Skip to main content

Outdoor Nebraska

Drew Devriendt
You singers, who would sing, go listen to the birds That sing among our birches and our pines. Absorb their music; put it into words; In staves and notes, and measured tuneful lines. You can't, you say? Of course you can't. I see Men thrilled with music; hear them call it good; Enjoy these birds; but where, oh where is he, Who can produce the music of our wood? You artists, with your paints, attempt to show A summer sunset on a crystal lake. Put in the tints, and make the heavens glow— Like Nature does. You say you cannot make A picture such as that? I know you can't, Great painters that you are, for one must see Skies color streaked; the birds with wings aslant, The sentry pines; to know what tints can be. —GRANT UTLEY.


Official Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VI JULY, 1931 NO. 3 CONTENTS The New Game Laws _________ "Boys and Bullheads" ___,______ New "Script Plan" for Pheasants Editorial ____________________ 5 6 7 8 Game and Fish Activities ___________________________________________ 1 0

Calvin Coolidge says:

Now that the fields are growing green again the thoughts of many will be turned to the flowing streams. At heart we are all fishermen. Some of us never had a chance to practice the art. Some have known it only through the use of expensive rods and fancy tackle, on elaborate artificial preserves.

But the real fishermen associate the sport with a barefooted boyhood where pole, bait, stream and the alder branch on which the fish were strung were all the product of nature. Only the hook and line were commercial. With the bending rod and sparkling water such men can redeem the joy and peace of their youth.

But those to whom the pleasure of such memories is forever closed cannot fail to find a lure and charm in the gentle art. The open country, the unhurried silence, the refreshing leisure are a stimulation to the body and a benediction to the soul. Even the imagination expands and the credulity is disciplined in telling and listening to adventures with rod and reel.

There is something natural, homely, wholesome and unspoiled about fishermen which we shall all do well to cultivate.


Nebraska citizens will soon have available a number of lakes throughout the state. The Game, Porestation and Parks Commission now own over thirty lakes and each year is buying and developing more. This scene shows a state-owned lake near Oxford.



Official Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VI JULY, 1931 NO. 3

The New Game Laws

VERY few changes were made in the Nebraska game laws by the 1931 session of the Legislature. Bag limits, limits on the length of fish, open seasons, etc., remain very much like they were before.

Duck Season Shortened

Perhaps the most important change as well as the most interesting to sportsmen, is that concerning the season on migratory waterfowl. The seasons in this respect were shortened. While the Legislature was in session, word came from Washington that the Secretary of Agriculture had by proclamation changed the open season on ducks and geese from September 16 to October 1, noon. Thus the new season will be from October 1 to December 31, instead of from September 16 to December 31 as heretofore. Inasmuch as state laws must conform to federal laws, Representatives Cushing, (Valley), Steele (Kimball), and Reece (Cherry) introduced a bill at the request of the Game Commission to change the state laws to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. This was done, the bill passed and approved.

Prairie Chickens and Grouse

The Legislature changed the law slightly in regard to prairie chicken and grouse. The old law would have simply closed the season for two years (1929, 1930) and would have opened again in the fall of 1931. The Legislature closed the season indefinitely on these birds, but gave the commission authority to open same when they felt there were enough birds to justify an open season.


Owing to many petitions from various parts of the state, the Legislature closed the season on doves. While the open season last year did not lessen the number; of these birds to any great extent, the open season did not seem to meet with statewide approval and much dissatisfaction was expressed. Unfortunately the season opened just prior to the open season on ducks and considerable complaint was made on this score.


The following changes were made in the game laws and are effective August 3, 1931:

Ducks and Geese

Open season changed from Sept. 16 to open at noon, Oct. 1 (This was done to make state laws same as federal, which were recently changed.)


Closed the season on doves during 1931 and 1932.

Prairie Chicken and Grouse

Closed the season unless opened by the commission.


Allows land-owners being damaged to trap beaver when securing a permit and keep the pelts.


Allows the use of scrip for hunting upland game birds (See Page 7 of this issue for full particulars.)


Allows seining in the Missouri river when proper permit is secured.

Requires all persons selling catfish from Missouri River to have a "vendor's permit.''

Allow carp to be speared from sunrise to sunset between April 1 and December 1.

Fishing in Missouri River

After a bitter fight lasting for three years, with the contest going to the XJ. S. Supreme court, the commercial fishermen along the Missouri River finally succeeded in getting the law changed to permit them to take catfish and carp from that stream with seines. Senator James A. Rodman (Douglas) and Representative Fred D. MacClay (Nemaha) introduced bills in both houses which opened up seining again. Many sportsmen opposed the measure and fought it, but the bill finally passed and, effective August 3, catfish may again be taken. The new law allows the use of two-inch or larger mesh seines, trammel nets and hoop nets. No catfish less than 13 inches can be taken, and no catfish at all can be taken from March 16 to May 1. Fishing with nets is not allowed except where a permit is secured from the commission. Persons selling catfish taken with nets must have a $10 a year vendor's permit. Fishing within 300 yards of the mouth of any stream entering the river is not allowed under the new law. This new law was sponsored by the Missouri River Fishermen's Association, headed by W. H. Miller of Blair. It becomes effective August 3, 1931.

Spearing Carp

The law was changed through an amendment offered on the floor to permit the spearing of carp from sunrise to sunset between April 1 and December 1. It is believed that this wlil not prove harmful to catfish as heretofore, since most of the trouble in spearing came from spearing through the ice in the winter, which is now prohibited.


A slight change was made in the law

(Cont'd. on Page 14.)

"Boys and Bullheads"


SOME of our game fish have an aristocratic disposition and it requires more tackle to catch them than the average fisherman can possess without mortgaging his house and lot. A man must have a hand painted book of expensive flies, a nine-dollar bamboo or steel rod, wear golf trousers, a pair of hip boots and have a high-speed motor boat before they can be persuaded to bite. They give you the once over with a critical eye and unless you are listed in "Who's Who" they pass you up like the average tourist passes up a hobo on a dusty highway.

