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.

Enjoy!

~ 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.