OUTDOOR NEBRASKATHE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE NEBRASKA STATE GAME FORESTATIOH AMD PARKS COMHISSIOH JULY 1932
OUR COVER PAGE
Our cover page this month shows views of some of the state-owned lakes and recreation grounds that are being purchased and constructed throughout Nebraska. When you look upon these fine fishing and camping scenes you as a citizen can feel proud, because it is your contribution of one dollar a year that has made these good things possible.
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAOfficial Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VII JULY, 1932 NO. 3 CONTENTS SEEING NEBRASKA ______________________________________________________ 5 WHAT SHALL THE DUCK SEASON BE? __________________________________6 USEFULNESS OF BIRDS ON THE FARM _________________________________7 EDITORIAL _______________________________________________________________ 8 A STRANGE TRAP _______________________________________________________ 9 ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION _______________________________________10
Outdoor recreation saves health and restores it; it is a prime factor in promoting a healthy nation and giving to our children greater brawn, muscle, and longevity.
The outdoors has its spiritual side, with its communion with nature, its better understanding of God's; wisdom, care, and beneficence, its teaching about plants, trees, animal, and fish life. All this adds to the experience of man, and for the child this instruction is vital.
The outdoors is less expensive than the hotel. It can be made as costly or as cheap as desired. It can be made to accommodate the pockets of all.
But outdoor life without the game birds, animals, and fishes loses its charm and attraction. It is like playing baseball without a ball, or like attending church without a sermon; like a dance without music, like an egg without salt, like a joke without laughter, or love without a kiss.
There are those who ride and ride and ride, who find in speed and movement in an automobile a satisfying diversion. There are those who are satisfied to do their shooting and their fishing with a camera, but their number is relatively small.
For those who do not use rod or gun we have saved the song bird and the'bird of plumage, and for the farmer! the insectivorous birds. Americans are turning their attention also to the gardens and the flowers so as to delight the eyes and the nostrils of these outdoor people.
But those who have inherited the instincts of the forebears (of the pioneer men and women) to enjoy the outdoors—and they are the vast majority—must have the chase, the conflict, the coordination of brain, eye, nerve, and muscle that gives the thrill, the real enthusiasm that comes with the strategy and skill required in fishing and hunting. In the absence of fish and game these incentives are gone, the desire disappears. Mechanics and an overcivilization put their death hand upon even mild outdoor adventure.—Hon. Harry B. Hawes
One hundred years ago this year the founder of Arbor Day was born. Citizens of Nebraska City and the State at large have observed this centennial by appropriate ceremonies at Arbor Lodge State Park. Here visitors may see the handiwork of the Great Tree Planter, as well as his old home and surroundings.
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAOfficial Bulletin Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission VOL. VII JULY, 1932 NO. 3
Seeing NebraskaBy Carveth. Wells
T can think of at least six reasons why you should visit Nebraska. Of course, there are plenty more, but the six 1 am going to give you are quite enough, as you will agree if you take my advice and explore Nebraska— "The Tree Planters State."
The first reason I thought of was Buffalo Bill! For, to me, he is just as beloved as Robinson Crusoe, Cinderella, or Sinbad the Sailor; and one of my ambitions is to visit the largest city in Western Nebraska—North Platte -—"Buffalo Bill's Home Town," and be there for the annual round-up. Another reason you should take in Nebraska the next time you feel the call of the West, is to see Scott's Bluff National Monument. And here are the other four reasons: The Joslyn Memorial in Omaha, the state capitol in Lincoln, the famous Arboretum at Nebraska City, and the Hall of Elephants in the University at Lincoln. You don't have to go to Africa or Asia for elephants! Western Nebraska just swarms with them! All you need is a shovel and a pickaxe and a little energy—and you can go elephant mining!
As for by-products, you'll soon get fed up with camels. Say! Didn't you know that America used to swarm with camels of all sizes, until the country got so dry that they migrated to the comparatively damp deserts of Asia? Now I wish I could see your faces! I wouldn't mind betting that some of you are wondering whether to Relieve me or not! But don't worry! Camels used to, be extremely common in America—little ones no bigger than Jack Rabbits—and big ones like the camel they found in Arizona about three years ago—and that camel was very much bigger than the camels that you see in the zoo nowadays. But here I am talking about prehistoric animals when I'm supposed to be giving you a picture of the great agricultural state which was reported in 1820 by the explorer, Major Stephan H. Long, as entirely unfit for agriculture—Nebraska.
Less than seventy years ago the geography books used in American schools described the state as "an uninhabitable portion of the Great American Desert, unable to' support a population and of small economic value!" But times have evidently changed, because Nebraska's hens laid fourteen million dollars worth of eggs last year. Her bees made three million pounds of honey; and her wonderful soil produced in 1930, about 240 million bushels of corn.
But let me give you a general idea of the character of the.country. The main feature is a great undulating plain sloping gradually from the northwest to the southeast at about ten feet to the mile. This plain is broken in the north and east by hilly country. Nebraska has four distinct regions. The Loess; and sand hills; the high plains, and the Gumbo plains. The Loess region includes the central, eastern and southern portion of the state, comprising about forty-three thousand square miles of wonderful farming land. West of the Loess plains lies the sand hill region. But, except in rare instances, the sand hills are now covered with grass and are no longer shifting as they were in the old days of the wilderness and prairie fires. Scattered through these sand hills are rich valleys, lakes and fertile table lands. West and northwest of the sand hills, lie the high plains, mostly great table lands broken here and there by deep canyons.
In this region are two areas of evergreen wooded mountains—the Wildcat Range and the Pine Ridge. As you motor through this western portion of Nebraska you will realize that you are beginning to enter the Rocky Mountain region. Here and there, rising hundreds of feet above the surrounding plains, are those great isolated rugged hills known at "buttes." The entire plain region is from three thousand to four thousand feet above sea level and contains large areas of level, rich soil. The North Platte River with its splendid valley ten to twelve miles in width, cuts right through the heart of the high plains and is eventually joined near the edge of the sand hills by the South Platte River, which comes up from Colorado.
