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FISHING AND HUNTING



According to old timers, tens of thousands of salmon were in these western streams around 1887. When the 'stage' forded a creek between Olympia and Montesano during the dog-salmon run, Kate Murhard says the fish were so thick they could scarcely get out of the way of the horses' feet.

Bud Loomis, insists there were a thousand trout then to one now. He says:

"Jim Newbury would go out and get the limit (40 pounds) in two hours. They averaged a pound apiece. Beecher Brent caught 75 or so in one day in Stevens Creek, but they were smaller. It takes three to four years for a trout to grow up."

Gust Murhard used to stretch a net in the Humptulips and catch an occasional salmon for home use. He also set a box-trap in a small creek on his place and caught trout. However, after a wise coon discovered the trap and robbed it several days in succession. Gust removed it.

The first pioneers used mainly elk meat and venison and shared with one another. There were no hunting regulations. Men killed elk and deer of either sex and of any age. Later they raised their own cattle, sheep, and hogs, and did their own butchering. Until the townsite became populated, there was little need for a butcher shop.

Pigeons also were plentiful in elderberry season. Murhards had plenty of pigeon pie. Also many pheasants baked in a bean pot with strips of bacon inserted under the skin of the breast. One man near Axford killed some two hundred pheasants in a season and preserved them in brine. Other Axford settlers did likewise.