Panther Strikes Fear Into Homesteading Hunter

Homesteading hunter gets a rude awakening when he realizes he's about to become a panther's next meal.

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My great-grandfather, he claimed, was afraid of no man or beast-except a panther. If a panther could tear up and destroy a choice team, he asked, what in the world would it do to a man?

One time during his travels he took time out to try for a deer. Since deer hunting requires great patience and quiet, this homesteading hunter lay face down beside a log near a run. He fell asleep and woke to discover he was being covered with leaves by a panther which probably thought he was dead. He lay very quiet for fear the panther would discover his find was still alive. When the panther had him well hidden, the animal sauntered off to scream for his mate.

Great-grandfather lit out. From a safe distance, he looked back to see the two panthers spring on the pile of leaves and begin tearing it apart.

If Great-grandfather had been there, he could never have told me this tale.

Doris Virginia Reed
Washburn, Missouri


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.