OUTDOOR NEBRASKADEVOTED TO THE CONSERVATION OF NEBRASKA OUTDOOR RESOURCES AUTUMN 1935 No. IV
Two Seasons for Nebraska Pheasant Hunters
CLOSED OPEN OCT. 20 TO OCT 29 INC. OPEN OCT. 20 TO OCT. 29 INC.
NIMRODS of the Cornhusker State will have two pheasant open seasons this fall—the first time since the wary Chink was brought into Nebraska.
There are a certain number of counties where the pheasants are especially numerous this year. These areas are in two sections of the state—the North Platte Valley and the extreme northeastern counties.
Another feature of the open seasons is that one is at the beginning of the waterfowl season and the other at the end, thus enabling hunters to have a longer period of hunting as well as being able to hunt both ducks and pheasants on certain days.
The first open season begins on October 20 at 7:00 a. m. and ends at sunset on October 29th. During this period the following counties will be open:
Adams, Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Boone, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cedar, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon,Dodge, ,Fillmore, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Hooker, Howard, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, McPherson, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Perkins, Pierce, Phelps, Platte, Polk, Red Willow, Rock, Saline, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sherman, Stanton, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Wayne, Wheeler, York; all that part of Sioux County south of the Government Ditch, and Pleasant Hill, Goose Creek and Elsmere Precincts in Cherry County.
The second open season begins at 7 a. m. on November 17 and ends at sunset on November 21. During this period the following counties will be open: Antelope -Cedar Dakota Dixon Dundy. Garden Keith Knox Lincoln Morrill Pierce Scotts Bluff Thurston Wayne
All that part of Sioux County south of the Government Ditch will also be open during this period.
The bag and possession limits this year are also more attractive than heretofore. This year hunters will be permitted to take two hens instead of one. This change was made because it saves birds, due to the fact that too many hunters over shoot on hens and then give them away. It is the desire of the Commission that this practice be stopped and this year any one deliberately shooting hens will be heavily fined where convicted.
The possession limit is the same as the daily bag.
Hunters are advised not to hunt extensively in South Platte counties where the birds are not so numerous. This is especially true in York, Seward, Saline, Fillmore and Clay counties where farmers have been advised to post farms. There are a few places in these counties where the birds are thick and for this reason the Commission opened these counties, but these birds should be left for local residents and those making a trip should go to the counties where the birds are numerous.
There are several vicious practices which have been increasing the last several years that the Commission hopes to stamp out this year. One is hunting a few days before the season opens. Another is the riding about on fenders of cars and shooting at pheasants from vehicles. Another is the fellow who still takes a chance of going out near home without a permit. Conservation officers have been instructed to show no leniency to any violators committing the above crimes. Not only will they be fined but their firearms may also be taken.
The official order of the Commission is as follows:
In accordance with Chapter 70, Session Laws, 1931, State of Nebraska, an open season on ringneck pheasants is hereby declared in all parts of Nebraska except the following counties:
Box Butte, Cass, Dawes, Har1 a n , Franklin, Webster, Nuckolls, Thayer, Jefferson, Douglas, Gage, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Sarpy, Sheridan, Washington.
All of Sioux County is closed to hunting except that portion south of Government ditch.
All of Cherry County is closed to hunting except the following precincts: Pleasant Hill, Goose Creek, and Elsmere.
The open season shall be for a period of ten (10) days, beginning at 7 a. m., October 20th, 1935 and ending at sunset, October 29th, 1935. No hunting is permissible after sunset and before 7 a. m. of each day.
The following counties will again be open to hunting for a period of 5 days beginning at 7 a. m. November 17th and closing at sunset November 21st: Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Garden, Lincoln, Knox, Cedar, Dixon, Dakota, Antelope, Pierce, Wayne, Thurston, and that part of Sioux County south of the Government ditch.(Continued on page 10)
Uncle Sam Allots 30 Days for Duck Hunting
THE 1935 season on ducks, geese, brant, jacksnipe and coots in Nebraska this year opens October 21 and closes November 19 according to Federal regulations just announced. Shooting will be permitted only between 7 A. M. and 4 P. M.
The above season also applies to Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York (including Long Island), Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada.
The season for those states in the southern zone including New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California will extend from November 20 to December 19, inclusive.
Shooting over baited water or land, which has furnished the heaviest toll from all species and accounted for the mcst consistent full bag limits, will be prohibited.
Floating crafts or blinds may not be used more than 100 feet from the shore line or line of visible vegetation at time of shooting.
Live decoys, one of the most effective methods of luring the migratory flocks to the blind, are also ruled out. None will be allowed.
The possession of more than one day's bag has been made illegal.
The 3-shell limit placed on repeating shotguns last February will take effect for the first time this fall, and the new regulations provide that hunters may use a shotgun only, not larger than No. 10 gauge. Under this regulation waterfowl may not be taken with or by means of any automatic-loading or hand-operated repeating shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, the magazine of which has not been cut off, or plugged with a 1-piece metal or wooden filler incapable of removal through the loading end thereof, so as to reduce the capacity of said gun to not more than three shells at one loading.
The new regulations place the daily bag limit on ducks at 10 in the aggregate of all kinds and make the possession limit conform to this daily bag limit. Changes represent a reduction of 2 in the daily bag and of 14 in the possession limit of the common species, but extra restriction on certain species have been removed.
Bag limits on geese and brant remain at 4 in the aggregate, possession limit 4.
The bag and possession limits on other species affected by the regulations are as follows: Coot, 15; jacksnipe, 15; rails, 15.
The season on wood ducks, ruddy ducks, bufflehead ducks, and swans is closed and no shooting of snow geese is allowed in any of the States bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
The regulation prohibits entirely the taking of migratory game birds from or by the aid of an automobile, airplane, sinkbox (battery), power boat, sailboat, any boat under sail, any floating craft or device of any kind towed by power boat or sailboat.GOOD NEWS!
Recent reports from Canada and the duck-breeding states indicate that better things are in store for hunters. While the regulations for this season are quite severe, it appears now that the worst is over and hereafter there will be more liberal regulations.
Nebraska sportsmen have cooperated splendidly with both federal and state authorities during the past two years. They have accepted the restrictions gracefully and aided in their enforcement.
It is the desire of the Nebraska Game Commission that sportsmen bear with conditions this fall. It is believed that by sacrificing once again we will build up a reserve of breeding stock that will make conditions better even next year and for many years to come.PLATTE RIVER A REFUGE
A law now in effect makes the Platte River, except in Scotts Bluff, Morrill and Garden counties, a Game Refuge. This applies to both the North and South Platte branches and the main river to the mouth at the Missouri. Hunting is permitted on the Platte River only during the forenoons on those days when there is a lawful open season. This means that during an open season on ducks, shooting can take place from 7 A. M. to 12 o'clock noon. On pheasants 7 A. M. to 12 o'clock noon. No shooting is permitted at any time in Garden county, as the river in that county is closed at all times by an older law. In Scotts Bluff and Morrill counties the situation is the same as heretofore, where shooting can be done as prescribed by Federal and other State laws. Signs designating the Platte River as a Refuge are now posted.USE OF BLINDS
Many hunters do not understand the new regulation regarding the use of blinds. Those hunting in the Platte River are not sure if they can place blinds on islands or sandbars.
In order to clear up this point, the Editor of Outdoor Nebraska wrote to Mr. Darling for further information on this point. Mr. Darling's letter follows:
"We have your letter of August 8 requesting an interpretation of that part of Migratory Bird Regulation 3 which permits migratory game birds to be taken during the open season from a blind, boat, or floating craft of any kind (except certain types of floating craft later specified in the regulation), not more than 100 feet from the shoreline as determined by ordinary high tide or, where there is continuous natural growth or vegetation extending beyond such shoreline, not more than 100 feet from such growth or vegetation protruding above the surface of the water at the time of taking such birds. You say the question is—How will this regulation affect the hunting on the Platte River where there are many islands and sand bars, or, does this apply to coastal waters only?
"The above regulation applies to rivers and other inland waters, as well as coastal waters.
