Outdoor NebraskaDevoted To The Conservation Of Nebraska Outdoor Resources JANUARY 1934 A Typical Platte River Scene to be found along the route of the proposed Bryan Highway No. 1 Vol. IX
The Outlook For 1934GOALS FOR THE YEAR More Federal Game Sanctuaries. Greater Fish Production. Stocking of Pheasants in Southeastern Counties. Rehabilitation of the Catfish. Stabilization of Platte River. Development of Ten-Year Program.
THE Nebraska Game Commission through its Ten-Year Conservation Program, hopes to achieve certain goals during the coming year.
Among these objectives for 1934 will be an effort to secure more federal waterfowl sanctuaries. It appears quite likely that the authorities at Washington may allot considerable funds for the purchase and development of sanctuaries. If this is done, Nebraska should receive a share of such expenditures for the two reasons that the Nebraska Sand Hills are a natural breeding ground for ducks and that Nebraska lies in the direct path of the major portion of the annual migration of waterfowl. There are a number of possibilities for splendid resting and feeding areas along the Platte River and in the lake section of the country. Governor Bryan and the Nebraska Commission will use their best efforts to interest the federal government in them.
The second goal of the year will be an effort to further increase the production of fish at the several hatcheries, with an especial effort to stock larger fish. With a large number of stateowned lakes now open to fishing, the Commission finds its need for fish ever increasing.
It is also hoped that 1934 will see the beginning of the production of channel catfish at Nebraska hatcheries. This fish is very popular in eastern Nebraska and Commissioner Guy E. Spencer and Supt. J. M. Merritt of the Gretna Fisheries are working out plans for the hatching of a considerable number of this species of the finny tribe. The Gretna Hatchery is being rebuilt in part to take care of these fish and will be ready for hatching activities in the coming spring.
The stocking of pheasants in the extreme southeastern part of Nebraska will be undertaken during March and April of 1934. Commissioner J. B. Douglas is assisting in this phase of the work and is making a survey of the several southeastern counties where it is hoped to establish suitable areas where the birds will be protected and can breed during the next two or three years. Present plans call for the transfer of adult birds from the central part of the state where pheasants are quite numerous.
Another phase of conservation work in Nebraska in which the Commission is watching with considerable interest is the impounding of water along the Platte River and its tributaries. For some time this stream has been without water during the summer from North Platte to Central City, with the result that thousands of fish are lost. It is the belief of many sportsmen that with the impounding of water along the Platte and its tributaries the Platte can be stabilized and that it will carry enough water during the hot months to save the large number of fish now unable to survive.
The Commission will also keep in mind its ten-year program, developing such part of it as funds will permit. This plan calls for a number of surveys and it is possible that some of these can be initiated or further developed during the next twelve months. The goals outlined in this plan are as follows:
"The ultimate goal of the Plan shall be to meet the needs of the ever-in-creasing number of hunters and anglers and to build up Nebraska's outdoors. In order to successfully arrive at this goal, the following activities shall be put into effect:
1. A ten-year plan of annual increase in such game birds as the Commission decides to stock.
2. A ten-year plan of annual increase of game fish, with the ultimate objective for the liberation of larger fish.
3. A ten-year plan of providing suitable hunting, fishing and recreation facilities, with the end that these shall be accessible to ALL the people of the state without trespass charge.
4. A plan of scientific study of all conditions affecting wild life, with particular stress placed upon cover, food and disease.
5. A plan of utilizing certain lands that can be flooded, thus taking the same out of agricultural production and placing them into production of fish and game of which there is a distinct shortage.
6. A plan of utilizing waste and(Continued on Page 11)
Chadron State Park
Let's Save On Water
THE subject of water conservation is one which is of vital importance to each and every one of us. We will all agree that water is the most abundant thing that we have, in fact water is the most abundant element on or under the surface of this earth. Three-fourths of the entire area of the world is water, for instance if all the mountains and all the other elevations of land could be leveled and all the wrinkles of old Mother Earth ironed out, the waters of the seas would cover this entire globe to a depth of nearly three miles.
Water is indeed very plentiful, and it is also a well known fact that the chemical composition is such that it can never be lost or destroyed. If we are to believe our chemists at all we must concede that every single drop of water that was here on the day of creation is still here and will be here as long as the earth stands. The birds of the air, the beasts of the forests, the grasses underfoot, the trees about us, even man, with all his wisdom and ingenuity owes life itself to an adequate supply of fresh water.
Aside from those forms that live in the sea, all life must have reasonably fresh water to exist, and man is no exception to this rule. Because of its abundance, man has lost sight of the importance of fresh waters and is wasting it with the same lavish hand that is so destructive to many of other natural resources. In countries of abundant precipitation this waste has brought about no serious reaction, but in areas of moderate rainfall, such as our own state, the disastrous results of constantly falling water levels becomes increasingly apparent each year.
The question arises, what can we do? The answer is—conserve as much of our waste water as.. we possibly can. By waste water we mean that portion of our rainfall that enters our streams and is carried back to the sea, and by conserve we mean the impounding and the retaining of this waste water here at home. But not all of the water that falls returns to the sea, some of it is again evaporated, some of it drains off into natural reservoirs such as ponds and lakes, same of it is absorbed by growing vegetation, and approximately one-third of it enters the ground and becomes what we commonly know as "ground water".
There are lakes and rivers underground quite as large as those on the surface in which you fish and swim. This ground water is most important because it forms the main source of our water supply, and because it is almost directly responsible for the water levels of the ponds and lakes on the surface. As a matter of fact, water seeks its own level and when the ground water recedes it is invariably replaced by seepage from the surface—that is, if there is any water on the surface to seep. It is apparent, therefore, that the impounding of waste water will have a highly beneficial effect upon ground waters in that immediate vicinity.
It is equally apparent that one or two danis will not alter ground water conditions, but in addition to the dams that are now being built a large number of reservoirs constructed all over the state will go far towards restoring former conditions. While the restoration of ground water levels will be the most valuable result of the state-wide water conservation program, one cannot lightly pass over the recreational advantages that will accrue, the fishing, boating, swimming, skating; or the breeding areas that will be created for our migratory waterfowl whose ranks have been so sadly depleted because of the failure of our ponds and lakes. Nor can one forget the beneficial effect upon our weather and climate, for it is a well known fact that water regulates and controls the climate of the land surrounding it in almost direct proportion to the area of the water itself.
The creation of a large number of reservoirs would unquestionably tend to prevent the excessively hot winds that are so destructive to our crops and which we have experienced with increasing frequency as our surface water areas have receded. What effect these reservoirs would have upon our rainfall is somewhat problematical, but it can at least be truthfully said that with lower temperatures and higher ground water levels our crops will not require as much rainfall as they do under the present adverse conditions.
It is also true that the records of the United States Weather Bureau indicate a gradual and steady drop in our average annual precipitation and a corresponding increase in average annual temperatures, due, without any question, to the tremendous reduction of surface water areas and ground water levels. Records of the Bureau for the past ten years show a loss in average annual rainfall of approximately threequarters of an inch, with a corresponding loss over the entire sixty odd years that the Bureau has been operating in the middle west. Three-quarters of an inch in ten years is not much, but in view of the fact that an area having less than fifteen inches of rainfall per year is a dry country and that we are now on the ragged edge with an average annual precipitation of only seventeen inches, then this ten year drop takes on a significance that needs no further explanation to the farmers of this state.
However, available information indicates that most of our rainfall comes from the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. In view of this fact, it becomes increasingly apparent that we must prevent as much water as possible from returning to the sea. With us it is primarily a question of storing up and retaining our rainfall and thus building up our surface and ground water levels.
With this in mind, permit us to urge upon each and every one of you, that you take up the construction of a dam in your vicinity.
NEW BULLETIN ON RAISING BIRDS
By encouraging game and other wild life, farmers can profitably use lands taken out of corn, wheat, and other crops, the Bureau of Biological Survey points out in an illustrated, 64-page farmers' bulletin prepared in its Division of Pood Habits Research and just published by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Though new as a farm crop deliberately encouraged, game, it is shown, has worth-while possibilities as a source of income.
