The natives of Southeastern Alaska, especially the younger and educated ones, are a very sensitive people, and more especially is this so with anything that pertains to the public parading of the weird customs, ceremonies and beliefs of their primitive ancestors, and which they never fail to resent by further mystifying those who are seeking information in regard to them.
Oh! its wild flower time, I felt it today, And in spite of the city I knew, For between the brick walls and the clouds of black smoke Their perfume came wafting through. It came as a breath from the boyhood’s land Where the hills are refreshed by the rain, Where the ’wakening woods sing an April song And it’s wild flower time again.
The celebrated Englishman, Dr. Samuel Johnson, when walking one evening with his friend Boswell in Greenwich park, put this question to him, “Is not this very fine?” Boswell (using his own words), having no exquisite relish of the beauties of Nature, and being more delighted “with the busy hum of men,” answered, “Yes, sir, but not equal to Fleet street.”
These are not a lot of warriors we are going to tell you about, though the size of the company, the up-to-date rifles and shot-guns, six-shooters, sharp hunting knives and the quantity of ammunition looked formidable enough. Nor are they a crowd of “nature fakirs”—for none of them have written stories of wild animals they know nothing about.
A glorious dawn, all radiant with the light of sunrise. An east o’erspread with nature’s royal hue. A burst of bird song fills the air with music, Each grass blade hung with gems of sparkling dew. The morning wind stirs gently o’er the meadow, Freighted with perfume of the spring time flowers.
Our boys are full of life. To them it seems theirs by right. What it costs and whence it came they never stop to think. They know that life in man must be respected. The law of God and of man requires it. They must not kill one of their own kind. They have been taught that man is the greatest thing, and the only thing on earth to be respected and feared.
You may think that you can get profound stimulus, and unexpected exhilaration and remorse by casually mounting the back of an untamed and unwilling Routt county broncho; by fondling the bunion on the hind hoof of the deadly double-back-action Missouri mule: by rocking the canoe in mid-stream, and other juvenilities of like character.
I do not believe there is another man living who likes to hunt as well as I. The only disagreeable incident connected with a hunt is the fact that sooner or later you must come back home, lay your trusty rifle away, and go to work. I do not mind to work so much, because I was raised to work, but the trouble is it interferes so much with hunting.
It’s nice to tell the stories of successful hunting trips; The words come fast and easy to your eager, willing lips; There is no lack of detail, for your memory, tried and true, Recalls the various incidents that happened unto you. But did you ever sit in where successful tales were chinned, And admit to their relaters that You Came Back Skinned?
Through Heaven's crimson, the morning is dawning, And gently the sweet scented zephyrs of May Are swaying the cradle where nestlings are yawning Their ravenous beaks for the mother-bird’s prey. The lark has awakened from sweetest reposing.
When spring has come, as it does in North Carolina by the 10th of May, and the warm days begin to succeed each other with regularity, and that restless feeling gets into one’s bones so that the world seems cramped, close and cloysome; when nothing but the sweet-smelling woods, the rippling streams and the song of birds in their nesting haunts will still the longing to be out and away, then turn your face eastward.
My uncle, with whom I lived when I was a boy, had a large family of his own. He was one of the first settlers in western Wisconsin, and besides carrying on a large farm on the banks of one of the principal lumbering streams, he took a large logging crew into the woods every winter.
It’s mighty cold tonight; the sleet rattles like shot against the windows, and the wind moans as tho’ it was sorrowing for the summer that is gone— the Summer who was so liberal with her golden days and moonlight nights—days all too short to ride and fish and hunt, and snuggle close to Mother Nature, and let her take away our aches and pains.
I am hungry for the plowing and the smell of fresh-turned sod, I am weary for the prairie, for methinks ’tis nearer God; When the thrush-songs thrill around us, oh, what joy to trail the team Over knolls and through the valleys where the changing colors gleam.
John is a big Apache. Haughty and silent, contemptuous of everything pertaining to civilization, he visits the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico, from the reservation, but seldom. But the times he does honor the village with his presence are memorable.
If ye’re livin’ out West in big Colorado, An’ are lucky enough to escape prison bars, Don’t pull yer sombrero down over yer winkers, But turn up yer hat an’ look at the stars. They shine out so cheerful all bunched up in clusters, And some in a row like diamond-set bars, A-blaze and a-sparkle, in spite of earth’s troubles— Jes’ turn up yer hat an’ look at the stars.