"Islands in the Platte River, which are really permanent islands, will have their shorelines and the regulation applies to the use of blinds and boats beyond the 100 feet from the shoreline on those islands. As to sand bars of shifting and temporary character, they would be in the same category as clusters or areas of vegetation more than 100 feet from the shoreline or from the outside edge of continuous vegetation from the shoreline."
Some Facts and Figures About Ducks
Considerable interest has been taken throughout the country the past year as to just how many ducks can be expected from the average pair that nest.
Some authorities insist that not more than one duck from every two adults at large can be expected each year. Others place the increase at two. Of course, not all adult birds pair off and breed, and not all pairs find suitable nesting areas. Then again, there are a considerable lot of eggs that never hatch.
In order to get some accurate information on the subject insofar as the ducks that actually hatch out a family are concerned, Nebraska conservation officers were directed to observe birds throughout the sandhill area and to report on the size of families. The following is their report, covering the summer just passed:Brood No. County Where Seen Species of Ducks No. of Little Ducks Approx. Age Date Observed Brood No. County Where Seen Species of Ducks No. of Little Ducks Approx. Age Date Observed No. 1 Schlegel Cr. Cherry Mallard 7 15 Days July 20 No. 29 North Loup Cherry Blue Wing Teal 7 15 Days No. 2 Schlegel Cr. Cherry Mallard 9 15 Days July 20 No. 30 Schlegel Hatchery Cherry Mallard 9 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 3 Schlegel Cr. Cherry Mallard 7 15 Days July 20 No. 31 Schlegel Hatchery Cherry Blue Wing Teal 7 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 4 Schlegel Cr. Cherry Mallard 11 15 Days July 20 No. 32 Schlegel Hatchery Cherry Pintail 11 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 5 Schlegel Cr. Cherry Pintail 13 15 Days July 20 No. 33 Watts Lake Cherry Mallard 9 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 6 Mud Lake Cherry Pintail 5 15 Days July 25 No. 34 Cherry Blue Wing Teal 7 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 7 Mud Lake Cherry Mallard 11 15 Days July 26 No. 35 Hackberry Lake Cherry Mallard 7 10 Days Aug. 2 No. 8 Mud Lake Cherry Blue Wing Teal 7 15 Days July 26 No. 36 Sheridan Spoonbill 8 2 Wks. July 29 No. 9 Mud Lake Cherry Blue Wing Teal 5 15 Days July 27 No. 37 Sheridan Blue Wing Teal 6 3 Wks. July 29 No. 10 Mud Lake Cherry Red Head 7 15 Days July 27 No. 38 Garden Ruddy 6 2 Wks. Aug. 8 No. 11 Merriman Lake Cherry Mallard 9 15 Days Aug. 1 No. 39 Garden Pintail 5 3 Wks. Aug. 8 No. 12 Merriman Lake Cherry Mallard 11 15 Days Aug. 1 No. 40 Cherry Pintail 3 4 Wks. Aug. 16 No. 13 Merriman Lake Cherry Widgeon 7 15 Days Aug. 1 No. 41 Sheridan Mallard 5 6 Wks. Aug. 18 No. 14 Merriman Lake Cherry Blue Wing Teal 8 15 Days Aug. 1 No. 42 Scotts Bluff Blue Wing Teal 6 21 Days July 22 No. 15 Hackberry Lake Cherry Mallard 10 15 Days Aug. 2 No. 43 Morrill Mallard 7 28 Days July 29 No. 16 Willow Lake Brown Pintail 7 15 Days Aug. 2 No. 44 Garden Pintail 5 21 Days July 30 No. 17 Moon Lake Brown Spoonbill 5 i15 Days Aug. 2 No. 45 Garden Gadwall 5 21 Days July 30 No. 18 Moon Lake Brown Blue Wing Teal 7 15 Days Aug. 4 No. 46 Garden Ruddy 11 14 Days July 30 No. 19 Calamus River Brown Mallard 9 15 Days Aug. 4 No. 47 Sioux Spoonbill 6 21 Days Aug. 3 No. 20 Calamus River Brown Mallard 14 15 Days Aug. 4 No. 48 Hamilton Blue Wing Teal 6-9 Aug. 20 No. 21 Calamus River Brown Blue Wing Teal 9 15 Days Aug. 5 No. 49 Clay Pintail 6-12 Aug. 20 No. 22 Middle Loup Thomas Mallard 7 15 Days Aug. 5 No. 50 Adams Pintail 6-12 Aug. 20 No. 23 Middle Loup Thomas Pintail 11 15 Days Aug. 5 No. 51 Madison Teal 8 3 Mo. Aug. 10 No. 24 Middle Loup Thomas Blue Wing Teal 9 15 Days Aug. 5 No. 52 Madison Mallard 7 3 Mo. Aug. 10 No. 25 Middle Loup Thomas Blue Wing Teal 5 15 Days Aug. 5 Aug. 6 No. 53 Stanton Teal 7 3 Mo. Aug. 10 No. 26 Duck Lake Cherry Mallard 9 15 Days No. 54 Stanton Mallard 8 3 Mo. Aug. 20 No. 27 Duck Lake Cherry Pintail 7 15 Days Aug. 6 No. 55 Stanton Pintail 8 3 Mo. Aug. 20 :No. 28 North Loup Cherry Mallard 7 15 Days Aug. 6 No. 56 Madison Gadwall 6 3 Mo. Aug. 20
Our Waterfowl Are Coming Back
OUR migratory waterfowl are coming back. The improvement in the general situation is not great, as indeed it cannot be in one season after so many years of steady decrease, but considering the continent as a whole there is an improvement, which must cheer those who are laboring so diligently for this objective.
The most heartening news is from the breeding grounds of the United States. The northern parts of the range that are north of the Canadian agricultural belt are, of course, as unaffected by drought and the works of man, as they were 100 years ago, although they are still supporting only a pitiful remnant of the birds that formerly used them.
It should be borne constantly in mind that the entire breeding range of all species of migratory waterfowl covers a vast area. Broadly speaking, it includes the entire continental land mass north of the 40th parallel of latitude, and there is a considerable number of ducks that nest even south of that line. Obviously, no individual worker or limited group of specialists can cover it all in one season. There are, in fact, not enough biologists in the entire United States and Canada to do the job, even if they were all working on it. It is possible, however, to get good results by the "sampling" method, and that is what the Biological Survey has done. The object of the summer work is to determine by investigation of conditions the probable ratio of increase from the nesting operations. It should not be confused with the census or winter count of the population which is made on the southern waters in mid winter when the birds are rafting on the open water. A summer count when the birds are hidden by heavy vegetation has proved too inaccurate to be of any value.
Five field parties were assigned to the Canadian breeding grounds. The leaders of all parties had previous experience in the regions assigned to them, and in most cases they operated in the same territories during the season of 1934. Dominion and Provincial authorities extended full cooperation, as did also many private individuals, to all of whom the Biological Survey is grateful.EDITOR'S NOTE
Here is a report on the duck breeding situation made by the Biological Survey late in August. It gives a very good picture of the waterfowl problem at the moment. Not for several years has the future appeared so hopeful.
Limitation of funds made it necessary for the four parties working in the southern half of Canada to conclude their work by July 1, which, however, covers the intensive incubation period, and by that time vegetation had reached such a height and density that further observations were virtually impossible. Even when thrashing through a marsh and nearby splashing revealed the presence of ducks, the birds could rarely be seen, particularly since by mid-summer the molt was in progress and the birds were accordingly unusually secretive.
The Northern party will remain in the field until the end of the summer, surveying the vast breeding grounds of the Slave River delta in Mackenzie and of the Athabaska River in Alberta. Some idea of the immensity of these regions may be gained from knowledge of the fact that the breeding grounds of the Athabaska delta alone cover approximately 5,000 square miles.
British Columbia.—The region included in British Columbia has suffered but little from drought conditions or the demands of agriculture.
The field party led by Biologist Murie worked north through the valley of the Fraser River to the Stuart Lake area in the central part of the Province, covering multitudes of marshes, ponds, and larger lakes in the vicinity of Williams Lake, Prince George, and the Chilcotin country. Biologist Murie, who covered this region in 1934 also, reported that the numbers of ducks seen this year were as great and probably somewhat greater than last year. The general situation in this Province may be summed up as "fair" to "good".
