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Trout Time in Virginia, pages 14-15 

Volume XI 
Number 5 

Owen S. Penttingill, Jr. from National Audubon Society. 

An American bittern balks at the pliotograplier 
while shielding her young. 


A Monthly Magazine for Higher Standards of Outdoor Recreation Through Wildlife Conservation 


JOHN S. BATTLE, Governor 
Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries 

C O M M 

1 s 

S 1 



E R S 



., Ch 


Tazewell, V 


Wm. C. GLOTH, Jr., Arlington, 
T. G. HERRING, RFD, Dayton, 



. Wm.T. PUGH, 
. W. B. RAINS 

Lynchburg, Va. 
, Warsaw, Va. 
Midlothian, Va. 

I.T. QUINN, Eicculivc Director 
f O. Box 1642, Richmond, Vo. 






Dog Law 









Division Chief 

Division Chief 

Division Chief 

C. F. Phelps 

G. W. Buller 

M. W. Kesterson 







Division Chief 

Division Chief 

Miss L. B. Layne 

i. J. Shomon 

Volume XI 

MAY, 1950 

Number 5 

Jn ZJkU 3^^ue 


Editorial: Love Your Farm. 


The Appalachian Trail 


Why Boys Go Fishin' 


The Warv Warrior 



. . 13 

Trout Time in Virginia 


This Thing Called Carrying Capacity 


Audio-Visual Aids in 

Conservation Education 


Faulkland: Mecca for Wildlife 


Field Force Notes .. 


The Drumming Log 


School Page 

.. 26 

Covet Photo 

M. D. "Mac" Hart, executive secretary of the Virginia Game 
Commission, tells Marvin Paddie of Madison how the big one 

almost got away. Photo by J. J. Shomon 

VIRGINIA WIIiDLIFE irratcfully receives for consideration all news items, 
articles, photographs, sketches and other materials which deal with the use, 
management and study of Virginia's interrelated, renewable natural resources: 




Since wildlife is a beneficiary of the work done by State and Federal land-use 
agencies in Virginia, editorial policy provides for recognition of their accomplish- 
ments and solicitation of their contributions. Credit is given on material published. 
Permission to reprint is granted provided proper credit is given. 

SUBSCRIPTIONS: One Year, $1.00; two years, $1.50; three years. 
$2.00. Remittances by check or money order to be made payable to 
the Treasurer of Virginia. Local game wardens will accept subscrip- 
tions or they may be forwarded direct to Commission of Game and 
Inland Fisheries, 7 North Second Street, P. O. Box 1642, Richmond 
13, Virginia. 

Entered as second class mail matter November 10, 1947, at the Post Office at 
Richmond, Virginia, under the Act of August 24, 1912. 

J. J. Shomon — Editor 

Love 1 our r 



OVE your farm. Every farmer should not only 
1 love his work as the artist loves his work, but 
^ in this spirit, too, every farmer should love his 
farm itself as he would love a favorite horse or dog. 
He should know every rod of the ground, should 
know just what each acre is best adapted to, should 
have a joy and pride in having every hill and valley 
look its best. He should be as ashamed to have a 
field scarred with gullies as he would be to have a 
beautiful colt marked with lashes ... as much 
ashamed to have a piece of ground worn-out from 
ill treatment as to have a horse gaunt and bony 
from neglect ... as much hurt from seeing his acres 
sick from wretched management as he would be at 
seeing his cows half-starved from the same cause. 

LOVE your ground — that piece of God's 
creation which you hold in fee simple. Fatten its 
poorer parts as carefully as you would an ailing 
collie. Heal the washed, torn places in the hillside 
as you would the barb scars on your pony. Feed 
with legumes and soiling crops and fertilizers the 
gullied and barren patch that needs special atten- 
tion; nurse it back to life and beauty and fruitful- 
ness. Make a meadow of the bottom that is inclined 
to wash; watch it and care for it until the kindly 
root-masses heal every gaping wound, and in one 
unbroken mass the "tides of grass break into foam 
of flowers" upon the outer edges. Don't forget even 
the forest lands. See that every acre of woodland 
has trees enough on it to make it profitable; "a 
good stand" of the timber crop as well as every 
other crop. 

HAVE an eye to the beautiful in laying off the 
cleared fields — a tree here and there, but no 
wretched beggar's coat mixture of little patches and 
little thickets; rather broad fields, fully tended and 
of as nearly uniform fertility as possible, making of 
your growing crops, as it were, a beautiful garment, 
whole and unbroken, to clothe the fruitful acres God 
has given to you to keep and tend even as He gave 
the First Garden into the keeping of our first 

AND so again we say, love your farm. Make 
it a place of beauty, a place of joyous fruitfulness, 
an example for your neighbors, a heritage for your 
children! Make improvements on it that will last 
beyond your day. Make an ample yard about it 
with all the old-fashioned flowers that our grand- 
mothers knew, set a fair orchard near it; bearing 
many manner of fruits; lay off roads and walks 
leading to it and keep them up, plant evergreen 
hedges along the approaches, and flowering bulbs 
and shrubs — crepe myrtle and magnolia, altheas, 
and roses — so that your grandchildren will some 

day speak of their grandsire, who cared enough for 
the beautiful and loved the farm well enough to 
leave for them this abiding glory of tree and shrub 
and flower. 

NAME the farm, too; treasure up its history; 
preserve the traditions of all the romance and 
adventure and humor and pathos that are in any 
way connected with it; and if some of the young 
folks must leave it, let them look back to it with 
happy memories of beauty and worthy ideals and 
of well-ordered industry. 

LOVE your farm. If you cannot be proud of it 
now, begin today to make it a thing you can be 
proud of. Much dignity has come to you in that 
you are owner and caretaker for a part of God's 
footstool; show yourself worthy of that dignity. 
Watch earnestly over every acre. Let no day go 
by that you do not add something of comeliness and 
potential fertility to its fields. And finally, leave 
some spot beneath the shade of some giant tree 
where at last "like as a shock of corn cometh in 
his season," you can lay down your weary body, 
leaving the world a little better for your having 
lived in it, and having won the approval of the 
Great Father (who made the care of the fields and 
gardens the first task given man) : "Well done, thou 
good and faithful servant : enter into the joy of thy 

— (Extension Service News) 

Evditorial Starr Cn 


William H. Mullins, associate editor of Virginia 
Wildlife for 21 months, relinquished his post on 
March 31 to return to his native Tennessee and 
enter the insurance field with his dad. 

Bill first came to work for the Commission in 
July, 1948 and has had numerous articles and pho- 
tographs published in this magazine. His presence 
in Virginia and the familiar Mullins by-line will be 
missed by his many friends. Tennessee Bill has 
always been keenly interested in conservation and 
we hope that his experience and training here will 
serve him well in our neighboring state to the west. 

Taking over in Bill's place is Ronald T. Speers, 
our special services educational assistant. Ron is 
well qualified for his new job by virtue of his wild- 
life training and keen eye for publicity. He has done 
such a remarkable job carrying out our special 
services work in Virginia schools that we are giving 
him a chance to head up our Publicity and Publi- 
cations staff. 

Ron has already been introduced to the pages 
of this magazine and lots more will be forthcoming 
from him in the future. 


From Maine to Georgia, with 
breath-taking scenerg 

all the wag — 
that's America's famed 
Appalachian Trail 

VSCC photo. 



IT WAS A CLEAR DAY in early fall. S. K. Roller, 
artist, and Bob Touzzo, engraver, of the Natural 
Bridge Appalachian Trail Club of Lynchburg 
strolled leisurely along the level section of trail on 
Big Rocky Row on the Amherst-Rockbridge line. The 
AUeghanies were limned out across the valley of 
Virginia and the sun flashed on the waters of the 
James where the river snaked eastward to enter the 
Blue Ridge Gorge. 

Roller's nostrils twitched. He sniffed a strong 
scent that put him in mind of many summers spent 
in the Maine Woods. 

They rounded a sharp bend and there blocking 
all forward progress on the trail was the creator of 
the scent — a broad three-hundred pounds of black 

For a moment there was startled silence. Then 
each of the opposing forces wheeled and set off in a 
new direction. 

This is merely to show that the Appalachian Trail 
in Virginia provides ample opportunity for wildlife 
study as well as free courses on the beauties of nature. 

This trail in its entirety runs along the crest of 
the Appalachians from Maine to Georgia. There are 

A\AY, 1950 

a few small breaks in this long footway that necessi- 
tate detours, but they are being eliminated as quickly 
as possible. This trail is sponsored by The Appalachian 
Trail Conference, Inc. The Conference, with head- 
quarters in Washington, is made up of the various 
member Trail Clubs located near the mountains over 
which the Appalachian Trail passes. 

