A staff of almost 2,000 correspondents answers inquiries addressed to this department.
Wisconsin Bass and Trout
Grand Traverse Region
Some Canadian Fishing Trips
Lake of the Woods
Nothing to Worry About!
Near Park Rapids, Minn.
Ocean Fishing Off Southern California
Pike County, Pa.
Florida Surf Fishing
Float Trips in the Ozarks
Come To Oregon!
Grand Lake Stream
Eastern Shore of Virginia
0. H. P., KANS.:—I am going to endeavor to give you three choice spots for trout and bass fishing in Wisconsin. The first one will afford very excellent trout fishing and some bass fishing. The second will be excellent bass fishing and fair trout fishing.
DEAR Fellow Members and Ex-Members: Your national organization will soon be holding what it will call the “national convention.” This will be a sorry gathering of a few old-timers from the Chicago area; the trappings of a convention will still be provided, but the air will be tearful and bleak and there will be great open spaces where once sat delegates in a vast convention hall.
MOST men and an occasional woman have an instinctive urge to hunt big game. That urge may be rendered inactive or suppressed in one way or another, but from childhood on we plan and daydream for the time in life when we can afford a hunt in the wilds, and too often while waiting for the time when we can afford such an experience, we find that we are too old to hunt.
A FISHERMAN always takes liberties with Time. He promises his wife, or other authority, that he will be back by eight o’clock, or Tuesday, say; but when the time comes there is a new hatch just beginning, or the weather will be perfect tomorrow.
A FULL moon shone brightly on the steel-white, snow-covered lake. It was forty below, and a heavy silence hung over the lake and over the low hills behind its shores. Suddenly a chorus of wild shrieks and yells and long-drawn howls broke into the night.
Do You Know What’s Behind the Scenes in Trout Restocking?
Grahame B. Ridley
AS IS often the case, it all started at a sportsmen’s meeting. Somebody said, “The Commission ought to plant larger trout.” Then followed recitals of the classic instances of the big fish in the lake boiling the water as they fed on the fry, just dumped from the cans.
THE Kentucky rifle was the original “express” rifle. It was used for the most part on white-tailed deer, black bear and small game. Then came the days of the “wild and woolly West,” the greedy trapping of the beaver, the slaughter of the buffalo and the ruthless murder of the vast deer and elk herds.
WELL, I have been duck hunting with a retriever, and with George Jones, both at the same time. Have you ever been duck hunting with a retriever? If you have, then I can’t tell you very much about it, but in case you haven’t, as I never had until this last season, then I’ll be glad to explain the whole thing to you.
THE Judges selected to act as a jury in awarding the prizes were: James L. Clark, Vice-Director, American Museum of Natural History; Capt. Paul A. Curtis, Arms and Ammunition editor, "Field and Stream"; and Harry McGuire, editor OUTDOOR LIFE.
IN THE middle of the downpour Walt Stickler sang—darn him ! “ ‘That she’s your tootsie-wootsie,'” yowled Walt, “ ‘In the good ol’ summer tyyyme.'” Which gives you a rough idea. Old Chief Kick-a-hole-in-the-sky, our guide, strained his cheek muscles trying to make smoke in his pipe.
"SAY, what’s the big idea? That hound looks more like a squirrel dog than a bird dog!” Joe eyed suspiciously the dog I called to me from the other side of the town’s only street. He had journeyed far from the city, and with great responsibility, for one whom he had left behind had given strict orders to return with sufficient quail to make a quail dinner possible.
WHEN spring has fully come, and summer is just in the offing, a call floats up to the surf fisherman from the sea deserts, those desolate sand barriers that defend the borders of our Eastern coast from Jersey to Florida. It is a call, not to rest, but to exertion; not to relaxation, but to struggle.
EVER since there has been hunting there have been stories about hunting. Most of them revolve about the dangers inherent in the pursuit of big game and some that I have heard have been well-nigh incredible. There is often a suspicion and sometimes a positive conviction that the narrator has abandoned his definite recollections and permitted his imagination to take charge of the features of the yarn ; yet it is always difficult to be sure for, after all, there is a considerable element of constant hazard in big game hunting.
DOES the average black bass angler experiment as much as he should on each trip, or is he a plodder who sticks to one style of fishing or one type of lure that he has used before and will continue to use under any and all conditions ? I have a California friend who sneers at any angler who starts out with an assortment of plugs or fly rod lures because in my friend’s own fishing he has been successful frequently with one type of plug.
