day in passing. The number of these animals, considering the multitude of their enemies, is truly wonderful. The large gray wolves kill many during the winter, and when the snow is deep, large flocks are slaughtered by the Indians, whether they need them or not. They make it a rule to kill every animal that comes within reach, without a thought of future scarcity, fearing, as some say, that should they refuse to kill as opportunity offers, though it be at a time when food is no object, then the deer-spirit would be offended at the refusal of his gifts and would not send any deer when they are in want. Probably, however, they are moved simply by an instinctive love of killing on which their existence depends, and these wholesale slaughters are to be regarded as only too much of a good thing. Formerly there were large flocks about St. Michael, but since the introduction of repeating rifles they have wholly vanished. Hundreds were surrounded in passes among the hills, were killed and left lying where they fell, not even the hides being taken. Often a band of moose or reindeer is overtaken in deep snow, when they are easily killed with clubs by Indians on snowshoes, who will simply cut out their tongues, and leave the rest of the carcass to be eaten by
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist