Excerpt from "Hunting Large Game"
This is an excerpt from an article which originally appeared
in The North American Review in October 1895. The author is
Major-General Nelson A. Miles.
About the most interesting sport I have ever
engaged in, was the hunting of large wolved in Indian Territory
in 1875, when they were found in great numbers. A party of hunters,
very often numbering from ten to twenty, and well mounted, would
move out to a divide or high ground of the rolling prairies,
each with a greyhound or staghound in leash, while some men
would be sent along through the timber and the ravines with
deerhounds and bloodhounds to start the wolves out of the cover
on to the high ground. The moment they appeared and undertook
to cross the prairie, a signal would be given and the dogs let
loose. The result would be a grand rush and chase of from three
to five miles, winding up with a fierce fight. The large grey
wolves were very powerful; you could hear their jaws snap half
a mile away, and frequently they cut the dogs very badly. When
any one dog had courage enough to make the attack all the others
would rush in; and I have frequently seen the whole pack upon
one large wolf.
There is, however, rarer sport than this to
me in hunting the bear with a well trained pack of dogs. Mr.
Montague S. Stevens, an English gentleman, who has a large cattle
ranch in New Mexico, has a fine pack of dogs, composed of bloodhounds,
fox terriers, staghounds, boarhounds, Russian wolfhounds, and
various others of the canine species - the first used as trailers
- and taken altogether they will tree or bring to bay any bear
found in the country. In fact they fight the bear so furiously
that he pays little attention to the hunters, so that they can
approach with comparative safety. It is royal sport, though
very difficult and somewhat dangerous. The hunters are usually
mounted on strong, hardy, sure-footed horses, as they are obliged
to ride rapidly up and down the sides of precipitous mountains.
Bear hunting is the most dangerous of all kinds
of sport, and is uninteresting unless one is equipped with a
well trained pack of dogs - a pack used for no other purpose.
Such dogs are never allowed to hunt any other game.