Unfortunately for sportsmen of the United States, other than those of the extreme Northwest, the ducks reared in British Columbia do not migrate in large numbers south of Puget Sound, as indicated by banding records, although Major Allan Brooks of Okanogan, B. C, has stated than on occasion he has oh served fairly large flights well off-shore.
Northern Alberta and Mackenzie.— Detailed reports from the field party working in this far northern region of northern Alberta and Mackenzie will not be available until the end of the summer. The investigators have already made a preliminary survey of the Athabaskg Delta country and at this writing are engaged in similar work at the delta of the Slave River in Mackenzie, after which they will return to Fort Chipewyan for further work around Lake Athabaska.
Reporting late in June from Fort Chipewyan, Biologist Goldman, who last year visited this region with Biologist E. A. Preble, stated that the general opinion of residents in the country was to the effect that there were more ducks this year than last. He commented that his party certainly was seeing more and that it was obvious that there was a large duck population, although only a fraction of what the area could carry and did carry 20 years ago.
In a report dated June 26, Goldman states: "We are finding throughout the delta (Athabaska), except of course in big, open water, a fair representation of ducks. Mallards, pintails, and spoonbills are common; canvasbacks, lesser scaups, green-winged teal, and goldeneyes are present in considerable numbers; redheads, buffieheads, blue-winged teal, and ruddies are scattering." He stated that altogether his party had "seen numbers of redheads and natives consider them fairly numerous." No evidence of non-breeders was obtained.
Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. — Game Management Agents Ransom and Furness made a thorough coverage of this district, extending their work north in Alberta nearly to the Athabaska River and in Saskatchewan to the North Saskatchewan River at Prince Albert.
This region is probably the most important agricultural area in Canada and the destruction of the prairie pot holes, sloughs, and even larger lakes, has been great. Hay cutting and pasturage at other points continues to cause much destruction of nesting waterfowl. Also in this territory are some of the worst effects of the great drought, which have Hot been entirely offset by abundant rainfall of the present season. For example, during the period from July 2 to 7, in southwestern Saskatchewan the investigators listed 119 lakes that were totally or practfcaity dry and 36 others which for one reason or another were unsuited for waterfowl. Just 41 lakes suitable for ducks were seen during this period, and by actual count these supported only 858 ducks. In fact, the(Continued on page 10)
OBSERVE ALL GAME LAWS Outdoor NebraskaOfficial Publication of The Nebraska State Game Forestation and Parks Commission COMMISSIONERS Guy R. Spencer, Chairman J. B. Douglas M. M. Sullivan Frank Haskins W. J. Tiley EDUCATION & PUBLICATION COMMITTEE J. B. Douglas, Chairman Frank B. O'Connell EDITOR Frank B. O'Connell Vol. X AUTUMN. 1935 No. 4 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.
Obey the Law!
With the approach of the hunting season every sportsman and citizen should familiarize himself with the game laws. While he may not subscribe to all the regulations made by federal or state authorities, he should overlook his personal feeling and "play the game". That is the only way we can go forward in sport and conservation—to give and take. While some of the laws and regulations may at the time seem unnecessary and without merit, taken as a whole, they are aimed to perpetuate hunting and, after all, that is the desire of all true sportsmen.
A New Conservation Hope
Past generations ruthlessly dissipated the apparent everlasting abundance of natural resources, leaving to this generation a legacy of denuded forest areas, polluted public waters, a marked decline in wild life population with complete extermination of certain species, depleted soil fertility and seriously eroded agricultural lands in parts of Nebraska.
What will be the legacy that this generation will bequeath to those who are to follow us?
We have some hopes that a firm conservation foundation will be established upon which a permanent conservation structure can be erected in the immediate future. We have profited by the mistakes of the past. We can now substitute practical conservation for idealistic dreaming and theoretical and haphazard methods.
A new force has appeared in the conservation picture in Nebraska which makes these hopes much more tangible. With this new influence, there is brighter hope that proper importance will be placed on the social aspects of conservation.
This year a constructive conservation program was included in the regular 4-H club work in this state. Wild life conservation was made a study by clubs as a whole and by individual members. It is estimated that several thousand farm boys and farm girls took up conservation of wild life along with other 4-H club projects.
This is of inestimable value to conservation. Immediate benefits were forthcoming with winter game bird feeding, bird house building, game and fish rescue, study of environmental conditions affecting wild life, increased educational features, having a decided influence on betterment of wild life populations. With such an auspicious start, there is practically no limit to what can be accomplished from year to year.
From Our Readers
IN the summer issue of Outdoor Nebraska, we invited our readers to make suggestons how to better our outdoors, and what size families ducks raise. We have received several interesting letters, which we are pleased to print.Advocates Vermin Control
Mr. E. L. Hobbs, Brule, Nebraska, who states that he has fished, hunted and trapped in Nebraska for fifty years, suggests that we have a systematic vermin control.
"I believe in orderly conservation," writes Mr. Hobbs; "but I believe more good could be accomplished by systematic vermin control than along other lines. My reasons are as follows:
"(a) All our game birds are ground nesting, so are a prey to everything that crawls, walks or flies.
"(b) Predatory vermin does not recognize any closed season."
He further points out that his county (Keith) "harbors more than thirty species of vermin, and that there is no bounty on any of them—in fact, some of the vermin is protected by law."Suggests Cleaning Up Turtles
Mr. E. A. Stringer of Omaha, writes as follows:
"In the way of suggestions as to how to clean up the streams, the first thing that I would suggest would be to ask the sporting editors of the local newspapers all over the country to call attention of the public to the destruction which is done by turtles. Following up along the same lines, it would be possible to have these sporting editors explain about turtle traps and other means of destroying these reptiles, and try to interest the young people as well as the local Izaak Walton Leagues in putting on drives to eliminate these turtles.
"In the forty years that I have been fishing and hunting, I do not recall of ever having seen any publicity whatever urging the local residents to clean up their streams and calling attention to the destructive habits of the turtles.
"I doubt if it would be necessary for the game commission to put out a single penny of expense if the proper publicity were given to the necessity of ridding the streams of these turtles, but we can expect no action to be taken unless the newspapers will give this some publicity and get the public interested in doing this. Pamphlets could be struck off which could be sent around to the various Izaak Walton Leagues and local sports editors, explaining the destructiveness of these turtles and advising how to go about getting rid of them."Mr. Keller on Ducks
A very interesting letter from our old friend, Mr. F. J. Keller of Rainbow's End Game Refuge, near Antioch, also comes to hand. We asked about the size of duck families, and Mr. Keller writes, answering our questions as follows:
Q. What species of duck nesting in Nebraska have you observed as being the most prolific? A. The Mallard, with the Teal a close second, and the Pintail third.
Q. What is the average number of ducks reared to maturity by a pair of breeding ducks? A. Mallards 7; Teal 5; Pintail 6.
Q. What is the number of ducks the average mother hatches and takes to the water? A. Mallard 9 to 11; Teal 7; Pintail 9.
Q. What seems to be the cause of losses of young ducks? A. Bullsnakes, hawks and coyotes while on the way to the water or out of the water. On windy days the heavy waves drown the small birds, rolling them over getting their backs wet.
Q. What in your observations seem to be the greatest natural enemy of growing ducks? A. Coyotes, hawks and turtles. I have never seen a muskrat bother a duck. There is also a reddish weasel here that is very destructive.
Q. Have you noticed during the present summer any pot-holes or ponds drying up? A. No, most of the water holes are full of water this year.
Q. What is the number of ducks the average mother rears to the flying age? A. Mallard 7; Pintail 6; Teal 4 or 5; Shoveller 8.
Mr. Keller writes further:
"To return to question 4, I have for years advocated that the small water holes and small lakes with not too great a distance between them are the ideal breeding grounds for ducks. Ducks do not particularly care for big bodies of water except during migration. They want lots of shoreline with grass and rushes while young to break the waves. They are busy all day catching flies, bugs, mosquitoes, off the grass and rushes.
"In regard to the other article, 'Help the Editor to Make Nebraska a Better Place'. The best suggestion I can make is that if we could get some of our outof-the-way country roads fixed so people could travel them without getting stalled on the high center, they would see many pleasant sights and scenery away from the main traveled highways, which they do not know exist."
