A successful hunt in Montana, and another in Wyoming for elk and sheep naturally led up to a desire to tramp the game trails of the Northland. As a result, W. S. Ferguson of Athena, Ore., and I opened negotiations with J. Frank Callbreath of Telegraph Creek.
The so-called mountains of Mexico are low hills of sharp, broken rocks. From the hills, gravely mesas slope off the desert. The desert is gravel and sand. There is no grass and few flowers. The desert and mountains are covered with a sparse growth of cactus, ironwood, palo verde, mesquites, brittle-brush, smoke-brush, greasewood, and several other kinds of brush.
Most of Uncle Sam’s army in the United States has been making its home along the Mexican border for several years; but in the early autumn of 1915 some 5,000 soldiers were concentrated along the lower waters of the Rio Grande in the magic valley.
I flicked my fly o’er a deep, black pool, Where the big fellows lie in the depths so cool. As quick as a flash one took my fly, And shot up the stream in the bat of an eye. Then he leaped from the foam in a speckled flash. And again broke away in a lightning dash.
“If thou art worn and hard beset With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget, If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep, Go to the woods and hills! No tears Dim the sweet look that Nature wears." —Longfellow.
The upper reaches of the North Fork of the Shoshone River, Wyo., contain few of the quiet, still pools beloved by Walton. Its source is high up in a rugged tilted basin 10,000 feet above the sea. Fed by melting glacial snows, the stream obtains volume quickly and rushes out of the basin and thru a meadow, down into the blue walled cañons.
Oh, the sun is mine with her golden shine, And the world is big and wide; And the flowers in glee smile love at me As over the plains I ride. With a horse and saddle and room to grow And a sky overhead and some friends to know— Why, life is wonderful, isn’t it so?
Among a batch of student manuscripts just received from the Denver University for criticism was the above, and my comment appears with it. Further than that I have nothing to say. If it does not speak for itself it is a failure, and I am mistaken.
Letter No. 221.—Casting Rod and Other Information.
Letter No. 222.—A Montana Fishing Trip.
Letter No. 223—Line for Fly Fishing, and a Fly Wanted.
Letter No. 224—Apropos “Stinging Insects.”
Letter No. 225.—Voracious Bass.
Letter No. 226.—Kinked Rod Again.
Editor Angling Department:—Know how many trout I’ve killed, altogether? One: just one. Hit it with a club when a kid— not when the trout was a kid. Didn’t know any better then, and since I have never had a chance to fish for the speckled rascals.
“Lake-fishing,” ’tis a word to conjure with. Two-thirds of bass-fishermen are lake fishers, yet the black bass is not essentially a lake fish. Perhaps the large-mouth is more inclined to a still water habitat than is the small-mouth, tho both are found in swift-running streams and both are found in lakes.
Being a Plea for Quality Winches Without Any Intent to Work an Injustice Upon Medium-Priced Winders.
I AM NOT “KNOCKING” LOW-PRICED REELS.
GET A LOW-PRICED REEL FIRST.
THE JOY OF GOOD TACKLE.
QUALITY IN ACTUAL CASTING.
LEARN TO CARE FOR GOOD REELS.
O. W. Smith.
(Note.—The illustrations are from reels in possession of the writer, photographed by himself. There are other reels on the market of equally high merit, not illustrated here simply because not owned by the writer, while there are others of some special type to be illustrated later.—O. W. S.) I wish to consider in this article aristocratic winches.
“Bill” and I left Twin Falls on June 20th and picked up “Mack” in Bellevue, Idaho, three days later. From there on we had ideal fishing; no monsters caught but they all ran from eight to eighteen inches in length—mountain trout, rainbow, bull-trout, and last but not least, the Middle Fork redsides.
Recently I had the pleasure of handling and trying out a new casting rod, after which I set it up before the camera and made a picture. The rod is not a radical departure in general lines, yet it is different, sufficiently so to be of interest to the readers of this department.
Revised Regulations for the Protection of Migratory Birds.
Regulation 1. Definitions.
Regulation 2. Closed Season at Night.
Regulation 3. Closed Season on Insectivorous Birds.
Regulation 4. Closed Seasons on Certain Game Birds.
Regulation 5. Zones.
Regulation 6. Construction.
Regulation 7. Closed Seasons in Zone No. 1.
Regulation 8. Closed Season in Zone No. 2.
Regulation 9. Hearings.
We have received from H. W. Henshaw, chief, Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., a copy of the proposed new regulations under the federal migratory bird law. These regulations are to be published for three months, beginning May 13, 1916, subject to comment, suggestions and hearings where thought desirable.
Every little while I see an article about the slaughter of the buffalo, with remarks on what a pity it is that they were allowed to be killed. But I would like to have any sportsman tell me if he has ever heard of a woman or baby being killed and scalped by the Indians since the buffalo disappeared.