This publication, says Paul G. Redington, Chief of the Biological Survey, may well serve as a manual for individuals cooperating in the program being sponsored by the President's committee for wild-life restoration, recently appointed by Secretary Wallace (Jan. 2). Entitled "Improving the Farm Environment for Wild Life," the new farmers' bulletin (No. 1719-F), discusses how the farmer may encourage desirable wild creatures on his lands, particular reference being made to game species. It also considers what returns may compensate the farmer for altering his premises and policies in favor of game and other wild things. Most farmers, it says, find the mere presence of animals and birds sufficient justification for encouraging their(Continued on Page 11)
The Wild Fowl SituationBy GEORGE L. CARTER
ARE ducks and geese getting scarce? Are we spoiling our own sport by over shooting?
These questions have been going through the mind of the writer since the close of the shooting season and thinking it out, I have reached the conclusion that both may be answered in the affirmative.
Spring shooting was stopped twenty-five years ago because thinking observers could see the handwriting on the wall. For a number of years following, the bag limit was twenty-five per day with fifty in possession and good shooters found it easy to get the limit, while today it is difficult except in a very few places to get half that many. There are several reasons for this decrease, the outstanding being lack of water in former nesting places. During the years of high priced agricultural products people went land crazy. Large drainage ditches were constructed to reclaim swamp land with poor success and since the fall of agricultural crop prices,-'these projects have been abandoned and we have ugly mud flats or Xuifetle beds where once abounded countless thousands of wild waterfowl. Some of these places contain enough water in the) spring to attract the parent birds to nest but by the time the broods are hatched the water is gone and the young birds perish.
Modern road building where drainage is required has also lowered water levels and many hitherto small lakes have disappeared. In many of these drained lakes where alkali is present, countless thousands of birds were afflicted and died. Modern transportation facilities which have taken many more people out into the open spaces and modern firearms and other equipment have contributed to the decrease, but the number taken by hunters is small compared to drainage and duck sickness.
Are we spoiling our own sport by over shooting? To my mind we are doing this jvery thing and I am convinced that a law should be enacted to stop every gun at noon during the open season.
I have intimate acquaintance with a gentleman in the south who has been a critical observer for two years who tells me that i ducks arrived in the south last fall two to three weeks earlier than usual. Why? We had no freezing weather to drive them out, in fact our streams and lakes were open when the season closed and food was plentiful. The logical reason as I see it is because we over shot our restricted water areas. We need not go outside our own state to prove this contention. Out in the western part we have the Federal Reserve where no shooting is permitted. Forty miles distant is the Platte River Reserve through Garden County and near by other partly restricted river shooting. Ducks and geese out there were very plentiful while the eastern part of the state had very few although the river is wider and food more plentiful. The reason is clear. Out there we divided territory with the birds while down here we hogged it all for ourselves so the ducks and geese just went on to the Gulf country and the numerous southern sanctuaries and let it be recorded that the south, particularly Louisiona is doing a fine job of conservation.
Nero fiddled whie Rome burned. Let us not fiddle our time away while our wild life perishes for lack of facilities for their perpetuation.
A great forward step has been taken in the introduction in the United States Congress known as the Duck Stamp Bill. This Bill if enacted will provide that every waterfowl shooter shall purchase a one-dollar migratory waterfowl stamp designated a Duck Stamp which will be pasted on his state license, these stamps to be purchased at Post Offices and other convenient places. The Bill provides that the full
(Upper) Mr. Keller of Antioch, who feeds many ducks each year.
(Lower) A Nebraska game farm.
Food Habits Of Coyotes
THE August, 1933, number of the remains and all so-called "station" while rattlesnake remains occurred in Journal of Mammalogy (quarterly publication of the American Society of Mammalogists) contains a report upon the food habits of coyotees by Charles C. Sperry, of the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey (pp. 216-220). This paper is a progress report of analyses of coyte stomachs collected in the twelve wester States, maily by Biological Survey trappers, during the months of September, October and November. 1931 and 1932. Analyses were made by the Denver Laboratory of the Division of Food Habits Research of the Bureau of Biological Suvey.
We learn from this paper that the Biological Survey's Predatory Animal Control Force is sending to the Denver Laboratory regular shipments of coyote stomachs from the 12 western States and that the examination of their contents is progressing at the rate of 500 stomachs a, month. Sperry writes that his next progress report will deal with the food habits of western coyotes during the winter and spring months.
In the report under review, we learn that 3042 coyote stomachs were available for examination of which 1019 were empty, and 570 contained debris only leaving 1453 suitable for appraisal, and it is upon these that the report is based. Statistics are provided by two methods, first frequency of occurrence of a food in the total number of stomachs examined, and second the percentage of each food found in all the stomachs, measured by bulk. The first method shows how often coyotes feed upon a given food, while the second indicates the quantity of each food consumed. The result of this report may be illustrated as follows:Frequency of Percentage occurrence by bulk Rabbits .....-..............-....................39%—572 stomachs. 29% Carrion ..........................39%-—568 stomachs. 29% Domestic stock.................-...........22%—319 stomachs. 14% Rodents............................—-............33%—479 stomachs. 17% Miscellaneous animal food -—....... 2%—No data erven. 2% Lizards and snakes......................... 3%— 44 stomachs. Neeiieible [nsects............................,........-~>~. 8%—116 stomachs. 1% Deer................................................No data provided. 2% fPoultry 2%— 30 stomachs. Birds J Game birds........................ 4%—■ 58 stomachs. S% (Nongame birds 8%—121 stomachs. Vegetable Food ..............................No data provided. 3%
Analysis of the above table shows that coyotes, prey most commonly upon rabbits. Food derived from this source, plus carrion consumed comprises 58 per cent of their diet by bulk. Sperry notes that the heading "carrion" includes horse, burrow, cow and coyote remains and all so-called "station" material, such as bait or animal carcasses used to attract coyotes to traps or poison sets. It is notable that no sheep or goat remains are regarded as carrion. All remains of these animals are, the reviewer thinks most improperly, relegated to the heading "domestic stock" which Sperry explains as follows:
". . . the domestic stock item would be somewhat changed if some of it were allocated to the carrion column where it probably belongs. Present practice is to debit sheep or goat against the coyote whenever a trace of wool is found in a stomach, except in the few cases where the presence of wool coincides with the use of a sheep carcass at a trap or poison station." It need only be recalled that the sheep-men of western Nevada and northeastern California lost thousands of sheep this spring during the unusually severe weather that prevailed at lambing season. Undoubtedly coyotes "cleaned up" on most of these carcasses, yet were their stomachs secured for examination, they would be credited with having killed the sheep. The fact that the sheep died in spring would not prevent a hungry coyote from gnawing off a bit of dried skin and meat even during the following fall or winter. The reviewer saw carcasses of sheep in Lassen County, California, this September that had died the previous spring on which sufficient skin remained to provide a hungry coyote with a fair meal. Obviously, it is not quite fair to the coyote to consider all sheep and goat remains, "domestic stock killed," as Sperry's report would indicate is done.
Rodents, which comprise 17 per cent of the coyote's food by bulk and occur in 33 per cent of the stomachs examined, include squirrels, prairie dogs, rats, mice, etc. The heading "miscellaneous animal food" include barger and skunk, and we learn that moles, shrews, bats, weasels, bob-cats, mink and gray foxes are occasionally, but rarely eaten by coyotes.
Under "lizards and snakes" which formed too low a percentage of food by bulk to be recorded, Sperry advises swifts (Sceloporus) lead in frequency, while rattlesnake remains occurred in six coyote stomachs and bullsnakes in-five.
Insects found in the stomachs were chiefly grasshoppers.
The percentages provided for birds are to the writer surprisingly low; however, this may be because of the season in which the stomachs were collected, and we will await with interest Sperry's reports upon the coyote's food for the spring and summer months, when birds should form a larger proportion of their diet. Sperry's findings in this report hardly justify the claims of so many western sportsmen that predatory animals, principally coyotes, are mainly responsible for our game bird depletion. We will form no opinion in this regard until analyses of the coyote's food for the entire year are available; but it scarcely appears from the present report that coyote depradations are as serious as some would indicate. Of the game bird remains that were found in 58 of the 1453 stomachs examined, 19 are of grouse, 7 quail and 9 ducks. The nongame bird remains identified originated chiefly from magpies and jays, which are themselves regarded as harmful and predatory species to game birds. Other species of birds that appeared two or more times in the stomachs examined and relegated to the "Nongame" subheading, were: roadrunner, flicker, horned lark, raven, wren, robin, bluebird and junco.
