One important pastime of local boys was that of imitating the noise of every bird and beast in the woods. This faculty was not merely a pastime, but a very necessary part of education on account of its utility in certain circumstances. The imitations of the gobbling and other sounds of wild turkeys often brought those keen eyed and ever watchful tenants of the forest within the reach of a rifle. The bleating of the fawn brought her dame to her death in the same way. The hunter often collected a company of mopish owls to the trees about his camp and amused himself with their hoarse screaming; his howl would raise and obtain responses from a pack of wolves, so as to inform him of their neighborhood, as well as guard him against their depradations.
This imitative faculty was sometimes requisite as a measure of precaution in war. The Cherokee, when scattered about, often collected together by imitating turkey by day and wolves or owls by night.