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On the Wing

See what I have here? I have all these advertisements and book pages. I save them because I like the pictures. I also like to see where they come from. Boston, New York, all those big cities that I have never visited.

I don’t need a book to tell me how to hunt; especially one written for young men. But I have nothing to say about Bumstead’s book other than it is very truthful. “Realistic” may be a better word.

No book that I have ever seen does as much for the young hunter as John Bumstead has done. He not only discusses all the basics but also maintains the enthusiasm of the potential young hunter.

He starts with the gun, moves on to ammunition and finally discusses the care and maintenance of the hunter’s equipment. Only then does he move on to the actual hunting.

He first discusses the woodcock. That was a brilliant move. Look at the engraving of the woodcock on his front cover. Was there ever a nicer looking bird that feeds on the ground? I don’t think so. And a more unique bird? Again, no.

I will allow Bumstead to tell you about the woodcock. But I cannot keep my own opinion about the woodcock to myself. For pure excitement and surprise hunting the woodcock beats them all.

Find yourself a nice stand of alders. Preferably a stand with a little moisture beneath. It does not have to be wet, just damp. Woodcocks love to hunt for worms and grubs in the moist ground. They are a lazy bird and do not wish to dig through grassy sod to get to their food. The alder patch keeps the ground moist while keeping anything else from growing beneath it. The alder patch is therefore the perfect place to hunt woodcock.

Now when you find them, well, that is another thing. You know they are there. You know they are going to pop up at any second. Yet they surprise you every time. Just about the time you think that they have migrated farther away – – – ffshhvbzzs – – – out they flush. First straight up in the air. Now that gives you a good shot. But then – – – whoosh – – – straight away they go.

BLAM! Dang, you missed another one of those little buggers.

I hope I didn’t take away from Bumstead’s description of Woodcock hunting.

John Bumstead’s book moves beyond Woodcock to discuss Partridge, Quail, Rabbits, and several other of God’s creatures. Thanks John. I wish I could have met you.

Oh yes, I must point out one more thing. John’s book is fully illustrated. This helps the young hunter to know his prey.

I should have read this when I was a kid.

Tahawas and Tomosky c

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