The Alaskan brown bears are closely related to the European brown bear, and at one time they were very abundant throughout the southwestern coast region, and neighboring large islands of Alaska. It was not unusual to see six or ten of these huge brutes sauntering along a grassy hill, or a mountain side, cropping grass or digging out ground squirrels.
Seven coyote babies huddled together puppy fashion in one corner of a granary belonging to a farmer friend of mine, indicates the fate which befalls hundreds of these animals each spring. For several years one or more such instances have come under my personal observation.
Ever hear about Bill Prince an' th' Aztec princess? suddenly remarked the ex-scout, as he caressed his bristly jaw with his free hand. A moment of breathless silence ensued during which all eyes focused upon the gaunt visage of the speaker.
Seems to me when I get dreaming in a silent revery, All the scenes of days of childhood come a-fiooding back to me—Seems I'm back once more to boyhood—back where life flowed like a stream Like a smoothly gliding river—like Dowagiac of my dream.
Standing saddled and bridled in an obscure part of the basement of the natural history building of the University of Kansas at Lawrence is a light bay horse slightly under medium height. The horse as it stands is the work of Professor Dyche, who mounted the animal about fifteen years ago for the university museum.
Exactly one hundred years after the first printed book came from the famous press of Mainz, and only seventy-six years after the first type was set at Oxford, there appeared on the London book-stalls one of the quaintest of all the clumsy-lettered little old volumes in which a word was ever spelled half a dozen different ways on the same page.
"A-speakin' of fisherman's luck," said he, with a frown on his suntanned face, "I reckon I struck its rottenest brand up there at Carpenter's place; I'd whipped the face of the Gunnison from the bridge to a mile below, And the rainbow gems—from a pound to three—I took, was a beauty show.
The meek shall inherit the earth, but at present it belongs to the tourist: "These tourists, heaven preserve us! needs must live A profitable life: some glance along, Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air, And they were butterflies to wheel about Long as the summer lasted: some, as wise, Perched on the forehead of a jutting crag, Pencil in hand, and book upon the knee, Will look and scribble, scribble on and look, Until a man might travel twelve stout miles, Or reap an acre of his neighbor's corn."
Nanny and Billy, two jolly young sparrows, Rented a hole in a tree. Said Nanny to Billy, "We'll stay here all summer;" But Tommy the cat, said, "We'll see!" Nanny and Billy then brought in their bedding—Straw matting, with many a feather. Sly Tommy, said he, "Guess I'll sleep in the tree—'Twill be nice and cool this warm weather."
Sand—Sand—Sand. "Is it this way till we get there?" "No, not all the way. We'll get to the foothills after a while." "They ain't as hot as this damned place, are they?" "No, they are cool; and plenty of water, too." "Have you ever been over this trail before?"
The Adirondacks occupy a somewhat unique position in relation to the faunai areas of North America and, being located at the meeting point of two of these life zones, contain an exceptionally varied group of animals. The earliest account of the zoölogy of this region is found in the "Description of New Netherlands" by Arnoldus Montanus, 1691, which contains some rather startling information and is worth quoting in full, as follows: "Lions, whose skins the Indians bring to market, are caught on a high mountain, situated fifteen days' journey to the southwest.
Come—and let the world wile as it will—That earthly strife canst naught for thee atone; Come—and let God's freedom wildly thrill Thy sombre self that is thy life alone. 'Twill lift thee from thy routined rut of life—Exalt thy soul above that earthly stress—'Twill free thee from thy fettered, slavish strife And grant God's blessed freedom for redress.
Before I tell you about the large band of elk that arrived last March, I want to "reminis" a little about the Stirrup ranch, this one of the most famous in Colorado, if not in the entire West, of the wonderful cattle ranches of the good old days that have gone to return no more.
When Indians roamed the plains and old Sarcoxie, chief of the Delawares, paddled, according to ancient lore, from the banks of the Wakarusa to the highlands of the Cameron bluffs, fishing and shooting were, of course, the chief pursuits of the inhabitants of Kansas.
