TO THOSE to whom a Florida winter is but the sequence, as a matter of course, to a Northern summer, the credulity of Ponce de Leon is a matter of little wonderment. For if a balmy atmosphere, a soil that springs to bestow upon the husbandman a profuse variety of luscious fruits, an almost tropic vegetation, a shore whose sands are silver, a sea whose ripples are sapphire, and a sunlit sky of soft but steadfast blue, soothe the senses, charm the eye, tranquilize the mind and expand the soul; and these in turn are conducive to youthfulness, then, indeed, does Florida possess not only a fountain of youth, but it is in itself a very garden of rejuvenation.
WITHOUT doubt, no area of the Far West is so fraught with historic interest as the borderland of the Yellowstone River, and its tributaries—the Big Horn. Tongue and Rosebud. It is the Shenandoah of Indian warfare. The columns of its history are striped with mourning lines, and record such events as the Fort Pease massacre, Chief Joseph’s raid.
Line upon line of glowing crimson bars— Revealing faint and opalescent sky: And' neath—the everlasting mountains hoar, Their summits crowned with alabaster snows. Beyond the far horizon hastes the sun; His glowing torch has fired all the land, But yet he cannot stop to watch the flames Lest he should find his Father’s gates fast shut.
Once upon a time a Tall man wrote his name upon a hotel Register. He made signals to the clerk that he was sleepy and the clerk motioned the Porter to show him a good, cool Room on the Eighth floor. When the Tall man got in bed he found it occupied by a short Irishman, but he said nothing and went to Sleep.
MY RANCH is situated in the extreme southwestern part of Colorado, not far from Paradox Valley, and but a few miles from the Utah line, and here for many years I have been engaged in the raising of cattle and horses. The country is made up of a wide-stretching plateau from twelve to twenty-five miles in extent, with low, rolling hills, occasional gulches and sand arroyas, and dotted here and there with dense bunches of cedar and pinon, affording the most perfect shelter and seclusion for horses inclined to be wild.
The writer does not for a moment suppose that it is not a well-known fact among all who have had experience in hunting deer, that they often run seventy-five to one hundred yards after receiving bullet wounds of the heart. It is not believed, however, that the average individual has the faintest idea of the vitality of a buck under such circumstances, nor of the physical havoc a soft-nosed steel-jacketed bullet is capable of producing when fired from a modern small caliber rifle.
I WAS IN September of a certain year in the early ’80s that David Helser and I concluded to go up into the Rockies of British Columbia to hunt for grizzlies and caribou. Dave is on old Indian scout and hunter, and in one particular resembles “yours truly” —he wears his hair long.
The snow, the stars, the sleighbells’ chime, The childish voices singing, Bespeak the cheer of this glad time, If bells were not a-ringing. “Let’s off for the woodlands A band blythe and merry! What would be old Christmas, With no holly-berry?
THE FACT of my returning from a hunting trip with two fresh bear skins in my possession the past fall naturally called for an explanation. To the question, often repeated, “How did you get them?” the reply, “Oh, I was out with Guide Homer Goff, of Meeker, and his pack of bear and lion dogs,” answered very well.
[In Mr. E. S. Paxson, the author of the preceding article and brush sketch accompanying it, the West has a genius of which Americans can well feel proud. He has spent nearly all his life in the West and a great portion of it on the frontier, among the Indians, and amidst the exciting scenes of the early Western days.
FROM December until May my spirit sat in sack-cloth. A strange discontent seemed to have taken possession of me. I know now of course that I wanted to go a-fishing, but then one always knows these things too late. I read all I could find about fishing, talked with every fisherman who would let me talk to him about myself, learned to lie and exaggerate with an artistic “savoir faire” that surprised and delighted even my most intimate acquaintances, and as soon as I felt qualified to begin my fishing adventures, as I called them, I went to Littleton one dreary, cloudy afternoon in the spring and walked several long uphill miles to “Bowles Lake” to try my luck at blackbass fishing.
DURING September, 1891, with my ranchpartner, Ferguson, I made an elk hunt in northwestern Wyoming among the Shoshone Mountains, where they join the Hoodoo and Absoraka ranges. There is no more beautiful game country in the United States.
I WAS storm-stayed at the inn of the Three Golden Palms, at Kufstein, in the Tyrol. It had been snowing for two full days and the storm showed no signs of abatement. For two months I had been leisurely journeying from village to village in this wierdly picturesque country of the Eastern Alps, sketching and seeking inspiration for writing.
