The Canal Zone, almost fifty miles long and ten miles wide, with the center of the big ditch as an axis, with the exception of the small space used in the actual line of construction is practically virgin jungle and will be more so, if Col. Goethals' proposition for depopulation is put into operation.
The face of the earth is grandly scarred As shown where mountains stand; Where nature's elements once warred, Then ceased at God's command. We wonder at the power that heaved And piled them into place; What giant intellect conceived Such splendor for earth's face.
Sept. 16., Camp 12.—Altoona, 3,450. We moved about a mile to a nice place on the bank of a stream; cleaned scalps and did our washing. Bob taught us to make a tub of canvas pack covers. Our boys washed their clothes as often as we did, and were neat and clean.
Influenced by the desire of shooting bear once in my life, I made up my mind to accept the terms of Mr. J. Cėcil Smith of Comox, Vancouver Island, B. C., and to engage him as guide for a hunting trip to the northern part of said island. Before commencing my story I might say that Smith, as I will shortly call him, is best known under the name of Cougar Smith.
This hunt as described by the author, occurred to him near Winter Harbour, Melville Island, in Lat. 72° N. in the spring of 1909. Beneath the towering and precipitous sides of Cape Bounty and some fifteen miles from our good ship "Artic" was a tiny little gray structure that seemed more to us than the riches of the richest, or the greatness of the greatest, for this little gray structure sheltered what made possible to us the having of hot beans and coffee after our long and hard marches in the cold of the Arctic.
This story is literally true, and is written for the amateur hunter. It was a number of years ago, 1896, but my recollection of the occurrences is most vivid. I was not a hunter and made no pretensions of being one. I had been in the active profession of the law for twelve years, and had been on the bench for a period of two years, and during those years my attention was turned entirely away from that of a sportsman.
There are several splendid private herds of buffalo in this country, but none that show finer specimens or more natural and desirable surroundings than the herd owned by Frank Rockefeller of Belvidere, Kansas. Mr. Rockefeller himself is totally unlike the other members of this well-known family in his habits and inclinations.
Among the great hunting expeditions that have taken place in this country, I am sure the one I am about to relate ranks among the first. It took place in Medina County, Ohio, on the 24th day of December, 1818. We who live in this day, instead of having such a surplus of wild game at our command—in fact, right up close to our doors, and in many instances a positive detriment, by reason of the ravages made among crops and the destruction of domestic animals—are striving to devise ways and means to increase the number.
Some time ago, a few thousand centuries, perhaps, your grandfather and mine hitched himself into a less cramped position on the limb, glanced down at the cave bear ripping bark off the trunk, shivered in the chill dawn breeze, then gazed longingly at that brightening streak on the horizon that heralded the coming of his God—The Sun. The land was still a blue dark, and crouched and crawled with fanged dangers, so hairy old Grandpa kept to his perch till the yellow shafts of warm light began to pierce between the tree trunks and light up every suspicious thicket.
As we left the ranch and headed up the thickly-wooded slope the dogs danced and yelped with gladness at being on the go again. A couple of hundred yards from the cabin we crossed a small stream, and here Bruce, the veteran bear dog, commenced to sniff, and soon was off on an old trail.
In reading your Outdoor Life of last month I became interested in the chance shots therein recorded. Ever since I have been large enough to carry a Quackenbush .22 rifle I have been very much interested in guns, and of course we all make chance shots.
In Outdoor Life for August, on pages 149-50, there is an article by N. D. Wells, M. D., that I think deserves a reply. Mr. Wells assumes that all hunters find their chief pleasure, or the chief pleasure of hunting, in the brutal act of killing, and further assumes that a hunter who says anything against brutality is insincere and indulging in "sentimental gush."
Anent the duck malady in and around Salt Lake Valley, it is now about four years since this unfortunate illness appeared among our water fowl, and since its inception we have had and made some interesting observations and experiments, which have some apparent foundation and merit; in fact, enough to justify at this time a resumé of the work done.
