Each letter addressed to this department brings a personal reply. The following printed letters are samples of the hundreds that go through this department each month. Be specific in all inquiries. W. R. W., MONT.:—I have received your letter as to fishing and hunting conditions between Klamath Falls and Bieber along the line of the new Great Northern Railway.
HEY!” It was Estel’s voice on my telephone. “The James River is going to be right tomorrow. Let’s go down.” “Oh, yeah !” I employed that tone which expresses doubt, and demands proof and explanation. Catching the James River right is an event.
THE mysterious charm of all desert wilderness is on this Mexican pita land, like a subtle, powerful spell. Yet the land is not real desert. The valleys are covered with fairly long grass. Hills border each lowland, and on the hills grow cactus and yucca plants.
ABOUT noon we picked up the well known Rock of Ages light at the southwest end of Isle Royal far out in Lake Superior. At 1 o’clock we tied up at the Singer Wharf in Grace Harbor. We were cruising around Isle Royal in the Miss Marilynd, putting in at the various harbors of this newest of our national parks, enjoying the cool breezes of Lake Superior while the mainland sizzled in a summer heat around 100 degrees.
I READ with great interest Part IV of Edison Marshall's "Big Game in Bush and Veldt" in the June, 1930 number of OUTDOOR LIFE. This is the first number that has reached me from the outside and Mr. Marshall's story in particular took my interest because at the present time I am not many miles from the scene of his experiences.
OF ALL the party in camp that night only the Doctor had the courage to get up at 2:30, don his waders, and get into the stream. The gang had gone north for the opening of the trout season, to a cozy camp on the Little Manistee, and had turned in for a wink of sleep before the legal opening hour, full of plans for a trick or two of moonlight fishing after midnight.
An Experience Proving a Goose Has No Ear for Modern Dance Music
WHEN Paul Davis called up regarding a goose shoot at his club near Miller City, Ill.—a country in which thousands of honkers spend their time each winter in gabbling and eating—I said I would be delighted. I told him that I was particularly keen about it because I had an interesting experiment to make.
TOM and I are standing on the wharf at Terminal Island, waiting for the boat to pick us up for a day’s fishing cruise on some of the finest deep-sea waters in the world. It is hardly daylight and the air is chilly. Gulls and pelicans are perched along the railing, their heads drooped as if fast asleep.
DUE TO the scarcity of quail the previous season, I made mental notes of the quail that I heard and saw during the following summer months. Much to my surprise I discovered that there were still lots of bobwhites “Down Home,” and it was with eager anticipation that I watched the calendar for the opening day of quail shooting.
IN THE early spring of 1931, Cliff H. Dafoe, of Chatham, Ont., wrote me an astonishing account of the fishing that he and his partner, Lloyd Evoy, had been having in the close vicinity of their homes at Chatham. When I say the news astonished me I am not exaggerating, for Chatham lies just 60 odd miles east of the busy industrial city of Detroit in a country that I had passed through one spring day, many years before, on my way to Toronto for a far-northern, trout fishing trip.
THIS moose hunt really began about three years ago. The first step consisted in purchasing a .30-06 Springfield Sporter from our government and then having it remodeled according to my own idea of the attributes of a good rifle. After Griffin and Howe had completed their work, its profile was so changed that one would hardly recognize it as being the same Sporter.
INSPIRED by seeing my father and older brother make duck decoys, I began at the tender age of six to satisfy that urge, and for fifty-two years I have been trying to improve upon my first fabrication. In those days the only decoys we saw were of the homemade variety; but long since the various decoy manufacturers have produced such perfect replicas of the natural birds that one could hardly hope to compete with them either by way of financial saving or improvement in design or workmanship.
A LETTER from my good old friend, H. E. Goodwin, formerly editor of the old Farm Journal, invited me to come down to Port St. Joe, Fla., for the opening of the season on the big fresh-water bass, May 15. “Bring along a friend, and Dr. Merriwether and I will put up at the club,” the letter concluded.
