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17 Miracles


shalamabobbi

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Since that tragedy was based around an early winter storm, I would say snakes were not active at the time.

I would think that if animals were visible they would have taken a shot at them. Are there journal entries or stories of animals along the trail?

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I echo fly's thoughts on the issue of snakes. Snakes hibernate once it get's cold so they would not have been a potential food source in a winter storm unless someone happened to accidently stumble into a den.

As far as wolves, i really have no idea but i'm wondering if they would have been almost impossible to hunt under the circumstances since they are in packs and it would take an excellent shot, given the technology of the day, to take one down without getting attacked by the other wolves.

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Since that tragedy was based around an early winter storm, I would say snakes were not active at the time.

I would think that if animals were visible they would have taken a shot at them. Are there journal entries or stories of animals along the trail?

I am going on the movie only which depicted wolf encounters being rather common. Maybe that was simply creative license.

According to the movie the leaders knew that they would run out of food short of reaching the valley well before winter arrived while snakes were still out and about.

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Does anyone know why the pioneers did not kill and eat snakes or wolves?

Was the survivalist mentality simply unknown in that day?

These were not frontiersmen, they were English, Welsh, etc., townsmen: miners, shopkeepers, maybe a few farmers. While I'm sure they picked up some of the pioneer skills needed for the most basic "survivalism", they were not skilled hunters, and probably had few firearms with them in any case. Recall, they were walking because they couldn't afford wagons and had little or nothing to carry, anyway.

I haven't seen the film, so I can't say if it has anything like verisimilitude, but wolves would be prowling around looking for food (which they would consider the pioneers to be). Red Riding Hood's mom was right: stay out of the forest—the wolves will kill you. Whether any of the Saints in the companies could shoot them for food is a very different question.

Lehi

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I am going on the movie only which depicted wolf encounters being rather common. Maybe that was simply creative license.

According to the movie the leaders knew that they would run out of food short of reaching the valley well before winter arrived while snakes were still out and about.

According to the accounts i've read, they were counting on BY having food 'way-stations' along the way. It was how handcart companies made it, since there was no way for them to carry enough food to survive all the way to the valley.

The problem as i understood it, besides the weather, was that BY thought all the handcart companies were through and shut the way-stations down for the season, thus eliminating that food source without the handcart pioneers knowing it wouldn't be there.

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Thanks bb and Lehi - I guess lack of skill with a gun even if the accuracy of the technology were capable of the task would be the clincher.

According to the accounts i've read, they were counting on BY having food 'way-stations' along the way.

That would explain ignoring the snakes.

Thanks for the replies..

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Thanks bb and Lehi - I guess lack of skill with a gun even if the accuracy of the technology were capable of the task would be the clincher.

Let's not get too chronocentric here. XIX gunsmiths were more than capable of making weapons that could knock the eye out of a fly at 300 yards. But then, as now, there was a spectrum of quality on the market.

It was not the technology, but the quality, of the assumed rifle that would define the limit of the shooter's ability to put steel lead (no EPA to hassle them back then) on target reliably. This points back to their poverty. It would surprise me to learn that there were more than a few firearms among 1,000 pioneers in the Willie and Martin companies, and shock me if even one of them was of anything remotely like "high quality".

Further, I believe it was only after the 1856 tragedies that there were provisioning posts established along the way. The handcarts were redesigned, too, making them stronger and more reliable. They started lubricating the axles after that, too, which made things run much more smoothly and reduced wear substantially. Wear was one of the primary reasons the carts broke down.

The fact that they lost their oxen (used to pull the common trains) required that each cart haul 100 pounds more than the pioneers had expected to drag/push, and that was also a major factor in these companies' slow trek.

Lehi

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