ONE THOUSAND WAYS TO MAKE FORTUNE – CHAPTER XXV.
FORTUNE IN ROD AND GUN.
How to Combine Profit and Pleasure–Some Truths About Trout–Stories of the Wild North–Fortunes in Furs–Nearly Five Million Skins a year–Cost of Birds for Ladies’ Hats–$25 a Day and Your Own Game Keeper–An Elephant Hunt in Africa.
Happy is the man who can combine pleasure and profit. Most men use the rod and gun for sport, but there are a number of persons who follow the business “professionally.” Especially in the great forests of the north are found thousands of men to whom the skins of wild beasts may be said to be meat and drink. Some of them even attain a competence and retire on their savings from the sale of furs. This is less surprising when we remember that people in the great northern wilderness spend little beyond what is needful for the bare necessaries of life.
887. FAT QUAILSThe quail has been called the game bird of America, because it is found almost everywhere. Some of the best shooting is found in North Carolina and Maryland, where a hunter of average skill can bag fifty birds a day. Price, $1.75 per dozen, or $7 for his day’s sport. Hunters must consult the game laws, which differ in various States of the Union.
888. TROPICAL BIRDSIt is estimated that the number of birds it is necessary to slaughter annually for the decoration of ladies’ hats amounts to the enormous number of 9,250,000. These are mostly tropical birds, and are shot in the forests of Brazil, Central America and Mexico. Some are natives of our Southern States, especially of Florida. On account of the great difference in the worth of the feathers, no estimate of the value can be given, but it is said that a skilled hunter of these bright wings can easily bag $10 worth of the birds in a day.
889. IVORYElephant hunting in Africa is very profitable for those who have the courage and taste for the work. Seventy-five thousand elephants are slain yearly to supply the world’s knife-handles, billiard balls, and piano keys. There are a number of persons engaged in the killing of elephants for the sake of the sport, but most hunters do so for the profit. Ivory is worth about $1 a pound, and the tusks of a male elephant weigh about fifty pounds. The average of one elephant a day is considered a good day’s work, although five or six have been taken under the most favorable circumstances. The safest plan is by means of a pitfall, as then the enraged beast is unable to attack his aggressor. The elephant hunting business is worth about $5,000,000 a year.
890. THE TROUT PONDIn New England there are hundreds of fish dealers who own ponds which they have stocked with trout, and which they sell for $1 apiece; and this price they often receive even when the buyer as sportsman catches them himself. The profits of fish raising lie in the fact that fish are prolific to an extent vastly greater than any other creatures used for human food, the female sometimes laying as many as 150,000 eggs. There are owners of trout preserves who receive as high as $25 a day from sporting clubs for the exclusive use of their ponds.
891. FABULOUS PRICES FOR FURSHunting and trapping in British America and in the North Woods of the United States have always been very profitable. Here is a list of the number of furs taken, with a few of the prices obtained: A good sable skin brings from $20 to $150, according to quality; 15,000 are caught yearly. Almost as valuable is the fur of the pine marten; 200,000 skins taken annually. Another high-priced skin is that of the mink; 250,000 are taken every year. The ermine is another choice fur, of which 400,000 are taken yearly. A beautiful material for robes, ladies’ sets, trimmings, etc., is the fur of the Canada lynx, of which 50,000 are taken yearly. The fur of the otter is much esteemed for caps, collars, and gloves; 40,000 taken yearly. Almost the same number of beavers are captured every year; the fur is used for caps and mufflers. Three million muskrat skins are in demand every year. Of all kinds of foxes some 200,000 find their way into our markets or are exported to Europe. The skin of the silver fox of Labrador has been sold in London for $500. The raccoon furnishes us yearly with 500,000 skins, and the badger with 50,000. We have as a summary 4,745,000 skins marketed every year, affording employment for thousands of hunters and trappers.