everything you need in the woods


Dit Clapper, hero of hundreds of hockey games, oldest player in point of service and active up to last year as player-coach of the Bruins, is like many other athletes, an avid outdoorsman. He has shot ducks, geese, prairie chickens, pheasants, bear, deer, moose, and caribou. Wing-shooting is his favourite just as it is with many sports stars we know.

That’s Jim Hurley writing in Sport magazine in January of 1948 about the off-ice activities of the long-time Hall-of-Fame Boston winger and defenceman who’s seen above, on the right, with a duck-shooting friend, probably in the 1930s.

Sport was good enough to publish Clapper’s own “Tips To Outdoorsmen.” It’s worth reproducing them here, in the public interest:

• Err on the large side when choosing your shot. Pick a shot that will do the job and not leave cripples. I like 4’s for ducks, and have used 2’s and 0’s for geese.

• My favourite barrel length is 32 inches; it gets the stuff out there.

•  Try for a neck shot by all means on deer. It’s even more deadly than a heart shot. If you fire late, you’re apt to make a hit in the vital, high-back area.

• Have everything you need in the woods. The biggest single necessity is means of making a fire.

• A lost man can get along without food and water for days, but cold will kill him if he can’t keep himself warm overnight. Dry matches, therefore, are of the utmost importance at all times in the woods.

• Be methodical and certain; imprudence never pays. I found out, and now I know.

(Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)

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