Another interesting letter was received from Lowell L. Huntington of -Maxwell. He thinks the Teal the most prolific, with the Mallard sacond, and he believes they have bigger families. The average number reared to maturity, according to his observations being as follows:Mallard 12; Teal 8. He considers turtles, snakes, hawks, owls and stray cats as the ducks greatest enemies.
We are also pleased to publish a letter from our old friend and mink authority, Dr. J. J. Warta of Omaha. He states ten very good ways to make our outdoors more attractive. They are as follows:
(1) Save our wild flowers. If they must be plucked leave enough for some one else and for seed. If ground must be plowed try to save at least some seed and plant in suitable location.
(2) Plant more trees and shrubbery. For every tree chopped down replant with ten young trees.
(3) Enlighten the public and land owners regarding a large supply of pine and other varieties of trees grown in Nebraska, and suitable for Nebraska planting, distributed by our national forests gratis to any one that will plant and care for them.
(4) Swat those unsightly and undesirable sign boards adjacent to our highways. Especially those referring to death by accident, funerals, embalmers, coffins, etc. Such and other undesirable signs help to fill our insane asylums, besides bringing out on our skins goose flesh every time they are read.
(5) Encourage propagation of doves, quail, song and other birds.
(6) Plant perennial flowers in suitable locations, and on highway right of way. Our old fashioned holly-hocks of all colors are an example.(Continued on page 8)
Commission Field ActivitiesValentine Refuge
Slowly but surely the new Valentine Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is coming into being. The federal authorities had hoped to exercise their options and get control of the land prior to the hunting season, but this was later found to be impossible. However, it is hoped to get the lands under control and a CCC camp on the job late this fall.WPA Projects
The Nebraska Game Commission is joining with other agencies in helping to get WPA projects under way.
An application for rebuilding the lake at Guide Rock has been filed. This lake was damaged badly by the Republican River flood last spring. Another application is filed making improvements at the Fremont Recreation Grounds. Other applications cover work at Stolley State Park, Fort Kearney State Park, Valentine Fish Hatchery, and other holdings.Improve Big Game Refuge
Through the assistance of a CCC camp the Wild Cat Hills Big Game Refuge in Scotts Bluff county is being improved. New pastures, scenic drives and recreational facilities are being provided.Sell Guns
Forty guns, confiscated during the past year, vere sold at public auction by the Nebraska Game Commission recently. These brought a good price, averaging about $10.00 per shotgun and rifle—many of which were old models.Help Develop Carter Lake
The Nebraska Game Commission is helping the City of Omaha and the federal government in developing Carter Lake in Douglas county. This is a good fishing lake and many fishing permits are sold there. The federal government is furnishing a CCC camp and certain materials, the City of Omaha a dredge, the MetTepolitan Utilities Company water, and the State Game Commission pipe. It is planned to pump millions of gallons of water into the lake each year hereafter. After January 1, 1936, the City of Omaha will furnish the necessary water.FAITH What do I care for gray skies— For gray skies overhead? What do I care for snow clouds there, When summer days are fled? What do I care when shadows Like specters of sadness creep; When breathing low beneath the snow The smiling meadows sleep? And this is the law of the ages, Of the ages that ruined lie, True to the sun the earth wheels on In the blue of a star-strewn sky! True to their faith the seasons Swing back into Time's own breast, And waves that roar on a wind swept shore Tomorrow will lie at rest! What do I care for gray skies— For gray skies red at night? What do I care if hillsides bare Frown down on a world of white? What do I care for shadows On tumbled slopes massed deep? When breathing low beneath the snow The living flowers sleep? —Carey Holbrook. Don't forget that permit! FROM OUR READERS (Continued from page 7)
(7) Establish for tourists small tracts of wood land that are of easy access from highways for resting places.
(8) Encourage philanthropists to donate to the state land suitable for public use.
(9) Every license paid to hunt and fish is just one more dollar towards beautifying and improving our state parks and our outdoors.
(10) Do your bit to preserve wild life and cooperate with our state Game, Forestation and Parks Commission.SOME NEBRASKA FUR-BEARING ANIMALS Muskrat
Seldom harmful, and is a valuable fur bearer. Protected by law excepting during a limited trapping season. Occasionally does slight damage to gardens and field crops along streams. Found throughout state, but most important in sandhill lake region. Active throughout year.Raccoon
Valuable fur bearer, and protected by law. Sometimes damages crops such as corn, and may occasionally raid hen rocsts. Usually only slightly harmful, and its value is likely to be much greater than its depredations. Found in limited numbers ovdr most of the state, but is quite common along watercourses in eastern half. Active throughout the year.Opossum
Valuable as a fur bearer, and flesh is sometimes used as human food. Feeds largely on grains and fruits and other vegetable materials, but may occasionally raid poultry houses. In moderate numbers, its value probably more than offsets its depredations. Found in eastern Nebraska where timber is plentiful. Active throughout the year.
Illegal seines and traps taken from Nebraska rivers this summer.
A 48-pound Cat caught in the Elkhorn near Tilden.
Meeting in August the Nebraska Game Commission selected Guy R. Spencer to become chairman. This action was necessary since a new law makes one of the Commissioners act as chairman rather than the Governor. This law was sponsored by Governor Cochran, who felt better results could be obtained where the chairman was familiar with the details of the Commission work and was not loaded down with many other responsibilities.
Guy R. Spencer is well known to the sportsmen of Nebraska. Like Ding Darling, he is a cartoonist. He is serving his seventh year on the Commission and has been one of its leaders from the time it was organized in 1929.
Commissioner J. B. Douglas, wellknown business man of Tecumseh, was named vice-chairman.
Here is what Professor J. P. Jensen, M. A., a naturalist and one of our leading national authorities on bird life and vermin control, has to say:
"The greatest enemy to bird life is, in the opinion of the best ornithologists, the domestic cat. By lengthy and careful observation, it has been determined that the average rambling cat in the summertime, or a cat with kittens, will catch an average of seven birds per day, young birds recently out of the nest naturally predominating."OLD TIMERS
In the summer issue of "Outdoor Nebraska" we published a story about Mr. L. E. Williams, of Lincoln, who has a fishing and hunting permit for every year since 1914.
Now comes Mr. Joe E. Gunnerson, Aurora, who has a permit for every year since 1904; Mr. L. N. Rohrich of Bellwood, who has a permit for every year since 1910; and Mr. Oscar Kayser, of Bellevue, who has one for every year since 1912.
Our hat is off to these four patriarchs of the Nebraska sportsmen.BAITING PERMITS
How much baiting of ducks and geese is done in the United States?
The 1934 regulations required permits to be secured to bait. The following is a report of the kill over baited ground during the fall of 1934. Baiting is prohibited this year.STATE Permits Issued 3 3 (B 2. 3 3-n> O c a B n> w WW OH GO OH o a — b 3 15 295 3 7 45 82 312 10,476 21 172 219 836 4,741 210,258 923 608 1,503 836 4,737 209,097 912 608 1,498 4 784 11 5 4,079 California ........ 8 1 1 4 b b b 33 377 Connecticut Delaware .......... Florida ..... ..... Illinois .............. 735 4 12,958 110 166,014 252 161,935 252 b b 67 Kansas .............. 1 20 58 485 2 49 634 389 4,371 15 425 12,170 1,042 37,184 245 3,798 12,101 1,042 34,146 232 3,798 2 Maine ................ Maryland .......... Massachusetts .. Michigan.......... 2 22 2 2 b 1 5 3,038 13 Mississippi Missouri ............ 5 102 5 3 1 122 1,804 16 5 881 20,574 644 163 881 20,538 633 162 36 11 1 Nevada .............. New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York -...... North Carolina North Dakota 18 b 3 24 2 90 95 1 65 2 242 1 3 70 5 4 2 593 29 2,222 1,389 2 938 12 2,421 3,633 697 13,715 13,781 172 14,817 444 62,746 3,615 697 13,647 12,355 172 14,808 444 62,183 5 4 68 1,426 9 Ohio.................. Oklahoma .......... Oregon .............. Pennsylvania -... 13 6 1 316 6 78 247 10 630 12 18 8 26 9,450 78 308 204 South Carolina 2 9,444 308 204 Utah b 1 11 3 b Vermont ............ Virginia............ 4 311 198 46 15 1,302 2,477 243 14,327 75,103 243 13,654 74,528 673 465 Washington West Virginia .. Wisconsin 110 140 1,503 1,468 33 2 Wyoming .......... b Total ................ 3,003 129a 44,349 673,C83c 661,204 11,140 739
TWO SEASONS FOR NEBRASKA PHEASANT HUNTERS(Continued from page 2)
The daily bag limit during the above season shall be five (5) male birds or three (3) male and two (2) female birds and the possession limit shall be five (5) male birds or three (3) male birds and two (2) female birds.
