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

A Turkey Hunt at Pine Knot

White House, November 4, 1906.

Just a line to tell you what a nice time we had at Pine Knot. Mother was as happy as she always is there, and as cunning and pretty as possible. As for me, I hunted faithfully through all three days, leaving the house at three o’clock one day, at four the next, and at five the next, so that I began my hunts in absolute night; but fortunately we had a brilliant moon on each occasion. The first two days were failures. I did not see a turkey, and on each occasion when everybody was perfectly certain that I was going to see a turkey, something went wrong and the turkey did not turn up. The last day I was out thirteen hours, and you may imagine how hungry I was when I got back, not to speak of being tired; though fortunately most of the time I was rambling around on horseback, so I was not done out. But in the afternoon at last luck changed, and then for once everything went right. The hunter who was with me marked a turkey in a point of pines stretching down from a forest into an open valley, with another forest on its farther side. I ran down to the end of the point and hid behind a bush. He walked down through the pines and the turkey came out and started to fly across the valley, offering me a beautiful side shot at about thirty-five yards—just the distance for my ten-bore. I killed it dead, and felt mighty happy as it came tumbling down through the air.