Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Hunting Dogs: 

On July 21, 1851, Rudlolph Kurz writes in his journal:  "As there are few Indians about I made sketches of their dogs, of which there is an endless number here. Most of them look like wolves.  Moreover, they do not bark but howl most dolefully.  If one dog begins a chorus 100 strong immediately joins him."  

He further states that: "Indians make use of their dogs as beasts of burden and as guards, never for hunting, because their baying and howling would betray the huntsman to lurking foes.  Moreover, these wolfhounds are too wild to be good rangers and therefore useful on the chase; they hunt out every living thing that they might
be able to catch with their teeth."   Not all of the Indian’s dogs resembled wolves.  The drawing to the above right was made by Kurz at this time.  

On March 28, 1852 he also describes hunting with the unwanted presence of dogs: "We therefore hurried across the thin ice crust that overspread the prairie, breaking through at every step and causing a great deal of noise by the constant cracking of the ice.  This attracted our dogs, unfortunately; they broke loose from the tent where we had confined them and came running along, too.  As they were not in the right direction their presence would necessarily only destroy our prospects for a hunt.  We drove them back, but they retreated only to a certain distance and there they remained, howling most dolefully"     

Back to Everyday Life