Outdoor NebraskaDevoted To The Conservation Of Nebraska Outdoor Resources AUTUMN 1934 No. IV Vol. IX
Pheasant Season Shortened and Bag Reduced On Account of Drought
THE eighth annual pheasant hunt in Nebraska will be for seven days, beginning at 7 a. m. October 12th and continuing each day until 6 p. m. October 18th.
While pheasants have been adversely affected by the drought and they are scarce in many sections of the state, especially in the upland communities, the Commission felt it was best to have a short season. This decision was reached after making a state-wide survey and in consideration of the problems confronting the state.
First of all, it must be remembered that all the funds received by the Commission come from the sale of hunting and fishing permits. Owing to dry weather, the fishing was poor last summer and fewer permits were sold than usual. If hunting is to be curtailed entirely, it would simply mean that the Commission would have no funds to carry on its work. Hatcheries and parks would have to be closed, game reserves cleared, law enf o r c ement abandoned, breeding stock released, etc. After considering this, the Commission felt that Nebraska hunters would appreciate the predicament and while enjoying a few days of recreation and sport in the field, that they would not take large bags and that they would hunt in those communities where birds are quite numerous. It was further felt that there were enough birds for a short hunting season, and by allowing hunters to purchase permits and hunt for a few days, the work of the Commission would not be curtailed and at the same time there would be enough birds left for breeding purposes.
Another thing that seemed to make it advisable to open the season was that only a comparatively few birds can be carried through the coming winter, and those in all probability will have to be fed. Therefore, it would seem more logical to sell permits for the taking of part of the birds and have funds with which to feed the rest than to have no funds and let many birds starve.
Generally speaking, the best hunting this year will be in the lowlands, especially along the larger water courses. The North Platte Valley reports many birds. The Loup River valleys, especially the upper sections report good coveys. The hill lands and the corn country does not have its customary supply owing to lack of moisture during the past summer.
This year the number of days has been cut from ten to seven and the daily bag and possession limit reduced from five to four. While the official order permits three cocks and one hen to be taken, it is hoped that hunters will take cocks only.
The same territory is open as last year except that Saunders County is opened as well as a small part of Sioux County.
The official order follows: "In accordance with Chapter 70, Session Laws, 1931, as amended, State of Nebraska, an open season on Ringneck pheasants is hereby declared in all parts of Nebraska EXCEPT the following counties: Box Butte, Cass, Cherry, Dawes, Douglas, Gage, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Sarpy, Sheridan, and Washington.
"All of Sioux County is closed to hunting EXCEPT that portion south of the Government Ditch. That territory is open to hunting.
"The open season shall be for a period of seven (7) days, beginning at 7 a. m. October 12, 1934, and ending at 6 p. m. October 18, 1934. No hunting is permissible between sunset and one-half hour before sunrise of each day.
"The daily bag limit during the above season shall be four (4) male birds or three (3) male and one (1) female bird and the possession linjit shall be four (4) male birds or three (3) male birds and one (1) female bird.
"Birds will not be tagged as heretofore, but all persons carrying birds into closed counties will upon request of a game warden or any law enforcement officer or employee of the State Game Commission, state the name and location of farm or farms where birds were taken.
"Where hen pheasants exceeding the bag limit are killed by accident, the person killing will retrieve same and turn such birds, over to the nearest game warden. Such game warden will give a receipt for these birds and turn them over to charitable organizations or state institutions. Persons killing hen pheasants and leaving them in the field will be vigorously prosecuted.
"The ownership and title of all birds rests in the state and the person taking or killing the same shall consent that the title thereto shall be and remain in the state for the purpose of regulating the possession, use and transportation thereof after killing or taking of same. The taking or killing of birds shall be deemed a consent on the part of such person that title to same rests in the state.
"All persons taking or hunting birds on any land not public land must obtain the consent of the owner or person in charge of the same. It is unlawful for any person to trespass on duly posted land or hunt on private land without the consent of the owner in charge. It is, also, unlawful to shoot game birds on or from a public highway. All such violations will be prosecuted.Dated July 31st, 1934, Lincoln, Nebr. Game, Forestation & Parks Commission, Frank B. O'Connell Secretary
Migratory Waterfowl Open Season In Nebraska Oct. 16 to Nov. 14
THE migratory waterfowl open season in Nebraska this year will be thirty consecutive days beginning October 16 and continuing until November 14, both the above dates inclusive.
There has been considerable misunderstanding and eonfusion in the fixing of the season this year. First of all, many sportsmen believed that the State Game Commission fixed the open season. The actual fixing of the open season is done by the President of the United States, in a Proclamation recommended to him by the Secretary of Agriculture.
Heretofore the federal authorities have fixed the open season without recommendations from the several states. This year, however, each state was asked to recommend 30 shooting days. They could ask for any 30 days between September 15 and January 15, provided there were some days opened to shooting each consecutive week.
The federal authorities called on Nebraska to make its recommendations, as they did the other states. This recommendation had to he in Washington not later than August 6.
The Nebraska Commission met and discussed the matter. After thorough consideration, the majority of the Board decided that it would be better to have thirty consecutive shooting days, part of which would be in October to satisfy eastern Nebraska shooters and part in November to satisfy hunters in the western counties. At the time the decision was made the Commission did not know of course what other states were going to do, and they doubted very much if a socalled staggered season could be enforced and if it really were a conservation measure. In view of reports submitted to them from Washington regarding the alarming shortage of birds, it was felt imperative to approach the matter from a conservation point of view.
Unfortunately, when announcement was made from Washington through error in press reports, Nebraska was shown to have an open season from November 1 to November 30. Some of the western hunters thought that Washington authorities wanted such dates and that the Game Commission later changed its recommendations because of pressure from thei eastern Nebraska cities. Nothing of the kind happened. The Commission asked for October 15 to November 15 and that was what was given in the President's Proclamation.
On the other hand, there have been many letters and petitions coming to hand urging a complete closing of the season on both ducks and pheasants.
In speaking before the Izaak Walton League Convention at Grand Island recently, Mr- Frank O'Connell, Secretary of the Commission, explained the Commission's position on this demand. "As you know," said Mr. O'Connell, "since all the revenue used by the Commission must come from the sale of hunting and fishing permits it would be a shortsighted policy that would close the season entirely. Then all work would stop. Far better to allow part of our game crops to be taken, wisely using funds derived for the feeding of remaining breeding stock and propagation of more game. By having short open seasons, allowing the hunters to buy a permit, the Commission can carry on its activites and feed the breeding stock during the coming winter. A completely closed season on pheasants and migratory waterfowl in Nebraska would leave no funds for the coming winter and the Commission feels that it is going to be necessary to feed thousands of birds in order to carry them through the drouth period."
1934 OPEN SEASON ON MIGRATORY WATERFOWL
The new Federal amendment to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act provides for thirty days open season on ducks, coot, geese, brant, Wilson snipe or Jacksnipe in Nebraska this coming fall.
The season in Nebraska will open at SUNRISE October 16th and close at SUNDOWN November 14th, 1934.
The new regulations make the state bag on ducks ineffective, leaving the bag limit as follows:
Ducks, daily bag limit for all species, except Ruddy and Bufflehead 12, of which number not more than 5 of each or in thei aggregate may be Canvasbacks, Redheads, Scaups, Ringnecks, Bluewinged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Gadwalls and Shovellers or Spoon-bills.
The possession limit on ducks is double the daily bag limit.
Ne open season on Ruddy, Buffle-head, Wood Ducks and Swans.
Coot, daily bag limit 20; possession 20.
Geese, 4 a day; possession 5. Brant, 4 a day; possession 5.
Wilson or Jacksnipe, daily bag limit 15, possession 15.
Not more than 25 live duck decoys can be used at any one blind.
Shooting will begin at SUNRISE and stop at SUNDOWN each day.
Every person 16 years of age or over who hunts migratory waterfowl is required to have a Federal Hunting Stamp costing $1.00, obtainable at post offices in all county seats and in towns with a population of 2500 or more.
PAY BOUNTY ON RABBITS
The county commissioners of Deuel county have placed a bounty on all rabbits killed in Deuel county by residents of this county.
