MANY thousands of wives throughout this wide land of ours have become quite accustomed these days to seeing their husbands wander about the house with absent-minded expressions on their faces, indicating thoughts that are far away. And if they hear these males rummaging around in closets or attics, muttering to themselves, they refrain from calling a doctor or an alienist.
THE life of a conservationist is made brighter by such a bit of news as recently came out of Maine. George J. Stobie, Fish and Game Commissioner of that state, announced the building of two of the largest hatching and rearing stations in the world.
AS DUCKS get scarcer, more hunters are giving serious consideration to the problem of checking the decline. P. A. Bennett, of Palestine, Texas, writes to express his ideas on meeting the difficulty. His first suggestion is to make the of fense of shooting more than the legal limit punishable by 30 days in jail instead of by a mere fine.
JACK MINER, who maintains the famous bird sanctuary at Kingsville, Ont., has just completed an interesting study of the habits of geese. Last spring, with the cooperation of other agencies, he caught 25 Canada geese, tagged them, and shipped them 1,500 miles to Winnipeg.
A NUMBER of states are again waging war on crows in an effort to reduce their inroads on the nests of other birds. About three years ago U.S. Biological Survey on the Blackwater Migratory Bird Refuge in eastern Maryland found that 51 percent of the black duck nests were destroyed before hatching and that of these, 35 percent could be definitely traced to crows.
PLANS to make a quarter million acres of reforestation areas, which now are public hunting grounds, more attractive to game and hunters have been announced by Lithgow Osborne, conservation commissioner of New York. This will be accomplished through a program of cooperative work between the Lands and Forests and the Fish and Game divisions.
THE South Dakota Game and Fish Commission at its last meeting set up new standards for its field force, and decided to compensate its wardens according to performance. In determining ratings for such compensation, knowledge of work as evidenced by written examination will count for 35 percent; personality and appearance, 10 percent; punctuality and promptness in relations with headquarters, 10 percent; initiative, activity, and law enforcement, 25 percent; public relations, educational activity, and oral examination, 20 percent.
FOR a long time reports had been coming to me in Los Angeles about a great fishing ground near at hand. A commercial fisherman at San Pedro would talk about it, then at San Diego the sun-burned skipper of a tuna clipper would hint at the magnificence of the fishing.
NATURE DID NOT MAKE the prairie wolf a destroyer of live stock, declares the author of this challenging article. In thus attacking popular belief, he says the coyote is forced to kill by western poison campaigns
IF THERE were no killer coyotes, or if all coyotes lived on gooseberries and were never guilty of eating sheep, the devastating poison campaign of the Bureau of Biological Survey would be inexcusable. But since there are coyotes that live chiefly on sheep, the campaign perhaps is justified.
BUCK and I had finished a spring grizzly hunt at the headwaters of Wood River and were heading eastward through the foothills of the Alaska range, figuring on coming out somewhere in the Isabella Pass country. On the evening of the fifth day on the trail we rode down from the high tundra and camped beside a narrow sedge-bordered lake, set deep in a stand of tall white spruce.
MORE EXCITEMENT than they bargained for falls to the lot of a band of adventure seekers. You'll relish this tale of stormy seas, sharp hunger, and rumblings of mutiny on a leaky schooner
WILLIAM H. BISPHAM
THIS was the advertisement, appearing in a newspaper, that led us to embark upon our weird adventure. Our telephone call brought us sheaves of alluring literature. The cruise was to be a motion-picture exhibition into the wild and unexplored parts of lesser-known islands in the West Indies.
THERE seems to be little that scientific study can do to add to the joys of the boy who, with a crooked pole, a single hook and a can of worms, sets out for a happy afternoon along the banks of a near-by creek. The grown-up fisherman with an array of equipment that costs as much as a streamlined sedan, setting out in quest of tarpon or tuna, may think that he, too, is engaging in an activity that can be improved little if any by studied research.
IT'S probably no news to you that the Chinese have a strange appetite for old birds' nests and ancient eggs. But did you ever know that one of their great delicacies is wildcat meat, preferably roasted? On the coast of California, Chinese gourmands sometimes pay as much as $17.50 for a "roasting" bobcat.
Every angler has experienced the deep chagrin of having a prize catch break away. In this authoritative article, a fishing expert tells how to avert such a mishap
J. P. CUENIN
WHEN a big fish is hooked lightly in the skin of the lip and tears loose, or when it fouls the line on a submerged snag, the angler cannot always be blamed. But when the angler fails to test his gear properly and something breaks that is his own fault.
YOUR DOG cannot give you the pleasure and companionship you expect of him unless he is properly fed. In this article the experience of operators of outstanding breeding kennels is made available to the amateur dog fancier
EVERYONE loves a puppy, but not everyone knows how to feed a puppy so that it will grow into a healthy, sturdy, and happy dog. To help America’s seven or eight million dog owners—no one knows exactly how many of them there are— solve this all-important problem, S. R. Speelman, a specialist of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently made an exhaustive study of dog feeding.
