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.
Everything I Wanted to Know
Following Trout Streams in Michigan
French River, Ontario
San Joaquin Delta, Calif.
Deer and Bear
P. W. A., OKLA.:—Regarding bass fishing, the best place in this section of Texas is Medina Lake, 30 miles from San Antonio. Boats may be rented at the lake and most likely guides, although I do not know the names of any. Rates for boats $1.50 per day, boats with outboard motors $5 per day.
THE desire to try my luck at hunting the ovis ammon of Central Asia had been growing on me for years. Sheep hunting has always held a particular fascination for me, and while I had been fortunate enough to secure a number of fine big horn heads in the Rocky Mountains, it was only natural that a sheep hunter should eventually unlimber his gun in the Himalayas.
THE first hint of spring renders anglers as unstable as dandelion seeds, ready to scatter at the faintest puff. The call of an early robin, the merest glimpse of a friend’s fly book, a picture of a sportsman holding a rod bent double by a beauty—almost anything suggestive of fishing—is sufficient to disseminate him.
GIVE him line, you sweet-scented son of a Chippewa, or he'll pull the canoe under!" I bawled at Joe. "Not by a damsite!" snapped Joe. “This fish—” “You’ll bust that rod as sure as little green apples,” I warned. “Just look at the way he’s pulling down to—” “Will you shut up?” asked Joe peevishly.
WE ALIGHTED from the train at Benzal, the house-boat town on lower White River, where the M., H. & L. Railroad crosses that stream. Twelve of us were en route to Calk's Point for the annual goose hunt. Perry Martin, owner of the good ship, Bella Donna, a luxurious house boat which plies the lower river, catering to hunting parties, met the train.
THE Gulf of California has long been known to be a veritable natural aquarium of fish life. It is a wild, untamed jungle of the seas offering some of the best deep sea game fishing available in any waters adjacent to the western hemisphere. Yet few are the American anglers who have ever fished there.
WHEN first beholding that silent sea of mystery, Crater Lake, in Oregon, one does not think of fish or fishing. One contemplates, rather, the tremendous forces of nature and the freakish manner in which she has chosen to create some of the wonders of our scenic world.
HIPPOS sometimes turn "rogue," and although less deadly perhaps than elephants similarly turned "sour" against mankind, they can be sufficiently destructive. Moreover, they can launch their attacks both from land and water, and because the average hippo seldom if ever attacks on land the element of surprise is in his favor.
THE Lake of the Woods, in Ontario, probably contains more muskellunge than are to be found in all other parts of the world put together. Unfortunately, the Lake of the Woods also contains a tremendous amount of water, and after a long series of summer vacations spent upon its ample bosom, I am forced, chemically speaking, to conclude that as a musky solution it is pretty well diluted.
A Story of a Little Luck and a Little Good Shooting in Penn's Woods
Judge Anthony Johnson
THEN the deer season rolls along I just can't tend to business. I am afflicted witi' an old tamiliar recurrence of buck fever. It becomes my master and I have no rest and no peace until I do its bidding. In the fall of 1930, however, a hotly contested election in which I was a principal, compelled me to stick to my guns, or rather forget them, and to suffer in silence tortures inflicted upon me by the spirit of the hunt for failing to obey its commands.
I HAVE long been an ardent lover of smaller streams, probably because I was inducted into trout fishing on such streams. I know the attractiveness of larger rivers, for I have fished many such, but for true rest and real joy, forever commend me to the smaller streams.
PLENTIFUL shooting is hard to find these days, and plentiful shooting that can continue being plentiful is even harder to find. Yet there are two rodents that stand the assaults of civilization, modern rifles, and telescope sights amazingly well—ground hogs (or woodchucks) and sod poodles.
IN THE early days there were early practices, even necessities, which accounted for the waste of that period. The pioneers used game for food. They had little time for sport. Their immediate descendants replaced the herds of wild animals with their domesticated flocks and herds.
Editorial Note: Under pressure from OUTDOOR LIFE and other sources the Biological Survey has announced additional protection for the Alaska brown bear, though, as you will see in the announcement, it hasn’t given way very gracefully. Time alone will tell if these concessions are sufficient; but it seems very probable that further sanctuaries will be needed.
This past fall I made a trip by motor boat down the Tippecanoe River, in Indiana, and from where the Tippecanoe empties into the Wabash, I followed the Wabash to the Ohio. I would like to bring to the attention of this magazine and the department of conservation of the states of Indiana and Illinois, the laxity of the representatives of these departments through these regions.
Editorial Note:—OUTDOOR LIFE believes that Governor Pinchot is right, and urges opposition to the Evans Bill, the passage of which we believe would not be to the advantage of wild life and forest conservation. A most dangerous attack on the Roosevelt conservation policy is now under way in Washington.
OUTDOOR LIFE has consistently advocated, as our Conservation platform says, “Passage by Congress of some bill to raise adequate funds for bringing back our diminishing waterfowl." Two months ago we asked our readers to support the bill for a penny-a-shell tax on shotgun ammunition because at that time it looked practical and Congressional leaders appeared to be for it.
