My conversion to the use of the 28gauge shotgun has required many years experience in the game fields, and has been very gradual. The story of my conversion necessitates going back into ancient history. My father moved to a Western ranch when I was six years of age, so I was almost born with a gun in my hand.
For the past thirty years a vacation to me has always meant either a hunting or a fishing trip. These trips have taken me from coast to coast, and from the wilds of Old Mexico to many unnamed and untamed beauty spots of the Canadian wilderness. I had planned that my trip this year (1917) was to be for caribou in British Columbia, but conditions made the British Columbia trip out of the question, so I then tried to arrange for a trip down the Salmon River with Mr. Painter.
On September 3d we were up at 5:30. Clear and cold with red tinge of sunrise on the peaks. The snow-banks looked pink. All the early morning scene was green, fresh, cool, with that mountain rareness of atmosphere. We packed to break camp, and after breakfast it took hours to get our outfit in shape to start—a long string, resembling a caravan.
READER of ours, did it ever occur to you what a wonderful significance lies in the above words; how easily you can be jockeyed out of a square deal and be sent away with a smiling face in the confidence that you have gotten everything that was coming to you?
Late in August four enthusiastic sheep hunters met at Fred Bristol’s ranch at the Blue Holes near Circle, Wyoming. They were C. E. Sykes and Dr. Goodwin from Oklahoma, Louis Deming from St. Louis and the writer. The Oklahomans had arranged to hunt the head of south branch of the Dinwoody; Deming was to try the neighborhood of Simpson Lake, and I was going in to the head of the north branch of Dinwoody Creek.
I was much interested in an article recently published in an Eastern sporting magazine, under the title, “Does the Cougar Scream?” by W. D. Young. It was thoroly enjoyable and full of information. Mr. Young sets forth an array of evidence on the negative side of the question by a number of careful and reliable observers, one of whom is well known to the present writer.
This morn I heard the robin's trill; The spring is in the air; The grass is greening on the hill— The signs are everywhere. This morn I wakened with the sun; The world was fresh and bright. Thru quiet night Dame Nature spun To clothe the world aright.
Whenever time and opportunity offered I would skip off into the wilderness with a camera to secure pictures of the wild things. I had photographed everything I could get within range, but there was one animal that I just ached to draw a bead on thru the glass finder of my camera, and that was a grizzly bear.
It took place in the summer of 1912. We were living on the Payette River at the time about thirty-five miles north and west of Boise, that beautiful little city of western Idaho. It was an unusually hot summer for that country and we were plodding along trying to persuade a few acres of apple trees that they should take a new lease of life and speedily grow into producers of the mazuma.
The verb, to get, is perhaps used with more variation of meaning than any verb in the English language, It is the despair of the foreigner studying English. A man gets rich, gets poor, gets in, gets out, gets religion, gets the measles, gets sick and finally dies.
If the connection between the fly or flies and the line could be absolutely invisible, the trout fisherman, as well as the bass fisherman, could add tremendously to his chances for a full creel. With the modern upstream fishing mode, as it is now generally practiced in fly fishing for trout, and even when the water is low and clear, the angler, if his approach be silent, is not likely to frighten his quarry.
Great God! I am back again! With all of my pack again, Trav'ling the track again, I lost when I went. And ah ! it is sweet again, The trail at my feet again, The friends that I greet again, The feel of content. Ah! the delight of it, The force and the might of it, Just to get sight of it, And stretch out my hand.
Somewhere in the Bible a writer, forgotten for ages, makes a remark about the man who eats the seed corn. Incidentally the seed eater is not held up as an example of wisdom. Doubtlessly we could find a few pregnant words on the same subject from Shakespeare, but that is not necessary, because we have with us today the seed eater himself.
Shall We Have Him as a Live Game Bird or a Dead Song Bird?
Quail Probably Hard Hit in Most States.
No Aspersion of Farmer.
Shot for Years; Still Plentiful.
War on Vermin Brings Good Results.
No Dead Birds Seen.
Hungarian Partridge Also.
Theodore Roosevelt’s War Message to American Sportsmen.
The Colonel’s Message.
‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS.’
Our National Parks Need Organized Protection.
National Association Needed.
Ad Interim Body Suggested.
E. A. QUARLES
IN the April Bulletin there was told the story of the decimation of Ohio’s quail this winter, following their placing on the song bird list. The tragedy, for tragedy it was, was attributed in large part to the failure of non-sportsmen bird-lovers to give these birds the attention that proponents of the bill had assured the legislature they would, once the birds were taken off the game list.
