IT WAS last April that I was suddenly ordered to Arizona for the benefit of my health, and a few days later found me in the quaint and interesting little city of Tucson. Under the influence OF its genial skies and dry, pure air, I soon began to regain my strength, and in three weeks’ time was able to join a camping party in the Quijotoa mountains.
A FEW months before the famous Jamieson raid I left Johannesburg in charge of a prospecting party for Matabeleland. There were four white men in the party besides myself and about eighty or eighty-five Kaffirs. We anticipated no trouble in keeping ourselves in fresh meat as the country we were “trekking” to was at that time alive with the numerous varieties of “buck” (local parlance for all species of deer and antelope) indigenous to South Africa, Cape buffalo, lions, etc.
EVERY year I try to spend at least a month in the hills or in the pursuit of some open-air recreation — not alone because I am one of those who believe that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” but also because I believe that man’s first duty toward himself is the cultivation of those habits productive of good health.
Stage driving in California is destined soon to become a lost art. Time was, and not many years since, either, when the big lumbering four or six-horse stage coach was about the only public conveyance in this western country; but with the coming of the iron horse the stage coach has been practically relegated out of existence.
IT IS common to hear people say that rattlesnakes always give a warning rattle before they strike. This is not true of our Pacific Coast rattlers. In twenty-five years’ experience hunting and camping on coast and mountains, I declare that of the hundreds of rattlers that I have killed or have seen killed, not over one in three or four ever gave any warning.
IT IS a very hard fact for true patriots to digest, but it is none the less a fact, that the government of the United States, by a deliberate act of treachery, killed one of the best soldiers it ever had. The death of Gen. George A. Custer, in his fight against the Sioux Indians at the Little Big Horn river, was directly traceable to the breaking of the pledged word of the government at Washington.
MUCH has been said of the hunting grounds and game of the United States, but it is conceded by those who are acquainted with the whole field that on the water courses of western Texas the most fastidious hunter will find his proverbial paradise.
ON THE St. Vrain, eight miles west of Lyons, Colorado (a small town forty miles northwest of Denver on a spur of the Burlington Route), there lives a quiet family named Billings. They have a ranch in a pretty mountain valley where fine crops of grain, good fishing and fair hunting in season are the attractive features.
QUESTS for different kinds of big game all have something in them that makes each one different and distinctive of its kind. The lordly elk has the full grandeur of a mountain wilderness, unsurpassed; black tail, dash and freedom and the borken, hilly lands; white tail, craftiness and the tangled river bottoms; the sure-footed goat, treacherous shale and dizzy heights, and the big horn a matchless combination of them all.
I WAS spending a winter on the Gulf coast of Florida, stopping with a friend most of the time who was as fond of shooting as myself. We spent our time about evenly divided between shooting, fishing and loafing. Our itinerary would be, first a deer hunt, then a trip for turkey, followed by a camp hunt or a couple of days after black bass, etc.
If you could go with me into one of the far up-town flats in New York City, you could pass a very enjoyable hour. You would get a glimpse of Bohemia—the higher, more noble Bohemia. The bric-a-brac collected from every corner of the globe would interest you and arouse your imagination; the many pictures, stunning oils and dainty water-colors, would delight your eye; the cosy, comfortable sense of repose and peace and the fragrant coffee and cigar that would be offered you by your middle-aged, black-gowned hostess would make you exceedingly grateful; and the all-pervading atmosphere of refinement and culture would add the one touch necessary to make this place an ideal haven.
The hardship of the state, in being compelled to protect, single-handed and unassisted, the game within its boundaries, has been an especially arduous and costly task with the sparsely settled western states where big game abounds. In the first place, this condition has cultivated lawlessness, because there isn't a state in the West with sufficient game-protecting funds at its disposal to properly cover one county, let alone a whole state, whose boundaries in some cases include as much territory as that embraced by the whole of the New England states.
