, and 
plunging heavily off, with its shoulder swing- 
ing loose, somewhat further down the meadow 
than where the others had gone. I remember 
the sickening thought came over me " I shall 
lose them all " and pulling myself somewhat 
together, I made a good shot at her just as 
she reached the woods. She seemed to fall in 
a heap at the edge of some willows. Fox, 
standing beside me, said: "You've got that 
one all right." 

Shoving some more cartridges into my 
magazine as I ran, I hurried into the woods 
after the other two bears, passing just above, 
and where I could hear but not see the 
wounded bear growling and thrashing in the 

thick willows. I ran over the top of the little 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

hill over which they had gone, and almost ran 
into them, standing there together among the 
sparse "quaken ash." One rose to its hind- 
legs, and I missed it again how, even with- 
out sights, I don't know ; I could almost have 
poked it with my gun. They wheeled, and 
raced into the bushes behind them, and, seeing 
that I had missed, I went back to Fox to look 
for the wounded bear. 

She was not where she had fallen, and her 
noise had stopped. It was already quite dark 
under the willow bushes. We circled closely 
all around them, peering beneath. They were 
only a small patch lying on the edge of the 
woods, and we could see everything except 
the very center, which could only be reached 
on hands and knees. We decided to leave that 
part till morning. Then, after looking also 
through the surrounding woods, I sent Fox 
back for the horses, and watched beside the 
bushes for the twenty minutes or so that he 
was gone. Nothing more stirred, and we 
rode back to camp. 

It rained hard all night, and it was still 
raining heavily when, long before daylight, we 
returned with young Fox to the bait. There 
is no need of dwelling on the disappointment 


Bear Traits 

of that morning. There was no bear under 
the bushes, and whatever blood she had left 
on her trail had long since been washed away. 
We quartered over the surrounding woods, 
foot by foot, for five or six hours. Then I 
sent the men home, and continued it till after- 
noon. After I had got something to eat and 
some dry clothes, I found it impossible to stay 
in camp, and decided to watch the bait again 
that evening. 

Just before sunset I struck into the dry 
brook-bed below the watch point, and fol- 
lowed it carefully down to the bend. Look- 
ing around it, I again saw two grizzlies with 
their heads down at the goat's carcass evi- 
dently the same two bears that had escaped 
the night before. Setting my teeth, I deter- 
mined to take no more chances with a .45-90 
at a bear's body, but to rest my rifle over the 
brush, and make a steady shot for the head. 
The brush pile was about ten feet away. 
Dropping on hands and knees I crawled to 
it, and then cautiously rose up. They could 
not have seen me, but some whirl of air had 
evidently given them my scent, for they were 
both moving across the meadow toward the 
place where they had left it before. One was 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

running steadily, but the other half stopped at 
intervals to rear and take a quick look over 
the bushes in my direction. 

I stood up for a running shot, and as he 
reared the second time, I drove my bullet at 
his great chest with all the steadiness the 
quick shot would allow. With a snarl like 
that of a fighting dog, he went over backward. 
He was on his feet again so quickly that it 
looked to me as if he had turned a back som- 
ersault, and racing after his companion, caught 
him up within forty yards, in his haste seem- 
ing almost to run over him. I sighted at him 
again through the trees, but held a shade too 
long, and as I pulled saw him sink below the 
hilltop, and felt I had shot over. I followed 
a good blood trail till dark ; and on the next 
morning, with Fox, followed it for nearly two 
miles, when we lost it on some open ground. 

Out of those two evenings I have drawn 
several lessons most of them derogatory to 
myself, and to the experience which I thought 
ten seasons of big game hunting had left in 
me. But there were also some features for 
which personal failings did not entirely ac- 
count. The second bear was probably hit 
too high. I did not then realize how high a 


Bear Traits 

bear's head and neck tower when he stands 
erect, and how proportionately low his heart 
and lungs sink down. Watch one in Central 
Park some time and see. I feel sure the first 
bear did not live long after the shot, and even 
as it was, with a good dog we should undoubt- 
edly have recovered her. But good bear dogs 
are scarce, and dog or no dog, either of those 
bears could have eaten me up, had it so 
chosen. Moreover, I was sufficiently acquaint- 
ed with my own power, to know that I could 
not count regularly on doing better shooting 
than I had done in my first shot at the first 

I had used the .45-90 Winchester for five 
years, and was fully sensible of its accuracy, 
flatness, and other good features. But I de- 
cided to discard it for bait hunting. Every 
one who has depended on its solid hardened 
bullet has seen game go good distances even 
when fatally hit, and the subject of its merits 
and demerits, as compared with a hollow point 
or soft lead bullet, has been so thoroughly 
thrashed out of late that it is superfluous now 
to go through it. 

Suffice to say, that I decided in future to 
use a special gun for bait shooting, of which 


Trail and Camp -Fire 

one shot should be warranted to be effective, 
This, however, was before smokeless powder, 
with its resultant high velocity, had come into 
sporting use, and I had to depend upon black 
powder. The following winter the Winchester 
Company made me up a gun which, I think, 
will fulfill the conditions above given. It is 
a single shot .577-caliber rifle, shooting 167 
grains of powder, and a 6oo-grain bullet, with 
a small hollow in the point. Even after the 
point breaks off and scatters there is over 
400 grains of solid butt left more than suffi- 
cient to break any bone. 

I have only shot it at one animal as yet. 
This was a rather small bear, of the kind 
known as the cinnamon in many parts of the 
Northwest, but short-clawed, and really a 
variety of black. He was standing on all four 
legs, facing me, some fifty yards away, with 
his head down at the bait. At the shot he 
fell forward, and never moved. The bullet 
entered the heavy muscles of the neck, and 
passed backward and downward through the 
thorax. After entering, its front end broke 
up, and left a track through which I could 
pass my unclenched hand. Fox, who was 
there, looked at the hole, and said solemnly : 


Bear Traits 

"If you had only had that gun last fall!" 
The foregoing cases, taken as examples, 
show how dangerous it is to generalize too 
much about the conduct of bears at a bait. 
Individual bears vary in their character, just 
as human beings do. And even the same 
bear may act very differently at different 
times. I remember one bear stealing up so 
quietly, that two of us, listening with all our 
ears, never heard him until he reached the 
bait. And the next night, after having been 
shot at and well scared, he came back over 
the same course, and made noise enough to 
rouse the dead. 

So much do individuals vary, that it is quite 
hard to recognize regular characteristic differ- 
ences between even the grizzly and the black. 
The grizzlies that I have seen seemed to be 
bolder, and to come earlier to bait, than their 
black cousins in the West; but friends have 
told me of cases where an old grizzly was as 
shy and cautious as a fox. In the East, as I 
said before, I have several times seen black 
bears feeding at midday. In nearly every 
case that I have seen, the grizzly, too, tried to 
bury or cache his bait. Sometimes this at- 
tempt was very perfunctory merely a few 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

handfuls of grass or earth scratched over it ; 
but I do not remember a black bear ever 
doing even so much as that. 

I should say, also, that the two species dif- 
fered usually as well in their behavior under 
fire. I have seen eight grizzlies and six black 
bears shot. Two of the former and one of the 
latter were instantaneously killed. Of the re- 
mainder, every one of the grizzlies bellowed 
and roared tremendously when hit, while every 
one of the blacks, except the cub in the 
spruce stub above mentioned, took his pun- 
ishment in perfect silence. I have seen but 
one bear of any kind, however, keep its feet 
when struck. Unlike an elk, which rarely 
even flinches, a bear will nearly always throw 
itself headlong, clawing or biting at the 
wound. The solitary exception that I remem- 
ber was a black bear in New Brunswick. 
Though fatally hit, she only flinched slightly, 
and withdrew into the bushes from which 
she had just appeared. 

In this sensitiveness to wounds, the bear 
seems to resemble the cat tribe. The only 
one that I have ever watched for any length 
of time, close by, also reminded me somewhat 
of a cat in his motions and behavior. It was 


Bear Traits 

the small " cinnamon " above mentioned, and 
as he approached the bait I watched him for 
at least ten minutes, within a distance of a 
hundred yards. He was extremely nervous, 
walking very slowly, and stopping every few 
minutes to look and listen. At these times he 
would raise his head, and look about in all 
directions. Something startled him, and he 
dashed sideways half-way up a leaning tree- 
trunk, for all the world like a scared cat. 
Then he crept down, circled slowly around out 
of sight below the bait, and I did not see him 
until his head quietly pushed through the 
willows, near which the bait lay. There he 
stopped, with his long nose screwed up in a 
savory anticipation, and it was a full minute 
before he finally stepped out of the bushes, 
walked across the remaining ten feet, and 
began his meal 

Henry L. Stimson. 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

A Convention to revise and amend the 
Constitution of the State of New York was 
held at the City of Albany in the summer of 
1894. Among the changes proposed by the 
Convention was the addition of the following 
words, as Section 7 of Article VII. of the Con- 
stitution : 

"The lands of the State, now owned or 
hereafter acquired, constituting the Forest 
Preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever 
kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be 
leased, sold or exchanged, or taken by any 
corporation, public or private, nor shall the 
timber be sold, removed or destroyed." 

At the election in the autumn of the same 
year the new Constitution was approved and 
ratified by a popular vote, and on the ist day 
of January, 1895, it went into effect. This 
action by the people through their delegates, 
and at the polls, made plain the fact that the 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

importance of preserving the great North 
Woods was clearly recognized. These forests 
affect the climate of the State, increase its 
water supply, contain many valuable health 
resorts, and afford an ideal range of territory 
for the protection and preservation of deer 
the only kind of large game now remaining 
in the State of New York. As is well known, 
the species which is found in the Adirondack 
Woods is variously designated as the Virginia 
deer, red deer, common deer, and white-tailed 
deer ; and, as Caton says in his " Deer and An- 
telope of America," has been found in every 
State and Territory of the United States, as 
well as in Canada, British Columbia and 
Mexico. Col. William F. Fox, Superintendent 
of Forests, in the State of New York, says, in 
a recent most valuable report, that in the 
Southern States "the species is inferior in 
size, being fully one-third smaller than the 
northern deer. The Adirondack deer, while 
not exhibiting, perhaps, the very largest and 
finest type, will compare favorably with those 
of Maine and Michigan, where the species is 
seen at its best. In the Adirondack region 
it attains a maximum weight of about 350 
pounds. The largest recorded size a buck, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

killed in Warren County showed a height of 
4 feet 3 inches over the withers, with a length 
from nose to tip of tail of 9 feet 7 inches." 

For every reason it is important to give 
proper protection to these animals, whose 
grace and beauty make them of interest to all 
who visit the woods, and whose pursuit in fair 
chase gives keen pleasure to the sportsman. 

Many years ago deer were shot when they 
came to the salt licks ; but a wise law long 
since prohibited this, as well as the use of 
traps. Two objectionable methods of killing 
deer were, however, still permitted by law, 
and generally practiced throughout the Adi- 
rondacks when the new Constitution went into 
effect. One was jacking, and the other was 
driving the deer with hounds to deep water, 
and shooting them while swimming. In jack- 
ing, the hunter is paddled silently along the 
edge of a lake, with a bright light in the bow 
of the boat or fastened to his hat ; a deer, fas- 
cinated by the light, stands watching it, until a 
load of buckshot is fired in the direction of 
the shining eyes of the deer, which, as a rule, 
are the only parts of the animal which can be 
distinguished. Reliable authorities have esti- 
mated, that only one in four of the deer thus 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

killed is secured, the others running to some 
distant or secluded spot before lying down to 
die of their wounds, and that four-fifths of 
those secured are nursing does, whose un- 
weaned fawns are left to die of starvation. 
Little can be said in defense of this method of 

The objection to driving deer to deep water 
is that their escape is practically impossible, as 
a man in a boat can row faster than any deer 
can swim. Even a child can thus be rowed 
around the swimming animal, and can shoot 
at him until a lucky shot kills. One of the 
best guides in the Adirondacks told me that 
he had seen a man fire thirty-two shots at a 
swimming deer before the clumsy butchery 

The lovers of fair sport were encouraged 
by the increased interest in our forests, on 
the part of the people, as evidenced by the 
adoption of the section of the new Constitu- 
tion already quoted, to hope for legislation 
which would wisely protect the deer. Their 
contention rested upon two fundamental pro- 
positions : First, that the preservation of deer 
in our State was so desirable, that they should 

be protected from such methods of slaughter 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

as might result either in their extermination 
or migration ; and, second, that, entirely inde- 
pendent of whether deer were increasing or 
diminishing in numbers, they should be pro- 
tected from cruel or unsportsmanlike methods 
of killing. That jacking is cruel and unsports- 
manlike few would deny, and that killing deer 
in deep water would hasten their extermination 
is the firm belief of many who are well quali- 
fied to form an accurate judgment. For these 
reasons, both in the interest of sport, and for 
the better protection of the deer, the most 
earnest efforts were made in the years 1895, 
1896, and 1897 to secure the enactment of 
laws prohibiting jacking and hounding. Dur- 
ing this time I was a member of the Legisla- 
ture, so that, in telling of what was attempted, 
and what was accomplished, I can say, in the 
words of the narrator of another story : 

. . . quceque ipse . . . vidi 
et quorum pars . . . fui. 

