I Ain’t Never Shot me a Horse Before – the Story of Hunter Roy Eykamp

I Ain't Never Shot me a Horse Before - the Story of Hunter Roy Eykamp
I Ain't Never Shot me a Horse Before – the Story of Hunter Roy Eykamp

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Early this year, I attended the birthday party for 100 year old Roy Eykamp, in New South Wales, Australia.

Roy Eykamp, when he was young, learned that practical jokes can have lasting effects.

On the Eykamp farm near Quirindi, New South Wales, 100-year-old Roy told me about his life experiences. On the family farm where he was raised in South Dakota, they were using horses during the depression. He was about 15 at the time  (1932). One of the last horses was getting very old and sick. He needed help to get to his feet. The horse had to be put down.

Roy was already an accomplished shot at 15. His father was a bit sentimental. The horse had given long and faithful service. The horse was suffering. Roy's father, Will, asked Roy to shoot the horse for him. Roy's father handed Roy his brother's (Roy's uncle) Winchester lever action .25-20. Roy had shot the rifle before.

Roy went out in the pasture to shoot the horse.

As Roy got close to the horse, a car came down the county road that went through the farm. On the other side of the dirt road was a slough that was not mowed. It was fall, and the slough was a good place to hunt pheasants.

The car was not local. It stopped and the driver rolled down the window. The driver asked Roy if they could hunt pheasants in the slough across the road.

Roy said no, they could not. They saved those pheasants for their own hunting.

Then Roy conceived his practical joke.

Dropping one corner of his mouth to appear as imbecilic as possible, closing his eyes a slight amount, and slurring his words a little, speaking slowly and deliberately, he said:

“I ain't never shot a horse before. I think I'll shoot me a horse.”

The .25-20 came up to his shoulder. The horse was only 20 feet away. Roy knew exactly where to aim on the horses head for an instant death.

Bang! The horse fell dead.

Roy said the wheels on the strange car never stopped spinning in the gravel until a quarter mile down the road.

20 years later, Roy was hunting wolves from the air for bounty in Canada. Roy did not raise animals on his farm in South Dakota, so he had time to go to Canada in the winter, and hunt wolves. Harley Rauch, the South Dakota aviator, was the pilot. Rauch had pioneered the concept.  About 1953, Harley asked Roy to be his shooter. In Canada, a wealthy sportsman from Chicago was giving a banquet in the area, and all American hunters were invited.

Roy was hunting wolves from the air for bounty in Canada.
Roy was hunting wolves from the air for bounty in Canada.

Roy decided to attend the banquet. During the proceedings, one of the Chicago hunters stood up and told the story about how they had been asking to hunt pheasants in South Dakota, 20 years earlier. Some imbecilic farm boy shot a horse, right in front of them, for no reason. They were lucky to escape with their lives.

Roy considered standing up and saying, “I was that farm boy”. He decided discretion was the better part of valor, and said nothing.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 6 thoughts on “I Ain’t Never Shot me a Horse Before – the Story of Hunter Roy Eykamp

    1. Sadly, a few years ago, I had to do the same thing. My son’s step grandfather came to me ask me to put down an old horse in the nearby pasture. He just couldn’t bring himself to do it. I took my new AR and did the job for him. So, I am one of those farm imbeciles too, I guess. Most people don’t understand putting an animal out of it’s suffering as easily as possible and that requires a firearm most times.

      1. Never had to put a horse down, but had to some city pets. It still hurts. Always have thought horses were very interesting. But raised in the city. Did go to my brother in laws parents farm. They let me ride Lindy, to my hearts content. One day the bull had broken out through his fence, he was at the nearby fence. Lindy saw that bull and I had a FAST ride back to the barn. Unsaddled her and let her take it from there.I was a 10 year old city girl. No I didn’t pee my pants, but I got back to the farmhouse real quick. Needless to say they knew what to do. I still don’t know what that was. But the whole experience was a joy, and even now a great memory.

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