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Outdoor Nebraska

October 1931
Drew Devriendt


I've traveled north, I've traveled south, I've traveled east and west, I've heard the men of many states Proclaim that their's is best. But the more I see of our fair land, The farther I may roam, The more my heart must thrill with pride To call NEBRASKA home. By Francis J. Gable.


Official Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VI OCTOBER, 1931 NO. 4 CONTENTS Waterfowl Season Shortened _________,_______________________________ 5 Pheasant Season Fixed______________________________________________ 6 Script Information __,_______________________________,_________________ 7 Editorial _____________________,___,_________________________________ 8 Game and Fish Activities____________________________________________1 0

Save A Life!

Are you always careful with firearms while hunting?

During past years there have been a number of fatal hunting accidents in Nebraska. Some of those killed were boys—in several instances boys under sixteen years old.

The immediate cause of the accidents resulted directly from negligence and not from faulty ammunition or defective firearms. Guns were leaned carelessly against trees, dragged aimlessly through or over fences and brush, promiscuously placed in boats and cars. Safeties were left off on loaded guns, muzzles of loaded guns were pointed at self or companions.

It is exceedingly dangerous for a group of boys to hunt together. Lacking judgment and experience in the handling of firearms, accidents are likely to occur. It is far better and safer for the parent or some adult to accompany the boy who goes hunting.

One cannot be too careful in the handling of firearms. Do your part to cut down on hunting accidents in Nebraska.





Official Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VI OCTOBER, 1931 NO. 4

Waterfowl Season Shortened

Duck hunters throughout Nebraska will have only one month shooting this year as a result of the proclamation that President Hoover issued in a regulation governing migratory waterfowl.

The change in the federal regulations is the result of drouth conditions in the principal nesting grounds for practically all the waterfowl of North America.

"The drouth that has necessitated curtailment of the season has occurred on the principal waterfowl breeding grounds in the northwestern United States and in western and southwestern Canada," the Biological Survey explains.

The disappearance of sloughs ana marshes from much of this great region has prevented the region from bearing normal numbers of young and as a result, the annual flight of ducks and geese this fall is expected to be the poorest on record.

Some ducks and geese breed throughout the watered regions of Canada and northwestern United States, yet according to the Biological Survey, the principal stocks of the more commonly hunted species come from the drought-affected region. In this region officials of the two governments found a serious shortage of birds, which, they state, will result in a great reduction in the numbers wintering in the United States.

'Experts point out that although the decrease of wild fowl will be general throughout this country during the fall and winter months, there probably will be scattered local areas where these birds will concentrate in large numbers. Such concentrations, however, should not be regarded as altogether encouraging manifestations, federal game authorities warn, since the disappearance of many of the usual resting and feeding grounds will compel the birds to resort to the restricted areas where water and food conditions are favorable.

The new season of thirty days duration covers the entire country. However, the states have been divided up into several districts. The season in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma is from October 2 0th to November 19th, inclusive. States to the north open up slightly earlier and states to the south will extend a few days later. No state will have more than thirty days open season.

The bag limits enforced heretofore, that is, fifteen ducks a day and thirty ducks in possession and geese, four a day and five in possession, continue to be in force.

The season on Wilson snipe or jacksnipe has not been changed.

Owing to there being a conflict between the state laws and the federal laws governing migratory waterfowl, the state laws become ineffective wherever in conflict with those of the United States government. Therefore, it will be necessary for state authorities to enforce the federal laws beginning October 1st and continuing to December 31st.

Nebraska game wardens will be issued federal commissions, according 10 announcement recently made by the Nebraska Game Commission and persons hunting during the new closed season as provided by federal regulation will be prosecuted in federal courts. Violators of federal regulations will be taken before United States commissioners where they will be placed under bond, their guns will be placed in storage and later on, the case will be tried in one of the federal courts. Owing to the fact that most of the federal courts have many cases pending, it is likely that it will be some months before some of the violators will be tried. During such a period, the guns will be held by authorities and all bonds will be in force.


The following interesting story published in the Minnesota game magazine "Fins, Feathers and Fur" shows how badly in need of water northern ducks have been during the past summer. Mr. Emil Leistico recently saw five blue winged teal drinking from a fountain in his village. "These ducks were thirsty and drank avidly the water that was offered them by Mr. Leistico. They were caught, penned up, fed and watered, and several days later flew away. This is not a solitary instance— the same thing has happened all over the state, and the blue-wing teal seems to be most heavily hit by the drying up of pot-holes and small lakes. Many ducks were picked up at Norwood, due to the fact that the nearby Lake Tiger has become entirely dry; and wild ducks cannot live without water.

Bear Lake, noted duck refuge north of Hutchinson, presents a woeful spectacle to the person who has known it in its prime. Several years ago thousands of ducks could be seen resting and feeding on this lake— it was a sight worth going many miles to see. Today it is a solid mass of five-foot weeds-—-not even a damp spot.

The drought has brought another hazard generally unknown, even to close observers of wild life. Sam C. Anderson, Hutchinson conservationist, recently lost several of his wild ducks; it sounds almost unbelievable, but they became mired in the mud! Thick ooze, covered with just a shimmer of water, lured flying ducks to allight, and it was of such consistency that the ducks could not extricate themselves, and died of exhaustion in trying to get out. If this happened in the small area of Mr. Anderson's pond, what must have been the total loss in the many small ponds reduced to the same consistency by lowered water levels?