When the session of 1895 opened, the gen- 
eral law permitted the killing of deer from the 
1 5th of August to the ist of November; 
hounding was permitted from September loth 
to October loth, and there was no prohibition 
against jacking. Special laws regulated deer 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

hunting on Long Island, and in the five coun- 
ties of St. Lawrence, Delaware, Greene, Ulster, 
and Sullivan, in some of which hounding was 
prohibited. Mr. W. W. Niles, Jr., a member 
of Assembly from New York City, introduced 
a bill prohibiting absolutely both jacking and 
hounding, but, notwithstanding the able and 
earnest work of Mr. Niles and others, the pro- 
posed law failed of passage. 

During this year the " Fisheries, Game and 
Forest Law " was enacted, and, in accordance 
with one of its provisions, the Governor ap- 
pointed the "Fisheries, Game and Forest 
Commission," which has from the outset done 
admirable work for the great interests which 
are under its supervision. 

Under the direction of a Committee of the 
Senate, a revision of the Game Laws was pre- 
pared, but it was not submitted to the Legis- 
lature until the concluding days of the session. 
The only change which was proposed in the 
law concerning deer, was the substitution of 
the 1 6th for the i5th of August as the open- 
ing day of the season, and with this unimpor- 
tant change of one day as a result of the 
year's work on the deer laws, the Legislature 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

As set forth in its Constitution, one of the 
objects of the Boone and Crockett Club is 
"To work for the preservation of the large 
game of this country, and, so far as possible, 
to further legislation for that purpose." It is 
needless to say that during all this time the 
members of the club, and other sportsmen 
throughout the State, were earnestly interested 
in the question thus presented to the Legisla- 
ture. Now and then some well-known woods- 
man would urge the importance of shortening 
the season, leaving the methods of killing un- 
changed, but almost invariably it would be 
found that he never hunted with a jack-light. 
or killed a deer when swimming. A few good 
sportsmen who used dogs to drive their deer 
to runways, but who never shot them in deep 
water, opposed the prohibition of hounding, 
and, in order to meet the case of those who 
thus hunted with hounds, it was suggested 
that a law be passed prohibiting the killing of 
deer in deep water. The impossibility of en- 
forcing such a law was speedily recognized by 
all, and its advocates soon abandoned it. 

It is, I think, no exaggeration to say that 
the best sportsmen in the State, with here 

and there an exception, favored the absolute 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

prohibition of both jacking and hounding. 
Mr. Madison Grant, whose devotion to all 
that concerns the best interests of sport is 
well known, was tireless in submitting to com- 
mittees and members of the Legislature facts 
and arguments. Mr. George Bird Grinnell, 
well qualified to speak authoritatively on all 
hunting questions, whose personal experiences 
with big game go back to the time when 
myriads of buffalo wandered over the Western 
prairies, lent to the proposed legislation the 
strength of his favorable endorsement. Mr. 
Robert C. Alexander, the President of the 
Adirondack League Club, both personally and 
through the columns of the Mail and Express, 
gave to those who were contending for the 
laws his forceful and helpful influence. In 
1896, the Hon. George R. Malby, of St. Law- 
rence County, introduced in the Senate bills 
prohibiting entirely hounding and jacking, 
which he ably advocated and passed through 
the Senate. 

Similar bills were introduced in the Assem- 
bly. They were earnestly championed by the 
Hon. Martin Van Buren Ives, of St. Lawrence 
County, and others. The Fisheries, Game 
and Forest Commission prepared a report, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

showing that 5,000 deer were killed in the 
Adirondacks during 1895, and they officially 
expressed the opinion that both jacking and 
hounding should be prohibited ; but despite 
such endorsement, and the most strenuous 
efforts of the friends of the bills, they failed to 
pass. Some of the arguments used against 
the measures were, that the proposed legisla- 
tion was in the interest of a few rich men who 
owned large preserves ; that it would injure 
the business of the guides and the hotels ; and 
that the deer, under the existing law, were in- 
creasing so rapidly that there was not food 
enough for them in winter, so that many 
starved to death. With such statements, mem- 
bers from certain' Adirondack counties made 
an earnest personal appeal against the bills, 
and it was found that it would be impossible 
to secure their passage. 

A compromise measure was, therefore, 
framed, which left the open season unchanged, 
but prohibited hounding and jacking, except 
between the ist and i5th days of October; 
and this measure, notwithstanding a most de- 
termined opposition, was passed, and received 
the Governor's signature. 

In the autumn of 1895 I was a candidate 

The Adirondack Deer Law 

for re-election to the Legislature. The entire 
country was stirred by the financial questions 
at issue, and there was an uninterrupted series 
of public meetings in central New York, as 
elsewhere, at which these questions were dis- 
cussed. During the six weeks preceding the 
election I spoke almost every evening, but I 
was exceedingly desirous of making a visit to 
the woods, for the purpose of finding out the 
sentiment of the guides and hotel-keepers re- 
garding jacking and hounding, and incident- 
ally of doing a little still-hunting. Arranging 
so that there were no engagements to speak 
from one Saturday until the following Thurs- 
day, and leaving home on Saturday, I found 
myself Sunday morning in the woods. A long 
tramp that day proved conclusively that the 
law which prohibited hunting on Sunday was 
openly and persistently violated. I came 
across parties who were watching on runways 
for the deer that might be driven in by their 
hounds, and was nearly fired at by one eager 
sportsman, who was ready to shoot at any 
object he saw moving through the under- 
growth. Monday morning I made an early 
start, and spent the day in the woods search- 
ing for game. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

I think it was Sir William Thompson who 
said, that if he were offered his choice between 
the possession of knowledge and its pursuit, 
he would unhesitatingly choose the pursuit. 
I must admit that I am somewhat of that 
philosopher's mind in regard to game, for the 
pleasure of a day's hunting has never been 
dependent upon the quantity of game bagged. 
When the country through which one hunts 
is beautiful the days have an added pleasure. 

Many years ago I spent some time among 
the Harz Mountains in Germany, hunting in 
the preserves of the Duke of Brunswick. The 
richness in legend and fable, and the wild 
beauty of that region, made it a delight, even 
when no shot was fired, to roam over moun- 
tain or through valley, trying to find game in 
the daytime, or watching for wild boars by 
moonlight. So, in our own North Woods, it 
is not necessary even to see a deer, in order 
to lie down contentedly to dreamless sleep on 
the balsam boughs. Nature herself repays all 
the labor of forcing a way through the tangled 
underbrush, struggling through swamp, or 
climbing rocky hillsides. But, were the coun- 
try without an attractive feature, the true 
sportsman would find in the chase itself ample 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

reward for all his labors, and if his efforts to 
come upon a deer by still-hunting are crowned 
with success, he may reasonably feel the most 
intense satisfaction. 

In the deer the sense of smell and hearing 
are remarkably developed. A tree may fall, 
making the mountain side re-echo as it crashes 
to the ground, and the deer is undisturbed ; 
but the careless footstep which breaks a twig 
or snaps a branch puts him instantly on guard 
against the approaching enemy, and if the 
hunter moves as noiselessly as the falling 
snow, he is doomed to failure if he approaches 
the deer down the wind. Sometimes the 
hunter will come upon a deer browsing, with- 
out having previously tracked it, and his eye- 
sight must be keen to distinguish the game 
among the trees before it is alarmed and dis- 
appears. When the track is followed, it is 
well to do as Mr. Barringer, in his interesting 
article, " Dog Sledging in the North," in the 
"Book of the Boone and Crockett Club," says 
the Indians do in following moose leave the 
track continually in semicircles down wind. 

All day Monday I traveled up hill and 
down, without seeing track or trace of deer, 
but with much pleasurable discourse with the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

guide who accompanied me. Tuesday I went 
further north, and covered many miles, in 
company with a splendid specimen of the 
Adirondack guide and woodsman. We found 
fresh tracks, and once we saw three deer a 
buck and two does but not near enough to 
justify shooting. Both days the woods were 
very dry, but Tuesday night it rained, and 
Wednesday morning, in a drizzling fall of 
mist, I started out again. At about ten 
o'clock I saw, through the dense foliage of a 
fallen tree, the form of a moving deer. Stop- 
ping instantly, I waited, and in a few seconds 
saw the head and neck exposed to plain view, 
at a distance of about sixty yards. A fortu- 
nate shot broke the vertebra, and the deer 
died instantly. 

Among the guides and hotel-keepers whom 
I met, there was a growing sentiment in favor 
of the entire prohibition of hounding and 
jacking. The limit of two weeks' time made 
it a profitless expense to keep dogs for eleven 
and a half months, when they could only be 
used for two weeks. 

So many visitors now come to the Adiron- 
dacks, that the conditions are very different 
from those which prevailed a decade ago, and 


The Adirondack Deer Law 

many men who had been most devoted to 
hounding, were forced to admit that if the 
deer are to be preserved, they must be pro- 
tected from a form of hunting which makes 
their death inevitable when they get into the 
water. The unsportsmanlike method of shoot- 
ing the swimming deer from a boat was gen- 
erally deprecated. 

Greatly encouraged by what I had learned, 
I went back to the Legislature, hopeful that 
during the session of 1897 satisfactory legisla- 
tion could be secured, and this proved to be 
the case. The contest was renewed with in- 
creased energy. Notwithstanding the force 
of fact and argument, it was still impossible to 
pass" a law prohibiting absolutely these two 
methods of hunting ; but a compromise law 
was enacted, by which they were prohibited 
for five years. 

Any one who kills deer must recognize that 
the contest at best is an unequal one. The 
man with a rifle is at such a great advantage 
that there is comparatively little to be proud 
of in killing a deer under any circumstances. 
But when one is compelled to match his phys- 
ical endurance, his woodcraft, and his skill as 
a hunter, against the deer's natural instinct, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

which enables it to detect, with such wonder- 
ful keenness of smell or hearing, the presence 
of a man, he can feel that he has at least 
secured his game in a way that can fairly be 
called sportsmanlike. 

Let us hope that when five years have 
passed, no one will be found to oppose the 
passage of a law which will extend indefinitely 
the prohibition against hunting deer with jack- 
lights, and shooting them when swimming in 
deep water. 

Wm. Gary Sanger. 

A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

There is that about the island of Newfound- 
land which suggests caribou. The rugged 
ground breaks in flinty billows everywhere, 
yet leaves now and again a spot of oily calm, 
a level reach of yellow barren. The wood- 
lands are evergreens that picture snows and 
wintry winds even in golden summer days ; 
and everywhere grow tangles of wiry vines 
and undergrowth, conquered here and there 
by the level, bushy tops of berry plants. And 
beneath all is a soft carpet of gray moss, 
ankle-deep and moist, which the caribou so 
dearly love moss, which to them is a luxury 
in summer, a necessity in winter, a feast al- 
ways. And then there are a myriad lakes, 
great and small, lapping incessantly in vain 
endeavor to smooth their soft beaches of the 
countless cloven tracks, that vanish in the 
daylight only to form again like mushrooms 
in the dark, as countless as before. 

We traveled to Grand Pond by rail and 
water, and there our outfit met us, and we 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

branched forth from civilization into the wil- 

It required three days' hard rowing to reach 
the Upper Birchy Pond. Our flotilla consist- 
ed of two eighteen-foot dories, railroaded for 
us from Bay of Islands, and a light Peter- 
borough canoe, kindly loaned by young Mr. 
Reed. My father chose this latter for his flag- 
ship, and I paddled him, while into the two 
transports were loaded our complete outfit, 
together with our old Rocky Mountain guide, 
Mr. Keller, two hunters, three packers, the 
cook, and a Newfoundland puppy of masto- 
dontic proportions. 

I have never seen more ideal watercourses 
for trout or salmon, and despite the lateness 
of the season we had no difficulty in supply- 
ing the pan with an abundance of both. Only 
the smaller salmon took the fly ; but we knew 
the big fellows lurked beneath our keels, for 
frequently, from some swirling pool at the 
foot of a rapid, one would shoot a clear two 
feet into the air, and fall gleaming back again 
with resounding slap. Then we would hun- 
grily watch the circle ripples run apart and 
lap on either bank, and a yearning would fill 

our hearts. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

Perhaps we would halt the march, and cast 
a tempting fly a dozen times or more. But 
soon this became a mere matter of form, for 
the big fish would not accept any challenge. 
They had retired from the ring till the next 
season, and they kept their resolution scrupu- 

Newfoundland geographers have odd ways. 
Amongst others they call lakes, miles broad 
and long, ponds. Hence, when Sir William 
informed us we should have to traverse a half 
dozen or so ''ponds" to reach the Upper 
Birchy Pond, we were expectant of a few 
hours' paddling at most. Imagine our sur- 
prise and mild consternation when, at the end 
of the first day's hard labor, we had traversed 
but two of these so-called ponds. Then there 
were smaller lakes not accounted for at all, 
but classed by these generous explorers as 
widenings in the river. Some of these even 
required an hour to cross. But the work was 
pleasant, with the constant expectation of a 
shot at caribou and the excitement of the 
rapids, and I, for one, was not sorry to see 
our jaunt lengthening into a journey. 

