We read in the Bible of noted huntters, Nimrod and Esau, in the days of long ago; and in more modern times, the names of the illustrious hunters are numerous, too many to attempt to mention even a few of them here, but suffice it to say, they are legion.
The usual sights on entering an Eskimo igloo are: On the wall opposite you, a steamer-like berth covered with skins—the sleeping quarters of the family ; underneath, or in front, sit one or two women, busily sewing ; to the right, a man making hunting gear.
Boys, how many times have we read that a black mother bear will not charge? I have read the stories of many old-time bear hunters who claim that they have never known a black bear to charge, even tho one should capture their cubs before their eyes.
The above is the title of a thrilling story of a bear hunt indulged in last spring by Dr. Evans, a prominent physician and sportsman of Texas. Dr. Evans hunted in the White River country of Alaska and Yukon Territory (the same section that was covered by the Colorado Museum party in 1918), and secured seven beautiful specimens of the grizzly bear.
Rogue River Ben (Ben Burns) is not only a real, sure-enough, last-ditch angler—one of that kind that never says quit, no matter if the fish do refuse to strike—but he has acquired a world of fish lore, with some homely wisdom mixed in. Ben is splendid company on river ; quite a talker, when you can get him out of water; rarely ever loses his temper, and will give you his last fly, leader or tobacco—in fact, he is the ideal fishing companion.
Alice blue and turquoise blue, many others there may be, But the blue of these old mountains is good enough for me. Colors! Well, I'd tell a man, in shadings just to suit, Why, they'll make each young girl want ’em, for her bridal robe de noot. Friend, I ain’t right smart at picturing, but I've somehow got a hunch, That the spirit of these canyons will corral the whole damn bunch.
The chief factotum who attempts to control the destinies that hover over the offices at No. 1824 Curtis street, Denver, Colo, (better known as the working corral of the Outdoor Life magazine), always one of the most accommodating mortals when his happiness is concerned, realized during the past summer that the office and its clerical force needed a rest, so, in company with his best friends and sympathizers (his family), he betook himself in auto and khaki clothes to the land of the Golden West.
From 1875 to 1895 can, roughly speaking, be called the Day of the Railroad in the West. It was during this period that nearly everything in the way of big railroad building was carried out “west of the river,” excepting always the main thru line of the U. P., which was built earlier by government backing and represented the first big job of railroad building in the world.
SOME men just naturally cannot keep from hitting game. They are born shots. Maybe it is the gun used, instead of the man, but at any rate we have all met the fellow who kills game with uncanny regularity. Under ordinary circumstances, seeing is believing, but when it comes to fishing and shooting yarns, we long ago adopted the rule to believe nothing that we heard and only half that we saw.
Perhaps to the uninitiated there is nothing more mysterious, and seemingly difficult of acquisition, than Skill with a fly rod. I can well remember the first fly artist I ever beheld in action. I had bait-fished a little, unimportant Wisconsin trout stream from early morn until the evening shadows began to gather with very unsatisfactory results, -tho the fish were jumping everywhere.
Unless the Rev. Dr. Samuel W. Gehrett, veteran fisherman of the Philadelphia Methodist Conference, retracts or reduces in size a certain fish story accredited to him, Dr. T. Chalmers Fulton, himself a veteran angler, is going to have him arrested.
“The leap of the bass!” What memories, what pictures, what thrills the words bring to mind. Is there an angler who can forget his first bronzeback warrior, the first amazing, thrilling, tackle-testing aerial leap? I can well remember my first experience of the kind.
Editor Angling Department:—Will you please give me the names of all the level-winding reels and please tell me which is best?—L. G. P., Cal. I am not sure that I can give you a complete list of level-winding reels. Beside the Shakespeare line, that company manufactures several; I am acquainted with the Beetzel, Pflueger Supreme and South Bend.
I wish to fall in line behind Neville Colfax, who, in the December number, has an article in which he advocates making it a felony to hunt game of the deer class or larger with any gun having a muzzle energy less than 1,700 foot-pounds, but first let me suggest an amendment to this radical attempt to do away with the “wounders.”
In his story, “A Hunting Trip in Florida,” appearing in your November issue, Dr. Ziegler Bower makes such an attempt to discredit my friend Rhett Green and casts so many reflections on Florida hunting that I am forced to rise in their defense.
MAY I say a few words as to game conservation and the “game hog?” We apply this term very frequently to the man who, just because he can, either kills more game or catches more fish than he can easily take care of. But how about the man who belongs to a duck club and gets his bag of birds by feeding and thereby luring them to his good aim?
Two years ago on December 15th, while hunting quail, I was turned away from that game by the sight of a juicy Wilson snipe which arose at my feet and scurried away thru the snowflakes, only to be checked about thirty yards away by some No. 8 lead messengers from my gun.
I was working for the Empire Lumber Co. at Cowichan Lake, on Vancouver Island, B. C., which, in my opinion, is a sportsman’s paradise, as deer, elk, bears and cougars are plentiful there. There is also an abundance of upland birds, and the finest trout fishing I have ever seen is to be had in the lake.
At each annual meeting of the state game commissioners for the past ten or fifteen years a resolution has been passed recommending civil service be applied to all state game departments. Such resolutions were generally preceded by earnest and urgent statements of reasons why the game departments should be under civil service.
The elk situation, both north and south of the Yellowstone Park (date of this letter, December 27, 1919), is a serious one. We have reports that indicate the slaughter by hunters of about 8,000 elk from the northern herd during the recently closed hunting season.