The fourth region of Nebraska, known as the Gumbo Plains or the Pierre Shale Region, occupies about a thousand square miles, chiefly in Sioux County in the far northwestern corner of the state. This part of Nebraska, in connection with the Pine Ridge and Wild Cat Mountains, will thrill you with its majestic scenery.
One outstanding feature of Nebraska is her plant life. She has at least two hundred varieties of grass alone, and between three thousand and four thousand different kinds of plants. As for trees—thanks to the wonderful work of her people, from the pioneer days to the present time—Nebraska now has about a million acres covered with fine trees. May I suggest that you glance at your map of the state, on an imaginery journey with me, from her eastern border right across the state to Wyoming.
In 1851, a gold seeker established a ferry across the Missouri river at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and that ferry immediately became his gold mine. The traffic was so enormous that a company was formed to run the ferry,(Continued On Page 12)
What Shall The Duck Season Be?
HOW long shall the open season on ducks and geese be this year? What should the bag limit be? Should live decoys be prohibited?
These are three questions the Nebraska Game Commission submitted to Nebraska sportsmen in order to learn what would be best to recommend to Uncle Sam who has the say on fixing the rules on duck and goose shooting throughout the country.
Many letters and petitions have reached the Commission's office indicating a lively interest in the subject. Hundreds of Nebraska sportsmen derive considerable pleasure in duck and goose hunting and are therefore very much interested.
A study of the letters and petitions indicate that few sportsmen were satisfied with the 30 day open season last year. Even the sportsman who leans toward rigid conservation feels that perhaps a 30-day season is not fair to all concerned or does not save a great many birds. The great majority of the writers favor a 60-day open season, beginning around October 1st and ending November 30th. A surprising number of them favor all shooting to stop at noon or in the middle of the afternoon.
The idea of having rest days between open days for shooting does not appear to meet with widespread approval in Nebraska. Many express themselves as believing that this would defeat its own purpose by making the birds too tame and every hunting day like it is on the opening day now.
There is almost a universal feeling that the bag should be cut further especially the possession and season bags. Few Nebraska hunters would object apparently if Uncle Sam cut the bag from 15 a day to 10, and the possession limit from 30 to 20.
A good many of those writing state that they believe live decoys should be limited but not prohibited entirely. River hunters especially feel they should be allowed a reasonable number to go with their blocks.
The following are excerpts from some of the many letters that came to hand. The Commission is very grateful for the time and trouble hunters have taken to help solve this problem.
"There should be no effort to prohibit the use of live decoys, as it would end good river shooting here," writes Dale Godwin, of North Platte. I'm for the Federal dollar license plan."
"I think the open season should be from October 20th to December 15th," writes Clyde E. Knott of Omaha. "I am in favor of lower bag limits, say 12 ducks, and 4 geese, possession 30 ducks, 8 geese. I also think there should be a season bag limit.
"I favor 60 days open season, beginning October 15th, and one cent tax on shells or dollar license," states Joe Ranch of North Platte.
"Perhaps the season should be shortened," writes Earl Coryell of Lincoln,. "But I question very much the advisability of rest days during the open season, on account of impossibility to enforce it. I would recommend that the duck season be 60 days."
"I favor a longer open season, with alternate periods closed," states H. B. Hill of Neligh. "Last year's season was unfair to those unable to go to the Sand Hills, I favor restrictive use of decoys."
"Let us give advantage to the waterfowl rather than the hunter," writes A. A. Misek of Brainard. "I favor 30 days but in the month of November. I do not favor splitting season as it would only lead to slaughter of birds. I favor prohibition of live decoys."
"The sentiment in our community, writes Russel Robinson of North Bend, seems to that the bag limit be cut down; that there be no so called 'rest' days; that season be open during October and November for ducks and to December 31st for geese."
"Many sportsmen here, that I've talked to, favor smaller bag and a 90 day season," writes W. D. Darnell of McCook. "Personally I would like to see 90 days, with shooting in mornings only, with bag of 10 birds a day and 15 in possession."
"Our only hunting up here is on the river and we must hunt when flight is on, thus we require a long season," advises Harry Overson of Hartington. "Would dislike to see live decoys prohibited."
"Long season, lower bag limits"—R. V. Warrick, of Blair.
"60 days open season, October 15th to December 15th is wanted in this community"—W. H. Franssen of St. Libory.
"We recommend open season from October 20th to November 20th, with 10 ducks and 4 geese a day, same in possession; that hunters be prohibited from transferring birds from one to another"—Izaak Walton League, of Central City.
"Thirty days with 5 per day and 10 birds in possession"—T. Sheldon of Sargent.
"The Boys here favor October 1st to December 31st, with hunting closing at 12:00 P.M. daily: Bag limit cut from 15 to 8 a day and not more than 15 in possession." —L. W. Jennings of McCook.
"Just make season and limit reasonable and then let hunters get what they can. Would not kick on a 10 bag limit per day for ducks. The season can be short, but should be during time ducks come through. Would not object to prohibiting live decoys for ducks"—Charley Hoffmeister and fifty Imperial sportsmen.
"Make the Platte river a game reserve and Nebraska will have its full quota of waterfowl"—E. G. Stolley of Grand Island.
"I favor season of 60 to 90 days, quitting at 3:00 P.M. daily. Limit live decoys to 3 ducks and 3 geese"— Harry Proffitt of Hastings.
"I wish to go on record for long season with rest periods"—Chas. E. Dickerson of Maywood.
