Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Voice From the Past: Part 2

Here is part two of the story. Enjoy


A Hunting trip in Northern Arizona: Part two

As darkness was about to envelop us the guide led us over the rim and down into the canyon as it would be almost impossible to get off the mesa in darkness. It was several hundred yards to the bottom and very steep. The horses would brace their feet skid down ten or fifteen feet then change their course slightly and slide some more. We reached the bottom without mishap, but unfortunately, it was a very rough and brushy canyon and this necessitated many detours up the steep sides to get around some of the obstacles. It was a slow journey feeling our way along in the darkness but eventually we reached the corral.

It does not seem possible that one day on a horse could completely ruin a person who is not accustom to riding, but that is just what it did to me. At one time I dismounted to tighten the ropes holding the doe on the horse I was leading and much to my surprise I could not get back in the saddle until I led the horse alongside of a log.

Upon reaching the corral we led the horse up and rolled the deer from the saddles onto the truck. We then helped the cowpuncher unsaddle, water, and feed the horses and then we beat it for the camp and arrived there at about 8:30pm.

Around the campfire that evening the other boys suggested that we stay over another day and go back to the hills for another try after the big bucks we had seen glimpses of. I agreed to the plan but at the time I couldn’t imagine how I’d be able to manage another day in the saddle. I had hectic time trying to eat my mulligan that night: was so lame and stiff that I could hardly stand, and as for sitting down, that was out of the question. The next morning we were on the way to the corral at 7:00am. And by sun up we’re saddled up and were on the trail.

My experience the day before had taught me several things, and among them was; my stirrups were too short which helped to cause my misery. Another big item was the fact that I had an army saddle the first day, but this morning Harold swapped a regular cow-puncher stock saddle for it. I was still very lame and stiff and while attempting to get on my horse I pulled him over on my foot and still have three very black toenails as souvenirs.

Soon after hitting the trail the aches calmed down and the sore places protested less and less about the saddle so in a short time I was hunting as enthusiastically as the others. As before, we left the trail and climbed up the point of another mesa. For a time we saw no game and then the cowboy spotted some horse track in a dusty spot and decided that another party was ahead of us. We then went down off the mesa, across the canyon,  and climbed to the top of the next ridge. This consumed at least an hour of valuable time but was better than trailing along behind other hunters. The first game we saw was a doe and two fawns, so Harold and Cecil got off and were scouting along when Harold saw the head and horns of big buck peeking at him from behind the trunk of a large pine tree.

Harold took a crack at its head and saw the buck whirl around and then it was out of sight into a small draw. I rode over and together we followed a continuous trail of blood for about seventy-five yards and then saw the buck staggering along ahead, and just as we saw him he dropped down with his legs doubled up under him. We stood watching him when Cecil and the guide rode up. The guide said “don’t shoot him again, he is all in”.  I thought the same thing and was about to say so when the guide beat me to it. The buck laid with his head erect, and after waiting a few minutes Harold started to walk up close to finish him. When about twenty yards away the buck scrambled to his feet and dashed away through the pines and brush and out of sight. Harold took a snap shot as he was disappearing and evidently missed and then set out on his trail.

In the meantime the guide, Cecil, and I had remained where we were watching the proceedings. Just as Harold disappeared on the trail I glanced up the side of a hill and much to my surprise I saw the head and horns of a fine buck about one hundred yards away peering down upon us with just his head and neck showing above the rim. I spoke to Cecil and at the same time was lining up the ivory bead on his neck. Just as I was about to pull he sprang forward into full view, turned to the left and in two jumps was out of sight, followed by at least two more bucks in quick succession. I snapped at one of them as they flashed in and out of sight and Cecil did likewise. We could hear them tearing through the brush and presently there came a loud crash. The guide shouted “There’s one down” and at the same time leaped on his horse and went tearing up the hill, over rocks, dodging trees and brush, in the direction of the big noise.

Cecil and I hurried along on foot as fast as we could and soon came upon the guide standing beside a large buck which had a bullet hole through the body just back of the shoulder. At this point a dead aspen, between three and four inches in diameter, leaned across the trail and the buck evidently tried to leap over it but his strength failed and he crashed headlong into it, breaking it completely in two.

We examined the wound carefully, taking into consideration the size and angle of the bullet hole, and came to the conclusion that it was Cecil’s 30 caliber bullet that reached the mark.

