Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The Seminole Indians
 The Florida Panther
 The Black Bear
 Alligators and Crocodiles
 Tarpon Fishing
 Hunting Grounds of Florida
 The Mammals of Florida
 Remarks on Some of the Florida...
 Key to the Water Birds of...
 Introduction to the Bird Key
 Key to the Water Birds of...
 Index in Latin
 Index in English
 Back Cover

Title: Hunting and fishing in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000018/00001
 Material Information
Title: Hunting and fishing in Florida including a key to the water birds known to occur in the State
Physical Description: 4 p. l., 3-4 p., 1 l., 5-8, 7-304 p. : illus., 2 pl. (incl. front.) ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Cory, Charles B ( Charles Barney ), 1857-1921
Publisher: Estes & Lauriat
Place of Publication: Boston Mass
Publication Date: 1896
Subject: Fishing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Hunting -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Birds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Seminole Indians   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: By Charles B. Cory ...
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00000018
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001657871
oclc - 08348543
notis - AHW9575
lccn - 01006887

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover 1
        Front cover 2
        Front cover 3
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
        Page 8
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The Seminole Indians
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    The Florida Panther
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The Black Bear
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 60a
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Alligators and Crocodiles
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Tarpon Fishing
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    Hunting Grounds of Florida
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The Mammals of Florida
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Remarks on Some of the Florida Snakes
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Key to the Water Birds of Florida
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Introduction to the Bird Key
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    Key to the Water Birds of Florida
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
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        Page 241
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        Page 243
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        Page 245
        Page 246
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        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
    Index in Latin
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
    Index in English
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
    Back Cover
        Page 307
Full Text




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Curator of the Department of Ornithology in the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago; Fellow of the
Linnaan and Zoological Societies of London; Member of the American Ornithologists'
Union; of the British Ornithologists' Union; Honorary Member of the
California Academy of Sciences, etc., etc




Copyright, 1896, by
Boston, Mass.







SINCE the publication of the first edition of this book the author
has spent considerable time among the Seminole Indians in Florida,
and has learned much of their manners and customs, especially
regarding their tribal organizations and ceremonies.
In former years, all attempts to question them closely about their
so-called gens or family clans proved comparatively unsuccessful.
They returned evasive answers and showed an evident disinclination
to continue the conversation. Naturally, information obtained under
such circumstances was not entirely trustworthy. Last year, how-
ever, several of the older Indians talked freely with me and readily
answered my questions. I am, therefore, now able to correct several
errors in my previous account of the Busk," or Green Corn Dance,
and to give a little information regarding their gens."

The great Indian Festival, known as the Green Corn Dance, or
" Busk," is usually held at the Big Cypress Camp, where the great
medicine man, Otaliola, now lives. It takes place during the second
week in June, or during the little moon in June," as it is described
by the Indians.
Two weeks previous to the day of the dance, notice is sent by
Indian runners to the different villages and isolated families giving
the day of the ceremony. An account is kept of the days which
intervene by hanging up a number of small sticks, one being taken
down each day. When the last one is thrown away they repair to
the point selected for the festival.
The first day the people devote to building their temporary camps,
usually a rough shelter being erected in the form of tents or palmetto
shacks. In the afternoon the men play ball, and in the evening


dancing is indulged in. The second day great quantities of wood
are brought in. The men go off and hunt and kill as much game as
they can, so that every one may have plenty. The wood is chopped
and made ready for fires, and the camp is arranged in good order for
the regular ceremony. The third day is devoted to eating, drinking,
playing ball, and having a good time generally. The fourth day is
the day of the ceremony.
Very early in the morning the chief medicine man, dressed in




white deer skins, builds a small fire in the middle of the camp. Four
young men then approach from the four points of the compass, each
carrying an oak log. They advance toward the fire with great
ceremony and deposit their logs end to end, pointing to the four points
of the compass, the fire being in the middle. After these logs have

-, ~BL '


become ignited, four other young men come forward, bringing each
an ear of corn, which the medicine man takes from them and places
on the fire.
Then four young men approach, carrying a quantity of the leaves
of the cassina plant, Ilex cassine, a species of holly, from which the
"black drink" is made. A few of these leaves are thrown on the
fire and consumed. The remainder is partially dried and cooked,
and made into a sort of strong concoction or tea, known as the
"black drink." The warriors and head men of the tribe come in
about eleven o'clock, when the drink has become cool, and the cere-
mony of the black drink" then takes place. (See page 19 of this
The decoction is drunk in turns by the head warriors, and acts as
an emetic. No food of any kind is allowed to be eaten on this day.
The squaws come in the afternoon, when every one indulges in much
hilarious dancing and singing. Certain Indians are appointed special
guards, called Intapala, to see that no one sleeps on the fourth night.
They are armed with pointed sticks, and whenever they find a man
who is overcome with fatigue, or the effects of too repeated indul-
gences in alcoholic stimulants, they prod him with these sticks and
insist upon his getting up and joining the others. No food or sleep
is permitted until the sun rises on the fifth day, and many of the
Indians sit about anxiously waiting for the dawn, as they are by that
time tired and hungry. On the fourth day a few of the younger
Indians, desirous of making themselves conspicuous, scratch their
chests and bodies until the blood flows freely. They then dance
about, singing their peculiar song.

Among the Seminole Indians in Florida exist certain tribal organ-
izations, known as clans or gens, which comprise families and their
unmarried relatives.
These gens, or clans, are many of them of ancient origin, and in
some cases are gradually dying out, while several of them have
already become extinct. They were continued in the female line.


The women belonging to the Panther gens having had children, those
children were Panthers but a Panther man could not transmit to his
children the rights of his gen, as they would take their gen from
their mother. The old warrior chief, Osceola, so well known in
history, belonged to the Eagle gen, which is now extinct. Of the
Alligator gen, only Doctor Jim remains; when he dies it will also
become extinct. Of the Little Black Snake gen, there remains only
Billy Bow-Legs and Nigger Jim Second, and will become extinct
with their death. The Bear gen has still several members, Miami
Jim being one of them. Tom Tiger is one of the big men of the
Rattlesnake gen. The Wolf gen is restricted to the Big Cypress
region and has many members. No-cash-a-cho is one of the prin-
cipal men of that clan.
The principal gens that are still in existence are given below.
The name of the Indian which follows is that of one of its well-
known members.
Rattlesnake Gen, Tom Tiger.
Alligator Gen, Dr. Jimmy. Since his death, T believe this is
Panther Gen, Robert Osceola and Tomny Jumper (Co-ac-co-
Big Blue Heron Gen, Old Doctor (O-chee-see).
Little Black Snake Gen, Billy Bow-Legs (Cho-fee-har-cho).
Bear Gen, Miami Jimmy.
Wind Gen, Tommy Doctor.
Otter Gen, John Jumper and Tommy Micco (Ac-fus-kee).
Little Yellow Bird Gen, Henry Parker (Co-pic-cha-ha-co).
Wolf Gen, No-cash-a-cho.
Frog Gen, Old Tommy (He-ne-ia-ho-la).
Little Black-bird, Tom Johnny (E-a-ho-ia-chee).
Wildcat, Little Tiger (Foc-a-luste-ha-cho).
Deer, Mr. Dennis (E-cho-co-choc-e-nay).
There were others, including the Crocodile Hal-patah-is po-fuskee
(meaning sharp-nose alligator), but I believe that is now extinct.


'Mi ii of the matter contained in the following pages was written
in the field and covers a period of some ten winters in Florida, a
great deal of the time being passed in out-of-the-way localities while
studying the fauna of the State. The illustrations are, with few
exceptions, from photographs taken by myself; the principal ex-
ceptions being the photographs of the tarpon, which were obtained
through the kindness of Mr. George Mixter, of Boston. The picture
of the manatee and the illustrations in the Key to the Water Birds "
are the work of Mr. Edward Knobel, of Boston.
The nomenclature and classification used in the Key is that
adopted by the American Ornithologists' Union.
I have aimed to make the Key to the Water Birds one
which would enable a person unfamiliar with birds to identify any
Florida species without difficulty. Before using the key the reader
should carefully read the Introduction to the Key and make him-
self familiar with the terms used in describing birds; the general
rules for measurements, etc.
With few exceptions, the species given have been taken or ob-
served by myself during my various trips to Florida, but several are
included on the authority of others, and I have freely availed myself
of information obtained from the following works and papers: -
History of North American Birds, by Baird, Brewer, and
Ridgway; Manual of North American Birds," by Robert Ridg-
way ; Key to North American Birds," by Elliot Coues; Birds of
Eastern North America," by C. J. Maynard; Handbook of the Birds
of Eastern North America," by F. M. Chapman; Notes on the
Birds of the Caloosahatchee Region of Florida," by W. E. D. Scott
(Auk Vol. IX., pp. 209-218).


On the Mammals and Winter Birds of East Florida," by J. A.
Allen (Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., II., 1871, pp. i68-185); Catalogue
of the Mammals of Florida," by C. J. Maynard (Bull. Essex Inst.,
IV., 1872, pp. 135-148) ; The \I imni .i. of Florida," by C.J. May-
nard (Quart. Journ. Bost. Zool. Society, II., 1883, pp. 1-8, 17-24,
38-43, 49, 50) : Contributions to the Mammalogy of Florida," by
Samuel N. Rhoads (Proc. Acad. Nat. Science, Philadelphia, 1894,
pp. 152-I60) ; A Monograph of the Bats of North America," by
Harrison Allen, 1893 ; Remarks on Certain Land Mammals from
Florida, with a List of the Species Known to Occur in the State,"
by Frank M. Chapman (Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VI., 1894, pp.
333-346) ; Kurse Notizen uber die hohere Fauna Floridas," von
Dr. Einar Lonnberg, Upsala, Sweden, 1894.
I have also consulted the following works relating to the Florida
Indians: The Seminole Indians of Florida," by Clay MacCauley,
and Archives of Aboriginal Knowledge," by H. R. Schoolcraft.


PREFACE . . . .
Manners and Customs ..
Green Corn Dance ...
Clothing and Ornaments
Method of Hunting . .
Location of Villages . .
Seminole History . . .
Vocabulary . . .
D EER . . . . .
Alligators . . .
Crocodiles . .
T URKEYS . . . .
Introduction to Bird Key .
Measurements . . .
Glossary . . .

, 65
. 70
. 73
. 75
. 80
. 109
. 124
. 133
. 135
. 136

- : -












BOATING . . .. .









BEARS . . . .


D EER . . . .



TARPON . . . .


. IO

. 2 1


. 22, 23

. . 24
. . 22, 23

. 24





. 43, 97, 103


. 50


. 54, 55

. 57

. 6 62, 63

. 65, 66, 67, 68

. 70, 71, 72

S . 76, 77





TOM . .




A BIG BAG . . .






RACCOON . . . .


OPOSSUM . . . .












. 79

. 80

. 81

. 81

. 83, 84

. 85

. 86

S. 86, 87

. 88

. 89

. 90

. 90

. 91

. 92

. 92, 123

. 93

. 94

. 95

. 96

. 98

. 99

. IO1

. 102

. 125

. 126

. 141 to 297


MY first hunting experience in Florida dates back to the year
1877, and I have since spent ten winters in the State, much of the
time being devoted to exploring out-of-the-way nooks and corners
which were then visited by but few people, and it was a journey of
several days to places which, since the advent of railroads, may now
be reached in as many hours. Lake Okeechobee is now no longer
difficult of access and many people visit it every year from Kissimmee
and Fort Myers. From Jacksonville to the Indian River, which but
a few years ago was a three days' journey, may now be done by rail
in a few hours. Although Florida is now annually visited by
thousands instead of hundreds of people, as was the case a few
years ago, there is still a vast extent of country which is practically
a wilderness and where game is yet to be found in great abundance;
and the magnificent winter climate of Florida adds much to the en-
joyment of the hunter or fisherman.
Many there are who look with disfavor upon him who with
rifle and hound wanders into the wilderness to hunt and kill wild
animals. To such an one I would say, Chacque un a son goutt."
If he be a man, with a man's health and strength, his hand steady
and his eye clear, let him go with me and camp for a week on the
bank of some unnamed lake in the Florida wilderness, where the
panther, bear, and deer wander undisturbed. Let him breathe
the fresh morning air full of the smell of the pines, and listen to the
chorus of the hounds as they dash away in full cry on the hot trail
of something that can fight as well as run. I warrant you his pulse
will quicken as he forces his way into some thicket where the dogs
hold a bear or a panther at bay. Perhaps many of us have a trace of
the savage left in us yet, but I believe the boy who loves the woods
will gain much in health and manhood; and it is pleasant to think


that when we are gone those that come after us may wander where
we have wandered, may camp where we have camped, and use the
gun or the rod as well or better than we have used it, knowing that
they will go back to their fellows and the cares of life better in mind
and body for the experience.
As Isaac Walton tells us, it was one of the qualifications that
Xenophon bestowed on Cyrus, that he was a hunter of wild beasts,"
and the love of the chase seems to be as strong with many of us
now as then. As we grow older, however, most of us lose some-
thing of our desire to kill game. Our love for the woods seems to
increase rather than diminish and we see many new and beautiful
things in the wilderness which we did not see when we were younger;
but we shrink from killing a bird or mammal unless we actually need
it for food or study.
Many a flock of quail or ducks I have watched feeding without
disturbing them, and many a deer I have stalked, and perhaps photo-
graphed, and then watched it from my concealment until, discover-
ing my presence, it bounded away unharmed. It should be a rule
with every true sportsman never to kill more game than can be
properly used. Of course, with a number of men in camp, what
appears to be a large bag is often not more than is actually needed
for food. On several occasions I have made large bags when some
of the men in camp were going to spend a holiday with their families
and wished to take home some birds; but the wanton and useless
slaughter of game cannot be too strongly condemned.


