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Original Issue


In Idaho high school students play hooky while the principal smiles, a Washington duck hunter gets the bird and loses his pants, in Michigan a grandmother organizes an all-girl bear hunt, while in New Mexico biologists race to save drought-stricken waterfowl


One day last week the Pocatello, Idaho high school was shy three academic functionaries and 155 students, and Elvis Presley had nothing to do with it. It so happens that Pocatello borders unsurpassed big-game range, and on the day in question southeastern Idaho's deer and elk season was opening. Principal Robert K. Marchel watched his truants with sympathetic and proprietary interest. An avid outdoors-man himself, Marchel had even conducted a preseason student-hunter safety program. He wished his absentees well and well they did.

By week's end 60% of the hunting scholars had downed deer and 25% elk. Typical were Richard and Dennis Chase, 14 and 17, both honor students. They hunted while their father tended camp. Richard bagged a four-point buck deer and a cow elk, in between kept the elder Chase busy plucking grouse. Richard scorns shooting tree-roosted grouse. A baseball fan and pitcher, he prefers rocks and plinks his birds with a high hard one.

Dennis Chase accounted for a three-point buck but failed to down an elk. "We had to hunt hard and fast," he explained, "so we wouldn't lose out on our studies." Among the distaff hunters, 15-year-old Marie Hernandez bolstered her reputation as the school Annie Oakley. Coolly hefting an eight-pound Model 70 Winchester, she toppled a three-point buck at 150 yards and dressed it herself.

The only anxious moment of the campaign was furnished by a faculty member. School Custodian Ora Allen was asleep in his tent when the oil stove went out. Allen was nearly asphyxiated before he was discovered and revived. Faculty face was saved, however, when Spanish Teacher Vernon Bingham and Attendance Clerk Marcelline Dunn nailed their deer. All in all, not one near accident was reported by the young sportsmen. OUTDOOR WEEK'S Idaho correspondent (a big-game guide) reported: "The teen-agers' handling of firearms and their hunting ability was astounding."


The Skagit County Game Protectors, in the state of Washington, have an odd pair of breeches they don't know what to do with. On opening day of duck season, Game Protector Maurice Splane was horrified to see a gunner down a duck and race onto the Samish River mud flats to retrieve it. Splane knew, as the gunner obviously did not, that the flats offered about as much support as quicksand.

As the hapless gunner squished to his waist in mud, Splane tore rails from a rotting fence and began laying a track to the victim. A crowd gathered, and soon Fellow Game Protector William Hoffman arrived with shovels.

The tide was rising, and, in their haste to lift him out of the muck, the hunter's rescuers also lifted him out of his pants. At that moment the hunter noticed several women among the onlookers. Without a word he scampered along the rails, bounded over the fence posts and into his car, and roared away, clad from the waist down in nothing but Samish River goo.

Splane and Hoffman rescued the pants.


GDW—good duck weather; BW—bluebird weather: S—snow; R—rain; F—freeze-up; T—temperature; SF m—spotty flight; FF—fair flight; GF—good flight; EF—excellent flight; PG—poor gunning; FG—fair gunning; GG—good gunning; EG—excellent gunning; OP—outlook poor; OF—outlook fair; OG—outlook good; OVG—outlook very good; SO—season opens (or opened); SC—season closes (or closed)

BLACK DUCK: MASSACHUSETTS: BW and SF held down opening-day bags and OP until hard weather. Some action reported from Plum Island near Newburyport, Pine Island and the Salisbury Marshes. Cape Cod very slow except inland potholes; OP here too.

NEW BRUNSWICK: FF of blacks reported from Tracadie and Tabusintac areas, but BW holding bags down. Easterly wind should result in EF, but at the moment OF.

MICHIGAN: FF/FG due to BW. Fair bags, however, being taken on St. Mary's River flyway from Sugar Island down to Drummong and Munuscong and marshes in Les Cheaneaux Islands. According to latest state report hunters averaging 2.2 ducks per trip and OG.

CANADA GOOSE: MAINE: FF of honkers arriving at Merrymeeting Bay but most local gunners think it's below last year's flight; OG.

IDAHO: Migratory flocks not in yet but GG for local birds. Fort Hall Indian Reservation OG until freeze-up, but hunters are warned to buy reservation permit from Indians. Central state fields offering GG early or late. In southern area Crane Creek Reservoir reports FG for jeep or pickup-borne gunners and along with Paddock Reservoir will be a real hot spot when migratory honkers arrive with colder weather; OVG generally.

NEW JERSEY: SO November 3 and hunters edgy as goose population is already way ahead of last year; OVG.

WISCONSIN: BW has held honker hunters to ‚Öì below last year in famous Horicon Refuge and blinds going begging even though area offers EF and EG. Best hunter so far James W. Toon of Milwaukee who in two of his allowed three trips to Horicon has dropped four honkers with five shells. Worst hunter is one who met a stranger, boasted how well he could identify waterfowl in flight, then picked off a protected wood duck. Stranger was game warden.

WHISTLER: MAINE: EF rafting on Merry-meeting Bay by the thousand, and EG.

TEAL: MINNESOTA: Only FF with BW but Bill Schuehle of Faribault borrowed shotgun and nine shells to try luck for first time, spied five teal in pothole, fired one shot, got five teal. Returned gun and eight shells and had limit 20 minutes after season opened. Mrs. Alva A. Baker of Inger didn't get limit but still claims she had fun. She shot one hell-diver, one rice hen, two decoys and fell in the water.

BRANT: NEW JERSEY: Duckers blood pressure up as local spy reports brant by the thousand on east coast bays from Barnegat Bay to Cape May with a specially heavy concentration on Great Bay; SO November 3 and OVG.

