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The Unnecessary Alarm of Local Sportsmen

May 15, 1908

Daily Colonist


The sportsmen of Shawnigan Lake were startled, not to say horrified, last week to see a gentleman whom they took to be an unsophisticated stranger, start from the neighbourhood of the Strathcona Hotel with gun in hand, and to all appearances in search of grouse or any other game that might present itself.


Some rushed to the nearest telephone to obtain the assistance of wardens in order that this visitor, who had the temerity to so openly set about breaking the laws of British Columbia, should be made an example of.  Others—more sympathetic—approached the appropriately clad sportsman and confidently explained that this was the close season and that he must not think of shooting game birds unless he had $25 or $50 (approx $800 - $1600 in 2024) to contribute to the provincial treasury.


The stranger, who was none other than RC Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History, who is visiting the Coast for the purpose of investigating the characteristics of the whale of the Pacific Coast, did not seem particularly disconcerted over the consternation which his sporting costume and armament created.  He announced his determination to continue the hunt, despite the friendly warnings received.


“Oh, but you must not,” persisted one advisor.  “You will get into trouble.  It was only the other day that a man was heavily fined for an infraction of the game law.”


When the excitement had grown to such a pitch that it was almost impossible to ignore it, Mr Andrews explained.  He told them that he desired to obtain a few birds of different varieties as specimens, and that, for that purpose, he had been granted a permit in order that he might secure what even he considered of value in that line.  Hence he had no fear of the law, and, while appreciating the consideration of those friends who had taken the trouble to post him on the regulations, he did not think that there was any good to worry over his welfare.


With that the contingent of sportsmen who had gathered turned about abashed.  Some seemed to feel just a little disappointed, and one even went so far as to remark, in a whisper, that “it was good to be a naturalist.”


Mr Andrews will leave today for the west coast.  He will visit all the whaling stations, and expects to spend practically all summer investigating the whale, its life and peculiarities, and order to submit as complete a report as possible to his chiefs of the New York institution.

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