If there is one thing on earth more than all others raises the temperature under my collar it is to have somebody wilfully and premeditatedly misconstrue my meaning in things written seriously and in fairly understandable English. It does not matter how plainly and gravely I say things, there is a certain exasperating class of people who not only affect to find a secret humor in my remarks, but go to a great deal of pains to tell me of their quaint discovery.
They say I’m a dude, a 16 bore dude, Tho’ my arms with a Hercules strength are endued, My shooting coat’s ragged, all clotted with gore The glorious results of a dude 16 bore. They say I’m a dude, a 16 bore dude, And try to be cutting, tho’ I vow it is rude, For look at my belt, geese, ducks, snipe galore All grassed on the wing with a 16 bore.
One of Outdoor Life’s best friends, Mr. C. E. Butler, a popular sportsman of Jerome, Ariz., writes regarding the big game conditions in his vicinity. Of course Arizona is not the state for big game that some of the other Western states are, and the vicinity of Jerome is no exception; but with the work that is being done by the Arizona Sportsmen’s Association, the L. A. S.
Hail Montezuma! Where’st thou been hiding? lo! these many moons. Hast thou been sleeping Rip Van Winklelike or hiding in some mountain fastness where the roaring torrent of the Bear was the only music to break the stillness or awake the echoes of the rugged canons, and now just come forth among thy fellows to learn at this late day that those thou left as men, and right good fellows, too, had turned to porkers wallowing in the mire that one of their ilk, by name Coquina, had stirred upand guided them to.
September’s early nipping breath Turns aspen gold to brown, When lo! thou part’st the azure veil And lightly floatest down. Thou stealest to the mountain nest Beneath the father’s wing, And snuggling in the mother’s breast Thou lovingly dost cling.
The trap which was found baited with venison the past fall in Northwestern Colorado, the work of Ernest Seton-Thompson, the noted author of bear and other stories, was the subject of much controversy in Colorado the past month. At first it was contemplated to place it in the State Historical Society in the capitol building, but somehow Mr. Seton-Thompson got wind of the movement and wrote Governor Orman, asking that his reputation be spared, and that no such action be taken.
I notice that Burt D. Buckley of Salamanca, in the November number of Outdoor Life, wishes to know how to get a good bear dog. In the first place, if Burt will get a dog that is not afraid of a bear, he can train any number of dogs with him. A full-blooded shepherd dog makes the best bear dog, when they are not afraid of a bear, as they are natural heelers.
The following clipping from the Seattle Times was sent us by Mr. Frank Mossman of Kamilche, Washington: “Two big moose heads, securely locked together with horns intertwined, is a natural history curiosity that for several days past has been lying in the freight depot in this city.
Please give my best regards to “Montezuma.” He will have the support of all good sportsmen in America, for he has told the truth about “Coquina,” as his record in Montana is well known and bears what “Montezuma” says. I hope your subscription list will multiply ten-fold for your having the “sand” to stay by “Montezuma” and publish the truth.
We are indebted to Mrs. T. M. McKee of Montrose, Colorado, for the photos of the deer head published herewith. It was killed at the head of Spring Creek, a short distance from Montrose, and is the property of A. C. Haskill. The formations are about the oddest of the kind we have seen, and add some value to the specimen as a natural curiosity.
A query in the November number of Outdoor Life, by a reader, asking where he could get a book on training dogs on bear, attracted my attention. The answer the editor gave hits the nail on the head fairly and squarely. Books on the subject of bear hunting would make no difference to the dog or the hunter, either, if the dog was not a born bear dog.
“As Tiddie Ruseyvelt ramarked t’ th’ southern gintlemin whin they talked of Bucker Washington,” said Casey, “ye niver know what ye are goin’ t’ do til ye do it and thin thim as dont loike it can considther it none of their dom biziness. Six wakes ago whin we thraveled togither be th’ cars, had anny wan towld met’ meface, thot I wud be th’ full flidged mimber of th’ dom fool bregade I am t’ day, he’d a stood a chanst of bein’ th’ cause of some wan at th’ cimitery gettin’ an excavatin’ conthract, yit here I am, an' in th’ boondle furninst ye is hypos, an’ chimicals an’ little tubes full of shtuff fur all th’ wurld loike sidlitz powdthers.
