Your article Upland Game Birds in the Oct. 10 issue was the most interesting and comprehensive coverage given this subject by any magazine to date.
However, this has brought forth an argument among some of my fellow hunters and myself, and we would like your verdict.
In brief, the question is this: Does the length of a shotgun barrel determine the density of the pattern or the range of the shot? I contend that two shotguns bored with the same choke, having the same gauge, loaded with identical shells but with barrels of different length, will fire the same pattern at the same distance.
JACK R. CLAGHORN
•Mr. Claghorn is right. The length of the barrel affects the velocity of the shot but not the pattern. The pattern is controlled by the choke.—ED.
October 23, 1955
THE BIG BLUES
Regarding Upland Game Birds, why limit the range of the fool hen to the Rocky Mountains south of Montana? They are very plentiful here and provide easy game for the inexperienced and lazy car hunters.
But for top sport, why not mention the true dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) alias blue, Richardson's or Flemming's? This big, elusive bird flushes well from its feeding grounds on high alpine meadows, providing an endless variety of wing shooting. They are by no means rare birds and their range covers most of the Rocky Mountains. Their size too makes them a desirable table bird. A mature male measures some 20 inches and weighs well over five pounds. From a sportsman's viewpoint the fool hen (Canachites canadensis), alias spruce or dusky, is not in the same league with the big blues.
L. A. MULDOUN
•SI was reporting on the dusky grouse. Mr. Muldoun apparently believes that only Canachites canadensis (spruce grouse) are popularly known as fool hen, but both subspecies of Dendragapus obscurus (dusky grouse) share this common name.—ED.
I was interested in Artist Menaboni's conception of the chukar partridge as compared to those we raise. They are identical, except that the white bib is not as deep on our chukars. I know that there are variations of this partridge and would be interested in knowing the difference. Your article, Upland Game Birds, was informative, the illustrations beautiful.
JOHN T. LOVE JR.
Royal Oak, Md.
•Specimens of chukar partridges have been imported from every part of their native habitat, which ranges from Turkey to India to China. Slight differences of marking and coloration can therefore be found on chukar partridges in this country, depending on their descent from original stock.—ED.
THE HIGH COST OF PATTERGE
I feel it my privilege to enter objections against your October 10 MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER in which our friend Harry Phillips implied that the average cost to the hunter is over $16.50 for the pleasure and satisfaction of bringing home one measly little patterge (the proper pronunciation in Tennessee, but often miscalled partridge by others).
Naturally I tore out the page before taking the magazine home as it would be misleading, irregular and nix vomica in the hands of any wife.
Don't we have enough trouble convincing our better halves on the economy of adding to our larder through our own efforts, without having such assertions brought to them in print?
Spring after spring I sally bravely forth (after the usual home discussions), risking health and limbs in my endeavor toward lowering the cost of living by supplying our table with the Friday menu, and, I wish to state in all pardonable pride: I supply it. I also feel I should be permitted to point with pride to my outstanding accomplishment for the past six months with only one forage per week. To wit—14 catfish, total 26 pounds, and at least a couple of dozen crappie averaging around a half pound each. So with a little arithmetic one finds I brought home 50 pounds of fish during only one season or approximately two pounds per forage.
The cost? A mere bagatelle: a new outboard motor, $300 difference; about three dozen plugs, $1.25 each; two rods and reels at $40.00 per; and in the neighborhood of $25.00 worth of assorted live bait. I have not included numerous incidentals as I am positive they would not add up to over $100, or the boat purchased last year for a paltry $500 and the boathouse for a mere $800 as I realize these last named items will be good for at least another year.
You can readily see why I object so strenuously when you come out with articles that may offer additional material for argument offered by my spouse.
W. H. WENDER
Lake City, Tenn.
THE DINNER TABLE
Upland Game Birds was a fine presentation. I especially liked Mr. Menaboni's beautiful illustrations. However, as a true dinner-table sportsman I wish that Mr. Botsford had been given more space for his recipes. I would have added, for the benefit of gunners serious enough to go out several times a week, a recipe combining several game birds to get more variety into the menu. Game bird pies are delicious, especially when pheasant or grouse is combined with small cubes of veal, beef and cipollata sausage and vegetables.
•Harry Botsford, agreeing with Mrs. Cassel that game pies are indeed delicious, offers this southern recipe for dove pie:
Make a rich biscuit dough, using cream in the mixing. Roll thin, spread with soft butter, fold and roll enough for bottom crust with which baking pan is lined. Top crust should be slightly thicker. For filling use dove breasts only. Simmer them in slightly salted water until they are tender. Remove skin and bones, cut meat into large dice. To the liquid in which the breasts cooked, add six tablespoons of small fresh peas, one tablespoon of diced celery, one small can of mushroom tops. Add enough scalded cream to give you sufficient fluid to cover the meat, season to taste, boil briskly for five minutes, thicken slightly with flour mixed with one half cup of cold water. Add meat to bottom crust, dot with butter and cover with sauce. Cover with top crust, slit for the escape of steam, and crimp edges. Bake in 350° oven until crust is delicately brown. Let stand for five minutes before bringing to the dinner table.—ED.