The critic occupies an unenviable position. Not only are his criticisms resented but his results are never credited to him. Yet to eliminate criticism means to retard the progress of everything and lower the standard of mankind. Criticism makes perfection.
The day is nearly done, and calm The peaceful rays do fall. Creeps from the dell the summer balm— The birds their sweet songs call. And soft the golden beams do rest Upon yon heap of ground. Oh! let not light or scornful jest Be cast upon the mound.
In this department is to be seen this month a simon-pure example of the demoralizing effects of a “one-man” organization. When that “one man” diverts the influence and strength of the organization which he controls to his own personal ends, then, indeed, is the result deplorable.
Every one who loves the wild, natural things in this world is interested in the process of horn-shedding among our deer, elk and antelope. That an elk, for instance, should be able to lose such an important auxiliary as his mammoth antlers—and all within a day—is a matter for much study and thought.
In a recent letter from A. J. Walsmith of Sheldon, Iowa, the subject of governmental supervision of the game of our country is treated from the viewpoint of one who is in a position to know whereof he speaks. In discussing this subject, Mr. Walsmith says:
White River Forest Reserve, January 6, 1903. I was very much interested in your editorial comments in the January number, especially your reference to a quotation from President Roosevelt’s message to Congress regarding protection of wild game.
About 8 o’clock in the morning Matt, Fred and I saddled up our cayuses and let the two greyhounds out of the kennel and started across towards Cottonwood. We traveled up Cottonwood about a mile, when Matt said: “There goes a coyote over along the ridge.”
The article in one of the late issues of Outdoor Life entitled “A Short Cut,” reminds me very much of an experience which a couple of my companions here in California had one night while on a deer hunt last summer. There were four of us, Clyde Hendricson, Vern Hendricson, Frank Chamberlain and myself. We had been camped on Keller creek, one of the tributaries of the Santa Ana, for several days, and although we had scoured the country pretty well and found numerous tracks, we had found no deer.
Drip, drip, drip! The rain is falling from the eaves of my house with a melancholy sound, ticking off the seconds that mark the last minutes of 1902. The old year is dying to-night, and there is always something sad in the going of the old year. We can not help but feel kindly in our remembrance of the dying year for the pleasures it has given us, and we wipe out and forget the displeasures we have encountered as we trudged up life’s hill.
It is very rarely you publish hunting experiences related by those who go into northern Wisconsin or Minnesota for their outing, and a bit of real life enjoyed this past November by one of your readers may not be uninteresting. The writer has hunted big game nearly all over the world, and can truthfully assert that, as a strictly deerhunting country, with an occasional timber wolf or black bear, also moose in northern Minnesota, the above mentioned district is as good as any place on earth.
The following correspondence passed between Mr. E. L. Bostwick of Denver and Mr. G. O. Shields of New York during the past month. It is published without comment, because we believe our readers are a discerning lot and are able to judge of the merits of the case:
The last annual meeting of the California Game and Fish Protective Association was held in the quaint old town of Monterey, where the historic old commodore first unfurled the Stars and Stripes upon the soil of the Golden State, and whether or not this fact contributed its quota of influence to the occasion, it is safe to assert that no prior meeting of the sportsmen of California has been animated with a more genuine desire to advance the interests of game and fish protection.
I spent the summer and fall of 1901 with an uncle in Beltrami county, Minnesota. He is living on a claim a few miles north of the northeast corner of the White Earth Indian reservation. There are a great many deer in this country, also a few stray moose.
Eleven hundred rabbits, the result of a hunting trip by Idaho nimrods, were distributed among the poor people of Salt Lake City during January. Members of the Texas General Assembly have been furnished copies of the bird law recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Rule 9, Sec. 3, American Kennel Club rules governing dog shows, certainly needs revising. To begin with, the whole rule is practically a dead letter; the only time it is ever brought into play is when some disgruntled exhibitor tries to use it as a lever to work off his feelings on some other exhibitor.