Vegetable food consisted of fruit, berries and seed, of which cultivated fruit appeared in 18 stomachs. Wild fruits, berries and seeds appeared in twice as many stomachs as cultivated varieties. Grass proved to be a rare item of food at this season.
The frequency in which deer remains appeared in the lot of coyote stomachs examined was not provided in the report, but it must have been low inasmuch as deer formed but 2 percent of the volume of food by bulk. Unquestionably, more evidence from deer would be expected in coyote stomachs taken in winter and in the fawning period (early summer); nevertheless, the figures for the fall months here considered seem remarkably low. It should also be noted that the finding of deer remains in coyotes' stomachs does not necessarily imply that the deer were killed by these animals. For, just as in the case of sheep and goats, many (Continued on Page 11)
OBSERVE ALL GAME LAWS — Outdoor NebraskaOfficial Publication of The Nebraska State Game Forestation and Parks Commission COMMISSIONERS Chas. W. Bryan, Chairman E. R. Purcell George B. Hastings Guy R. Spencer M. M. Sullivan J. B. Douglas Frank B. O'Connell EDUCATION & PUBLICATION COMMITTEE J. B. Douglas, Chairman E. R. Purcell Frank B. O'Connell EDITOR Frank B. O'Connell Vol. IX JANUARY, 1934 No. 1 The Commission's Program GAME: Statewide pheasant hunting. Rehabilitation of the quail. Stocking of Hungarian partridge. Reserves and feeding grounds for migratory waterfowl. Public shooting grounds. FISH: Fish for every angler. Reduced cost and common sense business in fish production. Good fishing at state-owned lakes where public can fish free. Preservation of lakes. RECREATION: A statewide system of recreation grounds for Nebraska citizens. Shade and picnicking facilities at fishing lakes. Conservation of Nebraska's outdoors. LAW ENFORCEMENT: Equality for all. Constant war against the despoiler and destroyer of wild life. Strict observance of game laws by all citizens. EDUCATION: Appreciation of Nebraska's outdoors through education. Make the boys and girls of tomorrow lovers of wild creatures and nature's handiwork. Cooperation of all citizens to the end that Nebraska shall have suitable recreation and wholesome outdoor activities. Program of forestation throughout Nebraska. GENERAL: Full value to the purchaser of hunting and fishing permits. Square deal to farmers and sportsmen. Stabilization of water in Platte River.
The following report of the receipts and expenditures of the Game Commission covers the period from January 1, 1933 to December 31, 1933.
This report does not show all 1933 permits sold as some of them are not paid for until after the first of the year.YEAR OF 1933 On hand, State Treasury, December 31, 1932: Game Fund....................................$ 20,370.96 Park Fund ............1....................... 8,468.25 R^rfimts * Sale of permits ............................ 168,034.02 Sale of Fish .................................. 3,328.31 Sale of Confiscated Articles ........ 568.28 Liquidated Damages .................... 385.00 Miscellanous Receipts .—............ 583.49 Concession from Arbor Lodge State Park............................ 109.53 Concessions from Chadron State Park .:.............................. 1,475.00 Concessions from Victoria Springs State Park .............. 226.13 Stolley State Park ........................ 16.00 Collected from old accounts ...... 420.49 TOTAL ....................$175,146.25 Expenditures: Administration ............................$ 17,707.82 Law Enforcement ........................ 36,504.31 Fish Distribution .......................... 14,306.57 Conservation & Field Activities.. 13,190.25 Purchase Game Birds, Game Fish and Eggs ...................... 5,609.55 Purchase and Improvement Recreation Grounds ............ 18,725.67 Fish Hatcheries: Gretna ........................................ 7,949.64 Valentine .................................... 9,594.20 Dundy County .............................. 12,998.14 State Parks: Arbor Lodge ................................ 4,416.86 Chadron..................................... 6,379.34 Victoria Springs .......................... 3,063.37 Stolley .......................................... 4,009.46 Niobrara Island ............................ 842.83 Ft. Kearney State Park .............. 465.36 Compensation .............................. 1,267.55 TOTAL ....................$157,020.92
Lead Poison Kills Ducks
During December a large number of ducks feeding at Walgren Lake, near Hay Springs in Sheridan County, showed signs of sickness. State game wardens gathered up over two hundred birds and found some thirty dead. Efforts were made to drive off the thousands of well ducks, but this was difficult as the birds kept returning.
Four of the sick ducks were turned over to E. R. Kalmbach, in charge of Food Habits Research Laboratory of the Bureau of Biological Survey. Mr. Kalmbach, after an examination reports the trouble due to lead poison. He says:
"On examination, I found each of the birds greatly emaciated and with a characteristic wing droop (corresponding to the wrist drop of "Painter's colic"), an excess of bile, a pale color to the kidneys, a bright green color to the stomach contents, an ulcerous, sloughing of the stomach lining, and, in every instance, the presence of one or more pellets of shot in the gizzard.
Lead poisoning shows up most frequently after the hunting season or during the spring flight of the birds when they are not molested and are inclined to feed on areas that have been shot over the fall before. They eat the shot along with other hard substances (grit) to assist in the digestion of their food. The lead is slowly ground, and finally assimilated through the intestines. It is slow in its action and a bird may carry a lethal dose in its stomach for ten days or two weeks before showing the first symptoms. The victims meet a lingering death and, before the end, become very thin. This is in marked contrast to most cases of duck sickness in which the victims usually are found in good flesh.
There is practically nothing that can be done in a remedial way, since the lead shot is scattered widely over shooting areas and may persist for a considerable period. There is no assurance where any particular group of birds may have contracted their trouble since they may carry the shot many miles before succumbing to the effect of the lead. It is for that reason that we may find apparently healthy birds with many pellets of lead in their stomachs. It is the finely ground and invisible lead, however, that causes the intoxication."
Propose New Nebraska Scenic Highway
A scenic highway following the Platte River across Nebraska, is proposed by Mr. Louis A. Leppke, of Omaha, in a letter to the Game Commission recently. The highway would serve two purposes: to give citizens of Nebraska and tourists from other states an opportunity to see some of the beauty spots of the Cornhusker state, and to serve as a memorial to the late William Jennings Bryan.
The suggestion of Mr. Leppke met with a favorable response of the Game Commission. The following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, in a communication to this body Mr. Louis A. Leppke of Omaha, Nebraska, proposes that a movement be inaugurated looking toward the establishment of a scenic highway along the Platte River across the state, which highway would follow, so far as possible, the meandering course of the stream and make more easily accessible to the public the many wonderful and little known beauty spots of the great river, and
"Whereas, early in the political life of Nebraska's most famous citizen, William Jennings Bryan, his name became inseparably linked with that of the great river and the fame of the 'Boy Orator of the Platte' spread over the world, Mr. Leppke's suggestion that the new road be dedicated to the memory of this great man and that it be called 'the Bryan Memorial Drive' seems peculiarly fitting.
Therefore be it resolved that both Mr. Leppke's proposals are heartily approved by this body and that we urge that the idea of a Bryan M.emorial Drive along the Platte River be given thoughtful consideration by our people and the responsible officials of our government, to the end that as soon as conditions warrant steps may be taken to get the proposition under way.
Be it further resolved, that we extend our sincere thanks to Mr. Leppke for presenting the matter to this board."