IN the interior of Southern Florida, in and about what is known as
the Everglades, dwell some three or four hundred Indians all that
are left in the State of the once powerful tribe of Seminoles.
These Indians are still "wild Indians," that is to say, they receive
no gifts from the government and are not recognized as citizens. In
fact, they are in reality wild," as a rule, and avoid as much as
possible all intercourse with white men. Occasionally they learn to
trust and like some white hunter or trader, but the Indian is slow to
make friends, and will often refuse to answer when spoken to by a
stranger. Contrary to the general idea, the Florida Indian is not
taciturn, by any means, in his own camp or among old friends. On
one occasion when I visited Robert Osceola, Catsa-ma-tel-e-kee
(name meaning last of the Panthers "), at his camp on upper New
River in company with several ladies and gentlemen, he received the
whole party with much cordiality, and at the request of one of the
ladies, he so far forgot his usual dignified reserve as to give an
illustration of how the Indian dances at the celebration of the "Busk,"
or Green Corn Dance. But it must be borne in mind that I had
known Osceola for a long time (who, by the way, is the grandson of
the famous war chief of that name), and had passed many days in
the wilderness in his company when there were no railroads in
Southern Florida, when the town of Palm Beach did not exist; and
we built our camp and shot deer on the present site of the town of
Many of the Seminoles now speak and understand English very
well; but they often feign ignorance of the language as an excuse to
avoid conversation with white men.
An Indian is a past master in the art of hunting and trailing large
game, and, of course, they are the best possible guides when one
can be found willing to act in that capacity. They will find and kill


game where the average white hunter would starve. One can always
recognize an Indian camp by the manner in which he builds his fire.
A number of logs (the larger the better) are arranged in a circle
with their ends together, somewhat resembling the spokes of a

Mr. Dennis.

Tommy Jumper.


wheel. The fire is lighted where the ends meet, and the logs are
gradually pushed inward as their ends are consumed. When the
fire is no longer needed the logs are drawn apart, but the charred


ends may be easily and quickly ignited again when required. Such
a fire will last a long time and consume comparatively little wood.
The camp fire is rarely allowed to go out, a pot of sofkee or


stewed meat generally being kept warm, especially in a camp where
there are many children.
Sofkee is a kind of soup made from ground corn or hominy and
corn mixed. It is eaten with large wooden spoons which the Indians
manufacture and which are called sofkee spoons. These they hand


from one to the other as they sit about the pot, each drinking a ladleful
before passing it on to the next. Another favorite food is called
" kumpty or" coontie." The coontiee "flour is made from the root


of a plant which grows in the dry, sandy lands of South Florida and is
very plentiful in some localities. The root of the plant alone is used.
This is first carefully peeled and washed, after which it is thrown into a


large wooden vessel or trough, where it is ground and pounded into
a powder; this powder is then carefully washed, and after repeated
washing becomes very white and clean. If
it is not entirely free from dirt upon being
wet it assumes a pale pinkish color, but if
thoroughly cleansed it remains perfectly THE SOFKE-SPOON.
white. This is called coontie by the
Indians, and is prepared much in the same manner as we use
cornstarch or arrowroot. It is sometimes mixed with wheat flour
and made into cakes, which when fried are very palatable. The
seeds of the kumpty plant are contained in a cone having the
general appearance of a pine cone about to sprout. They resem-
ble kernels of corn, but are larger and flatter and of an orange-red
The Indian does little in the way of farming. He clears small
hummocks and plants corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and some-
times raises a little maize; in some of the camps he has bananas
growing and a few orange or lemon trees, but, as a rule, he raises
barely enough to supply himself and family a part of the year.
I have been unable to learn anything definite of the Indian laws
regarding punishment of crime. That they do have such laws is
known. Years ago Old Charlie was condemned to have the upper
portion of his ears cut off and was banished for one year from the
tribe under penalty of death if he returned. He is one of the nicest
old Indians-of the lot, but lost his ears for "talking too much," as
the Indians say.
Upon the death of an Indian the body is clothed in a new shirt,
and usually a handkerchief is tied around the neck and a new turban
put about the head. Sometimes the face is painted, usually with a
round spot on each cheek. A piece of burnt wood is placed in the
left hand and a bow and one arrow is usually buried with him.
When the place for burial is selected the ground is prepared in the
following manner: A floor of palmetto logs is built some seven feet
long by three feet wide, over which a roof of palmetto leaves is con-
structed. The body is placed in this small house, the feet, it is


claimed, being always placed toward the East. The body is usually
wrapped in a blanket and covered with logs, forming a kind of box
with the palmetto leaf roof over it. A fire is built at the end of the
tomb, which is renewed
at sunset for three days,
and lighted torches waved
about for a few moments
to frighten away the
Sbad birds." After the
third day the fires are
allowed to go out.
In talking with Old
Charlie and Osceola
about the mounds which
are so common in Flor-
ida, I asked who made
them, and they answered,
Injuns all dead. One
old chief tell me long time
'go, Injuns came in canoe,
eat oysters, play ball."
Old Charlie said the
Indians were not Semi-
Most of the Indians
have but one wife, but
two at least, Old Charlie
and Old Doctor, have
two. I have been told
that Old Doctor was pre-
sented with a second wife by his tribe, in recognition of his ser-
vices to his brother Indians in killing a negro half-breed named
Nigger Jim.
This half-breed came back to his tribe and demanded in marriage
one of the Indian girls. It is claimed that, upon being refused, he


immediately shot several persons, including a woman. This was
objected to by Old Doctor, who happened to be present, and he in
turn shot Billy, killing him instantly.
Indians rarely talk much and do not like to answer questions. It


1 4s.


is only after being for some time in their company and gaining their
confidence that they will talk freely about anything connected with
The Indians tan the skins of the animals which they kill by


carefully scraping them and working them in their hands until they
become soft and pliable. They also use the brains of the animal for
softening and curing the skin.
The leggings which they wear are sometimes dyed a very rich
mahogany brown by soaking the skin in an infusion of mangrove
bark. The bark is boiled for several hours; the skin is then im-
mersed in.the liquid for half an hour. It is then taken out and dried
in the sun until it is merely moist, although it will not do to let it get
entirely dry. It is then immersed a second time for about half an
hour, and upon being taken out and dried it is ready for use.
The brain-tanned skin, which has not been dyed, becomes very
hard and stiff when wet unless it is continually worked over and kept
soft by manipulation, but skins which have been prepared by tan-
ning with mangrove bark are very little affected by rain, and make
very pretty leggings and moccasins.
It is rare that the Seminoles ornament their moccasins with beads,
and I have seen but two pairs of moccasins made in this manner;
one I procured from Old Doctor, who brought them into Lantana
just as I was coming out from a hunting expedition. The old man
was anxious to dispose of them to get money to buy whisky. They
were neatly ornamented with lines of beads.
Old Doctor was one of the Indians that took part in the last war.
IIe is still hale and hearty and does not like a white man any better
than he ever did.
I have asked a number of Indians regarding their antidote for
snake poison, and have been told by two or three different ones with
whom I was well acquainted that they had no antidote for the bite of
the rattlesnake. Both Osceola and Old Charlie had no reason for
deceiving me, as they told me many things about their manners and
customs, and often evinced their good feelings toward me by making
me presents of sweet potatoes, eggs, and venison.
Osceola's wife was once bitten by a moccasin, and I am told that the
wound did not heal for nearly a year, and at times she was troubled
with fever, which may or may not have been the result of the bite.
At many of the camps the Indians now keep hens and pigs. In


moving from one camp to another they take the pigs about with
One or two of the Indians have an old wagon and some very
diminutive horses. Osceola has two perfectly white horses, strong,
hardy little animals, which draw about an old wagon when he moves
from place to place. Usually, the squaws and pappooses ride in the
wagon, while the men walk, and the pigs are tied underneath or else
led by a squaw.
It was at one time customary for hunting parties to wander some
distance to the north and td the south of their present settlements, and


the remains of old Indian camps may be found to the extreme south-
east point of Florida; but none were observed on the southwest por-
tion of the State below White Water Bay.
The costume of an Indian in camp usually consists of a cotton


shirt. The women wear a cotton dress embroidered with many
pieces of colored calico. The young children run about naked until
they arrive at the age of eight or ten years, when they are given a
cotton shirt. Sometimes the small children wear some sort of
covering during the cold weather.
The Indiansvisit each other a great deal. Many of those living
on New River go to the Big Cypress every year, usually to attend
the Green Corn Dance and visit their relatives.


THE annual festival known as the Green Corn Dance is still ob-
served by the Indians, but it is not conducted with the same cere-
mony as in bygone years.
In the old days the Green Corn Dance or Busk" was an occa-
sion of great importance with the Creek tribe. It then occupied
seven or eight days, but is now reduced to four or at most five days.
It takes place during the second week in June or during the little
moon in June," as the Indians say.
It is very difficult to obtain from the Indians a description of this
dance. From time to time they would answer a few questions, but
if pressed for information they immediately become reticent. The
dance usually lasts four days, according to the statement of most of
the Indians, although some claim that it is decided by the medi-
cine man whether it shall last four or five days. Two weeks
previous to the day of the dance notice is sent by Indian messengers
to the different clans and villages stating the date of the ceremony.
They keep account of the days which intervene by hanging up a
number of small sticks representing the days, and one is taken down
each day. When the last one is thrown away they repair to the
point selected for the feast.
On the evening of the first day the ceremony of taking the black
drink occurs. It is believed that unless one drinks of this he will
be sick after eating the green corn. It is not as carefully carried
out as in the old days, and I do not understand that the fire is now


lighted by rubbing two sticks together. At the present time the fire
is started by the medicine man, and the squaws are not allowed
to come near the fire, which is still reserved, as in ancient days,
for the warriors who drink the black drink.
In building this fire they place the sticks pointed to the four points
of the compass, and, in fact, the Indians at all times arrange their
logs by placing all the ends together, somewhat resembling the
spokes of a wheel, which is probably a traditional method of build-
ing a fire, possibly originated by the ceremony of the Green Corn
Dance or Busk.
The Indian women attach several turtle shells filled with round,
black seeds to their legs. While the dancing goes on the
women stamp about, rattling these shells, keeping time with the
I have never seen a white man who has attended a Green Corn
Dance, but I have been told there are several who have done so,
although it is claimed they have not been allowed to remain during
the entire celebration. The dance usually lasts from four to five
days. The first day they do a great deal of dancing, which is car-
ried on far into the night. When one Indian becomes fired another
takes his place, and sometimes a half a dozen or more dance together.
After this the dancing is intermittent. The second day the young
men go out and bring in game for the feast; the third and fourth
days are spent in feasting and drinking. This is the official pro-
gram, but I am afraid the affair is not always conducted according
to established custom, as nowadays the white man's whisky plays an
important part in the celebration. This is totally at variance with
the ancient custom as practised by the Indians a century ago, when
the dancing and jollity did not commence until the fourth day.
In those days things were decidedly different and the affair was
conducted with great ceremony. All offenses were forgiven on the
occasion of this festival, which, took place early in August instead
of June, as it does now (perhaps on account of the country inhabited
by the tribe being so much farther north and the corn ripening
later). On the morning of the first day the medicine man, dressed


with white leather moccasins and leggings and a white deerskin
on his shoulders, went at daybreak to the center of the village and
started a fire, which he did only after considerable difficulty, by
rubbing two dry sticks together. Four young men then approached
from the four corners of the square, each carrying an oak log.
They advanced towards the fire with great ceremony, and deposited
their logs end to end, pointed to the four points of the compass.
After these logs had become well ignited four other young men
came forward, each carrying an ear of new corn, which the medi-
cine man took from them and placed upon the fire, where they were
consumed. Then four other young men approached carrying a
quantity of the cassina" plant, from which the black drink is
manufactured. Some of the leaves were placed on the fire and
consumed, after which the remainder was immediately dried and
cooked for use.
The warriors and other males of the tribe having assembled, they
proceeded to drink the black drink in the usual manner. During
the first day's ceremony no women were allowed to approach the
fire, and it is a question whether they were allowed admittance on
the second or third days.* The third day was spent by the young
men in hunting and fishing. On the fourth day the whole town
assembled, including men, women, and children, and the game
killed on the previous day was cooked and served for a great feast,
and the day was spent in eating, drinking, and dancing. Large
pots of sofkee were placed about and a wooden spoon was constantly
at its side so that any one wishing to partake of it could do so.
The method of making sofkee in the old days was to boil a quantity of
pounded corn until it formed a soup of the consistency of rather thin
gruel; to this was added a small quantity of lees made from ashes of
hickory wood. The soup thus made kept for several days in cov-
ered pots. At the present time sofkee is made of boiled corn
and hominy, without the addition of the lees made from hickory
wood. The Indians squat about the kettle, each one drinking
a spoonful of the mixture in turn, using the same large wooden
*This is incorrect. See Preface to Second Edition.


