Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis
He hoped to become a mighty hunter like Colonel Boone, and would spend the evenings telling me what he had learned of woodcraft. I soon came to know that one must not go for deer after the leaves have fallen and while they yet lie dry upon the ground; nor should he hunt while the snow is falling, for then he can neither track the animals nor follow their course by the blood if they have been wounded.
The best time for such work, so Billy declares, is when the snow lies two or three inches deep, when the frost is sharp and the air calm. In stormy weather deer seek the sheltered places on that side of a bill which is protected from the wind, while in rainy weather and when there is no wind, the hunter must look for them in the open woods on the highest ground.
Billy claims, and father says it is true, that one can tell direction by the bark on the trees, because on the north side it is thicker and rougher than on the south; also moss grows on the north side.
I surely hope Billy will be a great hunter and that he can hold his own with all the others in wrestling, running, leaping, and shooting, else he is likely to make a poor sort of man here in Kentucky, where strength and skill are needed if one would live and support a family.
Billy likes to tell of the night when he and father went to a salt lick three miles down the creek and built there a tiny hut of branches, in which they hold until day-break, when the deer came to drink. They killed three fine bucks and two does; on the way home Billy "called" a wild turkey within rifle range. I really wish some of the, folks on the Yadkin could hear him "gobble"; he does it so naturally that you would surely think an old turkey was strutting around close at hand. Father declares that Billy will stand at the head of our hunters when he is man grown.