IT IS probable that many sportsmen will this year take their hunting or fishing vacations in Arizona for the first time, for it is becoming known that our state not only has plenty of fish and game, but offers advantages in scenery and climate that few parts of the country can equal.
WHAT Eastern angler wouldn’t thrill to the desperate tug and tussle of a fighting silver salmon on the end of his line? Who would not travel hundreds of miles for that incomparable experience? So far, the opportunities for indulging in such a battle with that king among fish, the Oncorhynchus kisutch, has been reserved for those who could journey to the states of Washington and Oregon, and Alaska, or already lived there.
THROUGH long hours of silent waiting, I used to sit atop a jagged cliff, and, with a pair of binoculars, watch some alert creature of the forest as he grazed, played, or rested, knowing that to stalk him was beyond my ability as a woodsman.
DUCK hunting, as practiced on the Tennessee river, is my favorite outdoor sport. For action, thrills, and skill, it is second only to trout fishing. To insure a decent bag of mallards and pintails on the old Tennessee, you must possess all the qualifications of the finished stillhunter.
SOME of the natives of the Sleepy Cat country believed the tassel buck was of the spirit world, not real flesh and blood. Others, while admitting that the deer wore hair and was otherwise normal, insisted that it bore a charmed life. In some way, they argued, it was watched over jealously by the red gods of the big tops.
A GOOD handshaker is a good Gila-monster hunter. I learned that early from slender, wiry William Watkins, who tracks down and captures more of these miniature dinosaurs than probably anyone else in the country. Not that these strange, desert lizards, the only poisonous ones in the United States, are especially amiable.
AN OLD fable tells of the six blind men of Hindustan who examined an elephant. One felt only the tail, and decided the beast was like a rope. Another, feeling the elephant’s broad side, declared it was like a wall. The resulting arguments were long and loud, and the reason was, of course, that no one man took the trouble to make a thorough investigation.
NIGHT fishing is something I’ve never cared for. You can attribute that fact to lack of experience, to lack of curiosity, —to anything, in fact, except a lack of interest in fishing. In daylight, I love fishing. I know no thrills greater than a sunrise across a misty lake, or the ripple of a trout stream at dusk.
THE amount of sport you get out of killing a tiger depends on the way you go about it. The kind of tiger you get—whether it’s the normal deer hunter, a cattle lifter, or a man-eater—makes little difference. In spite of its awesome reputation, the maneater may be the easiest to kill, and cause the least excitement in the process.
THERE exists a romantic notion that the South Seas is a region of bliss, where natives sit by sparkling lagoons, and dream away the golden hours, with never a pain or peril. I thought that myself before I went there. Then Fal, chief of Ponape Island, Micronesia, took me shark hunting.
The Bold Reclamation Experiment by California That Is Opening up New Ranges for Game Birds and Bringing New Thrills to Westerners Who Hunt with Scatter Guns
IN CALIFORNIA, a few years hence, sportsmen will be hunting quail, doves, pheasants, and several species of exotic partridges in the vast desert, or semidesert that extends over much of the southeastern part of the State. This arid country, equal almost to the area of all New England, and useless for agriculture or grazing, is now being stocked with game birds.
VALUABLE HINTS ON EARLY HANDLING BY A MAN WHO IS EXPERT AT THE JOB
WHEN you go into the woods or hills with a pack of hounds tied to your horse's tail, be sure you know whether they are bayers or killers. That fact may determine whether you return with a full pack, or with one or two missing, victims of their quarry’s claws and teeth.
IT WAS the last day of the open season. Even in that secluded spot in the Catskills where I had fled to escape the heat, the air was heavy and without vigor. The river, shrunk to a shadow of its earlier self, moved quietly among the stained bowlders of its bed, so low and clear one wondered where the trout could find a hiding place.
LAST year’s ban on live decoys, and its possible extension through the coming season, has stimulated the interest of duck hunters in fabricated decoys. So easy to make are some of these decoys that there promises to be a record amount of whittling done by hunters between now and opening day.
OPEN SEASONS FOR BIG AND UPLAND GAME, 1936-37 UNITED STATES AND CANADA
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
RABBIT ................no close season
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
State Leases Water
HEREWITH, in convenient and easily readable form, OUTDOOR LIFE presents the only complete and detailed compilation of new big and upland game laws appearing in a sportsmen’s publication. The1 information covers open seasons, bag and possession limits, and laws regulating interstate transportation of game in every state in the United States, every Canadian province, and in Newfoundland.
Some Hints From An Expert That Will Help You to Be Always Ready For That Matchless Action Which So Often Occurs When You're Least Expecting It
ALFRED P. LANE
DOWNING a big, bull moose with one well-placed shot is a feat that ordinarily puts a mile-wide grin on a hunter’s face, and keeps it there for days afterward. But it didn’t work that way with Bill Magruder. Despite the fact that the head was almost a record for that neck of the woods, Bill, standing beside his fallen moose, indulged in such an orgy of cussing that the guide, who was an accomplished cusser himself, stood open-mouthed in amazement.
Question: I have a roll of negatives that are extremely dense. They were overexposed, and I accidentally left the roll in the developer much too long. Most of the pictures are of no importance, but I would very much like to get an enlargement from one of them.
