A Chat With Commander Peary, Now on Exploration in the North.
HARRY A. PACKARD
I met Commander Peary at his summer home at Eagle Island in Casco Bay, a few days before he sailed, and found him to be a man with that solid determination and spark of will power that prompts another try—a man not discouraged by defeat, but rather one who counts it only as a valuable experience for a new conquest.
Something comes with rare October When the haze hung hills are blue, Something comes to tear asunder All the home bonds; fills with wonder Every soul; bids all pursue Swift the rapture of the new. Bids the lover of the highway Out and follow where its brown, Long, slim finger beckons, luring Rover hearts to cease enduring, Cribbed and cabined in the town— Roam the hill roads up and down!
Having become so gnarled in temper from a year of devotion to office work that my wife could scarcely live with me I decided that a short outing in the Rocky mountains was about in order. Accordingly I found another man similarly situated and we struck up a partnership.
One of the most unique and interesting experiments, to the lover of life out-of-doors, is that which the government is undertaking in far-away Bosnia—the little province of Turkey, which, so far as political conditions go, is to all intents and purposes Austrian, but socially and otherwise is naturally Moslem land.
For many years the little settlement in the wilds of northern Idaho nestled upon the green bosom of the beautiful Camas prairie nor feared aught from the savage neighbors that came at times to visit them and fish for the salmon that teemed in the rapid waters of the rivers.
I am sending you under separate cover, three photographs of the fossil Daimonelix or Devil’s Corkscrew. This fossil is found only in Sioux county Nebraska and Converse county, Wyoming. Sections of the fibres found in the screw as well as in the rhizome show plant structure.
A cracker-jack of Arkansaw, Slim Wiggins war his name— He kep’ a sort er half-way house for ’scursionests thet came; He run the ferry on the creek, an’ driv a sorrel hoss, An’ thro’ the busy season he war hired man an’ boss. ’Twas hard to size the critter up, he war so meek an’ mum, An’ did’t quite explain himself to any one that come.
As one looks back over the incidents of a hunting trip he feels again the enthusiasm, the thrill that comes to the hunter, especially if he has had success and has made good shots while in the field with his camera. To me it is an everlasting delight as I look over my views, to travel again through the woods, over the barrens, beside the streams all laden with the memory of incidents that helped to make up the sum total of the three weeks’ enjoyment.
Sweetheart, the mighty sea Rolls between me and thee In weary miles; Would that the laughing sea Might bear me home to thee— Home to thy smiles! Sweetheart, the stormy sea Shrieks with a fearful glee And wild alarms; Ah, that the angry sea Might bear me home to thee— Home to thy arms!
In the very heart of the Blue Grass region of Kentucky there stood some years ago an old Colonial home. Then through the waving sea of blue children were wont to laugh and play. In winter the cardinal was seen flitting in the barren trees like autumn leaves.
I allers was fond of music— Pianos, an’ all them things— But I like the tune that the pine trees croon, And the song that the water sings; Your violin is a hollow din When it comes to the music part, But the catarack—it gives you back The pulse of your youthful heart!
The 1st of August, 1904, found me near the head of Lake Chelan, a beautiful sheet of water sixty miles long, in the central part of the state of Washington, whither I had gone to escape for a few weeks, the cares of business. I pitched my tent near the banks of Railroad Creek, and after half an hour’s fishing, had caught enough trout to feed four hungry men.
Behold that mighty mountain Round whose head the clouds are furled! Like a Sentinel of Ages Gazing outward o’er the world— Like a monarch, proud, majestic, Cold of heart and stern of mien, Without pulse of pain or pleasure, Yet the master of the scene!
The effects of the terrific winds which sweep our mountain summits in Colorado about timber line are plainly in evidence in the picture published herewith. This tree is located on the trail to the top of Long’s Peak (one of Colorado’s grandest mountains—if, indeed, not her very grandest), and is only one of hundreds that have been bent and twisted by the almost constant winds which blow winter and summer, spring and fall, in that vicinity.
Our home is situated in the noted Ozark mountain region of south Missouri. We surely live in the backwoods, as it is twenty-five miles to the nearest railroad, but it would surprise many to learn that, nevertheless, in certain favored localities, there are many families of as thrifty, well educated and refined people as can be found in any section of our land.