On the second day, as we were crossing 

Sandy Pond, one of the guides, William 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Beaton, sighted a bull caribou a mile away 
upon the beach. Instantly the march stopped, 
and our glasses were leveled. 

As I had never shot a caribou, I was ap- 
pointed a committee of one to bring him into 
camp. I demurred, but my father insisted; 
so he climbed into the dory, and William into 
the canoe, I meanwhile unbuckling my .45-70 
Winchester, and taking my seat in the bow. 
Then, with a parting "good-luck," and bit of 
advice not to shoot from too far off, we were 
away, and as we left the motionless flotilla I 
heard my father say: " That's all right; I'll 
wager the boy gets him." And I trembled 
for myself. Suppose I should miss in plain 
sight of all ! 

William bore a friendly rivalry to Keller, 
the Rocky Mountain man, and exerted him- 
self to the utmost. The canoe was rapidly 
and silently stealing toward a wooded point 
that projected into the lake, some three hun- 
dred yards to windward of our quarry, and I, 
watching through my glasses, saw the bull 
grow and grow, until he loomed a monster 
indeed. Soon I could even count the larger 
points upon his antlers, and I saw he had a 
splendid head. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

He was walking leisurely back and forth, 
feeding from some bushes overhanging the 
golden beach. Then a noise from the watch- 
ing dories met his ears. Calmly he walked to 
the water's edged and gazed at them. I feared 
he would sight us, but he did not, and the low 
canoe crept on unseen. Then, satisfied that 
the dories were harmless, the regal fellow re- 
turned up the beach, showed his back to the 
lake, and deliberately lay down. How my 
heart exulted ! 

Gliding swiftly, we passed behind the point, 
and lost sight of our noble quarry. I judged 
that I should have to shoot about two hun- 
dred yards, and so gauged my Lyman sight. 
With the least possible noise our canoe grated 
upon the round stones of the beach, and I 
stepped cautiously into the ankle-deep water, 
and held the gunwale while William got out. 
In doing so he accidentally struck his paddle 
against the stern. My heart stood still. We 
listened apprehensively, but no sound came 
from across the point ; all was silent as the 
grave. Then we began to walk swiftly up the 
shore, William leading. Fifty steps and we 
rounded the point, stooping low. 

Yes, there lay the bull, head down, back to 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

us, and to all appearances asleep. In full 
sight we crept forward. A fallen balsam 
stretched across the beach, a dozen yards 
ahead, and I resolved to shoot from there. 
The metallic click ! click ! of the hob-nails in 
my boots against the stones warned me to 
approach no nearer. 

I set my sight for 1 75 yards, and, leaning 
forward, rested my rifle across the fallen bal- 
sam. Instantly it plunged and reared like a 
gun-shy horse. Several dry branches cracked, 
and to my dismay I saw the bull spring up 
and face us, quartering. 

I tried to shoot above the bobbing tree, but 
it was too high. Stooping, I sought another 
aim, but I was badly cramped, and the whip- 
ping of the branches before my eyes bothered 
me. Nevertheless, I caught the white of a 
shoulder through my sights, and fired. 

The caribou moved one step forward, and a 
branch snipped from a bush just over his back. 
I knew I had shot too high. Lowering my 
rifle I depressed the sight to 150 yards. Then 
I dropped flat on my stomach, and while the 
bull still stood motionless, unable to locate 
the seat of danger, I drew a careful bead for 

his shoulder, well back, and fired again. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

At the crack he plunged forward and ran, 
side on, down the beach. Pumping the lever, 
I swung ahead of him, waited, saw his head 
enter my sight, then his shoulder, and fired 
again. Instantly he pitched headlong, and 
lay motionless at the water's edge. 

A sound came over the lake the fall and 
sweep of oars. The butchers were coming. 
My part was done. 

I arose and started down the beach. I 
think my contentment was perfect. I patted 
my Winchester lovingly. 

" Those are nice cartridges," I said. 

William smiled most affably. 

"That's a good gun," he remarked. "You 
didn't need your third shot." 

And, smiling amiably together, we con- 
tinued our walk. 

At the spot where the bull had stood and 
received my first and second salutes, we 

The sand was trampled and crushed into a 
regular caribou camp. Evidently the old fel- 
low had been living there many days, waiting, 
no doubt, for his cows to swim across the lake 
to him. 

We saw where my first shot had nipped the 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

bush ; and, yes, we saw clear evidence of my 
second. A drift of hair upon the sand and a 
shot streak of blood. William was right 
about my third shot. 

Then we walked to the fallen monarch. 
He was quite dead. 

My second bullet had passed an inch behind 
my third through the very center of his shoul- 
der. Both shots were mortal. He was a 
magnificent specimen, white, with snowy neck 
of shaggy hair, and splendid antlers. The 
brow plows were exceptionally fine. One was 
enormous, measuring i8j^ inches in breadth, 
with twelve points upon it. The other was a 
single, long, sword-like point. He had thirty- 
six points, all well defined. He was a very 
old stag, and his horns were the color of a 
black-tail deer's, from being cleaned on burnt 
tree trunks. They had an unusual spread and 

" You'll kill a hundred and not get a better 
head," said William. 

After the caribou was dressed, the official 
distance of my shots, 163 and 197 yards, was 
ascertained, and we again embarked. 

We experienced some considerable diffi- 
culty in finding the outlet, or rather inlet, in 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

the upper end of this Sandy Pond water, and 
for two hours we paddled back and forth 
hunting it. While doing so a band of caribou 
were sighted upon the beach a mile away, and 
my father and William stalked them in the 
canoe while we watched. But the three bulls 
of the band all proved too small, and, after 
chasing them down the shore to see them run, 
the hunters returned empty-handed. 

Then we found the stream we sought, and 
began to ascend it. Its mouth had formed a 
delta into the lake, and the channel wound in 
and out and about in a most fearful and won- 
derful fashion, that kept us guessing, and more 
over, board, pushing and shoving, than in board. 
But an hour's toiling brought us safely through 
and well into the main stream, and a more 
beautiful stretch of water I have never seen. 

Deep and purple black it wound between 
banks that overhung our heads with a wreath 
of verdure, flamed scarlet here and there by a 
species of wild cranberry. It was an ideal 
trout stream, and at the foot of the rapids we 
camped beside that night we caught as many 
of the speckled aristocrats as we desired and 
as the pan demanded. 

The next morning we were off early, and as 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

I recall that third day now it seems an endless 
journey through lakes that began every mile 
and never ended. The truth is that each dory 
was rowed by four strong men, and I paddled 
that canoe alone, and a strong dead wind 
sprang up and added to my toil. 

But about four in the afternoon the wind 
increased so greatly and the waves swelled to 
such dimensions that it was no longer possible 
to proceed with any degree of safety in the 
canoe, and so we shifted to the dories and 
towed our little craft behind. It was just 
after this that I spied a young bull caribou 
swimming directly toward us across the lake, 
narrowed to a few hundred yards at this 

We remained motionless as he swam up, 
but we did not stop talking. On he came, 
swimming strong and turning his head this 
way and that to stare with his great eyes at 
our strange selves. Now and again a wave, 
larger than its fellows, would break upon his 
nose. Then, with a grunt of disapproval, the 
bull would raise himself with furious strokes 
half out of the water and shake his head 
violently. Soon he had approached within a 
hundred yards of us. Then he decided he 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

would give us a wider berth, and sheered off 
a few points, making for the land a couple of 
hundred yards above us. At once the idea of 
catching the youngster occurred to us, and 
with a wild yell the chase began. 

And such a chase ! 

In each boat four sturdy men heaved upon 
as many ashen oars with mighty heaves, and 
our two dories shot ahead like live things. 
The caribou turned squarely up the lake and 
swam for dear life down the very center, in the 
face of wind and waves and pelting rain. He 
swam very fast, and it took us ten minutes to 
cut down, inch by inch, the hundred yards of 
water that separated us. 

At last we overtook him, and ranged on 
either side of him as he swam, grunting and 
puffing ; and then Fred, the guide, grabbed 
him by the horns. Instantly chaos arose and 
circled us. The lake lifted from its very bot- 
tom, shouldered over and fell about us with 
the hurtling rain, while the beating as of ten 
thousand hoofs rang upon the dory's side. 

Above this tumult spoke a voice : 

/'Be careful and don't hurt him, Fred," it 

That must have sounded ludicrous to Fred, 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

hanging on for dear life to that beast's antlers, 
while its sharp hoofs played a tattoo alter- 
nately upon his ribs and funny bone. 

All the while I was standing in the bow of 
the other dory, taking pictures with reckless 
disregard of the swaying of the boat and the 
raindrops that sat stolidly upon my camera's 
one eye. In a moment of calm I obtained one 
fairly good photograph, but all those which 
should have shown the wonderful gymnastics 
that Fred and his captive indulged in came 
home from the Eastman Company blighted 
by that dismal word "failure." 

After I had finished, Fred released the stag, 
and the way that poor brute legged it back 
across the lake was pitiful. We watched him 
till he took bottom and bounded out, and then 
we rowed onward. 

The experience illustrated to us how easily 
the Newfoundlanders are enabled to catch the 
caribou as they swim across the waterways 
and cut their throats, as is their common 

A little later in the day, while searching for 
a passable channel up the shallow stream that 
connects the Middle and Upper Birchie Ponds, 
we were highly amused by the interest an old 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

cow caribou evinced in our outfit. When first 
discovered by Keller she was feeding near by 
upon the bank. We landed within five hun- 
dred yards of her, and I shot a brace of yel- 
low-leg plover, but she only looked more 
interested, and walked a few steps closer. We 
shouted, and waved our hats, but still she re- 
fused to run. 

Late on the evening of the third day we 
found the spot we sought, an old Indian tee- 
pee that stood upon a point reaching half 
across the Upper Birchie Pond, about in its 

" Where two sandy points stand opposite, 
there you must camp, for there the deer 
cross/' we had been told by Mr. Parsons away 
back at our Grand Pond camp, and now we 
had found those points. 

Without taking valuable time to reconnoi- 
ter, for the daylight was waning, we ascertained 
that the teepee was there, and thoroughly un- 
inhabitable by white men or self-respecting 
dogs, and began hastily to make a temporary 
camp nearby. It had fortunately stopped 
raining, but everything was wet, ourselves 
included, and I for one hastened, as soon as 
camp was made, to dig up dry clothing from 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

the bottom of one of the waterproof pack 
sacks ; for, of course, what I wanted was at 
the bottom, where things one wants always 

That evening we passed in pleasurable an- 
ticipation, and the glad knowledge that our 
ten days of traveling was at an end, and our 
destination reached. Tilley cooked our sup- 
per in the teepee, and served us the part the 
cockroaches didn't steal, and after several 
warmly contested games of California Jack, 
we turned in and slept to the musical patter 
of rain upon the canvas roof above us. 

The sun was shooting flashing arrows of 
light through the pine tops when we awoke 
the next morning, and Tilley had our break- 
fast of caribou steak, golden plover and bacon 
waiting for us at the tent entrance. 

It had been our intention to make perma- 
nent camp where we were, but fifteen minutes 
sufficed to convince us of the utter impossi- 
bility of such a course. This old Indian camp- 
ing ground was a veritable slaughter pen. 
Beside the teepee were huge piles of bones, 
hide and skulls, some but half decomposed; 
and everywhere, in the woods and along the 

rocky shore, lay skulls and antlers. It is a 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

low estimate to say that the horns of a thou- 
sand caribou lay bleaching beside that lake. 

And there were some magnificent speci- 
mens, too ; but few that were not defaced and 
rendered valueless by the wanton ax of the 
Indian. The smaller heads were whole, but 
all the finer specimens were hacked and 
broken. In nine antlers out of ten could be 
seen the slugs of the Indians' sealing guns 
half buried in the bone. 

It was evident that we dare not camp near 
that slaughter house, and so we hunted out a 
new site. We soon found one some distance 
away and directly upon the point, thirty yards 
back' from the water and amongst the trees, 
that proved, after three hours' hard chopping 
and clearing, to be all it promised. 

We stationed one of the men in an airy 
perch, forty feet up a pine, armed with a pair 
of field glasses and a whistle, and from that 
hour till we broke camp, as long as there was 
daylight, some one of the men was sure to be 
seated there, scanning the lake up and down 
for crossing bands of caribou. 

When one was spied he blew the whistle. 
That was always the signal for a rush to the 
point, and we examined the bulls of the band 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

from there through our glasses, and passed 
judgment upon them. If we decided they 
were desirable, the one whose turn it was 
seated himself in the canoe, his hunter took 
the paddle, and a spirited race began to see 
whether the bull or the boat would reach the 
prospective landing place first. Often it was 
the caribou, and when that proved the case 
the only recourse for the hunter was to hur- 
riedly scramble ashore and take the chances 
of a long running shot. 

