Gene Hill’s “What Makes a Hunter" in the February issue is perhaps one of his very best efforts to date. I am a hunter, and I have justified myself by the rationale of hunting solely for the table. Nonetheless, Hill’s insight into what a hunter feels in terms of satisfaction and personal triumph should go a very long way to answering those who question a hunter’s motives.
WHEN you stop to think about it, judging a hunter because he or she kills wild game to eat is a little ironic. It is probably true that today’s young people, raised on pre-packaged meats, have lost sight of the fact that what they eat every day, whether it be veal, lamb chops, or chicken, was also once a living thing.
At today’s gas prices, everyone knows the value of getting the maximum miles per gallon from a tank of gas. That same logic is applicable to getting the maximum number of meals from a deer. I call it “stretching the venison.” You can begin stretching the number of meals per deer during the field dressing process.
Getting started on small streams is the best education of all
Now that the country is bristling with fishing schools of various kinds where you can learn to catch just about anything (they say), I suppose it’s old-fashioned merely to put together some fishing tackle and go fishing. Well, fishing is sort of oldfashioned, too.
It seems, often regretfully, that we are a nation of weighers and measurers, a people fascinated by even the most trivial of records. Can anyone put up with one more sports announcer telling us in all seriousness that so-and-so “has just set a record for being the first-baseman with the most errors committed on Friday the 13th,” or some other such nonsense?
A bird flushes. For a split second it's in the open and looking as big as a goose. But when the gun gets there the bird is back in the brush. Would a lighter gun have put that bird in your bag? The day has been long, you’ve walked what seems to be a million miles, and the old familiar game-getter that felt so fast and snappy when you took it out of the case suddenly seems to be made of lead.
Modern book publishers are a lot like supermarket salesmen, calculating that no title without media hype will have a shelf life greater than six months. Since the media looks on fishing as a “limited” subject (despite the presence of more than 60 million anglers in North America), on hunting as a “touchy” subject, on trapping as “untouchable,” and on conservation as simply boring, there is no way to give a good new outdoor title sufficient hype to make the book successful unless you call it something like The Rape of the Redhead (for duck hunters) or Nymphing Mania (for trout fisherman).
As I told my irascible next-door neighbor Al Finley, it’s none of my business if a grown man wants to throw away money by buying his hunting, fishing, and camping gear out of sporting-goods departments. “That’s right, it’s none of your business,” he said, in the snappish tone he favors.
The author is a professional hunter who operates mainly in South Africa's Transvaal
Gil looked like an Egyptian mummy, one swathed in blankets rather than white bandages. When he got to the Land Rover that morning he stopped to put a track suit on over his hunting clothes. He then climbed into the vehicle and stood upright while Msoka wound two blankets around him from head to toe.
The author has been fly fishing for over thirty years
RICHARD L. HENRY
The long, graceful cast epitomizes the art of fly fishing, but to know how to cast a fly is not necessarily to know how to deliver it well. In many instances delivery largely determines how the fly will perform. From a fish’s viewpoint, of course, the appeal of your offering materializes only after the feathers reach the water.
The author is a veteran big-game hunter who has collected trophies throughout the West
Magnification and Objective Size
Field of View
Depth of Field
Porro vs. Roof Prism
Shooting light was more than an hour away when I stepped out into the crisp, cold Montana morning. It was mid-November, and after a week of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures, the Sun River elk herd was finally starting to migrate from the high country toward their winter range.
The author is a freelancer specializing in hunting and camping
CHARLES J. FARMER
When I met Rob Keck, the 1976 world turkey calling champion, at Willow Springs, Missouri last spring, I sensed a man serious about his sport and business. From the tip of his camouflaged baseball cap to the toes of his camouflaged hunting boots, he was pure turkey hunter through and through.
This is the ultimate quarry-he knows every rock and shrub for 10 square miles
The Spanish word for watermelon is sandia. Drive crosscountry on Route 66 and you’ll see the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque. They rise from the high mesa floor as vertically and dramatically as the upturned toes of Turkish shoes.
Charley Dickey is the outdoor columnist of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He has pursued channel cats across the country
When Al Cox left his farm in southwest Georgia to go into the military service, it took him thirty-four years to get back home as a retired colonel. When he goes fishing today on Lake Seminole, he doesn’t like to be rushed. Sometimes he guides bass parties, but when he fishes for personal pleasure he’s after channel catfish.
