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p. 256


After that time I started to hunt on the top of a mountain. There were four tipis of us. Vicientito, Luna, myself, Victor, Juan Jose, so many there were of us. We started away hunting deer. I went in advance with two of the young men and went up to the head of the canyon at Ensenada. We had only one gun. Each boy had a horse. They found a cow and a calf which they killed and brought back to me in the evening. I killed a fawn which I brought home.

Early the next morning I started with the camp, stopping about noon. The young men went out hunting there, killing a big antelope buck. When they got back, one of them said, "I killed a big antelope buck." "Hurry up, and get it," I told him. He went out after it with a horse and brought it in. The next day I moved my camp to the top of the mountain. I went to the top of the ridge where I could look back and saw the rest coming way in the distance. I camped by the stream. When they caught up with me my wife gave them meat which they ate, feeling so happy that they shouted as they ate it.

The next day we moved the camp to the top of the mountain east of the Chama where the railroad now comes up. We camped on the mountain side. When it was night they sang for deer until midnight. I moved my camp to the top of the next hill. "I am going to camp right here," I told them. The others went off hunting. I went by myself. Luna killed two big bucks; Vicientito killed one; Juan Jose killed one; I killed three. We brought home the seven deer. The next day we moved our camp, although it was raining pretty hard, and stopped on a flat by the river.

Early the next day Vicientito said, "Hurry, get things ready." Five of us started out together on foot, going to a round-topped hill at the head of the canyon. There was a lake there from the side of which we started up the mountain. On the other side of the lake from us there was an elk. Looking this way about the lake we saw a number of them. When we ran toward them they scattered. Vicientito said, "Two of you go around the lake this way. One of you sit down there. One of you stay there and wait." It was Luna he told to stay here. He placed me in the canyon. "You stay here, he told me. I sat there. Then he said, "I am going up close to one of the elk." He started toward them and I heard two shots. He killed it. I saw the bunch that had been at the junction of the canyons running over toward me. One of them was standing in a little flat, head toward me. I shot it in the neck. It was a female. It ran this way up the hill, where there was nothing but timber through which it passed. I shot again and

p. 257

all the elk ran back. Without hiding I ran straight toward them. When I was near them, half way up the hill, a big elk ran after me. They stopped right there, and I shot. That one did not move and I shot again at another, the biggest one, firing at his hip. He turned back and ran toward me, one of his hind legs swinging about. Brush about four feet high was standing on both sides. I stood there with him coming right at me. When he jumped I shot him in the shoulder. As I jumped sidewise, he landed right where I had been sitting. As he passed by, the blood was flowing from his shoulder. Then the elk went toward the east where Luna was sitting. It was pretty steep right in front of him. He commenced to shoot and hit four of them. Seven of the elk ran off through the thick brush. We all came together there and commenced to butcher the elk. When we had finished butchering, we built a fire and ate some of the meat.

We went home and the next day moved our camp near that place on the edge of the mountain. We brought up all the meat and the bones. Having remained there four days, the others went to hunt along the river but I remained at home. Luna killed seven which they brought to camp. We dried much meat and carried it home with us to Tierra Amarilla. We started away immediately to Cuchilla where they were to hold a feast. For that purpose we all came there. The Pueblo Indians brought fruits there and the Mexicans came with wagons and on horseback. They had a rooster race. After the feast was over we moved camp back again to Tierra Amarilla where we and the Ute remained in separate camps.

Next: 68. A Deer Hunt