It was the exception when caribou, once 
started across the lake, turned back again. 
Even if a human being was in view on the 
shore they were making for they would not 
return on their course, but would turn up or 
down the shore, and seek a second landing. 
If frustrated a second time, then they might 
swim back again, but seldom, indeed, did one 
turn at the first sign of danger. 

It would be no difficult task to fill a book 
with our trip amidst the lakes and woodlands 
of Newfoundland. Indeed, I find the hardest 
thing to do is to condense my narrative into 
the small number of pages I am allowed. But, 
of course. I must not neglect the telling of my 
father's first kill. Like mine, it was witnessed 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

by the entire party, and a very pretty bit of 
work it was. 

We were just putting the finishing touches 
to our permanent camp, and Mr. Keller, father 
and myself, were debating as to the best 
method of constructing that very important 
article of camp furniture, the dining table, 
when the shrill alarum of the watch-tower 
whistle quivered and swelled in our ears. 

Observing the courtesy of turn about, I 
handed my father his rifle and a half-dozen 
cartridges, and together we rushed to the 

" There he blows ! " called Elias from his 
watch-tower ; and, following his leveled glasses, 
we descried the head and antlers of a bull 
moving rapidly toward our bank, a half-mile 
down the lake. Father and Tom Beaton 
sprang toward the canoe, and in a moment 
the dip, dip, of twin paddles met our waiting 
ears, and we saw the " Peterborough " stealing, 
like a thief in the night, down the shore, well 
within the shadow of the forest. I turned my 
attention to the bull. The glasses brought 
him almost to my feet. He was, indeed, a fine 
fellow, and swam so bravely, with eyes and 
nose water level, and antlers thrown regally 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

back, that I felt a momentary pity well up in 
my breast. 

The bull swam strongly on, unconscious of 
danger; yet, more swiftly than he swam, his 
doom flew down the shore. I could see my 
father and Tom Beaton swaying rhythmically 
to their work, putting their hearts into each 
and every stroke. The canoe seemed alive. 
Soon they had come within range, still unper- 
ceived. The caribou was making for a strip 
of sand beach a few yards the other side of a 
point that stretched far out in the lake. 

The canoe rounded this point before the 
deer saw it, and then, to our great surprise, 
instead of landing there, where they would 
have been offered a splendid shot as the bull 
came ashore, they kept on, and, running be- 
tween the deer and the bank, turned him 

Then began a race across the lake that was 
as exciting as anything of the kind I have ever 
seen. The caribou had a fifty-yard lead and 
swam hard. At any part of the race, had my 
father wished, he could have shot him easily, 
but, of course, he did not. We upon the shore 
guessed what he was doing. He was count- 
ing the points on the antlers, and deciding 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

whether that stag was killable ! Rather novel, 
wasn't it? Examine your game, pass judg- 
ment, and then either kill or free it. 

Two-thirds the distance was already con- 
sumed, then suddenly the canoe shot ahead 
and passed the caribou, then stopped, turned, 
and forced the poor beast back toward our 
side again. 

They had decided the head was a desirable 
one, and now were driving the stag to the 
most convenient spot to kill him. They might 
easily have driven him to the very point we 
stood upon, but they were probably tired with 
their long and hard race, and simply returned 
him to the original point. 

The stag swam slower now, and when with- 
in a hundred yards of the point the canoe 
again forged ahead, and this time my father 
stepped ashore upon the point. In a few 
seconds the caribou landed a hundred yards 
below him. For a fleeting moment he paused 
to shake himself. Brief as that moment was, 
it was fatal ; for we, watching, saw a puff of 
creamy smoke suddenly appear before the lev- 
eled rifle, saw the bull plunge wildly a few 
yards and pitch headlong upon the beach, and 
before even the report of the shot reached us, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

we realized that the noble beast was dead. 

I must pass over many interesting events in 
our camp life, and let it suffice to say that we 
lived every moment of it pleasantly. 

Caribou were very plentiful, and it was not 
many days before our camp had assumed the 
semblance of a true hunter's paradise. On 
either side of our pathway before the tent 
stretched long lines of drying venison that the 
guides had laid claim to for their winter meat. 
This was a gratifying claim to us, for we were 
averse to wasting any part of the trophies of 
the chase, and the wants of a people who win- 
tered in that bitter region were so great we 
knew we could not exceed them. 

Beneath this drying meat hung the hides, 
all of which we preserved for rugs, and be- 
neath and in front of these were the sawed 
and cleansed skulls and their glorious antlers. 
It was, indeed, a picture to gratify the exacting 
heart of a big game hunter; not because of 
the number of the kills, for that was not great, 
but because of their superior quality. 

We had heard of the barrens above the hills 
about the lakes, but because of the heavy for- 
est growth upon the hillsides, we could not 

see them from the lake shore. It was upon 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

these barrens that the monster stags were re- 
ported to roam, and we determined to visit 
them before we broke camp. 

Choosing a good day we made an early 
start and were off. After an hour's row up 
the lake, we landed at a spot where a clear 
mountain brook babbled a promise of some 
little aid to the ascent, and began what proved 
to be the hardest bit of climbing I have ever 
undergone. We used the ax freely, but in 
spite of our efforts at opening a way, we con- 
sumed the better part of three hours in as- 
cending less than a mile of sloping hillside. 
It was crawl here and wriggle there, but never 
annapright position among them all. 

When at length we had reached the crest of 
the hills, and no sign of the barrens appeared, 
we sent a guide up a tree to reconnoiter. He 
was able to make out very little, but said he 
thought he saw an opening a mile inland. 
This was discouraging ; but while we were 
discussing the advisability of beating a retreat, 
one of the other guides, who had wandered 
apart unperceived, returned with the gratify- 
ing news that not five hundred yards away lay 
a huge plain literally alive with caribou. In- 
stantly we resumed the march, rifles ready. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Now the trees began to thin, and the moss 
to grow more and more spongy, and then, 
with a suddenness which dazzled, the whole 
scene shifted, and we were standing in a fringe 
of breast-high bushes, and before us, as far as 
the eye could see, stretched a yellow waste of 
level plain, sweeping with gentle undulation 
to the north and east, where lay Grandfather's 
Lookout and Hall's Bay. 

But our attention was chained by something 
nearer and more absorbing ; for three hun- 
dred yards before us was a band of twenty 
caribou. There were three bulls. One, stand- 
ing, was a little fellow. But two, lying down, 
were apparently monsters, one of them espe- 
cially, and these two we decided to have. The 
cover extended fifty yards nearer to our 
quarry, and carefully we made our way to its 
very edge. The cows were browsing, and did 
not heed us. I do not believe they would 
have minded had we stepped fairly out into 
the open. 

The biggest bull was to go to my father, as 
to date I held the champion head ; and we 
agreed that he should fire first. He selected 
a stunted pine tree for a rest, and I stepped 

to one side, and chose the limb of another. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

As he fired, I was conscious of seeing his 
bull stagger to its feet, and stand there sway- 
ing, and then my attention was absorbed by 
my own, which rose and started to trot away, 
side on. I fired, and apparently hit him, for 
he stopped instantly, and stood, head down, 
as if about to fall. I fired twice more, but the 
limb I used as a rest swayed and bothered me 
so that I missed each shot. Then I fired one 
shot off-hand, and the bull pitched forward all 
in a heap, with a bullet through his heart, 
quite dead. 

My quarry disposed of, I turned to my 
father's. His bull still stood, apparently badly 
hurt and about to fall, but as the cows ran he 
started to follow, regaining new life at each 
step, until my father fired again, and the bull 
went down like a log. 

We turned to the barrens, and a wonderful 
sight met our eyes. The whole plains were 
covered with grazing caribou. A half mile 
away one band roamed. A little farther three 
bulls, one of them a huge fellow, were daring 
one another to fight. Beyond stretched a 
waste with caribou everywhere. 

There, before us, lay the two bulls we had 

just shot, with the cows that were with them 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

standing wondering by, having stopped run- 
ning when the big bull fell. One cow lay just 
beyond him, and we made sure the bullet that 
felled this bull had also slain her. But, extra- 
ordinary to tell, we discovered she had quietly 
lain down, and was not harmed at all. To 
her the firing was a pleasant lullaby. 

Father wished to try for the distant big 
bull, and he and the guide, Tom, set out, leav- 
ing us to watch and wait. The wind was bad 
for a successful stalk, and they were forced to 
make a large circuit below the brow of the 
plateau the barren rested upon. Soon they 
were lost to sight. 

Before they had been gone fifteen minutes, 
the bull father had left for dead struggled to 
his feet and started to walk away. I brought 
him down again with a shot through the shoul- 
der; but yet he was not dead, and when, later, 
we walked up to him he attempted to charge 
us, with many snorts of fury, and I was 
obliged to send a bullet through his heart. 

While father chased the bull I took several 
photographs of the cows standing near by, 
and then Keller and I walked a half mile to 
the west, to where a spur of woods hid that 

part of the plains from us. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

We intended to head off my father's bull 
should he come that way, which was highly 
probable. But we saw nothing more of either 
the hunters or the bull till four o'clock in the 
afternoon, when the former returned and re- 
ported a kill after an extremely hard stalk of 
five miles, an exciting miss, and a splendid 
snap shot through the trees, when he had 
given up all hope of ever seeing that particu- 
lar bull again. 

From our new position we could see far to 
the west and north, and everywhere our 
glasses disclosed bands of feeding caribou. 
The plain was literally honeycombed with 
countless game trails that resembled wagon 
roads more than paths. And everywhere the 
level reach was dotted with silver ponds and 
lakes. It was a wonderful sight, the most 
marvelous I have ever seen, and we spent an 
hour viewing it. 

Then we returned to the slain bulls, and, 
after literally driving the cows away, for one 
of them lay quite still until we were within 
thirty yards of her, we began skinning out. 

We arrived in camp late that night, tired 
with the exhausting tramp down hill in the 
dark through the thickest of woods, but 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

pleased beyond measure by our day's experi- 
ence and trophies. On the morrow we sent 
three of the men to chop a trail up to the bar- 
rens, and ever after that, when we paid the 
plains a visit, we had a good road to ascend 

One Sunday my father went on an explor^ 
ing expedition to the head of the lake, and 
returned at night with a strange tale. He 
had followed a creek, as he said, "way up into 
Hall's Bay country," and had determined to 
his satisfaction that, contrary to his belief, 
the deer did not use that end of the lake as a 
pass to cross southward. But he made a dis- 
covery that explained a good many things 
mystifying to us. Where the creek he fol- 
lowed entered the lake were erected three 
huge scaffolds, one of which was as large as 
the floor of a big house. These structures 
were of considerable age, but in good repair, 
and were the drying scaffolds of the Mic-Mac 
Indians. Here they prepared their annual 
stock of winter meat, killing it around the 
shores of the lake, and floating it down. It 
was a certainty from the signs in evidence 
about these scaffolds that thousands of cari- 
bou were annually dried there. That this lake 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

had also been a hunting ground for white men 
for years and years was proven to us by my 
finding, neatly carven in the huge trunk of a 
fallen forest monarch, the date 1847, an d three 
initials that I have now forgotten. 

We enjoyed a number of amusing incidents 
where caribou literally came into camp, and 
once, in particular, Erie, the big Newfound- 
land puppy, and Tilley, the cook, came face to 
face with a yearling, and almost took it alive ; 
but it finally got into the water and escaped. 

I wish to recount two more kills our last. 
Both were made upon the barren ; and we 
prize their heads highly. I shall relate fa- 
ther's kill in his own words, as he told the 
story, late in the evening, after his triumphant 

" It was almost dark," he said, " and Tom 
and Elias had gone back to get those other 
heads. I waited alone at the edge of a point 
of pines. Presently a cow and a big bull 
walked leisurely into view four hundred yards 
below me. I determined to have those ant- 
lers, for even in the fading light I could see 
that they were grand ones; but the distance 
was too great to risk a shot. I began a cau- 
tious stalk ; but I had not gone a dozen steps 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

when the cow saw me and bolted, with the 
bull after her. 

"As they disappeared I yelled at them, 
never expecting to see either of them again. 
Imagine my surprise when the old bull stepped 
forth from the woods above and grunted at me. 
I shouted again and waved my hat, and the 
fellow grunted more fiercely still, and started 
for me. I stepped forward to meet him half- 
way, when back he skipped into the woods. In 
a moment he was out again, and for five minutes 
he and I kept up that dance. I decided that 
before long he would bolt, as he had evidently 
given up his idea of charging me, and so I de- 
termined to risk a shot. 

" The distance was great, pacing 365 yards, 
and the light almost gone. In addition to 
that the caribou stood face on and hidden 
from the shoulder down by a bush. I thought 
he stood in the very edge of the woods. Rais- 
ing my .303, I held squarely for his forehead 
between the eyes and fired. He disappeared 

" ' He's gone now,' I told myself. But I 
had expected to miss, and did not feel very 
badly, considering the circumstances. But I 

walked to where he stood, and to my surprise 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

and delight, there he lay in his tracks, stone 
dead. My bullet had passed directly through 
the left brow plow, cutting a clean hole three 
inches long, and smashed into his brain, killing 
him instantly." 

