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Camp fires in the Canadian Rockies Hornaday, William T. (William Temple), 1854-1937 1907

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.1 The University of British Columbia Library
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HORNADAY (William T.) Camp-Fires in the Canadian Rockies, with 70 illustrations and 2 maps,
8vo, cloth, 1907 £1/12/6
An interesting account of a hunting trip in south-eastern British Columbia.   The mountain
goat photographs which are reproduced in this volume are believed to be the most daring and
also the most successful, feat in big-game photography ever accomplished.
____■■■---■  ->v  CAMP-FIRES  IN  THE
CANADIAN   ROCKIES ..»r*:.-.jMt-
Copyright, 1^5, by John M. Phillips.
The Finest Mountain Goat Picture
Taken at eight feet CAMP-FIRES IN
WILLIAM   T\   llOft^.% R J.
WITH   SEVEN TV   !-e,e.I;:--T^: aT-IONS " AN.D  TWO   MAPS
> AX ^^
1907 Copyright,  1906, by
Published, October,  1906
My friends are called upon to bear witness that of
the various hunting trips I have enjoyed in the late
lamented Wild West, I have written of one only. That
was twenty years ago. For so large a sum of outdoor
enjoyment which might have been set forth in print, my
sight drafts upon the reading public have been by no
means extravagant.
Even up to the end of our hunt in British Columbia,
I had no thought of bookmaking; but now that the hunt
is over, and we are out of those wonderful mountains, a
printed record seems worth while. The land looms up
so grandly, its wild creatures seem so interesting, and
Mr. Phillips's pictures so fine, it would seem churlish to
refuse the labor that will place them before those who
care to enjoy them. Moreover, detailed information of
nature as it exists to-day on the summits of the Columbian Rockies is not so outrageously abundant that this
volume is likely to be crowded off the shelf by other
books on that subject.
One month ago to-day we scrambled out of the
mountains of southeastern British Columbia, tired, torn,
and travel-stained, but with the wheels of Time turned
back about five years.   Three months ago literary com- VI
position was unendurable nerve torture. To-night, however, with the roar of the mountain torrents, the whistle
of the wind on the passes, and the tinkle of the horse-
bell in my ears, I begin the writing of these pages as
cheerfully as if I never had known an official care. I
am disposed to tell of the wonders of that mountain land,
where we found health and vigor while climbing after
grand game. We feel like saying to the tired business
man, the overworked professional man, and the sleepless
newspaper man,—go, thou, and do likewise!
This is merely a story of recreations with big game,
with a few notes on nature. Next to the necessity of a
strenuous trip into mountain wilds, my chief object was
to get into the home of the mountain goat, and learn
at first hand something of the strange personality of that
remarkable animal. The most valuable result of the
trip, however, is Mr. Phillips's wonderful photographs
of a live mountain goat, secured at risks to life and limb
that were really unjustifiable.
Until our mountain diversion was half over, I had
not realized that so much of living interest in nature,
of good luck in hunting, of rare success in photography,
and unalloyed delight in camp life could be packed into
the limits of one vacation hunting trip; but that experience established a new record. At first I could not
understand how Mr. Phillips could find interest in going
to the same region for five trips in succession; but now
I -know.    It is the mystic Spell of the Mountains!
We dread the day of the ranch, the road, the railway,
and the coal-mine,—anywhere near the Elk and the Bull PREFACE
Rivers. We left behind us all those " improvements"
on the face of nature, and went far beyond the last tin
can of civilization. For many miles our men had to
chop out a trail for the pack-train before we could get
on. Some of our travel was laborious, and some of it
dangerous; but there was no accident. In every respect
both the outfit and the trip were ideal.
No doubt all persons who are interested in the
photographing of wild animals in their haunts will
desire to know how Mr. Phillips obtained the mountain goat photographs which are reproduced in this
volume. They were made with a Hawk-Eye Stereo
Camera, No. I. Mr. Phillips never has used a tele-
photo lens. His series of photographs of the mountain goat represent what I believe to be the most daring, and also the most successful, feat in big-game
photography ever accomplished.
W. T. H.
New York, November I, 1905.  CONTENTS
The Pilgrimage to Goatland
The Delectable Mountains—Over the Great Northern—The Sweet-
Grass Hills—Into the Rockies—The Fernie Game-Protectors—British Columbia Game-Laws too Liberal.
In the Valley of Elk River ....-...•    io
Fernie and Michel—Mr. Crahan and his Hotel—Return of Professor H.
F. Osborn and his Family—The Members of our Outfit—The First
Wild Animal—Jack Pine Timber—Sheep Mountain—"My Mountain/ f for a Month—A Marten Trap—Fool-Hens.
A Golden Day on Fording River 24
A Bath in the Sulphur Spring—A Ride to Fording River—Cut-Throat
Trout galore—Josephine Falls—Evening over the Elk Valley.
Travel in the Mountains
H House-Roof Mountains "—Making Up Packs—When Charlie Threw
Down his Pack—Valley Thoroughfares—Green Timber—Down
Timber—Trail-Cutting—Berries of the Mountains.
The Mountain Goat at Home	
Our Welcome to Goatland—Three Goats Stampede through our Camp—
A Wild Spot—Mountain Color on a Gray Day—An Early-Morning
Caller—Goats at Rest—How Goats Climb—Stalking Two Big
Billies—Two Goats Killed—Measurements and Weight.
On   Bird   Mountain :   Photographing   Mountain
Sheep     ..... 	
A Mountain Cyclorama—The Continental Divide—Phillips Peak—
A Land Unmapped and Unmeasured—Mountain Altitudes along Elk
River—Statement by Geologist McEvoy—Mountain Sheep Afoot—
Photographing Two Sheep on the Goat Rocks—Sheep and Goats Seen
at the Same Moment.
A Great Day with Goats	
Goats Far Up—The Climb, and its Difficulties—An Elusive Pair—Ten
Big Billies at Hand—Observations of an Hour—Four Goats Killed,
and Utilized—The Tallest Goat, and the Heaviest—Rolling Carcasses—Down Avalanche Creek to a Beautiful Camp.
The Mountain Goat as we Saw Him	
A Mountain Goat's Paradise—General Character of the Animal—Its
Place in Nature—Not an " Antelope' ■—Description—Distribution—
Food—Sleeping-Places—Accidents in Snow-Slides—Swimming—
Stupid or Not Stupid—Courage—A Philosophic Animal—Affection
-Fighting Powers—A Goat Kills a Grizzly—Bear-Shy Goats—
The Tragedy of the Self-Trapped Goats.
CHAPTER  IX                      I
Timber-Line and Summit 127
One-Eyed Men in the Mountains—A Mountain Savant—A Climb in
Fake Notch—Foot and Nerve Exhaustion—A Daring Goat—Experiments—The Component Parts of Mountain-Sides—Temperature
Record of a Climber—A Great Basin and a Bull Elk—A Tree
Scarred by a Mountain Ram. CONTENTS
Alone on a Mountain 145
Getting Next to Nature—Waterfall Notch—The Pika at Home—
Ground-Squirrels and Grizzly Bears—Temptation Goats—Variations
between Summits—Fool-Hens and Ptarmigan—Dwarf Spruces—Bull
River—Mule-Deer Grounds—Berries of the Mountains—Charlie
Smith Finds Grizzly-Bear Signs.
My Grizzly Bear-Day 159
Rubbing-Trees of Bears—Fresh Grizzly " Signs'' Reported—A Trip to
the Goat Remains—A Silver-Tip at Work—Her Death—The
Autopsy—Amateur Photography and its Results—The Bear's Cache
—Wolverines Observed—A Jollification in Camp.
Notes on the Grizzly Bear 172
Rarity of the Grizzly in the United States—Seasons—The Grizzly
Bear's Calendar—Solitary Habits—Food of Grizzlies—A Carrion
Feeder—Weight of Grizzlies—"Grizzly" or (tSilver-Tip"—Restrictions in Killing.
Photographing a Mountain Goat at Six Feet    . 181
Wild-Animal Photography—A Subject on the Crags—At the Head of
the Grand Slide—The Billy Goat at Bay—Exposures at Six Feet—
The Glaring Eyes of the  Camera Stops  a  Charge—At Last the
Subject Stands Calmly and Looks Pleasant—In Peril from a '* Dead "
Knee—A Sleepless Night from the Perils of the Day.
A Rainy Day in Camp 199
The Finest of all Camps—A Record-Breaking Cook—Fearful Slaughter
of Comestibles—Drying Meat from Big Game—A Good Method
Described—The Norboe Brothers—Trapping on Bull River—The
Trappers' Bill of Fare—Mack Norboe's Biggest Bear—-The Big Bear
that Got Away. Xll
Camp-Fire Tales	
Charlie Smith's Story—An Outlaw in Camp—A Silent Death Sentence
 The Pursuers of Tom Savage Find Him—His Fate—John Norboe
Introduces Old John Campbell—Trying to be Chased by a Grizzly—
The Bear that Fell into the Fire.
More Camp-Fire Yarns 221
The Charge of The Duchess—The Death of the Duke of Wellington—
The Horror of the Rocks—The Sheep that Couldn't be Caught—
The Matches that Wouldn't Light.
A Great Mountain Sheep Hunt 235
Variations in Sheep Hunting—Artistic Value of Scenery in Hunting—John
Norboe* s Peril—Camp Necessity—Remarkable Goat Licks—Sheep
Signs—A Very Long Stalk—Attack in a Wind Storm—Misses and
Hits—Mack Norboe's "Bungers"—Three Dead Rams—A Night
of Terror.
Mountain Sheep Notes 250
The Culminating Point ot a Species—Measurements of Record Heads—
Range of the Big-Horn—The White Sheep—The Black Sheep—
Fannin's Sheep—Fighting Noses of our Specimens—Reinforcement
of the Neck—Captain Radcliffe's Opinion About Broken Tips—
Measurements of our Sheep—Comparative Dimensions of Sheep,
Goat and Mule Deer—Comparison of Sheep and Goat—Enemies
of Mountain Sheep—Impending Extinction in British Columbia.
A Panoramic Grizzly-Bear Hunt 265
Luck as a Factor in Bear Hunting—An Exhausting Climb—A Silver-Tip
Sighted—Mr. Phillips and Mack Run for it—A Summit Stroll Between the Acts—The Ball Opens—A Long Chase—Snap-Shots
Only, and at .Long Range—A Good Long Shot—Mack's Fusillades
—A Foot-Shot Bear, and Chaff for the Victors. k
Avalanche and Slide-Rock	
The "Snow-Slide"—An Ideal Mountain Section—Creek Buried Under
Slide-Rock Timber Wrecked by Avalanche—Slides and Wild .Animals How Slides Originate—Twelve Slides in One Mile—Slide-
Rock—How Mountain Peaks Change to Steep Slopes—An Object
Lesson in False Notch.
The Small Neighbors of the Big Game .    .    .    .
Animal Life on the Summits—The Little Chief "Hare"—A Four-
Footed Haymaker—The Fate of " Little Mike "—The Columbia
River Ground-Squirrel—A Tiny Chipmunk—A Plethoric Ground-
Squirrel—The Yellow-Haired Porcupine—The Pine Squirrel—The
Pack-Rat The Hoary Marmot—The Wolverine—The Trappers'
Evil Genius Species of Depredations—Charlie Smith Gets Square
with an Enemy—A Wolverine Caught Alive.
Small Neighbors of the Big Game (Continued)     .312
The Pine Marten—The Coyote—Mule Deer—Winter Birds Only—
Franklin Grouse, or I Fool-Hen "—White-Tailed Ptarmigan-
Harlequin Duck—Water Ouzel—Eagles and Hawks—Clark's Nutcracker—Canada Jay and Magpie.
Down Avalanche Creek, and Out 321
Cutting our Way Out—A Side Trip to High Summits—Discovery 01
Lake  Josephine—A  Camp for Three—A Lofty Hunting Ground
 My Luck Against the  Storm-Clouds—A Body-Racking Descent
 The Struggle  for a Trail Out—Mr. Phillips and I Go Out on
Foot The Jack Pine, Down and Up—Running Logs Over Down
Timber—Out at Last.
Captive Mountain Goats ^^^
Record of Captive Goats Exhibited—Perilous Capture by Smith and
Norboe—An Easy Capture—A Game Warden in Trouble—First
Specimens for New York—Others from Fort Steele—Shipping Animals by Express—The Author Becomes Travelling Companion for
Eve Goat Kids—Traits in Captivity—A Glance Backward.
345 1 illustrations
Except when otherwise noted, all these illustrations are from photographs
made by John M. Phillips, and have been reproduced without the slightest alteration or retouching.
The Finest Mountain  Goat Picture Frontispiece
r*\ • t • FACING
Michel, British Columbia, Looking West. page
Photograph by Thomas Crahan     12
Elk River  16
Hornaday Mountain «... 20
Trout Fishing at Josephine Falls .28
The Pack-Train Leaving Sulphur Spring Camp  32
Fording Elk River  38
The Valley of Goat Creek  44
Goats Running through our Camp     .    . 48
The Size of a Mountain Goat  52
Weighing Mountain  Goat No. 1  by Sections .58
"The Moment of Triumph,"—caught unawares  62
Phillips Peak, from Bird Mountain  68
A Female Sooty Grouse  70
Female Ptarmigan, in Summer Plumage  70
Young Mountain Sheep Ram  74
The Sky Pasture of the Thirteen " Billy 1 Goats    .    .    .    . 82
Taking the First Shot  82
A Mountain Goat at Home  86
Front Foot of a Mountain Goat.    Drawn by Miss Helen Ingersoll 98
'■"■<•'• "
■IBS ■•■
Hind Foot of a Mountain Goat.       Drawn by Miss Ingersoll    98
The Function of a Mountain Goat's Rear Dew-claws.
Drawn by Miss Ingersoll    98
Bottom of a Mountain Goat's Foot.    Drawn by Miss Ingersoll  102
Bottom of a Sheep's Foot   .    .    .     Drawn by Miss Ingersoll  102
Skeleton of an Adult Male Mountain Goat .102
Timber-Line in Winter I3°
A Big-Horn Ram's Signature 142
Goat Lick on the Southern Slope of Cyclorama Ridge      .     .142
Early Morning on Goat Pass H^
The Little Hay-Maker of the Slide-Rock 150
The Grizzly's  Lawful   Prey—The   Columbia   River   Ground
Squirrel 15°
The Author's Grizzly Bear.     Photograph by W. T. Hornaday  168
The Scene of Two Actions—Goats and Grizzly     .    .    .    .170
Mr. Phillips's Grizzly      .  176
The Haunt of the Camera Goat 182
The Face of the  Precipice from Below, with Goat in situ    .  186
The Goat on the Stratified Rock     .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .188
The Goat at Ease 190
An Angry Mountain Goat at Close Quarters 192
The Goat Climbing Down and Away 194
Mr. Phillips's most Dangerous Position.
Drawn by Charles B. Hudson  196
A Rainy Day in Camp 206
<cThe Lunch Counter" at Camp Hornaday 214
Mr. Phillips's Finest Mountain Sheep  244
The Brooklyn Ram, Thirty Minutes after Death     .... 248
A Prize Big-Horn Head 254
Head of a Black Mountain Sheep 254 1
Head of Largest Big-Horn Ram, side view 260
Head of Largest Big-Horn Ram, front view 260
Mr. Phillips Regrets the Impending Extinction of the Grizzly
Bear 278
The Might of a Snow-Slide  282
A Great Snow-Slide  .    .    .     Drawn by Charles B. Hudson 286
A Snow-Comb at Timber-Line  288
The Pack-Train on a Great Field of Slide-Rock     .... 290
The Western Yellow-Haired Porcupine  304
Canada Lynx, in Trap .    .    .      Photograph by C. L. Smith 304
The Wolverine, in Trap    .    .     Photograph by C. L. Smith 310
The Wolverine in New York.     Photograph by E. R. Sanborn 310
A Dark-Skinned Marten  314
A Typical Marten Trap                     . 314
The Haunt of the Harlequin Duck §;.    .318
The Water Ouzel  318
A Typical Mountain Lakelet           . 324
Packing up the Trophies  328
The   Tangle   of u Dead"   and  " Down"   Timber, Avalanche
Creek 330
Log-Running over " Down" Timber     ........ 330
Risking his Life for a Kid .      Drawn by Charles B. Hudson 334
A Newly-Captured Mountain Goat Kid 336
Kaiser, looking for Goats 342
Sketch Map of the Elk and Bull River Region,   East Kootenay, B. C By John M. Phillips      8
Distribution of the White Mountain Goat.  By W. T. Hornaday  106  CAMP-FIRES   IN   THE
The Delectable Mountains—Over the Great Northern—-The Sweet-
Grass Hills—Into the Rockies—The Fernie Game-Protectors—
British Columbia Game-Laws too Liberal.
In an unguarded moment, Mr. John M. Phillips, of
Pittsburg,—true sportsman, game-protector, mountaineer,
photographer and genial gentleman, all in one,*—told
me of some wonderful mountains in the far West. He
said they are well filled with game, and as yet wholly
unspoiled by hunters. There the mountain goat abounds,
and can be studied to excellent advantage. There are
grizzly bears and mountain sheep which may be killed
under license, and a few elk which may not. In that
wonderland of Nature no sportsman has yet set foot
without Mr. Phillips's consent and cooperation; for it
was discovered by him and his guides, and by them is
carefully preserved from ruin.
Thoughtlessly, I voiced my long-standing desire to
* Mr. Phillips is also State Game Commissioner, and the founder of the
see many mountain goats at home, in fine mountains; and
straightway my good friend graciously invited me to
accompany him on his next trip. Before the invitation
could be withdrawn and cancelled, it was accepted.
Being averse to deep snow as the basis of a pleasure-
trip, I voted for September as the month, and although
Mr. Phillips thought that the chances for finding grizzlies in that month were not great, he readily consented.
Never having gone through northern Montana from end
to end, I bespoke the selection of the Great Northern
Railway as our route from St. Paul, and we found that
the panorama of Montana thus secured was delightful
as well as instructive.
The country traversed by the Northern Pacific Railway is to me almost as familiar as my own door-yard;
but what lay north of the Missouri? And wherein
would it differ?
Through the level and fertile wheat-lands of northern
Minnesota, there run so many parallels and feeders of the
Great Northern system that the | main line 1 is almost
a fiction of the past. The tenderfoot needs to be told
which section he is riding upon. From St. Paul up to
the latitude of Grand Forks, even a new trolley-line
would seem to be an inexcusable extravagance.
A ride in August through the heart of our great
north-western wheat-belt is an event. Mile after mile,
and hour after hour, the sea of golden grain is being
swept in by the harvesters, bound into millions of bundles,—with the least possible expenditure of labor,—
shocked, loaded and hauled to the threshers.    Hither, THE  PILGRIMAGE  TO   GOATLAND 3
yonder, anywhere, the steam thresher | 'lights" for a
few hours, and a section of the wheat-laden plain is thrust
into its insatiable maw. No longer does the farmer and
his labor-swapping neighbors toil and moil on the straw-
stack, as of yore. The automatic stacker does all that,
while the farmer busies himself with gathering in the
spoil. The straw-heaps dot the stubble-fields at near intervals, and with the baled product selling in New York
at $18 per ton, these reckless north-western nabobs
burn their strawl
In the days of the buffalo millions, this country was
a part of the summer range of the great northern herd.
And it was to these same smoothly shaven plains, in North
Dakota, delightfully free from the sage-brush that pervades the lands farther south, that the Red River settlers,
of what is now Manitoba, came every summer with their
great caravans of carts, accompanied by their wives and
children. They came to kill buffaloes, dry their meat,
make pemmican and cure buffalo-hides for leather,—all
for use during the long and dreary winters that tried
men's souls. The naked plains over which the Red River
settlers joyously drove their carts are now covered with
wheat. The creaky cart has given place to the locomotive. The steam thresher has taken the place of the half-
breed's rifle, while to the present generation pemmican
is almost unknown.
And now, when at last we are surfeited by the abundance of the harvest, and worn out with thankfulness for
the continued prosperity of the great wheat-belt, we
glide on into Montana, and turn with even keener inter-
^eftaue, 1 ■■;,'.',.,:,"'   ftey.,V„^_ 4     CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
est to a new panorama,—the late lamented "Wild
Throughout the once great but now greatly diminished Sioux Indian Reservation, canvas tepees, log cabins,
blanketed braves, broad-beamed squaws and paintless
wagons abound. The Fort Peck Reservation, as it is
called, begins near Calais and extends to Whateley,
about eighty miles. The time was when the Sioux were
picturesque, uncertain, and at times even thrilling. As
tame Indians, with no more buffalo-herds to tempt them
upon the war-path, the Sioux look commonplace. When
I think how the souls of their hunters must yearn for the
chase, and how even the excitement of horse-stealing is
denied them, I pity them. It is no wonder that even
with horses in abundance, parties of young Sioux of the
" warrior " class used to go down to the Crow Reservation, two hundred miles or more, steal horses and run
them up north of the Missouri, purely for the excitement
of the chase.
South-east of Fort Assiniboin, about forty miles away,
is a mountain mass of considerable magnitude. It is
the Bear Paw Mountains, once good hunting-grounds
for big game, but now " hunted out." All along the line
of the Great Northern, from Minnesota to the mountains,
there is an astonishing absence of sage-brush. It is so
abundant along the Northern Pacific west of the Missouri that I expected to see a good showing of it farther
north. But there is so little of it that it fails to count;
and there is no other plains brush to take its place.
South of the Sweet-Grass Hills, for instance, the prairie THE  PILGRIMAGE  TO   GOATLAND
is like a smoothly shaven lawn. On hundreds of square
miles of it, we see not a tree, nor a bush as thick as a penholder. More than this, there is no rank grass, and the
earth looks as if it were covered with a vast and all-
pervading sheet of cocoa matting. Upon it, a jack-rabbit
looms up to enormous proportions,—or would if there
were one left to loom.
It is from this smoothly shaven and almost level
world of brown-gray that the three peaks of the Sweet-
Grass Hills rise suddenly and sharply out of the plain,
without a vestige of intervening foot-hills. Rising as
they do, they seem lofty, steep-sided, black and even uncanny. From certain points you see that they stand on a
wide and almost level bench, like three mineral specimens on a thin pedestal. Notice particularly the bench
that joins the western side of the most westerly peak.
Miles and miles to the westward, it rises very abruptly,
and with its top almost level, it runs up toward the peak
without the slightest break in its upper line. These Hills
are about forty miles from the railway, and for fully
one hour the train glides along seemingly due south of
The Great Northern reaches the main range of the
Rocky Mountains at Midvale, and the transition from
plains to mountains is made quite abruptly. Here the
Rockies are not in the least like those crossed by the
Union Pacific,—so modest and uneventful you scarce
know where they begin or leave off. You can plant your
foot on the very spot where these begin; and from that
spot they tower up  to the heights of your imagina-
tion of what real mountains should be. The foot of
these mountains marks the eastern boundary of what now
is the great Lewis and Clark Forest Reserve, embracing
the whole main range of the Rockies from the international boundary southward, one hundred and thirty-
five miles, to the lower end of the Flathead Reservation.
As you glide smoothly along the south fork of the
Flathead River, you are aware of much dead timber,
both standing and | down." Unless you are an old campaigner, however, the sight of those tracts of "down
timber" does not strike any terror to your soul. But
wait! One week hence, and you shall learn, by wrench
of joint and sweat of brow, by ups and by downs, just
how terrible fallen tree-trunks can become.
From our first entry into the Rocky Mountains, at
the edge of the Sweet-Grass plains, until a month later
when we left them at that point bound east, we were
never out of the highlands. The ride through to Rex-
ford is a beautiful panorama of mountain scenery and
vegetation. Hour by hour Mr. Phillips devoured it with
his eyes, missing not even one rock or tree, or one emerald
green pool of the clear mountain stream far below.
Like a hair-pin on the map, the Kootenay River
comes down from British Columbia into the north-western corner of Montana, bends westward for a short distance, then turns and runs north again—as if it had found
Montana an inhospitable country. At the extreme eastern angle of the big bend is the backwoods hamlet of
Rexford; and be it known that the section of the Great
Northern from Columbus Falls to Spokane direct is no
*"'.' ■■\\jk V
longer the | main line," but a branch. The main line
runs up to Rexford, and thence down to Spokane.
At Rexford, we changed to the branch line of the
Great Northern which runs up the east bank of the
Kootenay, into British Columbia. At Gateway we had
the pleasure of seeing the mythical International Boundary, and standing astride it. It lies across the railway-
platform, and is painted white. Near by, a bronze monument has been erected to its memory.
This branch brings us to the Canadian Pacific Railway at Fernie, the metropolis of the great soft-coal mining district known as the § Fernie district." It is in the
extreme south-eastern corner of British Columbia.
At Fernie, Attorney H. W. Herchmer, president of
the local Game Protective Association, gave us a royal
welcome, and turned over to us the two non-resident
hunting-licenses which he had procured at our request.
The licenses cost us $50 each. They conveyed full warrant of law for the holder to kill five mountain goats
(sex not mentioned), three mountain sheep rams, grizzly bear without number, six deer (sexes immaterial),
and one bull moose.   Elk are absolutely protected.        (
When on our way out, we stopped in Fernie over
night, and President Herchmer called a special meeting of the Fernie District Game Protective Association,
at his home. During this meeting we discussed the
game law.
We objected to the goat item, on the ground that no
man should be permitted to kill more than three goats
in a year; and we held that females should not be killed
at all. Any man who is unable to distinguish an adult
male from a female should not be permitted to hunt
goats. We objected to the limit of three mountain sheep
rams, on the ground that in view of the scarcity of those
animals, one ram in one year is enough for one man.
" Six deer" should be changed to " three male deer,"
and unlimited grizzly bears to one only.
Legal to kill in  1905:
5 Caribou (males only),
5 Goats,
3 Mountain Sheep Rams,
5 Deer,
2 Moose (males only),
Unlimited Grizzly Bears,
Unlimited Black Bears,
No elk.
As it should be:
3 male Caribou,
3 male Goats,
1 Sheep ram of each species,
3 Male Deer of each species,
1 Grizzly Bear,
2 Black Bears,
No Moose south of lat. 520 until
I9I0> §
No elk on mainland until 1920.
The present law prohibiting the sale of game heads
is admirable, but it needs more rigid enforcement than
at this date (1905) prevails. So long as large sheep
heads are worth from $25 to $50 each, unmounted, just
so long will hunters and taxidermists take risks in selling
The big game of British Columbia is a public asset
of very considerable value. If rightly protected and
exploited, it can be made to yield to the southern districts many thousands of dollars annually,—in the hire of
guides and horses, the purchase of supplies, and in license
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female animals, the game can be maintained at a point
which does not spell extinction. The Fernie District
Game Protective Association was not organized a moment too soon. Its work is cut out for it, and it is to be
hoped that it will retain a large membership, together
with a large annual income, in order that it may have
the power to protect. Game cannot be really protected
without the expenditure of some money.
Possibly my American Reader may be tempted to
think that all this is of little interest to him; but not so.
The perpetual preservation of the grand game of the
grand mountain-land just beyond our northern boundary
is of interest to every American sportsman; and I hope
this seeming digression will be endorsed.
Mr. Phillips and I have strongly recommended to
the Fernie Association that immediate steps be taken by
the provincial parliament to permanently set aside, as a
game preserve, the country between the Bull and Elk
Rivers, with Charles L. Smith in charge of it as warden.
The reasons for such a step are too many to mention
here, but let me say that there are practically no reasons
against it. Whoever aids in preserving from extinction
the grand game of British Columbia renders good service to two countries.
Fernie and Michel—Mr. Crahan and his Hotel—Return of Professor
H. F. Osborn and his Family—The Members of our Outfit—The
First Wild Animal—Jack Pine Timber—Sheep Mountain—"My
Mountain," for a Month—A Marten Trap—Fool-Hens.
We are constitutionally opposed to long delays in
journeys to hunting-grounds, either on the rails or on
paper; but in the valley of Elk River we found so much
of interest it is impossible to ignore this gateway to our
garden of the gods.
I have already said that a spur of the Great Northern Railway reaches Fernie, the Phoenix City of the
great soft-coal mining district, which incendiaries seem
determined to wipe off the earth by fire, but which refuses to stay burned down. It is on the Crow's Nest
branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which breaks
through the main range of the Rockies at Crow's Nest
Pass about one hundred and twenty miles south of Banff
and the main line. At Fernie you feel that you have
fully arrived in British Columbia, for on all sides lofty
mountains loom up and frown down in rock-ribbed majesty. One peak of commanding presence, north of the
town, is about to be christened Owl's Head; but the
name is not satisfactorily apt.   The top of the peak looks
IO #.
much like a flying dragon, carved in stone, but little like
an owl.
At Fernie any person (with money) can buy almost
anything in the outfit line, from a trout-hook to an automobile. The hotels are excellent, and the men of our
kind are courteous and hospitable. There are goats on the
mountains within ten miles of the town, available for
those who have no time to go farther.
We took an east-bound train, ran on north up the
Elk River about fourteen miles, then left the Elk Valley
and turned abruptly eastward. After four miles more,
up Michel Creek, through a timbered valley as level
as a dancing-floor and not much wider, we reached the
town of Michel, our last stop by rail. Michel is a
French name, and in conformity with the one invariable rule in French pronunciation—never pronounce a
French word as it is spelled,—it is pronounced Me-sheir.
The town is a mile and a quarter long by five hundred
feet wide; and along the sides, no suburbs need apply,
because there is no room for them. Immediately beyond
the outermost houses the mountains rise up and up, steep
as a house-roof, and very high. To-day the bare slide-
ways that already lead down the northern slope give
grim warning of what can happen hereafter. The town
is strung along the bottom of a V-shaped trough in the
mountains, and every spring we will dread to hear of
its partial burial under a million tons of snow, ice, tree-
trunks and slide-rock. It reminds one of the fatalistic
Italian peasant villages on the slopes of Vesuvius.
All Michel is painted Indian-red.   The Crow's Nest 12
Coal Company owns the whole place; red is a good,
cheap, durable color, and what more would you have?
The coal-mines are in both the northern and southern
mountains, the veins are very thick, the coal is good, and
the profits are said to be eminently satisfactory to the
parties of the first part. The post-office is a freak, no
more, no less. Not the slightest attention was paid to
I In care of Charles L. Smith I on our letters; and to
find the office open one must stalk the postmaster as if
he were a mountain lion.
The Hotel Michel is a wonder. In a small mining
town, in the heart of a wilderness, one does not expect
much of a hotel; but here is every needful luxury, and
from bottom to top everything is as clean as a new knife.
The food is excellent, and the service away above par.
All this excellence is due to Mr. Thomas Crahan,
an American, who is one of the most interesting men in
that region. The story of how he tamed the bar-room
when he assumed control of the hotel, and has since ruled
it with a hand of steel in a velvet glove, is both interesting and instructive as a study in conglomerate human
nature. Twenty-four nationalities are represented in
that little town, and the place is quiet and peaceful to
the point of dulness.
Three weeks previous to our arrival, Professor Henry
Fairfield Osborn, of New York, took his family up the
valley of the Elk to the Sulphur Springs, for an outing
under canvas, with plenty of fishing and photography.
We found them all on the veranda of the hotel, happy and
aglow with the spell of the mountains.   They said it was _=s=iw===i=iS^ re
the finest mountain trip they had ever had,—and they
have had a-many.
They discovered and christened Josephine Falls, and
caught eighteen-inch trout in Fording River until conscience called a halt. On the lofty clay bluffs of Fording River, quite near the Falls, Professor Osborn, with
the aid of Charlie Smith, Mack Norboe and Dog
Kaiser, cornered a pair of mountain goats and photographed them! And after that the guides took the Professor up Goat Creek, and on the peak which we soon
made haste to christen Mount Osborn, he photographed
more goats. Mr. Phillips and I were among those present when the Professor first met Mrs. Osborn, his son
and daughter on his return from the summits, and for
the first time told them the story of his remarkable experience with his camera and the goats it caught. It
created a profound sensation.
The only store in Michel is a department store, of
astonishing size and scope. There we completed our
outfit, down to the smallest detail. Mr. Phillips laid in
a stock of provisions which fairly made me gasp at the
luxuriance—and weight—of the array. I was prepared
to fare briefly and to the point, because we were to travel
by pack-train; but John believes in living well, and is
what old-fashioned folk call " a good provider." For
reasons of state, I laid in a special supply of salt, twine,
allspice, pepper, oil, doctor's stuff and extra blankets, all
of which played their respective parts in due season.
When finally we got into our hunting-clothes and hit
the trail, our outfit was absolutely perfect.    From my
=_. rl
point of view, the supply of canned goods was too heavy;
but later on I observed that we made away with nearly
the whole of it.
The party consisted of Mr. Phillips and the writer,
two guides, a scout, a cook, a dog and eight horses.
The guides were Charles L. Smith of the Elk River
valley, and R. W. Norboe, of Meyers Falls, Washington. John Norboe was the scout, and G. E. Huddleston
was the cook. Kaiser was the official Dog,— and a finer
hunting-dog I never associated with. Before the hunt
ended, I once slept with him in my arms (to keep him
warm), and I think I earned his respect and friendship.
From New York to Michel the continent seemed
utterly barren of mammalian life, except in the Sioux
Reservation, where we saw a few gray-coated Franklin
ground-squirrels (Citellus franklini). We saw neither
antelope, coyote, swift nor prairie-dog! On the Dakota
lakes and ponds there were a few ducks, enjoying immunity until September; but the total number was small.
At Charles L. Smith's ranch, on Elk River, five miles
below Michel, we at last saw a Wild Animal! A big
pack-rat (Neotoma) of sociable habits, calmly climbed
into the grub-wagon that was to go as far up as Sulphur
Springs, and settled itself for a migration at our expense.
The stowaway was discovered, and the alarm sounded.
There between two of the boxes, its head in full view
under the edge of the tarpaulin, was as droll a face as
could be imagined. The big black eyes looked at us
inquiringly, but calmly, and even fearlessly. They said:
Well, what's all this noise about?   Why don't you IN   THE   VALLEY   OF   ELK   RIVER
drive on? You needn't be afraid of Me; I'm not afraid
of You." |     |
How different would have been the action of a
domestic rat! One of those villains would have leaped
about, and rushed through that load like a murine
cyclone, to hide from its just deserts. If cornered it
would squeal, and bite, and fight all humanity, and
finally be killed in ghoulish glee. But the optimistic
attitude of that gray-furred and comfortable rascal instantly disarmed all hostility.    At once a cry went up,
I Save him for the Zoo!"
Huddleston, the cook, put on his leather gloves,
calmly plucked forth Neotoma from amid the boxes,
and put him in a cage, to await our return. Around
the ranches in the Elk River valley, these handsome and
good-natured pack-rats were quite common. During the
month we were in the mountains Mrs. Huddleston
caught four more for me, alive and unhurt, but two
escaped and two died.
I think these creatures could easily be tamed and
trained to perform a variety of tricks. They are so
steady of nerve, so conscious of their own rectitude, and
yet so original and versatile in mind, it seems to me they
must be capable of successful training. Who will be the
wise party to introduce to the world the first and only
Troupe of Trained Rocky Mountain Neotomas? When
'tis done, I predict an astonishing display of mental
On September 3d we 1 pulled our freight," literally,
up the Elk Valley, in a lumber wagon, for one day's 16    CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
easy march of twenty-two miles. A mile above Charlie
Smith's ranch a deer was seen bounding away toward
the river. At Frank Harmer's ranch, four miles farther
on, we found the fresh tracks of a bear, and it was with
some difficulty that I checked a digression into the
jack pines to look for their maker. To Mr. Phillips it
seemed morally wrong to let that bear go unscotched.
Harmer's ranch is enclosed by a fence each panel of
which was made of three big jack pine logs, a foot in
diameter and about thirty feet long, neatly laid one above
another, resting at each end on three logs of the same
size about four feet long, laid squarely across the axis
of the fence. Both in looks and utility it is a good
fence, but rather heavy to build.
At Connor's ranch, fifteen miles from town, we
bought a pailful of delicious butter, at thirty-three cents
a pound, and continued our northward flight. We
forded Elk River, over an awful bed of bowlders that
seemed certain to break a leg for each horse in the outfit. A mile or so beyond that crossing we forded Fording River and entered a long and beautiful stretch of
jack pines, which revealed several interesting pages of
natural history.
In British Columbia the jack pine is not merely a
tree; it is an institution.* At its best it is an arboreal
column from ninety to one hundred and ten  feet in
* The Western Jack Pine, or Lodge-Pole Pine (Pinus diviricata). Its
average height in the good soil of the Elk River valley is very close to one
hundred feet, but its diameter is very small. The spread of a one-hundred-
foot tree is only about eight feet. %, n IN  THE  VALLEY  OF  ELK  RIVER 17
height. Its stem is like a gigantic toothpick which rises
as straight and flawless as a ship's mast, and gradually
tapers up to infinity. The regularity of the taper of the
trunk, and the straightness of it, are wonderful. For
about fifty feet up the branches are apt to be dead, and
gray, and broken; but above that the fine evergreen
branches thrust out a little way, most carefully however,
in order not to be guilty of provoking a growth outside
of the true perpendicular.
Where a tract of timber has been thoroughly burned,
in such valleys as that of the Elk, millions of young jack
pines spring up. If ever you are tempted to make a
short cut on foot through such a natural nursery, shun
that lovely snare. Go around it rather than struggle
through it. To forge directly through is a very troublesome and tiresome event. A jack pine forest through
which fire has recently passed, killing everything, makes
one think of an army of skeletons on parade. As the
stems lose their hold upon mother earth, and under pressure of winds from all quarters, come sweeping down,
they fall across each other, two, three or six deep, and
create obstructions to travel of a most serious character.
In British Columbia, I down timber " is an oft-recurring
curse. Often it is a nuisance of the first magnitude. We
saw much of down timber, before we were many days
older, and upon one or two members of our little party
it rang many changes.
When you have travelled up the Elk Valley about
ten miles from the railway, to your right, across two miles
of valley there rises a fine mountain mass five miles long
and half a mile high. It is called Sheep Mountain, because of the notable rams of Ovis canadensis which Mr.
Phillips and his boon companions, Smith, Norboe and
Jack Lewis, have killed and eaten upon its rock-ribbed
sides. John never will forget his first ram, an inexperienced young creature, chased and shot on the central
summit, late in October, with the wind blowing cold and
strong, when he and Jack Lewis were benighted on the
rocky top, without blankets or food. Later on he told
me the whole story.
At mid-day we halted for luncheon opposite a mountain which rises directly north of Sheep Mountain, and
separated from it only by the narrow rift through which
Pass Creek flows westward into the Elk. It is about four
miles long, its height is about the same as Sheep Mountain, and by reason of its isolation it is clear-cut and
monumental. I asked its name, and the men all admitted,
with apologies, that it had none. Then Mr. Phillips
announced, with convincing emphasis, that it should be
named in my honor; and it was so set down.
This was a very complimentary proposition, but on
the official maps of British Columbia, the motion will
hardly prevail. The local authorities will not tamely
submit to the naming of so fine a mountain after a mythical eastern " tourist." Nevertheless, for the brief month
that we were in those wilds, that mountain was always
spoken of in our party as my mountain, and I have at
least known—for thirty days—how it feels to have a tall
namesake of Nature's fashioning for my very own.
Mile after mile, the wagon-trail led us along an ever- IN  THE  VALLEY   OF   ELK   RIVER 19
green tunnel through a dense forest of jack pines, and
on the way through we saw many interesting things.
One of the first was two small saplings from which the
bark had recently been stripped clean by an elk who
wished to rub the velvet off his new antlers. And close
beside the two white stems was a third sapling, the size
of a walking-stick, which not only had been peeled but
also bitten in two about four feet from the ground. It
was good to see such fresh proofs of the fact that elk
still survive in the valley of the Elk.
The next object of special interest was a marten trap,
close beside the trail. It was such as any good axeman
can make in about two hours, with an axe and a sapling.
It was a very neat piece of work. A spruce sapling
about ten inches in diameter was cut off four feet above
the ground, so squarely that the top of the stump was
practically level. From somewhere or other, three very
thin pieces of spruce, like shingles seven inches wide,
were split off and driven into three cracks split in the
top of the stump, cornering together to form a tight box,
open on top and one side. Then a ten-foot length was
cut out of the sapling stem, one end placed on the ground,
and the other rested in the box with one side out. This
was a deadfall. With two sticks a very simple trigger
was made, the log was raised, the triggers fixed to hold
it up, and a bait adjusted on the end of the long arm of
the trigger. The upper end of the log was raised six
inches above the edge of the stump. Result: The wandering marten smells the bait. He cannot reach it from
above, so he climbs nimbly up the side of the stump, I     m
crawls under the deadfall and into the shingle-box, seizes
the bait with a greedy growl of exultation, and crash!
the log comes down upon his devoted back, at $10 per
There are many advantages about this axe-made
marten trap. A wolverine cannot steal it and throw it
into the nearest river; it is never stolen by the Bad Man
of the Fernie District; it never rusts, it is cheap, and
there is no need to " order it from the factory." The
only drawback about it is that martens do not always
range in timber suitable for deadfall traps.
As we rode ahead of the wagon, Mr. Phillips on
" Lady-Bug," Charlie on " Muggins," and I on old
" Warrior," Dog Kaiser side-stepped into the jungle and
gave tongue. In a deep, rich voice he cried " Oh! Woo!
woo! woo!" with his nose pointed upward into a low
jack pine.
" Fool-Hens," said Charlie, dismounting. About ten
feet above Kaiser's nose sat a fine, full-plumaged male
Franklin grouse, with a superbly black breast and neck,
but no mental capacity. To all appearances it was a bird
of only two ideas: (1) to forage on the ground until disturbed, and (2) when disturbed to fly only ten feet into
the nearest tree and wait to be shot. Naturally, a bird
with only two ideas is not long for this world. Five
birds rose before the dog and perched in five nearby
jack pines and spruces. I sat down within ten feet of a
particularly intelligent-looking bird, while the others
went off, and killed birds for supper. I wished to see
how the noise and bustle would affect my bird's nerves. s
J ■■ _
Hornaday  Mountain
Looking northeast across Elk River.
Using his 22-calibre pistol in a most business-like
way Mr. Phillips proceeded to | pop " down the more
distant birds, in rotation. At each shot I expected that
my bird would either protest, or take wing; but it did
neither. It calmly sat there, sodden in stupidity; it
looked about in wonder, and waited until the hunters
came up, all ready to add it to the bag. But some one
interposed with a suggestion that the bag was already
large enough, which was readily accepted. At last the
bird was fairly driven to flight. With a loud whir of
wings it disappeared in the forest, and I presume it is
yet in that jungle, breeding fool-hens still more foolish
than itself.
