1920’s Annual Big Game Hunt
My grandfather, Clyde W Creech Sr., had this story in one of the many file cabinets of papers that he keeps. The pages were very aged, turning a dark yellow, and in the folds of the paper the type has worn off a little, and there were even holes the pages at some of the folds. There are a few spelling and word omission corrections written on the paper in pencil that look like a woman’s handwriting. Grandpa said he is not sure if it was his father that wrote it, or his grandfather, but he was sure it is one of the two. He was not sure if it was some sort of school assignment, or if they were just feeling creative. It is a story from around the time that our family first came to Wyoming, probably before 1920. After reading it, I am sure contains a lot of true events, exaggerated and rolled up into one heroic hunt. At first I thought the typewriter must have had the strike with the period “.” on it broken off, as the story only contains only commas, and reads like a long run-on sentence, but later in the story I found a few periods. I corrected some misspellings where it seemed appropriate broke up the long run-on sentences for ease of reading. I (will) have scans of the story linked at the bottom, if you are interested in reading from the original.
~ Peter W. Kingston
The Annual Big Game Hunt near the Foothills in Wyoming
Yes Sir, there is more real good stories, that has never been printed than, there is that has been printed. Simply for the reason there is no one to write them. Well the author of this story lives in Wyoming with his parents on a ranch, and I will tell you the story as near as I can as it was told to me. Well after a very hard summers work on the ranch and the sugar beets harvested and delivered to the factory and a few other small things done to keep things a moving on the ranch, father and three sons departed to the foothills in search of big game, and the author of this story is the youngest son of three, and I just could not help from telling it as I well know that there is a great many people back in the middle states that would enjoy an outing like this. About three o-clock on the third day out this party pulled up to a fine mountain spring and do you know one could see all kinds of big game tracks, yes sir this was the long, looked for heaven on earth, and every one got busy getting things placed in first class order, and by an hour after night fall every thing was in readiness and supper well along. After they had eaten supper and things put together so as to help to have an early start in the morning, they retired for the night but not until each one had thoroughly inspected his Winchester and seen it was in first class order. Bright and early next morning every one was up and did not haft to have Mother all them either, no sir, did not need to be called this morning. Breakfast was over in less then no time, and one could be seen going in four different directions, in pursuit of a elk. Well, I had not went more than one mile when I stepped up on a slight rise when not fifty yards away stood three big fine elk, looking in the opposite direction and did not know that there was one bit of danger in many miles. Yes sir I could kill them all three in less than no time and was about to pull the trigger and happened to think, “Am I allowed to kill three or did the law say one was all one could kill?” I had forgotten. I had laid my gun down and took out my hunting license to see if I could kill all three, and when I found I could only kill only one, I decided to kill the big one as the law did not say anything about the size. I picked up my gun and had a dead bead on the big one and just then the least one stepped in between me and the big one and I had to take my gun down or kill the smallest one. I decided that if I could not get the big one I would wait until the little old thing stepped out of the way. About that time the sun had peeped over the hill and shown on the barrel of my gun and the reflection caused them to glance in the direction the light came and at a bound they was over out of site. Yes sir, my dear reader you well know just how he felt, and the rash promises he made to himself. Yes sir, I will get the next one and it will be the biggest too, now you just see. Well all there was to do was to look for another big one and he did not haft to wait long either, for just then jumped a big fat rabbit, jumped a few jumps and stopped to see what had give him such a fright. Yes Sir, you will not get away. He took good aim at Mr. Rabbit’s head and he could not miss him and at the crack of his gun over went Mr. Rabbit. Yes sir, clear over the precipice. Upon stepping up to see where Mr. Rabbit had went there he lay cold and stiff about thirty feet below. Yes Sir, I will get you Mr. Rabbit. You can’t come that on me. So I took out of my game sack a rope flattened one end to a shrub and threw the other end over the precipice and began to descend and was soon down there where Mr. Rabbit lay. I stooped down to pick him up and there, not twenty feet away stood a big bear, looking strait at me. I picked him up and gave him a toss (Mr. Rabbit) and then started to climb back up to my gun. However, I was in a little hurry and don’t you know I just pulled up the shrub, roots and all. Here I come, right down on Mr. Bear. Yes sir, I just had to do something and the only thing I could see to do was to run, and it did not take me long to get started. Gee, if I only had my gun I would show you Mr. Bear, but you see my gun was up on the hill watching Mr. Rabbit, and I was down here with Mr. Bear. I jumped down about twelve feet and slid about twenty feet more and just got stopped when Mr. Bear rolled down past me and went on down and I looked over to see where he was a going and he just kept going over and over he went. Finally he hit a rock and bounced over out of sight, and hit the bottom dead as a doornail. I started back up to get my gun and if ever I do get to my gun you can bet your bottom dollar I will never set out down again and climb down over a hill without my gun. One never knows what is over there, even behind a rock, when he is in big game country. Well, I finally succeeded in reaching the top, and there sat my gun, just as I had left it. Next to it lay Mr. Rabbit, and a pretty thing he was as there was nothing but his head and hind parts as I had shot him with the forty-four caliber. I gave him a kick and he went back over the bluff and I did not look to see where he had gone. I picked up my gun and started to go down where my bear was, as I was sure he was dead. I would shoot him, and they would not know but what I had shot him before he fell over the bluff and killed himself. Tell them just how it was? I should say not. I seen him standing about seventy-five yards away and I just took good aim and knocked him clear over the precipice and he just kept going over and over till he hit the bottom