My last kill was made the following day, the 
last in camp. It was pouring rain and very 
foggy, but I set forth with Tom, Fred and 
Elias, and arrived upon the barrens about 
noon. What a bleak prospect it was! The 
steady rains of the past week had flooded the 
entire plain with icy water, above which the 
wiry grasses waved mournfully. The fine rain 
drove almost level before a fierce north wind, 
and a thin gray fog obscured clear vision. 
But we determined not to give up, and, leav- 
ing Fred and Elias to skin out the kill of the 
night previous, Tom and I set forth, splashing 
across the plain. We had gone perhaps a 
half mile, and had just breasted the brow of 
a swell, when simultaneously we both ducked 
low, and hurriedly ran down the hill again. 

We had discovered a band of thirty or 
more caribou feeding a mile beyond us. Our 
glasses showed three bulls, two of them very 
large, and we held a war consultation. 

To begin with, the wind was wrong. Then 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

there was absolutely no cover, and the plain 
between the caribou and ourselves was dead 
level. To make a circle sufficient to obtain 
cover meant a three-mile tramp, with the pros- 
pect that the caribou would be gone when we 
got to the end of it. So we decided to go a 
short distance to the right to avoid having the 
wind blow directly from us to the animals, and 
then to crawl up on them over the flat and 
open barren. 

I now did a very foolish thing. It was bit- 
terly cold, and the water was icy, but I threw 
aside my gloves, nor'wester hat, and mackin- 
tosh topcoat, and began my stalk with naked 
head, and hands and body covered by only a 
thin flannel shirt. For a solid hour we wrig- 
gled forward inch by inch, through the rain 
and fog, stopping every time a cow raised her 
head. Flat on our stomachs we squirmed 
along, and in that position, more in the mud 
and water than out, we covered the best part 
of a mile. 

Long before we had crawled near enough 
to be in anything like passable range a fourth 
bull joined the herd, and immediately a fight 
began. The biggest of the three original 
bulls attacked him, and they closed, and for 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

fifteen minutes we lay still and watched them 
trample the ground as they struggled this way 
and that for the mastery. The clashing of 
their horns was like the ringing of sabres, and 
I cannot understand why they did not break 
them to atoms. 

If it had not been for the cows standing in- 
terestedly about, we could no doubt have run 
directly up to the fighting bulls unperceived. 
At last the interloper was whipped off, and, 
walking a little to one side, he lay down and 
was lost to sight. But we had seen enough of 
him to determine that he was the one we 
wanted, and again we began our crawl. My 
hajids were numb and swollen with the cold 
and the rough usage I had given them, but I 
passed my rifle forward to Tom to lug, and 
kept on. 

Soon we were within range, but it was im- 
possible, because of the fog, to say whether 
the distance was two or four hundred yards. 
The herd had fed into a clump of low bushes 
that promised us some sort of cover, and now 
we advanced more rapidly. We crawled 
through their very center, once dropping flat 
in four inches of water, while an old cow 
walked leisurely about us not twenty feet 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

away. Then she fed away again, and we 
wriggled on. 

We knew now that we were very near the 
bull we sought, but still we could not see him. 
Suddenly a cow took fright and trotted away. 
Several more followed her, and then, eighty 
yards in front of us, our bull arose. He 
stood face on, all but his head hidden by the 

Three separate times I tried to catch a sure 
sight, but I was shaking so violently with the 
cold, and my hands were so numb that the 
rifle traveled all over the face of the land- 
scape, but never rested for a fleeting moment 
on the caribou. 

Then I deliberately laid my Winchester 
down, rolled over on my side, and pushed my 
frozen hands into the breast of Tom's warm 
shirt. For fully two minutes I kept them 
there. The band had run a hundred yards 
and stopped, and our bull still stood watching 
us. Then he suddenly wheeled, and ran pell- 
mell for the woods four hundred yards away, 
and we saw the band break and run in the 
opposite direction. Fred and Elias had fin- 
ished their job and were coming to seek us, 
and they had frightened our quarry. 


A Newfoundland Caribou Hunt 

I withdrew my partially warmed fingers in a 
hurry, seized my rifle, sprang to my feet, and 
opened fire. The caribou was running two- 
thirds quartering from me, and it was very 
difficult shooting in the driving rain and fog. 
I emptied my magazine of its five shots, thrust 
in two more, and fired them, and just as I dis- 
charged the last cartridge the bull disappeared 
in the fringe of the woods. 

I turned about to try a shot at the others, 
but they were gone. 

We walked to the spot where we had last 
seen our deer, and, pleasant to relate, there he 
lay, dead, with five shots through the body 
and two through the antlers. These were 
magnificent in symmetry and coloring, and of 
very good dimensions ; and were the hand- 
somest set I ever saw. The brow plows were 
uniform in size, with fingers interlaced; and 
on either side above them, from a wide, flat 
surface, sprang two veritable hands, each hav- 
ing five long spreading fingers. The main 
beams curved far forward and over, and their 
numerous points recalled some strange bar- 
baric musical instrument. The entire horns 
were tinted a rich, reddish amber, like the 
coloring of meerschaum. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

My first shot was fired at 105 yards, and my 
last at 390. 

We skinned the prize and faced campward 
in triumph. Twice we sighted bands of cari- 
bou, but we left them in peace. We had 


The next day we broke camp, and began 
our homeward journey ; and the trophies of 
our hunt now adorn the St. Louis Club. 

Clay Arthur Pierce. 


From a Photograph of the Society's Topographic Model. 

The Origin of the New York 
Zoological Society 

In the autumn of 1894 I entered into a cor- 
respondence with Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, 
the President of the Boone and Crockett Club, 
with reference to securing, during the coming 
session of the Assembly, certain legislation 
in the interest of game protection. It was 
finally decided that the subject should be laid 
before the Club for its sanction ; and this was 
done at the annual meeting of the Boone and 
Crockett Club of January 16, 1895, when the 
matter was entrusted to a committee of which 
I was chairman. 

One of the chief objects of this committee 
was to secure for New York City, which was 
then entering into a new era of expansion 
under a reform administration, a zoological 
park on lines entirely divergent from the Old 
World zoological gardens, and which would 
tend to introduce those principles of game 
preservation advocated by the Boone and 
Crockett Club. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Upon investigation, the committee found 
that a measure had already been introduced 
at Albany, providing for the establishment of 
a zoological park on city lands, located north 
of 1 5 5th Street. This bill had been intro- 
duced for several years in succession by Mr. 
Andrew H. Green, and had each year been 
defeated, chiefly on account of a clause in it 
which authorized the New York Park Board 
to turn over the existing Central Park Men- 
agerie to the proposed Society. This clause 
had provoked violent opposition from certain 
East Side representatives, who declared the 
bill to be a mere attempt to secure the control 
and removal of the Central Park Zoo, and so 
to deprive the poor children of the pleasure 
afforded by it. The strength of this opposi- 
tion was good evidence of the popularity of 
any sort of animal collection, for a more 
wretched exhibition of ill-kept specimens than 
the existing Zoo cannot be found in any large 
city in the world. 

Curiously enough, there was also in circula- 
tion a rumor that the proposed Society would 
engage in the business of breeding small ani- 
mals, such as dogs and fowls, to the lasting 
injury of the small animal dealers. 


The New York Zoological Society 

Mr. Green was interviewed by the commit- 
tee, and, realizing that the bill could not suc- 
ceed without the help of the Boone and 
Crockett Club, he agreed to give them the 
control of the new Society if the bill should 
become law. 

The measure was in charge of Assembly- 
man W. W. Niles, Jr., who represented the 
district above the Harlem River, in which the 
proposed park would in all probability be 
located. He consented to push the bill, if the 
Boone and Crockett Club would assume the 
responsibility of organizing the Society, and if 
some of the members would appear as incor- 

The bill was therefore amended by the 
insertion of the names of two Boone and 
Crockett Club men, Mr. La Farge and my- 
self, among the original incorporators, and 
Mr. Niles modified the clause relating to the 
Central Park Zoo in such a manner that while 
the opposition was appeased, the Society nev- 
ertheless retained the right to a preference 
in case the Park Board disposed of the exist- 
ing Zoo at any time in the future. The small 
animal dealers were interviewed by the com- 
mittee, and their fears dispelled. Mr. Niles 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

then pushed the bill with vigor, and, after a 
prolonged contest, he succeeded in forcing it 
through by dint of some of the hardest work 
done at Albany that year. 

The Society was organized May 7, 1895, and 
the first board of managers contained the 
names of nine Boone and Crockett Club mem- 
bers, including the vice-president and both the 

Nearly a year was spent in the considera- 
tion of various sites, and the southern end of 
Bronx Park was finally found to possess al- 
most the exact landscape features deemed es- 
sential by the experts to whom the available 
locations were referred. In Bronx Park, mea- 
dow, glade, forest, pond and river were so 
distributed that buildings could be located and 
collections installed, practically without injury 
to existing trees. 

After a searching inquiry into the question 
of accessibility, drainage and kindred matters, 
the Zoological Society approved this site, and 
on May 21, 1896, formal application was made 
to the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund 
under the terms of the Society's charter. 

The question was under consideration by 

the city authorities for nearly ten months, 




Showing Disposition of American Mammals. 

The New York Zoological Society 

and in March, 1897, a grant was made by the 
city to the New York Zoological Society of all 
that portion of Bronx Park lying south of 
Pelham Avenue, being about 261 acres, upon 
certain restrictions and conditions entirely sat- 
isfactory to the Society. 

A bill was also secured from the Legislature 
at Albany providing $125,000 for the prepara- 
tion of the land to receive the Society's build- 
ings and collections. At the present writing 
the Society numbers 425 members, and is in a 
most prosperous financial condition. 

As the New York Zoological Society owes 
its existence to the Boone and Crockett Club, 
a few words concerning its purposes cannot be 
amisS-. Its primary object is to secure herds 
not merely individuals of each of the large 
North American quadrupeds, and to place 
them as far as possible in surroundings identi- 
cal with or closely resembling their natural 
habitats. A space of twenty acres will be 
devoted to the American bison ; the moose 
will have a wooded range of eight acres ; the 
wapiti fifteen acres, and the other deer similar 
ranges. The beaver will have a pond and 
stream, together with growing trees and full 
opportunity to build his dam and cabins, while 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

the bears will be quartered in rock ledges and 
caves. A flying aviary, 150 feet long, 75 feet 
wide and 50 feet high, will enable the flamin- 
gos, herons, ibis, and egrets to retain their 
strength by the free use of their wings ; and 
the monkeys will have an entire grove of trees 
at their disposal fenced in by a high wire 
netting, to be sure, but still giving them free- 
dom on a scale never before attempted. 

The first work of the Society will be to pre- 
sent the larger North American mammals in 
such a way that they can be studied by the 
public, and still keep themselves in perfect 
condition by exercise. After that the larger 
buildings will be constructed, one after an- 
other, until a zoological park shall be devel- 
oped on strictly American lines. By this is 
meant the absolute preservation of all desira- 
ble natural features now existing, and the sub- 
ordination of all structures and of landscape 
treatment to the needs of the specimens, and 
especially to the ranges of the larger animals. 

The largest Zoo in existence in Europe is 
the Zoological Garden in Berlin sixty acres 
in extent, while the National Zoological Park 
at Washington contains 168 acres, much of 
which, however, is unsuitable for collections, 


The New York Zoological Society 

so with its 261 acres and room to grow, 
the New York Zoological Society begins its 
career with an enormous advantage. 

Admission to the Park will be free except 
on two days of each week, when a small ad- 
mission fee will be charged but in return, 
the city will be expected to supply the cost 
of maintenance. The Society will supply the 
collections and scientific management of the 
Park, and, so far as practicable, the buildings. 

The advantages of membership in the So- 
ciety include not only free admission and 
tickets for guests, but certain right to publi- 
cations, use of library, and other advantages. 

Scientific investigations, publications, lec- 
tures ahd animal art exhibitions will be carried 
on by the Society in conjunction with the 
Park, and there is every reason to hope that, 
in the near future, New York will have a 
flourishing rival to the London Zoological 

The committee of this club, which had in 
charge the introduction of this enterprise, at- 
tribute their success before the Legislature to 
the energetic help of members of the Boone 
and Crockett Club, and to the very consider- 
able influence of the club itself. When the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Society was once organized, the first support 
it secured was from the members of that club, 
who came forward almost in a body practi- 
cally every New York City member with 
money and with time. 

The formation of this Society comes at a 
time when it is still possible to secure speci- 
mens for a great collection. It may be confi- 
dently asserted that twenty-five years hence 
the rinderpest and repeating rifle will have 
destroyed most, if not all, of the larger African 
fauna including certainly the most beautiful 
antelopes in the world and game in India 
and North America in a wild state will almost 
have ceased to exist. 