With this strange bird, the pendulum seems to have
swung the wrong way, and it will hardly survive
through a sufficient number of generations to acquire
the doctrine of self-preservation. It is a phenomenon.
Charlie Smith tells this story of our genial friend,
Mr. G. N. Monro, of Pittsburg, who has hunted in
this region:
Two years ago a party very much like ours was passing through that same jack pine jungle. Mr. Monro
and Mack Norboe were ahead, and as usual, some fool-
hens were scared up. One alighted in a tree near the
tenderfoot, who very naturally became fired with a desire
to possess it.
"Stop, Mack, stop!" said Mr. Monro. "Get my
shot-gun out of the wagon, quickly."
I What d'ye want it for? " asked Mack in his sepulchral voice.
"To shoot this grouse! Look there! don't you
see it? J
" Yes, I see it.   Do you really want that bird? j
" Want it? Of course I want it! Get my gun, quick,
before it flies."
I Oh, well, if you want it, I'll get it for you," said
Mack. Dismounting, he picked up a small club, threw
it at the bird, at very short range, and hit the mark. The
bird fell-dead; whereupon Mack calmly picked it up,
and handed it up to Mr. Monro, saying indifferently,
I Here it is."
1 And," said Charlie, " you ought to have seen the
disgusted look on Mr. Monro's face as he looked at
Mack, and took that bird! "
I skinned the finest male grouse of the bunch that
Mr. Phillips shot. It was seventeen inches in total
length, tip of beak to end of tail, with a wing-spread of
twenty-four and one-half inches. Its crop contained a
dessertspoonful of blueberries, eight blueberry leaves
and six needles of the jack pine. The species could not
be called plentiful in the region we traversed. From
first to last we saw about thirty birds, always in green
About two hours before sunset we came to a level
meadow of a hundred acres, heavily set in rank grass,
and lying very low. Two hay-stacks towered aloft to a
height of about seven feet, and from them it was evident
that we were on the " ranch " of Wild-Cat Charlie, at
the Sulphur Spring. We pulled up the steep ridge that
bounded the meadow on the west, and went into camp _____
on its summit. Elk River flows by the western foot of
the ridge, and across the meadow, half a mile eastward,
is the already famous Sulphur Spring.
If you don't know about the Spring, and sleep on the
ridge with a strange man in your tent, and the wind
blowing from the east, you will be horrified by the discovery (as Charlie Smith once was) that the stranger
is far on the way toward decomposition.
On our day's journey up, we saw twenty bluebirds, a
pigeon-hawk (Falco columbarius) and a golden eagle.
1     ' f   ' ill   U ^s^'&/nt> i.
A Bath in the Sulphur Spring—A Ride to Fording River—Cut-Throat
Trout galore—Josephine Falls—Evening over the Elk Valley.
Reader, did you ever have a day of ideal trout-fishing,
in a rushing mountain stream? I hope you have, for if
so it leaves that much less to desire. It is good to have
one fling at a fine thing, even though the day and the
hour never return.
In Elk River, below the Sulphur Spring there is no
extra-fine fishing, for the reason that the accessibility of
the stream has caused the biggest fish to disappear via
the short line. So Charlie Smith planned that we should
make a trip for trout over to Fording River, partly, as
he phrased it, " to break the director in gradually, before
we get into the high mountains." In New York I
hunted long for rubber-bodied may-flies, and I carried
a rod and reel twenty-five hundred miles for one day on
Fording River; but that day was worth it!
When we made camp on the ridge, the wind was
easterly, and there poured across that meadow, and up
over the ridge, a wave of sulphuretted hydrogen that
plainly told us we had arrived at the Sulphur Spring.
Forthwith Mr. Phillips bade me prepare to bathe,
and follow him. To bathe in that awful hole was the
regular thing to do; so we sadly tramped across the
meadow to the foot of the mountain-ridge that rises from
its eastern side; and there we found the Spring.
At the edge of the grass lay a pale-green pool, eighty
feet long, forty feet wide, and in the deepest place about
twelve feet deep. The water was very clear, except
where a metallic scum floated upon the surface, and the
bottom looked like corroded copper. For a bath it was
the most uncanny-looking proposition I ever encountered; and I have bathed with alligators, gavials and
sharks, more than once. The bottom looked most unsatisfactory; but being unable to make or to mend it, we disrobed,—very slowly and reluctantly it seemed to me,—
and prepared to take our medicine.
It was necessary to cross one end of the pool, on two
villainous saplings which tried hard to throw us down;
and the sharp stones on the hinterland cut our bare feet
most exquisitely. John bravely led the way into the horrid hole, and when I followed, the warmth of the water
proved unexpectedly grateful and comforting. The temperature was about 72 degrees, except where the water
streamed up out of the ground, and there it must have
been about 90 degrees. In a few minutes we became
hardened to the powerful yellow fumes which lay like
a blanket on the surface of the pool, and then the bath
became really enjoyable,—all but the bottom. The slime
in which we stood, whenever we ceased to swim, was
neither nice nor tidy, and so we swam as much as possible.    In the centre of the pool, where the water was
II j
dark, and one could not see the bottom, I tried to measure its depth, but found it far over my head.
Already this spring is locally famous for its healing
properties as applied to rheumatism. Close beside the
pool, on the ridge side, stood a little seven-by-nine log
cabin with a yawning fireplace at the farther end. Along
the north side of the cabin extended a seven-foot trough,
dug out of a big spruce log, with a cavity large enough
to contain a man. This was the outfit of an old trapper
who had been afflicted with rheumatism, and spent a
winter here, treating himself with commendable diligence and hot sulphur water. When it was too cold to
bathe in the pool he filled his log bath-tub with sulphur-
water, heated it with hot stones from his fire, then got
in and loafed and invited his soul at 90 degrees or more.
A hundred feet farther south stood another and a better cabin in which my guide, philosopher and friend,
Charlie Smith, lived for three months last spring while
he cured his rheumatism,—at least temporarily.
Some day in the near future, this spot will be ruined
forever by the erection on the ridge of a modern Hot
Springs Hotel, with electric lights, telephones, lobster
salad and starched linen. Therefore I am glad that we
have gambolled in the Sulphur Spring in all its primitive
rawness, and that Mr. Phillips shot a coyote from the
edge of it immediately after our bath. Our men came
out from camp to carry in a deer, and had the disappointment been caused by any one else than the patron saint of
Elk River, uncanny things might have been said.
Charlie Smith and Mack Norboe assured me that ■UU-U i.-"-g
when the wind is easterly, the odor of the Sulphur Spring
can plainly be detected at the top of the mountain on the
western side of Elk River, fully three miles away.
From our camp in the Elk Valley, Fording River
lies eastward, beyond a mountain and miles away. Mr.
Phillips and Mack Norboe set out to walk to the fishing-
place, in order to hunt on the way, for mule deer. We
were to meet at noon at Josephine Falls. Charlie and I
rode, in order to have horses on which to carry home
the fish.
We entered the meadow, and rode north the entire
length of it, to where it terminates in a beautiful parklike tract of scattered spruces and pines. Then we
climbed the easterly ridge, up through an open growth
of more pines and spruces, birch and quaking asp, up
and up, for at least a thousand feet. After a long ride
on the ridge side and over its northern crest, we entered
an awful tangle of fallen timber and brush. We wound
to and fro, up and down, to find a practicable route for
the horses. That the faithful animals did not break
their legs was a source of wonderment, and their skill
in getting over tree-trunks without accident was really
At last we reached the edge of the plateau we had
painfully crossed, and saw below us a deep and narrow
valley, with a very steep pitch downward. On its farther side were shaly perpendicular bluffs, rising high.
Fortunately the ground was soft, and we were able to
ride down with little difficulty. The descent seemed
endless, but we zigzagged lower and lower until at last I
we reached the bushes and cobble-stones which indicated
the bottom of the valley.
At its widest, the valley was only about seventy-five
feet wide, and about half of it was occupied by the swiftly
racing stream. Three hundred yards above our landing-
place, a cataract, about thirty feet high by fifty feet wide,
poured a torrent of foam down a series of ragged steps
worn in the edge of a thick bed of decomposing shale.
The incline was about 60 degrees, and the volume of
water churned itself into froth the moment it made its
first plunge. On the south side of the falls the shale
steps offer a very good footway to the top.
This picturesque waterfall was discovered by Professor Henry F. Osborn and his family, only three weeks
previous to our visit, and named in honor of Miss Josephine Osborn, a sweet maid in her teens, who caught the
largest trout thus far recorded from that spot. During
the two days' stay of the Osborn family in that romantic
spot, they had the novel pleasure of feeding bread from
their luncheon to a small flock of harlequin ducks that
were disporting in the pool at the foot of the falls.
There are two other falls a short distance above
Josephine Falls, but we did not take time to visit them.
But the fishing! Do not think, patient Reader, that
we lost any time after our arrival in looking at scenery
of any kind. It seemed to me, however, that many precious moments were wasted in getting out our fly-books,
and reels, and in putting things together.
"Try a cast in there," said Charlie, indicating a
section of the stream where the swift current was all
« Trout Fishing at Josephine Falls _. A GOLDEN   DAY  ON  FORDING   RIVER     29
crowded together at the farther side, and went rushing
against the rock wall at the rate of ten miles an hour.
I threw my fly upon the racing water, and let it ride
downstream, bobbing up and down on the waves. The
first cast went for nothing, but in the next, the fly had
not ridden more than half-way down when there was a
golden-yellow flash across the current, a rush, and a
greedy pull on the line.
"There! You've got one already!" cried Charlie.
I Be careful, and don't let your line slacken!"
The first trout! It was a thrilling moment. My
blood seemed to be suddenly set back about twenty years.
With every new tug on the end of the rod my fingers
tingled as if I held the poles of an electric battery. It
was a new thing to hook a big fish and see it, every
I was too anxious to land my first fish for any indulgence in exhibition play. The trout rushed in many
directions, mostly upstream on the bias, or across, for I
gave him no chance to run down. As he turned half
over in rushing away from my side of the stream, the sun
caught his golden side and lit it up gloriously. How
fine he did look!
With as little delay as possible I reeled him in and
swung him shoreward until Charlie was able to reach
out, and land him fairly upon the clean cobble-stones. He
was a Cut-Throat Trout {Salmo clarkii) better named
Black-Spotted Trout, but by people of this region known
as " Dolly-Varden " Trout. The upper half of the body
is of a pale golden-yellow color, dotted all over from QMKiamnonQn
upper lip to tail tip with small elliptical black spots that
stand vertically. The lower half of the body is suffused
with a warm sunset glow of pinkish color, while the
under surface is silvery white. The lower edge of each
membrane covering the gills, under the head, looks as
if a painter had given each side a stroke with a paintbrush charged with rose-madder, making a red V; and
from this " effect," suggesting a cut throat, nas come the
gruesome English name by which this fish is known to
the great majority of its acquaintances. The real Dolly-
Varden Trout is a charr (Salvelinus parkei), closely
related to the spotted brook-trout, with a much more
pointed head, light spots instead of dark, and only one-
fourth as many of them as the Cut-Throat. Both species,
however, inhabit the mountain-streams of the Pacific
slope from California and Montana to Alaska.
But all this while we lost no time in moralizing over
the exact scientific status and affinities of our first fish.
From start to finish it was a wild revel. I soon became
so set us with four or five big fish that I refused to
engage any small fry. Whenever I saw a small fish dart
toward my fly, I snatched it away from him, and angled
for his betters. Whenever by any untoward accident a
one-pound fish took the hook in spite of me, we landed
him without loss of time, took the hook from his lip, and
with an admonition never to do so any more until he got
big, gently dropped him back home.
The Cut-Throat Trout is, after all, a dainty biter.
Although he takes an imitation may-fly swiftly, and even
joyously, he does not greedily gulp it far down into his A  GOLDEN  DAY ON  FORDING   RIVER    31
anatomy, and make all kinds of trouble. | He seizes with
his lips only, not his throat; and almost invariably the
hook is found holding feebly in his lip. This scanty hold
requires much care in playing the fish, and a line constantly taut, to keep the hook in its place. With the least
carelessness, away goes the fish. It also makes it easy to
remove a fish that is too small, and put it back in the
stream as good as new. One fly lasts a long time, and is
good for at least three or four fish of approved size.
While the fun was at its height, and we had five fine
fish to the good, Mr. Phillips and Mack Norboe joined
us, ready and eager for the fray. John quickly developed his rod, reeved the line home and bent on a fly.
With the first cast, above my fishing-place, he hooked
and landed a fine fish, and in less than three minutes had
landed four more!
Then he paused, turned to his admiring audience
with a guilty laugh, and exclaimed,
" This is nothing but slaughter! "
Truly it was. The fish struck as fast as he could
throw in his line and haul them out. We both paused
to consider, for every man in our party believed in the
policy of stopping at " enough." We had ten fish, and
our limit was forthwith fixed at fifteen for the two days
that six men would be trying to consume them.
We scrambled along the rocks up to Josephine Falls,
and I determined to have a try in the boiling caldron at
the foot of the cataract, to see if trout could see to take
a fly in such white water. It was no trouble to get a
good position on the shale steps close beside the foot of
B   , -1 J
the torrent, where the facilities for fly-casting were of
the best.
I threw into the caldron, many times, reaching every
yard of its surface, but got only one really good fish.
Then Mr. Phillips yelled to Charlie, and above the roar
of the falls, Charlie passed it on to me.
" He wants to take you taking out the fish! Hold on
a minute!"
" Tell him to hurry! "
The trout fought gamely, and never gave up for an
instant. John worked with his camera, and I with the
fish, to hold my game for the desired moment,—but all
the time fearing that it would get away. At last the
expected happened. My line suddenly slackened, and
communicated to my nerve-centres the sickening sensation that when written out spells " lost! "
A little later I hooked another and a smaller fish,
and John fired when he was ready; but the result is not
good to look upon. The fewer snap-shots that are made
of a one-hundred-and-eighty-pound man, dressed decollete, who is really fishing or hunting, the better; for they
are apt to be the reverse of picturesque, and seldom show
the victim to any advantage.
For the Cut-Throat Trout the pool at the foot of
Josephine Falls is the head of navigation. Charlie Smith
says there are no trout above. I saw individuals trying
to leap up the falls, but they did not rise more than four
or five feet out of the water. It would take an Atlantic
salmon eight feet long, with horse-power to match his
size, to overleap that fall.
1 The Pack-Train Leaving Sulphur Spring Camp u-    _ r -, A GOLDEN   DAY ON  FORDING  RIVER    33
At one o'clock we camped on the bank, amid clean
rocks and bushes, with an abundance of drinking-water
close by, and ate our luncheon. Some one suggested broiling a couple of trout; and for appearance's sake I would
like to record the fact that we did so. It would have been
the regular thing to do; but I must tell the truth. The
fact is, we were all too much overcome with the languor
of lotus-eaters to do more than think about it. In other
words, we were too lazy to clean the fish, and broil them
properly. There was plenty of luncheon, the sunshine
was gloriously inviting, the river was like a dream, its roar
was soothing music,—and what more would you have!
After a quiet hour, we sprang up, eager for the remainder of our quota of fish. We tried the stream for
!| big ones," but from the falls down to the first still
water we got not a single rise. The strife between us
was not merely to catch fish, and land them, but to catch
the biggest ones, only, and avoid hooking the small fry.
We became quite expert in snatching our flies away from
fish that were too small.
Up to the fourteenth fish, Mr. Phillips was ahead of
me on size; but No. 15 came to my fly, and finally was
landed in triumph. It measured eighteen inches, beating John's largest by a whole eighth of an inch. Later
on, however, I remembered that he did the measuring,
and I will always have grave doubts about the actual existence of that eighth. I fear the steel tape slipped in my
favor. At all events, that fish weighed two pounds four
ounces; and we all joyously guessed far above its weight.
It is needless to say that the flesh of the Cut-Throat
llll     I
_S£*_ 1)
Trout, as we found it, is hard, juicy, and delicious. How
could it be otherwise? It is a pity, however, that this
fish is so easily taken, for gullibility in game always
spells early disappearance. It would be better all around
if the fish were more shy and persistent, for few men have
the iron resolution to halt at the fifteenth or twentieth
fish, and take the long trail back.
In returning, there was no such thing as riding our
horses up the terrific hill which led to the plateau. We
scrambled up on foot, rest by rest, and were fairly glad
to reach the top. Only an iron horse could carry a man
or woman up that slope.
As we rode home, the view over the valley of the Elk,
and into the lofty mountains beyond, was fairly entrancing. The level valley,—it seemed level, from that lofty
height,—was laid out in patterns of dense green timber,
gray dead timber, and yellow-green meadow, with a silver serpent of river winding gracefully to and fro. Beyond all this a great bank of mountains loomed darkly
into the evening sky. A smoky haze, which softened the
outlines of both valley and mountain, was pierced at one
point by a column of smoke from burning timber. Even
while we looked with great enjoyment upon this fascinating and restful picture, we saw under the smoke the
bright gleam of fire; and a moment later, a one-hundred-
foot spruce-tree suddenly became enveloped in flames.
The blaze quickly climbed to the top of the leafy spire,
burned brightly for a minute,—a veritable pillar of fire,
—then died down and glowed dully against the dark
shadows that lay beyond. CHAPTER  IV
I House-Roof Mountains |—Making Up Packs—When Charlie Threw
Down his Pack—Valley Thoroughfares—Green Timber—Down
Timber—Trail-Cutting—Berries of the Mountains.
In the matter of mountain travel, be it remembered
that there are mountains and mountains. In some of
them, valleys of comfortable width and openness are a
kind of habit. Others have a bad way of bringing you
up* against the rocky nose of an overhanging cliff, and
taking toll from your nerves or your muscles before your
pack-train is safely by. In some, you are eternally fighting with timber, brush, and decaying moss-covered forest
debris. By reason of its hot-house atmosphere and rains,
I believe the mountains of Borneo are to the climber the
most exhausting of all on earth.
Some mountains seem morally upright and fair, while
others, despite their heights, are actually mean. Some
give the hunter a fair reward for much hard labor, but
others tantalize him into wearing out his soul for naught.
Think of seeing twenty-one bears in twenty days, without
being able to get a shot at one! (This by reason of snow-
bent willows on the slides.) It is not all of hunting to
kill game; and why should one hunt in mean mountains,
monotonous forests or water-soaked plains!
In our little corner of British Columbia, the heights
are of the kind which may best be described as house-
roof mountains. They are cleanly cut, they rise very
steeply and have very narrow valleys. Often they terminate at the top in sharp knife-edges, and fairly bristle
with peaks and precipices. In them, travel by pack-train
means creeping up or down the narrow valleys until a
crossable divide is found. Travel on foot, especially in
hunting, always means hard climbing, either up or down.
In hunting, you climb up a long and steep acclivity, hoping for a restful table-land at the top, only to find the
summit a chisel's edge terminating at either end against
a sheer precipice. Usually the other side of every ridge
is worse than the first, dropping down into a great basin,
so fast and so far that you halt dismayed at the thought
of going down to the bottom, and climbing back again
before nightfall. With the Columbian Rockies, familiarity breeds anything but contempt.
All the valleys that we saw in the mountains between
the Elk and the Bull were very narrow, and difficult to
traverse. Take a small postal card, bend it along the
middle into a right angle, and you will have, if you set
it up on the apex of the angle, a very fair representation
in miniature of the mountain-slopes in the goat mountains, and the width of the valleys between them. There
are many places where the valleys between high mountains are not over fifty feet wide at the bottom, and above
that you work hard for every foot that you win.
In nine miles out of every ten, the mountain-sides are
so steep, or so badly enmeshed in down timber, that
horses cannot travel along them without exhausting
labor. It is therefore a fixed line of action that whenever a laden pack-train is seeking to cover distance it
must stick to the bottoms of the valleys; and when it
climbs a steep ascent, it is either to surmount a pass, or
to avoid an obstruction.
The ascent of Goat Creek to its source may well be
taken as an example of travel by pack-train in the mountains of British Columbia.
For farm wagons, the Sulphur Spring is at present
the head of navigation, and on the morning after our day
on Fording River our pack-train was regularly made up.
In rugged mountains, the proper making up of the load
for each horse is a matter which no packer can make
light of. Charlie, Mack and John spent a long hour in
overhauling our freight, weighing sections of it on my
game-scales, and parcelling out the loads. They accepted
" air-tights" nailed up in their original packages, with a
cheerfulness that spoke volumes for their experience. I
never before saw such an array of heavy wooden boxes
put upon six horses with such supreme indifference.
And I never before saw six packs made up and cinched
with so little fuss. The work the horses did during the
next four weeks in carrying those packs was really very
severe, and to the credit of " the boys " I must record
the fact that not once did a load cause trouble; not a
single breakable object was broken; and above all, no
horse was punished by a sore back.
The foundation principle in making up packs is to
class things according to their genera and species, and 1
make each load as homogeneous as possible. For instance, they did not load a horse with a bed-roll on one
side and canned goods on the other. Dead weight on
one side calls for similar weight on the other, and bulk
demands bulk. The diamond hitch with its cutting ropes
was not employed, every load being provided with broad
girths made especially for packs. In making up a pack-
train, Charlie Smith is a past master, but the Norboes
also are very skilful at it.
Just above our Sulphur Spring Camp, we passed the
cabin of a lame and solitary but cheerful German rancher
named Wild-Cat Charlie. When we passed his establishment, *he was absent, making hay; and on his cabin-
door hung a large padlock.
" Well," I said, " this is the first lock I have ever
seen on a ranchman's door in the wild West."
• " Oh, pshaw! That's all bluff," Charlie Smith hastened to say. " He locks his door, because he is proud
of having the only padlock in the Valley; but he tells
everybody where he keeps the key. There it is,—on that
nail." I
It is known that Wild-Cat Charlie is no great reader,
and is wellnigh destitute of books and papers. Our
men are constantly wondering what he thinks about,—or
whether he thinks at all,—during the fearfully long winter evenings, as he sits by his fire and smokes. Although
somewhat cranky, he is very hospitable, and many a
half-frozen trapper has had occasion to bless the welcoming hand and warm fireside to be found at " Wild-
Cat Charlie's."
£&_. Fording Elk River
The trees on the bank are Jack pines.     One spruce on the extreme right.
ariSsm if
And this reminds me of the story our Charlie and
Mack told me, jointly, of their forced march in the dead
of winter, from Bull River, thirty miles over two ranges
of mountains, and down Goat Creek through deep snow,
all in one day.
I That," said Charlie," was the only time I ever threw
down my pack; but I surely threw it down that night,
and only two miles from the Dutchman's cabin. For
the last two hours of that tramp I walked just like a
wooden machine. I was all the time afraid I would fall
down; for I knew that as sure as I did, I couldn't get
up! Cold? It was forty below zero, and we hadn't had
any too much to eat, either. At last I did throw away
my pack, and when we finally got to Charlie's cabin, I
was the worst played-out I ever was in my whole life.
I couldn't have gone another mile, not to have saved my
own life."
For about three miles from Wild-Cat Charlie's cabin,
along the west bank of the Elk, we jogged on northward
at a rapid pace. At last we reached the mouth of a creek
that came brawling down from the goat country. It was
Goat Creek; and turning into its narrow valley, the
climb to the summits began.
In that country it is no uncommon thing for a mountain stream to drop at the rate of three hundred feet to
the mile. Often the descent is even more than that. As
a rule, you do not realize how much you are climbing
until you reach the source of the trouble and start down.
You climb up slowly, with constant meanderings, and
cannot gauge the elevation gained; but in coming down,
^=_. •
Li <■
with your seven-league boots on, you can better judge
of the situation as a whole. Near the end of the trip I
was part of a striking illustration of this strange fact.
Our first half-day's travel up that steep mountain-
groove was spent chiefly on the northern slope. There
were long stretches of " green timber,"—which means
living coniferous timber, green all the year round. In
it the ground was covered with a velvet carpet of brown
needles, and ornamented with a setting of thimbleberry
bushes bearing bright crimson berries. There were
thousands of slender, open-topped currant bushes bearing scattered clusters of jet-black currants, bitter to the
taste but good to allay mouth-dryness and thirst. The
trees are mostly the Canadian white spruce (Picea Engel-
manni) and the jack pine, with a sprinkling of balsam,
juniper, quaking asp and larch. Throughout that whole
region the deciduous trees are so few that they are very
inconspicuous, and those which do exist are mostly
mere bushes.
In the green timber the soft ground is very restful to
feet that are dead tired from the ankle-strain of rugged
slide-rock. The aroma of the coniferous foliage is both
grateful and comforting, but the best hunting-grounds
for large game animals are found elsewhere. No wonder that in past years the Indians occasionally set fire to
the forests, and burned out great areas in order to let in
the sunlight, grow grass and create good feeding-grounds
—and also hunting-grounds,—for hoofed animals.
But the beautiful and all-embracing " green timber "
has its habitants.   Its resinous shadows envelop and shel-
ter the agile lynx, the sinister wolverine, the too-confiding
marten, the prosy porcupine, the busy red squirrel, and
an occasional wolf. The grizzly and the black bear are
transient guests, but in times of real trouble, no wild
creatures value green timber more than they. The elk
and deer also find it a welcome retreat.
One of the most impressive features of those mountains is the sharpness with which everything is delineated. The different elements which make up the face of
Nature are not always softly and artistically blended
together, as a skilful artist blends the color boundaries
on his canvas. Each patch of green timber is as sharply
defined at its edges as the grounds of a county fair. In
one step you leave the glaring sunlight, and are swallowed up by the dark, restful shadows, just as when one
steps from the glare and stress of a stone pavement into
the soothing shadows of a cloister. By one step you
make your exit, and land full upon the angular agonies
of slide-rock, or into the horizontal terrors of 1 down
timber." For a mile or more a creek will go brawling
noisily over its bed of stones, and all at once drop entirely
out of sight, under a great mass of slide-rock. Down the
steep mountain-side, the track of each avalanche is cut as
clean as the swath of a mower going through tall grass,
Even timber-line itself is not half so long drawn out
as one usually sees in other mountains. There is no difficulty in drawing a contour line to mark it out on your
Throughout our mountains, there was no such thing
as travelling by pack-train without a cut-out trail.   The
-**■*— 11
fi  l>
down timber positively forbade it; and even in the evergreen tracts there were so many fallen trees that it was
impossible to get on without the axe. Had we at any
time lost both our axes, our horses would have been compelled to turn back and retrace their steps.
A loaded pack-horse can step over any log that is
not more than twenty-six inches from the ground, but
before one exceeding that height, something else must be
done. If it is a small log, the trail-cutter chops a three-
foot section out of it, or cuts it in two in order that the
top section may fall down. If it is a large trunk, the
trail must go around it. A good mountain-horse can get
over any log that he can step over with his forelegs, for
with his forelegs well placed, he can successfully jump
his hindlegs over.
In bad down timber, like that of lower Avalanche
Creek, a trail takes a course about like this, beside which
chain lightning is ruler-straight:
If anything will teach a man patience, a bad case of
down timber will do so. There is no use in fretting over
it; and swearing at it is the height of folly. The secret
of such navigation lies in a calm determination to give
the horse plenty of time, and " stay with it." To hurry
your horses is to invite broken legs,—a thought which
will promptly cool down the wildest impatience.
Naturally, the laying out of a trail calls for a quick
eye and good judgment in choosing the route which de- TRAVEL  IN  THE  MOUNTAINS
mands the least chopping, and that does not tack too
often nor too far. As the axe-man proceeds, he must
mark the course between log-cuttings by lopping off a
bush, or scalping the top of a log with a single sweep of
his axe as he walks along, leaving a spot of clean, bright
Where conditions are not too severe, men like our
four can chop out a trail with astonishing rapidity; but
occasionally they encounter long stretches of down tim-
her that simply " break their hearts." In such places as
lower Avalanche Creek, there is nothing to do but to
camp and chop.
In several creeks that we opened up to our pack-
train, we found old Indian trails, some of which helped
us very much. The first sign of such a trail is a large
bush or a small sapling that has been cut down by many
feeble blows.
"Squaw hatchet!" or "Squaw work!" our guides
often exclaimed, pointing to a stem that had been unskilfully hacked down. A white man, with a sharp axe,
cuts down with one or two clean blows a sapling that a
squaw assaults a dozen times with her dull hatchet before
it falls.
A long stretch of slide-rock is always a hard road for
a pack-train, unless a good trail has already been made
across it. I will have more to say of slide-rock farther
on, but in entering the mountains we encountered it,
soon and plenty. I know of but one species of rock
travel that is worse for a horse, and that is the slippery,
rounded bowlders, big and little, that so often underlie
^i J,
the fording-places of mountain rivers. They seem specially designed to break horses' legs, and the only way
to cheat them of their prey is by permitting the horse to
creep along, feeling cautiously for each stepping-place.
On slide-rock, the rocks are horribly angular, sharp-
edged and cruel, and occasionally an unshod horse leaves
a trail of blood behind him. But the train moves straight
forward, even though its progress is slow; and fortunately one does not strike miles and miles of continuous
In travelling by pack-train through rough country,
much time is lost by deploying to pass obstructions. On
Goat Creek we sometimes climbed from two hundred to
four hundred feet up the steep mountain in order to pass
above a sheer bluff, and immediately after would lose
all our altitude by being forced to drop back to the bottom of the valley. When thoroughly tired, such diversions, in climbing up only to climb down again, seem a
sinful waste of horse-power.
Beyond the first half-day's travel up Goat Creek,
there was no trail, and Charlie and the Norboes had to
cut one the remainder of the way to the summit. Mr.
Phillips and I elected to go ahead of the outfit, hunting
on foot, and reach the camping-place on Goat Pass about
the same time as the others.
At the point where we were to leave Smith and his
axe, we halted to rest, and as we looked about for places
to sit down, Charlie exclaimed,
' Here are some red raspberries, all ripe and ready
for ye!"  m-TMIT ..IHUSH
It was indeed true. Over a space as large as a New
York City lot, there grew a scattering cover of bushes
a foot high, bearing red raspberries, fully ripe, and delicious. We flung ourselves upon them, and feasted. I
like to hunt in a country that contains something in the
form of fruit, nuts or berries that a hungry man can eat.
In the tropics it is seldom indeed that one finds in a forest any of these wilderness luxuries. The traveller who
cannot live by his gun or rod must carry his food with
him, or starve. Beside the poverty-stricken tropical forests, the forests of the temperate zone are rich in things
edible to man. Now when Charlie and I went on that
side hunt and discovered Josephine Lake, we found a
whole mountain-side covered with delicious huckleberries, of three species, upon which we gratefully fed.
Had there been a grizzly bear " among those present,"
he would have stood aghast at the havoc we wrought.
1 .
i a
Our Welcome to Goatland—Three Goats Stampede through our
Camp—A Wild Spot—Mountain Color on a Gray Day—An Early-
Morning Caller—Goats at Rest—How Goats Climb—Stalking
Two Big Billies—Two Goats Killed—Measurements and Weight.
John Phillips and I were scrambling along the
steep and rough eastern face of Bald Mountain, a few
yards below timber-line, half-way up 'twixt creek and
summit. He was light of weight, well-seasoned and
nimble-footed; I was heavy, ill-conditioned, and hungry
for more air. Between the slide-rock, down timber and
brush, the going had been undeniably bad, and in spite
of numerous rests I was almost fagged.
Far below us, at the bottom of the V-shaped valley,
the horse-bell faintly tinkled, and as Mack and Charlie
whacked out the trail, the pack-train crept forward. We
were thankful that the camping-place, on Goat Pass, was
only a mile beyond.
Presently we heard a voice faintly shouting to us
from below.
" Look above you,—at the goatsl "
Hastily we moved out of a brush-patch, and looked
aloft.    At the top of the precipice that rose above our
slope, a long, irregular line of living forms perched
46 THE   MOUNTAIN   GOAT  AT  HOME       47
absurdly on the sky-line, and looked over the edge, at
us. Quickly we brought our glasses to bear, and counted
fourteen living and wild Rocky Mountain goats.
" All nannies, young billies, and kids," said Mr.
Phillips. " They are trying to guess what kind of wild
animals we are." I noticed that he was quite calm; but
I felt various things which seemed to sum themselves
up in the formula,—" the Rocky Mountain goat,—at
lastV     ■ 1 I     I
For fully ten minutes, the entire fourteen white ones
steadfastly gazed down upon us, with but few changes
of position, and few remarks. Finally, one by one they
drew back from the edge of the precipice, and quietly
drifted away over the bald crest of the mountain.
For twenty years I had been reading the scanty scraps
of mountain-goat literature that at long intervals have
appeared in print. I had seen seven specimens alive in
captivity, and helped to care for four of them. With a
firm belief that the game was worth it, I had travelled
twenty-five hundred miles or more in order to meet this
strange animal in its own home, and cultivate a close
acquaintance with half a dozen wild flocks.
At three o'clock we camped at timber-line, on a high
and difficult pass between the Elk River and the Bull.
That night we christened the ridge Goat Pass. While
the guides and the cook unpacked the outfit and pitched
the tents, Mr. Phillips hurried down the western side of
the divide. Fifteen minutes later he and Kaiser,—in my
opinion the wisest hunting-dog in British Columbia,—
had twenty-eight nanny goats and kids at bay on the top 1
of a precipice, and were photographing them at the risk
of their lives.
Rifle and glass in hand, I sat down on a little knoll
a few yards above the tents, to watch a lame billy goat
who was quietly grazing and limping along the side of
a lofty ridge that came down east of us from Phillips
Peak. A lame wild animal in a country wherein a shot
had not been fired for five years, was, to all of us, a real
novelty; and with my glasses I watched that goat long
and well. It was his left foreleg that was lame, and it
was the opinion of the party that the old fellow was
suffering from an accident received on the rocks. Possibly a stone had been rolled down upon him, by another
Suddenly sharp cries of surprise came up from the
camp, and I sprang up to look about. Three goats were
running past the tents at top speed,—a big billy, and two
smaller goats.
" Hi, there! Goats! Goats!" cried Smith and
The cook was stooping over the fire, and looking
under his right arm he saw the bunch charging straight
toward him, at a gallop. A second later, the big billy
was almost upon him.
"Hey! You son-of-a-gun!" yelled Huddleston, and
as the big snow-white animal dashed past him he struck
it across the neck with a stick of firewood. The goat's
tracks were within six feet of the camp-fire.
The billy ran straight through the camp, then swung
sharply to the left, and the last I saw of him was his ^n
a~, HJ
C      «,
^J      >
_*3     •«
fc#0 a
.5 -a
C o
a S
ca ii
a_ THE   MOUNTAIN  GOAT  AT  HOME       49
humpy hindquarters wildly bobbing up and down among
the dead jack pines, as he ran for Bald Mountain.
The two smaller goats held their course, and one
promptly disappeared. The other leaped across our
water-hole, and as it scrambled out of the gully near my
position, and paused for a few seconds to look backward, instinctively I covered it with my rifle. But only
for an instant. " Come as they may," thought I, I my
first goat shall not be a small one!" And as the goat
turned and raced on up, my .303 Savage came down.
We laughed long at the utter absurdity of three wild
goats actually breaking into the privacy of our camp, on
our first afternoon in Goatland. In the Elk Valley
Charlie Smith had promised me that we would camp
" right among the goats," and he had royally kept his
At evening, when we gathered round the camp-fire,
and counted up, we found that on our first day in Goat-
land, we had seen a total of fifty-three goats; and no one
had fired a shot. As for myself, I felt quite set up over
my presence of mind in not firing at the goat which I
had " dead to rights " after it had invaded our camp,
and which might have been killed as a measure of self-
Our camp was pitched in a most commanding and*
awe-inspiring spot. We were precisely at timber-line,
in a grassy hollow on the lowest summit between Bald
and Bird Mountains, on the north, and Phillips Peak,
on the south. From our tents the ground rose for several hundred feet, like the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, 1
until it stopped against a rock wall which went on up
several hundred feet more. In a notch quite near us
was a big bank of eternal ice. In that country, such
things are called glaciers; and its melting foot was the
starting-point of Goat Creek. Fifty paces taken eastward from our tents brought us to a projecting point
from which we looked down a hundred feet to a rope
of white water, and on down Goat Creek as it drops
five hundred feet to the mile, to the point where it turns
a sharp corner to the right, and disappears.
Westward of camp, after climbing up a hundred feet
or so, through dead standing timber, the ridge slopes
steeply down for a mile and a half to the bottom of a
great basin half filled with green timber, that opens
toward Bull River. It was on this slope, at a point where
a wall of rock cropped out, that Mr. Phillips cornered
his flock of goats and photographed them.
At our camp, water and wood were abundant; there
was plenty of fine grass for our horses, spruce boughs
for our beds, scenery for millions, and what more could
we ask?
The day following our arrival on Goat Pass was dull
and rainy, with a little snow, and we all remained in
camp. At intervals, some one would stroll out to our
lookout point above Goat Creek, and eye-search the
valley below " to see if an old silver-tip could come
a-moochin' up, by accident," as Guide Smith quaintly
phrased it.
That gray day taught me something of color values
in those mountains.   As seen from our lookout point, the THE   MOUNTAIN  GOAT  AT  HOME
long, even stretch of house-roof mountain-slope on the
farther side of Goat Creek was a revelation. In the full
sunlight of a clear day, its tints were nothing to command particular attention. Strong light seemed to take
the colors out of everything. But a cloudy day, with a
little rain on the face of nature,^was like new varnish
on an old oil-painting.
During the forenoon, fleecy white clouds chased each
other over the pass and through our camp, and for much
of the time the Goat Creek gorge was cloud-filled. At
last, however, about noon, they rose and drifted away,
and then the mountain opposite revealed a color pattern
that was exquisitely beautiful.
For a distance of a thousand yards the ridge-side
stretched away down the valley, straight and even; and
in that distance it was furrowed from top to bottom by
ten or twelve gullies, and ribbed by an equal number of
ridges. At the bottom of the gorge was a dense green
fringe of tall, obelisk spruces, very much alive. In many
places, ghostly processions of dead spruces, limbless and
gray, forlornly climbed the ridges, until half-way up the
highest stragglers stopped. Intermixed with these tall
poles were patches of trailing juniper of a dark olive-
green color, growing tightly to the steep slope.
The apex of each timbered ridge was covered with a
solid mass of great willow-herb or "fireweed" (Gha-
maenerion angustifolium), then in its brightest autumn
tints of purple and red. The brilliant patches of color
which they painted on the mountain-side would have
rejoiced the heart of an  artist.    This  glorious  plant a]
' I
colored nearly every mountain-side in that region during
our September there.
Below the fireweed, the ridges were dotted with
small, cone-shaped spruces, and trailing junipers (Juni-
perus prostrata), of the densest and richest green. The
grassy sides of the gullies were all pale yellow-green,
softly blended at the edges with the darker colors that
framed them in. At the bottom of each washout was a
mass of light-gray slide-rock, and above all this rare pattern of soft colors loomed a lofty wall of naked carboniferous limestone rock, gray, grim and forbidding.
It seemed to me that I never elsewhere had seen
mountains so rich in colors as the ranges between the
Elk and the Bull in that particular September,
The rain and the drifting clouds were with us for
one day only. Very early on the second morning, while
Mr. Phillips and I lay in our sleeping-bags considering
the grave question of getting or not getting up, Mack
Norboe's voice was heard outside, speaking low but to
the point:
" Director, here's an old billy goat, lying right above
our camp!"
It was like twelve hundred volts. We tumbled out
of our bags, slipped on our shoes, and ran out. Sure
enough, a full-grown male goat was lying on the crest
of the divide that led up to the summit of Bald Mountain, seventy-five feet above us, and not more than two
hundred and fifty yards away. The shooting of him was
left to me.
I think I could have bagged that animal as he lay;
t«»t-— The Size of a Mountain Goat
The author's specimen, after falling ioo feet, and rolling 200 feet on the slide-rock
1 I
but what would there have been in that of any interest
to a sportsman? I had not asked any goats to come
down to our camp, and lie down to be shot!
Not caring greatly whether I got that goat or not,
I attempted a stalk along the western side of the ridge,
through the dead timber, and well below him. But the
old fellow was not half so sleepy as he looked. When
finally I came up to a point that was supposed to command his works, I found that he had winded me. He
had vanished from his resting-place, and was already far
up the side of Bald Mountain, conducting a masterly
After a hurried breakfast, we made ready for a day
with the goats on the northern mountains. Although
there are many things in favor of small parties,—the
best consisting of one guide and one hunter,—we all went
together,—Mr. Phillips, Mack, Charlie and I. Our
leader declared a determination to " see the director
shoot his first goat"; and I assured the others that the
services of all would be needed in carrying home my
As we turned back toward camp, and took time to
look " at the sceneries," the view westward, toward Bull
River, disclosed a cloud effect so beautiful that Mr.
Phillips insisted upon photographing it, then and there.
To give the " touch of life " which he always demanded,
I sat in, as usual.
By Mr. Phillips's advice, I put on suspenders and
loosened my cartridge-belt, in order to breathe with perfect freedom.   We wore no leggings.   Our shoes were
■ .    -r. V if
1   *
heavily hobnailed, and while I had thought mine as
light as one dared use in that region of ragged rocks,
I found that for cliff-climbing they were too heavy, and
too stiff in the soles. Of course knee-breeches are the
thing, but they should be so well cut that in steep
climbing they will not drag on the knees, and waste the
climber's horse-power; and there should be a generous
opening at the knee.
In those mountains, four things, and only four, are
positively indispensable to every party,—rifles, axes, field-
glasses and blankets. Each member of our hunting
party carried a good glass, and never stirred from camp
without it. For myself, I tried an experiment. Two
months previously Mrs. Hornaday selected for me, in
Paris, a very good opera-glass, made by Lemaire, with
a field that was delightfully large and clear. While not
quite so powerful a magnifier as the strongest binoculars
now on the market, its field was so much clearer that I
thought I would prefer it. It was much smaller than
any regulation field-glass, and I carried it either in a
pocket of my trousers, or loose inside my hunting-shirt,
quite forgetful of its weight.
It proved a great success. We found much interest
in testing it with binoculars five times as costly, and the
universal verdict was that it would reveal an animal as
far as a hunter could go to it, and find it. I mention this
because in climbing I found it well worth while to be
free from a dangling leather case that is always in the
way, and often is too large for comfort.
From our camp we went north, along the top of the THE  MOUNTAIN  GOAT  AT  HOME
eastern wall of Bald Mountain. Two miles from home
we topped a sharp rise, and there directly ahead, and
only a quarter of a mile away on an eastern slope lay a
band of eleven goats, basking in the welcome sunshine.
The flock was composed of nannies, yearling billies and
kids, with not even one old billy among those present.
Two old chaperons lay with their heads well up, on the
lookout, but all the others lay full length upon the grass,
with their backs uphill. Three of the small kids lay
close against their mothers.
They were on the northerly point of a fine mountain
meadow, with safety rocks on three sides. Just beyond
them lay a ragged hogback of rock, both sides of which
were so precipitous that no man save an experienced
mountaineer would venture far upon it. It was to this
rugged fortress that the goats promptly retreated for
safety when we left off watching them, and rose from
our concealment. Their sunning-ground looked like a
sheep-yard, and we saw that goats had many times lain
upon that spot.
Near by, behind a living windbreak, was* a goat-
bed, that looked as if goats had lain in it five hundred
times. By some curious circumstance, a dozen stunted
spruces had woven themselves together, as if for mutual
support, until they formed a tight evergreen wall ten feet
long and eight feet high. It ranged north and south,
forming an excellent hedge-like shield from easterly
winds, while the steep mountain partially cut. off the
winds from the west. On the upper side of that natural
windbreak, the turf had been worn into dust, and the ■M
droppings were several inches deep. Apparently it was
liked because it was a good shelter, in the centre of a
fine sky-pasture, and within a few jumps of ideal safety
From the spot where the goats had lain, looking
ahead and to our left, we beheld a new mountain. Later
on we christened it Bird Mountain, because of the flocks
of ptarmigan we fpund upon its summit. Near its summit we saw five more goats, all females and kids. At
our feet lay a deep, rich-looking basin, then a low ridge,
another basin with a lakelet in it, and beyond that another ridge, much higher than the first. Ridge No. 2
had dead timber upon it, but it was very scattering, for
it was timber-line; and its upper end snugged up against
the eastern wall of Bird Mountain. Later on we found
that the northern side of that ridge ended in a wall of
rock that was scalable by man in one place only.
^"Yonder are two big old billies!" said some one
with a glass in action.
I Yes sir; there they are; all alone, and heading this
way, too. Those are your goats this time, Director, sure
" Now boys," said I, " if we can stalk those two goats
successfully, and bag them both, neatly and in quick time,
we can call it genuine goat-hunting!"
They were distant about a mile and a half, jogging
along down a rocky hill, through a perfect maze of
gullies, ridges, grass-plots and rocks, one of them keeping from forty to fifty feet behind the other.
Even at that distance they looked big, and very, very
white. Clearly, they were heading for Bird Mountain.
We planned to meet them wherever they struck the precipitous side of the mountain ahead of us, and at once
began our stalk.
From the basin which contained the little two-acre
tarn, the rocky wall of Bird Mountain rose almost perpendicularly for about eight hundred feet. As we were
passing between the lake and the cliff, we heard bits of
loose rock clattering down.
"Just look yonder!" said Mr. Phillips, with much
Close at hand, and well within fair rifle-shot, were
four goats climbing the wall; and two more were at the
top, looking down as if deeply interested. The climbers
had been caught napping, and being afraid to retreat
either to right or left, they had elected to seek safety by
climbing straight up! It was a glorious opportunity to
see goats climb in a difficult place, and forthwith we
halted and watched as long as the event lasted, utterly
oblivious of our two big billies. Our binoculars brought
them down to us wonderfully well, and we saw them as
much in detail as if we had been looking a hundred feet
with the unaided eye.
The wall was a little rough, but the angle of it
seemed not more than 10 degrees from perpendicular.
The footholds were merely narrow edges of rock, and
knobs the size of a man's fist. Each goat went up in a
generally straight course, climbing slowly and carefully
all the while. Each one chose its own course, and paid
no attention to those that had gone before.   The eyes
H i
looked ahead to select the route, and the front hoofs skilfully sought for footholds. It seemed as if the powerful
front legs performed three-fourths of the work, reaching up until a good foothold was secured, then lifting
the heavy body by main strength, while the hindlegs
" also ran." It seemed that the chief function of the
hind limbs was to keep what the forelegs won. As an
exhibition of strength of limb, combined with sure-
footedness and nerve, it was marvellous, no less.
Often a goat would reach toward one side for a new
foothold, find none, then rear up and pivot on its hind-
feet, with its neck and stomach pressed against the wall,
over to the other side. Occasionally a goat would be
obliged to edge off five or ten feet to one side in order
to scramble on up. From first to last, no goat slipped
and no rocks gave way under their feet, although numerous bits of loose slide-rock were disturbed and sent
rattling down.
It was a most inspiring sight, and we watched it with
breathless interest. In about ten minutes the four goats
had by sheer strength and skill climbed about two hundred feet of the most precipitous portion of the cliff, and
reached easy going. After that they went on up twice
as rapidly as before, and soon passed over the summit,
out of our sight.   Then we compared notes.
Mr. Phillips and I are of the opinion that nothing
could have induced mountain sheep to have made that
appalling climb, either in the presence of danger or
otherwise. Since that day we have found that there are
many mountain hunters who believe that as a straight-  I f THE   MOUNTAIN   GOAT  AT   HOME
.. *
away cliff-climber, the goat does things that are impossible to sheep.
As soon as the goat-climbing exhibition had ended,
we hurried on across the basin, and up the side of Ridge
No. 2. This ridge bore a thin sprinkling of low spruces,
a little fallen timber, much purple fireweed and some
good grass. As seen at a little distance, it was a purple
ridge. The western end of it snugged up against the
mountain, and it was there that we met our two big billy
goats. They had climbed nearly to the top of our ridge,
close up to the mountain, and when we first sighted them
they were beginning to feed upon a lace-leaved anemone
{Pulsatilla occidentalis), at the edge of their newly
found pasture. We worked toward them, behind a small
clump of half-dead spruces, and finally halted to wait
for them to come within range.
After years of waiting, Rocky Mountain goats, at
lastl How amazingly white and soft they look; and how
big they are! The high shoulder hump, the big, round
barrel of the body, and the knee-breeches on the legs
make the bulk of the animal seem enormous. The whiteness of " the driven snow," of cotton and of paper seem
by no means to surpass the incomparable white of those
soft, fluffy-coated animals as they appear in a setting of
hard, gray limestone, rugged slide-rock and dark-green
vegetation. They impressed me as being the whitest living objects I ever beheld, and far larger than I had expected to find them. In reality, their color had the
effect of magnifying their size; for they looked as big
as two-year-old buffaloes. 7
Of course only Mr. Phillips and I carried rifles;
and we agreed that the left man should take the left
" It's a hundred and fifty yards!" said Mack Norboe, in a hoarse whisper.
My goat was grazing behind the trunk of a fallen
tree, which shielded his entire body. I waited, and
waited; and there he stood, with his head down, and
calmly cropped until I became wildly impatient. I
think he stood in one spot for five minutes, feeding upon
" Why don't you shoot? " queried Phillips, in wonder.
" I can't!   My goat's hiding behind a tree."
" Well, fire when you're ready, Gridley, and I'll
shoot when you do! "
It must have been five minutes, but it seemed like
twenty-five, before that goat began to feel a thrill of life
along his keel, and move forward. The annoying suspense had actually made me unsteady; besides which, my
Savage was a new one, and unchristened. Later on I
found that the sights were not right for me, and that
my first shooting was very poor.
At last my goat stood forth, in full view,—white,
immaculate, high of hump, low of head, big and bulky.
I fired for the vitals behind shoulder.
"You've overshot!" exclaimed Norboe, and
" Bang!" said Mr. Phillips's Winchester.
Neither of us brought down our goat at the first fire!
I fired again, holding much lower, and the goat
reared up a foot.   Mr. Phillips fired again, whereupon THE  MOUNTAIN   GOAT  AT  HOME
his goat fell over like a sack of oats, and went rolling
down the hill. My goat turned to run, and as he did so
I sent two more shots after him. Then he disappeared
behind some rocks. Mack, John and I ran forward, to
keep him in sight, and fire more shots if necessary. But
no goat was to be seen.
I He can't get away!" said Norboe, reassuringly.
I He's dead I " said I, by way of an outrageous bluff.
"You'll find him down on the slide-rock!" But inwardly I was torn by doubts.
We hurried down the steep incline, and presently
came to the top of a naked wall of rock. Below that was
a wide expanse of slide-rock.
" Thar he is! 1 cried Norboe. " Away down yonder,
out on the slide-rock, dead as a wedge."
From where he stood when I fired, the goat had run
back about two hundred feet, where he fell dead, and
then began to roll. We traced him by a copious stream
of blood on the rocks. He fell down the rock wall, for
a hundred feet, in a slanting direction, and then—to my
great astonishment—he rolled two hundred feet farther
(by measurement) on that ragged, jagged slide-rock before he fetched up against a particularly large chunk of
stone, and stopped. We expected to find his horns
broken, but they were quite uninjured. The most damage had been inflicted upon his nose, which was badly
cut and bruised. The bullet that ended his life (my second shot) went squarely through the valves of his heart;
but I regret to add that one thigh-bone had been broken
by another shot, as he ran from me.
Mr. Phillips's goat behaved better than mine. It
rolled down the grassy slope, and lodged on a treacherous little shelf of earth that overhung the very brink
of the precipice. One step into that innocent-looking fringe of green juniper bushes meant death on the
slide-rock below; and it made me nervous to see Mack
and Charlie stand there while they skinned the animal.
As soon as possible we found the only practicable
route down the rock wall, and scrambled down. The
others say that I slid down the last twenty feet; but that
is quite immaterial. I reached the goat a few paces in
advance of the others, and thought to divert my followers by reciting a celebrated quotation beginning, " To a
hunter, the moment of triumph," etc. As I laid my
hand upon the goat's hairy side and said my little piece,
I heard a deadly | click."
' I Got him! " cried Mr. Phillips; and then three men
and a dog laughed loud and derisively. Since seeing the
picture I have altered that quotation, to this: " To a
hunter, the moment of humiliation is when he first sees
his idiotic smile on a surreptitious plate." It is inserted
solely to oblige Mr. Phillips, as evidence of the occasion
when he got ahead of me.
The others declared that the goat was " a big one,
though not the very biggest they ever grow." Forthwith
we measured him; and in taking his height we shoved
his foreleg up until the elbow came to the position it
occupies under the standing, living animal. The measurements were as follows:
T~-T-i " The Moment of Triumph"—Caught Unawares ij-l THE  MOUNTAIN  GOAT  AT  HOME
Oreamnos montanus
Male, six years old.    Killed September 8, 1905, near the Bull River,
British Columbia.
Standing height at shoulder
Length, nose to root of tail
Length of tail vertebrae
Girth behind foreleg
Girth around abdomen
Girth of neck behind ears (unskinned)
Circumference of forearm, skinned
Width of chest   .
Length of horn on curve .
Spread of horns at tips
Circumference of horn at base
Circumference of front hoof
Circumference of rear hoof
Base of ear to end of nostrils
Front corner of eye to rear corner nostril opening
Widest spread of ears, tip to tip     .
Total weight of animal by scales, allowing 8 lbs. for blood lost    258 lbs.
The black and naked glands in the skin behind the
horn were on that date small, and inconspicuous; but
they stood on edge, with the naked face of each closely
pressed against the base of the horn in front of it.
On another occasion I shot a thin old goat that stood
forty-two inches high at the shoulders, and Mr. Phillips
shot another that weighed two hundred and seventy-
six pounds. After we had thoroughly dissected my goat,
weighed it, examined the contents of its stomach, and
saved a good sample of its food for close examination at
camp, we tied up the hindquarters, head and pelt, and
set out for camp. ■ffl
{Dryas octopetala), which to tired feet is most soothing
and restful. In places the surface of the slope forms a
long series of level benches a yard wide and five or six
feet long, each one generously cushioned with this odd
Climbing a mountain over such footing as that is like
exploring a wilderness in a Pullman car. But mark the
contrast. From this zone of living carpet we climbed
upon the terminal cap of the mountain, a huge mound
of broken, sharp-edged rock, ragged, jagged, and barren
of all vegetable life. It was the remains of a prehistoric
peak, which foot by foot had remorselessly been torn
down by wind and sun, frost and rain, until its last pinnacle had been laid low. The whole mountain-top was
a mass of clean rock—carboniferous limestone the color
of a postal card,—that looked as if it had just come
from a quarry, suitably broken for rubble-masonry
The view from that rocky summit disclosed a magnificent mountain-cyclorama. In every direction, to the
uttermost limit of vision, there rose and fell a bewildering succession of saw-tooth mountains, deep valleys and
far-distant peaks. The level mountain-plateau feature
was totally absent. Nowhere was there visible a level
spot large enough for a foot-ball field. It was mountains, mountains, everywhere, a labyrinth of steeps, a bewildering maze of summits, valleys, precipices, basins
and passes.
Looking eastward over the northern spurs of Phillips Peak, across the valley of Elk River and beyond
Sheep Mountain, we saw, about thirty miles away, a
long line of lofty snow-clad peaks, much higher than
any of the intervening summits. They marked the crest
of the great Continental Divide, and the boundary between British Columbia and Alberta. Our distance from
the United States boundary was about seventy miles.
South-eastward, and very near at hand, rose the sharp
cone of Phillips Peak, the culmination and hub of everything in the region round about. From its precipitous
sides spring at least five small mountain-chains, which
radiate like the spokes of a wheel. Mr. Phillips's fine
photograph of his namesake renders a feeble word-
description quite unnecessary.
Although the northern and western faces of the upper
five hundred feet of the peak are so appallingly steep
that only a mountain goat could scale them, we found
later on that the southern face is apparently accessible.
I longed to stand on that summit, and with two months
in the mountains I would gladly have made the attempt
to do so; but as matters stood, the many interesting things
zoological that lay before us quite crowded out the idea
of a well-considered attempt to make the climb during
that trip. On his next visit Mr. Phillips will undoubtedly write his name on the top of his peak.
The moral uplift, and the corresponding ego depression, of such a mountain-cyclorama as circles around the
summit of Bird Mountain cannot adequately be portrayed by me in words. I never before felt quite so
puny or so wholly insignificant as then. I have seen
other mountains in plenty, but nowhere else have I felt
I ll
so overwhelmingly impressed as by that particular two
thousand square miles of heaving mountain-billows and
deep-plunging valleys in view from Bird Mountain.
And think what it must be from the top of Phillips Peak,
on a clear day in September!
Down to this date, the region north and north-west
of Michel, for a radius of perhaps fifty miles, has never
been touched by aneroid or surveyor's chain. We can
give no heights nor distances with mechanical accuracy.
Above Michel there is not a datum point of any kind.
Naturally, however, we were much interested in the
heights of the mountain summits in the region we visited, between the Elk and Bull Rivers. Our estimates
of the height of Phillips Peak, and other points in the
mountains surrounding it, were based on the following
memoranda which were kindly supplied by Mr. James
McEvoy, Geologist of the Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company:— §
" I have not the exact figures for the elevation of the
Elk River at Wild-Cat Charlie's ranch, but it must be
very close to 3,900 feet above sea-level."
" The elevations of the mountains near Fernie on the
east side of the river are about 7,000 feet. These mountains are of cretaceous coal-bearing rocks. On the west
side of the Elk River at Fernie the mountains are composed of Carboniferousi^jand Devonian limestone, and
quartzites, reaching.. eifevations of from 9,000 to 10,000
feet. The averagexi&lght of the summits would be about
9,200 feet. These summits stand about four miles back
from the river.    Lower hills and spurs of these come  II a!
ti I ii
 -■■., -■ - ON  BIRD   MOUNTAIN
closer to the river, and will average about 7,000 feet
i Farther up the Elk River, on the east side, in the
neighborhood of Sparwood, the elevations are the same
as near Fernie. On the west side, however, the mountains reach a higher elevation, probably 10,500 feet above
the sea, and the distance of the summits from the Elk
River is increased to about ten miles. North of the
mouth of Michel Creek I cannot give you any close figures for the elevation. The valley of the river for the
most part is occupied by a narrow band of cretaceous
rocks, and the mountains on either side, at least the
higher ones, are composed of Carboniferous and Devonian. On the west side of the river, from what I could
see of the mountains, they seem to increase in elevation
as you go northward, and on the east side the lower
hills, which are composed of cretaceous rocks, seem to
dwindle into insignificance."
Judging from the facts stated above by Mr. McEvoy,
we estimated the height of Phillips Peak at about 10,000
feet, and the average elevation of timber-line at 8,500
feet. We think that the goats we found and shot high
up on the south-western side of the peak were feeding
at a height of about 9,000 feet.
Even on the rugged^&nd forbidding summit of Bird
Mountain, we found baid life. While Mr. Phillips was
busily manoeuvring for mountain photographs, staggering over the cruel rocks, camera in hand, a flock of
willow ptarmigans flew up almost from under his feet,
crying  " cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck."    Their   snow-white
wings and tails flashed and fluttered for a hundred yards,
then dropped among the stones. Instantly the mountain
views were forgotten, and there began a long series of
manoeuvres to photograph the birds. Mack Norboe was
detailed to herd the birds, and hold them from stampeding while the camera man worked within close range.
Shot after shot was made, sometimes at fifteen feet,
and at least ten times the birds flew because they were
too closely pressed. The difficulty lay in the bad light,
and the inability of the camera to differentiate the bodies
of the birds from the stones. The pictures were not
successful, and in lieu of them Mr. Phillips offers a
photograph of a single female ptarmigan, in summer
plumage, herded by Mr. G. N. Monro, at a distance of
about five feet.
I shall always remember the date,—September n,—
because that date once was the wedding-day of a Lady
whom I know.
We had decided to leave Goat Pass on that day,
move southward about ten miles, and make a new camp
in the picturesque valley of Avalanche Creek. In order
to lose no sportsman's opportunity, it was decided that
Mr. Phillips, Charlie, and I should go ahead on foot,
hunting by the way, and that the others should follow
on with the pack-train, as soon as it could be made ready.
For the second time in my hunting experience, a
strange coincidence was brought about by the desire of
a brother sportsman to show me the exact spot whereon  ' j
a strange thing had happened to him. As we shouldered our rifles and climbed the hill south of our tents,
Mr. Phillips said, " Now, Director, if you will come
with me, I will show you where I corralled those goats
and photographed them, the day we arrived here." I
had previously expressed a desire to examine the spot,
in order to see where the goats had stood at bay and
unwillingly leaped down.
We soon topped the crest of the ridge, and started
down the long and steep western slope which constitutes
the Bull River side of the divide. We were just below
timber-line, and the mountain-side was thinly covered
with stunted white spruces, half of them dead. Far
below us lay a deep, round basin, like a gigantic washbowl set between the peaks. The bottom of this basin
was half covered with a beautiful growth of dark-green
timber, into which the growth upon our mountain-side
climbed down and merged.
In going down a mountain, I think the distance always is greater than one expects. Mr. Phillips led us
down, down, and still farther down, and steeper all the
while, until the slope seemed interminable; and then we
reached the top of a rock bluff which cropped out and
ran along the mountain-side from south to north.
I There," said he, pausing at last. " It was right here
that Kaiser rounded up those goats for me, at the top of
this wall. You see, if it hadn't been for that perpendicular drop of eight feet, the band would have gone on
down, immediately. Do you see that dead tree? Well,
they bunched up behind that, with Kaiser on that side,
— JI
me on this side, and the eight-foot drop below. They
didn't like to take that jump,—probably because of the
kids. Well, Kaiser held them from getting away on his
side, and I exposed on them all the films I had, right
from this old dead stub. I leaned against it until it
cracked, and I feared it might go over with me."
I And what did the goats do, finally? "
" At last the old ones got their courage up, and gingerly jumped off; and the kids had to follow suit. The
nannies and yearlings landed on their feet, and their
momentum carried them on, slipping and sliding headlong down the rest of the way [about fifty feet]. You
see, the rest of it is not quite perpendicular, and they
slid down very well, of course holding back with their
feet wherever the rock was rough."
I How about the kid that fell? " jf
I Poor little beggar, he was really hurt. When he
jumped from here, he landed on his nose, and gave a
bleat of pain. And what was worse, he couldn't recover
himself entirely, but went on, half tumbling and half
sliding, until he reached the bottom. It made his mouth
bleed, and must have hurt him cruelly. I felt awfully
sorry for him."
Mr. Phillips had barely finished his story, when
Charlie Smith, who had been closely scanning the thick,
green timber of the basin, suddenly exclaimed,
I Something's coming! Something's coming this
way,—on a dead run!"
"What is it, Charlie?"
" I think it's a bunch of deer." S PHOTOGRAPHING  MOUNTAIN  SHEEP     73
I Or an old silver-tip,—eh, Charlie?" cried Mr.
"No; it's no silver-tip."
We started in a mad scramble along the mountainside, and before ten paces had been covered each man
had thrown a loaded cartridge into the barrel of his
rifle. We had not moved more than fifty paces from
the goat rocks when we saw two brown-gray animals
scurrying nimbly and swiftly along the tree-covered
mountain-side, almost on our contour line, and coming
straight toward us.   Exclamations flew all about.
" Here they come! "  " Sheep! "  1 Mountain sheep! "
Mechanically we threw our rifles into position, but
Charlie cried out sharply,
" Don't shoot, men! Don't shoot! They*re both
ewes! "
On they came, headed straight for us, and the combined nimbleness and strength with which they ran was
beautiful to see. They carried their heads well up, ran
close together, and their speed was astonishing. They
seemed to sweep over the ground as easily as a hawk flies.
They did not see us until they were within about a
hundred feet, and then in a graceful curve they swerved
off sharply downhill, and flew for safety to the rocky
wall below. Then they disappeared. As they passed
near us, we saw that the one in the lead was a full-
grown ewe, and the other a two-year-old ram.
As soon as we could recover from our astonishment,
and get our thoughts once more in motion, we naturally
concluded that the sheep had kept on running, and soon i
would be a mile away. No one dreamed of seeing them
again. But suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, we
1 Ah, woo! woo! woo! "
It was the voice of Kaiser, only a few yards away,
coming up from the rocks below.
"By jove! Kaiser has stopped those sheep on the
goat rocks!"
I We'll photograph 'em, Charlie! Get out your
camera, quick, and come on!" said Mr. Phillips.
In two minutes we were peering over the edge of the
precipice, in an effort to locate the subjects.
| They're right down there. If one of you go down
there, and the other this way, you'll get them right between your two cameras! "
I This is good enough for me!" said Charlie, swinging himself over the edge into a perfectly frightful situation.   11 see them!   I see them! "
Mr. Phillips scrambled down the other way, in a
most reckless fashion.
I Now, boys," said No. 3, " for goodness sake, mind
your footing; and don't fall down that wall for a million
old pictures! "
Those two dare-devils went down to positions on that
precipice that I would not have ventured with a camera
for any pictures, heads or horns ever taken, or that ever
will be taken. If empty-handed, it would not have been
quite so bad; but to see them "monkeying around" on
the face of a treacherous precipice, handicapped with
cameras,  relying solely upon their feet to hold them
—  ,
; vif
upon a few bumps and edges of rock, with Sure Death
below, was about all that my nerves could endure. I
felt like shouting at them constantly, to be careful, and
then more careful still,—for I have no desire to camp
with a Tragedy; but beyond a few mild admonitions, I
held my peace.
Leaving my rifle above, I crept down behind Mr.
Phillips's position,—at a very easy spot,—until I could
see the tableau on the wall.
j The sheep occupied a comfortable ledge, and the
most of the time were aggravatingly concealed from Mr.
Phillips by an angle of the wall. They were many feet
below Charlie's best position, and although he saw them
very plainly, the images his camera got of them were
too small to represent much value.
Mr. Phillips made several exposures, but in reality
had not even one fair chance at a sheep in full view.
His best pictures were made when the young ram was
looking at him around the angle of rock which usually
concealed it. The photograph may well be entitled,
I On the Alert," for it shows a sheep as wary and wideawake as it is possible for one to be. There were moments when that ram seemed to be all eyes. A number
of times he craned his neck around the rock, and stared
hard at us to see whether we were coming nearer.
After the lapse of about ten minutes, the sheep decided that they must be going. Without more ado, they
lightly sprang from step to step, straight away from Mr.
Phillips and me, rapidly descending all the while. The
Goat Rocks were soon left far behind, and the last we 76    CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
saw of the photographed mountain sheep was their dull-
white rump-patches flitting away northward, through the
dead timber and up the mountain-sfue, a mile away.
May they live long, and prosper.
Some one has said, much too easily, that mountain
sheep and mountain goats never inhabit the same locality at the same time.
As we looked for the last time at the running sheep,
and then mechanically glanced at the summit of the
mountain-side up which they were bounding fast and
free, we saw once more the band of five goats which for
days had been loafing on that isolated peak. That was
the band which had not received word of our baneful
■_■■■■■——	 CHAPTER VII
Goats Far Up—The Climb, and its Difficulties—An Elusive Pair—
Ten Big Billies at Hand—Observations of an Hour—Four Goats
Killed, and Utilized—The Tallest Goat, and the Heaviest—Rolling
Carcasses—Down Avalanche Creek to a Beautiful Camp.
THIS day, also, was the eleventh of September,—
after the incident of the mountain sheep on the Camera
Mr. Phillips, Charlie Smith and I descended the
steep side of Goat Pass, crossed the basin and slowly
climbed the grassy divide that separates it from the
source of Avalanche Creek. When half way down the
southern side of that divide, we looked far up the side
of Phillips Peak, and saw two big old billy goats of shoot-
able size. They were well above timber-line, lying
where a cloud-land meadow was suddenly chopped off
at a ragged precipice. The way up to them was long,
and very steep.
"That's a long climb, Director," said Mr. Phillips;
1 but there are no bad rocks."
I said that I could make it, in time,—as compared
with eternity,—if the goats would wait for me.
"Oh, they'll wait! We'll find 'em there, all right,"
said Charlie, confidently.   So we started.
As nearly as I can estimate, we climbed more than
a mile, at an angle that for the upper half of the distance was about 30 degrees,—a very steep ascent. At
first our way up led through green timber, over smooth
ground that was carpeted with needles of spruce and
pine. That was comparatively easy,—no more difficult,
in fact, than climbing the stairs of four Washington
monuments set one upon another.
At climbing steep mountains, Mr. Phillips, Charlie
Smith and the two Norboes are perfect fiends. They
are thin, tough and long-winded, and being each of them
fully forty pounds under my weight, I made no pretence
at trying to keep up with them. As it is in an English
workshop, the slowest workman set the pace.
In hard climbing, almost every Atlantic-coast man
perspires freely, and is very extravagant in the use of air.
It frequently happened that when half way up a high
mountain, my lungs consumed the air so rapidly that a
vacuum was created .around me, and I would have to
stop and wait for a new supply of oxygen to blow along.
My legs behaved much better than my lungs, and to their
credit be it said that they never stopped work until my
lungs ran out of steam.
As I toiled up that long slope, I thought of a funny
little engine that I saw in Borneo, pulling cars over an
absurd wooden railway that ran from the bank of the
Sadong River to the coal-mines. It would run about a
mile at a very good clip, then suddenly cease puffing,
and stop.   Old Walters, the superintendent, said:
I There's   only  one   thing  ails   that  bally  engine. A   GREAT   DAY   WITH   GOATS
The bloomin' little thing can't make steam fast
I was like that engine. I couldn't " keep steam ";
and whenever my lungs became a perfect vacuum, I had
to stop and rest, and collect air. Considering the fact
that there was game above us, I thought my comrades
were very considerate in permitting me to set the pace.
Now had some one glared at me with the look of a
hungry cannibal, and hissed between his teeth, " Step
lively! " it would have made me feel quite at home.
In due time we left the green timber behind us, and
started up the last quarter of the climb. There we found
stunted spruces growing like scraggy brush, three feet
high, gnarled and twisted by the elements, and enfeebled
by the stony soil on which they bravely tried to grow.
Only the bravest of trees could even rear their heads on
that appalling steep,—scorched by the sun, rasped by the
wind, drenched by the rains and frozen by the snow.
But after a hundred yards or so, even the dwarf spruces
gave up the struggle. Beyond them, up to our chosen
point, the mountain-roof was smooth and bare, except
for a sprinkle of fine, flat slide-rock that was very treacherous stuff to climb over.
" Let me take your rifle, Director!" said Charlie,
" No, thank you. I'll carry it up, or stay down. But
you may keep behind me if you will, and catch me if I
start to roll! "
On steep slopes, such as that was, my companions had
solemnly warned me not to fall backward and start roll- m
ing; for a rolling man gathers no moss. A man bowling
helplessly down a mountain-side at an angle of 30 degrees quickly acquires a momentum which spells death.
Often have I looked down a horribly steep stretch, and
tried to imagine what I would feel, and think, were I
to overbalance backward, and go bounding down. A
few hours later we saw a goat carcass take a frightful roll down a slope not nearly so steep as where we
climbed up, and several times it leaped six feet into
the air.
To keep out of the sight of the goats it was necessary
for us to bear well toward our left; and this brought us
close to the edge of the precipice, where the mountainside was chopped off. In view of the loose stones under
foot, I felt like edging more to the right; for the twin
chances of a roll down and a fall over began to abrade
my nerves. Mr. Phillips and Charlie climbed along so
close to the drop that I found myself wondering which
of them would be the first to slip and go over.
" Keep well over this way, Director, or the goats may
wind you! " said Charlie, anxiously.
"That's all right, Charlie; he's winded now!" said
I said we would rest on that; and before I knew the
danger, Mr. Phillips had taken a picture of me, resting,
and smiling a most idiotic smile.
At last we reached the pinnacle which we had selected when we first sighted our game. As nearly as we
could estimate, afterward, by figuring up known elevations, we were at a height of about nine thousand feet,
and though not the highest, it was the dizziest point I
ever trod. Except when we looked ahead, we seemed
to be fairly suspended in mid-air! To look down under
one's elbow was to look into miles of dizzy, bottomless
The steep slope had led us up to the sharp point of
a crag that stuck up like the end of a man's thumb, and
terminated in a crest as sharp as the comb of a house-
roof. Directly in front, and also on the left, was a sheer
drop. From the right, the ragged edge of the wall ran
on up, to the base of Phillips Peak. Beyond our perch,
twelve feet away, there yawned a great basin-abyss, and
on beyond that rocky gulf rose a five-hundred-foot wall
at the base of the Peak. A little to the right of our position another ragged pinnacle thrust its sharp apex a few
feet higher than ours, and eventually caused me much
trouble in securing my first shot.
We reached the top of our crag, and peered over its
highest rocks just in time to see our two goats quietly
walk behind a ragged point of rock farther up the wall,
and disappear. They were only a hundred and fifty
yards distant; but they had not learned of our existence,
and were not in the least alarmed. Naturally, we expected them to saunter back into view, for we felt quite
sure they did not mean to climb down that wall to the
bottom of the basin. So we lay flat upon the slope, rifles
in hand, and waited, momentarily expecting the finish.
They were due to cross a grassy slope between two crags,
not more than forty feet wide, and if not fired at within
about ten seconds of their reappearance, they would be
* i
■I ftff
tt ru
lost behind the rocks! The chance was not nearly so
good as it looked.
But minutes passed, and no goats returned. It became evident that the dawdling pair had lain down
behind the sheltering crag, for a siesta in the sun. We
composed ourselves to await their pleasure, and in our
first breath of opportunity, looked off south-easterly, over
the meadow whereon the two goats had been feeding.
And then we saw a sight of sights.
Rising into view out of a little depression on the farther side of the meadow, lazily sauntering along, there
came ten big, snow-white billy goats! They were heading straight toward us, and there was not a nanny, nor a
kid, nor even a young billy in the bunch. The air was
clear; the sun was shining brightly, the meadow was like
dark olive-brown plush,—and how grandly those big,
pure-white creatures did loom up! When first seen they
were about four hundred yards away, but our glasses
made the distance seem only one-third of that.
For more than an hour we lay flat on our pinnacle,
and watched those goats. No one thought of time. It
was a chance of a lifetime. My companions were profoundly surprised by the size of the collection; for previous to that moment, no member of our party ever had
seen more than four big male goats in one bunch.
The band before us was at the very top of a sky-
meadow of unusual luxuriance, which climbed up out of
the valley on our right, and ran on up to the comb of
rock that came down from Phillips Peak. In area the
meadow was five hundred yards wide, and half a mile The Sky Pasture of the Thirteen  << Billy"   Goats
Elevation, about 9,000 feet.    The goats occupied the center of the picture, but appear only as white specks.
The hunters lay on the top of a pinnacle like that in the foreground.
Taking the  First  Shot
The end of "Old Two-Teeth."    Guide Smith lies within six feet of the brink of a precipice.  A  GREAT  DAY  WITH   GOATS
long. Afterward, when we walked over it, we found it
was free from stones, but full of broad steps, and covered
with a dense, greenish-purple matting of ground verdure
that was as soft to the foot as the thickest pile carpet.
The main body of this verdure is a moss-like plant called
mountain avens, closely related to cinquefoil, and known
botanically as Dry as octopetala. It has a very pretty
leaf measuring about ■£% by ^ inches, with finely serrate
edges. In September a mass of it contains a mixture of
harmonious colors,—olive-green, brown, gray and purple. On this the goats were feeding. This plant is very
common in those mountains above timber-line, especially
on southern slopes; but it demands a bit of ground almost
exclusively for itself, and thrives best when alone.
Along with this there grew a moss-like saxifrage
{Saxifraga austromontana), which to any one not a
botanist seems to be straight moss. It grows in cheerful
little clumps of bright green, and whenever it is found
on a mountain-pasture, one is pleased to meet it.
I record these notes here, because our ten goats had
been in no hurry. They were more than deliberate; they
were almost stagnant. In an hour, the farthest that any
one of them moved was about one hundred yards, and
the most of them accomplished even less than that. They
were already so well fed that they merely minced at the
green things around them. Evidently they had fed to
satiety in the morning hours, before we reached them.
As they straggled forward, they covered about two
acres of ground. Each one seemed steeped and sodden
in laziness.   When out grazing, our giant tortoises move
\l w
faster than they did on that lazy afternoon. When the
leader of this band of weary Willies reached the geographical centre of the sky-meadow, about two hundred
yards from us, he decided to take a sun-bath, on the most
luxurious basis possible to him. Slowly he focussed his
mind upon a level bench of earth, about four feet wide.
It contained an old goat-bed, of loose earth, and upon
this he lay down, with his back uphill.
At this point, however, he took a sudden resolution.
After about a minute of reflection, he decided that the
head of his bed was too high and too humpy; so, bracing
himself back with his right foreleg, like an ancient Roman senator at a feast, he set his left leg in motion and
flung out from under his breast a quantity of earth. The
loose soil rose in a black shower, two feet high, and the
big hoof flung it several feet down the hill. After about
a dozen rakes, he settled down to bask in the warm sunshine, and blink at the scenery of Avalanche Valley.
Five minutes later, a little higher up the slope, another goat did the same thing; and eventually two or
three others laid down. One, however, deliberately sat
down on his haunches, dog-fashion, with his back uphill.
For fully a quarter of an hour he sat there in profile,
slowly turning his head from side to side, and gazing at
the scenery while the wind blew through his whiskers.
So far as I could determine, no sentinel was posted.
There was no leader, and no individual seemed particularly on the alert for enemies. One and all, they felt
perfectly secure.
In observing those goats one fact became very notice- A  GREAT  DAY  WITH  GOATS
able. At a little distance, their legs looked very straight
and stick-like, devoid of all semblance of gracefulness
and of leaping power. The animals were very white and
immaculate,—as were all the goats that we saw,—and
they stood out with the sharpness of clean snow-patches
on dark rock. Nature may have known about the much
overworked principle of " protective coloration " when
she fashioned the mountain goat, but if so, she was
guilty of cruelty to goats in clothing this creature with
pelage which, in the most comfortable season for hunting, renders it visible for three miles or more. Even
the helpless kidling is as white as cotton, and a grand
mark for eagles.
That those goats should look so stiff and genuinely
ungraceful on their legs, gave me a distinct feeling of
disappointment. From that moment I gave up all hope
of ever seeing a goat perform any feats requiring either
speed or leaping powers; for we saw that of those short,
thick legs,—nearly as straight as four Indian clubs,—
nothing is to be expected save power in lifting and sliding, and rocklike steadfastness. In all the two hundred
and thirty-nine goats that we saw, we observed nothing
to disprove the conclusive evidence of that day regarding the physical powers of the mountain goat.
While we watched the band of mountain loafers, still
another old billy goat, making No. 13, appeared across
the rock basin far to our left. From the top of the
northern ridge, he set out to walk across the wide rock
wall that formed the western face of Phillips Peak.
From where we were the wall seemed almost smooth, but 86    CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
to the goat it must have looked otherwise. Choosing a
narrow, light-gray line of stratification that extended
across the entire width of the wall, the solitary animal
set out on its promenade. The distance to be traversed
to reach the uppermost point of our sky-pasture was
about fifteen hundred feet, and the contour line chosen
was about four hundred feet above our position. The
incident was like a curtain-raiser to a tragic play.
That goat's walk was a very tame performance. The
animal plodded steadily along, never faster, never slower,
but still with a purposeful air, like a postman delivering
mail. For a mountain goat, not pursued or frightened,
it was a rapid walk, probably three miles an hour. Its
legs swung to and fro with the regularity and steadiness
of four pendulums, and I think they never once paused.
The animal held to that one line of stratification, until
near the end of its promenade. There a great mass of
rock had broken away from the face of the cliff, and the
goat was forced to climb down about fifty feet, then up
again, to regain its chosen route. A few minutes later
its ledge ran out upon the apex of the sky-meadow.
There Billy paused for a moment, to look about him;
then he picked out a soft spot, precisely where the steep
slope of the meadow ended against the rocky peak, and
lay down to rest.
Up to that time, Mr. Phillips and I had killed only
one goat each, and as we lay there we had time to decide upon the future. He resolved to kill one fine goat
as a gift to the Carnegie Museum, and I wished two
more for my own purposes.   We decided that at a total  _
of three goats each,—two less than our lawful right,—
we would draw the line, and kill no more.
The first shot at the pair of invisible goats was to be
mine; and as already suggested, the circumstances were
like those surrounding a brief moving target in a shooting-gallery. Before us were two rocky crag-points, and
behind the one on the left, the animals lay hidden for
fully an hour. Between the two crags the V-shaped
spot of the meadow, across which I knew my goat would
walk or run, looked very small. If he moved a yard too
far, the right-hand crag would hide him from me until
he would be three hundred yards away. I was compelled
to keep my rifle constantly ready, and one eye to the
front, in order to see my goat in time to get a shot at
him while he crossed that forty feet of ground.
And after all, I came ever so near to making a failure of my vigil. I was so absorbed in watching that
unprecedented band of billies that before I knew it, the
two goats were in the centre of the V-shaped stage, and
moving at a good gait across it.   Horrors!
Hurriedly I exclaimed to Mr. Phillips, " There they
are!" took a hurried aim at the tallest goat, and just as
his head was going out of sight, let go. He flinched
upward at the shoulders, started forward at a trot, and
instantly disappeared from my view.
The instant my rifle cracked, Mr. Phillips said,
" Don't move! Don't make a sound, and those goats
will stay right where they are."
Instantly we " froze."   All the goats sprang up, and 88    CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
stood at attention. All looked fixedly in our direction,
but the distant eleven were like ourselves,—frozen into
statues. In that band not a muscle moved for fully three
Finally the goats decided that the noise they had
heard was nothing at which to be alarmed. One by one
their heads began to move, and in five minutes their
fright was over. Some went on feeding, but three or
four of the band decided that they would saunter down
our way and investigate that noise.
But what of my goat?
John slid over to my left, to look as far as possible
behind the intercepting crag.   Finally he said,
" He's done for!   He's lying out there, dead."
As soon as possible I looked at him; and sure enough,
he lay stretched upon the grass, back uphill, and apparently very dead. The other goat had gone on and joined
the ten.
The investigating committee came walking down
toward us with a briskness which soon brought them
within rifle-shot; and then Mr. Phillips picked out his
Carnegie Museum goat and opened fire, at a range of
about three hundred yards. The first shot went high,
but at the next the goat came down, hit behind the shoulder. This greatly alarmed all the other goats, but they
were so confused that three of them came down toward
us at a fast trot. At two hundred yards I picked out
one, and fired. At my third shot, it fell, but presently
scrambled up, ran for the edge of the precipice and
dropped over out of sight.   It landed, mortally wounded, A  GREAT  DAY  WITH  GOATS
on some ragged rocks about fifty feet down, and to end
its troubles a shot from the edge quickly finished it.
Mr. Phillips killed his first goat, and before the
bunch got away, broke the leg of another. This also got
over the edge of the precipice, and had to be finished up
from the edge.
But a strange thing remains to be told.
By the time Mr. Phillips and I had each fired about
two shots of the last round, in the course of which we
ran well over to the right in order to command the field,
to our blank amazement my first goat,—the dead one!—
staggered to his feet, and started off toward the edge of
the precipice. It was most uncanny to see a dead animal
thus come to life!
I Look, Director," cried Charlie Smith, " your first
goat's come to life! Kill him again! Kill him again,
I did so; and after the second killing he remained
dead. I regret to say that in my haste to get those goats
measured, skinned, and weighed before night, I was so
absorbed that I forgot to observe closely where my first
shot struck the goat that had to be killed twice. I think
however, that it went through his liver and other organs
without touching the vital portions of the lungs.
My first goat was the tallest one of the six we killed
on that trip, but not the heaviest. He was a real patriarch, and decidedly on the downhill side of life. He
was so old that he had but two incisor teeth remaining,
and they were so loose they were almost useless. He
was thin in flesh, and his pelage was not up to the mark 9o    CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
in length. But in height he was tall, for he stood forty-
two inches at the shoulders, with the foreleg pushed up
where it belongs in a standing animal.
Mr. Phillips's Carnegie Museum goat was the heaviest one shot on that trip, its gross weight being two hundred and seventy-six pounds.
Charlie decided to roll the skinned carcass of my
goat down the mountain, if possible within rifle-shot of
the highest point of green timber, in the hope that a
grizzly might find it, and thereby furnish a shot. He
cut off the legs at the knees, and started the body rolling
on the sky-pasture, end over end. It went like a wheel,
whirling down at a terrific rate, sometimes jumping fifty
feet. It went fully a quarter of a mile before it reached
a small basin, and stopped. The other carcass, also, was
rolled down. It went sidewise, like a bag of grain, and
did not roll quite as far as the other.
By the time we had finished our work on the goats,—
no trifling task,—night was fast approaching, and leaving all the heads, skins and meat for the morrow, we
started for our new camp, five miles away.
We went down the meadow (thank goodness!), and
soon struck the green timber; and then we went on down,
down, and still farther down, always at thirty degrees,
until it seemed# to me we never would stop going down,
never reach the bottom and the trail. But everything
earthly has an end. At the end of a very long stretch of
plunging and sliding, we reached Avalanche Creek, and
drank deeply of the icy-cold water for which we had so
long been athirst. t\
After three miles of travel down the creek, over slide-
rock, through green timber, yellow willows, more green
timber and some down timber, we heard the cheerful
whack of Huddleston's axe, and saw on tree-trunk and
bough the ruddy glow of the new camp-fire.
