SI Vault
Edited by Thomas H. Lineaweaver
December 03, 1956
In Montana state fish and game officials war on the fibbing military, in Michigan a National Skeet Champion breaks an expensive bird, while in New Brunswick a deer-jacker shoots with strange result
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December 03, 1956

The Outdoor Week

In Montana state fish and game officials war on the fibbing military, in Michigan a National Skeet Champion breaks an expensive bird, while in New Brunswick a deer-jacker shoots with strange result

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The state of Montana last week found itself in a state of open war against the military mind, which, it seems, regards state game laws as something less than sacred. A month ago Montana took on the Air Force, last week the Navy, and it seems quite prepared to tackle anyone else should it become necessary.

Montana's first skirmish was with three Air Force colonels, a major and a captain. Last month they breezed into Great Falls Municipal Airport from the Pentagon and other places aboard an Air Force C-54, paid $6 for resident hunting licenses instead of $100 for nonresident ones and disappeared into the Seeley Lake country. Five days later all five were arrested by Game Wardens Jim Ford and Ray Thompson of the Missoula Fish and Game District and charged with making false statements on their license applications. Each officer posted a $350 bond, left the state and subsequently forfeited the money. Then, last week, came word that five naval officers ranging from lieutenant to commander and all active at the Alameda Naval Air Station near San Francisco had tried a similar gambit with similar results. Unfortunately, by the time Montana agents had enough evidence to make arrests, the wayward officers, in spite of roadblocks, had retreated to California and could not be extradited. Montana, however, won the day. Under California law all five were arrested for illegal possession of game and, under the federal Lacey Act, for transporting illegal game across state lines. A sixth man, a petty officer, was a bona fide Montana resident, but he had brought back an elk for one of the officers and was also arrested. The five officers mailed $200 each to Montana, the luckless resident $52.50. Whatever else may be learned from this unbecoming military conduct, one lesson is clear. It is cheaper to buy a nonresident Montana hunting license than pay the high cost of fibbing.


Now in residence in Texas: 23 adults, 2 young
Still unaccounted for: 3 adults


With the same superb marks-manship which he used to become national 28-gauge skeet champion, Chesley J. Crites of Detroit last week smashed the most expensive pigeon of his gunning career—his own four-place Piper Clipper airplane.

While deer-hunting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Crites, who is also president of the National Skeet Shooting Association, tied down at Blaney Park airstrip. When he returned to take off for home, his plane's starter failed. With the engine at partial throttle, Crites spun the prop by hand until it caught. But as he dashed for the cabin, he was forced to hit the dirt—the plane, lurching forward, broke its moorings and began ground-looping crazily around the field. Crites accurately plunked eight rounds into the runaway's crankcase with a borrowed Remington .30-06. The fusillade stopped the plane, but it also set it afire. Result: a total loss.

One night last week in the Sussex area of New Brunswick, Canada, a deer-jacker picked up a pair of gleaming eyes with his five-cell flashlight and fired at them. Since jack-lighting deer is illegal, the hunter was not only startled but frightened when an angry voice demanded: "What is the big idea of shooting my horse?" The jacker had shot a horse, all right, but its unscathed rider was in no position to press charges. Hitched to the horse was a freshly killed moose, and moose hunting in New Brunswick is just as illegal as jack-lighting.


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