The number of rabbits has increased so that the bounty plan has been selected to rid the county of the pests.
During the time that the bounty is in effect the county will pay three cents for each pair of rabbit ears brought in, providing that they come under the conditions specified by the commissioners.
The rabbit ears are to be brought in to the janitor at the court house, Joe Stutzman, who will give a slip in return, specifying the number of ears brought in at the time and the name of the person, eligible to receive the bounty.
When 100 or more ears have been accumulated the slips can be turned in to the County Clerk and bounty received.
It must be kept in mind however, that no checks will be issued for less than 100 pair of rabbit ears.—Big Springs News.
Game warden blames the light pheasant crop to the dry weather, but the speeding automobile has done its share. —Norfolk News.
The Game Cycle—A Challenge To ScienceBy Aldo Leopold, Game Manager, University of Wisconsin
NINETEEN hundred thirty-four will go down in history for something more than droughts, strikes, and blood-purges. It is a year of biological eclipse. Such eclipses have occurred before, but this year, for the first time in history, we know that it is coming. Between 1933 and 1935 perhaps half a billion grouse, rabbits, and fur-bearers will die or disappear in northern North America from causes still largely mysterious. We will lose more game then was ever produced by all the gameifarms of the world. How? Why? Has this thing happened before? Will it happen again? What kinds of wild life are affected? Can it be controlled—now or ever? These are questions which now challenge not only the scientist, but every layman-conservationist on the continent.
I can't tell you what the cycle is because nobody knows. We know that a die-off comes about every 10 years: 1925, 1913, 1905, 1895. . . . Behind that the traces grow dim, but that is no sign cycles did not occur, there are people today, who, unaware of conditions beyond their own narrow horizon, believe that when the grouse disappear they have "moved out,"' or "had a bad hatch". There are records of local disappearances of grouse as far back as the Revolution, but we cannot be sure that these were cycles.
Each die-off is preceded by a period of abundance, or population peak. Thus in Wisconsin in 1923 we had an abundance of grouse and rabbits, but between 1924 and 1927 ruffed grouse fell off as much as 90 per cent, while snowshoe rabbits nearly disappeared. Prairie chickens and sharptails were affected, but less severely.
We know that diseases occur at the time of the die-off., Dr. Green of Minnesota, has discovered at least two—■ tularemia and ulcerative enteritis. A great variety of parasites also increase. It lately seems open to question, however, whether diseases alone are the sole "cause" of the cycle. Even if they are, it still remains to be explained why vast regions are hit simultaneously. In former die-offs, cold wet nesting weather was considered contributory. This die-off, however, falls squarely upon a period of unprecedented drouth, so I need hardly say the wet weather idea is now "out".
There has been much talk of some connection between the cycle and solar radiation, or "sunspots". It is too early to pass on the validity of this theory. If I had to guess the "cause" of the cycle I would say the present evidence favors disease, operating not alone, but in conjunction with a drop in the reproductive rate. King of Minnesota, has now in press some startling evidence of such a drop. But what times this whole stupendous process? What mysterious force could simultaneously induce sickness and small broods in a score of species over half a continent? Evidence of some connection with some aspect of solar radiation continues to pile up, but there is also contradictory evidence. These "sunspot" speculations are merely that place in the long dark cave of exploration where our candle of knowledge goes out.
I once claimed that the cycle hit everywhere at once, but I am now not certain to just what degree all regions follow on identical schedule. The severity of the cycle is known to taper off southward, there is little trace of it below the Lake States, but in the highmountains violent fluctuations extend south to the Carolinas. But on what schedule? Does the Carolina schedule coincide with that for Canada? An answer might enable scientists either to corroberate or reject the solar theory. We sadly need dates of die-offs from the Southern Appalachians and from the Rockies. This much we know: Sickness hit the partridges and rabbits in all the northern Wisconsin counties "at the tick of the clock" in August and September, 1933. Wallace Grange, a University of Wisconsin investigator, is keeping accurate account of its spread in that state. Since it normally requires two or three years to complete the decimation, further and more severe mortality will presumably come during August and September this year. The remaining 8 years of the decade will be required again to build up the population to the peak, or breaking point.
We are frequently asked the question: Is the cycle something induced by civilization? ; Probably not. It is certain, at least, that violent cycles occur in the grouse, ptarmigan, and rabbits of the Canadian arid Alaskan hinterlands^these birds have never seen a gun? or been within1 a hundred miles of diseased poultry. . If-the cycle- is mancaused at all, it is--so -by-reason of some influence, such as-fire-©r disease, which has jumped far ahead of the still-advancing frontier.
Just what animals are affected? I have already mentioned all grouse, all rabbits, and most fur-bearers north of the Lake States. Many northern rodents are affected, but some at least run on a different and shorter schedule. Let us now reverse the question: What species are exempt? None of the waterfowl, none of the horned mammals, and none of the quails, pheasants, or partridges are known to be affected. There is some slight recent evidence, however, indicating a mild fluctuation, corresponding to the cycle in length of period but not in date, among southern quail. There is fairly strong evidence that northern quail, where they come into actual contact with ruffed grouse, are affected and follow the regular northern schedule. There is incontrovertible evidence that northern cottontails, in actual contact with grouse and snowshoe rabbits, go up and down with them, but as one proceeds southward the dieoffs in cottontail become patchier, milder, and more irregular in date until, in the; latitude of central Illinois, they finally disappear. Iri 1927 the most southerly die-off in cottontails was on the Kankakee.
In other words, the cottontails, and possibly the quail, share in general the population behavior of their neighbors —which supports the conjecture that cycles somehow inhere in the environment rather than in the species.
This raises the query: Does the noncyclic behavior of cottontails below Illinois hold good for the high Appalachians, or do cottontail fluctuations, like those in ruffed grouse, extend south along the high mountains? This is obviously a key question on which we need light, but have none. It offers a virgin field of inquiry to southeastern naturalists.
Are cycles confined to North America, or are they circumpolar? Again we don't know. The records of grouse killed on the grouse moors of Scotland indicate a cycle, but shorter than ours. This would seem to destroy the solar radiation theory, unless, as has been suggested, the Scotch cycle is half of ours—-"double quick", as it were. There are cyclic diseases in Siberia, but nobody has had the time to run down the literature and make scientific comparison. I have questioned game managers from Continental Europe, and(Continued on page 14)
Wing ShootingBy Loron Bunney, Deputy State Game Warden
VOLUMES have been written on the art of Wing Shooting, yet actual experience is by far the best teacher. We might carry charts giving velocity of a shot charge, speed of flight of the different game birds, the proper lead for all the various angles, yet what good would it do after a bird flushed. By the time you could consult your chart the bird would be in the next county. However, I am fully convinced that a big percentage of hunters do not realize that proper lead is by far the most important factor in successful Wing Shooting.
It is very seldom that we flush a bird that requires an absolute point-blank aim. In duck shooting, either pass or over decoys, 90% of them must be led in order to place them in the center of your shot circle.
Now to give the novice an idea of what this lead business is all about let me quote a few figures, for example—a duck passing parallel to the hunter at 100 feet distance, and moving at the conservative rate of 30 miles per hour will travel approximately 4% feet in 1-10 of a second. Our ballistic experts tell us the muzzle velocity of the average shot charge is around 1000 feet per second or 100 feet in 1-10 of a second. Therefore it may be plainly seen that the duck travels 4% feet in the same length of time it takes the shot charge to travel 100 feet —ithus the lead required to center your bird provided your gun was fired from a stationery position. Most shooters agree that the swing of the gun offsets a part of the lead. Quartering shots require less lead and on the other hand longer distance or speedier birds require more lead. The whole thing in a nutshell is that actual experience in the field is the only possible way to learn the game, and believe me it takes a lot of time and ammunition.
iNow a little about the proper ammunition. Most beginners are handicapped by using the wrong size shot. I expect to get a "raise" out of many shooters but nevertheless the following is based on over thirty years of actual experience in the field, plus the opinion of many of the world's greatest wing shots whom I've had the pleasure of discussing the subject with during my ten years in the trap shooting game.
