One Wolf Gone
Thus reads the headline in the Dec. 31, 1896, issue of the Platte Valley Lyre, a weekly newspaper published in Saratoga in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The news item reads:
Will Turnbull surprised our people Sunday evening by riding into town with a monster gray wolf on the saddle behind him. Turnbull set a trap not far from his slaughter house in the Burdick pasture last week for the purpose of catching coyotes, which had been annoying him.
On Sunday, he and Chet Cluff visited the trap and found it holding a ferocious gray wolf. The animal had been in the trap about two days and had consumed a large quantity of the bait – a dead horse.
Turnbull says it presented a terrible appearance, and he could hear the snapping of its jaws for 50 feet. He had several of his fox hounds and a staghound with him, and it was about all he could do, with the aid of Cluff, to hold the dogs back from almost certain death.
Turnbull’s only weapon was a six-shooter, and with a dog under each arm and one between his feet, he undertook to kill the entrapped wolf. It was quite a task, and Turnbull fired no less than six shots into the animal’s head before it fell. The big wolf weighed 95 pounds.
With all the news of the wolf problems in northern Colorado, especially around Walden, just 60 miles south of Saratoga, a lot of wolf stories have been popping up in my hometown. Coming Postcards will include several of the early tales of wolves in Wyoming.