The black drink was made from a shrub found in Georgia,
and Carolina, and Northern Florida, which is called cassina.
The leaves were collected and boiled over a fire ; they were then
poured from one pan to another until fermentation took place,
when it was considered ready for use. In ancient times it was a
custom of the Indians during this celebration to seat themselves in a
circle around the fire, and three young men handed gourds full of
the black drink to three of the greatest chiefs present. The young
men then stepped back a few paces and uttered what was known as
the black drink cry, first exclaiming loudly the word choh." At
this signal the three chiefs drank from the huge gourds, the young
men uttering the wailing note, and the chiefs drank until the note
ended. The gourds were then taken from the mouths of the war-
riors and the young men handed them to the chiefs next in rank,
pronouncing the word choh," but the cry of the black drink was
not uttered, as none were entitled to this distinction except those
highest in power. After drinking the concoction the warriors dis-
gorged it, and we are told that it was considered praiseworthy to be
able to do this gracefully.
The Indians are warned by their medicine men not to eat corn
until after the celebration of the Green Corn Dance.
William Freeman, of Little River, who has lived near the Indians
for many years, told me how, on one occasion, Dr. Tiger was at his
house when he had green corn for dinner; it was some weeks before
the Green Corn Dance was to take place, and Dr. Tiger looked
wistfully at the corn and asked, You eat green corn now? Free-
man answered, Me like corn plenty now."
Tiger went on with his meal, but did not eat any corn, although
he seemed troubled about something. At last he told Freeman that
the Indians were warned by their medicine men not to eat green corn
before the annual celebration, as it would make them ill; Make
Indian sick," as he expressed it.
It seems, according to Tiger's statement, that some of the squaws
and children have eaten green corn before the dance, but the men
never eat it.


I am not certain that this is true, as I have been told by other
Indians that they ate corn whenever it was ripe. I have asked many
Indians about this, but they dislike being questioned regarding their
customs, and one is never sure that they are telling the truth in such
Freeman was under the impression that Dr. Tiger might take a
nibble somewhat earlier than his comrades in future.
The new year commenced with the Creeks after the celebration of
the green corn dance, or, at least, this was a custom when they
inhabited Alabama and Georgia, as August was considered the first
month of the year. At present it is doubtful if they have made any
change in their yearly calendar, although the green corn dance
takes place earlier. They divide their year into two seasons,
summer and winter, and they then divide these into moons as
follows : -

August. Heyothlucco .
September Otauwooskochee
October .Otauwooskolucco
November Heewoolee
December Thlaffolucco
January Thlaffochosee

February Hootahlahassee
March .Tausautchoosee .
April Tausautcheelucco
May Keehassee
June Kochohassee
July Hoyeuchee

Big Ripening Moon.
Little Chestnut Moon.
Big Chestnut Moon.
Falling Leaf Moon.
Big Winter Moon.
Little Winter Moon, alias Big
Winter Moon's young brother.
Windy Moon.
Little Spring Moon.
Big Spring Moon.
Mulberry Moon.
Blackberry Moon.
Little Ripening Moon.


THE costume of a Seminole Indian usually consists of a turban, a
breech cloth, a calico shirt, and a neckerchief. This is the usual
costume worn by them when in their own camp and among their
own people ; but when they visit the white man's town they add two


or three cravats and sometimes pantaloons as well, but as a rule
they cover their legs with deerskin leggings of their own manu-
facture. They also wear a watch chain and numerous safety pins
fastened to their shirts, but I have never yet seen one carry a watch.
Their turban is made of a woolen shawl, sometimes covered with a
piece of calico and even silk when they wish to be particularly gor-
geous in their attire.
On one occasion I
saw an Indian by
the name of Billy
Bowlegs wearing a
turban encircled by
a band of metal
(probably tin). The
older Indians usu-
ally wear a red
woolen turban made
by winding a shawl
around their heads,
which they fasten
by tucking the ends
skilfully away be-
neath the folds with-
out the use of pins.
As a rule they do.
not wear a turban
when hunting.
They sometimes
wear moccasins in
camp, and they al- JACK CHARLIE.
ways wear them when visiting a white man's town. They rarely wear
any of the white man's clothing in their own camps, as the older
Indians are prejudiced against having any of the younger ones asso-
ciate with white people or adopt their customs.
The costume of the women consists of a cotton or calico skirt and


waist. The waist merely reaches below the
breast, leaving a portion of the stomach bare.
In most cases these dresses are more or less
ornamented by sewing on pieces of calico of
different colors. The women do not wear
moccasins. Young girls, up to the age of
eight or nine years, wear only a skirt, being
nude above the waist, while the boys wear a
shirt only. Younger children go about naked
in the camps, but at the present time they
often put on little cotton shirts, if they happen
Bn.I.v BOWI.EcS. to be in the vicinity of the white settlements.
As soon as they get into camp, however, off come the clothes and
the youngsters run about in a state of nature. Many of the men
shave their heads, leaving only a scalp-lock and a little bang of hair
on the forehead, but
this custom is not
always followed by
the younger In-
The women wear
great quantities of
beads which they
hang in strings
about their necks,
and the weight of
these must be very
great. The women
also wear round
pieces of silver
made from dimes
and quarters ham-
mered very thin.
These they fasten
to the breast of



their dress. They also wear half dollars and dollars hung in the
same manner, but those are not hammered. Occasionally, though
rarely, they make very thin large discs of hammered silver, which
are worn by the women over the breasts, one on each side. The
men do not paint their faces, but occasionally wear ornaments when

visiting a white man's camp or going to a town on a trading expedi-
tion. I am told they sometimes paint their faces during the cere-
mony of the Green Corn Dance, but was unable to get any definite
information on this subject. Sometimes the men wear bracelets of
silver, but. it is not a very common custom, as I have never seen but


one Indian adorned in this manner. It is probable that most of
their ornaments are kept in safe places to be used only on "state


DURING the spring the manatees enter the rivers to feed on the
"manatee" grass, and, as some writers claim, the leaves of the
mangrove trees. They are abundant in the bays and rivers all along

(Dr)rrn by k.Edward IKnoxl.)

the west and east coasts of Southern Florida. At one time the St.
Lucie River was a noted place for them. In New River the man-
atee is still common, and they are numerous at times in the lower
part of Biscayne Bay and on the west coast south of Charlotte
Harbor. They live equally in salt or fresh water, and while with
the Indians on one of their manatee hunts I have seen half a dozen
rising to the surface of the ocean at one time, over a quarter of a
mile from shore.
Many of these animals are killed by the Indians every year.
They hunt them in canoes, sometimes in the rivers, and again in
the ocean, but usually near the mouth of some river.
These animals come to the surface every few minutes to breathe,
and their heads may be seen as they appear for a moment above the
surface of the water.


I have often accompanied Osceola and other Indians on a manatee
hunt of this kind. They harpoon them as they rise to the surface,
using a steel point barbed on one side, attached to the end of a long
pole. To the steel point is fastened a strong cord, which in turn is
attached to a float. Upon being struck the manatee sinks at once,
but the direction in which he moves is indicated by the float. The


Indians follow the float as closely as possible and watch for him to
rise to the surface, when they shoot him through the head, and the
huge animal is then towed to the shore. It requires considerable
skill as well as strength to drive the harpoon through the thick,
tough hide. Many of these animals grow to a very large size, and
it is claimed that some of them have been taken which exceeded
twelve feet in length.
One day, while talking with Old Charlie and his squaw at his
camp on the north bank of New River, he drew my attention to a
long brown object which was moving slowly up the stream a few


inches beneath the surface of the water. It was about twenty
feet from the bank, and Old Charlie whispered to me that it
was a manatee. Getting into my canoe I paddled gently after him,
but as I did so an exclamation from Old Charlie caused me
to turn, and there, just below me, was another manatee larger
than the first. I whispered to Pat to keep the boat as still as
possible, and in another moment the huge creature passed di-
rectly under us, not two feet beneath the surface, and so clear was
the water that the coarse hairs on his brown skin were distinctly

visible. He appeared to be at least ten feet long, and, although
I wanted that particular manatee very much, as I had no harpoon
in the boat, I could only sit and watch him slowly move up the
river, where he undoubtedly joined his companion who had preceded
The Indians are very fond of the flesh of this animal, which
somewhat resembles coarse beef, and what they do not use them-
selves they readily sell to the white settlers.
The manatee is a very timid creature, and the least sound, such


as an oar striking against the side of the boat will cause him to
sink and swim away at once.
The Indians kill a great many alligators for the purpose of sell-
ing their skins to traders. As a rule, they fire-hunt" them at
night. The alligator lying with his eyes
out of the water does not appear to be -
afraid of the light which is reflected in
his eye, having the appearance of a HARPOON,
brilliant candle flame, and may be seen
from a considerable distance. The Indian paddling in his canoe
approaches within a few feet of the animal and easily shoots
him through the head, after which he is speared and towed to the
Of late years alligators have become comparatively scarce and it
no longer pays professional hunters to kill them as a business,
although they are still numerous in many places in the interior.
Indians, as a rule, do not like to hunt far from their canoes or
ponies, although they are good walkers, and, if occasion requires,
will cover long distances on foot.
The Indians are very fond of bear meat and extract an oil from
the fat which they prize highly. Whenever a bear is discovered a
hunting party is immediately organized and the animal is tracked
to his hiding place, surrounded and killed.
When deer hunting the Indians divide into small parties, two or
three bucks hunting together, taking with them their squaws and
children. They select a part of the country where deer are known
to be plenty and usually succeed in killing a great many. When in
the vicinity of a white settlement they find a ready market for their
venison and what they do not sell is smoked and dried for future
use; dried venison will keep very well, but it is tough and unpal-
During the planting season both the men and women work in the
field, but when on a hunting expedition the women do all the camp
work. The men, when not hunting, lie about the camp taking it
easy. Upon reaching a new camping place the men take their rifles


and immediately go off hunting while the squaws are preparing the
They hunt in the morning and evening, returning to camp before
noon unless they have been unsuccessful in finding game, when they
sometimes tramp about the woods all day.
On these hunting excursions he wears nothing but a cotton shirt
unless it is a very rough country, when he sometimes wears leggings
made of soft leather. He rarely wears his turban except in the
very hottest weather.
The Indians are very skilful hunters, although they seldom use
dogs, in spite of the fact that they always have a lot of curs about
their camps. They hunt deer in the manner known as still hunt-
ing," walking about the woods morning and evening, moving
cautiously and silently through the underbrush in a manner peculiar
to a ghost or an Indian, constantly peering about in all directions for
the deer, which they hope to find feeding. Very few white men are
able to kill deer successfully by still hunting, yet the Indian rarely
hunts in any other way. Trained in woodcraft from childhood, he
moves slowly along, stopping every few yards to look about, raising
his head slowly and cautiously above some clump of bushes. His eye
being trained for such work, he is able to see game in places where
it would be practically invisible to the eye of the ordinary hunter.
When trailing a bear or a panther an Indian can often follow
the track without difficulty in places where a person not used to
the woods would be unable to distinguish any mark whatever.
One of the difficulties experienced by non-professional hunters
is to distinguish between a freshly made track and one two or
three days old. In damp sand and in shaded places where the
sun's rays do not penetrate this is often very difficult to do. An
animal walking on sandy land when it is damp with dew will
press small straws and sticks into it, which, when they rise again,
carry with them numerous particles of damp sand which will
still adhere to them when dry. This, of course, is an almost
positive indication that the track has been made after the dew
had fallen; but when the track is made in shady places and the


ground remains damp for a week at a time even professional
hunters will sometimes be at fault.
The Indians burn the country every spring in a most reckless
manner, destroying great quantities of timber. They set the dry
grass on fire, so that, by destroying the old grass, the new, fresh
shoots coming up attract the deer and turkeys which are generally
found on such places. Besides this, the ground being burned off
renders still-hunting much more easy, for the game can then be so
much more readily seen.' The Indians are splendid hunters, but few
of them can beat a white man shooting at a mark.
I have seen Osceola kill a deer while running at full speed, nearly
a hundred yards distant ; I have also seen him drop two deer, one
after the other, before the second one had time to run, and on
another occasion I saw him miss a fox-squirrel on the top of a tree
three times in succession.
Wolves are not uncommon in the southwestern portion of Florida,
from the Big Cypress Swamp southward. Osceola (Gart-sum-a-tel-
e-kee) told me that last year he found an old female wolf with two
cubs a little way south of his camp on the Big Cypress. Both
cubs, as well as the old one, were black. He shot the mother,
which he claimed growled and acted very much as a dog would do.
He caught the young cubs alive and carried them to camp, but they
would eat nothing, and after two or three days he killed them; as
he described it, Me bang um heads against a tree."
Old Charlie, whose name is Barfotartso, told me that he had
heard of large bears beyond the Big Cypress. He said, One
white man he tell me see big bear, white on breast," but that he had
never seen one himself, and he did not know if the story were true.
He also told me of a large bat which occurs in Florida, and which,
judging from his description, was a species not yet recorded from
the State, and which would probably spread two feet or more. He
also told me of a black panther which had been killed by the Indians
some years ago. In all probability this was nothing more than a
melanistic example of the common form.
Old Charlie spoke of some very large alligators which he had seen,


but said, They all gone." According to his statement, when he
was a boy game was very abundant in the country about the Cypress
Creek and Hillsboro River. Bears were numerous at that time, but
nowadays it is rare to find one in that country. Deer are still abund-
ant, but Old Charlie says they are much less so than formerly.
In the Big Cypress Swamp and in some localities near Lake
Okeechobee paroquets are numerous. I have seen flocks near
Cypress Creek, and killed a number of specimens last winter near
Snook Creek. At one time they were abundant on the Kis-
simmee River, but are so no longer. Paroquets build their nest in
holes in trees, as a rule, and the Indians wait till the young are half
grown, and then, during the absence of the old birds, they cut the
tree nearly through ; the next night, watching their chance, they
fell the tree quickly with one or two blows of the axe and catch the
birds in the hole before they have time to escape.


