There’s a lot of stuff in the book that I’m not going to be covering, but it’s the second edition of Clyde Ormond’s “Complete Book of Hunting” (this edition is copyright 1972). I didn’t find an ISBN number on the book, but the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number is 77-169126. Hopefully that will be enough information for anyone who wants to find the book for themselves. I just have a few quotes and things with some of my own commentary and opinions.
Clothing and Equipment
-“If you don’t use an item every day, leave it home.” You should still be prepared for changes in weather and terrain though. Like even if you don’t use your rain coat every day, you might still need it.
-Fundamental gear: “clothes, personal items, camp equipment and food”
-The right kind of footwear is extremely important. That section of the book was actually very long, so if I’ve boiled it down that much then you can imagine how much I left out.
-Bring a change of clothes in case you fall into a creek (stream) or get your clothes snagged on thorns or something like that. This is even more important if you plan on being out hunting for multiple days at a time because otherwise your clothes will start to smell like you’ve been wearing them for multiple days at a time. How to thoroughly mask one’s scent when one smells like a desperate laundry basket… Actually, let’s not discuss the world of bottled urine from elk, moose, deer and so on. Furthermore, if you are going to use one of those things, you don’t want to go to sleep smelling like that.
-The author of this book recommends using a down-filled sleeping bag with “either a cotton sheet or inner liner” which you can place a folded woolen blanket inside when it’s very cold.
Equipment and Food
-Don’t take too much of the wrong kinds of food and equipment. If you don’t plan on taking an experienced hunter with you, then the least you could do is ask one for advice on what to bring before you go.
-Basic equipment: “tent, stove, lantern, axes, saw, shovel, waterproof tarp, and camp cooking and eating utensils” (bear in mind he said “axes” and not “axe”, which implies that multiple people should be sharing the chopping chores)
-Factors determining type of gear: “the number in the party, the kind of country, the season of year, and the length of the intended hunt” I’d also like to remind you all that various unforeseen circumstances can cause the hunt to last somewhat longer than you originally intended, so you should be sure to have good equipment that will be useful in these situations and which will resist wear and tear.
-The author also recommends bringing a medium-sized Dutch oven if possible. He also recommends a, “plate, cup, spoon, knife, fork, and a small bowl or dish” for everyone in the hunting party. I imagine you’d want to consider bringing a spork if you plan on cooking stew or soup while you’re out. I’ve never been hunting, but if you have a good spork wouldn’t you be able to just carry that instead of both a fork and spoon? It’s less dishes and can do the job of either utensil just as well if you have one that’s good enough.
-“Two of the best staples for an emergency are an extra bag of flour and potatoes. With these two items, and with any game in camp, a party could become snowed in or endure similar emergency for a month if necessary.” (This is starting to remind me of the stereotype section in a book about Ireland I read once.) Make sure you know how to make these meats, potatoes and flour into things you actually want to eat. Look up recipes beforehand if you feel it is necessary or if you are some sort of aspiring wilderness chef.
Mountain Sheep and Goats
-“Often the meat of wild sheep must be left overnight… The best way to protect a trophy is to turn the dressed carcass belly down over a large rock in a crevice, then pile rocks over the exposed parts. Breezes will circulate over the carcass, allowing it to cool without spoilage, and predatory birds cannot get at it.” I’d like to add the suggestion of either picking out an obvious landmark or in some way marking the environment without causing it any harm so you can find the carcass more easily later. You might consider something like leaving some rocks in a peculiar shape or pattern or tying a bright red handkerchief to a tree branch. I do not recommend tying it to a tuft of grass because it might blow away or some other misfortune could befall you (like in the fairy tale I’m going to summarize at the end of this post).
From what I gather, hunting these predators must’ve still been legal when the book was written. I’m fairly certain that has changed for at least some of these animals.
-Coyote: western predator, scavenger, despite the latter I still maintain that they threaten the lives of local chickens
-Bobcat and lynx: I once heard these described as “very big, very very angry dogs – except cats”, they used to be hunted with dogs
-Cougar: “One of the most relentless and seldom seen predators of North American wildlife is the cougar, also known as panther, mountain lion, or simply lion.” It mostly ranges west of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Central and South America, but there have been rare occasions when one is killed in a Florida swamp. These also used to be hunted with dogs.
-Jaguar: “Found in Mexico and Central America” … “The location of individual animals is usually learned from Mexican natives – often because of the cat’s depredations against stock.”
Smaller predators were not included in the author’s list because they don’t prey on big game “and often overlap into the varmint classification as well”.
Now about that fairy tale… I don’t remember all of the details, but basically a leprechaun was somehow forced to reveal the location of his pot of gold to this boy. It was under a tuft of grass in a field which the boy was unable to dig into with his hands because the earth was so hard. He wanted to go home to get a shovel, so to prevent himself from losing the location of the pot of gold, he tied a bright red handkerchief to the tuft of grass. When he came back, every tuft of grass in the field had a red handkerchief tied around it. I don’t think he ever found the gold after that.
P.S. So many Ireland references today. All we need now is for someone to start singing about Molly Malone and my afternoon will be complete. (I don’t even have any Irish blood, by the way. I’m just “fan-girling” right now. XD )