Nature Notes

Vol. IV July 21, 1927 No. 4

By: R. A. Johnson.

Many of our most enjoyable sports are modified forms of ancient practises. We have experienced a change in the expression of the public demand, both in the nature of athletic games, and in the spirit of hunters afield. The instinct to hunt wild game is one of the oldest of the human race. An opportunity to satisfy it is an invigorating and refreshing experience.

During the past few weeks, many of our guests have gone back to their work with a greater resourcefullness and a new social invigoration, because of their hunting experience while in the park.

Veritable records indicate that great numbers of birds have been successfully taken during the present season. Even several 1/2pt-shots of grouse, with their entire broods, have been taken, as well as bear, deer, and numerous smaller game animals.

Such results are especially satisfying considering that nature of the weapons used. No catch gives more lasting satisfaction and more true joy than a good photograph of a truly wild creature.

On one occassion, a ranger played the part of William Tell while a chipmunk was photographed perched upon his head. In another onstance a blue grouse quietly faced a brigade of nature lovers armed with ten kodaks. After the shooting match was over, the bird walked away quite unconcerned.

By: F. W. Schmoe

sketch of pine marten

Dr. E.W. Nelson, Chief of the U.S. Biological Survey, and authority on wild life, states in his story of the marten as published in the National Geographic Magazine of May 1918: "Like other members of the weasel family, the marten is a fierce and merciless creature of rapine, but unlike the mink and weasel it avoids the abodes of man, and loves the remotest depths of the wilderness."

After reading the above, which no doubt characterizes the marten over much of its range, it is interesting to not certain rather contradictory facts that apply to the marten of the park.

Several years ago the naturalist and Mrs. Schmoe spent the winter at Paradise Inn, then covered with snow and little visited. Marten were in the building practically every night and often seen. They were not unusually shy. Often they are seen during the winter in broad daylight about the buildings and it is possible to approach quite near to them.

Early one spring a pair of marten made their home beneath the tent of Mr. and Mrs. Post near Paradise Inn. In June when the young were half grown they often entered the tent and soon became so friendly that they would eat from Mrs. Post's hand.

Several times within the last few days girls living in the womans dormatory of the hotel have asked me what is the little fox-like animal they so often see as they go to work in the morning. Marten are living in, or beneath, the building at present, with thousand of people all about them.

They are beautiful animals with little of the fertive, snake-like appearance of the weasel. The fur, a rich brown color is much sought after by trappers because of its value. The full grown animal is sometimes three feet in length but their weight is only about six pounds. They are swift travelers through the tree tops, and often make long flying leaps from limb to limb when in pursuit of squirrels or other game. On the ground they travel quite as rapidly. I have measured one leap, up hill from a standing start in the snow, of slightly over fourteen feet.

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