Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

A Hunting Trip

Colorado Springs, Colorado,
April 14, 1905.

I hope you had as successful a trip in Florida as I have had in Texas and Oklahoma. The first six days were of the usual Presidential tour type, but much more pleasant than ordinarily, because I did not have to do quite as much speaking, and there was a certain irresponsibility about it all, due I suppose in part to the fact that I am no longer a candidate and am free from the everlasting suspicion and ill-natured judgment which being a candidate entails. However, both in Kentucky, and especially in Texas, I was received with a warmth and heartiness that surprised me, while the Rough Riders’ reunion at San Antonio was delightful in every way.

Then came the five days wolf hunting in Oklahoma, and this was unalloyed pleasure, except for my uneasiness about Auntie Bye and poor little Sheffield. General Young, Dr. Lambert and Roly Fortescue were each in his own way just the nicest companions imaginable, my Texas hosts were too kind and friendly and open-hearted for anything. I want to have the whole party up at Washington next winter. The party got seventeen wolves, three coons, and any number of rattlesnakes. I was in at the death of eleven wolves. The other six wolves were killed by members of the party who were off with bunches of dogs in some place where I was not. I never took part in a run which ended in the death of a wolf without getting through the run in time to see the death. It was tremendous galloping over cut banks, prairie dog towns, flats, creek bottoms, everything. One run was nine miles long and I was the only man in at the finish except the professional wolf hunter Abernethy, who is a really wonderful fellow, catching the wolves alive by thrusting his gloved hands down between their jaws so that they cannot bite. He caught one wolf alive, tied up this wolf, and then held it on the saddle, followed his dogs in a seven-mile run and helped kill another wolf. He has a pretty wife and five cunning children of whom he is very proud, and introduced them to me, and I liked him much. We were in the saddle eight or nine hours every day, and I am rather glad to have thirty-six hours’ rest on the cars before starting on my Colorado bear hunt.