"Would like to see open season from October 1st to January 1st, with reduction in bag to 5 birds a day and 10 in possession, with shooting ceasing at noon".— E. W. Pamenter, Pres. Red Willow County Izaak Walton League.
"Longer open season preferably October 1st to November 30th, prohibit use of live decoys"—Petition from North Platte.
"Why not prohibit live decoys and cut bag to 10 a(Continued On Page 13)
Usefulness of Birds on The FarmBy "W. L. McAtee, Principal Biologist, in Charge Division of Food Habits Research, Bureau of Biological Survey
IF farm laborers should offer to make their principle job the killing of insects and other crops pests, asking nothing in return but their board and lodging, farmers would accept the offer with enthusiasm. Yet those most persistent and voracious insect destroyers, the birds, in as large number as the farm will accommodate, offer their services on just such terms—and in m#ny cases the farmer does nothing about it. A little protection and a little attention to nesting facilities and water supplies are all that is needed to increase the numbers of these natural pest destroyers. If the supply of wildfruit food is maintained, about all else that the bird laborers will require for board will be a moderate toll of a few crops, which, in view of services rendered, can well be paid.
The general usefulness of birds in destroying insects is something about which the good observer has no doubt. In an orchard, during the nesting season, he will see the birds active in every direction. Flickers, blackbirds, robins, and thrashers seek their insect prey on or near the ground; woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, and chickadees closely search the trunks and limbs of trees; vireos and warblers scan the leaves and probe the flowers; and flycatchers and swallows sweep their prey from the air itself. Every few minutes all day long the hungry young must be fed; and that they are well fed their rapid growth attests. The quantity of insects they and their parents consume is enormous. Not only do orchards benefit by the good work of birds, but gardens, berry patches, and plowed and newly sown fields as well. Though fields actually grown to tall crops are less freely visited, all crops are helped to some extent, and most farm pests have their bird enemies.COMBINED ATTACKS ON PESTS
To understand the economic value of birds, not only must the feeding habits of species and families be known, but also the collective effect of birds upon pests and crops. Most of the damage they do results from local overabundance, either of one species or of a number of species of similar feeding habits, and it is inflicted chiefly upon fruit and grain crops. The produce of small numbers of fruit trees especially is liable to severe damage where there is an abundance of fruit-eating birds. In orchards of commercial size damage is less often noticed. Preventive measures are of some avail; but aggressive action is sometimes necessary against birds that persistently destroy fruit crops or grain. Grainfields are seldom severely damiaged by birds under modern conditions, except on lands near breeding grounds of bird colonies, populous roosts, or in the migration route of gregarious species. The blackbirds are the most notorious offenders in this respect, and flocks of them at times are so large that it seems there must be a blackbird for every plant in the grainfield.
If birds by their united effort can accomplish great harm, they are for the same reason able to do great good in the destruction of insect pests. Fortunately there are many more helpful than harmful species. Unusual outbreaks of pests upon whicb( birds can feed are always attended by gatherings of the bird clans. In no instance has this been more evident than in the field-mouse plague that occurred in the Humboldt River region of Nevada in 1907-8, during which the damage to crops was placed at $250,000 in a season. Gulls, hawks, and owls flocked to the scene, and all birds able to live upon mice took practically no other food. The birds, it was estimated, destroyed about 900,000 of these field mice each month during the infestation.
The way in which birds concentrate when an outbreak of an injurious insect occurs is illustrated in the case of the alfalfa weevil, a destructive pest accidentally introduced into the region about Great Salt Lake. In two summer's investigations in Utah, 45 species of birds were found to attack the weevil. The killdeer was one of the most active of these, making alfalfa weevils a third of its food during part of the summer; one stomach contained no fewer than 383 individuals, 376 in the larval stage. The record for numbers—442 in one stomach —was held by Brewer's blackbird, an abundant species in Utah. A surprising discovery was that as a species the English sparrow was the most effective enemy of this insect; alfalfa weevils formed about a third of the food upon which its young were reared, and it was estimated that the number fed to growing English sparrows on a typical Utah farm was about 500,000. To this mlust be added the number eaten by the adult sparrows, which made of them about a fifth of their food. Most of the common birds of northeastern Utah were depending upon alfalfa weevils for almost a sixth of their entire food, and the destruction of these pests by this warfare is almost beyond conception.
The good work of birds in preying upon another weevil pest, the cotton-boll weevil, must not be overlooked. Sixty-six kinds of birds are known to feed upon this formidable cotton destroyer, probably the most effective being the orioles, which actually remove the boll weevils from the place where damage begins—that is, the squares or flower buds, of the cotton plants—and the swallows, which feed upon weevils that are in flight. In the stomach of one Bullock's oriole there were found as many as 41 boll weevils, and large numbers are habitually taken by all species of swallows; every one of a series of 35 eaves swallows had eaten them), the largest number in any stomach being 48, and the average 19.
Another serious agricultural pest that is freely eaten by birds is the wheat aphis, or green bug. On a 200 acre farm in North Carolina, where wheat, rye, and oats were severely attacked by green bugs, it was found that birds were very effective in destroying the pests. The outbreak was at its height during the migration sea-(Continued On Page 13)
OUTDOOR NEBRASKAPublished by Game, Forestation & Parks Commission Editorial Office, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska FRANK B. O'CONNELL Editor COMMISSIONERS: Charles W. Bryan, Lincoln, Chairman F. A. Baldwin, Ainsworth, Vice Chairman George B. Hastings, Grant E. R. Purcell, Broken Bow Guy Spencer, Omaha J. B. Douglas, Tecumseh Frank B. O'Connell, Lincoln, Secretary Vol. VII July, 1932 No. 3
A visitor at the Game Commissions office at Lincoln, after looking over a map showing the parks, recreation grounds, hatcheries, game reserves, and various other holdings of the commission asked:—
"And you have purchased and developed all this from my dollar a year which I have paid for hunting and fishing?"