There is a fish found in Nebraska waters that never high hats you or looks at the clothes of the man or boy who throws in the bait. A fish that takes whatever is thrown to it and when once hold of the hook, never tries to shake a friend, but submits to the inevitable, crosses its legs and says, "Now I lay me" and comes out on the bank and seems to enjoy being taken. This is a fish that is a friend to the poor and one that will sacrifice itself in the interest of humanity and one that Nebraska has cultivated friendly relations with. I allude to the bullhead.

The bullhead never turned a friend down, and to catch him it is not necessary to tempt his appetite with a Tbone steak or to display an expensive lot of fishing tackle. Any ordinary hook, a piece of liver or an angle worm and a willow pole is all the equipm e n t necessary to catch a bullhead. He lies upon the bottom of the stream or pond in the mud thinking. There is no fish that does more thinking or has a bigger head for grasping great questions, or chunks of liver, than the bullhead. His mouth is large and his heart beats for humanity and he is a strong believer in farm relief. If he can't get a piece of liver, most anything you have to offer will make a meal for him.


The Bullhead Ameiurus melas (Raf)

Did you ever watch a boy fishing for bullheads? If you haven't, you have missed something for it is an interesting study to watch a boy catch a bullhead. If the boy's shirt is sleeveless, his hair sticking out through the top of his hat and the rear end of his anatomy exposed to the elements, the bullhead will bite just the same as though he was clothed in golf breeches and plaid stockings. The bullhead seems to be dozing on the muddy bottom and one not familiar with the habits of the bullhead would say that he would not bite. But wait! There is a movement and his cow-catcher moves slowly toward the piece of liver. He does not wait to smell of it and canvass in his mind whether it is fresh or not. It makes no difference, liver is liver; and he argues that here is a family out of meat. "My country calls, and I must go" says the bullhead to himself and he opens his mouth and the liver disappears.

The boy may be building air castles or picking sand burrs out of his bare feet and does not think of his bait for half an hour, but the bullhead is in no hurry. He has responded to his country's call and proceeds to digest the liver. He realizes that his days will not be long in the land, or water more properly speaking, and he argues that if he swallows the bait and digests it before the boy pulls him out, he will be just that much ahead. Finally the boy comes to himself and thinks of the bait, pulls it out with a wild jerk and the bullhead is suspended from the branch of a nearby tree. After considerable effort the bullhead is dislodged and the boy proceeds to cut him open to get the hook out. Some fish only take the bait in a polite way, and are only caught around the selvage of the mouth, and they are comparatively easy to dislodge. Not so with the bullhead. He says if liver is a good thing, the better it tastes all the way down. When the boy gets the hook out of the hidden recesses of the bullhead he feels like the nigger preacher who took up a collection and didn't get a cent so he expressed thanks for getting his hat back.

There is one drawback to the bullhead and that is his horns. We doubt if a boy ever descended into the innards of a bullhead to search for his hook, that did not before his work was complete run a horn into his vital parts. But the boy seems to expect it and the bullhead enjoys it. We have seen a bullhead lie on the bank and become dry, and to all appearances dead to all that was going on, and when a boy sat down on him and got a horn in his buttock and yelled bloody murder, the bullhead would grin from ear to ear, wag his tail as though applauding for an encore. The bullhead never complains; we have seen a boy take a dull knife and proceed to follow a fish line down a bullhead from head to the end of his anatomy, and all the time there would be an expression of sweet peace on the countenance of the bullhead, as though he enjoyed it.

If we were preparing a picture representing "Resignation" and wished to represent a scene of suffering in which the sufferer was lighthearted, seeming to recognize that all was for the best and that he was fulfilling his mission here on earth, we should take for the subject, a bullhead, with a boy searching with a dull knife for a swallowed fish hook.

The boy that spends his spare time on the banks of a stream or pond. With a willow pole in his hand, fishing for bullheads, has a better chance of making good in his life's work than the boy that spends his spare time around the poolhalls and on our city streets.

(Continued on Page 14.)

The New "Script Plan" for Pheasants

ANEW plan for cooperative hunting between sportsmen and farmers will be tried out in Nebraska this fall. It is a plan known as "Hunter's Script", authorized by the recent session of the State Legislature.

While the new plan is an experiment and may or may not prove popular with farmers and hunters, yet it is believed by most sportsmen that the time is here when some plan of this kind should be tried out in an effort to see if it is workable and will provide a means for hunters from larger cities to find a place where they can hunt.

The new plan applies only to upland game birds, such as pheasants, prairie chickens, etc. Since there is not likely to be an open season on prairie chicken this year in Nebraska, the plan will apply only to pheasants.

The plan is as follows: A hunter desiring to go to an open county this fall to hunt pheasants, can go to the Game, Forestation & Parks Commission office, or the office of one of its agents and purchase a book containing five coupons for $2.50. The coupons are worth fifty cents each. With the book he is given a list of farms in the county where he desires to go where the coupons are acceptable and where there are a good supply of birds. Upon arrival at the farm he selects, he presents his book of script which shows his name, address, car number and permit number. The farmer holds the book until he gets his birds or as many of the five as he can. He then tears out one coupon for each bird, signs same and presents them to the farmer. The farmer can send them direct to the Game Commission where they will be redeemed at face value or he can present them to his bank or merchant, as the coupons are transferable. If the hunter has any coupons left, he can return same and secure his money back.

The title to all game birds handled under this plan remains with the state, and the coupon valued at fifty cents goes to the farmer for feeding and raising the birds and the trouble he is put to allowing hunting on his land. No birds can be taken except during the regular open season and all bag limits, etc., must be observed just the same as though hunting without the script. No ducks, geese or migratory waterfowl can be taken under this plan as these birds are migratory and are subject to federal laws. The back of the coupon book carries a tag which, when authenticated by the farmer, permits the hunter to return home with his bag without going elsewhere to get them tagged.

A large number of Nebraska hunters would like to find a place where they can hunt without being asked repeatedly to "move on." They also want to be protected against "per diem" tresspass charges where they may not find any birds after paying the tresspass charge. This script plan means that if there are no birds there is no pay. On the other hand, many farmers are willing to permit hunting if they can be assured of no damage and can keep it under control. This plan makes it possible for the farmer to know exactly who is hunting, his address and other identification and he can control the same. Only those farmers desiring to use the plan need to do so, and hunters having a place to hunt can follow the pastime as heretofore, without using script.