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.
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, or on game refuges set aside by state laws. All such violations will be prosecuted.Dated this 1st day of September, 1935, at Lincoln, Nebraska. GAME FORESTATION AND PARKS COMMISSION Frank B. O'Connell, Secretary.
OUR WATERFOWL ARE COMING BACK(Continued from page 5)
party reported that in "southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta there is very little valuable duck water to be found outside of the irrigated sections".
Agent Ransom surveyed this same region in 1934 and so was able to make direct comparisons of the conditions on many lakes and marshes. At a few lakes he recorded a heavier waterfowl population than in 1934, but at many other lakes the reverse was true. Sometimes the difference would be little one way or the other, and occasionally there was either a remarkable increase or a startling decrease. Adding up the scores for the various areas studied indicates that the increases do not by any means offset the decreases. It is true, however, that because of better water conditions in other sections to the south there is a greater dispersal through small sloughs and pot holes formerly dry.
In 1934 Agent Ransom visited 233 lakes. This season it seemed desirable to visit a smaller number and study each one more intensively. Sixty-seven lakes were selected as representative of four classes: 18 with less than 5 acres of water surface, 17 covering from 5 to 25 acres, 14 covering from 25 to 250 acres, and 18 lakes with water areas in excess of 250 acres.
Forty-five nests were found in the course of this study with an average of 8.3 eggs per nest. Fourteen mallard nests averaged 7.2 eggs per nest, while 8 lesser scaup nests averaged 10.8 eggs per nest. Broods of ducklings to the number of 114, totaling 719 youngsters, were tabulated, or an average of 6.3 per brood. Several times in their reports the investigators commented upon the size of the ducklings, indicating that a more than average percentage of the broods reached maturity.
The list of the various species encountered in the order of their relative abundance in both 1934 and 1935 is headed by the lesser scaup. In 1934 the mallard came second but in 1935 this place is taken by the white-winged scoter, while the mallard drops to fourth place, the number seen being exceeded (strangely enough) by the ruddy duck. The canvasback was in sixth place in 1934, while in 1935 it is listed fifth, but the redhead, in eighth place in 1934, falls to thirteenth place in the 1935 list.
Canadians consulted in this region were almost unanimous in reporting a decrease in the waterfowl, and they also were unusually alert to the crow menace, which to them applies not only to the production of wild waterfowl but also to the raising of domestic poultry.
A summary of the reports from this region makes it appear unlikely that any substantial increase in the crop of waterfowl can be expected for the present season. Many former valuable breeding areas are probably irretrievably damaged by drought and agriculture, but many others are still in excellent condition, although supporting but a fraction of their potential carrying capacity.
Manitoba and Southeastern Saskatchewan.—The party assigned to Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan, led by Biologist Aldous, who also covered it in 1934, started work in the vicinity of Winnipeg by surveying the nesting grounds at the south end of Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis, including the famed Nettley and Raeburn Marshes. The investigators then worked north to Swan River, the Pas, Cormorant Lake, and Moose Lake. Returning southward they crossed the Duck Mountains (said to have at least 1,000 small lakes arid ponds) and crossed into Saskatchewan at Yorkton. Traveling westward they reached the Quill Lakes and Johnstons Lake before again turning south to the region about Regina, where they surveyed the Qu Appelle lakes. They then proceeded eastward back into Manitoba via Portage la Prairie for a recheck of the situation on the Raeburn Marshes and the area at the south end of Lake Manitoba.
Manitoba has suffered severely this season from the elements. Early in June a terrific snow, rain, and wind storm from the North swept the Province, driving the waters of the large lakes to unprecedented depths at their south ends and flooding our vast areas of valuable breeding grounds on which ducks were already nesting. Continued torrential rains added further difficulties to the sorely pressed birds and by the first of July the Red River of the North was up more than a foot and the Assiniboine more than 3 feet. Practically the entire country between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba was under water.
Late in May a fire north and west of The Pas burned over 12 townships, leaving in utter ruin one of the best waterfowl nesting areas in the Province. The Provincial game warden who inspected the damage reported that the remains of burned duck nests were so numerous that it was not uncommon to find them at 10-foot intervals. The principal species that use this area are the lesser scaup, green- and blue-winged teals, the mallard, and the pintail.
The investigators found excellent food and cover conditions throughout their entire district, and Provincial officials and others advised them that in some places during the spring migration an increase in some species, including the lesser scaup and goldeneye, had been noted. A heavy concentration was observed near The Pas (Halcrow Lake) that may have been due to the earlier destruction by fire of nesting grounds to the north. These were chiefly pintails, but with good showing of mallards, lesser scaups, shovelers, blue-winged teal and green-winged teal. Generally speaking, however, the investigators concluded that in the region of The Pas there was no increase in the duck population over 1934.OUTDOOR NEBRASKA 11
On the Nettley Marshes there were noticeably fewer birds than was the case a year ago. Areas where last year several duck and coot nests were found, were combed carefully this year without the discovery of a single nest. On the other hand, the Lake Manitoba marshes showed a "marked increase in lesser scaups and slightly more redheads" than were found in 1934. Blue-winged teal and shovelers were observed in smaller numbers, but this also appeared to be compensated for by the numbers of these species that were nesting in innumerable pot holes and sloughs that last year were entirely dry. In this area canvasbacks were found in about the same numbers as last year and whitewinged scoters were much more numerous. No widgeons were seen and only a few mallards and pintails.
A qualified resident observer at Delta, Manitoba, reported to the investigators that he had found a noticeable increase in lesser scaups, but otherwise the situation was just about the same as it was in 1934.
A Provincial game warden at Swan River, Manitoba, stoutly maintained that in his district he had more ducks than he had a year ago.
The field party saw but few broods of ducklings, but a noteworthy feature was the size of the broods, with birds two-thirds or three-quarters grown. Several such broods were seen with from 5 to 8 or 9 ducklings, indicative of an excellent survival rate.
One of the largest concentrations was observed in the channel between Big and Middle Quill Lakes, Saskatchewan, where more than 3,000 birds of 8 species were seen. At least 90 percent of these were males.
Depredations by crows were serious over almost all of the district surveyed by this party.
Summarizing, it seems that the situation in this region is probably a little better than it was in 1934. Had it not for the disastrous storms and fires the increase might have been considerable, but at least it seems certain that there are as many birds in the area as there were last year, and, because of the greater dispersal possibly by virtue of the now filled sloughs and pot holes, a definite though small increase appears probable.
Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.—Biologist Neil Hotchkiss and Game Management Agent Lee F. Brackett started their work in Maine, spending the month of June in a thorough survey of the coastal and interior waters and marshes of that State. Their work covered the coast from Casco Bay to Penobscot and Merrymeeting Bays, the ponds and streamy at Fryeburg, the Belgrade Lakes and vicinity, Moose Pond, Chemo Pond, Mt. Desert Island, lakes and ponds near Mt. Katahdin and Calais, and many other waterfowl breeding areas.
During July their attention was centered in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where they made a complete circuit of the two Provinces with critical surveys of important waterfowl centers.
It should be borne in mind that the only important species of game waterfowl produced in this region is the black duck, although both the goldeneye and the wood duck nest rather commonly.