Commission Field ActivitiesMUSKRAT SEASON NOW OPEN
A number of trappers have made inquiry regarding the open season on muskrats. For the information of all concerned, the following is published:
Eastern District — December 1 to March 1, including the following counties:Adams Greeley Pierce Antelope Hall Platte Boone Hamilton Polk Buffalo Harlan Richardson Burt Howard Saline Butler Jefferson Sarpy Cass Johnson Saunders Cedar Kearney Seward Clay Knox Sherman Colfax Lancaster Stanton Cuming Madison Thayer Dakota Merrick Thurston Dixon Nance Valley Do dee Nemaha Washington Douglas Nuckolls Wayne Fillmore Otoe Webster Franklin Pawnee York Gage Phelps Western District—January 1 to Apr 1, including the following counties: Arthur Frontier Logan Banner Furnas Loup Blaine Garden McPherson Box Butte Garfield Morrill Boyd Gosper Perkins Brown Grant Red Willow Chase Hayes Rock Cherry Hitchcock Sootts Bluff Cheyenne Holt Sheridan Custer Hooker Sioux; Dawes Key a Paha Thomas Dawson Keith Wheeler Deuel Kimball Dundy Lincoln RACCOON SEASON CHANGED
There has been some confusion regarding the open season on raccoon, squirrel and opossum in Nebraska this winter. Owing to an unfortunate mixup in bills enacted by the last session of the legislature, the bulletin containing the state laws and published by the Nebraska Game Commission is incorrect.
The open ;season on squirrels is from October 1st to December 31st; raccoon and opossum, November 16th to February 15th next ensuing. None of these animals should be taken except during that period.TAKE PART IN QUAIL SURVEY
The Nebraska Game Commission is cooperating with Dr. E. W. Nelson of the Smithsonian Institute and Prof. Myron H. Swenk of the University of Nebraska in making a nationwide survey of the Bob-White Quail.
Nebraska Game Wardens are shooting a few quail in the several parts of the state and sending them to Professor Swenk who studies them for feeding, breeding habits, habitat and otherfacts. When his report is compiled, it will be sent to Dr. Nelson at Washington and be incorporated in a nationwide report on these birds.
This is the first survey ever made on quail and it should bring forth a number of interesting facts that will be helpful in the future propagation and rearing of these popular game birds.MORE WATER IN CRYSTAL LAKE
A good stream of water is again running in to Crystal Lake, Dakota County, from the Elk Creek ditch through the Crystal Lake tile.
When this tile was laid and the dam constructed in Elk Creek ditch several years ago, the water of the lake was raised to a satisfactory level, but sediment deposited in the Crystal lake cutoff ditch out of Elk Creek and the flow of water diminished. The dam proved unsatisfactory and despite efforts of the Crystal Lake company, it would not function.
Last week the drag line of drainage District No. 5 completed the cleaning of the ditch and the water started running again.
Work has already been started on the new dam and a larger tile out of Elk Creek, which will furnish much more water than the old tile and dam.
The construction of the new dam is in charge of Engineer Charles E. Findley in co-operation with Engineer Darrow in the C. B. & Q. railroads.
If you attend the wolf hunt in your community, make yourself a committee of one to see that others do not shoot pheasants. Many game wardens report that hunters attending wolf hunts frequently shoot pheasants just to see them fall. If we are to have these birds to hunt each fall, the hunters must do their part. You owe it to yourself and community to help protect game birds.
This is the time of year when sportsmen .must help feed the birds. Why not organize a feeding group in your community and help out our feathered creatures.
If you are tired of life, pull your gun muzzle first through a fence.
Watch out for the semi-wild house cat. He lives on birds.DEER IN PIERCE COUNTY
A deer, far from the usual haunts of such creatures, was seen recently two miles east of Osmond.
Forrest Fischer, driving the regular bus route from Norfolk to Yankton, saw the deer cross the road, leap over the fence and disappear. And to prove his assertion, he has the word of a bus passenger who also witnessed the unusual sight.
The nearest game preserve containing deer is at Valentine, though the animals have been seen from time to time in various parts of northern Nebraska.
Recently deer have been seen in other parts of Knox county and parts of Antelope county. Additional reports from the Lindy vicinity indicate that two or three of the animals are frequent visitors there as well as north of Crofton.—Norfolk Press.VALENTINE HATCHERY HAS BIG YEAR
Superintendent Garland Gray of the state fisheries at Valentine reports that the total number of fish hatched and distributed during the year was 1,233,741, composed of the following varieties:
Bass, 242,014; trout, 190,735; crappies, 316,005; sunfish, 348,280; bullheads, 115,189; rock bass, 17,418; catfish, 2,000; pickerel, 1,500; perch, 600.
Lakes stocked with fish from two to ten inches in length: Hackberry, Coleman, Rat, Beaver, Dewey, Pelican, Trout, Whitewater, Dads, Marsh, Goodrich and several smaller ones, all in Cherry county. Also creeks, rivers and lakes in Keya Paha, Rock, Brown, Sheridan, Box Butte, Holt, Antelope, Douglas, Hooker and Dawes counties. Fish were also placed in Hay, Bear, Boardman and Schlegel creeks; and in Snake, North Loup, and Niobrara rivers located in Cherry county.
The Nebraska state fish and game commission is planning on putting into lakes and streams fish of not less than four or five inches long, as planting of fish any smaller has proved a losing proposition from the standpoint of good returns.OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 9 CIVIL WORKS FUNDS FOR GAME PRESERVE SOUGHT
Civil works funds to fence Garden county lakes where the federal government has a game preserve of 40,000 acres with a view to using the lakes for propagation of wild ducks and geese are asked by C. C. Perry of Bridgeport. Gov Bryan, chairman of the state game and parks commission, will ask the state civil works eommi^ee to consider this plan.
Improvement of state parks by hiring labor with civil works funds is progressing with a reduced number of men because county committees now are required to pass on all local projects, Bryan says, and it has been found that the quota of counties in some cases may be exceeded if the state park projects are completed.COMMITTEE TO STUDY WATERFOWL
Secretary Wallace has announced the appointment of a committee of three to outline a course of action under a proposed plan for enlarging the areas on which migratory game birds and upland game birds can be bred. Among other proposals the plan calls for the diversion of marginal farm land for use in the production of this kind of game.
The appointments, which had the approval of President Roosevelt, are: Thomas H. Beck, Wilton, Conn., editorial director of Collier's, chairman; J. N. Darling, newspaper cartoonist, Des Moines, Iowa; Aldo Leopold, head of the department of wild life conservation, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Darling for some time has been a member of the Advisory Board, Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The first meeting of the new committee was held Jan. 6.
Under the plan proposed, which the committee considered, was immediate employment for several thousand men and permanent rural employment to a much larger number. It would be expected to provide a profitable new source of income for many farmers, utilization of millions of acres taken out of ordinary crop production, and healthful recreation for large numbers of people in addition to the many millions who now enjoy game-bird shooting.
Should the plan be put into effect the first work would include the creation of new water areas, restoration of drained lands unprofitable to agriculture, renewing of natural food supplies, cover and nesting sites, protection of birds from natural enemies, and such activities as fencing, patrolling refuges and disease prevention. The existing Federal reservations would be developed further, along with the acquisition of new areas, and there would be greater cooperation with States now working on plans for game bird conservation on public lands.
The restoration of better conditions for the production of upland game birds is thought to offer the greatest opportunity for a profitable use of much acreage being taken out of crop production. Farmers would be shown how to propagate game birds and dispose of the crop. When fully developed this use for marginal farm land would provide employment for large numbers of country people. Sponsors of the plan say that much of the machinery necessary for its operation is already available."RADIO" DUCKS ON RANCH
For three years they have had two wild ducks—mallards, at the Lloyd Banna ranch, having raised them after finding the eggs in a nest on the hay flat. They were dubbed "Amos and Andy," and were real pets, as tame as could be and followed Mr. and Mrs. Hanna all about the place. Some four weeks ago "Andy" died, and "Amos" was the boss. Two weeks ago Lloyd Hanna was hunting along a small stream on the ranch and shot two ducks. One of these was but slightly wounded and was captured easily. Lloyd took the bird home, clipped a wing and introduced the lady to "Amos." The latter did not take kindly to a companion. As long as "Andy" was alive he ran true to life and lorded over "Amos." And when the latter found that he had it all to himself he rather liked the new situation. However, he has changed gradually and apparently accepted the inevitable. His companion has been named "Ruby" and makes no effort to leave, seemingly perfectly contented.—Ainsworth Democrat.