THERE are five principal settlements of Florida Indians. These
are situated, (I) in the Big Cypress, southwest of Okeechobee, (2)



near Miami River, (3) on Fish Eating Creek, northwest of Lake
Okeechobee, (4) on Cow Creek, northeast of Okeechobee, and
(5) at Cat Fish Lake. There are a number of families who have
temporary camps in other localities, and some few Indians have
what they call their permanent camps outside of these villages,
there being, I am told, several Indians living on the islands in

the Everglades, and four or five families have camps on New
River; but nearly all of these have camps elsewhere as well. The
number of Seminole Indians in Florida is variously estimated as
from 250 to 350, and it is possible they may exceed that number.
Many of the Okeechobee Indians are descendants of the Creeks
or Muskogees, as the language spoken there seems to be of that


tribe. The language spoken by the Miami Indians is somewhat
The chief seat of government is located at Fish Eating Creek, and
at this camp resides Hospataki and Tustanugge, who are chiefs of
note, although, as I understand it, there has been no regularly
recognized head chief among the Seminole Indians since the death
of Tiger Tail. It was customary in the old days to have the chieftain-
ship descend in the female line, but this is not so at present, and if
a chief is now elected it is done by the council.


THERE is a tradition handed down from one generation to another
among the Indians to the effect that a very long time ago some
wandering bands of Indians came from the northwest, and, finding
the country fertile and filled with game, they settled in the country
of the then powerful tribes of Florida and Appalachian Indians.
They were received in a friendly manner and for many years lived
on good terms with their neighbors, but later, when their numbers
had increased, they made war upon the Appalachians and succeeded
in destroying that tribe early in the eighteenth century. These
Indians, who belonged to the Creek or Muskogee tribe, became
famous for their warlike abilities. They extended west to the Ala-
bama River, and east throughout Georgia and Northern Florida.
They conquered the Alabama nation who inhabited the country near
the Alabama River; but later restored to them their lands upon the
Alabamians becoming a part of the Creek nation.
At this time various wandering bands settled in Florida, most of
them being descendants of the Creeks or Muskogees. These were
known as Seminoles or lost men." The Indians now known as
Seminoles in Florida are principally descendants of the Muskogee or
Creek nation, but there are a few individuals descended from the
Mickasaukies, Uchees, and Choctaws.
In the year 1835 commenced what is known as the Seminole War.
In the year 1832 a treaty had been made with the Creeks or Semi-


noles (at Banes' Landing on the Ochlawaha) by which they ceded
their lands which they held in Florida in consideration of the pay-
ment to them of an annuity of $15,400, and they agreed to send a
delegation of chiefs to see the country offered them west of the
Mississippi River to which they had agreed to emigrate. It was
stipulated in the treaty that the cost of emigration should be paid for
by the United States. All cattle owned by the Indians were to be
estimated and paid for, and provision made that each person on
reaching the new location should receive a blanket, a homespun
frock, and an additional annuity of three hundred dollars per year
for fifteen years was to be divided among them, besides other minor
considerations, such as claims for runaway slaves, and the services
of a blacksmith, etc.
It was agreed that they were to remove within three years. The
Seminoles living north of the boundary line (designated by Camp
Moultrie) began to move west, and a few bands continued to emi-
grate until 1835, when the balance refused positively to go at all.
This year marked the commencement of what is known as the
Seminole War. The Indians burned a bridge within six miles of
Fort Brook, on Tampa Bay, and killed a mail-carrier in August
of that year. Charles Emathla, an Indian chief, who was one of
those friendly to the emigration movement, had been killed, and
chiefs Little Cloud and Alligator, with their bands, attacked and
nearly destroyed Major Dade's company at a place about fifty-five
miles south of Tampa Bay, Major Dade being among the killed.
The party consisted of 114 men, 112 of whom were killed. It was
at this time that Osceola first became prominent in directing the
movements of the Indians.
Robert Osceola and Charlie Osceola (of the Big Cypress) are
descendants of that celebrated chief. Some of the old Indians are
still alive who took part in that war. In speaking to Old Charlie
(not Charlie Osceola) about Osceola he did not know at first who
I meant, but upon my asking him if he had heard of Powell he
immediately answered, Uncar; me know, great man."
The older Indians believe to this day that General Harney granted


them the Everglades to live in forever, and they do not feel kindly
towards the white men who are gradually penetrating further and
further into what they consider to be their domain.
The names of the following war chiefs, of whom I have given a
brief biography, are remembered by many of the present generation
of Florida Indians.
OSCEOLA, war chief of the Seminole tribe. He was born about
the year 1803, and was the son of an English trader named Powell,
his mother being a daughter of a Seminole chief. He was also
called Assini Yahola and Powell, which was the surname of the
white man who married his mother. Osceola signifies the rising
sun. The grandfather of Osceola was a Scotchman who married a
Creek woman; his father, therefore, was a half-breed, but his
mother was a Creek woman of pure blood. He was born on the
Tallapoosa River between the years 18oo and 1806. He was noted
as a ball-player and hunter and for running and wrestling. At the
time of the Seminole War he was not as great a chief as Jumper,
Holata Mico, or Coa Hajo, or Holato Mico, or Red Stick, but rose
to prominence during the Indian hostilities. Osceola soon became
one of the leading chiefs on account of his activity and success in
the Indian War. He had two wives, both of them young. It is
claimed he was taken prisoner at last by treachery while holding a
conference under a flag of truce, and died of inflammation of the
throat in 1838, while confined at Sullivan's Island as a prisoner
of war.
NEAMATHLA was by birth a Creek, ,and was at one time the
most distinguished chief in the Seminole tribe. Neamathla returned
to the Creeks about the year 1826, and sat in council with them in
1827. Foke Luste IIajo was at that time one of the principal
Florida chiefs. He was one of the seven who was appointed to
visit and explore the country offered to the Seminoles west of the
Mississippi. His associates were Holata Amathla, Jumper, Charlie
Amathla, Coa Hajo Arpiucki, and Yaha Hajo. He was friendly
to the whites, and in 1835, at the declaration of war, he was warned
to leave the country by the other Indians. Hola Amathla, Otulke


Amathla, Foke Luste Hajo, Conhathee Mico, and Foshutchee Mico
fled to Fort Brook and encamped under the protection of the guns.
CHITTEE YOHOLO, a Seminole chief of note. He was a
young man at the time of the Seminole War, but, being a venture-
some warrior, he soon rose to prominence and received honors from
his tribe. He was given several names. After killing his first
white man he was called Chewasty Emathla. After he had killed
several white men and received several names in succession he was
christened Olocta Tustennugge. He afterwards emigrated to


THE two principal languages spoken by the Indians now resident
in.Florida are known as Okeechobee and Miami. They are quite
different, although many of the Indians speak both languages. That
spoken by Robert Osceola, Old Charlie, Tom Tiger, and the other
New River Indians is the Okeechobee dialect, and is undoubtedly
modified Creek or Muskogee. I was unable to learn what language
is spoken by the Miami Indians, but it is quite different. The
majority of the words which I have included in the following vocab-
ulary have been obtained through conversations with Robert Osceola
(Gart-sum-a-tel-e-kee) and other Indians with whom I have hunted.


An Indian .. Estee-sar-tsee.
White man . Estee-hat-kee.
Negro . .. Estee-lustee.
Man . Estee.
Woman . .. Hock-tee.
Child . Es-to-chee.
Scalp . .E-kah-hal-pee.
Tooth . .. Nut-tee.
Hand . In-kee.
Leg . .. Hats-ka-wah.


Foot .
Chief .
Kettle .
Ax .
Hatchet .
Gun .

Rifle .

Knife .
Boat .
Paddle .
Legging .
Coat .
Shirt .
Tobacco pipe
White beads
Night .
Winter .
Wind .
Rain .
Fire .
Water .

. E-lee.
. Im-pas-sah.
. To-lo-fa.
. Micco; or See-a-pah-ya.
. Tus-ka-nuk-kee hib-otskee.
. His-see.
. Ho-thlee.
S. Alk-us-wah.

Klack-o-push-kee-mifsea; also Ayt-

I-oke-finegay; also aytsah-sa-tah-


. Hassee.
. Nith-lee.
. Hat-ah-yat-kee.
.. Mis-kee.
. Thla-fo.
. Ho-tallee.
. .. Os-kay.
. Tot-ka or Toad-ka.
S. O-ee-wah.



Lake ..
Bog .
Soup .
Tree .
Log .
Oak .
Meat .
Otter .
Wolf .
Dog .
Panther .
Hog .

Hatchee thlokko.

S. Chat-to-ko-na-wah-lah-nee.
S. Ah-hah.
. E-to.
S. E-to-wah-kee.
S. Choo-lec.
. Lok-tsa-sum-pa.
S. Pah-pee.
S. Tuck-lai-kee; also Ab-bas-wah.
S. A-pess-wah.
. Ets-hass-wah.
. E-cho.
. No-ko-see.
. O-sa-na.
. IIal-pa-tah.
. Tso-la.
S. Ya-ha.
S. E-fah.
. E-thlo.
. Cho-fee.
. Ko-ak-o-chee.
. Wood-ko.
S. Sok-a-hat-kee.
S. Sok-a.



Rattlesnake .
Turtle .
Fly .
Bird .
Goose .
Duck ,
Owl .
Fish .
White .
Black .
Red .
Blue .
Big .
Little .
Bad .
Alive .
Dead .
Cold .
Hot .
Sour .
Salt .
Milk .
Butter .
Plenty .
Food .
Tracks .

.. Cha-lok-ko.
. Chitto.
.. Chun-tee-chu-day.
. Lo-tsa.
. Tsa-na.
.. Fuss-wah.
.. A-hak-wa.
. Fo-tso.
.. Ko-ai-kee.
S. Pen-e-wah.
. -pah.
. Tit-ka.
. Thla-thlo.
. IHat-kee.
. Lus-tee.
. Tsah-tee.
. Ok-ho lah-tee.
.. Lah-nee.
. .. Thlokko.
. Chot-kee.
.. Hol-war-gus.
.. Hintz-kay.
. ee-sah-kee.
. E-lottee.
.. Ka-sappee.
.. Ka-mok-see.
S Ok-tsan-wah.
S. Wah-ku-pissee.
.. Wah-ku-pissee-ne-ah.
. Fund-let.


Many . .
You are . .
H e is . .
I .
I want .
H e . .
Near . .
Far away . .
To-day . .
To-morrow . .
Yesterday . .
Yes .
No .
To sing .. ..
To dance ..
To kill .
Go . .
Gone .
Good-night . .
Have you any .
Can you speak the Indian
language . .
What is the price
Which way ..
See it . .
See .
What do you call it
2 1
4 S
5 S
6 E
8 S

To vits.

O-por-nar-gart-g-gate the-tare.


9 Osther-parkin.
io Parlin.
To illustrate the difference between the Creek language and that
spoken by some of the Miami" Indians, I give a few words
selected from a list obtained through the kindness of Miss Freeman,
the daughter of Mr. William Freeman, of Little River.
I Hump-kee.
2 Po-coo-lee.
3 To-chee-nee.
4 Osteen.
5 Cha-kee-pin.
6 Ee-pa-kin.
7 Co-la-pa-kin.
8 To-chee-nee-pa-kin.
9 Osteen-parkin.
o1 Po-lee.

Shirt .

. Co-i-yee.
. .. Su-a-wee.
. Fi-tee.
. .. Wau-kce.
.. Fo-kee-shee-ca.
. O-ho-nee.
. .. Cha-co-fee.
... .. O-ba-ho-shee.
.. Coo-on-o-shee.
. Na-co-nee.
. . Coo-ot-cho-bee.