In Virginia, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club 
of Washington has charge of the northern section 
of the Main Trail along the Blue Ridge from the 
Potomac to Rockfish Gap at the southern end of the 
Shenandoah National Park. The middle section from 
Rockfish Gap southwest, through the George Wash- 
ington National Forest, across the James and on 
through the Thomas Jefferson National Forest to Black 
Horse Tavern Gap near Roanoke, is handled by the 
Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club of Lynchburg. 
Incidentally, the name of the club came from the old 
Natural Bridge National Forest. The Roanoke Ap- 
palachian Trail Club takes over at Black Horse Tavern 
Gap but for contrast at this point veers away from 
The Blue Ridge Parkway down to Wilson's Creek. 
This section carries on to U. S. Route 58, well south 
of Roanoke. From this point to the North Carolina 

Hemmer photo. 

line, there being no trail club, this section is generally 
under the eye of the Conference. As the Trail here 
parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway much of the distance, 
plans are being made to reroute the Main Trail to more 
interesting and unusual areas of the Thomas Jefferson 
National Forest. 

Most members of the Appalachian Trail Clubs arc 
interested in various forms of outdoor and wildlife. 
Many specialize in birds, others are interested in wild 
flowers, in geological formations. Artists are attracted 
by the everchanging colors and cloud shadows. The 
membership includes most every profession, trade or 

Some find it surprising that many hunters and 
fishermen are members of trail organizations. It is no 
surprise to us for mountain hiking trips provide a 
means of keeping sportsmen fit during the closed 
season at the same time increasing their knowledge of 
the mountains — possible areas for grouse hunting, 
the trout pools, and mental mapping of mountain 
roads, paths, and landmarks. At least some woods' lore, 
that was vitally essential to the old-time woodsmen, is 
needed now by part-time sportsmen. 

The continued improvement of the Virginia high- 
ways since 1925, the creation of the Appalachian Trail 
from around 1928, the building of the Sky Line Drive, 
and later the Blue Ridge Parkway, have provided a 
system for opening up the Blue Ridge. Thus we have 
the footways, the highways and parkways all linked 
together to provide the means for enjoying heretofore 
difficult-of-access sections of our mountains. 

The trail in Virginia parallels much of the Blue 

Ridge Parkway. Overlooks and rest 

places are many and scenic. 

Today the Appalachian Trail touches at gaps 
where two centuries ago there were very old foot- 
paths — paths of the buffaloes, taken over by the 
Indians, followed by the early hunters, trappers and 
traders. The word trail was unknown when John 
Findlay and Allen Tye trod back and forth over these 
Blue Ridge paths, in what is now Amherst, Nelson, 
Rockbridge and Augusta, some years before they are 
said to have guided Dr. Thomas Walker, Boone and 
others west of the Alleghanies. 

Before the building of the Blue Ridge Parkway, 
the Appalachian Trail in the Peaks of Otter area of 
Bedford ran where freight wagons, during the Revo- 
lution, hauled lead bars eastward to go into the shot 
towers of the young nation. 

The building of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 
central Virginia Blue Ridge swamped a good many 
sections of the Appalachian Trail. This created the 
necessity for planning a new trail through most of the 
area. The problem was whether to take the easy way 
out and just parallel the Parkway, or relocate the trail 
in areas away from this mountain autobahn. If the 
trail was constructed beside the Parkway the only 
added enjoyment to the hiker would be the exercise. 

After thorough study the Main Trail was rerouted 
over many of the higher mountains antJ, in order to 
get a more complete contrast, down beside lovely, 
hemlock-bordered mountain streams. This contrast 
provides many advantages, especially in a wide variety 
of scenery and wildlife study. In some areas the Blue 
Ridge are a broad jumble of mountains. Here the 
trail passes over terrain where you are unable to drive 
a car, yet in the gaps between the mountains there 
is usually a trail or a Forest Service feeder road that 
leads to the Parkway or a highway. Thus there are 
some parts of our mountains left where one is unable 
to hear the rumble of a motor or the braying of a 

For those interested in wildlife this plan of keep- 
ing the Main Trail at least a little distance from the 
Parkway will prove all the more efficient and useful 
when the shelter system is finally continued south from 
The Shenandoah National Park. 

These shelters are to be placed at intervals along 
the Trail, near water, but well back from any main 
highway. As everyone knows there are those among 
our public who have no respect for either public or 
private property. There will be less people willing to 
walk to enjoy a camp site, and that will in turn auto- 
matically reduce the number of people who spoil these 
places of convenience for the groups who follow them. 

These are to be the Adirondack type of shelter, 
with the roof slanting down to the back wall from 
the open front. Around 1700, in the Virginia Pied- 
mont and Blue Ridge they were known as hunting 
shacks or half-faced cabins. The original shacks used 

huge fallen tree trunks as their back walls. Modern 
shelters are sturdily constructed and will have in front 
a double fireplace — the outer for cooking and inner 
for heating. 

The Main Appalachian Trail is blazed at regular 
intervals and pointed with white paint. Metal trail 
markers are also nailed to the trees. Two blazes, one 
above the other, denote definite trail changes in direc- 
tion at forks, etc. White paint is used because even 
at night the blazes are visible. If you have ever been 
lost in the mountains you will find them a great aid. 

This can happen at night even to mountain people. 
One man refused to allow us to run the Main Trail 
across his property. Later he told us he had changed 
his mind and we could run the trail through his house 
if we wanted. He was lost in the mountains one night 
and finally stumbled on the Main Trail and followed 
the blazes until he came to familiar ground. 

It must be stated here that not all sections of our 
Main Trail in Virginia are kept in perfect condition. 
Where clubs have a relatively small membership it is 
very difficult to control the fast-growing, summer 
weeds over many miles of trail, some of which are 
not frequently used. In the areas of the National 
Forests and Parks they are generally in better shape. 
However, the government services are limited regard- 
ing appropriations that can be applied to trail 

This also explains the ten-mile gap in Main Trail 
in Nelson County between the Head of the Priest, 
down across Tye River and up to Three Ridges. The 
War came along before the CCC could rebuild this 
section in the relocation plan made necessary by the 
building of the Parkway. 

Many people otherwise interested in the moun- 
tains and outdoor life are afraid to join a trail club 
because they think they will be taken out by a bunch of 
hiking nuts who will speed up and leave them behind 

to the mercy of the bears and the rattlesnakes. In the 
first place, regular hiking trips are in charge of trip 
leaders, who set a pace suitable to everyone. There- 
fore, walkathons do not materialize. Trail club mem- 
bers who want to set speed records can go out any 
time they desire on their own trips. This also applies 
to those people who do not like to hike in larger 

Most people like to hike at a reasonable cruising 
speed as they are interested in watching the color 
changes, the light and shadow, and the continuous 
shifting of the mountain views. They like to stop and 
examine, for instance, the slave-built, dry-rock walls 
that curl up over Cold and Tarjacket Mountains of 
Amherst County, and again on Humpback Mountain 
in the Augusta-Nelson Area. The walls vie in interest 
with the unusually fine views from these mountains. 

Then too, while you stand enjoying the blazing 
loveliness of the rhododendron on Apple Orchard 
Mountain in Bedford-Rockbridge the bird scout reports 
he has discovered juncos nesting in the rocks nearby. 
Soon several hikers are quietly watching the rather 
rare sight of the fearless mother snowbird on her nest 
in a rock niche while a big, tough looking guy talks 
baby talk to her. 

The hunter notes with pleasure a mother grouse 
and her young as he emerges from a bit of virgin 
forest into an old abandoned field. The fisherman 
sees many springs bubbling up through the black 
earth between the roots of ancient hemlocks, wanders 
down a little way to where the waters gradually merge 
into one stream and dash over the lip of this head- 
water cove. He is already estimating how far down it 
is to where the pools are large enough for trout. Here 
and there trillium carpet the forest floor, or yellow 
ladyslippers nod beside the trail. 

No, you cannot see, feel and enjoy all of this and 
gallop over a mountain trail. 

Typical open shelter for 
hikers on the Appala- 
chian Trail in Virginia. 
This one is in the Shen- 
andoah National Park, 
and can accommodate a 
party of hikers. 

National Park Service photo 


Why Boys Go Fishin' 


What is it that impels the barefoot 

youngster to seek the quiet solitude 

of a mountain brook or pool? What makes 
him hungry for the open road? 

(This article is reprinted with permission from the ROTARIAN) 

Dementi Studio. 


IBilili imIi 

WHEN I WAS a child, Father, yielding to my 
importunities, took me trout fishing one day, with 

the result that the virus got into my blood. From 
that day on, every mountain brook has had its fascina- 
tion for me. 

Every likely pool beneath rock, log, or overhang- 
ing bank has been a challenge and I have yet to see 
a more thrilling sight than that of a trembling, bend- 
ing rod and glistening trout as it emerges from its 
cold, dark lair, dances aloft for a moment in the 
sunlight, and then falls upon rock or bank my captive. 