The following is the new law governing the plan:

Hunter's Script Act

Section 1. The Game, Forestation and Parks Commission shall have general supervision and shall enforce the provisions of this act.

Sec. 2. The title of all upland game birds shall remain vested in the State of Nebraska, but any resident land owners and/or lessees of land in Nebraska may, if desired receive certain remuneration for the feeding and raising of upland game birds, subject to the restrictions set forth in this act.

Sec.3 The Game, Forestation and Parks Commission may issue what, for the purposes of this act, is known as "Hunter's Shooting Script". Such script shall consist of books of coupons, each coupon being detachable and stating its value upon the face thereof. Books will contain such number of coupons as may be necessary or may correspond to the number of upland game birds allowed to be killed by hunters during open season for which issued. Hunters desiring to hunt on land available for hunting under this act, shall leave hunter's coupon script book with the landowner or lessee while hunting on said land and shall pay the land owner or lessee with the Hunter's Shooting Script, giving such land owner or lessee one coupon for each bird killed on such premises. The value of coupons shall be fixed from time to time by the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission prov i d e d, that in no case shall the value of the coupon be greater than fifty cents each.

Sec. 4. The Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, through its secretary and agents, is hereby authorized to sell such script to resident and non-resident hunters who may desire to shoot

(Cont'd, on Page 14.) FARMERS NOTICE

Nebraska farmers or members of their families who desire to use the new Hunter's Scrip should send in their names to the Game Commission at once.

Read the article on this page carefully, together with the new law, and if interested communicate with the authorities at Lincoln. Lists will be prepared for each county, giving the names and addresses of farms where scrip will be accepted.

Here is an opportunity to make some Christmas money or help out on the grocery bill.

Address all letters to Frank B. O'Connell, Secretary, Game & Parks Commission, State House, Lincoln, Nebraska.



Published by Game, Forestation & Parks Commission Editorial Office, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska FRANK B. O'CONNELL..........................................Editor COMMISSIONERS: Charles W. Bryan, Lincoln, Chairman Webb Rice, Norfolk, Vice Chairman George B. Hastings, Grant F. A. Baldwin, Ainsworth E. R. Purcell, Broken Bow Guy Spencer, Omaha Frank B. O'Connell, Lincoln, Secretary Vol. VI July, 1931 No. 3



The following report shows the 1930 receipts of the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission's activities, as prepared by the State Auditor who each year examines the Commission's business:

Number Permits Sold in 1930 Resident Permits Sold ..........................187,022 Non-resident Hunt and Fish ................ 448 Non-resident Fishing............................ 3,254 Trapping Permits .................................. 8,279 Alien Fishing ..................------.............. 2 8 Private Fish Hatcheries ...........-............ 2 3 Game Bird Breeders.............................. 532 Fur-Animal Breeders............................ 525 Game Fanciers...................................... 64 Fur Buyers............................................ 146 Receipts Permits Sold..................................$217,407.00 Fish Sold........................................ 5,837.57 Confiscated Articles..............,........ 1,017.63 Park Cash Receipts ___................... 955.17 Liquidated Damages ................___ 2,355.00 Misc. Receipts................................ 419.21 Collected on Old Accounts ............ 321.00 Total Receipts........................$228,312.88

The following shows the receipts for the last several years as compared with those for 1930:

193 0..............................................$228,312.88 1929..............,................................ 208,661.25 1928.............................................. 192,387.35 1927............................................... 171,983.47 1926.............................................. 174,611.36 1925 .............................................. 167,469.69 A VICIOUS PRACTICE

Officials of the state game commission did not overstate themselves when they termed dynamiting of lakes a vicious practice.

It is difficult to understand the motives that animate men to cause them to commit acts which mean wholesale destruction of fish life. Thousands of fish can be killed by a single explosion.

The wild life that could furnish sport and food to hundreds of fishermen over extended periods of time is snuffed out in a single moment by dynamite. It is a sad sight to see dead fish strewn over the surface of a lake as the result of acts of a few men.

Two instances have recently come to the attention of the game commission. One proved disastrous, two men losing their lives. Educational efforts to encourage an appreciation for the state's efforts to develop recreational game resources should be continued. When they fail, every effort should be made to apprehend offenders against plans to make wild sport available to great numbers of Nebraskans.—Lincoln Star.


"Education is one of the most important factors entering into the conservation of fish and game and other natural resources. Such progress as has been made in Montana is due primarily to that influence. When sportsmen know and realize the facts, they are quick to act, for the winner never quits and the quitter never wins.

Education may come about in several ways. When a game law violator is arrested and prosecuted, that's education. In some cases it might not "take" with the individual, but he has learned something, nevertheless, and his experience is likely to have a wholesome influence on others.

The better form of education, however, is the encouragement of real sportsmanship and the development of conservation sentiment to avert violation. To that end, the Montana Fish and game department and Montana Wild Life, its official publication, have received valuable support from organized sportsmen, conservation agencies and individuals. There can he no doubt that an active organization of sportsmen wields a great influence for conservation in the community where it exists, and the more of them there are, the greater will be the scope of that influence.

In carrying on educational campaigns, sportsmen's organizations are coming to realize more and more the importance of interesting the younger generation in their purposes and activities, and as a result, a generation of better sportsmen and conservationists is coming along. Numerous clubs identified with the Montana Sportsmen's Association and chapters of the Montana division of the Izaak Walton league have junior memberships, and several of them are carrying their educational campaigns into the schools. A number of game wardens also make it a practice to talk to the pupils on wild life conservation.

More than his own education along lines of conservation is accomplished by teaching the child, for he passes that information along in the home.

An illustration of what may be accomplished by enlisting the interest and co-operation of the younger   OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 9 generation is presented by the National Association of Audubon Societies. Comparatively few years ago, song birds of all species and their eggs were considered the legitimate prey of boys who boasted of their collection of the latter. But they have been taught that it is wrong to kill birds and rob nests, and today the boy who does such things is mighty unpopular with his fellows.