DURING my extensive travels, meeting with about all classes of bird lovers and sportsmen, I certainly do get a variety of opinions about birds and animals, but all agree on this one point that education has practically stopped humanity from destroying song and insectivorous birds and our cardinals, scarlet tanagers, goldfinches, swallows, native sparrows, brown thrushes, waxwings and hundreds of other loving, cheerful winged creatures are scarcely shot at all today where twenty-five or fifty years ago everything was shot down.
BROOKE ANDERSON, ex-president Campfire Club of Chicago, member Federal advisory board Migratory Bird Treaty Act. J. F. CUENIN, journalist, trapshot and champion caster, aggressive in the protection of wild fowl on Pacific Coast. J. B. DOZE, ex-game warden of Kansas, sportsman, conservationist.
THE waterfowl situation dominated the Eighteenth American Game Conference in New York City, Dec. 1 and 2, and the discussions crowded out part of the regular program. When the American Game Association announced its suggested $25,000,000 waterfowl plan late in September, to be financed through a $1 federal license to hunt migratory birds, it met with a most encouraging nation-wide reception.
THE Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, of which Secretary Hyde of the Department of Agriculture is chairman, authorized on December 3 the acquisition of lands by the Bureau of Biological Survey for ten migratory game-bird refuges in New York, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nevada.
Just back from a 3,000-mile drive in Ontario and Quebec. Black bear are so numerous in Quebec the provincial government put a fifteen buck bounty on them this fall. No rain. No blueberries. No raspberries. No beechnuts. The bears were hard pressed for food.
HERETOFORE non-residents desiring to hunt in Pennsylvania, no matter what state they were from, paid only the regular $15 charged for such licenses by Pennsylvania. Under a new law passed by the recent Legislature a reciprocal license fee must be paid.
EARLY last spring a large commercial slaughter pen for wild ducks, located near Stuttgart, Ark., was given some withering publicity. It had the desired effect. Sportsmen everywhere swore vengeance upon such practices. The Legislature of Arkansas took cognizance of the unsavory publicity, and decided to stop the practice in that state.
A good story is told by Traffic Captain R. W. Olivas of Madera on Jack Willis, representative of the California State Automobile association at The Pines on Bass lake, Madera county, the incidents of which Olivas himself is partly responsible, Willis was for a time the hunted instead of the hunter in a deer hunt Thursday.
IF THE old saying, that confidence is half the battle, holds good in any thing, it most certainly does in angling. The bait that one knows has caught good fish before is, in nine cases out of ten, the one that the angler gets the most enjoyment out of using and, naturally, the most fish with, as a rule.
Chapter II—For The Fly Casting Rod ANGLING is primarily a recreation and a pleasure. While it is true that we must catch some fish to make it seem like real sport, still we cannot escape the fact that it is a good and healthy enjoyment of the outdoors, that actually causes us to take up fishing as a hobby.
THE larger sizes of wet flies seem to be most successful in all pan-fish angling. I have found that the No. 8 size, dressed on a turndown eyed hook of Limerick pattern with rather short, single gut snell, brings best results in all kinds of waters and under various water and weather conditions.
IN BAIT fishing for bass, pan fish and wall-eyed pike, a variety of live lures many times serves to fill the stringer better than to depend entirely upon one particular kind of offering. In order to have a dependable supply of assorted live lures on hand while fishing a stream pool, and also to do away with the bother of carrying a heavy bait pail on long hikes to a promising spot, many anglers use the following rig to seine their bait directly from the stream to the hook.
Editor:&mash;My cousin owns a large tract of land with a beautiful lake which has no outlet or inlet. The water is not very cold and it is full of blood suckers. It is surrounded with woods and is without fish. Could pickerel be raised in it? If not, what fish can be raised there?
Send in “Angling Kinks.” For each one published we give a 6-months subscription—or we add 6 months to your subscription if you are a subscriber. A FRIEND of mine recently caught sixteen fish, pickerel and roach on this one fly: A piece of cellophane (a cigar wrapper will do) is tied into a bow and cut to size wanted.
