The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

"Away back, I cannot remember the year, but it was the month of March when five inches of snow lay on the ground the 4th day of the month," said Mr. Dave Dunlap, "I took George Parish and John Buckley who were small boys then out ahunting with me that day. We had not left the house very far before we seen two doe deers, one of which I shot down. The other stood still while I reloaded my gun and I shot at her and inflicted a severe wound. She ran off beyond my view. We followed her trail in the snow which lead in around about way until almost dark when we left the deer’s trail and went back to the deer I had killed and carried it to the house. On the following morning we went back and followed the trail a short distance from where we had left it the previous evening and found where a wolf had got on the trail and followed it near a quarter of a mile and found the deer lying dead. Evidence showed that the deer was dead or nearly so when the wolf overhauled it. Part of the foreparts of the deer had been devoured by the wolf. The ravenous beast had gnawed the body of the deer in twain at the kidneys and picked up the hams or saddles as hunters term them and carried them three-quarters of a mile. The deer was in fine condition and fat and the saddle seemed to be quite a load for the wolf to carry and it seemed to have trouble in holding it up out of the snow and it stopped about every 150 yards and laid its burden down to rest. We noticed that between its resting places the deer’s feet would drag in the snow in places. When the wolf had traveled the distance mentioned it turned square to the left, but wolf tracks continued straight forward which caused me to think that there were two of the wolves instead of one. Some 40 yards down the hillside below where it turned off it had stopped and placed the deer hams in the top of a fallen blackjack tree and covered them up with snow and leaves. We could find no evidence in what direction the wolf had left here until we had examined the tracks where it had come down the hill and found that it had retraced its steps by stepping in the same tracks until it had got back to where it had turned down the hill and here it turned square to the left again and went straight forward again and so it turned out that there was only one wolf at last. Later on that day I put some strychnine in the hams of the deer and when I went back to the poisoned venison on the following day I found that the same wolf or another one had eaten part of the hams and went off. I followed its trail to where it had lay down and got up and had traveled on until it got to a south hillside where the snow had disappeared in places. Here I lost the trail and returned back home. In a few days thereafter Henry Pearson found a dead wolf in 200 yards of where I had lost the trail and we conjectured that it was the same one I had poisoned," said Mr. Dunlap. This occurred in the hills of the Carrollton hollow of West Sugar Loaf Creek in Boone County, Arkansas.

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