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A Trek Out West - Part 11

[Dr. Ferber] 25th. We tried all our skill to kill as much game as possible to get enough meat to last us till Rawlins, having little chance to shoot something after we left the Rattlesnake Mountains. Jack and I were successful, I killed an elk buck and one mule deer doe, and Jack another one. Our ponies were so heavily loaded with the elk horn and the meat that we could not ride fast, and it was late when we reached camp.

[Otto Franc] Wednesday Sept 25 - Light fall of snow during the night clear & cool during the day. All go out hunting, L & I see only an Antelope Buck, I fire at him while he is running but miss him. Dr. killed a small Elk Jack killed a black tail Doe.

[Dr. Ferber] 26th. We left the Rattlesnake Mountains, and about noon we saw at Horse Creek four buck elks, of which Frank and I killed one and F. wounded another one. That night we camped at Sage Creek.

[Otto Franc] Thursday Sept 26 - Clear & pleasant. Break & travel through the mountains towards Lankens ranch, reach Horse creek after 1 1/2 hours ride where we see a small band of Elk in the willows on the creek; Dr. & I get off our horses & after long & tiresome crawling get within shooting distance, they are all young bucks. Dr. breaks the foreleg of one, my rifle misfires 3 times but the fourth time it goes off & knocks down a fine young buck, Lancken, who has come up, & myself butcher him quickly & then having the best horses follow the trail of the one the Dr. has wounded, after riding 1 mile we start him up 1000 yards off, he makes very good time with his 3 legs & the ground being very rocky & broken we cannot gain on him although our horses do their best. We keep up the chase for 2 miles then have to give it up as the Elk enters a chain of high & steep hills where we cannot follow him with our horses. We camp on Large Creek 15 miles from the ranch; our horses are so loaded down with meat for the ranch & with different kinds of horns that we can only make short marches.

[Dr. Ferber] 27th. About noon we reached Lanckens’ ranch, having saved our scalp. Here I have to mention that coming back through the Bad Lands one morning we found three large fresh trails running parallel and made by ponies of Indians on the warpath (no lodge poles dragging behind). The guides thought that they crossed here only one or two hours before us. At the ranch, we heard that the Bannocks had killed several white people on the Wind River at the same time.

[Otto Franc] Friday Sept 27 - Cold blowing hard. Reach the ranch at noon, the men are very glad to see us & say if we had not returned by tomorrow they would have started out after us as all the Indian tribes in the neighborhood are on the warpath & it is unsafe for a small party like ours to be out. We feast on fresh bread & potatoes & coffee, entirely disdaining meat, & inquire for news from the world. Some more travelers arrive & finally, there are 9 persons in the home which fills it quite up.

[Dr. Ferber] 28th. I did not like to sit all day long in the log house, and with Jack tried my last hunt, but did not get a shot, although a number of sheep and two big rams were seen by us.

[Otto Franc] Saturday Sept 28 - Take a short tramp to look for Deer, but do not find any, spend the afternoon inspecting Lancken's stock of horses.

[Dr. Ferber] 29th. Leaving our ponies at Lancken's ranch, L. drove us with a team of four to Rawlins. Jack, who was riding a pony, killed one antelope. This was the last piece of game we killed on our trip. I have nothing more to tell, only that we arrived at Rawlins the first of October, but half frozen to death.

After we had taken our mail we went to Fred Wolf's cozy little place where we had a glass or more of fine Rhine wine and a long talk with the kind-hearted and good-humored landlord, Fred. In the afternoon we were busy packing our trunks, order boxes for our trophies, packed and shipped them.

[Otto Franc] Sunday Sept 29 - Start from the ranch in a wagon with 4 horses, cross the Sweetwater river & stop at Muddy Gap to cook Dinner then proceed to Lands Springs where we camp.

[Dr. Ferber] 30th Sept. we found ourselves in a car of U.P.R.R. Jack and I stopped at Chicago, while Frank went right through to New York. I stayed four days in Chicago and two days at Fort Wayne to see some friends.

Sportsmen intending to hunt in that part of the Rocky Mountains I advise to write to Gus Lancken, care of Fred Wolf, Rawlins. He is certainly one of the best guides around there and is reasonable in his charges. He supplies a party of two or three with himself and another as guides, four or five saddle horses, as many pack horses, all the saddles, etc., and tents, for $12 to $14 a day; grub and bedding is not included—it does not amount to much. If he should be engaged, take "Tom Sun."

P. S.— On this trip I took the elevations as well as on the first trip but did not mention it, the average being only 6,000 feet, and the highest point in Rattlesnake Mountains 8,100 feet. In all, we hunted as gentlemanly as possible; we could have killed perhaps ten times as much.

[Otto Franc] Monday Sept 30 - It commences to rain about 4 o'clock A.M. & we get up & roll up our bedding to keep it dry. Take an early start, run part of the way along (with) the wagon to keep us warm & arrive at Bills Springs where we camp.

[Otto Franc] Tuesday Oct 1 - It was the coldest night. We have froze hard. Arrive at Rawlins at noon. Result: 1 Buffalo, 1 Wolf, 4 Elk, 10 Antelope, 1 Deer 1 Buffalo 1 Wolf 6 Elk 2 Deer 12 Antelope.

[This concludes the trek of Texas Jack, Otto Franc, and Dr. Ferber in Wyoming. Soon I'll write a piece about what happened to these men after their summer spent together hunting and traipsing across the Cowboy State.]

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