I have yet to see any more beautiful living creature 
than a brook trout. Note the perfect symmetry of 
outline and the delicacy and variety of its colors. Its 
mottled back varies in accordance with the color of 
the bottom of the stream and the water in which he 
has made his home; the darker his surroundings, the 
darker he is and therefore less easily seen by his 

Trout-fishing boys and men admire the rich red 
of the belly fins, but far exceeding all in beauty is the 
delicate coloration of the flanks of the creature with its 
crimson spots encircled with rings of azure blue. No 
artist, painting on Dresden china, could equal the 
shading of the multicolored sides of this creature of 
the cold sparkling streams of the New England 

When I called at the public library one day to 
ask for books on fishing, the librarian surprised me by 
asking, "Which do you want, philosophical or prac- 
tical?" The question amused me so that at first I 
laughed outright, but eventually when I had thought 
the matter through, I answered, "I expect the book I 
am looking for is what you would designate as 

I had figured it out right. The practical fisherman 
is one who is interested primarily in "the kill." To the 
philosophical fisherman, the catch is only a part of the 
story, a very small part likely. He is interested in the 
great outdoors; he places first the opportunity to com- 
mune with Nature and to partake of its healing power. 
He can follow a stream or sit in a boat, as the case 
may be, without the slightest sense of loneliness; he 
is the philosophical fisherman. 


Izaak Walton was one. He taught the rehgion of 
the outdoors and did more to popularize fishing than 
any other man in history. What delightful vistas of 
thought he opened up to the delectation of his own 
generation and generations yet to come. Professor 
Henry Drummond was a philosophical fisherman. Oh, 
yes, in a humble way, that's the kind of fisherman I 
have been. 

The brook trout are not only the most beautiful 
of creatures, they are the most shy and intelligent of 
fish. Men love to match wits with them, and a 
sophisticated brook trout wins against all except the 
most experienced. 

In the business of outwitting brook trout when 
I was a boy back in Vermont, long-bearded Ed Sabin, 
the tinner, and "Peg-leg" Pratt, the coffin maker, knew 
no superiors. They were individualists pure and simple 
and while their technique varied greatly, the results 
were the same — they caught the trout. Ed placed his 
catch in a creel, while "Peg-leg" would cut a crotched 
stick from the underbrush, cutting one side close to 
the crotch and leaving the other side long enough to 
accommodate the expected catch when strung through 
their gills. "Peg-leg" ordinarily was slow in his move- 
ments, but his return from Roaring Brook was always 
a march of triumph; his head was held high and his 
peg leg played a staccato tattoo on the board walks 
of the village. As a rejuvenator, trout fishing takes 
high rank. 

As was the case with berrypicking, my fishing 
excursions began before the light of day. What 
mysticism there was in those early morning hours; 
all the world was mine. Even Grandfather, early riser 
though he was, had not thought of stirring. I used to 
make my way quietly down the cellar stairs to the 
swinging shelf, on which I would generally find a 
platter of brook trout, the result of a previous day's 

fishing. They had been rolled in corn meal and fried 
in butter and even though they were cold, they con- 
stituted a fine breakfast. 

Then I would take the chunk of dried beef which 
always hung in the cellarway and from it cut several 
sizable slices, my only provision for lunch. I abhorred 
impeciiments and early discovered that a tiny package 
of dried beef, washed down by cold water from the 
brook, supplied the necessary nourishment. 

I'm a merry mountain broo\ 
Hiding in some shady noo\ 
Babbling, laughing all day long 
Running, dancing with a song. 

I'm as free as winds that blow 
Little care I where I go 
Only let me have a run 
Splashing, tumbling all in fun. 

An obstruction in my path 
Simply makes me swirl and laugh 
Nothing stops me as I flow 
Over roc\s to pools below. 


Child's Brook was my favorite; its source was a 
spring well up in the hills at the foot of While Rocks. 
The water near the spring, being protected from the 
summer sun by huge boulders, trees, and bushes, 
remained frozen the year round and was locally known 
as the "ice bed." Within half a mile of the "ice bed," 
I could begin fishing the icy water of Cli^ld's Brook. 
Creeping through the undergrowth in the wooded 
stretches and through the long grass bordering the 
brook in the pastureland, I would let my bait float 
down into promising holes. 

(Continued on page 23) 

Every likely pool be- 
neath rock, log, or over- 
hanging bank may har- 
bor the wily trout — the 
prize game fish of all 
fishermen, be he a bare- 
foot boy with an alder 
stick, or a modern 
Waltonian with an 
expensive rod. 

.^•^y . . •'^ 

VSCC photo 

MAY, 1950 

'A thrust of sharp spurs caught the old Gobbler in his exposed breast . . ." 




fled his bronze 
feathers, dragged his 
chestnut colored 
wings, and spread 
his broad fanUke tail 
as he regally prom- 
enaded. Deep throat- 
ed gobbles called his 
mates to the early 
morning trysts. 
Spring and the mat- 
ing season made the 
old gobbler quite 

pleased with the world. The sun glistened on the dew 
and fascinated the Warrior. Attracted by these color- 
ful jewels, he would pause after each call to peck at 
a dew drop. Like a crystal ball, each drop seemed to 
reflect deeds of his past. Perhaps the Warrior was 
remembering the days of his poulthood, or perhaps 
the struggles of his wild existence passed in review 
before his eyes. 

Let us look into these crystal-like dewdrops with 
the Wary Warrior as he unfolds his life's story: 

In early Spring, several years ago, a turkey hen 
carefully laid twelve eggs in a secluded nest in the 
forest. Each egg had been fertilized by the hen's daily 
contact with a handsome gobbler. This hen was my 
mother. The gobbler, whom I never saw, was my 

The nest had been wisely placed under the 
branches of a fallen tree. Here my brothers, sisters, 
and I hatched out of the eggs and dried our damp, 
downy feathers. During rainy days we remained under 
mother's wings, sheltered from damp and cold. It 
wasn't until our downy feathers were replaced with 
pin feathers that we were permitted to venture forth 
into the early morning dew. 

For the first four weeks we followed mother very 
carefully and would "freeze" into the surrounding 
vegetation at a moment's warning. Mother was quite 
expert at leading enemies away from us. Once when 
a gray fox crept stealthily into the clearing, mother's 
warning hid us completely in clumps of hay-scented 
ferns. Then feigning a broken wing, mother clucked 
frantically and dragged her left 
wing as though she couldn't ^ 

fly. Thus she led the fox away 
from our hiding place. When 
the fox thought he had almost 
caught his crippled victim, she 
her way into the air. 

When we were four weeks 
old we could fly a little and left 
the ground to roost in trees at 
night. Mother had a time get- 
ting her brood of twelve under 

MAY, 1950 

The Wary Warrior 


The Warrior was aware that his 
opponent knew turkey philosophy: 

"he who fights and runs away, will 
live to fight another day." 


her wings. Many of 
us fell off our perch, 
fighting to get next 
to mother's warm 
protection. Soon two 
mishaps reduced our 
number. One night 
one of my brothers 
fell from the roost 
into the waiting jaws 
of a large red fox 
and was soon eaten. 
We all made quite a 
fuss over this, but 
could do little else. 
Later, two of my sisters fell into an old well near an 
abandoned farm house and disappeared forever. 
Mother reared the rest, schooling us to be always alert 
to danger, quick to take wing when she gave the 

Our diet was by choice quite varied, and we found 
abundant food during the summer and fall. We ate 
various insects, seeds and plants and grasses, centipedes, 
bulbs, buds, leaves, fruits, spiders, grapes, snails and 
berries. In the winter months we concentrated more 
on buds, acorns, beechnuts, and seeds of shrubs and 
trees, such as dogwoods, gums and poplars. Even 
hickory nuts were eaten, although we found it neces- 
sary to get a crop full of fresh gravel before grinding 
these tough nuts. 

Mother was very clean in her habits. She made 
us dust ourselves frequently. This was necessary to 
keep down lice and to clean from skin and feathers 
various alien matter that accumulated due to our active 

In January mother decided that we were old 
enough to take care of ourselves and left us. My 
brothers and I stayed together that spring but gradu- 
ally separated until, by summer, each was going his 
own way. 

When I was three years old and quite proud of 
my bronze body feathers, fan-like tail and six-inch 
beard, I earned the name of the Wary Warrior. 
Strutting and gobbling to attract the fairer sex, I 
was walking stately along the edge of a clearing when 
I noticed a large Tom strutting along the far side of 
the field. Apparently I was intruding on this fellow's 
domain. Making a pretense of not noticing the other 

gobbler, I slowly walked into 
the shadowy woods nearby. 
. >.- Then I quickly ran to the edge 

of the field where the would- 
be-king was puffing, blowing, 
and pompously gobbling his 
rnating call. I made a quick 
attack. It was soon all over for 
that old turkey. A thrust of 
sharp spurs caught the old 
gobbler in his exposed breast. 


and the force of the charge knocked him off his feet. 
My flashing spurs sank deeply into the old fellow's 
unprotected side. Repulsing his efforts, I continued to 
strike with telling blows until he ran from the field. 
No doubt he used the wise turkey philosophy that, 
"He who fights and runs away, will live to fight 
another day." 

The defeat of this old warrior gave me complete 
charge of his domain. Five beautiful members of his 
harem now belonged to me. Each morning at the 
break of day I took a stroll about the clearing in the 
woods, and one by one the hens would answer my 
calls. After a short interlude with me, the hens would 
quietly slip back to their nests in the woods. The 
business of egg laying and raising the family was 
theirs, not mine. 

Later that summer I became friendly with two 
other family gobblers about my age. One was known 
as Redface, and the other Bluebeard. Bluebeard had 
an unusually long beard of a bluish 
tinge. When frightened, Blue- 
beard's head would turn a purplish 
blue and his beard would bristle 
straight out. 