As an indication of the true co-operative spirit existing in the vicinity of Hutchinson, four neighboring towns pooled their fire-hose stock with that of Hutchinson, ran the line out to Mr. Anderson's pond and

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Pheasant Open Season Fixed by Commission

The largest territory for hunting pheasants ever opened up is in store for Nebraska hunters this fall. Seventy-six (76) counties in the state will be opened to hunting for a short period of seven days.

The open season this year will be from October 13th to October 19th, inclusive. The bag limit will be the same as heretofore, that is, five male birds or four males and one female bird and the possession limit shall be five birds of which five may be males or four males and one female.

The new feature of the pheasant hunting this year will provide that hunters need no longer tag their birds. It is now made possible for the Commission to abandon the tagging system since so many counties are open. Heretofore it was necessary to tag birds to take them into closed counties, but since there are now only a few closed counties, it is possible for game wardens to control such counties and see that birds are not hunted there.

Closed Counties are in black; other counties in white.

All that is required this year is that hunters bringing birds into closed counties, be prepared to tell the game warden, when requested, where they shot their pheasants.

Resolutions of the Game Commission governing the opening of the season this year follows:

"In accordance with Chapter 70, Session Laws, 1931, State of Nebraska, an open season on ringneck pheasants is hereby declared in all parts of Nebraska except the following counties:

Box Butte, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Cass, Gage, Otoe, Saunders, Cherry, Johnson, Pawnee, Sheridan, Dawes, Lancaster, Richardson, Sioux, Washington.

The open season shall be for a period of seven (7) days, beginning at 7 a. m. October 13, 1931 and ending at 6 p. m. October 19, 1931. No hunting is permissible between sunset and one-half hour before sunrise of each day.

The daily bag limit during the above season shall be five (5) male birds or four (4) male and one (1) female bird and the possession limit shall be five (5) male birds or four (4) male birds and one (1) female bird.

Birds will not be tagged as heretofore, but all persons carrying birds into closed counties will, upon request of a game warden or any law enforcement officer or employee of the State Game Commission, state the name and location of farm or farms where birds were taken.

All persons hunting on private land must obtain the consent of the owner or person in charge. It is unlawful to enter upon private land without such consent and persons violating the law will be prosecuted.

The ownership and title to all game birds rests in the state and such birds cannot be sold. However, farmers who desire to collect 50 cents for each pheasant taken on their own farm land as a tresspass and feeding charge may do so by using the official "Hunter's Shooting Scrip." Where this is done, the official scrip must be used. Hunters are not required under the law to use scrip if they have hunting fields where it is not accepted. It is unlawful, however, for a hunter, without script, to hunt on private land where scrip is required by the farmer. Books or scrip (containing five coupons) cost $2.50 each and can be obtained from the Commission's office at Lincoln or any County Clerk.

Dated this 8th day of September, 1931, at Lincoln, Nebraska.


Native American ingenuity in overcoming adversity is traditional in many and varied circumstances. One of the most unique, however, appears to be in connection with the eclipse of the miniature golf industry, so prominent last year. It is reported that in the vicinity of Denver, Colo., the miniature golf craze has been supplanted by a trout-fishing enterprise. It appears that on suitable tracts concrete pools and raceways are installed and stocked with legal-sized trout obtained from commercial hatcheries which are numerous in that vicinity. The proprietor charges admission to this urban preserve and also charges a specified sum per

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Scrip Information

The new hunters scrip will be used in Nebraska this year during the pheasant season.

While ownership and title to all game birds rests in the state, it is now possible for farmers, who desire to do so, to collect fifty cents for each pheasant taken on their land as a trespass and feeding charge.

Hunters are not required under the law to use scrip if they have hunting fields where it is not accepted by the owner. It is unlawful, however, for a hunter without a scrip to hunt on private land where scrip is required by the farmer.

Books of scrip containing five coupons each cost $2.50 a book and can be obtained from the Game Commission's office in Lincoln or from the County Clerk.

The bulletin which was issued by the Game Commission in Lincoln is as follows:

SEND IN THIS COUPON IF YOU WANT TO ACCEPT SCRIP Frank B. O'Connell, Secretary, Game, Forestation & Park Lincoln, Nebraska. s Commission, I would like to accept the new Hunter's Shooting Scrip. Please send me free cards to post. My farm is located as follows_ ____ (State distance and direction from nearest town) Town ____ Nebr. FARMERS ATTENTION MONEY FOR PHEASANTS ON YOUR FARM

"Nebraska farmers or members of the families can now receive 50 cents for pheasants hunted on land owned or controlled by them.

This is made possible under the new game law known as "Hunter's Shooting Scrip Act."

"While the title to all game birds rests with the state and is under the control of the state and federal governments and must not be sold, it is possible to collect a trespass and feeding charge under the new law. Selling of birds in any other way than permitted under this act is unlawful.

"The following facts regarding the new Hunter's Shooting Scrip Act are published for the information of all concerned.

"Any Nebraska farmer living in counties open to pheasant hunting may accept scrip. Scrip is simply coupons good for fifty cents each. These are purchased from the Game Commission or county clerks and are given to farmers for the privilege of hunting on their farms.

"Farmers can accept scrip only during open seasons on pheasants. It is unlawful to accept at any other time.

"Farmers need only to send in their names and the location of their farms to the Game Commission at Lincoln. Cards to be posted on such farms are furnished free to farmers. Lists of such farms are furnished free to hunters purchasing scrip.

