I just finished reading Ray Beck’s narrative, “I’ve Been Skunked,” for about the fourth time, and I’m certainly going to file it for future reference. Beck sure knows his skunks, and he happens to be quite a story-teller in the bargain. It’s been a long time since an article has given me as many chuckles as this masterpiece, and each reading brings back pleasant memories of personal experiences trapping “peppermint pussies” from 20 to 30 years ago.
One fall evening I was returning home with Vic, a friend from the city. We’d been out hunting a couple of hours but without much luck. I’d managed to get a pheasant and rabbit but all Vic had was one measly, halfgrown squirrel, and he was grousing about not having anything to take home to Betty the next day.
WARNING! This tabulation is compiled from official sources: but in the space available it is impossible to give full details, and in some cases the authorities have power to change seasons on short notice. So before you hunt in any state or province, get a copy of current regulations from the proper agency and then read up on bag limits, local exceptions, etc.
Not the least of the rewards of fishing and hunting is feasting on the fish and game. In these days of home freezers and locker plants, a man can extend this pleasure throughout the year, except in a few cases where state or federal laws forbid carrying game over.
Latest editions of the famous Stoeger’s Shooter’s Bible and the Gun Digest are larger than ever, and each maintains the high standard it has set in previous years. The Bible sells for $2 and the Digest for $2.50. Both are carried by bookstores and sporting-goods stores or can be obtained direct from the publishers.
A few months ago George Spinner of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service released advance copies of his findings on the marine sports fishery of the New England states. They went to those who had helped him assemble his material, and among them was your salt-water editor.
In a snowy clearing on Michigan’s upper peninsula, a 25-pound bobcat jumped on a white-tail buck weighing almost six times as much, and raked him with fang and claw. When this rare battle of the wild ended, both bobcat and buck lay dead. Each had received only one serious wound.
HERE'S A NEW BOAT that's a combination trailer, camp that sleeps four, diving raft or duck blind. All-steel construction; airtight pontoons. Launches on retractable or detachable trailer wheel. Load capacity when used as trailer, 750 lbs. Equipped with tent, four cots, $324.50 from Trail-Craft Corp., Clarksburg, West Virginia.
IN BAVARIA, hunters of old carried darts like these. You'll enjoy reviving this ancient sport with this new dart-knife set. Knife is Solingen steel, with a 4½" blade. The darts have steel tips, brass shafts and colored feather guides. Leather sheath. $3.45 from Atlantic Import Company, 600 Woodward, 5th floor, Detroit 26, Mich.
pig-skin gun case
SCOPE-FITTED RIFLES fit easily into this genuine pig-skin gun case. Extremely tough leather, double nylon stitched. Padded and lined with high pile orlon for maximum protection. Two zipper pockets: one for sling, other for jointed cleaning rod. Full-length zipper. $26.50 from Wood-land Sporting Goods, P.O. Box 415, Johnstown, N. Y.
THE DEER HUNTER who's wondered why his buck avoided him will be glad to hear about Buck Lure. It's an "old guide" discovery; smells like apples and conceals human scent. Scatter it around your stand, douse your clothes. Should be good for archers. $1.00 per bottle from Sportsman Advisory Co., Ho-ho-kus, New Jersey.
HERE'S A RAIN PARKA especially developed for hunters. Tear-resistant nylon and cotton in bright Hunter Red affords protection from wind and rain. Zipper front. Drawstring at bottom and at front of hood. Sizes: small, medium, large, X-large. $7.95 postpaid, from Strago Manufacturing Company, Inc., 211 7th Avenue, N. Y. 11, N. Y.
heavy gauge plastic cover
PROTECT YOUR CAR when it's parked in the open. This heavy gauge plastic cover is a portable garage that's on and off in a jiffy; folds compactly when not in use. Fits all makes and models. State make, year of car. $7.30 postpaid. Extra heavy, $9.40 from Mardo Sales Corp., Dept. OL-1, 480 Lexington Ave., N. Y.17, N. Y.
CHILLBREAKER keeps you warm in freezing temperatures. Lightweight insulation keeps body heat at skin surface, without bulky clothing. Adjusts comfortably to any body size with nylon tie loops along sides. Launders easily—dry in three hours. One size only. S6.75 from Refrigiwear Clothing Co., Dept. OL, 201 E. 34th St., N.Y. 16, N.Y.
