I am writing this experience to share with you not
only to record it but also to relive it again while I share it with
you. It always makes it easier to write when I am writing an
experience to share with all of you.
The last part of November rolled around and Claudius
and I decided that it was time for our yearly Deer hunt up on the
Burgos ranch in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains. We usually
invited two or three other hunters to go with us. It seemed rather
selfish for just the two of us to go alone.
That year Grandpa Esaias Haynie was living here in
Dublan for a few months so of course I invited him to go with us.
Claudius invited Jerald Lynn Taylor to go with us. Don Trino De La
Cruz had asked me several times to take him along on the next hunt so
he was included. I went to see Emilio Burgos to get permission and he
said that he would go along with us in his truck since it had been
some time since he had been up to the ranch He had to take provisions
to his Uncle Don Panchito Peña (Actually he was his mother's Uncle)
who was staying at the ranch looking after the cattle at that
We made plans and did a lot of the packing on Saturday.
Monday morning early we finished packing up and were ready to go by
the time Emilio came by to put some of our load in his Pickup. Dad
Haynie rode with Emilio in his pickup so he could visit with him and
get acquainted with him.
We arrived shortly afternoon and pulled off the main
road onto a little Mesa above the Campo Santo where we usually left
our vehicles. Don Panchito had not been notified of our coming so he
was not there to meet us as on other occasions. We decided to all walk
down to the ranch and carry our beds and rifles in case Don Panchito
was not at the ranch and we would have to wait until the next day to
get our camp packed up and down to the Ranch House on the river. Dad
Haynie said that he was not going to carry his bed down and would take
the chance of having it brought down. I got out our 8mm movie camera
and began to film the Procession. Dad Haynie went first carrying his
rifle saying that he would hunt down the next ridge away from the
trail. Emilio led out carrying his big heavy bed wrapped in a canvas
on his back. Don Trino followed him with a similar roll only it was
longer and tied up with a rope making a loop to hang over his
shoulder. Jerald Lynn and Claudius followed with their sleeping bags
over their shoulders carrying their rifles. I filmed them as they all
trudged out of sight down the trail then I got my sleeping bag and
rifle and still carrying the camera I followed them down.
Don Panchito had come in from checking the cattle and
being ever alert saw us coming high up on the trail. When we arrived
he had two mules saddled and three pack mules ready to go up after our
camp. I went back up with Don Panchito to help him pack up our camp
and bring all of our stuff down to the ranch house. We got back about
an hour before sundown and Claudius and I set up camp under a big tree
near the Ranch House.
Dad Haynie came into camp about sundown and said that
he had enjoyed his leisurely walk down the ridge. He said that he was
really enjoying being in the mountains again. When he was living in
Pacheco he had ridden all of this country hunting and looking for
After supper we all sat around the campfire and visited
and talked. Dad Haynie and Don Panchito had fun getting acquainted.
They both had a lot of stories to tell. Don Panchito told of when he
had a string of thirty Pack Mules and was hauling supplies and
machinery and anything else the mines needed. He told us that his
mules were very well trained and that each afternoon when he unpacked
them they would all line up in their order to be unpacked and receive
a handful of corn as a reward for a good days work. In the morning he
would call them in and tell them to "Formense" (form up) and they
would all line up each facing his own pack. He would pack them all up
each in his turn starting from the lead to the last mule. Then he
would call to them "hagan hilo" (line out) and they would all take the
trail in their order and travel until just afternoon when he would
stop for the day. He spent the afternoon hours busy sewing. He always
carried with him his material that he was sewing and working on.
Usually an Aparejo or a saddle or some Teguas that he always wore.
He told of one trip when he had supplies and some
machinery to complete his load. One piece of machinery was well over
200 kilos and to load it he had to hang it in a tree with a block and
tackle and place his best and strongest mule under it and let it down
onto the Aparejo with the block and tackle and secure it there. At the
end of the days journey he would place the mule under a convenient
tree and raise it off the mule with a block and tackle again. He would
do this each day until he reached the mine where he had to relieve the
mule with a block and tackle again.
Dad Haynie asked Don Panchito it he knew Lencho Estrada
and both Emilio and Don Panchito said that they knew him well. Dad
told them that years ago when they lived in Pacheco Lencho and his
sister had come to Pacheco traveling through. They had been orphaned
during the revolution and were looking for work to support themselves.