THE Florida Panther is still not uncommon in the more unsettled
portions of the State. It is somewhat smaller and more rufous in
color than its Northern brethren, and its feet are smaller in propor-
tion to the size of the animal. It is comparatively shy and is diffi-
cult to find on account of its habit of continually wandering about,
rarely staying long in one place unless attracted there by an unusual


abundance of food, such as in the vicinity of a hog camp or where
deer are very plenty; but as a rule they move about a great deal,
often traveling twenty miles or more in a night. The Florida
Panther preys upon small animals and is very fond of deer and dogs


when it can catch them. They hunt as a rule at night; but on cool
and cloudy days or after a rain they often move about in the day-
time. If a panther kills a deer he returns to it the second night, but
rarely the third night, and much of the animal is often left uneaten.
In the old days it was by no means uncommon to find a dead deer
in the woods with the evidence about it of having been killed and
partly eaten by a panther.
The track made by a panther somewhat resembles that of a hound,
but it is larger, and the ball of the foot is relatively much larger; the
toe marks are in front and do not show any mark of a claw unless
the animal is jumping.
We found the fresh trails of seven panthers in one week within
thirty miles of Lake Worth. The soft foot of this great cat leaves
very little trail except in mud or soft sand. In traveling over a piece
of sandy soil the tracks are almost invisible where those of a dog
can be plainly seen.
It was our usual custom to start out at daylight and allow the
hounds to run about as they pleased as we rode slowly through the
woods. Every few minutes a hound would start off on a fresh trail
of some animal, and we would have to call in the other dogs and
" slow trail" it until we came to a place where the ground was clear
and soft enough for us to see the tracks and learn what it was they
were after. Oftentimes it would be a deer or cat, and we could
sometimes tell what it was by watching the actions of the dog. If
the trail was very winding and wandered in and out through a piece
of scrub, turning this way and that, we were pretty certain it was
not a panther, for they usually follow a straight course, turning but
little from right to left.
In crossing a piece of open land, a panther walks directly across,
while a deer would make a more or less irregular trail. Then again,
if a hound following a trail smells along the top of an old log, we
know very well that it is not a deer that has walked along the log,
but either a wildcat or a panther.
Of course if we found it was not a panther which the dogs were
trailing we called them off and again continued our search. About


eleven o'clock we usually returned to camp. Later than that, unless
the day was cloudy, no dog could follow a trail on sandy soil in
the hot, dry weather of Southern Florida. Sometimes the panther
would make a trail late in the morning, and then of course it could
be followed until
afternoon, but usu-
ally the trails were
made early at night,
and became too
" cold" to be fol-
lowed after the sun
had been shining
on them for several
hours. It was easy
enough to follow
through the grass
where the ground
was still moist, but
upon coming out
upon high, sandy,
spruce ridges the
hounds would lose
the scent and
wander aimlessly
about trying to re-
cover it.
In such cases we
c o u I d sometimes
assist them where
the tracks were dis-
cernible in the soft
sand, but in many
places the ground was just hard enough so that it was im-
ossible to see signs of the trail except at long intervals, and the
,me occupied in attempting to follow it across one of those


dry places usually delayed us until too late to continue the hunt.
A panther when jumped by the hounds usually runs but a
short distance, and then climbs a tree, and in such cases may be
easily killed by the hunter ; but sometimes the panther does not
take to a tree, but conceals himself in thick undergrowth, and
there it is more difficult to get at him and he is sometimes ugly.
Panthers will rarely attack a man unless wounded or with cubs,
but they will fight the dogs, which have little chance against their
teeth and claws. One particular panther which I killed in the spring
of 1895 was quite ugly, charging the dogs savagely whenever they
approached her.
Panthers are not uncommon in the wilder portion of the State,
both on the east and west coast. The Indians report them numerous
in the vicinity of the Big Cypress south of Fort Myers. During the
winter of 1895 they were quite numerous near the cypress swamps
about Long Hammock and Custard Apple Hammock and south-
west of Lake Worth. John Davis killed six in one season. They
are scarce now on the peninsula east of the Indian River, but were
common there a few years ago. In 1892 I saw the fresh tracks
of a large panther near Canaveral, and back in the eighties"
Mr. O. A. Quarterman killed several in the vicinity of Canaveral, once
making a double shot at two old males that he discovered fighting
on the bank of Banana Creek. They vary much in size. Florida
Panthers which will measure ten feet in length are exceedingly rare,
and from what I am told by the hunters and Indians I am inclined
to believe that a panther nine feet in length may be considered a big
one in Florida. A good-sized male will weigh between one hundred
and one hundred and twenty-five pounds, and I have seen full-
grown panthers (females) which weighed less than eighty-five

I WAs awakened before daybreak, and after dressing myself and
eating a light breakfast we were in the saddle and well away from
camp before it was light enough to follow a trail. The grass and


bushes were dripping with dew, and an energetic but somewhat
dissipated chuck-will's-widow was whistling away with much fervor.
A moment later and a crow cawed from the top of a small pine, and
then the full avian orchestra commenced in earnest, and the belated
chuck-will's-widow was heard no more.
The dogs, eager to find a trail, were running in and out of the
thick bushes, occasionally starting off on the trail of a deer or wild-
cat, upon which they were immediately called back by Davis.
Soon the sun rose, and then the bird music gradually ceased,
although the bluebirds piped away alone for some time, occasionally
assisted by a crow. At times the dogs would strike a trail on hard
ground where we could see nothing. We would then have to call
them in and slow trail" it until we came to a place where the
ground was soft enough to enable us to see the tracks.
Usually it proved to be a deer, sometimes a cat, but we were
not after deer and cats, except of a larger kind, so the dogs were
called off and we kept on. Panther tracks two or three days old
were not uncommon, but no fresh" ones were found, and I began
to think we should have to give it up and return to camp. Once or
twice the dogs sniffed along the top of a fallen tree, and our spirits
immediately rose, as we knew that in all probability the animal that
walked there was either a cat or a panther, but in every instance a
further investigation proved it to have been the former.
At times each of us would take a hound and hunt in different
directions, meeting later at some point agreed upon, and then again
we would hunt all the dogs together. In this way we covered a great
deal of ground.
At last Cleve" started off on an apparently fresh trail and was
immediately followed by the other dogs. Davis called him back
and made him go slowly until he came to a piece of soft sand where
the trail was plain and clear, and which this time proved to be that
of a large panther, and was evidently quite fresh." At this time
I was not with them, so Davis and Gale started on to follow the
animal alone. The dogs "jumped" him within a mile of where
they struck the trail, and the animal ran for perhaps a quarter of a


mile before taking to a tree. When Davis came up he saw the
panther about twenty feet from the ground, standing upon a small
limb, hardly large enough to support it, and looking about in an un-
easy manner. Just above the panther was a larger limb where she
could rest secure if she would take the trouble to mount a few feet
higher, but instead of doing this she continued looking anxiously
about, and as Davis approached was evidently making up her mind
to leave the tree. Davis, knowing that I was particularly anxious
to obtain a photograph of a panther, and as the tree was in an exposed
and sunny place, immediately conceived the idea that if he should
wound the hind legs of the animal with a small shot the panther
would probably go higher up the tree and sun herself there until I
should arrive. The result of this experiment was not a grand suc-
cess, for upon receiving the charge of shot in her hind feet the panther
immediately sprang (according to Davis' statement) at least -forty
feet from the tree and ran with all the dogs after her into the
cypress swamp, where she turned and attacked the dogs savagely,
uttering in the meantime the loudest roars for an animal of its size
that Davis had ever heard. The place where the panther concealed
itself was about two hundred yards into the thick cypress swamp,
where the ground was soft and wet. So, leaving Gale to follow with
the dogs if the panther made a fresh start, Davis came back for
When I reached the spot and saw the place in which the animal
had concealed herself, I was satisfied it was useless to attempt to try
to photograph this one, so, leaving the camera with Davis, I took my
rifle and pushed my way slowly into the swamp where I could hear
the dogs barking furiously, and Doc's voice was soon added to the
chorus. As I neared them I heard the panther snarling and growl-
ing savagely, occasionally making short rushes through the under-
brush, evidently charging a dog. Suddenly she started off and ran
perhaps one hundred or one hundred and fifty yards still further into
the swamp, where the ground was more marshy and the undergrowth
still more dense. It was impossible to see more than ten or fifteen
yards in any direction through the thick undergrowth, and in some


places it was necessary to cut the thorn vines at almost every step.
Slowly pushing my way in, listening to the dogs, especially to the
shrill, high piping of Doc, who uttered almost a continuous howl
whenever the panther moved, I approached within twelve or fifteen
yards of where the animal was concealed.
Stepping cautiously over the logs and peering about me at every
possible place where I thought she might be, I located her pretty
definitely by the actions of the hounds which were now close to
me, moving about from place to place, but all gazing in the direction
of a thick clump of ferns And bushes surrounding an immense fallen
cypress. Cautiously moving to one side, I saw the panther crouch-
ing beside and partly under the fallen tree. She was not over
twenty feet distant, and as she turned her snarling face towards me
she presented one of the ugliest pictures I have ever seen. Her
ears were drawn tightly back and she exposed a splendid set of
teeth. A very pungent, musty odor was perceptible. As she
turned towards me all the dogs sprang at her at once. Even gentle
little Doc threw himself bravely into the fray, and crippled Cleve
jumped at her as gamely as ever. She turned on them with a
quickness that was astonishing, uttering a snarling roar while
biting and clawing at them savagely ; but just then I fired, once,
twice, three times, as fast as I could work the lever, and the great
cat lay kicking and aimlessly biting, as the dogs worried her and
fastened their teeth in her tough hide, while I cheered them on, and
praised them, and told them what good dogs they were. Poor
Cleve laid himself down close to the panther and commenced licking
his foreleg, in which the bone was badly crushed. Bruce showed
a long cut on his flank, and little Doc was scratched about the neck;
luckily, none of the wounds were serious, although Cleve was laid
up for some time. This was Doc's first panther and he was beside
himself with joy and excitement. He would rush at the dead
animal, and bite her, and bark at the same time, and then come
running to me, wagging his tail and looking up into my eyes, as if
to say, Did you see me bite her ? I was a little afraid at first,
she was so big and ugly, but when I saw her turn towards you I


forgot all about being afraid." And then, with a joyful bark, he
would rush off to repeat the performance.
In a few minutes the men joined me, having heard the shots, and
Gale and Davis carried the panther out in the open ground at the
edge of the cypress swamp. Here we photographed her, after
which Davis and I rode out to camp some twenty miles away,
taking the panther with us and leaving Gale to spend the night with

.- *- L :>
,: **A ^.n .. -^ -_ L

two old hunters, Smith and Wooten, who were in camp some
three miles away. This panther was a female and measured
about seven feet in length from nose to tip of tail. The next day
Gale had a very peculiar experience with a panther, which is
worthy of relating. As Gale tells the story, after I had left him
he walked to Smith's camp as I had directed, taking the dogs with
him. The next morning he started bright and early with the two


hunters to come out to Little Fish Crossing, and they had not gone
more than a quarter of a mile from camp before the dogs found a
perfectly fresh track of a good-sized panther. They held a consul-
tation as to the advisability of sending for me, but, knowing that I
had probably started for Lake Worth, it was decided to let the dogs
run him for awhile.*
The track was on the side of a small cypress swamp, perhaps a
few hundred yards in extent, and the dogs ran directly into this
and came out the other side, baying loudly. Old man Smith
mounted a large fallen tree, and Wooten and Gale walked off to
one side, attempting to locate the direction in which the dogs were
going. Suddenly they heard the dogs coming directly toward them,
and Gale saw.the panther bounding along towards Smith, who at
that moment also saw him and attempted to take aim. Gale says,
at every bound of the panther, Smith, who was on the tree, would
raise and lower his gun until the animal was within thirty or forty
yards, when he fired both barrels, whereupon the panther made a
tremendous spring, landed within a few feet of the tree, and turned
a somersault. Gale believed that some of the bones in his shoulder
had been broken and that, although he was able to spring forward
all right, upon striking the ground with the injured foot it gave
way, because after every spring the animal turned completely over.
Wooten came running up and attempted to fire, when the panther
sprang at him, again turning completely over.
The animal then acted in a most peculiar manner, springing into
the air and turning over, as Gale described it, like a hen with its
head cut off." Seeing he was no longer dangerous, Wooten and
Smith ran up and finished him. He measured seven feet one inch
in length, and was an old male panther, though not as large as they
sometimes grow.
*An account of this was given in the Jacksonville M'letropolis of May i, 1895.


THE Black Bear is still numerous in many parts of Florida, espe-
cially near the coast. Contrary to what might be expected, it grows
as large, if not larger, in Florida than elsewhere in the United States.
I have killed old males which I believe weighed over five hundred
pounds, and old hunters have repeatedly told me that they have
killed them weighing six hundred pounds. Unfortunately, the above

weights were estimated and the animals were not actually placed
upon the scales. However, I am satisfied that there is at least one
bear in Florida alive to-day (or he was last spring) which will tip


the scales at over five hundred pounds. Last year I carried scales
with me and weighed several bears which I killed, but, unfortu-
nately, none of them were very large. A comparatively small
female weighed 350 pounds, and a male 411 pounds. This last
bear was fat, but not as large as some I have killed. The largest
bear I ever saw in Florida stood up in the scrub within twenty yards
of me, and I had a fair shot at him, but for the first and only time
in my life a Winchester rifle cartridge failed to explode. Before
I had time to push the lever and throw in another cartridge he
dropped out of sight in the high palmetto, and, although the dogs
chased him for several miles, he swam the river and I never saw
him again.
A Black Bear will not attack a man unless badly wounded or with
cubs, although, as the exception proves the rule, one large fellow
charged one of my men, who rode ahead of him in open ground and
tried to turn him by tickling him with small shot.
Bears hibernate in Florida as they do elsewhere in North America,
usually remaining hidden from about the last of December until
March. In the spring they hunt for crabs along the shore and eat
the young "palmetto cabbage" and the seeds of the mangrove,
called mangrove buds." In June they hunt the beaches for turtles'
eggs, of which they are very fond. In the fall they subsist princi-
pally on the palmetto berries, which grow in great abundance in the
sandy lands bordering the ocean beach, and if not disturbed they
remain in such places until it is time for them to house up for the
winter. They then become very fat and are easily brought to bay
by the dogs, generally running but a short distance. The flesh of a
comparatively young bear is very palatable when properly cooked,
and the fat makes a very satisfactory substitute for lard and is much
esteemed by the Indians as well as by many of the white settlers.
Good sport may be had hunting bears in Florida, but to hunt them
successfully one must have a really good lot of hounds. One or
two at least must be thoroughly trained "bear dogs." Bear dogs
are not easy to find; still, one may be had now and then by. paying
a high price for him. There are plenty of dogs that will "take"


a bear's trail and follow it for a short distance, but a good bear dog
must chase a bear all day and bay him alone, if necessary, for hours
until his master arrives upon the scene. Good horses are also an


SW' b~


important factor. They should be trained to stand where they are
left without tying, to be used to rough traveling in rough places,
and not at all gun-shy.


