National Geographic : 1913 Jul
Photo by George Shiras, 3rd A TOM-CAT ON A HUNT FIRES FLASH SET FOR RABBITS, IN FLORIDA No animals more destructive to birds and small game exist than stray cats, for they possess all the cunning of their wild ancestors and much more, acquired through domestication early every night the flashlight was fired by several varieties of opossum, and it mattered not how high the bait was hung or its variation in kind. While on St. Vincent Island, off the gulf coast of Florida, instead of coons I only got razor-back hogs, and on the main shore, on a rabbit runway, the flash was fired by a big tomcat seeking a bunny for his supper. During two trips after wild cats in a southern swamp hogs took the bait in the daytime and skunks the bait at night. Stray hounds hunting for pleasure and sledge dogs of the North, supporting themselves in summer, will eagerly follow up wind to the spot where the scented bait is in front of the camera, but, fortunately, these canines seldom return again after one bombardment of the flash. But domestic animals are not the only source of trouble. In the wildest por tion of Newfoundland a camera set in daytime, with a string across a trail used by caribou migrating in the fall, was walked into by a French trapper, who, on feeling the pressure of the string on his leg and hearing the click of the shut ter, jumped back with a yell, thinking his life had only been saved because a set gun, the most diabolical device of the pot-hunter, had missed fire. Again, a camera and flash set for deer and peccaries, on a supposedly disused trail at the edge of a Mexican sugar plantation, might have resulted in an in ternational complication, because two Mexican girls, who walked into the string when groping their way to a canoe landing, thought they had been fired at from ambush by our party, camping near by, and fled shrieking through a jungle of palmetto and thorns to the nearest cabin, where the additional cries of the children and barking of the dogs made such an uproar that I was quite concerned. My two estimable companions, Messrs.