Why is it so hard for Travis to catch game on the hunting trip in Old Yeller?It's in Chapter 6.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is very hard for Travis to catch anything on his hunting trip because of Little Arliss.  Arliss is very young and makes a lot of racket.  He does not understand that the commotion he makes scares away the game.

In Chapter 6, Travis tells about the first time he took Arliss squirrel hunting with him.  Travis knew that his little brother was "such a noisy pest that...he'd scare off the game".  As it turned out, Travis was right in what he'd figured.  Little Arliss would

"follow along, keeping quiet like (Travis) told him, till he saw maybe a pretty butterfly floating around in the air.  Then he'd set up a yell you could have heard a mile off and go chasing after the butterfly...he would keep yelling at (Travis) to come help him.  Then he'd get mad because (Travis) wouldn't and yell still louder".

Arliss is a child who is just inclined to be noisy.  He'd yell if he found some interesting creatures under a rock, or if he fell and scratched himself.  Arliss's racket really did manage to scare off most of the game in the area, except, interestingly enough, the squirrels, who just took to the treetops to escape from the hunters.  Travis came up with the brilliant idea of putting Arliss's propensity to cause a commotion to good use.  When the boys came upon a treed squirrel, he had Arliss run around in a circle under the tree, beating the underbrush and generally making a whole lot of noise.  The squirrel would be mesmerized by the strange antics of the little boy and watch motionlessly, allowing Travis to take aim and shoot him down (Chapter 6).