In December, 1893, I had particularly good sport in Florida,
bagging four bears and chasing several others which I did not
bag. Bears were unusually numerous in that locality where I was
hunting, owing to the great abundance of palmetto berries and to
the presence in the vicinity of two or three good water holes.
The following extracts from my diary will give some idea of bear
hunting in Florida under favorable conditions : -
DEC. 8, 1893: To-day our shooting party consisted of three
guns, Count A., Mr. C., and myself, having with us the usual
outfit of men, horses, and hounds. To hunt bears luxuriously in
Florida the outfit should consist of good saddle horses (used to the
woods and not gun-shy), good dogs, and two men, one to follow
the hounds and the other to act as general utility man, take mes-
sages, and carry the lunch, water, etc., while the guns" of the
party devote their entire attention and energies to heading off the
bear or getting to the place where the dogs are baying him,
the latter probably in some thick scrub where it is impossible to
ride and where the hunter must dismount and push his way in on
Shortly after turning the hounds loose a chorus of exultant yells
told us that they had found a fresh trail and were off. The wild
shouts of Gale cheering on the dogs assured us that the bear
had been started or jumped." He ran for about a mile and then
bayed in a very thick live-oak hummock. But before any one could
get to him he was off again and did not stop until he had run at
least two miles or more, when he again stopped in a thick, high
scrub, and evidently made up his mind that he had run far enough.
The bear was in a very thick place where the palmetto and small
oak trees were higher than my head in places. I pushed my way
up to where the dogs were holding their concert ; a short recitative
by the leading hound being invariably followed by a full chorus, a
dog called Blue carrying the high tenor part in fine style. When-
ever there was a lull in the performance I could hear the bear pant-
ing heavily not more than fifteen or twenty feet from me, but
perfectly concealed by the thick scrub. Occasionally his bearship


made a short rush at the nearest dog, uttering a peculiar sort of
rumbling growl or grunt as he did so. During one of these charges
I saw him for an instant not more than twenty feet from me, and
shot him through the lungs with a bullet from my 45-70 Winchester.
He immediately rose on his hind feet and turned towards me, receiv-
ing another ball in the chest as he did so. Over he went, with the
whole lot of dogs on him as he fell. I shot him once again, fearing
that he might still be able to injure the dogs, but it was not needed.

This bear was an old male and very fat. He weighed about
five hundred pounds (estimated) and measured six feet two inches
from nose to tail (straight line), and eight feet six inches from hind
claw to nose ; around the chest he measured a trifle over fifty-four
inches ; one of his front claws was three and a quarter inches long
(measured on the curve); altogether, he was a prettyfair Florida


SATURDAY, DEC. 16, 1893: I hunted the large "hammock"
where we lost the big bear yesterday. Tom Murray went with me,
and Pat and Gale looked after the horses and dogs. Trip found a
fresh trail of an old she bear and ran south with the other dogs for
several miles before they finally bayed" her in a thick, high scrub.
I could hear her growling and snapping at the dogs; but could not
see her, and the next moment she was off again with the dogs at her

heels. She ran south a mile or more; but we took the open beach,
and, riding fast, headed her in a rather open bit of country with low
palmetto scrub not far north of Cape Canaveral. Tom Murray rode
in ahead of her, and she turned and passed within twenty feet of me,
and I dropped her stone dead with a quartering shoulder shot. She
was the first and only bear that I have ever killed with a single bul-
let so dead as to not even kick after being hit. She was a very old
female, although rather small, probably weighing less than three


hundred pounds. We extemporized a harness with a rope and some
straps and Bob succeeded in dragging her out to the beach. The
skull of this bear is now in the National Museum.
TUESDAY, JAN. 2, 1894 : Trip and one of the other dogs jumped
a bear in a hummock, and I had a snap shot at him as he crossed a
narrow strip of open ground, and think I wounded him slightly.
He ran for a mile or more and then stopped in a thick bit of high
palmetto. The day was hot and it was hard work following on
foot through the thick scrub, and when I reached the place where
the bear was fighting the dogs I was completely exhausted, and
instead of going in at once I waited a moment or two to recover my
breath. As I stood, gasping and dizzy, the bear started off again,
and I had a good view of him as he jumped a fallen tree, and should
have hit him, but my hand was too unsteady, and I believe I made a
clean miss. In getting over the tree he rested his fore feet and then
his hind feet on it, as a dog does going over a wall. After a few
moments' rest I pushed imy way through the scrub to the beach,
where I found Pat leading Bob. Hastily mounting, I galloped south
for a couple of miles and heard the dogs "baying in a thick piece of
very high palmetto scrub, filled with small, dead oak trees which had
evidently been killed by fire. The bushes were so high and thick T
could not see the bear, but the dogs were close to me, and I knew they
were close to the bear. I cheered on the dogs, hoping the bear
would show himself, and he did. There was a rush and out came Trip
and Brown, and the next instant I caught a glimpse of a black object
directly under my horse's nose. I tried to shoot, but a branch caught
my arm, and Bob's sudden start disconcerted me, and the next instant
the bear had disappeared. I followed as long as I could hear the
dogs ; but I soon lost them, and after riding about for an hour or
more I gave it up and rode back to camp, where I found two of the
dogs. Trip and Brown did not get back until late in the evening.
TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 1894: The dogs found the fresh trail of a
small bear and jumped" him near a small creek. He ran directly
south and I never saw or heard the dogs after the first fifteen min-
utes. Several hours later they all came back except Tige and


Brown ; they did not return until night. During the ride I startled a
Barn owl (Strix pratincole) out of a small tree, and saw an unusual
number of Quail (C. virginianus), nearly all of which were in pairs.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 1894: Started very early and hunted
faithfully for some hours, but the dogs failed to find a fresh trail.
Bears are wandering about at this season of the year and do not
stay long in one place. Saw several fresh deer tracks and dug out
the old water holes where the bears go to drink. Two of them were
nearly dry.
THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 1894: As we drove down the beach this
morning the sun was just rising above the horizon. The air was
cool and damp. A few willets and turnstones were feeding along
the beach, and flocks of Brown Pelicans (P./tscus) passed us, fly-
ing parallel to the shore, about two hundred yards from the beach.
They flew in line, one behind the other, and they would all flap
their wings or sail motionless, following the example of their leader.
I intended to
hunt some miles
further south,
but as we had
made rather a
late start I de-
termined to
look at some
old water holes
near by, hoping
to find signs
of bear in the
vicinity. Leav-
ing the wagon
on the beach,
I mounted old RATTI.ESNAKE.
Bob, Qarter-
man riding Doctor, while Gale and Pat followed on foot, leading
the hounds. Shortly after reaching the edge of a wide marsh we


rode directly over a large rattlesnake which coiled and rattled, but
did not offer to strike the horse as he stepped over it. I dismounted
and shot its head to pieces with a rifle bullet; first taking several
snap photographs of it, holding the kodak as close to its ugly head
as I dared as it lay there rattling and ready to strike. It was a
thick, heavy snake, although not a very long one, measuring five
feet, nine inches. It had nine rattles and a button.*
Upon reaching the water holes I found one of them dry, but there
was water in the other and a large bear had visited it within a few
hours. His tracks were very plain and fresh in the soft mud and
sand about the hole.
The dogs got away well together, Trip and Tige leading, followed
by Brown and the others. Several of my dogs will run a bear well
for a short distance, but will not fight or bring him to bay by
biting and snapping at his legs. Trip will follow a bear all day and
bay him alone at times, and this was the case to-day. The dogs
jumped the bear within ten minutes after being started, and he ran
for about two miles to the north, OQarterman and I following along
the marsh and keeping within hearing of the dogs and Gale. Gale's
yells to encourage the dogs could be heard when we could not hear
the hounds. Soon after the bear turned to the southeast and we
could hear nothing of the dogs or Gale.
Quiarterman rode further north, while I galloped south to an old
trail through the scrub, on the chance that the bear might have gone
that way. As I reached the trail T heard Trip, and a few minutes
after saw the bear crossing a ridge about a hundred yards off, where
the scrub was low and thin. I had a fair chance at him, but just as
I fired my horse swerved just enough to spoil the shot, and the next
minute he was off and away in a thicket where no horse could fol-
low. Pat came up with Tige and Brown, and I put them on the
fresh trail, which they eagerly took and went off giving tongue finely.
Shortly after two, or perhaps three, of the dogs "bayed" the bear
in a small live-oak hummock, but he was off again before I could
come up with them. It was now getting hot and three hounds came
Other photographs of living rattlesnakes will be found under the chapter on Florida snakes.


back to us very much in need of water and overcome with the heat.
On the marsh I met Quarterman and we went north again to a thick,
high scrub where we hoped we might find the bear bayed. All the
hounds had come back to us except Trip and Brown, and we did
not know where they were or what direction they had taken. When
Trip becomes tired he makes little noise.
Just as we had about made up our minds that we had lost the bear
I heard Trip bark not two hundred yards from us, in some thick,
high scrub. We went in on foot, leaving the horses on the edge of
the marsh. We separated, keeping about fifty yards apart, although
we, of course, could not see one another. Trip was obstinately
silent and we could not locate the exact place where he was, but we
were sure the bear was there somewhere, for if he had started off
Trip would have made noise enough. After going a short distance
through a most discouraging tangle of roots and bushes I heard
Quarterman shout and then a series of howls from Trip, that seemed
to move rapidly south, and it did not need Quarterman's yell of
" He's off to the south to make me hurry back through the scrub
to where I had left my horse, mount him, and gallop as hard as I
could to the old trail. There I found Gale and Pat and several of
the dogs. Gale, who was riding Quarterman's horse, shouted to me
that the bear had just crossed the trail going south, followed by
Trip all alone. There was just a chance that I might head
him off on a trail leading to the beach, about half a mile further
south, so away I rode as fast as I could make "Old Bob" go
over the rough trail. I feared I would be too late, but I made it
just in time, for, as I turned into the cleared path at a gallop, I heard
Trip's voice close to me, and out of the scrub came the bear not
thirty yards distant, but behind me, so that I had to turn half around
in the saddle to fire. It was a snap shot, but I dropped him in his
tracks with a bullet through the shoulder. He was up again,
however, in an instant, Trip hanging to him bravely. To dismount
and fire two more shots from the Winchester 45 did not take long,
and the bear lay dead, with Trip biting and tu-tiie at his flanks.
This bear was an old male; I weighed him carefully, and he tipped


the scales at exactly 351 pounds. This was not at all heavy for
the size of the bear. He was rather thin and in good running con-
dition, which accounted for the long chase he had given us. He
measured eight feet and four inches from hind claw to end of nose,
six feet and two inches from nose to tail, forearm seventeen inches,
and chest forty-seven inches. When fat he would probably have
weighed nearly five hundred pounds. The width of his forefoot
was six and a quarter inches.
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 1894: To-day I found a fresh trail of a
medium-sized bear about five miles to the south. It was early, the
ground was still damp, and the dogs were fresh and eager. Away
they went in a bunch in full cry, Trip and Tige in the lead. Brown
and Dan are down with the staggers," and I miss Brown's voice.
I followed them the best I could, which was not very fast, as the
scrub was thick. They jumped" the bear within five minutes of
starting, and he ran due south, so I turned and rode for the open
beach. Once out of the thick scrub, I galloped south for several
miles before again taking the scrub, hoping to head the bear. After
waiting for ten or fifteen minutes and hearing nothing of the dogs, I
saw a man in the distance waving his hat. It was Gale, with the
cheerful information that the bear had turned and gone north.
Away I went up the beach to a trail some miles north of me, and as
I neared it I heard Trip baying something, apparently all alone in a
small hummock about half a mile away. The scrub was very thick
and high, but, pushing my way through it I arrived within about two
hundred yards of the spot, when, crash, away went the bear, show-
ing himself for an instant as he dashed into a lot of high bushes, and
I never saw him again. Ride where I would, I could not hear the
dogs anywhere, or, rather, the dog, for Trip was the only one follow-
ing him. The others had given it up and joined us, one after the
other, as we rode back to the wagon. Just as I was starting home
Trip came back to me, looking very tired and hot, and, I have no
doubt, thoroughly disgusted. Three of the hounds have the stag-
gers," which often proves fatal in this climate. Their hind legs seem
to be paralyzed, but they apparently suffer no pain.