“Nothing rattles, shakes, hums, moans, or vibrates. The quality is first-rate”
A fair amount of our time lately has been devoted to poring over and driving one of Chrysler’s new front-drive K-cars—a Plymouth Reliant station wagon—and we must say that in many ways it has been an eye-opening experience. We’ve delayed ’til now reporting on the K-car because, as you might guess, demand for test units of any newly introduced model is rather heavy, and we wanted to borrow one for more than just a week or so, our thought being that the car—the success of which we are assured is vital to Chrysler’s survival— rated special attention.
The best largemouth bass sport in Maryland is not in the lake habitat these fish are commonly associated with, but in the intricate system of tidal rivers that snake through the marshy flatlands surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. Dozens of these brown-tinged rivers twist through the farmlands and mixed pine-and-hardwood forests of central Maryland before emptying into the Chesapeake from the east, west, and north.
In the Midwest this fish has long been prized. Now Northeast anglers can find how good it is
Northeast anglers are finding some good walleye action in many of the region’s newly stocked waters. Many fishermen have overlooked walleyes in the past because of the long-standing dominance of trout and bass in this area. Also, until recently, walleyes were not widely distributed in the Northeast.
Something I’ve always found impressive is the abundance of fishing opportunities in New York City’s northern suburbs—the WestchesterPutnam County area—and the semiwilderness setting in which so many of these fishing spots are located.
Light weight, easy towability, with an emphasis on comfort is the name of the game
Camping Trailer Techniques
It was elk season two years ago in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Three friends of mine had towed a 22-foot travel trailer out from California behind a 4-wheel-drive van. The trailer was to serve as hunting camp. Their first camp was in a clearing just off an unpaved logging road.
DUCK hunters are finding it increasingly difficult to locate a good place to hunt waterfowl. Many hunters cannot afford to join expensive clubs or take the time to fly to distant duck hunting areas; others do not like to hunt on crowded public lands.
Two years ago I was involved in a project which required that I make a gamefish map of the United States. In selecting the species to be covered and coordinating their locations, it dawned on me that no freshwater fish has a wider range in this country than the largemouth bass.
All black bass differ in habits or in flavor. Largemouths prefer shallow, weedy, often murky water. Smallmouths, on the other hand, gravitate to rocky or gravel bottoms in deeper lakes or the riffles of rivers. Both species can thrive in mildly polluted water that may flavor their flesh.
There’s an old and not especially funny story about a clergyman who visited an elderly parishioner who had moved onto an abandoned farm. When the parson saw how the land had been cleared of trash and brush and a lovely garden planted and in full bloom, he said to the old man, “Thee and God have done a wonderful job.”
Is the high-performance pro tournament bass boat about to join the ranks of the dinosaur? High interest rates, inflation, recession, and multiple crises in energy costs and availability make the question inevitable, for the same problems that have plagued Detroit and caused profound changes in the Great American Automobile also are bearing down on the Great American Bass Boat.
I don’t know how it started, this business of adding the word popping everytime bass bugs are mentioned. Admittedly, bugs that do go “pop” are attractive to fish and fishermen, but fly-rod lures that do things other than pop or gurgle also catch their share of fish.
The author, who lives in Alabama, catches whoppers across the Deep South
Even before George Perry caught his world-record 22-pound 4-ounce largemouth bass in Montgomery Lake, Georgia, nearly fifty years ago, anglers across America have been asking themselves the same question: Will larger lures really catch larger bass?
The author makes his home in Kameula, Hawaii, where he actively pursues gamefishing sport
At a time when many areas of the world face depletion of their fisheries, pollution of their waters, and fierce competition among an increasing number of anglers for fewer and smaller fish, Hawaii’s sport fishing, in most respects, seems never to have been better.
EVEN with the multitude of molds for making plastic lures available today, sometimes it is desirable to make your own plaster mold. Plaster molds can be made in multiple cavity models, can duplicate popular, commercially available lures, or can use modified parts of several lures incorporated into one new lure.
ONE OF the most crucial aspects of downrigger fishing, and one of the most vexing, is the line release, which serves to free the fishing line from the downrigger weight or cable when a fish strikes. Last spring I discovered a line-release, then in the prototype stage, that I felt had a lot of promise.
