AFTER twenty-seven years of constant application to business, I decided that I would take a year’s vacation. I spent the first eight months in a very profitable and enjoyable trip covering northern Africa and some of the principal countries of Europe, with a month of golf at good old St. Andrews thrown in.
SOMETIMES pictures are printed to illustrate the reading matter, and other times the printed words are mostly to make more clear the pictures. The latter is true in this case, for little to nothing can today be written about “Wild Bill,” Jesse James and other men of the Frontier West who could, and who did, handle six-shooters.
OPENING day? Is there any other day or festival in the whole year like unto it? How the ardent angler longs and fears as the golden hour approaches; longs for the opportunity, but fears the weather will prove unpropitious, for after all, your true angler is a great believer in weather.
He riseth up in the early morning and goeth forth animated, filled with high hopes and exaited expectations. When he arriveth at his destination, he setteth about his arduous duties. Soon he wormeth his way into the confidence of the unsuspecting and guileless fishes and feeleth not ashamed.
IN Shakespeare's “King John’” this complaint is made against a certain party: “He talks as familiarly of roaring lions as maids of thirteen talk of puppy dogs.” I hope to be acquitted of a pretense to any such familiarity. From what I have seen and heard of “roaring lions” I shall avoid all familiarity with them unless I have a .405 Winchester in my hands.
IN 1636, the King of Spain named as governor of Yucatan, one Don Diego Zapata, Marquis of Santo Foloro, who arrived off the coast of the peninsula in May of that year, and landed at the unfrequented and perhaps unknown Bocas of Cilam. This, the marquis did to avoid encountering “The Mulatto,” a buccaneer, who was operating in the southern Gulf of Mexico and who succeeded in indelibly impressing his personality on Yucatan history.
In the Spring we'll crank our jitney, And we’ll travel down the road, With khaki, kit and camping tools And happiness as load; We’ll can all work and worry, And we’ll know no duty’s goad— When we crank our rusty jitney in the Spring. In the Spring we'll crank our jitney, In the Spring we’ll yank our jitney, Our rusty, dusty jitney, in the Spring; We will leave the friendly nigh-ways, And go down the long, long high-ways; And explore the far-off by-ways in the Spring.
IN several of my magazine stories a while ago I commented on the so-called “fished out” muskellunge lakes in Wisconsin. I stated that frequently such lakes, contrary to the opinion of many, still contained fair-sized fish and that there were usually a few large ones that had defied capture.
Oh, give me the free, the open woods, The pine and the spicy air; The clear blue sky and the grassy earth And the bird orchestra there. Then give me the tangle, the underbrush, The pond and marsh and the bog, The fish, the heron, the screaming loon, The fern and the big green frog.
During the flu epidemic of 1918-1919 I left my home in the East to answer the call for doctors in the arid Northwest. I found a temporary location in the small town of Cody, in Nebraska, up near the Dakota line. In the early summer of 1919, the flu having run its course, many of the doctors left their accustomed field of practice, seeking recreation and rest in the higher altitudes of our mountains or along the shores of our Northern lakes or other watering places.
WE had been up in the wilds of British Columbia hunting big game, and when we came into Telegraph Creek on the 26th of September (1920) the little town loomed up like a metropolis. A month ago ten or twelve of us from all parts of the country had come up the river in a flat-bottomed gas boat and separated with our outfits into the wilds.
ONCE in a while I foregather with the Admiral of the Rocking Chair Fleet, who sits and rocks most of the time in the sun on a certain front porch not far from me, for his hair is white and his eyes are dim and his bones grow brittle with the days; he is about worn out, he says so himself, and I’ve never heard him lie about anything yet.
THERE is no great pleasure in telling of the fish that got away, simply because of the smiles such a tale evokes; and yet I have learned more from the fish that escaped than from those that I have mastered. I was dry-flying a tiny brooklet from which one unacquainted with the possibilities of such streams might think it impossible to take anything but minnows.
IT'S THIS way. We started—no, we were to start—at 4 o’clock in the morning. As usual, I lived in hopes and turned out at 3:30. By 4:10 I had gulped a hasty breakfast, gathered my tackle and duffel together on the veranda and sat there in expectation and a rocking chair, listening to the myriad sounds of Bill’s flivver.
Those fishin’ jaunts we used to take were more than fishin’ trips; It seems to me they brought to us our best companionships. An’ whether we had luck or not, was fishin’ good or bad, We found delight an’ pleasure in the good old talks we had. We went to catch some fish, of course, but always, night an’ day, We’d come to know each other in a bigger, broader way.
I ALWAYS approach the subject of this sketch with fear and trembling, so much odium is attached to our friend of boyhood. Think of some of the insulting names by which he is known—“grass snake,” “river snake,” “spotted viper,” etc., etc. Now, while I am not ready to proclaim him a “king of fishes,” to borrow Hiawatha’s well-remembered appellation for the sunfish, still I do insist that he is a real fish and that angling for him may well be worth an appreciative outdoorsman’s skill and tackle.
