Idaho History May 8, 2022

Idaho Hunting Stories

Idaho Newspaper Clippings

Elk Hunting 1903

1903ElkHunting-aA hunter sits from a post high above the ground with a rifle waiting for elk.

source: William Allen Stonebraker Photograph Collection, Digital Initiatives, University of Idaho Library
— — — — — — — — — —


1890TrappingIdahoCity-a1890 Oct – Trapper on Middle Boise in town (Idaho City)

A hunter and trapper from Geo. Alexander’s place, on Middle Boise, was in town yesterday with deer and bear hides, and also muskrat, mink, martin and beaver hiders. One of the black bear hides is of enormous size. Gus Schlosser bought the whole outfit.

Idaho Semi-Weekly World, Idaho City, October 28 1890
source: AHGP
[h/t SMc]
— — — — — — — — — —

Hunting near Big Creek 1903

1903HuntingNearBigCreek-aPack horses have deer carcasses strapped to them.

source: William Allen Stonebraker Photograph Collection, Digital Initiatives, University of Idaho Library
— — — — — — — — — —


1891MooseProtected-aIdaho Moose

The Governor may and probably will sign the bill for the protection of the great American moose in Idaho. But where is the moose? There are hundreds of men who have traveled all over the wildest parts of Idaho since its earliest settlement and have never yet for once feasted their eyes upon a moose track. It is said that one was seen in the Teton basin some years ago but that it had escaped from a traveling show. The crocodiles of the Snake and the royal Bengal tigers of Idaho should come in for their share of protection.
– Boise Democrat.

The Democrat is mistaken. There have been quite a number killed in Idaho, and a few in this county. A good many years ago one was killed on the South Fork of the Payette, not far from Banner, and his big, flat horns remained for a number of years to mark the spot where he fell, and as undeniable evidence of the fact that the animal was a moose. During the summer of the Yellow Pine excitement and the stampede for the alleged gold fields of Long valley, a boy slew a moose near the head of Long valley, and it was said that the animal weighed 1,800 pounds. One passed through Garden valley a few years ago. Dave Bunch, the veteran Nimrod of that valley, got on the track and did not give up the chase until he reached the North Fork. Dave says the animal made a track larger than a big ox’s, and he went through a rugged, rocky country that a footman could scarcely get through. Moose have been seen and killed in different sections of Central Idaho, but they are not very numerous. For that reason it is well that a law has been enacted for their protection. Idaho, although not as prolific in this species of big game as in other kinds, still our young State is not entirely mooseless. These big animals are said to be quite numerous, however, near the head of Snake river, in Idaho. Two were seen between this place and Silver Mountain last fall.

Idaho Semi-Weekly World, Idaho City, February 13, 1891
source: AHGP
[h/t SMc]
— — — — — — — — — —

Stonebraker hunting camp 1905

1905StonebrakerHuntingCamp-aView of the camp with tents and men in the Chamberlain Basin.

source: William Allen Stonebraker Photograph Collection, Digital Initiatives, University of Idaho Library
— — — — — — — — — —


The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News November 12, 1904


There are a good many parties out hunting just now and venison is not hard to find.

Bud Davis and M. B. Merritt returned the 6th inst. from ten day’s hunting. They each secured two large bucks and saw many mountain sheep, of which latter they could not get in good shooting distance.

source: Sandy McRae and Jim Collord
— — — — — — — — — —

Hunting near Big Creek 1905

1905HuntingNearBigCreek-aTwo hunters hold rifles staring out into the distance. Three horses stand with supplies packed to their backs.

source: William Allen Stonebraker Photograph Collection, Digital Initiatives, University of Idaho Library
— — — — — — — — — —


The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News April 1, 1905

Idaho’s Game Law.

During the session of the last legislature, considerable attention was given to the fish and game law. The law as it now stands is a good one and all good citizens of the state will unite in upholding it. We are too apt to disregard the value of the wild animals of our forests. There is perhaps the finest hunting ground in the world right here in Idaho. Elk, deer, bears of several varieties, mountain sheep, beaver, martin, grouse and all small game abound in our great mountain fastnesses. Nothing but wanton disregard of all decent and sportsmanlike hunting will ever despoil our forests. The only game which really needs protection at the present time is Elk, deer and mountain sheep.

Three great evils menace the increase, and even the continuance of these fine species of game in this section of the country, namely:

Destruction by cougars,
Wanton slaughter,
And sale of wild game.