Leaving the guide and Cecil to dress out the buck I rounded up my horse and then took up the trail of Harold’s wounded buck. After following the trail a quarter of a mile or so I came up to Harold and together we picked out the tracks step by step for some distance and then lost it entirely. From the time the buck jumped up and ran off, he shed only a few drops of blood, but the footprints were easy to follow as long as he continued to run, but when he slowed down to a walk there was no impression left on the hard ground. We could not figure out where this buck was hit, as all Harold could see was a Head and a very small part of the neck, the rest of the body being concealed behind a big Pine tree.

At first we thought it was a throat shot, judging by the great quantities of blood he lost, and this was partly confirmed when he became so weak that he dropped in his tracks after going about one hundred yards and allowed us to approach within a few feet of him. However this theory would not do when after a three minute rest he jumped to his feet and ran at least three hundred yards at top speed without losing any more blood. We still thought that he must be near by so we retraced our steps to the spot where the guide and Cecil were and found that they had just finished dressing out and loading Cecil’s buck.

Together we returned to the point where we lost the tracks then spread out about one hundred feet apart, (Cecil on foot and the rest of us mounted) and went up and down every little draw and canyon, searching the thickets, etc., in a radius of nearly one-half mile but found nothing.

By this time it was noon so we gave up the search and crossed to another mesa and turned our steps toward the corral, by midafternoon we had seen nothing more and it looked as if our chances of landing any more big bucks were very slim. A little later I saw a doe through an opening in the pines about 150 yards up a slight grade. At the time I was riding about fifty feet to the right of the guide and about one hundred feet ahead, while Cecil and fallen in back of the guide due to the contour of the rim. Harold was quite some distance away on my right and out of sight but further ahead than I thought at the time.

As stated above, I saw this doe standing alert so I slipped off the horse and stepped a few feet out in front dropped to one knee and lined up the sights on her shoulder. Just as I was squeezing the trigger she leaped out of the picture and almost instantly a big old buck had taken her place and the Ivory bead was resting on his chest, as he stood facing me. At the crack of the rifle he settled over backward and flopped down, and then there was a regular stampede of deer running in every direction.

The first thing to hold my attention was an immense old buck, with horns like a Christmas tree, just a tearing down the grade through a lane in the pines directly toward me. At about sixty yards I took a crack at him just as he side stepped small tree and missed. Not knowing where the shot came from he came on even faster, if that could be possible, but at a slight angle to me and I could get only a glimpse of him now and again through the trees.

On my left there was an opening through the brush about ten feet across which he would pass not over 50 feet from me, so I was ready when he appeared. I put a bead on the point of his shoulder and at the shot he flinched and staggered and then was out of sight, but not before I saw hair fly and a red spot appear and a stream of blood the size of one finger spurt out.

From the location of the wound I knew that he was done for, so I turned my attention to the one upon the hill. Upon walking up there I found him on the ground just as he dropped. While looking him over, Harold and Cecil came up, and Cecil asked if I knew that I had killed another one.

From where Cecil and the guide were, they had a clear view of the “Big Boy” from the time he intercepted my bullet until he went down for the last time. They stated that he went to his knees at least three times, then Cecil took a crack at him as he was going down for what was probably the last time.

Cecil had in mind our experience with Harold’s buck and also this one was getting close to the rim, and had he gone over he might have rolled and tumbled down a hundred yards, and then we would have had a heck of a time getting him back on top. We returned to the spot where the big boy was and looked him over.

My wildest dreams had never pictured a deer as large as this one. He had antlers like an elk and a neck like a bull. The guide estimated his weight at two hundred sixty pounds as he lay on the ground. Harold and Cecil went back to dress out the first one while the guide and I went to work on the big boy. When we opened him up I discovered that my two hundred grain express bullet entered just back of the shoulder, tore up all the works in the chest cavity and smashed out through a rib on the opposite side. The old boy was just rolling with fat and the guide gathered at least five pounds off the entrails and put it in his saddle bags for boot grease.

Next to the head his horns were smeared with green aspen bark where he had been goring a tree. Evidently he had been showing the young bucks what a tough “Hombre” he was. After getting him dressed out we caught up the horses and rode over to the other boys who had just finished with the other one.

Harold said that the bullet landed low in the center of the chest and severed the wind pipe and blew up the stomach, scattering hay and grass all through the front half of the body cavity. We talked the situation over and agreed that this buck should be given to Mr. S. when we reached the camp.

