A TWO WEEKS TRIP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE
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A TWO WEEKS TRIP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

A TWO WEEKS TRIP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE




      

A TWO WEEKS TRIP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE


A TWO WEEKS TRIP IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

About the middle of December, 1915, Lester Sims and myself loaded our junk into a wagon and started for the Polo Duro Canyons, about three miles distant. Our outfit consisted of 40 No. 3 Victor traps, one 10 by 12 tent, a sheet iron camp stove, stretching boards, grub, bedding, horse feed, etc. We arrived at our destination about two o'clock, but here Pard discovered that he had forgotten his watch. We went without a timepiece during our whole stay at these canyons. As it was still early in the afternoon, we decided to turn our horses out to graze and look around a little and set a few traps before setting up our camp. We were in the center of a draw about two miles in length, it being about a mile up to the head of the draw and about the same distance to its mouth, where it ran into the main canyon.

Am seventeen years old myself, and never was out in the breaks before although I had trapped around home for several winters. Pard was an old-time trapper and had trapped in this same region once before. Lester started up the draw and I went down, but found very poor signs; however, I got five traps set, four for coyote and one for 'coon. On returning I found Pard had already returned and set up the tent and had camp completely in order. He also reported very poor signs. I told him we would starve to death if we stayed in this draw very long. He said that he had been with outfits before where he did not have the "say so" and they would leave places which he never would have left had it been him. There is plenty of fur in almost any country, the only trouble being to locate it; he also said that he would never leave another place until he had been fully convinced that trapping wouldn't pay. There is lots of truth in this idea where one is trapping new territory.

Well, we stayed here three days without catching a single hair, not even a cottontail rabbit and Lester and I both decided to move from this place and so did it the very next day. The next day we caught one coyote and one skunk. After skinning and stretching our catch we loaded our duffel and pulled for another draw about four miles distant. At our next camp we found fur a little more plentiful. The furbearing signs consisted of coyote, skunk, ringtail, 'coon and a few gray fox. We expected to make a pretty good catch of fur Christmas morning, but in this faint hope we were disappointed. After Christmas our luck changed a little and on December 26th we caught four narrow-striped skunk. On the twenty-seventh we got a ringtail and on the next morning we got one skunk, and an extra large 'coon. Well, we had some pretty good eating after that. Pard was an awful jolly fellow and we would spend the long evenings by the camp stove talking and playing cards. Sometimes Lester would make the old tent ring with his fiddle. Altogether we had a good time in spite of our hard luck. All we wanted, as Pard termed it, was to "go by," which we did.

On December 31st. we reluctantly pulled for home, as Pard had some business which needed attending to. Our catch consisted of six skunk, two coyote, one 'coon, two ringtails and one fox.

Ernest Frank, Randall Co., Texas.

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