One day last week the Pocatello, Idaho high school was shy three academic functionaries and 155 students, and Elvis Presley had nothing to do with it. It so happens that Pocatello borders unsurpassed big-game range, and on the day in question southeastern Idaho's deer and elk season was opening. Principal Robert K. Marchel watched his truants with sympathetic and proprietary interest. An avid outdoors-man himself, Marchel had even conducted a preseason student-hunter safety program. He wished his absentees well and well they did.
By week's end 60% of the hunting scholars had downed deer and 25% elk. Typical were Richard and Dennis Chase, 14 and 17, both honor students. They hunted while their father tended camp. Richard bagged a four-point buck deer and a cow elk, in between kept the elder Chase busy plucking grouse. Richard scorns shooting tree-roosted grouse. A baseball fan and pitcher, he prefers rocks and plinks his birds with a high hard one.
Dennis Chase accounted for a three-point buck but failed to down an elk. "We had to hunt hard and fast," he explained, "so we wouldn't lose out on our studies." Among the distaff hunters, 15-year-old Marie Hernandez bolstered her reputation as the school Annie Oakley. Coolly hefting an eight-pound Model 70 Winchester, she toppled a three-point buck at 150 yards and dressed it herself.
The only anxious moment of the campaign was furnished by a faculty member. School Custodian Ora Allen was asleep in his tent when the oil stove went out. Allen was nearly asphyxiated before he was discovered and revived. Faculty face was saved, however, when Spanish Teacher Vernon Bingham and Attendance Clerk Marcelline Dunn nailed their deer. All in all, not one near accident was reported by the young sportsmen. OUTDOOR WEEK'S Idaho correspondent (a big-game guide) reported: "The teen-agers' handling of firearms and their hunting ability was astounding."
SAM, THOSE PANTS
The Skagit County Game Protectors, in the state of Washington, have an odd pair of breeches they don't know what to do with. On opening day of duck season, Game Protector Maurice Splane was horrified to see a gunner down a duck and race onto the Samish River mud flats to retrieve it. Splane knew, as the gunner obviously did not, that the flats offered about as much support as quicksand.
As the hapless gunner squished to his waist in mud, Splane tore rails from a rotting fence and began laying a track to the victim. A crowd gathered, and soon Fellow Game Protector William Hoffman arrived with shovels.
The tide was rising, and, in their haste to lift him out of the muck, the hunter's rescuers also lifted him out of his pants. At that moment the hunter noticed several women among the onlookers. Without a word he scampered along the rails, bounded over the fence posts and into his car, and roared away, clad from the waist down in nothing but Samish River goo.
Splane and Hoffman rescued the pants.