It was quite a task to load this fellow on Harold’s black mare as she didn’t like it at all. One of us had to hold her while the other two did the loading. In a few minutes we had him roped on and then went over to the big one and loaded him on my horse, fortunately this horse did not object, as it took the four of us to get him balanced on the saddle.

It was just 4:00pm when we set out for the corral, and what a picture we could have obtained had there been a camera in the outfit. The cowboy on his big blue roan, led the way and we three hunters followed along on foot in single file, each leading his horse which was loaded down with a fine large buck. We immediately left the mesa and went down into a canyon which luckily for us was wide and open thereby making our journey faster and easier.

Night came on when we were still some miles from the corral and a little later the moon peeped over a mountain and relieved the darkness somewhat, the guide’s voice floated back to us now and again as he sang “Strawberry Roan” and other cowboy songs. At one time I was limping along favoring the three smashed toes as much as possible, the guide said he wanted to walk a while and asked me to ride his horse. I gladly climbed aboard and rode a mile or so until the sharpest stings had left the toes, then tumbled off and trudged the rest of the way in. We arrived at the corral at 8:20pm. After four hours and twenty minutes of steady walking, which indicated that we had bagged our deer at least ten to twelve miles back in the mountains.

In due time we had the bucks transferred to the truck. The horses cared for and then set out for camp and arrived about 10:00pm very tired, and Very hungry and Very happy. After our exceptional bit of good luck we were somewhat concerned about the doings of the others (Mr. B. and Mr. S,) who intended to hunt on foot near the camp. Had they been successful in bagging two or three deer our total would have exceeded the ten deer allowed our party, and in that event a fast skirmishing around would have been in order, to dispose of our surplus. However, our fears were unfounded, for upon reaching the camp we learned that they had killed nothing, therefore our score was five bucks and four does.

There was another doe still running around in the brush that we intended to add to our collection before breaking camp the next morning.

When daylight came the sky was overcast and threatening but we hoped to get underway and over the mountain range before the storm broke. The two men took the truck out to bring in the three does that were hung up near the trail, while the boys went out to gather the doe. I remained in camp to get equipment together and also to doctor up my injured toes.

A short time after the other left, a storm (snow) started in earnest. Incidentally, they were the first snowflakes to fall on me for more than seven years. In a few minutes the ground was white but it kept melting underneath, therefore never getting over three inches deep.

About mid forenoon the boys came in without the doe, but very wet from contact with the snow laden brush, and a little latter the men and truck came in with the three does. It was decided to await the outcome of the storm as it was impossible to guess how deep the snow might be on the trail over the top of the mountains. We covered up our bedding as well as possible and erected a small shelter tent to cook under. A large fire in the open kept us fairly warm and dry. While waiting around, we had the warden checkup our licenses and put the seal on our game. Late in the afternoon the storm ceased for a time and three of us set out to knock down that last doe. Due to the storm the deer were either hidden out in dense thickets or had moved to other parts. At any rate we saw nothing and had to return to camp empty handed. The storm continued off and on and we spent a very cold disagreeable night.

The following mourning (Saturday) two of the boys went out again to get the last doe while the rest of us worked around camp getting things in shape to leave. By this time our bedding was thoroughly soaked, and while the sky showed no indication of clearing, it was decided to load up and pull out as soon as possible.

The boys returned without a doe, so after a big hot dinner of venison steaks coffee, etc., we went over to the office and had our rifles sealed, and then set to work loading the truck. The bed rolls were packed near the front, the nine deer occupied the middle while gas drums and miscellaneous equipment filled out to the tail gate. A wet snowy canvas was spread over the wet bedrolls and a few of the blankets containing the least moisture were kept for covers. An old auto cover was stretched over the entire load from cab to tail gate and tied down all around. A 4:00pm, though the storm continued, we were ready to start for home.

Loosening the front corner of the cover, three of us crawled in and flopped down on the wet canvas and blankets. One of the men on the outside re-tied the corner of the cover and then we were on our way. The cover sagged down over our heads and collected a pool of water which seeped through and dropped on us.

A brief halt was made at Jacob’s lake and we all crawled out to stretch ourselves. There was snow on the ground at this place and a beastly cold wind penetrated our wet clothing. In a very few minutes we were ready to crawl back under the cover among the damp blankets to avoid the wind.