Qu’Appelle lake and the beautiful valley of the Qu’Appelle have long been framed in unwritten song and story. The weird tales told in the winter tepees have come down from generation to generation until the whole region round is wrapped in mystery and shrouded in a sort of poetic glamour.
I sit alone within the shady bowers, The zephyr gently fans my fevered brow; ’Twas here last year we whiled the happy hours; But thou art gone and I am lonely now. The winter’s snow has gone, the spring’s return Has brought the verdure green and fragrant flowers; But ah!
Say, Bill, I’ve married a rich girl; I hold down an auto now. The thing has a smell and travels like hell; It sure beats the maverick cow. No more do I sashay to round-ups, My broncho’s a thing of the past; The piebald old fool had not been to school, And he found the city too fast.
When the first black crow is calling in the dawning down the dell, I am dreaming of the summer, in my dream I can hear the mudjekeewis sighing softly, I can smell A wild rose blooming near a northern stream. I am waiting in my wigwam for the coming of the spring, For the forest flowers to blossom in the vale, I am watching from my wigwam for the wild goose on the wing, When I’ll gather up my traps and hit the trail.
I enclose photograph of a hornet’s nest built the summer of 1906 on the outside of an attic window of my house. For some reason they left it early in the season, unfinished, although a brood was hatched in it. It was very interesting to watch the progress of it.
At the rear of the great Casino in Monte Carlo is a sporting ground of the crack shots from far and near, who congregate there every spring for dove shooting, heavy prizes being offered for the best scores. The ground is in the shape of a half circle extending out into the gulf of Genoa, which is a part of the Mediterranean sea.
I am sending you herewith a photograph of my elk head, secured two years ago. I am told by old timers, including Uncle Bill Hamilton, that I have the largest elk head they have ever seen. Brent Altsheler, in giving the measurements, in a late number of Outdoor Life, of the largest heads in the United States, could, I am sure, find some very good ones out this way (Columbus, Montana).
A CASE OF “THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST, AND THE LAST FIRST.”
The pictures herewith shown may possibly upset some of the scientific contentions of the big mammal naturalists. We have always known that one of the distinguishing points between a grizzly (Ursus horribilis) and a black bear (Ursus americanus) was the shape of the skull—that of the black being more gently sloping from the top of the head to the muzzle and being devoid of the high cheek bones, almost invariably found in the grizzly.
Mr. S — —, my wife and I, to say nothing of the “Bargain Pup,” were coming down Snake river from Jackson’s Lake in boats, stopping to hunt and fish in likely places. I remembered some promising duck ponds below Dead Man’s Bar and taking the pup, left the boat and walked over.
In Mr. W. T. Hornaday’s latest book, “Camp Fires in the Canadian Rockies,” he publishes a map showing that mountain goats (“Oreamnos Montana”) were to be found in the Teton mountains, Wyoming, to the south of the Yellowstone Park. As we have ourselves hunted on all sides of the Tetons, but had never heard of—or seen any trace of—goats in that locality, or, in fact, anywhere in the United States as far south as the Tetons, we wrote to an old resident of that section, Mr. S. N. Leek of Jackson, Wyoming, asking what he knew of the matter.
One bright morning in early April a friend and I started for a small swamp about six miles away, in hopes of getting a shot or two at jack snipe. The morning was ideal, being bright, and cool enough to make an overcoat feel comfortable. The drive was through a most beautiful country.
The Roosevelt-Long controversy has no doubt been settled in the minds of most of your readers, but I have a few simple thoughts that I wish to add, rather in defense of Dr. Long. I know by your writings that you are on the Roosevelt side of the argument.
AN APPEAL TO SPORTSMEN AND NATURE LOVERS OF THE WEST.
Mr. J. Alden Loring, who is well known to readers of Outdoor Life, has been appointed by the Denver Park Commission, director of the Denver Zoological Park, heretofore known as the “City Park Zoo.” The Commission intends to enlarge the present animal collection and in time make a representative collection of the live birds and mammals of the Rocky mountain and adjacent region.