The first named is perhaps the worst evil of till. Few people realize the terrible destruction of deer caused by the cougar, or American lion. Many mountaineers estimate that every full grown cougar kills not less than thirty deer each year, and so the wisdom of the late legislature is shown, in offering a bounty of $15 for every cougar killed – the cougar is of absolutely no use – a sneaking, cowardly beast which stealthily crawls upon his prey and springing from his lair sets his jaws in death grip on the throat of his victim.

The second evil, wanton slaughter, is fast disappearing from this section, though we have suffered from it in the past. It seems hardly credible that any man would stand and deliberately shoot a wild deer of the forest for the pleasure of seeing it fall in death throes. Unfortunately such has been the case and right here in Thunder Mountain.

There are men, God grant they are few, so deeply depraved that a living mark is preferable to a target for rifle practice, even though it be the finest specimen of wild game for which they have not the slightest use except the morbid satisfaction of seeing it give up its life.

Last year three fine elk were killed in the Chamberlain Basin – they weighed from 300 to 500 pounds each. Two teeth were taken from each elk and the carcasses were left to rot. The State Game Warden, Van Irons, used every means to bring the dastard who killed them to justice; he failed because the two witnesses who could testify for the prosecution were too cowardly to do so, and left the state.

But perhaps the least excusable and most disgraceful of all the agencies of destruction of wild game animals is claudestine [sic] sale of the meat. We believe there is not a state in the union where deer or elk may be legally sold – there is certainly not one where any attention is given to the preservation of game. No good citizen will sell a deer or elk. It is legally as well as morally wrong; and no man who has respect for himself and interest in his community and those who are to come after him, will, for a few paltry dollars, so degrade himself.

No restaurant or hotel keeper who is honorable and does a legitimate business will serve a piece of deer meat at his table unless it is furnished by his guest.

The state of Maine has the finest hunting and fishing of any or the older states. Why? Because it has the most stringent laws, and because every citizen upholds them.

Maine’s revenue from her game and fish probably amounts to $1,000,000 a year. That amount is brought into the state. A man may leave Boston in the morning and be in the very heart of a great game country at night.

On the shores of Rangely Lake, is situated a hotel property worth not less than $100,000 – the “Rangely Lake House,” which is supported by the fish and game resources. There, a man may be given six months in jail for killing a deer out of season and at the Parsons Hotel on Dead River where the deer may be seen any sunny morning at the edge of the wood, you can not get venison served unless you legally kill it yourself.

The preservation of the game makes revenue to every man in the country, farmer, guide, boatman, liveryman and hotel keeper.

The time is not too distant when the same conditions may exist here if every citizen will do his own honest part in strengthening the arm of the law. We owe it to ourselves; we owe it to those who come after us.
— — — —

On the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River, B. F. Cressler recently had a most marvelous escape from death says the Stites Journal. He was hunting and had chosen a sunny spot on which to eat his lunch. He took a cup of coffee and walked to the edge of a cliff a few feet away where stood a lone fire tree fully 325 feet above the rocks below. Hearing a slight noise he turned and saw a huge black bear eating the bacon he had just left. His rifle stood leaning against a tree very near Mr. Bear who after finishing the bacon, came defiantly toward him. Nothing could be done but climb the tree; this Mr. Cressler did, and did it quickly. The bear came also but with exasperating deliberation. The man had climbed as high as e dared to go. The rocks under the cliff were fully 400 feet below him. He felt pitch on the limb he clasped and with perfect self possession he cut a small limb, split the end and fastened in a piece of the pitch The bear was now within five feet of him; with his only match he lighted the pitch and allowed the scalding drops to fall on the bears face. One burning drop fell into the nostril and the bear, crazed with the pain, raised both front paws to scratch away the fiery torture, lost his hold and fell with a dull thud to the rocks below. Mr. Cressler made haste to desend [sic] and in recounting the adventure modestly said “that was a close call.”

source: Sandy McRae and Jim Collord
— — — — — — — — — —

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News April 15, 1905

19050415Pg3-txt1headline-aNew Fish and Game Law.
Provisions of Enactment of the Last Legislature Put into Paragraphs

The following is a digest of the fish and game law enacted by the last legislature, which has been prepared in response to numerous inquires from sportsmen:

Licenses under the provisions of this act are of four classes, namely:

1. For a bona fide male resident (over 12 years of age) for six months prior to issuance, costing $1, entitling the holder to fish and hunt all kinds of game subject to the restrictions of this act.

2. For non-residents of Idaho, a big game license, costing $24, entitling holder to hunt the animals hereinafter mentioned, subject to the restrictions of this act.

3. For non-residents of Idaho, costing $5, entitling holder to hunt birds, subject to the restrictions of this act.

4. For non-residents, costing $1, entitling holder to catch fish with hook and line only, subject to the restrictions of this act (required of all non-residents, regard less of sex.)

