Hunting & Trapping

The sports and means of recreation were not so numerous and varied among the early settlers as at present, but they were more enjoyable and invigorating than now. Hunters nowadays would only be too glad to be able to find and enjoy their favorable opportunity for hunting and fishing, and even travel many miles, counting it rare pleasure to spend a few weeks on the watercourses and wild prairies, in hunt and chase and fishing frolics. There were a good many excellent hunters here at an early day, who enjoyed the sport as well as any can at the present day. Wild animals of almost every species known in the wilds of the West were found in great abundance. The prairies and woods and streams and various bodies of water were all thickly inhabited before the white man came, and for some time afterward. Although the Indians slew many of them, yet the natural law prevailed here as well as elsewhere “ wild men and wild beast thrive together.”

Serpents were to be found in such large numbers, and of such immense size, that some stories told by the early settlers’ would be incredible were it not for the large array of concurrent testimony, which is to be had from the most authentic sources. Deer, turkeys, ducks, geese, squirrels, and various other kinds of choice game were plentiful, and to be had at the expense of killing only. The fur animals were abundant; such as the otter, beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, panther, fox, wolf, wild-cat and bear. An old resident of the county told us that, in 1809, while he was traveling a distance of six miles he saw as many as 73 deer, in herds of from six to ten.