Darkness was coming on as we pulled out, and we dosed off now and then. About midway down the mountain we had a flat tire and everybody scrambled out into the cold wind. Fumbling around in the darkness we gathered some wet weeds and brush and with the aid of some gasoline soon had a bonfire going. Some of us fed the fire while the others changed the tire and in a short time we were on the way again. Sometime near midnight the driver pulled up near an old log out in the center of Mouse Rock Valley. On the way in, five days previous, we ate our lunch around this log and at the time wondered just how it came to be there as there was not timber within fifteen miles of the place.

When the truck stopped we all piled out and soon had a good fire going from slabs split off the log. While getting warmed up we boiled a pot of coffee, warmed some pork and beans, opened a jar of honey and had a regular feed.

Upon getting warmed up both inside and out, re resumed our places on the truck and were under way again. The motion of the truck made me sleepy and I soon fell asleep only to dream that I was in a refrigerator slowly freezing to death. I awoke with a start and found that the latter portion of the dream was at least partly true. Between 2:00am and 3:00am Cecil, who was driving at the time called out “Grand Canyon Bridge”, and then we dozed some and froze some more. We reached Cameron just after Sunrise and stopped for patching material for emergency use in case of another flat. Here is where that Los Angles movie outfit had the serious accident a day or two before as they were blasting down the canyon wall while making that film “The Painted Dessert”

A short distance of Cameron we stopped and prepared breakfast on the gasoline stove, there being no wood anywhere in the vicinity. While the air was very cold, a hearty breakfast and the bright sun pepped us up considerably.

When about to continue our journey we turned the cover back and crouched down back of the cab and let the sunshine upon us. Though I believe the warmth received was more imaginary than real. A brief halt was made at Flagstaff and then just after noon we stopped between Williams and Ash fork and cooked the final meal of the trip. At Prescott the sun had disappeared back of the mountains and the air was extremely cold so we pulled the cover over our heads again and tied it down. The next hour or two was spent in just sticking it out and eventually we rolled down Yarnelle Hill and into an entirely different climate.

On the way down we agreed that it would be a long time before any of us complained of the heat in the Salt River Valley. We reached home at 9:00pm, Sunday twenty nine hours on the road, including four stops that averaged an hour each, the speedometer registered nine hundred and seventy miles for the round trip.

The truck left loaded that night and the following morning some pictures were taken and then the deer were hung in the local ice plan. They were soon frozen solid and so reminded until we took them out five weeks later. After thawing them out in the sun for a few hours we managed to get them skinned out.
I had “Big Boy’s” Head mounted and the two hides made into buck-skin. So ended the most pleasant and successful trip I ever expect to take part in. Our only regret was that Harold lost his big buck.

This is a restored 1929 Chevy 1.5 ton truck, I am only assuming the truck spoken of in the story was a "29" because this was the first year Chevy came out with the 1.5 ton. The 1930 looks very close with no visible change.

Here is "Big Boy. This head hung in my grandmothers house for as long as I can remember. Every time I think of our many visits to grandmothers house this trophy comes to mind. I never knew the story behind this beautiful head until I found this manuscript. I actually shed a tear as I read my grandfathers account of how he took "Big Boy".

This is the other part of the mystery that was solved. Here is a picture of a Remington 35. We had a rifle very close to this in our house. All the mansfield boys took it hunting at one time or another. I did not know it was my grandfathers favorite gun. this will make all of my brothers grimace as they think of this gun, because shortly after my father passed away, all of his guns were stolen out of our house on fifth street in Blythe, including the old 35 of my grandfather.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Voice From The Past: Part 1

Merry Christmas to all and blessings from the Mansfield’s. I have just experienced a great moment in my life and want to share. It is one of those special unexpected moments that catches you by surprise. I was doing some cleaning-up in our garage to make room for odds and ends that we have acquired since the last time we cleaned and organized. On the top shelf of our storage area there were some boxes that I thought I could do without. There was one I knew contained some old books that came from my grandmother’s house in Glendale Arizona. I placed the boxes on the top shelf maybe four or five years ago.

Here I was again at a point that I needed space, and figured if I had not looked at the items in the plastic box in more than four years then I probably did not need them. I pulled the boxes down and began going through them there were some very old and rare books that I decided to keep and some not so rare that I put in the thrift store pile. My first surprise came when I found an old field and stream magazine at the bottom of the container. It was from 1935. I picked it up, thumbed through it and found two folded, typed, pieces of paper. I opened the paper and began to read. It was an article on how to build a better fly box. I had my finger in the place where the paper had been, and noticed the title of the article near where my finger was. It was the title of the article on the piece I held in my hand.  I discovered that the article in the 1935 issue of field and stream was written by my grandfather. I was very please and surprised to find out that my grandfather wrote magazine articles, well at least one and it was published.