IN THE case of a good many fishermen, the attention given the rod and reel is far greater than that given one of the most important items of their equipment, namely, the casting line. If one wishes to enjoy the success of perfect casting, and landing his prize fish, extreme care should be taken in the selection and keeping the line in perfect condition when not in use.
Editor Angling Department:—Just what is a grass pike? We have a small spring lake in this locality which was stocked some years ago by local anglers with a species of pickerel and which later has proved to be a very small pickerel, rarely attaining a length of over 14 to 16 inches.
Is it profitable to raise goldfish? Is it profitable to raise green frogs? From whom can I buy books and get more information on these subjects?—William Wolff, Dayton, Ohio. Answer.—It depends on the natural conditions that you secure for raising such fish whether or not it is successful.
NATIONAL parks were created to preserve the scenery, the natural and historical objects and the plants and wild life for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. They are distinctively national in interest, are generally of considerable magnitude and scenically are unsurpassed in the world, and are well supplied with trails, roads, hotels and free public motor camps.
THE cooking and dining kit are best of aluminum alloy and all items should nest in the largest cooking kettle. There is not one utensil in one of these nesting outfits which cannot be used at home daily after your vacation trip, and if you attempt to assemble haphazardly your pans, pails and dishes for your camp trip you will find the selection a difficult matter, especially when you try to make them nest compactly.
ONE OF the most fascinating recreational objectives in our nation is the colored canyon region of southern Utah, embracing Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon National Monument, Zion National Park, the Kaibab National Forest and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
When the orchestra of nature plays its spring time symphonies, And there's fire in the gleam of evening glow, Comes a soothing sense of freedom, and my soul sings in the breeze, And I care not where the winds of chance may blow. They may blow me to the mountains, where lacy clouds hang low, They may blow me to the tranquil-sounding palms;
Proper insulation is the keynote in a good ice box. Chilled foodstuffs in such a container will keep cold for a surprising length of time, and this time is of course prolonged by placing within the box an ice container. The same box can be used as a fireless cooker if food is put into it in a hot state, and the cooking will continue if we replace the ice can with a heated soapstone or brick —using the outfit either as a cooker or an ice box wholly.
JOHN A. McGUIRE, editor of that good old Western magazine, Outdoor Life, has again prevailed upon me to say something to his readers about shooting, so I have tried to cover as nearly as possible the various branches of the game as I have seen it for more than thirty-five years.
ABOUT fifteen years ago, while hunting in the Cabinet Range in western Montana, we missed some mighty fine shots at goats perched on a high precipice. We were near the base of the mountain on fairly level terrain, and four of us shot probably twenty shots without touching a hair.
TWO-GUN, quick-pull, long-range, all that is well enough, but the real two-gun man of the early West usually had one long one— .45 Colt, of course—on exhibition and did the work with a little .38 S. & W. in his left hand, produced from Lord knows where, or how.
A FRIEND of mine has written me of his conviction that most writers, when telling of guns, are writing over the heads of many shooters. He means that guns are being described which are beyond the means of many. He may very possibly be right.
When the ammunition makers brought out their new game cartridges with higher velocity and new types of expanding bullets, the velocity going all the way up to 3500 feet in the .30-’06 shell, it certainly looked on the face of it, that the manufacturers were right when they claimed these bullets to be the most deadly and destructive types ever brought forth; exceeding, they said, anything placed on the market heretofore.
It often happens that a sportsman desires to mend some part of his outfit that is made of steel or iron. As generally practiced such articles are supposed to be brazed or welded, but the heat required raises havoc with the finish and causes a lot of expense to restore it to the original condition.
There have been a lot of good articles dealing with remodeling Springfields, but none, at least to my knowledge, has ever made one into a real saddle gun—by saddle gun I mean from a cowman’s standpoint—a gun that is handy to carry while you are working.
The Ross is safe as long as the bolt is locked, but the Ross bolt is constructed different than the Mauser type used on our service rifle. In place of rotating the bolt to lock with the handle like the Mauser type, the Ross bolt is made in two parts.
History, authentic, teaches us that long before any sort of firearm was ever invented bandits were at work with clubs, stones, swords, daggers, slingshots and, in fact, everything that would accomplish their end. If crime could be eliminated by the restricted manufacture and sale of revolvers, then as an American I would say “Amen.”
I was interested in reading Dr. Miller’s article in Outdoor Life praising the old Ballard and Sharps-Bor-chardt rifles, for I was very fond of these myself, and have owned and shot them both. The Ballard was one of the most beautiful rifles I have ever seen; finely engraved action, extra fine stock, and with all the balance, ease of handling and accuracy for which this rifle was noted.
Will you allow me, a constant reader of Outdoor Life in a far-off land—possibly the most out of the way reader in the world—to give my humble opinion on rifle sights? Agreeing with you, as I do, in the “peep vs. open” argument, no doubt this letter will please you.
With Roy R. Gill, one of the best-known game hunters of the West, as president of the Manito Rifle and Pistol Club (Spokane), the organization took on new life that has resulted in immediate launching of an extensive membership campaign.