dead I should say so with a forty-four ball through his heart. Yes Sir, he was dead and stiff. I shouldered up my Winchester and started around to finish Mr. Bear, and I had to go about two miles around in order to get to where he had stopped and when I succeeded in getting around there what do you think I saw? Well Sir, some other hunter had seen him fall and kill himself and had carried him away. And you can bet I was mad and it would of not been healthy if I had seen him stealing my bear for I would of showed him who’s bear he was steeling. Gee but I was mad, yes mad as one could be just to think anybody to steal a big fine bear. Why his hide alone was worth at least twenty dollars. By this time it was getting about noon and I shouldered my Winchester and started to dinner and when I got there the rest had come I and was eating dinner, and was telling their adventures. How one had killed a three point buck three hundred yards away and another one had killed a gray wolf just as it was about to jump upon him. Then my father looked over and squinted up one eye and said “Boys, there is someone else hunting around here and I tell you I just saved his life. I was coming along the foothills when bang went a gun and I kept looking up on the mountain when to my surprise, here come a man, just like a streak of lightning. Not more than ten feet away right at his heels you might say come one of the biggest black bears you ever seen. When it was just about to catch him, when the man turned to the right and jumped over a cliff of rocks and then slid about thirty feet more. Just as Mr. Bear was about to jump over on him, I took dead aim at Mr. Bear and over he come down past the man and just kept coming over and over, till he hit the bottom. There he lies, isn’t he a fine one?” Gee but I was mad, I well knew that that bear killed himself. Just think, my dear reader, of a big bear falling seven or eight hundred feet, you know he was dead, of course you do. Upon asking me what I had killed, I told them I had not even seen a bird. No Sir, you just bet I would not tell them a thing, well we stayed around camp and took care of what they had killed, and had everything in readiness to get and early start next morning. Bright and early I was up and out I was going to show them who was who and I had not went more than a mile when I walked up in about fifty yards of a big nine point buck. I threw my gun to my face and pulled the trigger. I wish you, my dear reader, could have been there to seen him tumble over dead. I should say so, dead as he can be. I drug him over to the edge of the bluff and started him. He must of went in a hundred yards of the camp for I could see the horses looking up that away like they was scared. I went as near the same way my deer had went, as I well could. However, I had to pick my way and got there before any one of them had, and you see they could not claim him. I had drug him into camp and had him hanging up fine and dandy. You bet I felt good when they came in without killing a thing. Yes sir, I could blow now for it was my day out, and I had done the killing too. Gee you can not imagine how big I felt. Well, we had our dinner and was out to try our luck this time I went across over to a canyon about to miles away only it was higher up than we had been. I had just toped a knoll and looked out about one hundred yards when I seen five big gray wolves eating on a dead carcass. I pulled up and took dead aim on two side by side. When I pulled the trigger over they both went. The other three jumped on the two I had killed and I shot two more. Then I picked up the other one on the run and there I had all five of them piled up in a pile. I soon had their hides off of them and was just starting down when I see another one come up in a bout fifty yards of me. I took site on him and then I had another one to peal which it did not take me long as I had a good sharp knife. I was ready once more to go and I went about one mile before I seen any thing except a bob cat and it almost took two to see him go over the bluff. Well I circled around and started back, towards camp and had not got far when I heard the brush cracking here come a three point buck and two gray wolves not over a rod behind him. As I had almost a load I let the buck pass and I pulled into one of the wolves and knocked him over then I puled down on the other one and tumbled him over. Well I pealed them and started for camp as I had all I cared to carry. Well I took down to cross the canyon before it got dark, as I did not care to be over there after it got dark. I had come up on the bank of the canyon and looked over to see a way to cross when about fifty yards down and a little to the left there I see a big mountain lion. He was standing looking down below him and not more then twenty feet below him there stood one of my brothers looking up the canyon. He had not seen the lion and as the lion was about to make a spring I had a dead bead on his head and pulled the trigger and over Mr. Lion went and fell in about ten feet of my Brother. Gee but he was scared. Well I had saved him at any-rate. I went down and found I had sure hit the mark as the brains’ was running out and the lion was dead. We jumped in and soon had him pealed and we went on in to camp and I was well pleased with my day’s hunt. They paid five dollars a piece for the wolves’ scalps and ten dollars for the mountain lions scalp bounty making forty-five dollars clear cash for the day besides the pelts and my deer. Pretty good I thought, for one day. Besides the fun I had and that was worth at least fifty-five dollars making an even one hundred dollars. Gee, but I sure ate a hearty supper that night, besides I did quite a bit of boasting n the side even if I did loose the big bear, and do you know I could not hardly go to sleep and when I did I had such funny dreams. Why I dreamt I was in Africa killing real lions and tigers, do you know all I had to do was pull the trigger. Gee it was fine sport. However, morning came and we was ready to make a day of it, and was soon out in the hills among all kinds of big game such as mountain lions, links, bears, elk, deer, mountain sheep, gray wolves, and bob cats, besides may different types of smaller game. An ideal place to pass away a month after a hard summers work besides there is a good profit in it. Well we stayed out in the foothills three weeks and I sure would of loved to of stayed all winter, however, business called us home and so we went with and we have things to tell yet that we could not think of. You dear readers know just how it is, one can not think of it all at one time. However, we all got as much as the law allowed us for the protected varieties, and we sure thinned out the wolves and now and then a bob cat, and three big bear. We went home well pleased with our excellent good luck. Hoping to be able to give you a more complete story next time then this one.