Sam McKelvie, publisher of the Nebraska Farmer and former governor of Nebraska, who has a summer camp in the Black Hills, once told of an incident that occurred near his cabin:

" 'Nope, we can't sell any.' So said a couple of keeneyed Boy Scouts when asked how much they would take for a nice catch of fish they had made near our cabin. The prospective purchasers meant perfectly well in wishing to buy the fish from the Scouts, and they saw no good reason why the generous price they were willing to pay should not be accepted, but the Scouts knew a good reason, that it was against the law. They probably were aware also that no one ever would have known it had they sold the fish, but it is a part of the training of the Boy Scout not to violate the law under any circumstances, and most of them observe it religiously."

An organization such as this merits the fullest support of all true sportsmen, and it should be an important part of the program of all organizations of sportsmen and conservationists to interest the younger generation of their communities in the work they are doing and to let them know why."


The serious decrease in the numbers of ducks noted throughout the United States during the shooting season of 1930-31 has caused general alarm among sportsmen, conservationists, and others interested in these valuable birds. For several years drought conditions in the breeding season of the birds have been unfavorable in the Northern Plains States and the Prairie Provinces of Canada, and officials of the Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, are co-operating with Provincial and Dominion officials in Canada in studying actual conditions in the heart of the breeding range of some of our most important species of ducks. Preliminary results of the study now in progress indicate that this1 year's hatch of waterfowl will prove to be the smallest on record.

Canadian officials have reported recently that conditions in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba are even less favorable for the breeding of wild fowl than they were last year. Recent rains in these areas can have no effect on this year's hatch of young ducks, because the peak of the breeding season had passed before the drought broke.

The serious drought conditions in the breeding grounds of the birds in the spring and early summer this year have accentuated the critical conditions facing the waterfowl. Concern for the safety of the birds is increased by announcements from the Weather Bureau that the extreme deficiency in moisture that was experienced in 19 30 followed similar conditions in the Northwest dating back to 1922.

Early this year Secretary Hyde, of the Department of Agriculture, recognizing the need for additional protection for wild fowl, authorized amendments to the regulations under the migratory-bird treaty act. These amendments will reduce the open seasons on waterfowl by two weeks in each of the States the coming fall and winter. He also adopted other restrictions to reduce the annual kill of wild fowl, including a reduction in the number of live-goose decoys that may hereafter be used at any gunning stand.

The Biological Survey has been observing the drought conditions in the breeding grounds of the wild fowl, particularly in the Plains States and Prairie Provinces. A large part of the wild fowl that spend the fall and winter months in the United States come from these areas. The results of the bureau's studies in co-operation with Canadian conservation officials will be awaited with interest, it is believed, by sportsmen and conservationists of both countries, since it is generally recognized that the conditions now confronting the wild fowl of North America are the most serious in our history.

TOURISTS SPEND $1,000,000,000

What is the Great Outdoors from an economical standpoint, worth to each state in the Union? What is it worth to Nebraska? Several states have tried to answer this question, producing huge figures which, they admit, are conservative. The Great Outdoors is worth more than a billion dollars a year to the United States, according to estimates of the American Game Association.

Classing hunters and fishermen, tourists and vacationists under one head, their expenditures for nature outings would be staggering. For example, W. C. Henderson, associate chief of the United States Bureau of Biological Survey, has estimated that game and fish alone are worth $80,000,000 a year to the state of Maine. This sum is directly traceable to expenditures for hunting and fishing alone. The recreational and health values are incalculable.

The 'Tourist Crop,' including hunters and fishermen, is estimated by W. C. Cribbs, extension agent of Michigan State College, to be worth $200,000,000 annually to Michigan. This state's Out-of-Doors is the great lure. The 'Tourist Crop' exceeds the combined return from Michigan's four great industries — fruit crop, $20,000,000; potato crops, $25,000,000; dairy industry, $80,000,000; and poultry industry, $60,000,000.

An editor, Mr. A. E. Andrews, of the Indiana Farmer's Guide, in estimating the value of the Tourist to Indiana, worked out a sound basis that every state may apply and arrive at an approximate of the tourist crop expenditure value within its borders.

After careful checking and rechecking, Mr. Andrews found that the average tourist spends nearly $1.00 with private enterprises to every cent spent with the state. Monies derived from the parks, hunting and fishing licenses, are not more than 1 per cent of the monies spent by the tourist, he said. Some tourists do not spend a cent with the state through these channels. By multiplying state monies received, $461,000 by 100 he figured that the tourist crop is worth $46,000,000 to his state annually.

Who wants to figure what the tourist means to Nebraska?

When we realize the importance of paved roads across our state, the income from tourists will mean much more. But, even now we believe the figures would be surprising.


Game and Fish Activities


We are indebted again this month to the Nebraska Farmer, for loaning us several photographs used on our cover and frontis-piece.

Recreation Grounds

Considerable development work is being done this summer in developing recreation grounds purchased during the past year by the game commission.

Work is now under way on the Wellfleet (Lincoln County) project, where! an eightyacre lake on Medicine Creek will be constructed. It is expected to have the work finished by September 1.


Billie McClure with a bag from Crystal Lake

The Loup River (Sherman County) project is now completed and stocked with fish. Considerable diking and dam work was undertaken here, but it is believed this will make a very fine recreation grounds in due course of time.

The Alexandria (Jefferson County project), will be started in late July. Bids are now being taken for the building of three lakes, containing about twenty-five acres of water. This work should be completed early in the fall.

Work will probably be started late in the summer on projects at Verdon (Richardson County), Arnold (Custer County) and Ravenna (Buffalo County.)

Minor improvements have been made this year on the Memphis (Saunders County) project, the Blue river (Saline County) project and the Cottonmill (Buffalo County) project.

Bullhead Distribution

One of the largest plantings of adult bullheads ever undertaken was finished recently. Over 300,000 adult fish were transferred from Sand-Hill lakes to eastern and southern Nebraska. The records show that over a million of these fish have been planted during the past several years. A million adult fish is a considerable number and it takes a great deal of work and expense to handle them.


The Commission is continuing with its fish nursery program and eventually hopes to have suitable nurseries on all the more important lakes in the state. This summer a nursery has been built at Trout Lake and several more will be constructed at other lakes when suitable sites are found.