Thousands Visit Arbor Lodge State Park During Past Year
Arbor Lodge has just completed its tenth year as a state park. Since 1923 when the historic home of J. Sterling Morton was given to Nebraska as a gift from his son, Joy, the place has been the mecca for thousands of motorists, picnickers, botany students and others.
During the season just closed 30,828 people were shown through the building, Supt. Frank Williams' annual report shows, and it is estimated that again that many visited the grounds without going through the lodge. All four corners of the United States were represented among the names found on the lodge register and frequently a visitor came from a foreign country. Visitors were from Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Hawaii and other countries.
The number of visitors this year is slightly less than in 1932 when 35,409 people visited the mansion, the report shows, and larger than 1924, the first year the place was open to the public, which was considered a banner year. The largest number came in 1928 when 42,490 visited the place according to Supt. Williams' report.
July had the peak crowd this year. The time of the year when the picnic season is at its height brought 5,924 people to the lodge. The number of visitors by months are as follows: April, 1,882; May, 3,766; June, 3,828; July, 5,924; August, 5,543; September, 4,635; October, 4,477; November, 773.
Improvements on the grounds in 1933 included re-graveling the drives, repairing the steps at the monument and planting a number of trees and shrubs throughout the grounds. Considerable repair work was done to the mansion, such as repairing the roof, varnishing floors and papering and repairing walls in some of the rooms. Two more rooms were put to use for exhibiting relics. An interesting article added to the collection this year was a bed once owned by Mr. and Mrs. J. Sterling Morton, and presented to the lodge by members of the family of the late Mrs. Carl Morton. Another room contains principally Indian relics. E. E. Alexander, Billings, Mont., formerly of this city, added a number of new articles to his former collection there.
Ten men are employed at Arbor Lodge at present as a part of the CWA project. They are leveling grounds, repairing steps in the formal gardens and pruning trees.
The hanging of the Joy Morton portrait in the title room took place last March. The picture was painted by Casper Ruffolo and was added to the collection representing owners of the place since the days before it became the property of white man up to the last member of the Morton family to own the home.
Outdoor GossipBy the Editor
This is the time of the year when all good sportsmen and lovers of the outdoors should give some attention to the feeding of our birds. This is especially true when the weather is cold and the snow is deep.
Most of our upland game birds and many of the song birds need assistance in the way of food. Few birds will freeze if they have an abundant supply of food. It is only when they become weakened by lack of a proper diet that they fall victims to predatory animals and birds or become chilled and die.
Why not plan a winter-feeding campaign in your community? It is a worthy enterprise for any organization. Farm boys and men have the best opportunity to feed birds in winter, and should be a part of any feeding organization. The actual feeding can be done by the rural members while the residents of the cities or towns can devote their energy to raising funds, soliciting labor and getting cooperation from kindred organizations such as Boy Scouts, Women's Clubs, Service Clubs, etc.
Care should be used in establishing feeding stations. If for quail, the station should be close to cover, or better still, connected directly with suitable cover. Pheasants, prairie chickens and grouse will range farther for food. Hungarian partridges are like quail in being closely localized. Some authorities recommend a feeding station to every 40 acres for quail and partridges and one for each square mile for pheasants, prairie chickens and grouse. Stations should be sheltered from drifting snow, wind and sleet. They should not be built so as to be traps. Shelters open at two or more places are best.
Now, a word as to good food for the several species of birds. Buckwheat has well-known value for game, especially prairie chickens and grouse. Of course wheat, rye and barley are good, and because of the low prices can be fed economically. Wheat or rye still in the sheaves is particularly good. Milo, kafir and other sorghums are especially suitable for quail. Sunflower seed is good for small birds. Millet, pop corn, and various peas are also good and used in some communities.
The editor of Outdoor Nebraska owes the cigars to Dr. Garrison of Oakdale, Nebraska. Last summer a picture of the Doctor was published showing him holding a 24 pound bass. Doc caught a big bass all right, but it did not tip the scales at 24 pounds. The following letter from him will explain a few things:
"In the July issue of Outdoor Nebraska I note with interest a picture of myself holding a 24 pound bass. I do not know whether the advent of 3.2 in our state had anything to do with the weight of that bass or not, but I do know that there are too many good fishermen with us to get away with that.
"The bass in question did feel like he weighed 24 pounds when he struck, but as I remember it he was about 20 inches long and weighed slightly under 6 pounds. Since the Commission started planting fingerling bass in our waters, to my personal knowledge five bass of greater length and weight have been taken from bayous along the Elkhorn River in the past two seasons. Private bass propagation and the planting of fingerling instead of fry has produced great results in northeastern Nebraska. I believe that I am safe in saying that more bass have been taken from the bayous in Antelope County this season than were caught in ten years previous to the planting of the fingerlings.
A Good Shelter For Birds
"Local anglers are loud in their praise of the Commission's good work in bettering fishing conditions throughout the state and extend a vote of thanks for their splendid program—" Dr. F. B. Garrison.
Petitions were circulated in Morrill and other western counties this fall proposing the open season on migratory waterfowl to run from November 1 to December 31. The change is asked because it is believed the real flight of geese does not start until Deecmber.
Lake Andes, for many years very popular with Nebraska anglers, is to be reclaimed. For the past three or four years the lake has been dry.
A camp of C. C. C. workers are at work on the first of three projects in the plan for restoring these excellent fishing waters. The project now under way is based on 37 years observation and it is believed this plan will eventually supply adequate water to keep the lake in good condition.
To the Editor Outdoor Nebraska:
Again I come to you with a letter and again it is the subject of the Black Devil of the Air, which is the biggest menace to our game and songbirds, the cunning crow!
I have seen them since last spring by the millions going north. Enough of them remain in all districts to cover almost any place or places where there are birds. This fall they came back from the north, the air is full of them all day long, so hungry that they even dive on Mallard ducks in the air just like hawks and try to catch them in the air.
I have observed Mallards trying to settle down to water and the crows go after them so they could not light. I wish you and so many other sportsmen that really want to protect our game and songbirds, would see this neverending mass of crows.
Why can we not get together and do something, and that as soon as possible? Why not take this up with the, federal government and the Game Protectors which the government employ? Another five or ten years and we will have no more game or songbirds to protect!
Could it be arranged to add another dollar to the hunting and fishing permits in our state and also in other states—the extra dollar to be used as a bounty on crows, say ten cents a crow, the county treasurer to pay this bounty and be reimbursed by the state.
No true sportsman will object to. this $1.00 for crow bounty if he realizes what this multitude of crows will mean in the hear future!
The only enemy the crow has is man and he is not doing anything. The farm boys would gladly go after the crow, but have no extra money to buy shells. It would be different if there were a state bounty, if only ten cents.
Let me know what you think about this, also would like to know what other Nebraska men have to say about this Black Devil. Let us not wait until it is too late. Sincerely your friend,C. Wunderlich, Ericson, Nebraska.
FOOD HABITS OF COYOTES(Continued from Page 5)
deer unquestionably die each year from natural causes, are lost by hunters, or hides and remnants of hunters' kills are left in the hills and later afford carrion for coyotes.
The purpose of publishing this review is not an attempt to justify the coyote as a beneficial animal, although the present analyses indicate that at this season at least coyotes do as much good as harm by destroying rodents and rabbits, snakes, insects and by cleaning up carrion. All of us in game conservation work know very well that the coyote takes his toll of game species, birds and mammals. However, we believe that some individuals are prone to credit the coyote with more than his share of depradations. Such a course can only obscure the true causes for game depletion erroneously blamed on coyotes and further complicate matters.
THE OUTLOOK FOR 1934(Continued from Page 2)
marginal land for reforestation on a cooperative basis between the federal government, state and the land owner.
7. A plan for the better control of pollution, irrigation canals and ditches, power dams and river floods.
8. A plan for a state-wide system of game refuges and sanctuaries.
9. A plan for predatory animal and bird control, with especial attention to the crow situation.
10. A broader and more comprehensive plan of conservation education.
11. A plan for better cooperation and coordinated action with sportsmen's and civic organizations and agencies interested in the protection and conservation of wild life.
12. A plan for better law enforcement with particular attention to the possibilities of getting a higher type of law enforcement officers and better services from such employees."
