Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Turkey Hunting by Moonlight:

In his journal, Rufus Sage describes hunting turkey in 1842: 

"My experiments in turkey-hunting made me a proficient shot by moonlight, a feat which adds materially to the sport.  This is done by maneuvering so as to have the turkey in a direct line between the marksman and the moon, causing its shadow to fall upon his face, -then, raising his rifle to a level from the ground upwards, the instant the sight becomes darkened he fires, and, if his piece be true, seldom fails to make a centre shot.  

The most feasible mode of hunting turkeys is to watch their roosting places at night; and, after the moon attains the required position, they may be killed by dozens in the above manner.  They rarely leave their roost on account of the firing; but remain, half stupefied with affright, while they are picked off one after another by the practiced hunter."    

Back to Everyday Living