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importantly, the very presence of livestock hastened and facilitated a domesticated
and pastoral characterisation of the region very different from the 'wild' and 'savage'
landscape that predated their arrival. Combined, the physical presence of livestock
and the tame, pastoral landscape that these animals presupposed necessarily
precluded the place of those animals deemed 'threatening' to each (cf. Crosby 1986;
Gullo et al. 1998). Wolves, cougars and other 'vermin' were constructed as
fundamentally 'out of place' in this 'new' landscape, physically and symbolically
dis placed then re -placed by a regionally novel group of domesticated animals.
Demands were placed not only upon the defence of livestock from depredation by
wolves, but, significantly and perhaps of greater consequence, upon the defence of
this new meaning of place from any 'out of place' heresy (Cresswell 1996:9).
Livestock symbolised and signified a new ideological landscape within which wolves
had no place. As such, they had to go. Subsequently, bounties and wolf drives
became the standard policies and practices for addressing these heretical 'visitors
from the woods' (Byron-Curtiss 1976:10). Combined, they nearly succeeded in the
complete extermination of the wolf throughout greater New York state.
In the Adirondacks, wolves were under pressures similar to those described above,
especially along the region's outer, less mountainous and more heavily settled
periphery. However, the ruggedness of the mountainous terrain of the Adirondack
interior, the High Peaks region, precluded any significant presence of livestock and
heavy settlement and, for a period, wolves remained relatively abundant there. It
was only a matter of time, however, before the Adirondack wolves became victims to
a process remarkably similar to that described above yet displaced via a thoroughly
different set of conditions, re-placed by an entirely different kind of animal.
By the mid- to late nineteenth century, local economies based upon small-scale
timber and mineral extraction were on the decline. They were quickly being
replaced by an emerging low wage, service-based economy that catered to the ever-
increasing numbers of vacationers and recreationalists from New York City. Out of
this resource-based past, the Adirondacks emerged into what one author described
as a 'sportsman's [sic] paradise' (Murray 1869:19). Requisite to this transformation
of place was the continued physical presence of a new kind of animal resource, a
particular 'class' of animal whose presence in the landscape was demanded by the
thousands of urban 'sportsmen' that flocked to the region. The pursuit of 'game',
above all other Adirondack leisure opportunities (health, painting, hiking), emerged
as the lure that attracted the (male) urban adventurer to the region. Hunting and
fishing rapidly became the area's premier attraction, promoted enthusiastically by
travel brochures, guides and catalogues targeting this class of urban recreationalist.
Deer, in particular, became the target of choice for these 'gentleman' hunters whose
passion for 'the kill' was often ruthless and fanatical. 14 The following journal entry
by a pair of vacationing New York City hunters on the pursuit and killing of a deer
is typical:
We rowed up to her and when within a rod or two, I fired and wounded her.
…At length I entreated Tim to knock her in the head…. He forthwith took
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