What advice has Papa given Travis about hunting in the book Old Yeller?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Papa has given Travis a lot of good advice about hunting. First of all, he has shown him how to check which way the breeze is blowing by licking one finger and holding it up in the air. The side of his finger which cools first indicates that the wind is coming from that direction. It is important that the hunter keep downwind from the creature being hunted, so that the animal does not catch the hunter's scent. By knowing which way the wind is blowing, the hunter can determine where to lie in wait for his prey without giving himself away.

Another thing Travis' Papa has taught him is to sit completely still as he waits for his prey to come by. Papa always says,

"It's not your shape that catches a deer's eye. It's your moving. If a deer can't smell you and can't see you move, he won't ever know you're there."

Papa has also advised Travis on how to tie a deer's feet together after it is killed so that he can carry it back home over his shoulders. Also, Papa has warned Travis to leave the javelina hogs alone, because they travel in bunches, and if they are stirred up, they will "eat you alive."

Papa has taught Travis that it is all right to kill for meat, as "every creature has to kill to live." But to wound an animal and let it get away without finishing it off is unacceptable, because of the suffering it would have to endure before it dies (Chapter 3).