WHILE state and national governments are cutting expenses they would do well to find out how much money they’ve been wasting on predatory animal and (so-called) vermin control. They would often find that they could benefit the taxpayers and the sportsmen too by using the axe. The Fifty-sixth General Assembly of the state of Missouri passed an act appropriating $10,000 from the state game protection fund for cooperative work with the U. S.
THE art of angling is, like Cleopatra, “a lady of infinite variety.” Over a period of thirty years of ardent and enthusiastic devotion to this gentle pastime, not a few observations and generalizations have been formulated by me, only to be disproved and cast aside.
THE “lion jackal” has become proverbial. Yet, as I have said elsewhere, the hyena’s howl is heard in proximity to the lion more often than the jackal’s, north of the Zambesi. But there is no doubt that jackals do sometimes follow or accompany lions.
MY FIRST experience at salmon fishing took place on the Miramichi in New Brunswick during the month of September. Conditions weren’t any too good. The weather was hot, the water low and warm. The fish were all congregated in the spring holes and were very lazy and indifferent. My guide Boyd shook his head dubiously as we started out.
THE TUMP-LINES were taut as bow strings and the pack straps cut deep into aching shoulders as we finished the last grueling mile of the portage, and swung down once more to the boulder-strewn shores of Pigeon River in Ontario. Canoes were soon launched and the duffle quickly loaded. Dipping our paddles again into the swift water, we continued a few miles farther upstream until a favorable camp site was located.
Can Any Bird That Flushes Match the Wily Ringneck?
MAYBE it’s only because most of my wing shooting has been done on ringneck pheasants—and that isn’t any record-breaking number of rounds per year, either. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough experience with other varieties of feathered thunderbolts to give me a decent basis of comparison.
A Tender Domestic Monologue Overheard on a Fishing Stream
NOW, WHAT’S the matter? Hurt you? Well, darling, how many times have I told you not to walk right on my heels when we’re going through brush ? Of course, you got smacked in the face; branches have a habit of snapping backwards; it’s a law of Nature. Keep about ten feet behind me when I’m breaking trail and the naughty limbs won’t swat you.
IN COLORADO they have a state law protecting them.” The fellow from Michigan paused, frowned, and went on, “Oh, that’s right, you’re from Colorado. Well, haven’t you a law protecting them ?” “Not that I know about,” I replied. “No? Well, that’s funny. I was sure it was Colorado, but maybe it was Wyoming.
DRY FLY fishing—at first looked upon by the great majority of trout fishermen in this country as a mystery and an affectation—during the last six or seven years has made tremendous strides. The writer’s first blundering attempts at it were made upon the Esopus in 1918 and were the result of a chance meeting on the stream with a fine sportsman and skilled dry fly man, Henry Symons of New York, who, if I remember correctly, had learned the sport in England.
THIS is merely the tale of the coon, and contains no serious information—nor any of Roosevelt’s “nature faking.” I never have been able to talk to a coon, to learn what he thinks, or to get an account of his life from birth to old age. In the interests of economy in words, I’ll refer to the little beast as a coon, rather than a raccoon; because of the brevity of human life, the pedantic chaps who named him the raccoon or the possum an opossum, are not going to be followed by the common people, who say, “git 'em,” instead of “go get them.”
MUCH has been said, in recent times, concerning the havoc wrought by chelonians—turtles, to you, if you prefer. Wildfowl are alleged to have suffered heavily from their depredations, especially the young; mature birds, possessing both power of flight and enviable discretion— as every wild-fowler knows— sometimes shun badly infested waters.
An Analysis of Our Efforts to Bring Shooting Within the Reach of All
Don Chalmers Lyons
SOME really strange things have been happening to our recreation of hunting and apparently they started in two different ways. First, the younger men found that there were not as many birds to flush, ducks seemed fewer, and the game animals had begun to disappear from their haunts.
I have been a resident of Wyoming since 1879 and have seen the progress of the sheep business since its inception in this state. Before the sheep came this was a grassy country and the open plains were covered with hay a foot or two high. Today you could put all the grass on a section into a 100-pound sugar sack. Before the sheep came we had antelope and deer by the thousands and there was plenty of food for them.
AS this magazine comes off the press ruffed grouse and other ground-nesting game birds will begin to bring off their first broods of young. What becomes of them? Dr. Gardiner Bump, Superintendent of the Bureau of Game of the New York Conservation Department, after extensive study for several years has found that food does not seem to be a controlling factor in grouse abundance; that ideal grouse cover is made up of spring nesting grounds, summer and fall feeding grounds, and winter shelter; that 57 per cent of the potential birds from every 100 grouse eggs are destroyed before hatching, mostly by predators; that 23 per cent die in the first three months from inclement weather, weakness, and predators; that 8 per cent die as adults from predators; that only 3 per cent are bagged by hunters; and that 9 per cent live over into the second year.
