1881: First time out hunting

In the meantime I had become good friends with the young, only 20-year-old Wolferts in Bozeman. On a Sunday, it was the 21st of August, my friend picked me up from the farm early in the morning at 4:30. We were supposed to shoot any game which crossed our way. Both of us equipped with an excellent rifle, the Winchester Rifle, we climbed up the grassy hills into the high mountains, towards the snow-capped peaks.

After a hard climb we discovered a cave alongside a vertical cliff about two meters above the boulders we were standing on. With Woferts’ help, I climbed carefully into the opening with the rifle before me. I found the skull of an animal and a few bones. It was obvious that this was the hideout or the wintering grounds of a grizzly bear. The grey-pointy-hairy bear whose dangerousness I only found out about later. The big rocky nest was uninhabited. We started our way back home, unfortunately without any success in hunting. To try out the safety of my rifle, I shot a squirrel down from a high tree on the way. This coaxed a cry of admiration out of my friend.

The days on the farm went by steadily. The month of August was hot. The temperatures only rarely under 30 centigrade, sometimes even 40 centigrade, which vividly reminded me of the hot weather in Chicago. However, the nights cooled down considerably, since there was always a fresh breeze coming down from the high mountains. The horrible heat, which I could not get used to, had caused an unfavorable effect on me. Severe headaches and slight dizziness came upon me for several days. This is why I often laid down in the fresh air and covered up my head with large green leaves.

translated by Julia Strehlau-Jacobs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *