1939

John Bakeless, DANIEL BOONE (New York: W. Morrow & Co., 1939)

Keywords
Farming
Hunting
People
None.
"He farmed only a little, but he hunted a great deal. For half a century or more he never missed a fall or winter hunt, except when all his time was occupied in fighting Indians. Hunting was the one thing he really lived for -- long hunts alone, or with a few companions he could really trust, a matter about which Daniel Boone had high standards. The smaller the party, the better. They frightened the game less, and Indians were more easily avoided. Hunting was more than a mere sport. It was a profitable profession. As Boone's nephew Daniel Bryan once explained to a curious inquirer: `It was not so much a ruling passion of Boone's to hunt, as his means of livelihood: His necessary occupation, from which he could not part & to which, & only it, he had ever been accustomed.' True, farming helped to provide food for a pioneer family, but deer were everywhere. Venison was a staple article of diet on the frontier. A man could 'hoppus' [sic, ?] a deer to his cabin across his shoulders. Or he could 'jerk' the meat in the sun, so that it would last almost indefinitely. Another way of preserving it was treatment with wood ashes and saltpeter. But all this was for family use. There was not much market for deer-meat. Deerkskins, on the other hand, were valuable articles of commerce, much used for making leggings and breeches. In the autumn, when the skins were in prime condition, a man who understood the woods and the ways of wild things could take a few pack-horses into the forests and return with far more wealth than any farm would produce. A horse could carry up to 250 pounds -- about a hundred dressed deerskins -- over the rough wilderness trails. This was heavy packing. Four or five hundred skins was a fair season's hunting. According to the market and the quality of the skins, they brought anywhere from forty cents to four or five dollars apiece, and were classified as `bucks' and `does,' the former being larger and more valuable. Americans still refer to dollars as `bucks,' and think they are talking slang, when they are really echoing the business terminology of their ancestors." (BAKELESS:37-38) FARMING HUNTING

File: BAKENTS1.NT1



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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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