I am afraid that trolling is not generally understood. I realize how foolish that must sound, but I make the assertion only after years of observation and personal study. Watching men engaged in the sport, again and again I have been impressed with the fact that they did not rightly understand the best methods of pursuing the game.
You will note the title, please, “The Bait Fisher’s Rods.” He will need, must have, more than one rod, if he plans to do all varieties of bait angling. The fly-fisherman and caster of artificial lures can get along very nicely, barring accident, with a single rod, but not so the man who specializes in live bait fishing.
Of all the Western states, none offer greater sport with the shotgun than the velvety state of Washington, where a nerve relaxer hangs on every tree and bush and is seen in every crystal stream. It is the state where they go to “let down,” and in doing so the mind and body receive the very tonic that allows them to “go up” again as soon as Nature’s restorative gets in its work.
Something near thirty-five years ago the writer was a pink-toed squalling baby and had about all the troubles of the average country kid, probably more as I had learned to suck my thumb, and later when I started courting I had to overcome the habit as it made me feel mighty bad to have my best girl tell me to take my thumb out of my mouth, and this happened to me many times before I overcame the habit.
For the benefit of the readers of Outdoor Life, I am offering my observations concerning fish conservation. Take the state of Washington, for instance. We have good laws to protect the trout, the bulk of which are aimed at the user of rod and line.
Letter No. 423—Greyling and Rocky Mountain White Fish.
Letter No. 424—Reel for Salt Water.
Letter No. 425—Why Is the Flesh of Some Trout Red?
Letter No. 426—Coloration of Trout.
Letter No. 427—A True Fish Story.
Letter No. 428—Bait for Dollies.
Letter No. 429—Shall They Restrict Club Members to Flies?
Editor Angling Department:—Just gaze on these pictures and then admit that I can beat you catching trout. If you will come out here next summer I am the guy that will put you wise as to where you can have the best sport.— C. F., Mullan, Ida. Judging from your photos—which will not reproduce, too dull—you can catch more fish than I, or at least, than I would care to.
I want to go West again, Out where I can rest again, And be at my best again, I want to go back. I don’t like the pain of things, The dinge and the stain of things, The draw and the drain of things, The care and the rack. I’m tired of the tooth of things, Which gnaws at the truth of things, And ages the youth of things, And makes a man gray.
Recently a road crew on the Lincoln Highway, nine miles below my home, saw a large lion, when they started for camp at 5 o’clock in the evening. Upon arriving at Blue River, two miles below, one of the crew phoned me of the cat, asking that I come after him as he was a very bold fellow, walking within ten feet of them in the road and scaring their horses.
The 1917 report of the chief game guardian of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, contains the following, which is worthy of perusal and contemplation by those of our country who would be so short-sighted as to allow the females of any of our big game animals to be killed under any conditions —except scientific: In our report of 1914 we dealt very extensively with the much discussed topic relating to the killing of female big game animals and quoted at length arguments for and against this practice.
I sent you a photo of a large deer head with a droop horn some time ago, and thought it might interest readers of Outdoor Life. This head is now owned by John Irons of Dixon, Wyo. D. C. Jones, also a resident of Dixon, Wyo., formerly owned it. He has resided on Snake River for over thirty years.
Pocatello, Idaho, Feb. 1.—A petition has been presented to Governor Alexander requesting him to include in the call for a special session of the Legislature a recommendation to amend the state game laws permitting hotels and restaurants to purchase wild game in season to be served in their dining rooms, as a part of the regular menus.
The accompanying illustration depicts what is believed to be the largest moose head ever taken in America, outside of Alaska. The photo from which it was made was forwarded to Outdoor Life by Mr. Charles Cremin, a guide of New Brunswick, Canada, who has sporting camps on the Nepisiguit River, near which the monster was killed.
This from G. F. Colebank, living in the game recesses of British Columbia: “Your letter of October 24, 1917, just at hand. The moose I saw had four white feet (up to his knees), white face, and mane nearly all white. His horns were about five feet spread—that is, straight across.
The two articles on the “Battle of the Little Big Horn,” which recently appeared in Outdoor Life by Lieut. Quackenbos and Chauncey Thomas, respectively, were productive of much interest to the writer. But to one who has made an exhaustive study of the Yellowstone expedition of ’76, by the aid of all and every source of information available, certain statements made by Mr. Thomas were as a brick in the face, and are quite susceptible of refutation—being wholy contrary to the facts as I have learned them.