The New York Zoological Society, the most 
vigorous offspring of this club, demonstrates 
what a mission and opportunity the Boone 
and Crockett Club has in these closing days of 
the century in its efforts to preserve the game 
and the forests ; in short, to preserve to future 
generations some remnant of the heritage 
which was our fathers', and which, to a great 
extent, still is ours, though so few of us have 
learned to estimate it at its true value. 

Madison Grant. 

Books on Big Game 

The nineteenth century has been, beyond all others, 
the century of big game hunters, and of books about big 
game. From the days of Nimrod to our own there have 
been mighty hunters before the Lord, and most warlike 
and masterful races have taken kindly to the chase, as 
chief among those rough pastimes which appeal naturally 
to men with plenty of red blood in their veins. But 
until the present century the difficulties of travel were so 
great that men with a taste for sport could rarely gratify 
this taste except in their own neighborhood. There 
was good hunting in Macedonia in the days of Alexander 
the Great]" there was good hunting in the Hercynnian 
forest when Frank and Burgund were turning Gaul into 
France; there was good hunting in Lithuania as late as 
the days of the Polish Commonwealth; but the most 
famous kings and nobles of Europe, within historic 
times, though they might kill the aurochs and the bison, 
the bear and the boar, had no chance to test their 
prowess against the mightier and more terrible beasts of 
the tropics. No modern man could be more devoted to 
the chase than were the territorial lords of the Middle 
Ages, and their successors in continental Europe to the 
beginning of the present century; indeed, they erred 
generally on the side of fantastic extravagance and ex- 
aggeration in their favorite pursuit, turning it into a 
solemn and rather ridiculous business instead of a healthy 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

and vigorous pastime; but they could hunt only the 
beasts of their own forests. The men who went on long 
voyages usually had quite enough to do simply as travel- 
ers; the occupation of getting into unknown lands was 
in itself sufficiently absorbing and hazardous to exclude 
any chance of combining with it the r61e of sportsman. 

With the present century all this has changed. Even 
in the last century it began to change. The Dutch 
settlers at the Cape of Good Hope, and the English 
settlers on the Atlantic coast of North America, found 
themselves thrown back into a stage of life where hunt- 
ing was one of the main means of livelihood, as well as 
the most exciting and adventurous of pastimes. These 
men knew the chase as no men of their race had known 
it since the days before history dawned; and until the 
closing decades of the present century, the American and 
the Afrikander of the frontier largely led the lives of 
professional hunters. Oom Paul and Buffalo Bill have 
had very different careers since they reached middle age; 
but in their youth warfare against wild beasts and wild 
men was the most serious part of the life work of both. 
They and their fellows did the rough pioneer work of 
civilization, under conditions which have now vanished 
for ever; and their type will perish with the passing of 
the forces that called it into being. But the big game 
hunter, whose campaigns against big game are not sim- 
ply incidents in his career as a pioneer settler, will re- 
main with us for some time longer; and it is of him and 
his writings that we wish to treat. 

Toward the end of the last century this big game 
hunter had already appeared, although, like all early 
types, he was not yet thoroughly specialized. Le Vail- 


Books on Big Game 

lant hunted in South Africa, and his book is excellent 
reading now. A still better book is that of Bruce, the 
Abyssinian explorer, who was a kind of Burton of his 
days, with a marvelous faculty for getting into quarrels, 
but an even more marvelous faculty for doing work 
which no other man could do. He really opened a new 
world to European men of letters and science; who 
thereupon promptly united in disbelieving all he said, 
though they were credulous enough toward people who 
really should have been distrusted. But his tales have 
been proved true by many an explorer since then, and 
his book will always possess interest for big game 
hunters, because of his experiences in the chase. Some- 
times he shot merely in self-defense or for food, but he 
also made regular hunting trips in company with the 
wild lords of the shifting frontier between dusky Chris- 
tian and dusky infidel. He feasted in their cane palaces, 
where the -walls were hung with the trophies of giant 
game, and in their company, with horse and spear, he 
attacked and overcame the buffalo and the rhinoceros. 

By the beginning of the present century the hunting 
book proper became differentiated, as it were, from the 
book of the explorer. One of the earliest was William- 
son's "Oriental Field Sports." This is to the present 
day a most satisfactory book, especially to sporting 
parents with large families of small children. The pic- 
tures are all in colors, and the foliage is so very green, 
and the tigers are so very red, and the boars so very 
black, and the tragedies so uncommonly vivid and start- 
ling, that for the youthful mind the book really has no 
formidable rival outside of the charmed circle where 
Slovenly Peter stands first. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Since then multitudes of books have been written 
about big game hunting. Most of them are bad, of 
course, just as most novels and most poems are bad ; 
but some of them are very good indeed, while a few are 
entitled to rank high in literature though it cannot be 
said that as yet big game hunters as a whole have pro- 
duced such writers as those who dwell on the homelier 
and less grandiose side of nature. They have not pro- 
duced a White or Burroughs, for instance. What could 
not Burroughs have done if only he had cared for adven- 
ture and for the rifle, and had roamed across the Great 
Plains and the Rockies, and through the dim forests, as 
he has wandered along the banks of the Hudson and the 
Potomac ! Thoreau, it is true, did go to the Maine 
Woods ; but then Thoreau was a transcendentalist, and, 
therefore, slightly anaemic. A man must feel the beat of 
hardy life in his veins before he can be a good big game 
hunter. Fortunately, Richard Jefferies has written an 
altogether charming little volume on the Red Deer, so 
that there is, at least, one game animal which has been 
fully described by a man of letters, who was also both a 
naturalist and a sportsman ; but it is irritating to think 
that no one has done as much for the lordlier game of 
the wilderness. Not only should the hunter be able to 
describe vividly the chase, and the life habits of the 
quarry, but he should also draw the wilderness itself, 
and the life of those who dwell or sojourn therein. We 
wish to see before us the cautious stalk and the headlong 
gallop ; the great beasts as they feed or rest or run or 
fight ; the wild hunting camps ; the endless plains shim- 
mering in the sunlight ; the vast solemn forests ; the 
desert and the marsh and the mountain chain ; and all 


Books on Big Game 

that lies hidden in the lonely lands through which the 
wilderness wanderer roams and hunts game. 

But there remain a goodly number of books which are 
not merely filled with truthful information of importance, 
but which are also absorbingly interesting ; and if a book 
is both truthful and interesting it is surely entitled to a 
place somewhere in general literature. Unfortunately, 
the first requisite bars out a great many hunting books. 
There are not a few mighty hunters, who have left long 
records of their achievements, and who undoubtedly did 
achieve a great deal ; but who contrive to leave in the 
mind of the reader the uncomfortable suspicion, that 
beside their prowess with the rifle they were skilled in 
the use of that more archaic weapon the long bow. 
Gerard was a great lion killer, but some of his accounts 
of the lives, deaths, and especially the courtships, of 
lions, bear much less relation to actual facts than do the 
novels of 'Dumas. Not a few of the productions of 
hunters of this type should be grouped under the head- 
lines used by the newspapers of our native land in 
describing something which they are perfectly sure 
hasn't happened "Important, if True." 

If we were limited to the choice of one big game writer, 
we should have to choose Sir Samuel Baker, for his ex- 
periences are very wide, and we can accept without ques- 
tion all that he says in his books. He hunted in India, 
in Africa, and in North America ; he killed all the chief 
kinds of heavy and dangerous game ; and he followed 
them on foot and on horseback, with the rifle and the 
knife, and with hounds. For the same reason if we could 
choose but one work, it would have to be the volumes of 
"Big Game Shooting" in the Badminton Library, edited 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

by Mr. Phillipps Wolley himself a man who has written 
well of big game hunting in out of the way places, from 
the Caucasus to the Cascades. These volumes contain 
pieces by many different authors ; but they differ from 
most volumes of the kind in that all the writers are trust- 
worthy and interesting ; though the palm must be given 
to Oswell's delightful account of his South African 

In all these books the one point to be insisted on is 
that a big game hunter has nothing in common with so 
many of the men who delight to call themselves sports- 
men. Sir Samuel Baker has left a very amusing record 
of the horror he felt for the Ceylon sportsmen who, by 
the term " sport," meant horse-racing instead of elephant 
shooting. Half a century ago, Gordon Gumming wrote 
of " the life of the wild hunter, so far preferable to that 
of the mere sportsman"; and his justification for this 
somewhat sneering reference to the man who takes his 
sport in too artificial a manner, may be found in the 
pages of a then noted authority on such sports as horse- 
racing and fox-hunting ; for in Apperly's " Nimrod 
Abroad," in the course of an article on the game of the 
American wilderness, there occurs this delicious sen- 
tence : " A damper, however, is thrown over all systems 
of deerstalking in Canada by the necessity, which is said 
to be unavoidable, of bivouacking in the woods instead 
of in well-aired sheets! " Verily, there was a great gulf 
between the two men. 

In the present century the world has known three great 
hunting-grounds : Africa, from the equator to the south- 
ernmost point ; India, both farther and hither ; and 
North America west of the Mississippi, from the Rio 


Books on Big Game 

Grande to the Arctic Circle. The atter never approached 
either of the former in the wealth and variety of the 
species, or in the size and terror of the chief beasts of the 
chase ; but it surpassed India in the countless numbers 
of the individual animals, and in the wild and unknown 
nature of the hunting-grounds. 

South Africa was the true hunter's paradise. If the 
happy hunting-grounds were to be found anywhere on 
this world, they lay between the Orange and the Zambesi, 
and extended northward here and there to the Nile coun- 
tries and Somaliland. Nowhere else were there such 
multitudes of game, representing so many and such 
widely different kinds of animals, of such size, such 
beauty, such infinite variety. We should have to go back 
to the fauna of the Pleistocene to find its equal. Never 
before did men enjoy such hunting as fell to the lot of 
those roving adventurers, who first penetrated its hidden 
fastnesses, camped by its shrunken rivers, and galloped 
across its sun-scorched wastes; and, alas that it should 
be written, no man will ever see the like again. Fortun- 
ately, its memory will forever be kept alive in some of 
the books that the great hunters have written about it, 
such as Cornwallis Harris's "Wild Sports of South 
Africa," Gordon Cumming's "Hunter's Life in South 
Africa," Baldwin's " African Hunting," Drummond's 
" Large Game and Natural History of South Africa," 
and, best of all, Selous's two books, " A Hunter's Wan- 
derings in South Africa," and " Travel and Adventure 
in Southeast Africa." Selous is the last of the great 
hunters, and no other has left books of such value as his. 

Moreover, the pencil has done its part as well as the 
pen. Harris, who was the pioneer of all the hunters, 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

published an admirable folio entitled " The Game and 
Wild Animals of South Africa." It is perhaps of more 
value than any other single work. J. G. Millais, in "A 
Breath from the Veldt," has rendered a unique service, 
not only by his charming descriptions, but by his really 
extraordinary sketches of the South African antelopes, 
both at rest, and in every imaginable form of motion. 
Nearly at the other end of the continent there is an ad- 
mirable book on lion-hunting in Somaliland, by Captain 
C. J. Melliss. Much information about big game can be 
taken from the books of various missionaries and ex- 
plorers ; Livingstone and Du Chaillu doing fur Africa in 
this respect what Catlin did for North America. 

