HUNTING AND FISHING IN NORTH DAKOTA
By A SATISFIED NORTH DAKOTA READER
Although this part of the Flickertail State is far from being a so-called sportsman's paradise, one can easily get the game if he has got the "get" to him. I have a very good stock of guns for the game around in these parts, and they are very satisfactory to me. My outfit consists of a 1912 Model 20 gauge Winchester Pump, a 22 cal. Rem. Repeater Hammerless, a Win. Repeater 25-20, a 22 cal. 1906 Model Win. repeater and a couple of long barreled 22 revolvers. Oh, yes, I do not wish to forget a double-barreled Ithaca, which I use very much. I have used 10, 12 and 20 gauge shotguns for a good many years, and I think that a red blooded sportsman can have more real sport by shooting with a small bore shotgun than a 20 gauge. It shows his real skill in shooting and even if one has to use a little more judgment in leading birds, it makes shooting more of a pleasure and gives greater satisfaction. The jackrabbits, which are found in these parts of North Dakota are as big as a full grown dog and when they are a little frightened they sure can "step on
-er." I am inclosing a picture of my young partner with two young jacks. If rabbits get any larger anywhere else than around here I surely would like to see them. The young ones are the best eating and therefore a Jack hunter very seldom shoots a large one, for they are tough and are likely to have boils. Last winter surely was a good one for Jacks and I killed at least 30 of them and must say that they cut down the meat bill. Trapping is also fairly good around here, including muskrats. mink, weasel, skunk, wolves, coyotes, and an occasional red or grey fox. My trapping partner made over $200.00 trapping after coming home from work at 4 o'clock. The open prairie makes it excellent shooting with my 25-20 at coyotes around here. But duck hunting is the best sport around this part of North Dakota and very few hunters come back without the limit. The numerous small lakes, sloughs, and potholes, make shooting "a la mode," although some wealthy hunters and game hogs prefer large lakes, hundreds of decoys, an artificial blind and an up-to-date soft-cushioned duck boat. I must say that I got my share of ducks and prairie chickens last fall with my 20 gauge. But, for that matter in this neighborhood, many 12 gauges are being discarded and the little old 20's are taking their place. In summer when trapping is out of season, I have fun nevertheless in shooting gophers and ground hogs. I use a 25-20 with a telescope sight. The gun is very accurate and very few of these animals get away. As I get two cents from the county and the same amount from the farmer himself for each gopher tail, I can easily make expenses, not even mentioning the fun. Now, I live a short distance from the James River and I will say that the James River contains a good variety of fish, including pickerel, perch, suckers, bullheads, carp, a few wall-eyed pike and some sunfish. The other day I got 30 pickerel in an hour and a half, but many people beat this record getting 60 to 75 in two hours. The pickerel fishing in this river cannot be excelled at any other river, this year, and I have many proofs of this. Hundreds of pickerel have been taken out every day for the last three weeks, ranging from 1 to 10 pounds. On the fifteenth of June perch fishing begins and that also is swell, as the fish get a foot long and are not kept less than six inches long. The bait, which is most successful here, is frog legs and pickerel belly is better. But of course a pickerel must be caught first for that. You cut the pickerel belly three inches long and one inch wide, most people using a bamboo pole but no cork on the line, and keeping the bait moving continuously. Many of the famous so-called fly and bait casting fishermen came here last summer with split bamboo rods and jeweled reels but they didn't show up very good, although they used all of 25 different kinds of artificial bait and flies. Some young men, who were brought up around here cut some willow poles, grabbed a frog, and showed those up-to date, silk clothed fly fishermen how to get pike and pickerel. Hurrah for the good old bamboo pole and frog legs.
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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