What shall the food during distemper consist of? The first thing to consider is the elimination of all diet that will ferment, or cause fermentation, in the stomach. Try to keep the stomach and alimentary canal in as aseptic condition as possible.
We have received from Mr. A. H. Nelson of Tacoma, Washington, a description of his noted setter, “Sport’s Destiny,” whose picture appears elsewhere in this department. This bitch has had a rather remarkable career before the field trial public.
It is a somewhat curious fact that no two users of the .30-40 smokeless rifle entertain identical opinions regarding the sight adjustment of this arm. We find one sportsman regulating his sights so that the rifle will center on the target at about one hundred yards, while at all longer ranges he holds over the target or elevates the rear sight.
The Kansas state tournament, with $300 added money, will be held at Concordia. Kansas. April 21st, 22d and 23d. The Nebraska Sportsmen’s Association will hold their twenty-seventh annual tournament on April 28th, 29th and 30th and May 1st next.
The prediction offered in this correspondence two months ago, that the present year will prove one of the most progressive in the history of the sport of trap shooting, is being amply justified thus far in the splendid enthusiasm shown in the first tournaments, held during January in Texas, and since then in other parts of the country It has been customary for several years for some of the southern associations and clubs to arrange midwinter meets, but never have they been so eminently satisfactory as the El Paso and Brenham meets in January, and the New Orleans meet just closed.
One cannot help but find some amusement in the various opinions as contained in the articles in the several sporting magazines on the subject of guns and rifles. To the unitiated. the reading of these articles to obtain assistance in the selection of a firearm would lead to dire confusion if all were taken as “confessed.”
Wakefield. Mass., Jan. 7. 1903. I see that Mr. G. L. Lehle, in a recent article. states that one American firm engaged in the rifle-making business has at last produced a modern rifle of slightly greater power than the .30-caliber military arm.
The indications for a large attendance and one of the most successful exhibits of recent years are more than good as we go to press with this number. At the present time all of the available exhibit space in the building has been assigned for exhibit purposes.
Editor Outdoor Life: The old Gold Belt Rifle Club has reorganized and is now known as the Cripple Creek Rifle Club, which has been in existence since last May. We have a membership of twenty-five and expect to have twenty-five more members soon.
Herewith I hand you the scores made at the Cripple Creek Shot Gun Club’s grounds February 8th. Hirschy. the present holder of the Grand American Handicap Medal and Messrs. Tritch, Beezer and Plank of Denver were here and made good scores considering that we have the hardest magautrap to shoot from this side of Cape Nome.
The La Junta (Colorado) Gun Club held a highly successful shoot at their grounds February 10th, at which a large crowd was present. The club, although a new organization, has twenty members and new ones coming in. They will build a fine club house and have a magautrap.
That the sportsmen of America have a warm spot in their hearts for the uprightness of character and gentlemanly instincts which characterize every true sportsman, is well evidenced by the following resolutions of condolence on the death of the late A. L. Bennett of Colorado, which were adopted at a recent meeting of the sportsmen of Texas:
Des Moines. Iowa, Jan. 20. 1903. The National Rifle Association of America expects to send a team to England this summer to compete for the Palma trophy. Members of the United States army, navy and the National Guard of the various states will be eligible to places.
F. D. McQueen. Garrison. Utah.—(1) Please inform me as to the diameter of the new .32 Special Winchester bullet. (2) Could the regular .32-40 Marlin bullet be used in reloading the .32 Winchester Special? (3) What would you say about reloading the Winchester Special with King's Semi-Smokeless and the wire lubricated bullet?
A Preparation That Will Destroy the Dandruff Germ Discovered.
PETERS’ ANNUAL DINNER.
Finally the scientific student has discovered a certain remedy for dandruff. When it first became known that dandruff is the result of a germ or parasite that digs into the scalp, and saps the vitality of hair at the root, causing falling hair and baldness, biologists set to work to discover some preparation that will kill that germ.