Scientific Survey

The study of the vegetation and animal life in fish ponds begun last year is being carried on again this summer. The ponds at the Benkelman and Rock Creek hatcheries are being studied now, and later on the Gretna Hatchery ponds will be placed under observation. The work last summer was confined to the Sand-Hill lakes. This report, covering the conditions of the lakes in Cherry County, together with the food situation of small bass and perch, has recently been published by the commission under the title, "Report of Investigations In the Cherry County Lakes." Copies may be had free upon request.


"The End of a Perfect Day"

New Game Laws Out

Persons interested in securing copies of the new game laws, as amended by the 19 31 session of the State Legislature, can now secure copies from the commission's office at the State House.

"Outdoors in Nebraska, Summer of 1931"

The tourist guide, entitled, "Outdoors In Nebraska, Summer of 1931" is now available free to persons interested. This little guide shows all the recreation centers throughout the state, the more important fishing lakes, etc. Requests are now coming from all over America. Tourists who contemplate making a trip through the middle west are anxious to get such a booklet and frequently write for it.


Nebraska Bass

  OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 11 Commission Divides Work

"A Pan Full"

In order to divide up the different phases of work now being carried on under the Commission, and to relieve the pressure of having to consider so many details on its quarterly meetings, the following committees have been appointed by Chairman Bryan. Matters com ing under the various heads outlined will be referred to the committee in charge, who will later bring the matter before the full body of the commission when necessary. However, it is hoped these committees may be able to take care of many minor matters, thus relieving the commission of many details when meeting.

Hatcheries, Distribution & Nursery Pond Committee —Spencer, chairman; Baldwin, O'Connell. State Parks Committee—Purcell, chairman; Hastings, O'Connell.

Lakes & Recreation Grounds Committee—Baldwin, chairman; Spencer, O'Connell. Game Reserves, Game Production, Forestation Committee —Rice, chairman; Purcell, O'Connell. Conservation & Scientific Survey Committee—Hastings, chairman; Rice, O'Connell.


Crystal Lake Cats


Who owns the wild game?

More than 7,000,000 hunters and 18,000,000 fishermen in the United States alone often raise this question. Down through the ages comes the answer — everybody owns the wild game, and at the same time nobody owns it.

A book just published, "Wild Game — Its Legal Status," by the Game Conservation Department of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., of Wilmington, Delaware, and distributed free as long as the present supply lasts, to those desiring it, traces the legal status irom the antiquity of the Romans, through the crowns of Europe, through the inherited common law of the American colonies, to the present stewardship of the individual states. The book is a reprint of a report made to the Massachusetts Fish and Game Association by its attorney.

Title to wild game is held by the public but vested in the state, which has regulatory rights over it. No individual can own wild game. One may even raise game domestically, but the moment it is liberated or escapes, its legal status is declared "wild game," and it becomes the property of the public, legal decisions show.

"The Roman law . . . embraced animals ferae naturae, (wild by nature) which, having no owner, were considered as belonging in common to all the citizens of the State," Mr. Justice White of the United States Supreme Court said in a learned opinion in the case of Geer vs. Connecticut.

"There are things which we acquire the dominion of, as by the law of nature . . . and others we acquire by the civil law ... by methods which belong to the government. Thus, all the animals which can be taken upon the earth, in the sea, or in the air, that is to say, wild animals, belong to those who take them . . . Because that which belongs to nobody is acquired by the natural law by the person who first possesses it," Mr.Justice White said.

In tracing the legal status of wild game the book shows that in Eng.and the ownership of game was first vested in the King as an individual, but later wrested from him and placed in the crown as a sovereignty, "to hold such property (wild game) as the representative of, and in sacred trust for, the people." This status was exacted from King John by the barons at Runnymede, in the Magna Charta in 1215.

"The colonists who settled in America carried with them the common law of England which governed their dealings. After the American Revolution the question arose as to whether the newly independent colonies had a common law. It was judicially decided that the common law of England plus all English statutes prior to the Revolution so far as applicable to our conditions constituted the common law of the various states," the book reads in part.

Since the ownership of game by the state is its sovereign capacity in 'trust' for the benefit of the people rests upon the common law and not upon statutes, an examination has been made of the decided cases in the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Courts, the appellate courts of the 48 states and the District of Columbia. Opinions from nearly every state are quoted, all to the effect that the Public only owns the wild game.


In countries sparsely inhabited by man or that have not been long occupied by him, there has become established an equilibrium called the balance of nature. This results from the check put on one specie of life by another.

Here in Nebraska rabbits were kept in check by coyotes and other carnivorous animals. Destructive rodents and insects were kept within bounds by the same animals, skunks, badgers, and especially by hawks and owls.

On the arrival of man he proceeds to kill off the coyotes, skunks, badgers, hawks, owls and many other beneficial creatures and the rabbits, rodents, and isects increase in proportion to the decrease of their natural enemies and thus the balance of nature is upset.

Robert Ridgway of the TJ. S. National Museum says: In the wholesale destruction of wild life which has taken place only the insects have escaped, and of all enemies with which man has to contend, none can compare with the members of the insect family, at once the most numerous and voracious of all creatures.

Among the enemies of insects, the birds are first, because the food of most birds consists of chiefly, or to a greater or less extent, of insects.

The digestive process of birds is extremely rapid and every insect eating bird each day devours many of these enemies of the farmer and horticulturist and it is safe to say that, but for the help thus rendered by the birds it would hardly be possible to grow crops of grain, forage or fruits.

The study of birds has grown a great deal in the present generation and though it is now too late to undo the harm that has been done through thoughtlessness and ignorance, there is yet time to make some amends.

Hawks, as in all other birds and creatures, live on the food that is most available and in case of scarcity of their natural food supplies, those that are classed as beneficial may become non-beneficial for the time being.

The following hawks listed as beneficial are found in Nebraska at some period during the year: The Redshouldered Hawk, The Red-tailed Hawk, The Broadwinged Hawk, The Rough-legged Hawk, The Marsh Hawk, Swainsons Hawk and The American Sparrow Hawk.

