Behind the scenes with those who made this issue what it is
THE CAREER of Reuben R. Cross prompts us to haul out that old expression: “Local boy makes good.” For with only brief stirrings from his native Catskill Mountains, he’s built himself a wide reputation as a professional fly-tyer and an outdoorsman.
BEAR bites man and it's news. One of a party of hunters in search of bear, in North Carolina, stepped from his car to listen for the pack of trailing dogs. Bear bobbed up suddenly from the woods, paused to take a quick bite out of hunter's leg, and went on his way.
ANY SPORTSMAN'S SUBJECT YOU'RE INTERESTED IN? WE PRINT AS MANY OF YOUR LETTERS AS WE CAN
One Man's Meat
Fight Shy of Favorite Flies!
Accuracy of .22 Short
Down With the Game Hog!
Another, and Another
Two Reasons for Roads
They Asked for It
Would Rather Go Without
That Patriarchal Deer
Don't Let Them Start
He Earned His Keep
EDITOR Outdoor Life
LOOKING over Ray Bergman’s article on “The Flies That I Like Best,” I was interested in the list of flies which he gave as his favorites. It is difficult to think of any subject on which there is a greater difference of opinion. Every fly-fisherman has his preferences, and two expert anglers who habitually fish the same waters would probably not agree on more than one or two patterns, if asked to list their twelve favorite flies.
EPIC OF AN ANGLER WHO ALWAYS JUST TAGGED ALONG WITH THE BOYS-UNTIL THAT PERFECT DAY WHEN HE FOUND HIMSELF WITH A ROD THAT WAS A MAGIC WAND
YOU’VE DREAMED, of course, of that perfect fishing trip. The one that each angler is entitled to once in every thousand years, where anything you dunk will bring a strike, where the trout go hog wild, won’t stay off your hook, and simply dare you to lean too far out over the water yourself.
A setter named Dick, good companions, and a dash of that Dixie atmosphere convert a Northerner to quail shooting in Alabama
GORDON Mac QUARRIE
ONE DAY last winter, a fellow who had made up his mind never to own a pointing dog climbed out of an auto in an Alabama plantation yard. And within ten minutes he was wishing he had the cash to buy a setter named Dick. The fellow was not exactly a Johnnie-come-lately in the dog game.
When your wife holds out on the bait, what can you do but put your foot down hard?
Mud Lake Pays Out
THE LETTER from Archie was brief. All it said was: "The little red hen's setting again." But that's all it needed to say. I threw my stuff together on the fly and said to Mary, "If I'm not mistaken, I'll be back here in a few days with a hind quarter off the biggest flathead yellow in west Texas.
EACH year since 1933 my husband and I have hunted band-tailed pigeons in California. Occasionally we've found them. But although Martin is a good shot, not once has either of us succeeded in getting the modest limit of ten birds. Even before the game commission established an open season in 1933 (after twenty years of protection), we’d heard about the band-tail, though we had never seen one.
WHEN I arrived in the Moonshine district of Kentucky it took more than mere desire and a state license to go fishing. It was the high tide of the prohibition era, and a stranger did not fish this territory without proper recommendations if he had any regard for longevity.
LAST FALL I took out an Insurance Policy for my son. He was fifteen in November, and I'd decided it was time to do something to safeguard his future. It’s an odd sort of policy. Not at all the standard brand. It has no gold seals, no photostatic copy of the application, no president’s signature.
What's the best way to become the invisible man, as far as fish are concerned?
H. WILLIAM MAIER
HAVE you ever watched a really cautious fellow fish a trout stream? One of these super-stealthy chaps who is always creeping through bushes on his hands and knees and peering into pools from behind trees and stumps ? And did you think, “There’s a real fisherman,” or did you laugh ?
THERE'S just one thing of which you can be sure when it comes to a landlocked salmon: if you ever get a hook into his jaw he'll remind you forcibly of Rudyard Kipling's "injia-rubber idiot on the spree." In all probability he will hurl his glistening silver hulk into the air like a miniature tarpon the instant he feels the hook, then take out forty yards of line in that first mad dash for freedom.
You aim, and squeeze the trigger; what takes place after that is all in the laps of the gods
CAPT. PATRICK A. MEADE
SOME shotgun. of us are Others experts are with just rifle plain or dubs. But there is one thing we have in common: not one of us can predict with certainty exactly what will happen when a charge leaves our barrel. Even with a perfect arm and cartridge, and holding and sighting correctly, a puff of wind or a slender twig can still turn our faultlessly aimed shot into a washout.