Females and children under 12, residents of Idaho, are not required to procure license to fish and take game.

All licenses expire January 31 next following date of issuance.

The open season is as follows:

Trout, grayling, bass and sunfish may be caught at any time with hook and line.

Salmon, sturgeon, carp, mullet, sucker, whitefish, Bear Lake trout and charr may be caught with seine, net or spear.

Quail, Nov. 1 to Dec. 1; sage hen, July 15 to Dec. 1; turtle dove, snipe and plover, Aug. 1 to Nov. 1; partridge, pheasant, grouse, prairie chicken and fool hen, Aug. 15 to Dec. 1; duck, Sept. 1 to Feb. 1; geese and swans, Sept. 1 to Feb. 1.

Elk, deer, mountain sheep, mountain goat, Sept. 1 to Dec. 31.

Not more than 20 pounds of trout, bass, catfish, grayling, or sunfish may be caught in any one day, and not more than 30 lbs. to be had in possession at any time.

Unlawful to kill or destroy, or have in possession at any time trout or black bass of less than four inches in length.

Unlawful to take fish by means of any deleterious drug or by means of an explosive.

Snag hook fishing is absolutely prohibited.

The taking of Mongolian pheasants is absolutely prohibited for four years next following the passage of this act.

Unlawful to snare or trap any protected birds.

Unlawful to kill more than 18 of each of the following kinds of birds in one day, namely, quail, sage hen, partridge, grouse, prairie chicken or fool hen.

Unlawful to take in any one day more than 24 ducks, three geese or three swans.

Unlawful to take fish by means of any deleterious drug or by means of explosive.

Unlawful to destroy nest, eggs, or the young birds of any game bird, or to molest such birds or their young, during breeding season.

The hunting or killing of moose, antelope, buffalo, beaver and caribou is absolutely prohibited.

Unlawful to hunt deer, elk, mountain sheep, or mountain goats with dogs or by means of a pitfall, trap or snare.

Unlawful to kill or capture more than one elk, two deer, one mountain sheep, one ibex, and one goat during the open season.

It is unlawful to sell any protected fish or animals at any time of the year.

Unlawful to hunt any song, insectivorous or innocent bird, except English sparrow, magpie or bee bird, at any time of the year.

Unlawful to cause to be set on fire any timber, underbrush, or grass upon the public domain.

Unlawful not to totally extinguish any fire near any forest, timber or other inflammable material, before leaving the same.

The possession of game or fish unlawfully taken is a misdemeanor.

All devices and nets used in unlawfully taking fish or game are subject to confiscation.

Any and all persons violating any of the provisions of this act are guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not to exceed $300 and costs, or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

– Statesman.

source: Sandy McRae and Jim Collord
— — — — — — — — — —

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News April 29, 1905

Hunting and Fishing Grounds of Thunder Mountain.

Many inquiries have been received concerning the Thunder Mountain country as an outing ground and in answer to these many questions we publish a brief description of the country from a sportsman’s standpoint. Is safe to say that no other section in the United States presents a more pleasing prospect for the hunter and the angler than does this section of Central Idaho within a radius of twenty-fire or thirty miles from Roosevelt, the metropolis of the district.

In the very heart of the world-famed Bitter Root Range nestles the unique town of Roosevelt with the canyon walls fairly overhanging its streets.

This little city, a mining camp in the midst of one of the world’s richest mineral deposits, is also a center of one of the finest hunting and fishing grounds to be found in any land.

Marble creek, a brook six miles east of town, empties its waters into streams that flow to the sea. The creek is literally full of brook trout from six to ten inches in length.

Salmon trout are also very plentiful; this is a beautiful fish, and one of the best ever eaten, and varies in size from 5 to 22 pounds. Then there is the Red-side trout, weighing a pound to a pound and a half — from eleven to fourteen inches in length. All of these are fresh water fish and in winter go down the creek through the Middle Fork to the Salmon, perhaps even to the Snake river.

The last of July the Steelhead Salmon appears, having completed its long journey from the sea. This is a most remarkable salt-water fish. After maturing in the Pacific Ocean till three years of age, it starts on its inland passage to spawn.

Leaving the salt water and entering the Columbia it seems to have but one instinct: to go up stream to the very limit of depth. It passes through the Columbia to the Snake river, on through the Salmon to the Middle Fork and up Marble creek even to Belleco where the waters are so shallow that the fish’s back often protrudes from the water in its struggles to overcome the inborn instinct, sometime pitiful of reaching the source of the crystal mountain stream which seems to give life and vigor for the close of its thousand mile journey. When this fish reaches the mountain streams it is in fine condition — the meat is hard and delicious. But here the spawning is begun and the fish begin to fight. The males have continued and protracted fights, and shortly after their arrival begin to be wounded in these contests which may be seen from the bank of the stream — the water is thrown into foam in these struggles and the individual fish are rendered unfit to eat; for these reasons the Steelhead is good only upon his arrival.

