In the morning, as soon as the day dawned, Crockett, thinking it impossible for them to get through the fallen timber that day, took his rifle and went into the forest in search of game. He had gone but a short distance when he came across a fine buck. The animal fell before his unerring aim, and, taking the prize upon his shoulders, he commenced a return to the boat.
He had not proceeded far before he came upon the fresh tracks of a herd of elks. The temptation to follow their trail was to a veteran hunter irresistible. He threw down his buck, and had not gone far before he came upon two more bucks, very large and splendid animals. The beautiful creatures, though manifesting some timidity, did not seem disposed to run, but, with their soft, womanly eyes, gazed with wonder upon the approaching stranger. The bullet from Crockett’s rifle struck between the eyes of one, and he fell dead. The other, his companion, exhibited almost human sympathy. Instead of taking to flight, he clung to his lifeless associate, looking down upon him as if some incomprehensible calamity had occurred. Crockett rapidly reloaded his rifle, and the other buck fell dead.
He hung them both upon the limb of a tree, so that they should not be devoured by the wolves, and followed on in the trail of the elks. He did not overtake them until nearly noon. They were then beyond rifle-shot, and kept so, luring him on quite a distance. At length he saw two other fine bucks, both of which he shot. The intellectual culture of the man may be inferred from the following characteristic description which he gives of these events:
“I saw two more bucks, very large fellows too. I took a blizzard at one of them, and up he tumbled. The other ran off a few jumps and stopped, and stood there until I loaded again and fired at him. I knocked his trotters from under him, and then I hung them both up. I pushed on again, and about sunset I saw three other bucks. I down’d with one of them, and the other two ran off. I hung this one up also, having killed six that day.
“I then pushed on till I got to the hurricane, and at the lower edge of it, about where I expected the boat was. Here I hollered as hard as I could roar, but could get no answer. I fired off my gun, and the men on the boat fired one too. But, quite contrary to my expectations, they had got through the timber, and were about two miles above me. It was now dark, and I had to crawl through the fallen timber the best way I could; and if the reader don’t know it was bad enough, I am sure I do. For the vines and briers had grown all through it, and so thick that a good fat coon couldn’t much more than get along. I got through at last, and went on to near where I had killed my last deer, and once more fired off my gun, which was again answered from the boat, which was a little above me. I moved on as fast as I could, but soon came to water; and not knowing how deep it was, I halted, and hollered till they came to me with a skiff. I now got to the boat without further difficulty. But the briers had worked on me at such a rate that I felt like I wanted sewing up all over. I took a pretty stiff horn, which soon made me feel much better. But I was so tired that I could scarcely work my jaws to eat.”