The new camp was pitched in one of the most fascinating spots I ever camped within. The three tents
stood at the southern edge of a fine, open grove of giant
spruces that gave us good shelter on rainy days. Underneath the trees there was no underbrush, and the ground
was deeply carpeted with dry needles. Grand mountains rose on either hand, practically from our camp-
fire, and for our front view a fine valley opened southward for six miles, until its lower end was closed by the
splendid mass of Roth Mountain and Glacier. Close at
hand was a glorious pool of ice-water, and firewood " to
burn." Yes, there was one other feature, of great moment,—abundant grass for our horses, in the open
meadow in front of the tents.
To crown all these luxuries, Mr. Phillips announced
that, according to mountain customs already established,
and precedents fully set, that camp would then and there
be named in my honor,—" Camp Hornaday." What
more could any sportsman possibly desire? CHAPTER  VIII
A Mountain Goat's Paradise—General Character of the Animal—Its
Place in Nature—Not an "Antelope"—Description—Distribution—
Food—Sleeping-Places—Accidents in Snow-Slides—Swimming—
Stupid or Not Stupid—Courage—A Philosophic Animal—Affection
—Fighting Powers—A Goat Kills a Grizzly—Bear-Shy Goats—
The Tragedy of the Self-Trapped Goats.
" On dizzy ledge of mountain wall, above the timber-line,
I hear the riven slide-rock fall toward the stunted pine.
Upon the paths I tread secure no foot dares follow me,
For I am master of the crags, and march above the scree."
—The Cragmaster.
Of the thirty days spent by us in the home of the
mountain goat, two only were devoted to hunting goats
to shoot them. Scarcely a day passed without at least
one flock of goats in sight. We saw two hundred and
thirty-nine individuals, challenging all repeaters, and
carefully eliminating those seen a second or third time.
It was because we shot little that we saw much.
The high country between the Elk and the Bull
Rivers is indeed a mountain goat's paradise, and what I
there saw of that strange creature gave me an entirely
new set of impressions regarding its character and habits.
We studied goats alive, we photographed them, shot
them, measured, weighed and ate them. Finally, we
brought back with us five living specimens; and as I
became really acquainted with this creature, its stock
gradually rose to par.
In its form, the mountain goat is the most picturesque and droll-looking of all our large game animals. In some respects it is the bravest and hardiest of
our hoofed animals, and the only one that is practically
devoid of fear.
I am tempted to believe that of the few men who
have hunted this strange animal, not many have taken
time to become thoroughly acquainted with it, or to formulate a careful estimate of its character as revealed
in its native mountains. Many writers have called it
stupid, and very few have recognized it as an unrivalled
It is folly to attempt to compare any animal with
the Himalayan tahr, the markhor, ibex or chamois until
the comparer has seen and studied them in their homes.
It is my belief, however, that no animal, hoofed or
clawed, can surpass the climbing feats of the mountain
goat. Certainly there is no American quadruped, not
even the bold and hardy mountain sheep, which will
with the utmost indifference climb an eighty-degree
precipice, or jog across the face of a five-hundred-foot
wall on a footing so narrow and uncertain that the
strongest glass cannot detect it. I have never seen a
mountain sheep take such desperate chances on the rocks
as any goat will essay as serenely as a boulevardier
promenades along a ten-foot sidewalk.
tel I!
Once while bear-hunting at Lake Josephine with
Charlie Smith, we came to a particularly high, long and
smooth precipice. The rock wall was nearly half a mile
long, and I think at least six hundred feet high, with a
hundred feet of very steep slide-rock at its foot. It
curved around a basin, like the wall of a gigantic Colosseum. A big and shaggy billy goat elected to walk across
the face of that appalling wall, about half-way from bottom to top, and as we slowly marched past far below, we
watched him.
He was so high up that he felt no fear of us, and on
the dizzy course that he elected to take, he looked like
a mechanical toy pegging along. In that clear air,
however, our glasses brought him down to us exceedingly well.
As is always the case when upon rocks, the firmness
with which each hoof was planted,—to avoid slips, and
to detect loose rocks,—gave the animal a very stiff gait.
His steps were long, as regular as the tick of a clock,
and not for one second did the animal hesitate regarding his course. His gait was as steady as if he were
walking along a smooth road, and the directness of his
course was remarkable. Occasionally he paused to look
down and scrutinize us, but after each inspection he
jogged on as indifferently as before. I am sure no
mountain sheep, nor any other American animal, ever
would attempt to go over that appalling course. It was
a sight worth coming far to see.
How could the goat have known that a practicable
route lay before him?   There must have been a stratum THE  MOUNTAIN  GOAT AS WE SAW HIM    95
of rock, harder than that above it, which had disintegrated more slowly than the rest of the wall, and left a
projecting rim; but if so, our glasses failed to show it.
The spectacle we saw was of a big goat briskly promenading on nothing, straight across the face of a bare wall.
We watched him with bated breath, as one watches a
steeple-jack who is repairing a finial; and for my part,
I would not have shot him for a hundred dollars. To
have killed him as he traced out that dizzy path would
have been murder, no less; and think of the unforgetable
horror of his fall through space upon that jagged slide-
Among naturalists, a good deal has been said about
the inappropriateness of calling this animal a " goat."
Some have laid stress upon its antelope-like characters,
and some have seriously proposed, and even used, the
name " goat antelope." If the mountain goat has about
him anything that is particularly like the typical antelopes, it must be very deep down in his anatomy, for
thus far it never has been pointed out. Think of an
antelope with a form like a pygmy bison, carrying its
head lower than its shoulders! Certainly the resemblance alleged is not found in his massive hoofs, his short
cannon bone, his six-inch tail, his thick and postlike
legs, or his two humps. The strange glands behind his
horns are absolutely unique. His shoulder hump is like
that of the European bison, but the hair-hump on his
hindquarters is not reproduced on any other animal. His
hairy coat is as unlike that of all antelopes now living
as could possibly be imagined.    His huge, india-rubber
hoof resembles that of an antelope about as much as the
hoof of a cow resembles that of a deer, but no more.
This creature may not be a twin brother to Capra hircus
—the first known goat; but at the same time, it is at least
a million years from being an " antelope," of any sort.
In fact, its build is far heavier than that of the other
members of the two subfamilies of goats, to say nothing
of the long-necked, slender-limbed and agile antelopes.
A real crag-climbing antelope would indeed be a zoological novelty.
It is sometimes said that this animal is not a " goat"
because it does not belong to the genus Capra, a group
of animals restricted to the Old World. But there are
a number of goats that do not belong to that genus, just
as there are many deer that are not found in the genus
Cervus. The word " goat" is a family name, the same
as I deer." Shall we quarrel with the name " deer " as
applied to our mule deer, or white-tailed deer, because
they are outside the pale of Cervus? And yet, such a
departure would be quite as well justified as are the
objections to 1 goat" for the white cragmaster of the
Rockies. If there are any writers who wish to call
Oreamnos an " antelope," let them do so; but the Reader
is advised that in adhering to the name 1 mountain goat "
he will be sufficiently correct.
In order to set forth at a glance the mountain goat's
place in nature, and also its nearest relatives, this diagram is offered: Q
S    <u
< _c
The Long-
horned Goats.
First-known Goats    .       .       .       Capra
Persia, Greece, Palestine, etc.
Ibexes Capra
Asia, Europe, N-E Africa.
Turs Capra
Spain, Caucasus Mountains.
Markhors Capra
_ Himalayas, north-west of India.
Tahrs (usually placed in Cap-
rinae)   ....     Hemitragus
India, north and south; Arabia.
Serows, or Forest Goats  .   Nemorbcedus
North-east Asia and Japan.
Gorals Cemas
North India, Tibet and China.
Rocky Mountain Goat      .       . Oreamnos
North-western North America.
Chamois     .       .       .       .       Rupicapra
Southern Europe.
Takin Budorcas
Southern China.
The Short-
horned Goats.
The classification of both these subfamilies was
founded upon the genus Capra, as first represented by
the goats of Greece, Persia and Asia Minor. Later on,
to avoid the multiplication of genera, the ibexes, markhors and others were taken into that genus. The goats
of the Subfamily Gaprince are partly distinguished by
flattened horns of considerable length, which sometimes
curve upward in remarkable lines. From all these forms
the Rocky Mountain goat differs materially, just as the
prong-horned antelope differs from African antelopes.
The members of the Subfamily Gaprince are so much
alike that they stand in one group, like a three-peaked
island rising out of a sea.   In the Subfamily Rupicaprince
there are six solitary islets, one each for the tahrs, serows,
gorals, mountain goat, chamois and takin,—all of them
short-horned goats, no more, no less.
In its physical aspect the mountain goat is both striking and peculiar. In September it is brilliantly white,
and its coat is as immaculate as a new fur cloak fresh
from the hands of the furrier. From nose to tail, it is
newly combed, and without spot or stain. It seems as
white as newly fallen snow, but in direct comparison
with snow there is a faint, cream-like tint. It is the only
wild hoofed animal in the world (s. f. a. k.) which is
pure white all the year round; for in spring and summer
the white mountain sheep stains his coat very badly.
The pelage of the mountain goat is the finest and
softest, and also the warmest, to be found on any North
American hoofed animal except the musk-ox. To wind,
dry cold and snow it is seemingly impervious, but there
are times and seasons when the rain-coat is imperfect, and
too short to shed rain. In September, the rain-coat is
not fully developed, and the fine pelage which covers
the sides is almost as soft as down. As winter approaches,
the fine hair of the under coat seems to stop growing,
but the coarser and straighter hair of the rain-coat keeps
on until it has attained such luxuriant length that the
animal takes on a shaggy appearance. Late in November this reaches its full length. Even in September, the
beard and knee-breeches are of good length, and these,
with the queerly rounded crests, on the shoulders and on
the hindquarters, contain the only hair of the whole coat
that is coarse and harsh.  I
About six goats out of every seven are pure white,
but the coat of the seventh contains in its tail, and along
the pelvic crest, a few scattering, dark-brown hairs. This
is noticeable on kids in their first year, as well as on
adult animals. Occasionally the tail of a goat contains
so many dark hairs that the normal color is really
changed; but it should be remembered that these occasional occurrences of brown hairs do not indicate any
specific differences.
The goat is very stockily built,—for stability and
strength rather than for agility and speed. The long
spinal processes of his dorsal vertebrae give him a hump
somewhat like that of a bison; and like a bison he carries
his head low, and has short, thick legs, terminating in
big hoofs. His body is big and full, and his sides stick
out with plenty. He can carry his head above the line of
his neck and shoulders, but he seldom does so save when
frightened, or looking up.
His horns are jet black, round, very smooth for the
terminal half, and sharp as skewers. When the goat
fights, he gets close up to his assailant's forequarters, and
with a powerful thrust diagonally upward, punctures his
enemy's abdomen. In attacking, the movements of the
goat are exceedingly jerky and spasmodic, advancing and
whirling away again with the quick jumps of the modern prize-fighter. The horns are not long, usually ranging in length from 9 to 11 inches by 5^ inches in basal
circumference. The longest pair on record is owned by
Mr. Clive Phillips-Wolley, of Victoria, B. C, and its
length is eleven and one-half inches. | oo CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
The gland behind the horn of the mountain goat
is largest during September and October, and subsides
somewhat after the close of the mating season. If it
serves any useful purpose, that purpose is as yet unknown. On September nth, each gland is about the
size of a small black-walnut, flattened on the naked surface which touches the horn, and round within the skin.
Instead of lying flat upon the skull, as shown by many
taxidermists, the naked surface stands upon its edge. It
is decidedly concave at the centre, black in color, smooth,
and practically odorless. It fits up closely against the
base of the horn, and of the naked portion only a narrow
edge is visible. We found no oil, nor even moisture,
exuding. When cut into sections, the interior appears
to be calloused flesh, like the palm of the human hand.
On the date mentioned above, the naked portion of the
gland of a large male goat was one and one-half inches
in diameter, and at the centre there was a pronounced
depression. Of the six goats killed by us, the horns of
none showed evidence of any disintegrating action from
these glands. Yet one of my specimens was very old.
The female goat possesses these glands, but they are proportionately smaller than those of males of the same age.
On the living animal they are not conspicuous.
The eyes of the adult goat are not " jet black." The
iris is straw-color, a little darker than Naples yellow,
and the pupil is a broad, blunt-ended ellipse. J. Kanof-
sky, of New York, makes them correctly. The edge of
the eyelid, and the naked portions of the nostrils and lips,
are black.   The eyes of a young kid are so dark they THE MOUNTAIN GOAT AS WE SAW HIM 101
appear to be all black, but when nine months old the iris
assumes its true color.
The hoofs are like big, twin masses of india-rubber,
—a ball of soft rubber, encased in a strong shell of hard
rubber. It is chiefly the soft rubber which enables this
strange animal to climb as it does. The shell of hard
rubber is thin, and around the front half of the hoof it
forms an edge which may be sharp or blunt, according
to the wear upon it. On the front hoofs, this edge always
is more worn than on the rear hoofs, because the former
do the hardest work. The bottom of a goat's hoof is
very different from that of a mountain sheep, the former
being concave near the toe, and convex at the heel, while
that of the sheep is a hollow cup, with sharp edges.
I was rather pleased at finding out the trick by
which a goat descends a dangerously steep incline. Over
smooth rock that stands at an angle of forty-five degrees,
—on which no man can stand, much less move about,—
a mountain sheep goes down pell-mell, slipping, sliding
and plunging almost helplessly until it reaches some kind
of a stopping-place.
Not so the goat. I once induced a captive goat to
descend a plank inclined at forty-five degrees, and he
tobogganed on his rear hoofs, with his monstrous dew-
claws pressed hard upon the wood, and his hindlegs held
quite stiff. His hocks were within three inches of the
wood and his rubber-like dew-claws acted as first-class
brakes. His front hoofs guided his course, and took
advantage of every rough spot, but the animal did not
slide upon them, as he did upon the posterior pair.
The front feet possess a surprising amount of grasping power. It is natural for a goat leaping high up to
hook his front feet over any available edge, and hold fast
until his rear hoofs can find a hold, and push up. In
the Zoological Park, one of our goats had a great fancy
for climbing a tree-box that protected a small red-cedar
tree, and perching for minutes upon the tops of the four
posts, seven feet from the ground. The posts were covered with wire netting of half-inch mesh. The goat
leaped upon the side of this, dug the points of his hoofs
against the rough surface, and kept digging until he
could reach the top of a post with one foot, and hook it
over. After that the rest was easy, and it was always a
droll sight to see that creature so poised, calmly surveying the landscape.
The long, straight beard of a male goat always imparts to the animal an uncanny, and even human-like
appearance. When he sits down, dog-fashion, and turns
his head first one way and then the other while he gazes
admiringly upon the scenery before him, his appearance
is strongly suggestive of patriarchal humanity.
Although the true abiding-place of the mountain
goat is from timber-line to the tops of the summit
divides, and the precipices which buttress the peaks, it
wanders elsewhere with a degree of erratic freedom that
in a cliff-dweller is remarkable. It seems very strange
for white goats to range far down into the timber, and
remain there, but they often do so. In 1904 a large
band of goats, reported at thirty or more, came down to
Sparwood station on the railway a few miles below Bottom of a Mountain Goat's Foot
Bottom of a Sheep's Foot Ill
Michel, to visit a salt-lick. At Skaguay, Alaska, goats
have been killed in the suburbs of the town, only a few
feet above tide-water. Mr. W. H. Wright says that until
very recently goats descended every fall from the main
range of the Rocky Mountains in north-western Montana, and crossed the level Flathead Valley, a distance
of about fifteen miles, to the Mission Mountains, returning in the spring.
The known range of the mountain goat extends from
the Teton Mountains of Wyoming (1892) northward
along the main range of the Rockies to the latitude of
Ft. Simpson, 620. Northward of that point, we lack information, but it is very probable that on the main Rocky
Mountain range only, but not westward thereof, it will be
found much farther north than the sixty-second parallel.
Along the Pacific coast, from Vancouver northward
to Cook Inlet, the range of this animal in the coast
mountains is almost continuous. From the great interior area of Yukon Territory, from the main chain of the
Rockies to the coast mountains, the species is totally absent.
Regarding the eastern limit of the mountain goat, a
surprising record has come from Mr. M- P. Dunham,
of Ovando, Montana, a guide and hunter of forty years'
experience on the trail, who knows this animal very well.
He states that in 1882 or 1883, ne killed two mountain
goats in the Chalk Buttes on Box Elder Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri, in western North Dakota.
At first the great distance of this locality (about four
hundred miles) from the main range of the Rockies
made this report seem almost incredible, but the record i
comes to me directly from Mr. Dunham, and his standing fairly compels belief. Between the Little Missouri
and the Rockies the great plains are broken by only a
few small and widely separated groups of mountains, all
of which rise like islands out of a sea. Mr. George Bird
Grinnell once received a report of goats having been
killed by Indians in the Little Snowy mountains, a group
well out on the Montana plains.
The map accompanying these notes shows only actual
occurrences of Oreamnos during the past fifteen years.
Along the Coast of British Columbia and Alaska, and
the Stickine and Skeena Rivers, the occurrences reported
were so numerous that the lines are really continuous.
Beyond doubt, the goat occurs in many localities not
marked on the map; but it seems best to be exact, and
stop short of uncertainties.
We endeavored to learn something regarding the
food habits of the goat as displayed on the mountain
summits of south-eastern British Columbia. To this end,
I took a sample of the contents of the stomach of my
first goat, panned it out, and permanently preserved a
series of specimens.
First of all, we found that on those mountains, in September, Oreamnos is not a grazing animal. Of grass we
found only a few blades. It would seem however, that this
was due to an autumn caprice, for surely in other seasons,
and in other localities, this animal must feed upon grass.
The stomach contained no woody fibre, and nothing
to indicate a browsing habit, save a few leaves of the
yellow willow, which grows in the sunshine of open val-
leys, or upon slide-ways. In that locality at least, the
goat is not a September browser. During our whole
thirty days on his home range, we saw not one twig, nor
a piece of bark, that had been bitten off by goat or sheep.
In September, the British Columbian goat is a cropper. He lives by cropping the thick leaves, and stems
also, of a number of large weedlike plants which grow
abundantly up to timber-line. Our first two goats were
shot while feeding upon a lace-leaved anemone or pasque
flower, called Pulsatilla occidentalis. Its leaves are finely
cut and lacelike, and one plant furnishes several good
mouthfuls. It was quite abundant, and the goats were
fond of it. We found it in fruit, with the peduncle
elongated into an upright stalk from eight to ten inches
high, crowned by a head of silky achenes, with long,
plumose styles, very suggestive of a ripe dandelion.
Here is the whole array of species that we found in
my goat's stomach, and matched by plants found growing around our camp. The entire mass would have filled
a peck measure, and it was so slightly masticated that we
had no great difficulty in recognizing its principal ingredients. My specimens were identified by Dr. D. T.
MacDougal, as follows:
Lace-Leaved Anemone  Pulsatilla occidentalis
Mountain Sorrel  Otyria digyna.
Wild Valerian  Valeriana.
Yellow Willow  Salix.
Squaw-Weed  Senecio triangularis.
"Goat-Weed," with flower like candytuft   .      . Unidentified.
Mountain-Timothy  Pbleum alpinum.
"Wild Pea"    ........ Hedysarum.
Wild Strawberry  Unidentifiable. I
Wyoming:     Teton Mountains, 1892
Montana:      Big Hole Country, 1899
Granite Country; Mission   Range,  Fla
St. Mary's Lakes region, 1902 .
Idaho: Bitter Root Mountains
Washington: Silverton, Cascade Mountains, 1892
Conconally,   1884;   Slocan   Mountains
Lake Chelan	
W. H. Wright
Samuel C. Pirie
W. H. Wright
A. P. Proctor
W. H. Wright
A. P. Proctor
W. H. Wright
Fernte:   1904       •       °       •       •       • •
Elk River: 1905	
Bull River: 1905	
Spillamachene River: Golden, 1904	
Clinton: 1905	
Quesnel Forks: 1905	
Bakerville (north-east): 1905	
Slocan Lakey east, 1888; Similkameen River, 1888; Coqui-
halla River, 1888; Harrison Lake; Pitt Lake,
north; Princess Louise Inlet; Bridge River;
Wauchope (Brewer Creek); Yellowhead
Pass; Canoe River, 1885; Head of Fraser
River; Peace River, longitude 1250, latitude
560; Knight Inlet, latitude 510; Bute Inlet;
Dean Channel; Gardiner Canal; Kitimat
Arm; Skeena River (from Port Essington
200 miles up); Nass River; Stickine; Iscoot;
McDame Creek (Dease River); Scheslay
River; Francis Lake.
"The Goat is the most widely distributed
animal in British Columbia, and except the
black bear is the only animal found throughout the length and breadth of the province.
Apparently it is equally at home in the dry
belt, and the wet coast belt lying east and
west of the Cascade Mountains."—Letter
and map, dated March 12, 1906.
Big-Horn Hills: Head of Athabasca River, 1902
(Eastern slope of Rockies.)
H. W. Herchmer
John M. Phillips
T. Van Nostrand
Madison Grant
F. Soues
W. Stephenson
James McKern
Warburton Pike
G. O. Shields <u
^ I
R Clive Phillips-Woliey
Ashanola: Similkameen; West Kootenay; Bridge River;~
Empire Valley; Chilcotin; Knight's Inlet;
Stickine River, "and a dozen other places
between Lagan and Wrangel. It is not
found on Vancouver Island. I believe it
occurs almost everywhere else.,"—1906. I
Tidewater   Inlets:   Jervis ;   Bute ;   Knight's ;   Kingcome;
Khutze and Gardiner, etc. to 6o° north
latitude. Not on Vancouver Island or
other islands.
Atlin: 1906  J. Williams
South Fork of Stickine River: 1905 Samuel C. Pirie
"Skeena   and Nass Rivers, for 200 miles up," from Port
Essington  A. G. Hains
Goat River Mountains: Isaac's Lake (Barkerville)       .       .      James McKern
''Francis Kermode
J. B. Tyrrell
Not found north of McMillan River	
Not found north of the summit of White Pass, nor near
Lake Bennett W. C. McKenzie (Skaguay)
Main range of Rocky Mountains, from Peace River to latitude of Fort Simpson       .      .     W. J. McLean
Lake Francis:   (eastward; latitude 6i° 30', longitude 1290;
1906). "There are no goats in the Yukon
Territory on the western slopes of the
Rocky Mountains, or other interior ranges.
I know nothing about the eastern slopes.
Goats occur on the eastern slopes of the
coast ranges, and some of the spurs. The
same statement will apply to Alaska."
>-Charles Sheldon
"Almost   anywhere  near   sea-coast   from Washington to
Kenai  Peninsula."    But   "rarely   found  beyond Coast - John W. Worden
Range " (eastward), 1906. I
c;              /r«i    •     c *• JA. L. Andrews
Skaguay: Glacer Stafon jw. C. McKenzie
Juneau, within 30 miles I. N. Stephenson
Chilkat River, 45 miles up, 1905 R. A. Gunnison
Kluane Lake, 1905 W. L. Breeze
Copper River, 1900, "mountains near mouth"      .       .       . D. G. Elliot
Wrangel Mountains, 1900 (Gerdine); Mt. St. Elias range,
near Yakutat, 1899; Controller
Bay region; between Tanana and
White Rivers, 1898.
Knick River, 1901 J. Alden Loring
Kenai Peninsula, 1903 James H. Kidder
^Alfred H. Brooks ist
This is the greatest array of species that I ever found
in the stomach of one animal. It shows that in choosing
his food the goat is a broad-minded creature, with a
versatile and vigorous appetite. No wonder his sides are
round. It is probable that in spring the goat's bill of
fare includes many species of plants not in the above
list, and that throughout the year it varies greatly. In
spring the flesh of this animal is so strongly flavored by
the wild onion, then greedily fed upon, that it is quite
unpalatable; but by September that flavor has totally
disappeared, and goat's flesh, cooked and seasoned with
a modicum of intelligence, is then as good as venison of
the same age.
In winter, goats sometimes,—but not frequently—
browse upon the twigs of coniferous trees. Mr. Phillips
has seen evergreen twigs that have been bitten off for
food, when the snow lay deep on the mountains; and he
says that in winter the goats go down into the green
timber to look for food.
Judging by what we saw in the Elk River mountains,
the mountain goat avoids the drifting snows of winter
by choosing for its sleeping-places the knifelike edges
of high | hogbacks " between mountain peaks. And yet,
over those ridges the wind sweeps with a fierceness and
frigidity which it seems no living creature could long
withstand. It is doubtful if the big-horn ever lies down
to rest and to sleep on a hogback over which the wind is
blowing seventy miles an hour, with a temperature of
forty degrees below zero; but the goat does this very
thing.   We saw a dozen ridge summits, paved with their THE MOUNTAIN GOAT AS WE SAW HIM 109
droppings, which Norboe and Smith assured us were the
winter sleeping-places of goats. In winter goats also
seek food upon the bleak ridges from which the snow is
continually swept clean by the wind.
Up to the time we left the mountains (September
30) the rutting season had not begun. Our guides say
it does not begin until December 1. The old male goats
were living quite apart from the herds of females and
young males, and there was not the slightest sign of
sexual excitement. The herds were quiet, to the point
of dulness. The open pastures between timber-line and
the naked rocks of the summits were covered with food,
and once below his beloved rocks a goat had only to
stoop and take. Often we saw goats lie on their pastures,
motionless for hours, unable to eat more. They loved to
lie on southern slopes, bathing themselves in the glorious
sunshine, and blinking away the hours. Whenever a
herd was sighted at rest, it was safe to count upon its
remaining there for an hour or two, unless disturbed by
a hunter.
Everywhere we went, I watched the slides for evidences of accidents to goats through being overwhelmed
by spring avalanches, but saw none. I closely questioned
Charlie Smith and the Norboe brothers, but none of
them could recall a single instance of a dead goat in a
snow-slide. They said the goats are too wary to be
caught. But there are exceptions. Mr. W. Stephenson writes me from Quesnel Forks, central British
Columbia, of a goat which was killed in a snow-
slide   in   May,   1905,   in   the   mountains   east  of   that
yi :
town. This is the only record of the kind that ever
has come to me, but there is one other of a fearfully
injured goat, which I fully believe was hurt in an
Late in the spring of 1902, when Mr. G. O. Shields
was taking photographs in the Rocky Mountains of
British Columbia, he found on a small mountain-pasture
a goat which for several days remained in one spot. At
last his curiosity was aroused, and on procuring a particularly good view of the animal through a powerful
field-glass, he found that it had been seriously injured
by some accident. " Its face was badly cut and torn,"
says Mr. Shields, " and a section of its nose some six
inches long, extending from about the eyes to the tip of
the nose, was an open sore. There was also a wound in
one shoulder. I told Mr. Wright, the guide, that I
thought it would be best to go up and see what the
trouble was with this animal.
" He went, and Coleman with him. They easily got
within fifty yards of the goat, and found that the entire
upper portion of its face [muzzle] had been torn off,
and that the nostrils were exposed and bleeding. They
naturally concluded that as soon as warm weather and
flies came, the goat would die from the effects of its misfortune. Accordingly they crawled up, made several
photographs of the goat in various positions, then killed
it, in order to put it out of its misery."
Mr. Shields believes that the carrying away of the
goat's face was done in some manner by a snow-slide, in
which the goat's head was held very firmly while either THE  MOUNTAIN  GOAT AS WE SAW HIM  in
a sharp-edged rock of large size, or a log, passed over it,
grinding away skin and bone, and laying bare the bottom
of the nasal passage.
It seems that when occasion demands it, the mountain goat can swim very well, and <loes not hesitate to
do so. I have already mentioned the spring and fall
migrations of goats across the valley of the Flathead, as
observed by Mr. W. H. Wright. In making that journey the animals always had to swim the Flathead River.
Farther north, in Athabasca, Mr. Wright and Mr.
Shields saw the trails of goats that had crossed one of
the branches of Athabasca River, by swimming. Beyond
doubt it would be possible to learn of many instances of
river-swimming by goats.
Many authors have written of the | stupidity " of the
mountain goat; and on that subject I may as well record
here the conclusions of Mr. Phillips, our guides and the
First, however, let me correct,—for British Columbia at least,—a trifling error that is rather common in
recipes for stalking the mountain goat. Some writers
say, I first get above him," etc. We say, spare yourself
that trouble; for it is quite unnecessary. While it is possible to scale all sorts of peaks, and climb above the goat,
he who does so (in British Columbia) will find his hunting seriously handicapped by impassable slopes of rock
that keep him away from the very points from which he
would fain look below. The best way to hunt goats is
to stalk them on the level, and shoot them on the square.
Mr. Phillips says that in all the goat-hunting of which IMS
Sl m
he personally knows, only two goats have been shot from
Personally I know not how wary goats are in countries wherein they have been much hunted; for the goats
of Elk River actually did not know the significance of
the report of fire-arms! This is not necessarily stupidity.
Even wolves are | tame " in the far north, where C. J.
Jones fought them, and take risks which any southern
wolf would regard as suicidal. It takes a little time for
a wild species to learn what it is to be shot, and to flee
quickly and far from the presence of man.
I regard the primitive mountain goat as an animal
to whom fear is almost an unknown sensation. He is
serenely indifferent to the dangers of crag-climbing and
ledge-walking, and to him a five-hundred-foot precipice
is no more than a sidewalk to a domestic goat. So long
as he has six inches of rough points on which to plant
his rubber-like hoofs, he considers the route practicable.
Why, then, he would say, should he be timid about a
few strange animals which walk upright, but never dare
to meet him face to face on the walls? Why should he
jump and tremble because he hears a loud noise, like
the bang of a big rock falling a hundred feet and exploding on the slide-rock? Among men, the peacefully minded gentleman naturally assumes that no
one will wantonly insult or attack him; therefore
he regards his fellows with calmness and serenity, unarmed. The mountain goat has practically no enemies
save men and eagles. The grizzly bear knows that
Oreamnos is not for him, and for good and sufficient
reasons the mountain lion and wolf do their hunting far
below him.
Truly, the goats we saw at home were unacquainted
with fear. They have no nerves! With dogs and men
you can corner a goat on a ledge,*and hold him there
for an hour or two. He will get very angry, and grit
his teeth, and perhaps kill several of your dogs, but he
will not get " rattled," and he will neither fall off nor
leap off to certain death, as any deer surely will do under
such circumstances. There are some men, and also some
animals, who do not become panic-stricken, even when
they are being killed; and of the latter I think the
mountain goat is one.
We like a " nervy " man, or a nervy animal,—which
in common parlance means an individual without nerves!
Fifty years ago the grizzly bear was an animal which
knew not fear of any living thing; and then he was Great.
To-day the grizzly is a quitter. In nine cases out of
every ten, the moment he sees a man, he runs from him,
frantically. A cotton-tail rabbit does not turn tail more
quickly or more thoroughly than he. He is wiser than
he was; but we don't respect him as much as we did
fifty years ago.
The mountain goat seems to have rather dull visual
powers. We think so because he does not seem to see
us as soon as we discover him, or at least does not manifest fear by running from us. But it may be that he
does see us, as quickly as a deer or sheep, or bear; but
having only a fraction of their suspicion of man, he does
not move off until he feels really forced to do so.   Small
as its eyes are, a grizzly is very keen-sighted; and I can
see no reason for believing that the goat is of dull vision
simply because he is not ever ready to run at the slightest alarm.
More than once we had positive proof that the
mountain goat does not take alarm and run from man
the moment his presence is detected. On the day I
killed my grizzly bear, Charlie Smith and I rode to
Goat Pass to inspect our cache of provisions and other
things, half in the hope of finding a silver-tip in the act
of robbing us. Besides ourselves and our two horses, the
dog was with us, and between men, horses and dog there
certainly was a variety of what Mr. Seton aptly calls
I man scent."
When we reached our cache, from which we overlooked the head gorge of Goat Creek, we saw a billy
goat feeding on the fearfully steep declivity which comes
down from Phillips Peak.
" That would be our goat, if we wanted him,
Charlie." ' ■   .  \ .;j^j
I You could surely knock him from here," said
Charlie.   11 wonder if he ain't ever going to go!"
I Can it be that he don't see us? "
"If he ain't blind he must see us; and unless he's
got an awful cold in his head, he must smell us, too."
For fully five minutes, I should think, that goat kept
on feeding. At last, however, as we were mounting to
ride on, he left off, and started to climb on up the slope,
—not exactly in alarm, but in a state of what judges call
I reasonable doubt." THE MOUNTAIN GOAT AS WE SAW HIM 115
As might be expected of an animal that is born and
reared amid appalling dangers of many kinds, the mountain goat is a creature of philosophic mind. Through
sheer necessity, he is much given to original thinking;
and like all thoughtful animals, his mental processes and
his moods and tenses are highly interesting. Watch him
closely, day after day, and you will soon conclude that
the term | stupid " does not apply to him. Let us see
whether, with our slight knowledge of him, we can in a
small measure put ourselves in his mental place.
In the first place, Oreamnos has chosen the rugged
crags at and above timber-line as the ground best calculated to enable him to escape from his wild-animal enemies,—the bears, pumas and wolves. From these his
rugged heights render him measurably secure. When
danger threatens, and he climbs up or down to the sheltering arms of the steepest precipice he can find, no wild
creature without wings dares to follow him. Unfortunately, however, his evolution did not take into account
the necessity of adequate provisions for safety from the
modern rifleman. And how could it? There is no such
thing as safety for any wild creature, save under man's
own laws.
In times of danger the elk, the moose and deer generally stampede wildly over the face of Nature, without
much thought. Usually they are able to run straight
away from the hunter. To them the great desideratum
is speed for the first mile. But not so the goat. He
must find a retreat accessible to him, but inaccessible to
his pursuer.   He must disappear as quickly as possible,
ill T
but he must also avoid getting into a cul-de-sac from
which he cannot escape.
All these requirements make a goat think. He must
look ahead, and plan out his line of retreat, or come to
grief. A deer has the quick dash and elan of a cavalryman; but the goat figures things out carefully, on scientific principles, like a general of artillery.
Some hunters of wild goats have called the goat a
stupid animal, because he does not quickly comprehend
the deadliness of man. But is that proof that he really
is stupid?   Let us see.
No mountain hunter will call the mountain sheep a
stupid animal. In regions wherein the sheep have been
shot at, and have learned that a " bang " means a rifle,
and a rifle means a hunter, the big-horn is a very alert
and wary animal. In such regions the successful chase
of the mountain sheep demands the qualities that make
up a first-class sportsman,—endurance, judgment, and
skill with the rifle. But how is it in countries wherein
the wild sheep have not been hunted by man, and know
nothing of white hunters and fire-arms? Ask Mr. Charles
Sheldon, Mr. Carl Rungius, Mr. James H. Kidder and
Mr. Thomas D. Leonard about the sheep which they
found so abundant in the Kenai Peninsula, in the Yukon
Territory and on the Stickine River. They will tell you
that the sheep which they hunted did not know the
meaning of a rifle-shot; that they only partially realized
the deadliness of man; that when a flock was fired at,
the sheep threw up their heads, and gazed and hesitated, until often five shots could be fired at a bunch THE MOUNTAIN GOAT AS WE SAW HIM 117
before it finally realized the danger, and ran out of
That was not due to dulness of mind, or stupidity.
It was due to a lack of information,—ignorance of existing facts. %
Take the record of our four days on Goat Pass,
where we camped literally on the goat's highway between two groups of mountains. The first day we saw
forty-seven goats, all of which saw us; and three of them
ran through our camp. On the third day we saw forty-
two goats, and were seen by all of them. We did not
fire a shot on those mountains until the third day, when
we killed two goats. On the fourth day it was remarked
with surprise that all the goats had | left the country!"
This was literally true. Word had been passed around
among the ten or twelve flocks originally living there,
that there was danger afoot; and as if by magic, one
hundred and ten of the one hundred and fifteen goats
we had seen simply vanished! The only bunch that remained was a flock of r\wt nannies and kids which were
isolated on a rugged mountain that ran off due westward from the main chain of peaks on which we were.
Evidently they did not get the word which alarmed all
the rest. We had fired our rifles in one spot only, which
was at the extreme northern end of that goat-infested
area. Our guides remarked, " We've got to get out of
here, and look for goats somewhere else, if we want to
find any more."
Mr. F. B. Wellman, of Banff, a very observing guide,
who has seen much of goat and sheep hunting, does not
1 1
regard the sheep as any more wary and keen-sighted than
the goat. He has seen large herds of goats post sentinels
who watched for danger so keenly and intelligently that
the approach of a hunter within shooting-distance was
quite impossible. The sentries watch in every direction.
Mr. Wellman advanced the theory that the goat seems
easier to stalk than the sheep because the coat of the former is so conspicuous that the hunter can see it long
before it sees him; and it is also easy to keep it in view
while stalking. On the other hand, all the colors of the
big-horn match so well with his surroundings that he is
difficult to locate, and thereby often is enabled to see the
hunter before the hunter sees him! I think this conclusion is very reasonable, and entirely correct.
In my opinion, no animal which can live all the year
round, and prosper, above timber-line in the British Columbian Rockies, can rightly be called stupid. If the
mountain goat were not a good observer, a good rea-
soner, and at all times cool and level-headed, he would
continually be coming to grief. He would be drowned
by freshets, or carried down by snow-combs and avalanches, or blown off precipices, or caught napping by
grizzly bears. But none of those unpleasant things happen unto him.
Excepting the musk-ox, the mountain goat is the
only North American hoofed animal which does not
lose its head when brought to bay by dogs or men. If
you round up a deer, elk, moose or caribou on a narrow
ledge, or on the edge of a precipice, it will cheerfully
leap off into eternity in order to escape the terrors of man
jim i4i
-	 \
and dog. Mr. Wellman says that sometimes a wounded
sheep on the edge of a cliff will throw itself over, but
that no goat will do this. The latter believes that one
goat on a ledge is worth two in mid-air. With marvellous coolness he stands fast, and waits for something
favorable to turn up. If he can charge the dogs that
annoy him, and gore them to death, or toss them off into
space, he will gladly do so; but if he cannot, he | stands
pat" on his ledge, grits his teeth and stamps with vexation, and says, " Well, what are you going to do about
it? " Among white hunters, it is not considered either
fair or sportsman-like to shoot a goat or sheep that has
been | cornered " on a ledge, unless it is wounded.
The action of a female goat photographed in August,
1905, on Ptarmigan Mountain, B. C, by Professor
Henry F. Osborn, reveals much of goat character, bearing especially upon courage and affection. On the edge
of a ragged precipice, which with great care was practicable for goats, the old nanny and her four-months-old
kid were overtaken, and brought to bay. The way down
to safety was so steep and dangerous that it could be
taken only with caution and judgment; but if the mother
had disregarded her offspring, she could instantly have
found safety for herself by going down where no dog
could follow her.
With the dog so close at hand, the mother decided
that she could not lead the way down, for fear her offspring would be seized before it left the summit. She
therefore faced the dog, with the kid behind her, and
several times attempted to charge her tormentor.    But
- ]
m J
the dog was alert, and easily kept out of the way. As
long as the dog bayed the pair, the mother goat determinedly but patiently stood her ground. This lasted for
some minutes. Finally Professor Osborn called off the
dog, whereupon the mother-goat lost no time in climbing down the precipice, with her offspring following
close behind.*
Excepting the musk-ox and female grizzly bear,
what other American animal would have taken such
risks for its young, or would have acted so bravely and
so sensibly?
Of course it is to be expected that any wild animal
will to the best of its ability defend its young against
the attacks of other animals. In the spring of 1905, Mr.
Charles L. Smith saw a female goat successfully defend
her kid from a golden eagle which sought to seize it.
The goat stood close beside her young, and whenever the
eagle swooped, and sought to seize the kid, the mother
reared on her hindlegs, and with her horns made thrust
after thrust at the eagle. In a short time the eagle abandoned its attempt.
The mountain goat is not only sublimely courageous
in climbing, and in traversing precipices, but as occasion
requires, it is also a bold and effective fighter. Those
who know the limit of its temper can judge of the risks
of life and limb which Mr. Phillips ran when he faced
* A full account of this remarkable experience, written by Professor
Osborn, and fully illustrated, will be found in the Tenth Annual Report of
the New York Zoological Society. The Ninth Annual Report, of the same
series, contains an admirable illustrated paper on " The Mountain Goat," by
an angry " billy " on a two-foot ledge, at a distance of
six feet or less, in taking a series of photographs of the
animal. One determined charge, and one fierce upward
thrust of those sharp horns, would have thrown the daring photographer off the ledge to igstant death.
The fighting qualities of this remarkable animal are
best illustrated by the records of actual occurrences.
For a number of years Mr. Arthur B. Fenwick has maintained a large ranch about fourteen miles north of Fort
Steele, British Columbia. Being an ardent sportsman
and nature-lover he has seen much of the mountain
goats, sheep, bears and other animals that literally surround him. In response to an inquiry, Mr. Fenwick
wrote me as follows:
" As to the fighting capacity of a full-grown billy
goat, he will, with a little luck, kill almost anything.
The story I told Mr. Van Nostrand related to an occurrence on Joseph's Prairie, where Cranbrook now stands.
A full-grown billy goat happened to stray out there, and
old Chief Isadore, who was camped there, saw it. He
and two other Indians thought that with horses, dogs
and ropes they could catch the animal, alive. I think
fifteen dogs left the camp for the goat. A little later a
squaw saw that they were having a bad mix-up, and ran
out to the Indians with a rifle. One of them shot the
goat. All but two of the dogs were killed on the spot,
or died very shortly. It was with the greatest difficulty
that the Indians saved their horses from getting punctured by those terrible little horns.
" I will tell you another fact, which without the ex-
T|J w >
planation you would not believe. A goat will sometimes
kill a full-grown silver-tip bear! I once found a big
goat, dead, which evidently had been killed by a silver-
tip, as there were lots of tracks all around, and the goat's
back was broken. I thought it queer that the bear had
not taken the goat away and buried it, as usual, so I
looked around. I found a large silver-tip bear, dead,
and all bloated up; and when I examined him I found
that the goat had punched him twice, just back of the
heart. He had been able to kill the goat, and had then
gone off and died."
In the spring of 1905, when Messrs. Chapman and
White, of Fort Steele, caught for us the five goat kids
received by me at Fort Steele in October, two of their
best dogs were killed by goats. Mr. B_ T. Van Nostrand,
of Brooklyn, described the occurrence, as follows:
1 They started after the goats with ten dogs. The
larger dogs ran up to the old goats, and tried to seize
them by their heads. Before the dogs could be called
off, the first two were instantly gored, and hurled over
a precipice. White said the goats stood their ground,
and tossed the dogs so quickly they could hardly realize
what had happened until they saw the dogs in the air,
bleeding from the wounds made by the horns of the
goats. When White and Chapman appeared, the goats
moved off. The remaining dogs were able to separate
the kids from the rest of the band, and finally they
caught five."
