Palabras Pintorescas: Oh, how the times have changed

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By Editha Bartley

My collection of old family files is fascinating and now I realize how much I regret not taking a history class or two from Dr. Lynn Perrigo at Highlands so long ago. I’d advise any student in school now to make time, room, for at least an overview class on area history. You will never regret it!

I just read a March 1937 copy of the State of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish brochure.

And, I also have a copy of the same document from last year. The old one is a very small two page, heavy paper (actually, one page, printed on both sides) that folds up to fit in a shirt pocket. The newest one is magazine size, and is 64 fully printed pages. It does contain some maps, and a small picture of an oryx, should a hunter be searching for one. None of us have seen an oryx around here, but some of us have seen a wolf or two in our high country if I might add.

I quote the front of the old pamphlet: “game laws and regulations are not designed to deprive people of their right to hunt and fish, but are necessary  to the management of the game and fish supply for the benefit of the public. The game and fish belong to you, and every violation of these regulations is an infringement upon your personal rights and property. Will you help us stop the violator from pilfering the wildlife treasury?”

I wonder when “pilfering” was dropped from this introduction and I suspect some of us don’t know what pilfering means, in today’s society. There is no mention of any of the above in today’s publication and I suspect the lists of what is illegal now gets longer every year.

Back in the day a general hunting and fishing license cost $5 and a fishing license was $2. The fees for a general hunting and fishing license start at $43 now.

Both documents have a sunrise, sunset table, and in the recent table the times have changed a bit.

The sun now sets a few minutes later in 2011. Apparently the sun has either slowed down in the last 73 years or the time measurement devices have obviously improved. Yes, it could be a combination of both, crazy as it sounds!

Another part of the old file contains letters from Elliot Barker, who grew up in the Sapello Canyon, and was in charge of the game department for many years. He was both a writer and a devout hunter. He and my family were concerned about conservation and game hunting and protection long before this was a popular idea. That prompts me to write yet another column on this topic.

Meanwhile, as the drought worsens, our game, fish and all of our resident mammal species will suffer. Our creeks have very little water in them now and our usually deep snow-packs will soon be gone, months ahead of schedule. May the rains come soon.

Editha Bartley  lives in Gascon in Mora County. She may be reached at 454-0563.