THE WILD FOWL SITUATION(Continued from Page 4)
amount derived from these stamps which is estimated at more than a million dollars per year, shall be used to reclaim breeding grounds and nesting places by raising water levels. This' is not a general tax but a levy only on those of us who shoot waterfowl and who would object to the payment of so small an amount to provide shooting for ourselves while we may and for the generations to follow us. This is not politics. Conservationists everywhere with no thought of politics are supporting it. Now let us not applaud and say it is a fine thing, but let us see to it that our Senators and Congressmen know we want it. Nebraska is geographically located to benefit through the expenditure of these funds.
GAME FOR EVERY COMMUNITY
"Every Community Can Have Game If It Wants It," was the slogan of the 20th American Game Conference, held at Hotel Pennsylvania, New York City, January 22, 23 and 24, according to a bulletin of the American Game Association. The entire program of the Conference was designed to tell how each community throughout the United States and Canada can have wild game for sport and recreation, officials of the conference said.
First, speakers pointed out, wild game should be regarded as a crop of the land, just as corn, potatoes or any other food staple, and that it should be "farmed" as a crop.
The scientists call this 'game management' or 'environmental control'.
The conference outlined the many practices of game management and how to apply them locally. Too, the same principles though varying in technique, will be applied to fish. There is no reason why a farmer may not raise fish as a crop as well as game, corn, potatoes or anything else, officials of the conference declare. They point out that farmers of France and Germany have been raising fish crops for many years.
Game Commissioners from practically every state accepted invitations to attend or speak at the Conference. In addition to contributing their bits won through hard experience, they took back the experience of fellow commissioners and also the findings of science and the game breeders. Both of these groups of research men had separate meetings and both reported their findings to the general conference.
Officials of the United States Government, U. S. Senators, sportsmen, conservationists, editors and many other representatives of outdoor life organizations attended and addressed the three-day sessions.Wise Bird "Why do you speak of your husband as an 'old owl'?" "He stays out every night and when I complain he don't give a hoot!"
NEW BULLETIN ON RAISING BIRDS(Continued from Page 3)
increase, but they need not forget that profits also are involved.
The bulletin discusses not only methods for increasing the food supply for wild mammals and birds but also outlines cover-requirements and recommends means for wild-life protection. It tells how to make a farm-game survey and explains various methods now being used by sportsmen in paying farmers for services and shooting privileges.
Copies of "Improving the Farm Environment for Wild Life" (Farmers' Bulletin No. 1719-F) can be obtained at 5 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
A SPLENDID OPPORTUNITY
PROPOSAL of the American Legion to make Arbor Day its No. 1 Objective for* 1934 and, if successful, to carry it on indefinitely, should have the endorsement of every citizen.
Arbor Day is a typical Nebraska holiday. It was born in Nebraska, in Nebraska City, and it came at a critical time as a saving grace for what was then a treeless state. On the first Arbor Day more than 1,000,000 trees were planted within the borders of the commonwealth, and at a time when the means of communication were meager and before the art of publicity was even born.
If 1,000,000 trees were planted in April, 1872, in a sparsely-settled state, what could be done in April, 1934, to replace the ruthless "murder" of milions of trees to provide firewood for the state's indigent?
If the first planting succeeded through the mere suggestion by a small group of enthusiasts handicapped by slow communication and stubborn resistance to any new idea, what can't the Nebraska American Legion with its 300 virile posts do next spring?
The idea, of course, is to have the big observance in Nebraska City, birthplace of the holiday. What an opportunity for Nebraska City, for Nebraska Cityans, for Adam Schellinger Post of the Legion to put the city and themselves on the national "movie screen" in behalf of a movement which should have the sympathy and consideration of every American!
Plant Trees!—Nebr. City News-Press
TIME TO OPEN BIRD CAFETERIASBy Bob Becker
It's time that bird fans had their feeding stations in operation if they wish to keep a group of friendly winter bird residents around the house.
A bird cafeteria, well stocked with various food items will attract nuthatches, jays and other feathered visitors, provide these boarders with necessary food, and also give the home owner no end of amusement.
Feeding our winter birds achieves two objectives. It helps many a winter resident to get through the cold snowy months. At the same time it is an amusing hobby for the home owner.
One can feed birds at all kinds of outdoor cafeterias from the elaborate sheltered contrivances in the yard to simple little shelves placed near windows. The method of feeding isn't as important as providing the right kind of food and keeping the supply constant.
Here is a guide which tells you "which bird eats what." It will help you in stocking your feeding station.
Suet—Eaten by downy woodpecker, flicker, bluejay, screech owl, starling, tree sparrow, brown creeper, nuthatch, chicadee, red headed woodpecker, hairy woodpecker and junco. Most of these birds will be seen in northern Illinois during the winter months. Up pur way the nuthatch, junco, bluejay, starling, screech owl, downy woodpecker and cardinals are around at some time or other throughout the winter.
Bread crumbs—This food is taken by the bluejay, junco, chicadee, white crowned sparrow, cardinal and brown creeper.
Dog Biscuit Crumbs—You will find that the bluejay, tree sparrow, junco, nuthatch and chicadee will eat this food at your outdoor cafeteria.
Shelled Nuts—We know of one bird fan who mixes suet and peanut butter for the birds at his feeding station. If you feed shelled nuts, especially peanuts, you will find that the bluejay, junco, cardinal, nuthatch and chicadee will not leave your food counter.
Sunflower Seeds—Two birds which put on a regular show when they tackle sunflower seeds are the chickadee and the nuthatch. We have watched them crack these seeds which had been placed near a window feeding station. The goldfinch is another bird which is very fond of sunflower seeds.
PHOSPHORUS DEADLY TO WATERFOWL
Plans are under way for removing a menace to waterfowl in the large quantities of phosphorus that have been lying on the bottom of waters contiguous to the Aberdeen Proving Ground at the head of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The poison menace has resulted in the death of thousands of ducks in the last ten years, according to an announcement by Paul G. Redington, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey. The canvasback, which is perhaps the most highly prized of all waterfowl and a species that has been reduced seriously in recent years, has suffered from the poison more than other varieties of game birds. Bombing tests conducted by the War Department ten years ago scattered the deadly chemical over 10 or 12 acres of the feeding ground of the birds.
The removal of the phosphorus will be accomplished as a result of dredging operations made necessary in the extension of the air field at the Proving Ground. This is one of the War Department projects recently approved by the Public Works Administration. Funds have already been allotted, and it is expected that operations will start soon. Although the removal of this phosphorus has, received the joint consideration of the War and Agriculture Departments, the work will be under direct supervision of the War Department.
Announcement of the approval of the project will be a source of gratification to sportsmen and conservationists, as the menace of phosphorus poisoning will now be removed from the waterfowl using this favorite feeding and resting ground. These birds are protected by international treaty, as most of them breed in Canada and winter in the United States.
BUILDING ON BIRD REFUGE
Work has been started on buildings for use of the federal government employees on the Crescent Lake waterfowl refuge north of Oshkosh. The set of improvements will consist of a permanent residence and auxiliary buildings, which will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000. Fred and Charles Albee of Oshkosh are doing the preliminary work.
AMERICA'S MOST FEARLESS ANIMAL
What is the most fearless American animal . . . mountain lion, grizzly bear?
Whether it is fearlessness or just unmitigated gall, many farmers and woodsmen concede the skunk a "strong" reason for being accorded that distinction. The odor of burnt coffee which the animal has the knack of disseminating is declared to inspire the animal with a degree of self-confidence which would not deter it from facing much larger—but perhaps not so fearless—carnivorous animals.
It is this inherent fearlessness of the skunk which, authorities claim, render the wood pussy so indifferent to human habitations when it is hungry for poultry and eggs. The skunk makes no bones about establishing its den under a dwelling house or barn if food in the wild is less plentiful than around the barnyard.
As to the skunk's activities in game covers, the More Game Birds Foundation in its recent booklet, "More Game Birds By Controlling Their Natural Enemies", declares it is particularly destructive to the eggs of ground nesting birds. For the farmer or sportsman who would reduce the number of skunks by trapping, a significant bait, rotten eggs, is recommended.