I am making this request of you because I firmly believe that you can do more than anyone else in the world to conserve our supply of ducks, and I want to thank you for the publicity that you have given the slaughter pens on the Illinois River. I have hunted ducks in Illinois for forty years and know how nearly impossible it is for the average hunter to get a mess of ducks in competition with the Chicago and St. Louis millionaires.
We cannot act too soon to save from further invasion by so-called civilization the little that is left of our wilderness. I have no quarrel with civilization, but I believe in keeping it in its place. Civilization and game will not mix. Game and fish thrive only in a primitive wilderness. The advance guard of civilization is the road, therefore I believe in keeping the road out of the wilderness or what little is left of it.
ANGLING records would not be complete without a mention of the savage, snapping, hard-fighting barracuda of the salt-water fishing grounds. Of all the fish I have caught with artificial lure I believe the barracuda stands out paramount for pugnacity and attack on the moving lure.
A WOODEN plug is just as effective reeled down the current as reeled up against the current in pools where there are rocky ledges under the surface near shore or where there are pools that have rocky bottoms where bass and pike can lurk. The fact of the matter is that I get the majority of my good small-mouth bass and wall-eyed pike in riffle pools by casting up the current and reeling the plug downstream at a fairly slow speed.
THIS fall I happened on a Kink that might help those who fish for steel-head on the Pacific Coast where the favorite bait is salmon eggs. I usually get the ones in glass jars and after being opened they spoil or mould if left over between fishing trips. I found that by pouring some melted paraffine wax over them they will keep without moulding for some time.
Editor:—I would like some information on the right flies (color, etc.) to use at the different times of the year for bluegills, crappies and bass. Nearly all the articles I read deal with trout.—G. W. L., Ind. Answer:—I have always had good luck with Royal Coachman, Butcher, Green Drake, Brown Hackle, Grey Hackle (green body), White Miller, Professor and Parmacheene Belle patterns of flies for crappies and bluegills.
NO BACK is strong enough and no packsack is big enough to carry everything the hiker-camper would like to take with him. Some reducing compromise is necessary when the complete outfit is assembled. The weight and completeness of either shelter, bed or food list will have to be cut from the ideal maximum and in those cases where the hiker marks the grub supply for reduction, the following list will prove useful.
ABOUT twenty years ago I outfitted for a winter hunting trip in Idaho, buying among other items, a stag shirt and a pair of oxford gray trousers, both made up of a very heavy all-wool cloth. The fabric was so well woven and retained so much of the natural wool fat in its fibers that both garments were practically waterproof. They would turn anything but a hard stiff shower. I could walk out all day in a drizzle of rain without either jacket or pants becoming uncomfortably damp.
THE five-toed mother echidna, one of the only two mammals that lays eggs, does not build a nest like birds or deposit her eggs in warm sand after the manner of reptiles. Instead she thrusts them one at a time into a pouch of skin on the under side of her body and carries them there until they hatch.
THIS cooking fireplace for permanent camps is a wood saver. It will hold heat directly under the pot at all times, even on windy days. Drive fifteen 2-foot stakes half way into the ground to form a 30-inch circle, slanting tops out slightly. Line with a wall of stones, plastering them with mud, clay or a mixture of sand and ashes. Hang your pot so its bottom is 2 inches above the top of stones.
I send you a tip for my fellow outboard boat fans. Also a warning. It is a good practical tip and a good practical way to lose a friend. In return, possibly you may tell me how to avoid being bumped off. We—the Colonel and I—are lake dwellers in central British Columbia, not a hundred miles from Uncle Sam’s arid Washington boundary.
ONE of the unfailing signs of spring in such columns as this is an article on overhauling your motor in preparation for the coming season. But I am going to fool you this time. you Don’t overhaul your motor unless you are absolutely sure you have to. Use more oil and less tools.
WE WISH to acknowledge, even though we could not use them, a number of kinks recently submitted dealing with pet methods of painting boats or canoes. We have to distinguish between a method that will work well in a particular case and one that will work well in general use. Painting is a complex field, boat painting especially. Paint serves to waterproof cur materials.
MUCH discussion has been had for generations, anent the all-important, interesting question, “Where do you 'pint'?” yet just as much difference of opinion exists today, perhaps, as at any time previously. So many elements enter into the equation that it is never reasonably certain of a proper solution, yet by experience, we do gain a fine measure of useful knowledge.
