Laws recently enacted by most of the states for the better protection of the game, imposing a nominal license for the privilege of hunting it, have enabled us to take a census, as it were, of that vast number of the American people who enjoy the health-giving sports of the field. This census reveals the fact, that, of the whole population of the Pacific Coast, nearly twenty per cent of all those over fifteen years of age are licensed sportsmen. Add to these the large number of anglers, not counted in this enumeration, and the rapidly increasing number of young ladies who are learning to enjoy the exhilarating sports of the field and stream, and this percentage will be appreciably increased. It is, therefore, obvious that a study of the game birds and game fishes must be one of interest to a very large portion of our people, and especially to the younger generation whose knowledge of the game they bring to bag is still in the formative state.
Unlike all other works treating of the birds and fishes, this one is written from the standpoint of the practical sportsman and angler, rather than for the student of ornithology or ichthyology. I have, therefore avoided the use of technical names as much as possible, and employed in the description of the various species the plainest language consistent with a clear understanding of their distinguishing features.