NO MAN who is mildly interested in the rifle or shooting would ever undertake to learn the game if he feels that it is full of such poor sports and is going to pot as rapidly as Capt. Curtis pictures it. I was an infantry officer during the late war.
I WAS still working on the mask of a giant gaur I had killed in the Yomas—shaving it down with a draw-knife and soaking it in a salt-and-alum solution to preserve it— when I first heard the trumpeting of a herd of elephants in the neighborhood.
A MAN WHO HAS WADED MANY TROUT STREAMS TELLS YOU HOW TO TAKE LABOR OUT OF FLY CASTING
William Monypeny Newsom
"TOO blamed hot for me out there," said Joe as he waded out of Davidson Pool where he had been casting for trout and joined me on the banks of the Beaverkill. “That’s what made me quit,” I replied. “But after I shed that cussed canvas wading jacket I found it was quite a pleasant day.”
ALTHOUGH the fact is seldom ballyhooed, a surprising number of American hunters seek no larger game than a bullfrog. Slipping out to quiet ponds, usually at night, they make little noise as they go about the fascinating business of getting their frog legs for the next day's dinner.
IN a recent issue of OUTDOOR LIFE, David M. Newell in his article "B'ar and Panther," says, "So we'll have to conclude that the panther doesn't scream —or, if he does, that it probably isn't either a very loud or a very frequent scream." Oh, yeah ?
An Unusul and Interesting Story of How Master Craftsmen Fashion a Fishing Rod, Told in Pictures
A REMARKABLE TALE of care, patience and high skill lies behind the perfect balance and finish of your fishing rod. For eight years the finest grade of bamboo is carefully tended in a small, hilly area in China. The hardest is then selected and shipped to this country where it is seasoned for a year or more before it is ready for use.
HAVE you ever photographed a wild animal in its natural surroundings? Every outdoorsman who carries a camera is sure to have rare opportunities to take such pictures, but the scarcity of really good shots of wild game proves that there is a lot more to this kind of photography than appears at first glance.
Question : What exposure should I give to take moonlight pictures over water?—T. O. W., Tenn. Answer : I assume that what you want is a picture that looks like moonlight. That can best be obtained by waiting till the sun is in the right position and then take a snapshot with the lens diaphragm closed down so much that you will get severe under exposure.
WET flies may be fished like nymphs with excellent results but the average nymph does not bring results unless handled in a manner especially suited to its construction. In other words, the successful fishing of a nymph is a specialized art, while successful fishing with a wet fly may be either specialized or otherwise.
Question: In one of your recent articles you refer to sticking the hook through the lips of a minnow. I have been in the habit of sticking the hook underneath the dorsal fin. It would seem that if the minnow is hooked through the mouth there would be less movement or wiggling to entice the fish.
NOT MUCH hope for fly-fishing this month but you can never tell. If the season is dry and the water clear there is often the chance of doing better work with flies than with worms. Usually small flies, 12 or 14 tied sparse and of sombre hue, will be found the most effective.
OUTDOOR LIFE PAYS AT SPACE RATES FOR ALL KINKS PUBLISHED
Fishing Rod Rest
The Shock-Absorber Snag-Line
A Way to Preserve Fish
Tackle For Gar
Swift Water Lure Release
Surf Casting Sinker
TO MAKE a rod rest, secure an old single-barrel auto pump and saw off 5 ½ in. below the top. Then saw the plunger off 7 in. below the top. Take the wooden handle off the 7-in, plunger top and screw the nut clear down on it. Stick what threads are left through the top of the screw cap which comes from the top of the barrel, and put on an extra nut.
AFTER you have steamed or washed out the flies used last season it is a good idea to touch up the heads with varnish. This will add to their durability. Plugs that show signs of wear should also be varnished and the hooks cleaned and oiled. If the average angler kept a record of fishing tackle ruined by neglect, he would be appalled at the cost.
Neglected by big game anglers while they searched the seas for other and bigger fish, the fighting tarpon is again attracting the attention it merits
THE silver standard is returning to popularity with American anglers. The well-known and much-advertised tarpon, or, if you choose, the acrobatic silver king, was once about the only prized big game fish. Then for a number of years it was neglected.
MRS. OLIVER CROMWELL GRINNELL of New York, big-game angler, retired from the direction of her lithographic company and states : “I intend to do just what I darn’ please.” After the Miami and Bimini season, her plans include a world trip, looking for “more fish and better fishing.”
A Veteran of the Trail Tells How to Save Time and Toil
MAURICE H. DECKER
IN MAKING a fire, the camper in many cases must be content with whatever variety of timber he can find and cut, but, if a choice is possible, remember that dry soft woods are better for short-burning, noontime fires than they are for night roasting and baking.
WHENEVER the camper is offered a choice of several camp sites, there are certain points to keep in mind when making a decision. Observance of these will materially add to his comfort and will probably save him extra work and possibly actual aggravation.
RUBBER-BOTTOM, leather-top hunting boots frequently develop leaks along the seams which join rubber and leather. Do not oil or grease at this point, for these materials attack the rubber underneath and shorten its life. Instead, shellac the seams with a small brush.