Dad and Mother Haynie took them in and they lived with the family for
a few years.
When Lencho was about 15 years old he asked Dad Haynie
if he could go out on his own and build himself a ranch. He said that
he liked the Hole country and that is where he wanted to go. Dad gave
him some horses and cattle and supplies and he and his sister went
down into the Hole and built a nice adobe ranch house and established
themselves there. Dad ended his story by telling us that when he had
left the ranch in Oaxaca that he had sent some mares and a Pinto
Stallion up the river to Lencho. Don Panchito and Emilio said that
they had seen the good mares and the big pinto Stallion. Lencho was
their neighbor the Hole being just over the high ridge that separates
the Gavilan River from the Hole. Horse back it is about three hours
from the ranch on the Gavilan over to Lencho's ranch down in the Hole.
The Trail is very steep on both sides of the ridge.
The next morning we had an early breakfast and packed
up our camp. We took the main trail that goes up the canyon to the
high mesas about half way up to the north end of the Blues. We camped
at our favorite campsite that Don Panchito called Campo Bowman because
we had camped there many times before. It is located at the head of
the canyon with a nice cold spring with plenty of water. It has easy
access to all of the country. To the northwest was the Mesa Bonita and
to the south and west was the Carrizo Mesa and the big Mesa de La
Loba. To the east was the winding road coming down from the high North
End of the Blues. From Campo Bowman we had good hunting in any
direction without having to climb in or out of any deep canyons.
That evening we spent setting up camp and fixing tents
and places to sleep for everyone. Don Panchito belled the two main
horses and drove all of the animals out on the Mesa Bonita where there
was good feed. The next morning before it was light we were all up and
preparing breakfast. Don Panhcito had left earlier to get the animals
and before it was light he brought them all back and put them in a
rope corral that we had ready. We all caught our mounts for the day
and saddled up. We ate a good breakfast that had to last us until
evening and before sun up we all rode out in different directions.
Claudius and Jerald Lynn went to rim around the Mesa
Bonita. Dad Haynie said that he would wander around the country east
and enjoy the country. He was interested in just enjoying riding
around and not really serious about hunting for Deer. For years he had
supplied his family with fresh Venison and jerky. Even on the ranch in
Oaxaca Sonora he had always had plenty of venison and Jerky so he said
that he would let us do the hunting this trip.
Don Trino said that he would rather hunt on foot so he
chose to go south and hunt the east rim of the Carrizo Mesa. I left to
go southwest and hunt the Mesa de la Loba. Don Panchito said that he
would stay in camp and finish sewing some Teguas he was making to
replace his old ones. He had nearly worn the others out running over
the rocky hills after the horses and mules. I marveled how he could go
out in the dark of the early morning and find the animals and drive
them all back to camp, running in the dark on the Mesas and the rugged
I rode up onto the Mesa enjoying the early morning
sunrise as the sun's rays found a way through tall Pine Trees making
bright patches of golden sunlight on the grass and Johnny Jump Ups. My
little mule was enjoying it as much as I and would grab a bite of
grass or leaves as he passed along the trail. I turned him down to a
little bench just under the east rim of the big Mesa and rode along
just under the rim.. I knew from experience that the big bucks liked
to lay down just under rim so that they could quickly disappear either
up or down when danger approached.
My little mule pricked his ears forward at a big
Solitario (Solitary Male Cholugo) that stopped a minute to look us
over before disappearing down a big hole under the Rim Rock. The next
time he flicked his ears I looked and saw a big White Tailed Buck get
up quietly and trot up away from us probably thinking he had not been
seen. The white flag of his tail was down as he was sneaking directly
away. I quickly slipped my 3006 Rifle out of the scabbard and stepped
off my mule. The only available target was the Buck's hind end as he
was about to go out of sight among the trees. I raised my rifle and
aimed at the white patch just below the brown lowered flag. I shot him
and he simply faltered a little in his trotting and crumpled down to
the ground. As I cleaned him I could see that the bullet had gone
between his hind quarters through his stomach and chest area and come
out his throat . It had actually gone through a part of his heart. I
finished preparing him and tied him behind my saddle and continued on
my way around the big Mesa. I had to climb out several times to the
top of the mesa when it became to rough to continue just under the
rim. I stopped a few times to sit on an overhanging cliff to survey
the steep hillside beneath. After a while I would roll a rock down to
make sure there wasn't a big buck laying down in the brush below.
