AN INTERESTING study on deer hunting attitudes by hunters and non-hunters has been completed at Rutgers University in New Jersey—one of the most heavily populated of the Eastern States. Almost a quarter of a million deer hunters turn out each fall for their favorite sport.
Bravo! for your editorial in the October issue. With more hunters on less land, hunter safety courses are no longer something we can afford to do without. I would add that additional stress must be placed on the idea that the man with the gun, like Caesar’s wife, must be above reproach.
ONE summer day when I was about 15, my father came to the house along in the middle of the afternoon and found me on the back porch tying flies. That farmhouse porch was a delightful cool, airy, and shady place, much superior to the sundrenched field where I should have been working, and I had a fly-tying bench in one corner.
After participating in the First National Bass Symposium in early 1975, I wrote a lengthy article for FIELD & STREAM on the status of black bass fishing and black bass management in the United States. If there was anything about this subject that was crystal clear to me, as I stressed in the article, it was that we didn't know very much about the nation's numero uno fish.
This January, as we thumb through our 1976 files, we have a feeling that conservation progress was made this past year. While some important battles were lost —and while many more are still being fought by courageous volunteers—overall, the war is going better now than at any time since masses of raw recruits rallied to the flag on “Earth Day” seven years ago.
Sides gleaming like hammered silver, the great fish cleaves the water in a magnificent display of acrobatics, skipping across the green surface of the northwestern river like a flat stone. An instant later it surges for the depths of the pool, ripping 15-pound-test monofilament from a spinning reel that growls in protest.
Water moccasins are big, mean, and aggressive, but luckily their “punch” does not have a potency to match that of a real champion. There are two subspecies of Agkistordon piscivorus; A. p. piscivorus, the eastern moccasin, and A.| p. leucostoma, the western moccasin.
As a teenage fly tyer during World War II, I had few places to turn for fly-tying materials. Good hooks were almost a black-market commodity, and decent feathers were a rarity. Hethers, the landmark purveyor of fly-tying goodies, was trying to supply the trade, but most of us had to make do with local supplies obtained from barnyards and small dealers like L. L. Smith in Roulette, Pennsylvania.
THE January issue of the magazine seems to be a good time to cover some topics that fall on the periphery of the usual when, where, and how-to fishing matters. Three such subjects that strike my fancy are filleting, casting practice, and wader repair.
When it comes to Meleagris, the Empire State may be just the place to go
Our bicentennial year seemed an ideal time to have a spring hunt for turkeys in New York State, for the wild turkey is a truly American bird, one that would have—if Ben Franklin had been sufficiently persuasive—become the symbol of a new nation’s freedom and aspirations.
IF YOU haven’t already found the scope of your dreams, or are contemplating a change, here are some things to look for when purchasing a riflescope. The first thing to remember is that you get what you pay for. Unbranded or unknown scopes may cost you more in the end than a quality, brand-name product.
A cloud of smoke, a hearty flash and thump, and the coalburner rides again!
IT WILL come as news to no one who reads the sporting press that the Second Age of Black Powder is upon us. It may, however, surprise some sportsmen to discover that the eruption of interest in muzzleloading guns has now been confirmed by the appearance on the market of a black powder rifle bearing the trade name of one of America’s oldest and most respected major manufacturers of sporting firearms, and that persistent rumors tell of tentative efforts on the part of such firms as Remington, Browning, and even Weatherby, to develop muzzleloading arms and to sample the market potential for same.
RVs can take you to a lot of fun in the snow season if you prepare them for cold weather
In some places snow is now drifting high against back-country fences and in others rain is driven hard against walls and windows. Whatever signals winter in your part of the country, look on it as a call to adventure. Let this be one year you really enjoy the season.
There were guns in my father’s house. I can’t recall just when I knew what they were, but I always knew they were not to be touched in play. He got me a BB gun when I was 5, and we would go down to the river and shoot little paper targets. And when I was 8 or so, he bought a single-shot .22 for me.
ALTHOUGH the Wulff dry flies are normally considered to be salmon dry flies, the Grey Wulff, which was the first of the series, was conceived and tied on a classic trout stream, the Ausable, in the Adirondacks of New York State. The innovative angler, Lee Wulff, was searching for a dry fly with a larger, more durable body than the standard British patterns that were in use in 1930.
More than a million geese are bagged annually by our nation’s hunters, and the goose population is growing every year. The young birds are especially prized for their tender, lean, dark meat, but the older ones are also tasty if they're treated right in the kitchen.
Ask any proponent of gun controls why he wants anti-gun legislation and he will tell you, “To curb crime! Keep guns out of the hands of criminals and there will be fewer crimes!” My files show that they have been using these same arguments for more than half a century—using them in spite of statistical proof back through all those years that their arguments are false, that gun-control laws do not keep guns out of criminal hands and do not curb crime.
Pete used to say (I can hear him now) that once a man had hunted alone, had learned to take on a smart old buck on a one-to-one basis and had come out on top, he’d never want to waste his time doing it any other way. "Take an old buck now-one that’s seen a few winters,” he’d say, leaning forward in the relic of a rocking chair, his clear gray eyes steady and serious.
FROSTBITTEN anglers are probably the most gimmick-minded of all outdoorsmen who venture forth during the winter months. And their veritable storehouse of “necessities” ranges from power ice augers to battery-operated electric socks.
If you’re dreaming of a winter vacation, an escape from centralheating and snow, consider the following: schools of tarpon are rolling in Central American rivers. Big concentrations of marlin have formed off the coasts of Panama and Ecuador.