STREAM FISHERMEN who've juggled a greasy dry fly oil bottle in midstream will appreciate this new aerosol spray. Non-breakable plastic container holds season's supply. Just push the button... it's a quick drying dressing that leaves no oily ring on the water. $1.98 from Hank Roberts, Inc., P.O. Box 171, Boulder, Colorado.
surplus barrel covers
KEEP YOUR MUZZLE CLEAN with these surplus barrel covers. Good for storage, for protection enroute, or for pack trips. Keeps dirt, grime, snow, etc., out of muzzle. Snap off quickly... or, if necessary you can fire right through the cover. 3 for $1 from Wham-O Manufacturing Corporation, Dept. H, Box 911, Alhambra, California.
SLICE IT YOURSELF and save. With this new slicing machine in your kitchen, you'll be able to buy food in bulk, slice it as you need it. Mounted on suction-cup legs, with food thickness gauge, spur food clamp, stainproof rotary knife. Recipe folder included. Chrome finish. $24.95 from General Slicing Machine Co., Walden, N.Y.
Davy Crockett equipment
NO YOUNG FRONTIERSMAN's Davy Crockett equipment is complete without one of these license plates for bikes, tricycles, scooters, wagons, carriages, etc. Embossed on 25 gauge steel, they'll stand up under countless Indian raids. Brown on yellow. $1.00 postpaid from B. Cantor, 1711 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 3, Pennsylvania.
HERE'S A NEW TYPE of handmade moccasin which features a lacing arrangement over the instep. Affords "moccasin comfort" with foot support. Rugged elk leather, with tough rubber composition sole, the "Passamaquoddy," in sizes 6½ to 12, (widths A thru E) is $9.85 postpaid, from Casco Bay Trading Post, Freeport, Maine.
CATSKILL MOUNTAIN SMOKED TURKEY
CATSKILL MOUNTAIN SMOKED TURKEY, cured in rare spices and smoke-cooked over fragrant applewood, will make the perfect holiday dinner. Shipped ready to eat, these plump birds are a gift you'll be proud to give. Net smoked weight from 8 to 20 lbs., $1.75 per lb. express prepaid. The Forsts, Dept. OL, Kingston, New York.
THE SKIMMAR is a new flat-bottomed boat designed to plane at low speeds, ride smoothly, with extreme maneuverability even when powered by a small outboard. Light-weight, easy to haul and launch. In 9', 12' and 14' lengths, from $95 to $160 from Connecticut Boat Company, 654 Steamboat Road, Greenwich, Connecticut.
We were on a miserable road in the foothill country of northern India, our jeep lurching, swaying, bouncing, and bellowing from a broken muffler like a fiend from hell. This jeep had been brought to India by the U. S. Army in 1942, and now it was in its last agonies.
One dark night in the summer of 1953, a brown bear about the size of a brewery horse, pigeon-toed and inquisitive, nosed into a tent pitched on the Alaska Peninsula. A moment later a shot was fired inside the tent, then another. A flashlight went on, and an angry, half-scared Texas voice reeled off a string of oaths.
When I left camp, dawn was just lighting the high ridges of the Oregon Cascades. On the flats and in the ravines night still lingered, and the juniper, bitter brush, and chaparral were pale with frost. Only the sleepy talk of awakening birds broke the stillness.
I stood in the river and shivered. I remembered that the Fuegian Indians of long ago went fishing with fires built on a heap of gravel in their dugout canoes, and now I knew why. It was cold, damp, and the wind had an icy cut, even though this was late January, which is midsummer on Tierra del Fuego.
John McCarthy brought the jeep to a sudden stop. Without a word, we both jerked up our field glasses to scan the heavily wooded draw. I heard John suck in his breath. “The Fahneystock flock,” he gasped. “The hill’s black with 'em.” I counted fast.
My first chance at a big Stone sheep came after 30 years of big-game hunting and three separate trips, all for trophy rams, of roughly 4,000 miles each. Since daylight we’d scoured miles of virgin country above timberline in the majestic ram range east of British Columbia’s Blue Sheep Lake.
For several years my brother and I had been trying to get together for a fishing trip to Monomoy Point. From scraps of information picked up here and there, we’d gathered that Monomoy’s beaches are to surf-casting bluefishermen what the Restigouche River is to salmon anglers.
There has never been anything along the upper Mississippi, before or since, like the Armistice Day storm of 1940. It started out as a mild, cloudy morning with the temperature between 50 and 60. Fellows went duck hunting in shirt sleeves. The wind picked up velocity as the day went along, but not enough to get excited about—not until late afternoon.
