So I concluded that the cunning varments
had seen the twig bent, and had torn the rest, to make us believe a buck had been feeling the boughs with his antlers."
Baynard Rush Hall, writing under the pen name Robert Carlton, for example, describes his love of rifles and their use in Indiana territory: Let none think we western people follow rifle shooting, however, for mere sport; that would be nearly as ignoble as shot gun idleness[.] The rifle procures, at certain seasons, the only meat we ever taste; it defends our homes from wild animals and saves our corn fields from squirrels and our hen-roosts from foxes, owls, opossums and other "varments
." With it we kill our beeves and our hogs, and cut off our fowls' heads: do all things in fact, of the sort with it, where others use an axe, or a knife, or that far east savagism, the thumb and finger.