CANVASBACK: MARYLAND: Population seems up and although there is only SF now prognosticators predict EG with GDW by next week when SO.

PINTAIL: LOUISIANA: State advises 93,000 pintail available as SO November 1, but dry weather prevails. Rains helped last weekend, but until drought is really broken, landowners in southwest areas of state pump water into dried up farm ponds, and ducks fight to pitch in. For them OVG.


SO—season opened (or opens); SC—season closed (or closes).
C—clear water; D—water dirty or roily; M—water muddy.
N—water at normal height; SH—slightly high; H—high; VH—very high; L—low; R—rising; F—falling.
WT50—water temperature 50°.
FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OVG—outlook very good; OG—outlook good; OF—outlook fair; OP—outlook poor

TROUT: NEW MEXICO: State waters L and C but cold nights and sunny days making for frisky fish. Fish and Game Department still stocking; OG.

MICHIGAN: FF on Big Manistee up to Tippy and on Betsy, Platte and South Boardman. OVG as late run of big rainbows not yet underway; OVG.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Slow fall and mild temperatures in Caribou and Kamloops area herald continued action. Walloper, Lejeune, Jocko, Paul, Badger and other lakes all offering FG with fish to 8 pounds on flies and 12 pounds trolling; for the time being OG.

CALIFORNIA: Deer hunters emerging from Sierra insist trout so hungry they will take bare hooks; OG.

STEELHEAD: CALIFORNIA: Fish to 5 pounds snatching single salmon eggs in riffles near Los Molinos on Sacramento and Trinity. Klamath results poor to sensational, but OVG.

MICHIGAN: FG/OG on Sturgeon and Carp rivers with 1- to 3-pounders predominating.

NEW BRUNSWICK: Thompson River cruiser reports FF from Dead Man's Creek to Spence's Bridge, but OVG as strength of run has yet to come.

IDAHO: Steelhead hitting on main Salmon from Riggin's to French Creek with hot spot at Stoddard Pack Bridge below Shoup. Mouth of middle fork of Salmon FG as is mouth of Marble Creek and mouth of Pistol Creek; OVG.

WEAKFISH: FLORIDA: FG/OVG inside Dog Island near Carrabelle and also on flats off lighthouse at St. Mark's. St. Vincent Island just out from Apalachicola also advises torrid activity, and there too OVG.

LOUISIANA: Fish still striking in Lake Charles and far to the east in California Bay area where last week Tom Sharp, Lester Sweet and Paul Mailhes of New Orleans boated more than 200 in one day; OVG.

STRIPED BASS: MASSACHUSETTS: Action slowing after tremendous blitzes last week at Nauset on Cape Cod and on the Vineyard. Nauset fish scaling 47 pounds and taking anything. Easiest catch of the week reported by crew attempting to float grounded steamship Etrusco off Scituate. After dynamiting to remove rocks, one worker grabbed two stunned stripers weighing 30 pounds, rushed them home and had them cooked. Cape and Vineyard OG, but results will taper off from now on.

MARYLAND: Ten- to 30-pounders still prowling Brickhouse Bar and Gum Thickett Shoal but largest herd now slightly south of Bloody Point Light on the Wild Grounds. FG during evening when bass are breaking, but some fish being taken throughout the day by trolling the bottom. Belvedere Shoals north of Baltimore Light producing school fish to 6 pounds but results are spotty. Snake Reef across Ship's Channel and west of Belvedere Shoals host to 3-pounders as is Hackett's Point off Annapolis radio towers. Sparty's Lump north of Tolchester Beach producing some 20-pounders, but they are finicky; generally OVG.

CALIFORNIA: FG/OG in surf from Rockaway in San Mateo County up to Fleischhacker Beach in San Francisco. Migrations out of ocean into delta seem off schedule but may mean longer season. San Pablo Bay choked with small fish.

BONEFISH: FLORIDA: Upper Keys guides report FG after recent severe storms. Last week Isaac Gladstone of Chicago landed an 8-pounder on spinning tackle, his first fish. Keys anglers will see less tailing fish from now on as boners move into slightly deeper water, but OVG.




Seventy Michigan women assembled last week in the Manistee River timber-land to hunt bear. The expedition, organized by Mabel Dingman, a 50-year-old tavern operator, included the young and old, the inexperienced and the veteran. Before the hunt they were briefed by Whiskers Brooks, a veteran guide who explained the general principles involved and answered questions—among them, "Should I shoot a bear with lice on it?" When the two-day hunt finally got under way, Whiskers roamed among his charges making timely suggestions. Above, he offers advice on a likely spot to young Dee Matson. The first morning bear were jumped by the dogs, but none cruised by any of the girls. Late the second day luck turned. A bear happened within range, was wounded by an indeterminate number of shots and retreated to a swamp, where it was finished off by the guides. Since nobody really knew who had hit the bear, Organizer Dingman posed for the traditional trophy photograph (above).


Last week a dozen state and federal biologists, armed with nets and carried by propeller-driven, shallow draft boats, cruised over Elephant Butte Lake's 20 square miles of drought-exposed mud flats in a remarkable, dawn-to-dusk rescue campaign. The objects of their solicitude were sick ducks, victims of virulent botulism aggravated by fermentation of weed exposed by the drought. In the past month workers like Roe E. Meyer and Charles R. Hayes (above and left) scooped up ducks at the rate of 300 a day, hustled them ashore for antitoxin inoculations and put them in a fresh pond to recuperate. Despite these efforts some 8,000 birds have died and a far worse mortality is feared with heavy fall migrations due to start. Rain last weekend offered some encouragement, but a good deal more is needed to eliminate the danger to south-bound ducks.