Doc Norris and I had come 1,500 miles from Massachussets to catch two sailfish—one apiece. Now here we were afloat on a jungle river. Besides being my favorite molar mechanic, Doc is one of my top angling companions. We’ve fished together from Maine to the Carolinas, running up a sizable toll of striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish, with a few white marlin thrown in.
BARKER SPEAKING: Trapping coyotes and hunting mountain lions in New Mexico’s rough country had been Shorty Lyon’s job for a long time before I retired from my post as New Mexico state game warden. Shorty is still at it. We got together a while back to swap stories.
It was New Year’s Day and I’d promised my seven-year-old son Jeff that I’d take him hunting. The night before, while driving from our home at Ankeny to Sac City, Iowa, to spend the holiday with his grandparents, he saw a jackrabbit lope across the road.
Hup!” said the gillie, for he saw the fish as it came up to take the fly, though both salmon and fly were well below the ruffled surface of the water. That brief near-hiccup, I learned later, is the command to strike. It must be instantly obeyed.
Yaller Gal is a three-year-old mongrel hound owned by Horace Schultz of Fort Green, Florida, and together they hunt the most dangerous quarry in the world—diamondback rattlesnakes. Schultz is a free-lance snake exterminator who sells his catches to Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute at Silver Springs.
Planning to become lost in the woods may seem like a silly way to start a hunting or fishing trip into the back country, but that very silliness can save your life. If you’re prepared for the possibility of losing your way, it can be an exciting and challenging experience, rather than a tragedy.
They say it’s an ill wind that blows no good. Such a wind blew my way in the summer of 1953 when the coal-mining industry was hit by the so-called recession. Thousands were thrown out of work, including Harold Collins and me. Harold was with the Premier Pocahontas Coal Co. at Premier, West Virginia, when it closed down; I was with the New River & Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Co. at Havaco.
For many a month the rumor has been kicking around that Winchester was about to jump with a couple of new cartridges. They were to be running mates of the .308 Winchester and on the same case. Now the .308, as is known even to us simple peasants who dwell out where the pines grow tall and the catamount cries eerily in the night, was developed by the ordnance department of the United States Army.
Question: I’ve been wondering if it hurts a rifle or revolver to shoot .22 bird shot through it. Can you set me straight on this?—Richard Zawacki, Pa. Answer: It does no permanent harm to a rifle or a revolver. Often the barrels get rather badly leaded from the contact of the shot on the rifling, but they can be scrubbed out with a brass brush of .22 caliber soaked in some good powder solvent.
The new J. C. Higgins Model 60, an exceedingly interesting shotgun manufactured by High Standard and sold by Sears, Roebuck, is a gas-operated semi-automatic which works on the same principle as the M-1 or Garand rifle of World War II fame.
Spot fishing for bass, as I explained in my first column on the subject last month, is a method of fishing whereby you cast only to fish that are visibly feeding, rather than making blind offerings to places where you think a bass should be. Here’s some more dope on how to cash in on those feeding sprees that make bass easy to see.
Boating is no longer the strictly summertime activity it used to be. Each fall more and more owners in all parts of the country are using their boats at least until freeze up, and many who live in northern and central states are taking their craft South with them for several weeks each winter.
The easiest, safest way to preserve surplus fish and game in camps lacking refrigeration is with smoke and heat. These curing agents require no complicated equipment—you can build what you need with an ax. The finished food keeps well, is easy to store, and light to carry when you move on or return home.
During a field trial in Alabama some time ago, Wyecott’s Gadabout shot like an arrow across an open basin for a bull’s-eye on far distant cover, where he nailed down a covey so hard it appeared paralyzed. He then finished the course with the hunger of a starved man at a smorgasbord.
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.
Beaver IQ. Beavers built a dam on a small creek, near Winterset, Iowa, and inserted a hollow log to act as a spillway. When a local farmer partially destroyed the dam, the beavers rebuilt, again with hollow-log spillway. Critters must have known that with that particular type of dam, water flowing over the top or around the ends could soon destroy it.
HYPERACIDITY. Charles A. Dambach, chief of Ohio’s wildlife service, says the state’s greatest menace is an estimated 2½ million tons of sulphuric acid which annually flows from coal mines into waters of the Ohio River drainage. More than 300 streams are affected, he says in an article in the Ohio Conservation Bulletin.