It seems to me I'd like to be A great big grizzly bear; To roam the wilds and hunt the bees, With freedom from all care; To kick the Indian pinks about, To step on sunflowers bright—The salmon berries to eat up Would be my chief delight. The Rockies I would call my home, As monarch I'd survey Their beauty grand—there is no land Could beckon me away.
Nobody knows why a man in spring will leave his happy home And go off in the wilderness with ducklings in his dome, And stand all day out in the wet, assured he will be ill, And try to kill a ten-cent duck— But he will. Nobody knows just what he hears upon the bluff March wind, That he should so cock up his ears and seem to lose his mind; And go out where the H2O his rubber boots will fill. And wait and wait, and shiver so— But he will.
G. T. Newman, Paonia, Colo.—I would like to have you decide as to the ownership of a bear hide killed under the following conditions: There was a party of four men after a big bear. The bear got up and one of the party shot it twice with a .41-caliber Colt's pistol, both shots just penetrating the skin.
I want a decision in a little matter of a hunt and the killing of a deer. I shot a fine buck and bled him profusely and was trailing him, when another hunter, shortly after I wounded him, fired at him and struck his trail.
Dall DeWeese, the eminent sportsman of Canon City, Colo., tells a good story which we believe has never appeared in print. As is well known, Dall has killed almost, every kind of game that is to be found on this continent. (and some in other continents, too), and he is therefore an accepted authority on most all kinds of big game hunting.
Some years ago a noted German ornithologist published a work on the nesting places of migratory birds in Europe and Asia. He proved that it was a universal law of bird life, that in migrating they always went from their equatorial limit towards the poles of the earth to breed, never the reverse.
Out in Golden Gate Museum, at San Francisco, there is preserved an interesting chain. It is made up of tiny birds and fish, carved wholly from the ivory of the walrus, and the claws of the grizzly bear. In addition to these there is a huge curved spoon, much like a ladle, which is cut from the horn of the mountain goat.
In regard to the inquiry of J. H. Lowry, M.D., in the January issue of Outdoor Life, would say I have heard the same blood-curdling half-crying and half-screeching while camping out in the northern New Hampshire woods forty years ago. The settlers at that time in the vicinity told me that it was an "Indian Devil," as the panther or catamount at that time was called.
When we published the attack on Lieut. Townsend Whelen by L. F. Brown in our March number, we anticipated that the friends of Mr. Whelen, as well as the true woodsmen and sportsmen of our land, would arise in just wrath. Some of the letters published below tell how strongly the American sportsman resents any stigma upon his name as a hunter able to take care of himself in the hills.
We found ours at the jumping-off place. He was picking chickens at a hen-pickery when we singled him out. His name was McManus preceded by a large Pat. Pat informed us that he was the only, original and exclusive guide. He said that he could go out and lay his large, horny hand on deer or moose any blame day he felt like it.
"One who seeks and uses the name of Sportsman explains and apologizes when he is wrong and humbly begs pardon when he is guilty of gross abuse and injustice." Quite so! Certainly it is up to Mr. Levant Fred Brown of New York, New York, and I for one would be glad to see him beg pardon of Lieutenant Whelen.
It seems to me that the article criticising Lieutenant Whelen's article concerning guides and sportsmen in general is not fair to that gentleman. While I have never met Lieutenant Whelen, I have read with interest many of his contributions and believe I am right in saying that he did not condemn all sportsmen, but merely a certain objectionable class of them.
I want to congratulate the magazine on its article in the March number entitled "Antagonizing Guides and Sportsmen—A Protest." This effusion is the most deliciously ludicrous affair that I ever had the pleasure of reading. It is far and away funnier than anything that "Puck" or "Judge" ever published, and it ought to make "Life" sit up and take notice.