It seems that sometimes goats kill each other.
" Four years ago," continued Mr. Van Nostrand, " I \
was shooting in about the same locality as that in which
your goats were caught, and there I witnessed the finish
of a fight between two large billies. I had shot at a
mountain sheep ram on the sky-line, and to find out the
effect of my shot I climbed to the^ummit. At the top
I sat down to rest, and look for the ram, and enjoy the
grandeur of the view. As I sat there motionless, two
goats came around a corner of rock only about fifty yards
away from me. They were walking rather fast, and
whenever the goat in the rear caught up with the one
before him, he gave it a blow with his head. It did not
seem to be a vigorous butt, and at first I thought it was
play. They were making a low, peculiar sound, such
as I cannot describe in words.
I In a very short time, one of the goats lay down
behind a large rock, so that I could see only its head.
The other goat stood, and looked at the one lying down.
Just then they saw me, and this seemed to stop the fight,
for the standing goat began to move away. I fired and
killed him; but to my surprise the other goat lay still.
I could not hit him from where I was without spoiling
his head, so I climbed around to get a better shot.
Finally I got quite close, and had a good general view
of him. Then he stood up, took one or two steps, and
stood still. I then saw that he was bleeding around his
neck, that one flank was badly torn, and that some of
his intestines were hanging out until they almost touched
the ground! He was so far gone he could scarcely stand,
and to end his troubles quickly, I shot him.
....    "That was the only fight to the death that I ever
:"---""-  --  -
saw among wild animals, and it was done quite differently from what I expected. There was no pawing of
the ground, and no frenzied charging. One goat quietly
walked up to the other, and gave him a fierce thrust.
The victorious goat was not even scratched. I presume
his first thrust was fatal to the victim."
But there are times when even the icy-nerved goat
becomes thoroughly frightened. In questioning Mr.
Phillips on this point he related the following incident:
| The only time I ever saw a goat really frightened,
and show fear, was when Charlie Smith and I were
hunting on the head of Wilson Creek. We had sighted
a grizzly bear, and were following him up the side of a
mountain and over the summit. It took us two hours to
climb a distance that he covered in one. Near the summit the bear's trail led us through a little notch, and past
the base of a pinnacle of bare rock, about two hundred
feet high, that ran up very much like a cathedral spire.
" Now it happened that as the bear passed through
the little notch he frightened an old, long-bearded billy
goat, who immediately started up the pinnacle as hard
as he could go, and climbed clear to its summit. And
there the old fellow stood, or rather hung, in a most
ridiculous attitude. His front feet were hooked over the
eastern edge of the point, like a man looking over the
peak of a steep house-roof, and holding on by his hands.
His body and hindlegs were well down on the other
side of the pinnacle, and completely overhung a frightful precipice.
" He was so interested in the bear that he paid no THE MOUNTAIN GOAT AS WE SAW HIM 125
attention to us. We talked to him, and tried to attract
his attention, but he would not even look at us. He had
the most beautiful set of whiskers that I ever saw on a
goat, and as the wind blew through them they waved in
the breeze. Evidently, the old fellow could see the
bear,—below him, and in front. He moved his head in
various directions, peering about, twisting his head and
squinting like a near-sighted man at a variety show.
Four other goats had taken to the high rocks on account
of that same bear."
Mr. Phillips has seen goats climb, without being
frightened, to the very summits of lofty peaks, and far
above their food supply, apparently for amusement only.
He has also seen flocks of goats lie on solitary patches of
snow in preference to bare earth and rocks.
Among hunters and guides who live in the mountain
goat's country, it is a common belief that goats (like
men) sometimes lose their lives through going upon precipitous ledges from which they cannot escape. It is
difficult to understand how a goat can reach a point on
the face of a cliff without carefully climbing to it, either
up or down, or how it can become impossible for him
to retrace his steps. That such things are possible, however, is proven by a tragedy actually witnessed by Mr.
James Brewster, of Banff.
Mr. Brewster relates that quite recently, while out
with a hunting-party in the mountains north-west of
Banff, they climbed to the top of a rugged mountain,
and chased a band of goats around its summit. The
goats went down over the edge of a rock wall which I
overhung so much that the animals could not be seen
from above. Later on, when they descended to their
camp in the valley, and looked up at the mountain wall,
they saw their lost goats, five in number, perched far
aloft, on a narrow ledge. When night descended, the
goats were still there.
The next morning, the hunters were surprised at
finding that during the night the animals had not moved;
nor did they move during that entire day. Then Mr.
Brewster and his companions became convinced that the
goats had trapped themselves, and were unable either to
go on or retreat. The band consisted of two adult goats
and three young ones. Naturally it was the older animals that led the way into the danger, and it was the
belief of the party that the adult goats could not retreat
the way they came because the young ones blocked the
way, and were unable to go back. It was thought that
the ledge was so narrow the goats could not turn upon
it, and the kids were unable to back out. We know that
a young goat can easily turn on a twelve-inch ledge, provided the wall does not overhang; but an overhanging
wall can make turning impossible.
Mr. Brewster and his party became so interested in
the fate of the trapped goats that they remained in that
camp long enough to witness the end of the tragedy.
One by one, those poor goats fell from their ledge, and
were dashed to death on the slide-rock, hundreds of feet
below. The hunters saw one of them fall; but the most
of them fell at night. The last one fell on the tenth day
after they took refuge on the fatal shelf. CHAPTER  IX
One-Eyed Men in the Mountains—A Mountain Savant—A Climb in
False Notch—Foot and Nerve Exhaustion—A Daring Goat—Experiments—The Component Parts of Mountain-Sides—Temperature Record of a Climber—A Great Basin and a Bull Elk—A Tree
Scarred by a Mountain Ram.
Here in this workshop of the Sun,
Where Nature hews, and chips recoil,
Note well the work designed, or done ;
Behold the Mountains at their toil!"
—The Sun's Workshop.
THE world is full of one-eyed travellers. One of the
strange things about such mountains as those of British
Columbia is the wide variation between the impressions
which they produce upon different people. I know a
miner and prospector to whom the finest mountain-range
is merely a place in which to look for signs of ore.
There are sportsmen who see nothing in mountains save
what appears over the sights of their rifles. There are
photographers who see nature only as it is revealed in
their " finder," 1 stopped down to aperture No. 32, one-
twenty-fifth of a second exposure."
Before me at this moment there lies a book about
mountains; but it is only a book of heights and depths,
scaled or to be scaled.   Its author was blind to the glories
of mountain vegetation, and to the ever-interesting mammal and bird fauna of the steeps. The works and ways
of Nature at timber-line held absolutely nothing of special interest to him, save as they furnished things to
climb over. He was interested in forests only as they
burned, and their smoke obscured the view of summits
to be climbed. In a volume of more than four hundred
pages the author devotes half a page to the flora of a
magnificent domain of mountains, and three pages to
their animal life!   Really, is it not strange?
Often when in the tropics I lamented my lack of
botanical knowledge, but not half so much as I deplored
it in the Columbian Rockies. To pass over twice in one
day the uppermost limits of perhaps fifty species of
plants and trees, and know of them so very little, was at
times really depressing. Each of the few species which
I did recognize was as welcome as the face of a friend
at a crowded reception.
To me, Charlie Smith was truly a guide, philosopher
and friend, and at all times a source of intellectual comfort. He loves the mountains so well that no money
consideration can tempt him to leave them. He loves
them in storm or in calm, amid the terrors of winter as
well as the delights of spring, summer and fall. Once
while resting on a lofty summit, with a magnificent panorama spread out at our feet, and stretching away to the
Continental Divide, he said to me:
11 have had chances to go into business, and in some
of them I am sure I could have made money. Possibly
I could have become moderately rich.   But what would TIMBER-LINE  AND  SUMMIT
all the money of a millionaire be to me if it took me
away from the mountains that I love? No amount of
money in a business office could make up to me what I
would lose in giving up this country. No rich man
can get out of his money more satisfaction in life than
I find in these mountains; and here I mean to stay until
I die."  I
Charlie is a strange, and even remarkable, combination. He loves steep mountains like another Whymper,
and is a very bold and level-headed climber. He loves
all animal life, and is not only a keen observer, but his
accuracy in observing is grateful and comforting. He
loves tree-life and plant-life with the taste of a born
botanist. He is a fine hunter and trapper, brave, but
sensibly cautious on the trail, and completely free from
the boastful and intolerant vein which spoils many a
good woodsman. Like most of the mountain men whom
I have known intimately, he is clean-minded and high-
minded, and as a narrator and describer I have never
among frontiersmen known his equal. When he tells a
story, he makes you see it as in a moving picture; and
he writes with wonderful ease.
I urged Charlie to write out the fascinating stories
of adventure and chapters of wild-animal lore that he
gradually unfolded to me, and offer them to the magazines which are always on the lookout to discover new
and fresh springs of literary refreshment. At first he
felt that he " could not write well enough "; but as a
matter of conscience and duty, both to him and the public, I urged him until he took courage, and decided to try. 1
The foregoing "appreciation" is in no sense a digression, for Charlie Smith was far more interesting
and noteworthy than any of the mountains up which he
led me.
Every sportsman knows that the occasions where four
men can profitably hunt together are few and far between. Mr. Phillips usually went out with Mack Norboe. John Norboe made various special scouting trips
for the general welfare, and Charlie Smith and I worked
together. After the great day with goats, on Phillips
Peak, we devoted our energies to hunting for grizzly
bears; and in quest of them we went into all sorts of
places. Immediately after camping in Avalanche Valley, our first care was to hunt down the valley, through
the ribbon of green timber, six miles or so straight away
to the base of Roth Mountain; and although we found
about a dozen or fifteen rubbing-trees, where bears had
stood up to scratch their backs, we saw no bears.
Continuously we watched the open ground of the
"slides" for bears feeding; and as often as we could
manage it, we climbed to some new summit, in order to
view a new basin, new rock walls, more slides, and more
new country far beyond. In such a region as that is, to
hunt is to climb; and to climb is usually to go above
timber-line before you stop.
I was frequently surprised by the differences between
mountain sides and summits that one would naturally
expect to find alike. Take False Notch, for instance,
about two miles above Camp Hornaday, which came
about through my initiative. Timber-Line in Winter
Mr. Phillips and Guide Smith on snowshoes, carrying their entire outfit. Ill
One afternoon as Charlie and I were returning from
several hours of climbing to look at the goat remains on
Phillips Peak, the trail led across some slide-rock which
gave us an open view upward toward the west. In an
evil moment, I saw to the westward a ridge that was
heavily timbered quite to its summit; and seeing no land
higher up, I rashly concluded it was a low pass. So
I said,
I Charlie, it doesn't look far up to the top of that
divide. Suppose we climb up, and take a look over the
other side, toward Bull River."
Charlie hesitated two or three seconds, looked at the
sun, then quietly answered,
" All right. . . . We'll strike up on the right of this
slide, and have easy going."
We struck up, and the climb through the green timber was all right. But when we reached what I had
thought was the summit of the divide, behold! we stood
at the mouth of a big, bare basin between the two peaks,
beyond which there rose a roof of the steepest and most
difficult slide-rock that I found on that trip. We were at
timber-line, and exactly half-way up to the real summit!
I. felt as if that notch had deliberately deceived me.
After a brief rest, we crossed the bottom of the basin,
chose the best line of ascent, and started up. Never
shall I forget that climb. The mountain was frightfully
steep, and from basin-bottom to summit, the slope was
covered with slide-rock of the best possible size to roll
under a climber's foot, and throw him down.
I Be very careful of your footing here," said Charlie,
i m
; U'
very quietly. " Don't make a misstep. A roll down here
might be pretty serious."
There was no doubt about it. A genuine fall on that
treacherous stuff, either backward or sidewise, might
easily send a man plunging downward so swiftly that
there would be no stopping short of the bottom. The
slide-rock was mostly in angular chunks about the size
of furnace coal, and almost as hard as flint. It reminded
me of the inch-and-a-half broken trap-rock that we use
in the Zoological Park in surfacing our roads. Imagine
the steepest house-roof you ever saw bestrewn with that
stuff, ready to roll at the touch of a foot, and you will
know what that slope was like as a place to climb.
In taking a step upward, the foot had to win a firm
resting-place on the loose rock before the body's weight
was thrown upon it; for each step had to be a success.
The strain on the ankles was really very severe,—and on
the mind it was equally so. In a party like ours, no one
wants to be a spoil-sport, and get hurt, tie up the whole
hunt, and possibly be carried out in a package strapped
to a horse's back.   Accidents are forbidden luxuries!
I suppose that slope was about six hundred feet long.
Charlie kindly offered to carry my rifle for me, and even
insisted upon it; but up to that time I had carried my
y rifle every step of my hunting ways, and I elected to stay
with it, up or down.
As we neared the summit, we saw that we were approaching a " knife-edge." It was not a level knife-
edge, either, but sloped sharply, and at one place broke
down very abruptly for several feet.   It was then clear TIMBER-LINE  AND  SUMMIT
that the narrow sky-line was the edge of a precipice,
that there was no such thing as hunting beyond, and it
looked as if no one could walk on the knife-edge for
more than a hundred yards or so.
Feeling that I had been grossly deceived by that
notch, I decided to expend no further energy upon it,
unless something more than the summit were to be
gained by it. Twenty-five years ago I would have followed Charlie to the last gasp; but as it was, I shamelessly allowed him to climb on up to the top, alone. The
mental and physical exertion of placing my feet about
six hundred times in that loose stuff, each time so carefully that my foot would hold without the possibility of
a slide or a roll, had so completely exhausted both my
nerves and my ankles that I had neither patience nor
strength for another useless fifty feet. I learned that a
man who is reasonably fresh can do climbing that is
almost impossible to him when his feet and his nerves
are equally exhausted. It is very trying to climb for an
hour with a feeling that one false step, one turned ankle
or one treacherous rock will lead swiftly to a battered
body and broken bones.
Charlie climbed on up with the sang-froid of a mountain goat, and soon stood on the sky-line, looking over.
" How wide is it up there? "
" Well, in some places it's three feet; but in one place
it's nearly twenty."
" Anything to do on the other side? "
" No; I guess not. No good ground, no game in
sight.   There's no use in your coming up here." 34 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Climbing down seemed quite as dangerous as climb-
ing up. In descending dangerous slopes over loose rock,
I always found myself looking forward to a point of
altitude low enough that a fall from it would not quite
kill a man; then to the point that meant not more than
two broken limbs; then to the one-limb point; to battered knees only, and so on to the bottom. With shoe-
soles less wooden in their stiffness, and with better nails
in the bottom, I would have felt very differently in those
Perhaps I should note here a few facts regarding the
best clothing for a mountain-climber. Naturally, a tenderfoot needs to have all conditions in his favor, but it
is likely that few succeed in securing a perfect outfit.
The shoes should be high, to protect and support the
ankles, but the soles should not be too thick, or inflexible. The soles should yield somewhat to the rocks; and
they must be well studded with sharp-pointed hobnails,
screwed into the leather. In rough work and plenty of
it, two pairs of good shoes will last but little more than
a month.
The trousers should be knickerbockers of gray mack-
inaw (wool), and the openings at the knee should be
six inches long, with buttons, in order that in severe
climbing they can be opened wide. With these, woollen
stockings are necessary. Suspenders are absolutely necessary, for the belt must be worn loose. The outer shirt,
of gray flannel, should be of medium weight. The neck
demands a large silk handkerchief, of some dark, neutral color.
As we climbed down, a solitary billy goat came over
the peak in front of us, beyond the basin, and treated us
to a wonderful performance. From the side of the peak
a thin shoulder ran out toward the Avalanche Valley. It
was about three hundred feet high. The 1 formation "
stood on edge, quite perpendicular, and there was a band
of shaly stratification which had weathered a trifle below
the general surface of the shoulder. I saw a goat appear
on the crest of it, and start down what looked like a
pathway of smooth and perpendicular rock.
" Charlie, just see what that goat is doing!"
We settled back against the slide-rock, and adjusted
our glasses.
"Well!" exclaimed the guide. " He might as well
be standing on his head!"
Coolly and deliberately, without any show either of
haste or hesitation, that goat walked down the place that
looked perpendicular. Not even once did he make a
false step, or hesitate.
Over the worst places he came down two feet at a
time. He reached down with his forefeet, planted them
far apart, then slid his hindfeet down between them
until they too secured a good hold. It looked as if his
hindquarters rubbed against the cliff; and beyond question, his rear dew-claws and the lowest joints of his hind-
legs did so.
Over the lower third of the descent, where the grade
was less steep, and the pathway offered rougher footing,
the goat calmly walked down to the bottom, crossed the
slide-rock and turned off up the basin, toward a patch !,
of grazing-ground. Very soon it passed behind a point
that jutted out from our ridge, and for a moment disappeared.
Cautiously we descended a short distance, and again
sighted the animal. It was quietly grazing, and not more
than one hundred and fifty yards away. We sat down,
and watched him until we were tired; and then I decided
to test his ears, his eyesight and his courage. Although
we were in plain view of him, he paid no attention to us.
I whistled, faintly at first; but he took no notice. I
whistled again, loud enough to have startled any deer
feeding at the same distance, and sent it flying; but still
no notice. Then I gave three or four very shrill blasts,
in a manner specially developed in my boyhood. The
goat raised his head, and looked about with an air of
curiosity, but stirred not from his position, and manifested no alarm. I presume he thought that a whistling
marmot had found out how to whistle with two fingers
in his mouth.
So long as we remained motionless, the goat was
quite indifferent to our presence. When I left off whistling, he went on feeding. At last we rose quietly, and
moved on down; and then he decided to be going. I
said " Hello," rather loudly, but he merely went on at
a moderately fast walk. When I shouted, he hastened
perceptibly; and finally, when I yelled at him, he really
took alarm. But even then he did not leap, and stampede in a panicky way, as a deer does. He simply trotted
away as fast as he could, climbed the divide before him
at its lowest point, and disappeared over its crest.
When Charlie and I reached the bottom of the basin,
we examined the goat's pathway, and, as we expected,
found it not so nearly perpendicular as it Looked from in
front. The angle of it seemed to be about forty-five degrees from perpendicular. The wonder was not that the
goat managed to descend in safety over a course on which
a man could not have travelled ten feet, but that it came
down with such contemptuous indifference and ease.
I am tempted to make note of one other climb that
Charlie Smith and I enjoyed together, still in quest of
new grounds and grizzly bears. To me the wonders of
it, and the weirdness of it, never will be forgotten while
I live. 1] I*
Around the head of Avalanche Creek there was a
regular nest of " notches " and " divides," and " passes "
by courtesy so called. We explored each one of them,
always climbing, and although we found little killable
big game, we were so royally entertained by that grand
picture-book of Nature that we felt richly repaid. From
first to last I climbed about fifteen mountains in that
country, and next to the grandeur of the scenery, its most
striking feature was the marvellous diversity of Nature's
handiwork. On no two mountains did we find the vegetation, the ground and the rocks really alike; and this
diversification continued to the very last hour of the
Bear with me a moment, and I will set down, as in
a catalogue, the salient features of interest that one
passes through, or over, in the course of one day's climb
in that Wonderland.   I take them all from the notes of i38 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
the day wherein Charlie and I climbed into the second
big notch south of Phillips Peak.
(i) First came the luxuriant, balsamy, sweet-smelling I green timber " of the valley, which climbed half a
mile or more up the steep slope. In this the rich earth
is smooth, and covered deeply with the dry needles of
Canadian white spruce, jack pine, and balsam. The fine-
leafed, columnar larches are turning the color of old
gold, and the leaves of the quaking asp tell their name
by their incessant quivering. Just then the frost was
busily painting them Indian red.
(2) Above the heavy green timber comes the dwarf
spruces,—which I think must be of a species different
from the great tree,—and the patches of yellow-willow
(3) There are patches of hard, bare earth, usually
shaly, and often so hard and smooth they are not only
uncomfortable, but even dangerous. In freezing weather
they must be carefully avoided; for they give no foothold.
(4) The deep gullies that so often score the mountain-sides, cut down through decomposing shale, are a
prominent feature, and in traversing the side of a steep
mountain in freezing weather they must be crossed with
the utmost care. At such times, our guides regard them
as decidedly dangerous.
(5) Above the brush-belt, often comes the mossy
pasture-grounds, in steps, like great stairs that have been
covered with a mosslike carpet of Dry as octopitala
three inches thick.
(6) The " slides," or avalanche tracks, are every- ■\
where present, sometimes bare of trees and bushes, and
nicely set in grass, and again thinly covered with young
(7) In places are found large patches of fine, loose
earth, perfectly bare.
(8) Slide-rock is always to be expected, sometimes
coming from sources that are visible, and again descended from goodness knows where. High up, it is
usually more finely broken than lower down. Near the
top of a steep divide, or " pass," it is common to find a
wide belt of bad slide-rock (called " scree " by the professional mountain-climbers, and " talus" by geologists),
and often the top also is completely capped with it.
(9) Occasionally the climber strikes a stretch of
small stones, or, better still, an acre or two of loose shale,
which is very safe and comfortable while it lasts. Down
a good stretch of this one can plough along fast and
fearlessly, as one descends the ashy side of Vesuvius,
covering two yards at a stride.
(10) When it comes to snow, and ice,—that is another story, and a long one.
It was through a bewildering succession of such features as the above that Charlie and I made a long and
arduous, though nowise dangerous climb, to the top of
a pass that looked over into the Elk River water-shed.
It was a cold day, and the changes of temperature that a
climber experiences in one day were absurdly numerous.
I started up wearing my elk-skin hunting-shirt, a silk
muffler around my neck, and two suits of underclothing.
At the head of the creek we took our last drink of
d 3,1
instant his face lighted up with a gleam of intelligence,
and he looked sharply at me.
" An elk, Charlie? "
After a little pause, with his glass at his eyes, he
" Yes; a full-grown bull. . . . That's the fellow
whose trail we found yesterday in False Notch."
Far down in the bottom of the basin, where the green
timber halted at the foot of our slope, an elk had walked
out into the middle of a little grass-plat, as if to give us
the pleasure of seeing him. He carried a good pair of
antlers, and he looked big and beautiful. It was indeed
a keen pleasure to see a living, wild, adult bull elk in
British Columbia, and to know for fair that even there
the species is not yet extinct.
For about five minutes the majestic animal grazed
on the grass-plat, then marched to the edge of his little
glade, and browsed on some of the green branches that
he found there. Finally, like a dissolving view he vanished in the thick green timber, and we saw him no more.
It was the only elk that was seen on that trip.
There was no other game visible in the great basin;
and we voted unanimously that it was out of the question to descend that long eastward slope, hunt through
the basin, and recross the mountain to camp, all in one
We decided to hunt back home by skirting the eastern mountain-side of Avalanche Creek, at timber-line,
and thereby have a good look for both bear and sheep.
First we went to look at the carcasses of the four
1  j:j
I  1
goats killed on Phillips Peak, and finding no bear-signs
about them, we swung off on our long mountain-side
By that time, the day had grown stormy. The west
wind had borne up a mass of leaden clouds that completely obscured the sun; but fortunately they flew well
above us. It was evident that snow was on the wings
of the wind. Whenever we crossed a wedge of green
timber we went at a swift pace, but at every basin, and
every open pathway of an avalanche, we hunted very
Before our progress, ^hat mountain-side unrolled like
a panorama, in an endless chain of timbered ridges, hollow basins, steep slopes, ridges of slide-rock, and frowning cliffs looming up into the flying clouds.
Once we passed a very curious feature. From the
side of a cliff, half way from basin-bottom to summit,
there came out a huge mass of slide-rock that looked like
an enormous dump from a mountain mine. The level
top ran back to the face of the rock wall, and it looked
as if cars had run out of the bowels of the mountain, and
dumped there ten million tons of broken limestone, in
slide-rock sizes. The resemblance was perfect, and I
told Charlie to enter the name of that feature as " The
That was an awe-inspiring scramble.
Even a sensible dog would have been impressed by
the majesty of the rugged rock walls towering heavenward; the rugged terrors of the acres and acres of cruel
slide-rock; the weird, squawking cries of the Clark's yiiyi
ki 9
■ ■!.!
crows and Canada jays that circled about us, or perched
briefly on the tips of the dead and ragged spruces; the
whistling of the cold, raw wind through the pines, and
over all the dull gray clouds flying swiftly and silently
across the tops of the peaks.
We climbed on and on, seeing much but saying little.
In a patch of green timber, we found a nut-pine tree
that had been butted and badly scarred, by a mountain
sheep ram. Its stem was about ten inches in diameter,
and about three feet from the ground the horns of a lusty
sheep had battered the bark off, quite down to the wood.
Two long, elliptical scars were left, with a narrow strip
of living bark between them, as a record of the time
when a well-fed ram passed that way, and was seized
by the boy-like impulse to carve his name in the bark of
a tree. This is a favorite pastime of mountain sheep
rams during the months of September and October, when
they are so full of grass and energy that the mountains
seem scarcely big enough to contain them.
To scramble for several hours along a steep mountainside, going always in the same direction, is very wearing
upon the ankles, and tends to make one leg shorter than
it really ougfyt to be. At the " psychological moment,"
—whatever that may be,—Charlie changed our course,
and bore diagonally downward until we struck the bottom of Avalanche Valley close to the circle of light that
radiated from the blazing logs of our royal camp-fire.
And then it began to snow. CHAPTER X
Getting Next to Nature—Waterfall Notch—The Pika at Home—
Ground - Squirrels and Grizzly Bears — Temptation Goats —
Variations between Summits—Fool-Hens and Ptarmigan—Dwarf
Spruces—Bull River—Mule-Deer Grounds—Berries of the Mountains—Charlie Smith Finds Grizzly-Bear Signs,
"O, puny Man, wouldst thou atone
For years of swelling ego heart,
Go, tread the mountain-top alone,
And learn how very small thou art!"
—The Spell of the Mountains.
If you would get next the soul of Nature, go to meet
her as you call upon your sweetheart,—alone. There
are times when the presence of one's dearest friend is a
distraction. If you would feel the mystic Spell of the
Mountains, go into them as Moses did when he met God
and received The Law,—alone. If you would know
what it is to feel so awed by the panorama of the world
that you lose half your desire to find killable game, and
for a few hours cease to be a predatory animal, climb a
fine mountain all alone. In that way one sees things and
feels things that are veiled by the presence of any other
human being. The moral uplift that one feels when
alone on a wild prairie is magnified five times on a first-
class mountain.
*45 k
\    i
a e.
Quite aside from the animal life, the strange vegetation of the mountain heights near timber-line is enough
to tempt any one upward. It is far more interesting,
yard for yard, than anything one finds in the tropics.
On a high mountain, at timber-line one finds only the
bravest and the hardiest of Nature's trees, and flowers,
and animals. Wherever vegetation climbs up in genuine luxuriance to six thousand feet, and is suddenly and
rudely stopped short at seven thousand feet, the finish is
as keenly interesting as finishes generally are. It is good
to climb up through a living exposition of the survival
of the fittest, both in plant life and animal life.
Two days after our goat-hunt on Phillips Peak, an
incident occurred which caused our little party to scatter, for two days. Just before sunset, we saw far aloft,
on the sky-line of the mountain range that ran along
the eastern side of Avalanche Creek, a band of twelve
mountain sheep, all rams. Naturally this exhibit caused
quite a sensation in camp, and eventually it produced
several important results. Mr. Phillips wished to kill
a big ram for the Carnegie Museum, but having had
my chance at sheep, in Wyoming, I had vowed to hunt
sheep no more.
Accordingly, on the following morning, Mr. Phillips and the Norboes took packs on their backs, with
three days' rations, and departed on a hunt for the rams
of the previous day. Charlie Smith went off on a long
tramp to look for grizzly-bear signs, for my special benefit.   Instead of going with him as usual, on that day I ffl ?
o    «
__     _o
u Ii  I
decided to climb to a certain summit west of camp, on
which I had noted from Phillips Peak (opposite), some
excellent grounds for mule deer. I felt that I would
like to explore those summits all alone, and have a good
think, game or no game.
As a matter of ordinary precaution, I told Charlie
and Huddleston where I intended to go, and asked for
any directions that might be helpful. Charlie told me
that an old game-trail led around the waterfall I intended to strike, and that if I went hither and yon, and
thus and so, I would probably strike it. His directions
were clear enough, but somehow I have before now
found it difficult to make the ground-plan of a wild
western landscape fit the specifications of it. This time,
however, I resolved to try to do better in that respect.
Seldom have I seen in any land a finer day. The
sun shone bravely, but at intervals it was partly obscured
by fleecy white clouds that briskly drifted up from the
west, then passed on over. The air was wondrous clear,
and just cold enough to be invigorating.
Charlie's one direction which I had so firmly spiked
down that it failed to escape, was that I would do well
to go as far as possible up the bed of the little creek that
came down from my Waterfall Notch. This I did. At
first I found it absolutely dry, and the going over the
small, smooth dornicks was rather easy. But in a short
time, the dense green timber that filled the valley threw
so many tree-trunks across the stream's course that I was
obliged to scramble out and take to the easier bank.
At that point Charlie's directions were lost in the M
shuffle, like a creek running under slide-rock; but I
hoped they would, streamlike, come to the surface farther on. From moment to moment I chose the least difficult route, as does a wild man or a wild beast in marking out a trail for the first time. On the north side of
the creek I scrambled through some very much tangled
I down timber " amid the | green timber," always going
up, of course, and presently emerged upon a five-acre
tract of very coarse and cruelly sharp slide-rock. Over
that toilsome stretch I went with the attention which such
treacherous and dangerous stuff demands, and finally I
reached the upper limit of that also.
Looking ahead, I saw my waterfall, hard at work
pouring a collection of two-inch streams over a fifty-foot
precipice,—all of which promptly vanished from sight
under the slide-rock that had been carried across the
stream-bed. At that time, the fall was not very impressive, because the volume of water was too small for
grandeur. Still, a natural waterfall in a mountain landscape is always grateful to the eye, and companionable.
As I picked my way upward over the slide-rock, the
plaintive, whistling cry of the pika, or little chief 1 hare,"
came to me from a chaos of large rocks piled near the
edge of a half-acre of weeds. The cry sounds like the
word cheap, pitched very high and much prolonged.
The cry of this creature is so elusive one seldom can
locate it with precision, so making as good a guess as
possible, I sat down to wait for the little brother of the
rocks to appear.
I sat motionless for perhaps ten minutes, and then ALONE  ON  A  MOUNTAIN
my small neighbor appeared. Like a modest little gray
shadow it seemed to slide out from nowhere to the level
top of a chunk of stone, and there halted to observe the
world. Except for his short round ears, he looked like
a half-grown gray rabbit. I waited for him to go to work
at cutting his winter's supply of hay, but he was too deliberate, and before he began his day's work I was obliged
to move on.
Let it be remembered at this point that this little
creature, so long called the little chief " hare," or crying
" hare," is not a hare, nor is it even a member of the
Hare and Rabbit Family {Leporidce). It is so odd that
it stands alone, in a Family limited to its own small self,
containing only the pikas. But, small and lonesome
though he be, the pika is wise. Neither marten, wolverine nor grizzly can dig him out of his slide-rock, and
we never once saw a place where a bear had even tried
to do so. But the nearest neighbor of the pika has far
less wisdom.
In many localities around Phillips Peak we found
big holes in the ground that had been dug by grizzly
bears in quest of Columbia River ground-squirrels.*
Indeed, we saw more holes than ground-squirrels. This
animal looks like a long-bodied Carolina gray squirrel
with a half-sized tail. Usually it is found in the mountain basins, and in other open situations below timber-
line where the earth is right for burrowing.
We saw between forty and fifty holes, from two to
three feet deep, and usually three feet in surface diam-
* Citellus columbianus. 150 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
I      u
eter, each of which marked a tragedy. Unfortunately,
the silly ground-squirrel has not yet learned, either by
inheritance or in the "school of the woods"(!), that a
three-foot burrow is the same as a pantry shelf to a hungry grizzly, and that no Citellus is safe who stops his
burrow anywhere above a vertical depth of six feet.
With plenty of time, and no end of earth, the foolish
ground-squirrel (here called the "gopher"), rests from
his digging just under the frost-line. In October the
grizzly joyously rips out half a cubic yard of earth,
thrusts his deadly hooks on down to the end of the burrow, and Citellus quickly is converted into half an ounce
of bear-oil.
Between the grizzlies underground, and the greedy
marten above ground, the mountains of British Columbia
will not be overrun by ground-squirrels, chipmunks, nor
other small mammals until the fangs and claws decrease.
But this is a digression.
I soon saw that the way around the north side of the
fall was very rugged and precipitous, and far too difficult to be chosen voluntarily. Accordingly I crossed the
dry stream-bed, and started to climb, by hand and foot,
up the extremely steep southern side, which happened
to be covered with a good growth of green timber. I
had not gone more than a hundred yards when I struck
the old trail that Charlie had mentioned. Feeling very
complacent over the finding of the right course by plain
animal instinct, I blithely swung on up, and soon stood
on level ground above the falls.
And then I noted how very different the ground be- The Grizzly's Lawful Prey—The Columbia River Ground-Squirrel
Every year thousands of these are dug out of their burrows and eaten by the grizzlies. ffl
;.s^_r. V
yond the fall really was from what it had looked to be,
as I saw it from the other side of Avalanche Valley. At
a distance of two miles, and a higher elevation, it had
seemed that from the waterfall a long, gently sloping
ridge ran back for a considerable distance. In actuality,
behind the waterfall, I found an eight-acre meadow,
nearly level, and covered with rank grass. Beyond that,
a steep mountain divide climbs on up. On the north
rose an easy peak, and on the south, close at hand, there
towered aloft a massive dome of naked rock. On getting clear of that, one looks far southward into another
big basin, half encircled by a lofty wall of rock that
rises sheer to the sky-line. Upon a ledge of that wall,
about four hundred yards distant, I saw two billy goats
of shootable size, basking in the glorious beams of the
morning sun.
When I realized how comparatively easy it would be
to climb up, south-westerly, swing around under the skyline and fetch up within easy range of those goats, it
gave me a disturbed and anxious feeling. I knew I
ought not kill any more goats, having three;—but a head
is a head, and my friends are many. Would I be strong
enough to resist that temptation throughout a whole
sunny day, with twenty cartridges grinning in my belt
like the teeth of a wild animal, and those two old billies
mine by act of parliament, if I chose to take them?
After a%)ng survey of the animals, I said, " Get thee
behind me, Satan! " Resolutely I turned my back upon
them, and decided to climb to the summit by way of the
gulch that came down farthest away from them, north-
I ii
erly. By walking rapidly I would soon be so far away
that it would be too much of a task to return for just
one or two old goats.
My little gulch came down very steeply, in a course
that was almost due south. In each direction from its
bed there stretched upward, at the comfortable angle of
about thirty degrees, a wide, smooth sweep of ridge-side
that suggested Dream Mountains. The hand of Nature
had smoothed those slopes, and planted them, to afford a
soothing and restful contrast with all the mountains surrounding them. Think of the horrible rock-pile, a mile
farther north, which Charlie and I climbed two days
previously, in False Notch. Here there were no stretches
of grinning slide-rock, no rock walls, no timber, either
down or green, no neck-breakers of any kind. All was
balmy peace. To save the face of the slopes from having an air of desolation, each was planted very evenly
with stunted spruces and junipers, set eight feet apart.
They grew with wonderful regularity, and so nicely scattered that walking was not at all impeded by them.
I chose the slope of the western hill, because the sun
shone full upon it, and went up on a line about a hundred feet above the bottom of the little naked gulch.
The opposite mountain side was so queer, and so beautiful in the nursery-like regularity of its planting, that I
frequently sat down to rest and enjoy the sight of it. It
looked for all the world like an immense relief-map,
such as I have made before now, set with toy evergreens,
and tilted up on edge to enable one to look down upon
it.    I never before saw so odd a picture of mountain
verdure. I could have counted every one of the toy
trees on that whole mountain side without moving from
my seat.   It represented timber-line, for fair.
But even there, in the Dream Mountains, the serpent
reared its head. When I sat down to enjoy the sceneries,
I saw those goats, ever so plainly; and the tempter whispered, " It would be quite a feat to kill those goats, alone
and guideless, and carry in the heads of both. . . . Perhaps one of them is larger than any one of the dead six!
. . . You have come far to reach this country, and without a grizzly bear,—which assuredly you will not get,—
you will have only goats to show. A successful stalk,
under the rim of that mountain, would be very interesting; and it would properly round out a glorious day."
I listened to such as this until the iteration of it
became irritating, then I sprang up and climbed on in
the opposite direction. And then Vishnu, the goddess
of Preservation, brought me to a bunch of sooty grouse.
When the first bird exploded into the air, close beside
me, I was well startled. The bird flew about fifty feet
and alighted near its mates, thus giving me a good opportunity to see them on the ground, and note their actions.
The story of a flock of fool-hens is like the annals of
the poor,—short and simple. Each bird stalks about
stiffly, with head well up, gazing and gazing at the
intruder, in stupid wonder that is wondrously stupid.
With a shot-gun, there would be about as much excitement in shooting one as there would be in killing a sloth
on the run. To a marksman who wants the birds for
food, there is some interest in shooting them through the 154 CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
head with a .22-calibre pistol; but with a good rifle or
shot-gun, it is plain murder in the first degree. In flight
this bird strongly resembles the pinnated grouse, or
prairie-chicken, except that the flight of the latter is
On the summit of the divide, and beyond the last of
the stunted spruces, I found some willow ptarmigan.
Their snow-white wings and tails, in full winter plumage, contrasted sharply with the brown summer plumage which still clothed their bodies. As usual, these
birds slowly stalked about over the sky meadow, quite
willing that I should approach within ten feet of them.
At last, however, they rose, saying " cluck-cluck-cluck,"
and flew down the mountain a quarter of a mile.
Above the point where my friendly little gulch starts
down, a view from the summit reveals a sudden drop
toward Bull River, and a great basin below. Turning
southward, I followed the sky-line of the summit in such
a manner as to thoroughly inspect every outcrop of
sheep rocks, and every patch of open timber. The former might contain mule deer, and either might harbor a
band of sheep.
At one point on the summit I found a very interesting growth of stunted spruces. They grew in family
clumps, about as far apart as the trees in an orchard,
and the curious thing about them was that they were so
stunted by the warfare of the elements that they were
really pygmy trees. Their large trunks, low stature,—
seldom exceeding five feet,—and dwarfed limbs remind
one of the strange dwarf trees produced by the tie-back ALONE   ON  A   MOUNTAIN
process of the Japanese. On a commanding point, I
found a clump which was crescent-shaped, with its convex side toward the west wind, and in its embrace I
halted for half an hour to gaze over the top of the
evergreen barricade. The encircled ground had been
tramped bare, and it was evident that many a goat and
sheep had recently sheltered there.
The mountain slope that swept down to Bull River
was a gray and melancholy waste. From a short distance
below the summit, fire had devastated the mountain side,
killing every tree, and exposing all the outcroppings of
rugged rock and cliff, i Near by, the tall gray tree-
trunks, shorn of their branches, were like untrimmed
telegraph-poles; farther on, we saw what seemed to be
a forest of hop-poles, and beyond that appeared a thin
mantle of gray quills, like the covering of a hedgehog.
Two miles away, the east fork of Bull River meandered through a narrow valley of dead timber, and on its
farther side, narrow valleys climbed up westward, until
they stopped abruptly in regulation rock basins, bounded
by precipitous cliffs. And even as I looked across, and
wondered what big game might be therein, I heard the
unmistakable " Ser-lam! " of a hunter's rifle. Some one
was hunting in the rugged valley directly opposite my
eyrie, and had found game. Who could it be, in that
wild place? Surely it was no one from the Elk River
In the course of an hour, I heard about twelve shots;
but two months elapsed ere I learned that the hunters
were from Fort Steele, and were in quest of mule deer. I
The western side of my slope seemed specially favorable for mule deer, and in the hope of finding either
deer in the green timber or sheep near the cliffs, I hunted
far down. It was good to get on ground that was not
rocky, and to hunt through real " mule-deer country."
Find it where you may, in bad-lands, foot-hills or mountains, the home of the mule deer is always a beautiful
But I found no big game; and at one o'clock I
selected a lovely spot, in a clump of sturdy spruces,
chose a soft resting-place on a bed of dry needles, and
sat down to rest and eat my luncheon of Fry's sweet
As I settled myself, I noticed that I was on the border of an extensive bed of tiny huckleberry bushes. The
shrubs were only about six inches high, but were hanging thick with very small, pink huckleberries, the size of
No. 6 shot. That species is very common throughout
those mountains. Usually the bushes grow so thinly it
does not pay to pick such small berries; but these bore so
abundantly that I combed the fruit off the almost leafless
stems, by the handful, winnowed it to clear away the
debris, and ate until my fruit-hunger cried, " Enough! "
An appreciable supply of wild fruit or nuts gives
one a very friendly feeling toward the land that produces it. In the tropics, you can starve, at almost any
time or place, with rank vegetation all about you, because there is so very little that is edible. After nearly
five years spent in tropical jungles, I can count on the
fingers of one hand the occasions wherein I was able to
it 1
satisfy my hunger with wild fruits found in the forest;
and as for nuts, I never found one.
But in the temperate zone,—dear me! Think of the
delicious plums, the berries of a dozen kinds, the
wild grapes, pawpaws, persimmons, crab-apples, haws
red and haws black, and nuts without end!
Here in these mountains, we found in September the
following berries, ripe and edible:
Huckleberries; five species, widely scattered; abundant in places.
Black Currants; very common, dead ripe; quite bitter,
but good to quench thirst.
Saskatoon, or Service-Berry; favorite food for grizzly bears in September.
Elderberry; in clumps in many valleys; plentiful.
Soap-Berry; two species, red and yellow; like currants, very bitter.
Red Raspberry; but we found only one patch.
Thimbleberry; grows solitary, in green timber only.
Strawberry; a few found, high on the mountains.
In addition to the above, which we saw, there is the
Sarsaparilla-Berry, of the large river valleys; the Red
Cahoosh; and the Bear-Berry, which is a strong cathartic.
The very desirable bull-berry of Montana and Wyoming does not grow in the mountains of British Columbia. In the green timber we found a beautiful scarlet
berry, shaped like a long, thin, Boston baked bean, which
no one could name or vouch for.
When my mid-day rest was finished, I went on hunting.   Striking a much-used game-trail on the summit, I
/ m
1 *
followed it southward until it ran up the southern peak
far above timber-line, and led me quite near those temptation goats. Always those goats! I felt quite put out
with them because they had fed toward me instead of
away from me.