IT HAS been my experience that many men who seek advice on building a boat have in mind a 14-ft. rowboat. For these men I offer the following design. Every construction detail has been made as easy and simple as possible. While this boat is put together in direct contradiction to several established principles of boatcraft, it is a serviceable, sturdy model which the amateur can build without running into grief.
Question: I have recently purchased a canoe. It is hanging from the ceiling in the cellar. I have just noticed that the cover is beginning to crack. What can I do to prevent this and also to preserve the surface?—D.S., Mass. Answer: This condition affects all canvas-covered canoes in time.
THE skipper of every craft, large or small, should be familiar with the appearance and meaning of buoys and lights which mark both fairways and dangerous zones of water. Not only should he be able to recognize them when sighted, but he should also know how to identify and interpret them on his charts.
ABOUT 20 years ago, L. P. Smith of the Ithaca Gun Co., wrote me that a 6-lb. gun was 2 yds. faster on the mark than an 8-lb. gun, for quail, grouse, or woodcock. He maintained that, as between a 20 bore weighing 6 lbs., and a 12 of 7¾ lbs., one gun would be as deadly as the other, because of that 2-yd.
Question: I recently read some advice against the use of modern high-speed, long-range ammunition in a shotgun fitted with damascus steel barrels. He stated that the old-time damascus steel barrels were not made to withstand the pressures of modern high speed ammunition.
ENGLISHMEN in general won't have a shotgun stock with a pistol grip, while Americans won't as a rule accept a shotgun for game shooting unless it has a pistol-grip stock. An exception might be made in the case of trap guns, which usually carry a straight grip as standard.
AFTER many years of shooting at game birds and clay targets, and after much experimenting with guns of all kinds, I have reached the conclusion that I will never buy another double gun unless it is equipped with a raised rib. Even though I don't sight down the rib of a shotgun in the manner in which a rifle shooter does his sighting, I know that the narrow sighting plane of the raised rib helps me to judge quickly where I am holding, and I believe that the average skeet shooter or game shooter will do better work with a raised rib.
Question:—My great ambition is to be a good wing shot but, no matter how hard I try, it seems as though I meet with failure. My left eye is my master eye and I am right-handed and I should, therefore, close my left eye when shooting. However, I just throw up the gun and shoot at a grouse or quail.
Some Valuable Tips From Our Rifle Editor to Help You Do Better Shooting
.22 Caliber Ammunition
COL. TOWNSEND WHELEN
To AIM a rifle accurately with any type of sights, it is necessary that the eye be held steady in the line of aim. If it is not, the alignment of the sights constantly changes as the eye moves or bobs up or down or right and left, and you cannot aim either steadily or accurately.
Question: Will you kindly inform me the correct distances that sling swivels should be placed away from the trigger on a Winchester Model 67 for use with a government sling? Do you think this rifle could be improved any by adding a little weight to it?
THE setting of rifle sights by eye and guesswork is obsolete. The eye cannot see closer than 1/100 in. in the best lights, or better than 1/50 in. in the kind of light we usually have outdoors. An error of 1/50 in. in sight setting results in an error of about 2½ in.
Question: For home use and all-around protective purposes in the city, I would appreciate your opinion as to choice between the .380 Colt automatic and the .38 Detective Special, 2-in. barrel, cutaway trigger guard and hammer spur. Which of these two arms are the most effective and reliable for quick close shooting under 20 ft. ?
FINDING it impossible to reach the ducks abounding on a small Michigan lake because of the densely overgrown swamp that surrounded it, an enterprising group of hunters solved their difficulties by blasting a channel through the swamp. The goal of the undertaking was Hayward Lake, which lies about 25 miles north of Menominee.
A PUZZLED owner writes that his setter, a dog of very high quality but already past four years old, has never been broken to "yard training." Further, he says, the dog has an exceptional nose and is an indefatigable hunter, but is absolutely useless because he is unreliable on his game, breaks shot and chases, if it so pleases him, and never obeys commands.
MISSOURI’S attempt to interest youth in shooting, hunting, field trials, and the proper use of a dog in outdoor sports seems to be bearing fruit. It is one of the most wholesome ideas ever conceived. Going back to nature, away from the artificialities of present-day existence, is the keynote of the project and it might well be emulated with good effect in other parts of the country, for when the youth of the land is turned into these channels of correct living much of the existing unrest will have been solved.
Question : I would like to have some information on a dog that I can use on birds and rabbits. My first choice is the coach dog. The others are, Labradors, Irish setters, and springer spaniels.— F.B., Kans. Answer : In the last analysis, everything depends upon the personal choice and the amount of experience and training given the dog.
Question : I have a spaniel two and one-half years old. About six weeks ago I noticed that he was losing weight but thought nothing of it for a while as I was cutting down on feed preparatory to hunting. I had our vet look him over again and he found hookworm eggs in the stool.
IN DUCK shooting, one of the most difficult things to learn is holding high on incoming birds to the right and left. A straight overhead incomer demands no consideration as to elevation, but only as to lead. The reason we have to hold high on incomers passing to the right or left is that when seen the fowl may be close to the horizontal line, on a level with us, but the closer they come, the higher they apparently rise.