CALL OF THE WILD
Rover is a nice dog of nondescript origin. He may bark a bit at strangers, but he is gentle with the children and likes to ride in the car. This spring, though, the nation's Rovers have turned killer. It happens every spring and winter, too, in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington and many other deer-inhabited states. Rover owners can't believe it, but what Rover was doing in Idaho last week is a convincing case in point. Around Montpelier snow was still deep and browse short for the 800 deer and 12 elk in the surrounding country. Weak and tired, they drifted near town and when Landowner Jimmy Headley heard barking one day he knew that Rover was about his bloody spring business. Headley put in a call for Conservation Officer Lance Townley who snowshoed into Montpelier Creek. There he found a large buck trying to hold off five dogs. Townley opened fire and dropped the dogs, but he was too late. By the time he got there the buck was dead.
Townley returned to Montpelier and appealed to sportsmen for help. So far 60 dogs of every breed, many with collars and licenses, have been shot. But the deer kill goes on. More than 25 carcasses have been located near Montpelier.
That sedentary and eccentric genius of American detective fiction, Nero Wolfe, insists each spring on a starling dinner. To Wolfe, an unabashed and practiced gourmet, the little birds are an unsurpassable dish. Spring is here, there is no bag limit on starlings and, with this in mind, SI queried Mr. Wolfe for an appropriate recipe. Unfortunately he was closeted with his orchids and hence incommunicado. Rex Stout, however, who is Boswell to Archie Goodwin just as Archie is to Wolfe, is a starling man himself and gladly provided the following information for SI sportsmen: starling dinners are best enjoyed in April. Mr. Stout allows four birds to a guest and may shoot a few more than necessary as insurance against stringy oldsters or those hopelessly impregnated with shot. He feathers the birds and marinates them in red wine for 12 hours before broiling. Young, tender starlings may be ready after 25 minutes at moderate heat, but 40 minutes is average. Stout uses many sauces, but prefers an herby béarnaise laced with tarragon, fresh only (dried tarragon is too strong). He adds the tiniest dash of allspice and half a sage leaf to the basic sauce. "Flavor to taste," advises the famous author, "and deliberate a bit over whether or not half a bay leaf will add just about the right touch." To qualified female readers the genial Mr. Stout, though no Wolfe, offers a Goodwinesque suggestion: if they are between the ages of 22 and 26 and will submit a photograph for study, he will gladly consider cooking a platter of starlings for them.
THE HAY LINE
More than 18,000 Jackson Hole, Wyo. elk have been fed about 4,000 tons of hay this past winter, according to United States Fish and Wildlife Service figures. During the exceptionally severe months, reports the service, 11,600 elk were devouring 1,300 bales of hay every 24 hours.
THE SPORTING CONSCIENCE
When Texas Flying Warden Claude Keller crashed to his death while spotting illegal net fishermen along the Gulf Coast, Ken Foree, outdoors editor of the Dallas Morning News, wrote a sharp column about "these forgotten men" who risk their lives to enforce game laws, yet receive few of the benefits accorded police officers.
Foree's column prompted a woman to write him a letter challenging anyone who had shot one over the limit, gunned before or after legal hours, or permitted his chauffeur to shoot a buck for him last fall to pay the penalty by sending a contribution to the widow of Claude Keller. Foree published the letter and was deluged by phone calls.
More than $200 has been contributed so far (it helped defray funeral expenses for which the state is not liable in the case of wardens) and, like Ohio—"Test Case (Cont.)" SI, March 26—Texas is now scrambling to allow game wardens those benefits enjoyed by other law enforcement officers.
THE YOUNG TURKS
New York Conservation Department officials who have been trying to re-establish wild turkeys in the state received some encouraging news last week. A Cattaraugus County school bus driver had to stop his vehicle to let a flock of 40 hale and hearty birds cross the road.
Among recent exceptional catches: a 36-pound 4-ounce YELLOWTAIL, largest of year, taken off Coronados Islands by Ralph Luckenbach of San Diego, on bait; a 31-pound SNOOK caught on live shrimp in the Alafia River near Tampa, by Jack Glover of Tampa; a 7-pound 14-ounce LARGEMOUTH BASS, caught in Lake of the Ozarks by Harold Haun of Winchester, Ill.; an 11-pound 1-ounce LARGEMOUTH BASS caught at Bull Shoals Lake by Denver Cook of Salem, Mo.; a 9-pound 12-ounce RAINBOW TROUT caught in Knife River near Duluth, by Gerald Tessier of Duluth; a 38½-inch STEELHEAD TROUT that weighed 22 pounds dressed, caught by Jay Bowman of Tacoma, in the Skokomish River on a worm; a 9¾-pound LARGEMOUTH BASS caught in Center Hill Lake by Fred Smith of Springfield, Tenn., on a plug; a 100-pound TARPON caught at Islamorada, Fla., on 15-pound test plug-casting tackle by William Steinmetz of Chicago.