One night the three of us were 
roosting in our favorite white pine 
tree and were sleeping comfortably 
when I heard a scream. When I 
awoke, Bluebeard was on the 
ground valiantly fighting off a 
large great-horned owl. A flash of 
feathers and a click of the owl's 
beak, and Bluebeard was .dead. 
Back to the roost came the owl, 
and before Redface could move, the 
owl struck him a paralyzing blow 
that knocked him to the ground. Again the owl 
attacked his prey, but I didn't wait to see any more. 
Blindly beating my way into the night, I winged away 
through the trees. The next morning, getting up 
courage, I returned to the scene of the attack and found 
the bodies of my friends. The owl had eaten a little out 
of the throats of both and then continued his night 
foray. A sadistic, cold-blooded killer, he killed more 
to satisfy a blood lust than to appease his hunger. 

Safety meant more to me than love of my com- 
munity, so that day I traveled many miles from my 
favorite habitat on the headwaters of the St. Mary's 
River. Crossing the divide, I took up a new residence 
in a wildlife management unit deep in the national 
forest. Here the Resident Wildlife Manager was doing 
a good job of providing protection for wildlife. He 
was improving game habitat and cover, as well as 
planting vegetation that would provide food. The loss 
of the chestnut, due to the deadly chestnut blight, has 
affected our food to some extent and the grasses and 
shrubs being planted by the wildlife manager will be 


of great help. These include the wild raisin, Asiatic 
chestnut and hawthorn, as well as clumps of conifers 
for roosting and protection. 

Clearings being made to provide grassy openings 
in the forest soon have numerous insects which, of 
course, are enjoyed. The low-growing herbaceous 
cover on these areas dries off quickly following rains, 
and many enjoyable hours are spent here while the 
adjoining forest is drying. 

The following April found me very nicely settled 
in my new home. I roosted in a pitch pine tree with 
dense branches that gave protection from evil birds of 
prey. My daily route of travel was a fairly safe one 
and rich in food. The clearings in the forest were 
abuntlant with grass seeds and insects. The woods still 
had nuts and acorns, and I filled my crop with these. 
I was even fortunate enough to attract another group 
of hens to my domain. Two of these had been released 
from a wild turkey propagation farm and were slow in 
acquiring the ways of the wild. 
However, I am sure our offspring 
will be quite able to forage for 
themselves. It takes a lot of wild 
blood to nourish the keen instincts 
so necessary if a turkey is to survive 
the rugged life of the forest. Even 
some of the wariest of birds get it 
in the neck, so to speak. 

It took me a little time to get 
wise to these new-fangled turkey 
calls hunters use. I am ashamed to 
admit it, but if one of those propa- 
gated gobblers hadn't beat me to 
the call of a hunter last fall, I 
would have left the woods hanging 
over that hunter's shoulder. Fortunately, my wary 
nature made me slip up behind the spot from which 
the call came and this slipping-around maneuver 
saved my life. The hunter had taken a stand in a 
clump of pines, and his call sounded like a real 
turkey's call. The hatchery-reared gobbler dashed out 
into the opening, uninhibited by any ideas of caution. 
The roar of the gun and the flutter of the gobbler *s 
wings broke the stillness of the glade, and stealthily 
keeping tree trunks between the hunter and myself, I 
left that place. I am a wiser bird now, and the calls 
invented by humans go unanswered. 

Such is life. We live and learn. Usually a turkey 
is allowed but one mistake and that's his last. Our 
numbers are increasing here in Virginia. The aid 
given to us by the Game and Inland Fisheries Com- 
mission and local sportsmen is greatly appreciated. 

One trouble that is not fully eliminated is the 
damage done to our nests, eggs, and young, by devas- 
tating forest fires. A wise turkey-management program 
must take into account the prevention of forest fires, 
especially in the spring of the year when the damage 
to our race is so severe. I ask your help because only 
you folks can prevent forest fires. 


J— V. 


Late Wildlife News ... At A Glance ^ 

THE SUCCESSFUL OPENING of Virginia's trout season can be attributed in a large measure to the unceasing 
efforts of the game wardens in the trout stream areas. All-night patrols were set up and maintained on 
the streams just liefore opening day, in order to prevent any jumping of the gun by unscrupulous anglers 
eager to take advantage of the well stocked streams. 

Out of state fishermen were not as mucli in evidence on opening day this year. Apparently the abolish- 
ment by the General Assembly of the old two-day one-dollar nonresident license and substitution of the 
$10 nonresident season license had some effect in cutting down the early season pressure from the out of 
state anglers. 

THE COMMISSION of Game and Inland Fisheries is much concerned over the estalilished custom of the people 
of making a field day of the opening of the trout season every year and catching out a large percentao^e 
of the recently-stocked hatchery trout before these fish have a chance to become acclimated. Efforts are 
being made to work out some equitable system whereby what is in reality a marvelous trout program 
can be kept from being so greatly nullified by the heavy catches with natural baits in the first few days 
of the open season. 

Forty-one of 71 bills in the last General Assembly affecting the operations of this Commission were enacted 
into law. Fortunately, none of these measures affect wildlife adversely to any great extent, but they com- 
plicate administration. Of the 41 bills passed, 35 were of local application and six were general. 
The 41 new pieces of legislation may. be broken down as follows: 

3 affected certain licenses, 1 of which was local and 2 general. 

5 pertained to squirrel seasons in 33 counties, all of which were local in application. 

Of 8 miscellaneous acts, 5 were of local application and 3 general. 

Of 11 bills relating to fishing, all were local in application. 

Of 6 l)ills relating to hunting, all were local. 

Of 7 acts pertaining to dogs, 6 were local and 1 general. 

One trapping measure was local in application. 

All of these measures have to be written into the hunting and fishing, the trapping and the do"^ regula- 
tions, adding complications to an already complex system of rules for the sportsman. 

THE GREATEST PLANTING program for game in the history of the State is in progress this sprint. The 
number of plants of the perennials will double and the amounts of seeds of the annuals will be oreatlv 
increased over the supplies furnished free by the Commission last year. These plants and seeds are «o\\\a 
to all sections of the State and to large numbers of individuals in each subdivision. 

Not only is the Commission furnishing these and other materials free, but expert technical advice and 
assistance is being given in seeing that maximum results may be obtained. The plantings which are bein^ 
made for game are of material assistance in the program of the Soil Conservation Districts in their efforts 
to prevent soil erosion and these two land-use agencies are working in closest cooperation. 

THE OUTLOOK for Congressional passage of the Dingell Bill, HR 6533, to allot the excise taxes on fishino 
equipment to fish restoration work appears more promising, now that Treasury Secretary John Snyder has 
indicated that his department will no longer oppose the move. Administration approval of the bill was 
indicated by this about-face on the part of the Treasiuy Department. 

The bill still has a long way to go, however. Action on the floor of the House, the Senate Committee and 
in the Senate itself must still be gone through before the nation's fishermen enjoy the type of aid that the 
Pittman-Robertson Act provides for hunters. 

ALBERT DAY, Chief of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a hearing before the Senate Sub-committee on 
Expenditures stated that over 8,000,000 ducks were killed illegally last season. The committee was told 
that only 71 federal wardens are employed to protect the nation's migratory birds, and if the illeoal kill 
is to be stopped, finids must be forthcoming to enable the Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain at least 
160 wardens. 

MAY, 1950 ,13 

Legal size trout are seined from the hatchery pool for 

stocking in Virginia's mountain waters; most 

of these are two-year-olds. 

Tank truck crews and hatchery workers load the 
wriggling trout for the trip to the stream. 



(Photos by Kesieloo, ^ 


« . •>:• 


No real fisherman needs a caption for this picture. 
and the big smile on the face of the fisherms 

it's opening da v.! 

Fish by the washtub full! Man size trout on their way 
to battle Virginia's fishermen. 

All streams aren't as easily stocked as this one! ' 
Sometimes miles of hiking are necessary to I 
put the fish in the right water. 




knomon, and Flournoy) 

Trout water anywhere I Tve Kiver, \\hite Top Laurel, 

or Calf Pasture in western Virginia; white water 

and still pools are trout habitat. 

B)ent rod, the outstretched net, the hghting rainbow 
! their own story. Just for the record, however, 
^hitetop Laurel. 

Clean your fish when you catch them. There's less chance 
of spoilage and loss of flavor. 

End of the line! Fish go into a Blue Ridge stream 

that will draw its quota of anglers throughout 

the long trout season. 

Opening day catch on one of Virginia's trout streams. 

Twelve beauties to delight the heart of any fisherman. 

Smaller ones are brooks, the larger, rainbows. 


This Thing Called carrying copadfy 


^^'J. ^, 

^-aaiSjiifer- - 

The ancients had a word for it: 

**one hill will not carry two tigers,'' 

WE HEAR A LOT OF TALK nowadays about the 
productivity of the land, what it will or will not 
grow or support. Farmers like to speak of their 
pastures as being able to support so much beef or so 
many head of sheep. Wildlife experts, too, like to 
think in similar terms, because they realize that 
basically it is what we do with the land that affects 
wildlife. In recent years the term carrying capacity 
has been used frequently and it will not harm any 
of us to look into this term, and its meaning, a little 
more closely. 