For half an hour I amused myself with watching
them, and testing their senses by whistling to them, saying, 1 Ah! " in various tones, and mystifying them generally, until at last they took alarm on general principles, and concluded to leave. Then in some haste they
climbed over the summit. As they disappeared I turned
and strode down the eastern slope, campward, after as
soul-filling a day as I ever spent in the lap of Nature,
but without having fired a shot. I reached camp about
half an hour before sunset, and found that the reward
for my abstemiousness on those temptation goats was all
ready. Charlie Smith had just arrived, after a wearisome tramp of twenty-four miles, and reported that he
had visited all the goat carcasses. At those of our first
two goats he found two wolverines, and took a long shot
at one of them. There were fresh grizzly-bear signs all
" And to-morrow, Director," said Charlie in conclusion, " you're going to have a chance at a silver-tip! "
Outwardly, I received this assurance with brisk appreciation, but inwardly I felt that the chances against
me were as nine to one. CHAPTER  XI
Rubbing-Trees of Bears—Fresh Grizzly "Signs" Reported—A Trip
to the Goat Remains—A Silver-Tip at Work—Her Death—The
Autopsy—Amateur Photography and its Results—The Bear's
Cache—Wolverines Observed—A Jollification in Camp.
WHEN one can start out from camp, and in a walk
of two hours find at least a dozen rubbing-trees of grizzly
bears, each one with bear hair clinging to its bark, then
may one say, "This is bear country!" That was what
we found in the green timber of Avalanche Valley, between our camp and Roth Mountain, six miles below.
All the rubbing-trees we saw were from eight to twelve
inches in diameter, as if small ones had been specially
chosen. I suppose this is because there are no large
spur roots to interfere with the standing bear; besides
which, a small tree offers a sharper edge.
On those trees we saw where several of the rubbing
bears had bitten the trunk, high up, tearing the bark
open crosswise. We also found, on some, raking claw-
marks across the bark. Charlie Smith said that the
tooth-marks are always made by grizzlies and the claw-
marks by black bears.
As before remarked, Mr. Phillips and Charlie Smith
were very desirous that I should find and kill a grizzly,
but for several reasons I had little hope that it would
come to pass. September is not a good month in which
to find a bear of any species on those summits; nor is a
short hunting-trip conducive to the development of bear-
episodes, anywhere. In spite of Charlie's hopefulness,
I did not take the prospect seriously, even though in the
Michel store Mack had called for twine with which to
stretch bear-hides! But in bear-hunting, " it is better to
be born lucky than rich."
When Charlie came in on the evening of the 19th of
September and reported a bear at the carcass of my first
goat, it really seemed time to hope for at least a distant
view of Old Ephraim. Believing that one good way to
reveal certain phases of wild-animal life is in showing
how animals are actually found in their haunts, I am
tempted to set forth a statement of the events of September 20th. It may be that others wonder, as I often
have, just how it feels to hunt a grizzly bear,—the most
dangerous American animal—and find him, at timber-
line. The really bold hunters may scoff at the courage
and ferocity of the grizzly as he is to-day; but Charlie
Smith openly declares that the one particular thing
which he never does, and never will do, is to fire his last
cartridge when away from camp.
It was the third day of Mr. Phillips's hunt for mountain sheep, and he was still absent. Charlie and I took
two saddle-horses and set out before sunrise, intending
to visit all the goat carcasses before returning. We
pushed briskly up to the head of Avalanche Creek,
climbed to the top of the pass, then dropped down into
the basin on the north.   I dreaded a long climb on foot ^i
from that point up to our old camp on Goat Pass, but
was happily disappointed. Thanks to the good engineering of some Indian trail-maker, the trail led from the
head of the basin, on an easy gradient, up through the
green timber of the mountain side, quite to our old camp.
We found fresh grizzly-bear tracks within fifty feet
of the ashes of our camp-fire; but our goat-skins in the
big spruce, and our cache of provisions near it, had not
been touched. It was here that we saw a solitary goat
feeding on the precipitous slope beneath the glacier on
Phillips Peak, as noted elsewhere. And here we were
reminded of Mr. Phillips's uneasiness about the dead
trees that stood near our tents, and which he had feared
might blow down upon us. A large dead tree had fallen
upon our camp-ground, squarely across the green bed of
spruce boughs on which Charlie and Mack Norboe had
slept four nightsl Had it fallen upon them as they
slept, both would have been instantly killed.
With only a few minutes delay, we mounted once
more and rode on northward toward the scene of the
first goat-kill. As we rode up the ridge of Bald Mountain, a biting cold wind, blowing sixty miles an hour,
struck us with its full force. It went through our clothing like cold water, and penetrated to the marrow in our
bones. At one point it seemed determined to blow the
hair off Kaiser's back. While struggling to hold myself
together, I saw the dog suddenly whirl head on to the
fierce blast, crouch low, and fiercely grip the turf with
his claws, to keep from being blown away. It was all
that our horses could do to hold a straight course, and ^S
keep from drifting down to the very edge of the precipice that yawned only twenty-five feet to leeward. We
were glad to get under the lee of Bald Mountain, where
the fierce blast that concentrated on that bleak pass could
not strike us with its full force.
At last we reached the lake we named in honor of
Kaiser. Dismounting in a grassy hollow that was sheltered from the wind, we quickly stripped the saddles from
our horses and picketed the animals so that they could
graze. Then, catching up our rifles, cameras, and a very
slim parcel of luncheon, we set out past the lake for the
ridge that rises beyond it.
The timber on the ridge was very thin, and we could
see through it for a hundred yards or more. As we
climbed, we looked sharply all about, for it seemed very
probable that a grizzly might be lying beside a log in
the fitful sunshine that struck the southern face of the
hill. Of course, as prudent hunters, we were prepared
to see a grizzly that was above us, and big, and dangerous,—three conditions that guarantee an interesting session whenever they come together.
Dog Kaiser was peremptorily ordered to follow us,
which he did with a degree of intelligent obedience that
would have shamed many a man. He is what is called
a " slow trailer," which means that in following big game
he either keeps close behind his master, or else goes
ahead so slowly that it is possible for the latter to keep
up with him, and see the game before the dog disturbs it.
We reached the crest of the ridge, without having
seen a bear, and with the utmost caution stalked on down MY  GRIZZLY-BEAR  DAY
the northern side, toward the spot where the two goat
carcasses lay on the slide-rock. The noise we made was
reduced to an irreducible minimum.
We trod and straddled like men burglarizing Nature's sky-parlor. We broke no dead twigs, we scraped
against no dead branches, we slid over no fallen logs.
Step by step we stole down the hillside, as cautiously as
if we had known that a bear was really at the foot of it.
At no time would it have surprised us to have seen Old
Ephraim spring up from behind a bush or a fallen log,
within twenty feet of us.
At last the gray slide-rock began to rise into view.
At last we paused, breathing softly and seldom, behind
a little clump of spruces. Charlie, who was a step in
advance, stretched his neck to its limit, and looked on
beyond the edge of the hill, to the very spot where lay
the remains of my first mountain goat. My view was
cut off by green branches and Charlie.
He turned to me, and whispered in a perfectly colorless way,
" He's lying right on the carcass!"
" What? Do you mean to say that a bear is really
there} " I asked, in astonishment.
" Yes! Stand here, and you can see him,—just over
the edge."
I stepped forward and looked. Far down, fully
one hundred and fifty yards from where we were,
there lay a silvery-gray animal, head up, front paws outstretched. It was indeed a silver-tip; but it looked
awfully small and far away.   He was out on the clean,
i I
light-gray stipple of slide-rock, beside the scanty remains
of my goat.
Even as I took my first look, the animal rose on his
haunches, and for a moment looked intently toward the
north, away from us. The wind waved his long hair,
one wave after another. It was a fine chance for a line
shot at the spinal column; and at once I made ready
to fire.
" Do you think you can kill him from here? " asked
Charlie, anxiously. " You can get nearer to him if you
like." |     | |
" Yes; I think I can hit him from here all right."
(I had carefully fixed the sights of my rifle, several days
" Well, if you don't hit him, I'll kick you down this
ridge!" said Charlie, solemn as a church owl, with an
on-your-head-be-it air. To me, it was clearly a moment
of great peril.
I greatly desired to watch that animal for half an
hour; but when a bear-hunter finds a grizzly bear, the
thing for him to do is to kill it first, and watch it afterward. I realized that no amount of bear observations
ever could explain to John Phillips the loss of that bear.
As I raised my .303 Savage, the grizzly rose in a
1 business-like way, and started to walk up the slide-rock,
due south, and a little quartering from us. This was not
half so good for me as when he was sitting down. Aiming to hit his heart and lungs, close behind his foreleg,
and allowing a foot for his walking, I let go.
A second or two after the " whang " the bear reared MY  GRIZZLY-BEAR  DAY
slightly, and sharply wheeled toward his right, away
from us; and just then Charlie's rifle roared,—close beside my ear! Without losing an instant, the grizzly
started on a mad gallop, down the slide-rock and down
the canyon, running squarely across our front.
| Heavens! " I thought, aghast. " Have I missed
him? "
Quickly I threw in another cartridge, and fired
again; and " whang " went Charlie, as before. The bear
fairly flew, reaching far out with its front feet, its long
hair rolling in great waves from head to tail. Even at
that distance, its silver-tipped fur proclaimed the species.
Bushes now hid my view, and I ran down a few
yards, to get a fair show. At last my chance came. As
the bear raced across an opening in my view, I aimed
three feet ahead of his nose, and fired my third shot.
Instantly the animal pitched forward on his head,
like a stricken rabbit, and lay very still.
" Ye fetched him that time!" yelled Charlie, triumphantly. "He's down! He's down! Go for him,
Kaiser!   Go for him! "
The dog was ready to burst with superheated eagerness. With two or three whining yelps he dashed away
down the ridge, and out of sight. By this time Charlie
was well below me, and I ran down to where he stood,
beaming up.
" You've fixed him, Director!   He's down for keeps."
" Where is he? " jjl
I Lying right on that patch of yellow grass, and dead
as a wedge.   Shake! "
it i
We shook. It would have been conceited folly to
have done otherwise. To come twelve miles, find our
long-lost silver-tip, and down him by eleven o'clock,
made us feel that we were each of us entitled to a few
gloats over the result.
I Woo, yow-yow!" said Kaiser far below,—about
ten seconds after he had disappeared; and there he was,
looking very small, and joyously biting the hams of the
dead grizzly. Instead of sitting astride a killed animal,
and being photographed with one hand upon it, Kaiser
gloats over his dead game by biting its hams.
As quickly as possible, we descended the slope and
soon stood beside the dead grizzly. Then, as often happens, its sex changed very suddenly. Every grizzly is a
" he," until shot! This one was a fat young female, not
as big as we had hoped, but in beautiful pelage for September. In remarking upon the length and immaculate-
ness of the furry coat, which still waved in the wind,
Charlie remarked, that at this season the female grizzlies
have longer hair than the males. I was sorry we could
not weigh the animal, but at that moment my scales were
twenty miles away, with the sheep-hunters.
The next thing was to photograph the game; and in
view of the wild and romantic scenery that hemmed us
in, and stretched away before us, plunging down Goat
Creek, I sincerely regretted the absence of Mr. Phillips
and his splendid stereo camera. But. Charlie Smith had
his small camera and four " fillims," and surely he could
do something to save the situation. In these kodak days,
a grizzly-bear hunter might as well return without the MY  GRIZZLY-BEAR   DAY
hide of his grizzly as without a photograph of the dead
I said to Charlie that we must take the case seriously,
and do our best as long as the films held out.
Now, on the trail and in camp the writer is neither
photographer nor cook. He has troubles enough in the
departments of taxidermy and osteology. This time,
however, I had a borrowed pocket-kodak and three rolls
of films, but no skill in the taking of pictures. While
I knew how to " compose " a picture, I knew nothing
about time-exposures; and besides this, I had great difficulty in finding things in a small finder.
But that bear had to be photographed, and we went
at it seriously. Charlie used up his films, and then I
took my turn, as if, like Winkelreid, on my sole arm
hung victory.
In the middle distance, behind the bear, I found a
very tall, columnar spruce that rose like a monument
high above its neighbors; and that I adopted as the
key to the situation. I photographed with bright light,
and again with gray, as solemnly as if valuable results
were about to be secured; but it was a great strain on
A month later, when Mr. E. F. Keller developed my
films, and sent me some prints from them, I laughed
long. So did Mr. Phillips when I showed him one of
the best of my results.   Then he was mystified.
I How on earth did a photographic incompetent like
you ever make such a picture as that? " he demanded.
I  replied that in photography an ideal picture is
i 1
solely a matter of technical knowledge and artistic skill!
My best picture is reproduced herewith.
We made a careful autopsy of the bear, and were
able to determine to a certainty the details of our shooting, and its results. By good luck, my first shot went
true to the mark aimed for,—the heart region, immediately behind the foreleg. But it did not go through the
heart. The animal was quartering to me, sufficiently
that my ball passed close behind the heart, tore the lungs
and liver to bits, and passed out at the middle of the
right side, low down. We thrust a small stick through,
in the track of the ball, and left it there.
Charlie Smith fired as the bear was turning to the
right. His bullet entered the left thigh, tore a great hole
through the flesh between the skin and the femur, passed
through the entrails, and lodged against the skin of the
right side, well back. His bullets were of a larger
calibre than mine, and this one was fully identified.
We marked the course of that bullet, also, with a stick.
After receiving those two bullets, the bear ran as if unharmed for about a hundred yards, when my third shot
broke its neck, and brought it down in a heap, too dead
to struggle. It was not touched by any other bullets
than the three described. The distance, as nearly as we
could estimate, was one hundred and fifty yards, good
My first shot was of course absolutely fatal, and had
I but known it, I need not have fired again. It was
marvellous that the animal did not fall at the first fire,
and equally so that with its'lungs torn to pieces, it was •■m k s *r
L' 1
able to run a hundred yards at top speed. How much
farther could it have gone, had no other shots been
fired? Not far, surely, for as it ran, it spattered the
clean gray rocks with an awful outpouring of blood.
After our photographic labors we ate our frugal
luncheon, rested, then skinned the bear. That accomplished we set out to examine the work done by our
animal, with and unto the carcasses of the two goats.
The result proved most interesting.
First we sought the carcass of Mr. Phillips's goat,
which was rolled over the cliff, and fell immediately
above the spot where our silver-tip gave up her ghost.
On seeking it, we found a grizzly-bear's cache of a most
elaborate and artistic character. On the steep hillside a
shallow hole had been dug, the whole carcass rolled into
it, and then upon it had been piled nearly a wagon-load
of fresh earth, moss and green plants that had been torn
up by the roots. Over the highest point of the carcass
the mass was twenty-four inches deep. On the ground
the cache was elliptical in shape, about seven by nine
feet. On the lower side it was four feet high, and on
the upper side two feet. The pyramid was built around
two small larch saplings, as if to secure their support.
On the uphill side of the cache, the ground was torn
up in a space shaped like a half-moon, twenty-eight feet
long by nineteen feet wide. From this space every green
thing had been torn up, and piled on the pyramid. The
outer surface of the cone was a mass of curly, fibrous
roots and fresh earth.
In her own clumsy way, the bear had done her best 170 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
to provide for a rainy day. Her labors would indeed
have protected her prize from the eagles, but at that two
feet of soft stuff a wolverine would have laughed in
ghoulish glee while he laid bare the contents of that
cache with about six rakes of his rascally paws.
As already mentioned, on the previous day, Charlie
Smith did see two wolverines in the vicinity of these
goat remains, and fired at one of them, without effect.
Both ran away across the slide-rock, often halting and
defiantly looking backward, with short, stubby tail-wisp
held stiffly erect.
The bear had been feeding on the body of my goat,
which lay far out on the slide-rock, and she had eaten
all that her stomach could contain. There being still a
good quantity of pickings remaining, she had decided to
bury it, but from much feeding was very lazy in carrying out this intention. She had, however, torn up and
carried out about twenty mouthfuls of moss, earth and
plant-roots, and dropped them, together with half a
dozen sticks, upon the remains. It was in an interval of
rest from this arduous labor that we first sighted the animal ; and she was starting up to fetch down more material when I first fired at her. I photographed the bear's
cache, but on the films the cache failed to appear.
At last we finished our work, packed the bear-skin
and some of the best of the meat upon one of our horses,
and started for camp, riding turn about. We rolled in
just before sunset, tired, but puffed up. Mr. Phillips
was there; and when he was finally convinced that we
really had seen a silver-tip, and shot at it, and brought V
The Scene of Two Actions—Goats and Grizzly
Where we fired from, at the goats
What Mr. Phillips's goat did.
What the author's goat did.
Where the grizzly was.
Where we were.
Where the grizzly died.
The grizzly's cache. Ill MY  GRIZZLY-BEAR   DAY
back its skin and skull, his surprise and delight were not
to be restrained. We danced around the camp-fire, and
" Ki-yi-yied," in a wild-Indian fashion that in grown
men is most undignified and reprehensible, anywhere
east of the Missouri River.
The bear was not our only cause for singing a war-
song. Mr. Phillips had shot—but why spoil a good
story? IP
Rarity of the Grizzly in the United States—Seasons—The Grizzly
Bear's Calendar—Solitary Habits—Food of Grizzlies—A Carrion
Feeder—Weight of Grizzlies—" Grizzly" or 1 Silver-Tip"—Restrictions in Killing.
In the United States, outside the Yellowstone Park
and the Bitter Root Mountains, grizzly bears are now
so very rare that it is almost impossible for a sportsman
to go out and kill one, no matter where he hunts, and no
matter how much money he spends. One of our best-
known writers on hunting matters, who has hunted in
the West at frequent intervals during the past fifteen
years, recently announced that he has now given up all
hope of killing a grizzly in our own country, and has
turned to British Columbia.
In British Columbia you can find grizzlies, provided
you know when to go, and with whom to go. But the
autumn is not the best season for finding bears in that
country. If you would see the wild and untamed silver-
tip, in the high altitudes, go in the spring, for that is the
real season for hunting this grand species. Even then,
you may hunt, as did Mr. Phillips's brother Robert, " for
forty days, straight," without a sight of a silver-tip, or
a shot; but if you are lucky, you may bag two in a month.
In the course of our camp-fire talk about bears and
other animals, we had a symposium on the habits of the
grizzly at the various seasons of the year. To this all
the old grizzly hunters—Charlie Smith, Mr. Phillips,
and the two Norboes,—contributed; and I pieced together their individual statements, and made up this
January.—About January 20th the cubs are born, in
the winter den. Usually they are two in number, crudely
formed, and almost hairless. They are about ten inches
long, weigh about eighteen ounces, and are blind, and
extremely helpless. The mother coils herself around
them, moves not for many days, and the helpless little
creatures are almost as much enfolded as if they were
in an abdominal pouch. In the New York Zoological
Park the period of gestation of the Colorado grizzly is
two hundred and sixty-six days, or from April 22d to
January 13 th.
May.—In British Columbia a few grizzlies come out
as early as May 1, but the majority appear about the
20th. Their first spring food is the roots of the snow-
lily, which is found growing on the snow slides. Besides this the grizzly eats other plants, of a dozen or
more species, and also grass that is young and tender.
As soon as they emerge from their winter den they
begin to rub their backs against trees, to scratch themselves, and they keep it up until the old hair is all off.
Shedding begins early in June, and lasts until August 1.
June and July.—During these months the bears range
far and wide, the cubs following at the heels of the
mother, searching for edible grubs and roots.   In their
search for edible insects, they overturn stones and tear
old logs to pieces. Under every third stone (in suitable
situations), a nest of ants is found; and these are greatly
relished. To a bear, those sour and acidulous insects are
much the same as pickles are to the human palate. The
grizzly hunts up and devours all animals killed by snow-
slides. Mr. Phillips once knew a dead pack-rat to be
eaten. In the Bush River country, Charlie Smith saw
the remains of a grizzly that had been killed by a snow-
slide, and afterward had been dug out and eaten by another grizzly!
By the end of July the shedding of the old coat of
hair is completed, and the silver-tip stands forth clad in
a glossy new suit of dark brown, several shades darker
than the old coat. It is very short, however, even in
comparison with the September coat.
August.—In the valleys of the large rivers, berries
begin to ripen, and the bears at once begin to feed upon
them. Naturally the berries of the lowest and warmest
valleys are the first to mature; and as the season advances,
the boundary-line of the ripening fruit extends higher
and higher up the mountains. In the highest valleys and
mountains the berries do not ripen until September, just
before the first heavy fall of snow. Strawberries come
first, but they are so thinly scattered the total amount of
food they furnish is small. Next comes the saskatoon,
or service-berry, which is an important item of food, and
whenever ripe is much sought by bears. They last so
late into September that they detain the bears in the
valleys of the large rivers when otherwise the animals NOTES  ON  THE  GRIZZLY  BEAR
would go up into the mountains to feed on huckleberries,
and be shot.
September.—It is in this month that the bears take
on the greatest amount of fat, for winter use. By September 15 the pelage is quite long, faultless in texture,
and very richly colored. Of the five species of huckleberries and blueberries that grow in the mountains, two
are large and fine, and furnish an excellent supply of
bear food. This is the month of bear migration, from
the lower valleys upward, feeding on berries all the way.
The earlier the coming of the first heavy snowfall, the
earlier the migration. When the bears cannot get huckleberries, they eat black currants, but not with great
relish, because they are rather bitter. The root of a
I wild-pea vine " {Hedysarum) is eaten with great relish. It tastes precisely like green-pea pods, and is really
very palatable. When the root is chewed, its residuum
is tough and woody, but the outside is gelatinous, like
slippery-elm bark.
October.—After the berries are gone, the grizzlies dig
for "gophers" {Citellus columbianus), and for Hedysarum roots, until the ground freezes to such a depth that
they cannot break through it. When digging becomes
impossible, the bears seek their winter dens, and hibernate.
At most seasons of the year the male grizzly bear is
a solitary creature. As a rule, the only individuals found
living together are the mother and cubs. Occasionally
it happens that the yearling cubs remain with their
mother for some months after the birth of their sue- 1
h I
cessors, but the eighteen-months-old cub usually is found
quite alone.
It often happens, however, that in the height of the
berry season, six or seven bears may be found together
in the same berry-patch; but this does not mean that all
those individuals had been living together. Mr. W. H.
Wright, a very successful bear-hunter, once killed seven
bears in one day; and Prof. L. L. Dyche once saw
on the head of the Pecos River, in New Mexico, seven
grizzlies travelling together. But such occurrences are
very rare exceptions, and the rule is exactly the reverse.
Mr. Phillips once found two sets of tracks showing how
one bear had chased another out of his territory.
Like the wolves of the North-west, the grizzly bears
of to-day know well that a deadly rifle is the natural
corollary to a man. Nine grizzlies out of every ten will
run the moment a man is discovered, no matter what the
distance may be from bear to man. The tenth will
charge you, fearlessly, especially if you make your attack
from below. It is said that a wounded grizzly always
runs down hill; and this may account for some charges
toward hunters below, which might not have taken place
had the hunter been off to one side.
It must be borne in mind that the grizzly feeds according to the bill of fare available in his locality at a
given time. In some localities he feeds upon salmon, the
bulbs of various plants, and even upon grass; but wherever found, he is fond of berries.
He is not a proud feeder. He turns up his nose at
nothing that he can chew and assimilate, except skunks  1 ^V^W
M   ft
and porcupines. According to the needs of the hour, he
feeds upon the best or the worst. Beyond doubt, he prefers an elk, fat, fresh and filling; but when hunger plucks
vulture-like at his vitals, he will not disdain to pick a
dead and bloated pack-rat out of a snowslide and put
it where he thinks it will do the most good.
The carrion state does not bother him in the least, if
he is hungry. Most impartially he cleans up the carcasses of big game left by the hunter. He has been
known to eat the flesh of his own kind, which surely is
in very bad taste, ethically, but otherwise it is not so bad
in him as in the hunters who sometimes devour his hams,
regardless of their origin.
Occasionally a grizzly will feed on a carcass in the
daytime, but the majority wisely defer their visits until
nightfall, and retire before dawn. Many a hunter has
tried to kill a grizzly over the remains of a horse specially slaughtered as a bait, but none of my bear-hunting
friends ever have succeeded in killing a grizzly by that
plan. Usually the bear comes only in the darkness, or
else remains away altogether.
I believe that nearly every time the weight of a grizzly bear is estimated, it is greatly over-estimated. The
size of a stretched skin, and the length of the pelage in
the winter season, always suggests an animal larger and
heavier than the reality. Trim down every " estimate "
fully one-third, and you will have something near the
proper figure. In bear-guessing errors, the writer is no
exception. Bears always have seemed to me much larger
than the cold and unimaginative scales show them to be. i7S CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Both in the United States and British Columbia, the
grizzly bears of to-day are not extremely large. I think
the bears that do mature are killed by hunters before
they have lived the seven years that are necessary to the
production of specimens of the largest size. To-day,
any grizzly that will weigh seven hundred and fifty
pounds may fairly be called a very large one. Those
which will weigh a thousand pounds are now as rare as
white buffaloes. I never have seen, and never expect to
see, a one-thousand-pound grizzly. The largest individual that I ever knew to be weighed was one that died
in Lincoln Park, Chicago, and which was found, by
Mr. G. O. Shields, to weigh eleven hundred and fifty-
three pounds. By old hunters it was " estimated " at
eighteen hundred pounds. 'So far as I can learn, the
Rocky Mountains have not produced during the past ten
years a wild grizzly actually weighing, on scales, over
seven hundred and fifty pounds. The great majority of
the largest specimens killed and weighed during the last
twenty years have weighed between five hundred and six
hundred pounds; but records of actual weights, on scales,
are very, very rare.
In the Zoological Park at New York, we have had
grizzly bears coming from Chihuahua, Mexico, from
Colorado, Wyoming and White Horse, Yukon Territory. Between all these there can be discerned no external differences. I believe they all belong to the same
species, straight Ursus horribilis. Just where the grizzlies of the far north are met by the Alaskan brown
bears, no one is as yet able to say.   Mr. J. W. Tyrrell
m NOTES  ON  THE  GRIZZLY   BEAR       179
found the Barren Ground grizzly about one hundred
miles east of the eastern end of Great Bear Lake.
There has been much talk in the Colorado mountains,
and in a few other localities, about the " silver-tip " and
the " grizzly," and several times I have been asked to
state the characters of each. Like the continuous and
ever-tiresome " ibex,"—which will not down,—there is
nothing in this question. A " silver-tip " is a Rocky
Mountain grizzly, no more, no less. The two are one
and indivisible, but the coat of the animal varies all the
way from the gray-washed " bald-faced " grizzly to the
darkest of the dark-brown individuals, which in November are sometimes of a dark chocolate-brown color.
I have tried in vain to find constant characters in the
claws of grizzly bears, but each time I have concluded
that I had found out something that was constant, immediately the old material has been discredited by new,
and I now am as far as ever from a permanent conclusion. Some grizzlies have very long claws, that are
strongly curved, and again others have claws that are
rather short and blunt. They vary greatly, according to
conditions, and the uses to which they have been put.
To-day there is in the United States only one locality
wherein wild grizzlies exist in any number, and that is
the remote fastnesses of the Bitter Root Mountains of
Idaho, known as the Clearwater country. Mr. W. H.
Wright knows where there are bears, but the mountains
are so steep, and the brush so thick, it is not every sportsman who can get a shot, even when grizzlies are seen.
Of course every one knows of the tame grizzlies of the II
I     '. I
Yellowstone Park, and the very few wild ones immediately around that reservation.
For several reasons, I am totally opposed to the trapping of grizzlies for their skins, to poisoning them, and
to permitting any hunter to kill more than one grizzly
per year. In other words, I think the time has come to
protect this animal, at least everywhere south of latitude 540. As a state asset, every live, wild grizzly of
adult size is worth from $300 to $500, and as a hunter's
grand object, it is worth much more. The trapping
and poisoning of this noble animal should be prohibited,
at once, throughout the whole United States and southern British Columbia; and this prohibition should stand
forever. It is folly for Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming or
New Mexico, to permit the killing of a five-hundred-
dollar silver-tip for a twenty-dollar skin; and every
guide should know this without being told. Moreover,
the slaughter of half a dozen grizzlies by one man in a
single season is far worse for the big-game interests of
America than the killing of that number of bull elk.
Eliminate the bears from the Canadian Rockies, and
a considerable percentage of the romance and wild
charm which now surrounds them like a halo, will be
gone. So long as grizzlies remain to make awesome
tracks and dig " gophers," just so long will brain-weary
men take the long trail to find them, climb mountains
until they are half-dead of precious physical fatigue, and
whether they kill grizzlies or not, they will return like
new men, vowing that they have had the grandest of all
Wild-Animal Photography—A Subject on the Crags—At the Head of
the Grand Slide—The Billy Goat at Bay—Exposures at Six Feet
—The Glaring Eyes of the Camera Stops a Charge—At Last
the Subject Stands Calmly and looks Pleasant—In Peril from a
" Dead " Knee—A Sleepless Night from the Perils of the Day.
AT last the camera has fully and fairly captured the
elusive, crag-defying Rocky Mountain goat. Oreamnos
has stood for his picture, at short range, looking pleasant
and otherwise, and the pictures call for neither an | if "
nor an apology. They are all that the most ambitious
wild-animal photographer could reasonably desire.
In photographing rare wild animals in their haunts,
the camera always begins at long range and reduces the
focal distance by slow, and sometimes painful degrees.
To the difficulties always present in photographing a
large wild animal in its haunts must be added the dangerous crag-climbing necessary in securing fine pictures
of the mountain goat.
So far as I know, the first photographs ever made
of Oreamnos in his native haunts were taken by the late
E. A. Stanfield, on the rock walls of the Stickine River,
northern British Columbia, in 1898, not far from where
he afterward lost his life in that dangerous stream.    This
was a single negative showing two goats in the middle
distance, and three others, far away, sticking against the
181 I
1   1
1 '
■ i
side of what appeared to be a perfectly smooth wall of
rock several hundred feet high.
After that came three or four pictures of goats taken
in timber, on level ground, and amid surroundings that
seemed more suitable for white-tailed deer than crag-
climbing goats. The distance was so great that it was
only when the negatives were much enlarged that the
goats became interesting.
On both sides of our ideally beautiful camp in the
head of Avalanche Valley, the mountains rose steeply
and far. First came the roof slopes, a mile from bottom
to top, their faces seamed with parallel " slides" and
ribbed with the ridges of rock and points of moss-green
timber that climbed up between them. Above all that
rose the long stretches of crag and rock wall, crowned
by peak, " dome," and " saddle."
From bottom to top we scanned the slide-ways for
grizzly bears feeding on berries, or digging roots. We
watched the grassy belt just below the cliff-foot for
mountain sheep. Goats we saw up there, daily, in little
groups of three to five; but we had resolutely drawn our
firing-line at three goats each.
But there was one old billy who fascinated us all.
When we looked out of our tents on our first morning
in that camp, he was calmly lying upon a ledge at the foot
of the cliff immediately above us, near a bank of perpetual snow. For two days he remained there, at the
same elevation, moving neither north nor south more
than three hundred yards. When hungry, he came
down to the foot of the cliff and fed on the tender plants The Haunt of the Camera Goat
The goat was photographed on the steep rocks shown on the left, at the point indicated.
Taken at a distance of two miles across Avalanche Valley.  PHOTOGRAPHING A  MOUNTAIN  GOAT  183
that grew at timber-line, then climbed back to his favorite contour line, to lie and doze away the hours.
That goat seemed so sociable that finally we began
to regard him as one of us, and we scrutinized him and
apostrophized him to our heart's content. On the fourth
morning, the beautifully clear sky and faultless atmosphere revealed a rare opportunity. While the cook was
putting the finishing touches to an inspiring breakfast
of fried mule-deer steaks and other luxuries, those of
us who had most quickly succeeded in finding the clean
spots on the camp towels took our usual early-morning
gaze at " that old goat." (Ye gods! How glorious was
the crisp air, the spruce-woods odor, the crackle and
snap of the camp-fire, and the golden glow of sunrise on
the western peaks and precipices! That was life,—without a flaw.)
As we gathered around our standing-lunch breakfast
table, I remarked to Mr. Phillips that it would be a
glorious feat to secure some really fine photographs of
that billy goat in his natural environment. Turning to
his side partner, Mr. Phillips said very positively,
" Mack, it is up to the unscientific section to get those
pictures! "
" I dunno about them environments," answered Mack
slowly, while he steered a long line of condensed cream
into his coffee-cup, " but we can shore git a boxful of
scenery up thar. We never yet shot a full-grown billy
with a camery; and they're mighty onsartin critters. If
we corral him too close, he'll like as not go vicious, and
knock us clean off the mountain."
I ii
We soon saw that an attempt would be made to round
up that goat somewhere, somehow, and take a picture
of him at short range. In a few minutes we invented
a wigwag code of signals by which the cook was to
signal at intervals, with a clean towel on the end of a
fossil tepee-pole, the position of the goat. Mr. Phillips
and Mack Norboe made ready for the event, and with
Kaiser to assist in manipulating the goat, presently
set out.
Mr. Phillips dislikes writing about his adventures,
but in view of the fact that he alone is able to relate the
occurrences of that day, I prevailed upon him to write
out the following account of that daring and dangerous
episode. Had I known on that morning the risks that
he would run on those cliffs, hanging by one hand on a
knife-edge of rotten rock with an angry goat at a nearness of six feet and threatening to knock him off into midair, I would not*for any number of photographs have
encouraged the enterprise. It was only the merciful
Providence which sometimes guards insane camera
enthusiasts which prevented a frightful tragedy; for it
is well known throughout the goat country that an old
male goat cornered on a ledge will fight dog or man.
In order to assist the photographers to the utmost,
Charlie Smith and I considerately went bear-hunting;
and this is Mr. Phillips's account of how the goat pictures
were obtained:
" Shortly after twelve o'clock, Mack and I started for
the goat that had been hanging out above our camp. We
took my stereoscopic camera, Charlie Smith's four-by-five PHOTOGRAPHING A  MOUNTAIN  GOAT 185
camera, the dog, and my big gun in order to kill the goat
if he attacked me.
I After crossing the narrow flat of Avalanche Creek,
we struck up the long, grassy slide directly opposite our
camp. At first its slope was about twenty degrees, but
this gradually increased until finally, where it struck the
slide-rock, it almost stood on end. We reached the slide-
rock about 2 P.M., after which the going was harder than
ever. Gradually we worked our way out of the slide on
to a high, rocky point which rose toward the south.
" Although lightly clad, we were by that time very
warm. I had taken off my hunting shirt, and hung it upon
my back, and opened the sides of my knickerbockers.
Inside and out, we needed all the air we could get. I
wore that day a pair of light golf shoes with rubber soles,
tipped at the toes and heels with leather in which were
fixed some small steel nails. These soles were very flexible, and adjusted themselves so well to the inequalities of
the rocks that I could jump, and stick where I lit. Mack
said: f With them foot-riggin's, you shore kin go whar
a bar kin!' Mack was not so well equipped as to footgear, having on an old pair of shoes with turned-up toes,
set with nails that were much worn. This handicapped
him on the bare rocks.
I( It's about time Cookie wiggled that rag, to show
us whar that goat is,' said Mack as we seated ourselves
to rest, and took out our glasses.
I Sure enough. In a few minutes we saw Huddleston
out on the green flat in front of the tents, waving vigorously; and from his signals we knew that the goat was 186 CAMP-FIRES   IN  THE   CANADIAN   ROCKIES
still there, toward the south, and above us. We decided
that the Director's semaphore system was a good thing.
I We knew that our best chance for success lay in
getting above the goat, to prevent his escape to the peaks,
then in cornering him, somewhere. After a long diagonal climb we found ourselves under the wall of the
snow-capped mountain, which rose sheer up two hundred
feet or more, then rounded off into a dome going about
three hundred feet higher. Now, just here we found
a very strange feature of mountain work. A great rock
buttress stretched along the foot of the mountain wall,
originally continuous, and several hundred feet long.
But somehow a big section had been riven out of the middle of that ridge, going quite down to the general face
of that mountain-side, like a railway cut standing almost
on end. This central cut-out section is now the head
of a big slide, five hundred feet wide at the cliff, from
which it descends at a fearful pitch.
j This slide is now bounded at the top by two ridges
of rock, each with a steep wall facing the gap. The
space lying between these walls is filled with masses of
frost-riven rock, from the peak above, varying in size
from dust to rocks the size of a freight car. The weight
and momentum of the larger rocks had carried them well
down the mountain, and some of them were so evenly
balanced that it seemed as if a touch would be sufficient
to send them thundering on.
"We stood on the top of the northern ridge,close under
the foot of the cliff, and looked down the rock wall which
dropped almost perpendicularly to the slide-way far The Face of the Precipice from Below, with Goat in situ I
below. On the south side of the slide rose a ridge very
similar to the one on which we stood.
" From the signals Huddleston made at that time,
we knew that the goat was below us. f Thar he is, now!'
exclaimed Mack, pointing down our ridge, and looking
as he pointed I saw the animal about one hundred and
fifty yards below us on a point of rock overhanging the
slide. He was staring down toward our camp, as if he
saw Huddleston and his signals, but I doubt if he did
see our cook, for without glasses the distance was too
1 Up to that moment, our dog Kaiser had been obediently following at our heels. Then we showed him the
goat, and explained to him what we desired. He seemed
to quite understand what we wished him to do. Leaving
us at once, he silently worked his way down over the
rocks, and in three or four minutes jumped the goat.
And then pandemonium broke loose. Kaiser barked excitedly, Mack rolled stones, and I yelled.
I The goat was very much surprised by all this noise,
and the sudden assault of the dog. Seeing that his retreat
to the upper sanctuary of the cliffs was effectually cut
off, he bounded like a great ball of cotton down the
almost perpendicular wall of the cliff, into the slide-way
two hundred feet below. To get down safely after his
game, Kaiser had to hunt for stairs, and before he reached
the bottom the goat was well across the slide.
1 In the meantime I had scrambled down the rocks
into the head of the slide, and found that although it
pitched at a frightful angle, I could get footing close 188 CAMP-FIRES  IN  THE   CANADIAN  ROCKIES
under the sheer mountain wall, so I ran and scrambled
across, jumping over some waterworn fissures. When I
reached the opposite wall, I saw the goat below me coming up the ridge. Owing to the shape of the slide, I had
travelled only one-third the distance covered by the goat.
" Seeing me above him, the goat thought he was
again cut off from the mountain, and so sought safety
on the face of the wall that overhung the slide. He did
not realize that he could easily have passed me by going
up the ridge before I could head him off.
" Seeing that the goat was safe for the moment, I
thought of Mack, and fearing that he had fallen, went
back. I found him at the bottom of one of the water-
worn fissures. It was too wide for him to jump, so he
had gone down into the rock crevasse, and when I found
him he was on his hands and knees; and no wonder.
The bottom was worn quite smooth, and pitched down
at an angle of about sixty degrees. When he heard me
he looked up, and said: j I wisht I had some of the
legs them octopuses had that the Professor was tellin'
us about!   I'd shore rope myself over this ditch!'
" When finally Mack crawled out of his trouble, we
went over and looked at the goat. I took a picture of
him from the slide, then leaving Mack in the slide with
my gun, I worked my way with the cameras out up on
the ridge, and finally secured a position above the goat.
" I found him standing on a ledge about eighteen
inches wide, backed against a slight projection on the
face of the cliff, which cut the ledge off. The ledge
rose at rather a steep incline for about twenty feet up to M-«gg^^rjg^i
Copyright, 1905, by John M.  Phillips.
The Goat on the Stratified  Rock
.Looking toward Avalanche Creek. • <** PHOTOGRAPHING A  MOUNTAIN  GOAT 189
the level on which I stood. The goat was about eight feet
below me, while below him was a sheer drop of a hundred and fifty feet or more, down to the slide-rock.
" He was a very large goat, weighing, I should say,
fully three hundred pounds. He had a magnificent pair
of horns, fully ten inches long. I was surprised to note
that he did not show the least sign of panic, or even fear.
He looked up at me quite calmly, and then, ignoring me
entirely, solemnly and serenely gazed out over the crags
I After a few trials from above I found it impossible
to get a good picture of him without getting much
nearer; so I yelled down to Mack: j I'm going down to
him.   If he charges me, you must kill him, in a hurry.'
1 Setting the focus of my stereo camera for six feet,
and placing the bulb in my mouth, I gradually worked
my way down the ledge, carrying my camera in one hand
and holding to the wall with the other. When I was
within about twelve feet of him, Mack yelled to me:
" j Look out thar! He's a-raisin' his tail, like a buffalo bull!    He's goin' to knock you off!'
I Mack was raised in Texas, with the buffalo, and
diagnosed the case correctly. The very next instant, so
it seemed to me, the goat came at me, head and tail up,
ears drooped forward and eyes blazing green. He came
with a bouncing rush, hammering the stones with his
front feet so that the loose ones flew like broken ice. I
was taken completely by surprise, for I did not think
that on a ledge so narrow an animal could or would
11 was perfectly helpless, for I could not step aside,
and it was impossible for me to back quickly up that
steep and narrow shelf. The goat was too quick for
Mack, for I heard him yell, in great alarm, 'I can't
shoot, or I'll hit ye both!'        Jj
I Mack told me afterward that he dared not shoot
from where he was, for fear the heavy ball would go
through the goat, glance against the rock, and either kill
me or throw me off the ledge. I was terribly frightened,
but mechanically snapped the camera when the goat was
about six feet away. There was really nothing that I
could do except to hold the camera at him, and snap it.
" He charged up to within a yard of me, but with
his eyes fixed on the two lenses. Then he appeared to
conclude that any animal that could stand that much
without winking was too much for him, so shaking his
head and gritting his teeth he stopped, and to my great
relief slowly backed into his niche.
I Believing that he would not charge the camera, I
followed him down, and secured a picture of him at six
feet. Then Mack began to see more symptoms of trouble, and since I had exposed my last film I backed out.
Then I remembered the four-by-five camera, and started
down with it, but Mack yelled angrily:
"! Hold on there! That goat's plumb dangerous,
and if you start down there again, I'll shorely kill him!
What's the use o' bein' locoed an' gettin' killed fer a
few picters?'
1 Mack was so wrought up that to save the goat
I abandoned my intention; and when he finally joined
ft k
u   _;
bo m
L %
me, we slipped another roll of films into the stereo
" Just as we finished our reloading operation, Kaiser
took a look down at the goat, at very close range, when
all of a sudden, like a Jack-in-the-box, the old billy was
up from the ledge and after him. Kaiser ran to us
for protection, the goat charging after him, most determinedly. Mack and I yelled, and waved our arms, and
finally turned the goat down over the point, this time
with Kaiser chasing him.
1 They were soon out of our sight, but we could hear
the rocks rolling below, and knew that they were going
back across the slide. So we slid off the crags into the
head of the slide, and running across at some risk to our
necks, finally turned the goat on to a small pinnacle,
about where we first jumped him.