I read with pleasure Lieutenant Whelen's article on "The Sportsman and His Guide" in the February number of Outdoor Life, also the endorsement of this article by Mr. Hornaday, one of America's greatest sportsmen and naturalists, in the March number.
With lively interest I have followed the trend of discussion in Outdoor Life on the subject of the "Sportsman and the Relation to His Guide." Professor Hornaday, Lieutenant Whelen and Mr. Brown have each developed interesting phases of the question, but all have overlooked emphasizing the essential fact that the relationship is subject to relative conditions.
I am very much interested in the different articles written by Lieutenant Whelen, U. S. Army. I myself have hunted and fished in nearly every state in this country and in some of the foreign countries, and have found a great number of such sportsmen as referred to by the lieutenant.
I am a pioneer of Montana, and as one who believes in honest and upright dealings among writers of natural history, who maintain they have lived their entire lives among our wild animals of mountains and plains and who are filling valuable space in magazines which is eagerly devoured by boys and young students and which is in some cases erroneous, I am going to mention a few of the shortcomings of these writers as I remember them.
As announced in our last issue, a memorial to the national order of the B. P. O. E., asking them to discourage their members in the wearing of elks' tusks was introduced in the Wyoming Legislature by Representative S. N. Leek. When our last number went to press we were not able to tell whether or not this memorial had received the favorable consideration of the Wyoming Assembly, but since then we have learned that it passed both Houses and therefore will gc to the grand exalted ruler of the B. P. O. E., to be sent by him to all the subordinate lodges.
At a banquet given by the Camp Fire Club of New York during February it was announced that the board of governors had decided that each year hereafter a gold medal shall be presented by the club to the man who during the year has rendered the most distinguished services in the fields in which the club is specially interested.
I have read so much the last year in regard to a closed season on bear that I will have to say a word against it. I am strictly opposed to such a closed season. Some will tell you that bear will not destroy stock to speak of. Now, there is where they are badly mistaken.
When a state or province enacts laws for the proper protection of game within its confines, sportsmen will do well to observe the statutes to the letter. A certain crowd of eastern sportsmen (?) recently condescended to inflict their presence upon British Columbian soil and, notwithstanding that they are reputed to be men of wealth, deliberately and successfully evaded the payment of the nonresident license fees.
Contrary to all the predictions, hopes and desires of all of "the smart set," I haven't wrecked any arms, nor blown myself up, as, according to their ideas, I was bound to do. In the April, 1905, issue of Outdoor Life, at the end of my article under the heading, "A Revolver for Game," I declared my intention of "burning" a Colt's New Service revolver, .44-40, at no very distant date.
To the average reader the discussion regarding the Haines model pistol is getting down to a focus. If we consider the matter as sportsmen, even if we are champions of the automatic, we must sit up and take notice. Here are a hundred practical gun cranks who absolutely agree not only on one point, but on a whole weapon.
I wish to indorse Mr. Beckett's suggestion in your February issue that the matter of sights for hunting rifles be taken up and discussed through Outdoor Life by some of your contributors. In your April number of 1905 I read a strong indorsement by Mr. Haines of the Sheard gold and copper bead front sight, and, as a result, I sent for and fitted my rifles with this sight.
LIGHTER GUNS FOR DEER—SUGGESTION FOR A LIGHT WEIGHT DEER RIFLE.
Editor Outdoor Life
A few weeks before the close of the last hunting season I happened upon a party of six on the eve of starting upon a deer hunt. Their stuff was pretty well all packed up and they were all very enthusiastic, but the sight of their guns was very depressing—to me at least.
For the last twelve years, and perhaps longer, violent and acrimonious discussions of the respective advantages and demerits of certain types of rifles, or rather cartridges, have been carried on in the columns of all the magazines that devote space to firearms.
I have been greatly interested in the controversy regarding the proposed new model single-action revolver as illustrated in your magazine by Mr. Haines. I have written the Colt people several times regarding such a model but have been informed they had other models under construction and did not think there would be enough demand for the proposed model.