Every landowner knows that each piece of land 
he has will support just so much animal life, be it 
white-faced cattle, or goats. This is what he means by 
"carrying capacity." This capacity of an area to sup- 
port animals, be they domestic or wild, is not a static 
thing. For example, the carrying capacity of a field 
of clover changes with each grazing. Similarly we can 
see how the carrying capacity for quail can be reduced 
on a farm by the plowing under of a soybean field. 

Wildlife experts feel that a full understanding of 
this term is important because it is a natural principle 
of good land use. 

The ancient people had a good definition for 
carrying capacity: ". . . one hill will not carry two 
tigers." This is as true today as ever before. Every 
field, every range, every piece of woods has a limit 
to what it will support in certain forms of animal life. 
Just as the farmer is well aware that his green fields 
will graze so many cattle, so the poultryman is aware 
that his domestic geese need so much grass land upon 
which to graze. 

The landowner who wants more quail on his land 
or rabbits around his premises would do well to look 
into the carrying capacity of his land for wildlife 
before he begins worrying how to "get more game to 
the acre." His carrying capacity may be fine during 
summer and fall months, but unless he has land that 
can support game during critical winter months also, 
there won't be much point in striving for higher 

Many people who are wildlife conscious and who 
understand something of wildlife abundance are not 
clear on two very basic properties of game population. 
One is carrying capacity, and the other, a more tech- 
nical term, is saturation point. The latter means that 

Farmers know a given piece of land supports only so much animal life — be it domestic, stock or wildlife. 






-. i 


-,, -^ -n 

There is no magic formula for wildlife abundance. However if we :K(|iiiie a practical knowledge of 
land management we should be in a better position to appreciate what the land will do for us. 

in most species, there is a population limit beyond 
which mature wildlife of that particular species, even 
under the most favorable environmental conditions, 
will not increase, provided conditions are uniform over 
a wide area. 

Not every form of wildlife is known to have a 
saturation point. Most biologists seem to agree that 
the quail has, and that it is one quail to the acre. 
Rabbits seem to have it, and hold to about 3 to 4 
per acre. Our deer may have it also, around one to 
12.5 acres, but the problem here is mostly the carry- 
ing capacity of the range. 

How frequently have you heard the expression 
"they've eaten themselves out of house and home." 
What actually happens in such cases is that the deer 
have outstripped their food supply, outstripped the 
carrying capacity of the land. And when this happens 
there is trouble. Today many states are experiencing 
difficulties with deer where the populations have been 
allowed to get too large — too many deer and not 
enough food. The result: starvation, undernourish- 
ment, poor development. 

The big lesson to be learned from what has hap- 
pened in the past is that we should not permit our 
wildlife to over-run the carrying capacity of the land, 
and that the land we manage be made to produce 
more abundantly for wildlife, especially during critical 
periods of the year. 

There is no magic formula for wildlife abundance. 
The problems are too complex. Yet if we can acquire 
a practical knowledge of land-management methods 
we should be in a better position to appreciate what 
the land will do. 

AAAY, 1950 

One of the best explanations of carrying capacity 
was given by the noted biologist, Errington, who drew 
an analogy of winter carrying capacity of quail to 
chickens in a henhouse. Said he: 

"Winter carrying capacity of quail environment 
may be crudely compared to the capacity of a farm 
chicken coop. A chicken coop has room for only about 
so many birds, and if a poultryman has more chickens 
than his coop can accommodate, obviously he cannot 
get them all in. If the extra chickens leave the premises 
and find security in some other poultryman's coop, 
which doesn't happen to be filled up, it may make 
little difference to them. In the event of visits by 
predators, the chickens exposed outside will suffer, not 
the ones secure in coops. Depredations may continue 
until all of the chickens outside of the coops have 
been killed or driven away; those properly housed, 
however, will still be reasonably safe. 

"To be sure, a quail wintering territory has not 
as sharply defined boundaries as a chicken coop, but 
the analogy is not far fetched. A quail covey range 
or territory has a combination of food resources and 
escape cover suitable for an approximately constant 
number of birds. As chicken coops are built in differ- 
ent sizes, so covey territories occur with different carry- 
ing capacities. . . ." 

Errington then goes on to say, that carrying 
capacity in its simplest form may denote the upper 
limit of survival which is possible in a given covey 
territory as it exists under the most favorable condi- 
tions. Carrying capacity, he says finally, appears to be 
relatively constant from year to year for a specific 
territory or group of territories, but not the same for 
all territories or groups of territories. 


Audio- Visual Aids in Conservation Education 


Associate Professor of Education, Longwood College. 



(Photos by Kesteloo) 

rHOSE OF US INTERESTED in Virginia wild- 
life do not require proof of the great need for 
conservation. We have had that need demon- 
strated over and over as we tramp the woods and the 
fields, wade the streams, or cross the rivers. Look at 
that muddy water; no good for fishing. Oysters too 
high to eat? Yes, we have polluted rivers and too 
much silting. No birds? No, they have no cover. 
No deer or even rabbits? No, we have burned out 
forests and eroded fields. There is an ever present 
problem of maintaining adequate food supply, breed- 
ing place, natural range or cover, satisfactory water 
and protection from predators for our wild game and 

The problem involves much more than the trans- 
planting of game to depleted territory. It involves good 
farming with conservation of the soil, rotation of crops, 
care of wood lots and forests, good land use and 
management of live stock. It involves water control 
measures on areas larger than the individual farm, and 

such things as dams, meadow strips, terracing, con- 
touring, cover crops and farm ponds. It involves 
industrial wastes and city sewage which sometimes 
pollute our streams and rivers. It involves the direct 
protection of game from over hunting, extremes in 
weather, and predatory animals which may develop all 
out of proportion to their need in a balanced program 
of conservation. It involves forest fires, reforestation, 
fire wardens, game wardens, all kinds of governmental 
regulations. Certainly not least among all the things 
involved is education. 

We depend a lot on education and have an implicit 
faith in its ability to help us solve our problems. How 
else can we get at the total picture of a problem so 
large as the one under consideration? It takes years 
of study and experience in a wide variety of areas to 
see and understand the implications and the relation- 
ships existing between the various factors mentioned 
above. We still are not fully conscious of all the real 
problems, and certainly are still divided as to the best 

Many graphic materials 
including charts, graphs, 
maps and cartoons, are 
used to illustrate the pro- 
gressive steps in land 
use or the status of our 
natural resources in 
relationship to human 
need and interests. 



The most recent developments in the use of Audio- 
Visual materials for teaching conservation are found 
in the use of motion pictures and film strips or slides. 

solutions of the problems of which we are conscious. 
The public school is not our only educational agency. 
As a matter of fact, it has learned much from the 
motion picture industry, radio broadcasting, news- 
papers, civic clubs, churches, and various governmental 
agencies such as the Virginia Commission of Game 
and Inland Fisheries. 

One of the important techniques of education 
which is rapidly developing in the program of our 
schools, as well as in that of other educational agencies, 
is the use of audio-visual materials and equipment. 
We have found that all learning does not come from 
a book. As a matter of fact, all we get from a book 
must be based on more concrete experiences we have 
had with actual objects or events. We have many 
text books on conservation and many text books that 
deal with some phase of conservation. We once heard 
a teacher read a very fine description of erosion to a 
small town high school class. It was dry stuff to those 
youngsters who had little actual experience with 
erosion, its causes and results. Just out the window 
there was an open field which was badly eroded. Just 
looking out the window, in this case, could have 
greatly increased an understanding of the significance 
of what was read. A short walk out of town would 
have shown many more extensive examples of erosion. 

One of the most useful aids the school uses in 
teaching conservation is the field trip. In most sections 
of our state a class doesn't have to go far to see what 
constitutes good cover for wildlife, how it is estab- 
lished and maintained, and how it is related to agri- 
cultural, social and economic problems. The field trip 
is a self evident aid to learning which is being used 
to considerable advantage in teaching conservation. 
There are other aids which are less well known but 
none the less effective in dealing with the many factors 
related to conservation. Objects and models and pre- 
pared dis{)lays have been found useful. Paper pulp 
relief maps and sand tables are used to illustrate con- 
touring, terracing, fire control, water control, forest 
management, etc. Models of fire towers, conservation 

MAY, 1950 


A good school library well-stocked with niaga/>ines, 

periodicals, books, etc., is a big help to the school 

pupil in grasping conservation fundamentals. 

equipment, wildlife, and built up dioramas depicting 
scenes as they occur in nature, when constructed by 
students, stimulate a great deal of research which leads 
to greater understanding of significant relationships. 

Many graphic materials including charts, graphs, 
maps and cartoons are used to illustrate the progressive 
or regressive steps in land use or the status of our 
natural resources, in relationship to human need and 
interests. These help the children see at a glance things 
which would take many pages to describe or many dry 
statistics to demonstrate. 

Many pictures are now used in our classrooms to 
help make more real and meaningful the problem of 
conservation. There are commercial sets of pictures 
available, as well as pictures from magazines anu j. ho- 
tographs which may be taken by students or borrowed 
from others. These pictures are used effectively lo 
show contrasts and comparisons of large conservation 
projects which could not well be shown on a field trip 
or seen in nature at the same time. 

