A staff of almost 2,000 correspondents answers inquiries addressed to this department.
A Thousand Lakes and Streams !
Muskies in. Lower Peninsula
Please Be Definite
T. O., IND.:—You will find plenty of opportunity for bait casting up here in northern Wisconsin. We have musky, northern pike, pickerel, wall-eyed pike, large and small-mouthed bass and at times the so-called pan fish can be taken on some of the small baits.
Scenes at the First Public Demonstration of the New Game-Target Rifle Sport at "Squireen," Harry McGuire's farm near Mt. Morris, III., July 16. Experiments conducted by OUTDOOR LIFE and the X-Ring Products Co. in cooperation with the Mt. Morris Rifle Club
For Conditions of $500.00 Prize Contest for Naming the New Sport See Page 7
Regulations For Field Firing Matches
ONCE more “something to write home about” has happened. Now that it has happened, it is so simple, so logical, so natural a thing that one can only wonder why it wasn’t thought of ages ago. Back in the days when the rifle was first invented, chips from the old chopping block were stuck up in cracks in the weathered rail fence and used as targets.
FOR some time the National Rifle Association, the arms and ammunition manufacturers, and certain individuals interested in the promotion of rifle practice have been making a careful and thorough study of the conditions prevalent in rifle practice and the use of rifles in the United States.
THERE is in my opinion no more dangerous animal to be met with in the jungle, except a wounded tiger, than an old bull gaur, or bison, standing from nineteen to twenty-one hands at the shoulder. He is indeed the largest of all the “Bos” tribe in the world, larger in fact than the biggest cart horse that was ever foaled.
EVERY sport has its high goal. Big game hunters prize the tiger skin, Kodiak bear pelt or head of a big bull moose and the moment that goes with it. A fellow who has bagged such a trophy in a sportsmanlike manner can figure he “belongs.” The fisherman who lands a big marlin, sailfish or tarpon in salt water, or record bass, steelhead, salmon or muskies in fresh water is a tophand angler.
FROM THE junction I had the rear half of the coach to myself while the wearisome local train jolted along through a landscape that was almost wintry in its severity. Outside there was nothing to please or hold the eye. Trees lifted still, stark branches against a pale evening sky and there was little warmth anywhere in the succession of flat lands, low hills, shallow valleys, woods and fields that met the gaze which I lifted occasionally from my book.
WE HAVE long-eared, blacktailed jack rabbits, which correspond in size and fleetness to the English hare, but by preference we who live in the wide open spaces of our flat, short-grassed Western country, course coyotes. These grey-haired, thick-skulled, speedy demons, similar in appearance to wolves, only smaller of size, surpass the fox in their canniness.
AS FAR as I know, buck fever has no scientific name, nor is it recognized by the medical profession. Perhaps that is why the doctor had persistently denied, during the first week of our stay in the mountains, that there was anything real about it.
THE night was black and gloomy and the cattle milled and milled, As each flaring streak of lightning the velvet blackness killed. Then came the booming thunder rolling on from hill to hill And the madly bawling cattle from a moments fright are still.
At Last—Facts Instead of Theories About Losses by Crippling
Paul L. Errington
Logan J. Bennett
Editorial Note:—Herewith we are privileged to present first concrete evidence—gathered under the direction of Professor Errington, in charge of wild life research at Iowa State College, and Mr. Bennett, his assistant—of the appalling proportion of crippled birds lost each year.
CALIFORNIA has not suffered a lack of appreciation. From movie stars and scenery to oranges and climate its attractions have been generously and loudly observed. Its shortcomings, on the other hand, have been rather generally neglected.
The Story of the Life of an Overland Freighter on the Ft. Pierre-Deadwood Trail in the '70s
PART II. CONCLUSION
I DIDN’T see as much of Deadwood as I did of Pierre when it was first built, because it took us much longer to load up in Pierre than to unload in Deadwood, but Pierre was a hot town too, after the railroad came there. I’ll never forget the narrow, rutted streets of Deadwood, and the old ‘Bell Union’ that had the best entertainers and prettiest girls in town, or the ‘Bucket of Blood,’ one of the toughest places I ever saw.
IMPORTANT NOTICE—The 1933 Duck and Goose Season Unofficial information when we go to press indicates that the federal seasons for shooting migratory game birds this coming fall will be subatantially the same as they were last year. The duck season will probably be two months long, as it was in 1932-33.