I never knew my grandfather, and he never knew I existed either. My mother was pregnant with me and mom and dad were on the way from Blythe Ca. to Glendale Arizona to tell him, but before they arrived he slipped into a comma and never regained consciousness. I have always been curious about him. He was an avid fly fisherman and loved to hunt. My dad had many different things that Granddad had made and spoke very highly of him. The closest thing to meeting him was in 1973. I attended a short term bible school in Oregon, and met a couple who worked with my grandfather in the post office in Glendale AZ. He had some very nice things to say about him, and it brought me closer to the man who was just a name.

I dug a little deeper and below the magazine was an old, thin, cardboard box that contained a bunch of hand typed paper. One bundle was tied together with what looked to be thin strips of leather. I could tell right away that it was written by my grandfather. The date was October 1930. Below that and centered was the title, “A Hunting Trip in Northern Arizona” and below that it read “By A.M. Mansfield.” His name was Amzi Merit Mansfield He was born in 1887. I read the first few pages and knew that I needed to share this with my family. I do not know if anyone else will be as excited as I am but I want to share.

There are two very big surprises contained in the story that I do not want to give away. One has to do with something that was at my grandmother’s house for years but I never knew how it came to be there. The other has to do with something that was at our house for years.  This short story clears up all of the mystery.  I am going to post in two segments because it is long. This story is for anyone who loves hunting and is curious about life in 1930 in Arizona. It is a true account of hunting, and killing game.   

There are many other very interesting things about my grandfather, which I may write about later, but for now enjoy this true life adventure of rugged men who loved the outdoors.

October 1930

A Hunting Trip in Northern Arizona

By A.M. Mansfield

A few years ago certain sections of a large game reserve in northern Arizona, known as the Kaibab Forest, were opened to hunters for a limited time each season. The deer family in this reserve had multiplied until their members had exceeded the food supply and after a few dry seasons a great many died from starvation during the long winter months.

Five or six years ago an attempt was made to round up and drive a portion of the deer across the Grand Canyon to other ranges not so well stocked. A Los Angeles man named McCormack, contracted to deliver several thousand deer south of the Grand Canyon at so much per head.

Accompanied by Zane Grey as publicity agent McCormack moved in with his movie cowboys and the drive started. At this time it was learned that wild deer differed from range cattle in the respect that they refused to be herded. They had ideas of their own as to where they were going and proceeded to go there despite the efforts of the L.A. cowpunchers. A severe snow storm broke over the region and the drive ended in a complete failure which was attributed to the storm. However, old time cattle men in that section maintain that, “Storm or no storm it just couldn’t be did”.

A year or so later the game commission created an open season which permitted each licensed hunter to bag two deer, one of which must be a doe. Since the first open season hunters have brought out approximately five thousand deer each fall, and now it is estimated that there are between thirty thousand and thirty five thousand deer in the forest and all in fine shape due to lesser numbers and consequently better feed conditions.

Ever since the first open season a number of friends and myself had talked of taking a hunting trip to this region but nothing definite was planned until the summer if 1929. Unfortunately, my vacation was wished on me in August and therefore when October came around the rest of the party (six in number) went without me. They returned with six or seven deer, but only one buck in the bunch.

They were very enthusiastic about the trip and the hunting conditions and planned to go back again in 1930. During the summer, the coming hunt was talked over frequently and on the morning of October fifth. We were lined up and ready to set out in a one and a half ton Chevy truck.

The party consisted of A.L. Brewster (father), Harold and Cecil Brewster (sons), Ed Smith (uncle) and myself. Mr. Smith furnished the truck and the rest of us split gas, oil, food, etc. We left Glendale at 7:00 A.M. and camped that night near Cameron, two hundred and seventy five miles from home. The roads were fine to Cameron but rough and slow from there on to our destination. After an early start Monday morning we passed through much barren volcanic country, along the edge of the Petrified Forest, through Indian villages and trading ports, then along the southeast side of the upper end of the Grand Canyon to the new Grand Canyon Bridge.