Upon being assured that such was the case and that no tax money was used by the Commission, the visitor remarked:—
"Well, sir, I don't know of any dollar a year I spend that gives me greater satisfaction. Look at that one lake out there! It fills me with pride to think that I had my part in building it. Look at that game reserve! I'm happy to know I'm helping to save the birds of today for the boys and girls of tomorrow. I wish every citizen of Nebraska could sit here with me and really understand what is being done with the dollar a year he pays to hunt and fish. And I wish that all the dollars my family and I spend for recreation and entertainment returned us so much!"FINANCE
The following is a record of the receipts of the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission for 1931, as found by the State Accountant, who recently audited the accounts:
The cash deposited in the State Treasury during 1931 was $214,854.63, as compared with $227,404.08 for the year of 1930, a decrease of 5.5 per cent.
The following is the source of the receipts:Resident Hunt and Fish Permits._$ 1.00 ea. $182,453.00 Non-Resident Hunt & Fish Permits 10.00 ea. 5,056.00 Non-Resident Fish Permits 2.00 ea. 7,426.00 Resident Trap Permits 2.00 ea. 11,962.00 Alien Fish Permits 5.00 ea. 95.00 Fur Buyers Permits 10.00 ea. 1,660.00 Game Fanciers Permits 1.00 ea. 42.00 Fish Vendor 10.00 ea. 420.00 Mo. River Seining Permit 298.35 Game Bird, Breeders 542.00 Fur Bearing Animal, Breeders 539.00 Hatchery Permits 30.00 Fish Propagation 398.45 Sales of Food Fish 2,019.56 Confiscations 447.05 Miscellaneous 2,097.95 Liquidated damages 992.00 Collection of delinquent accounts 389.68 Collection of suspense accounts 59.07 Arbor Lodge receipts 179.78 Chadron State Park receipts 693.50 Victoria Springs Park 16.61 $217,817.00 Less 1930 overpayments carried forward to accounts as credits 284.45 To account for $217,532.55 Accounted for as follows— Deposited in State Treasury, (Exhibit No. 2) 214,854.63 Accounts Receivable (Exhibit No. 3) 2,889.02 1930 permits returned for credit $217,432.55 100.00 $217,532.55 LIQUIDATED DAMAGES During 1931 assessment of liquidated damages was reported in 113 cases amounting to $ 1,207.00 Amount collected 982.00 $ 225.00 Laying out in jail 5.00 Unpaid (Exhibit No. 5) $ 220.00 HUNTING SHOOTING SCRIPT
The 1931 legislature passed a law known as "Hunters Shooting Script" Act. This provided for the issuance and sale by the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission of Script coupons at 50c each. A farmer upon whose land upland game birds were killed was allowed to collect from; the hunter one coupon for each bird killed. About 2200 coupons were sent in by farmers for redemption.
Used and unused coupons are redeemed by the Commission during the calendar year in which issued.13087 Coupons sold at 50c each $ 6,543.50 12454 Coupons redeemed at 50c each 6,227.00 633 unredeemed at 50c each 316.50
A Strange Trap A Story of the Sand HillsBy 0. W. Money
T N the spring of 1887 we built our first soddy in the -*- Sand Hills.. It was built in the side of a ravine, with the roof at the back only about a foot from the ground. The walls were constructed of sod, with poles laid across them to support the brush, hay and dirt used for the roof. It had two small windows, a dirt floor and was very large for that country—twelve by fourteen feet.
Our closest neighbor lived several miles away. We had no well but hauled water from his well in barrels placed in a wagon. The well was four hundred and thirty feet deep. A horse was used to draw up the water by the aid of a large wooden bucket and a long rope. The water hauling was quite a chore, for all the water for domestic purposes as well as that for the stock had to be brought home in this way.
(Herds of half-wild cattle roamed the prairies and constant care had to be exercised especially for the night or next morning would find our wagon tipped over and the water spilled, as the range cattle became almost crazed at times for the want of water, as the creek where they drank was about seven miles away.
One night after an exceptionally cool day in which the cattle had drifted farther than usual from water it turned fiercely hot. Along about midnight the cattle began to go by toward the creek.
My father had gone about twelve miles away to help shear a large flock of sheep so mother and we children were alone.
The cattle hurrying past soon took to running and no one who has not heard hundreds of cattle running on the prairie can form the least idea of the terrible rumble made by them.
The noise awakened us children, mother was moving about in the room attempting to make a light. This was hard to do as all we had was a tallow dip. Lamps and coal oil were luxuries in those days.
As I was the oldest of the children, she asked me to get up and help.
Her plan was to make a fire of some twisted hay we used for fuel out in front of the house to warn the cattle of the location of the house. We were in real danger as the cattle were coming right down over the hill toward the back of the house.
But before she could get a light there was a splintering crash with falling dirt right over our heads. Mother snatched sister who was the baby and called to us boys to get outside the house.
We were none too quick in getting out, for just as we reached the door an animal tumbled through right into the room. We rushed outside and the door slammed shut, imprisoning the frightened animal. It began to thrash about, bawling in fright, overturning stove, beds, table and cupboard.
We crouched on the ground on the outside of the house expecting every minute that the other cattle would rush to the rescue of their imprisoned fellow.
In a few minutes the cattle had passed by and all was quiet. Mother took us around the corner of the house and then crept back to the door, intending to push it open, in hopes that the animal would make good its escape. But she found the door would not open, and try as hard as she might, she could not budge it.
The only thing to do was to wait for morning. This was a real hardship for the nights are cold on the plains even in summer, and we were thinly clad.
We huddled together as best we could for warmth and waited. We could not sleep as we were too frightened and too cold.
Twice a coyote howled close by which did not add to the pleasure of our uncomfortable situation.