TEN YEARS ago no state had an open season on antelope. Only a few thousand people among the 120 million in the United States had ever seen a pronghorn outside of a zoo; few sportsmen under 40 had ever shot one; and I suppose that mounted heads of the species were as rare, say, as those of Tibetan wild asses or lesser kudos.
PAUL G. REDINGTON, chief of the U. S. Biological Survey for the past seven years, returned to the U. S. Forest Service at his own request on March 1, where he has been assigned to an important administrative position. Mr. Redington had a wide experience with the Forest Service for 23 years and with the enormous expansion of that branch of the Federal government his added experience in wild life conservation will be invaluable to the Forest Service.
SECRETARY WALLACE on March 10 announced the appointment of Jay N. Darling (“Ding”) of Des Moines, Iowa, as Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey. In expressing his gratification at Mr. Darling’s acceptance, Secretary Wallace said, “Probably at no previous time has there existed in this country such a favorable and nation-wide approval of the Administration’s efforts to reestablish and preserve our valuable wild life resources.
"THE dawning of a new day in conservation!” said Hon. Frederic C. Walcott, U. S. Senator from Connecticut, chairman of the Senate Committee on Wild Life Resources, when informed that the House had unanimously passed the Duck Stamp Bill, the Coordination Bill and the Robinson Refuge Bill on March 5.
IN the accompanying picture Clyde Warner and Dixie Davis are displaying the instruments and one of the home-made dynamite bombs, a type of the 46 used in a blast in a hedge rookery on the farm of John Harbrook, Ashland, Ill., when an estimated 10,000 crows were killed.
Thank the Lord we have someone who is interested in the Western sportsmen, and a magazine also pulling for us. I read every word and figure of A. H. Carhart’s article on “A New Deal for Western Big Game” in the March issue and no one knows better than I what sheep will do to game, especially deer, as I do hunting in the Sequoia and Santa Barbara National Forests of California.
I just want to compliment you on your stand against the "innocent blatter,” the sheep, and also your fight for the noble bear our greatest big game. Keep up the fight and if I can be of help at any time please call on me. I live at Mack, Colorado, on the edge of one of the biggest sheep ranges in Colorado and get daily views of their destructiveness.
Each of these Missouri sporting gentlemen would receive one of our new raspberry-decorated Hero’s Medals if we were sure they hadn’t used seines to take this catch. We’re afraid the battle was fought under catch-as-catch-can rules, no holds barred, but in any case we extend our heartiest congratulations to the victors.
TO THE average bass fisherman a catfish is about as popular as asafetida, and I have no intention of setting myself up as a press agent for the bewhiskered tribe. I confess to a higher mission in life than acting as minister plenipotentiary to a catfish.
A GOOD cast and a fly floating without drag do not constitute perfect dry fly fishing. There are many other things which occupy an important and necessary part in the game ; some glaringly apparent, others subtle and elusive but none the less vital.
AS SOON as the spring sun begins to warm the water the small fish of our lakes and streams start to take an interest in life again. With light tackle one can enjoy a sport which is akin to that of trout fishing and the game requires a bit of study too, no doubt about that.
THE PROPER length and weight of the tapered dry fly leader for the various conditions of water and weather as well as its relationship to the fly and also to the line is often perplexing to the beginner in dry fly angling. The fact that most tapered leaders come in light, medium or heavy and in lengths of 7½ and 9 feet helps him not at all.
IN WATERS inhabited by both the largemouth and small-mouth black bass there is often an uncertainty in the minds of amateur anglers as to which is which. I have in mind a particular lake where even the veteran fishermen firmly assert that there are two kinds of bass present, the black bass and the green bass.
I HAVE been reading much about waterproofing the silk line in melted paraffin and as I have been engaged in silk manufacturing I feel safe in saying that anyone using this method is taking a chance of ruining the line. Silk will not stand high temperatures.
Editor:—Can you inform me as to the material used to hold the fly together after it is tied? What I want to know is what it is composed of. Is it just plain ordinary glue?—C. E., Pa. Answer:—No, it is not glue that is used to cement the head of the fly.
TWO things are necessary to start a fire in damp weather, kindling that ignites readily from the camper’s match and a dry spot to work on. If rain is falling you should find a sheltered place. This can be dry ground under a leaning rock or tree or under a stump or fallen log.
OF COURSE weather forecasting is not an exact science, but the careful observer who can read his barometer and the signs of the clouds will be able to acquire much advance information on the approach of rain and storms. The barometer is an instrument which measures the atmospheric pressure in terms of the height of a column of mercury of equal weight to that of the air.
THE cabin builder will naturally use the timber most plentiful and accessible to his site, but in case he must buy logs or if several kinds are present he should know something about the peculiarities of each. Norway pine is a prime favorite because it grows tall and straight with little taper.