I It was here that I secured some of my best pictures.
Mack, perched on the top of the crag, attracted the goat's
attention and tantalized him by waving his hat, while
I made pictures as fast as possible. We had to keep
Kaiser in the background, for apparently the goat blamed
him for all his troubles, and I believe Billy was mad
enough at that time to charge the dog through fire.
I My footing was very insecure, and being obliged to
hold on with one hand and watch the goat in fear that
he would charge me, I could not use the finder of my
camera. Once as the goat charged up the rock at Mack
I got in close to him, when he suddenly turned on me,
gritting his teeth as he did so. His lip protruded like
the lower lip of a charging bear, and with his front feet
he stamped on the rocks until the small, loose fragments
flew in every direction.
" It was just then that I got my best snapshot from in
front, although the picture fails to show his ugly temper
as I saw it. As I rolled in another film he charged me.
Unfortunately I was so scared that I did not have presence of mind to press the bulb at the right distance. He
bounced up to within four feet of me, when again the
two big, glaring eyes of the camera fascinated and
checked him. Just as he turned his head from the unwinking eyes of my stereo, I snapped it, but he was inside
the focus.
I At that instant Kaiser, who had escaped from
Mack's surveillance, appeared below me, and the goat
immediately charged down upon him. Kaiser cleverly
eluded him, and then the goat went on down into the
slide, running diagonally across it to a rocky point
beyond, where we again rounded him up. And then I
discovered that my stereo camera was out of films!
" Regardless of the severity of the climb down to
camp and back again, Mack insisted upon making the
trip and bringing me more films, and immediately
" It was my duty to hold the goat at bay as best I could
during the two hours' interval that I knew must elapse.
The animal was then standing on the side of what seemed
to me a sheer cliff, and when I slowly climbed down to
look at him, he quite ignored me. Finding a sheltered
niche in the cliff a hundred feet above him, I donned
my hunting shirt and sat down to watch and wait.
i Ik
Copyright, 1905. by John M. Phillips.
An Angry Mountain Goat at Close Quarters
Distance four feet; inside the focus.    After charging so near he concluded to halt and back up to his first position.  PHOTOGRAPHING A  MOUNTAIN  GOAT 193
I It was then about 3 p.m., and there followed a long,
cold interval. Once Kaiser created a diversion by zig-
zaging down and taking another peep at his enemy, who
immediately scrambled up the rocks at him, as fast as he
could come. Kaiser retreated in good order, but soon
turned and barked defiantly at the goat. After this
futile charge, the goat backed away until his hindquarters
hung over the cliff; then he charged a second time.
Apparently he was determined to kill the dog, and rushed
after him again and again. The goat would raise his
tail, throw his ears forward, and without lowering his
head go bounding stiff-legged after the dog like a bucking broncho. At times it seemed as if his object was to
trample the dog rather than horn him, but Kaiser was
quick enough, and easily dodged his rushes. Then the
old goat would stand and glare at him, gritting his teeth
and sometimes sticking his tongue out, the personification of anger. It was a most interesting performance,
and in spite of being very cold I was fascinated by it.
" About six o'clock I heard rocks rolling in the slide
far below me, and knew that Mack was coming. Then
I decided to get a better view of the trouble between the
goat and the dog, and crawled down to the point on
which the fight was taking place. I worked down within
twenty feet of the goat, when suddenly he whirled and
came at me. I pointed my rifle at him and yelled, hoping to frighten him. He came within six feet of me,
and I was about to fire when Kaiser barked close behind
him. The goat turned so quickly he almost trampled
the dog, who dodged under him and ran to me! i94 CAMP-FIRES  IN  THE   CANADIAN   ROCKIES
" Fortunately I was above the goat, and finding that
the odds were against him he bounded off the point, and
once more fled for the slide. This was the maddest race
of all, for it called for quick work to get across the top
of the slide in time to head off the goat. On that frightful pitch every jump I made loosened stones which dislodged others, and they went rolling and rumbling down
the slide. The dog and goat also started their full quota
of rocks, and for a time it seemed as if the whole mountain-side were moving. But I succeeded in heading off
the goat, and clambered up on the wall above him.
" A few minutes later Mack joined me, and as he
wiped the beads of perspiration from his shiny bald head,
I said to him: \ Did you see the beautiful race we had
across the slide? ' ' Didn't see nothin',' he answered with
an air of irritation. j I thought everything had broken
loose up here, and I was too busy dodgin' rocks to care
who won any race.   You-alls shore tore up the scenery!'
" After placing a new roll in the camera I crawled
around on the hanging wall, and secured a very good
picture of the goat. As I closed in he started to retreat,
but by following him up I secured a picture as he was
getting away. Then Mack headed him once more, on
the farther side of the cliff, when he took refuge in a
niche near the top of the wall.
" As we approached him from above, he again got
his eyes on Kaiser, and charged up through the group
which we three made. Fortunately Kaiser engaged his
attention, which enabled Mack and me to head him
and drive him back.    For a time we lost him on the  I ii
crags below. Presently, however, I found him standing
on a wall which jutted out of the cliff on the north side
of the great slide. At that point, the cliff towered up
perpendicularly a hundred feet above the slide, and the
goat was about twenty feet from the top, standing on a
small projecting edge of rock that looked like a peg
driven in the wall.
I At first it seemed utterly impossible to get a picture there, but on studying the rocks a little, I thought
I saw a way. Leaving Mack above to watch, I crawled
down to a point almost over the goat, where I found that
the mountain-side pitched down at an angle of at least
thirty degrees, increasing to sixty, and ending in a sheer
drop of a hundred feet or more. The rock was stratified, dipping toward the valley, like the slates on a roof.
The layers varied from the thickness of ordinary roof-
slates to three or four inches. Much of this was loose,
and had to be removed before I could get a footing.
I As I worked down, I started quite an avalanche
of stone, and held my breath while I heard it go rumbling into the depths below. Just as I was thinking of
going back, Mack called out, loudly and anxiously:j Say,
Jack! Is that you? ' ' No,' I said, ' it's only rock.' ' I
thought you had shore ruined the mountain that time.'
He tried to appear unconcerned, but by his voice I could
tell how he felt.
I At last I succeeded in working over to the edge of
the cliff, and found myself on a level with the goat, and
only eight feet away. It was as if he stood on a window
sill on the gable end of a house, while I hung upon the r^F
L t
corner of the slate roof. By reaching far down with
my left foot I succeeded in getting one good foot-hold,
but I had to double my other leg under me and lean
forward upon my knee. After considerable work I broke
off pieces of rotten rock, and built up a fair sort of a
camera rest, supporting half of it upon my knee. The
top slab of my stone-pile projected beyond the face of
the cliff, so that between goat and camera there was no
obstruction whatever.
" To my amazement and joy, during all this time the
goat paid no attention to me, but stood there as calm and
cool as an icicle. He really seemed to be enjoying his
view of the scenery.
I After I had my camera set, I took a picture of him
with his head slightly turned away, then I began to talk
to him in a soothing voice, calling to him, \ Hey, Billy!'
when he deigned to turn his head and look at me. Mack
heard me talking to him, and called down,—as evidence
that he was near,—' He don't know his name! You
might as well call him Mike!'
" This was the best chance I had with that animal;
but by that time it was late and the light was not very
favorable. However, I gave him time exposures, and
got some very fair results. Every now and then the old
fellow would stick out his tongue at me, and once I took
a snapshot expressly to show that, but the result was not
very good.
" After using up the six films in the camera, I swung
it on my back and attempted to edge back from the face
of the precipice.   Then to my dismay I discovered that Drawn by Charles B. Hudson.
Mr.   Phillips's Most Dangerous   Position I
the bent knee on which I had been resting was as dead
as if permanently paralyzed. It was stiff, and worse than
useless. I had been frightened two or three times during
that afternoon, but this was the climax. I called to
Mack, and told him of the fix I was in, but owing to his
bad shoes he could not come down to help me. Then I
was sorry we had not brought a rope.
" Seeing that I must work out my own salvation I
began to punch and beat my leg, and kept it up until
at last the circulation started, and feeling returned.
Finally I managed to crawl back very slowly to where
Mack could reach me, and he soon landed me safely upon
a level spot.
I While this was going on, the goat got tired of inaction, jumped up over the wall and started for the peak.
For some reason, however, he changed his course and
climbed down into the slide, with the dog after him.
Expecting to see a good race we stopped to watch it;
but poor Kaiser's feet were now very sore and the goat
outran him.   And then a queer thing happened.
I The goat stopped on the farther edge of the slide,
and finding that his human tormentors were nowhere
near, he decided to get square with that dog! When
Kaiser reached him, the goat charged furiously. Seeing
his danger, the dog turned and started back the way he
came, with the goat in hot pursuit. | The goat pursued
by a series of short rushes, and not by the steady, straightaway run that a bear makes. He followed the dog almost
to the ridge on which we were, but finally desisted, and
retreated southward. ¥-.
I It was then so late that we started at once for camp
in order to get off the crags before dark. It grew dark
before we reached camp, but at last we were guided in by
the camp-fire, thoroughly exhausted, and half famished*
for water. I never knew Kaiser to drink so long as then,
and his feet were so raw and sore that he scarcely could
bear to have them doctored."
Mr. Phillips's narrative, as he Records it, does not half
adequately portray the frightful risks that he ran on that
memorable afternoon." That night, I think he was awake
all night, save once. Then he threshed around in his
sleeping-bag, and clutched wildly at the silk tent-roof
over his head.
" Hey, John!" I called out sharply, to waken him.
" What's the matter?   Are you having a nightmare? "
"Oh!" he groaned. "I thought I was falling off
those rocks,—clear down to the tents! "
Just before breakfast the next morning Mr. Phillips
said to Mack in a quiet aside, " How did you sleep,
Mack? " ' §
"I didn't sleep none!" said Mack, solemnly.
" Whenever I dozed off I dreamt that old Oramus was
buttin' us off them rocks. Every time I lit I shore
made it lively for Charlie."
They were not the first men whose sleep had been
destroyed by the recrudescence of the horrors of the
The next day men and dog rested quietly in camp, too
tired and sore to move out. CHAPTER XIV
The Finest of all Camps—A Record-Breaking Cook—Fearful Slaughter
of Comestibles—Drying Meat from Big Game—A Good Method
Described—The Norboe Brothers—Trapping on Bull River—The
Trappers' Bill of Fare—Mack Norboe's Biggest Bear—The Big
Bear that Got Away.
The afternoon of September 16th was dominated by
misty rain. It was too wet for hunting, but under the
giant Canadian white-spruce trees which encircled one
side of our camp, we sat, and spat into the camp-fire,
and yarned away the hours most comfortably. Big,
fleecy white clouds from Bull River floated into our valley, dragged softly along the side of the eastern mountains, and left the green timber and yellow grass of the
slides looking like a freshly varnished oil-painting. Our
horses grazed on the rich meadow in front of the tents,
snorted with satisfaction, tinkled their bell, and fed until
they could feed no more. Dog Kaiser appointed himself
special camp-guard, and whenever a horse crossed his
dead-line, there was an indignant bark, a bitten pastern,
a vicious kick in mid-air at a dog that was always six
inches the other way, and a quick retreat.
It was a busy day for Huddleston, the cook; for in
camp, the hunter's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of
*41 «/
grub. When Charlie and I tramped in at one o'clock,
on account of the rain, the others were all there, and for
the remainder of the afternoon we snugged down under
the three big spruces that formed a triangle around our
camp-fire, and loafed, and invited our souls.
Were I to hunt a thousand years longer, I think it
would be impossible to find a more ideal camping-spot
than that which Mr. Phillips named in my honor. The
shelter of the beautiful grove of spruces, the magnificent mountains within a stone's throw on either hand,
the long-distance view down the valley to Roth Mountain and Glacier, the slides, the vegetation of timber-
line, the water, the wild life, and last but not least, the
grass for our faithful, never-running-away horses made
a combination of conditions rarely found in this world.
To me, the pace set by our chef was highly amusing.
Never before have I camped with a cook who took his
job as seriously as did Huddleston. To begin with, he
was young and vigorous, accustomed to hard work, and
there was not a shirking bone in his body. He rose in
the morning, he cooked meals, he washed things, hewed
wood and drew water as if his life depended upon the
perfect doing of each section of his daily work. The
amount of food that he cooked on his folding stove, and
the quantity of bread that he baked before our camp-
fire in his jolly little reflector-oven, was simply appalling. I used to think that my band of rustlers on the
1886 buffalo hunt ate the most of any human beings I
ever camped with; but on this last trip, the crowd ate
more.   No doubt it was because we had a greater variety, A   RAINY   DAY   IN   CAMP
no I
and the temptation was stronger. It will be many a year
ere I cease to hear Huddleston saying briskly, " Grub's
ready, gentlemen. Now, which will you have? Coffee,
tea or chocolate?   I've got 'em all!"
We all believed in having luxurious camp-fires; and
wood was plentiful and cheap. Each night and morning it was a white man's camp-fire, for fair. You know
the familiar Indian saying current in the West,—" White
man make heap-big fire, get way off!" It was against
the rules to cut logs shorter than six feet—save when
away from home, and camping on a trail.
From the very first, I began to dry wild meat, after
a very good fashion which I had learned of my old
friend L. A. Huffman, away back in the bad-lands of
Montana. Strange to say, none of the other members
of our party knew any good method of drying meat, and
they watched my work with keen interest, and an eye to
the future.
The process is so simple a child can use it, and the
ingredients can be purchased in any frontier store, for a
few cents. In Michel, I bought half a pound of black
pepper, an equal quantity of ground allspice, and four
three-pound bags of fine table-salt. The proportions of
the mixture I use are: Salt, three pounds; allspice, four
table-spoonfuls, and black pepper five table-spoonfuls, all
thoroughly mixed.
Take a ham of deer, elk, or mountain sheep, or fall-
killed mountain goat, and as soon as possible after killing, dissect the thigh, muscle by muscle. Any one can
learn to do this by following up with fhe knife the
natural divisions between the muscles. With big game
like elk, some of the muscles of the thigh are so thick
they require to be split in two. A piece of meat should
not exceed five inches in thickness. Skin off all enveloping membranes, so that the curative powder will
come in direct contact with the raw, moist flesh. The
flesh must be sufficiently fresh and moist that the preservative will readily adhere to it. The best size for
pieces of meat to be cured by this process is not over a
foot long, by six or eight inches wide and four inches
When each piece has been neatly and skilfully prepared rub the powder upon every part of the surface,
and let the mixture adhere as much as it will. Then
hang up each piece of meat, by a string through a hole
made in the smaller end, and let it dry in the wind. If
the sun is hot, keep the meat in the shade; but in the
north, the sun helps the process. Never let the meat get
wet. If the weather is rainy for a long period, hang
your meat-rack where it will get mild heat from the
camp-fire, but no more smoke than is unavoidable, and
cover it at night with a piece of canvas.
Meat thus prepared is not at its best for eating until
it is about a month old; then slice it thin. After that no
sportsman, or hunter, or trapper can get enough of it.
Wives and sweethearts who love out-doors dote upon it.
To men who write about nature and animals, each chew
is a fresh inspiration.
No; this is not "jerked" meat. It is many times
better.    It is always eaten uncooked, and as a concen- A  RAINY  DAY   IN   CAMP
trated, stimulating food for men in the wilds, it is valuable. Charlie Smith and the Norboes were emphatic
in their expressions of regret that they never before had
known of that process. Said Charlie, ruefully, " Think
of the good meat, Mack, that we could have saved for
months on Bull River, that long winter, if we had only
known about this scheme! We would never have gone
There is no question about it. The American trapper has for a century been horribly wasteful of wild life,
because he did not know how to dry wild meat, easily
and cheaply. Pemmican is all right; but the making of
it, on a good, palatable basis, is neither simple nor easy.
While on this trip I cured for Mr. Phillips and
myself about forty pounds (when dry) of the meat of
mountain goat, mule deer, mountain sheep and grizzly
bear. The mountain goat meat was good, but slightly
tough in comparison with the other meats. It had not
the slightest disagreeable flavor, but in spring it is spoiled
by the flavor of wild onions. All the meat of mountain
sheep and mule deer was tender and delicious, but that
of the grizzly bear, when dried, had a queer fishy taste
that made it unpalatable. The flesh of the mountain
sheep {Ovis canadensis) and mule deer are so nearly
identical, both in fibre and in flavor, that in the fall
months no human palate can distinguish one from the
In our small party there were some good story-tellers,
—" raconteurs " they call them, east of Altoona; besides
which, my companions were men who had seen and done
wwmwiw K
1     I
many things in the late Wild West. Of Charlie Smith,
I have already written. The stories he told us of " the
Bush River country," and of the wilds of Oregon and
Washington, to say nothing of the Elk River region,
would make a fascinating book.
Mack and John Norboe, of Norwegian parentage,
were born on the plains of Texas, grew up as buffalo-
hunters, cowboys and Indian fighters, and finally " settled down " as guides and trappers. Both participated
in the mad and reckless buffalo slaughter of the early
seventies, and killed buffaloes of which they cannot now
be induced to tell. In the days of Apache and Comanche
Indian troubles, when the murder of settlers' families
often called for punitive expeditions gathered on short
notice, they rode and fought Indians with other white
men who believed in the survival of the fittest. Later
on, Mack became foreman of a large cattle-ranch, after
which he fell in with Charlie Smith, and settled down
permanently as his partner. For six years or more they
have guided, trapped and hunted together, drawing in
John Norboe as a special partner whenever circumstances tempted him to come in.
As a talker, Mack is more reserved than Charlie and
John, and rarely relates a long story, especially when it
is possible to put that labor upon his partner. He is a
bold and successful hunter, and a hardy mountaineer,
but on dangerous rocks, his nerves are not quite so cold
as those of his partners. When he is afraid, he does not
hesitate to say so; which many a pretty gentleman finds
it very hard to do. A   RAINY   DAY   IN   CAMP
John R. Norboe is an almost tireless climber, and
bold on the cliffs, beyond the limit of safety. In the
telling of stories he is both graphic and picturesque, and
the manner in which he unconsciously acts out his stories
is always irresistibly amusing. He is a reasonably ready
talker, and invariably interesting. In both John and
Mack the vernacular of the southern cattle-plains was
strongly in evidence, and it made them all the more
I mention these three men thus particularly because
they are to-day successful trappers of fur-bearing animals. Even amid the present scarcity of such wild life,
they are sufficiently wise in wood-craft to make at least
half their living by trapping marten, wolverine, ermine,
mink, lynx, and (I regret to say it) bear. In the United
States the fur-trapper is almost extinct, because there are
no longer enough fur-bearing animals to make the pursuit interesting.
I am tempted to add the record of one winter's catch,
made on Bull River, by the two Norboes alone. From
September 15th until the middle of the following June,
they caught 96 marten, 7 wolverines, 4 grizzly bears, 6
beavers, 10 mink and 1 lynx. During this period they
consumed the following food: 3 bull elk, 7 goats, 700
pounds of flour, 200 pounds of sugar, 50 pounds of dried
fruit, 15 gallons of berries, 30 pounds of coffee and 20
pounds of rice.
Let it not be supposed, however, that even in the
country in which we then were, it is always possible for
hunters and trappers to supply themselves with wild meat
(flta Mgg
on short notice. In the spring of 1904 when three members of our party, Mr. Phillips, Charlie Smith and Mack
Norboe, were bear-hunting in the Bull River country,
they ran out of meat, and became so hungry for that very
necessary item they flung appearances to the winds, and
sent Charlie Smith on snow-shoes over two ranges of
mountains, thirty miles in and thirty miles back, for a
ham! That was sufficiently absurd, but the sequel was
even more so. In order to travel rapidly, and be burdened with nothing save the ham and his revolver,
Charlie left his rifle behind. On the return journey he
was followed up by a grizzly bear which also needed a
sugar-cured ham! But Charlie was "dead game" and
even when face to face with the grizzly and with no
rifle, he refused to jettison his cargo. He finally bluffed
and eluded the bear, and steered his precious freight
safely into port, having made that severe round trip in
two days.
Mack Norboe has had hundreds of interesting adventures, but it is difficult to induce him to tell of one.
There are men who talk more of their one bear than
Mack does of his hundred. Only the most skilful stalking at the camp-fire ever rounds up an extended narrative
by him.
But every man makes exceptions. When the talk
turned on the charging habits of grizzlies, a goodly
amount of silent treatment, backed up by a few well-
aimed questions, finally brought forth this incident:
■"■"•2F  T
1*  > f.
Bv £
J i A   RAINY   DAY   IN   CAMP 207
I Yes, I've hunted grizzly b'ar and black b'ar in
Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and British Columbia.
All told, I think I must have shot up and trapped purty
nigh on to a hundred; but out of all the grizzlies I've
shot, and shot at, only one ever really charged me. But
I don't believe even that one would a-charged me if it
hadn't been for my dogs.
I That was in Routt County, Colorado, between the
White and the B'ar Rivers, in the spring of '91. I think
there's a family of big b'ar in that country, just as there's
an outfit of specially big black b'ar here on Elk River.
In this Colorado country that I'm a-tellin' ye about, there
was a whalin' big grizzly that they called \ old Jumbo,'
and he'd been killin' cattle for five or six years. From
the size of his tracks, everybody knew that he was a
shore big 'un, but I don't know of any one who had
seen or shot at him. Sam Ware, who had a cattle-ranch
on B'ar River, tracked him one day down Crooked-Wash
Creek, and had Sam run onto him he shore would have
rounded old Jumbo up, for he was a good shot, and full
o' sand.
" Early in the spring I was out with my two foxhounds, runnin' a mountain-lion, but the track was so
old we didn't jump him. There was considerable snow
on the ground, and in making a circuit we struck on
old Jumbo's tracks. Gee! but they were big! He had
just come out of his winter quarters in the White River
range, and was pintin' out toward B'ar River.    The
ttMSMBaBH 1 f
trail was good and fresh, and I put the dogs right on to
it. Before they had gone more'n a quarter of a mile, a
thunderin' racket broke loose, and I was shore that they
had jumped the b'ar.
" It was rollin', hilly ground, covered with cedars,
and the branches hung so low it made it very bad for
seeing any distance. I pulled my freight toward the
place where the row was goin' on, but had hardly got
fairly started when one of the dogs rushed a-past me
makin' for the rear, with his tail between his legs, and
his ears a-flappin' up and down like a pair o' bird's
wings. The b'ar had plumb stampeded him, and I didn't
see him no more until the next day.
" I hurried on as fast as I could go, and just as I
reached the top of a hill that lay ahead of me, here
comes old Jumbo, just a-tearin' along after my Ponto
dog; and Ponto was hikin' along in front, barkin' at
every jump. That old dog shore had plenty o' sand.
First thing I knew, old Jumbo was right there within
twenty yards of me; and when he saw me, he rushed
straight at me.
" I had a 45-90 Winchester, and it was all right.
Quick as I could, I sent in two shots, one in the centre
of the breast, the other in the shoulder. My Ponto dog
had jumped from the trail behind a cedar, and he was
between me and the b'ar. My first two shots dropped
old Jumbo, all right, but while I was throwin' in the
third cartridge, he jumps up and starts for me again,
full pelt.
" I s'pose my dog thought the b'ar was gettin' too A  RAINY  DAY  IN   CAMP
close to me. Anyway, he jumps from behind that cedar,
plumb at the b'ar's throat,—just as I fired! I didn't
see the dog till he filled the sight, just as I pulled the
trigger; but when the gun cracked, I knew I'd killed
him. The ball went clean through his shoulders, killin'
him stone dead; but it also hit the b'ar in a front leg,
and when he grabbed his leg between his teeth and bit
it, it gave me a chance to put a ball into his neck, which
finished him.
I The death of my dog made me so mad and locoed
I just emptied my Winchester into that b'ar, after he was
down for keeps. I felt as I couldn't ever stop shootin'
him.   He was shore scorched by my last five shots.
I That was the only b'ar that ever charged me. Although he had only just come out of his winter den, he
was very fat. We got out of him over a hundred pounds
of grease. He hadn't eaten anything since he holed up
in the fall. His stomach was about the size of my two
fists, and there was nothing in it but wrinkles. He was
a dark silver-tip, and his hair was rather short and thin.
We got only twelve-fifty out of him, bounty and hide.
The bounty was $10. He was the biggest b'ar I ever
saw. No, we didn't weigh him, nor measure him. We
had no way to do either; but his dry hide was over ten
feet long."
Some one said something about the difficulty of judging distances in the mountains, particularly over snow;
and that led to a remark from Mack Norboe flu
" Say, Mr. Phillips, how about Big Ben? " |
" It is always the biggest fish and the biggest bucks
that get away," said Mr. Phillips, reflectively; and on
being encouraged to " out with it" he outed with it,
as follows:—
" The bear that Mack refers to with that twinkle in
his eye was, in one way, the most remarkable bear I ever
saw on foot. We were hunting on the head of Wilson
Creek, and it was the 12th of May. In many places the
snow was deep on the mountains, but there were a few
bare spots on the slides, where it had melted off. In
those places, wild onions were springing up, and Mack
and I started up a slide to look for a salad. But instead
of finding small onions, we found big game.
" Mack looked half a mile up a big slide, and said,
1f Oh, my! what a big silver-tip!'
1 It was a bear all right, and while he looked very
dark, he seemed entirely too big for a black bear. When
we looked at him with our glasses, however, we saw that
although he was a black bear, he was a whaling big one.
He was out on a snow-covered slide, walking slowly
about among some low bushes, whose tops rose only a
few inches above the snow.
" As soon as we had taken a good look at him, we
prepared for a run and a big fight.
" l He's a shore big 'un!' said Mack."
(At that point, Mack laughed.)
" We kept in the edge of the green timber, and
ploughed up through the snow at a great rate, shedding
clothing at intervals all the way.    In a very short time
<< .
we got up nearly opposite the bear, but a little below
him. The distance was only one hundred and seventy-
five yards, and the bear looked as big as ever. Without
losing a minute I stepped out, knelt down, and just as
the bear looked at me, fired at the centre of him. My
bullet flew a foot too high, and the bear started to run.
I opened up and fired four more shots at him, and every
shot went high, just like so many steps in a ladder.
"The bear plunged into the green timber on the
opposite side of the slide, and disappeared. I looked at
Mack, and said, j I missed him !'
Ye shore-ly did!' said Mack.
We went out upon the slide, and looked at the
bear's tracks.   Then we both burst out laughing.
" That bear was nothing but a measly little cub, fifteen months old! He was only two sizes bigger than
a full-grown woodchuck, and his tracks were simply
ridiculous, they were so small. . . . You see, the little
brute was out there on the snow, and there was absolutely nothing to indicate its size. Instead of being one
hundred and seventy-five yards away it was only seventy-
five, and each time I fired at the bear I shot clean over
it.   I never touched a hair of it."
I That was the only bear that ever got away from
Mr. Phillips!" said Mack.
" Yes," said Charlie Smith, I and to cap the climax
of that great big bear-fight, I heard the firing, and
rushed up from camp with knives and whetstones and
things, to help skin a big bear. But it just shows ye how
sometimes the mountains fool a man com-pletely\" f
Charlie Smith's Story—An Outlaw in Camp—A Silent Death Sentence
—The Pursuers of Tom Savage Find Him—His Fate—John
Norboe Introduces Old John Campbell—Trying to be Chased by
a Grizzly—The Bear that Fell into the Fire.
Who is there who does not love a good story, told
to eager and sympathetic listeners beside a generous
camp-fire! Show me a man who does not, and I will
show you a man whose heart is not right, whose red
corpuscles are green, and whose milk of human-kindness
has turned to whey.
There are chums and chums; and guides and guides.
I have camped with several kinds of men,—white, red,
yellow, brown and black. In the lot there have been
some of the best of men, and some bad ones. One was
a murderer, out of a job; and another was a donkey with
a human head, freshly retired from a great army for
being a fool.
I have already insinuated, however, that the composition of our party of seven,—counting Kaiser,—left me
absolutely nothing to desire. And it was in our ideal
camp, in the head of Avalanche Valley, that the spirit
moved most upon the company, and the best stories were
told.   The surroundings were so satisfactory that as we CAMP-FIRE TALES
sat by the blazing logs and loafed away the hours of
storm and ante-bedtime, each camper brought forth his
share of story contributions, and told them in his best
style. The good stories told around that camp-fire would
easily fill a volume; and I would be more than human
if I could refrain from reporting here a few of them, as
samples of the whole. One of the best was told by
Charlie Smith, precisely as follows, concerning
11 spent the winter of 1878 at Fort Klamath, in
southern Oregon, and in January I had some business
at the government land-office, which then was at Lake
View, ninety miles away. The trip had to be made by
team, so early one morning I left Fort Klamath with a
span of good horses and a light wagon. The ground
was covered with snow, and as the country was sparsely
settled it was necessary to haul supplies for myself and
my horses, and camp on the trail.
I Late in the afternoon of the second day, I reached
the lower end of Drew's valley, and camped for the
night. After unhitching my horses and feeding them, I
rolled three pitch-pine logs together, and soon had a
roaring fire going, over which I boiled a pot of coffee.
After supper I spread some hay on the snow, and made
my bed for the night.
" When it became dark, I laid down on my blankets,
to enjoy a real old camp-out smoke, and watch the flicker
of my camp-fire on the pine boughs overhead.
" I had lain there for some time, and was beginning 214 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
to feel sleepy, when I heard horses coming down the
mountain from the west, their hoofs beating a regular
tattoo on the frozen road. A few moments later, an Indian rode up to my fire. That didn't surprise me much,
for in those days, one was liable to meet an Indian at
any turn in the road.
" He reined in his horse, and sprang to the ground,
giving a grunt by way of salutation. He had two horses,
and had been riding one and leading the other. They
were both dripping with perspiration, and seemed just
ready to fall in their tracks. After giving me and my
outfit a sharp look, he led his ponies to one side, and
tied them to a small tree. Then he came and stood by
my fire, and asked me for some grass for his horses. I
told him I didn't have any grass to spare. It wouldn't
have done them any good, even if I had had a ton to
give them, for they were just completely run to death.
They stood up only a few minutes, and before daylight
one of them was dead.
" The Indian was dressed in a buckskin shirt and
leggings, and a heavy red blanket was belted around his
waist. I was sitting on my blanket, and my rifle, which
I always kept near me, was tucked under the edge of my
bed, by my side. A cold, raw wind was blowing, and
as the Indian turned about to warm himself before the
fire, the wind caught the corner of his red blanket and
blew it up to one side. To my perfect horror, I saw a
woman's scalp hanging from his inside belt, a white
woman's scalp, with light-colored hair over a foot
11 can't begin to tell you what a feeling that sight
sent through me. It was like a current of electricity;
and I felt it clean down to the ends of my toes. Like a
flash, I knew that that Indian was a murderer, that he
had killed some settler's wife,—and probably the whole
family,—stolen their horses, and was being followed by
somebody. Even an Indian won't run a good pair of
horses to death for just nothing.
I Without stopping for an instant to think what I
was doing, I grabbed my rifle, cocked it, and brought it
to bear on that Indian.
II Lay down, or I'll shoot you!' I fairly yelled
at him.
I I'll never forget the look he gave me, it was such
a horrible mixture of ferocity and fear. He didn't obey
the order at once, but glancing over his shoulder he said,
j You know me? '
II said, j No I don't and I don't want to, either.'
" j Me Tom Savage.'
Ij Well,' I said, | I don't give a cuss how savage you
are. If you don't do as I say, I'll fill your hide so full
of holes it won't hold baled hay; and you'd better not
argue the point.'
I Seeing that I had my gun levelled square at his
heart, he dropped to the ground.
I' Now,' I said, ' turn your back to me, and if you
attempt to get up, or turn over, or look at me to-night,
I'll kill you right where you lay.'
I After the first shock of my surprise and horror had
won* off, I did some very hard thinking.   I was reason- 216 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
ably sure some one was after him, or he would not have
run his horses to death. I reasoned that he knew his
mounts were done for, and his object in stopping at my
camp was to raise my hair, and with my comparatively
fresh horses, hit the trail again.
" I was in a mighty uncomfortable position. My better feelings naturally turned against the idea of shooting him, but all the time I was fully resolved he should
not escape me. The main cause of immediate uneasiness
was that those pine logs might burn out before morning,
and that darkness might force me to act.
" And so I spent that long, bitter cold night,—one of
the longest I ever spent. Once during the night the logs
fell apart, and one of them came near rolling on the
Indian. He turned over and made as if to spring to his
feet. I yelled at him not to get up, but to kick the log
back again; so he put his feet against it and shoved it
back against the other. When the fire blazed up again
I laid my gun down, and put my hands under the blankets, for the wind was sharp and my bed was too far
from the fire for comfort outside of blankets.
. " As the night wore away, I began to grow nervous.
My business was urgent, and I could not go on without
doing something with that fellow. The more I thought
over the matter, the more determined I was that he
should not escape me.   I thought of all sorts of things.
" Along about five o'clock in the morning, as I sat
there watching and thinking, I noticed the Indian give
a slight start, and then appear to be intently listening.
I, too, strained my ears for some sound, hoping against
hope that some settler would come along; for by that
time I had resolved that if assistance did not come soon,
I would put a ball through that murderer's head, affix
my brand, and leave him in the road.
" To my great relief I soon detected the sound of
hoof-beats, coming at a sharp gallop down the hillside,
from the west. As they came nearer and nearer, the
Indian began to beg of me to let him go. It was the
first time he had spoken to me after telling me his name
in the evening; but I ordered him to lie still. In a few
minutes a lieutenant and four soldiers of the regular
army trotted up to my smouldering fire.
I As the officer in command dismounted, his glance
fixed upon the blanketed party in front of the fire, and
he took in the whole situation. He went up and poked
the Indian with his foot, and as the savage turned his
head and looked at him, he said to me, very cheerfully,
1 Well, stranger, you've got our bird here! We've been
wanting this fellow.'
I\ Very likely, officer,' I said, | and if you hadn't
showed up for another hour, a hearse would have been
of more use to him than handcuffs.'
1 Would you have executed him? |
He's got a white woman's scalp under his blanket,
and I shorely would have branded him so well that he
wouldn't have been taken for a maverick. But I'm
mighty glad you've come, just the same; and now I release all claims on him.'
" They soon had the brute in irons, and I soon had
a pot of coffee boiling.   While we drank our coffee, we
iC t —ggS3g«
talked. The lieutenant told me that this Indian was a
Bannock, who had been ranging about Stein's Mountain,
and he was an outlaw. He had made a sneak on an isolated settler, and had murdered the whole family,—man,
woman and child.
" He hid in the locality for some time, but it soon
got too warm for him, and he skipped out and went to
the Klamath Reservation. There he hid himself among
the numerous tribes living there, until one day while
gambling with a Klamath Indian, he stabbed and killed
him. This enraged the Indians on the Reservation, and
they reported him to the agent, who sent a squad of
troopers after him. In some way he got wind of it, and
with two stolen ponies he undertook to get back to his
old range again.
| He was taken to Fort Klamath, tried for murder,
and hanged."
Charlie Smith is no braggart; and when he told of
his deliberate resolve to execute Tom Savage for the
murder of a white woman, every one of his auditors felt
sure that but for the arrival of the outlaw's pursuers, the
grim death sentence that Charlie silently pronounced by
the embers of his smouldering camp-fire would resolutely
have been carried out.
For about the forty-fifth time, the talk and storytelling turned once more to bears. One remark led to
another until John Norboe said:
" The funniest thing I ever heard of in bear-huntin'
was about old Jack Campbell, and CAMP-FIRE  TALES
I Campbell was a bald-headed old fellow who lived
a few miles above Meeker, Colorado. He was great on
killin' grizzlies, and he killed so many of 'em that finally
he wasn't ever afraid of one, nohow. One time a feller
was drivin' along a trail, and he saw old Jack come a-run-
nin' out of a thick patch o' young jack pines, with an axe
in his hand, lookin' behind him. No, he didn't have no
gun. Bimeby he stopped, went back into the jack pines,
but soon come a-runnin' out again, just as before. Then
he stopped, and blamed if he didn't do it all over again.
I Then the feller on the trail got off his wagon,
hitched his horses, and went up to see what it all meant.
And what d'ye s'pose that old cuss was up to? "
Everybody gave it up.
"Well, sir, there was a grizzly bear in the middle
of them jack pines, eatin' on a dead horse; and blamed
if old Jack wasn't a-tryin' to tease that bear into chasin'
him out into the open, where he could swing his axe, so
that he could kill him,—with his axe! The bear would
chase him part way out, then go back to the horse."
" Well, did he get him? "     B
I No. About the third trip the bear got scared, and
ran off the other way. But that wasn't what I started
in to tell ye. One time old man Campbell and another
feller was out in the mountains huntin'; and one night
they camped right at the foot of a rock cliff about,—
well, I don't know just how high it was. In the morning old Jack got up first, built up a big log fire, and put
i f
on the coffee-pot. He had just begun to cook breakfast,
when a little bit of rock fell down, and made him look
up. Blamed if there wasn't a good big grizzly standin'
on the top of the rock wall, lookin' down over the edge,
at old John cookin' his breakfast.
" Quick as lightnin' the old man grabs his gun, and
sends a ball into the bear; and blamed if the bear didn't
come tumblin' down, and fall plumb into the camp-fire.
The coffee, an' ashes, an' fire jest flew; and the grizzly
jest raised Cain. All that old man Campbell thought
about was that good bear-skin,—on the bear,—about to
get burnt up! He dropped his gun, rushed up, and
begun a-grabbin' at the bear, to drag him out of the fire!
The bear was only half dead, and he grabbed, and clawed,
and bit at the old man, all the time the old man was grab-
bin' at him, and fightin' with him to get him drug outen
the fire before his pelt got burnt. The old man never
stopped to think that without his gun in his hands the
bear might up and maul him. He thought he must get
the bear out first, and then finish a-killin' him afterward."
As John reached the point of his story, all unconsciously he acted out, in thrilling style, the frantic manner in which old John Campbell grabbed at a live
grizzly, to pluck him as a brand from the burning, and
save his vested rights in a twenty-dollar hide. It sent the
audience off into roars, the meaning of which John mis*
took, for he hastened to add,
" Oh, that happened, all right! Mack and me saw
that bear's hide, with a burnt patch on the back, didn't
we, Mack!" CHAPTER XVI
The Charge of the Duchess—The Death of the Duke of Wellington—
The Horror of the Rocks—The Sheep that Couldn't be Caught—
The Matches that Wouldn't Light.
On several occasions I had heard mention of a narrow escape that Mr. Phillips enjoyed from the claws of
a wounded grizzly bear; and in the leisure hours of that
rainy day in camp, it occurred to me to draw out all the
facts regarding the affair.   So I said:
" John, it seems to me that in spite of all the bear-
killing that has been done in these mountains, there have
been no real bear scrapes, such as some men are always
stirring up."
I He has always shot so well there hain't been any
room for argument," said Mack, with emphasis, " at
least not more than that one time with the Duchess."
" Did the Duchess charge, regularly? "
I She surely did," said Mr. Phillips, quietly, " and I
was properly scared, too."
I How did it happen that she got a chance at you? "
" It was all on account of Charlie's dog, the great
and only Kaiser."
| Aw, shucksl I broke in Charlie, warmly.   " It was
all on account o' yer bloomin' old camera, that you made
me go after! 1
I Well, I know the picture-machine did enter in, in
a way, even though it wasn't there at the finish. It was
like this:
" In the last week of May, last year, we were hunting bear on the head of Wilson Creek, some miles
below here. We located a grizzly that we named the
Duke of Wellington; and being unable to get up to him,
in the regular way, Charlie was commissioned to go out
to the nearest settlement, buy an old horse, bring him
in, and kill him for bait. I started out to go part way
with Charlie, and hunt back alone.
| About the middle of the afternoon we saw a silver-
tip, across Wilson Creek up on a snowslide, about four
hundred yards away. The whole mountain-side was covered with snow, and it was easy to make a silent stalk,
provided the ascent was not too steep. Under cover of
some green timber I crawled to within three hundred
yards of the bear, and let go a shot. It went too low;
but with a quick second shot I rolled her over, and she
came down the slide tumbling over and over, snow and
bear-paws fairly flying through the air, for about fifty
yards. There she stopped, and scrambled to her feet,
but seemed unable to go farther on foot.
" f Now,' thought I, l here is a chance to get pictures
of a wounded grizzly.' So I yelled to Charlie to bring
up my camera, and started to climb up close to the bear.
Itv   1
Half-way up, Kaiser, sent on by Charlie, passed me and
rushed for the bear. Charlie yelled to me, l Shoot!
Shoot, or she will get away!'
"When the row began, Charlie was three hundred
yards below me, and lost time in getting the camera,
but as soon as he secured it, he started up as fast as the
snow would let him come.
I Up to that time the bear had not seen us, and seemingly paid no special attention to the sound of the gun.
She was shot too low,—through the brisket and fleshy
part of the forelegs,—and while the shock had knocked
her down, the only special result was to throw off her
safety clutch, and start her machinery working. She
evidently thought a big bug had bitten her; and with
her head turned under her breast she was looking for it.
I Kaiser boldly went right up to her, and when he
came within ten feet she saw him, accepted him as the
author of her trouble, and went for him like a runaway
car on an incline of forty-five. The dog immediately
lost all interest in having his picture taken with the dead
game, turned tail, and fled down the slide. He came
straight for me, possibly assuming that I ought to protect him; and the bear came plunging after him. She
plunged and slid on the snow so far that with every jump
she covered about twelve feet, and threw up snow like a
"All this time, the dog ran straight toward me, and
I couldn't fire at the bear for fear of killing the dog.
It's against the rules to kill Kaiser, ain't it, Charlie!
There wasn't the slightest chance for me to fire, and ll
here came the dog, leading that wounded bear right
down upon me, as fast as they could plunge. For a time
I was scared stiff, with nothing in the world to do but
stand and wait for a chance to shoot. I remember thinking that! no matter how it turns out, it's great to see that
bear come tearing down that snow-slide!'
" Kaiser ran for his life, looking back once in a while,
and by her sliding as she did, the grizzly gained upon
him. Finally, when within twenty-five yards of me,
Kaiser saw that in one more jump the bear would grab
him; so he dove off to one side, head first, into a clump
of bushes, and cleared the track. Then the grizzly saw
me, and came on at me, straight as a bullet. As quick as I
could I aimed just below her left eye and let go. It was
my one chance, and I knew that if I missed there would
be a bad mix-up.
I My trap-shooting practice stood me in good stead,
for that bear's head certainly was a flying target. But
the ball struck her right, exploded in her head, and she
pitched forward almost upon me, so dead she scarcely
" Charlie was still far below, making frantic efforts
to get up and into the scrape with his new six-shooter.
