I read with interest A. J. Lampard’s suggestion of a chain letter to promote the idea of conservation, and your editorial on the same subject. Did you ever try to get club members to help with some project your club was promoting? We have a club of approximately 1,000 members, and I can count on my two hands the number that you can depend on for help.
The archers are all aquiver over a letter from Charles Pohl of Jackson, Mich., in “What’s on Your Mind?” for January. Contending that more deer are wounded and left to die by bow-and-arrow hunters than by men with firearms, Pohl said “something should be done to make archers be sure they have a perfect shot before they let fly an arrow.”
Here’s the information—carefully compiled from official sources—which you need to plan that next fishing trip. Pick your state or province; write to the proper agency for details about limits, license fees, local exceptions, and so on; and you’ll be set!
Last summer my brother Calvin and I were fishing Idaho’s Teton River in rocky gorge country—a section of the stream that is known for its treacherous, rough water. We had worked our way upstream for perhaps a mile, forded across, and come down the other side.
Jack Speilmacher is a man of very positive preferences—as you’ll discover when you read his article, “Starvation Rams,” in this issue. One of them is for American food, another is sheep hunting. The Mexican trip, which he describes so vividly, was his second encounter with hard-to-get rams.
On opening day I was on the Farmington River in Connecticut along with 1,000 other people. About half of them were boys not yet sixteen. And everyone was catching fish. But how? To a man, with worms. To a boy, too. Some had rods, some short stubby poles, some only a hand line and sinker.
No sockdolagers, no leviathans— but those brookies were battlers, and there were thousands of them! They put pep into jaded anglers, and climaxed a grand trip
Headed for More Fishing
Any Fly Would Work
We Gave Those Fish Service
THE LITTLE GUIDE
Thinking of Home
The train rolled east along the Lake Superior shore from Nipigon. After Heron Bay the sun rose brightly and lit the wilderness beyond the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was late May and most of the Ontario lakes were wide open, though winter lingered in some iced-up bays.
It was mighty hungry hunting. There were no sheep to shoot and no decent food to eat. It looked like a flop—until two bighorns crossed their sights, one of 'em a truly magnificent trophy
Top Price for Lowly Food
A Sight for Sore Eyes
Change of Scene—at Last
A Shot at Rams Mañana
After a long, tough climb Cefarino, my Mexican guide, and I stood on the highest peak of the Las Mochis range, in the harsh, hot Sonora desert of northwestern Mexico. To the west we could see the brilliant blue of the Gulf of California. It was broken here and there by the white line of a beach, but mostly our view was cut off by high, sharp ranges very much like the one on which we had been hunting.
This is the first of a new series illustrating thrilling wilderness encounters that hunters seldom see. Each fullcolor painting, done especially for Outdoor Life, shows some dramatic encounter between predator and prey in the age-old struggle for survival.
A gay, nostalgic yarn about a boy, a dog, and a scented quarry. It’s as pungent as burning leaves, and it recalls days when the lure of sport and profit raised many rural lads to odorous fame
A Letter—at Last
Guardian of the Porch
When I was a boy in New England I was a skunk hunter. And now each autumn when the pungent fragrance of burning leaves fills my nostrils, I find myself besieged by vivid memories of another odor. . . . In those days pursuit of the skunk for its fur and oil brought both sport and profit to many a country lad.
As director of the famous Reptile Institute at Silver Spring, Fla., the writer probably handles more poisonous ones than any other man in the world. Here he tells you how to avoid them while hunting, fishing, or camping—and what to do if you’re bitten
E. ROSS ALLEN
Are you afraid of snakes? If one is found in your camp, are you consumed with a frantic desire to kill it, whether the snake is poisonous or not? This fear is unnecessary because, compared with the number bitten, few people actually die from snake bite.
When two men get together for two hours of fishing, for the first time since the war, it’s up to the host to come through. But it takes a bit of doing, if the guest wants to use a fly rod and conditions seem to be all wrong!
The Evening Lull
Punishment Told at Last
Some fish technicians contend you can’t fish out a bass or bluegill lake. The harder water is fished, they say, the better the fishing—except in the case of trout. Well, maybe they’re right. I live beside a small lake, covering hardly more than fifty acres and lined with a score of cottages.