"When the hunter goes to a Scrip Farm, he presents his scrip book to the farmer who holds same until the hunter has his birds. Then the hunter signs the necessary coupons (one coupon for each bird) and gives them to the farmer. The farmer, after signing coupons can cash them in at the Commission's office at Lincoln or thru local banks, stores etc., who wish to handle them. Coupons are NOT transferable until signed by both hunter and farmer. Be sure coupon is signed by hunter when presented to you.

"All scrip books show the name and address of hunter, car numbers, hunting permit number etc. See that this information is shown on front of book as this is for the farmer's protection in case of damage, etc.

"Do not let poachers hunt your pheasants during closed season. Bach bird they take costs you 50 cents— an amount you can now receive lawfully during open seasons.

"Save some of your birds for breeding. Don't kill the goose that lays a "golden egg." More birds in the future means a longer hunting season each year and more profit to you.

"If you are interested in accepting scrip, fill out attached coupon and mail to Secretary of the Nebraska Game Commission."


Angleworms have a sweet tooth, according to Richard B. Bilkoski, "angleworm king of California," who has shipped live bait this summer from his address at Alhambra to fishermen in many parts of the country. His and other methods used on modern worm farms were compiled recently by the LT. S. Department of Agriculture for the benefit of anglers wishing to raise worms for "home consumption."

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8 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA OUTDOOR NEBRASKA Published by Game, Forestation & Parks Commission Editorial Office, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska FRANK B. O'CONNBLL..........................................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 October, 19 31 No. 4



Enforcement of the regulations governing migratory waterfowl as finally decided upon by the Department of Agriculture will be a Herculean task.

We wish to make a plea to sportsmen everywhere to abide by the new regulations and to aid in enforcing them. Enforcement of the new regulations by game officers alone, without the sincere and active cooperation of sportsmen, cannot hope to cope with the duck bootleggers and pot-shooters who will be in the field.

There is no questioning the fact that the future of our migratory waterfowl will be in jeopardy this fall if sportsmen do not take an active interest in seeing to it that regulations are enforced. Laws are made to be enforced. Game laws must be abided by and enforced.

The new regulations concerning migratory waterfowl are concerned essentially with the future shooting of ducks. But the future of our migratory waterfowl depends upon what we do now. Every duck killed beyond the limits prescribed by the Department of Agriculture this fall means a reduction in the flight next year. When a duck is killed, it is killed, and that is all there is to it. No matter who eats that particular duck, or how it is disposed of, that duck is gone. Its chances to breed or replenish the supply for future generations are nil— disposed of absolutely, without question or argument. This is an easily understandable statement, yet it is distressingly understandable in the minds of many shooters.

Sportsmen who go shooting for the sport of it, who go shooting to be in the Great Outdoors, who love the clean, unsullied "open spaces," can do much to help game this fall. By some means or other, they must educate their fellows to the proposition that game laws are made to be enforced. By some means or other, they must aid enforcement officers in enforcing game laws.


Nebraska sportsmen will be interested in the decision of the United States Supreme Court cited last year regarding the authority of states to govern fishing in inter-state streams. The case in question was brought by the Missouri River Fishermen's Association, against the Nebraska fish and game authorities as to whether or not the Nebraska statutes prohibiting the taking of fish from within the waters of the state of Nebraska applied to the Missouri river.

Wm. Miller, a resident of Nebraska and secretary of the Fishermen's Association, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, sought to enjoin the enforcement of the Nebraska statute. The secretary of the department of agriculture and chief game warden were joined as defendants. Miller alleges that he has in his possession nets, traps and seines purchased by him prior to the enactment of the law; that they are used exclusively in taking fish from the Missouri river; that he plans to use them on the Iowa side; and that the defendants are threatening to prevent their use by enforcing the statute. He claims that, in the absence of concurrence by Iowa, Nebraska is powerless to prohibit the fishing, even in that part of the Missouri river which is within its own boundries, because, on admitting Iowa into the Union, Congress had granted in "concurrent jurisdiction on every river bordering on the said state of Iowa, so far as the said river shall form a common boundry to said state, and any other state." He asserts that, in any event, the prohibition of the mere possession of innocuous traps, nets, and seines violates the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court issued an injunction. The Supreme Court of Nebraska reversed the decree and directed that the bill be dismissed. This Court granted a writ of certiorari.

The decision of the United States Supreme Court delivered by Justice Brandeis is as follows: "The grant of concurrent jurisdiction to Iowa does not deprive Nebraska of power to legislate with respect to its own residents within its own territorial limits. Nicoulin v. O'Brien, 248 U. S. 113, 39 S. Ct. 23, 63 L. Ed. 155; compare McGowan v. Columbia River Packers' Ass'n, 245 U. S. 352 S. Ct. 129, 62 L. Ed. 342. While the two states have not concurred in this legislation, there is no conflict between them. Each has legislated only as to that part of the river which is within its own territorial limits. It is unnecessary to consider the question which might arise if Nebraska undertook to prohibit the fishing on Iowa's part of the river, or if Miller were a citizen of Iowa and fished under an Iowa license. Compare Nielsen v. Oregon, 212 U. S. 315, 2 9 S. Ct. 383, 53 L. Ed. 528. Neither Miller, nor any of the persons in whose behalf he brought suit, have licenses from Iowa; nor does it appear that they could obtain them."