Wing Shooting in Nebraska at the present time is confined to ducks and pheasants with an occasional goose for dessert. My firm belief is that only three sizes of shot should ever be used on" ducks and pheasants for more clean kills and less cripples, and that is 6s, 7s and 7%s. Nothing heavier than sixes for large ducks and sevens or sevens and a half on medium ducks and pheasants. The average pheasant shooter, many of whom has had little or no experience in the field, tramps around all day and shoots at every pheasant that gets up regardless of distance and occasionally kills a bird at 80 yards, with his 4s and then gets the mistaken idea that he should kill all his birds at that distance. The modern gun companies have the science of boring guns down to a mighty fine degree, but no 12 gauge gun has ever been built that will kill consistently at 70 or 80 yards. The reason for so many crippled birds, or birds wounded that fly away and die, and do no one any good, is because of poor judgment of distance. You may wonder what I consider the maximum distance for consistent killing. I place the 12 gauge at 55 yards, 16 gauge 50 yards, and the 2d at 45 yards with the proper balanced load. Five yards might be added by the use of maximum loads which were placed on the market a few years ago. I favor the old reliable standard load for a 12 gauge of SVi-lVs and would insist that beginners use nothing heavier. My reason for the use of small shot is very simple. A game bird must be hit in a vital spot to make a clean kill and) the vital spot is very little larger than a base ball on the above birds with head excluded. Either of the three favorite sizes have ample penetration at the above distances to make clean kills, and the number of pellets are so much greater that everything is in favor of the small shot. Do you realize that a load of 5s has only half as many pellets as does a load of lxk and that your chances of hitting a vital spot is considerably less with the 5s?
If nothing else will convince you, back off 55 yards and take a shot at the side of the barn or a large paper target, trying 4s. See how easy it is to ;throw a baseball through your pattern of 4s and I think you'll find a place or two you can throw a football through also. Now try a load of 7V2S and let your conscience be your guide.
Learn to judge distance and never shoot at a bird over 50 or 60 yards, and bear in mind that from 30 to 45 yards is the proper distance for clean killing.
All modern guns are factory tested at a 30 inch circle at 40 yards, and a bore that will place 80% of the pellets in the 30 inch circle is some gun. Most of them run about 65 % which is a very good killing circle. And when the fellow tells you he has a gun that will put all the shot in the size of his hat at 50 yards, tell him you are from Missouri, for it just can't be done.
I sincerely hope that you beginners, and also many others who in the past have shot up two or three boxes of shells) getting the limit or less, will try the small shot idea, also practice distance judging, give your birds plenty of lead, and by all means shoot with both eyes open if possible, (I have some times wished I had four eyes) and watch the old game bag fill up
OBSERVE ALL GAME LAWS Outdoor NebraskaOfficial Publication of The Nebraska State Game Forestation and Parks Commission COMMISSIONERS Chas. W. Bryan, Chairman Guy R. Spencer M. M. Sullivan J. B. Douglas W. J. Tiley George B. Hastings Frank B. O'Connell pngSK£#w EDUCATION & PUBLICATION COMMITTEE J. B. Douglas, Chairman Frank B. O'Connell EDITOR Frank B. O'Connell Vol. IX AUTUMN, 1934 No. 4
It is quite likely the Nebraska Game Commission will put on a great campaign in 1935 to raise one-half million dollars to complete work now under way and to put the 10-year program into effect.
Today about 150,000 citizens are buying the dollar hunting and fishing permit. During the coming year efforts will be put forth to get 500,000 Nebraskans to buy a dollar permit. If they will do this, the: Game Commission can go forward as never before. Let's make 1935 an "Outdoor Year" in the history of Nebraska.
The Game Commission announces with regret that owing to one of the worst} droughts ever experienced, it is necessary to shorten the open season on all hunting this fall.
Losses in fish, ducks and pheasants have been very great. Many conservationists have urged the complete closing of all open seasons.
The Commission believes that it is better to have a short open season than a closed one for several reasons, as well as to open most of the state. The first and most important is that all our revenue is secured from the sale of fishing and hunting permits. Since we experienced a poor fishing season, if we now closed the hunting season entirely, we would have no funds for the coming winter and would have to close many of our institutions, dispose of breeding stock, etc. And we would not be able to feed birds—which we surely must do the coming winter. Experience has demonstrated that it is much less harmful to birds to open nearly all the state than a few counties.
The Nebraska Game Commission is facing many very serious problems and asks the cooperation of all sportsmen. While the season is open for a short time, it is hoped that this year hunters will take small bags and conserve as much as possible. After all, the sport of hunting is paramount to the bag taken. Buy a permit, go hunting and be reasonable in your kill. If that is done, tjhe work of the past five years will go on in spite of the great calamity which has befallen us.
The Birds Are Going SouthDr. T. Gilbert Pearson, President, National Audubon Societies
THE great southward movement of the bird population of the Northern Hemisphere is under way. In fact it has already begun.
One of the most amazing characteristics of wild birds is their marvelous instinct for traveling. Fish migrate, so do various mammals, and even some butterflies, but for long distance movements no group in the animal kingdom is comparable to the birds.
Early August is the time of molting. With few exceptions the birds then stop singing. We do not see many of them. The feathers are dropping out and new ones appearing. This probably is attended with uncomfortable sensations and they are prone to keep out of sight. Physically, it is undoubtedly their most unhappy month of the year. But now that the new coats of feathers have been acquired their movement southward begins.
With some species migration is not extensive. In California many simply move down from the higher ranges of the mountains to the lowlands where they pass the winter. Others, like crows, experience only a general southward movement for perhaps a few hundred miles. Thus those in Canada move into the northern states where they take the place of the crows that have spent the summer here, and which in turn move farther South. Even woodpeckers migrate. In some sections numbers of flickers, or yellowhammers, may be seen feeding on the ground with scattered flocks of robins as both work their way toward the land of little snow.
Small birds migrate mostly at night probably to avoid their enemies of the air. By day they rest and gather food. Of the Warbler Family alone there are eighty-two kinds in North America and most of them are highly migratory. These varied-colored gems of the forest will be traveling through the country for some weeks. They may appear wherever there are trees. My own backyard is about twenty feet one way and twenty-one feet the other with one small tree and a rose-bush and no extensive groves nearby, yet every spring and autumn, warblers come to see us. In this same little yard we also see the shy hermit thrush and the olive-back thrush from the North.
In some places migratory birds often congregate in considerable numbers. Thus on the point of Cape May, New Jersey, there is a forest where migrants collect in great numbers when adverse winds are blowing. They continue to assemble until the weather permits them to take off across Delaware Bay to the southward. To this grove also come hundreds of hawks bound southward in loosely scattered flocks. They tarry for a time as the small birds and dragon flies in the nearby marshes provide for them an abundant food supply.
August also is the flocking time. Already swallows are congregating in numbers and roosting at night in many a reedy marsh. Soon they will be moving on to Central America. Before long chimney swifts, to the number of a thousand or more, may be seen going to roost in some large chimney. For some time purple martins have been ^a.nsr.ng in flocks to roost in favorite groves, usually in town. Daily their numbers are augmented and in some cases a hundred thousand or more may assemble before the great host starts on its long trip to the Tropics.
There are many kinds of wild ducks and geese. Omitting a few that are extremely rare, being wanderers from other lands, we have in continental North America, fourteen kinds of wild geese, and thirty-eight varieties of ducks, nearly all of which are migratory.
A few Canada geese breed in the United States, but mostly they spend the summer north of our boundary as do all other species of this group. The great nursery of the ducks may be said to be the region which includes our northern states from Wisconsin westward and in the prairie provinces of Canada, particularly Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The waterfowl move southward along three main arteries of travel, one down the Pacific Coast, one following the Mississippi Valley, and the third is the Atlantic Coast flight. Many of our ducks pass on to Mexico, while the pintail and blue-winged teal go as far south as Panama.
The wildfowl of North America, formerly numbering hundreds of millions of individuals, has been steadily decreasing, especially during the past few years. This has been due primarily to three causes,—drainage of marshes to make farm lands, extensive hunting and the unprecedented drought which the past few years has been responsible for drying up the enumerable ponds, sloughs, and shallow lakes in the section of the country where most of the ducks hatch their brood. Thus, few young have been raised of recent years and only a pitiful remnant of the vast numbers that formerly existed will come South this fall.