A MUSKELLUNGE, 38 pounds in weight, found frozen in the ice of a pool in the Little Stillwater Creek, was o n display last fall at Uhrichsville, Ohio. A 6pound channel catfish was wedged solidly in the throat and gill openings of the big fellow, who had, presumably, tried to bite off more than he could chew.
HERE is some advice for the man who cannot decide which particular type of snowshoe he should buy for hunting, trailing, or sport. If the many sizes and shapes confuse you, remember you can’t go wrong if you concur with local opinion and pick the shoe commonly worn for the same purpose in the locality where you expect to use yours.
THESE two ailments can keep a fellow perfectly miserable in an exposed duck blind or out on a snow-drifted deer trail. The best remedy of course is to prevent them. Wear properly fitted and adjusted clothing and you should never suffer from either frostbite or chilblains during the usual winter temperatures.
Outdoor Life gives a 6-months subscription for all published Kinks. Send yours in.
Rustic Curtains for Cabins
Good Water in Camp
THIS is the way I make storm and shade curtains to screen window openings and porches for cabins and permanent camps. Put up a loom as shown in the sketch which you make as follows. Drive two stakes in the ground and fasten the bar or stick “A” to their tops.
OVER on the far side of Bass Lake there’s a shady shore and a deep, green pool. That pool is the home of one “Sockdolager,” a fish that weighs aplenty. The stories of disappointed anglers have grown on repetition until nobody knows what to believe about his size.
IF a stationary engine, or an automobile motor gets too hot so that there is preignition, it is not so hard to find and to correct. If the engine runs a few revolutions after the spark is cut out, or if there is a sort of metallic “ping” in the cylinders, then spark plugs or some other engine parts are too hot.
A POUND of gasoline contains about 20,000 British thermal units of heat. This is the total heat energy released by the perfect combustion of the fuel. One horsepower, for one hour—technically known as a horsepower hour_is equivalent in energy to 2,546.5 British thermal units.
Question:—I have a light step-hydroplane which I plan to overhaul this year. This boat is made of mahogany sides and cedar bottom. After every cruise, I pull it completely out of the water. As a result it dries out and then leaks when put into the water again.
SOMEONE is likely to say that it all depends on the man. Just so—on the man and on the game. Once upon a time a shooting man in Oklahoma City sent me up a Smith 20 bore gun to try out. He said the left barrel was perfectly worthless and he never had been able to hit anything with it.
THE question “What size shot for ducks ?” was brought up again in the September issue of OUTDOOR LIFE. This is a question that is too broad to be answered offhand and give much practical help, for there are so many things related to the size of shot selected.
THE old-time guns shot very well, maybe not so uniformly as modern arms, but some of them shot exceptional patterns. I remember about the year 1888, when down in Williamson County, Illinois, turkey matches became a great rage. Williamson County had been a heavily timbered region; a deer, turkey, and squirrel country.
A J. STAUBER shot 1,600 registered targets for a P. I. T. A. average of 98.37 per cent, which is high average for the state of California and P. I. T. A. Mr. Stauber won the California State Double Championship at Del Monte, score 91x100, which entitled him to shoot for the Double Champion of Champions at the Grand Pacific Handicap at Del Monte, winning with a score of 177x200.
THE Remington 16 gauge is on the market, and so far as fit, appearance, and balance are concerned, it is Remington’s best automatic. The gun has one of those stocks that appear to fit everybody. 14 inches long, 2¼-inch drop at heel, and 1⅝-inch at comb.
SOMEHOW or other people imagine I need a lot of cleaning rods and other things to clean guns with. Because of Kleanbore and like shotgun shells, I do not need the rods so much any more, but I still have them. Away back, thirty or forty years ago, somebody gave me a Powers rod, made of hollow brass, sectioned, the handle screwing off to betray an oil can, with a valve in the spout so that the oil couldn’t spill out.
Questions answered by mail, only a small percentage being published. Write separate letters on (1) Shotguns and (2) on Rifles and Pistols. Enclose 2-cent stamp for reply, and give complete address plainly. Editor:—I have decided to take up trap shooting in order to spend more time outdoors and would like to ask your opinion of a single barrel shotgun of small bore like a Winchester .410.