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inch of fish caught from these pools by the visitor. The tackle necessary for the capture of fish is furnished by the proprietor. Apparently such an enterprise appeals to the public as a means of securing a delicacy for food as well as obtaining the recreation which was formerly sought on the miniature golf course.

ft should be pointed out, however, that special conditions are necessary for the successful development of such an enterprise, and that in comparatively few cities would the combination of suitable water supply and near-by source of trout be found. Mature deliberation and consideration of these factors should be given before entering upon such a project, and study should also be made of the conservation laws in order to determine that all legal requirements are complied with.:


Artificial Propagation of Quail

Paper read by W. B. Coleman, Superintendent, White Oak Quail Farm, Richmond, Va.

For the past two years electric incubation and electric brooders have taken the place of bantam hens in raising quail on the White Oak Quail Farm near Richmond, Virginia, of which I have charge. In spite of a number of disappointments and set-backs, the substitution of electricity for bantams, in my humble opinion, has great possibilities. This electric method, however, is by no means perfected, as disappointments during the past season indicate. Many improvements must be made, but we think that the experience which has been gained, points to this as the future method of producing quail in quantity.

Bantams were given up entirely and full dependence was put in this method two years ago, during the first year of operation of the White Oak Quail Farm. At the Virginia State Game Farm a few years ago, as an experiment, we had several thousand quail eggs hatched in incubators for use by a commercial hatchery, but we had never used incubators ourselves.

The problems of the bantam method are, of course, well known and we started to work two years ago with a rather firm determination to do it all without the use of them, if possible.

For years it has been known through studies made by the United States Bureau of Animal Industry that quail are subject to the same diseases and parasites as chickens. We had seen enough of this and fully realized that it would be impossible to keep the quail free from such diseases and parasites so long as they must come in contact with bantams. Besides this difficulty, keeping on hand enough bantams to hatch and brood four or five thousand quail annually is no small undertaking in itself. Yet, if bantams are used, this must be done. The little hens are relatively scarce and it is not possible to buy weekly enough broody hens for each setting. Pheasant breeders who use large hens may not have this difficulty. Our rule was to keep several hundred bantams on hand all the time and even then it was impossible to have enough broody hens when needed.

The incubator which has been used during the past two seasons is a mammoth all-electric Buckeye, 3,072 chicken egg, or more than 5,000 quail eggs capacity. The trays were equipped by us with troughs which hold the quail eggs securely in place when the trays are turned every six hours. Eggs are gathered once a week—our rule is every Monday—packed and put in the incubator the same day.

A few hours after the birds are hatched, they are taken from the incubator and placed in wire bottom, electrically heated brooder coops, fifteen to each coop. The wire bottom run is open to them almost from the first. They are kept in these elevated coops until they no longer need artificial brooding; when they are moved to growing pens. The length of the time the young quail require artificial heat depends entirely upon climatic conditions. During midsummer our quail seem to get along well with very little artificial heat from the time they are about three weeks old, and are moved to the growing pen at about four weeks. The birds that hatch in the fall are, of course, older when moved from the heated coops. On several occasions, for experimental purposes and to further test the efficiency of the method, we have kept birds on the wire continually until full grown. These appear to be normal and healthy, their plumage in perfect condition.

During our first year of operation of our farm, a 25-watt electric heating unit, without thermostatic control, was used in each brooder. In 193 0, however, a thermostat control was installed and 40-watt units were substituted for the 2 5-watt. One thermostat controls the temperature in our two hundred and eleven coops. Two or three coops in different locations are used for thermometers by which the temperature is chcked. It has been found that the 40-watt units with the control apparatus require less current and maintain a more even temperature that the smaller units. They also supply a reserve heat which is important in taking care of sudden drops in temperature. The thermostat is set to go off and on at the desired temperature and works perfectly. Pilot lights indicate when the heating units are off or on.

The results of the two-year activity can be best summarized by these figures:

1929 1930 Hens used for breeders............................ 107 157 Eggs gathered..........................................7,764 13,551 Average number of eggs per hen.—.......... 72 86 Eggs incubated..........................................7,641 13,323 Birds hatched, including cripples............5,972 10,529 Cripples.................................................... 245 853 Percent of cripples.................................... 4.1 8.1 Percent hatch, including cripples ............ 79 73 Good birds raised to maturity ................4,096 4,313 Percent good birds raised to maturity .... 71 45 Good birds raised per laying hen.............. 3 8 2 7

The figures show that 1929 was the most successful year. The heavy mortality last year among our young quail was caused by some respiratory trouble which developed when they were between two and three weeks old. The birds affected had great difficulty in breathing and soon died. This was different from anything that we had ever seen. A number of affected birds were immediately sent to the United States Bureau of Animal Industry for study, others being sent from time to time during the season. A final report on these examinations, recently received, states that it has been impossible to determine the cause. However, one encouraging fact is that no disease or parasites could be found. This indicates that there must have been something wrong with the artificial brooding, possible aggravated on account of the serious drought and extreme heat of last summer, the most severe on record in Virginia. Breeders in other states using our identical equipment had no such trouble and this strengthens the opinion that our troubles may have brought on by the unusual weather conditions here.

Mr. J. S. Blitch, superintendent of the Florida State Farm reports that from 1018 quail hatched, he raised 70 3 birds and had no trouble. This was their first experience with quail. Mr. Neil Clark, superintendent of the Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club at La Grange,

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Game and Fish Activities


Pibal Lake- A State owned recreation ground.