We stopped and inspected the bridge then continued south-westward near the river for several miles then north-westward across House Rock Valley. The road soon turned west and then the big climb into the Kaibab Forest began. The first grade, called House Rock hill, was a bear, almost straight up and surfaced with boulders the size of water buckets. After thirteen miles of this road we came out on the main north and south highway coming down from Utah to the Grand Canyon Hotel on the north rim. This highway runs along the crest if the Kaibab refuge, and is an excellent road.

We turned along this road and eventually went off the north west corner of the mountains and then about four miles from Fredonia (and eight miles from the Utah state line) we turned south along a government trail for fifteen miles to Ryan, a hunters checking station, which we reached about sun down. At this checking station our guns were sealed by the Forest Ranger, licenses inspected by game warden and then assigned to the pine flats hunting camp, eighteen miles farther up in the forest. There were three hunting camps on this side (west) of the mountains: Moquitch, Four Miles, Pine Flats, twelve miles, and Big Saddle, twenty one miles from Ryan. We selected Pine Flats after the Ranger told us that there were fewer hunting parties there than at the other two camps. After completing the arrangements at the checking station, we continued on and reached Pine flats at 7:30 P.M. Monday.

We unloaded our bedrolls, built a fire on the ground, got some bacon, eggs, and coffee going and then went over to the rangers and wardens office and had the seals removed from our rifles so we could get an early start the next morning.

Just a word about our firearms: A.L. carried a 250-3000 Savage lever action; Harold had a 30-06 Winchester lever action; Cecil was armed with a 30 Remington slide action, While Mr. Smith packed a 30-40 remodeled Krag. As usual, I carried my old 35 Remington, and still believe there is no better all-around deer gun. It is light and fast and has sufficient power for anything I ever expect to hunt.

There were horses and guides to be had but we preferred to hike around and locate deer ourselves the first day, and then if no good heads showed up we would engage horses and get farther back in the mountain. After a few hours’ sleep and an early breakfast we all set out at daylight to see what we could find.

After climbing up a winding trail to the top of a timbered mesa we could overlook a part of the surrounding country. Toward the north were lofty snowcapped mountains about fifty miles away in Utah, and to the west we could see the brightly colored wall along Kanab Creek about twenty miles distant. We knew that there was a highway east and north of us and not over twenty-five miles away, therefore there was not much danger of getting lost for any length of time.

Due to the fact that Mr. S. was quite deaf, somewhat lame and not an experienced deer hunter, he was ready to shoot any deer that showed its self, while the rest of us planned to pass up does and small bucks during the first day or two and try for large heads.

On the way up the trail we jumped two or three does but before we could get Mr. Smith’s attention, they ran out of sight. A short time later, while following along the top of a pine timbered ridge (or mesa) we spotted a small doe standing in an opening about one hundred and fifty yards away. We got Mr. S. lined up and he fired three times before the doe decided to leave.

A little later a small buck jumped out and Harold took a crack at him as he dashed away through the timber but without results. We came upon a water hole about two miles out and here the party split up. Not caring to take a very long hike the first day out, I stayed with Mr. S. while the rest went deeper into the forest.

While Mr. S. and I were sitting on a log, I heard something and upon looking in the direction of the noise I spotted two does trotting towards us. I tried to get Mr. S. turned around but in doing so the does saw us and wheeled around and galloped off through the brush. Before Mr. S. could get in action. We continued on and saw several more does but Mr. S. did not get a shot at any of them.

Swinging around in a wide circle we reached camp around 2:00pm, after covering about eight miles. We cooked a large kettle of Mulligan stew and a pot of coffee. After eating what we could, we put the rest near the fire to keep warm for the rest of the party upon their return. They arrived just before dark and reported seeing many does and killed and hung up three, but saw no bucks.

During the evening we called on several other parties in the camp and their experience verified the reports we had already heard, that is: there having no snow or heavy frosts high up in the mountains, the big wily old timers were still up there and would remain until driven down by deep snow and lack of food later in the season.

There were about a dozen deer hanging up around the camp, one large buck, several small bucks, and the rest were does.

Late that evening we rounded up a guide and engaged four horses for 7:00am. The horse wrangler established what was called the “fly camp” which consisted of a corral, horses, saddles, etc. This camp was about twelve miles from our main camp by the highway and about six miles by trail over the mountains. Due to a shortage of horses at the fly camp, the guide, Harold, and Cecil took six more over the trail from the main camp, while Mr. B. and I drove around in the truck. We arrived at the fly camp and waited at least an hour before the others showed up. Cecil had shot a spike buck on the way and they had to dress it out and tie it on one of the horses, hence the delay.

