How Wolf-Catching Began
John Reeves Abernathy (1876-1941) was born in Bosque County, Texas. Within a few years, his father moved the family to Nolan County, Texas (slightly southwest of Fort Worth), so the senior Abernathy could go into the cattle business.
By the age of 15, Jack “invented” his method for capturing a wolf alive. Jack was riding with a couple of his greyhounds whom he used for hunting. One of the wolves they were pursuing turned to slash at the dog that was gaining on him. Jack was riding close behind. That particularly dog was a favorite of Jack’s. Without thinking, he leapt from his horse and landed close enough to the wolf to thrust a fist toward the wolf and soundly landed his punch directly in the wolf’s snarling mouth. Somewhat to Jack’s amazement, his fist kept the wolf’s jaws from closing and caused the struggling animal to submit.
When a hunting companion caught up with Jack, he freed Jack’s hand, and they bound the wolf’s muzzle with wire. The wolf’s legs were tied, and he was packed on to the back of Jack’s horse. When they arrived back at the ranch, they weighed the wolf–130 pounds to Jack’s 127.