On the basis of local reports and the observations made by the Survey investigators, it appears that for a long time the black duck has had a scattered distribution during the nesting season about the numerous lakes and marshes in southern Maine and in Nova Scotia. A much greater concentration exists in a relatively large territory in the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, along the coast of that Province, in an area on the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia line, and locally elsewhere. The evidence seems to indicate that, except in New Brunswick and extreme eastern Maine, the breeding population is decidedly less than it was three to five years ago and even in those areas it is doubtful if there are as many nesting birds this year as formerly. In Nova Scotia there was some evidence that there were more than last year, when conditions were very unfavorable because of drought. The St. John River Valley is the only area where a large hatch was definitely reported for the current season. Few nests or birds were reported from other localities. High water in Maine and New Brunswick may have destroyed some nests.
The spring flight northward was considered better than that of the spring of 1934 but still much poorer than the flights of several years ago.
Only a few broods of goldeneyes were seen, but all evidences obtained indicated that this species is holding its own satisfactorily, while the wood duck appears to be increasing.
Except for the continued scarcity of eel-grass, there is an abundance of food everywhere that waterfowl are to be found. Apparently healthy eel-grass was seen in eastern Maine, eastern New Brunswick, southern Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton Island. It has, however, made similar good growths during some recent summers, only to die down by fall.
There is no minimizing the fact that the northeastern flight of black ducks is not in good condition. This flight of these birds was seriously and suddenly reduced by the severe winters of 1933-34 and 1934-35. The northeastern flight of this species apparently has little or no connection with the one from the interior, which reaches the Atlantic coast on the coast of New Jersey and in Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.
UNITED STATES—Some of the most heartening reports of the year come from the States where ducks formerly nested in large numbers and where the Biological Survey has been concentrating its efforts for the restoration of breeding grounds. These efforts are already bringing good results, and this year's reports show that the nesting grounds in the United States can again be marvelously productive if favorable conditions are provided.
The low temperatures that began in May continued nearly everywhere throughout the month of June and were coupled with abundant rainfall. In some places, as in Kansas and Nebraska, the rains resulted in serious floods; but, to the advantage of the ducks it filled prairie lakes, ponds, sloughs, marshes, and pot holes that for the last few years have been practically or entirely dry. And, of even greater importance, the water has held, assuring the success of those birds that selected the newly flooded regions for their housekeeping.
From Washington and Oregon, across the country to New York and New Jersey, ducks are nesting this year in areas that for several years have not heard the quack of a duck in summer.
Reflooding the Lake Malheur refuge in Oregon, made possible by the purchase of extensive additional lands and water rights, has reopened this former duck paradise to anatine resettlement. The Game Management Agent in charge reports that a very large number of Canada geese successfully raised their broods in the valley of the Blitzen River and along the south shore of the Lake, with a fair number of ducks also using the areas.
At the Bear River refuge in Utah, the superintendent reports, there is an encouraging increase with more birds utilizing the breeding areas than at any time since this project was completed. A very high percentage of the eggs was successfully hatched, and there was little mortality among the young. High water in May, which caused the Bear River to jump its banks, caused some loss to 12 OUTDOOR NEBRASKA early nesters, but a later survey showed that these had renested successfully. There has, however, been a notable decrease in redheads. Up to July 1 not a single duck was known to have died on the refuge from botulism, or western duck sickness. In 1932 more than 32,000 died of this disease in this one area.
Across the plains States—Nebraska, the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—the nesting conditions are the best in several years and the birds have been quick to take advantage of them. A mid-July report from North Dakota states: "We have an abundance of water—more than the usual supply. All sloughs and pot holes are filled. Vegetation, both feed and cover, is abundant in all hatching areas". Another, dated July 22, from Wisconsin, cemments as follows: "Today, due to excessive rainfall, there are many more thousands of acres of lakes and ponds inundated than for the past seven years; there are wild ducks distributed over these areas and actually breeding to a greater extent than I have observed since 1926. Rush Lake, covering about 6 square miles, was bone dry last year, without a duck to be seen. This month I visited the lake and observed redheads with young, mallards, blue-winged teal, and coots, all having been reared at this lake this year. It had that old familiar clatter of aquatic bird conversation".
The South Dakota Game and Fish Commission had its wardens conduct a nesting census, resulting in a count of 12,671 nesting birds, while a late June report from the sandhills of Nebraska commented on the fact that ducks were breeding there this year "in abundance". It is expected that this State will produce its best duck crop since 1929. Reports from five State wardens indicated increases of from 50 to 80 percent over the 1934 population. The Iowa Conservation Commission reported in July that its investigations showed an increase in number of nesting blue-winged teals, pintails, and shovelers, with pintails about the same as in 1934.
Similar conditions have been found in some areas in New York and New Jersey, which will have a beneficial effect on the black ducks.
The clouds are not all rosy, of course, as there are places in almost every State where for one reason or another, waterfowl are still conspicuously absent. Montana, for example, still needs water, although Lake Bowdoin and other areas in the eastern part of the State may produce fair crops. There also are spots in North Dakota that continue to be unsatisfactory, while little if any improvement is noted in the breeding grounds of California. The condition in California is largely man-made, and unfortunately much of it is permanent, because of the demands of agriculture.
What is next?—To consolidate and hold the gains is the need now. The Biological Survey is making rapid progress with its restoration work, and by next season several hundred thousand additional acres of breeding grounds should be ready for duck homesteading. Congress provided $6,000,000 to carry on the work and authorized the President to make additional allotments for this purpose from the emergency relief funds appropriated to him in April, 1935.
To safeguard our gains for the current year, it was obvious that one of two actions must be taken; namely, close the season altogether or permit a short, open season, heavily restricted as to bag limits and methods of hunting.
Appreciating the almost completely unified support that the Survey is now receiving from the real sportsmen of the country and believing that the status of the birds would stand it, the Bureau decided upon the second course. This action will permit hunters to get out in the marshes, have a little fun, but at the same time it will prevent too much killing. Briefly, the amendments to the regulations approved by President Roosevelt on July 30 provide for a straight 30-day season in each of two zones across the country, to open in the North on October 21 and to close in the South on December 19, with a daily bag limit of 10 birds, which also is the legal possession limit instead of the 2-day bag previously in effect. The use of all live decoys and the use of bait in attracting ducks and geese to the hunter are ruled out, as is also shooting from sink-boxes (batteries) or any other floating or stationary device more than 100 feet from shore, or line of natural vegetation. All automatic and repeating shotguns are required by law to be mechanically adjusted to prevent them from holding more than 3 shells at one loading.
As a result of the elimination of the artificiality of "duck shooting" it is hoped that sportsmen will get back to the basic principles of "duck hunting" to their own advantage and to that of the birds'.
DEVELOPING VALENTINE REFUGE
A threefold improvement of Nebraska's Cherry county lakes area is being projected by the biological survey to make the newly established migratory waterfowl refuge one of the best developed ones in the country. A building program, road construction and a water stabilization drive are the three main goals of the bureau's plans for immediate development of the area.
Already CCC workers are at work in the area, and biological officials expect another camp to be moved there. They already have requested camps there for periods which would be extended until October, 1936, and say they could keep CCC men busy for five years.
J. C. Salyer, in charge of the government's migratory waterfowl program, viewed the water stabilization program as the most important development in restoring the lakes to where they will be ideal for duck breeding and resting places. He said the Gordon creek diversion to the lakes, constructed by the Nebraska game commission, will be improved and suitable water rights obtained to assure availability of this water.
A system of canals and diversion works will be built from lake to lake so that the bureau can control the level in each lake and, except in abnormally dry years, keep them all at satisfactory levels. The goal is to bring the lakes back up to the level of the old meander line. The biological survey has estimated that through the Gordon creek diversion, the total water area of the Valentine lakes can be increased to more than 30,000 acres. The bureau purchased nearly 70,000 acres to establish the refuge, established formally by a recent executive order of President Roosevelt.
Clay roads will be built to make the area accessible to visitors and for delivery of supplies to the lakes. Buildings to be erected include a residence for a supervisor, a service building and garage with shops and storage space, a root and tuber cellar, a combination laboratory and office building, a barn, a small boathouse and a pump house with a small electric lighting plant. The buildings, expected to cost about $35,000, will be put on the north shore of Hackberry lake.
The Valentine lakes area is in the "bottleneck" through which ducks pass in their flight from the northland to milder southern areas. It long has been considered a highly desirable refuge area by survey officials and they openly say it will be a "primary" refuge. While the bureau's efforts will be devoted primarily to developing a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl, it will co-operate with the Nebraska game commission in providing fishing opportunities.
