The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among the number of deer stories I have gathered from hunters is the following which was furnished me by John Dunlap, an old resident and hunter near Groom post office in Taney County, Mo. "One brilliant moonlit night," said he, "I visited a deer lick which I had established sometime previous. I took a position in a tree that stood over the lick ground and seated myself near 12 feet above the ground. Shortly after I had settled down to watch for the coming of deer I discovered 3 deer in 25 paces of the tree I was up. Then I heard a bunch of hogs rallying about 150 yards away. I supposed that a bunch of wolves had attacked them and as I had no desire to descend the tree and make an effort to drive the wolves off I kept my seat very mute. In a short time the hogs had become quiet and as I had not heard none of them squeal I come to the decision that it was not wolves. About this time I noticed a herd of deer approaching the lick from the direction I had heard the disturbance among the hogs. I expected to see a few deer come on the lick ground that night but I was not prepared to see so many at once. When they got under the tree some of them lowered their heads and began tasting the salted dirt. Others commenced to play while a few stood still. Some of them played around the tree I was in. It was a grand eight to look down at these pretty animals as they jumped and frolicked in the moonlight. But the thought of a taste of fresh venison spoiled it all. My eyes said let them alone but my mouth whispered, "Kill one to satisfy your appetite," and going according to my taste I selected a fine looking buck and sent the contents of my rifle at him and he dropped. The other deer got away from there faster than they had come. I slid down out of the tree with the intention of cutting the deer’s throat to make him bleed but just as I reached his prostrate form he rose on his feet and away he went. Hunters luck, said I, and pulled for home."

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