The latter feeds largely on grasshoppers and other insects and is one of our most beneficial hawks. The red-shouldered hawk and its larger relative the redtailed-hawk are similar in habits and are often accused of the deeds of the sharp-shinned and cooper hawk. Their food consists chiefly of insects, frogs, snakes and small mammals. The broad-winged hawk is quite frequently called the policeman of the wood lot. Perching motionless for hours upon some dead tree it will suddenly come to life and pounce upon some unsuspecting mouse, mole or squirrel. The rough-legged hawk a wintry visitor from the northland is noiseless in flight and its habit of hunting in the twilight makes it of special value in destroying field mice, which is almost its exclusive diet, making it a valued ally of the farmer. The marsh hawk flies low in an erratic zig-zag fashion, over meadows and plains searching every square foot for a possible meal and its menu may include mice, snakes, frogs or possibly a small bird. During the nesting season thousands of mice are used in feeding their young. The Swanson hawk, the most abundant specie of the prairie country is a very inoffensive fellow feeding mostly on ground squirrels, mice, grasshoppers and crickets making it a valuable aid to the agriculturist.

The non-beneficial are the Duck Hawk, Goshawk, Cooper Hawk, and the Sharp-shinned Hawk. The Goshawk is considered the fiercest, most destructive and most daring of all the hawks, but because its breeding range is far north and fewer in number than some other hawks, the damage to poultry is less though the grouse and other game birds found near their natural habitat, suffer greatly.

The sharp-shinned hawk is one of our most destructive hawks, feeding almost entirely upon birds. Slipping noiselessly upon flocks of feeding birds or overtaking them on the wing makes this hawk a constant terror to our bird life.

The Cooper Hawk is a larger counterpart of the last named hawk and hence more destructive due to its larger size and swift and irregular flight. It will drop into a poultry yard and carry off a half grown chicken regardless of the presence of the owner.

The Duck Hawk will be found frequenting waterways inhabited by ducks and shore birds and will frequently kill beyond their actual needs and the dead are left where they fall.

In our hawk family the per cent of non-beneficial or killer hawks is much smaller than the beneficial so let us familiarize ourselves with the undesirable species and not destroy those that are helpful to us.

The more we study nature the more we are impressed by the lesson learned and the more we realize that only a divine origin and purpose can account for the marvels, the mystery that the study reveals. The transformation from the ugly caterpiller to the lovely butterfly, the seemingly lifeless seed to the stately tree are but a few of the wonders of nature.


IT. S. Game Protector O. D. Steele, formerly stationed at Omaha but now stationed at Cambridge, Md., has sent in an interesting account of how he and U. S. Deputy Game Wardens John W. Creighton and John T. Capps spent Thanksgiving Day. They were marooned on Hollands Island in Chesapeake Bay about 20 miles from the mainland and passed what Mr. Steele reports to have been anything but a pleasant holiday. Tuesday night, November 25, a high wind came up, and the temperature suddenly dropped. It appeared that the wind and waves would wreck the motor boat Curlew, which was anchored 100 yards off the shore of the island. By Thursday the fuel on the boat was exhausted and the food supplies were practically gone. The low water, however, had bared the oyster bars, and the men went ashore and picked up oysters, their Thanksgiving dinner consisting of fried oysters, canned beans, fried sweet-potato bread, and canned pears. A little later Deputy Creighton was taken ill and grew steadily worse. They could not reach shore or medical aid, but did everything they could for him with the small supply of medicine on. hand.   OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 13 "It was a gloomy situation," says Mr. Steele, "no fuel, a very small amount of food, and the storm continuing as if it would never end. Friday was no better, though Creighton appeared a little stronger and took some food. Saturday morning the wind abated, and as soon as the tide came in sufficiently we turned the Curlew around. .Assistance had come down from the mainland but was held at the edge of the ice half a mile away. We soon had the old Curlew, long noted for her ice-breaking power, under way, and we broke through to the relief boat, and, leaving Capps, Creighton and I came up on the bay to Hoopers Island, where we found my automobile, which I had left on the shore, frozen tight and all six cylinders burst beyond repair. And so goes the Thanksgiving of a United States game protector."

U. S. Game Protector L. J. Merovka and U. S. Deputy Game Warden W. E. Dickerson had a thrilling experience on November 30 with the motor boat C-5. While patrolling the Mississippi river from Memphis, Tenn., north to Island 39, they were caught in a windstorm, the huge waves covering the boat several times before they could get to shore. Mr. Merovka reports that it "looked pretty bad for them for a while and that they were prepared for the worst."


Wealthy people, generally club members, do more to encourage game bootlegging than any other class, according to information reaching the American Game Association.

. "Their action, for the most part, is thoughtless in purchasing wild game served in clubs, night clubs, hotels and high class restaurants. If it were not purchased by the patrons, most of them respected citizens, it would not be bought of the game bootlegger, consequently would not be killed," Seth Gordon, president of the association, said in denouncing the illegal practice, which, he was informed, is prevalent in almost every state in the union.

The United States Bureau of Biological Survey has declared war on the bootlegger of game, and Paul Redington, chief of the bureau, denounces the game bootlegger as "the most vicious element in society." Several Federal game protectors have been fired upon by these bootleggers when attempts were made to arrest them.

"Sportsmen should lend every assistance to suppress the illegal practice of market hunting and bootlegging of game," Mr. Gordon continued. "The wealthy class are the only ones who can afford to buy game at the high bootleg prices. They evidently do not realize the great harm they do both to conservation and in endangering the lives of conscientious officers who attempt to enforce the law. This class of outlaw hunter is of the lowest type, usually filled with bootleg of another kind, and does not hesitate to turn his deadly gun upon the warden if he is approached.

"Stop buying or eating bootleg game and save the lives of these men," Mr. Gordon pleaded in his appeal to the public.


If an outdoor fan is unfortunate enough to acquire a "case" of poison ivy this summer he'll be better off if he does not listen to his friends and try all their homemade, "sure-cure remedies," advises the Izaak Walton League in a recent vacation bulletin.

There is no reason to fool with trick cures when definite relief and cure for poison ivy is available. Here is the way to treat a case of this vegetable poison. The method is the result of hundreds of experiments conducted by a well known scientist, J. B. McNair, formerly connected with the University of Chicago, and now on the staff of the Field Museum.