SELECTIONS of the fifteen members of the reorganized Advisory Board, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, were announced today by Secretary of Agriculture Arthur M. Hyde, following the plan given out on January 13. The ten members representing ten regins into which the country has been divided for this purpose were selected from nominations made by the State game commissions of these regions.
WISCONSIN will rely entirely on the bounty system in the control of predatory animals since the cessation of state trapping activities on February 1. In co-operation with the United States Bureau of Biological Survey, division of predatory animal control, the conservation department two years ago began an experiment in the control of the major predators in the state.
THE war that has been going on for years between fruit growers and the cottontail rabbits because the latter “bark" the trees, thus killing many, looks as if it might be ended, says the Conservation Department of the Izaak Walton League of America in a bulletin which calls attention to a recent scientific discovery.
TOO many anglers get the mistaken idea that the best fish are always lurking about where the water is deepest in a pool and in those places that are hardest to find or approach. Some of the best game fish I have ever taken have been hooked in very shallow water and most times so close to the shore that one could have easily taken them with a yardstick, a short length of line, and the lure.
Referring to Dr. S. Morikubo's article on "Carp or Game Fish?" in the April issue, I cannot understand how men who have made a scientific study of the German carp on its spawn eating habits, can be so far different in their findings. Before reading Dr. S. Morikubo’s article, I received from the Bureau of Fisheries, Washington, D. C., an article “I-86” on the German carp.
I was both interested and amused to see in the May issue a photograph and description of a deformed pike by Ben East, who says concerning the lump on the fish’s back: "It entirely replaced the dorsal fin.” I should like to ask Mr. East when the members of the Esox family started growing dorsals in the middle of their backs.
DAD swore off fishin’ evermore, Last year when we got home. He vowed he’d never heed again The siren call of fish or men Enticing him to come and roam. He settled in his easy chair And then he sez, sez he, "The comforts of a home for mine; Old fools like Colonel Overbine— Why, let ’em go—but not for me!”
NOT a week goes by but the Angling Editor’s mail contains a kink of some kind to release fouled hooks and lures from the current or depths of a pool. They are usually good ideas, but the best and most practicable kink I have ever found for saving casting plugs and lures is to learn how to cast a bait without getting it snagged on an underwater rock ledge, or between two boulders that are wedged close, or with hooks sunken deep into a tough old drift log on the bottom.
I would like to call your attention to the story in the February issue entitled “A Sportsmen’s Paradise.” I was particularly interested in this story in view of the fact that I spent a year in Carrabelle, Fla., only a few miles from Port St. Joe where this story was written.
THERE is something to spring fishing that challenges description. The sun in the spring has a sweeter caress, the birds a prettier note to their songs, the saplings appear cleaner and invite one to tread adventurous ways amidst their colonies and chance upon rushing riffles, eddying pools, or just long and lazy streams that disappear into more mist and brush.
THERE'S plenty of guys that go fishin' for fish—who measure their catch by the ton. But me, well I guess I am shy on “ambish,” for I just go fishin' for fun. I enjoy starting out with a line an' a hook—a can full of worms an’ a pole—maybe spend the whole day on a little ol’ brook an’ yank narry a fish from his hole.
IN YOUR March issue a reader asks how to test a fish line and this suggestion may be of help: Have two rollers turned out with a ¾-inch trunion on each side, 2 inches long, the rollers to be any diameter and 3 inches long. Mine are 3 inches in diameter.
Editor:—I am very interested in the article on fly tying by L. G. Hayes, in the March, 1932, issue of OUTDOOR LIFE where he gives a formula for making fly varnish. Now what I would like to know is what he means by “nitrate dope” as he uses it in the formula?
LAST spring I took a trip in a five-room apartment on wheels. It contained all the modern improvements with outside windows on every side and a front yard that is all of Nature's out-of-doors! The designer and builder of this up-to-date camping luxury is my dad, Edwin W. Everett.
ONE of the most common causes of sickness among campers and woodsmen is bad water. In order to thoroughly guard against this source of disease, you must reject two old-fashioned ideas about pure and impure water. Science has definitely proved both to be false.
NOTHING is going to put the bee on you for having a bum time in camp any quicker than to live and sleep in a leaky cabin. A fellow simply can’t stay nonchalant when the roof drips water down his neck and on his bed blankets. I drew such a cabin one season but my partner displayed so much ingenuity in patching up the bad places in the roof I was tempted to let it go.
THIS kink solves one of the perplexing questions that arises in most any camp and which is: “Where can I hang my clothes and flashlight?” Get a 10-inch length of sapling about 3 inches through. Notch around the upper end to hold a rope and tie it to the tent ridgepole.
IS THE public becoming "Diesel engine conscious"? I have not kept accurate record but it seems to me that I've been asked a dozen times in the last two months whether the Diesel is “coming” for boats, automobiles, and trucks. I think the answer lies largely in the cost of gasoline.
