According to Lawson, deer was the most important mammalian resource to the North Carolina Indians. He mentioned "barbaku'd" and roasted venison, venison broth thickened with acorn meal, and "a Dish, in great Fashion amongst the Indians, which was Two young Fawns, taken out of the Doe's Bellies, and boil'd in the same slimy Bags Nature had plac'd them in" (Lefler 1967:51, 58). Parts of the deer were utilized in a variety of ways in addition to food. For example, deer hides were used for clothing, shoes, as covers for drums, and were also an important commodity for trade with the Europeans. "The Bone of a Deer's Foot" was used for scraping the hair off of hides, and deer brains (after being baked and then soaked in water) were used in tanning hides (Lefler 1967:217). Lawson also mentioned the use of the "Head of a Buck" as a decoy with which to hunt other deer (Lefler 1967:29).
Swanton (1946:249) lists a number of ways in which Southeastern Indians used various parts of the deer in addition to those mentioned by Lawson. Horns were boiled for glue and made into projectile points, ornaments, and needles; hooves were made into rattles; and sinews and skins were used to make fishnets and bowstrings. Ribs were made into bracelets, and tibiae into flutes. Tools constructed from deer bones that have been recovered from archaeological sites include metatarsal beamers (hide scrapers), ulna awls, and antler flakers (Waselkov 1977; Runquist 1979).
In addition to describing the technique of stalking deer, Lawson mentioned that
when these Savages go a hunting, they commonly go out in great Numbers, and oftentimes a great many Days Journey from home, beginning at the coming of Winter. . . . Thus they go and fire the Woods for many Miles, and drive the Deer and other Game into small Necks of Land and Isthmuses, where they kill and destroy what they please. (Lefler 1967:215-216)
Other techniques used by North Carolina and Virginia Indians for hunting deer were stalking them without the use of a decoy, and driving them to water without the use of fire (Waselkov 1977:108).
While visiting Occaneechi Town, Lawson was served "good fat Bear," and the next day, in Adshusheer, he feasted upon "hot Bread, and Bears-oil." The Indians considered the paws to be the most edible part of the bear, whereas the head was always thrown away (Lefler 1967:122). In addition to being eaten, bear's oil was used for frying fish, and was mixed with "a certain red Powder" and daubed on the body and used for greasing the hair (Lefler 1967:121, 174). Lawson also mentioned that the "Oil of the Bear is very Sovereign for Strains, Aches, and old Pains" and that bear's fur was used for making muffs and facing caps (Lefler 1967:122-123). The only method of capturing bear mentioned by Lawson involved killing the animals that were flushed during the fire drives used for hunting deer (Lefler 1967:17).
Opossum was used for food by the Indians, but the fur of this animal was "not esteemed nor used" except when it was spun to make baskets, mats, and girdles (Lefler 1967:125-126, 195). Raccoon meat was served to Lawson on several occasions during his voyage, and raccoon skins and furs were used by the Indians for clothing and blankets (Lefler 1967:23, 126, 200). Although skunks (or polecats) were used for food, Lawson stated that their skins were not used in any way (Lefler 1967:124).
Rabbits (or hares) and squirrels were roasted without being gutted, and their skins were used for clothing and blankets. Although Lawson stated that rabbits were caught during fire drives, he did not provide a description of the ways in which opossums, raccoons, skunks, or squirrels were hunted (Lefler 1967:182, 200).
Beavers were prized for their thick fur, and their skins were used in making shoes, mittens, and other clothes (Lefler 1967:125, 200). Beaver meat was also eaten, and its tail was considered a delicacy (Lefler 1967:66, 125). Lawson encountered a Saponi Indian who maintained traps for capturing beaver (Lefler 1967:54).
Lawson listed a variety of rodents and insectivores that were found around the houses and fields of the Indians (Lefler 1967:120, 130-131). These animals may have been used for food, although Lawson did not mention such a practice.
European-introduced animals present in North Carolina and utilized by the Indians encountered by Lawson during his voyage consisted of horses and pigs. Although cattle were present, Lawson does not indicate that they were used by the Indians for food. According to Lawson, the only use made of the horse by the Indians was for carrying deer back to their villages (Lefler 1967:44). Although Lawson alluded to hog stealing by the Indians, he did not indicate that hogs were raised by them (Lefler 1967:64). He did mention, however, that the "Paspitank" Indians on the Coastal Plain kept cattle at one time, although he was not sure if they were still raising these animals at the time of his travels.
All of the mammals identified from the 1983-1984 faunal assemblages from the Wall and Fredricks sites (with the exception of the shrew and vole) were described by Lawson. Mammals mentioned by Lawson that were not identified in these archaeological assemblages are buffalo, panther, wild cat, "tyger," otter, minx (mink), elk, and lion.