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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

One of the most captivating accounts of life with the Indians was written by Jonathan Alder, who in 1781 when he was 6 years old was captured by Shawnee and Delaware Indians in western Virginia and then taken into the Ohio backcountry(then known as the Old Northwest) where he grew up"Indian"..............His account of the native fauna in this region prior to colonization(european settlement of Ohio began after the Revolutionary War ended in 1783) is rich in its detail................Enjoy a trip back in time via Alder's accounts


-In 1800, Ohio had barely 42,000 residents within it's boundaries

-Beech or mixed oak forests covered much of the state

-Wildlife abounded in the region; raccoons, ducks, geese and white tailed deer as well as such extirpated species as the mountain lion, bobcat, bison, canada lynx and american elk...........Passenger pigeons flocked in incomprehensible numbers(yes bison occupied Ohio and earlier days, NY, Penn, Virginia and the southern states)

Puma(Mountain Lion)

-After the Indians had crossed the Ohio river, they killed a large buffalo

-Present day Chillicothe, Ohio contained much game(large sale licks graced the region, a magnet for wildlife)

-After the Indians had crossed the Ohio river, they killed a bear

-The Indians killed many deer,they would skin and dry them and then pack them for sale,they had a ready market as many French and English traders were scattered amongst them


-Indian hunting expeditions through the Darby and Pickaway Plains in the direction of the salt springs, near Chillicothe

-After we got through making salt, we concluded to have a bear hunt,,,,,,,,,,,The region was then was the best bear(black bear) country in the west(remember, that from 1500 through the Revolutionary War, the Ohio Country was considered the "West")

-Some of the hunters went as far south as "Big Paint and Darby Creek,,,,,,,,,,,,Here they killed deer, Elk, buffalo and bear in great numbers

Wolves and Bison

-It is an invariable rule among the Indians to raise a crop of corn, beans and pumpkins prior to the Fall hunt

-What more delicious eating could a man desire than fat deer, bear, elk, buffalo or turkey, all of which the Indians frequently had in abundance?........If ever a people live on the game of the land when it is plenty and fat it is the Indians

-Another practice that we would use to take deer in the forepart of the Summer was to make a deer blate and blate up a doe that had a fawn, which was a very easy thing to do


-This Country which is the state of Ohio abounds with all kinds of game and wild animals...There was none that were particularly dangerous except that which was wounded and you crowded into him

-The Wolf was like of any to attack a person........the Wolf and Rattlesnake was two that the Indians did not trust


-If you were ever alone, you throw fire(sticks) at the wolves and then there was no danger.......for a wolf wouldn't stand fire.............While they would trail me while I was out hunting, never did have any further trouble with them

He had killed some game and was stringing it up............The wolves came in close,,,,,,,,,,,,could hear them snapping their teeth

-We stuck up between the river and Big Darby,,,,,,,,,,,,,,their was a great beech crop that Fall and the bear was very fat and fine

white tailed deer

-By the salt springs, I saw a bear in an oak feasting on acorns

-I passed down into what is now Madison County where Pleasant Valley is today...........a fine mast of oaks between Darby and Scioto............Deer and bear got fat here

-He had been very successful trapping otter and beaver on the Big Sandy River


-The Indians have a great many superstitions,,,,,,,,,,,,,and one of those superstitions is about the wolf.............In all kinds of hunting you are apt to shoot at game and miss.....If an Indian shoots at a bear, deer or buffalo and misses, he thinks nothing of it...............but if he shoots at a wolf and misses, he thinks the wolf will put a spell on his gun that will last for 5 or 6 moons..That is one reason that they rarely shoot at a wolf.I think that is one reason that wolves are a little more bold than they would otherwise be

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