As I have been reading Outdoor Life for some time, both in the States and in Canada, and prefer it to all other magazines on account of the valuable discussion in regard to pistols and rifles, I beg if you can through your magazine enlighten me about the "Sporting Mauser," as made by Waffenfabrik Mauser.
My brother sportsmen, I want to say a good word for the new Luger pistol. What I mean by the new Luger is the one that has the new extractor spring and also using a coil spring for the recoil spring instead of a flat leaf spring. These two changes make this a perfect working pistol.
With your permission I would like to say a few words in regard to shotguns, also ask a few questions. I notice that the Lefever people claim a pattern of 75 per cent., in a 30-inch circle, at forty yards, using 1⅛-ounce No. 8 shot in 12-gauge gun, full choke, while the L. C. Smith people claim 70 per cent. under same conditions, using 1¼-ounce No. 7½ shot.
In regard to the most desirable ammunition to be used in the killing of big game we get a little weary of the would-be wise man who forces his name into print and talks about the modern firearms as "dude" weapons. There are authorities on all subjects, and in the field of big game rifles we cannot accept the fogyism of the old user of black powder as having anything to say in the matter.
We have received so many letters of commendation on the table of big game hunters and their favorite guns, published last month that we believe some short extracts from letters received from a few of them may be interesting and therefore we append them: I use a .236 caliber Lee Straight Pull, with full-patch for deer; for larger game, the soft-nose bullet.
I notice an article in your February number from a gentleman who is anxious for some information in regard to sights. While I am not an expert on the question, I have tried a few of the different sights on the market and the best thing that I have found is the Marble Improved Front Sight and Special Base rear sight.
If you should see a few of the many letters that I receive from gun men through my letters in Outdoor Life, who inquire for further information in regard to rebuilding arms, and properly fitting ammunition to them, it would astonish you. They come from not only the several states, but from the other side of the earth. I have one very interesting correspondent in India. He lately sent me a descriptive catalogue of A. Hollis & Son, of London, which contains the full-size pictures of the large-game cartridges of England, and their charge of Cordite, and weight of bullet—also energy and trajectory—a part of which I previously knew.
We regret to state that after this number of Outdoor Life no more contributions relative to the proposed Haines model single-action swing-out cylinder revolver will be solicited. While communications of a controversial nature shall not be solicited, yet we do not intend to exclude from our columns letters on the proposed Haines or any other model of shooting arm when such letters are of an instructive nature.
I am here naturally only considering nature-lovers and lovers of the natural sports, but these, as well as all other Americans, are extremely optimistic, and this very fact will most likely be the chief factor in preventing or delaying the establishment of "wilderness reserves," which are the only means of keeping conditions from becoming in America as they are in Europe at present, and this would certainly be a most miserable fate for American nature and wild life.
I note in your December number an article stating you had received a letter from Mr. W. T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoölogical Park, stating he had received a letter from me offering to take parties to where they could kill wild buffalo.
I note in the February number of your magazine a communication from George W. Haulenbeck in regard to the finding of worms in quail. Now I was born and raised in central north Illinois and have been an out-door man all my life. It is not uncommon to find in prairie chickens, when young, the type of worm which Mr. Haulenbeck has referred to.
I note there has been quite a discussion growing out of the publication in Outdoor Life by Mr. H. J. Sprague of an article in regard to the methods of the government and state fish commissions in placing trout in the public streams. He seems to question the advisability of continuing our present system of placing fry in our streams instead of fingerlings.
Goldfish and the Aquarium.—"I want to make a fresh water aquarium and keep goldfish. Will you tell me how to do it; what kind of goldfish are the best; what should they be fed and how often should the water be changed? What is the natural home of the goldfish?"
Cold piece of wood and splendent paint Bobbing about on the rippled tide, With anchored cord thy sole restraint Lest thou tend where gusts or flow doth guide; A duck they take you for—deluded fools— Enticed to dropping to thy snare. Thou'rt naught but one of human genius' tools, And senseless e'en to understand thy care.