Among the migratory birds the Golden Plover holds a place of distinction because of the greet extent of its flight. Breeding in the far northern part of this continent these birds pass the winter in Argentina or northern Patagonia.
Admiral Peary once told me that he found the nests of twenty-six species of birds on the shores of Ellesmere Land where it dips into the Arctic Ocean just four hundred and fifty miles from the North Pole. One of these was the nest of the Arctic Tern. Until recently it was not known over what lands and seas these birds journeyed in autumn to re-appear along the Antarctic Continent where they spend the period of the southern summer. However, it has lately been discovered that the Arctic Terns that breed on the Atlantic Coast of the United States and Canada fly northeastward in autumn along the coast of Labrador. Near the southern end of Greenland they converge with the stream of Terns coming down Davis Strait from the Arctic regions. They cross the ocean to Europe and then, passing down the coasts of Africa, reach the Antarctic.
To my mind the most amazing flight taken by any North American bird is that of the little Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It crosses the Gulf of Mexico twice a year flying each way over water for fully six hundred miles,— and the bird weighs only a tenth of an ounce. A large aeroplane that could go as far in proportion to its weight as the Hummingbird, when it leaves Louisiana and flies to Yucatan, would be able to circle the earth at the Equator about one hundred thousand times.
Why do birds migrate? There are many conflicting theories, that to me all sound plausible, which is but another way of saying that the question is too hard for me to answer.
The best conservation laws are graven upon a man's conscience.— American Game Association.
Dam a ditch and help create water pools for drought stricken wildlife and domestic animals. — American Game Association.
Commission Field ActivitiesCRYSTAL LAKE WATER LEVEL RAISES
Homer Star: The recent rains have raised the water level in Crystal lake nearly a foot, according to information based on observation of residents at the lake. Deputy'Game Warden Will Monnette of South Sioux City reports the tile leading into the lake has been running full and that he believes this with normal rainfall will be sufficient to supply the needs of the lake. Crystal lake, the well known fishing and bathing resort ol the region, has greatly suffered from the drouth of past years and has been lowered many feet. Swimming at many beaches as a result has been ruined and fishing has not been so very good. Much has been said about raising the water level by digging wells and building a ditch to the river, but relatively nothing has been done.CONSERVE WATER
Put a small dam across that nearby stream or coulee and save the water that otherwise runs away.
By doing so you may be able to provide:1. Water for swimming, boating, fishing and skating. 2. Water for farm purposes. 3. More ground water. 4. More water surface for evaporation. 5. Waterfowl breeding areas.
A small earth dam or rock-fill dam properly located and constructed costs little more than the labor and will frequently give satisfactory service for years.SQUIRREL SEASON OCTOBER 1st TO DECEMBER 31st RACCOON AND OPOSSUM NOVEMBER 16th TO FEBRUARY 15th
Owing to confusion regarding the Bill passed by the last session of the Legislature, the Nebraska law covering the open season on squirrel and raccoon hunting is somewhat conflicting.
Thq original Bill, S. F. 385 follows: "The open season for game and furbearing animals shall be as follows: Mink, rabbits and civet cats, Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st, Tree squirrels (all species), opossum, raccoon, skunk and fox, October 16th to Jan. 15th inclusive; ....... etc."
This Bill was passed by both the House and the Senate and in some manner was misplaced and the following Bill was substituted: "The open season for game and fur-bearing animals shall be as follows: Mink, rabbits and skunk, Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. Tree squirrels (all species), Sept. 15th to Dec. 31st. Raccoons, Nov. 1st to Feb. 1st. Opossum, Nov. 16th to Feb. 15th next ensuing;.......etc."
This Bill was signed by the presiding officers and approved by the Governor, although not passed by either the Senate or the House. The error was not discovered until many thousands of booklets containing the Game Laws were printed by the Game Commission and that accounts for the different dates which are given in the little booklet of laws and the synopsis of laws which the Commission publishes every few months. An opinion from the office of the Attorney General advises that this Bill as now printed did not become a law and the result is that no law has been passed repealing the prior law. and that Section 37-302 Compiled Statutes of Nebraska, 1929, is in effect. Therefore, the 1934 open season on squirrels is from October 1st to December 31st; and the season on raccoon and opossum is from November 16th to February 15th next ensuing.
The following question has been asked the Nebraska Game Commission a number of times: "Is it necessary to have a Federal Duck Stamp to hunt pheasants?"
The Duck Stamp is necessary in the hunting of ducks, coot, geese and brant which are migratory waterfowl. The pheasant is an upland game bird and, therefore, the Federal Duck Stamp is not required in the hunting of this bird.GET YOUR U. S. DUCK STAMP!
All persons over 16 years of age who wish to hunt migratory waterfowl in Nebraska are now required to carry a U. S. Hunting Stamp. These stamps are sold at $1.00 each in all of the larger post offices.
A person applying for a stamp is required to fill out an application form which will be provided by the postmaster. The Stamp is affixed to the applicant's State Hunting permit.
The law provides the Stamp shall not be transferable, that it must be carried on the person while engaging in hunting and that it must be shown to any officer of the U. S. Government, state or local government authorized to enforce the game laws.
The fund derived from the sale of these Stamps will be used in purchasing and leasing marsh and water areas for ducks, geese and other waterfowl. A small percent of same will be used for law enforcement.
It is believed that this Stamp will provide revenue of approximately a million dollars a year.BULLHEADS IN MIDDLE LOUP
Several weeks ago we said that 4,000 bullheads had been dumped into the Middle Loup River, and that the fishing was much better than it had been for some time.
A week or so ago an additional 12,000 of this species of fish were placed in the Middle Loup, again being dumped into the river from the Sargent Bridge. The 12,000 bullheads which were placed in the river a week or so ago were also taken from Swan Lake as were the 4,000.
The Fish Department of the State is seining several of the lakes which are going dry and are placing the fish into streams of the state. It is very probable that other species of fish will be placed in the Middle Loup if there are any seined from lakes close to this river so that a long haul will not be necessary. Bullheads have also been placed in the North Loup River, the same being taken from Swan Lake.39-POUND CAT
A catfish weighing 39 pounds and measuring about four feet long was caught in the Elkhorn River near Winslow. The fish put up a fight but was finally subdued by four men.— The Burt County Harold.OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 9 HERONS FISH EATERS
Discovery of a 10-inch bass in a blue heron by Mr. Mayes, at Crawford as a representative of the Denver office for a biological survey, is an indication of the menace of herons, bitterns and other large birds to fish, according to Harold McDowell, sportsman.
In a similar survey last year, 165 trout were found in one bird, Mr. McDowell said. This represented only one meal for the large waterfowl, he stated in explaining the amount of fish captured by the birds.—Crawford News.GET BIG ONE
The "big fish" that has been getting away from Fairbury fishermen for many years was captured recently in shallow water below the dam. It was a 72 pound catfish, 62 inches long.
To prove that this was not just a fish story, the head has been on display at the 'Marthis Tire shop and Standard Oil station. The head alone weighed 13 pounds and was 12 inches wide.
This was the largest fish every caught in the Little Blue.—Fairbury News.EGGS HATCHED BY HEAT
Among the hot weather yarns which the recent torrid spell produced, the following places well toward the top:
Herman Bierman of Battle Creek relates that while cutting grain he accidentally cut the legs off a pheasant hen and was forced to kill the bird. He took her nest of eggs and placed them under a hen that was setting.
The hen's eggs soon hatched however, and the hen left the nest with her young and the pheasant eggs lay undisturbed for about ten days.
One morning while taking care of the chores Mr. Bierman says that he heard a "cheep" and discovered that all but two of the pheasant eggs had hatched with the aid of Mother Nature alone. The nest was on a feed-bunk in a cow-shed.