IT MAY be taken as a safe rule of shooting, that a good rifle sight is one with which you can hit. Sights of course have been put on rifles merely as aids to accuracy in hitting, but there are so many forms of sights offered today by well-meaning manufacturers trying to please the shooting public that it is no wonder the beginner in the game often is befuddled and finds himself in the field not wisely equipped for his job.
JUST what does this mean? Merely a fast draw plus a reasonable ability at gun pointing. You note I said gun pointing. That brings up a question and the answer is this. Defensive shooting rarely if ever takes place over a distance of 5 yards. And the gun is pointed from the hip the instant it clears the holster.
I LIKE to hunt squirrels. For more than twenty years I have been a hunter of small game and for me the squirrel stands at the head of the list. I have shot many rabbits, ducks, and quail, but the little bushy-tailed fellow aforementioned is my favorite game.
ANNOUNCEMENT has just been made of the production of a new revolver and a new cartridge for it which will be of a great deal of interest to those of our readers who are revolver shooters. These two developments are of more than passing interest, because with them have been achieved 28 per cent higher velocity, 63 per cent more power, 60 per cent greater penetration, and greatly improved accuracy as compared with all other revolvers and revolver cartridges of like caliber.
Questions answered by mail, only a small percentage being published. Write separate letter on (1) Rifles and Pistols and (2) on Shotguns. Data contained in catalogs readily obtainable gratis from manufacturers are not furnished; consult catalogs first.
In the September issue of OUTDOOR LIFE I saw an article by Dr. H. M. Beck, of Pennsylvania, defending the red fox, and I would like to add a few lines in their defense. Here in Iowa foxes are protected, the open season being from November 21 to January 15.
Noting controversy as to the game-killing habits of the red fox, I send in the following evidence. In Eastern Massachusetts the gray fox is rare, but the red fox is very common, even within 15 miles of Boston. Although meadow and deer mice are abundant, and form a considerable part of the yearround food of the foxes, the red fox as well as the gray fox is a game and poultry killer and never should be granted legal protection at any season.
I read OUTDOOR LIFE and other outdoor magazines, and I am interested in the conservation of all game animals. I have read your articles in regard to the coyote, both in his defense, and in attack on him. In this part of the country the coyote has been very destructive, and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in eradicating the coyote and bobcat.
ACCORDING to accredited data collected by Carl W. Neumann (Lincoln Library of Facts) the following may be regarded as normal life spans of some of the more important animals: Between 200 and 300 years : eider duck, giant tortoise, goose, parrot and raven.
MANY kennels shy away from raising winter or early spring pups at all; and to be sure, they do present something of a problem. Winter pups, however, have so many advantages that the kennel owner will make a try at winter pups if he wants to have youngsters of good age for the next fall season and avoid feeding his brood matrons over every winter without any income from them.
IT TAKES a good many years to establish a breed of dogs ; work out the perfect type, prove its virtues, and interest the public. Fifteen years is a very short time, in this consideration, but that’s all the chance the Doberman Pinscher had enjoyed when the war broke out, with its depressing influence on all such things as dog breeding.
Editor Dog Department:—I want a dog for my children and my preference is the St. Bernard. With this in mind, will you answer the following questions: (1) Is the St. Bernard the breed I want to bring up with children, aged three and six? (2) Assuming this to be the case, should I buy a full-blooded one from registered stock?
Question:—My valuable old lion hound has running and barking fits. Please advise a treatment.—E. E. W., Ore. Answer:—Change his diet to raw beef, large hones and raw liver with a little raw vegetable and oatmeal or bran added. Give a ¼-grain tablet of luminol each morning and another before exercising him.
Editor:—Can you make a snake from a hair from a horse’s tail? If so, what kind? Is there a snake called the “hoop snake” that will take its tail in its mouth and roll until it strikes an obstacle, sticks till it dies and also kills the obstacle it strikes, such as a tree?