He ran like a fairy across a cracked snow-bridge over
the creek, and it made me laugh to see the holes he
punched in the snow as he came up the slide. He
arrived with a face like an angry father. First he lectured me, severely; then he laughed; then he thanked
me formally and politely, for not shooting the bear
through Kaiser!    The grizzly was a female,  and we
named her the Duchess.    She was not as big as the
Duke of Wellington."
" Now, Mack," said Charlie Smith, as Mr. Phillips
finished his narrative, " tell 'em about the Duke o' Wellington and old Blucher."
I Well," said Mack, slowly and bashfully, 1 we shore
hunted that old Duke for a long time, and we didn't get
him at all as we expected. As Mr. Phillips said, we
were powerful anxious to bust old Duke, for he was the
biggest b'ar we ever got track of up here."
I Did you bait him with an old horse, as first
planned? "
I Yes; and it never took a trick. The b'ars never
went nigh it. Could they smell it? Well, I should say
they could. We could smell it a mile; and finally we
had to move camp on account of it. Somehow a b'ar
never means to do what you want him to do."
A long pause.
" And how did you finally outwit the Duke? "
" Oh, just by huntin' for him,—climbin' and huntin',
early and late. Late one afternoon Mr. Phillips and
myself happened to spy a couple of old-timers up on a
mountain-side, eatin' their supper of roots, in a small,
grassy spot in a bushy slide. They were across Wilson
Creek from us, and half a mile up a steep mountain. I
told John we'd shore have to pull our freight quick to
get them b'ars before dark, and we went right at it." I ,
1 The first trouble was in gettin' across the creek,
where we got badly mixed up in a willow muskeg, and
nearly bogged down. After fightin' the brush and mud
for an awful long time, and gettin' mighty hot about it,
we finally got over, and started for the slide. When we
reached an opening we looked up, but the b'ars were
I After considerable loud talk, and plenty o' plannin',
we started on up. We hadn't gone far when we found
from the noise that the old gents had winded us, and
rolled their tails off into the brush at one side of the slide.
But they had stopped, and although we could hear 'em
snortin' and snappin' their teeth, we just couldn't see hide
nor hair of 'em, and couldn't get any sort of a shot. At
last I did manage to glimpse 'em two or three times, but
soon after that they hauled off into heavy timber.
I The b'ars started climbin' up, and having nothing
else to do, we climbed after them. Finally we all got
plumb tired, and concluded it would pay just as well to
sit down easy like, and watch. Unfortunately, darkness
was almost onto us. It wasn't long before old Blucher
poked his head outen the edge of the timber, where I
could see him. I says to Mr. Phillips, f Don't you see
him?' He says, ' No, I can't. It's too dark.' I was
plumb anxious for the ball to open, so I says, ' John, may
I shoot? '   ( Yes!   Bust him!' says John.   Bang!
I Down went old man Blucher, hollerin' and bawlin',
| I'm shot!' And then Mr. Phillips caught sight of the
Duke, and passed him one. He hollered, * So am I!' and
away the two of 'em went, rollin' and tearin' down the
mountain, bawlin' and bellerin' like two mad bulls. Did
you ever shoot a b'ar and have it roll down a hill, and
holler? Yes? Well we started down after 'em. I remarked to Mr. Phillips that they were very tuneful gents
thinking probably he hadn't noticed it; but he was already laughin' fit to kill, and came near rolling down on
the Duke.
I Finally John M. handed the Duke two more .405
soft-nosed pills, and that settled him. Then we started
in to look for Blucher,—and a very dangerous thing to
do; for by that time it was getting dark, and even in daylight, tracking up a wounded grizzly ain't none too safe.
But we couldn't do any good at it, so we lit out for camp
and got in about ten o'clock."
I Did you get Blucher the next day? "
I No, we never did get him. It rained all that night
and about daylight a big snow-storm came on, and we
couldn't track Blucher, nor flush him a little bit."
II think," said I, once when there was a silence that
needed breaking, " I'll tell you a joke on Charlie."
Charlie Smith looked at me quick and hard, quite
I Just before we left Goat Pass, Charlie and I once
stopped to rest on the steep side of Bird Mountain, about
half-way up. It was really very steep, and if a tenderfoot
had once got well started to rolling, he would have
bowled down about a quarter of a mile without stopping. ffff
We dug our heels into the ground, leaned back against
the mountain, and I led Charlie into telling stories. I
got him to tell me about the most scary things that ever
happened to him on the rocks,—how the recoil of his
gun, in shooting at a mountain sheep, nearly knocked him
off a ledge to his death; how he and Mack caught that
first mountain goat kid, and other adventures.
I Well, by the time we were due to go on, Charlie's
stories had scared me until I was stiff with fright, and he
came very near having to carry me to camp."
1 Humph! Well!" said Charlie, very energetically,
I I'll know enough next time not to tell yarns to anybody
while I'm on a mountain."
What I told the boys was more than half true.
I was nerve-weary that day, and ankle-sore; and the
stories that I drew out of my companion scared me
quite as ghost-stories used to wreck my courage when I
was a small boy.
The horror of the rocks has shaken the nerves of
many a stout-hearted mountaineer, long after the event.
Once Charlie Smith and his former partner, daredevil Jack Lewis, had a narrow escape from a tragedy on
the crags of Sheep Mountain. Charlie almost slid over
the edge of a precipice, with Jack close by, and both were
as badly scared as these bold men of the mountains ever
can be. That night, when they reached their cabin, and
went to bed in their double bunk, to sleep the sleep of the
exhausted, Charlie was suddenly awakened by Jack, who
with both hands seized him by his beard and hair, and
pulled at him desperately.
11 surely thought," said Charlie, " that Jack would
tear the very face off of me, he was that wild. He yelled,
j Charlie! Charlie!' and we rolled and tumbled around
in that bunk until I thought he never would come to his
senses. Finally I yelled at him so loud that he woke
up, panting like a man who has been running. When
I spoke to him, and asked him what he was dreaming
about he said, j My God, Charlie! I thought you were
sliding off them rocks again, and I was tryin' to pull
you back.'"
" Say, Charlie," said Mack, " what's the matter with
tellin' how you-all came to scare Jack Lewis that way? "
I Oh, I've told that before, nearly a dozen times,"
said Smith, with an air of strong disapproval.
I Never mind, Charlie," said Mr. Phillips, 1 the Director has never heard it, and I'd like to hear it again
" Go on, Charlie; go on."
§ Well," said Charlie, more cheerfully, " about five
years ago an eastern Sportsmen's Association offered five
hundred dollars for a live, full-grown mountain sheep
ram; so Jack Lewis and I secured a permit from the government and started out to land that five hundred. It was
in January. The thermometer was away below zero, and
the mountains were covered with snow and ice. We discovered a band of sheep high up on a wind-swept ridge
of Sheep Mountain, and tried to drive them down into
•   I
the deep snow, where we could rope them; but the sheep
were contrary, and took to the crest; and of course Jack
and I followed them.
" We had just reached the very top of the mountain
when I slipped and fell, and started to slide down, with
the Elk River Valley as my nearest stopping-place."
" What did you think, Charlie, as you were going
down? "
" Oh, nothing much," he replied. " When I slipped
and fell, I knew it was all over with me if I started to roll,
or failed to stop myself in the first few feet of my slide.
All I could remember in the shape of a prayer was■ Now
I lay me down to sleep,' a little rhyme my mother taught
me when I was a kid. Just as I was sliding over the edge
of the cliff, in a sitting position with my heels digging
hard into the snow, I uncovered a trailing-juniper bush,
which sprang up between my legs. Well, sir, when that
bush sprang up, I embraced it like a long-lost brother.
It stopped me all right, but all I could do was to just sit
there, with my legs hanging over Kingdom Come. As
quick as he could, old Jack threw down to me the end of
one of the ropes we had brought along to rope the sheep
with, and he snaked me back to the top. I tell you I was
mighty glad to shake hands with him! His face was as
white as a sheet!
" Finally, we corralled the sheep on that peak just
above Pass Creek. The top of the peak is hollow, and
from the valley it looks like an arm chair with the north
side cut off almost square, and pitching straight down
five hundred feet or more toward Pass Creek.   We made MORE   CAMP-FIRE  YARNS
the climb from below, Jack, who is perhaps the best
mountaineer in British Columbia leading the way. As
soon as he got his head and shoulders above the seat of
the chair he saw a big ram close by, and prepared to
rope him. As I was hanging onto the icy rocks at one side,
I happened to cast my eyes over the precipice, plumb
down into Pass Creek. The sight of it fairly chilled
the marrow in my bones, and brought me to my senses.
I yelled out to Jack, i For God's sake, Jack, don't rope
that sheep, or he'll pull us both off the mountain!' At
that, Jack pulled up short, and as we clung to the rocks,
the sheep stampeded. But the sheep couldn't get up the
back or over the arms of the chair, so they came out almost over the top of Jack, one large ewe making a pass
at him with her horns as she went by. After getting
away, all the sheep ran south along the mountain, with
the exception of the old ram, who circled below them to
the north, and headed for Hornaday Mountain. He
went down that awful mountain-side just a-tearin'. As
we watched, we saw him plunge into a patch of deep
snow in Pass Creek and go plumb out of sightl Then
we thought we had him.
1 We scrambled down from the crags, and as soon as
it was safe we put on our snow shoes, which we had been
carrying on our backs for just such an emergency. As
we ran down to the creek, with Jack Lewis leading, one
of his shoes came off and he turned a complete somerset, breaking through the crust and disappearing in the
deep snow. I was so close after him that before I could
stop or swerve to one side, I piled in on top of him. When
1 fff
ifja-f        - •U   'J
we finally succeeded in getting out, the old ram had
broken his way to a safe footing on the cliffs of the opposite side of the creek, where he stopped and looked back
at us.
" But it was something awful the way that sheep
worked to get through that snow. It was six or eight
feet deep, and had a slight crust on top. He would leap
clear to the top of it, strike the crust with his breast and
send the pieces flying, forge forward a few feet, then sink
again out of sight only to bob up once more and try it
" So you lost him? "
" Sure. But we caught an old nanny goat that was
sheltering in a cave, and hog-tied her without hurting
her. We were too exhausted to take her down that day,
so after spending the night very miserably by a little fire
under the cliff-wall near the mouth of the creek, we
climbed up the next morning only to find her dead. We
thought she died of old age, she was so very old and thin,
and almost toothless."
Naturally, one tale of hardship brought forth another.
The mountains were full of them. The very creek upon
which we were camped had been the scene of a tragedy
in the early days. Seven white prospectors had gone in
somewhere very near to where we then were, camped,
and never were heard of more. Some think they were
killed by Indians; but they may all have been buried
under a great snow-slide.
Some one told us of this lonesome tragedy: MORE   CAMP-FIRE   YARNS
Up in the edge of the mountains, twenty miles or
so above the Sulphur Spring, there lived alone, in
a lonesome little cabin, a trapper who was an old
man. He was too old to live there alone, but the love
of the life was strong within him, and he was quite
One bitter cold day in midwinter, when the snow lay
a foot deep on the trail, he shouldered his pack of flour
and coffee, and set out from the cabin of Wild-Cat
Charlie to go to his own.
The labor of the journey at last proved too great for
him. As his weary steps dragged more and more slowly
through the snow, the cold assailed him at all points.
Two miles from the shelter of his cabin, he threw down
his pack. A mile farther on, he leaned his rifle against
a tree and left it. Two hundred yards from his cabin he
fell, but bravely crawled the remaining distance on his
hands and knees.
He reached his cabin, entered, closed the door, and
whittled some shavings with which to kindle his fire.
The kindlings and the dry wood all were there. At last
everything was ready for the match, and he essayed to
strike it.
His fingers were so benumbed by minus forty degrees
of cold that they were like sticks of wood. The first
match broke short off, unlighted. So did the next, and
the next, and the next.
It was beyond his power to strike the match that
would have started the fire that would have saved his
life. Days after, he was found lying upon the floor, on
the remains of the matches that would not strike, frozen
as hard as the rocks of the cruel mountains around his
lonely cabin. '%
Variations in Sheep Hunting—Artistic Value of Scenery in Hunting—
John Norboe's Peril—Camp Necessity—Remarkable Goat Licks—
Sheep Signs—A Very Long Stalk—Attack in a Wind Storm—
Misses and Hits—Mack Norboe's "Bungers"—Three Dead Rams
—A Night of Terror.
"Though far be the glacier-filled fountain,
The foot of the hunter is free.
Though high be the ram on the mountain,
The hunter climbs higher than he."
In the hunting of mountain sheep in British Columbia, there are many variations. In the south, among the
house-roof mountains, it is possible that you may be required to climb very high, amid real perils on the cliffs.
You may make tremendously long and steep climbs without perils, or the sheep may run into your arms at an
elevation of eight thousand feet, as did the pair which
Mr. Phillips photographed. In northern British Columbia and Yukon Territory, you can find sheep on low, hilllike mountains in high country; or you may, like Charles
Sheldon, find them on slide-rock so fearfully steep that
you cannot measure a sheep, even after you have killed it.
It is not all of hunting to kill game. The surroundings, and how you used them to outwit your keen-eyed
*35 'A
L -' .
quarry, sometimes are fully as interesting as the game
itself. It is far from ideal hunting to tramp hour after
hour through a monotonous, brush-filled forest, " head "
the soggy-banked ponds and flounder through bogs for a
final shot at a moose in a tangle of underbrush so thick
you can see through it only a few yards. It takes a
mighty fine animal to compensate one for mean hunting-
But take mountains like ours, where at every mile
there rises around you a new cyclorama of crag and peak,
ridge and valley, timber, slide and glacier, and it takes
a fine animal to draw your gaze from the pictures! To
kill, in such a setting, a mountain ram, a goat or a grizzly
bear is Hunting, indeed.' With all her bison and tigers,
buffalo and bear, India has nothing like it south of the
Himalayas, not even in the Nilgiris. Judging by a thousand photographs, I should say that with all her multitudes of big game, Africa has nothing like it, anywhere.
South America has her Andes, but alas! they are deplorably barren of animal life.
To one who has seen the cyclorama, and the dead
game lying on the mountain—as I did,—Mr. Phillips's
hunt for mountain sheep in the Big Bend of Avalanche
Creek was a fine performance, and it is a pleasure to help
the Reader to see it as it was. It fairly illustrates one
phase, and a difficult one, of mountain sheep hunting in
those precipitous mountains.
It was undertaken for the special purpose of procuring one or two extra-fine rams, for a laudable purpose,
and it was the appearance of the twelve rams on the sum- A GREAT MOUNTAIN  SHEEP HUNT   237
mit sky-line on the evening of September 15th which led
the hunters into that particular territory.
John Norboe returned from a look into that region
on the very night the sheep were seen, and in terse but
picturesque language he impressed his hearers with the
idea that it was a bad country in which to hunt. Mack
then remarked, with emphasis,
I Well, if he says it's bad country, you kin shore set
it down that it's a terror! "
Said John, " Director, I was in a place this afternoon
that I don't believe you would be willing to get into for
a million dollars. In fact, money couldn't hire me to try
it again myself. I started to climb up a bad place, and
when I got away up, I couldn't go on, and I couldn't get
down! For a while I just hung on, and wondered how
many days it would take the boys to find my body."
And how did you get out of it? "
Well, at last I managed to take my shoes off, and
hang 'em round my neck. Then I hung on till I got my
nerve back, and finally I managed to climb on up. I
haven't been so skeered in years. It's lucky I didn't have
my gun with me.   I'd shore a-dropped it! "
This was the country south-east of Phillips Peak.
On the morning of the 16th, Mr. Phillips and the two
Norboes took the four-by-seven silk tent, a scanty supply
of blankets and three days' rations, and marched off down
Avalanche Creek. They planned to strike the sheep
country from the south, and the idea was right. They
tramped down Avalanche Creek to where it strikes Roth
Mountain, beyond which it was unexplored.    At that
ii *z*
point it turns to the east, in a right angle, and in the bend
of this elbow rise the Phillips Mountains. From that
point they followed the stream eastward, crossed some
immense rock slides, and finally entered a tract of
heavy, moist and mossy green timber, two miles long. In
the centre of this ribbon of timber, they found the tepee-
poles of what once had been a Stoney Indian camp; and
there they pitched their own tiny tent for two, and called
the place " Camp Necessity."
" There shore must be game about here," said John
Norboe, as he kicked at a piece of mountain sheep skull.
" Injuns hain't been campin' here for fun."
After a hasty luncheon, Mr. Phillips and Mack Norboe set off up the northern mountains, climbing up the
face of a lofty ridge that rose like a gigantic roof a mile
and a half from base to summit, and two miles long. At
its western end this ridge terminates against a towering
peak, with perpendicular walls. The eastern end stops
abruptly in mid-air, forming a commanding point. On
the southern face were two or three outcroppings of rock
wall, precisely like dormer windows. It was from the
eastern point of this ridge that Charlie Smith and I saw
a very spectacular bear-hunt a little later on, when I came
to know all that ground very well. This ridge is described because it presently became a storm-centre of some
In climbing the ridge, the hunters steered well toward
the west, in order to strike the cliffs that rose from that
extremity. Half a mile up, they found the most extensive series of goat-licks that were seen on our whole trip. A GREAT MOUNTAIN  SHEEP HUNT   239
They were situated in a scattered clump of stunted
spruces, toward which well-worn goat-trails led from
various directions. The earth was sufficiently impregnated with mineral salts that the goats—and sheep, also,
beyond a doubt—were very fond of it.
The animals had dug under the roots of ten or a dozen
spruce trees until they were undermined by great cavities,
and the large roots, exposed in mid-air, looked like the
bodies of boa constrictors and pythons. The rough bark
of the spur-roots was covered with fine, soft white hair
which plainly told the species of earth-eater most in evidence. The goats had worked under the trees because
the earth was more moist there, and their mining operations were not disturbed by the sliding snow and rocks
that annually assailed the unprotected surfaces of the
mountain. The zeal and industry of the animals, and
their strength also, was amazingly portrayed. They had
dug out and thrown aside quantities of stones, which
had rolled down the mountain side, and the whole place
looked as disturbed and bare as if it had lately been
worked over with mattock and rake.*
Mr. Phillips's excellent photograph of one of the
goat-workings under a spruce tree is shown herewith.
These goat-licks are fairly common throughout the moun-
* In 1902, Messrs. G. O. Shields and W. H. Wright found on the west
fork of the north branch of the Athabasca River a goat-lick.of still greater proportions than those described above. Trails lead to it from a radius of five
miles. A cut bank fifteen feet high has been eaten away, until trees and large
stones have been undermined and thrown down the mountain-side. A man
can ride on horseback behind some of the roots now exposed. The earth is
described as a light, chalky clay.
i i
tains of British Columbia. There is one within two miles
of Charlie Smith's ranch on Elk River.
On reaching the summit of the lofty ridge, the hunters
found themselves at the foot of an unscalable wall between two hundred and three hundred feet high, with a
slide-rock basin beyond, another transverse ridge beyond
that, and no sheep in sight. On the north side, their first
ridge dropped away very steeply to a V-shaped valley
and a creek. The great ridge that rose beyond that was
even taller than that on which they stood; and creek
and ridge swung around the eastern end of ridge No. 1
at very nearly a right angle, debouching into Avalanche
Valley half a mile below the new camp. The summit
of Ridge No. 1 reminded me so much of the business
centre of a cyclorama that I named it that, and called
its eastern terminus Cyclorama Point.
Two other interesting incidents marked Mr. Phillips's
first afternoon on Cyclorama Ridge. One was a goat performance, the other the discovery of good mountain sheep
signs. The former is thus described in detail by Mr.
I On rounding a small cliff that broke out of the side
of the mountain, we discovered about fifty yards away
to our left, a nanny goat, a yearling billy and a kid. In
Mack Norboe's mountain language he called them an
old lady, a little billy and a goatee. As goats are always
interesting to me, on account of their propensity for
doing queer things, we sat down to watch them.
" They had not seen us, and the old mother was busy
licking the face of the cliff.    Perhaps she was finding A GREAT MOUNTAIN SHEEP HUNT   241
something alkaline. The young billy was growing his
first whiskers, and in a dignified manner he resented certain playful advances on the part of the kid.
"After we had watched them for some time, the
mother-goat winded us, and after a mild stare in our
direction, started up the apparently vertical cliff, the
young billy following her. The kid, not knowing of our
presence, and being deserted by its mother, immediately
set out on its own account to climb up a perpendicular
chimney in the wall. The crack was about four feet wide,
and inasmuch as there were no footholds discernible from
where we stood, we expected to witness the ultimate
downfall of the kid.
" The little fellow bounced nimbly from side to side,
making jumps from two to three feet high. When about
twenty-five feet up he made a spring across, struck on an
apparently smooth wall, and seemed to lose his footing.
The most surprising thing was that he shoved himself
backward with his front feet, and alighted safely on the
invisible foothold which he had left four feet below. He
then bounced down from side to side, like a rubber ball,
galloped like a hobby-horse under the base of the cliff,
and scrambled up after his mother and older brother.
" When we arose and walked to the goats' point of
departure, they looked down upon us from the cliff, with
the indifference of conscious security. We were no
doubt the first human beings they had ever seen, and
of course they regarded us with curiosity. Possibly
they thought we were bears of a new species, walking
Quite near to the haunt of the goats, the hunters discovered four or five wild-animal beds which Mack
thought had been made by sheep. This belief was confirmed by the finding of some sheep hair. From the
character of the spot, and the absence of protecting cliffs,
the sheep sign was supposed to represent a band of ewes,
until presently the hunters found unmistakable evidence
of the recent presence of a band of large rams, which
evidently had lived for some weeks in that neighborhood.
The contiguous ridges and slides were carefully examined, but no sheep were seen that day, and at nightfall
the hunters returned to the little pulpit-like spot in the
green timber whereon John Norboe had with great pains
made a camp close beside an old Indian trail.
On the following morning the sheep-hunt opened
early and with vigor. The three hunters packed their
entire outfit upon their backs, and set out to make a hunt
up the newly-found creek,—which later on for a good
reason they elected to call Grizzly Creek,—and camp
well northward of its valley. They started up that creek
from its mouth, half a mile below their camp, but had not
gone more than a mile through its tangle of down timber
when they discovered their long-lost band of rams. They
were on the western face of Cyclorama Ridge, under a
point which sheltered them from the wind, and the wind
was blowing half a gale from the hunters perilously near
the sheep.
The plan of the hunt was quickly formed. John Norboe was sent down to Avalanche Creek, with all the outfit.
Mr. Phillips and Mack stripped for a strenuous effort, A GREAT  MOUNTAIN  SHEEP HUNT   243
and mapped out a long and severe detour to the eastward, away from the sheep, and around them. The circuit they actually made took them up to the top of the
eastern mountain, northward under the shelter of its crest
for two miles, then a long swing westward into the valley
of Grizzly Creek. After that they climbed southward to
the top of Cyclorama Ridge, and at last, after a four-mile
struggle, stood above their quarry and dead to leeward of
it. In looking over the summit, they were rejoiced to
find that the sheep had not moved.
Keeping well below the crest of the ridge, the hunters
moved eastward until they reached their chosen line of
approach, then began to work downward under cover
of some stunted spruces and aspens. When they gained
the high, dormer-window point under which the sheep
had been seen, the gale was so strong that it was almost
impossible to face it. It was laden with so much dust
that had been swept off the rocks, that Mr. Phillips's
eyes watered so copiously he could scarcely see. They
could hear dead timber crashing down in Avalanche Valley, and the quaking-asps around them were whipped
almost to the ground.
Finally a fierce gust of wind bent down a clump of
bushes in such a manner that a massive pair of ram's horns
stood revealed to the anxious eyes of the searchers, and
only seventy-five yards away! The next instant, the
bushes sprang up again and masked the quarry. Then
Mr. Phillips trained his rifle to bear on the spot desired,
and waited for another gust. It came; the bushes
gave way for an indistinct glimpse, and Mr. Phillips 244 CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
fired at the ram's shoulder. This is the hunter's own
account of what followed:
| At the roar of the gun, the sheep broke away in all
directions. Three ran south-west, across the slide and up
the next ridge. I thought that the leading ram was the
one at which I had shot. As he ran, I fired three more
shots at him; but the wind either swayed me or drifted
my bullets, for they only threw up dust beside him. After
missing three times, I realized that I must get him with
the fourth and last shot, or not at all; so I quickly sat
down, took a knee-rest, and held to the left. With that
shot I hit him high up in the shoulders, striking the
spinal column, and killing him instantly. Fortunately
he rolled only once, and lodged against a stump.
" While reloading my gun I sat watching the two
three-year-old companions of my big ram, which were
making frantic leaps up the ridge toward the high peak.
Just as I finished loading, I heard Mack yelling in great
excitement, fifty yards below me, 'Jack! Jack! Run
here, quick.   Two hungers!' "
Mack and Charlie always speak of rams with big
horns as " hungers "—a very convenient term when breath
is scarce, and rams are running.
" Running at top speed down the point, I soon saw
two large rams, two hundred yards away. They were
running north, through a patch of burned timber, quaking-asp and willows, which made it very difficult to get
any kind of a shot. The speed with which those rams
bounded over the down timber and brush was really
wonderful.   They seemed scarcely to touch the ground, Mr.   Phillips's Finest Mountain Sheep
("The Carnegie Ram.")  A GREAT MOUNTAIN  SHEEP HUNT   245
and their white rump-patches gave them the appearance of two large pieces of paper blown along by the
I The rearmost ram carried the larger horns, and at
him I fired three shots, but without result. Again I sat
down, and holding high above the white patch on the
seat of his pants, fired again, just as he disappeared in a
patch of green timber.
I There were originally eight rams in that herd, and of
these, Norboe had seen two run down toward the creek.
Immediately following my first shots, the herd had divided into three groups, which fled in three directions.
After the excitement was over, I proceeded to make explanations to Mack, to account for the firing of nine
shots and a score of only one ram. The old fellow looked
at me with a merry glint in his keen gray eyes, and handed
me my hunting-shirt.
I I' You and your big gun shorely had a full-grown
time stampedin' them sheep, and shootin' off a whole lot
o' timber.'
I This observation was at the expense of my .405-
calibre gun, Mack being an advocate of the .33 high-
power gun. I Them cannon guns,' he once said to me,
j gives me the buck fever whenever I unlimbers 'em,
thinkin' of the roar, and the kick that's comin'! When
you shoots standin', they shoves you around like a monkey
on a stick; and if you sets down and turns 'em loose, they
move a feller along the ground so quick that it ain't
pleasant. If you're lucky enough to hit your game, it
tears his hide open; besides which, them big explosions
.1 Uafe
blasts down the standin' scenery, and scares the rest of the
game plumb outen the country.'
" Presently John Norboe joined us, and together we
climbed up the point to the body of the ram which I
had killed. We photographed, measured, skinned and
weighed him. His horns measured fifteen and one-half
inches in basal circumference, and his weight on the
director's scales was two hundred and eighty-five pounds.
All this time the wind poured a strong blast along the
side of the mountain. After we had finished our work,
John Norboe took the skin, with the unskinned head
attached, and a small quantity of meat, and started for
camp, while Mack and I set out to investigate my bad
" On visiting the spot whereon Ram No. 1 had stood
when I fired at him, we were surprised to find blood.
This we trailed up, around the rocky point from which
I had fired, and soon found where the sheep had fallen
and started to roll. We found him far down, lying dead
within a hundred yards of the brook, where he had
lodged against a stout young quaking-asp. He was the
leader of the band, we thought, and the others which
ran north had hesitated after he was stricken, thus giving
me a chance to fire at them, also.
" This sheep was a much larger ram than the first
one. He was forty-one inches high at the shoulders, the
way Mr. Hornaday measures animals, with the elbow
pushed up, and he weighed three hundred and sixteen
pounds. He was the largest ram I ever killed, or saw,
although at that time he was not in fat condition.   We A GREAT  MOUNTAIN  SHEEP  HUNT   247
thought that had he lived he would have put on another
thirty or forty pounds by the time severe winter weather
set in. My bullet struck him just behind the shoulder,
ranged back through his stomach, and passed out on the
opposite side.
I After that we climbed up to see what had become
of my third ram, and were very much surprised at finding him lying dead! I had killed my legal limit of
mountain sheep, which was one more than I had intended ! This one was five years old, with horns already
fifteen and one-half inches in circumference, and his gross
weight was two hundred and eighty-seven pounds.
II felt very badly over this sheep, for I had intended
to kill only two, one for the Carnegie Museum, and another for the director. But there was no time to spend
on the mountain in regrets. Our long stalk, and the work
afterward on the rams, had carried us well toward the
close of the day. By that time the wind had abated, it
was raining softly, and almost dark. Packing up all the
meat we could carry, Mack and I laboriously worked
our way down to Avalanche Creek, to the new camp
which John had made.
" That was a damp and gloomy spot; and we named
it Camp Necessity. We were profoundly tired, and
ravenously hungry—having had no mid-day bite; but the
delicious mutton chops which John Norboe had ready
for us soon put us at peace with all the world.
" But not for long; for that proved to be a fearful
night. It rained all night, and nearly drowned us out;
but that was not the worst of it.   The wind increased in _48 CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
violence, and came roaring down the narrow valley until
the trees rocked under its force, and many tree-tops were
snapped off and hurled to the ground. I could feel roots
moving under our bed of boughs, like great snakes
writhing, and was thoroughly afraid that a tree-top,
or a tree, would be snapped off and sent crashing down
upon us.
" At last I got so nervous I could lie still no longer,
and crawled out of the tiny tent, ostensibly to mend the
fire. John Norboe occupied my canvas sleeping-bag,
" I Have you got a pipeful of tobacco, John? ' I asked,
for the sole purpose of rousing him a bit.
" \ No, I hain't,' said John, \ but I know what's the
matter with you!'
" j Well, what?' -M;
" . You're scared!'
Well, so are you! |
Say, Mr. Phillips, does this sleepin' bag o' yourn
ever leak?'
" ! No.   Why?'
" \ Becos it's full o' water that's run in at the top, and
I've been a-hopin' it would run out below.'
" But at last the long night wore away without
Two days later I assisted in working up those three
fine specimens, especially in the work on the heads. In
fact, I may say I was chief mourner; but it was a task
of great interest, as will be noted elsewhere.
a i
a i The  Brooklyn Ram,  Thirty  Minutes After Death
(Slightly distended by gas.)  A GREAT MOUNTAIN  SHEEP HUNT   249
Age   .       .      .      .      .
Height at shoulders
Length of head and body
Girth, behind foreleg    .
at middle of body
at loins
Circumference of fore leg, at elbow
" hind leg, at knee
Distance from elbow to head of femur
Circumference of neck, at throat
Point of shoulder to rear of rump
Weight by scales	
No. 1, for
13 yrs.
41 in.
316 lbs.
No. 2, for
40 in.
68 J"
285 lbs.
* This extra large measurement probably was due to gas. If
The Culminating Point of a Species—Measurements of Record Heads
—Range of the Big-Horn—The White Sheep—The Black Sheep—
Fannin's Sheep—Fighting Noses of our Specimens—Reinforcement of the Neck—Captain RadclifFe's Opinion About Broken Tips
—Measurements of our Sheep—Comparative Dimensions of Sheep,
Goat and Mule Deer—Comparison of Sheep and Goat—Enemies
of Mountain Sheep—Impending Extinction in British Columbia.
Mr. Phillips's mountain sheep rams were to all of
us specimens of great interest. All three were carefully
measured and weighed, and the skins of all were saved
entire, for mounting. The oldest and largest ram, and
the five-year-old, were presented by Mr. Phillips to the
Carnegie Museum at Pittsburg, and the second in size
was given to me, for presentation to the Brooklyn Institute Museum.
American literature is not so much overburdened
with information regarding the mountain sheep of North
America that I need apologize for noting here a few of
the most important facts regarding that group of animals.
Be it known, therefore, that it is in the very locality in
which we then  found ourselves—southeastern  British
Columbia,—that the true Rocky Mountain Big-Horn,
(now Ovis canadensis, but for eighty years called Ovis
montana), reaches its maximum development.
The culminating point of any important species, or
the locality in which it grows largest and carries the
largest horns, is a very interesting item of its life history.
For the past five years, or thereabouts, we have known
that throughout the wide range of the Big-Horn,—let us
say from the Grand Canyon of the Colorado to the Liard
River, a distance of two thousand miles,—the largest
horns come from southeastern British Columbia and
southwestern Alberta, within a radius of two hundred
miles of Banff. I have had the pleasure of measuring,—
in the severest manner possible in taking such dimensions,—several very fine heads owned by^personal friends,
to which I can add the splendid head procured for me
in Banff by Mr. G. O. Shields. The circumference
measurements of these specimens were taken in as perfect
a plane as if each horn had been cut in two with a saw on
the line of the tape; and there is no better place in which
to place them before the Reader than here.
A " record head " of a big-game animal is one which
by reason of its commanding proportions and superior
qualities is entitled to a place in every printed list of heads
or horns which undertakes to set forth the finest existing
specimens of that species. A record head is not necessarily the largest head " on record." Usually, it is an
impossibility to find " the finest head in the world " of
any given species, because so many qualities enter in for
judgment that it is almost impossible for any one specimen to combine all of them. As a rule, the longest horns
lack massiveness, and the thickest horns lack in length.
Real grandeur is not often attainable by mere attenuation.
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Massiveness, symmetry, texture and color are not to be
ignored for the sole sake of inches on the tape.
All the heads listed below are, in my judgment,
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record heads, i. e., worthy of being recorded with the
world's best heads of their respective species. To those
who desire to make comparisons between heads of Big- MOUNTAIN   SHEEP NOTES
Horn Sheep, here is a simple rule by which to reduce
each pair of horns to exact terms:
Add together (i) the basal circumference, (2) the
circumference 18 inches from the base, (3) the circumference one inch from the tip, and (4) the length on the
outer curve; and divide their sum by 4.
It must be remembered that all sheep horns shrink
in circumference with age. A large horn will in two
years' drying shrink nearly or quite an inch in basal
circumference; and there is no way to prevent it, in a
mounted specimen.
North America contains six species of mountain
sheep, which form two fairly distinct branches of the
genus Ovis. The Big-Horn (O. canadensis) forms the
stem of the first, and from it branch off the Mexican
Sheep (O. mexicanus), of northern Mexico, and Nelson's Sheep (O. nelsoni), of southern California.
The stem of the other branch is formed by the White
Sheep (O. dalli), and its branches consist of Fannin's
Sheep (O. fannini, if it survives) and the Black Sheep
(O. stonei).
It is interesting to note how much more persistent
in its desire to migrate is the mountain sheep (genus)
than the mountain goat. Here in British Columbia
we found them inhabiting the same mountains, and
on September 11 we actually saw sheep and goats in
the same moment. In its eastward range, the goat
now stops at St. Mary's Lakes, on the eastern slope
of the Rockies, in Northwestern Montana, but the
mountain sheep goes four hundred and seventy miles
, T
farther, to the Little Missouri River, in western North
In going southward, the goat halted at the Teton
Mountains, Wyoming; but the mountain sheep has gone
on to the lakes of Santa Maria in Chihuahua, Mexico,
and southwestward to the lower end of the Lower California Peninsula.
As the Big-Horn goes northward, it is finally replaced
in northern British Columbia by the Black Sheep {Ovis
stonei), a species which as yet is but little known outside
the basin of the Stickine River, and the mountains which
surround it. It is now certain, however, thanks to the
explorations of Mr. Charles Sheldon, that the range of
the latter species extends northward from the Stickine
River to the Macmillan River, in latitude 63°. Just
where the Black Sheep and Big-Horn come together, no
one is as yet able to say; but it is very probable that the
extreme northern and western boundaries of the latter
species will shortly be determined.
The White Sheep (Ovis dalli), has been observed as
far south as the Schesley Mountains, the first range north
of the Stickine River. This means that in the southeastern portion of its range, the White Sheep is found in
the territory of the Black Sheep. It is impossible to pursue this point any farther without forestalling the publication of the results of Mr. Charles Sheldon's very valuable scientific explorations, and studies of mountain sheep
in some hitherto unknown portions of the great Yukon
Territory. If Ovis fannini is eventually abandoned, as a
distinct form, the author will be consoled by the knowl-
\ I A  Prize Big-Horn Head
Taken near Banff, Alberta, in 1903.     No. 5 in list on page 252.
Head of a Black Mountain Sheep, (Ovis stonei).
Killed near the Stickine River, northern British Columbia,  September,
1904, by J. R. Bradley. I
edge that his description of that form is accredited by
Mr. Sheldon as the original cause of his extensive explorations for sheep in the wild Northwest.
The Black Mountain Sheep is the darkest in color,
or one may say the most nearly black, of all American
wild sheep. North of the Stickine River it is not so black
as it is farther south, where the blackness of its head,
neck and body is very pronounced. In the majority of
cases, its horns are so characteristic that any studious person should be able to recognize the species by them alone.
The front angle of the horn is very sharp, and near the
base it actually overhangs the face of the horn. This
feature is constant. In about nine cases out of every ten,
the horns of the Black Sheep are distinguished by their
widely-spreading spiral, and the great distance between
the tips. Occasionally, however, a head develops horns
with a more narrow spiral, like those of the typical White
Sheep; but all such are exceptional.
The White Sheep has an immense range, covering
half of Alaska, and practically the whole of Yukon Territory. It is all over pure white, save when stained by contact with wet earth or dulled by age. Occasionally an
individual is found which has a few dark hairs in its
tail, and others thinly scattered on its hind quarters. Of
the original species, Ovis dalli, two subspecies have been
described; but neither are separately discernible without
a close examination of their skulls. In section, the horns
of the White Sheep are very much like those of the Black
Sheep, but those of northwestern Alaska show the flat
spiral, and have the tips closer together.   The exceptions a$6 CAMP-FIRES IN THE  CANADIAN  ROCKIES
are those which spread widely, like the typical horns of
Black Sheep; and of that form Mr. Sheldon collected
some striking examples.
Fannin's Mountain Sheep (O. fannini) was described
by the writer from a Klondyke specimen in the Victoria
Museum, marked by a well-defined blanket of gray hair
on its back and sides, a dark gray tail, a brown stripe down
the front of each leg, white abdomen, pure white neck
and head, and horns like the White Sheep. Although
other specimens exactly similar to the type have been
taken, several others have shown a lighter phase, running
farther toward the typical White Sheep. At present this
species is being weighed in the balance, and when the
studies of Mr. Sheldon's collection have been finished,
its true character will be known. At present we can only
say that it is a form standing between the white and
black species.
The most remarkable feature of the three mountain
rams shot by Mr. Phillips, and one which instantly attracted the attention of us all, was the manner in which
their countenances were disfigured. Each of the two
larger rams had on his nose, half way between horns and
nostrils, an abnormal hump an inch in height above the
normal outline. It reminded us of the old saying about
" an inch on the end of your nose." To produce such an
excrescence by hand, one would need to strike a mountain
ram across the nose, half a dozen good blows with a hammer or a club, daily for about a week.
Fortunately the epidermis had not been beaten off,
nor had there been any suppuration, and therefore the MOUNTAIN   SHEEP NOTES
hair was intact. Of course those humps had been caused
by fighting, long continued and oft renewed. When the
horns of the combatants crashed together at their bases,
the noses of the rams also struck together. On dissecting
the heads, we found the skin over each hump quite free
from the nasal bones, but underneath the skin there had
formed a layer of tough gristle three-quarters of an inch
thick, and apparently of a permanent character.
The accompanying photograph shows the appearance
of the head of " the Brooklyn Ram "; but this hump was
not so large as that on Ram No. 1.
On dissecting the heads of Mr. Phillips's oldest mountain rams, a hump on the top of the neck, partly covering
the base of the skull, also attracted general attention. In
each case the calloused excrescence was very large,
sharply defined, and so slightly merged into the upper
surface of the neck that it was the work of but a moment
to detach one, bodily, with the knife.
I cut off the largest hump, and preserved it in alcohol.
It was two and one-eighth inches high, six inches in
length on the curve, and seven inches in width on the
curve. The accompanying sketch shows the position and
proportions of this strange growth. As found upon a
freshly-killed animal, it has the density and toughness of
a mass of soft rubber. Its composition is of tough white
fibre and fat, and while very solid it is not as dense as a
large tendon. As detached, the mass weighs sixteen
ounces. It could easily be dismissed by calling it a
nuchal callosity.
Naturally, this huge bunch of combined elasticity and WT
toughness suggests a cushion, for the protection of something from severe shock or strain. It lies directly over
the occiput and the first two cervical vertebrae, and is
built upon the ligamentum nuchi, which lies upon the
top of the neck, and forms the chief support of the head.
Its anterior end spreads fan-shaped over the lambdoidal
crest and the parietal bone, firmly grasping the rear upper
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Nuchal Hump of Our Largest Ovis Canadensis.
surface of the skull. Of course the posterior end of this
mass vanishes on the upper surface of the neck.
On young rams and ewes—with small horns—this
strange reinforcement is not found. Evidently it is developed as an extra means of support for the heavy horns
of old rams, and a provision against cerebro-spinal meningitis from overstrain on the spinal cord.
In the rutting season, and also shortly before it, two MOUNTAIN   SHEEP NOTES
rival rams will choose a level spot, back off ten or fifteen
feet from each other, and come together with a force
like two heavy sledgehammers wielded by blacksmiths.
The force of the impact sometimes throws both combatants upright on their hind legs, just as colliding locomotives often rear up as they crash together. It is then that
the strain upon the neck of the animal is very great; and
the wrench and shock are greatest at the point where the
neck joins the skull. Small wonder, then, that Nature,
in her infinite wisdom and patience, has reinforced the
danger-point with a rubber-like ligament of such enormous strength that the neck cannot be broken by any
blow from in front.
Captain C. E. Radcliffe, of the Life Guards, author
of | Big-Game Shooting in Alaska," claims that mountain sheep do not break or broom the tips of their horns
in fighting, as many sportsmen and naturalists have
hastily concluded that they do. I entirely agree with
him. When Mr. Phillips and I placed together the un-
skinned heads of those two big rams, with their massive
horns base to base, just as we know that sheep horns strike
in fighting, we saw that the tips of the two pairs were far
distant from each other, and well out of harm's way. As
sheep strike each other in fighting, head to head, it is a
physical impossibility for the tips to be harmed. And
even if a horn should be struck, it would need to be held
tightly in a vise in order for its tip to receive a blow of
sufficient force to break it off, or even to | broom " it.
Take it at any point you please, the horn of a living
mountain sheep ram eight or nine years old is a very hard a6o CAMP-FIRES IN THE CANADIAN  ROCKIES
and tough proposition. Even with an old, dry horn, I
think no man can take a hammer and break off its tip
without first fixing the horn very firmly in a vise. I have
recently tried the experiment, with sheep horns dry
enough to be as brittle as s