Your October 10 issue is out of this world: Roundup of the week's news, EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, World Series write-up, Upland Game Birds and a grouse shoot in Scotland. Anybody who has sporting blood should like this issue as much as we did.
H. D. ARMSTRONG
ADD MARCIANO VS. THESZ
I was hoping to read more in succeeding issues of SI about Morris Sigel's offer to match Marciano against Lou Thesz, the wrestler. Many people seem to be interested in this, including myself. Has Sigel had any luck so far?
•Houston promoter Sigel, "willing and able to up a $25,000 winner-take-all purse at a moment's notice," has Thesz standing by but no word from Marciano's manager.—ED.
My choice would be Lou Thesz.
To give you my two-bits' worth I don't think Rocky would have a chance. I only hope Lou spares his life.
SPORTSMEN VS. SHOWMAN
If it were wrestling as in the day of Zbyszko and Londos, it would be a match between two real sportsmen, but between Rocky Marciano and Lou Thesz it would be between the sportsman Rocky and gaudy showman Thesz.
San Jose, Calif.
THE BEST DEFENSE
It has been proven time and again that in such a contest the fighter has the edge. Some time ago Gene Tunney was quoted as saying: "When I visited Tokyo, I witnessed some jiujitsu matches, and the best defense against these birds is a stiff right to the jaw."
I am all for SI and Jimmy Jemail's promoting such a contest.
RICHARD S. DONOVAN
ARCHIE PROVES HIS GRATEFULNESS
The piece A Champion Proves His Greatness (SI, Oct. 3) was nice. Please accept my thanks for the good you have done for boxing.
San Diego, Calif.
I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed the many well-written articles in SI. The one article that has moved me to pick up pen and write in my congratulations is Budd Schulberg's A Champion Proves His Greatness. Like Paul O'Neil's account of the Vancouver Mile, it should be picked as one of the year's outstanding sports stories.
FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE
Your coverage of the Marciano-Moore fight by Budd Schulberg was interesting. He is a great fiction writer and his handling of this fight proved it. He held the attention all the way, but as a longtime student of boxing I differ with him on some points.
Budd says, "But to boxing's science we may now add the Marciano law of saturation. You may get away from nine punches, but the 10th will break through and find you." Now there is nothing new about this "law." Long ago the first thing I learned about boxing was that no matter how adept I became at slipping and blocking punches I could not expect to stand in one place without hitting back and repeatedly block, weave and duck without getting hit.
I do not understand why Moore elected to stand in one spot, ducking and weaving, when he could have returned the fire and upset Marciano's attack by knocking him off balance.
The first rule of boxing science is to hit without being hit. That means that an important part of defense is offense.
•Moore was hopeful of letting Marciano tire himself by flailing away. After the fight Archie said to an SI reporter: "You know, a man will expend more energy missing than landing. He [Marciano] was arm weary. I don't think he could have brought his arms up after that ninth round...If I had only lasted."—ED.
KANCHENJUNGA THE HARD WAY
I gasped for breath when George C. Band told of the loss of oxygen cylinders in the Conquest of Kanchenjunga (SI, Oct. 3) and thrilled with all hazardous ascents they made—but will you please tell this armchair mountain climber why they didn't use the obviously easier route to the left of Camp No. 1?
PAUL C. WRIGHT
•Mr. Wright's route leads to the West Summit and from there across the West Col to the highest peak. However, the route to the West Summit was barred by ice cliffs from Camp No. 1 and the West Col itself, extremely broken and difficult, was surveyed through binoculars by the climbers and found to be virtually impassable.—ED.
LET HIM READ SI
If you will permit me, I would like to take exception to a statement by Florida State University's Elgin White in Jemail's HOTBOX (SI, Oct. 10). Speaking of the sport he most enjoys promoting, Mr. White said among other things that Florida State University won the national title in gymnastics during the past year. If Mr. White would read SI faithfully, he would note in SCOREBOARD (SI, Apr. 4) that the University of Illinois Gymnastics team won the team title at the NCAA meet at Los Angeles. It may be that individual championships were won by FSU team members, but credit for team title should go to Illinois.
My enthusiastic congratulations go to SI for the fine job it is doing. Enclosed is $1 in accordance with Mr. Romney's idea for Happy Knoll membership.
•Careful Reader Ashby is right.—ED.
THE CHILDREN'S HOUR
It was with great interest that I read Jack Fleck's letter on children playing golf (19TH HOLE, Oct. 10). However it is sometimes impossible for our children to let off energy on a golf course.
Here in the city of Philadelphia we have 5 municipal golf courses, and, much to my sorrow, the following regulation appears on the back of the score card: "Children under 16 not permitted on the course." Children not only cannot play but they are not even allowed on the course as spectators of adult games.