First, infected parts should be washed thoroughly with strong soap and water. Laundry soap is better than plain hand soap. The idea is to remove from the skin as much of the irritating oil of the poison ivy plant as possible. Soap and water will do very well, but washing the infected parts with ether or chloroform is recommended because the oil of poison ivy is easily soluble in these.

Next, apply a 5 per cent solution of Ferric Chloride which has been added to a fifty-fifty solution of water and alcohol. If you can't get the alcohol use the diluted ferric chloride solution. Swab the infected parts thoroughly with cotton soaked in the chloride, and then apply compresses of the solution to the infected skin. Keep the pads moist and wel 1 bandaged. Renew the chloride solution at intervals.

Ferric chloride or iron chloride can be purchased at most any drug store. Outdoor fans who wish to play safe can take a bottle of it with them on their trips.


"Game Protector J. V. Kelsey, of Daytona Beach, Fla., reports that birds of many species once hunted for their plumes have greatly increased in Florida from the sorry remnant of a few years ago. Mr. Kelsey considers the Florida work the greatest single example of bird conservation and law enforcement in wildlife conservation history, and says that if the ground already won can be held, great white herons, American egrets, and snowy herons will not be worries for bird conservationists in the future."


How anglers may prove their fish stories to the folks back home without depending on cameras — which nobody believes any more — has been discovered by the California conversation department, a bulletin of the American Game Association relates.

"A trout fisheraan can keep his catch in perfect condition for days in camp and during long journeys if he follows this slmpie method," the department has announced.

"Clean each fish as soon as possible and hang it up to dry thoroughly. Then wrap it in silk paper, roll in a dry sack or piece of burlay, and wrap again. The extreme outer wrapping may be damp. Keep in a cool place, away from the air, and do not open until the fish is to be used.

"Such bundles can be shipped in a box with ice for thousands of miles."


When wild ducks migrate southward from Canada next fall their winging army will be the smallest on record, an official report received by the American Game Association from the Biological Survey indicates.

A continuation of drought conditions in breeding grounds this spring and early summer have accentuated critical conditions facing waterfowl, according to the Bureau's announcement of preliminary observations made in a survey of breeding ranges in the northern plains states and the prairie provinces of Canada. The Bureau is cooperating with Canadian officials.

This year's hatch will prove to be the smallest on record, because of a prolonged scarcity of rainfall which has caused marshy breeding areas to drp up, the first results of the study show.

The report, verifying advice previously received by the game association from many sources, comes at a time when sportsmen, conservationists and others interested in the wild fowl situation are already alarmed over the 50 per cent decrease in the numbers of ducks noted during the past shooting season.

Further protection to the duck supply during the next open season will be offered by new amendments to the federal regulations, reducing the waterfowl open season by two weeks in every state, and reducing the bag limit from 2 5 to 15 a day.

"It is generally recognized," the Bureau report states, "that the conditions now confronting the wild fowl of North America are the most serious in our history."


(Continued from Page 5.)

governing the taking of beaver. Under the old law a land owner could secure a permit where damaged, but the pelts of beaver taken had to beturned over to the state. Under the new law the land owner can keep the pelts, but he must show damage before obtaining a permit, just as heretofore.

Other Changes

A few other changes were made in the law. A new plan of bringing the farmer and hunter in closer harmony was enacted into law and will be tried out during the next two years. It is known as the "Hunter's Script." Another article in this issue of Outdoor Nebraska gives full particulars regarding this new law.

A few other minor changes were made, but none of them effect the average fisherman directly.

The new game laws with all changes made by the 1931 session of the Legislature are now printed and ready for distribution. Copies of the same may be secured from Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, State House, Lincoln, Nebraska.


(Continued from Page 6.)

Mother Nature seems to instill a vision of greatness in the heart of a boy during the hours he spends with her in our great outdoors. A vision that will go with him the rest of his life and have a tendency to keep him from evil. Let us have more bullheads and places to put them here in Nebraska and then encourage our boys to spend as much of their spare time, as possible, in the open country, and the future of our younger generation will be assured. Bullheads and reform schools don't mix, so let's have more bullheads.


(Continued from Page 7.)

pheasants in Nebraska as prescribed under this act. Funds collected on such coupons shall be held as a trust fund by the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, and coupons will be paid from said fund upon presentation by such land owner, lessee or assigns, at any time during the calendar year in which same are issued. Unused coupons will be paid and redeemed at the face amount thereof upon presentation of the same by the person to whom issued, or his assigns, in like manner and time aforesaid. ATI unused moneys in the said trust fund, shall, at the close of such calendar year be paid by the Commission to the State Treasurer.

Sec. 5. Such script shall be used only for the purpose of hunting upland game birds on land where script is acceptable to the owner or lessee thereof, and during lawful open seasons on upland game birds as may be fixed by law or regulations. Hunters using such script shall be subject to all existing game laws, including observance of bag and possession limits and carrying of a hunter's permit, the same as though hunting without such script.

Sec. 6. The payment of such charge as prescribed in this act shall accrue to the land owner or lessee for remuneration for feeding of birds and tresspass upon his land, and such charge shall in no way give or transfer title to such birds as may be taken.

Sec. 7. It shall be unlawful for land owners or lessees, unless operating a licensed game farm and holding privately owned birds in captivity, to sell upland game birds.

Sec. 8. Any person violating the provisions of this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in any sum not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars.

Approved May 6, 1931.