Open Seasons For Game in The United States and Canada, 1913
T. S. Palmer
W. F. Bancroft
Frank L. Earnshaw
The table on the opposite page shows the open seasons for game in the United States and Canada arranged on a uniform plan. In its preparation the proposed regulations for the protection of migratory birds, which do not take effect until October 1, or on approval of the President, have been taken into consideration, and the dates under these regulations are inserted in blackfaced type.
A Summary of the Latest Game Law Provisions Relating to Seasons, Limits, Licenses, Etc.
THE PRESENT CONDITIONS.
T. S. Palmer
W. F. Bancroft
Frank L. Earnshaw
The present bulletin of the United States Department of Agriculture, containing the fourteenth annual summary of the game laws of the United States and Canada, has been prepared on the same general plan as those issued each year since 1902.
A wire received from Kalispell, Mont., tells of the sad accident which befell Mrs. H. E. Houston of Whitefish, Mont., on September 1. While hunting ducks with her husband, Dr. H. E. Houston (a brother of Dr. R. Houston of Kalispell, author of an interesting paper published in Outdoor Life a year ago on a hunting trip in the Yukon), their carriage struck a log and Mrs. Houston reached for a gun to prevent it from falling.
The muskrat is very easy to trap. Notwithstanding the fact that its fur is not of best quality until winter and spring, a majority of the pelts are taken in the fall. The greater percentage are sent to market by amateur trappers. The musquash, which is the Indian name for this little animal, feeds entirely upon vegetable food.
NOTICE—The question department is conducted for the readers of this magazine by Mr. George J. Thiessen, recognized as one of the foremost if not the foremost authorities of traps and trapping in America. In order that everyone may profit from the column to the greatest extent, the following rules must be observed: (1) No questions will be answered except those pertaining to the taking and handling of furs, etc.
I was much amused by the learned answers given by the professors under the caption "In Re Skunks." The fur-bearers referred to by your readers, while not exactly civets, are bought and sold all over the world by fur dealers as civet cats. Perhaps a comparison could be made to illustrate: In America the white weasel is called the ermine by fur buyers, yet in reality it is not the genuine ermine.
On numerous occasions I have read articles pertaining to accessibility of remote sections of our country, mountain beauty spots, etc. Brother Thomas' article No. 15 contains some musings from which many of our so-called sportsmen and campers (?) could absorb much good.
As you have asked for remarkable shots, I will tell you of one that happened to me some years ago. I had a .38 caliber revolver and stepping out on our front porch, I fired it at a frozen tree about twelve feet away; then things happened that were not on the program.
I notice that some of our friends are having trouble with poison ivy. The writer has been tormented with this from his youth up, and one of his earliest recollections is of his old black mammy bathing him from head to foot in hot copperas water, while he added his own tears in the way of dilution.
"We have all learned one lesson this fall, and that is, after hunting six years with .30-30s, and killing a lot of game with them, that they are not the gun for the mountains. Too many deer and nearly all of the bear hit with them travel too far, and some are lost.
Those who are familiar with the Ideal Handbook will wonder why I choose to write on a subject which has been so thoroughly thrashed out. But, has it? The handbook will tell you that the right thing is one of those hard alloy bullets, preferably No.
In the July number of Outdoor Life I wrote of some tests I had made with various rifles, belonging to others, which I referred to as being in the average condition in which rifles are usually found which are owned by the average backwoodsman, to determine what degree of accuracy might be expected of them when shot from rest with hunting sights at the usual ranges at which game is shot at in the majority of cases.
It may interest readers of Outdoor Life to know that the Smith & Wesson automatic pistol is on the market. I have just seen two "copies," as the late Bill Nye might have said, of this unique arm, which in general appearance somewhat resembles the Browning .32-caliber automatic as made by the Fabrique Nationale of Herstal-Liege, Belgium, prior to the issue of its 1912 model.