I have used guns for about forty-five years and I have used nearly all models, from the days of the old Springfield musket that was used in the Civil War, and then bored out to shoot a can of powder and a quart of shot, hunks of lead, a marble, or lead bullet wrapped in paper.
United States Cartridge Company Now making ammunition for the Russian rifle, as sold by the N. R. A., caliber 7.62 mm., weight of bullet 147 grain, hollow copper point, velocity 2,900 feet, energy 2,710 foot-pounds, pressure 43,000 pounds, trajectory 200 yards 2.42 inches.
What is the most powerful hand gun manufactured today? Last year I was on a fishing trip when I was suddenly confronted with a cross she-bear, and luckily I got away, but I should have had a gun with me in case I might have had to defend myself.
We are wondering how many of our readers have done their part in helping to bring the Game Refuge Bill to the attention of their Congressmen. This is something which should be done without delay. Some of those who have written to their representatives in Congress have sent copies of their letters to Outdoor Life, and we must say they are all very well done.
The following is a letter which has been sent out to Virginia sportsmen by the Virginia Game and Game Fish Protective Association, and explains a situation which might arise in other states if such legislation is permitted to pass. The course of action for sportsmen is clear:
A conference, called by the chief of the Biological Survey, on the present status of the antelope in the United States, which met on December 14, in the U. S. National Museum, was attended by conservationists interested in the subjects from all parts of the country.
THIS time, however, the material for the hornet is not of the insectivorous kind which sounds the horn so we can get away, but is made from the genus homo, and follows some of the habits of that biped insofar as working with great sums of money is concerned.
Two communications, in addition to the letters from correspondents already published, have reached me in connection with the Snow film commented on in these columns the other week. (The Snow film, it will be remembered is a so-called “big game” series of photographs which was recently on view in London; it shows wounded animals driven into and driven over by motor-cars, and is a disgusting exhibition of cruelty which somehow passed the censor, and which is now being taken round the provinces.)
In the realm of bird life, the blue jay runs a close second to the crow in banditry and vicious practices among birds of various species. These garrulous and beautiful jays eat the eggs and tender nestlings of all bird neighbors; they rob them of suet and other food placed out by bird lovers; they steal fruit, nuts, grain and other products from the farmer, which is stored in great quantities by the jays for future use; and they make themselves unbearable to wild life wherever they go.
There has been introduced in Congress a bill known as S. B. 1182, the purpose of which, as stated in the preamble, is: “To provide for the protection of forest lands, for the reforestation of denuded areas, for the extension of national forests, and for other purposes, in order to promote the continuous production of timber on lands chiefly suitable therefor.”
I am glad of the stand you have taken in regard to the Louisiana Gulf Coast Club. I also see that there is a Game Refuge Bill before Congress, and I am in favor of this bill, but what would be the use of such a bill if they put up a duck slaughter house on the Louisiana coast?
Few of the thousands of people who annually visit the Field Museum of Chicago, the National Museum of Washington, and other great institutions of the kind in America, realize that in the center of what used to be the wild and woolly West there has grown up a museum that even now promises to outrival the large institutions of the East, and at some not-far-distant day will climb into prominence as America's great museum in many respects.
In Outdoor Life, July number, is an article, “Buck ‘Buffaloes’ Coyote Pack,” by C. E. Hagie of Montana. I beg to differ with Mr. Hagie in regard to his deductions as to the fighting ability of a buck deer against a pack or even one coyote, to say nothing about being handicapped by the dead weight of another buck deer attached to his horns.
Upon my return to our hunting camp at Barree, Huntingdon County, Pa., a friend handed me a copy of your July number, in which I read with a great deal of amusement the story on page 72 by one Leonard McBride. His story to some of the brother sportsmen may have sounded O. K., but this is only the one side.
I have read Out door Life several years with much apprecia tion, but it has remained for the September number to reach the highest point of excel lence in the matter of personal interest. The one contribution to that excellent number which elicits these remarks is "Dogs of the Arctic," by Otto F. Schussler, M. D., at the close of which article he utters words por traying a truth which should be embodied, verbatim, in some standard work of philoso phy for the edification of future generations; and thereby pays the greatest tribute to a dog which has ever been in print that I know of.
I would like to meet a boy of seventeen who would like to make a trip across the Canadian Rockies by canoe, going up the Fraser and down the Peace Rivers, starting June 1, 1924, at Vancouver, who has at least $150.&emdashRaymond Shaw, care of J. H. Robinson, Route 2, Grants Pass, Ore.
Not long ago one of the readers of Outdoor Life wrote concerning a cross he had made with an Airedale and a coyote. Being interested in the results he obtained I wrote him asking a good many questions. The picture herewith shows the dog which this man kept from the resulting litter.
We have written a good deal about the damage done by hawks to both game and insectivorous birds. Some of our scientific friends have criticized us and claimed that we were prejudiced. We quite readily agree that many hawks as a species may in their attacks on rodents more than offset the damage they do to game.