Sink boxes, live decoys, bushwhack rigs, dogs tolling on the beach—maybe we’d still be gunning for ducks and geese with some of these colorful aids, if market hunters hadn’t gone and spoiled it all
A Well-trained Gander
Even Fooled the Sportsmen
State Law Not Enforced
High Hats for Safety
Danger Signal—in 1890
No story in all the annals of the outdoors is more colorful than the long and—thanks be!—unfinished story of American waterfowl hunting. It extends far back into the shadowy past. Scientists excavating the Lovelock Cave in Nevada twentyfive years ago unearthed duck decoys of tule (a large bulrush) which the Indians made long before Columbus was born.
That cougar didn’t want any part of a zoo. He ran like the wind, back-tracked, circled, and slapped one of the dogs silly in a bold attempt to outwit hunters who hoped to take him alive
As Baffled as the Dogs
More Excitement to Come
The lion we were after, everyone agreed, was smart, cagy, and as full of tricks as an old-time medicine man. But—if we could catch up with him—we were going to take him alive! Maybe . . . A rancher who had stopped by our camp shook his head doubtfully when we told him our plans.
Low-cost high-voltage sport in a Maine river where angling has been reclaimed by man and nature. Fresh-run fish are tops for action—and you can hook them in pools right alongside the highway
The River Was Full of Them
Expenses are Moderate
Harry Didn’t Waste Any Time
We were sitting on Harry Smith’s porch after supper, smoking, and looking down over his steepsloped lawn and across the road to the river. The air was chilling off after a warm June afternoon, the way it almost always does anywhere near the Maine coast.
Oh, everything has got a reason,” said Bill, glancing at the jug I’d brought along. “That’s why, down here in Kaintucky, we call 'em fox squirrels.” “They call 'em that everywheres,” I said sharply. “But this,” said Bill, “is where the name started.”
The striking photo reproduced above shows part of an assemblage of more than 2,500 persons in Marion, Ind., reciting America’s Conservation Pledge, the 30-word creed presented to the nation in 1946 by OUTDOOR LIFE to preserve our diminishing supply of natural resources.
Get set for opening day! this article tells how to make a net you'll be proud of; turn the page and read how to assemble and use a kit for quick repairs if a big fish breaks your rod
E. G. CLAYTON
Want to own a landing net that all your angling friends will envy—the kind you just can’t buy over the counter, and wouldn’t part with for $25? The answer is to make it yourself; it can be done if you know your way around a workbench, take your time, and go to some pains to search out just the right materials to give that custom-made look.
Careful annual reconditioning of your fly rod will keep it looking and acting in top shape year after year. But suppose you’re miles from home base, with only a knife or a screw driver in the way of tools, and the spare tip of that good rod of yours goes snap!
After four weeks in the Rockies tailing mountain goats and bighorn rams from one 10,000-foot pinnacle to another, sleeping in icebox boudoirs, and enduring a steady diet of goat shanks, I was ready to go home. I looked forward to putting my hunting gear in moth balls and subsiding into a wheel chair stuffed with invalid cushions.
Remodeled bus takes a sociable angler and his friends to their favorite waters in style, and gives them a cozy place to live without worrying about roadside cabins and eating places. It would be a fine idea for hunters, too!
Everett Setzer, chief of police in South Pasadena, Calif., is as sociable as he is fond of fishing. He could never quite figure out how to take along all his pals until he remodeled a bus into a rolling week-end cabin. Setzer’s “sportsmobile” is a 1941-model bus he bought at a bargain when it was retired in January, 1948, after 274,000 miles on the Los Angeles—San Diego run.
If you’re a beginner at fly fishing for trout, this article will tell you how to select the tackle you need for a start
Type and Cost of Rod
Extra Guides May be Needed
A Reel That Went Bad
Nylon for Dry Flies
This article is written primarily for the beginner in trout fly fishing, although the experienced angler may find in it some grains of thought to which he can say “amen.” In advising on the choice of tackle I shall aim to keep down the cost of the original outfit for the benefit of the man who is not sure he will like the game and who hesitates to gamble with a lavish outlay.