Any way you look at it, the Big Island offers something for everyone
Backpack Field Test
THE 100-fathom line sweeps by the island of Hawaii near Keahole Point, then heads out to the northwest. Beyond the 100-fathom shelf the sea floor falls abruptly, eventually sounding to more than 18,000 feet below the warm, soft swells that pulse at the hull of the Mona H. George Parker, cradling a steering-wheel spoke in the crook of his left arm and eyeing the fishing line trailing aft, guides the broadhipped Mona H instinctively above the shelf.
At the last meeting of the Madison Avenue Rod, Gun, Bloody Mary & Labrador Retriever Benevolent Associaation the following new business was transacted: Mr. Jack Halmsted took the floor to declare that ferreting is becoming an important sport in New Jersey, and that ferrets help to thin out the rabbit population, which in some areas causes considerable damage to farm crops.
When it comes to the sounds that pull them in, mallard music may be strictly old-fashioned
Contrary to popular belief, the sunny Southland can sometimes get cold; and particularly so very early in the morning on a cloudless winter day. Such was the case a few Januaries ago when a frigid nor’wester howled through southeast Louisiana, leaving behind abnormally low tides, absolutely no wind, and temperature readings in the mid-20s.
THE leather Rod & Reel Pouch keeps dirt and grime off your reel. It’s made of suede and features handy draw strings. Six sizes: 4x6 inches, $2.25; 5x7, $2.50; 6x8, $3; 7x9, $3.50; 8x10, $4; and 9x11, $4.50. Available at stores or ppd. from Dart Manufacturing Company, Dept. FS, 1724 Cockrell Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75215
Thompson Trek Bag
TRAVEL in style, yet get the most out of your luggage. The Norm Thompson Trek Bag, made of rugged nylon, will fold into a brief case when empty, yet in use can hold hip waders or a sleeping bag. Features four compartments. $31.50 ppd. Norm Thompson Outfitters, Dept. FS, 1805 N.W. Thurman, Portland, Oreg. 97209
A WAY to help prevent gun thefts is by securing your arms in a Saf-T-Chest, a heavy-gauge steel unit. Holds up to twelve long arms; shelves hold other items. Measures 63 inches high and 24 inches wide; weighs 225 pounds empty! Has concealed padlock. $450 F.O.B. Saf-T-Case, Dept. FS, P.O. Box 5472, Irving, Texas 75062
WITH the pop-up magnetic tip-up, when the flag flies, you know you have a fish. Though unit is supersensitive, adjustable drag prevents minnow-triggered flags, and since mechanism is windproof, you won’t get windblown false flags. About $7.50 at stores. The Worth Company, Dept. FS, Box 88, Stevens Point, Wis. 54481
ANOTHER one of those premium novelties is the “Sip it slow . . . Kentucky Beau” bar pitchers. Made of ceramic, this item will decorate your bar and hold the water or other mixer you and your guests might want to add to their drink. It’s available for $3.50 ppd. from Kentucky Beau, Dept. FS, Box 386, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301
Compact Charcoal Saver Grill
BESIDES being a space saver, the Compact Charcoal Saver Grill, just like its name indicates, is a charcoal saver. By closing its lid after you cook, you’ll snuff out the fire and be saving up to 75 percent of your charcoal for future use. $29.95 ppd. Dick Cepek, Inc., Dept. FS, 9201 California Ave., South Gate, California 90280
VERSATILE pair of sunglasses
A VERSATILE pair of sunglasses is the Aqua-Mate 7252, which features floatability, polarized lenses, and flippability, that is, the lenses flip up and out of the way when the dark lenses aren’t needed. Furthermore, the 7252 fits over regular glasses. About $7 at stores. Foster Grant, Dept. FS, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453
THE REUSABLE Protector absorbs moisture from chamber and bore. Handguns: Model A (up to .30 caliber) and B (.32 and up and black powder) $5.95. Longarms: C (.22 to .460 and .410) and D (28 to 10 gauge and black powder) $7.95. At stores or ppd. from Cellutron, Inc., P.O. Box L, Dept. FS, Philadelphia, Pa. 19150
A HANDY item to have afield is the Folding Hunter, a folding knife handhoned from high carbon rust-proof 440 steel, with a solid brushed stainless steel and fitted inlay of ebony handle. Measures inches when closed. $12.50 ppd. Leather belt pouch, $3.50 ppd. Ballard Cutlery, Dept. FS, Box 97, Golf, III. 60029
Painter Maynard Reece may be a man of few words, but his art speaks for itself
To make a buck, evict a duck, drain his home for corn! That’s been America’s pursuit ’til now—making the wilderness a fit place to live. But in 1977, some of us can’t live by corn alone. Consequently, we make ducks by spending bucks to reclaim the corn for marsh.
You can spare yourself some of the misery of setting out and picking up duck decoys in freezing weather by wearing waterproof trapper’s gloves, which extend all the way up to the elbow. They're quite expensive, but you'll be glad you have them.
The next time someone tells you to go fly a kite, listen to the man!
They came out of a blood-red sunrise, shrieking and yelling like Apaches attacking a wagon train. I could feel Ben Wilson moving around on the ground beside me, getting ready. “Come on wind,” he pled with the stagnant sky, “just one little breath of wind.”
When the sun goes down, the lunkers come out . . . and so do wise hawg hunters
Your first night trek for bass is not soon forgotten, even when it’s as disastrous as mine was. Looking back, I find comfort in blaming my noisy V-hull, which I told friends was stamped out of recycled bean cans. Or I accuse the old, silverware-in-the-disposal electric motor, which, no matter where I aimed it, always headed north.
The first time I ever saw Ketcham Scritch I was about 12 and was spending the day visiting with the old woodsman Rancid Crabtree. Ketcham came driving up in an ancient, rickety Ford truck that seemed to be puffing smoke from every orifice and portal.