I enclose herewith a clipping from the Jackson Courier relative to just who Iman H. Wilson is. I speak with regards to the author of an article that appeared in the January issue of your magazine relative to the Jackson’s Hole elk. It appears that no one in the valley is acquainted with this person, and for that matter there seems to be no one in the Jackson’s Hole country by that name, which leads me to believe that you are being misled with regards the true identity of the author as he tries to mislead the public in his statements with regards the settlers of this section.
Inclosed you will find picture of a deer head killed November 22, 1918, in Upper Michigan, Mackinac County. His antlers measure 27 inches from the base of the skull to the tip—that is, the measurement of both antlers. That makes 54 inches, or 27 inches each.
At night, two weeks ago (date of letter, May 7, 1919), a great number of dead birds of species foreign to this latitude were picked up in the city (Forest City, Ark.) and country. Among the number were a white-crowned sparrow, unknown, a cat bird, indigo bunting, Nashville warbler, cerulean warbler, two warblers unknown, Maryland yellow throat, yellow breasted chat, blue-headed viroe, two vires unknown, one thrush unknown, Louisiana water thrush and other species unknown.
We have had several discussions recently in regard to counting points on deer horns. Several heads have been brought in, some having four points on one side and seven or eight on the other. One man will claim it is a four-pointer; another will call it an eight or nine-pointer, as the case may be.
In your December issue I notice, on page 375, an article entitled, “Large Antelope Horns,” by Roy Williams of Montana, and from the measurements they surely are large. The last year that the season was open in Colorado I killed an antelope which, I think, has the widest spread of any antelope ever shot, but the horns are not as heavy in some respects as Mr. Williams’ antelope, neither are they as long.
On page 54, January (1919) Outdoor Life, the editor of the Arms and Ammunition Queries (Not the same as in charge now.—Ed.) coins a new ballistic term, and from the fact that his instructions for adjusting the sights of a rifle are vague and would be very unsatisfactory to the average shooter, there is the customary desire to jump into the fuss and try to clear up what, to use one of Mr. C. Newton’s phrases, “appears as clear as mud.”
In certain quarters today the use of a 10-gauge shotgun for any purpose whatever would be taken as an indication that the owner had criminal tendencies. I do not agree with this view at all, having the conviction that the big gun, for the reason that with it the fowl can be taken at long range, is of all weapons the best calculated to develop wing shooting skill and to show downright sport.
Long ago I gave up five-shot groups as any test for any gun, and even view ten-shot group with doubt. Hence my habit of late of firing a whole box of ammunition, from twenty to fifty shots, to see what a gun will do. The first five shots I ever fired out of my .25 auto-loading Remington rifle, after six or seven shots to sight it in, gave me a five-shot group that a silver dollar will cover—four would hit a postage stamp—and at 100 measured yards, too.
During my trip east I stopped in Denver and met Mr. McGuire, owner of Outdoor Life magazine, as well as many of the shooters and members of the Denver Revolver Club. I found in them a very fine lot of fellows—real enthusiasts and exceptionally good shots generally.
For the benefit of Outdoor Life readers and so they may be able to judge for themselves who is right and who is wrong in the present controversy, I quote verbatim from Mr. McGivern’s articles and from my proposition in reply. Mr. MeGivern’s article in the June issue of Outdoor Life, 1916, page 598, entitled, “Quick Work With the SixGun,” is quoted herewith : I have just finished a test or series of tests along rapid-fire lines of 7,380 cartridges, using 158-gr.
May I comment briefly on certain statements in an article by Mr. E. L. Stevenson in the December number of Outdoor Life. I have no concern for the controversy between Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Thomas, but in this article Mr. Stevenson twice refers to the questions of whether Mr. McCutchen won “the world’s championship at Camp Perry in 1913” and also refers to Mr. McCutchen holding the “U. S. R. A. records for fifty and seventy-five shots with the military revolver,” and also refers to Dr. Burgeson and Mr. Poindexter winning “the U. S. R. A. championships,” and again says that the “U. S. R. A. records may or may not be world’s records,” and also that Mr. McCutchen never won a “national” match.
From other letters of mine which have appeared in your magazine from time to time, you will have realized that I am a persistent devotee of the old cap-and-ball revolver, and as I suspect that this country still contains quite a lot of other men whose taste in the matter of single-hand guns is similar to mine, I thought they might be interested in my latest experience with one of these old arms.
In support of W. S. Davenport in the December, 1919, Outdoor Life, I wish to affirm that the revolver cartridge commonly known as the .38 S. & W. most certainly will not fit in the chamber of either a Colt or a Smith & Wesson revolver chambered for the .38 Special, as it comes from the factory.
In Arms and Ammunition Queries for December appear several statements concerning first appearance of certain types of metallic cartridges, some of which, I am quite certain, are not quite correct, the statement I wish especially at this time to touch upon being the one reading as follows: “The Henry repeater using a rim-fire cartridge of .44 cal., was brought out in 1870.”
Of late years coursing seems to have met its Waterloo, or Appomatox, for nothing is heard these days of one of the finest sports ever staged in the big outdoors. In days gone by it was my good fortune to live where coursing was one of the joys indulged in by many whose habitat was in the short-grass country.
Western professional trapshooters had the bulge on the eastern scattergun artists in 1919, of that there is no doubt. The leading ten amateurs of the West averaged .9760, against .9638 for the best ten amateurs of the East. This story, however, deals with the professional shooters of the two sections and shows that the professional trapshots of the West averaged .9725, as against .9544 for the ten best professionals of the East.