The vile fluid, which is the skunk's unenvied means of defense, will cause severe inflammation of the eyes, and cases are cited of Indians who have lost their sight from this cause. To remove from traps several methods are used to avoid being sprayed. If the trap is staked with a skunk in it, approach cautiously with ;a club. If the animal raises its tail, stand perfectly still, or retreat quietly until the tail drops again.
With care the trapper can get within striking distance, when a '.quick heavy blow with a club across the back will break the spine immediately and paralyze the muscles which operate the scent gland. Shooting through the spine with a small calibre rifle will accomplish this also, while a head shot will not.
A heavy coating of grease on the hands before handling the carcass will prevent absorption of the scent, but if one makes too close a contact, washing with gasoline or burying clothes in damp ground overnight will usually draw out the scent.
NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR WILD LIFE
A new national movement for the restoration of a wild-life heritage that has well nigh vanished was hailed recently by Paul G. Redington, chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in an address at the American Game Conference in New York.
Speaking on "The Future Job of the Biological Survey," Mr. Redington assured members of the conference that the Bureau is prepared to take its responsible part in this movement. Dspite recent reductions in appropriations, he expressed a conviction that the Biological Survey is looking forward to a greater usefulness' and greater accomplishments than ever before. He pointed to "recent astonishing evidences of interest" in wild life problems by the American public and, referring especially to a movement for establishing wild-fowl sanctuaries, declared that investigations by the Biological Survey have already provided a basis for this work. "We know," said Mr. Redington, "what areas should be acquired, what titles must be obtained, and the expense involved."
Mr. Redington praised the land-utilization program recently announced by Secretary Wallace, and now being considered by the committee he has appointed on wild-life restoration. This program would devote approximately $12,000,000 to profitable use in developing wild-fowl refuges within nesting areas. "I am confident," Mr. Redington said, "that if the plan is approved and put into effect it cannot fail to produce results of the greatest importance and should considerably relieve a situation which justifies the alarm of everyone who desires the perpetuation of the sport of wildfowling."
The full benefits of sanctuaries, however, will not be immediately apparent, he explained, and stressed the necessity for conserving the breeding stocks of ducks and geese. We cannot, he said, restore the missing millions of the birds in the relatively short space of a year or two, no matter how generous may be the contributions for the work.
Among other means for assisting the birds, the Biological Survey chief included prevention of grazing on nesting grounds, local control of the species that at times prey heavily upon waterfowl, promotion of the production and distribution of food plants, fire control, the reflooding of drained lands when practicable, and reduction of the losses from disease.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Redington discussed the early history of the Biological Survey,, which is now approaching its 50th anniversary. He dwelt on the scientific accomplishments of the Bureau and the continuing importance of research in wild-life administration. He traced the development of the Bureau's regulatory work and briefly described the essential purposes of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Lacey Act, and the Alaska Game Law.
Through research the Survey, said its chief, has brought together information that is the basis for bird-protective laws, both State and Federal, acknowledged to be the best upon the statute books of any nation, and it has developed methods for the repression of forms of wild life injurious to game and domestic stock. The cooperative study of tularemia in rabbits and other game is a direct service to the health of thousands of our citizens. The studies of the Survey have assisted in the building up of the industry engaged in producing and distributing wild-duck food plants, a service that will be increasingly important in future projects to create, reclaim, or improve the areas so necessary for the increase p.nd maintenance of these birds. In an educational program, the Survey has issued more than 250 publications for popular distribution dealing with some 500 species of wild life. More than 7,000,000 of these have been distributed and have had an untold influence for wise conservation in this country.
FISHIN'When you are tired and weary, And would like a place to go. Where you will be as happy, As a cowboy at a show. Where every sound is cheering. And the sights are full of thrills. Chuck your work and go fishin'. In the old sandhills. There you commune with nature. Bumblebee and tumble bug. It's there you hear the quail's song. And will hear the bullfrog chug. Mavericks will be bawling. While you add up the bills. That must be paid when fishin'. In the old sandhills. The prairie dog stands grinning. At the owls big blinking eye. And rattlers shake their sleighbells. At the whiteface passing by. Seagulls soar up to the clouds. And the goose lipsticks her quills. That's what you see when fishin'. In the old sandhills. The wind is ever blowing, You will feel it sweep the bank. And sandburrs keep on growing, Believe me they are rank, Big bullheads try to sting you. If perchance you hook their gills. That happens when you're fishin'. In the old sandhills. And wild ducks will be squawking. But the warden wields the law. Lank coyotes prey on rabbits. And the magpie caws her caw. Good angels lean and listen. At old sod house window sills. It's fun to go a-fishin'. In the old sandhills.
'SEX RHYTHM" IN BIRDS
"Sex rythm" is destined to play an important part in the restoration of wild bird life, according to Dr. A. A. Allen, Professor of Ornithology at Cornell University, who told of his experiments with Ruffed Grouse at the 20th American Game Conference, New York City, January 22, 23 and 24. Dr. Allen solved the age-old problem of rearing Ruffed Grouse in captivity in large numbers. Scientists had tried to do this for 200 years and failed.
"Birds are not sex conscious," Dr. Allen told the conference. "They do not discriminate between male and female. The strong dominate the weak irrespective of sex. A strong male will kill a weak female.
"Contrary to belief, the breeding cycle of the male is of short duration, and synchronization of the cycles of the male and female is the all important factor for the perpetuation of the species. Nature provides for this by a certain pattern of behaviour for each species which brings together males and females ithat are in exactly the same rhythm."
By separating the males and females and using stuffed birds to test the rhythms of the males, Dr. Allen determined when the male Grouse passed out of the killing stage into the mating stage and thus avoided injuries to his females and insured a fertility of their eggs as high as 96 percent. Ordinary fertility in captivity is about 60 percent. Birds are creatures of instinct, Dr. Allen claims, and not only do not discriminate between male and female but fail to recognize the dead from the living in certain stages of their life cycle, and even their own reflections in a mirror or a window may arouse them to^ combat.
Birds Aid In Planting Fish
IT HAS been said by one eminent authority on fish, "If one builds a pond having no inlet or outlet and positively makes certain that no fish are introduced by man, in a short time fish will appear, that is, of course, providing the pond retains water." This is an indisputable fact. How these fish make their appearance in these secluded areas is always very interesting and the mystery of this is accounted for in several ways. One or more varieties of minnows generally appear first. A number of varieties of the minnow family deposit their eggs on aquatic vegetation. These eggs are very adhesive or sticky, and cling to plants or may be transferred from the plants to any foreign object with which they come in contact. Birds that frequent the shore line may, through the adhesive quality of the eggs, transport them over short flights. Many of these shore-wading birds transport aquatic plants. Water plants have great power to maintain moisture and eggs carried in this manner can withstand long journeys.
An example of how easily fish can find their way into strange areas on aquatic plants was demonstrated a few years ago at one of the State Fish Hatcheries. A quantity of aquarium grass was purchased in Florida and sent through the mail and when it arrived at its destination was planted in a large wooden tank. In a short time a school of top minnows made their appearance. There was no other method for these fish, which were perfect strangers in that vicinity, to find their way into the tank, other than by being transported with the grass. Birds are given credit for assisting with the distribution of many forms of life such as the carrying of seeds of trees, shrubs and flowers, the transportation of snails, leeches and other forms of life that cling to the body or are carried in the mouth, and the transportation of fish disease organizms which we are told live one cycle of their existence in the throats of shore-wading birds, to say nothing of the stork that so greatly assists with the needs of the human race.
The yellow perch is another fish that finds its way into strange waters by the assistance of birds. Perch eggs are not adhesive but are suspended on submerged plants and brush in long ribbon-like strings. The string of eggs are eaten by many kinds of birds and the toughness of the membrane forming the ribbon-like mass of eggs makes them easy to carry in the mouth of the bird in flight. Another reason for the successful transportation of these eggs by birds is due to the fact that the membrane that holds the mass of eggs intact is filled with water which makes them resistive to jars and sudden temperature changes. The eggs of a number of other kinds of fish such as the trout and catfish, for example, do not lend themselves readily to this method of transfer. Yet birds have a way of aiding these fish to find their way into strange areas.