In anticipation of the sport in store for the lover of field and water-fowl shooting, the sportsman impatiently awaits the opening day. Preparations for a first outing have been completed; the dogs put in condition by ample exercise to harden muscles and feet, and the surplus “lumber” worked off: shooting togs, gun and hold-over cartridges critically inspected and sorted over, etc., so that nothing remains but for the opening day to arrive.
Dancing in glee, the laughing brook Speeds o’er its rocky bed, And the wild rose, lulled by its crooning song, Dreamily droops her head. The thistledown kissed by a wandering breeze, Over the blue-rill floats, And rustling leaves of russet and green Sail by in their fairy boats.
One time Dr. Jack 'n me Went a shootin' quail, yeou see. Dr. Jack's ole chum o' mine, Thort I'd give him a good time; So us two went eout I say Fer tew kill some quail thet day. Dr. Jack he sez, sez he: "Bill it's like ole times by Gee! Fer tew be a trampin' through Stubble fields along of you, 'Member heow we uster go Huntin' quail long time ago?
It was reported that there were “lots of prairie chickens;“ so, as September 1st drew near, our plans for a good hunt converged towards a part of South Dakota where as yet grain fields and unbroken prairies are about equal. A run of four hours on the railroad took us with gun and dog to the little town.
Do you know what the feeling is when you find out suddenly that you have to do an athletic stunt in record time and that there would be no chance to “try it over” if you fail the first time? Did a bear ever put you “up a tree?” I did not get up the tree, but I tried very hard to do so, once upon a time.
When the day is dead, And the moon is red, And the stars in their glory shine, We will camp once more As we camped of yore In the midst of the mountain pine; And It’s ho! ho! ho! And It’s west we’ll go, For It’s west we were born and bred, And It’s there at night By the campfire’s light We will smoke—when the moon is red!
Mexico produces many grotesque birds and animals. One of the most comical and at the same time interesting animals, perhaps, claiming that land as its home is the ring-tailed bassaris. Bassaris Astuto belongs to the family of Viverrins and is the only representative in North America.
The accompanying cut very truly illustrates how familiar is the nature and relations of the Yellowstone Park bear. In this respect he is a “distinct species” from his less fortunate brother of the “wild and untamed” regions. The Yellowstone Park bear is a pet—an animal who, by his conditions and surroundings, has been led to believe that the world owes him a living.
I have just returned from a couple of months’ vagabondage in the Big Horn mountains and while my memory is fresh I want to record a few stunts for future reference. The tan has not yet worn off from the end of my nose, my ears are yet shedding skin from sunburn of the higher altitudes, and camp cracks and rope galls are still in painful evidence on my hands.
The sun has gone down in a blaze of glory. Great spears of light shoot heavenward, and the horizon is a mass of brilliant coloring—gradually fading into a purple haze as the sun sinks below the rim of the prairie. Dusk comes, and the dim outline of the distant mountain peak soon becomes absorbed by the darkness.
The American sportsmen are unanimous in their demands that the next session of Congress pass some measure providing for the control and care by the government of all the remaining specimens of the American buffalo, now alive and not in zoological collections.
Sportsmen belonging to the old school, who foster the customs and sentiments that have been handed down from generation to generation, will find it hard to sympathize with any new issue which grates upon these time-worn ethics. Such radical ideas as are herewith presented will surely rub, and rub hard, to fit in with some of the modern sportsman’s theories.
People along the “scarce game zone” feel a little timid about putting into cold type in Outdoor Life the record of their outings. The shade that took immortality by reason of the Johnstown flood, after his arrival in the land of perpetual summer and harp music, took great pleasure in telling about the awful flood and its effects.
The remark by Mr. Frisbie that it is customary to tell only of “good” hunts brings up the question, what is a good hunt? Does it mean lots of game, or a good time while out though the kill be small? As I think back over my various hunts I remember one that stands out prominently in my memory.
Dusky duck, black mallard, black English duck (Florida), are some of the names by which this well-known member of the family is recognized throughout eastern North America, west to Utah, and north to Labrador. It is much less common in the interior than along the Atlantic coast.
These pictures began in our June (1903) number, and have probably excited more comment and Interest than any single feature ever offered by an American sportsman’s magazine. Being exactly true to nature, no sportsman will hesitate to preserve them, and as a result they are being framed and hung in the libraries, “dens,” and offices of the best people in this country.
