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A letter from sportsman Claris Greenland

It is always a delight to receive mail from Claris Greenland, a local sportsman who has long passed his 91st birthday. He has been active in hurting and fishing all his years, first in Nebraska chasing prairie chickens. He sold a large parcel of his farmlands to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that became a sort of core of the Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge. This is an on-going project with other parcels yet to be obtained.

But getting back to Claris, he remarked about the cost of Winchester Model 94 30-30 carbides. Mr. Greenland relates that he and a partner "went broke" in Seattle when on an Alaskan trip. He sold his octagon barrel carbine for $1.50 so he had money to eat. This was in the 1930 era.

Claris Greenland hunted and fished in Alaska all right, but also in South America and in Canada, and eight different states. Mr. Greenland says, alas, many people haven't hunted, and they don't know what pleasurable and exciting times they've missed.

Domestic cats do kill birds.

It is fairly common knowledge that domestic cats owned by families and released at night, kill about one million birds every day, across the United States. Just writing about this in an outdoor column isn't about to endear the writer in such households.

The family that keeps kitty well fed and occupied with affection and attention will be less suspect concerning their tabby as a wild bird killer. Farm cats are more likely to be the killers. Most birds are ground feeders. Birds taken are wrens, doves, finches, robins, grackles and others.

The families of domestic cats don't know what the cats have been up to during nighttime release. In many cases, local ordinances requiring owners to keep their domestic animals under control are enforced for dogs, but not for cats. People let their cats outside because there are not any consequences for doing so.

It probably doesn't matter that cats will kill some songbirds. As long as we see robins, doves and wrens about in the daytime, their numbers must not be threatened

Cat owners aren't deeply concerned about their cat taking a sparrow on occasion. We regard this species as a nuisance anyway, so what? It's all the better if roaming family cats take them.

Bird fanciers -- and we have a substantial group of them hereabouts -- are often the lovers, and patrons of cats. Sometimes a bit hypocritical here?

I don't believe that a person who fancies the birds has the right to kill the neighbor's pet cat when it wanders onto his property, and may not be a bird killer at all. A feral cat, however when seen far ranging in more rural circumstances, well that may be something different altogether.

But lovers of cats, love all cats and aren't about ready to interfere. When I was a kid we usually had two cats in the household. We were very much attached to them and didn't concern ourselves particularly when we released them at night. Cats do what cats do naturally, and taking a bird is part of the hunting instinct of a domestic cat, regardless of its standing in the family. There is a lot of hype about this, and additional laws aren't the answer. Just individual thought about your nighttime release, which may or may not trigger that hunting instinct. It's your personal decision.

The Browning catalog

And quite a package it is. A full inch thick and at two pounds, there are 244 pages. I don't know of any other line of sportsmen's arms and accessories that is complete as is Browning. There's an ATV branded Browning by Polaris and a complete line of Pheasants Forever upland clothing, Gra-Coil stock adjusters, along with all styles of sporting firearms, but not any wheel guns. Ruger, of course, has them, but not the line of accessories, clothing, knives, scopes cookware, trailer hitches, and fishing tackle. The catalog is available to anyone sending a 31-cent postal card to Browning, Morgan, Utah. The retail prices? Well they seem steep, but most dealers will discount them substantially.

In shotguns, Browning sells a whale of a lot of their Citoris and a new one named Cynergy. And, yes, the original Superposed over-unders are still available on special order. The catalogue is worth writing for. Winchester's address is also Morgan, Utah, as both companies are now a part of a large Belgian holding company.

Some arms makers, Beretta and Benelli, and others aren't publishing a product catalogue. They suggest you use your computer and their dot com slogan.

Federal Cartridge Company

It was in the depression days of the 1930s that Charlie Horn of Anoka acquired some machinery and began making 22 rimfire cartridges and 12 gauge shotgun shells. This was the beginning of the now hugely successful Federal Cartridge Company. Today, Federal makes as complete a line of ammunition as anybody. Operator of the Twin Cities Arsenal in New Brighton, billions of 30 and 50 caliber rounds were produced for the U.S. Army and other armed services.

In addition to the ammo line, Federal owns factories where rifle scopes, clay targets, gun cleaning supplies, and factories that produce rimfire cartridges with special adaptations. The company recently announced a new group of very powerful large bore rounds for use on dangerous African game.

In the early days, hunters avoided Federal's ammo. Now it is considered top grade in every way.