Few of the Steelheads ever get back to the sea. The spawn is deposited and the little myriads of their young go down the tortuous channel to the sea and after maturing the same process of nature is repeated.

All tributaries of the Middle Fork receive this school as it comes from the lower rivers — the Salmon and Snake. The Monumental creek is now debarred on account of the waters being roiled by the operations of the Dewey mill. Some fish do come up this creek but the majority turn back and go … (page torn) … streams which remain … clear.

Big creek and other streams flowing into the Middle Fork get the full benefit and in return send back their myriads of young Salmon to the sea.

We have mentioned the fish, but for the hunter there is still greater attraction. Moose, Elk, deer, mountain sheep, mountain goats and small game abound.

No moose can be killed — they are protected by law and no true sportsman will kill this “Monarch of the Glen” while its species is being propagated. The legislature this winter placed a time limit of five years in order that the moose be given time to multiply.

Some of the largest elk heards [sic] in the world are within five miles of Roosevelt. This beautiful animal, which is the most perfect of all the horned species, is to be found within a days journey of town.

Deer are very plentiful. This graceful little denizen of the forest is found on every hand. When packers go out in the morning to get the stock, it is not an uncommon occurrence to see the deer among the horses. Thousands of deer are in these mountain resorts, and roam at will over vast ranges of the finest natural deer park in the world.

Mountain sheep are getting scarce. In summer they are found on the highest and roughest crags in this rugged country. Occasionally they are brought in and heads, with horns 13 to 16 inches in diameter, are gathered every year.

Wild goats, too, are hard to get; they live in the very highest altitudes of any animal in the Northwest. For a time in spring they come down to get fresh green grass after they have been living on the (?) of the peaks, but as the grass springs up on the mountain side they climb higher and can be found only on the very tops of high ranges.

The snowshoe rabbit, so called, is the best small game in the county. The thickets are full of them and they are delicious eating.

The above mentioned constitutes all the game animals. Grouse innumerable (?) found in all the woods as there are no sheep herds here to ruin their nests. Coyotes, which generally follow sheep ranges, are scarce in this country though not unknown — stray bands are sometimes heard by the prospector in the hills.

Foxes are not uncommon but most difficult to get. The rugged nature of the country gives them ample hiding, and the hunter seldom gathers one.

Black bears and brown bears are very plentiful. They are found sometimes within a few … (page torn) … to get. J. P. Bradner, of St. Paul, shot two last summer with a six shooter. R. C. Schofield killed a very fine grizzley, a year ago about thirty miles from here. The bear weighed not less than 800 pounds.

The mountain lion, the worst curse of all game destroying animals, is very plentiful. A contemptible, sneaking beast, it destroys vast numbers of deer and rabbits. The State legislature last winter established a bounty of $15.00 on each lion killed and this will lead to their destruction. For mounting or for rugs the mountain lion or cougar is a splendid specimen. They are often 12 or 14 feet from tip to tip and the skin makes a fine souvenir of the hunter’s skill. They very seldom attack man but will kill almost any wild animal of the forest.

In the issue of THE NEWS of April 15 we published a digest of the new game law of Idaho. All true sportsmen are welcome here and they will find royal sport. And by “sportsman” we mean the men who will fish and hunt according to law. That includes every man who is visiting the county; it includes every prospector in the hills. But it absolutely excludes the man who will ruthlessly slaughter the beautiful wild game of our forests. Nothing more like that will be tolerated. Public sentiment can always en-bone law and every man in Roosevelt and every miner and prospector in the hills will stand together in this matter and THE NEWS will give its assistance in bringing to justice any such vandal of the forest.
— — — —

As mentioned on another page, we have frequent inquiries from people on the outside concerning the hunting and fishing grounds here. The postmaster also receives many letters of this nature, and so for the benefit of all, we have endeavored to give authentic information concerning the fish and game of this locality. Roosevelt and the surrounding country is easily accessible from outside points. The trip can be made from Boise in four days over the newly completed wagon road and … (page torn) … through and the drive is a most enjoyable one. Good roadhouse accommodations may be found each evening and there will be no shortage of feed for animals. We have endeavored to give a good list of roadhouses which may be found in the advertising columns with distances shown, and tourists will find no privation or difficulty attached to a journey into this sylvan and virgin wild, where game and fish abound and where the bluest skies and clearest mountain streams give welcome to the dusty traveler. A growing sentiment exists to preserve the game. The State law is such that any true sportsman may gather his fish and game legally and yet see the county grow richer each year in the natural increase of the finest wild game to be found in the world.
— — — —