Hunters and guides in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina have often argued as to whether a black bear will voluntarily attack one of the wild “Rooshian” boars that roam those parts—and as to which would emerge the victor, assuming the animals were fairly evenly matched for weight.
The red fox has been charged with plenty of crimes as a predator, but not many sportsmen would list him as a deer killer. Nevertheless, on occasions he attacks and probably succeeds in killing young fawns! I first heard from an old woodsman, many years ago, of the fox's brazenness in trying to get himself a meal of venison.
Don't ruin your fishing hat by sticking flies through it and then tearing a hole in it every time you remove a fly. With a needle and linen thread, put a basting around the hat as shown, using a ¼-in. stitch. A fly can be inserted in each stitch and removed easily.
For breakfast we had a panful of bluegills fried with bacon—sweet, succulent white meat sheathed in golden brown. The fish were caught just a few steps from the house and from an easy-chair. We might have had catfish or bass had they taken the hook first, or frogs' legs, and we can have them as often as we wish because we fish in our homemade pond, and the stock has multiplied enormously in the three years since I built it.
Even the best fisherman lets himself in for a ducking now and then. When this happens, the greatest inconvenience is a wet wallet with soggy money, driver’s license, and cards. Avoid this by getting a waterproof plastic bag at the war-surplus outlet store and putting your wallet inside.
Since most dough baits dissolve after being in the water only a few minutes, many catfish, carp, and buffalo fishermen wonder how old-timers keep these soft baits on their hooks. The answer is simple. When making up this kind of bait, add an egg to each cup of dough, and then mix thoroughly.
Fishermen will find it easier to get the new parts they need for their rods if they will use the standard names shown in the drawing below. Compiled by the Associated Fishing Tackle Manufacturers as the result of a survey, this list represents the choice of the entire industry and has been approved by the leading makers, both inside and outside the association.
Some time ago August Miller of Ohio sent me some information on the bagworm, and I never got around to using it until now. Since I have never tried to gather the worms myself, I am merely passing on the dope as I received it. “The cocoon of the bagworm is well known in the eastern United States, being found throughout the summer and fall on many common shade trees and particularly on evergreens of the cedar and arborvitae group.
First there were five Canadas— then 5,000! And it all began when a North Carolina farmer refused to part with his decoys
HAZEL ROSS GADDY
At the time of the full moon in October, great wedge-shaped flocks of Canada geese cut their motors and glide down toward a man-made pond in North Carolina. It is journey’s end after a long trip from the northern breeding grounds. They cup their wings and come in for a graceful landing—and a five-month sojourn at one of the most unusual wildfowl sanctuaries in the nation.
Although I’ve read an awful lot of trout yarns since I passed the bent-pin stage, as a conservative estimate I’d say that fully 90 percent of them deal solely with the clear, swift, forest-and-mountain type of water. Very few fishing stories tell of the murky, meandering little meadow brook which wanders aimlessly through some farmer’s pasture.
Question: Under what conditions is it advisable to use a leader for bait casting?—John Meyers, N. J. Answer: A leader isn't necessary for bait casting, except in certain cases and in particular waters. This is especially true if you use lures of ⅝ oz. or larger.
If Betsy isn’t shooting where she looks, the time to find out is before yon miss that deer! Here’s what you must watch
Watch That Fore-end!
One Rifle, Two Scopes
Fancy Models 721 and 722
Nothing I know of is calculated to embarrass a citizen who is a pretty good shot more than to pull down on a relatively easy target, squeeze off—and then never touch a hair. The chap who does something like that before witnesses is in a tough spot.
One of the major rumors of the 1948 big-game season was that .30/06 ammunition was short because the loading machines were busy turning out hulls for the Army. According to loading-company officials with whom I have talked recently there’s absolutely nothing to it.
JACK O’CONNOR will be glad to help you get the best results from your firearms— rifle, shotgun, or pistol. Address your questions to him in care of this magazine, inclosing sufficient postage for his reply, which will be sent you by mail Question : Several people have told me that the over-and-under shotgun shoots high because of the barrel arrangement.