This was to be my first experience on horseback and I had no idea what I was in for, but before the day was over I found out!

We were soon ready for the trail and set out up the canyon, the cowboy guide leading the way. I soon became accustomed to the rolling gate of the horse and thought that this was a very comfortable war to hunt; but more later.

A short distance up the canyon the guide turned off the trail and started up the point of a high ridge, so steep and rough that it looked almost impossible for a man on foot to get to the top. By scrambling up at an angle, first one way and then another, the horses managed to make the grade and eventually we reached the top. Here we found that these ridges (or mesas) were flat on top varying from three hundred yards in width and ascended at an easy grade back to the top of the range of mountains. Large pone timber covered this section with an occasional thicket of aspen and other brush scattered about. On the whole it was fairly open timber and usually one could see quite a distance in every direction.

The hunting now started in earnest, and the cowboy followed along the center of the mesa while the rest spread out about fifty yards apart, two on either side of the guide. Almost at once we began to see game in bunches of two or more, but in each case they proved to be all does. It was the custom that when one sighted deer to hop off, leave the horse and proceed forward on foot. Upon seeing one rider dismount, the rest would do likewise and so proceed in skirmish formation until the game was either killed or run out of the vicinity. In the meantime the guide would gather up the horses and follow along after the hunters: then when the excitement was over the horses were right at hand to remount.

On one occasion we were riding along in a bunch due to a narrow spot on the mesa, when a herd of deer jumped out of the brush just over the bank about fifty feet away. The deer ran along the side of the ridge and the other boys scrambled off and got over to the edge in time to get in a couple of snap shots but without result. At the time. I was just to the rear of the rest and I also scrambled off and had just run in among the other horses when the bunch of deer, led by a large buck crossed over the ridge about seventy five yards away, offering me a fine running shot. It was a temptation to cut loose but I held my fire rather that to have four or five scared broncs trying to climb on the back of my neck.

We continued on until about 1:00pm, and then stopped for lunch. At this time it occurred to me that riding a horse was not exactly the most comfortable way to spend a forenoon, in fact, it had become decidedly painful. My keens protested violently whenever I tried to bend them and the saddle had developed into an instrument of torture.

After finishing our lunch we went down off the north side of the mesa, across to canyon and then climbed to the top of the next ridge and followed that one back toward the corral. We planned to break camp the next morning (Thursday) therefore I intended to get my two deer on the way back, regardless of sex or size.

Late in the afternoon we jumped a bunch of three or four does, and one especially big doe stopped broadside to me about 75 yards away. I tumbled off the horse and dropped to one knee and cracked down on her shoulder. At the shot she wheeled around and galloped out of sight over the brink of the mesa without showing any indication of having been hit. I rode over to the place where she stood when I fired but found no blood signs, so came to the conclusion that I had missed, and rode on.

Mr. B. was riding near the edge and somewhat to the rear, and as he came up to the place where the doe went over the rim and let out a yell. I hurried back and found him following a blood trail over the rim. I took up the trail and found pieces of lung and etc. scattered about and finally came upon the doe about a hundred yards from where I shot her. The guide came tearing down off the top and when he saw the doe he remarked it was the largest deer without horns that he had ever seen.

 The other boys climbed back on top and continued on, while the cowboy and I dressed out and loaded the doe on my horse. Now that I had my horse loaded I had to proceed on foot and lead him. We also climbed back on the ridge and followed along a dim trail and shortly came upon a hat belonging to one of the other boys. It was on the ground and held down with a long stick which pointed to the left of the course the trail was leading. I picked up the hat and walked along in the direction the stick pointed and soon found the rest of the party dressing out a two-point buck of medium size.

It seems that Cecil saw the buck and was drawing a fine bead on its shoulder when a rifle cracked some distance back of him and the buck dropped. Mr. B. stated later that when he saw Cecil on his Knee aiming at something, he looked ahead and saw the buck so he threw his Savage to his shoulder, took a quick aim and thus beat Cecil to the shot.

It was about sun down when we got going again, and each step was becoming more and more painful to me. Harold said he wanted to hunt on the way in and asked me to ride his horse. I strongly suspect that he did this to get me off my feet and invented the desire to hunt as an excuse. However, I was perfectly willing to take him up on his proposition, and thus we proceeded.