"Talk about the heat," says Mr. Bierman. "I suppose they would have sizzled had they been out of doors. Now we have some young pheasants we don't know what to do with."PLAN FOREST BELT 100 MILES IN WIDTH
A project greater than the Tennessee valley project is State Forester C. W. Watkins' opinion of the recently announced federal shelter-belt project. Such a belt is certain to be of immense value in slowing up wind velocity, checking soil erosion and decreasing evaporation, he thinks.
Watkins has received word from Washington that the forest service has set up an administration for the 100mile-wide protective forest belt which will stretch from the Canadian border to Texas, with Nebraska as one of the chief beneficiaries. The man placed in charge of the project is Fred Morrell, assistant forester of the national government and a former Nebraskan.
Sixteen varieties of trees, 11 of them native to Nebraska, have been picked for the planting. They include bunoak, hackberry, American elm, jack pine, Ponderosa pine, box elder, red cedar, white birch, green ash, poplar and silver maple. The species not native to Nebraska will be Russian olive, Russian elm, Chinese elm, Russian mulberry and golden rain tree. The work of planting is expected to be in full swing in two years, while the planting will be carried on, over a period of 10 years.TAKE BIG CAT
A catfish weighing 39 pounds and measuring nearly four feet in length was taken from the Elkhorn river near Winslow by five Winslow men. The fish was taken after a struggle.
The men who caught the large fish were Clarence Uhler, Jim Clough, Jim Meier, Bill Hainer and George Wolcott. It was one of the largest catches made in years in that vicinity.—Fremont Tribune.SHOT PRAIRIE CHICKENS
Shooting prairie chickens out of season cost Sherman Beam of Alliance $31.50 Thursday in county court at Alliance, when he pleaded guilty to the charge. Police said that Beam started to run with a package in his arms, when accosted, and that the prairie chickens fell from the package as he ran.—Scottsbluff Star-Herald.MAN STARTS 99% OF FOREST FIRES, LIGHTNING ONLY 1%
Washington, OO.—Lightning strikes a tree and starts a forest fire, and for every forest fire started thusly by Nature, man starts 99, according to records, .a bulletin of the American Game Association declares. And fires started by human agents are always more destructive because those infrequent fires started by lightning are mostly started during storms and do not spread far in the rain before they are put out by fire fighters. Be ever careful of fire, particularly out of doors, the Association urges.WILDLIFE IN TREE BELT
Wildlife is to get a big break in the 1000-mile Shelter Belt to be planted in the Mid-West from the Canadian border through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma to the Texas border, to insure against drought, soil erosion, and to modify climate, according to plans in the making under the Technical Director Raphael Zon, U. S. rorest Service, a bulletin of the American Game Association points out.
Although the shelter belt is to be 100 miles wide, the trees are not to be set m solid formation, but in strips seven rods wide and a mile apart, running north and south. Along the edges of each of these strips just inside the protective fences food-cover strips for wildlife are to be planted. These will be of shrub varieties, Mr. Zon said.
While some 25 to 50 years will be required for the maturing of'the trees, wildlife will begin to reap the benefit almost immediately after the shrubs are planted, conservationists point out. These shrubs will afford protective cover to wildlife and, after their first bearing seasons, large quantities of food will be made available in berries, seeds and "salads."
As the planting of the shelter belt progresses, efforts are to be made to get landowners and States to "crisscross" between the north and south strips with shelter belts running east and west at whatever intervals thought to be best, probably a mile, or less, depending on local factors. These east and west belts will connect with the north and south strips of the main shelter belt, and break the north and south winds. The main shelter belt is designed to break the prevailing winds, mostly west to east, and to hold snow and rainfall. Wind velocity is cut down 25 to 40 percent by shelter belts, and practically all of the water of melting snow is held by the forest floor humus of shelter belts, experts declare.
"Water conservation, prevention of soil erosion, and the interests of wildlife will be given the utmost consideration in the plans," M,r. Zon said. "We are cooperating with the U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey, plant bureaus and others to assure the greatest proficiency in that part of our plans to protect and restore wildlife," he concluded.10 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA RIVERS AT LOW LEVEL
More rivers have shrunk to abnormally low levels this month than in any other July since the U. S. Weather Bureau started its records of river stages nearly 75 years ago. One or two rivers in other years may have been as low, or even lower, but never before has there been such a general drying up of streams in July from the Rocky Mountains to the crest of the Appalachians.
The streams of the West and Middle West, says M. W. Hayes of the Weather Bureau, got off to a bad start because of the exceptionally light snowfall last winter. And with no heavy, continuous rains to make up the early deficiency, the rivers of the great Mississippi system have gone from bad to worse. For example, the Mississippi at St. Louis has had record-breaking low stages for every month but one so far this year. A river stage, Mr. Hayes explains, is the level of the river above or below the zero mark (usually arbitrary) on the river gauges installed by the Weather Bureau at various points along the country's waterways.
Normally the Mississippi River at St. Louis reaches its highest stage from April to July. July, however, was the high-water month in 1865, 1869, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1891, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1909, and 1924. The lowest stages usually occur in winter, when low temperatures freeze the tributary streams to great depths, cutting off the water supply. Below-zero stages have been common in winter, but previous to August, 1931, when the stage dropped to -0.4 on account of the dry weather, there had never been a below-zero stage in any but a winter month.
The Mississippi River at St. Louis drains 691,096 square miles of territory to the north and northwest of the city and St. Louis stages, except in the winter, reflect precipitation conditions over this area. Low water levels have prevailed there since 1930. In June, 1929, the i river reached a bankful stage of 30.8 feet. Since that time, it has not been bankful, although in May, 1933, it reached a stage of 27.0, which is within 3 feet of the bank top at St. Louis.
Unprecedentedly low stages have prevailed since December, 1933. The lowest of record—4.6 feet below zero on the gauge—occurred last December. In January of 1934 the low stage was 3.3 below zero and in February it was 1.5 below zero, while in March it was 2.4 below zero. These low winter readings, Mr. Hayes explains, were due largely to low temperatures. The usual "June rise" however, failed to materialize and the stages since April 1 have been lower than they ever were for corresponding dates in the last 75 years. This month the water level has fallen 0.6 foot at St. Louis. The previous low record for July was 2.0 feet in 1931. Before this the low record for July was 5.8 in 1926.
The low stages of the Mississippi and its tributaries are particularly serious, Mr. Hayes says, because the normal season of heavy rains in the valleys of these rivers—April, May, June, and July —is now past. Only a protracted period of heavy rains could bring conditions back to normal and even were these rains to come, continued wet weather would be necessary to keep the rivers at their normal stages as the water would soon go to replenish the low water table of the surrounding country.
The Colorado River, emptying into the Gulf of California, and watering the Imperial Valley by diversion, is exceptionally low now, and the water shortage along its lower course is becoming more acute every day. The season of heaviest rains in the lower Colorado basin, however, is just beginning, so that some relief may be expected here, if past performance is any guide to what will happen this year.GOOD RESULTS FOR NEW FUR-TRADE NAMES
When milady buys her furs this fall she can know what she is buying. She need not buy rabbit fur under the impression that she is getting seal skin. Merchants will benefit by the elimination of misnomers that confuse customers.
According to Frank G. Ashbrook, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, who is in charge of the Division of Fur Resources in the Bureau of Biological Survey, these are the prospects resulting from rules recently adopted by N. R. A. code administrators under the retail furriers' code to determine what is proper in fur names.
To clarify the code provision against fraudulent advertising and labeling, the administrators after conferring on August 23 with representatives of the fur trade and with officials of the Federal Trade Commission and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, adopted the following four rules:
In order to describe a fur, in every case the correct name of the fur must be the last word of the description, and if any dye or blend is used simulating another fur, the word "dyed" or "blended" must be inserted between the name signifying the fur1 that is simulated and the true name of the fur, as: "Sealdyed Muskrat," or "Mink-dyed Marmot."
All furs shaded, blended, tipped, dyed, or pointed, must be described as such, as: "Black-dyed Fox," or "Pointed Fox."
Where the name of any country or section is used, it shall be the actual country of the origin of the fur, as: "American Opossum." Where the name of a country or place is used to designate a color, the fact shall be indicated, as: "Sitka-dyed Fox."