TRAINING, HANDLING, CORRECTING FAULTS AND CARE OF THE BIRD DOG.
ED F. HABERLEIN
J. T. S., Salem, Ore.—I have a setter pup which bids fair of making a fine field dog some day, is large for age and in best of health at this time and I am very desirous to keep him so. Many dogs here get distemper and usually die. Now, can you suggest any way to prevent distemper?
H. R. Thompson, Seattle, Wash.—(1) Do ducks ever cross? (2) Which are the larger, the California valley quail or the bob-white? (3) Please give me the common and scientific names of the following ducks: Blue-wing Teal, Mallard, Baldpate, Canvasback, American Golden Eye, Pintail, Wood-duck, Butter Ball?
The picture herewith presented is that of a noted bear and lion hunter of southern Colorado, Mr. J. B. Patterson, and his pack of dogs. Mr. Patterson has lived in the Rockies for 35 years and during that time has killed every kind of big game found in the United States.
The mountain streams of Colorado, by reason of their clear and pure water, are particularly adapted for the various species of game fish, generally characterized as trout. Realizing this fact, both the national and state governments have expended large sums of money in the construction of strictly modern hatcheries in this state for the proper care and distribution of young fish.
We present herewith a cut of the Apache Motor Cycle, manufactured by Brown & Beck, Denver, Colo., who have been in this business for several years past. Up to date they have won every speed event in which their Apache has started. Last Labor Day the Apache took first and second time (as well as place) in the 25-mile Labor Day motor cycle road race, making the 25 miles in 39 minutes over very muddy and rough roads.
C. W. Budd, who has been before the shooting fraternity for thirty-odd years, has retired from the professional ranks, much to the regret of the Union Metallic Cartridge and Remington Arms companies, who are sorry to lose such a valuable representative.
How is this for the shooting of a woman—a record any man could be proud of: For the week ending March 2d, Mrs. Ad Topper-wein at Waynesboro, Ga., broke 97-100; Statesboro, Ga., 96-100; Dublin, Ga., 98-100; Hawkinsville, Ga., 48-50; Waycross, Ga., 95-100, or 96½ per cent, for the week, shooting at five different places.
The annual tournament of the Indoor .22-Caliber Rifle League of the United States was held at Rochester, N. Y„ Jan. 28th to Feb. 2d. The rapid fire match was won by Harry Harrison of Rochester, firing 69 shots in one minute and making the fine score of 478.
The new H. & R. Revolver Grip (price $1) combines with a pocket revolver the grip of an army model, and offers a better hold than any other similar device. It is solid and as firm as a part of the frame, but can be detached by removing two small screws, allowing the use of the revolver either with or without the grip as desired.
The following interesting account of the performance of a Western man is taken from the Waco (Texas) Times-Herald: The exhibition of fine rifle shooting given at West End yesterday afternoon by J. W. Akard of Fairplay, Mo., representing the U. M. C. and Remington Arms companies, was something never before equaled in the city, and the crowd present was spellbound.
We have received several inquiries lately from prospective campers and hunters asking what sort of bed is best to take on a packing trip into rugged country, where cold weather is encountered, and where the character of the country and the nature of the trip compels them to cut down weight of outfit to the minimum.
We present herewith a cut of the Keyse Attachable Trigger, a device patented by J. H. Keyse, of 525 Sixteenth street, Denver. This is a very practical device which can be easily attached to any gun, and works perfectly. It consists of only three parts—a screw eye, thumb nut and trigger.
The Rowley College of Taxidermy and Modeling of Palo Alto, Calif., invites the attention of sportsmen and others to its system of teaching these arts by mail. The college is under the supervision of Prof. John Rowley, taxidermist at the Leland Stanford, Jr., University, California, and was formerly chief of the Department of Taxidermy in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.