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Caught em Alive !

The hunt took place on April 8, 1905 in an area that was part of  the Comanche Reserve near Frederick, Oklahoma. At the time the area was leased by two old-style, Texas cattlemen who were also the hosts of the hunt. Roosevelt was accompanied by several friends, collegues, body guards, several ranchmen and a professional wolf hunter named John Abernathy of Tesca, Oklahoma. The following is Roosevelts account of seeing Abernathy in action.



An excerpt from A Wolf Hunt In Oklahoma 

            By Theodore Roosevelt 1905

   In the afternoon we again rode off, and this time Abernathy on his white horse, took the lead, his greyhounds trotting beside him. There was a good deal of rivalry among the various owners of the hounds as to which could do best, and a slight inclination among the cowboys to be jealous of Abernathy. No better riders could be imagined than these same cowboys and their greyhounds were stanch and fast; but Abernathy, not only rode with great judgement, but showed a perfect knowledge of the coyote, and by his own excertions greatly assisted his hounds. He had found out in his long experience that while the greyhounds could outpace a coyote in a two or three mile run, they would then fall behind; but that after going eight or ten miles, a coyote in turn became exhausted, and if he had been able to keep his hounds going until that time they could, with his assistance, then stop the quarry.




     We had been shogging along for an hour or more when we put up a coyote and started after it. I was riding the Big D pony I had ridden the afternoon before. It was a good and stout horse, but one which my weight was certain to distress if I tried to go to fast for too long a time. Moreover, the coyote had a long start, and I made up my mind that he would either get away or give us a hard run. Accordingly, as the cowboys started off at their usual headlong pace, I rode behind at a gallop, husbanding my horse.  For a mile or so the going was very rough, up over and down stony hills and among washouts. Then we went over gently rolling country for another mile or two, and then came to a long broken incline which swept up to a divide some four miles ahead of us. Lambert  had been riding along side of Abernathy, at the front, but his horse began to play out, and needed to be nursed along, so that he dropped back level with me. By the time I had reached the foot of this incline the punchers, riding at full speed, had shot their bolts, and one by one I passed them, as well as most of the greyhounds. But Abernathy was far ahead, his white horse loping along without showing any signs of distress. Up the long slope I did not dare press my animal, and Abernathy must have been a mile ahead of me when we struck the divide, while where the others were I had no idea, except that they were behind me. When I reached the divide I was afraid I might have missed Abernathy, but to my delight he was still in sight, far ahead. As we began to go downhill I let the horse fairly race; for by Abernathy's motions I could tell that he was close to the wolf and that it was no longer running in a straight line, so that there was a chance of my overtaking them.



Theodore Roosevelt and the "Big D" Pony


Abernathy demonstrating his famous catch technique


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