Nebraska's New Game and Fish Laws for 1931-32

(The following game laws are now in effect in Nebraska) OPEN SEASON (Birds) Rail, except coots................._...Oct. 1st noon to Nov. 30th. Snipe (Wilson and Jack)........Oct. 1st noon to Nov. 1st Water=fowl (Brant, Coots, Ducks, Geese)........................ ..........................................................Oct. 1st noon to Dec. 31st. Pheasants (male)________Open date to be fixed by Commission, Plover..................................._..............No open season unless ordered by the Commission. Prairie chickens and grouse....................No open season in 1930. Wood duck ..............................................................No open season. Eider duck __________.....—.................______No open season. Curlew ........................................................................No open season. Swan ...................-..........................................-...........No open season. Crane (Sand Hill & Whooping)......._.........No open season. Quail ..:.........................................................................No open season. Partridge ..................................................................No open season. Hungarian partridge ........................................No open season. Dove..........................................................................No open season. Wild Turkey ..............................................._____No open season. Female pheasants ................................................No open season. except when ordered by commission. OPEN SEASON (Animals) Mink, rabbits and skunks................Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. Tree squirrels (all species)................Oct. 1st to Dec. 31st. Raccoons..........._.......Nov. 16th to Feb. 15th next ensuing. Opossum....................Nov. 16th to Feb. 15th next ensuing. Muskrats........................................To be fixed by Commission. Opossum....................Nov. 16th to Feb. 15th next ensuing. Foxes.............................. Nov. 1st to Feb. 15th next ensuing. Otter..............................Nov. 16th to Feb. 15th next ensuing. Beaver ...........................................____________No open season. Buffalo ........................................................................No open season. Deer .....................................................................-.......No open season. Antelope ...............................................................—No open season. Mountain Sheep ..................................._______No open season. Mountain Goat ......................................................No open season. OPEN SEASON (Fish) Black bass, Big mouth and Small mouth, 10 inches in length or larger... ...June 10th to April 30th next ensuing. Black bass, Big mouth and Small mouth, less than 10 inches in length........................................No open season. White, striped or rock bass, 6 inches in length or larger....................June 10th to Apr. 30th next ensuing. White, striped or rock bass, less than 6 inches in length....................................................................No open season. Pickerel and Great Northern Pike, 15 inches long or larger............May 1st to March 16th next ensuing. Pickerel and Great Northern Pike, less than 15 inches long........................................................No open season. Wall-eyed pike or pike perch, 12 inches long or larger.......__......__May 15th to Apr. 1st next ensuing. Wall-eyed pike less than 12 inches in length_______ ..........................._.....................................................No open season. Trout, 8 inches in length or larger... ..Apr. 1st. to Oct. 31st. Trout, less than 8 inches in length........No open season. Crappies, 6 inches in length or larger................................ .__.......................................__________Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. Crappies, less than 6 iniches in length....No open season. Perch, yellow, white and striped and sun fish 6 inches in length or larger.......Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. Perch, yellow, white and striped and sun fish less than 6 inches in length..................No open season. Catfish, 12 inches in length or larger... .Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. Catfish, less than 12 inches in length....No open season. Bullheads, 6 inches in length or larger............................ ..Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. BAG LIMITS

Tt shall be unlawful for any person in any one day to kill, catch, take, or, save as herein excepted, to have in his possesion at any time a greater number of game birds, game animals or game fish of any one kind than,

Plover....................................................................................... 10 Grouse, including prairie chicken.......................„... 5 Rails (except coots) Snipe (Wilson and Jack).. Ducks ............................................ Geese, including brants .. Pheasants .................................. Squ irrels _____....................... Raccoons .................................... Opossums Trout (any kind") legal Mze... 15 . 15 15 4 . 5 . 10 . 3 . 3 . 15 15 Bullheads less than 6 inches in length....No open season. Blp'Ck bass (Small mouth"* legal size............ Black bass (Large mouth) legal size...................._ 15 Pickerel and Great Northern Piike, legal size 10 Game fish, any other kind legal size, except raffish taken in Missouri river....................._... 25

It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession at any time a total of more than 40 of the larger game birds to-wit: Geese, brant, ducks, coots, grouse, prairie chickens, and pheasants, or to have in possession at any one time a total of more than 25 of the major eame fish to-wit: "Bass, pickerel, pike, trout, and catfish, and it shall be unlawful for anv person to have in his or her possession at any one time in excess of forty game birds of all kinds or fifty game fish of all kinds. Of such total there shall be no more of any one kind than the daily basr or creel limit herein specified, except that it shall be lawful for a person to have in his or her possession during the open season thereon such additional number of ducks but of none other of said larger game birds as to make a total bag of forty of said larger game birds or a total bag of thirty ducks alone. Not more than 10 live goose decoys may be used or shot over at any one blind.


Game fish may be taken with hook and line only. Illegal to snag or take with hands. Set lines are legal, providing not more than five hooks to line. Traps, nets, seines, etc., are illegal and subject to confiscation. Carp, Suckers and other non-game fish may be taken by spearing between sunrise and sunset from April 1st to December 1st. Seining in Missouri river allowed when issued permit by the Commission.


Hunting and fishing, resident permits, $1.10 required for all persons who have reached sixteenth birthday. Permits necessary for women same as men. Permits must be carried on person.

Hunting and fishing, non-resident permits $10.10 Fishing, non-resident $ 2.10 Trapping, resident $ 2.10 (Trapping permit required for all persons regardless of age. Trapping, non-resident $100.10 DAMAGES

Under the new Nebraska law, every person illegally taking; game or fish must pay the state for such game and fish in addition to the fines and costs. The damage assessed is as follows:

Buffalo $300 00 each Elk $300.00 each Deer $300.00 each Antelope $300.00 each Swan $300.00 ea ch $ 25.00 each $ 25.00 each $ 10.00 each $ 10.00 each Shore bird $ 10.00 each Quail $ 10.00 each Partridge $ 10.00 each $ 10.00 each $ 10.00 each $ 5.00 each Song Bird $ 5.00 each Wild Turkey Wild Goose Duck Pheasant Prairie Chicken Fur-bearing animal Fish

While the Nebraska Laws provide for the throwing back of small fish, the matter is more or less in the hands of the angler. Unless each and every fisherman cooperates, the law is of small value.

Small fish, if properly handled and the hook has not been swallowed, can be saved. Always wet the hands before touching the fish as dry hands cause the fish to have "spots" or fungus growths which eventually kills them. Always get the fish back in the water as soon as possible.

A small fish saved today means a larger fish tomorrow, and it is not only greater sport to catch a large fish, but the food value is much greater. Return the little fellows now and get "fish dividends." It is always well to keep in mind that the big seven pound bass and the thirty pound cat were once little fish and no larger than your thumb.