A staff of almost 2,000 correspondents answers inquiries addressed to this department.
Plenty of Quail!
P. A. H., OHIO:—The Mexican hunting season opened October 16th and closes January 31st. This open season refers to the Northern States of Mexico, or north of 20th parallel. You ask for the hunting laws of the State of Mexico. I suppose you mean the Republic of Mexico; or especially those States adjacent to and joining Texas.
"IS THAT old hound any good, Uncle Spiller?” I asked, pointing to a venomous looking, flop-eared varmint sniffing at the old negro’s heels. “Lawd, boss, if dat dawg had-a been much better de Good Marster would a kep’ him for to hunt ’possums wid hisself !
DOWN where Missouri and Kentucky and Illinois meet, and where the Ohio runs into the Mississippi River, there is the nation known (without benefit of map) as Little Egypt, and its capital, Cairo. This is a rich land and a polyglot one, where Southerners and Yankees and Negroes and Italian immigrants have settled their paradise and gone their own ways heedless of the outside world which periodically concerns itself over their politics or their “lawlessness,” but only penetrates the real wilderness once a year in the form of a few high-hearted guys known as Goose Shooters.
THE ski as a means of practical transportation in deep and heavy snow, has been known for a very long time. In some of the Scandinavian countries a thousand years ago a ski was widely used which very closely resembled our ski of today. In certain provinces of the countries in the Alps a ski of some sort had been known even earlier and how long our American Indians have been using the snowshoe—which is only a different form of the ski—no one knows.
THE little native ponies hugged the cliffs as they picked their way along the narrow trail that threaded its dizzy course through a jumble of rugged volcanic mountains 3000 sheer feet above a rocky river bed. We were headed for virgin hunting grounds deep in the land of the Ifugao head-hunters of the Philippine Islands.
THE “brownies” are not the great brown bear of Alaska, as you might infer, but are great, lusty hybrid Loch Leven—brown trout which, on a long line and light fly tackle as we used, will instill in the most experienced trout man all the respect had by the hunter for old Ursus, whose nickname he bears.
THE mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) ought to have been considered a beast with a lot of religion in him, and so held sacred. He lives far up in the sky, as close to the heaven of the Bible as man or beast ever did exist, and like the Hebrews he considers hell far down below.
An Indiana Sportsman Claims He’s Found Fisherman’s Heaven in Michigan
R. A. Millholland
CIRCUMSTANCES beyond my control dictate the time and season when I can go fishing. Opportunity may open her hand in the spring and if I do not grab the chance I may not get another that year. Or my chance may come in July, or even in October. Such a condition complicates matters for some waters are in season at one time of the year and almost barren at others.
MY FIRST big game hunt took place in Ontario in 1930 and I was lucky enough to bag a bull moose with fifty-five-inch antlers. Since then during idle moments my thoughts had constantly dwelt upon the prospects of another hunt. The year 1931 rolled by and no vacation from legal problems loomed in sight.
The Story of a Hunting Trip in One of the Greatest Game Districts of the North
September 28th :
OUR easiest day and thanks for that. We had a relatively short trip here to Glacier Camp by a milky glacier stream. I find myself full of aches and sore muscles after yesterday’s hunt. Tomorrow we will go on another bear hunt on the Matanuska Glacier and I’m hoping for either a big grizzly or a Glacier bear.
HORACE ALBRIGHT, former director National Park Service BROOKE ANDERSON, ex-president Campfire Club of Chicago J. P. CUENIN, journalist ARTHUR F. FORAN, president More Game Birds in America SETH GORDON, president American Game Association HARRY B. HAWES, former United States Senator ALDO LEOPOLD, University of Wisconsin JACK MINER, bird conservationist EDMUND SEYMOUR, president American Bison Society.
WE HAD our open deer season here in early November. Not getting enough license money, the Game Department changed their ruling as to rifles only, permitting the use of shotguns as well. Three deer were killed in this neighborhood.
I note that Harold G. Smith takes exception in your October issue to the photograph in the August OUTDOOR LIFE of a group of dead hawks which you claim are harmless. Your correspondent belongs to that group (steadily diminishing, I am glad to say) which closes its eyes and ears to indisputable evidence collected by experts (not sentimentalists).
"GOOD Lord, kid, three of them!” The old trapper snow-shoed up to me, looking across the little open space in the dark pines, and shook his head. It was part admiration, I knew, and I felt very, very proud. Across the clearing, huddled in the snow were three dark shapes, the rich claret of their life-blood slowly ebbing away.
