described by First Boy - James Larpentuer Long, Fort Peck
Assiniboine-Sioux, in The Assiniboine: From Accounts of
the Old Ones Told to First Boy (James Larpenteur Long),
edited by Michael Stephen Kennedy , University of Oklahoma
Press, 1961, p 117-118 (originally published as Land of
the Nakoda by the Montana Writer Program in 1942)
elk, deer, and antelope-among the larger game ani-mals-were
not hunted as extensively as the buffalo. They were hunted
mostly in winter, when they could be tracked.
roaming the prairie from early spring until late in the
fall; the tribe, when winter came, camped along the large,
heav-ily wooded rivers where there was fuel and shelter.
Occasion-ally, there was a buffalo hunt when buffaloes
were found near camp. But usually the people had plenty
of dried buffalo meat and tallow packed away, so the hunters
devoted themselves to the pursuit of smaller game for
watched for the white-tailed deer, which browsed about
during the night and towards morning looked for a bedground
in this way:
When the deer had decided to bed down, it was its habit
first to double back on its tracks for some distance,
then make several broad jumps to one side and land with
its four feet held closely together. It traveled a short
distance, then bedded down.
a hunter saw that the tracks had doubled back, he made
a large circle around the supposed bedground. If no tracks
were found when the circle was completed, the deer was
sure to be somewhere within its circumference. The hunter
continued to circle around the bedground and kept a close
lookout for the deer. Each time the circle was made smaller
until the deer was spied and killed.
is said that several white-tailed deer could be killed,
one at a time in the same bedground providing the hunter
continued to circle the place after each shot. If there
was more than one deer there the rest seemed to become
paralyzed in the bedground.
the summer, hunters hid near watering places and killed
deer in the evening when they came to drink.
hunters used a device to call the deer. It was made of
thick bark, shaped like a boat, pointed at one end, and
cut square on the other. The piece was about one inch
by two and three -fourth inches thick. It was hollowed
out, with the square end taken out so that it was like
a shell when finished. A piece of very thin gristle or
membrane, pressed and dried, was cut to fit over the entire
top of the shell. A band of wet sinew was wrapped around
the middle to hold the two parts together and allowed
to dry. The device was placed halfway in the mouth, point
first, and with both hands cupped over it, was blown twice
for each call. It sounded something like woo-wa, woo as
in "wood," wa as in "warp."
the full moon, the hunter sat in a thicket. He called
twice and waited for an answer. If a doe was near enough
to hear the call, it usually answered, at the same time
coming nearer by several broad jumps. At each stop the
deer waited for the hunter to call before it answered
and came closer. Finally, when the deer was brought close
enough to be seen and was within range, it was shot.