The Bureau of Biological Survey of the Agricultural Department is well worth visiting when you want to learn something about “varmints.” I had occasion to go there recently in behalf of a hunting companion of mine in the Pacific Northwest, who has for neighbors a lot of wily and elusive coyotes that he has vainly been endeavoring to “reduce to possession,” as the lawyers say, and who appealed to me to find out how to do it.
Being a reader of your magazine and having enjoyed the different hunting experiences of your authors, both with the gun and the rod, I enclose you a photograph taken of myself, Mr. Albert Downie and two boatmen, who rowed the boats while we were tarpon fishing last may at Clines Fishing Resort, twelve miles from Corpus Christi, the third from left being the writer.
I am writing you in the hope that, as you have done so successfully in other matters, you will think it best to open your columns for the stating of definite and positive cures of the bites of poisonous snakes. It is a matter of great value to know what has cured people who have been bitten, so that we who are often exposed to them may know how to properly protect ourselves.
The first problem that Mr. Sweeley tackled was that of wadding. Wadding in cartridges varied in kind, quality, fit to the case, and adaptability to the bore. One cartridge was loaded with one kind of wadding and a second with something else, or the amount might vary simply for the sake of filling up the case.
I have read in a late number of Outdoor Life the very interesting article on telescopic sights by my old Philadelphia friend, Major Townsend Whelen, and as comment is invited, perhaps a few thoughts from a professional maker of telescopic sights for the past thirty years or more might prove interesting to some; and it is barely possible that a little light may be thrown upon at least some of the causes which in Major Whelen’s hands gave such variable and unsatisfactory results.
Occasionally in this magazine a lone voice hoists itself to the level of the ears and utters sounds like a midnight coyote sutfering from something. Said weird sounds are reputed to come from me, and have to do with the more or less misleading revolver scores as figured on the Standard American, or on any other ring target.
In looking over the issue of Outdoor Life for December, 1917, I noticed an article by J. D. Myers in regard to pressures in gun barrels. If you permit, I will make a comment thereon, and also produce, for those interested, the formula on which the design of gun barrels is based.
I have never seen anything mentioned about the new .276 British army rifle, so I don’t think it would be at all amiss if I gave you a meager description of the cartridge, for I have not seen the rifle itself. The shell capacity is a cut between the 7 mm.
I am sending you in separate package a set of sights which I made for trial on my 12-gauge Winchester pump, 1912 model, with 28inch full choke barrel with rib. The idea was to carry the easily attached and detached sights in the pocket so that they could be slipped onto the gun in case one wished to watch a runway for bear or other large game.
The accompanying sketch may be of interest to shooters of the Winchester ’90 .22-caliber rifles and I will endeavor to explain the why and wherefore. There are a great many Winchester rifles using the .22 W. R. F. thruout the West, and to my notion it is a very fine cartridge to use, but it compels one to use one, and that one cartridge only.
In response to a question, published in recent issue of a popular sporting journal, “What lead is necessary in shooting at moving targets?” it would seem apropos to offer a few suggestions, relative to the psycho-physical and mechanical mechanisms that enter into the process of shooting.
In your opinion, is the 6mm. Lee straight-pull rifle, as formerly used in the U. S. navy, sufficiently powerful for coyotes, deer, bears, mountain lions, etc? Can it be converted into a fairly efficient hunting arm? Is the action safe and reliable?
I would like to know whether the 16gauge shotgun or the 12-gauge shotgun is the best for ducks, and what is the proper size of shot and the proper load of powder.—E. Russell Edgar, Albuquerque, N. M. Answer.—The 12-gauge has more power than a 16 and is therefore the better duck gun.
Please send me the addresses of the Colt and S. & W. firearms companies. Please give me your opinion of the Savage automatics. Does any trouble ever arise, in cold parts of the U. S., or anywhere else, on account of the oil freezing in automatic pistols or rifles?
When the writer used to enjoy everything that pertained to a horse, especially riding, I was watching the start of a cross-country hunt steeple chase one day, something that seemed to combine that intense thrill of pleasurable excitement, with enough of the touch of the element of danger and sport to momentarily forget things earthy.
He was only a dog— But we loved him so! And he lies all cold and still out there: Breathe low, O sobbing March winds, breathe low Above him your gentle evening pray’r. His Master call’d and tho We wept to see him go, He heard and crost the Trail, all white and fair— The Trail that leads across the driven snow— And happy and glad he awaits us there.
Learn to shoot. That’s the cry that is ringing thru-out the United States. Our forefathers were great shots. They had to be. Their very existence depended upon their skill with the shotgun and rifle. Because our forefathers were proficient in the use of firearms America has long been respected and spoken of as a nation of shooters.