FEDERAL LAWS UPHELD
Any doubts entertained by sportsmen as to the constitutionality of Federal restriction on the hunting of migratory birds have been answered, says the U. S. Biological Survey in commenting on a recent decision in Federal court at Savannah, Ga. The Survey administers the regulations adopted under the act of Congress giving effect to the treaty for the protection of birds migrating between this country and Canada.
Overruling a demurrer to an indictment for hunting mourning doves over a baited area, Federal Judge William H. Barrett, says the Bureau, has upheld the power of the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate hunting methods. Judge Barrett's decision, following by only a few days a similar decision by Judge H. Church Ford at Lexington, Ky., sustaining the Secretary's power to limit open seasons, led Survey officials to express the opinion that the.-t two decisions effectively answer all constitutional objections to this year's hunting regulations.
"The principal question presented in this case," said Judge Barrett in the Savannah decision, "is: Has Congress the right to delegate to the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to make penal the shooting of doves over a baited field when neither the treaty between the United States and Great Britain nor the Act of Congress creates such a penalty." The defendants argued that the regulations represented an unconstitutional grant of legislative power.
The rule to be followed is well established, the judge pointed out and quoted from the recent Schechter NRA case as follows: "So long as a policy is laid down and a standard established by a statute, no unconstitutional delegation of legislative power is involved in leaving to selected instrumentalities the making of subordinate rules within prescribed limits and the determination of facts to which the policy as declared by the legislature is to apply."
In providing for the conservation of migratory birds, Congress, in delegating power to the Secretary of Agriculture, "surely", said Judge Barrett, "lays down 'its policies and establishes its standards', namely the policy that there shall be no hunting of migratory birds except as may be permitted by the Secretary of Agriculture. The standard is that the means of hunting shall be 'compatible with the terms of the Convention'."
"It seems clear to me," the judge declared, "that this delegation is well within the prescribed rule."
The decision was handed down on September 5.
IKES HOLD CONVENTION
The Nebraska Izaak Walton League held its Thirteenth Annual Convention at Columbus, Nebraska, August 12th and 13th, 1935.
Ward Betzer of Lincoln was re-elected President, and Mildred Spann of Atkinson, was re-elected Secretary.
Some of the Resolutions adopted at the Convention are as follows:* * *
"WHEREAS there has been a depreciating crop of game in the state of Nebraska for a number of years caused by the loss of cover and years of drought and other natural causes. And because of the lack of cover and the absence of educational facilities whereby the farmers of Nebraska will be more able to contribute to the increase of game and insectivorous birds upon farms and rural sections of the state and
"WHEREAS the Bureau of Biological Survey in cooperation with other agencies are inaugurating a campaign to assist the farmer in game management and control and
"WHEREAS, we believe that this program may be augmented in the state of Nebraska
"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League in its 13th annual convention at Columbus request and urge that the Regents of the University of Nebraska add to their curriculum of said University a course in Game Management immediately. This course to be introduced for the purpose of preparing its students who attend the College of Agriculture and are interested in rural conditions and in farm products so that they may profit by the increase of game upon the lands and that the state of Nebraska may be restored somewhat to its earlier abundance of game. We further request that the University through its Extension Department cooperate in promoting this Game Management course and game management and control as introduced by the said Bureau."* * *
"WHEREAS the State of Nebraska, in the southwestern territory was visited by a devastating flood during the early part of the summer 1935, causing untold loss to agriculture, the state of Nebraska, and suffering to a great number of people, which in many cases resulted in death, and
"WHEREAS the need has existed for a long time f»r the storage of water especially from flood conditions existing in that part of the state along the Arickaree River, Frenchman Creek, Medicine Creek, and Republican River, that the water might be used for benefit to land and people in that territory during the dry seasons, and
"WHEREAS Governor R. L. Cochran has sensed this need, set his goal at $2,500,000 Flood Security Program for southwestern Nebraska and has secured the assistance of the Federal Government in this program, and
"WHEREAS it is the policy and program of the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League of America in promoting flood control, the prevention of soil erosion, both by wind and water, and a general conservation program looking to the benefit of all people therefore,
"BE IT RESOLVED that the Nebraska Division of the Izaak Walton League of America in its 13th Annual Convention assembled commend Governor R. L. Cochran for his action in promoting this Flood Securities Program, and that a copy of this Resolution be mailed to Governor R. L. Cochran, Harry L. Hopkins, Federal Works Project Administrator and Harold I. Ickes, Public Works Administration, and that a copy be spread upon the minutes of this convention."
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we believe it to be the duty of every member of the Izaak Walton League of America in the state of Nebraska or elsewhere to make every effort within its power to safeguard the waters from pollution and to prevent the loss, so much as it is in their power, of the waters that ought to be preserved for the benefit of the soil and crops."* * *
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that it is the sense of your committee that every effort within the power of our League should be exerted toward the preservation of the standing timber of our state, and the planting of seed and young timber to take the place of that which is destroyed, either by man, or by fire, or by natural causes."* * *
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that it is the sense of the Izaak Walton League of this state that every effort be made within reason to preserve the bird life of our state, and to encourage the feeding and caring for the wild birds in times when feed is not available for them."
SAM ANDERSON PASSES ON
Wildlife restoration suffered a major loss when Sam G. Anderson, of Hutchinson, Minn., passed on to happier hunting grounds on June 22, at the age of 59, after a long illness.
While a lawyer, by profession, Mr. Anderson's real interest lay out in the open country of God's wild creatures. A keen hunter and student of wildlife, he early became deeply interested in the restoration of our depleted game species.
Outstanding among his activities in this direction were the organizaton of the Gopher Campfire Club, of Hutchinson, now with 4,000 members scattered over four states; the organization of the Minnesota Game Protective League in 1915 and the development of the Anderson Hill Game Refuge, now a nationally known waterfowl breeding area, on his own property and a broad adjacent area.
Mr. Anderson has long been identified with national conservation affairs. He served on the federal Migratory Bird Advisory Board for many years and was a member of that board at the time of his death.
FIRST RESEARCH UNIT
The first of the nine cooperative research and educational units, to be set up under the recently announced program of the U. S. Biological Survey, in cooperation with state game commissions and land grant colleges is all set up and ready to go on September first at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia under Mr. Charles O. Handley of the Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries. The other eight units are in process of development and their locations and plans will be announced soon.
This important beginning in a field heretofore neglected has been made possible by a federal appropriation and a fund provided by a group of manufacturers and administered by the American Wildlife Institute. This latter fund of $30,000.00 annually for five years will underwrite the work of five of these projects. In addition to these five, the U. S. Biological Survey will provide the funds for four more. Each land grant college will contribute $6,000 in funds, equipment or service to match the donation from the Institute or the Survey as the case may be, and the state game department as a third party to the threeway cooperative agreement will contribute $6,000 or its equivalent. Thus each state in which one of these game management stations is established will have an annual budget of $18,000 with which to promote an increased wildlife population.
FALL PLANTING FOR WILDLIFE
The planting of upland game bird food in the fall is heartily endorsed by Mr. H. L. Stoddard of Thomasville, Ga., in charge of the present Cooperative Quail Study Association and also head of the original Cooperative Quail Investigation which made the very comprehensive study of bobwhite quail reported in Stoddard's invaluable book, "The Bobwhite Quail."
Numerous advantages accrue to this practice. Rather than attempting to complete the entire planting program in the spring and early summer when the rush of regular farm routine is at its height it will be found more convenient and a better job can be done in the fall. Equipment and surplus labor which otherwise would be lying idle at this time may be utilized after the crops are "laid by" and work is slack.
Game, too, is benefited, in that green food is supplied during the winter for quail, turkeys and deer especially, and grain is made available during the spring and summer periods when a marked deficiency of both classes of food apparently exists. Recent studies indicate that this deficiency may be an important factor in limiting the number of quail a given area will support.
Fall planted grain strips offer the best of seed beds for the establishment of lespedeza, an exceptionally fine plant for use on quail ranges particularly. Grains planted at this time are comparatively free of competition from less desirable volunteer vegetation which frequently is a serious problem in spring and summer plantings. On the contrary volunteer vegetations resulting from fall breaking of the soil are often highly valuable for game species, ragweed being an outstanding example.