“Look before you leap,” is an old adage that time and experience has proven a good one. If, however, I were manufacturing maxims pertaining to instantaneous photography I would begin with “Press the lever before you look.” This as a result of experience in trying to photograph bucking horses in the recent championship contest in Denver, and I am still trying to figure out just what kind of an outfit will enable one to successfully photograph anything that moves as rapidly and erratically as a wild horse under his first saddle.
The winning print in our December photographic competition 'is “Good-night,” by L. E. Offutt of Memphis, Tennessee. The data accompanying this print is as follows: Date negative was made, September 10, 1901; time of day, night; light, candlelight; lens, Darlot; exposure, one minute; plate, Seeds 27X; developer, Pyro; printing process used, aristo-platino.
The list of subjects in our monthly competitions is as follows: December—Miscellaneous (Any Subject). January—Mountain Scenery. February—Portraiture. Competitors may send in as many exhibits for each competition as they see fit, but each exhibit must have firmly attached to it a coupon cut from this magazine, showing the date and subject of the competition for which it is intended.
It is a source of the utmost gratification to know the interest in the protection of game which is being taken by the guides of the Eastern big game-hunting states. We learn that in many cases where guides a few years ago were very indifferent towards the enforcement of the game laws, they are to-day standing shoulder to shoulder against any infringement in this respect, and are almost a solid unit in reporting all violations coming under their knowledge.
Outdoor Life has many times condemned the present system of state enforcement of the game laws. We believe that better and more stringent measures are possible than those at present employed, and whether it be by direct government control, through a commission on the order of the present Civil Service plan employed in other federal departments, or through a more rigid and universal state system than we have at present, there should and ultimately must be evolved a scheme that will work to better advantage than that at present in vogue.
No procedure enacted by our government for many years will do as much good as the action of the Agricultural Department in preparing a digest of the game laws of the several states for 1901-2, which was lately done. This is a step which was hardly necessary a hundred years ago, but which at this time is an urgent necessity, and emphasizes the importance which the department officials place on disseminating and expounding the gospel of the game.
To return to our muttons it must be conceded that the weapon of the future, both for sporting and military purposes, must be of the small calibred, flat-trajectoried and high-powered repeating types, employing smokeless powder with its manifold advantages.
Where do blind people obtain the wonderfully faithful dogs that lead them through our crowded streets with such sagacious care? Many of these clever animals are supplied to the sightless by a dog fancier and breeder who has his kennels in a pretty little village close to the Sussex coast.
During the last month one of the most successful and enthusiastic meetings ever held by the Beagle men has been brought to a close. It shows the merry little hound is steadily gaining in favor, and we hope it will gain admirers in the West as well as the East.
Answers to all questions pertaining to dogs and their diseases will be cheerfully given in this column. Books and papers containing anything connected with dogs will be carefully reviewed in this section of the dog department. Direct all questions to Kennel Editor Outdoor Life.
D. L. Barnes, Beatrice, Neb.—To decide a wager, as well as for the reliable information of a number of your admiring readers, will you kindly state whether at any time or place, a gun barrel of any material was constructed which successfully withstood an official testing charge of eight drams of powder and one pound of shot?
One of the latest and best books on big game hunting is entitled. “Sport Indeed,” by Thomas Martindale. It treats principally of moose, deer and caribou hunting in the Maine woods, and so cleverly portrays the thousand and one little tricks and incidents connected with this sport that no one who indulges in it can afford to be without the book.
There is probably no sundry article used by the amateur photographer that is of so much importence, or from which more valuable work can be had, than the enlarging lantern. The most satisfactory lantern now in use is that made by Burke & James, of 118 W. Jackson boulevard, Chicago, a cut of which we publish herewith.
This is a subject on which expert opinion is still far from having arrived at a final conclusion, and the more so since circumstances undoubtedly alter the condition of individual cases. Every one is familiar, in these days of smokeless powders more especially, with the results which accrue from quite a temporary neglect of a rifle barrel, and as a consequence those shooters who desire to qualify as experts bestow an amount of pains upon the cleaning of their weapons which to any one but a real enthusiast would seem almost absurd.
We have been favored this month with descriptions and illustrations of the new Luger Automatic Pistol from F. A. Ellis & Son of Denver, who have a stock of these wonderful weapons on hand. Self-loading or automatic firearms are repeaters in which the recoiling pressure of the gases performs all the functions of reloading the arm, as long as there are cartridges in the magazine the marksman’s mechanical operations being thus confined to aim and pull the trigger and then reloading the magazine, when empty.