Where goods are sold under a registered trademark, that trademark should not, by intent or otherwise, be capable of misinterpretation by the public. In case of trademarks heretofore established in common use, the advertisers should invariably indicate by suitable descriptive matter in addition to the trademark just what the fur is, or, better, the trademark should be modified so as to include the descriptive matter.
These rules, Mr. Ashbrook points out, are identical with those adopted at a trade-practice conference in 1928 and approved by the Federal Trade Commission. The 1928 conference was attended by dyers, manufacturers, and dealers representing 90 percent of the fur industry. The recent application of the rules to the entire fur trade, says Mr. Ashbrook, is the culmination of a movement begun in 1922 by the Bureau of Biological Survey in cooperation with fur-trade representatives, better business bureaus, vigilance committees, and advertising clubs.COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Board of Fish Commissioners Harrisburg September 4, 1934 Mr. Frank B. O'Connell c-o Nebraska State Game & Forestry Commission Lincoln, Nebraska Dear Mr. O'Connell:
Your Summer number of "Outdoor Nebraska" came to my desk a few days ago and I have read it very carefully.
I want to compliment you very highly on this splendid edition. This magazine is, indeed, very instructive and has some excellent food for thought for the sportsmen.Sincerely yours, (Signed) O. M. Deibler, Commissioner of Fisheries. OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 11 WATERFOWL BAITING
Details of a plan for eliminating abuses of waterfowl baiting were revealed August 13 in a statement by the Bureau of Biological Survey outlining a proposed addition to the hunting regulations now being prepared for consideration by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The proposed regulations would provide that waterfowl may not be shot or otherwise taken on baited premises except under seasonal permits issued without charge by the Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey. The permits will be issued to and in the name of the persons or clubs occupying the baited premises.
Permits, it is proposed, will be issued only after investigation shows that baiting will effectively supplement local natural food supplies that are deficient, or will serve to concentrate the birds under conditions conducive to safeguarding them from greater destruction. Issuance of permits will also be limited to cases in which it appears that baiting will result in more nearly equalizing hunting privileges in the various localities and sections of the United States.
The proposed regulation would prohibit the shooting of waterfowl on baited premises after 3 o'clock in the afternoon and would provide that no waterfowl be shot while resting on water or land on any premises where baiting is practiced.
Every permitee would be required, under the regulation, to send to the Biological Survey chief within one month after the close of the open season a report showing the following: The number of persons shooting on the baited premises during the open season ; the species and the number of each species of waterfowl killed; the number of blinds; the bags per blind; the kinds of food used; and the intervals of feeding.CONSOLIDATE TWO NATIONAL FORESTS
The Kaibab and the Tusayan National Forests in northern Arizona are consolidated into one forest by an executive order signed by President Roosevelt August 4, transferring most of the lands of the Tusayan to the Kaibab, the U. S. Forest Service announced today.
The consolidation will effect economies in administration, making it possible to handle the two units under a single administrative office. Supervisor Walter G. Mann of the old Kaibab unit, with offices at Kanab, Utah, has moved to Williams, Arizona, where headquarters will be maintained for the enlarged Kaibab National Forest, which lies entirely within Arizona. Former Supervisor G. W. Kimball of the Tusayan is transferred to the office of operations at the southwestern regional office of the Forest Service at Albuquerque, N. M. W. B. Dillon, administrative assistant of the Tusayan Forest, is transferred to the Ouchita National Forest in Arkansas.
It is the intention of the Forest Service to attach to the Prescott National Forest the areas of the Tusayan unaffected by the Executive Order. A few thousand acres entirely in private ownership will be eliminated from the national forest boundaries.
The Kaibab National Forest is famous for its large herd of deer. From 3,000 in 1906, the deer increased under State and Forest Service protection to an estimated population in excess of 30,000 in 1924. The range began to show serious overgrazing, and starvation conditions prevailed. The Forest Service agreed to the removal of numbers of the deer to other forests and parks by trapping. Hunting was also liberalized. As a result of these measures the deer population has decreased somewhat, relieving the range from serious overgrazing. Under the Forest Service game management plans, the deer population will continue to be regulated to the capacity of the range.
The Tusayan Forest also contains many deer. It grazes in addition approximately 80,000 head of livestock annually. Both the Kaibab and the Tusayan Forest units consist largely of plateaus 7,000 to 9,000 feet high, and mountain peaks about 10,000 feet. There are almost pure stands of ponderosa pine. Besides deer, wild turkeys and other/ game live in these forests, and the Kaibab squirrel, a large species with white plumed tail, is found in the part north of the Grand Canyon but nowhere else.
The new Kaibab National Forest will have a gross area of more than 1,000,000 acres. The north and south sections of it are now joined by good roads and bridges and by airline across the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.FISH-EATING BIRDS
Do birds consume many fish?
This question has been answered by the Bureau ofl Biological Survey which has recently been making a study in Nebraska of fish-eating birds.
The report follows: "Most of the damage is done by Black-crowned Night Herons, called 'Shitepokes' and 'Bitterns' locally, and Great Blue Herons, that done by other species being negligible because of their lack of numbers. Kingfishers, not being on the protected list, are shot whenever opportunity offers.
"The damage at the hatcheries is done mainly by an influx of migrating birds during August and September, as is shown by the absence of adult Black-crowned Night Herons except in the sandhills about a hundred miles from Crawford, and by the fact the destruction of a heronry at Mar'sland merely served to delay the damage a few weeks until the migrating birds began coming in.
"The greatest concentration of herons of both species is at the hatcheries except in the case of the sandhill country. Very few birds were seen along waterways away from the hatcheries. Records of birds killed at the hatcheries are an indication of this.
"The Black-crowned Night Herons keep fairly close to the ponds when they are shot at, while the Great Blue Herons, when flushed, usually start away to the northeast in the direction of Whitney Lake. The latter species are often seen flying between waterways. The presence of a Crappie in the stomach of a bird shot at the McDowell Hatchery bears this out 'inasmuch as no Crappies are raised in any of the hatchery ponds, while they 'are common at Whitney Lake.
"All waterways in the Crawford region are kept stocked with game fish and it was reported by the Deputy Game Warden that the ratio of game to the so-called 'Coarse' fish is about one to one. It would seem from this that, inasmuch as herons apparently do not select game fish, they would have less opportunity to do serious damage on the various waterways than at the hatcheries where the percentage of game fish is one hundred.
"The suggestion is made by the hatchery officials that' federal protection for Great Blue Herons and Blackcrowned Night IJerons be lifted throughout the state of Nebraska to allow of shooting by all sportsmen so inclined, and to allow of the destruction of most of the heronries during the egg-laying period.
"The statement of Mr. Gray of the State Fish Hatchery at Valentine indicates that the damage from herons is very local, being confined to the region(Continued on page 12) 12 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA CALLS FOR CO-ORDINATED EFFORTS
Wild life should have a very definite and important consideration in the program of reconstruction that is now being planned and projected by the States and the Nation, said W. C. Henderson, associate chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, in an address delivered yesterday (May 29) at the Central States Forestry Congress in Knoxville, Tenn.
Declaring that man has done almost irreparable damage to wild life in his indiscriminate, unguided, and unplanned exploitation of natural resources in this country, Mr. Henderson called for a coordinated effort in wild-life management and in forestry. "The establishment of game preserves on forested areas," he said "affords opportunity to bring back suitable species, and under good management to provide a surplus for restocking other 'ands where conditions are favorable."
The few extra measures it is desirable to make to encourage wild life in forests are simple and inexpensive, said the Biological Survey official, and most of the recognized forestry principles are as favorable for wild life as they are to the forests. Fur and game species, he further pointed out, may be treated as a crop, and revenue may thus be derived from the disposal of shooting rights and from other sources during the period when trees are growing but none are being sold.
To be well-coordinated, a plan of wild-life management, Mr. Henderson explained, must be developed by experts in the several fields. Emphasizing that biological investigations must provide the basis for all practical .management plans, he declared that every major forest unit and every similar combination of smaller units of forested land should be assigned to a biologist, who would plan the wild-life management on the area. This, he said, would be only a modest provision for the studies required. The biologists, he pointed out, "could undertake and carry to a point of maximum usefulness the research that would be of value to the administering agencies. Biologists therefore should be associated with the administrative staff of all the forests."