A BLINDING blizzard swept out of the north and engulfed the Great Lakes region in one of the worst storms in its history. All day long a shrieking wind piled up mountainous drifts of snow. Radios blared warnings, imploring people not to venture outdoors.
AN ANGLER'S 'A' FEARSOME MONSTER WHEN SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A FISH
KINGS OF ALL THEY SURVEY
FOUR KNOTS, EASY TO LEARN, THAT MAY SAVE YOU MANY A FISH THIS SPRING
Eternal problem— Where are they hiding? What's your choice? Trout from a brushy stream? Pike in the Canadian wilds? Whichever if is, get set for fun; the laws will soon say "Go!" Moral: Don't catch 'em too large to fit in your creel
FOR YEARS I had heard of Mike Todd. The reports invariably had to do with bears, and usually with the tracking and killing of one or more by him. Then one day, when the harvest was all in and I had a few days and evenings to myself, I dropped into a little tavern on the west slope of New York state's historic Catskill Mountains.
UNTIL quite recently most American hunters and riflemen have been on the small-bore, high-velocity band wagon. The tried-and-true .30/06 has been the No. 1 cartridge on game as well as target, and, almost without exception, authorities have declared it equal to anything, anywhere.
IN INDO-CHINA'S SALADANG AN AMERICAN FOUND GAME AS FAST AS A DEER, SAVAGE AS A TIGER, AND TOUGH AS AN ELEPHANT
Wisconsin Mammals Scarce
MARK L. MOODY
"A SELECT saladang will fall before your gun eye,” Georges wrote poetically, urging that I drop all my worries and depart from Shanghai for Saigon, in French Indo-China. His letter reached me the day before Christmas, as I sat in my trophy room.
WITH CATCH AND SIZE LIMITS, LICENSE REGULATIONS, AND INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION RULINGS...OPEN SEASONS INCLUDE BOTH DATES GIVEN
OPEN SEASONS FOR THE UNITED STATES & CANADA
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Great Lakes Fisheries
ALL FISH.....no close season Size and catch limits: TROUT (except DOLLY VARDEN TROUT), no size limits, an aggregate of 40 of all species of trout a day, 80 in possession (in Russian River flowing into Kenai River, and in all other streams and lakes on Kenai Peninsula, 10 lb.
FROM time to time hunters, fishermen, and campers come across posters closing certain forest areas to entry. These signs proclaim "high fire danger," and many who lose out on a long-planned trip probably curse all forest officers for miles around.
NO MATTER how clever you may be with bait, or how successful you are with the dry fly, there are times when a sunken fly, fished as it should be to meet existing conditions, will take more and better fish than you'd catch otherwise. Wet-fly fishing requires more practice and study than dry-fly fishing does.
THOUGH FAR-OFF WATERS ALWAYS BECKON, DON'T OVERLOOK THE GAMY FISH IN YOUR OWN BAILIWICK
Tourist-fed Bears Dangerous
JOHN K. GOWEN
YES, I agree that for fishing the far places are the best. There's always the tingling lure of the unknown, the change of scenery, of climate, of tackle, of technique. Whether sailfishing in the Gulf Stream or bobbing for lake trout through the ice of New Hampshire's Winnepesaukee, the far horizon lures us.
DRY-FLY anglers need often to be reminded that to obtain the best results the line should be kept floatable. After a few hours of use a line will sometimes get sodden, and sink so quickly that it prevents you from getting the fish you are trying to hook.
THERE has grown up a caste system among fishes and, presumably, among the men who fish for them. Some men are desperately afraid of losing caste among their fellow anglers, if they admit they have ever fished for catfish, and especially if they concede they have liked it.
WE FILED back to the houseboat after an indifferent day in the duck blind. Everything had pointed to a good day on Swan Island, wind and conditions just right—but we hadn't seen a bird. After the supper dishes were cleared away, the talk naturally turned to the duck scarcity, and its cause.
Question: I expect to fish in northern Maine. Should I use a sinking or a floating lure for landlocked salmon? Is there a sinker-and-spoon combination that will drag the bottom without getting hooked on the lake floor?—W. C., Mass. Answer: For deep-water landlocked-salmon fishing it is best to troll with a spoon of some sort.
MAYBE it has happened to you— and maybe you arrived at the same solution as the one that finally dawned upon me. However, while my misfortune is doubtless commonplace, I have yet to see or hear of anyone who has chosen the same means of getting around the difficulty.
HE HUFFS AND HE PUFFS, THE HOGNOSE, BUT WHEN YOU CALL HIS BLUFF HE COLLAPSES FAST
Carl F. Kauffeld
FEW PEOPLE who have come upon —the hognose snake in a natural state would think of him as a clown, but that is really what he is. Not only does his skin bear the traditional clown spots, but his face is certainly clownish in its expression. Even more than his appearance, his antics earn for him the undisputed title of buffoon among snakes.