WHAT I have never been able to find out is when the flapjack came into being and the slapjack ceased to be. The early-day camp cookbooks usually referred to the griddle or skillet cakes as slapjacks, probably because the trail cook slapped them roughly about in the pan.
EVERY woodsman should know how to start a fire with flint and steel. Chances are he will never have to do it, yet should an emergency arise when he must produce a fire without matches, the knowledge might be invaluable. The back of a knife does very well for the steel, or use a piece of old file about three inches long.
HERE ARE some of the things to check when an outboard motor performs poorly. If it suddenly or gradually shows a marked decrease in power with no apparent reason look for : Cylinders worn oversize, causing a lack of compression. Hard starting generally goes with this trouble.
A NEW member of the big Kermath line of boat motors which ranges from two-cylinder 8 H.P. to 12-cylinder 450 H.P. models, is announced. This is the six-cylinder L-head “Sea-King,” a job ideally adapted to both cruiser and runabout usage. Every detail of this large motor indicates the latest in approved engineering.
CUTS AND gashes in the wood planking of large and small boats should be promptly repaired to stop decay and maintain their original smooth surface. It is not difficult to fill these injuries so the repair will resist both fresh and salt water.
USE NOTHING but brass, copper or bronze fastenings in boats built for salt water use. For fresh water service you may use galvanized nails, screws and bolts and they will probably last as long as the wooden parts. For duck boats that see only a few weeks’ service each year, plain iron hardware can be used, although it is not recommended as the saving is scarcely enough to assume a risk of early depreciation.
A GREAT many boat fires originate in the bilge. Contrary to a popular supposition gasoline tanks do not explode spontaneously. A leak or seepage from the tank, carburetor or their connections is the cause of the explosion and fire. The fumes of spilled fuel unite with the air to form an imflammable gas which lurks in the bottom of the boat and while this gas does not explode, it will burn fiercely and needs only a carelessly dropped match or the spark from some defective piece of ignition equipment to start it.
WHEN you recover a canoe or duck boat with new canvas the fabric must be properly filled before it is painted. If you try to fill the pores of the canvas with enamel or paint alone, you will waste considerable expensive material and fail to have the smooth, almost polished surface of regular factory jobs.
KINKS telling how the ordinary boat owner can improve the performance of his motor or comfort of his boat are especially welcome. Ideas must be good ones and suitable for general application. Here are two examples of kinks that failed to pass because they did not come under this stipulation, although there is no doubt that they proved helpful in certain peculiar circumstances.
BROTHER, you’re all wet!” politely begins R. H. Starleigh, of Missouri. “In fact you’re soaked. I don’t cotton to the dope you gave us in March GOFORT column answering that New Jersey shooter. Maybe you can fool the folks out East but I’m from Missouri.
FROM time to time OUTDOOR LIFE has published articles on telescope sights by various authors. These articles have done little but whet the appetite of our readers. In certain instances I fear also that they have given a wrong impression, in that they may have indicated to the average sportsman that he could buy a telescope sight as he would buy any ordinary article and expect to get satisfaction from it.
I just finished reading in the February issue of your magazine a most interesting account of shooting pests by R. M. Blackman. Mr. Blackman sure knows his crows and other pests, but he made one error that he is going to get called for—that is if you will allow me to do the calling.
R. NOSKE of San Carlos, Calif., was the first American manufacturer to construct a big game hunting telescope sight having the very desirable wide angle of view and large exit pupil. He was also the first to construct a side bracket type of mounting a telescope on a rifle.
Editor:—Am the proud possessor of a .300 Savage 99 R. S. and a great devotee of all kinds of hunting. When I go out for an afternoon session of shooting (not hunting) at targets, etc., it becomes quite an expense at $0.09 per shot with my rifle. As I like to tinker and experiment I want to load my own, not only from the economical standpoint but for pleasure as well.
I WANT to discourse a little on a subject the mechanical aspects of which have not changed within the last 40 years at least. In his article on shotgun boring in the January issue of OUTDOOR LIFE, Capt. Askins, as usual, gives us a few facts but no figures and no theory and then he cries loudly for assistance.
I note the controversy about choke boring. I have before me a book printed in 1883 by the Century Co., N. Y., and edited by Alfred Mayer of the Stevens Institute of Technology, entitled "Sport With Gun and Rod." On page 781 is the following: “As far back as 1787, M. Magne de Morolles, in ‘La Chasse au Fusil,' gave an account of choke-boring.