The osprey and other birds that catch and carry their prey in their claws see to this. Some of the unfortunate fish carried in this way escape during flight and a few of them are lucky enough to fall into strange waters. At the hatcheries, fish-eating birds take a heavy toll on the fish and it is not uncommon to see the osprey pick up fish from one pond and in its flight unintentionally drop the fish into another pool. Of course some are injured and die, yet frequently some fish landing in strange areas survive this crude method of transportation.—The Pennsylvania Angler
FARMERS WANT PHEASANT PROTECTED
Since the close of the 1933 open season on pheasants The Sun office has been visited by delegations from many parts of the county who desired that we use our influence to have Clay County removed from the unprotected area for pheasants for at least '34 and '35. The claim is made, and undisputed, that the ringneck crop suffered so severely from the drouth that extermination is in sight unless hunting is forbidden for a time.
An objection to the open season which should receive attention by all hunters is that many men lose all sense of courtesy due another the minute they are given a gun and the authority to use it. Stories of teams frightened, stock maimed and even human life endangered by the unwitting acts of hunters who are wholly strange to the ethics of the field, are common—so common as to be unquestioned.
Some local sportsmen with whom we have talked indicate that they favor a closed season for at least two years.—Clay Center Sun.
A Big Decision"Have you made any resolutions for the New Year?" "Yeah, I've resolved not to buy any whales for my fish pond."
AUTUMN IN NEBRASKA
Nebraska has felt the pinch of the early frosts. The leaves are turning color and dropping to the ground. Autumn is well established.
There is no better season in Nebraska than autumn. Some of the summer activities have to be dispensed with but autumn has its own diversions. There is no better time for picnics, for instance. The air is brisk and sharp, the flies no longer bother and a camp fire is a pleasure instead of a nuisance. Swimming no longer attracts, golf goes into a slump and tennis is forgotten. But ask the hunter if fall is a dull season.
The short pheasant season is now on. Hundreds of hunters from this and neighboring states will be bagging the limit for the next ten days. The ducks are flying, if in small numbers, and they are hunters' prey.
In some sections of the state the walnuts are plentiful and the nutting season is upon us. Pumpkins are ripe and pumpkin pie becomes the national dish for a time.
The motorist finds no better time for Sunday jaunts. The Nebraska Ozarks, the Missouri river hills, were never better. A long drive in the invigorating fall air along winding roads between majestic hills covered with rich red and yellow oaks is a treat for the eye and a tonic for the spirit. It will not be quickly forgotten.
People have different opinions as to which is the best season of the year. Spring is a natural favorite, coming after a long confining winter. Fall is chosen by many. But whether it is favorite, or not, it can be enjoyed by all. Nebraska always looks her best in her autumn ensemble and offers many rewards to those who take pleasure in the outdoors.—Nebraska State Journal.
BRINGS DOWN BIG EAGLE
Oakland—Phillip Going, six miles northeast of Oakland, brought down a big eagle recently which measures nearly seven feet in wing spread and 33 inches from beak to tail. The bird weighed about 12 pounds.
Going wounded the eagle as it sat in a tree and brought it home alive with the intention of keeping it alive but the bird died. It was brown in color and is much like the bird commonly known as the Golden eagle, which usually measures six feet in wing spread and three feet from beak to tail. The claws of the bird were nearly two inches long and the longest wing feathers were about a foot and a half long.
THE CHAMPION FIELDER
When it comes to "picking 'em out of the air", the Cooper's hawk could show our big league baseball players a lot of new tricks. Scientists refer to him as an "accipiter", or a species of hawk which catches its prey in the air. Its ability to judge the speed of flying birds, or rabbits bounding along the ground, and to intercept them with its taloned claws, is declared to be uncanny.
Instances have been cited of these hawks darting from a low limb and capturing- Mcise feathered bullets the bobwhite, quail and ruffed grouse when those speedy game birds were going "wide vbpen" and dodging about in dense coyer. , The Cooper's hawk is known as the partridge hawk and "big blue 'darter" for that reason. ,;
Art equally significant title which has been applied to this hawk is "chicken hawk", and this is considered by ornithologists as quite appropriate. It rarely soars high over1 head around the barnyard when hungry for chicken meat, but just dashes into the hen yard from a low altitude and carries off a good-sized Rhode Island Red with little difficulty. W. L. McAtee, of the Bureau of Biological Survey, says of this poultry thief: "It is by far the most destructive species we have to contend with, * * * because it is so much more numerous that the aggregate damage done far exceeds that of all the other birds of prey."
The Cooper's hawk has a wing spread of from 30 to 36 inches, but may be identified most readily by its comparatively long tail, which is somewhat rounded at the tip. Like the sharpshinned hawk, it flies low with a succession of alternate flappings of its short rounded wings and short soarings. In this respect and because of its quite similar size, the seldom harmful marsh hawk may be mistaken for the Cooper's, but the former has a distinctive white rump.
A specific and simple remedy for the ravenous and indiscriminating appetites of these hawks has been prescribed as follows: Number six lead pellets administered three times a day before meals—or as often as necessary.
'THE BLACK DESTROYER"It's a wonderful day in sunny spring. If you love like I, to hear our birds sing, Come on with me on a healthy walk, And let's sec what happens while we talk. Look there:—A pretty meadow lark, Sings to her mate,—A shadow dark, Flies over her nest; it is a crow, On a scouting trip, he is flying low. He spies the nest, his eyes are sharp, His cunning great, his beak a barb; This means the end of the meadowlark's brood, As the crow takes the young for his breakfast food. What's the matter friend? You are looking sad, It hurts in your heart to look at that. Let's walk on farther, it's such a nice day, And you will forget what happened this May. Look yonder:—A quail says "Bobwhite, Bobwhite," A beautiful bird, any sportsman's delight. His mate is not far, has a nest in the brush, It's clear out of sight, well covered by bush. But look!—A shadow sinister and dark, The same crow that ruined the nest of the lark, His eyes are keen, and without fail, He finds the nest of the lovely quail. This time it's the end of the mother and brood; You are sorry but it will do you no good. Let's walk on farther, it's such a nice day, And you will forget what happened this May. You remember the chickens ten years ago, The thousands on our meadows and prairies, but Lo— Forever they're gone—cleaned out by the crow, And still you'll forget, let me tell you so. But listen,, the years will only be short You'll be telling your grandson of wonderful sport You had with the ducks when you were a boy, And You! You have not left him this joy. All he'll ever see will be crows and more crows Flying in formation, in rows and rows. All the singing of birds he ever will hear Will be the Ca—Ca—of crows far and near. We are spending millions in our beautiful land, To preserve our game, on the other hand, We are so shortsighted, ,, ^u may say almost blind, As anyone can tell, we protect from behind. So you sportsmen of all this powerful land, "WAKE UP" and help with heart and hand, To destroy this Black Devil and leave some joy, For the one you love, Your sportsman boy. —By Christ Wunderlich, Ericson, Nebr.
How do you stand on the proposed national legislation which would provide for a dollar stamp tax for duck hunting, the revenue from same to be used for purchasing and developing nesting and feeding grounds for migratory waterfowl ?
The Nebraska Game Commission would like to know how Nebraska duck hunters feel regarding this legislation. Therefore it would be greatly appreciated if you would return this coupon, indicating thereon if you favor or are opposed to the dollar federal tax.Mark a cross in square and return. I favor the dollar federal tax. I am opposed to the dollar federal tax. Mail to- Secretary, Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, State House, Lincoln, Nebraska
THESE BIRDS MUST BE FED OR THEY WILL PERISH!
SPORTSMEN, OUR UPLAND BIRDS need food in cold weather. Unless immediate measures are taken to provide them with food and shelter many will perish from hunger and exhaustion. WHAT NOBLER CAUSE could you interest yourself in than providing these many feathered friends with food procurable at ridiculously low prices?
ORGANIZE IN YOUR COMMUNITY, ask the farmers to assist in this worthy cause. Do this today, tomorrow may be too late. IN EVERY COMMUNITY Sportsmen must heed this urgent call. Do not count the day done unless you have provided these birds with food and shelter.NEBRASKA GAME FORESTATION & PARKS COMMISSION LINCOLN