THE NEOPHYTE who for the first time finds himself attached to a fish out there on the bounding blue, experiences sensations that are both delectable and indescribable. He will attempt to describe it, however, and speak poetically of blue skies reaching on to the horizon's rim—of white gulls that sail on slanting wing over foam-crested breakers, and of the mysterious loneliness and magnitude of it all.
CHANGES in the style of rifle shooting aren't necessarily radical changes. We still line up the sights and press the trigger when we are on, if we can. In prone shooting, we are pretty certain to squeeze the trigger when the sights are perfectly lined up, and in offhand we try to do the same thing, not succeeding so well because the position is immensely more difficult.
Question: Please tell me something about double-barrel rifles. Does each barrel have a separate set of sights? A gunsmith acquaintance of mine is working on a double-barrel .22 rifle. He thinks the idea is his own and claims that there is no double-barrel rifle made; he says that if there were, each barrel would require a separate set of sights.—M. M., Mo.
How the States Will Share $2,300,000 in Federal Aid For Their Game-Conservation Work
William A. Miles
ALL but five states of the Union are now eligible to share in the wildlife-restoration funds made available by the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. The others, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Louisiana, and Nevada, failed to enact the enabling legislation required by the federal law.
Question: I have a 12 gauge full-choke Remington repeater, Model 29, with 32-in. barrel. It is fine for ducks but practically useless in rabbit hunting. I would like to open the choke and also would like a shorter barrel. Is it advisable to saw off the barrel? Do you think I could cut it to 28 in. without making it a scattergun?
A MONG field-shooting men it is quite common to hear an inexperienced gunner say that he is having trouble hitting anything, and therefore is going to have his gun opened up to make a bigger pattern. Where the shooter does not understand the relation between pattern area and the necessary pattern density, and is using a gun too closely choked for his purpose, there is every reason for opening up the boring.
Now is the time to put your boat in readiness for the good weather that is just around the corner. And quite a few first-boat owners are going to discover that their craft can't be serviced like a car. Shipyards are comparatively few and far between, and even if your boat were now in the water you couldn't run up to one and say, "Give her a thorough going over, Charley."
DO YOU store your small boat in a garage or shed, some distance from the water? Then you've discovered by now that it's quite an effort to carry it down to the shore—enough so that you hesitate to haul it out for a mere pleasure jaunt. But a carrier like the one pictured here will trundle any canoe, kayak, or small craft for short distances, and it's so easy and inexpensive to build that there's no need to cheat yourself of any more excursions.
Question: Is it necessary to paint the canvas of a canoe each year? Must I use a special paint for this purpose, and must the former paint be sanded off?—W. F. DeF., Mich. Answer: Your canoe should be painted each year. At the same time, you must be careful not to pile up useless layers of paint, or the canvas will crack and the paint will blister and peel.
CAMPERS have the edge on other outdoorsmen as far as equipment is concerned. Consider an angler: he can't cast bait with a fly rod, or flies with a bait rod, but must own separate outfits for each kind of fishing. The all-around hunter needs a big-game rifle, a small-bore rifle, and a shotgun— maybe more.
FOR any kind of camping or trail trip, one of the most useful pieces of equipment is an ax, yet it is surprisingly easy to choose one that is entirely unsuited to the work it will be called upon to do. Those who travel with a light back pack, especially, are likely to demand nothing more of an ax than light weight or compactness, not realizing that weight is not the only factor that will determine whether the tool will do the work it will be called upon to do.
PAINT or stain not only adds to the attractiveness of a cabin, but it also helps to preserve the boards or logs in the building from the weather. However, like a good many people, I found that I couldn't afford the regular commercial stain. But my cabin is located where fierce mountain blizzards beat against the siding and upon the roof shingles, and I knew some precaution had to be taken.
ANYONE who has listened while an old-fashioned "one-gallus" grouse hunter expressed his opinion of field trials and field-trial dogs, will testify he doesn't pull his punches. His remarks are usually punctuated with expressions like "running fools," "rattle-headed racers," "sky-line skimmers," and "flash-pointing pests," not to mention some that are too profane to print.
Dr. Kinney 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.
Question: A friend bred his female springer spaniel to my dog. No written agreement was made as to how the pups were to be divided. There were eight pups, and I’d like to have your opinion as to how they should be divided.— F.W., I11. Answer: There is no set rule about the division of pups in a case like yours, but it is customary for the owner of the sire to have first choice of a pup from the litter.