"We cannot," he concluded, "have ideal forestry conditions at the expense of the forest wild life, and there can be no satisfactory solution of forest-fauna problems at the expense of the forest. The ideal balance is reached only by having expert representatives of both branches of management actively associated on the administrative staff that exercises supervision over the areas concerned—those interested in forestry and those concerned with the forest wild life. Each, in working for the best interests of his special field, will, through coordination of planning, work also for the best interests of the other."FISH-EATING BIRDS (Continued from page 11)
around Crawford. It is probably due largely to; the location of the hatchery ponds, making the proper policing of the area very difficult.
"Lack of funds makes it impossible to stretch wire across the ponds and carry out other preventive measures. Control at present is by shooting. If federal aid could be given in the purchasing of wire or screen mesh the hatchery officials might be persuaded to make the installation.
"In general, it may be said that the damage seems to be serious very locally, and that some type of preventive measure should be adopted. In the event of the impossibility of this, control might best be carried on in the region affected as is done at present.IN DEFENSE OF THE EAGLE
Why do so many sportsmen and hunters seek to kill the American eagle? They seem to take great delight in publishing that they have bagged a big bird. Of course they are big and we all like to bag a big bird. There is a lot more thrill in killing a Canada goose than a green-wing teal. It is1 also true they are a bird of prey and not protected. But why kill the eagle?
The American eagle is the symbol of freedom—he is classed as the king of birds for his fearlessness. He stands guard at the door of our Government buildings. He stands at the top of the staff of our regimental and battle flags. He is stamped on our gold and silver coins. He stands for Americanism first, last, and all the time.
As a bird of prey he is so large that he cannot and does not destroy our game birds to any appreciable extent. The little harm he does is more than balanced by the grand sight of this king of birds in the air.
True ,they carry off a few lambs and small pigs, but their food is largely fish taken from the Osprey and rabbits and vermin found in the mountainous country.
I spent a couple of years in Wyoming and there is no finer sight than to see these majestic birds floating in the sky or perched on some inaccessible cliff.
Only his unapproachable home far back among the rocky crags in the mountains has kept this bird from becoming extinct.
I would like to see a discussion of this bird's right to live, from other sportsmen through the splendid publication of "Outdoor Nebraska."—Lester Childers.MUSKRAT OPEN SEASON
The muskrat open trapping season in Njebraska will be the same as last year —the eastern district open from December 1 to March 1 and the western district open from January 1 to April 1.
The counties in each district are as follows:Eastern District Adams Greeley Pierce Antelope Hall Platte) Boone Hamilton Polk Buffalo Harlan Richardson Burt Howard Saline Butler Jefferson Sarpy Cass Johnson, Saundersl Cedar Kearney Seward Clay Knox Sherman Colfax Lancaster Stanton Cuming Madison Thayer Dakota Merrick Thurston Dixon Nancte Valley Dodge Nemaha Washington Douglas Nuckolls Wayne? Fillmore Otoe Webster Franklin Pawnee York Gage Phelps Western Disl rict 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 Scotts Bluff Cheyenne Holt Sheridan Custer Hooker Sioux Dawes Keya Paha Thomas Dawson Keith Wheeler Deuel Kimball Dundy Lincoln MOVE MANY FISH
The state fish and game commission is alarmed over the condition of some of the lakes in this section, and is making an effort to move fish from a number of the lakes that are receding the fastest. A state seining crew worked on the South M,arsh, in Cherry county putting the perch in Red Deer and the bass in Dewey and Hackberry lakes. The South Marsh which formerly was a large body of water and provided excellent fishing, is very low, and if the fish were not moved would undoubtedly perish the coming winter. Ainsworth Democrat.
IKES HOLD CONVENTION
The Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League of America held its annual two-day convention at Grand Island on September 10th and 11th. Among the officers selected for the ensuing year were the following: Ward C. Betzer, Lincoln, President; W. L. Davis, Lincoln, I. J. Dunn, Omaha, J. O. Olson, Norfolk, W. J. Nissen, Oxford, I. A. Goff, Hay Springs, Vice Presidents; Mildred M. Spann, Atkinson, Secretary-Treasurer; Judge M. W. Neihart, Nebraska City, Louis Harte, Omaha, Lloyd Moffett, Fremont, Lee Johnston, Red Cloud, C. C. Nielsen, Oxford, Emerson R. Purcell, Broken Bow, Directors.
Among the Resolutions adopted were the following:Ten Year Program
WHEREAS, the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission of Nebraska has earnestly and conscientiously endeavored to carry on their ten-year program as formerly planned and,
WHEREAS, as a unit they have successfully and thoroughly carried a constructive program toward ultimate success.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League of America hereby commend jointly and separately each member of our Game, Forestation and Parks Commission for their loyalty, their business-like methods and cooperation with sportsmen of our state in the carrying on of the conservation program now in effect.Recommend Commission Secretary
WHEREAS, Frank B. O'Connell, the Secretary of the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, has through his special effort and association with national organizations, seeking to propagate conservation of our natural resources, and his faithfulness to the sportsmen of the State of Nebraska.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League of America now assembled, recommend to the Governor of the State of Nebraska the reappointment of Franlj B. O'Connell as State Game Warden.
AND WE FURTHER RESOLVE, that the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission, through *ts influence urge the reappointment of Frank B. O'Connel as such State Game Warden.County Parks
WHEREAS, there is now a recognized condition by our federal government, by our states, cities and towns that constructive policies have been adopted and are underway looking to the conservation of our scenic sections, our timbered tracts, and water areas for the use and enjoyment of our people.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we urge our cities and towns to improve and beautify along lines of parks, streets and boulevards. Furthermore, we urge legislative consideration in the matter of the enactment of an adequate law granting authority to county organizations to acquire tracts of land for county park purposes. With the three units functioning the state, the counties and the towns, through cooperation of this character, proper conservation of our park areas can be realized.CCC Camps
WHEREAS, the federal government in providing CCC Camps throughout the state for the purpose of conserving and impounding water and checking erosion.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that every Chapter make a special effort to correct and safeguard these conditions in their territory by helping the federal government in locating worthy projects for construction and improvement.Condemn Crow
WHEREAS, the crow is a nuisance and destroyer of wild game and song birds as; well as a carrier of contagious disease,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League through the Game, Forestation and Parks Commission and through its Secretary, Frank B. O'Connell, by his relations to governmental agencies that a federal bounty be placed upon crows throughout the United States and especially in sections where the crow is most plentiful.
This is a nutty story but one that can help wildlife to a great extent if sportsmen and others going into the Great Outdoors will follow its plea, officials of the American Game Association point out.
They urge that all start individual food-tree, vine and shrub planting campaigns. All one has to do is to carry along a few nuts or seeds or scions and plant the former or graft the latter. Then there will be plenty of nuts for everybody, including wild birds, and animals.
The fall is the time to plant nuts. With walnuts, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, chinquapins, butternuts, beechnuts and nearly all other kind of edible nuts, all one has to do is crush the hulls and push the nut into the ground, either with the heel or stick a hole in the ground and then ram the nut down the hole. Nuts, for best results, should be planted four inches deep.
And where will one plant them? In the woods, along hedgerows, on the lips of lakes and streams, and wherever they will be of benefit to wildlife without interfering with farm practices. M.ost landowners are glad to give permission for such planting.
Chestnut scions can be easily grafted to most any kind of deciduous tree, and they do especially well when grafted to Rock or Chestnut Oak. Clarence Walker, assistant game protector, of Beavertown, Penna., who has been grafting chestnut scions to many kinds of trees since 1932, has had remarkable success, and bountiful crops of nuts are now beginning to appear. It is hoped that these chestnuts will produce a blight-proof tree, which will be the means of restoring the chestnut over its former range. The chestnut tree has been nearly wiped out by blight in this country.