The most recent developments in the use of Audio- 
Visual materials for teaching conservation are found 
in the use of motion pictures and film strips or slides. 
Film strips and 2x2 film slides, both in black and 
white and in color, are available in large numbers. 
Many are commercially made and sold to educational 
institutions. Well over half of the school divisions in 
Virginia have a library of film strips or slides for use 
in their schools. Many of these deal with conservation. 
An example of some of the more recent productions 
of this nature is the series of four film strips in full 
color by the Popular Science Publishing Company. The 
title "Conservation is Everybody's Business," indicates 
the nature of the content. They deal with the con- 
servation of soil, forests, and water as related to the 
conservation of our most important natural resource, 
people. Then there are many sets of film slides pro- 
duced by the agriculture colleges and other govern- 
mental agencies which are available for school use on 

The sounci motion picture in color is perhaps the 


most impressive of the materials used in teaching 
conservation. Several such films have been produced 
by the Film Production Service in the State Department 
of Education. These films, such as "The Oyster and 
Virginia," are available to the public schools of Vir- 
ginia through the Bureau of Teaching Materials and 
the Regional film libraries. An example of recent 
commercially produced films in color is the LIVING 
EARTH series, dealing with ARTERIES OF LIFE, 
THIS VITAL EARTH, distributed by Encyclopedia 
Britannica Films Incorporated. There are many other 
conservation films in black and white, a recent example 
being the United States Department of Agriculture soil 
conservation series, TOPSOIL, WATER, EROSION 
and SOIL, and WATER. There are listed in the state 
catalogue, "Educational Motion Pictures for Virginia 
Public Schools," nearly two hundred films on conser- 
vation. They deal with eight areas of conservation, 
Man's Relationship to His Resources, Man's Use of 
Land, Man's Use of Water, Man's Use of Forests, 
Man's Use of Minerals, Man's Use of Recreational 

Areas, Man's Relation to Wildlife, and Man's Use of 
Salt Water Fisheries. These films are booked heavily 
by the public schools, with many requests which can- 
not be filled. This alone indicates the effectiveness of 
using motion pictures to teach conservation. The 
motion picture is particularly effective in developing 
proper attitudes which lead to effective action in 
conservation practices. 

For those of us interested in wildlife conservation, 
this is a hopeful sign. We are beginning to under- 
stand more clearly the relationship between wildlife 
conservation and other kinds of conservation. We have 
devised new techniques and developed new materials 
of teaching, so that even our youth are becoming 
conscious of these conservation problems. The use of 
these new techniques and materials does more than 
transmit the knowledge that has accumulated. It also 
develops the attitudes that should accompany the 
knowledge, which in turn stimulates action. We have 
every reason to believe that the effective use of Audio- 
Visual materials in schools will help us more quickly 
solve some of our pressing problems in conservation. 


Webb Midyette, Supervising Game Warden, 
recently told us of an incident which typifies principles 
of true sportsmanship. 

Three men, Judge Burnett Miller, Jr. of Culpeper, 
Stuart Robertson, former Commonwealth's Attorney of 
Orange County, and Judge Plunkett Bierne, Trial 
Justice of Orange County came to an agreement at the 
beginning of the past hunting season. They agreed that 
on the last bird hunt of the year when their dogs made 
the final stand of the day no one would fire a shot. 

On January 20, the three sportsmen went on their 
last hunt of the season. I'lieir dogs hunted hard but 
very few quail were found all day. By late afternoon 
the men had only a meager number of birds and their 
dogs were becoming discouraged from finding so little 

Everyone's morale rose, however, when the dogs 
produced a nice covey. The birds burst from cover 
and winged into the sunset. The hunters' bags were 
still far short of the limit as the singles dropped out of 
sight in some tall grass about 300 yards away — just 
right for singles shooting. But the sun had already 
disappeared from sight. There were only a few more 

minutes of shooting time left, then quail hunting would 
be over 'til next year. 

The dogs, their spirits revived by the covey find, 
whipped the grass in search of the singles. At last there 
would be shooting to make up for the rest of the day. 
One dog flashed into a stylish point and tensely awaited 
the kill. Two of the hunters. Miller and Roljertson, 
stepped in for the flush. Plunkett moved to the side, 
his camera focused on the scene. 

The next instant a quail burst from under foot. 
The dog stood taut, waiting for guns to boom and 
bring the bird down. But Miller and Robertson didn't 
raise their guns. This was the last bird of the season 
and the agreement was being kept. Judge Plunkett's 
camera recorded the action. 

The dog was greatly disappointed, but not so with 
the sportsmen. They had enjoyed a season of sport 
and companionship in the outdoors. One or several 
more birds in the day's bag meant little to them.. But 
the execution of that pact gave them a deep satis- 
faction — one that would remind them of good principles 
of sportsmanship in future hunting seasons. 



American Museum Natural History photo. 

Deer are plentiful at Faulkland and keep increasing. 

FAULKLAND: Mecca for Wildlife 


THE PHILOSOPHERS and t.achers of ethics tell 
us that man naturally, throu!.'li normal behavior 
and action, chooses the greatest a: ount of pleasure 
over pain. Now this is very true, but we don't have 
to become educated with the philosophers to realize 
that in life the best actions are those of pleasure and 
happiness. We all seek the bluebird and we do so in 
many and various ways. One person will crave to bury 
his mind in a fifth, another will follow the action of 
the gridiron; some seek enjoyment in the movie 
houses, opera, and such, while many make themselves 
content with the material pleasures of life. Each and 
every one seeks his pleasure, his escape — the object 
being to get his mind off himself and momentarily 
forget his burdens and relax. Some of our pleasures 
are of lasting value and are permanent, others are 
short and go with the passing act. Since I believe 
that perhaps each of us strives in our goal for per- 
fection or the utmost happiness in our pleasure seek- 
ing, I would like to relate an experience which I 
consider to be my greatest pleasure in a lifetime of 
hunting and communion with nature. 

MAY, 1950 

On Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, nineteen 
hundred and forty-nine, I received a call from friends 
in a county in south central Virginia. I was asked 
to come immediately to enjoy a day of deer hunting. 
I arrived a little late for the start of the hunt, but just 
in time for the second drive. After being placed on a 
stand it was only a short time before there lay at my 
feet a line buck, and three empty shells which I had 
fired at a large gobbler. The first drive was over and 
as far as I was concerned the hunt was over too, for 
I had my share and could only look forward to being 
a spectator for the rest of the day. But little did I 
know the enjoyment which lay before me. After our 
group had assembled and were making ready for the 
next drive, we found that many deer had been seen 
by all, and some were fortunate enough to show their 

As many as twenty deer were counted on a single 
stand; both turkey and foxes were seen, and one of 
each was taken for the bag. During the day we were 
placed on several other stands and each time deer were 
taken and again many exciting stories of game seen 
were told. 


In the afternoon it was decided that one more 
drive would be the end. I was last man to be placed 
on stand, which was a great distance down on the 
river lowland. My stand was a place of natural beauty. 
Water sweeps had been left in the low places between 
the tall oaks and pines because of heavy rains several 
days before. The borders of these tiny little ponds were 
contrasted by the green winter grass finding its way 
through the fallen leaves. The sun fell on this carpet 
in heavy streaks which found their way through the 
shaded evergreens .and woods. Nature was putting on 
her best display and it didn't take a poet's soul to 
enjoy it. 

The signal was sounded and the drive began; it 
was only a matter of minutes before the woods rang 
with the voice of the hounds. Two doe deer passed 
as though they had been loosed from Hell's gates. 
Effortlessly they went by, as a swift breeze passes over 
winter leaves. They had not gone very long before 
a buck appeared deep in the woods from me. Slowly 
and quietly he worked his way cautiously within 
range of my twelve gauge. He stopped at one of the 
water streaks ahead of me to drink, so I raised my 
gun quietly to my shoulder and sighted down the 
barrel at his golden-brown, graceful figure. I had no 
intention of killing him, but I enjoyed the huntsman's 
sensation of sighting on him. It seemed but a minute 
that he remained there before he moved off in the 
same manner in which he had appeared. 

The hounds sounded closer and suddenly a beau- 
tiful turkey gobbler soared over the treetops like a 
bomber. He was traveling in a straight line and his 
wings seemed frozen in their most out-stretched posi- 
tion. His breast shone in the sun like a rainbow after 
a morning shower. I watched him as he found his 
roost in a tree a long way down the river. When I 
turned around, my eye caught another old Tom in 
the air, but this time a great distance off on my right. 

This one banked in a long rhythmical curve and came 
in for a landing only forty feet behind me. I had no 
time for a shot however, because when the turkey hit 
the ground it only lowered its landing gear and took 
off like an All-Amcrican fullback on the loose. 
Another turkey appeared on my left, flying fast and 
low, and was soon lost to sight in the trees. A group 
of eight black mallard ducks passed at high altitude 
glittering in all their beauty and fashion in the after- 
noon sun. This was too much — nature was on parade, 
and I thought I had already seen the grand finale. I 
thought to myself that I had seen all the game that 
could be seen in that county except quail. Now, just 
as if I were the master himself and had ordered the 
event, one of the far-ranging hounds on the drive 
came up in front of my stand and stepped right in 
the middle of a covey. The birds exploded and tried 
to fly all over me as they dispersed down the wooded 
cut. The drive was over and the hunt had ended. I 
hadn't shot a gun on this last stand, but I had enjoyed 
it twice as much as the earlier stand where the meat 
was taken. 