A continuous yield of fish and game with replinishment each season like the repitition of crops of the field, is the ideal of the Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, for the woods and streams in the National Forests, according to the Chief Forest R. Y. Stuart. Declaring that the total production of fish and wild life of the country is inadequate to meet the ever-in-creasing demand for outdoor recreation, Major Stuart sets forth the aims of the Forest Service in restoring and developing recreational and fishing opportunities.

"All National Forest land must be devoted to its most productive use for the permanent good of the whole people," he says. "That means a continuous yield of each crop the land or water is capable of producing. The Forest Service is applying this principle by harvesting the timber and forage crops on a sustained yield basis. The same principle must apply to wild life."

The National Forest program is fitting itself into public plans and the Forest Service is ready to cooperate in any sound national game program, Major Stuart says.


His Majesty, the Bull Frog

"The continuous yield of fish and game as a practical working principle is gaining ground," he states. "That certain species are almost extinct on some areas, that there is a satisfactory breeding stock with inadequate increase on other areas, while still other areas are overpopulated, clearly indicates the need of applying the principle on National Forests. All land and water are capable of producing some species of fish or game or fowl or fur-bearing animals or a combination of them, beneficial to mankind."

In reference to game refuges and stocked streams, he says, it is immaterial whether State or Federal agencies take the responsibilities for their regulation productivity, so long as such areas are administered effectively. A total of 2 67 State game refuges, including more than 2 0 million acres have been established on National Forest land. These areas are administered jointly by the States and the Forest Service. In a few cases refuges have already developed an overpopulation of wild game. But generally a maximum of fish in the streams and lakes has not yet been attained. Only by hatching and releasing many millions of fish of the proper size, can the management agencies give every man his chance for a good catch.

To give the game and fish a fair opportunity it is necessary to protect the refuges from unlawful hunters and fishers, predatory animals, parasites, and also from forest fires. Fires are as fatal to fish as to animals. Loss follows from unregulated streamflow, mud, poisoning by ashes, and destruction of natural food through a combination of these conditions. The growth of public sentiment against fire has been of great help, and last year, for the first time in history, forest fires in the National Forests of the United States were kept down to a safe minimum. Continued care on the part of the millions of visitors to the National Forests will aid in attaining the hopes of the nature lover, the hunter and the fisherman.

At this time stream surveys are being made in the National Forests to determine the fish-carrying capacity of the streams, the adaptability of streams to various species, and to prevent duplication of effort. The Bureau of Fisheries and the State game and fish commissions are cooperating in gathering this information.


The fall of 19 31 will mark the establishment of a number of partnerships between farmers and hunters for the protection of game birds and good hunting, says the Izaak Walton League in a recent game bird bulletin which discusses the outlook for hunters. These partnerships and hunting plans involving upland game shooting are particularly timely, the league points out, because of the alarming waterfowl shortage this fall

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When fishing, you will notice that the true sportsman handles the small fish more carefully than he does the large ones. The reason for this is very simple. The large fish is to be strung and carried home, and the small one is to be returned to the water "for future reference."

Some thoughtless fishermen let the small one drop on or in the boat and lie there and die. Some argue that "they will die anyway" and do not give the little ones a chance.

The Michigan Conservation Department has made a number of experiments to see just what happens to the small fish that are caught and returned to the water. We quote from the report of these experiments: "These piscatorial experimenters bit an assortment of hooks and artificial flies in the cause of science—and all but a small percentage of them were living to tell of their 'operation, two months later. All save 2% per cent of the young fish caught with flies survived, while ten per cent of those caught with barbed hooks, the most difficult to remove, paid their lives."

From this report we can see that from 90 to 97% per cent of the small fish caught and returned to the water survive.

Wet the hands before taking hold of the fish. A fish is covered with a slimy substance that protects the scales, and breaking this (which is done when the fish is handled with dry hands) destroys the protective coat, while wetting the hands allows the substance to slip through without breaking. When this protective coating is broken a fungus growth attacks the fish and sooner or later causes death.


There are several answers to the question—any one of them is sufficient for the trifling cost to you. The birds that accept this proferred hospitality are always ready and willing to make repayment to us either in song, service or flashing form of beauty. The plaintive call of the bluebird, the diligent chatter of the wren, the early morning warble of the martin and the evening angelus of the robin strike a most welcome note of harmony in the increasing din of civilization.

They are a vigilant police force, working hard to free our lawns, gardens, shrubs and trees of innumerable insect pests; true enough, the robin, when thirsty, will occasionally help himseu to a berry or two, but what's a berry or two between friends?

To the shut-in, to growing children first beginning to note the mysteries of nature, what is of more interest than the swift development of a nearl-like egg into the feathered flushing jewel that will travel thousands of miles in a few months, only to return next spring to enjoy the hospitality of its birthplace?

In tempting these birds to make their home with us there are a few fundamental rules to be followed in connection with the making and placing of bird-houses.

They must be easily opened in order that last year's nest may be cleaned out and also the nests of the pesky gamin, the English sparrow. This bird is noisy, quarrelsome, filthy and our native birds will not associate with this shanty type of fellow-being.

They should be placed away from shrubbery and trees which would make approach of their deadly enemy, the house cat, easier. If poles or posts are used, they should be guarded by pieces of tin. The only cat that will not kill birds, except a dead cat, is the cat that cannot possibly get his claws on one.

Bird-houses should have entrances which do not face the direction of the prevailing storms, and should be provided with ventilation so that the young birds are not over-heated during excessive warm spells.

The entrance should be protected from driving rains, and the entrance hole bored with an upward slant so that, if rain should drive in, it would be drained out of, and not into, the nest cavity.