Some two or three years ago, thru the columns of your maga zine, you endeavored to ascertain the world’s record for extreme spread in deer heads. In your October, 1911, issue you published photographs and descriptions of a number of heads that were submitted to you, among them a head then owned by H. W. Whiting of British Columbia which showed a spread of 44⅛ inches.
E. Marshall Scull, in his splendid book, “Hunting in Alaska and the Yukon,” published by the John C. Winston Co. of Philadelphia, gives to sportsmen expecting to take a hunt in Alaska much information of vital importance, not the less valuable of which is his lists comprising provisions outfit and personal equipment, which we reproduce below: Supplies of E. Marshall Scull for twentyfive days for sheep and moose on Kenai Peninsula fall 1913, for himself, guide, packer and cook—four in all: Lbs.
Hutchings’ California Magazine for September, 1856, contains some good stories about grizzly bears, which may aid in settling the dispute as to whether bears will attack: Here is the better part of the article, which Outdoor Life may consider worth present-day consideration in view of the fact that the California Magazine is practically out of print and copies are rare indeed: “The grizzly has ever been considered by trappers and mountaineers of the American continent as the most formidable of wild beasts.
An Equally Persistent Writer Says They Still Exist.
Editor Outdoor Life
The controversy regarding the extinction of the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) in the March and April numbers of Outdoor Life is, of course, of interest to both sportsmen and scientist, and altho really concluded by the letter and circular from Prof. G. F. Hodge of Clark University, Worcester, Mass., may perhaps be augmented by a few additional remarks from the realm of science.
I am sending you a clipping from the Cook’s Inlet Pioneer (of Anchorage, Alaska), describing the killing of W. H. Peterson by a big brown bear last November. I talked to several of the boys who were there and learned the following facts: Peterson came across the bear’s trail and followed it up the creek, winding in and out among the brush.
Writes S. N. Leek of Jackson, Wyo., under date of May 7, 1916: “The attorney general of Wyoming has just ruled that a resident of Wyoming cannot legally kill bear. If this is enforced it will give the bear a needed rest. I hope his opinion will be maintained.
In a former paper under the title of “Waterproofing” we considered waterproofing fabrics in general. Herein we will deal mostly with oilskins, with the side glances at a few other practical methods of making cloth, especially in the form of bedding and clothing, waterproof.
Some Inside Information on Death Valley Disclosed by an Authority.
Editor Outdoor Life
Relative to an article in the October issue of Outdoor Life by Chauncey Thomas, Mr. Frank Woods undertakes to make a monkey of Mr. Thomas under the heading of “The Desert” in your February number. As I feel that I am in a great measure responsible for “starting something” with Mr. Thomas, I also feel that it is my duty to set him right with your readers.
To most men the art of cooking is a sealed book—and to most women, too, when it comes to tending the flesh pots over an open fire under the sky. We of today are the creatures of civilized habit and have so far forgotten our savagery that most of us would starve in the middle of the bountiful table Dame Nature has always set, welcome and waiting for him who knows the ways of the wilderness; therefore, my children, listen : Crawfish, the little brother of the lobster, is very toothsome and he lives in every creek, river, lake and wet place up and down the land; also his is a trusting disposition, therefore you can sweep him up from the bottom with a net made from a yard of mosquito bar twisted around a couple of stick brails; or you can bait a sunken dip-net with a few fish heads, leave it a bit on the bottom of the creek and haul it forth burdened with crawfish; or you can tie a bit of meat or fish on a string and lower it down inside the little mud tower each crawfish builds above his burrow in the swamp ground and presently withdraw your string with the crawfish clinging to the meat with vise-clamped claws.
It’s a fact that prairie dogs and rattlesnakes inhabit the same burrows and live in peace and quietness. I have seen rattlesnakes combing a prairie-dog’s hair with a comb made of the prickly pear, and the only recompense the rattler ever gets is an occasional young purp that arouses his ire.
The excerpts from my letter to you, which you published in the October number of Outdoor Life, have been read in the most northeast and the most southwest States of the Union and in some between. I have received many inquiries for information regarding the best outfit to take on a hunting trip to Alaska and the Yukon, and append herewith a list of essential articles for such a trip.
About three weeks ago, while walking thru the woods I discovered and captured a jet-black rat. I never saw one before, but remember when a schoolboy in my native country (Sweden) that they were considered very rare—at least in Sweden. Now, are they common here in America?
Select an open spot where the wind blows across without eddies or obstructions to whirl the air about; that’s the place to build it and you should be satisfied with no other. Next, dry wood: find it as dead limbs on standing trees (not on the ground), or as dead standing trees not yet beginning to rot, and best of all, light, dry weathered roots on top of some driftwood pile left high and dry by flood waters along the stream; that wood makes hot, smokeless fire that is the best ever for cooking.