A SURVEY by Wisconsin Conservation Department representatives completed early in October, definitely indicates that the awaited peak of the current grouse cycle has been reached in a number of northern and central Wisconsin counties, according to an announcement from the conservation department.
PRESENT conditions tend surely toward extermination of our waterfowl and we must without delay take more effective steps to preserve these birds, declared W. C. Henderson, associate chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, in a recent address at the annual meeting of the National Association of Audubon Societies in New York City.
We had a hunch that the daily bag limit on ducks this year was 12, with a two-day possession limit—but apparently it isn’t in Illinois, where the game wardens are said to have a great admiration for Heroes
I have read with interest the article by Penick in the November issue of OUTDOOR LIFE, dealing with the spoonbill and wish to make a few remarks about it. I trust you will not think me officious, but I have been interested in the spoonbill for some years, having been a commercial fisherman in season in these parts.
The footnote at the end of Mr. McGuire’s article on “A Tarpon Rodeo” in your November issue appeals forcibly to me ; for I am a heavy-tackle fisherman — especially when dealing with the Silver King. In the old days I was in the habit of using 36-thread line for tarpon fishing, then I came down to 30-thread line, and have stayed with it ever since.
WHITE cedar is the most favored of all woods for the making of artificial wooden casting lures. This wood is light, tough and very buoyant and does not split badly when cast against rocks or snags or when removed from long use in water and dried out in the tackle box.
You can help me out by telling me why bait casting lines are not put up on the right kind of spools to eliminate the waste that usually occurs when you try to put more than one spool of 50-yard length of line on the average casting reel. I am only able to spool about one and a half spools of 50 yard sections of line on my reel and there will be a waste of half a spool of perfectly good line.
USE a turned-down eye hook such as dry fly dressers prefer, being careful to select the smallest size with eye large enough to accommodate the heavy end of the leader. I prefer the No. 12 hook in Model Perfect. Then I cut off the hook portion from shank to afford a maximum of straight shank and scrape the outside enamel from the end of line for a distance corresponding to length of hook shank.
IN LOCATING your winter camp, avoid unpleasant sites such as windy ridges and hills, drafty notches or valleys between hills and mountains which intensify the wind’s strength, and lake or river shores with their damp penetrating cold. A windbreak is a valuable asset to any winter camp, particularly if the campers cook outside over an open fire.
As shooting seasons and bag limits are reduced each year, I wonder how many other hunters are learning to mount their own trophies. And I wonder if the average game conservationist realizes how powerful an influence taxidermy has on the preservation of game.
THE acid and salt tan process is usually recommended for the skins of small animals because it is simple and easy to do. But when the amateur wants to handle larger, more valuable hides like those of deer and mountain lion and convert them into rugs or wall hangings, the following method is advised.
RECENTLY I set out to assemble a very compact emergency kit. For a container I used a typewriter ribbon box, 2¼×2¼×¾,and with the cover fitting so tightly the box was waterproof. Into this I have managed to pack a small compass, half a dozen matches, six .22 Long Rifle cartridges, 6 feet of fish line, a fishhook, sterilized razor blade, needle, thread, pins, 6 inches of ½-inch adhesive tape, 12 inches of sterilized gauze, a small phial of mercurochrome, a small phial of aromatic spirits of ammonia, a small phial of salt, two aspirin tablets and two cascara sagrada tablets.
A WATERPROOF match container to • hold the camp’s supply of matches when traveling by canoe or pack horse may be made from a pint or quart varnish can with friction top. Pour out the varnish but do not wipe clean. Set can open in sun to dry a couple of days and a film of varnish will dry in and seal every seam.
CAPTAIN E. C. Crossman, the amusing arms and ammunition writer who has been called the Walter Winchell of the arms field, acknowledges the popularity of GOFORT by printing in another magazine some racy comments upon it. On the whole he is all for it, but he wouldn’t be Crossman if he didn’t raise a few objections to it.
THE LARGE number of letters being received from readers of OUTDOOR LIFE relative to .22 caliber rifles and ammunition indicates that this subject should be reviewed. So much time has elapsed since it was previously covered that most of our younger readers are uninformed as to the basic facts covering such rifles and ammunition.
THE well known firm of Belding & Mull, Philipsburg, Pa., makers of telescope sights, reloading tools, and all kinds of accessories, has just gotten out a handbook of information on handloading ammunition and other matters of interest to riflemen.