Birds have no particular color sense— a gaudily-painted house will have no appeal to them. Good white paint is best for an exposed house, it will reflect back the intense heat rays of the bright sun; in sheltered places a dark stain will do nicely.

Entrance perches are unnecessary except possibly in wren houses; lack of them is a tendency to discourage English sparrows from usurping them.

Do not put windows in a bird-house—its a useless waste of time.

Always put the entrance hole at or near the top of the cavity—otherwise the nestling may crawl out prematurely and fall out of the nest to certain death.


If you could change youself into a fish, you still wouldn't be able to escape the heat. Finned fanners of liquid depths have their heat wave worries, too—in fact, more than city dwellers, and largely because of them.

Not only are fishes extremely sensitive to temperature variations, and devoid of all comforting "fans" except an occasional outboard motor propeller—whenever people start saying they are "just about to suffocate," fishes by the thousands are actually suffocating.

Thus blasting a popular summer-time fancy, officials of the American Game Association have announced that high temperatures combined with unusually low water levels are already taking a huge toll of valuable fish life. Bodies of water whose contributing streams have dried up, due to a continuation of drought conditions, are losing their supply of oxygen.

Rescue squads are already at work in California, Montana, Wisconsin, Missouri and other states. More than a million fishes were served in each of these states last summer, the first season of extreme oxygen "depression." Outboard motor boats were used on several lakes as an emergency relief, to disturb the water so that it would absorb more oxygen from the air.

The Wisconsin game and fish commission has found that fish are dying in greatest numbers from the heat in waters which are most heavily polluted with the untreated sewage poured into them by cities, towns and villages, the officials reported.

Although an estimated 8 5 per cent of all the waters in the country are sufficiently polluted to be dangerous to fish and human life the year around, they said, hot weather aggravates the condition,, heat hurries decomposition, increases the poisons in the water and causes the loss of a greater amount of oxygen.



The examination of the crop and stomach contents of specimens of Prairie Chicken and Sharp-tailed Grouse, collected chiefly in the fall and winter months in various parts of Wisconsin, reveal, according to the determinations made by the Biological Survey, 8 2 kinds of animal matter and 8 4 kir.ds of vegetable food. The analysis of this organic " f.terial of the food of the Prairie Chicken indicates that 28 per cent is animal and 72 per cent vegetable matter. Gravel constitutes 6 per cent of the combined organic and inorganic material of the crop and stomach contents. In the case of the organic material of the Sharp-tailed Grouse about 38 per cent was animal and 62 per cent vegetable matter. Gravel made up only 2 per cent of the total organic and inorganic contents.

The following tables are lists of foods eaten by the Prairie Chicken and Sharp-tailed Grouse arranged in order of the percentages of the entire amount of the food eaten by the birds examined. It will be noted that only IB foods were eaten in amounts of one per cent or more by the Prairie Chicken and only 13 by the Sharp-tailed Grouse. These foods, therefore, out of the 166 kinds eaten, are the important ones to be considered in connection with the conservation of these birds.

Table I

List of twenty-five of the more important foods, eaten by the Prairie Chicken, arranged in order of percentages of the entire amount of food eaten by the birds.


List of the fourteen more important foods eaten bj the Sharp-tailed Grouse, arranged in order of the percentages of the entire amount of food eaten.

Order Name of Food Percentage 1. Short-horned (Acridiidae) grasshoppers 26.7 2. Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisaefolia) 11.0 3. Oats (Avena sativa) 10.8 4. Clover (Trifolium) 7.7 5. Black bindweed (Polygonum convolvulus) 6.2 6. Acorns (Quercus sp.) 4.5 7. Green briar (Smilax sp.) 3.6 8. Dogwood (Cornus asperifolia) 3.5 9. Crickets (Gryllidae) 3.3 10. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum fagophrum) 3.1 11. Bramble (Rubus sp.) 2.1 12. Blue berries (Viccinium sp.) 1.7 13. Rose (Rosa sp.) 1.7 14. Hawkweed (Hieracium canadense) 1.4 15. Chokeberry (Aroma sp.) 1.0 16. Galls .94 17. Ants and wasp .s(Hymenoptera) .88 18. Poison ivy (Rhus radicans) .80 19. Birch (Betula sp.) .80 2 0. Pin cherry (Prunis Pennsylvania) .64 21. Wood debris .64 22. Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) .53 23. Wild black berry (Prunis serotina) .53 24. Smartweed (Polygonum pennsylvanicum) .47 25. Jigeon grass (Chaetochloa glauca) .47 Order Name of Food Percentage 1. Short-horned grasshopper (Acridiidae) 35.6 2. Clover (Trifolium sp.) 11.8 3. Oats (Avera sativa) 10.6 4. Bramble (Rubus sp.) 8.1 5. Rose (Rosa sp.) 5.6 6. Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) 5.3 7. Hawkweed (Hieracium canadense) 5.1 8. Black bindweed (Polygonum convolulus) 3.8 9. Buckwheat (Fagophrum fagophrum) 2.5 10.Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata 1.9 11. Crickets (Gryllidae) 1.3 12. Hazelnut (Corylus sp.) 1.0 13.Green briar (Smilax sp.) 1.0 14. Birch (Betula sp.) .73

These examinations sustain the great reputation the Prairie Chicken and Sharp-tailed Grouse hold as destroyers of grasshoppers. Weeds seeds such as ragweed and bindweed are an important source of food, especially during the winter months. Cereals such as oats, probably waste grain left in the fields after harvesting, are also freely eaten. One of the striking omissions from these lists of food is corn, which is a much-preferred food of the birds in certain other states such as the Dakotas and is also greedily eaten by the birds in Wisconsin when it is provided for them at the feeding stations. This condition is explained by the fact that Wisconsin is a dairy state where practically all of the corn that is raised is cut for ensilage, leaving nothing in the corn fields which might serve as food and cover for the birds.