Finally, after hours and hours light came in the east. Mother again tried the door but with the same result. So she procured the axe which by luck was left outside and proceeded to chop down the door.
It took her quite awhile, but finally it fell out, only to see the stove overturned in such a way across the door that the steer which she could see back in the corner could not possibly get out.
We were in a painful predicament. Our clothing was inside the room. We were cold and hungry. Mother did not know what to do. Finally she said the only thing was for my brother and I to walk the five miles to the neighbors and bring help.
To some it might have been comedy to see two little boys clad only in thin night gowns going across the prairie but it was near tragedy to us. But finally we got there only to find the nighbor's away from home. So we turned and went crying back and when we got back mother cried too, for that was apparantly all there was to do.
Mother and we boys tried to pry the stove out of the door but as soon as we showed ourselves at the door the steer charged.
We were wondering what we were going to do when our youngest brother came running around the house calling "Papa' Papa' " and sure enough there came father over the hill.
When he drove up you can imagine his surprise at the appearance of his little family. He lost no time and took drastic measures.
He said the only thing to do was to shoot the steer as it would let no near the door. We children ran behind the house and stuffed our fingers in our ears so we would not hear the report of the rifle. But we heard it anyway and then a heavy thud inside. Then father got a couple of picket ropes and tied them around the steer's horns and hitching the horses to the other end pulled it outside.
Mother said, "What a pity to see that meat go to waste."
"It's not going to waste," said father. He proceeded(Continued On Page 13)
Activities of the CommissionPLANT MANY BULLHEADS
The Nebraska Game Commission made a new record this year in planting bullheads in southern and eastern Nebraska. During the spring season over 800,000 adult fish were seined from Sand Hill Lakes and planted in streams and lakes in heavily populated sections.
This year's planting exceeds that of 1931—the previous record—by 200,000 fish. The work was begun early in the spring, some of the seining being done under the ice, and was continued to the Fourth of July when the hot weather made it too difficult to carry on. While it is possible to transport fish during hot weather, the loss is great and the fish car and trucks cannot be loaded heavily enough to make it pay.
If it were possible to evenly divide all the bullheads—adult fish—planted this year, every holder of a fishing permit would have a bag of at least ten.
Thousands of small bullheads are stocked each year, making the total of these fish to run well above the million mark. During the late summer many small bullheads are salvaged from drying-up ponds and sloughs and transferred to deeper water.GOOD CRAPPIE PROSPECTS
The Nebraska fish hatcheries are increasing their output of crappie each year, but as yet it has been impossible to meet the great demand for this popular pan fish. However, it would seem that a fine lot of these fish will be available this fall, through the help of Nature.
On those years when the Missouri rises in June, it overflows in some lowlands adjacent to it and leaves water in sloughs and bayous. Adult crappie spawners find their way into these places and the Commission is able to pick up thousands of fingerling crappies when fall comes.
Many of these sloughs and bayous are full of water this summer, thus the prospect for salvaging a fine lot of crappies is very good.GAME WARDENS BUSY
While game wardens have not had as much work to do this year as they have had some other years, nevertheless, considerable has been accomplished.
Some 500 complaints of various kinds have been investigated, 60 damage claims surveyed, and thousands of permits checked. Since the first of the year 155 arrests have been made for violations of the game laws, and 104 illegal devices confiscated.
J. B. Douglas, Tecumseh, was appointed a member of the Game Commission recently by Governor Bryan. Mr. Douglas is well known in south eastern Nebraska as a sportsman of high order and for his public service.
Caught by Bill Lundy, Bob Taylor and Dr. Holson of Doris Lake, near Sargent, Custer County, Nebraska. Weight 14% pounds, length 37 inches.
Quitely and without much display, the effort to preserve outdoor fish and game life in Nebraska goes on. Under the able direction of Frank B. O'Connell, the state game, forestation and parks commission has proven itself one of the most useful of state agencies.
This spring hundreds of lakes and streams in every part of Nebraska are being freshly stocked with fish, the bulk of which were hatched in the commission's own facilities. State parks are being cleaned up and the large number of recreation grounds purchased in recent years are being cleaned up and further improved to make desirable locations for outdoor recreation available within driving distance of all Nebraska's residents.
It is a service which is already valuable today when the state is no longer the unsettled prairie, echoing to a varied bird and animal wild life. It is a service to be of increasing value as time goes on. The fish program is on a steadily developing basis. Much has been done toward protecting game and fowl. The park program, while slowing up now because of lacn of funds, was given an impetus a couple of years ago, which placed it on a firm footing.
As long as management of the state's conservation program is in the hands of such men as Mr. O'Connell and the group of men so interested in the outdoors as those who have served on the state game commission. Nebraska can be assured of the proper development of its outdoor resources for recreational purposes.—From Lincoln Star.
There are well-meaning men and women who sentimentally discuss at breakfast the brutality of the hunters and the cruelty of the fishermen, and urge that their recreation and sport be prohibited by law. They have for their breakfast bacon or ham, which means that a pig's throat was cut for their benefit, possibly the throats of two pigs, one for the bacon, another for the ham.
At luncheon they have a chicken whose head was wrung for their benefit, or a duck whose head was chopped off to meet their desire.
Their dinner required a real slaughter, plenty of bloodshed, and the use of knives, hammers and saws, so that they might enjoy themselves. A lamb chop signified that a little lamb had been killed for them, or a mutton chop that a grown sheep had been slaughtered. Or maybe they have veal, for which a calf died, or beef, for which a mighty steer was struck down. Or perhaps they prefer fish; so for their benefit a fish is strangled in a net, or suffocated, or frozen in ice to please their palates as they sentimentally discuss the horrors of hunting and fishing. Or perhaps they start the meal with oysters, crabs, or shrimp which, for their entertainment are thrown alive into boiling water, or frozen in a refrigerator.