It is only a few years ago that ranches on the outskirts of Denver were bothered by the ravages of coyotes, and it was before the ranchers began a war of extermination that the following incident occurred. We were at the little ranch which lies at the foot of the Wildcat mountains—which are a series of ridges and ravines, covered with scrub oak—about twenty miles south of Denver.
I have a question to ask the readers of Outdoor Life. Near Snake river, in upper Jackson’s Hole, nearly every season a wild goose nests in a large cottonwood tree about twenty-five or thirty feet from the ground. Now what I would like to know is, how she gets her young to the ground without killing them.
When this number reaches its readers many of them will have returned from their hunting trips for big game. Their brain works will be running in good order, and the year’s dust which gathered in the mental machinery during the past year’s arduous labor will have been wiped away by the invigorating recreation just at an end.
Another big game season is on and many sportsmen have returned from the hills with new thoughts regarding game, its seasons, the most equitable number which in their state should be allowed by law, and many other ideas which only a hunt can brighten and expand.
I believe in owning good trail horses and in taking good care of them. Owning good horses and getting good results from their work naturally induces one to treat them with consideration, for both man and horse are equally dependent on the other and the tie binding them together is based upon this close association.
I am much interested in your striking addition to Outdoor Life—“Outdoor Wrinkles”—and offer two suggestions for those columns which I am in hopes will be of interest to some of your readers. The first is a means of getting rid of those torture-producers—mosquitoes—during the hours for sleep—the time mosquitoes are generally busiest.
Noticing in your "Outdoor Wrinkles" department a way to dry a wet match reminded me of another way to do the same thing which I have often tested. I have been on long driving trips in Australia, and when one gets rain there I will defy him to keep his matches dry—even if he has a waterproof safe, because during heavy rain, which often continues without intermission for several days, one's hands are wet; one's hat drips (usually into the waterproof safe just as you open it), and the matches are usually wet before you can light them, even if your match box did keep them dry before it was opened.
I am an enthusiastic reader of Outdoor Life and, following Mr. Lowdermilk’s suggestion in Outdoor Wrinkles relative to an Indian tepee, I had a twelve-foot tepee made of heavy muslin which I used during a two weeks’ outing. I find the tepee to be everything that Mr. Lowdermilk has said for it except that it does not turn rain.
I noticed in looking over this month's Outdoor Life that Frank Robinson wants to know how to waterproof unbleached muslin or any weight of canvas. Now here are two excellent long-tried recipes which my father and I have used on our tents, flies and hunting coats for years, which, if you publish, may be of some benefit to brother sportsmen.
F. H. Hess, Traverse City, Mich.—What preparation should be used to prevent mildew with canvas tents. There is a preparation, I believe, that serves this purpose and also renders the canvas fireproof and waterproof. Answer.—A good preparation for preserving tents—making them weatherproof, waterproof, and keeping them from rotting, is:
Continued Occupancy of Nests.—“Do old birds ever return to a nest after they have raised a brood, or the young ones after they are able to fly?”—T. L. B., Jacksonville, Fla. Many species of birds not only raise several broods in the same nest during one season, but they return to the same nest year after year.
Training, Handling, Correcting Faults, and Care of the Bird Dog
ED F. HABERLEIN
H. E. Banks, Montgomery, W. Va.—I have a dog, half cur half flest, and should like to know whether he could be broken to serve well as a bird dog. Do you think it could be done with any sort of satisfaction? He can find more birds than a dozen bird dogs but he flushes invariably.
The early spring and summer of the present year I have spent in the Silver Creek regions of Old Mexico, where game and fish abound. Owing to that fact the February number of Outdoor Life is the last I have seen for the past few months. On my return I find them all safely laid aside—unopened.
First let me thank you for your kindness in the proposed new S. A. S. O. six shooter question and to "Rawhide” and Mr. Ashley A. Haynes—these gentlemen should recive the gratitude of those who have long felt the need of just such a gun as they propose.
It will probably be of interest to lovers of the gun and believers in good morals to know that a certain Presbyterian church in Kansas City, Mo., has lately organized a rifle club among its boys and young men, for the attainment of the joint objects of manliness, clean sport and faithfulness to the Sunday school of the church.
Will you kindly add my name to those who have already pledged themselves to take up the matter of the proposed new model single action swing out cylinder gun to shoot the .38 S. & W. cartridge, special, in the event of same being put in the market, to purchase same within one month of its introduction.