The Prairie Chicken like other grouse, is very adaptable in its food habits. It varies its diet from sason to season and sustains its life on the food which is most abundant and easily obtained. During the spring the food consists chiefly of green materials such as the tender shoots of grasses and other plants but, as the season advances, insects become an important part of the food and in late summer fruits and berries are added to the diet. After these are gone the birds resort to seeds of weeds and grains of cultivated crops but when these important sources of food are cut off by the deep snows the ground-feeding prairie birds are hard pressed for a living. The Prairie Chicken does not seem to be able to subsist on buds, the chief food above the snow, to the extent that is done by the hardier Ruffed Grouse. Therefore one of the critical times in the life of these birds is during the period when their food supply is covered with snow and ice.



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N. Y., also using our equipment, reports that he has on hand at this time 100 fine quail raised from five pairs secured from us last spring. He has ordered thirty more coops and heaters and intends breeding on a larger scale the coming season. Here in Massachusetts the Honorable William C. Adams, director of the Division of Fish and Game, through the superintendents of his game farms, has been more successful in raising quail in large numbers with the electrical equipment than anyone I season is disappointing, it does not discourage us. When the artificial brooding of chickens first became wide-know of so far north.

Although our trouble with the young birds last spread, many difficulties had to be overcome and the mortality was staggering. We at this stage in the raising of quail. No one would think of raising several thousand chickens now by the old method of hatching and brooding with hens. It is just as impractical to raise quail in quantity by hatching and brooding with bantams.

If, however, a farmer or sportsman intends to raise only a few broods of birds, he will find bantams most satisfactory. It is the natural, simpler method, and the danger of infection is not great when only a few bantams are kept.

As might be expected, there are some problems of the new method that do not occur with bantams, but they will doubtless be lessened as experience is gained. One of these new difficulties which we have already learned to fight is toe picking. It is the result of close confinement and begins when the birds are about a week old, lasting as long as they are in the small brooder coops. This gave us considerable trouble the entire first season, and it was not until the fall of that year that we learned how to stop the toe picking by clipping the birds' beaks. The clipping is not painful and the birds do not seem to mind it. Sharp dressmaker's scissors are used to clip off the tiny point of both the upper and lower beak. Just enough of the beak is removed to get a speck of blood.

Young quails are insectivorous and the instinct to pick a moving object is so strong in the little birds that when confined to close quarters it is not surprising that they take a whack at each others' toes. It has been the general opinion that picking or cannibalism was caused by a lact of meat protein in the food. However, our experiences indicate that confinement is the chief cause of the trouble. Reasearch on some experimental chicken farms has shown that the healthy, vigorous chickens are always the most persistent in toe picking and cannibalism. The birds are so well fed and full of life that they are sure to get in mischief when confined to close quarters. Toe picking among our birds could hardly have been caused by lack of protein since Spatt's crissel (a meat preparation) was kept before them most of the time. Our method of feeding crissel is dry, just as it comes from the bag.

While the percentage of birds raised last season was small, there were other remarkable and encouraging results. The figures given above show that each laying hen produced an average of 8 6 aggs during the year— The best egg record we have ever made. Fifty of the 157 hens used for breeders laid from 100 to 139 eggs each. The hen that laid 139 eggs during the past season produced 125 in 1929.

One of our hens, hatched in 1923 (seven years old), laid 95 eggs in 1930. She laid 123 eggs in 1929. Unfortunately all of her yearly records are not known, since she was a group mated a few seasons, but we think it is conservative to say that she has produced at least 400 eggs, and if we knew the correct number, it probably would be nearer 5 0 0. It is an interesting fact that this old hen was mated last year with a cock bird of the same age and the eggs from this mating were as high in fertility and hatched as strong hardy birds as those laid by younger hens. Even her last eggs of the season hatched. There is now a covey of 2 0 of her late hatched birds in our pens. They are large vigorous and hardy. This old hen is in her eighth year, and we are curious to know whether she will live and produce fertile eggs during the coming season.

That these brooder-raised birds are well able to shift for themselves when released is indicated in a letter just received from a prominent sportsman of New York state. He secured two covey of 37 half grown quail from us in September, 1929. The birds were immediately released on his place in New York state and he reports that both coveys have been seen often since liberated and all are big husky birds. He says there are still 14 birds in one covey and 15 or 16 in the other and adds that they have moved to heavier cover and apparently are wintering well.

Since quail eggs can be hatched successfully in either small or large incubators, artificial brooding is necessary if the birds are ever to be raised in quantity. At the Virginia State Game Farms, several years ago, we attempted to raise quail in large numbers in brooder houses, more than 5 00 birds to one house. The birds were allowed to run on the ground in connecting yards. They grew rapidly and did unusually well until three weeks old when, by that time, the ground had become foul and the birds died like flier. The mortality was so great that this method had to be given up. However, tnat was before the days of brooding on wire. Since this method has come into use, I have again thought of the possibility of raising them in brooder houses. A practical house must be designed, so arranged that the birds are kept on wire, just as they are in our small wire-bottom brooder coops. The connecting yards, allowing the birds to run out in the open, must also be elevated so that the birds cannot come in contact with the ground. With such a house, it may be possible to brood quail successfully in groups containing hundreds of birds. I believe the method justifies considerable experimenting, and is certainly something to think about.