I HAVE been very gratified the past several years by the advances made in pistols and pistol ammunition and the increasing interest shown in hand guns. The pistol and revolver are most certainly deserving of this reborn interest. No class of firearm has a greater background of history, tradition and romance.
Can’t something be done about these here woodchuck rifles ? What I mean is this. I bin huntin’ chucks ever since I knew enough to hunt anything and always had a lot of fun out of it up until the last couple years. Now I ain’t so sure.
Last winter I managed to get a Junior Rifle Club started in our high school. I was elected president and so whenever any of the members need help with their shooting they come to me. Some of them noticed one of your answers in the June copy of OUTDOOR LIFE. They asked me what the memo on .22 caliber ammunition and the Small Bore Rifle Handbook which you mentioned contained.
WHENEVER a group of skeet shooters get together the discussion will sooner or later swing around to the effectiveness of the 12, 16, and 20 gauges, and somebody in the group will usually point out that the 20 is just as effective as the 12 for skeet, because the little gun is lighter and therefore it can be swung faster.
IT IS pretty well known, maybe, that I rarely recommend full choked barrels except for duck shooting in the hands of a good shot. The most of us do better and cleaner killing with a modified choke. Again, I never have seen anybody who could do good quail shooting, speaking of bobwhite quail, with a full choked gun.
I have invented and put in operation a new shotgun game for those who aspire to become expert field or wing shots. For lack of a more appropriate name I have called it “Renegado” and can think of no comparison to better illustrate the category in which it belongs than the following : First, we have billiards with long runs, then the more difficult game of balk line with more high runs and last the most difficult game—three cushion billiards— for the expert, where long runs are unknown.
THE figures below were taken from one of my books. Never mind the name of it ; I am not trying to sell books. 20 gauge, 1 ounce No. 6 shot, stopped at 45 yards. 16 gauge, 1⅛ ounces No. 6 shot, stopped at 48 yards. 12 gauge, 1⅛ ounces No. 6 shot, stopped at 52 yards.
AN ENGLISHMAN, Henry Sharp, who writes extensively of guns and ammunition, has two hobbies, one is a small bore shotgun, 28 gauge and .410 ; the other is big shot. If big shot have no more utility than the .410, then there is not much to either notion of Mr. Sharp’s, but this might not be the case.
I note your comment in a recent issue of your magazine on the new lightweight Browning over-and-under gun, particularly the absence of recoil and the cause for it. This is one of my problems. I want to get away from the whip and jump of the gun as it makes my head ache and jars me up too much.
MANY good old American customs have been developed to take the place of, or add variety to, the well-known and justly famous hot-stove baseball league which functions in every section of our fair land. But one of the most popular outshoots of the parent post-mortem society, that replays every inning of all the games of its favorite baseball club, is the young but sturdy body of outdoor enthusiasts who do 99 per cent of their hunting and fishing in their favorite easy chairs.
IT WAS during those delightful mid-October days in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Here the owners of pheasant dogs gathered at Oneida, not far from the banks of the lake of that name, for the first amateur pheasant dog championship ever held under the auspices of the Associated Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, or by any other organization, for that matter.
A CORRESPONDENT from the state of Washington writes : “I am planning on getting two fox terriers for hunting dogs which I expect to use on bear and bob cats.” Without giving the matter much thought the average observer might wonder at the idea of using fox terriers for this purpose, but those who have had experience know that the terrier varieties are noted for their extraordinary gameness.
MOST dogs are considered perfectly broken when they have acquired all the accomplishments that are necessary for perfect field work, but many trainers overlook the fact that there are other little mannerisms that many of their pupils are entirely ignorant of, but which all wellbehaved dogs should be taught.
FEW things can make the night more hideous than a barking or howling dog in the neighborhood. The owner of the offending animal may have nerves of steel and be able to tolerate the nuisance, but what about the people living in the vicinity who are not so tolerant of the possessions of some one else?
I have a pure bred blue-ticked hound which I bred to a dog of her own kind. On about the eighth day of her period of oestrum, she escaped and came in contact with a brown police dog and a black and white shepherd. Her pups were whelped in due time.
For several months I have noticed a few blisters that would appear mostly under the belly of my 6-months-old pointer puppy. These blisters would be about the size of a dime or smaller and would contain pus. They would form and burst and heal all within about two days.
I would like to have you clear up one item for me in regard to a snake bite kit. Suppose that the proposed victim of snake bite were accustomed to making long hikes over rocky territory in which it is seldom that any other living soul is met during the course of a day’s hike.