I STOOD on the dock and watched Johnny Atkins start his new outboard motor and run out into the lake. He hadn't gone far when the motor coughed a couple of times and stopped. He pulled the starting rope in several attempts to start it again, but without avail.
I HAVE a simple, easily-constructed swivel chair in the center of each of my fishing boats. It can be constructed as follows: Cut a piece of 1¼-inch iron pipe 7 inches long and screw it into an iron pipe-flange. The flange is then bolted to the bottom of the boat with two bolts passing through the keel.
Editor:—I have been looking for a light strongnested boat for a long time and in OUTDOOR LIFE for January is the answer to a fisherman’s prayer, although a few points are still dark. 1. Where can I get marine glue? 2. By cedar do you mean the red cedar?
IT IS pretty well known that the Western Cartridge Company has bought the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. When John Olin, Vice President of the Western Cartridge Company, went to the Winchester company to see just what the boys were doing, the first thing he wanted to know about was just how good a gun the Winchester Model 21 double shotgun was.
THERE are two kinds of shotgun extras. Some are ornamental and enhance the value and appearance of the gun without adding anything to its shooting and handling qualities. I am not so interested in these as I am in the other kind which helps us to shoot better in the field or on the water.
AS RECENTLY as the April issue of OUTDOOR LIFE I gave the correct weight of an upland gun in 12 gauge as from 7 to 7¼ pounds. I have heen shooting the light Browning Over and Under, and will have to admit that there was something I didn’t know about light guns.
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:—Have got quite a kick out of the shotgun arguments lately in regard to bore, barrel length, choke, drop and pitch.
I AM really sorry to write this article, although it is a story of achievement. But it means the ending, at least temporarily, of a long and arduous quest that began years ago and terminated successfully in 1931. And, I fear, as with every other endeavor, once the goal is reached there is a lowering of enthusiasm, interest flags, and there is a tendency to view apathetically other developments along the same line.
HEY — Hey — Back — Back — A-oo —A-oooo—" I was standing on the veranda of the Woodrock Ranger Station in the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming, when the clarion sound broke on my ears like the sharp, repeated bark of a Krag Jorgenson. I looked and there stood “Shorty” whose full title is F. M. Calvin—same last name as Cal Coolidge’s first — also competent sheep herder and a character well known and respected by all Big Horn Forest officials.
Read with interest Claude C. Matlack's article on Florida's proposed Everglades National Park, in May issue. Made a trip into this territory with Jim Black, Deputy State Game Commissioner, two years ago. After leaving Royal Palm Park there is an asphalt road, barely wide enough for two cars to pass, going towards Flamingo; but when we were there the good road ended about 7 miles northeast of Flamingo and from that point to Flamingo the road was sandy and boggy and almost impassable.
Apropos Col. F. Trubee Davison's belated explanation of the perfectly legal conditions under which he took part in a wild-duck massacre, as set forth on page 33 of the May number: I would like to ask a question for the consideration of every reader of OUTDOOR LIFE. Have we reached the point where legality constitutes the sole criterion of good sportsmanship?
An encouraging item of news in these times, when depression and hardships are the topics of the day, comes from the little settlement of Telegraph Creek, B. C., one of the greatest big-game centers of Canada. The writer who has spent the summer in northern British Columbia as member of a motion picture expedition, hunting big game with cameras instead of rifles, arrived in Telegraph Creek at the time a number of hunting parties terminated their trips through the surrounding territory.
Narrowly escaping being knocked senseless by a vicious swing of the reptile, Harry Rowell, Castro Valley rancher and horse dealer, has returned from a trip through the Livermore hills with a tale of the club snake, rare and dangerous creature, seldom seen in this part of the West.
THE story has been told and retold possibly scores of times; it has appeared in various versions, but it is of perennial interest to all fox hunters, especially to those whose opinions differ as to the relative merits of the Walker and July hounds.
THE quail season is over in Alabama for the first part of this year and the bird hunters when gathered at any of their favored meeting places are telling of the past season’s unusual and interesting experiences. In most of these anecdotes some dog, either unusually good or very bad, is the principal actor.
I have read so much about various breeds of dogs, and their work, in your magazine, but I have never seen anything about a dog such as I possess. I bought him through an advertisement as an American Brown spaniel. If he is such I cannot see the need for importing, as he is just a little better than any other that I have had the pleasure of hunting with.
I read the article, “This Thing Called Gun-shyness,” in the March issue of OUTDOOR LIFE and there are a few questions I would like to ask. I have an Irish water spaniel, two years old, which I raised myself. I took him out hunting pheasants when a year old, with another well trained dog of the same breed.
Question:—My hunting dog has tapeworms. Advise treatment.—E. R. T., Ariz. Answer:—Tetrachlorethylene capsules, one mil for each 10 pounds weight, is effective and safe treatment for almost every kind of intestinal parasite. It should only be given after all foods containing fats or oils have been withheld for a couple of days.
Question:—I am sending you a clipping from the Portland Oregonian. I think the writer is entirely wrong in what he says about the position of a rattlesnake’s rattles and I would like your opinion.—G. H., Ore. Answer:—Many thanks for the clipping.