WHY THE HOT SULPHUR MAIL WAS LATE, BY CHAUNCEY THOMAS,
will appear in our August issue. This short story attracted national attention when it was published fifteen years ago, and ever since then has been universally acknowledged as an American classic that will probably live in English literature as long as short stories are read.
The considerable number of brands and grades of smokeless powder now on the market, adapted to use in rifles and revolvers, and the rapidity with which this number is being increased, makes the question of choice between them, in case one of the elements of sport may be said to be serious, a serious matter.
The few solemn remarks that follow are a sort of gun stew, just a kind of verbal housecleaning. Unity is an essential in the construction of the short story—as I have been imparting to sundry women’s clubs of late—but it doesn’t apply here, where I am trying to express myself piously.
Without desiring to rush into print I’d like to object to Brother Outcalt and perhaps to Brother Kephart, in regard to the matter of selection of our firearms. Their idea seems to be to get the cartridge you want and find some gun to carry it. Very well, but suppose the gun that carries the cartridge you want doesn’t fit your mechanical constructions as to neck, shoulders and arms?
Much has been written concerning the so-called Kentucky rifle by people who are not at all familiar with the arm. Just who built the first arm of this type remains a mystery. History fades into fable and fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy.
Effects of Certain High Velocity Bullets on Alaskan Game.
Editor Outdoor Life
In the spring of 1914, when the ’06 150-grain umbrella bullet put out by the U. M. C. Co. made its appearance, my brother and I, having used the 150-grain service bullet and liking its low trajectory and high velocity, we at once commenced using the umbrella bullet as it looked like a good killer.
I have for some time been a reader—or rather have studied Outdoor Life. I have gained much pleasure as well as useful knowledge from its pages. I have been especially interested in the many sound articles of late concerning the use of the one-handed gun.
I would like to hear from some of your subscribers about using shot in revolvers. I have tried it in a .32-20 Smith & Wesson, but have not made a howling success at it. My best luck was to use a circle of paper or cardboard around the shot, but I found that it was often left in the gun, the shot and wad going thru the center.
In the April number of your magazine a correspondent asked for an explanation why choke-boring a gun makes it give a better pattern. Your explanation looks all right, but I read a different one some years ago in the English Field. The article I read was illustrated by photographs showing first a charge of shot leaving the muzzle of a cylinder-bore gun, and second, a charge of shot leaving the muzzle of a choke-bore gun.
What is the difference between the 1898 Springfield and the 1906 Springfield? What weight bullet and powder does each gun use and what is their velocity? Where can they be bought and what is the price of each gun?—Reader. Answer.—There is no 1898 Springfield.
During the month of April, 1916, on Cedar Creek, near Gardiner, Montana, there was committed one of the worst crimes against the laws of this state that has occurred for many years. More than three hundred elk were slain with high-power rifles in the hands of a murderous gang, whose only gain could be the paltry sum of a few dollars realized from the sale of the teeth.
It takes a long time to get an idea into the public head. We have had national parks in America ever since 1872, over forty-four years, yet today, after two generations have been born since the national parks were created, and after fully four generations have had, but have neglected, the chance to fully enjoy these open air places, after all this, not one person in 1,000, or perhaps in 5,000, in the United States can even tell what a national park really is, much less tell how many there are, or where they are.
Port Aransas, Texas, June 9, 1916. Editer Outdoor Life —(by wire)—Denver, Colo.:—Fred Bradford Ellsworth of Chicago, sportsman and magazine writer on angling and outdoor life subjects, caught the largest gold button tarpon of the season today. It measured six feet two and one-half inches. The fish was caught on a six-ounce-tip rod and nine-thread line.
ALLEN HEIL, PENNSYLVANIA “CHAMP," ON PERFECT SCORE.
FIND ANOTHER SQUAD TO BEAT THIS.
MISSOURI STATE TOURNAMENT.
Monday, May 15, was the beginning day of the Kansas State Tournament, held at Emporia, otherwise the home of “Uncle ’ Walt Mason and William Allen White. There was a good bunch of shooters, and to reverse it we claim that it was a bloomin bunch of good shooters—the pick was there of Kansas, Missouri, and a scattering from other points.
The Remington Arms-U. M. C. Co., are 100 years “young” this year, and they will celebrate their centennial on Aug. 29, 30 and 31. These will be designated, respectively, as Ilion Day, New York State Day and Industrial Day. Appropriate programs have been tentatively arranged.
The 1916-’17 Sportsman’s Handbook, issued by the New York Sporting Goods Co., 15-17 Warren St., New York, is everything that its name implies. It is a catalog of everything used by the outer and hunter, in conjunction with valuable advice to sportsman outfitters and hunting stories by Powhatan Robinson, president of the company, who has hunted in nearly every hunting country on the globe.