To Joe Quilibet:—Call off your dogs, pull in your horns, halt your army and recall your fleet. I conclude from your article that you hold the cavorting cross-bow and likewise the festive flint-lock in light esteem; same here, but we don’t feel like going into a discussion on the relative merits of given types of automobiles and telling the fellows that what they want is air ships
This month we are glad to be able to publish over fifty names to the petition for a new single-action revolver, and know that there are hundreds more of our American sportsmen and gun lovers who would purchase such an arm if it were placed on the market.
Just one word not as a crank or as a misfit, in connection with the effects of the .30-30, but simply as a result and as a bona fide incident: In the "Effect on Moose and Walrus” in the September number of Outdoor Life, just received, Mr. Wm. Haws takes exception to Mr. Figgins' statement as to the penetration of the .30-30 bullets (see page 787). Now this only as a personal experience:
It seems that considerable difference of opinion exists as to the velocity and penetration of the various automatic arms and owing to confusing statements and misleading advertisements it seems to be hard to get the exact figures on each so that intelligent comparisons may be made.
As a great many sportsmen the country over often ask the question, “What has become of Annie Oakley (Mrs. F. E. Butler), who performed such wonderful feats with a rifle in Buffalo Bill’s Show, before the American people and abroad?” we have taken the trouble to Investigate the matter.
In our account of the Grand Western Handicap Shoot at Trinidad, Colo., in our last issue we failed to make mention of the remarkably good shooting of one of our Denver boys, Mr. Chas. E. Younkman. On the first day of this shoot in one of the professional events, Mr. Younkman killed 99 out of 100 birds—really phenomenal work—while on the second day he made a score of 185 out of 200, and on the third day 187 out of 200.
Enclosed find list of members of the Oakland Revolver Club who desire to place their orders for one of the new single action, swing out cylinder revolvers, now being discussed in your columns. We hope that this small list will help materially to convince the manufacturers of the probable demand for this style of revolver.
I have not yet received my October Outdoor Life, but saw a copy belonging to a friend, but only had time to glance at the rifle and trap department. I note one of your correspondents would have no use for the .45 high-power cartridge that I suggested for the '86 Winchester.
As one eligible to membership in the “Amalgamated Association of Gun Cranks,” I can not refrain from offering a few more suggestions on the most interesting of subjects—matters pertaining to firearms. To those that would as soon carry an ancient musket (or, for that matter some of the more modern military rifles).
I have read Mr. Haws' latest contribution, and as it appears to be intended as an explanation, I would like to assist that gentleman in getting one or two points straightened properly, but of course I shall make no attempt to arrange his inconsistences.
The October Outdoor Life has just been received, and while it contains the usual amount of good things. I was particularly impressed with the gun department and want to say that the .32-20 and .25-20 caliber rifles to be built on a small frame instead of being made on the .44, or larger receiver.
Being a deeply interested reader of your magazine and especially of the large and small caliber discussion, I probably voice the sentiment of a great many others of your subscribers in stating that "agreement" in this discussion is the one thing "not" desirable, for a discussion ceases when an agrement is reached.
I am quite interested in your magazine, especially in the six shooter controversy, and wish to add my kick to the long list of others. The argument now going on in your magazine in regard to the swing-out double-action revolvers ought to at least stir up the manufacturers of these revolvers.
The tenth annual meeting of the Colorado Rifle Association was held in Denver on September 4-5—the report of which came just too late for our October number. The attendance was not as large as on previous occasions, but the members present did some very fine shooting and clearly demonstrated that Colorado contains a bunch of marksmen that will be hard to beat anywhere in the United States.
We take pleasure in publishing herewith a cut of our New Stevens Cleaning Rod, known as No. 510. This rod is Intended for .22 caliber rifles and consists of one-eighth inch coppered rod with one end flattened and slotted; the other end with a jagged tip.
We have just received a letter from the Savage Arms Company in regard to the notice we published in regard to the Marlin Company last month which they have requested us to publish. Their letter follows: “The suit that the Marlin Company mentions was not brought against the Savage Arms Company, but against two individual dealers in New Haven who had sold one rifle each, and the Savage Arms Company, of course stepped in to protect the dealers in question.
The new Savage catalogue No. 15, is a work of art, comprising forty-eight pages and cover, the latter being executed in a special design by the three-color process of engraving. Every page is decorated by a border into which is woven the head of some big game animal, making a decidedly artistic effect.