The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among my collection of incidents of the pioneer days of Marion County, Ark., is a wolf story furnished me by Brice Milum which he told me one day at Lead Hill, Ark. "When we arrived on Crooked Creek in 1844," said he, "the settlers had to keep a constant watch and war to prevent the wolves from destroying sheep, hogs and calves. Our methods for killing them was by shooting, poisoning, trapping and catching them In pens. In 1848, Jim Shelton, Sol Woods, Jeff Woods and myself set a date to get rid of a bunch of wolves that lived in the bluff at the mouth of Sugar Orchard Creek. When the day arrived we were ready and entered the bluff with six dogs, a flintlock rifle each, and a good supply of ammunition. We were determined to clean up the pack. It was not long after passing into the bluff before we struck seven wolves, an old one and six cubs as large as full grown foxes. The fun began at once. It was the hardest and merriest day’s hunt for wolves that I ever experienced. The dogs chased them to and fro in the bluff nearly all day before we succeeded in killing all of them. We climbed, leaped and crawled up and down precipices from 7 to 10 feet high. The first ones killed was three of the cubs. The dogs caught the old one and stretched her out on the ground but she up in spite of the dogs and escaped for the time. Very soon after this I saw her 100 yards from where I was stationed and shot her. We then soon killed the three remaining cubs. Probably no hunters worked more faithful or had more amusement that day than we did. When our day’s work was done we had the pleasure of knowing that bunch of wolves would not bother our stock anymore. The color of the young wolves was equally divided between gray and black. An examination of the old one proved that she had been black, but age had colored a part of her hair white, but the most astonishing thing," remarked the old time merchant, farmer and hunter, as he finished his story, "she was so old that there was not a tooth in her mouth."

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