The author has been catching gamefish, and cooking them, for almost a half century
It is almost immoral, and certainly uninspired, to kill fish without knowing how to make first-class meals of them, but in this land of packaged, precooked foods and TV dinners, it has become increasingly difficult for the working wife or her husband to contemplate dealing with any item that does not carry printed instructions for cooking on its plastic wrapping.
Wes, we elected a pro-gun President; “the best friend pro-gunners have had in the White House since Theodore Roosevelt.” We also gained some new friends in the Senate, and some in the House, not to mention a good number in state governments.
TAKE OFF your shoes and stockings or wear sneakers when you gather nightcrawlers. They are very sensitive to vibrations, and the impact of hard heels or soles on the ground can drive them back into their holes. You’ll get more ’crawlers faster by treading lightly.
This is a delightful book for the grouse hunter, that madman who braves all manner of terrain and weather just to be constantly outwitted by a magnificent gamebird. Heacox is a pro at outdoor writing, having written The Compleat Brown Trout and The Education of an Outdoorsman.
CANOEING is a popular sport nationwide. Either as a means to fishing or duck hunting or as a sport in itself, canoeing is a quiet and refreshing way to travel the water. Most of us give a great deal of attention to length, material, and style before we purchase a canoe.
HOOK your minnow without touching it. The Minno-Dipper lets you hook bait neatly and quickly, leaving your hands clean. The dipper is made of lightweight transparent plastic, and can be used to take fish off your line. It sells for $3.95 ppd. from Texas Foundry and Supply Co., Dept. FS, P.O. Box 300, Texarkana, Tx. 75501
Texas Foundry and Supply Co.
Ziploc storage bags
PROTECT supplies from moisture and keep clothes dry with Ziploc storage bags. The bags are available in quart and gallon sizes, and sell for $1.05 and $1.19 a box. Three informational “With Ease” booklets are available for 50¢ from Dow Chemical Co., Attn: Nan Collinson, Dept. FS-T, P.O. Box 68511, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268
Texas Foundry and Supply Co.
BlueEye Deck Mount
LIGHT your way at night with the BlueEye Deck Mount search light from Optronics. This lamp pinpoints light, cuts through fog and rain, and illuminates for up to 2 miles. It is detachable for easy storage.. The 2000 model retails for about $59.40 from Optronics, Inc., Dept, FS, 350 North Wheeler Street, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma 74434
Texas Foundry and Supply Co.
CLEAN everything from albacore to trout with Lakota’s FishHawk knife. The stainless steel scimitar-shaped blade cleans, sections, and fillets, and the ebony handle is easy to hold. With a leather sheath, the knife costs $46 ppd. From Lakota Corporation, Dept. FS, 30961 Agoura Road, Suite 311, Westlake Village, Calif. 91361
Texas Foundry and Supply Co.
PLUG General Electric’s portable CB radio into your cigarette lighter and call for help. Store the unit in a shoe-box sized carrying case. The 40-channel “HELP” radio, with magnetic antenna and re-chargable power pack, retails for about $115.95. From General Electric, Dept. FS, 800 Third Avenue , New York, N.Y. 10022
Texas Foundry and Supply Co.
SHARPEN your knives with the Final Touch Sharp Stick. This alumina ceramic sharpener won’t wear out, and can be cleaned with kitchen cleanser. With a walnut handle and rawhide hanging lace, the Sharp Stick retails for about $7.95. From Bear Paw Tackle Company, Dept. FS, Route 2, Box 494, Bellaire, Michigan 49615
Each December a bunch of the boys hole up at Delmar Smith’s diggin’s for a week. Down by Oklahoma City. And we take in every go-round of the National Finals Rodeo and chew Levi Garrett and leave rally stripes down the sides of our pickups and stop for some nachos and enchiladas on the way home every night and train dogs every day, or go horse lookin’.
At the most recent meeting of the Madison Avenue Rod, Gun, Bloody Mary & Labrador Retriever Benevolent Association, the following business was transacted: Mr. Steve Ferber, chairman of the Publications Committee, reported that he has recently written a book on the subject of firearms firing mechanisms, a species of small deer, and people who come to dinner.