The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It was not uncommon in the pioneer days for women to shoot hawks, turkeys or squirrels. We give two short stories here to show that on a few occasions a wife would exceed her man in killing squirrels. Lige Motley, an old time resident of Marion County, Ark., said that one day he and wife went out into the forest together to kill squirrels. They used only one gun and agreed to shoot time about with it. Mr. Motley said that he killed six squirrels and his wife killed seven during the rounds that day. Mrs. Motley’s name is Elizabeth and is a daughter of Jesse Racket. Jack Haggard tells of a man of the name of Ben McKinney and his wife hunting squirrels together. Mr. McKinney lived on the south side of White River in Taney County, Mo., and two miles above Forsyth. McKinney’s wife was named Catherine and was a daughter of Levi Casey. McKinney would often remark that Catherine was a better shot than he was and would shoot hawks if they interrupted the chickens. This man and his wife would usually run races to see who would kill the most squirrels. Each would carry their own gun and as a rule she would bring more squirrels home than her husband would. She would sometimes in a jocular way say, "Ben, I only take you along with me to turn the squirrels on the trees for me while I do the shooting of them." The two foregoing accounts may interest a few juvenile hunters.

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