r -



DEER hunting is by no means such easy work as one who has not
tried it might imagine. Of course, deer are so numerous in some
localities that any one who can shoot straight can hardly fail to kill
one in a day's hunt; but such places are becoming more rare year
by year. Not so very long ago it was no uncommon sight to see

eight or ten deer feeding on a prairie at one time, but such sights
are rare nowadays.
Deer are usually hunted in one of three ways (fire hunting not
included, the latter being rarely indulged in by a true sportsman),


viz.: (i) Hunting on horseback and running the deer with hounds;
this method to be successful requires a party of hunters and some
one to direct operations who is thoroughly acquainted with the
country. (2) To "slow trail" them, which is usually the most
satisfactory way to hunt them. A hound trained to follow a trail
slowly and without barking is used, and must go slow enough to
enable the hunter to keep within a few yards of him all the time ;
sooner or later the deer is "jumped," usually within easy shooting
distance. The third method is known as still hunting. To be a
successful still hunter" requires keen eyesight combined with a
knowledge of woodcraft and the habits and ways of deer which
comparatively few white men possess. Indians always hunt deer in
..- this manner, but they have been
trained to it all their lives, and
always hunt where they know
there is plenty of game. A single
deer may often be stalked and shot
almost in open ground where there
is only an occasional bush or.clump
of grass for cover.
By keeping to leeward of the
animal, and creeping forward while
it has its head down feeding, and remaining perfectly motionless
when it lifts its head, one may often approach within easy shooting
distance. A deer, as a rule, shakes his tail before lifting his head.
On one occasion I had approached within perhaps 125 yards of a
buck in an open prairie when the grass was not over twelve or fifteen
inches high. I was creeping along on my hands and knees, when he
suddenly raised his head and looked directly at me before I had
time to lay down in the grass. I remained perfectly still, and after
gazing steadily at me for a moment he stamped once -or twice,
advanced a few steps and stamped again, but after examining me
for some time he apparently came to the conclusion that I was part
of the scenery and not dangerous; whereupon he commenced to feed


When a deer is stalked
and sees something of
which he is afraid he gen-
erally utters a snort of
alarm, and then away he
goes, his white tail held
straight up in the air,
showing clearly as he
bounds high over the
bushes. If you have fired
at him and he goes off with his tail down you may be sure he is
badly wounded. I have shot at deer at long range and seen them
go away without raising their tails, but could find no signs of blood
along the trail; yet upon following it for a short distance the deer
would be found quite dead. Oftentimes a deer will bleed badly from
a comparatively slight wound, and again be seriously wounded
and bleed externally but
The Florida Deer is
b. smaller and varies slightly
in color from the true C.
virginianus. A full-
grown buck will often not
weigh over iio pounds,
although I have killed
them considerably larger,
and probably they occa-
sionally ( though rarely)
approach in size their
Northern relation. In
Florida as elsewhere the
bucks drop their antlers
every year, usually about
February. Time rutting
season occurs in Septem-


ber and early October, and the young are born in April and
early May.
The Indians burn the prairies early in the year, and deer are
attracted to the burns by the young and tender new grass. It is
by using such methods and being expert hunters that they kill
great numbers of these animals ; but I am glad to say but very
little of the meat is wasted; what they do not sell, they smoke and
keep for their own use.
NOTE.-Two of the photographs of deer were not taken in Florida. The full-page photogravure represents a
group of wild deer on the author's preserves in Massachusetts.



THE largest alligator I have ever seen in Florida was killed near
Enterprise, on the St. John River, and measured fourteen feet within
a fraction of an inch. I have killed several alligators over twelve
feet in length, and one which measured thirteen feet two inches,


which I shot on the St. John River near the mouth of the Wikiva
S Creek. Large alligators have of late years become rather scarce,
although nearly every year I kill one or more which ~ill exceed
eleven feet.


One often hears marvelous stories regarding the size of alligators
killed by this or that hunter ; but I do not believe that there exists
to-day in Florida an alligator which will actually measure seven-
teen feet in length. The head of an alligator killed on the St.
Sebastian River in 1893, purchased by Mr. W. V. Rhoads, of
Rockledge, Florida, is so much larger than any specimens I have
ever seen that I did not for a moment discredit his statement that
the animal measured when killed a trifle over sixteen feet in
The alligator lays its eggs in the sand, where they are hatched by
the heat of the sun, and the young alligators then collect in some
small hole where the mother keeps watch over them. The piping,
or grunting, as it is called, of the young alligator somewhat resem-
bles the piping call of a hen turkey. It is imitated by the skin
hunter," who is usually able to call to the surface almost any old
alligator which may be lying within hearing distance. I have
seen John Davis repeatedly call
alligators to the surface of small
ponds where there was no sign
of one when we arrived. After
two or three grunts, as it is termed
(although the call does not re-
semble a grunt at all), one or
more alligators would rise to the
surface and lay looking at us for
a moment. The hunter has to shoot quickly under these circum-
stances, as the alligator soon discovers the deception and will not
come up a second time for any amount of grunting. The little alli-
gators may be called to the surface in a similar manner and caught
by hand or a small dip net. I have many times caught dozens of
them in this manner by simply leaning over the edge of a bank
under which were a large number of young alligators and grunt-
ing them to the surface, where they were seized and placed in a
box, until nearly all of them had been captured. An alligator
under fifteen inches is comparatively safe to handle, as their teeth


are extremely small. Larger than that, they are sometimes inclined
to be ugly and their small teeth cut sharply.
Years ago the alligator was very destructive to dogs. Young
dogs which went down to the rivers to drink often did not return,
and the howling of a dog would instantly bring to the surface any
alligator which might be within hearing distance. Hunting dogs
while swimming
streams and ponds
were often killed
or badly bitten by
these animals; but
at present so few
of the large ones
are left, and they
have become so
shy, that it is a
rare thing to hear
of dogs being in-
jured by them.
The alligator is
often found on land
some distance from
water ; in such
cases it is well to ALLIGATOR.
keep away from its
tail, as it strikes with great power and is capable of doing con-
siderable injury. The danger from this is probably exaggerated.
One method of hunting alligators which is quite commonly prac-
tised is to pull them out of their holes under the banks of the rivers
and on the borders of the ponds. When the water gets low enough
at certain seasons of the vear these holes may be found, and by in-
vestigating them with the aid of a long pole, if the alligator is at
home he will soon give signs of life, usually grunting and moving
about. Oftentimes he will savagely bite the end of the pole when
it touches him. A large hook, resembling a shark hook, is attached


to the end of the pole, and a rope fastened to the hook in case the
pole should break. The alligator may then be hooked, pulled out
of the hole, and shot; but it frequently requires two or three men to
accomplish this if it be a large one. While being drawn to the
entrance of the hole he roars and bellows in a lively manner. I
have taken several alligators in this manner which measured over
eleven feet in length.
When alligators tight with each other they attempt to seize the
upper jaw. I once saw two large alligators fighting in a very shal-
low pond; each made several
ineffectual attempts to obtain
the jaw hold without success.
At last the larger one suc-
ceeded in seizing his oppo-
nent by the upper jaw and
immediately rolled over and
over, breaking his opponent's
jaw close to the head, killing
him instantly. This is, I am
told, the usual method em-
ployed by alligators when
fighting with one another.
In localities where alliga-
tors are much hunted they
become very wary and shy,
and lay with their heads to-
ward the water, sleeping
with one eye open," and at
the slightest sound they do
the vanishing lady to per-
ALLIGATOR. fection. A hunter paddles
cautiously up some creek where he knows a large alligator some-
times repairs for an afternoon siesta one careless motion so that the
paddle just touches the side of the boat and a loud splash in the dis-
tance tells him his chance to kill that alligator has gone for that day.


The skin hunters kill alligators at night, using a light with which
they are able to shine" their eyes. The alligator does not fear a
light, and as the boat approaches within a few feet of the animal it
is shot without difficulty. Thousands are killed annually in this
manner, and their skins are shipped North or sold to intermediate
dealers in Jacksonville and vicinity at the rate of ten cents per run-
ning foot. The much more sportsman-like way of hunting the
alligator is by still-hunting them in the daytime, paddling silently
up the creeks and rivers, where at times they may be found asleep
or sunning themselves on the banks. In places where they have
been much hunted this is by no means easy to do. Where the alli-
gators have not been disturbed they are tame and lazy, and I have
passed within a few feet of several that gazed stupidly at me without
attempting to leave the bank. A good rifle is the proper weapon
with which to hunt alligators. I prefer a 45 Winchester, either
45-70 or 45-o, which has power enough to kill the animal and not
merely wound it and allow it to escape and die. A shot striking the
eye or any portion of the head so as to penetrate the brain is almost
instantly fatal. It is rare that a shot in the body will stop an alli-
gator where he lies, and it is not advisable to shoot at the body if
the head is exposed. The old idea that a rifle-ball would glance
froin the skin of an alligator does not apply to modern weapons.
If a rifle-ball strikes fairly it will penetrate the skin without diffi-
culty and will sometimes pass completely through the body.
Before closing my remarks on large alligators I will refer to an
entry which I once saw in the register of the Brock House.
In the old days, when transportation was more difficult than it is at
present, the Brock House was about the end of civilization and was
a twenty-four hours' trip by boat from Jacksonville. It was at that
time a great resort for sportsmen, who were attracted there by the
fishing and shooting to be had in the vicinity. The old register,
which extended back a great many years, contained some queer
records, some of them of doubtful veracity. Among others, some
one has written: March 19, 1872, killed a large alligator, the
largest seen here this year ; the stomach contained a boot, a piece


of pine wood, a fisherman's float, and some small fish." Immedi-
ately beneath this record was another which evidently some wag
had added : "March 24, killed a much bigger alligator than the
one mentioned above. The stomach contained a gold watch,
$Io,ooo in government bonds, and a cord of wood." On the next
page, written in a neat, unobtrusive style, was inscribed the follow-
ing : "Shot the biggest alligator ever known in Florida ; the
stomach contained the remains of a steam launch, a lot of old rail-
way iron, and a quantity of melted ice, proving that it existed during
the glacial epoch."


THE crocodile occurs in the rivers and bays of extreme South
Florida, but is seldom found far from salt water, rarely being found


in any of the fresh water streams. It may easily be distinguished
from the alligator by its narrow snout and the holes in the end of the


upper jaw into which the two front teeth of the lower jaw enter.
As a rule, it lives in the bays and inland creeks which abound in the
southern portion of the State. Passing through some of these
creeks, where the banks are one or two feet above high water mark,
numbers of their well-worn slides may be seen, where they climb out
on the bank to sleep and sun themselves. It is claimed that the
crocodile cannot be hunted at night, but as I do not hunt in that
manner I have no personal knowledge of the subject. The hunters
claim that the crocodiles will not look at a light and that they cannot
" shine their eyes," as they can those of an alligator, which is lucky
for the crocodiles, as they are not very numerous even now.
Crocodiles grow to a larger size than the alligator. At one time


they were numerous in Indian Creek, Biscayne Bay, and also in
Arch Creek in the same locality, but they are not as plenty now as
formerly. Further south, through Card Sound and below, is the
present home of the crocodile in any numbers, and the intricate net-
work of islands and lagoons makes it very difficult for any one
except a professional hunter to find them. The largest crocodile I
have ever killed measured thirteen feet eight inches in length. I


shot him in a small creek near Card Sound, in the spring of 1895,
and saw another at that time which I feel certain was at least two
feet longer than his companion.
An old hunter by the name of William Freeman told me he saw a
crocodile in a shallow creek near Card Sound, and, as he could see
the animal perfectly, tried to form an approximate idea of its length
by pacing the bank
of the creek par-
allel with the croc-
odile. He stated
that he believed
this crocodile
would measure at
least nineteen feet.
Such estimates are
CROCODILE. 0of comparatively

little value except to show that there are larger crocodiles in South
Florida than have as yet been killed; and it is fair to assume that
there are crocodiles in Florida to-day which will measure seventeen
feet or more in length. The skin is not as dark as that of an alli-
gator, being slightly variegated, lighter and darker in places, and
the animal when asleep on the bank appears to be clay colored,
rather than black, as in the case of the alligator. The large one
which I killed looked ashy gray as he lay on the bank about fifty
yards from me.


WHERE turkeys are numerous a great many are trapped every
year by the native hunters by methods which do not redound to the
intelligence of the turkeys. A place is found where they are in the
habit of using," as it is called. Corn is scattered about, and, if
that is eaten, more corn is placed there the next day. They are fed
in this manner for a week or more, until the turkeys become accus-
tomed to going there for food. Then small logs are laid, forming
a square box about six or eight inches in height ; possibly two
logs on each side, one above the other. In this is placed the corn,
and the turkeys enter it readily, as the obstruction is not sufficient to
make them fear any harm. The next night another log is added on
the four sides, raising the box gradually, perhaps a foot or so each
night, until the small logs form a cone-shaped box, narrowing at
the top, leaving an opening of perhaps a foot or eighteen inches by
which they can enter at the top. Corn is placed in the box and a
few kernels leading to it, as usual, and the turkeys, mounting the
last log, enter it and eat up the corn. The opening has now become
so narrow that, although a turkey can easily jump down through it
with closed wings, it is impossible to jump out of it with wings
spread. I have tried this method on one or two occasions, but with-
out success, although I have no doubt as to the truth of the state-
ment, which is vouched for by a number of old residents and
Another style of trap is a log pen with a large tunnel under one
side. The turkeys follow the corn through the tunnel and do not
attempt to go back the same way, but run about the sides of the
pen, poking their heads through the openings between the logs.
Turkeys are still numerous in some parts of Florida, although
they have been practically exterminated in many localities where
they were once common. They are gregarious and usually prefer


a well-watered country, roosting in a swamp or on the borders of
some stream or pond. When a native hunter discovers a roost he
conceals himself near it at night and often kills nearly the entire
flock, shooting the under ones first, so that the dead bird in falling
will not alarm the others.
In the springtime the gobblers may be called" by imitating the
plaintive piping of the hen, and this is a common method of shoot-
ing them. Usually a quill is used to imitate the call, but some
hunters can produce it with their fingers and lips. The hunter con-
ceals himself and calls softly until the gobbler approaches near
enough to be seen and killed. Occasionally a flock of turkeys will
be found feeding in the open ground, and they usually fly to some
heavy timber and perch themselves high up among the top branches,
affording a good chance for rifle practise. In following a turkey's
trail the hunter must keep up with the dog and go as fast as the
nature of the ground will permit. A turkey will usually run for
some distance ahead of a dog before attempting to fly, and if the
hunter follows fast enough he will stand a good chance of getting
within shooting distance before he jumps." I have seen many a
fine gobbler go soaring away two or three hundred yards ahead of
me which I probably could have killed had I kept within easy shoot-
ing distance of the hounds.
When the dog shows by his actions that the turkey is only a short
distance ahead that is the time that the hunter must use good
Now the turkey must be "flushed" or made to fly, but not until
within shooting distance. If not pushed the turkey will often run a
long distance ahead of the dog and perhaps escape in some impen-
etrable swamp. When the scent gets very warm let the dog hurry
a little, but not go so fast that the hunter cannot keep close to him.
The turkey, hearing the dog close behind and finding he cannot
escape by running, goes into the air with much heavy flapping of
wings, and if the hunter is sixty or seventy yards behind his dog he
is probably a hundred or more away from the turkey, and his
chances of bagging that gobbler are extremely slim.


