Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on March 12, 1891 · Page 2
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March 12, 1891

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 2

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Thursday, March 12, 1891
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-. HUNTING PIUIBIE WOLVES. ? Pine Winter Sports by the Hunts- C men of the Plains. Botmticx Paid for Wolf ami Coyote Scalps to Protect Stock—Terrible ttattle Between a Durham Bull und Twenty-Two Hungry Wolves. [COPYRIGHT, 1891.1 By all odds the favorite sport on the great plains this winter is the wolf hunt. At Baxter's ranch near Cheyenne, "Wyo., and Holyoke and Yum a, Col., and in Western Kansas and !N'cbraska, several of these hunts have recently T>een held. The bounty on the scalps Has also caused many to trap and poison loth wolves and coyotes. From fifteen to thirty men make a •good hunting- party to round up the •wolves. A clay having- been set for the •chase, the sportsmen scatter out over the plains, covering 1 , sometimes, an area •of ten miles, for the purpose of driving the -twelves toward a common center. The -wolves have their haunts along •certain streams and in this locality the .hunt is made. Many of the streams . iave hardly a shrub or tree along their !bauks, and the hunters are thus afforded a large open country in T^hich to make the chase. They jbegin to fide toward the cen- (ter. - When a wolf is sighted ?-•;& is shot by some of the expert marks- anen of the plains, or, to increase the (interest in the sport, the hounds are jgiven an opportunity for a run. Rifles •and shotguns are the weapons general-' ily used. The great expanse of level •plain, which is only broken occasionally fby sand hills, gives a fine opportunity 'for a hunt, and it is a rare instance rwhen a wolf makes its escape through -the circle. The wolves, coyotes and swifts all have their dens underground, ,and sometimes they succeed in running into these lairs when hard pressed by "hunters and hounds. It is fine sport when the ever-narrowing circle has two or more wolves rounded up in an area of about a mile. An attempt of a wgjf to escape .on one .side being frustrated it runs in the opposite direction, only to be headed off by ijiunters and dogs. Wqjves and dogs are sometimes permitted to fight it out in the center. The wolf is cowardly, but when wounded and at bay will some- tunes make a hard fight. Thus the Eport continues, until the wolves are all captured or killed. The hunt is not always a. success, but often several of them are taken by the huntsmen of the plains. I have recently made a four weeks' jonrney over the plains along the Colo- Tado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas line, and many an interesting story is told by the frontiersman of the wolves, and how they are captured. The occasional wolf hunt is had more for the sport it affords, yet there are some .known as wolf hunters, and follow it as CAPTURING A GRAY WOLF. a business. The state bounty, together -with the extra paid by some cattle assc- /• ciations, makes the wolf and coyote scalp bounty two dollars. The coyote is not a game animal like the gray wolf, and its capture is not sp exciting a sport. The prairie wolf of the great western plains is grayish in color, and is a little smaller than the common wolf. 1 was :shown the flesh hide of a prairie wolf at the county treasurer's office at Sterling, Col., that measured six feet from nose : to tip of the tail. The small streaks of black along the back give it a grizzly appearance. The jaw is strong and the teeth sharp. The coyote, also known as a prairie wolf, is not so large and dangerous as the gray wolf of the prairie, and is also called the American jackal and Mexican prairie wolf. The Indian dogs, which so ' much resemble the wolf, are said to be a cross breed with prairie wolf, coyote, and the dog. "Wolves, coyotes and all such animals on the plains make their;'hpmes underground. They dig a hole about, two feet in diameter and at an ' angle of 45 degrees and at a depth of from six to ten feet excavate their underground , den, where they make their aTjode after ti su'clcssl'ul raid for food. In these dens they also breed their young in the spring, their litters numbering from four to nine. The prairie wolf shuns the abode of men, unless hunger forces it to attack stock even near the ranchman's house. But coyotes will come up near the frontiersman's house, and make the night hideous with their yelping noises. They kill sheep, calves, pigs and poultry. Coyotes will not only slaughter sheep by the wholesale but will suck their blood, and have many of the traits of a ''sheep killing dog." It is the prairie wolf that preys upon the largest stock on the plains. The largest bull and fleetest horse become their prey, when maddened by hunger. So great has been the loss to stock in Texas, that the question hfts been urged at the present session of the legislature to increase the bounty. Some counties in the states on the plains claim that their financial resources have been greatly impaired by the payment of scalp bounties for wolves and coyotes. From Wyoming and Nebraska, south to Texas, the question of "for" or "against" these bounties has been agitated in the various legislatures. The stockmen lose hundreds of thousands of dollars—fortunes it might be said—in the slaughter of cattle, horses and sheep by these wild animals of the plains, and hence the bounties in some states for wolf and coyote scalps, with the hope of exterminating these pests. . The prairie wolf has not been so noted as the timber wolf, the black wolf of the south or the wolf of the nftrthern pineries in attacking human beings. It has had more to. feed upon, and hence has not been so dangerous to man. Yet the prairie wolf has been known to attack human beings. An old frontiersman near the Colorado-Wyoming boundary line recently told me of the thrilling experience of three men on the plains in that vicinity in the earlier days. One of the party went out to hunt for meat and failing to return his two comrades started in search of him, following his trail through the snow. They soon heard the rapid firing of a rifle, and hastening to the place, still a mile distant, they found their friend surrounded by a hungry pack of prairie wolves, and keeping them at bay by his swift repeating rifle. His ammunition was nearly all gone, and they were just in time to save him from a horrible fate. The prairie wolves do their foraging in packs. They first run down a horse or stear, till, wearied by the chase, the pursued animal turns at bay upon the howling wolves. The horse will kick and also strike at them with- his fore feet. The cattle defend themselves with their horns. It often happens that-the wolves by leaping on cattle will eat out large pieces of flesh before the final stand and fight is made. When horses and cattle are at bay and making their last, fight against their IX FULL CRY. tormentors the wolves become more methodical in their attacks. 