Time's a-wasting. Before you know it frost will cover the countryside and hunting seasons will grind into high gear. With that in mind, here's a hunter's quiz designed to test general knowledge. An 80-100 percent test score indicates a hunter who knows his stuff; 60-75 percent right answers are respectable; just over 50-percenters belong in the marginal range; and anyone under that should stay away from guns and wild game. Hit the books instead and learn.
1. Fox squirrels are predominantly red in color. True or false?
2. The snowshoe hare is always white. True or false?
3. The Chinese ringnecked pheasant doesn't really come from China. The name was coined by mid-western farmers because of its exotic plumage. True or false?
4. During the cold months ruffed grouse must eat every day to survive. True or false?
5. A domestic turkey, released into the wild, will eventually revert to the wily ways of its ancestor, the wild turkey. True or false?
6. Wild Canada geese will mate with several females during the breeding season in northern marshes. True or false?
7. Puddle ducks are well adapted to walking on land. True or false?
8. The average adult Canada goose weighs over 10 pounds. True or false?
9. Waterfowl rarely fly through dense fog. True or false?
10. Duck callers, sounding off on commercially-produced wooden calls, are advised to call often to draw ducks to the decoys. True or false?
11. Auto-loading shotguns operate mostly trouble-free and are recommended for extreme cold weather. True or false?
12. Mallards, pintails, blacks, and other good "table" ducks prefer to visit decoys in protected, windless coves, not around windblown landpoint waters. True or false?
13. Buck deer prefer the company of one doe. They also help raise the fawns. True or false?
14. Deer always try to feed into the wind to help them scent approaching danger. True or false?
15. During the rutting season bucks will fight to the death to keep a harem of does. True or false?
16. Waterlogged swamps are shunned by deer because they fear being trapped in the muck with their narrow hooves. True or false?
17. There were many more deer in the United States when early settlers headed west than in the 1980s. True or false?
18. During severe winter conditions a mother deer would just as soon starve as long as her offspring can feed on sparse browse. True or false?
19. A buck's antlers grow to normal size according to, a) age; b) the amount of calcium and phosphorous found in his diet.
20. According to a national survey most hunters do quite well bagging various game species during the season. True or false?
ANSWERS TO HUNTERS' QUIZ -- Here are the answers to the quiz on page 52:
1. False. Color phases range from a distinct gray to grayish-brown to rust red.
2. False. Color ranges from brown-gray in summer to white in winter.
3. False. Although now found in many states, it was brought from the Orient to Oregon in 1881.
4. Under extreme conditions the bird can go without food for several days.
5. False. Sorry, that will never happen. 6. False. They prefer to stay with one female. 7. True. Unlike their 'diving' cousins, puddlers don't mind a stroll.
8. False. It's more like 7 pounds.
9. False. They don't mind fog.
10. False. Use your calls sparingly and stop altogether the moment a flight sets its wings to land.
11. False. Double-barrels and pumps are less likely to malfunction in cold, wet weather.
13. False. They're first-rate polygamists, keeping as many as 10 does handy.
14. True. Whenever possible.
15. False. Fights last less than 2 minutes, the loser sensing the strength of his opponent and leaving the 'ring' quickly.
16. False. You'll find more deer in a swamp when the shooting starts than anywhere else. They can run full speed over the trickiest muck.
17. False. Wildlife experts say there are easily twice as many now.
18. False. Sorry, when things get tough mother deer look out for themselves, sometimes even driving their young away.
20. False. Sorry, gang. Over 89 percent of all hunters come away emptyhanded.