The Association also urges that one plant grapevines, haws, blackberry briars, honeysuckle, wild plum, persimmon apple, elderberry, mulberry, shadbush, spiceberry, sparkleberry, hawthorn, Russian olive, red cedar, cherries, mountain ash, dogwood, bittersweet, Virginia creeper, greenbriar and other food-producing trees, shrubs, and vines. Many of these will afford cover as well as food to wildlife, officials declare.
ROCK CREEK LAKE FILLED
Water was recently turned into the Rock Creek Lake and it is now about 18 feet deep at the dam with about 30 acres of ground submerged. This is the dam which was built by the CCC Camp last summer.
It is the policy of the State to allow the water to rise very slowly in order to take every precaution against a possible flaw in construction in the dam and to allow the earth work to settle gradually.
Arrangements are already under way to stock the lake with fish. Over 1500 Rainbow Trout running from twelve to fifteen inches in length have been released. Later on, Blue Gills and a large number of bullheads will be placed in the lake.
It is hoped to have this lake opened for fishing after the spawning season of 1935.
THE GAME CYCLE—A CHALLENGE TO SCIENCE(Continued from page 4)
find they have difficulty understanding what we mean by a cycle, so presumably they have none. In short, parts of northern Eurasia have a cycle, but its extent, its timing, and its distribution among species, as well as its relation to our cycle, are all still obscure. Elton at Oxford is studying cycles, but mostly in Canada.
Granted we do not know what the cycle is, what might it be? Granted we do not know how far back it goes in history, is it likely or unlikely that a species might change from a level to a bumpy population level? If civilization did not induce the cycle, does it follow that it always took place and that it will always continue? These three questions possibly reach back to one common/ question: Can a species change from non-cyclic to cyclic behaviour without a change in its own makeup? That is to say, can the same species exhibit both stable and unstable population levels?
The answer is yes. Chapman in Minnesota, and also Nicholson in Australia, have demonstrated mathematically that, a slight change in the impact-point of environmental forces such as natural enemies or disease, as related to the sex and age classes which make up a population, may throw it into violent fluctuation, just as a slight change in rudder pressure may throw a plane into a tailspin, or out again. Chapman, by altering environment, induced actual cycles in confined samples of laboratory insects. Apparently we must learn to think of fluctuation, not as an abnormal population behavior, but as a thing all flesh is heir to, given the right set-up of environmental forces.
These forces are constantly changing, so that the population level of any species, including ourselves, may go into violent "vibration" at any time. It is not unthinkable that the present world-wide disturbances which we call revolution, depression, and real-politik are the preliminary rumblings of Nature over an unhealthy populationdensity. If the machines whereby we hope artificially to maintain or increase that density are really a contravention of ecological laws, nature is capable of sweeping them into the discard with all the nonchalance of an advancing glacier. What I am trying to say is that the study of cycles may ultimately throw light on sociology, as well as conservation.
In this connection it is worthy of note that the upland game birds which are least affected by the cycle—quail and pheasant—are the most subject to that limit of population density which game managers call the "saturation point". Quail especially simply "refuse" to tolerate a density greater than one bird per acre, and this limit is apparently about the same in all states, regardless of how ideal the food and cover. Likewise, in such ideal food and cover, the quail density seldom drops very far below saturation. On ideal grouse range, on the contrary, the fluctuations are if anything more violent than on poor range. Apparently the cycle and the saturation point are two alternative modes of guarding against over-population, but the mechanism of both is equally obscure.
It is also worthy of note that the cyclic grouse can subsist on buds and hence are usually incapable of starvation, whereas the non-cyclic quail subsist on seeds, and often die off in hard winters. The cycle thus appears to be, in a certain sense, a substitute for starvation as a mode of population control.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the cyclic birds are exceedingly difficult to propagate in confinement, while the non-cyclic birds are comparatively easy. I suppose this means that grouse have an extreme susceptibility to disease, which is why they are hard to raise in captivity, and why they have a cycle.
Who can fit all these disjointed fragments of fact and fancy together into one unified picture, one comprehensive and consistent theory of cycles? Certainly not I. Who is trying to do so? To my intense regret, I am obliged to answer: A mere handful of men. I said to begin with that 1934 is a year of biological eclipse, yet I know of only four scientists who are prepared to observe the event, and learn something from it. I ask you to contrast this with the solar eclipse of 1933, when there was hardly standing room for the scientific expeditions.
The difference is one of education among scientists. Since dawn of civilization we have been learning to use our imaginations about the movements of stars, but it is only in the last two decades that anybody has studied the ups and downs of animal populations. For two centuries science has been so busy pasting labels on species that it has forgotten, to study the animal itself. Science has written tons of learned volumes telling us the color, size and shape of every feather and every bone in each of a thousand species, and recording the distribution of each and whether it is abundant or scarce, but we have not even begun to ponder why any particular species is abundant or scarce. How a species maintains its population level is certainly not the least vital question in the great enigma of evolution, but it has received the least attention from science.
As for conservation, the question of population levels is the very core of it. Conservation is the control of population levels, to the end that we may not lose our opportunity for personal contact with natural beauty. Our ignorance of the cycle means that we do not yet know how wild life population levels are determined. Yet the U. S. Government, which is spending scores of millions on conservation projects this year, has one man actively engaged in cycle research, and he only part-time. The great scientific foundations and museums, which yearly send scientific explorers to all the far corners of the earth, are not yet interested in this great tidal wave of death which every decade sweeps their very dooryards. The conservation foundations may have heard of the cycle, but they have certainly done nothing about it.
So here we are on the verge of an epochal event, and only three scientific institutions have vouchsafed their men so much as a piece of smoked glass. There are dozens of game managers and biologists who want to work on the cycle, but they lack funds for field studies and laboratory experiments. Our scant existing knowledge is partly locked up for lack of publication. The handful of men who have funds, got them by passing the hat. In short, the captains and the kings who officiate at scientific money-bags are not yet cycleconscious. Another decade must go by —another score of millions of conservation funds must be spent blindfolded —before the work of deciphering this great enigma can effectively begin. Thus, and not otherwise, does conservation muddle through.
BUILD NEW LAKES
Through the federal government with its CCC Camps, Nebraska hopes to obtain two new lakes.
Public spirited citizens of Hayes Center, recently donated the state 80 acres of land and are negotiating for more. Here, a dam will be built by one of the CCC Camps operating under the Forestry Service.
Another lake will be built on land now owned by the Commission near Ravenna. This lake will be about 20 acres in extent and is well wooded and should be a popular fishing resort.
Open Seasons 1934Pheasants
Season opens 7 a. m. October 12; closes 6 p. m. October 18. Daily bag; four male birds or three male and one female bird. Possession limit: four male birds or three male and one female bird.Docks, Geese, Coot and Jack or Wilson Snipe
Season open from October 16 to November 14 inclusive.Ducks:
Daily bag: 12 in the aggregate of all kinds but not more than 5 in the aggregate of Canvasback, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Ringneck, Teal, Shoveller and Gadwall. Possession: double the daily bag limit.Geese and Brant
Daily bag: 4. Possession: 5.Coot
Daily bag: 20.Snipe (Wilson or Jack)
Daily bag: 15.Time—
Shooting will begin at SUNRISE each morning and stop at SUNSET each evening.Raccoon and Opossum
Season open from November 16 to February 15 next ensuing. Daily bag and possession: Raccoon, 3. Opossum, 3.Fox
Season open from November 1 to February 15 next ensuing.Squirrel
Season open from October 1 to December 31 inclusive. Daily bag and possession: 10.Mink, Skunk, Badger and Rabbit
Season open from January 1 to December 31
THE CORDIAL RELATIONS WHICH EXIST BETWEEN the farmer and shooter can only continue so long as the huntef treats the farmer with courtesy and fairness.
MR. SHOOTER, ALL THINGS UPON THE FARMER'S LAND are valuable and precious to him. If you destroy his property and kill his domestic birds and stjock, the invitation to hunt will surely be withdrawn and the land posted against all hunters, good and bad.
THE FARMER IS A GOOD FRIEND, and only through his generosity, kindness and solicitous care are we assured of a future supply of wild life. Therefore, it is your duty to assist in converting vandalism into sportsmanship.GAME, FORESTATION and PARKS COMMISSION Lincoln, Nebraska