The day passed speedily and my ride was pleasant and
peaceful. I was approaching the end of the Mesa above our camp just at
sundown and again my little mule alerted me and I saw a long line of
big Turkey Gobblers trotting along the rim hurrying to get to their
roost before dark. I followed along carefully and watched them fly
into two big pine trees that stood close together just under the rim
of the Mesa. I waited a while until it got dark and then approached
the trees and tied my white handkerchief to one of the trees.
I could see the gleam of the Campfire as I started down
the trail to camp just down about 500 hundred yards from where the
Turkeys were roosting.
Everyone was busy eating supper as I dismounted and
joined them. Don Panchito untied the Deer and unsaddled my mule and
turned him loose to join the other animals which he did at a trot
sniffing his way along the trail where they had gone. I soon heard him
bray his loud greeting as he joined the others on the hillside.
As I ate I told them all about the line of Big Gobblers
that I had seen go to roost. Claudius was the only one that was
interested in going with me up to see if we could get some Turkeys.
After supper we took our rifles and Claudius' two celled flash light
and wound our way through the starlit night up the steep trail to the
tree where I had tied my handkerchief.
Claudius flashed his light up into the trees. We
searched moving around at different angles and finally we could see a
big Gobbler peering down at the light. I raised my rifle and could
barely get my sights as Claudius held the light steady on the Turkey.
I shot, Boooommm!!! Down came the turkey and I was on him before he
could flop very far down the hill. I took the light and found another
turkey that was looking down into the light. Claudius shot and the
loud boom seemed to echo back and forth from one hillside to the
other. Claudius had a time catching up with the flopping turkey as it
was flopping and rolling down the steep hill. By the time he got back
I had located another turkey and he shot him. As he came flopping down
we heard two big Gobblers fly out of the trees into the dark
We continued in this way until all of the Turkeys had
either been shot down or had flown out into the night. Now we had the
problem of getting these heavy Gobblers back to camp. We finally
decided to hang all but two up in a low tree nearby and come back in
the morning with a Pack Mule to get them. We each took one turkey and
our rifles and went carefully down the steep trail to camp. As we came
into camp Dad Haynie laughingly said. "Boy you guys really created a
Sixteenth of September fireworks."
We sat around the fire and drank Herb Tea and relaxed a
while after our long eventful day. Dad Haynie told us the he had seen
quite a few Deer but had not bothered to shoot. He said that he had
found a big Wolf that had died recently from Poison.
The next morning Don Panchito and I went up to get the
Turkeys while Claudius prepared breakfast. When we got back and began
to skin out the Turkeys. Dad Haynie came over and after counting the
Turkeys suggested that we had better go home today to take care of all
the meat so It would not spoil. Everyone was agreeable for we had
killed nine Turkeys and two Deer.
We ate breakfast which included plenty of Tenderloin of
Venison and Fried Turkey breast, We gave Don Panchito two turkeys and
a big hind quarter of venison for his camp meat. He could dry most of
it and use it along as he needed it. On the way out we gave Emilio a
turkey and some venison for him to take home.
When we got home we gave Jerald Lynn and Don Trino each
a turkey and some Venison to take home. Dad Haynie took some venison
to make it into Jerky. He cured two shoulders with salt and red chile
and hung them on the North side of the house where they were living.
He later would go out and shave off thin slices of Jerky to eat and to
make delicious gravy with. As I remember that year we had Thanksgiving
dinner at Claudius' home with plenty of Turkey and everything that
goes with it. We have Movie film of Dad and Mother Haynie going into
Claudius' house carrying dishes of food.
That hunt was a very memorable one because we shared it
with Dad Haynie, Jerald Lynn and Don Trino. Don Panchito always made
our hunts enjoyable and successful when ever he went with us. It has
been my experience that everything is much more enjoyable when we
share our experiences with those we love. This time with Father Esaias
Haynie was especially enjoyable because we got to know him in a
relaxed peaceful setting.