The following suggestion would be in order at this time. Why not permit children on the courses at certain times on specified days? Thus they could learn the game and the adult golfer could either stay away at these times or take his chances with the juvenile duffers.
EARLE W. WEISS
Where, oh where, does Rex Ellsworth procure the Norwegian kelp he mixes in his rations for Swaps?
We have inquired of numerous feed brokers for several race horse men in our area who believe they want to feed kelp, too, ever since your articles on the California combination of Swaps-Ellsworth-Tenney (SI, July 18). To date our inquiries have been answered with: "Norway, I guess."
Please, can you tell us from whom Mr. Ellsworth purchases the Norwegian kelp he feeds?
•SI's article on Swaps apparently sent horse owners all over the country scurrying around for kelp, which SI described as part of the regular diet of the Ellsworth stable. Main Chance Farm, for one, went all the way to Norway for the kelp it has been giving its horses for the past two months. But Rex Ellsworth purchases his Norwegian kelp, which is a key ingredient in the home-brewed mash fed to Swaps and his stable mates, from Stephen Brown, Box 1012, La Crescenta, Calif. Mr. Brown would be happy to send Mr. Montgomery and all other interested parties his raw kelp in 101-pound bags ($15). A kelp-loaded feed mix ("NKM Derby Winner") can also be obtained from Pengrove Cooperative Milling Assn., Petaluma, Calif. Brown, a former London policeman, Canadian cowboy and man-about-race-tracks, is of the opinion that kelp can be as big a boon to California horses as a ride from Willie Shoemaker. To Brown's way of thinking, horse races are won at a point off the Norwegian coast where the Arctic and Atlantic oceans meet, which is where the Algea Products Company of Kristiansund, Norway, cuts Brown's kelp. Kelp can be cut in other places, right off the coast of California, as a matter of fact, but to Brown this is uninteresting, flavorless stuff. The versatility of kelp is great: not only have Ellsworth horses collected 41 purses in 67 starts, but kelp, says Brown, is added to chicken feed to increase the iodine content of egg yolks; it stops chinchillas from chewing each other's fur; it gives cows a glistening coat like a race horse and increases the butter content of their milk; and it is used in the manufacture of ice cream. But to Brown, the most enthusiastic booster kelp has ever had, the greatest potential beneficiary is man himself; he is currently trying to persuade the U.S.C. track team to consume a liberal kelp helping each day.—ED.
May I quote to Herman Hickman a sign in a window near the University of Michigan campus: "To Earl Blaik: Dear Earl, There is a first time for everything."
Ann Arbor, Mich.
THE FIRST MILLION
Enclosed is my dollar for the Olympic Fund and membership in Happy Knoll.
Hope you get a million members.
ARNOLD C. ARFF
•A million members would make Happy Knoll's Bob Lawton happy, and a million dollars would send our athletes to Melbourne in style. Our thanks, and that of the U.S. Olympic Fund, to Mr. Arff and the scores of other readers who have voluntarily sent SI their guest fees and requests for membership.—ED.
PORTRAIT OF A KILLER
In your October 3 FISHERMAN'S CALENDAR report, you mention the use of the Jersey version of the doodlebug which is killing striped bass and bluefish. (It works as well for stripers too!)
I have used the lure (and my wife also has used it) with considerable success so far this fall on blues at Island Beach, where the lure was first used. It is without a doubt a killer and I have lost only one bluefish on the gadget. A bluefish (probably with a Yale diploma) hit the mullet on the side when he normally would have taken the mullet tail first like any other bluefish, and been hooked.
Incidentally, the lure comes in red and white, red and yellow, and red and yellow with a green spot on top. The latter combination seems to be best but the other combinations are excellent.
You mention that the Jersey version "floats the bait above the bottom so the fish can see it better." The real purpose of the balsa-wood float is to keep the bait away from the crabs, which are abundant in the surf at this time of year. It also keeps the bait away from other obnoxious bottom-feeding scavengers.
And just by way of an afterthought I might add that I switched from the newfangled lure the other day and put a conventional balsa-wood body doodlebug on a three-foot leader, baited with a -inch strip of butterfish, and bagged several nice fluke. The rig used is generally for weak-fish. Never can tell what will strike along the Jersey shore in September or October.
New Brunswick, N.J.
•See cut for an underwater portrait by Ed Zern of Jersey Doodlebug dealing with obnoxious crab.—ED.
Other perfect Corinthians (E & D, Oct. 3) besides Lord Byron would be William K. Vanderbilt Jr. and our present Briggs Cunningham, who fill the requisites as specified by Sportsman-Publisher E. E. Schwarzkopf in 1904: "The term Corinthian is applied to a gentleman sportsman who rides or drives his own horses and who steers and handles his own yachts and automobiles, wholly for pleasure and not for profit."
Boston Corners, N.Y.