We returned to the spacious hunting lodge on the 
reservation for dinner, and after the many experiences 
of the day's hunt had been long discussed, we arranged 
ourselves around a table that fairly groaned under the 
bounty of the land. The dining room faced the front 
and a view of grand oaks and far reaching acres of 
new born wheat. The green wheat, the clouds, the 
setting sun, and the mighty oaks afforded much color, 
and while we were seated around the table feasting 
on venison, wild turkey, ham, vegetables of all sorts 
and most anything else you might ask for, there 
appeared on the wheat field five deer that came out 
to graze the fresh green. My soul was touched and I 
sincerely believe that any human being with any 
natural appreciation within him would also have at 
least stopped to apply some thought of thanks and 

Deer hunters take to the woods at Faulkland. 

Hundreds of deer were taken here 

last season. 

Two wild turkeys race through the woods at 

Faulkland. The photographer got these pictures 

by hiding behind a tree. 



gratefulness for such enjoyment. Not being a religious 
person, I did not ask my associates to bow in thanks- 
giving, but the words were so strong in my heart I 
had to say to all, "Truly, this is a land of milk and 

The hunt which I have described was to me, as 
probably to you, very unusual. However, it is not 
unusual to the folks at Faulkland in Halifax County, 
because the scene recurs every time there are hunts in 
this tract of land. However, such an abundance of 
game and such wonderful hunting didn't "just hap- 
pen." The only reason that there is such an abundance 
of wildlife in Faulkland is because someone has gone 
to the great difficulty of letting nature have its own 
wav in this now man-made world. Someone has 

applied all available time, effort and money to the 
extensive use of conservation methods as prescribed by 
our Commonwealth. Because somebody saw to it that 
a field of corn was planted for nature, and not reaped 
and sold at market, that habitat improvement both 
as to food and cover was considered; the area is now 
in ideal condition for the propagation of wildlife. It 
just shows that if old mother nature is given the right 
chance and a little help, she can still produce. 

I had experienced a wonderful hunt, and it was 
more than appreciated from a standpoint of natural 
beauty. Yet, with just a little effort and cooperation 
on everyone's part, that same type of hunting could 
be found not only in Faulkland or in Halifax, but 
could be had everywhere in the state of Virginia. 


(Continued from page 9) 

Sometimes the results were disappointing; in spite 
of my efforts to conceal myself from the vision of the 
trout, the shy creatures had seen me. All I had seen 
was a flash upstream or downstream like a streak of 
light, a slight muddying of the water where the belly 
fins, serving as feelers, had stirred up the bottom of 
the stream. 

Then again hungry trout would rise to my bait 
one after the other, several perhaps from t-he same 
hole. I can still feel the thrill of it; the desperate last 
second of resistance and then the catch. 

It was my custom to fill the capacious pockets of 
my jacket with ferns and mint gathereil along the 
brook and to bury each captured trout in my thus 
improvised crypt, there to remain until I arrived home 
when I would cast the entire conglomeration into a 
trough of crystal spring water, and proceed to separate 
the trout from their clinging shrouds, preparatory for 
cleaning, gloating the while at each prize and recalling 
the very hole from which it had savagely risen to strike 
the bait. 

When the sun had risen to a position directly 
overhead, I woukl rest and, in the shatle of spreading 
friendly beech tree, enjoy my simple luncheon while 
luxuriating in the view of the valley, the music of 
the brook, the aromatic fragrance of the mint, the 
soft breezes from the mountains, an occasional butter- 
fly of gorgeous colors flitting without apparent pur- 
pose from place to place, honeybees gathering sweet 
nectar from the wild flowers of the mountainside, and 
the rustle of the long grass bending in the wind. 

What sweeter music than the song of the brook? 
A friend of mine, whose photographs in "The National 
Geographic Magazine" have brought joy to millions 
of readers all over the world, told me that once while 
travelling in the mountains with the two great natural- 
ists John Burroughs and John Muir, he came upon 
Burroughs lying on his side on the floor of an old and 

seldom usecf bridge. "What are you doing?" my friend 

"Listening through tjiis knothole to the music of 
the brook," the grantl old man replied. 

Some hear sounds to which others are deaf. Few 
indeed enjoy to the fullest the senses of sight, hearing, 
smelling, and feeling. What a privilege the compan- 
ionship of these two men, who styled themselves "the 
two Johnnies — Johnnie of the birds and Johnnie of the 

After lunch, with knees planted on convenient 
rocks and hands on others, I wouki let myself down 
and drink from the icy water. The brook increased 
in size as it continued its course down the hillside, 
through the meadow and into Otter Creek. The trout 
increased both in size and sophistication as they entered 
the broader waters. Neither brook nor creek was famed 
for large trout, even half-pounders being exceptions. 
The two largest I recall having been taken from the 
streams in our neighborhood were two-pounders. I 
saw one of them and greatly envied the captor. 

I became fairly proficient in the art of angling 
as time advanced, but never to compare with Mr. Ed 
Sabin or Mr. "Peg-leg" Pratt; they could catch trout 
in any brook however bad its reputation might be. 
No brook was ever fished out to them and they always 
fished alone. 

I usually finished my sport late in the afternoon 
and returned to the village, a tried but happy boy 
after my adventure in solitude. If there were sick 
folks in the village, my catch was shared with them; 
Grandmother would have the trout crisply cooked 
and done up in a snowy napkin and I was never too 
tired to make deliveries. 

Grandmother had her other charities as well, and 
in those I was her willing messenger. Many a basket 
and many a pail of delicacies I have taken at her 
behest to the sick and needy. Two aged sisters, one 
of them stone blind, both serene in their afflictions, 
were regular recipients of Grandmother's bounty and 
they always greeted me with a smile and sent their 
messages of love and gratitude to Grandmother. 

AAAY, 1950 



flying Warden Fired on by Duck Trappers 

Flying warden Bill Caton is certainly earning his 
pay these clays. Some time ago he was seriously injured 
by an unknown assailant who struck him down while 
he was checking on night fish trapping operations. His 
latest occupation seems to be that of dodging bullets 
fired at him by duck trappers on Eastern Shore, 

Some weeks ago Caton was in his plane patrolling 
the Gargotha marshes on Eastern Shore. Upon spotting 
several duck traps and a man in the process of baiting 
the traps with corn, he set the plane down nearby. The 
duck trapper made for shore and fled through the 
marsh on foot. 

Caton scrambled from his plane and started in 
pursuit, only to be stopped by a hail of bvillets which 
began kicking up mud all around him. The warden 
determined that the shots were coming from a bouse 
some distance away. Being unarmed, he returned to 
the plane and rendezvoused with the Eastern Shore 
warden's power boat. 

Accompanied by three other wardens, Caton 
returned to the site and found five duck traps which 
they destroyed. The poachers escaped. 

This represents an unpleasant incident which game 
wardens frequently encounter in their efforts to pro- 
tect game and fish from those who would steal from 
their fellow Virginians. They deserve a lot of credit for 
placing their lives in jeopardy to protect the game and 
fish resources from those who would take it illegally. 

Warden Dobyns — An Outstanding 

Sam T. Dobyns, newly appointed game warden of 
Patrick County, has turned in 106 subscriptions to 
Virginia Wildlife in the past two months. This initia- 
tive on the part of Warden Dobyns in his intensified 
effort to spread conservation throughout bis county is 
highly commended. 

Falling Spring Junior Wildlife Club Teaches 
Youngsters Conservation 

In October, 1949, R. M. Loving, Jr., principal of 
the Falling Spring School in Falling Spring, Virginia, 
organized a junior wildlife club. Its purpose was to 
teach wildlife conservation to the boys of that rural 
school. Since tlvat time a great deal has been accom- 
plished towards instilling sound ideas in the future 
adult citizens of Falling Spring. 

The club's objectives are as follows: To learn more 
about our wildlife, their habits and habitat; to improve 
wibllifc habitat wherever possible; to endeavor to re- 

stock and properly manage depleted areas; to study the 
correlation of land use and wildlife; to study game 
laws, abide by tliem and urge others to do the same. 

Sportsman's Club Releases Jack Rabbits 

The latest endeavor of the Outdoorsman Rod and 
Gun Club of Aldie, Virginia, is the releasing of jack 
rabbits in Loudoun and Prince William Counties. 
According to James O. Campbell, president of the club, 
these rabbits have a speed of 45 miles per hour and can 
clear a seven-foot fence. 

Outdoorsmen Rod and Gun Club members 
release rabbits. 

This club is eight years old and has conscientiously 
tried to build up the supply of game in the above 
counties. Members are conservation-minded and adhere 
to rules of good sportsmanship. They cooperate in every 
way possible with their county game wardens and with 
the landowners. Campbell stated that he hoped hunting 
and fishing in that section of Virginia would be con- 
tinuously bettered through their club's activities. 