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filled it up. Mr. Anderson had almost despaired of being able to keep his collection of ducks and geese at the home pond due to his inability to maintain sufficient water in it, when this neighborly act saved the day for him, and with no request, or even suggestion on his part.

Ducks cannot live on the wing—we must make provision so that another burning drouth will not leave them high and dry, as is the case this year. A wet year may mean the loss of a few tons of wild hay, but conversely, it will mean a bigger crop of better tame hay.



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and a shortened season on ducks and geese, a situation which calls for every duck hunter to unselfishly cut down his annual take of waterfowl and burn powder in other forms of shooting.

In Indiana sportsmen and farmers in a number of counties have gotten together on a plan sponsored by the Izaak Walton league whereby the state conservation department, farmers and sportsmen have united in a cooperative project to produce pheasants and quail for fall hunting. A meeting will be held soon to determine the fee which hunters shall pay to hunt upland game birds on farmer's lands. Five counties in Illinois are about to launch a similar project under the direction of the league.

In Michigan several hunting projects have been set up by the farmers and sportsmen, and both have been working to grow game birds which are going to provide some fine sport this fall. As a contribution to these partnerships, the state division of the Izaak Walton League has established the Williamston game bird "clinic" not far from Lansing. Here Dr. H. M. Wight of the University of Michigan has been studying the relationship of the pheasant's food habits to the landowner's crops and other important problems affecting the successful growing of pheasants on natural farm lands. Another important step which brings the farmer into the game bird production program is the new Wisconsin law permitting landowners to create game preserves, raise game birds and charge hunters for a day's sport.


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A successful diet for the earthworms was found to include molasses as well as powdered bread crumbs and crumbled hard-boiled eggs. A gunny sack smeared with molasses is placed sticky side down on the surface of the worm bed, then sprinkled with water.

An ordinary wooden box about 18 inches deep makes a good unit for the worm crop, the bulletin states. It should have a hinged or removable lid and should be buried in shaded ground two or three inches below the surrounding level, and almost filled with rich, dark loam.

"Wild" worms placed in the box will prove to be prolific if properly treated. The worms lay a large number of eggs in tiny capsules in the soil. The young become fully grown in four or five months.

Amateur worms raisers are warned that while the wormbeds should be kept quite moist at all times they should never be wet. Earthworms seen on top of the ground after a heavy rain do not come up because they like water but because they do not, the findings indicated.

Worm farms have sprung up to supply the demand of anglers who prefer live bait but live in cities where angleworms are difficult to find.


James Murray has long maintained that he can tell any man's character by the gun he keeps. Now Murray, after 20 years with the Michigan conservation department, where he has handled thousands of firearms confiscated from game law violators, has ventured to look at his guns and hazard an opinion on whether or not the world is going to the dogs.

"Twenty years ago any self-respecting hunter would have been ashamed to carry a gun that was not well oiled and shining," he is quoted by a bulletin of the American Game Association. "Most of the guns confiscated by wardens were worthy of being mourned by any loser.

"Today a majority of the guns taken by this department are in bad shape. The owners seem to think that just so the weapons will expel a bullet they are alright. Many firearms are rusty inside the barrel!

"To look at the rack and ruin the guns are coming to, it is clear that this country is waking up to better things. Self-respecting citizens just aren't killing game out of season and otherwise ignoring game laws now like they used to do."


In discussing either crappie or calico bass it is almost necessary to bring in the other because of the similarity between them in size, color, and habits. This similarity is so great that many fishermen are unable to tell to which species a given specimen belongs, and they merely say "another white perch."

A description of each, as given by David Starr Jordon, world known authority on fishes, is as follows:

"Crappies: Color, silvery-olive mottled with dark green, the dark markings chiefly on the upper part of the body and having a tendency to form narrow vertical bars; dorsal and caudal fins marked with green; anal fin pale, nearly plain; fins very high but lower than in the calico bass; dorsal spines six, rarely five."

"Calico Bass: Color silvery-olive, mottled with clear olive-green, the dark mottlings gathered in small irregular bunches and covering the whole body; vertical fins with dark olive reticulations surrounding pale spots; anal marked like dorsal; a dusky opercular spot; dorsal spines seven, rarely eight."

Comparing the two descriptions we find that the dark markings of the crappie are "chiefly on the upper part of the body" while on the calico bass they are "gathered in small irregular bunches and covering the whole body" and the dorsal fin of the former contains "six spines, rarely five" while the corresponding fin in the latter contains "seven spines, rarely eight." These are the distinguishing differences.

The similarities of the two species are more numerous than their differences. Both species usually spawn in water three or more feet in depth. The water around the nest is usually kept roiled by the fish and it is therefore difficult to make observations of the fish at this season. The young fish or fry are almost transparent which makes it difficult to observe them.

Both crappie and calico bass are prolific. Neither is cannibalistic in water where there is sufficient food, but in ponds deficient in food, the larger will prey on the smaller. The usual method of taking each is still fishing with live minnows as bait. At times either will take an artificial fly and occasionally one is caught with the artificial minnow or bucktail of the bait caster.

Both species are well liked as food, but neither is considered a game fish. When hooked, they give up completely after a very short fight and are brought in without a struggle.—By J. W. White