IN MY articles on the stance of the shooter and how to hold on targets I have covered stations 1, 2 and 3. We will now take up station No. 4. The average field shooters, particularly those who hunt ducks, do not have a great deal of trouble with the two targets at this stand, but occasionally we run across a man who finds one or both shots quite difficult.
SOMEBODY may be curious as to the ballistics of the 10 bore magnum shot gun, particularly those who may own the gun. The following data was sent me by the Western Cartridge Company who build the ammunition. They didn’t give the load but previous statements made it 52 grains of Herco and 2 ounces No. 3 Lubaloy shot, in 3½-inch cases. Muzzle velocity, 1548 feet.
Editor:—This season, all of my gunning will be for cottontails, quail, and pheasants here on Long Island, and owing to the thickness and character of the cover, most of the shooting will be at less than 40 yards. I have always used a 7¼-Pound 12, 30-inch modified and full, but it is not just right for my purpose this season. I am thinking of trying a 28-inch 20, with left full and right cylinder, to weigh 6½pounds and handle 2¾-inch cases with 1-ounce loads.
AFTER many tests of various rifles in caliber .276, the War Department has ordered further tests to be made on .30 caliber arms although the Garand, caliber .276, was found to be satisfactory and suitable for military purposes. Several different guns in this caliber were tested by the board, three of which, the Garand, Pederson and White, were found to be superior to all others.
IT HAS been seven years since I have written anything for the gun columns of OUTDOOR LIFE. Before that I wrote gun articles for this magazine for nineteen years, off and on, and the last ten years of those nineteen almost every issue. How long I will write again, I do not know. Gunology advances like the other sciences and arts.
PERHAPS the most popular of all hunting rifles in America, as evidenced by their sales and by their prevalence, have been the Winchester models 1894 and 1892. They will be found everywhere and are well known to everyone. It may seem strange, therefore, that these two rifles are the last to be equipped with modern stocks.
EDITOR:—I am a boy of sixteen and a gun lover. I am about to purchase a medium priced .22 caliber revolver. I have in mind the new Harrington & Richardson Sportsman. This gun is a nine-shot break open type. It has a safety cylinder of the locked type with the firing pin transmitting the blow of the hammer. It also has a spur trigger guard and five different stocks to choose from.
A DOZEN fat, energetic flies buzzed about our heads as Leverett and I dressed out the big buck that we had just shot in the heart of the cedars. “Ol' blowin’ flies—they’ll spoil this deer if he hangs here more'n a day or so,” said my hunting partner, and added dolefully, “don’t see what such pesky things were ever invented for, anyhow !” “I can tell you, but you probably won’t believe me,” was my reply.
I have followed with a great deal of interest the articles in your magazine dealing with the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Mr. Beardsley, writer of the last article, severely berates Reno for failing to continue the attack to the village despite a loss of two out of every five men by the time his retreat from the timber to the bluffs east of the river was consummated.
I quite agree with Lewis C. Gandy in your May issue, that Mr. Beardsley’s article on the Custer fight, which appeared in your March issue, shows much lack of study both of the field itself and of the movements of the troops. Having made a study of this battle for forty-five years, having been on the ground many times, photographed everything worth photographing there, talked with many officers and men who fought with Major Reno’s troops, and having over fifty letters written by Captain Benteen, senior captain in the Seventh Cavalry and the man who really “saved the day” on Reno Hill, in which he gives much information never divulged to the public, having read everything in print and done considerable writing myself on the battle, I ought to know a little something about it.
THE American foxhound is very much like Topsy; he "jes' growed.” Here the resemblance ceases, for the American hound’s evolution was brought about through the exigencies of circumstance and that probably accounts for the many so-called strains that are first of all exclusive foxhounds, but secondarily embrace all the many ramifications of the family, including the coon-hound varieties and the many other divisions used for all classes of hunting, where gameness, good nose and stamina are essential.
In these days we see very little about the “king of terriers,” the ever-ready airedale, in outdoor publications. He may not be the popular idol with the masses that he was twenty or more years ago, but still many sportsmen scattered about in various parts of the country who really know what this dog is, remain faithful to their old love. When I refer to airedales in these terms, of course I mean their usefulness for the average hunter.
Editor:—I own two Irish setters, one a male, the other a female. The latter has been in our possession only a short time, but recently she escaped from her pen and killed almost all of twenty-four chickens and ducks. The male is a trained quail dog, but he also has recently taken to chicken killing.