Sep 9

Killing a Yahoo

I want to thank David for sending this to me, he writes “Wes, I enjoy you website and podcast immensely.  If you don’t mind, I would like to contribute to your content.  I don’t have any first hand bigfoot encounters to share but I thought your followers my be interested in some other info I found.  There is mention on the web of Daniel Boone’s killing of a Yahoo. I hunted down this account to its source and thought you may be interested in posting my book report.  If you like this, I can send another old account from Colonel Percy Fawcett in South America.


Excerpt taken from: Daniel Boone – The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer, by John Mack Faragher, first edition: 1992, page 308-309.



“Another tradition said that Boone visited Limestone about that time, staying with his cousin Jacob Boone, a prominent merchant in that town. Boone had supposedly come downriver after visiting his son Jesse at Greenupsburg and was honored at a gala dinner that included all of the distinguished local citizenry. After the meal one of the men asks Boone for a story, and he begins a tale but is interrupted by a man who claims that his story is “impossible.” With this remark Boone shuts up and despite urgings that he continue, he refuses to speak further. Later that evening, when he has retired to the room he shares with the son of the tavern keeper, the boy asks him about his silence. “I dislike to be in a crowd” Boone explains, and “would not have opened my lips had that man remained.” Well, we are alone now, says the boy, and he presses the old man to tell the story. “You shall have it, honey” says Boone, who has taken a fancy to him, and proceeds to tell of killing a ten foot, hairy giant he called a “Yahoo.” The Yahoos were giant beasts in human shape from Boone’s favorite book, Gulliver’s Travels. It was a tall tale that Boone repeated to a number of people during his last year, one such as he would have told in a winter camp.”


Family lore is often fuzzy and corrupted. Oral traditions are suspect. Although the “Yahoo” killing may be true and the Boone’s “tall tale” account may be based on an actual event; the details of the author’s report are very likely corrupted. This report is based on the fallible memory of a Boone descendant. Daniel Boone lived in Limestone, KY (now known as Maysville, KY on the Ohio River) until 1799 but then relocated his sizeable clan to the St Louis, Missouri area. Boone never returned to Kentucky for the remainder of his life; making the Limestone visit impossible. However, many other details of this account ring true. Boone’s reaction to this Bigfoot skeptic is spot on. Boone typically would not tolerate any questions regarding his honor or truthfulness.

I find it interesting Boone related the Yahoo killing to “a number of people during his last year” (1820). Even today, many old timers seem to make death bed encounter confessions after holding their tongue their whole life long for fear of ridicule. I also find it interesting certain areas of Kentucky and West Virginia still refer to night howlers as Yahoos.

I am not aware of any other more detailed accounts of Daniel Boone’s Yahoo encounter in print. Living on the American frontier his entire life (85 years) and traveling game trails from Michigan to Florida and Missouri to Montana, I suspect Daniel Boone had ample opportunity to cross paths with ill tempered Yahoos. Legend tells of the aboriginal’s ancient trepidation of the giant nocturnal cannibal people. Perhaps the .50 caliper Kentucky rifles Boone and his contemporaries carried in the 18th and 19th centuries provided a historic change in the balance of power between man and beast. This change eventually drove the Yahoos to the darkest corners of our country’s most remote wilderness.

From a Bigfoot researcher’s perspective; Faragher’s Daniel Boone biography was a little disappointing. But if you love American history, you will love this book. I will give it 5 stars.

15 Responses to “Killing a Yahoo”

  1. Knobby

    Skeptics have injected the book “Gulliver’s Travels” as the source for Boone’s telling his tale about Yahoos, which is used in that book for large hairy men. They want to claim Boone was telling a tall tale after reading about Yahoos in that book. The truth is Yahoo was a common name for that creature back then derived from a Native American name for that creature and if anything that is where the author of Gulliver’s Travels got the word “Yahoo” from. Boone recorded the account in his memoirs and it sounds like a typical sasquatch encounter.

  2. FlagStaffer

    FYI the historical Kentucky rifles in DB’s era ranged from .29 caliber to .50 and most were not the big bore .44, .45 & .50 caliber. Resources were too scarce to blow that much powder and lead out the muzzle with each shot. And just to be in perspective a round ball is significantly less effective than a “bullet” for any given caliber. That being said if DB whacked a Yahoo with a rifle of that era he is one big stud!!!

  3. FlagStaffer

    If anyone would like to follow in DB’s footsteps here’s a nice K rifle in either .45 or .50 caliber. These Italian reproductions are of excellent quality but they are not cheap. Pedersoli, Uberti and Pietta are all very high quality and each one of them that I have shot is quite accurate with appropriate loads. Traditional muzzleloaders ship directly to your door with no registration or paperwork required. 🙂

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