|Vol. IV, No. 3, Winter 1991|
Crawford County, Missouri
"I am an ol' Ozark hunter. I'll bet I've killed more turkeys than any other man that ever see'd these hills. Why, gosh-durn, hit's a sight of turkeys I have killed in my life. To tell you the truth, I hain't done much of anything in my life only prowl through these hills with a gun in my hand.
"I killed twenty-six gobblers in the spring of 1907. I made me a turkey caller that just sounds like a hen turkey, and when I lay down behind a log and give that a few yelps, the or gobbler comes walkin' up with his neck stretched out to see what it's all about and that's when I get 'im.
"In the spring of the year is the best time to turkey hunt. That's when they mate and the ol' hen is layin' her eggs to raise her brood. It's plum easy to call the ol' gobbler up then, 'cause they'll come to any kind of noise that sounds like a hen turkey. So when I lay down behind a log to call 'em, I kiver myself up in leaves, all but my eyes and gun, and boy, I can git 'em.
"I've killed lots of wild ducks, too. One mornin' I went out to a pond where I knowed I'd find some ducks, and I sneaked up, an' shore 'nough, there they wuz. They see'd me and flew up. I shot into the bunch as they flew away, an' both barrels of my ol' gun went off, an' I killed thirteen ducks. Hit just rained ducks fer awlle. I never see'd the like."
The charcoal drawing reproduced on the cover is by Lennis L. Broadfoot. It, and the text above, are from his book, Pioneers of the Ozarks (The Caxton Printers, Ltd. Caldwell, Idaho. 1946).
L. L. Broadfoot's father was a quarter Cherokee Indian from Tennessee who homesteaded forty acres of government land on a high ridge in Shannon County along the Current River near Eminence, Missouri. There he built a small log cabin with a stone chimney.
Broadfoot was born in this cabin and began his art career there. "I spent the first six or seven years of my life," he wrote, "being lamblasted and kicked because I kept the walls and window panes of this quaint old shack littered with my crude sketches that I called 'art', and which was the true outcropping of my art career.'
Broadfoot left the Ozarks when he was in his teens, and for several years roamed the southern states from the Canadian borderto San Diego, sketching pictures of cowboys and Indians. Later he worked as a commercial artist, but also continued character studies and sketching, working both in oil and charcoal.
His later days in the West were spent in southern California, where he drew many portraits. He returned to Missouri in November, 1936 and began the series of drawings (including that of Ed Loutherage) which resulted in the volume, Pioneers of the Ozarks.
"I have come to the conclusion," Broadfoot wrote from his home in Salem, Dent County, Missouri, in 1941, "that I would rather draw a picture of an Ozark grandmother loitering around her cabin home with a pipe in her mouth, than all the glamour girls in Hollywood."
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