For the past three years the most staple article of commerce in El Paso has been cartridges. Cartridges! Cartridges by the hundreds; cartridges by the thousands and the millions! Big cartridges, little cartridges, long cartridges, short cartridges, Hi-power, low-power—all sorts, sizes and kinds that one ever saw or heard of, and then some!
I read in today's paper of a New York man who was "held under $5,000 bond for having in his possession a revolver, in violation of a state law." I wish that you would publish a little information on that subject, stating just what the rights of a citizen of the United States are in regard to the ownership and transportation of firearms.
Answering some remarks of Mr. Alfred A. Thomas. Chicago, in the August number of your magazine, I beg to say that the author of "With His Back to the Wall," in the December Cosmopolitan, does not use the word "cylinder," but "chamber of his rifle," etc.
I see that I have been misunderstood. If I state the case in my own language they will understand. To do so I must quote my authority, according to the Standard dictionary. Dynamics, "the branch of mechanics that treats of the effects of forces in producing motion and the laws of the motion so produced; sometimes called kinetic; opposite to static."
In the August number of Outdoor Life Mr. Charles Gasho describes a knife-pistol and expresses a desire to hear from others about like weapons or "instruments of torture." In a sale or auction of old arms, etc., held by Merwin Sales Co., Newark, N. J., January 30, 1913, was offered a knife-pistol of the following description: "Percussion; about .22 caliber; barrel is German silver; with English proof marks; nipple on the axis of the bore.
Noting the inquiry of Mr. Stewart in the July issue about .22 caliber repeaters, the Marlin Model '97 in particular, I will give my experience with this gun. For all-around use in a .22 it is hard to beat. The weakest point In this gun, as I know It, Is the same as the others described by Mr. Stewart, namely, the extractor.
Dr. Connyngham mentions a German-made, hand-functioned, repeating pistol in the July number of your magazine. A more detailed description of these guns might be of interest to your readers, hence this write-up. The guns are the invention of a Mr. Bittner.
Referring to the article by Chas. Gasho in the August number of the Outdoor Life, on page 179, I wish to say that the combination knife and pistol was made in Sheffield, England, by Unwin & Rogers. We have one in our museum, and there is one in the United States Cartridge Co's.
H. C. Moddelmog, Colorado Springs, Colo. —Does the Savage Arms Company make the .22 H. P. Savage cartridge with full metal patch bullet? Answer:—The Savage Company does not at present manufacture .22 H. P. Savage cartridges with full metal patch bullets.
G. H. W., Jersey City, N. J.—I have a young pointer, 9 months old and well grown, who has had no training as yet. Do you think he is too young to begin now? How long does it take to get a dog through the course of yard training? Can a pointer be broken to retrieve ducks?
The sportsman of today, as a rule, belongs to a busy class of people. He is not the "hunter" of bygone years. The business man who, during the closed season on game, has been fettered to his office, toils in the city, partakes himself to field and forest for a hunt for pleasure and recreation, but not for the money to be made out of the game killed.
New York.—Schenectady anglers are fond of fishing in Ballston Lake, seven miles from Schenectady, where large-mouth black bass, pike, pickerel and yellow perch are plentiful. The lake is in a wildly beautiful territory, and many anglers camp on the shaded banks of the streams running into the lake and along the lake itself.
Commerce, or civilization, or whatever you like to call modern man's accumulation of money wealth at the sacrifice of nature, is perpetrated with no greater force than in the wanton waste of our forests—the trees given by God to the people and stolen from the people by the trusts.
The specie is distributed throughout the Intermountain States, and known as "natives," the salmon trout of America. As stated by Dr. Jordan: "It was born in Alaska and has worked its way southward and eastward into the streams of the great Rocky Mountain region.
The Still Hunter, by T. S. Van Dyke; illustrated; 390 pages; $1.75 net; the Macmillan Company, New York. What Walton's "Compleat Angler" is to angling, Van Dyke's "Still Hunter" is to hunting—when that hunting pertains to deer. No American sportsman has given the amount of study to deer hunting that Van Dyke has.