Having attended to their appetites which called for the slaughter of chickens, ducks, lambs, sheep, pigs, calves, cattle, oysters and fish, these critics of the sportsman's cruelty perhaps continuing their discussion of the awful slaughter of wild things, they stretch themselves upon a chair or couch covered with a hide which came from an animal killed for them; and drawing a shawl of wool over their shoulders for which a sheep was sheered, or using a lighter garment of silk for which a thousand silkworms died, they rest their eyes and delight their nostrils with a vase of flowers which took from plant life its crowning glory—its bloom. The plant itself may have died for their delight.
But if a boy shoots a rabbit, or a man kills a deer for sport and food, these misguided people call them brutal, and they declare the killing of ducks or game to be a reversal to barbarism, and the catching of fish upon a hook they brand as cruelty.
These advocates are thoughtless in their criticism. They are unfair. They have no objection to the slaughter of birds and animals and fishes that are domesticated, but seem to draw a distinction between those that have been tamed and those that are wild. There is just as much brutality in killing the one as there is in the other .
SUGGEST WAYS TO PROVIDE SMALL AREAS FOR WATERFOWL
Three desirable measures in the small-areas-water-fowl program inaugurated recently by the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture and cooperating agencies, are:
1. Create new local breeding areas for waterfowl.
2. Improve or restore existing or former breeding areas.
3. Establish and protect local resting areas throughout the birds' migrating and wintering ranges.
This program, the bureau explained in recommending these activities is primarily intended to encourage the establishment, improvement, and protection of small local refuges and breeding grounds as supplements to larger ones now being maintained by Federal and State agencies. Wild fowl breed freely on suitable small areas, even on those known as potholes or ponds, and in the aggregate such areas are likely to be as important to waterfowl as the larger lakes and marshes. The preservation of these small breeding areas is essential to the maintenance of our waterfowl.
For carrying its recommended measures into effect the bureau offered the following suggestions:CREATING NEW AREAS The simplest methods proposed for creating new areas include the division of water into low areas and the damming of small streams. Where conditions permit, a series of dams may be built along a stream. (Farmers' Bulletin 1612-F, gives instructions for building earthen and other dams, and may be obtained free from the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.) These water areas created for the birds' use should be from a few inches to not more than 3 feet in depth. The banks should be marshy and should be protected from grazing. They should not be mowed or otherwise disturbed during the breeding season, and should be protected from fire. IMPROVING OR RESTORING AREAS
For improving existing water areas or restoring former ones, the Biological Survey recommends that excessive drainage should be checked, old pond sites and(Continued On Page 14)
SEEING NEBRASKA(Continued From Page 5)
and a town site was laid out on the Nebraska shore, on the broad plateau overlooking the river. Three hundred and twenty blocks, divided by streets one hundred feet wide, were staked out, and on the top of the most conspicuous hill was reserved a site for the future State House. Practically all the people who used that ferry were transients on their way to the Far West. The town site was named Omaha, after a tribe of Indians that used to camp there. Omaha thought she would be ruined when, after years of quarreling, her place as capital city was given to Lincoln; but when Omaha was chosen as the terminus of the Union Pacific railroad, her fortune was made; and from that time she has retained her position as the largest city in Nebraska. On February the second, 1932, Omaha celebrated her seventy-fifth birthday. Be sure you see her majestic Joslyn Memorial, which is probably one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in America. This lovely marble masterpiece three hundred and fifty feet long and one hundred and sixty-feet wide, is the home of Omaha's Symphony Orchestra.
When you have "done" Omaha, take route 75 to Nebraska City and visit Arbor Lodge State Park. Arbor Lodge was formerly the home of J. Sterling Morton, who was a member of President Cleveland's cabinet and the originator of Arbor Day. If you love trees, then you'll thank me for advising you to visit this beautiful arboretum. From Nebraska City, follow route 2 into Lincoln. Lincoln is in Lancaster County, and she owes her proud position as capital of Nebraska to her famous salt springs. But she has long since ceased to use her salt beds for commercial purposes. Nowadays she has converted one of the largest salt basins into a very successful pleasure resort, where you can indulge in sea bathing without fear of sharks!
Lincoln was the home of William Jennings Bryan from 1887 until 1921. Here he published "The Commoner." His country home at Fairview, just east of the city, was bequeathed to the Methodist Churches of the State and has now become the nucleus of a large memorial hospital. What a man he was! The last time I saw the great Commoner he was sound asleep on the floor of a little western railway station—huddled up in his overcoat. At four o'clock in the morning the train arrived and I saw him climb into the day coach, settle down in an empty seat and go sound asleep again within five minutes. We crossed paths on several Chautauqua tours. I only wish I had his voice today!
Nebraska—and especially Lincoln—has an international reputation on account of her magnificent State Capitol, which has been built at a cost of about ten million dollars. No lover of art—especially modern American art—can afford to miss this outstanding example. Many distinguished Americans started their careers in Lincoln. I have already mentioned Mr. Bryan; but how many of you realize that Col. Charles Lindbergh was given his first instruction in aviation at the Lincoln Airplane School? Or that Lincoln is the home of General John J. Pershing and General Charles G. Dawes, ambassador to England? Lincoln has many famous educational institutions such as the University of Nebraska with its famous collection of heavyweights—elephantine and intellectual. ... - - - .
Her State Agricultural College has an enrollment of over eleven thousand students. Union College, which is conducted by the Seventh Day Adventists, sends her students to the farthest corners of the earth. I'll tell you what made me think of that! It was the fact that the inhabitants of far-off Pitcairn Island in the Southern Pacific, are Seventh Day Adventists.