When, some months ago, we advocated the establishment of a national game refuge in Wyoming—a map of which was published in our April number—we wrote letters to the congressmen of Colorado and Wyoming asking for their support and assistance in the movement.
As an evidence of the view taken by prominent North American sportsmen regarding establishing a big game reserve in British Columbia along lines suggested by W. T. Hornaday, we publish below a set of resolutions that has been passed by the North American Fish and Game Association at its last annual convention in New York:
Noticing in a late issue a letter from Mr. W. R. Welch, a California game warden, relative to the reading and explanation of game and fish laws to the children of the public schools. I take pleasure in enclosing a copy of the Nevada Statute, approved March 12, 1901, and now in force.
In our March number a man writing under the nom de plume of “Hunter” tells of a fellow in Oklahoma who grabbed a live wolf by the tongue and held it, which story, he said, was familiar to all hunters. Our sarcastic footnote to his story drew forth from him a rather caustic note which Le ends up in this wise:
The first thing that it is necessary to do is to gain the confidence of the public before you can expect any person to post you as to poaching. The next most important thing is to keep the informer out of trouble. A great many difficulties spring up when least expected.
Those who know the look of the king of beasts and how small his lithe body is will probably come farthest from the truth. About 300 to 350 pounds is the usual estimate. But a full grown lion will tip the scales at 500 pounds. Five hundred and forty is, I believe, the record of an African lion
From time to time I have seen references to the new Remington auto-loading rifle in Outdoor Life, and in the February number Mr. Ashley A. Haines gave a very creditable description of this new rifle, only lacking actual results, which he promises to give at a later period.
We have received a list of the convictions secured by J. W. Baker, former state game warden of Oregon, residing at Cottage Grove, for illegalities in the game and fish laws of his state during the last ten months of his administration. This list shows that eighty-seven offenders were punished by fines aggregating $2,599, or an average fine for each person of $29.87.
It was all on account of that measly little ninety-eight cent alarm clock—one of those little nickel-plated, tin affairs that are made by the thousand down in Waterbury (I think it is), and sold all over the civilized world, thanks to the energy of the American salesman.
I have not yet had time to discuss the Motor Boat Show with Mr. Nadeau of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition since my return from the East, but in a conversation over the phone Mr. Nadeau assured me that the project was developing nicely, that the Eastern manufacturers were showing considerable interest, and that he had no doubt that the Motor Boat Show could be arranged to be held in connection with the exposition of 1909.
I have just returned from a five months’ trip all through the East, where I met engine manufacturers and boat builders. On returning to the coast I found conditions here far better than they are in any part of the East. Boat builders and engine dealers in Seattle both report a fairly good demand continually all winter, and now that spring has opened up on the coast they are busy, running with a full force of men full time, and have orders ahead.
TRAINING, HANDLING, CORRECTING FAULTS AND CARE OF THE BIRD DOC.
ED F. HABERLEIN
C. W. C., Boulder, Colo.—Is there any difference in outward appearance and action between a spayed bitch and an unspayed one, excepting, of course, when the unspayed one is in heat. I intend purchasing a setter bitch which the owner says has not been spayed, but as I have reason to doubt this, and would not want the dog if spayed, I would be greatly obliged if you should answer this question for me in the dog department of Outdoor Life.
It would be of interest to hear from such rifle cranks as Dr. Hudson and Ashley Haines as to their experience with the shorter length rifle barrels, using the new type of smokeless powder cartridges. The general trend in the past five years has been steadily toward the shorter barrels in both shotguns and rifles.
Being a subscriber of your valuable magazine for the past year, I would like to get some information regarding four guns. I have read all the arguments on guns and ammunition and have come to the conclusion that I don’t know as much as I ought to, according to wise ones.
In a communication, entitled “The Springfield Pistol Test,” published in the September number of your magazine, I expressed the opinion that the chief of ordnance of the United States army, in attempting to compel the adoption of an automatic pistol as the service weapon, was not only trying to arm the fighting branches of the service with a weapon greatly inferior to the admittedly inadequate one now in use, but was forcing it upon them in spite of their appreciation of its inferiority and their necessarily silent, but none the less strong disapproval.
What Mr. D. R. Wiggins says in your March number about the pitting of smokeless rifle barrels prompts me to offer a suggestion to him or to any one using smokeless powder in any sort of firearm. When the day’s shoot is over, fire one or two cartridges loaded with black powder.