As we have said before, one great merit of these books 
is that they are interesting. Quite a number of men who 
are good sportsmen, as well as men of means, have writ- 
ten books about their experiences in Africa; but the 
trouble with too many of these short and simple annals 
of the rich is, that they are very dull. They are not 
literature, any more than treatises on farriery and cook- 
ing are literature. To read a mere itinerary is like 
reading a guide book. No great enthusiasm in the 
reader can be roused by such a statement as " this day 
walked twenty-three miles, shot one giraffe and two 
zebras; porter deserted with the load containing the 
spare boots"; and the most exciting events, if chronicled 
simply as "shot three rhinos and two buffalo; the first 
rhino and both buffalo charged," become about as thrill- 
ing as a paragraph in Baedeker. There is no need of 
additional literature of the guide-book and cookery-book 
kind. " Fine writing " is, of course, abhorrent in a way 
that is not possible for mere baldness of statement, and 


Books on Big Game 

would-be " funny " writing is even worse, as it almost 
invariably denotes a certain underbred quality of mind; 
but there is need of a certain amount of detail, and of 
vivid and graphic, though simple, description. In other 
words, the writer on big game should avoid equally Car- 
lyle's theory and Carlyle's practice in the matter of 

Really good game books are sure to contain descrip- 
tions which linger in the mind just like one's pet pas- 
sages in any other good book. One example is Selous's 
account of his night watch close to the wagon when, in 
the pitchy darkness, he killed three of the five lions which 
had attacked his oxen; or his extraordinary experience 
while hunting elephants on a stallion who turned sulky, 
and declined to gallop out of danger. The same is true 
of Drummond's descriptions of the camps of native hunt- 
ing parties, of tracking wounded buffalo through the 
reeds, and of waiting for rhinos by a desert pool under 
the brilliancy of the South African moon; descriptions, 
by the way, ^which show that the power of writing inter- 
estingly is not dependent upon even approximate cor- 
rectness in style, for some of Mr. Drummond's sentences, 
in point of length and involution, would compare not un- 
favorably with those of a Populist Senator discussing 

The experiences of a hunter in Africa, with its teeming 
wealth of strange and uncouth beasts, must have been, 
and in places must still be, about what one's experience 
would be if one could suddenly go back a few hundred 
thousand years for a hunting trip in the Pliocene or 
Pleistocene. In Mr. Astor Chanler's book, " Through 
Jungle and Desert," the record of his trip through the 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

melancholy reed beds of the Guaso Nyiro, and of his 
return journey, carrying his wounded companion, through 
regions where the caravan was perpetually charged by 
rhinoceros, reads like a bit out of the unreckoned ages 
of the past, before the huge and fierce monsters of old 
had vanished from the earth, or acknowledged man as 
their master. Another excellent book of mixed hunting 
and scientific exploration is Mr. Donaldson Smith's 
" Through Unknown African Countries." If anything, 
the hunting part is unduly sacrificed to some of the 
minor scientific work. Full knowledge of a new breed 
of rhinoceros, or a full description of the life history and 
chase of almost any kind of big game, is worth more than 
any quantity of new spiders and scorpions. Birds and 
insects remain in the land, and can always be described 
by the shoal of scientific investigators who follow the 
first adventurous explorers; but it is only the pioneer 
hunter who can tell us all about the far more interesting 
and important beasts of the chase, the different kinds of 
big game, and especially dangerous big game; and it is a 
mistake in any way to subordinate the greater work to 
the lesser. 

Books on big game hunting in India are as plentiful, 
and as good, as those about Africa. Forsyth's " High- 
lands of Central India," Sanderson's " Thirteen Years 
Among the Wild Beasts of India," Shakespeare's "Wild 
Sports of India," and Kinloch's " Large Game Shooting," 
are perhaps the best; but there are many other writers, 
like Baldwin, Rice, Macintyre, and Stone, who are also 
very good. Indeed, to try to give even the titles of the 
good books on Indian shooting would make a magazine 
article read too much like the Homeric catalogue of 


Books on Big Game 

ships, or the biblical generations of the Jewish patriarchs. 
The four books singled out for special reference are in- 
teresting reading for any one; particularly the accounts 
of the deaths of man-eating tigers at the hands of For- 
syth, Shakespeare, and Sanderson, and some of Kin- 
loch's Himalayan stalks. It is indeed royal sport which 
the hunter has among the stupendous mountain masses 
of the Himalayas, or in the rank jungles and steamy 
tropical forests of India. 

Hunting should go hand in hand with the love of 
natural history, as well as with descriptive and narrative 
power. Hornaday's " Two Years in the Jungle " is 
especially interesting to the naturalist; but he adds not a 
little to our knowledge of big game. It is earnestly to 
be wished that some hunter will do for the gorilla what 
Hornaday has done for the great East Indian ape, the 
mias or orang. 

There are many good books on American big game, 
but, rather curiously, they are for the most part modern. 
Until within the present generation Americans only 
hunted big game if they were frontier settlers, profes- 
sional trappers, southern planters, army officers, or ex- 
plorers. The people of the cities of the old States were 
bred in the pleasing faith that anything unconnected 
with business was both a waste of time and presumably 
immoral. Those who traveled went to Europe instead 
of to the Rocky Mountains. 

There are good descriptions of big game hunting in 
the books of writers like Catlin, but they come in inci- 
dentally. Elliott's book on " Carolina Field Sports " is 
admirable, although the best chapters are on harpooning 
the devil-fish; and John Palliser, an Englishman, in his 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

" Solitary Hunter," has given us the best description of 
hunting in the far West, when it was still an untrodden 
wilderness. Unfortunately, the old hunters themselves, 
the men who had most experience in the life of the wil- 
derness, were utterly unable to write about it; they could 
not tell what they had seen or done. Occasional at- 
tempts have been made to get noted hunters to write 
books, either personally or by proxy, but these attempts 
have not been successful. 

The first effort to get men of means and cultivation in 
the northern and eastern States of the Union to look at 
field sports in the right light was made by an English- 
man who wrote over the signature of Frank Forrester. 
He did a great deal for the shotgun men; but, unfor- 
tunately, he was a true cockney, who cared little for really 
wild sports, and he was afflicted with that dreadful 
pedantry which pays more heed to ceremonial and ter- 
minology than to the thing itself. He was sincerely dis- 
tressed because the male of the ordinary American deer 
was called a buck instead of a stag ; and it seemed to 
him to be a matter of moment whether one spoke of a 
" gang " or a " herd " of elk. 

There are plenty of excellent books nowadays, how- 
ever Dodge's " Hunting Grounds of the Great West," 
Caton's " Deer and Antelope of America," Van Dyke's 
"Still Hunter," and the Century's "Sport with Gun and 
Rod," for instance. Warburton Pike, Caspar Whitney, 
and Frederick Schwatka have given a pretty full account 
of boreal sports; and Pendarves Vivian and BaillieGroh- 
man have written exceedingly interesting accounts of 
hunting trips in the Rockies. A new departure, that of 
photographing wild animals in their homes, was taken in 


Books on Big Game 

Wallihan's "Hoofs, Claws and Antlers," although Mr. 
Wallihan greatly marred the book by combining with the 
genuine photographs of wild game a number of "faked " 
pictures of stuffed animals. Finally, in Parkman's " Ore- 
gon Trail " and Irving's "Trip on the Prairie," two great 
writers have left us a lasting record of the free life of the 
rifle-bearing wanderers who first hunted in the wild west- 
ern lands. 

Of course, there are plenty of books on European 
game. Scrope's " Art of Deerstalking," Bromley Daven- 
port's " Sport," and all the books of Charles St. John, 
are classic. The chase of the wolf and boar is excel- 
lently described by an unnamed writer in " Wolf Hunting 
and Wild Sports of Brittany." Baillie Grohman's "Sport 
in the Alps " is devoted to the mountain game of Cen- 
tral Europe, and is, moreover, a mine of curious hunting 
lore, most of which is entirely new to men unacquainted 
with the history of the chase in Continental Europe dur- 
ing the last few centuries. An entirely novel type of 
adventure is set forth in Lamont's "Seasons with the 
Sea Horses," wherein he describes his hunting in arctic 
v;aters with rifle and harpoon. Lloyd's " Scandinavian 
Adventures " and " Northern Field Sports," and Whis- 
Siiiw's "Out of Doors in Tsar Land," tell of the life and 
.;-ame of the snowy northern forests. Chapman has done 
-ood work for both Norway and Spain. 

Finally, we come to a book which, quite unconsciously, 
gives us the exact model of what a big game hunter and 
a true sportsman, who is much more than a mere sports- 
man, should be. I mean Mr. Edward North Buxton's 
*' Short Stalks." It is the book of a man who is a hardy 
lover of nature, a skilled hunter, but not a game butcher; 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

a man who has too much serious work on hand ever to 
let himself become a mere globe-trotting rifleman. We 
are not disposed to undervalue manly outdoor sports, or 
to fail to appreciate the advantage to a nation, as well as 
to an individual, of such pastimes; but they must be 
pastimes, and not business, and they must not be carried 
to excess. There is a good deal to be said for the life of 
a professional hunter in lonely lands; but the man able 
to be something more, should be that something more 
an explorer, a naturalist, or else a man who makes his 
hunting trips merely delightful interludes in his life work. 
As for excessive game butchery, it amounts merely to a 
debauch. The man whose chief title to glory is that, 
during an industrious career of destruction, he has 
slaughtered 200,000 head of deer and partridges, stands 
unpleasantly near those continental kings and nobles 
who, during the centuries before the French Revolution, 
deified the chase of the stag, and made it into a highly 
artificial cult, which they followed to the exclusion of 
state-craft and war-craft and everything else. James, 
the founder of the ignoble English branch of the Stuart 
kings, as unkingly a man as ever sat on a throne, was 
fanatical in his devotion to the artificial kind of chase 
which then absorbed the souls of the magnates of con- 
tinental Europe. 

There is no need to exercise much patience with men 
who protest against field sports; unless, indeed, they are 
logical vegetarians of the flabbiest Hindoo type. If it is 
morally right to kill an animal to eat its body, then it is 
morally right to kill it to preserve its head. A good 
sportsman will not hesitate as to the relative value he 
puts upon the two, and to get the one he will go a long 


Books on Big Game 

time without eating the other. No nation facing the un- 
healthy softening and relaxation of fibre which tend to 
accompany civilization can afford to neglect anything 
that will develop hardihood, resolution, and the scorn of 
discomfort and danger. But if sport is made an end 
instead of a means, it is better to avoid it altogether. 
The greatest stag-hunter of the seventeenth century was 
the Elector of Saxony. During the Thirty Years' War 
he killed some 80,000 deer and boar. Now, if there ever 
was a time when the ruler of a country needed to apply 
himself to serious matters, it was during the Thirty 
Years' War in Germany, and if the Elector in question 
had eschewed hunting he might have compared more 
favorably with Gustavus Adolphus, Tilly and Wallenstein. 
Wellington was fond of fox-hunting, but he did very 
little of it during the period of the Peninsular War. 
Grant cared much for fine horses, but he devoted his 
attention to other matters when facing Lee before Rich- 
mond. Perhaps as good an illustration as could be 
wished of the effects of the opposite course is furnished 
by poor Louis XVI. He took his sport more seriously 
than he did his position as ruler of his people. On the 
day when the revolutionary mob came to Versailles, he 
merely recorded in his diary that he had "gone out 
shooting, and had killed eighty-one head when he was 
interrupted by events." The particular event to which 
this " interruption " led up was the guillotine. Not many 
sportsmen have to face such a possibility; but they do 
run the risk of becoming a curse to themselves and to 
every one else, if they once get into the frame of mind 
which can look on the business of life as merely an inter- 
ruption to sport. 



Written by members of the Boone and Crockett Club 
on Hunting, Exploration, Natural History, etc* 

CAPT. HENRY T. ALLEN. Reconnaissance in 

An account of an exploring expedition through 
hitherto unknown portions of Alaska, with notes 
on the Indians, game and natural history. 


An account of sport with the rifle, carried on in 
the most sportsmanlike way, not only in the Rocky 
Mountaines, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia, but 
in such out-of-the-way places as the Atlas Moun- 
tains, Asia Minor and Sardinia. 

and Deer of America. 

A very full description of the physical character- 
istics, life, habits and chase of the prong-buck, and 
of all the North American deer ; the accounts of 
the wapiti, mule deer and white-tail deer, both in 
their wild state and in captivity, being particularly 


List of Books 

and Desert. 

An account of an adventurous exploring expedi- 
tion into an unknown region of East Africa, with 
many notes on the geography and ethnology of 
the country traversed. Incidentally there is much 
about hunting the teeming herds of great game, 
such as rhinoceros, giraffe, zebra, and the various 
antelopes. One of the antelope secured proved 
to be a new species. 

Grounds of the Great West. 
A full account of life and the chase on the great 
plains in the old days, when they were still the 
jealously guarded hunting grounds of the Horse 
Indians, and were still roamed over by myriads of 

Our Wild Indians. 

A full description of the Horse Indians of the 
great plains, in peace and war, as seen by one of 
the soldiers who fought against or beside them for 
many years. 

GEN. A. W. GREELY. Three Years of Arctic 

An account of an exploring expedition into the 
Arctic regions ; it reached the northernmost point 
which at that time had been attained. 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

PROF. D. G. ELLIOTT. Monograph of Pittas. 
Monograph of Grouse. 
Monograph of Pheasants. 
Monograph of Cats. 
Monograph of Hornbills. 
New and Heretofore Unfigured Birds oj 

North America. 
Shore Birds of North America. 
Gallinaceous Game Birds of North Am- 

Wild Animals (VJ v\i}. 
Synopsis of the Trochiladce. 

Most of these are sumptuous folios, containing 
handsome colored plates, with accompanying 
descriptive texts, of the different mammals or 
birds in each of the groups dealt with. The 
shore birds and the gallinaceous game birds are 
illustrated with uncolored plates. 

Hero Stories and Folk Tales. 

The life history and folk lore of the Pawnees, 
told by one who is himself an adopted member of 
the tribe. Incidentally there are excellent de- 
scriptions of the chase of the bison ; and, except in 
the volume next mentioned, in no other book can 
there be found so vivid and accurate an account 
of the outward and inward life of an Indian tribe. 

List of Books 

Biackfoot Lodge Tales. 

A volume on the same plan, dealing with the 

Blackfeet, as they were, and as they are ; and 

their methods of warfare and the chase, their life, 

social organization and religion, and their strange 


The Story of the Indian. 
A more general book on the Indians of the West, 
treating of their home life, their hunting, their 
wars, their religious beliefs, and finally of some of 
the changes which came to them with the advent 
of the white man. In these three volumes an 
effort is made to treat the native American hunter 
from a point of view somewhat novel his own. 