For much of the information contained in the front page article — the “Hunting and Fishing Grounds of Thunder Mountain,” we are indebted to Chas. L. Myers, one of the pioneers of this district and a very successful hunter and fisherman.

source: Sandy McRae and Jim Collord
— — — — — — — — — —

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News July 15, 1905

Behind the Times

Recently there appeared in the Boise Statesman an item referring to a communication sent to that paper by a certain citizen of Roosevelt, the burden of which having been a complaint relative to alleged violation of the game laws in this section of Idaho. It was claimed that no deputy game warden was in here and no hunting or fishing licenses could be procured. It was also alleged that elk and deer were being ruthlessly and wantonly slaughtered in open violation of the law.

This no doubt makes fine reading for a person posing as a would-be friend and protector of the game and fish, and who perhaps is so situated that he can leisurely search out the game laws and provisions, and according to their requirement, sit placidly back awaiting their fulfillment and then go forth with a copy of the said laws in one hand and mayhap a rapid fire, smokeless, telescope rifle in the other, to wage warfare on the helpless game for pleasure only. Yes, perhaps.

But what of the rough and ready prospector, of him who penetrates the trackless wiles of these almost inaccessible hills, and blazes and pioneers the way that such as the aforementioned friend and protector might profit and be benefited? These men that cut loose from bases of supplies and are swallowed up for weeks or months in the tangled environment of mountain and forest and rushing steam, and rarely meeting others of their kind, must of necessity carry but scanty supply of provisions, and it has long been a custom of the wilderness to allow them the privilege of taking game at any time as their necessity demanded. This, of course, is not an adherence to the exact letter of the law, but we know of cases in which latitude was sometimes extended by the law to apply to certain conditions.

We do not mean to be understood as upholding the unlawful slaughter of game or of its wanton destruction for sport, but when conditions are such as to render imperative the taking of game and that quickly to maintain life, as is often the case with prospectors, then it should, we believe, be an occasion for the exercise of a little latitude.

As to the impossibility of procuring fish and game licenses at Roosevelt, we can say that the Statesman’s correspondent manifests much ignorance of things most commonly known. Our resident justice of the peace, Jas. McAndrews, is empowered to issue the licenses whenever required. It might be well for the above mentioned correspondent to post up a little before he again attempts to butt in.

source: Sandy McRae and Jim Collord
— — — — — — — — — —

Hunting And Fishing 1915

1915HuntingFishing-a3 men posing with the catch from a hunting and fishing trip. They have all the fish and fowl hanging from a pole. George Edward Tonkin and 2 unidentified men.
Photo: P1998-28-076, George Edward Tonkin, ISA

source: Idaho State Historical Society
— — — — — — — — — —


1919BarHuntingFromPlanes-aBar Hunting From Planes
Shooting of Wild Fowl by Airmen With Machine Guns prohibited.

Washington — Shooting of wild fowl with machine guns from airplanes, the latest device employed by sportsmen along the Atlantic coast, has been forbidden by order of the director of military aeronautics. Instructions have been issued by the director to conduct all flights along the coast wherever migratory wild fowl may be found in such a manner to interfere as little as possible with the birds.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. Page 3 (Moscow, Idaho), 05 March 1919.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Hunting near Thunder Mountain 1926

1926HuntingNearThunderMtn-aA hunter (W.A. Allen Stonebraker) holds the antlers of an elk trophy.

source: William Allen Stonebraker Photograph Collection, Digital Initiatives, University of Idaho Library
— — — — — — — — — —


Idaho and Idahoans

The state game warden will complete his plans for shipment of 200 Wyoming elk into Idaho at a conference to be held with eastern Idaho deputies.

source: The Challis Messenger. Page 7 (Challis, Idaho), 04 Feb. 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

19200214StarvingElk-aSeek To Save Starving Elk
Two Principal Herds in Country in Danger of Serious Depletion
Special Fund To Buy Hay
Officials of Department of Agriculture Making Every Effort to Procure the Needed Feed – Scarcity of Forage

Washington – The two principal herds of elk in the United States – one of which is under the protection of the biological survey of the United States department of agriculture – are in danger of such serious depletion, due to early severe weather and feed shortage, that special funds have been set aside for the purchase of hay for these animals whose home is in and near Yellowstone national park. Department officials are making every possible effort to procure the needed feed despite the serious scarcity of hay and forage in the region. Approximately 40,000 elk roam this section of the country. They are divided into two groups, known as the northern and southern herd, respectively. The latter, which winters in the vicinity of the Jackson Hole, to the south of Yellowstone park, is the one for which the department of agriculture is seeking to make provision.