IT PLEASES most of us to remember the big shots, the long shots, and the remarkable shots we have made in our day. Most of those shots have a Munchausen ring when we tell about them, yet most of the stories are true. Having made a number of such shots myself in 50 years of shooting, it will take a remarkable tale to make me skeptical.
GOOD rifle shooting, from the game hunter’s standpoint, is something entirely different from small-bore target work. Shooting from the prone position at 100 yd. with a Winchester 52, weighing around 12 lb. and perfectly sightedin, requires skill different from that needed when you’re using a game rifle, weighing 7 lb., at guessed distances up to 200 yd.
Question: I would like some information in regard to rifle sights for a .22 caliber. I am 46 years of age and use glasses. I can see the front sight and the object that I am shooting at, but the rear sight, which is an open sight, blurs. What would you recommend?—G. H., Ga.
Question: The specifications for a Fox special-grade, skeet and upland-game gun state that the butt end of the stock is checkered and uncapped. To me, this is a new wrinkle in stocks, and I am wondering if an uncapped butt might not chip and splinter.
BY THE time these notes appear, almost all skeet fields will have been changed to fit the new regulations under which it will be possible to lay out a series of fields in line, thus speeding up handling of a large number of shooters. The accompanying drawing shows the new layout, with both the old and new station locations indicated.
Question: Would you advise taking 2 in. off a 28-in. L. C. Smith to make a skeet gun? The right barrel now is improved cylinder, and the left modified.—J. E. B., Ala. Answer: I have no idea of the length of the choke in your gun. but I suppose the entire constricted portion would be removed by taking off 2 in.
HOW often have you wished, when you had shot a splendid, fan-tailed ruffed grouse, a gaudy ringneck, or a handsome, full-feathered prairie chicken, that you knew how to skin and mount it? Actually, the skinning and temporary preservation of a bird trophy, so that it may be turned over to the taxidermist in good shape for mounting, is easier than dressing out and preparing a deer or moose head.
CUT pieces of heavy tin to fit the sole of boot or shoe. Lay them on a board, and punch them full of holes with a spike. The protruding edges of the holes give this creeper its grip. Attach heavy wire loops, made from an old coat hanger, and use rawhide thongs passing through these loops to attach the creepers to the shoe or boot.
Question: I am going to spend 3 months in the mountains of Idaho. This is to be a prospecting affair with pack mule alone! I shall have my hands more than full. What is usually the most discomfort one runs into—cooking, sleeping, or traveling?
THE Eastern pickerel had much to do with making me an inveterate angler. By the time I was eight, I was accompanying my father on his fishing trips, which, since pickerel were the most common and plentiful fish in our local waters, were mostly in quest of these voracious freshwater fighters.
RECENTLY a reader wrote me that he was having difficulty with his fly casting. He had bought a 9-ft. new-type, bamboo-action steel rod, and the dealer had recommended an E level line for it. It is quite possible that this line is too light for the rod, and is the main cause of his trouble.
Question: Do you think a 71/2-ft. fly rod, weighing about 31/2 oz., would be heavy enough to use with a size O spinner, or a size 4 fly for perch and rock bass? Which would be best, a two or a three-piece rod? Would an 8-ft. rod be better? What weight rod would be best for both perch and bass, using size 1 fly, or size 2 spinner?
TANGLING with tuna is not exactly a brand new idea— there are some signs that it occurred even in the days of Imperial Rome—but the present-day conception of it as a thrill-packed sport goes back only about 38 years. In fact, that most modern of all outdoor excitements, big game fishing in offshore waters, owes its very existence to the tuna family.
GULF OF ADEN is another spot where swordfish occur. Recent report says the Fatch-el-Khair, an Arabian dhow, enroute from Aden to Berbera, was rammed and sent to the bottom, with full cargo, by an angry broadbill. OCEAN SPORT ANGLING is a selfsustaining sport, with no man-made open or close season.
MORE and more people are discovering that a camping tour by automobile can be made much more enjoyable by taking along a lightweight boat or canoe for side trips on waterways, or for fishing. Similarly, many boating enthusiasts are finding a thrill in taking larger boats by trailer from one body of water to another which they wish to explore.
Question: My cedar speed hull was covered with canvas and painted last year. The paint job was not satisfactory as it washed off and cracked, and the canvas is loose. I am going to overhaul it myself. Would it be all right to take the canvas covering off?
A FEW months ago, I expressed the opinion that the domestic dog is the only animal born with a ready-made affection for man, and the only one that, at maturity, prefers the society of humans to that of his own kind, also that the dog has a very definite and clearly marked personality, which varies amazingly in different individuals.
Questions: I want to buy a dog to hunt pheasants, quail, rabbits. Which do you think would be the best—a springer spaniel or a cocker spaniel? Why? Are spaniels hard to train? — H. R., I11. Answer: While I am very fond of cockers, and realize that, in many cases, they make excellent dogs for both feathered and furred game, I think you will play it safer if you get a springer.
Dr. Hermann is glad to answer personally all letters from readers regarding their dogs’ health. It should be remembered when writing him that serious illnesses cannot be treated successfully by a person unable to examine the dog. In such instances, a dependable local veterinarian should be consulted immediately.
I WOULD like very much to rid the grounds about my summer home of small grass snakes. I wonder if a reader could tell me how I might trap or otherwise dispose of these snakes.—Dr. A. E. Lundon, Montreal, Que.