WHEN a wild life crusader appeals to the rural gallery, he can get a tremendous hand by blaming depletion of upland game birds on the city sportsman with his high-powered bird dog and his automatic shotgun. As echoes from this tumultuous cheering subside and the mike is switched to the city sportsman’s club one hears the counter charge that the farmer boy with his black powder and his single-barreled weapon blasts out more coveys during a single clay of pot-shooting than the city sportsman with his bird dog and automatic can account for in a whole season of hard hunting.
The Only Department of Its Kind in America in Which ALL Sides of Controversial or Important Wild Life Questions are Discussed as close, browse, or destroy the roots of grass with their hoofs, as do sheep. In Montana, besides its domestic sheep, there are 700,000 head of other sheep shipped in from Washington and other states and unloaded from the cars in Montana and driven onto its public lands.
I have always supported conservation movements until they turn into fanatics as they invariably have so far. I can’t, after a lifetime in the West, agree that stockmen grow horns. I do agree with you that the poisoning as practiced by the government is wrong, but who brought it on?
You state in your August number that you are publishing a complete list of states which issue short-time-limit, non-resident fishing licenses at reduced rates but do not include Michigan which state issues a ten-day, non-resident license for $1, the complete season license being $2 with wife’s license an additional 50c.
Here in Texas white-tailed deer are very plentiful and they would be more so were it not for the blow fly. In the summer after ticks and red bugs have made their appearance they, with the aid of flies, are a deer’s chief menace. These pests cover a deer’s ear and head.
I am sure that all who enjoy OUTDOOR LIFE have been pleased to learn that stream pollution is going to be materially decreased as a result of the public works program which has recently been inaugurated. Readers have been actively working to end pollution for years.
PLEASE advise me what rod to buy for all-around fishing; something that I can use for trout, bass or any other fresh water fish. Also the best line, leaders and lures to go with such a rod.” This is a composite letter of many requests for information which come to me from time to time.
AMONG my catches last season was a dogfish. Probably this was nothing to be proud of, but it was my first dogfish, and a real grandfather, 32 inches long, with his teeth and whiskers as ugly a brute as I had ever seen. It happened this way. I was fishing about half a mile from our boat house on lower Lake Leelanau in the Traverse Bay section of Michigan.
BAIT fishermen fishing for small-mouth bass will be interested in knowing that soft crayfish are the finest currentwater bait known and the method of fishing with them amounts to almost a secret. However, anyone with ordinary good fishing judgment can become very expert in catching small-mouth with these baits:
BEND a heavy piece of galvanized wire (No. 10 or larger) into a loop the size you desire your net—mine is about 14 inches across—and leave 4 inches extra on the ends to form a shank. Fasten the loop in a vise and twist these ends firmly together forming Fig. 1.
IT IS not difficult to manufacture deer feet into inkwells, ashtrays, stool legs, and hat and gun racks, and a number of hunters save the lower legs and hoofs of the deer they shoot for this purpose. While deer legs will keep quite a long time in cool weather because they contain a very small amount of flesh, it is better to skin them out immediately after you have taken care of the head or scalp.
OCCASIONALLY a home-tanned hide comes through the process hard and stiff and totally unlike the soft flexible leather the tanner expected to make. Such disappointments are invariably caused by some mistake or deficiency on the part of the operator.
A NUMBER of those who have heard but have not seen the American bittern emit his weird “pump-er-lunk,” believe the bird either holds his beak under water or swallows and ejects a quantity of liquid when he sings this queer love song resembling the priming of an old-fashioned wooden pump more than anything else.
PROCURE a good-sized corn cob and a small stick of fine straight-grained wood such as juniper. Cut a 3-inch section from large end of cob. Leave pith in smaller end but dig it out of the other and round out the cavity like the mouth of a small horn—Fig. B.
SINCE I used to be wedded to the .25-20 single-shot thirty-five years ago, I have been casting about for a small game and vermin rifle which would exactly take the place of the old .25. In those days I used to load my own cartridges, using black or semi-smokeless powder, and buying the bullets ready made at $.30 a hundred. The ammunition cost me no more than .22 rim fire, and was far more effective.
I have read a number of articles in various outdoor publications recently regarding the best cartridge for police use, most of the comments centering around the .38 Special. Considering the crime situation throughout the country it is natural that sportsmen would take interest in this question, but many of them are not familiar with the policeman’s viewpoint and there are a number of angles to this problem that I have not seen covered.