Ranchmen Slow to Part With Hay

Reports have recently been received from government representatives in the region of Yellowstone national park stating that many elk are destined to starve if the present severe weather continues and if no additional supplies of feed are provided. On the winter elk refuge in Jackson Hole the department has in store approximately 1,300 tons of hay which normally would be sufficient to carry the southern herd through the winter. But cold weather and heavy snows came so early that there is grave danger that the animals will be without feed before many weeks have passed. Ranchmen in the region are confronted with a serious condition and are reluctant to part with any of their hay.

Largest Herds in Country

The northern elk herd is under the supervision of the national park service of the department of the interior, which is also making every effort possible to prevent loss of these animals.

These two herds are the largest elk herds remaining in this country though at one time elk were to be found in large numbers as far east as the Blue Ridge mountains. These animals, like the buffalo and antelope, have now been reduced to a mere fraction of their former numbers. The few herds that remain besides those in the vicinity of the Yellowstone park are relatively small. Loss of many of the animals in the larger herds might be irreparable, say government officials.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. Page 4 (Moscow, Idaho), 14 Feb. 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

State Game Census

The game census of the forests in the fourth district, comprising the states of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Arizona, as been made public. It shows that Idaho is the only state in the district that has all varieties of same listed. The census of this states is as follows: Deer, 20,140; elk, 1,721; mountain goats, 4,275; mountain sheep, 1,018; moose, 200; antelope, 324. Wyoming has 20,256 elk, which is the largest number in any state. Dr. Scarbourough has published a statement to the effect that elk are holding their own very well.

source: The Idaho Recorder. Page 1 (Salmon City, Idaho), 27 Feb. 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Northwest Notes

Game hunting has taken on more the characteristics of a business than of a pleasure pursuit in Idaho, if judged by profits. The West Palisade stockgrowers in the Targhee forest have offered a bounty of $25 a head for wolves.

About 50 per cent of the 40,000 elk in Wyoming are in the Jackson Hole country. Of those less than 7000 were fed in the feed grounds this winter.

source: The Idaho Recorder. Page 3 (Salmon City, Idaho), 19 March 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

2230 Deer and 135 Elk Killed in Idaho, 1919

Idaho hunters in 1919, killed 2230 deer, 135 elk and seventy-seven mountain sheep, according to a report made to Governor Davis by Robert O. Jones, state commissioner of law enforcement.

Discussing the work of the state game department, the report says in part:

“During the big game season, Game Warden Otto M. Jones, instructed all assistant chiefs and local deputies to keep careful check on all big game killed and taken out of their districts. The reasons for so doing were to prevent as far as possible violations of the game laws; that is the killing of more than the limit for one person of large game. It was also desired to have a record of approximately the amount of game killed during the hunting or open season. Various reports now on file with the bureau as received from game wardens and also the forestry service, which cooperated with this department in every respect, indicate that during the year 1919, there were 2230 deer killed in Idaho, 136 elk and seventy-seven goats. These figures of course, are not absolutely authentic.”

source: Idaho County Free Press. Page 1 (Grangeville, Idaho), 25 March 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Demand Change In Game Laws

From all over the state some demands for changes in the Idaho game law so as to permit individuals or associations to propagate fowls and fish. Several Idaho newspapers have taken up the case for the public, pointing out that there should be no legal prohibition placed on the individual or an association raising fowl and fish on their or its own property the same as they can raise chickens. These editors see no interference whatever with the prerogatives of the sportsman. In fact, the avenues for replenishing wild game life are increased, they declare.

The issue was raised in the case of the Idaho Game Breeders’ Association. The state game warden permitted the association to engage fur raising but refused to grant a permit for game birds and fish.

while this does not interfere with the prime objects of the association it might rob it of one of the features as to its Hagerman valley farm, where it had been planned to place wild birds and water fowl as an attraction for visitors.

source: Payette Enterprise. Page 1 (Payette, Canyon Co., Idaho), 01 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Idaho State News Items

Game licenses for 1920, valued at four hundred thousand dollars, are being distributed by Otto M. Jones, state game warden, and assistants to his department. The forest supervisors and all deputy game wardens in the state will receive quotas of the licenses, each man being held accountable for the money value of the licenses he receives. The licenses are similar in form to those issued in 1919 and will be issued for the same fees.

source: The Rathdrum Tribune. Page 1 (Rathdrum, Idaho), 02 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Local Pick-ups

Deputy Game Warden Heathershaw has received word of a ruling of the state attorney general to the effect that there is no closed season on bear in Idaho and that they nay be taken the year round if the hunter has a regular hunting license and a trapping license.

source: Bonners Ferry Herald. Page 5 (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 06 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Game Warden Here

W. C. Brooks of Moscow, deputy state game warden, was in Kendrick Tuesday morning. While here he appointed Charles McKeever game license vendor for Kendrick. Heretofore there have been three license vendors but Mr. Brooks says it eliminates considerable work for his office if there is but one vendor in a town. He has cut the number to one even in Moscow.