In the January issue I saw an inquiry from “Blunderbuss” about rifles “freezing up” in cold weather. Though I have never had any experience in this regard with the automatic, which he especially mentions, I am inclined to think there is more energy to spare in the automatic loading mechanism of those guns than there is in the blow of the hammer of that or other rifles.
I should like to ask Brother Haines, through the columns of Outdoor Life, what he thinks of the .32-20 as a revolver cartridge. I have been told that it is no good and that a .38 Colt long is much better. I have a .45 Colt S. A.
The eternal discussion from one year onto another about calibers and loads of ammunition is a never ending source of amusement to me and one of the reasons why I like to get Outdoor Life in this far away country. Personally I find the modern high power rifles strong enough for any large game, provided the bullet is not less than 200 grains.
To those who are looking for a better grade of revolver belts and scabbards than usually found on the market I would suggest their writing to Capt. A. H. Hardy, the well-known revolver, rifle and shotgun expert of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Reading Lieut. Townsend Whelen’s article in your magazine and knowing him to be an authority on rifles, I wish to indorse all that he says regarding his .40-72. I selected this caliber when I bought my last big game gun and am more than pleased with my choice.
What is a revolver? The originator of the “didn’t know it was loaded” phrase What is a rifle? A firearm designed to cause much discussion among shooters. Which is the best rifle? Ask any shooter. It’s the one HE is using. What is twist in rifling?
In the February number of “Outing” is a very interesting article by Chas. M. Morton on “The New Art of Wing Shooting.” Mr. Morton speaks about work with the shotgun, and then goes on to the .22 caliber rifle and makes some statements which are to me most amazing and which I would like to have substantiated by somebody who is more familiar with the subject than myself.
Observing that the big load question is approaching the tooth-and-nail stage of proceedings, it gives me acute pleasure to recount my experience along this particular line of suicide. I have used some rather large loads in my time and have always managed to get home in time to do justice to a full supper.
In my article in the March number of your valuable magazine I mentioned the fact that the Linkletter load as stated by Mr. Crossman and tried by Dr. Hudson was probably larger than advocated, viz: 12 grains Bull’s Eye. If you will consult Mr. Linkletter’s article in the April, 1907, number, you will find where his special loading for his transformed new Colt .44-40 contains 5-16 drs. of black powder in the bottom, same measure Bull’s Eye on top (which would make 8½ grs. black and 5 grs.
Having used a .38-55 Marlin, model '93, in the Sierra Nevada mountains while in the forest service, I made a study of rifle sights and found for every condition and all kinds of light—that is, shooting in the snow, in heavy timber, and on glaring grey granite slopes—that these sights were always distinct, namely, Sheard’s gold front sight, Lyman No. 6 leaf and the Marble flexible joint peep.
It is hard to find a combination of rifle sights that will suit the eye of everyone under all conditions. The combination that suits me would perhaps be useless to nine out of ten of my hunting companions. One prefers, and will use nothing but an open rear sight with a very fine notch and a fine knife-blade front sight of silver; another a V notch and a coarse ivory bead, and another must have a peep rear and a gold-bead front sight.
Jules Burton, Cleveland, Okla. — The question has often come to my mind, What becomes of the deer and elk antlers after they are shed? Considering the large number that must be shed each year, especially on their winter ranges, I think comparatively few are seen by sportsmen and others while traveling over these ranges.
The City of Delight, by Elizabeth Miller; Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis. Perhaps a trifle long drawn out, but nevertheless interesting, is “The City of Delight,” the latest work of Elizabeth Miller, The siege and fall of Jerusalem is described at too great a length, possibly, for those who are more anxious to follow the fortunes of the hero and heroine, who are in the doomed city.
Two beautiful photographs have just come to hand—too late though to have cuts made for this number—illustrating the new plant of the Michigan Wheel Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is built of brick, two stories and basement, with a floor space of 25,000 square feet with plenty of windows for light.
Fishermen, you will be interested in the “Snagged Hook Releaser” advertised by the Immell Mfg, Co. of Blair, Wis., in this issue. At Atlanta, Georgia, March 21st, Mr. H. D. Freeman shot Peters’ factory loaded shells, breaking 130 out of 135.