Having developed a high-velocity cartridge for my old .38-55, which a gunsmith revamped into a modern sport carbine, the writer feels sure old-time deer hunters and gun cranks in general will appreciate this article. First, the new .38-55 high-speed cartridge.
MR. J. F. Rabbeth, a celebrated rifleman of forty years ago, deserves the credit for originating the .25 caliber rifle in America. He wrote the first article advocating a rifle of this caliber and it was published in the old magazine, Shooting and Fishing, on April 18, 1889.
Having had a wonderful time picking out a scope for my pet lead slinger and having found out how easy it is to spend a heap of money without getting what you want, I think it may not be amiss to pass along the results of my search to the next fellow who may want to do the same thing and can’t afford to waste any money, so here they are:
Editor:—I understand you have information relative to a medium powered load for the .375 caliber magnum rifle. I have a .375 and would like to reload for it. I had in mind using, if possible, the .38-55 caliber jacketed bullet. A study of the Ideal Handbook No. 30 discloses that lead bullets caliber .38-55 measure .375 inch, also that the standard bore diameter of .38-55 rifles is .379 inch.
I HAVE a more or less violent dislike for buckshot in deer shooting. For this reason and because certain states forbid the use of rifles on deer, I have been casting about for something that would take the place of a rifle ball. The nearest I have come to it is the round bullet, called “pumpkin balls” sometimes.
IN THESE articles on how and where to hold on the different targets in a round of skeet, we have “shot” from station No. 1 around to station No. 6, and we will now take up the two shots at station No. 7, which are very easy compared with some of the others in a round.
AS I have stated before, skeet is not skeet unless the delayed pull is used. With this thought in mind some clubs have worked out their own electric variable timers, which release targets instantly or any time up to the full three seconds prescribed in the rules.
Editor:—I have a Winchester 12 gauge Model 12 with 28-inch, modified choke barrel. I use this gun mostly for quail and rabbits in a rough brushy country where most shots are at close range. I miss a great many shots mostly by shooting too far behind the game.
No, the pictures enclosed are not for your Nature Fakers column, nor do I claim that this squirrel had a mammoth, or even a sabre-toothed tiger as a grandparent. It is just a freak of nature, and I claim that Nature played him a dirty trick. The squirrel pictured here was caught last week near Bristol, Tenn., and was so badly injured by the dog that he died soon after.
PAUL BUNYAN'S nosebleed—or, to the uninitiated, red snow—has again made its appearance in Glacier National Park. Described by veteran woodsmen as the trail of the bleeding forest hero of western leg ends, highly colored snow has been observed at various times in mountainous regions.
It has been demonstrated in South Dakota that the Crotalus confluentus or prairie rattlesnake can be controlled if not completely exterminated in the open country of the West and Northwest. Fully 90 per cent of this species congregate in groups of from 50 to several hundred to hibernate and occupy the same dens annually.
Herewith I am enclosing a picture of a hell-diver in the act of trying to swallow a 6-inch bigmouth bass. He was unable to get it down and choked to death in the attempt. A sea gull working at something out in the lake excited the curiosity of one of the boys and he rowed out to see what it was all about.
In the December 15 Morning Oregonian, in Jimmy McCool’s “Wild Life Lines,” appeared the enclosed account, by L. T. Hentiess, of how a cougar “dresses” a deer it has killed. “While the deer is still warm, after being killed by the four-footed hunter,” said the old nimrod, “the cougar lays the animal on its back, licks the hair clean as any razor could shave it from the under part of the carcass.
Editor:—Will an indigo snake follow a person around like another pet, a dog for instance? Will this snake eat small or large rattlesnakes ?—P. L. R.,Pa. Answer:—There are no snakes which develop an affection for anyone to the point that prompts them to follow like a dog.
LETTERS frequently come to my desk from dog owners asking how early the training of a dog should begin. This question applies specifically to setters, pointers and the other hunting varieties. Then comes the second question, how to go about it if the training is to be done at home by the owner?
I was interested in the query in the June number regarding bird dogs killing chickens, for I have had a similar experience. I purchased a pointer in September, 1929, which was then 18 months old. I kept him fenced in at the rear of my home and I also kept a few chickens which sometimes were turned out on the grass.
Editor:—I would like to ask for information about raising dogs. I would like to secure some kind of dogs that I can raise the young from, and have thought of chows. Have been told that they are delicate and hard to raise. What about this? About what size litters do they usually have.