Stories from the Clubhouse: Newsletters Past

Stories of the past are always interesting to read, especially when you have a mixture that is both nostalgic, relatable, and inconceivable today! Courtesy of Perry Chow, the Newsletter was able to take a few scans of the January 1908 copy of Rod and Gun and Motor Sports in Canada. Alongside the ads for travel and better shotguns, which are still familiar, were a few things that were much less familiar. Not the least of these was a full page advertisement for the Canadian Pacific Railway Wolf Hunt, with accompanying small article. The details are quite clear: ride the train far out into the bush, and bring your rifle. While this was a winter hunt, and required the use of snowshoes, other opportunities presented themselves in hunts from the train itself, for those less inclined to slogging through the snow. Both are barely conceivable as fiction today but would scarcely have raised a hair 114 years ago.

Other stories are far more relatable, and have likely happened in the last few years. As one A.A. Hotte describes, the cooking of partridge while on a hunt can be fraught with danger if only from your socalled friends. As the author describes it, the birds were plucked, cleaned, and then set to cook in “a fine large iron pot”, which had been “borrowed” from the friend’s mother. With great wisdom, the friend stated that the birds must be cooked over the fire for one hour twenty minutes, with the birds in a few inches of water. It should be no surprise to the reader today that no birds were had for supper that evening, and on return home the friend experienced a roasting of a different kind altogether.

Thanks to UVic’s Special Collections for their generous gift of time on an archival scanner, a few of the articles, and advertisements, have been digitized, and are available on request. From reading recommendations, to the story listed above, a report on hunting here in BC (The Big Game of Vancouver Island and Their Enemies), and a godforsaken toast given at the Canadian Club in New York, this really is a picture into the past.