I NOTICE that Talbott Denmead [p. 57, March issue] is skeptical about Fred Kimble having discovered choke boring, though he gives Mr. Kimble credit for perfect good faith in his contentions. In turn, I am skeptical about any heresay evidence from Europe that choke boring was common on the continent long before Mr. Kimble brought the taper choke into common use.
IS A SIGHT needed on a shotgun and do you see it when you shoot? I have read and heard many times that the sight is of little importance and I have heard shooters say that they do not see it. Regardless of what has been written and said on the subject, I want sights on my shotguns and I want them big enough and bright enough so that I actually see them.
In our skeet club we are having considerable trouble with broken birds on account of frozen ground. We understand that some 20 or 25 per cent of the birds, at least, can be salvaged and used again if properly caught in suitable landing nets. Will you kindly send whatever information you have on the subject, and also advise whether there are any firms making a specialty of selling nets for that purpose?
I HAVE been asked by various people to call attention to the increased scarcity of waterfowl and the increased numbers of crows. The one has a direct bearing on the other according to my correspondents. Without knowing all about it I am inclined to believe that these people are right.
Editor:—For years it has been my ambition to own a high grade double barrel shotgun. I have shot or handled all the better makes and have studied catalogs until I fear for my sanity. I prefer the rotary bolt locking system so the Parker and Winchester are “out”, although I do like the racy outlines of that Model 21 Winchester skeet gun.
While not a subscriber, I have for a number of years enjoyed reading your publication and I was greatly surprised to note your comments regarding Canadian ammunition in your article "A Canadian mixed Grill," in the March issue. As a sportsman and a loyal Canadian, I feel that such comments from an editor of a sporting magazine are very much uncalled for as in this instance it is quite apparent to the writer that you are not qualified to discuss the merits of any brand of ammunition.
I am aware that shooters are a bit temperamental about their guns and ammunition as I happen in a modest way to be a bit of a shooter myself, but your statement, appearing as it does with the probability of far-flung circulation and backed by such a well-known authority as yourself, cannot be ex cused on that score and should be retracted, modified, qualified or explained by you with equal publicity after you have satisfied yourself of its incorrectness.
We Canadian duck hunters are all willing to admit that while the ducks are in Canada they fly at a tremendous speed, and as I have never hunted ducks in the United States am unable to make a comparison of their speed in flight when they migrate south during the winter time.
We suspect there is some motive behind this uncalled for attack and the shooters down here can guess—acid stomach, try Tums. If you have got to be shown how good our ammunition is, "Come up and see us sometime." The boys here have copies of this letter and are looking forward to seeing this in your next issue.
Anent the baiting problem: Probably no law regulating the feeding of wildfowl can fulfill the requirements of all parts of the country because of the varied conditions. For instance, the East abounds in rivers, lakes, swamps and marshes: whereas the Far West is arid, except in the north, and there is little or no fresh water or food for waterfowl except on private duck clubs.
NORIAS ANNIE, white, black and ticked pointer bitch, owned by Walter C. Teagle, of New York, handled by Chesley H. Harris, trainer at Hayneville, Ala., is the National bird dog champion for 1934. She won, not because of her brilliancy, not because of her spectacular performance, but because of her bird-finding ability, her perseverance, her remarkable endurance and the uniformity of her race.
PLEASE give in the columns of OUTDOOR LIFE a general history of the springer spaniel. What I wish to know is, what breed of dogs was the springer originally bred from and when?” Thus writes a correspondent from North Dakota and as his request is augmented by numerous other queries about this popular breed a brief resumé of the springer’s history may not be out of place.
IN STARTING your puppy, if you have an old, slow, and steady trained hound that is sure and true, and of a disposition not to be cross to a bothersome puppy, your problem is half solved before you begin. Work him with this good tutor until he imitates pretty much the performance of his teacher, and until he is taking hold pretty well on trail, giving voice quite a bit, and “tonguing” rather liberally in his own right.
Editor:—I have a pointer 2 years old. Last season I started him a couple of months before the season opened here and he was a whirlwind even in hot weather, finding ringnecks, quail and single birds before dogs that he was hunting with which were several years older.
Editor:—As surgeon to a nearby C. C. C. camp I am anxious to secure all information regarding the bite of venomous snakes and the treatment. Upon his own initiative the officer in charge of the camp for which I am acting surgeon is arranging with a local pharmacist to keep a small supply of antivenin on hand for immediate use.
Mr. Smith concludes that the day of free shooting is pretty much over in America, and that no great reliance can be placed on state game authorities or state game preserves to afford the individual even a moderate amount of shooting. We will have to be preparing for changes that anybody can see are right at hand.