Hankering for a houseboat? There’s nothing better for weekend living and as a snug base for your fishing and hunting trips
It Won’t be Fast or Sleek
Picking a Good Location
Accommodations of Larger Boat
Most Houseboats are Homemade
J. A. EMMETT
For a family group, or a couple of fellows who like the woods and water and are content with the simple things of life, a houseboat of the common scow type can provide more real enjoyment than any other kind of boat or any other mode of weekend living.
Here’s a dreamboat that developed from the drawing board of J. A. Emmett, Boating editor of OUTDOOR LIFE. Detailed plans and specifications for the 19-ft. shallow-draft houseboat were published in our December, 1947, issue. The craft was built from the plans, with slight modifications, by E. C. Bowers Sr. of Kalamazoo, Mich., and he had it transported to the Tahquamenon River, near Lake Superior.
Dual-purpose service is provided by a chemical which can be brushed over aluminum in an extremely short time—from 1 to 5 minutes. Besides preventing corrosion, it will anchor paint which is to be applied to a bright or unfinished aluminum boat or canoe.
Did you know that your propeller can serve as a pump for cooling your motor? This “poor man’s pump” is widely used by commercial watermen, especially with automobile engines in boats. It works best when the engine is coupled directly, without a reverse gear.
Question: To what degree will the speed and handling of my 15-ft. outboard boat be affected by the addition of a cabin?—Jim Ford, Ky. Answer: While the boat’s speed will certainly be reduced, the effect on its handling will depend on the size and type of cabin you have in mind.
You need hard muscles and good health for camping. While putting equipment in shape, remember to check your physical condition
It’s Fun—But Can You Take It?
To Toughen Up Your Feet
Get Used to the Saddle
Fangs in the Dark
Care of Your Ax
Improvised Camp Stove
Beware of Flying Ants!
Storing Ice in Camp
MAURICE H. DECKER
Are you sure you’re all ready for that camping trip you’ve planned? I know you’ve tested tent and air mattresses for leaks, whetted knife and ax to a keen edge, and put the stove in good working order. But how about yourself? Have you plenty of strength and endurance to handle the work and exercise your trip entails?
This tasty concoction can take the place of both bread and dessert. 2 cups prepared biscuit flour ⅓ cup sugar 1 beaten egg 1 cup milk 1 cup cooked apples 1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg ½ cup peanut butter Mix all ingredients together. If apples are watery, use less milk so a medium-heavy muffin batter results.
Question: Can you suggest a handbook on fungi that are both tasty and edible?—Lloyd V. Taylor, N. Y. Answer: The booklet, Some Common Mushrooms and How to Know Them, which can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C., will give you the information you want.
Be your own trainer! It isn’t too difficult, the work is enjoyable, and it pays off in results. Here are some tips to guide you
Results May be Disappointing
If the Dog Can’t be Trained
Initiative is Also Important
Dog’s Watering Trough
C. BLACKBURN MILLER
Should you train your own gun dog? By all means! Of course, if your time is so limited that you can’t do justice to the job you’ll need the services of a professional trainer. But, if you do it yourself, you’ll discover the results are pleasantly apparent, the labor (if it can be called that) is thoroughly enjoyable, and the satisfaction is rewarding.
Question: I want a dog that can live comfortably in a city home, hunt quail and rabbits, and retrieve ducks and geese. What do you suggest?—Joseph Ries, Iowa. Answer: I recommend a Brittany spaniel. On upland game this dog points like a setter.
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 local veterinarian should be consulted at once.
Dog helps pinch. Two suspected jacklighters were trailed by three California game wardens, but the latter failed to find evidence. Dog of Al Warren, a trapper, was called in to help. Led wardens to cache of five deer heads and hides and a supply of canned deer meat.
Outdoor Life’s Idea Now Bears Fruit in First War-surplus Wildlife Area
Let’s Go Fishing—Angling, That Is
Newspapers should stop printing stories that make heroes out of game hogs. The latest one—a dispatch from Portuguese East Africa which appeared in heaven only knows how many American papers—tells how a professional big|game hunter shot and killed nine bull elephants in fifteen minutes.