Mr. Brooks stated that a change in the game laws will require farmers who wish to shoot squirrels to buy hunting licenses. The law now reads that anyone who wishes to carry a gun in field or forest must first procure a license. According to the letter of the law anyone caught carrying a gun without a license is breaking the game laws of the state.

Mr. Brooks says he is going to plant large quantities of trout in the streams of Latah county. He has ordered the limit and expects to distribute them all over the county where they will be likely to thrive. He has ordered nothing but brook trout.

In regard to boys fishing out of season, he says he may have to use drastic measures, as this is one of the hardest problems the game department has to contend with. He expects to visit this territory often this spring and is going to keep a close watch to see that the closed season on fishing is not violated.

source: The Kendrick Gazette. Page 1 (Kendrick, Idaho), 09 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

1920CarryLicense-aMust Carry A Idaho License
Game Warden Issues a Warning To All Sportsmen

New and stringent rules put out by State Game Warden Otto M. Jones, require all hunters and fishermen to carry their licenses with them or to chance arrest for hunting or fishing without a license. All deputies have been instructed to ignore the wellworn excuse: “I left my license at home,” and the license and gun or rod must stick together.

W. H. Heathershaw, deputy game warden for Boundary and Bonner counties, states that he will enforce the new rule without fear or favor and that all violators will be prosecuted.

source: Bonners Ferry Herald. Page 1 (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 13 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

19200416TIR3-aBig Game Census Shows Increase
Plenty of Deer, Elk and Mountain Goats Says Jones

Federal forest service officials, submitting to Otto M. Jones, state game warden, their 1919 game census for southern Idaho, Thursday reported rapid increase in big game in the state.

Here are the present totals reported by forest supervisors of game in the Boise, Cache, Caribou, Idaho, Lemhi, Minidoka, Payette, Salmon, Sawtooth, Targhee and Weiser national forests: Deer, 16,575; elk, 1200; mountain goats, 2861; mountain sheep, 1134; moose, 70; antelope, 284.

In the same territory there were killed during the year 1090 deer, 30 elk and 80 mountain goats.

“Nearly all the supervisors report an increase in big game,” said R. C. Gery, acting district forester at Ogden. This is generally attributed to the game preserves, to destruction of predatory animals and better enforcement of laws.

A continuous closed season for mountain sheep is recommended, however. Mr. Gery said: “In spite of the closed season, the mountain sheep do not seem to be more than holding their own. The total number of sheep is very small considering the area involved and it is evident that a continuous closed season is necessary.”

Other excerpts from the report are here given:

“There is an increase of moose on the Targhee forest and it is hoped that a more rapid spread of this excellent game animal will result. It is apparent that it will survive more adverse winter conditions of snow and forage than either deer or elk.

“On several forests, September 15 is believed to be too early for the deer season to open and one is recommended opening October 15. If the number of hunters continues to increase, a shortening of the season will be necessary, and in that case it could begin October 1 and extend to November 15.

“The present season for elk in the counties adjoining Wyoming was apparently based on the former season in Wyoming and is too long. The supervisor of the Targhee forest recommends a season from October 15 or November 1 to November 15. September 15 is too early for it to open, since it is the running season and too warm for the meat to be utilized.

“It is apparently desirable to make an adjustment of the game preserve in Twin Falls and Cassia counties. The deer range in Nevada, Utah and Idaho, the greater number of them being in Idaho during the summer season. These two counties in Idaho are closed to deer hunting, but there is an open season of ten days in Utah and thirty days in Nevada. Local sentiment will not support protection under these conditions. The law is weakened where residents of Idaho are prohibited from killing deer which may cross the state lines and be killed in Nevada or Utah. It is very probable that a smaller area designated as game preserve in Idaho would allow Idaho residents an equal opportunity with those of Nevada and Utah to hunt and still obtain the objects of the game preserve.

