The Mighty Wapiti

Dedicated to those hardy

and robust ridge running seekers

of the mighty wapiti.

This pamphlet came from my grandfather, Paul Temple of Dillon, Montana.

Paul Temple

  • Be sure to get so well oiled the night before you start for the hunting lodge, that you can't hold your head up for several days.

This is riding into the elk camp in the early 1950's. My grandfather
is the last rider in this photograph.

  • Never leave blazed trails, you may get lost.

  • Always wait to sight your gun until you are out on the trail.

  • Never attempt to shoot at close range, always wait until the animal gets up and is three to six hundred yards away before shooting.

This is my grandfather, Paul Temple on the left,
and others snake hunting near Dillon, Montana in the late 1920's.

  • Always travel with the wind, smoke cigarettes, sing a song occasionally, this gives the game a chance.

  • When your partner gets out of sight of you, whistle for him, if he does not answer, holler like hell, then if no answer, shoot four or five tiems.

  • It is always good practice when leaving your horses, to tie them in thick timber where they cannot be found by other hunters.

  • Upon returning to camp early in the afternoon be sure to burn up all excess wood as it will make your buddies sore to see a large pile on hand.

  • As soon as you hit camp in the evening, be sure to take your bunk fatigue and stay there, as you will only be in the way of others, who will gladly get the evening meal, feed the horses, etc.

  • Be sure to raise hell at night as the other fellows don't mind the racket, this will keep them wide awake in order to get an early start the next day.

  • Last, but not least, take only the two hind quarters of elk to camp. Never help pack game out, as you will loose a lot of hunting time, dodge all game wardens and forest officers.

Left to Right: Paul Temple, Earl Talent, and Jack Keenan
November, 1927

They mounted the bull elk and I think that the local butcher shop got my grandfather out of trouble with the fee to the taxidermist. The above photograph is of the mount in the butcher shop in Dillon, Montana.

The mount was there until approximately the early 1950's when they donated it to the Bearverhead County Museum. For many years when my family would visit Dillon, I would proudly look up at the elk mount with a little paper slip with my grandfather's name on it. In 1978, when we were first married, I asked someone at the museum that if I made a donation then could I get the mount and they agreed. Unfortunately we did not have a place to display him and so I forego that adventure.

In March of 2003, I was coming back from California and decided to take a break in Dillon. I drove by my grandmother's old home and then stopped by the museum. The same old question came up and they told me to write them a letter. I wrote the letter and forgot about it. They pleasantly surprised me to receive a response and for a donation the elk mount came back to an heir of Paul Temple.

Although my sister, Gayle Temple Sheldon is not real "big" on taxidermy mounts she told me that this was one that they would take care of for the future. The mount is now on display at The Meadowlark Gallery in Billings, Montana. On the way back to Billings, I stopped and had Fred King in Bozeman who is an offical scorer for the Boone and Crockett Club and to my pleasure it made the minimum. There was a slight bit of controversy as to where it was killed but it was not a contender for the top slots so it was not a concern to us. I just thought that it was memorable to have a bull from the 1920's hit the book.

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