'While some are attracting the attention of the animal in front others are snapping at the, sides and hind legs, till finally the hamstring is cut and then the fight is over. At Yuma Colorado,, near the Kansas- Nebraska comer, Sheriff M. R. Lovell, an oldtime foreman of cowboys on the cattle trails, related to me some stories of how wolves prey npon stock. He has had an experience of fifteen years in the cattle business and is familiar with the traits of the prairie wolf. "In one of our herds," he said to me,'while chatting- in his offce a few days ago at Yuma, "we had a fine Durham bull, weighing about one thousand three hundred pounds. One morning-, accompanied by two cowboys, I was going over our range and found this bull surrounded by a pack of twenty-two gray prairie wolves. They had chased him : several miles, as the trail showed, the bull at times teaming for a fight and then continuing in his attempt to escape. They had bitten pieces of flesh out of his flanks as was shown by blood on the snow, and an examination I made a little later. When we came upon the bull he seemed to have stopped for his last fight. ' 'Soaring and bellowing with pain, and pawing the earth, he was attempting to keep off these twenty-two wolves. At times he would rush upon them in his madness, which would give those behind him another chance to snap and bite at his hind legs in their attempt to hamstring him. A large pack will work in shifts, resting each other, and thus give the stock no opportunity to rest. We rushed our horses at full speed," continued^ Sheriff Lovell, "for we could see the fight going on when some distance from the battle. We were none too soon, for that -stroiyr. Durham »-<t*«nJA«tt,*(, L _ >_,' soon have become the prey of the wolves. Several pounds of flesh 'had already been eaten from the flnnks and-other parts of the body, although the bull had not yet fallen. "Cattle will sometimes bunch themselves in a circle, heads out, making a kind of corral with -calves in the center," said Sheriff. Lovell. "With this phalanx of horns against them the wolves have but little chance to kill them. It is instinct with cattle to bunch when in danger. I have seen a large herd, scattered over a large territory, suddenly rush together when alarmed or in siipposed danger. It is the lone steer or horse that becomes a prey to the wolves. The cowboys used to lasso wolves and antelope just for the fun of it, and would occasionally capture a buffalo in the same way, I have seen Frank Tatc, who was in the Pan Handle of Texas when I last heard of him, rope an antelope. John. Williams, now in Warrensburg, Mo., used to work for me on the cattle trails and was very expert •with the lasso.• One day we ran across a prairie wolf on the trail, and Williams, jerking up his lasso, started in swift pursuit. It was a lively chase over the plains, but Williams landed the loop over the wolf's head and started back on a full gallop, dragging the strangled wolf alongthc trail." Wolves are often captured now in steel traps and also by putting poison in dead animals. So many wolves have COYOTES SUCKING THE BLOOD OF SHEKP. been poisoned by strychnine in the carcasses of horses and cattle that they are becoming a little shy of dead bodies. The steel trap is set on the wolf trails, or around a dead carcass, and a good many are taken in this way. "I have recently sold two dozen steel traps for this purpose," said a frontier hardware merchant on the plains when I questioned him on the subject. The prairie wolf and coyote have always been robbers of the frontier cemetery. The oldtime hunter and trapper would often bury his dead comrade in the western rivers to save the corpse from these jackals of the plains. When the body is put in the grave heavy sticks of timber and rocks are placed over it to protect it, but often the burial party have seen prairie wolves or coyotes scratching at the new-made grave before they were out of sight. WILL C. FEBRIL. Dr. Filler— I'd like to get a few mottoes to hang up in my reception room. You know my patients sometimes have to wait quite awhile for their turn, and they might as well be studying some Improving- sentiment. Dealer— Yes, sir. 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A' Boston lady who knew what she wanted, and whose example is worthy imitation, tells ber experience below: " In one store where I went to buy Hood's Sarsaparllla the clerk tried to induce me buy their own instead ol Hood's ; he told me their's would last longer; that I might take it on ten days' trial ; that i I did not like it I need not pay anything, etc. But he could not prevail on me to change. -I told him I knew what Hood's SarsapariUa was. I had taken it, was iatisfied with it, and did not want any other. Hood's 'When I began taking Hood's SarsapariUa 1 was feeling real miserable, suffering a- great deal with dyspepsia, and so weak that at times I could hardly stand. I looked, and had for some time, like a person in consumption. Hood's SarsapariUa did me so much good thatlwonder at myself sometimes, and my friends frequently speak of it." Mus. ELLA A. GOFF, ci Terrace Street, Boston. SarsapariUa Soldty all druggists, gl ; six for S5. Prepared only By C. 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