DAY was just breaking when Will and I pushed our boat from the
wharf. It was a typical Florida spring morning, with the usual
gorgeous cloud effects so common in these latitudes; the whole
eastern sky was banked with crimson clouds shading softly into the
pale blue higher up where the cloud banks suddenly ceased. Gradu-
ally the changing colors paled and paled, fading into dull gray and
white as the sun rose higher and showed his tiery edge over the tops
of the low mangroves on the key opposite. The bay was as smooth
as a pond; the water being scarcely rippled by the light breeze
which bore to us the faint chattering and whistling of a flock of
blackbirds on the keys opposite, and we could distinctly hear the
voices of two men in a boat far over near the other shore, a mile or
more away.
We passed several low oyster bars, which are usually covered at
high tide, and just beyond one of these Will stopped'rowing and,
nodding his head towards the reef, said: Do you see the deep
water just to the south of that bar? That is where I saw several
tarpon yesterday and there goes one now."
I looked quickly in the direction he was pointing and caught a
momentary glimpse of a large fin cutting the mirror-like surface of
the water; a dull gleam, and then all was quiet save for the gradually
widening ripples which marked the spot where the great fish had
Quick," cried Will; throw well out ahead of that ripple and if
he takes it give him plenty of time before you strike."
Swinging the heavy rod backwards, I made a strong cast and the
line, weighted with half of a mullet, ran freely from the reel. It was
a good throw and the piece of fish struck the water not twenty feet
from the spot where the tarpon had risen. Loosening theline and
seeing that it ran freely under the leather thumb check, I waited.


Will cut up small pieces of mullet and threw them over the water in
different directions, while I anxiously watched the line. Five min-
utes passed, ten minutes- suddenly my line began to run from the
reel with a strong, steady movement.
Steady," cried Will; give him time to get the bait down his
throat. Don't strike too quick. Now give it to him. Now!
Holding the rod firmly with both hands, I checked the reel and
struck hard, so hard that the stout rod bent with the strain, and


instantly, with a tremendous rush, a huge silver, gleaming monster
flung himself completely out of the water, shaking his head
savagely. Down he came in a splash of white foam, and it required
no warning cry from Will to make me brace myself for the rush


which we knew would come. The stout rod bent like a reed, and
the carefully tested line sung from the reel in spite of the strong
friction of the leather check pressed firmly against it; but the strain
was too great to last, and the line ran out slower and slower and
presently the reel ceased to turn; but with a strong, steady pull the
great fish moved steadily on, towing our boat rapidly behind him.


Suddenly the bent rod straightened with a spring. It needed no cry
from Will to tell me the fish had doubled and was headed towards
us. I heard him grunt as he threw his weight on the oars, and,
holding my rod firmly, the butt well braced, I awaited the coming
strain. Almost instantly it came. Again that stout old rod bent
like a bow and the reel hummed, and again, shaking his head
savagely, the tarpon threw himself fully two feet above the water.


Never shall I forget the scene which followed. Never, if I catch a
thousand of his kind, do I expect to see a more magnificent fight for
freedom than that grand fish made in his struggles to rid himself of
the barb within his jaws. Once, twice, four times he cast his whole
length into the air in his mad struggles. The water foamed
and boiled as he fell and sank, to almost immediately reappear,
hurling himself high into the air, shaking his head as a dog shakes
a rat, his blood-red gills showing in striking contrast to his gleaming
silver body. As he sank for the fifth time the strain on the line
ceased; turning the reel, there was no resistance, and I heard a sigh
from Will.
He's off; it can't be helped; but wasn't he a dandy? "
I said nothing, for I was sadly disappointed. To have had a fine
tarpon hooked for fifteen minutes, and then to lose him was dis-


couraging; but, as Will said, it could not be helped, and the only
thing to do was to try for another. So, rowing back to our original
position, we baited the hook with a fresh and enticing bait, and set-
tled down quietly to wait.


Perhaps twenty minutes had passed when again something took
the bait and moved slowly away with it. I struck hard, and as I
did so a huge tarpon hurled himself twice out of the water not
twenty yards from the boat, and immediately started off across the
bay. Holding the rod high up, I gave it all the strain I dared; but
despite it all, the splendid
fish towed us fully half a mile
before showing any signs of
fatigue. Slowly and gently
I "reeled him in," as the
strain relaxed, until we could
see him not more than ten
feet from us. Gradually I
drew him nearer and nearer,
while Will leaned over the
side of the boat, holding in
his hand a huge gaff, which,
the next moment, was fast-
ened in the side of the tarpon. GAFFING" A TARPON.
A short struggle and a large specimen of the most magnificent game
fish in the world lay on the bottom of the boat, glittering brilliantly
in the sunlight, one sparkle of silver, blue, and gold.
As I wished to preserve the skin and the day was warm, Will
advised returning home at once; so we turned the boat and rowed
back, having had sport enough for one day. Although larger fish
are often caught, my first tarpon proved a good one, measuring six
feet one inch in length, and weighing I2oY pounds.


To those who do not desire to rough it, but wish to have an
occasional outing with the gun and dog, Florida offers the rather
unusual combination of very good sport in the immediate vicinity
of comfortable hotels.
From Jacksonville it is but a short distance to the mouth of the
St. John's River; and in the vicinity of Pilot Town, and Mayport,


and'about Fort George Islands, fair bird shooting may be had at the
right season. Plover and yellow-legs abound during the migrations,
andiin the old days Talbot Island was an especially good place for
curlew. With good dogs and a guide who knows the country, fair
bags of quail and snipe may be made within easy driving distance
of either Jacksonville or St. Augustine. A few bears apd deer still
linger in the swamps between Jacksonville and Pilot Town, but for


this kind of shooting one
should go farther South
into a more unsettled
quail are abundant
throughout Florida. The
best quail shooting which
I have ever enjoyed I
had at what is known as
Dago Prairie, about fif-
teen miles from Enter-
prise, on the St. John's
River. Enterprise at one TOM
time was noted for its
quail-shooting. On one occasion, using three dogs, I found fourteen
coveys, and killed eighty-two birds with a twenty-gauge gun, reach-
ing the hotel before dark. This occurred several years ago, and
probably better sport may now be had in the flat woods west of Lake
Worth or south of Tampa. I merely mention Lake Worth and Tampa
as there are good hotels at both places, but as far as the quail shoot-
ing is concerned it may be had almost everywhere in South Florida.



Dogs are absolutely essential to successful quail hunting. Of
course, while driving through the woods, if a flock is flushed a
few may be killed by kicking about in the bushes where they are
seen to alight, but I personally am not partial to this method of
quail hunting, as I am always afraid that I might kick a rattlesnake
instead of a quail. It is well to take a good dog with you from the
North, as well-trained dogs are very scarce in Florida. A fast dog
that ranges well is the kind most adapted to quail hunting in Florida,
which is usually done from wagons or on horseback. When a
wagon is used it is driven slowly through the flat woods until
the dogs, who cover the ground
well and range wide," as it is
called, find a covey of birds.
Then the hunter leaves the
wagon, shoots what he can out
of that covey, and drives on to
seek for another.
In the old days Sanford was
not in existence, and a little town
called Mellonville ( located a
short distance south of the pres-
ent site of Sanford) was the only town on the west side of the lake.
A line of steamers was then running from Enterprise up the St. John's
River, passing through Lake Jessop and Lake Harney to Salt Lake
and part of the time beyond that as far as Lake Poinset, but the line
was discontinued years ago.
Quail and snipe are still abundant along the shores of the upper
St. John's in favorable localities, and in past years alligators were
numerous, but these last have nearly all been killed off. Of course
a few are left, but they are very shy, and a large one is of rare occur-
Deep Creek, which was at one time a famous turkey country, joins
the St. John's River near where it enters Lake Harney, directly
opposite what is known as Cook's Ferry. a
The bass fishing near Lake Harney and on Lake Jessop has

always been excellent, and is probably so still, although the shad
fishers, who of late years have been using a seine near Lake Mun-
roe, have injured the fishing to some extent. Bass have been taken
from Lake Jessop which weighed over thirteen pounds, and there is
a record of one being caught in a small lake in Northern Florida
which weighed nineteen pounds. Of course these are the Large-
mouthed Black Bass, and not its Northern congener, the small-mouthed
The St. John's River is usually navigable as far as Salt Lake, but
above that it is often choked with floating water plants. Occasion-
ally a small boat can go nearly to Lake Washington, but beyond


Lake Poinset it is difficult to force a passage through the water
plants, which are so rarely disturbed that they grow in a mass very
difficult to penetrate.
Above Lake Jessop, on the prairies bordering the river, snipe
shooting is particularly good at some seasons, and all through the
country between St. John's River and the Indian River quail and
snipe are abundant in the season. A few ducks may nearly always



be found along the St. John's River and in and about the small lakes
which abound in the interior.
Following down the coast from Jacksonville, we come to the well-
known shooting grounds near Oak Hill, although, as I have re-
marked before, any one desiring to simply hunt quail and snipe may
get fair sport at almost any of the small towns on the line of the
At Oak Hill there is a small hotel kept by Frank Sams, who is
also the proprietor of the hotel at New Smyrna. Oak Hill is situated
at the head of the Indian River,
and fine duck shooting may be
had there at times. Deer may
also be killed in this vicinity,
although they are not as plenty
as formerly. There are parts of
the old Turnbull Swamp where
turkeys are still common enough,
but difficult to get at, and one or
more bears are usually killed by
hunters from Oak Hill in and
about the swamp during the season.
The country below Oak Hill on the east coast is the property of
the Canaveral Shooting Club and is not open to the public. Ducks
are numerous, as bears were also at one time, but I have assisted
in reducing their number considerably in that locality.
From Titusville southward there are many places on the Indian
River where good duck shooting may be had. In the vicinity of
the Ten Thousand Islands the duck shooting is sometimes very
At one time ducks came in great numbers to pass the winter on
the east coast of Florida, attracted there by an abundance of their
favorite food. A bag of one hundred birds in a day's shooting over
decoys or stools was not uncommon. I must plead guilty to hav-
ing done this myself on one or two occasions, but none.of the birds
were wasted, and I am glad to say that I have many times killed


twenty-five or thirty ducks in a couple of hours and stopped shooting
when I could easily have killed many more than one hundred had I
desired to do so. Early in the season, when the ducks first arrive,
immense numbers are killed by the "pot hunters," who use heavy
guns and shoot into the flocks when bunched together in the water.
Of course such continual slaughter must necessarily reduce the


number of ducks which annually visit Florida, and already it is evi-
dent that their numbers are materially lessened, although they still
return, each year, in vast numbers. At some of the small Indian
River towns it was by no means unusual to see large flocks of ducks
"bedded" within a short distance of a wharf, where shooting was
prohibited. They soon learned that they were safe thege and paid
no attention whatever to the people who stood and watched them


from the shore within easy
shooting distance. But those
same ducks, when out on the
river, would not allow a boat
to approach within gunshot
of them.
The most common species
of duck on the Indian River
is the Bluebill or Blackhead,
but there are others." The
Widgeon and Pintail are
abundant, and the Shoveller,
Blue and Green-wing Teal,
Ringneck, and Ruddy Duck
A BIG BAG. are also common. Gadwells
and Black Ducks (both Northern and Florida) are not uncommon in
places, while various other species occur more or less commonly,
according to the severity of the Northern winter.



Along the beach between Indian River and the ocean is a par-
ticularly fine hunting ground for bears. They are common in
many localities, but trained dogs are required to hunt them suc-
A few deer also occur in that country, but for deer it would be
better to go into the interior, and one can nearly always get a guide
at any of the smaller towns. Ten miles from the north fork of the
St. Lucie River was at one time a particularly noted hunting
ground, and during my first visit to that locality game was very
plenty. It was at St. Lucie in 1885 that I had my first experience
with what is known in Florida as a shooting match, where the prize


is a bull or cow, which is rounded up and driven in from the bush"
for the occasion. "Alligator" Jim Russell was a particularly
noted character at this time, and was also considered a very good
shot. He and the Payne boys and two or three others, whose
names I have unfortunately forgotten, took part in this contest.
Each contestant paid a dollar to the owner of the animal and was
allowed five chances. The target was a piece of bark fastened to
a tree, about one hundred yards distant.
We first competed for choice of the hind quarters," each man
shooting once and the one hitting nearest the center of the bull's
eye being adjudged the winner. We then tried again for the re-
maining hind quarter, and again for the choice of the fore quarters,

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