“The condition of game birds is not nearly as satisfactory as that of big game. There is practically a unanimous report that the three grouse – dusky, ruffled and Franklin’s, are decreasing, in most cases rapidly. Wherever protected the sage hens have increased and there is a general belief that the supply can be maintained with a short season and small bag limit.

“The destruction of predatory animals is of particular importance in connection with game production since there is a far greater loss from this source than by poaching, even under very lax enforcement of the laws. On several of the game preserves, the losses of game from predatory animals or eagles is preventing a proper increase. Encouragement should be given to trapping by responsible parties within game preserves.

“In view of the exceptionally high prices of furs, it is probable that the supply of fur bearing animals will be reduced to a point where the production and value of furs obtainable will be much lower than it should be. In the case of predatory animals, this will be beneficial, but it appears that it will be necessary to designate game preserves in order to maintain a supply of fur bearing animals not excessively destructive to game. All the forests report a decrease in fur bearing animals except those generally considered predatory.

“There is reported a very general and decided decrease in the fish supply from all waters except those which are inaccessible. There has been an immense increase in the number of fishermen and the decrease can be expected in spite of the increase in distribution of fish for stocking purposes. The reasons are (1) the heavy fishing, (2) the loss in unscreened ditches and (3) low water resulting from drouths.”

The forestry department recommends increases in the number of game preserves and bird sanctuaries and heavy restocking of fishing streams.

source: The Idaho Republican. Page 2 (Blackfoot, Idaho), 16 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Destructive Wolf Killed

A female wolf that has inflicted much destruction on cattle in the Soda Springs district was killed by William E. Cozzens, one of eight hunters employed in the state by the United States bureau of biological survey. In trailing this wolf on the snow, and just before killing her, Mr. Cozzens found where she had killed a calf and made a meal. After finishing the old wolf, he back-tracked and found her den of seven pups, which he destroyed. This month’s total catch of the eight hunters was 82 pure predatory animals, including 57 coyotes, 17 bobcats and eight wolves, according to the monthly report of Luther J. Goldman, predatory animal inspector.

source: The Grangeville Globe. Page 2 (Grangeville, Idaho), 22 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

County Seat News Items

Reports received by Don C. Fisher, deputy state fish and game warden, from licensed trappers, of their catches, indicate a successful season, Mr. Fisher asserts. Under the law, trappers are required to report the number and species of animals caught. With high prices for furs, the trappers’ harvest this year had been big.

source: Cottonwood Chronicle. Page 4 (Cottonwood, Idaho), 23 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

ChangeGameLaw-aChange Game Laws

Movement is on foot according to Don C. Fisher, deputy game warden, to change fish and game laws of Idaho. It is proposed to eliminate the closed season on salmon, to shorten the trapping season from March 31 to March 1, and to provide an all year closed season on quail in central Idaho.

source: Idaho County Free Press. Page 8 (Grangeville, Idaho), 29 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —


According to the 1919 game census, submitted to O. M. Jones, state game warden, a rapid increase of big game has been recorded in the state. In eleven counties in the state the census states there are 16,575 deer. Now we do not wish to dispute the figures of the game census, but just how the game department has been able to count the deer so accurately is a mystery. The writer hunted four days last fall and only counted one deer. At that rate it would take quite a while to count the 16,575 deer without duplicating.

source: The Kendrick Gazette. Page 2 (Kendrick, Idaho), 30 April 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
— — — — — — — — — —

Elk For Canada

Edmonton, Alta. — A herd of ninety-two elk have arrived here from Yellowstone Park, Montana, bound for Jasper park. This is a consignment of a large number purchased by the Dominion Parks department from the United States. Two hundred of these animals are already located at the Banff Park.

source: The Idaho Republican. Page 5 (Blackfoot, Idaho), 05 May 1920.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

More Hunting Photos

Stonebraker Photograph Collection

Ranching, Hunting, and Pack Train Operations in North Central Idaho, 1900-1931

link: to “hunting” photos

This collection consists of 540 photographs from the William Allen Stonebraker Collection, which was donated to the University of Idaho Library in 2003. Stonebraker took photographs in Central Idaho’s remote Salmon River and Frank Church-River of No Return areas at the turn of the twentieth century between 1900 and 1931. The collection contains images of the Stonebraker Ranch and homestead in the Chamberlain Basin, his businesses (dude ranch, pack train and dogsled operations, mining, big game hunting) as well as wildlife, scenic views, and early aircraft operation.
source: University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives

Further Reading

Link: to Deer Hunting
Link: to Del Davis
Link: to Wilbur Wiles (part 2 cougars)
Link: to Cougar Dave Lewis
Link to The Carlin Party Tragedy
Link: to Idaho History Page (table of contents)