Sportsman Has His License and Then Some 

During this past hunting season Charles Hunter, 
game warden of Surry County, came upon a bwnter, 
Mr. W. W. Baugh, and made a routine check of his 
hunting license. Mr. Baugh obligingly produced his 
current license. The warden looked it over — everything 
was in order, but he thought he was seeing things when 
Baugh pulled about 30 more licenses from his pockets. 

As it turned out, Mr. Baugh, a sportsman and con- 
servationist of the old school, had in his possession 
practically every license issued since 1918. Warden 
Hunter stated that all these years this sportsman had 
been active in conservation work. In the late winter 
he would often help the retired Surry County warden 
feed game during heavv snows. 






The Virginia Society of Ornithol- 
ogy will meet in Harrisonburg, Vir- 
ginia at 2:30 p.m. in the Main Street 
School on May 5th. The meeting will 
carry through the following day. All 
interested persons are cordially in- 
vited to attend. 

The Virginia Society of Ornithol- 
ogy was founded in 1929, by men 
having a deep interest in all aspects 
of bird life in Virginia, with chief 
emphasis on field study. The Society 
now has approximately two hundred 
and fifty members, the majority liv- 
ing within the boundaries of the 

Since the Society was founded its 
members have made many contribu- 
tions in its field. The ornithological 
history of Virginia has been com- 
piled and clarified, special studies 
have been made of specific counties 
and areas, and a great deal of in- 
formation has been added on such 
matters as bird migration, distribu- 
tion, and economic values. Sponsor- 
ship has been given to legislation 
aimed toward conservation of birds 
and of wild life in general. Members 
have cooperated with state and fed- 
eral conservation agencies to obtain 
more complete information on prob- 
lems such as the migration of water- 
fowl and hawks. In 1949 they assisted 
in a study of doves within the State 
in order to assure a hunting season 
adjusted to local conditions. 

The Society holds an annual meet- 
ing, with informative talks and mo- 
tion pictures on birds and a field 
trip to interesting local areas. There 
are also annual winter field trips of 
one day, usually for observation of 
waterfowl, while local groups get to- 
gether frequently for walks and field 

Further information about the 
Society may be obtained by writing 
to Miss Gertrude Prioi% Briar Hill, 
Sweet Briar, Virginia. 


L. G. Kesteloo has assumed his 
(hities as wildlife photographer for 
the Game Commission. He replaced 
Mr. Crawford who was temporarily 
employed prior to going into private 
work here in Richmond. 

Mr. Kesteloo has had considerable 
experience in free lance photography 
for newspapers and magazines. He 
also graduated from the Army Air 

L. G. Kesteloo 

Force School of Aerial Photography. 
For four years before coming with 
the Commission he was employed by 
the G. L. Hall Optical Company, and 
served in both Richmond and Nor- 
folk as supervisor of the photo finish- 
ing plants. 

His experience will be of great 
value in operating the Commission's 
newly constructed darkroom and in 
obtaining photographs for Virginia 





Ernest M. Karger is now serving 
as supervisor of the George Wash- 
ington National Forest. He was ap- 
pointed to succeed R. F. Hemingway 
who recently retired. 

Mr. Karger is a graduate of Penn 
State and began his forestry career 
in 1933 on the Allegheny National 
Forest in Pennsylvania. He has served 
nine years in Virginia on the Jeffer- 
son National Forest where he at- 
tained the rank of assistant super- 
visor. For the past five years he has 
been assigned to the Northeastern 
Regional office of the U. S. Forest 
Service at Philadelphia. 

Conservationists will be interested 
to note that Karger was one of the 
national forest rangers selected 13 
years ago to help in the inauguration 
of the successful and now nationally 
famous state-federal "Virginia Plan" 
for joint wildlife management on 
national forest areas. 


The foresight of New York's early 
conservationists may be all that 
separates discomfort from disaster in 
the current water shortage, according 
to the Wildlife Management Institute. 

Thanks to some of the best pro- 
tected watersheds in the East, the 
reservoirs which supply New York 
City with water are almost com- 
pletely free of silt. This is in marked 
contrast to those of more than one- 
third of the municipalities across the 
nation which are filling with sedi- 
ment so rapidly that much of the 
usefulness of many will be lost by 
1975. It is estimated that many more 
will be filled in less than 100 years 
unless something is done to stop the 
present rate of siltation. 

AAAY, 1950 



Hom ft 





Lesson No. 3 

Do you know that it takes Mother 
Nature 1,000 years to make an inch 
of topsoil? And that man through 
bad farming practices and careless 
forest fires, can remove the result of 
ten centuries of work inside of a 
single year! When we look at it that 
way we begin to realize why pre- 
venting soil erosion is important. 

Now the question arises, how does 
nature make soil? And the answer, 
of course, is through the weatiiering, 
breaking down and wearing away of 
rocks, and by the absorption into 
the eartli of decayed animal and 
vegetable matter. Each rainstorm 
that beats against a cliff face, each 
breeze carrying tiny particles of 
abrasive sand, all play a part in the 
rock wearing process. Every plant 
and animal eventually becomes part 
of the soil when it dies. 

Soil varies in different areas ac- 
cording to the rocks that decomposed 
to make it. Thus we have sands, clays, 
sandy loams and clay loams, podsols 
and many others. 

All living things depend on the soil 
directly or indirectly for their exist- 
ence. Agricultural crops, living things 
themselves, provide food and shelter 
for animal life. The soil itself is 
home to many forms of life from the 
single celled mold to the burrowing 
groinid squirrel. Animals that dig in 
the earth like the ground squirrel, 
field mice, moles, shrews, and even 
earth worms, perforin an important 
function in the care of the soil. By 
running numberless tiny passages 
through the soil they aerate it and 
bclj) provide a means whereby sur- 
face water can drain off. 

Next montli we will consider the 
relationsliip between forests and soil. 

Before we can practice conserva- 
tion we must iniderstand how the 
soil gives life to plants and how 
plants finally get to ]:>e a forest com- 



Have you ever 
rushed to the 
window to see 
the thrush wbo 
was calling in 
the honey- 
suckle, or the 
bobolink sing- 
ing merrily in the mimosa, only to 
find instead a rather plainly dressed 
little bird with a gray back, white 
breast and some white stripes on each 
wing ? 

Undoubtedly you recognized the 
mockingbird at once for he is a 
familiar part of Virginia's wildlife 
picture. The season of the year makes 
little difference to him, winter, sum- 
mer, spring or fall; Virginia is his 
home, and every hedgerow and wood- 
lot seems to have its quota of mock- 
ingbird families. 

The mockingbird is the opera 
star of the bird world and may know 
a score or more of different bird 
songs which he apparently never tires 
of repeating over and over again. In 
fact he appears to be so taken with 
the sound of his own voice that he 
is often likely to sing not only all 
through the day but halfway through 
the night as well! 

His scientific name, MiTiiiis poly- 
glottos polyglottos, is based on bis 
whistling ability. Mimiis, of course, 
is from the same stem as our English 
word mimic or imitator. Polyglottos 
is from the Greek — poly: many, and 
glotta: tongue or speaking many 
languages. Thus the mockingbird's 
name simply says that he imitates 
many tongues. 

His nesting habits are as carefree as 
his many songs. Nests are often con- 
structed in low blackberries or cat 
briers, or high in tangled honeysuckle 
growth. A layer of twigs surrounds 
tbe rootlets and grasses witli which 
the nest is lined, and tbree to four 

eggs are laid usually between the last 
week in April and the second week 
in May. 

He is the farmer's friend in eating 
large numbers of harmful insects, 
])oth adults and larvae. Any farm 
with mockingbirds in its cedars and 
fence rows can count their work as 
that of an extra hired hand. 


Teachers, have you ever considered 
a nature walk with your class? Now, 
in the spring, with all of Virginia 
newly alive, is the time to undertake 
such a project. You'd be amazed at 
what a supplement to general science 
or biology an afternoon in the out- 
of-doors can be! The same boy who 
nods throvigh a lecture and recitation 
period may prove to be the most 
eager searcher for the nest with 
young birds in it, or may hang on 
every word when the oxygen — CO^ 
cycle is explained to him in the pres- 
ence of a tree that is performing the 
function at that very moment. 

In addition to actual lab work, a 
nature walk serves the very important 
purpose of breaking up the ordinary, 
everyday routine of classwork. Get- 
ting out for an afternoon together 
makes both teacher and class a little 
])it more hinnan to each other. Miss 
Jones is no longer just "teacher" but 
a "good sport" as well. The class is 
no longer just a group of faces, but 
individuals now, each with distinc- 
tive likes and dislikes on these field 

If possible, more than one trip 
should I)e planned with special em- 
phasis placed on a different phase of 
nature each time. For example, con- 
servation of natural resources could 
])e used as the overall theme with 
wildlife and its role in natine con- 
sidered on one trip, plants and trees 
and their place in the scheme on 
another, soil, water, and erosion on 
yet another. Such trips teach far 
more than textbooks ever can. 



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