Notes transferred from Eular Thorne’s file

The Alpena News, February 15, 1934

Two to Five Daily Was Eular Thorne’s Deer Kill

To the Editor:

            The writer of this is very much interested, and pleased to read in your valuable paper, of the doings of some of our old residents, in the old days and at present I am much interested in what Col. Harry S. New says about some of our old hunters, in your issue of Feb. 3, 1934, and in particular the compliments he passes on to our Beloved old hunter Lewis M. Pake, which is well deserved.

Mr. New says as far as he knows Lew Pake is the last leaf on the tree.  But I want to say to Mr. New that there is another leaf on that tree and that other leaf was there before any of those whom Mr. New mentions.  So I will introduce this other leaf, Eular Thorne, Sr. Post Office address Lachine, Mich., R-1.

Yes Mr. New I have hunted that territory and other, before any of those you mention were in the business of hunting there.  And when you mention the Benjamins, I knew them well - and more than that I hunted on the hunting grounds of the famous old hunter Chase Benjamin around Hubbard Lake before there was a stick of timber cut there.  He and I were particular friends.

            I hunted the Turtle Lake country a number of years before others (except Indians) came there to hunt.  The first I remember was Bob Gorman and Joe Kurtz, they camped near where the Turtle Lake Club house now stands.  And I think they were there one or two seasons when along came Buck Beaufore.  They did most of their hunting with dogs, and shot them in the water.

            I never hunted on their hunting grounds, nor did they hunt on my grounds, except by invitation, which was quite often; they would carry my light canoe from the river to the lake.  I handled the canoe; they put out the dogs and very soon there was plenty a doing.  We would take out any where from two to five deer a day.

            Somewhere in the late seventies I quit the business as a market hunter, because there were too many at the business.  All you could sell at last was the saddle with the hide, and all you could get for that was eight cents per pound.  Then what happened to the rest of it?  Why we ate what we could.  We paid the tote teamsters with four quarters for taking the saddles to town.  The rest stayed there and was wasted.  Tons of it.

            I often think of the words I said to myself when I quit, “The time will come, old Boy, when you will wish you had some of that nice deer meat you left in the woods to spoil.  And how true I find it in these later years.

            But don’t think for one minute that I quit hunting when I quit as a market hunter.  I have bought my license each year, since they first came out.  The last dated Nov. 8, 1933 (Issued by James Robarge); Age 83 – and if I live that long, the next will be dated 1934 – and I am still using the old Winchester 44 which was patented in May, 1873, and was delivered in Alpena in June, 1873.  And I still knock the heads off of gophers and king birds.

            A friend asks me, “Did you ever go over to the Turtle Lake grounds since the Club was organized?”

            Oh, yes, many times.  I drove saw logs through their grounds quite a number of years on the Upper South and I went many times in the hunting season in that part of the country to hunt deer.

            In 1932 in early fall, I drove a friend (Yes, I drive the old bus yet) to the club house, but stayed only a few minutes as it was evening, and I wanted to show my friend some deer in the big field.  I handed the binoculars to him and told him to count then, and after a short time looking he said, “There are over two hundred of them, and they are still coming from the woods.” (Oh, what a grand sight.)

            The last hunting I did on or near the Turtle Lake grounds was in the season of 1932.  I pulled out early in the morning, went south and west into Oscoda County to their southwest corner, loaded a nice buck on the running board and was home early that evening.  I am not saying who killed it, or where but my old bus brought home the Bacon.

            Now a few words about the one buck law – it was good, and has served its purpose and should be done away with (it’s over ripe).  There are many reasons why it should be done away with, besides the careless, thoughtless quick trigger fellow who shoots before he knows what it is, and then when he finds he has shot a doe or a fawn or in some cases a man, he takes a quick sneak (And sneak is right).

            But there are many other reasons which I have not got space for here as I have already taken up too much space – and I thank you Mr. Editor for this space and I thank the Good Lord that He has preserved me in body and mind at this good old age, that I am able to see, and to remember, and to write of things long gone by. 

            I would be pleased to meet any of my old friends or others who would care to call at my home on US-23 one and one half miles north of Keating’s corner.  The same old timer.

Eular Thorne, Sr.

Lachine, Mich.


See Lew Pake story from the Alpena News Dated April 1934.  This article apparently incited Eular's letter to the editor.