The deer, great herds of which roamed the forests of the Valley region, were an important item in the food supply. These were hunted by the braves and killed with the bow and arrow. After the thorough cleansing in the sweat-house, which was intended to free the hunter of all bodily odors and which preceded all hunts, the braves went out and secreted themselves on the windward side of the trails along which the deer passed on their way to water, and shot them from ambush. Still-hunting, or stalking, was also a method much in vogue among the more skillful hunters. In this the brave often resorted to the use of a headgear made from the headskin and horns of a deer as a means of deceiving the game and enabling him to approach to the close range necessary for killing with the bow and arrow. As a substitute for the somewhat heavy horns of the deer the light branches of the dead manzanita were often used. When a quantity of meat was desired the drive method was employed. This was done by the turn-out of a number of hunters who formed in a wide circle and closed in to a central point driving the game before them. In this manner they were often successful in killing a large number. The meat was cooked by roasting on hot rocks or in the coals of the fire. That not needed for immediate use was cut into strips and made into jerky by drying it in the sun. This was stored for winter use by hanging it on strings inside the o-chum. A young brave never ate the meat of the
first deer he killed, it being their belief that if he did he would never be successful in killing another.