But we must step on the gas and make for Grand Island, on the Lincoln Highway. This interesting city manufactures about ten million pounds of beet sugar annually, but the city is of special interest to a radio audience, because it is Radio's Police Station—that is to say—the Federal Government maintains a monitor radio station here whose job is to police the waves!
From Grand Island, keep on Route 30 to North Platte and think of the days—not so very long ago—■- when Colonel Cody earned his name of Buffalo Bil1, by killing four thousand two hundred and eighty buff a1© in eighteen months, when he supplied the meat for tin builders of the Union Pacific railroad. Today, instead of supplying people with buffalo by the thousand, North Platte supplies them with baby chicks by the million.
Many historic spots well worth a visit are within easy reach of North Platte. For instance, Snell Canyon, where thirty thousand Sioux warriors are said to have gathered when Chief Red Cloud signed a treaty of peace with General Mitchell in 1863. Within three miles of the town you can still see the wheel ruts made by the old covered wagons on the Overland Trail, and you can talk to men who have counted as many as three thousand wagons pass by in twenty-four hours!
Fort McPherson National Cemetery contains two thousand graves of old soldiers, many of whom were killed in battle with the Indians. But less than two miles from the city is one of the most historic points in America—Scouts Rest Ranch—the home of Buffalo Bill, where he first assembled his famous Wild West Show. There is one thing that Buffalo Bill did that few men in the history of the world have ever accomplished. He invented a new game for children—a game that children of every nation simply love—Indians! Buffalo Bill was probably the most successful advertisement America ever had.
But now, as you travel still farther west on Route 26, the character of the country becomes wilder and wilder. You have a kind of feeling that you are approaching something dramatic and wonderful—and your intuition has not misled you; because you are rapidly approaching Nebraska's great landmark that was eagerly looked for by thousands and thousands of the old pioneers who were following the Oregon and old Mormon Trails.
Towering up into the sky nearly five thousand feet high, like a gigantic fortress, is Scott's Bluff National Monument, named in memory of one of the pioneers— Hiram Scott—whose body was found at the base of the bluff. This man had been left by his companions when they thought he was dying, at a point at least fifty miles from Scott's Bluff. But his undaunted courage was shown by his managing to crawl over fifty miles and reaching the great landmark, where he knew help would be forthcoming. To see Scott's Bluff—to climb up to the top and look down on six towns nestled in the North OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 13 Platte Valley—to rest your eyes on miles and miles of green alfalfa, golden grain, and other crops which the blessings of irrigation have made possible—is well worth your trip to Nebraska. The vast Sand Hill country has been turned into. a National Forest of Pine trees, and today, birds are numerous in a district where they used toi be unknown.
But here are a few facts about Nebraska that will probably surprise even some Nebraskans! She has twelve hundred natural lakes—she has more river mileage than any other state—she has one county named Cherry County, which is larger than Connecticut—she has four hundred and thirty-eight varieties of birds—she has the largest deposits of potash in the United States. Her State Flower is the Golden Rod and the State Bird is the Meadow Lark.
A STRANGE TRAP(Continued From Page 9)
to dress it while mother and we children made an attempt at straightening up the house.
"How are we going to cook the meat?" mother said, "the stove is beyond repair."
"Camper fashion," said father. Soon there was a nice fire going outside and steak sizzling in the skillet. And how good that steak tasted. I never ate better in my life. It was past noon.
Father saw the owner of the steer the next day and offered to pay for it but he would take nothing.
The next day two of the rancher's men came over with a brand new stove. They said they had instructions to leave it at our house, also to stay and help father put a new roof on our dug-out
WHAT SHALL THE DUCK SEASON BE?(Continued From Page 6)
day and 15 in possession"—Petition from Wynot.
"Reduce bag to 10 ducks a day and make season from October 20th to December 20th."—Elmwood Gun Club.
"We suggest a six-week open season and small bag limit, and favor the use of not more than two live decoys." —Petition from Mason City.
"Season 90 days, from October 1st to December 31st; hag limit the same."—Petition from Kearney.
"Season should be opened from October 1st to November 30th"—Petition from Ainsworth.
"Season open from October 1st to January 15th: bag cut to 10 a day; live decoys prohibited"—Petition from Champion.
Recommend open season to be from October 1st to November 15th—Petition from Wood Lake
USEFULNESS OF BIRDS ON THE FARM(Continued From Page 7)
son of such birds as the goldfinch and the vesper and chipping sparrows, which with other species on the farm numbered more than 3,000 individuals. It was found that these birds were destroying green bugs at the rate of nearly a million a day, and on days when additional flocks of migrants wrere present this destruction was doubled. During the season such numbers of birds flockto the grain fields that the aphis infestation was reduced by an incalculable number.
A classic instance of the concentration of bird attack upon an army of insect invaders, occurred during the severe outbreaks of the Rocky Mountain locusts between 1865 and 1877. So numerous were these voracious pests that many places they visited were denuded of every green thing. A thorough investigation was made of the relation of birds to the outbreak, and it was found that practically every species, froml the largest birds of prey to the tiny hummingbirds, from ducks and other aquatic fowl to typical bird denizens of the dry plains, turned to feeding upon locusts. In fact, most birds gorged themselves with this abundant supply of food, and in so doing were the means in numerous cases of saving crops from destruction.DAILY WARFARE ON INSECTS
Conspicuous and important as are the activities of birds in "gathering at the scene and taking part in the suppression of insect outbreaks, probably their every-day services in consuming insects of all kinds, thus holding down the whcle tide of insect life, are of greater significance. No one who has observed the ceaseless activity of birds in feeding their young can doubt that the destruction of insects in this way is enormous. The house wren brings food to its young about once every two minutes all day long. Not many birds equal this record. Probably one feeding every five to eight minutes is the average rate. Only the insects' enormous powers' of'reproduction enable them to survive the terrific warfare waged when all the parent birds are foraging on ground, grass, trunks, branches, and foliage, to feed their nestlings.