One thing rather important, however, must be pointed out. This is that these fall plantings, to be of any value for wildlife must be carefully protected against winter grazing. Areas planted in this manner in the fall must be protected by fencing if the work is to be of any value to wildlife. Disking, however, for ragweed may be profitably carried on in spite of grazing.
Wheat, rye and oats, planted either alone or in combination lend themselves to economical fall broadcast planting. And they are usually comparatively easy to grow. These grains, especially the wheat, have proven unusually attractive to both quail and their young.
While apparently not relished by quail to the same extent as wheat, rye furnishes an acceptable emergency food over a longer period. It is adapted to a greater variety of soil conditions and will produce some grain on poor, sandy, acid, newly-broken or poorly prepared lands. Locally produced seed should always be used where available.
Oats as a grain food are probably of less value than either wheat or rye, but they are eaten to a considerable extent especially while in the milky stage. As a green food in winter they are reputed to be even better than either of the others.
Feed strips planted to equal parts of these three grains with the accompanying volunteer vegetations make ideal spring and early summer feeding grounds for quail and other birds, and in winter they furnish highly desirable green food for deer as well as birds. In addition an ideal seed bed is all ready for spring planting of lespedeza, one of the most valuable and desirable of all late winter food plants, especially for quail.
Japan clover or Korean lespedeza may be sown broadcast directly on the feed strips with no further land preparation in the spring, and once established these plants volunteer year after year on favorable soils. Care should be taken to sow the lespedeza seed sparingly, not more than four or five pounds to the acre, as a dense stand on the feed lanes is not at all desirable.
The new badges for hunters and fishermen, as provided by a recent law, will be ready the first of the year. Why not get that 1936 permit in January this year and be among the first to get one of these attractive badges?
After all, the fellow who takes home more pheasants than the law allows is hurting himself most of all. The hunter who gets the most enjoyment is not the meat hog, but the fellow who loves the outdoors and the company of real men.
Don't forget that permit!
Be careful when hunting. Remember it is always the unloaded gun that kills. Watch carefully how you go through fences or brush. And don't shoot at a bird unless you see it. Your fellow hunter might have a feather stuck in his cap.
Handy Reference of NEBRASKA HUNTING REGULATIONS Season of 1935-1936PHEASANT SEASON OF 1935 Dates
October 20 to October 29, inclusive in the following counties: Adams, Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Boone, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cedar, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Dundy, Fillmore, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Hooker, Howard, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, McPherson, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Perkins, Pierce, Phelps, Platte, Polk, Red Willow, Rock, Saline, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sherman, Stanton, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Wayne, Wheeler, York; all that part of Sioux County south of the Government Ditch, and Pleasant Hill, Goose Creek and Elsmere Precincts in Cherry County.
October 20 to October 29, inclusive and from November 17 to November 21, inclusive, in the following counties: Antelope, Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Garden, Keith, Knox, Lincoln, Morrill, Pierce, Scotts Bluff, Thurston, Wayne, and all that part of Sioux County south of the Government Ditch.BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS
Bag Limit—5 birds, of which 2 may be hens. Possession Limit—5 birds, of which 2 may be hens.SHOOTING HOURS
7 a. m. to sunset each day.
Note: While regulations permit the killing of 2 hens, this is done only to save birds shot by mistake, and all hunters are urged to cooperate by not intentionally shooting hens. Hunters deliberately shooting hens and leaving them in fields or giving them away will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.*MIGRATORY WATERFOWL OPEN SEASONS Dates
October 21st to November 19th, inclusive.WHERE TO HUNT
All counties in Nebraska, except those portions that are within game sanctuaries.BAG AND POSSESSION LIMIT
Bag Limit—**Ducks, 10; Geese 4; Snipe, 15. Possession Limit—Ducks, 10; Geese, 4; Snipe, 15.SHOOTING HOURS
7 a. m. to 4 p. m. daily, except Platte River. (See information below on Platte River hunting.)
Note: All persons hunting ducks, geese, and other migratory waterfowl must have federal duck stamp, price $1.00. This is obtained from post offices.
*The laws controlling hunting of migratory waterfowl are fixed by federal authorities. The Nebraska Game Commission does not fix the open season nor the bag or possession limits. State laws contrary to federal regulations are ineffective and should be disregarded.
**There is no open season on ruddy, buffle-head and wood ducks.SQUIRREL OPEN SEASON Dates
October 1 to December 31, inclusive.BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS
Bag—10. Possession—10.RACCOON AND OPOSSUM OPEN SEASONS Dates
November 16 to February 15 next ensuing. BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS Bag—3.DOVES
No open season on doves in Nebraska. State laws prohibit shooting of doves in Nebraska, therefore Game Commission cannot open season although federal regulations permit same.PERMITS
All persons hunting must have a hunting permit. Price $1.10 for residents; $10.00 and up for non-residents, depending on the state in which they live. For example Kansas $10, Iowa $15, South Dakota $15, Missouri $10, Colorado $10.
While the Nebraska law requires the wearing of a badge in which the hunting permit is placed, this will not become effective until January 1, 1936, therefore carry your permit in your pocket or on person until badge is available.MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION Decoys
No live decoys permitted for duck or goose hunting. Floaters, or other artificial decoys may be used.Baiting
No baiting permitted.Guns
No guns larger than 10 gauge can be used in hunting game birds. Automatic and repeating gun magazines must be plugged so that not more than 2 shells can be placed in magazine and 1 in the chamber while hunting migratory waterfowl.Blinds
Blinds must be located not more than 100 feet from the shore line of the lake, river, or island in the river.Use of Motor or Power Boats
Not permissible for hunting migratory waterfowl.Platte River Hunting
The state laws permit shooting on the Platte Rivers (except Garden, Morrill and Scotts Bluff Counties) only during the forenoons of lawful open seasons for hunting. Therefore during 1935 season ducks, geese, pheasants, rabbits and squirrels must not be hunted after 12 o'clock daily of any day that is open for the bird or animal sought. This applies to the North and South branches of the Platte River, and within the permanent flood banks of the stream. In Morrill and Scotts Bluff Counties hunting can be done during regular hours set forth for each open season. The Platte River, and for 10 rods on each side of river, in Garden County is closed at all times.
(Tear off this page, fold and carry in your hunting coat.)
During the past several seasons, certain abuses of the Nebraska Game Laws have occurred each fall.
The Nebraska Game Commission expects to use every effort in putting an end to these violations. The earnest cooperation of all law-abiding citizens is asked. All persons who continue these abuses will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.ABUSE NO. 1
The Nebraska Game Laws do not permit shooting from the highways. During the last several years certain persons have made a practice of riding along the highways and shooting pheasants from cars. In some instances hunters have been seen to sit on fenders, or in rumble seats, and fire indiscriminately. All conservation officers and other agents of the Commission have been directed to make arrests for shooting from cars, seeking full fines and confiscation of firearms.ABUSE NO. 2
Some Nebraska hunters still do not respect the right of property-owners and enter farms and ranches without permission. This is not only unlawful but very poor sportsmanship. There are today hundreds of farms and ranches where hunters can seek pheasants, if they will only consult the land owner and assure him they are responsible and law-abiding citizens. Therefore, all conservation officers and other agents will aid in the prosecution of trespass laws where complaint is made.ABUSE NO. 3
Some hunters still attempt to go to the field without a hunting permit. Since all funds received by the Commission are derived from this source, it is indeed poor sportsmanship to take game without a permit. A resident permit costs only $1.10—approximately the price of a box of shells or 5 gallons of gas—and a non-resident permit only $10.00, or slightly more, depending on the state in which the hunter resides. There is a heavy fine for hunting without a permit and each and every person found in the field without a 1935 permit will be prosecuted.
The Nebraska Game Commission is anxious to make the 1935 hunting season as attractive as possible. But to do this requires the cooperation of all hunters. Do your part. Obey all the game laws to the letter, and see that others do the same. If you do this you will receive much in return not only this fall but for years to come.GAME, FORESTATION & PARKS COMMISSION Lincoln, Nebraska