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Gerstacker arrived in America from Germany in 1837, drawn by stories he had heard of the immense forests, excellent for deer hunting. He wandered from Buffalo to New Orleans, visiting frontiersmen in their backwoods cabins and living off the land, eating venison, acorns, sassafras leaves, and wild honey. He found Arkansas ideal for hunting, and encountered all sorts of wildlife, including alligators, wolves, bears, and deer, in his travels. His hunting journal gives a fascinating look at the early-nineteenth century American landscape.