Not only in the nesting season but all through the year, the birds carry on an intense predatory campaign against the insects. Hardly an agricultural pest exists but has numerous effective bird enemies. The numbers of species of birds known to feed on certain prominent insect pests are given in the following list:Alfalfa weevil-----------50 Army worm_________,43 Billbugs _____________110 Brown-tail moth_____31 Chestnut weevils_____85 Chinch bug__________29 Clover-root borer____94 Clover weevil_______48 Codling moth _______36 Cotton-boll weevil___66 Cotton worm________41 Cutworms____________98 Forest tent caterpillar- 32 Gypsy moth__________46 Horseflies ___________49 Leaf hoppers________175 Orchard tent cater- pillar ________n~+- 43 Potato beetle______^_ 34 Rice weevil__________22 Spotted cucumber beetle_____________42 White grubs ________95 Wireworms __________205 OUR BIRD POPULATION
In the United States are found more than 800 distinct kinds of birds of 75 families, 22 families of which are classed as water birds, 7 as shore birds, 5 as.upland game birds, 5 as birds of prey, and 36, as land birds. In general, the smaller land birds are of greatest interest to the farmer and orchardist. Of the larger birds, however, the upland game birds,, the hawks, and the owls deserve notice.
SUGGEST WAYS TO PROVIDE SMALL AREAS FOR WATERFOWL(Continued From Page 11)
marshes reflooded, and water impounded to meet seasonal shortages. Small reservoirs along streams or in depressions will save water for maintaining levels on the areas during periods of shortage and will also help prevent floods. It is important to keep the variation of the water level within inches, not feet, and so preserve the character and abundance of vegetation needed by the wild fowl both for cover and food. Constant water levels are equally important for fish, fur bearers, and other wild life.MAINTAINING RESTING AREAS
The Biological Survey emphasizes that the utility of inviolate refuges in maintaining stock of game has been proved beyond all question. Such refuges for wild fowl have been maintained by private shooting clubs, and more can and should be established by other agencies. Properly carried out, the movement can be made highly important in preserving waterfowl.
Local resting areas to be established throughout the migrating and wintering ranges of the birds, the bureau advises, should therefore be protected as inviolate refuges. Setting aside such areas need involve no expense or activity other than control of the land and prevention of trespass. The cooperation of State game protective officials in this work may often be obtained, and this cooperation is especially valuable on account of the additional legal protection it affords. In the case of the resting grounds, as well as of the breeding areas, additional improvement by seeding food and cover plants may be desirable. Directions for this work may be obtained from the Biological Survey, Washington, D. C.
Persons desiring more detailed advice on methods are invited to write to the Biological Survey, Washington, D. C. The bureau also requests information about the improvement of local bird-refuges
ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION(Continued from Page 10) NEW FOLDER ABOUT NEBRASKA
A new folder, with a map showing where to go in Nebraska for recreation and to visit places of interest is now being distributed by the Game Commission. This replaces a booklet along this line previously published.
From requests coming to hand and letters received, it would seem that the public greatly prefer the map to a booklet. Dozens of letters of commendation have come to hand. Large travel agencies in Denver, Chicago, St. Louis and elsewhere report that tourists going overland are anxious to get these maps and that the demand is greater than they can meet, even though liberal alotments of the maps have been made to them.
Nebraska citizens or citizens of other states desiring a copy of this map can obtain same free while the supply lasts. Address all communications to Secretary, Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, State House, Lincoln, Nebraska.PARKS HAVING BUSY SEASON
From reports coming to hand, it would seem that there is no depression as far as Nebraska parks are concerned. The attendance this year is as great as ever, and there have been a greater number of picnics and public gatherings than heretofore.
Some improvements have been made at several of the parks. A new caretakers residence is under construction at Victoria Springs and repairs have been made to diking damaged by a recent flood. This park has been especially unfortunate during the last two years in having several bad floods.
A new entrance to the Chadron park is under construction and painting and other minor improvements made at Arbor Lodge and Stolley parks.ARNOLD RECREATION GROUNDS DEVELOPED
The newest recreation grounds developed in Nebraska is in Custer County, near Arnold. A dam was recently built there, diking thrown up and other improvements made. A lake of some ten acres will soon be available for the public, as well as splendid camping sites with abundant shade. The lake is being stocked with fish and will probably be opened to the public next year.BIRD BOARD ORGANIZES
The Advisory Board, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, recently reorganized by Secretary of Agriculture Hyde, held its first meeting on April 7 at the Cosmos Club, Washington, D. C. Lee Miles, Chairman of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, Little Rock, was elected chairman of the board and Seth Gordon, President of the American Game Association, Washington, D. C, a member at large, was elected secretary. Mr. Miles represents district No. 6, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
Meetings of the Advisory Board are held on call of the Secretary of Agriculture.MERRIMAN RECREATION GROUNDS
At the Merriman Lake Recreation Grounds (Cherry County) about 500 trees were planted in 1930. Here it was necessary to haul in black dirt as the soil was extremely sandy and although the two seasons have been somewhat unfavorable, the trees have done well.GOOSE LAKE RECREATION GROUNDS
At Goose Lake (Hold County) a large number of willow and Cottonwood have been planted. In the spring of 1931 a large number of transplants "cottonwoods" which were found growing along the lake front were planted up on higher ground along the foothills and it is hoped to enlarge a nice tree clearing which is all ready thriving at this place.ROWELL LAKE RECREATION GROUNDS
At Rowell Lake (Antelope County) through the cooperation of local citizens, a large planting of trees was made in the spring of 1930, there being about ten acres planted at this time.
Other trees were planted around the lake in 1931. Both plantings have been damaged more or less by dry weather conditions, but it is hoped a considerable number of these plantings can be saved.