CLARENCE KING. Mountaineering in the 
Sierra Nevadas. 

Charmingly written chapters on explorations 
among the Sierras, when they were virgin, and of 
pioneer trips to the summits of the loftier peaks. 

DR. C. HART MERRIAM. Mammals of the 

The full life histories of all the mammals, from 
bear and deer to shrews and meadow-mice, found 
in the Adirondacks, by a man who is a field natur- 
alist in the highest sense of the term ; the model 
of what we ought to have for the entire American 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

ness Hunter. 

The life of a hunter in the fast-vanishing Amer- 
ican wilderness, in the forests, the mountains and 
the great plains ; and chapters on the chase of 
every kind of big game characteristic of temperate 
North America, with horse, hound and rifle. The 
only book describing the chase of all the big game 
of the United States, by a man who has himself 
shot them all; and describing also the wilderness 
itself, in all its many forms, and the men who 
dwell and hunt therein. 

Hunting Trips of a Ranchman. 
Sporting experiences of a cattle ranchman on the 
northern plains, and accounts of the chase of all 
the game animals which yield him sport and food. 

Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail. 
The ranch country, and life among the ranchmen 
and cowboys; their work and pastimes, their feats 
with horse and rope and rifle. Also further hunt- 
ing experiences; the chapter on the bighorn sheep 
contains the first fairly full account of its life 

DEAN SAGE. The Restigouche and its Sal- 
mon Fishing; with a Chapter on Ang- 
ling Literature. 

A luxurious volume on Canadian salmon angling. 

List of Books 

FRANCIS PARK MAN. The California and 
Oregon Trail. 

An American classic, the best of its kind, and too 
well known to need more than an allusion. 

Mongolia and Thibet. 

The journal of a trip to parts of mid-Asia never 
before traversed by a white man, with very full 
notes on ethnology and geography. It was this 
journey which procured for Mr. Rockhill the gold 
medal of the Royal Geographical Society. 

T. S. VAN DYKE. The Still-Hunter. 

A thorough and exceedingly valuable treatise on 
the science of still-hunting deer; the only book of 
the kind; a mine of valuable information. 

Game Birds at Home. 

An account of the habits and shooting of North 
American game birds. 

of the Everglades. 

A delightful story of a sojourn in Florida before 
the war, giving a vivid picture of wild life in a 
country that once abounded in game. A volume 
noteworthy for the charm of its style. 

Trail and Camp-Fire 

CASPAR W. WHITNEY. On Snowshoes to the 
Barren Grounds. 

The detailed story of a successful midwinter trip, 
fraught with severe hardship, after musk ox. 

In addition, there are, of course, numerous magazine 
articles, pamphlets, reports and the like; not to speak of 
the three books of the Boone and Crockett Club the 
present volume and its two predecessors, " American Big 
Game Hunting." and "Hunting in Many Lands." 
There are also chapters in such books as the Century 
Company's " Sport with Gun and Rod" and Scribner's 
"Outdoor Library." 


Constitution of the Boone and Crockett Club 


Article I. 

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

Article II. 

The objects of the Club shall be : 
i. To promote manly sport with the rifle. 
' 2. To promote travel and exploration in the wild 
and unknown, or but partially known, portions of the 

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 observa- 
tions 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. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

Article III. 

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

Article IV. 

Under the head of American large game are in- 
cluded the following animals : Black or brown bear, 
grizzly bear, polar bear, buffalo (bison), mountain 
sheep, woodland caribou, barren-ground caribou, 
cougar, musk-ox, white goat, elk (wapiti), prong- 
horn antelope, moose, Virginia deer, mule deer, and 
Columbian black-tail deer. 

Article V. 

The term "fair chase" shall not be held to include 
killing bear or cougar in traps, nor "fire hunting," 
nor "crusting" moose, elk or deer in deep snow, nor 
"calling" moose, nor killing deer by any other method 
than fair stalking or still-hunting, nor killing game 
from a boat while it is swimming in the water, nor 
killing the female or young of any ruminant, except 
the female of white goat or of musk-ox. 

Article VI. 

This Club shall consist of not more than one hun- 
dred regular members, and of such associate and 
honorary members as may be elected by the Execu- 
tive Committee. Associate members shall be chosen 


Constitution, Boone and Crockett Club 

from those who by their furtherance of the objects of 
the Club, or general qualifications, shall recommend 
themselves to the Executive Committee. Associate 
and honorary members shall be exempt from dues 
and initiation fees, and shall not be entitled to yote. 

Article VII. 

The officers of the Club shall be a President, five 
Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, all of 
whom shall be elected annually. There shall also be 
an Executive Committee, consisting of six members, 
holding office for three years, the terms of two of 
whom shall expire each year. The President, the 
Secretary, and the Treasurer, shall be ex-officio mem- 
bers of the Executive Committee. 

Article VIII. 

The Executive Committee shall constitute the 
Committee on Admissions. The Committee on Ad- 
missions may recommend for regular membership by 
unanimous vote of its members present at any meet- 
ing, any person who is qualified under the foregoing 
articles of this Constitution. Candidates thus recom- 
mended shall be voted on by the Club at large. Six 
blackballs shall exclude, and at least one-third of the 
members must vote in the affirmative to elect. 

Article IX. 

The entrance fee for regular members shall be 
twenty-five dollars. The annual dues of regular 


Trail and Camp-Fire 

members shall be five dollars, and shall be payable on 
February 1st of each year. Any member who shall 
fail to pay his dues on or before August ist, follow- 
ing, shall thereupon cease to be a member of the 
Club. But the Executive Committee, in their dis- 
cretion, shall have power to reinstate such member. 

Article X. 

The use of steel traps ; the making of "large bags" ; 
the killing of game while swimming in water, or help- 
less in deep snow; and the killing of the females of 
any species of ruminant (except the musk-ox or white 
goat), shall be deemed offenses. Any member who 
shall commit such offenses may be suspended, or ex- 
pelled from the Club by unanimous vote of the 
Executive Committee. 

Article XL 

The officers of the Club shall be elected for the 
ensuing year at the annual meeting. 

Article XII. 

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds 
vote of the members present at any annual meeting of 
the Club, provided that notice of the proposed amend- 
ment shall have been mailed, by the Secretary, to each 
member of the Club, at least two weeks before said 


Rules of the Committee on Admission 

1. Candidates must be proposed and seconded in 
writing by two members of the Club. 

2. Letters concerning each candidate must be ad- 
dressed to the Executive Committee by at least two 
members, other than the proposer and seconder. 

3. No candidate for regular membership shall be 
proposed or seconded by any member of the Com- 
mittee on Admissions. 

4. No person shall be elected to associate mem- 
bership who is qualified for regular membership, but 
withheld therefrom by reason of there being no 

Additional information as to the admission of mem- 
bers may be found in Articles III, VI, VIII and IX 
of the Constitution. 


Former Officers Boone and Crockett Club 


'Theodore Roosevelt, 1888-1894. 

Benjamin H. Bristow, 1895-1896. 
W. Austin Wadsworth, 1897- 

Vice-Presiden f j. 

Charles Deering, 1897- 

Walter B. Devereux, 1897- 

Howard Melville Hanna, 1897- 

William D. Pickett, 1897- 

Frank Thomson, 1897-1900. 

Owen Wister, 1900-1902. 

Archibald Rogers, 1903- 

Secretary and Treasurer. 

Archibald Rogers, 1888-1893. 

/George Bird Grinnell, 1894-1895. 

C. Grant La Farge, 1896-1901. 


Alden Sampson, 1902. 

Madison Grant, 1903- 


C. Grant La Farge, 1902- 

Executive Committee. 

W. Austin Wadsworth, 1893-1896. 

George Bird Grinnell, 1893. 
Winthrop Chanler, 1893-1899, 1904- 
Owen Wister, 1893-1896, 1903- 

Charles F. Deering, 1893-1896. 

Archibald Rogers, 1894-1902. 

Lewis Rutherford Morris, 1897- 

Henry L. Stimson, 1897-1899. 

Madison Grant, 1897-1902. 

< Gifford Pinchot, 1900-1903. 

Caspar Whitney, 1900-1903. 

John Rogers, Jr., 1902- 

Alden Sampson, 1903- 

Arnold Hague, 1904- 

Editorial Committee. 

George Bird Grinnell, 1896- 

Theodore Roosevelt, 1896- 


of the Boone and Crockett Club 

W. Austin Wadsworth ........ Geneseo, N. Y. 

Charles Deering .................... Illinois. 

Walter B. Devereux .............. Colorado 

Howard Melville Hanna .............. Ohio. 

William D. Pickett ............... Wyoming. 

Archibald Rogers ............... New York. 

Madison Grant ............. New York City. 

C. Grant La Farge .......... New York City. 

Executive Committee. 

W. Austin Wadsworth, ex-officio, Chairman, 

Madison Grant, ex-officio, 

C. Grant La Farge, ex-officio, 
Lewis Rutherford Morris, ) To serye until s . 
John Rogers, Jr., j 

Alden Sampson, \ TQ serye ^ 

Owen Wister, [ 

w r , 

Wmthrop Chanler, 

Editorial Committee. 
George Bird Grinnell ............ New York. 

Theodore Roosevelt ...... Washington, D. C. 


List of Members 
of the Boone and Crockett Club, 1904 

Regular Members. 




Washington, D. C. 

Washington, D. C. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Woodstock, Vt. 

New York City. 

Buffalo, N. Y. 

Washington, D. C. 

Chicago, 111. 

New York City. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Washington, D. C. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Boston, Mass. 

Hill City, S. D. 

Annapolis, Md. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Chicago, 111. 

List of Members 


Colorado Springs, Col. 
































New York City. 

Tuxedo, N. Y. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Chicago, 111. 

Schenectady, N. Y. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Baltimore, Md. 

Santa Barbara, Cal. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Washington, D. C. 

Cleveland, Ohio. 

Boston, Mass. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Boston, Mass. 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

New York City. 

Washington, D. C. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

New York City. 

Springhouse, Pa. 

New York City. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 





New York City. 

Boston, Mass. 

New York City. 

Washington, D. C. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Four Bear, Wyo. 

New York City. 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Washington, D. C. 

New York City. 

Boston, Mass. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

New York City. 

Hyde Park, N. Y. 

New York City. 

Washington, D. C. 

New York City. 

Buffalo, N. Y. 

Buffalo, N. Y. 

Haverford, Pa. 

Sangerfield, N. Y. 

Irvington, N. Y. 

Washington, D. C. 

Orange, N. J. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

Boston, Mass. 

New York City. 

New York City. 

Washington, D. C. 

List of Members 



B. C. TILGHMAN, JR., Philadelphia, Pa. 

HON. W. K. TOWNSEND, New Haven, Conn. 

SAMUEL D. WARREN, Boston, Mass. 



COL. ROGER D. WILLIAMS, Lexington, Ky. 



OWEN WISTER, Philadelphia, Pa. 

J. WALTER WOOD, JR., Short Hills, N. J. 

Associate Members. 

HON. TRUXTON BEALE, Washington, D. C. 


D. H. BURN HAM, Chicago, 111. 
EDWARD NORTH BUXTON, Knighton, Essex, Eng. 
MAJ. F. A. EDWARDS, U. S. Embassy, Rome, Italy. 

A. P. GORDON-CUMMING, Washington, D. C. 

BRIG.-GEN. A. W. GREELY, Washington, D. C. 

MAJOR MOSES HARRIS, Washington, D. C. 

HON. JOHN F. LACEY, Washington, D. C. 

HON. HENRY CABOT LODGE, Washington, D. C. 

A. P. Low, Ottawa, Canada. 

PROP. JOHN BACH MAcM ASTER, Philadelphia, Pa. 

DR. C. HART MERRIAM, Washington, D. C. 

HON. FRANCIS G. NEWLANDS, Washington, D. C. 


HON. GEORGE C. PERKINS, Washington, D. C. 

MAJOR JOHN PITCHER, Washington, D. C. 


Trail and Camp-Fire 




Washington, D. C. 
Washington, D. C. 
New York City. 
New York City. 
Worpleston, Surrey, Eng. 
Los Angeles, Cal. 
Washington, D. C. 

Regular Members, Deceased. 



















Honorary Members, Deceased. 



GEN. PHILIP SHERIDAN, Washington, D. C. 

New York City. 
Newport, R. I. 
Washington, D. C. 
Lexington, Ky. 
Washington, D. C. 
New York City. 
Chicago, 111. 
Washington, D. C. 
New York City. 
New York City. 
New York City. 
New York City. 
Albany, N. Y. 
Boston, Mass. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
New York City. 
New York City. 


List of Members 

Associate Members, 



Washington, D. C. 

Louisville, Ky. 

Spring Hill, Ky. 

Columbia, S. C. 

Nashville, Tenn. 

New York City. 

New York City. 


(5 1 0) 642-6753 re newed by calling 


YC 12164.-