If there was a 4-year-old class among rifle shooters surely young George F. Vought. son of G. L. Vought of the Denver Rifle Club. would be the champion of that particular class. “Baby” Vought—for he is not much more than an infant—has made targets which would not be considered very bad for some men, and handies a rifle with a grace which bespeaks wonderful familiarity with the weapon, considering his extreme youth.
The magnificent silver cup presented by the Laflin & Rand Powder Co. of America, for competition in the international rifle match at Seagirt, N. J., and so gallantly won by the Ulster Rifle Association team, is now on view in Mr. Sharman D. Neill’s windows, Donegall Place.
At the late meeting of the Colorado Rifle Association at Colorado Springs, it was decided to hold monthly shoots. The following is the result of the November contest. Only four of the ten clubs in the association sent in their scores for November, but it is expected that in a very short time the balance of the clubs will be in shape to send in some good scores.
Messrs. Garrett, Shemwell and Dorsey shot for the Gun club diamond medal at the Broadmoor range on Nov. 9, and Mr. Garrett proved an easy winner with a total of 94 birds out of a possible 100, with no handicap. Shemwell was second with a total of 80, and Dorsey came last with a total of 91 and a handicap of 15.
We are in receipt of a copy of the new Ideal Hand Book No. 14, which is even more replete with good things than its predecessors. Among the specially interesting features we can only mention a few, but hope our readers who have taken an interest in rifle and shotgun shooting, and especially those who follow up the new tools, implements, shells, etc., constantly being placed on the market, will order a copy of this book.
A. H. Funke, the American agent of the Mannlicher rifle, of No. 101 Duane street, New York, wrote a letter to D. L. Mechling, a prominent Denver sportsman, in which reference was made to his use of the Mannlicher. In due time Mr. Funke received the following letter from Mr. Mechling, which we take the liberty of publishing:
Messrs. J. H. Lau & Co. of New York, agents for Nobel’s Sporting Ballistite, have the following to say regarding the use of this popular powder: Nobel’s Sporting Ballistite must not be loaded like nitro powders which measure bulk for bulk with black powder.
Must Have Luxuriant and Glossy Hair, no Matter What Color.
The finest contour of a female face, the sweetest smile of a female mouth, loses something, if the head is crowned with scant hair. Scant and falling hair, it is now known is caused by a parasite that burrows into the scalp to the root of the hair, where it saps the vitality.
In this number our readers are favored with an article on the Custer Battlefield by one of our brightest contributors, Mr. Frank E. Page of Denver. This awful event was one of the most fearful tragedies that ever occurred in this country. On May 15, 1876, General Custer commanded his regiment against the confederated Sioux tribes.
We take great pleasure in referring any of our readers desiring to have first-class fur tanning done to Tanzer Bros., of Elyria, Colo. These gentlemen, formerly of Chicago, have been in the tannery business twenty-seven years, and are thoroughly proficient in their work.
A representative of Outdoor Life, chancing into the store of F. A. Ellis & Son, 1720 Larimer street, Denver, during the past month, was struck by the odd appearance of something resembling a gun which was hanging in the window. “There’s one of the oldest and costliest rifles I ever saw,” said F. A. Ellis, Jr., picking it up and holding it out to the visitor.
We have received from J. A. H. Dressel, general manager of the National Sportsmen’s Association, the announcement of the eighth annual, sportsmen’s show, which will open on Wednesday, March 5, 1902, at Madison Square Garden, New York city, and continue until Wednesday, March 19th.
We have received a letter from A. H. Funke, American agent for the Mannlicher rifle, of 101 Duane street, New York, containing the important information that on account of the special demand of big-game shooters, they have decided to put on the market the Mannlicher in a new model 9 mm., which will not have the box magazine, but will have flush magazine.
Charley Barth, E. E. Hurt and I. W. Chatfield of Denver enjoyed a successful deer hunt on Piceance Creek, Colorado, during the past fall. George Tritch, David Weems, George Wood and George McLean spent an enjoyable week at the Bear River Duck Club, in Utah, during the past month.
WHEN YOU TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS GO WHERE THE BUSINESS IS DONE.
The lines of the Mexican Central Railway pass through fifteen of the twenty-seven states of the republic. Eight million of the thirteen million inhabitants of Mexico are settled contiguous to them. The principal mining regions receive their supplies and export their products over it—Chihuahua, Sierra Mojada, Mapimi, Fresnillo, Parral, Guanacdevi, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Sombrerete, Pachuca, etc., etc.