It is hunting season and we hear and see the hunters around here.
We are not hunters. We have nothing against hunting. We just do not hunt, except for occasionally getting rid of a destructive, pesky varmint such as a groundhog or muskrat. Actually, I don’t know if bagging them is even considered hunting, but Joe used to like to shoot rats in a corn crib and shoot groundhogs.
My grandma Schumm really disliked groundhogs. Quite a few of them had burrowed under their old barn and she invited Joe to come over and shoot them any time he wanted. And he happily obliged.
My dad didn’t hunt and I don’t think that his father Carl was a hunter either. At least not during my lifetime.
But my grandpa Schumm was a hunter.
I found this photo of my grandpa, Cornelius Schumm, with three other men and the deer they shot. I do not know when the photo was taken. Grandpa was born in 1896 and it is hard to tell how old he was in the photo. Maybe someone recognizes the other men in the photo or recognizes the house. It would be interesting to know who they were. Who grandpa hunted with.
When we went through things at my mom’s house we found this old deer skin. It has a hole in it, likely from the bullet hole or arrow puncture. Perhaps it is one of the deer in the above photo.
Below is an old bow that belonged to my grandpa Schumm or maybe his father Louis. I do not know how to date something like this so it may be older than I think. It looks like it may have been homemade and maybe one of them made it. I do not know if it was even usable or perhaps it was a toy. It is interesting, nevertheless.
The farther back in time you go the more families had to rely on wild game for their food.
My grandpa Schumm’s grandfather, Louis Breuninger (1819-1890), was a hunter. He had this very interesting black powder hunting pouch with two gun powder flasks and a cloth pouch with some shot still inside. The large pouch appears to be made from an animal claw. Maybe from a bear? He lived in Wisconsin for several years before moving to the Schumm area, so it could be from an animal up there. One of the powder flasks is made of metal and the other appears to be bone. [Note: Thanks to a reader who informed me that the pouch is made from deer legs. Good to know!]
There is some decorative braiding on the leather strap.
I also have a pair of mittens, made from some animal skin.
The whole collection:
Some real pioneer items!
Dad did a little hunting for rabbits and pheasants and your dad and Vernie and me did a little. Vernie once shot a flying pheasant with a rifle. I couldn’t hit much with a shotgun. I don’t think dad was much of a shot either. He had a sawed-off double barrel 12 gauge that would scatter the shot to give a bigger shot pattern. I think your dad used to trap for muskrat and mink when he was a teenager.
Poor mom would clean all the game and fish we caught. I quit hunting when I got married since I would have to clean them myself.
Thank you for that information! I did not know the Millers did any hunting or that there used to be mink around. Thanks for writing!