The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

Turnbo Home | Table of Contents | Keyword Search| Bibliography | Biography

By S. C. Turnbo

J. W. (Jim) Jones says that he shot a buck once on Trimble Creek, Marion County, Ark., in 1872 that weighed 140 lbs. after it was dressed. Henry Grace says that John Shanks while residing in the cane bottom above the mouth of Little North Fork killed a deer that its hide after being dried ready for market weighed 14 ¾ lbs. "I also sold a buck hide to Joe Hardware who sold goods at Isabella, Ozark County, Mo., that weighed 14 ¼ lbs. The hide was in good condition but it seemed so heavy that the merchant weighed it three times and gave it a thorough examination. Then he paid me 40 cts. per lb. for it," said Mr. Grace. "I also remember," said Mr. Grace, "of killing a monster buck one day just west of where the hamlet of Dugginsville, Mo., now stands that its hams alone (without saddle) weighed 57 lbs.

John Bias tells of killing a buck one day at the mouth of Calebs hollow of Little North Fork that one of its hams soon after being dressed weighed 41 lbs. Its hide after being well dried weighed 12 lbs. "I sold the hide to John Graham who sold goods on the old Elias Keesee farm on Little North Fork. It will be remembered that John Graham died several years ago at Spokane Falls, Washington. Mr. Graham gave me 25 cts. per lb. for the deer hide," said Mr. Bias. Oliver Risley in referring to peculiar colored deer says that he killed a 5 point buck on Coon Creek in Marion County, Ark., one day that its back from the root of the tail to the shoulders and extending a few inches down on each side of the deer was covered with wool as fine as silk with the exception of a few scattered blue hair mixed, the wool was white. Mr. Risley said he showed the hide to John Jones and John Lane and other hunters and they told him they never saw a deer of that description before. The animal weighed 96 lbs. gross.

John Garrison relates the following. "About 8 miles below Gainesville, Mo., while I was hunting on a ridge near Lick Creek, I noticed a white animal 60 yards away which was as white as a swan. As it was standing still I crept up nearer to it and to my astonishment I discovered that it was a white deer and I shot and killed it. It was a small deer but it was something of a curiosity to me. I kept its hide for years and finally my children wore it out playing on it."

Jacky Haggard gives an account of killing a deer one day on the divide between Panther Creek and Jonus Fork of White River. When he first saw the animal it had its head down and he thought it was a goat and watched it several minutes before he finally decided it was a deer. "At the report of the gun it run about 100 yards from me," said he, "then wheeled around and ran back toward me and fell near where I shot it. The deer was white except a black streak on its back. The ball passed through the heart."

Luke Tatum informed me that Mac Pettyjohn who was once postmaster at Ozark, Christian County, Mo., killed a deer in Elk Valley, a tributary of Finley Creek, that the hair all over the deer was of a deep blue color. A thick coat of short curly fur was under the hair. Mr. Pettyjohn kept this hide at the post office a number of years and I saw it several times there. Mr. Tatum also says that a man of the name of Masters killed a white deer many years ago in this same valley.

Among matters of a miscellaneous character as told by hunters is the following. Annanias Poplin tells of killing a buck one day in the month of January with a large set of horns (7 and 9 points) that the horns was covered with velvet. The old hunter said that this was something strange for this time of year. The deer was killed on Mountain Creek near the state line which divides Ozark County, Mo., and Marion County, Ark. Mart Ingram tells of shooting and wounding a doe on Shoal Creek above where Protem, Mo., is and it ran beyond his view. He went and got his brother Silvanuses dog (often called Long Ingram). After the dog chased the deer about ¾ of a mile he caught it, but the deer was not dead when he and his brother got to him. They found that the bullet from his gun had passed through the deer’s heart. "The animal lived about an hour after it was wounded, It said Mr. Ingram.

Fred Graham, a long resident of Ozark County, Mo., says that he went to Andrew Friend’s house one day and seen a large pet deer with horns as large as chair frames lying on the bed. The buck was as docile as a pet sheep. Mr. Graham said that the deer’s big horns looked frightful as he lay on the bed. Elijah Friend tells about himself and his brother John Friend being out hunting together one day in the hills of Little North Fork when John shot a deer that was lying down. At the report of the rifle the deer turned on its broad side and John thought it was dead and he walked up to it with knife in hand to cut its throat to make it bleed. Placing one foot on its horns and bending down he barely had time to touch its throat with the knife when the seemingly dead animal gave a quick flounce and kicked John a sommersault and away sped the deer. But the dog soon caught It. John recovered himself and cut the deer’s throat while the dog held it."

Jacky Haggard among other things said that while hunting one day on James Fork of White River he shot a buck which was standing about 75 yards from him and it run about 150 yards in an opposite direction. Then wheeled around suddenly and charged toward him. "I supposed," said Uncle Jack, "that the buck was coming at me for a fight and prepared myself accordingly. But when the animal had run up in ten feet of me it fell dead. My rifle carried a small bullet, but it had torn through the deer’s heart."

George Billings gives an account of following a bunch of deer on Sister (south of White River) Creek in Marion County, Ark., in time of a snow. They were shy and it was several hours before he got up in sight of them. They had stopped on a hillside. "There was a hollow between me and the deer. The bunch was not less than ¼ mile from me and thinking if I crept any closer to them they would run before I got in close range of them. I was carrying a 38 calibre Winchester, but just for the fun of doing so I concluded to shoot at one and see how close to the deer the ball would hit the snow. I raised the sight to the last notch and took aim about one foot over the deer’s back and fired. To my amazement I saw the deer fall and when I got to it, it was dead. The ball had hit it accidently and went through its body."

Next Story

Turnbo Home | Table of Contents | Keyword Search| Bibliography | Biography

Springfield-Greene County Library